President Obama backs Senator Dianne Feinstein's effort to ban assault weapons, the White House said today:
White House spokesman Jay Carney offered some of the first specifics on how Obama intends to make good on his promise to address gun violence in the aftermath of a shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 26 people, including 20 children.
"It's clear that as a nation we haven't done enough to address the scourge of gun violence," Carney told reporters. He reiterated that Obama "wants to move in the coming weeks."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via good as you)
Instagram has announced a new Terms of Service, and the terms, not surprisingly, offer users few rights over their photos.
Under the new agreement, Instagram can share information about users with parent company Facebook, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers. It can use your image or any of your photos in advertisements without your consent, as well as anyone you've posted a photo of using the service.
The Guardian adds:
The new Instagram clause notes that "some or all of the service may be supported by advertising revenue" and says that, as a result, "to help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."
That means that Instagram photos could be used in advertising, without reference to the owner, with all the payments going to Instagram. There is no opt-out from that use except to stop using the service and to delete your photos.
But Dan Catt, who worked on the early development of Flickr – one of the first photo-sharing services online – pointed out on Twitter that any pictures which included recognisable people would require explicit permission in the form of a "model release" from Instagram to the advertiser seeking to use it, which might be impossible to grant.
Of course, the calls for boycott have begun.
Will the new Terms of Service be affecting your use of Instagram?
Seattle's King County Announces More Than 1,000 Licenses Issued Since Marriage Equality Took Effect December 6
A marriage bounty in Washington state.
King County marked a milestone just after noon today, with the 1,000th and 1,001st marriage licenses issued since a new marriage equality law took effect in Washington State on Dec. 6.
“December is typically our slowest month for marriage licenses, but due to the new marriage equality law, that’s not been the case this month,” said KC Recording Manager Jon Scherer. “Our volume of business this December has been more like a typical July, when we can issue as many as 2,000 marriage licenses.”
Leaders from Human Rights Campaign, Outserve-SLDN, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Center for American Progress, Immigration Equality Action Fund, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, and FORGE, Inc have signed on to a letter calling on House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to stop defending DOMA.
Americans have sent a clear message that they want lawmakers to focus on strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and securing a bright future for generations to come. Spending $2 million and counting on harming LGBT people and wasting precious time and resources that should be spent on more important issues is not the way to best serve the interests of the American people. We strongly urge you to take aleadership role on this critical issue and stop pouring taxpayer dollars into a law that discriminates against Americans.
Our country is facing major challenges that we will only solve by standing united. It’s time for us to collectively focus on how we can make our great nation even stronger, and leave behind the archaic lawsthat exist simply to divide us. To that end, we encourage you to end your taxpayer-funded contract foroutside legal services defending discrimination.
Read the full letter bellow:
John Boehner has rejected Obama's latest offer on a fiscal deal.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Writes Jed Lewison at DailyKos:
So the president agrees to continue some of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and to cut Social Security ... and John Boehner's response is to push for even more concessions. Shocking, I know. But while Boehner's "Plan B" is pure baloney, it won't matter unless the president continues making the case that Republicans should not hold middle-class tax cuts hostage.
Thus, even as he attacks President Obama, Boehner is making it clear he wants to keep the president at the table, where he won't be able to use his bully pulpit to gain leverage over his negotiating rivals (my emphasis):
“He talked about a ‘balanced’ approach on the campaign trail,” Boehner intends to say. “What the White House offered yesterday — $1.3 trillion in revenue for only $850 billion in spending cuts — cannot be considered balanced. We’re going to keep the door open in hopes the president can find a way to support a balanced approach."
Actually, what Boehner really means is that he's going to keep the door open in the hopes that President Obama won't make the case to the public that Republicans should extend middle-class tax cuts with no strings attached. Because the longer Boehner can keep the president behind closed doors and away from the public, the better a deal he'll ultimately get.
Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan makes note of the GOP's insanity: "This party is a threat to democratic discourse and to fiscal sanity. Their ideological mania knows no prudential restraint at all."
And finally: "The White House and Democratic leaders immediately rejected Boehner's move, saying the focus of the incremental negotiations should be a comprehensive deficit-reduction agreement."