According to a statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney, President Obama has now canceled his upcoming trip to Asia: "The president made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government."
Probably the most widely viewed Twitter trending topic in the United States right now is "#prayfornewton." The ad hoc hashtag is indicative of both the public's desire to show support for the victims in today's Connecticut school shooting—most of whom were children— but also our ignorance of what exactly happened at Sandy Hook Elementary: the shooting was in Newtown, not "Newton."
The most recent article from The Nation's Jeremy Scahill profiled the imprisonment of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye. For covering American cluster bomb strikes in Yemen and the radicalization of Yemeni citizens and their support for Al Qaeda, Shaye has been beaten and tortured, imprisoned for two years and, at America's request, seen a presidential pardon from Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh indefinitely tabled.
It's been 13 months since President Obama chose to start "evolving" his stance on gay marriage back to where it was in 1996. In what world is evolution supposed to be such a slow, gradual process? He might finally be wrapping things up, though, as Press Secretary Jay Carney today would not rule "in or out" the possibility that he'll announce his support for gay marriage during next week's State of the Union.
Major fireworks and apocalyptic drama at today's White House stenographers' huddle, you guys.