Ok , apologies for the absence... holiday season and all...
At any rate, here's a quickie round-up of a few items these past couple of weeks that made me say "hmm, I should blog about this..." right before I got distracted and did something else:
The Senate untangled the largest reform to American food safety since the Great Depression from an ill-fated spending bill yesterday (yes, really, on a Sunday) and passed the landmark measure during its final lame duck days. President Obama is expected to sign it sometime later this week. Read about the reforms in the Christian Science Monitor or The Washington Post.
President Obama is expected to sign the law repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy on Wednesday, according to The New York Times political blog. Although Congress passed the measure last week, as CNN reports, implementing the change is expected to take at least several months. In the meantime, gay rights activists are wondering if this is going to be a real turning point for their efforts. The Washington Post reports.
Also about a week ago... Pennsylvania authorities filed 832 (count 'em!) charges of cruelty against a farmer after a potential buyer went to check out the farm and found some pretty gruesome conditions. As Change.org notes, this would be "big for any case, but it's even bigger when you consider that it was for the deaths of pigs." I would also add that this case has the potential to be even more groundbreaking, considering it's filed in the same state which issued that dreadful opinion in the Pritchard divorce appeal a number of years back (equating a companion animal with a lamp).
About two weeks ago.... animal law attorneys in Colorado filed a class-action suit against Denver and another Colorado city seeking to overturn the ban on the grounds that it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The local NBC station has details...
...And President Obama signed a new law banning so-called animal crush videos. The new law was specifically drafted to address the concerns that prompted the right-leaning Supreme Court to overturn an earlier incarnation of the ban earlier this year. Read more about the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act in this CNN article or blogs at the San Francisco Chronicle or Examiner.com.