Morning News and Stuff

Fiscal cliff averted, Boehner uses naughty word, private prison penalized

U.S. Speaker John Boehner
U.S. Speaker John Boehner

Happy new year! Yes, planet Earth made it through another year. Welcome to an “extra saucy” Morning News and Stuff.

U.S. Congress managed to

narrowly avert the “fiscal cliff,”

a series of tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in at the beginning of 2013. If the fiscal cliff had not been prevented, economists and the Congressional Budget Office warned the United States would have plunged back into recession. The final deal keeps tax hikes for those making more than $450,000 a year, and most Americans will see their taxes increase as the payroll tax break passed with President Barack Obama’s stimulus package expires. It’s important to remember that the passing of a deal is not some show of bipartisan heroism; instead,

it’s Congress barely preventing an entirely self-inflicted problem

.

But the deal did not come smoothly. Not only did Congress wait until the very last moment, but U.S. Speaker John Boehner

used a naughty word

. At a White House meeting, the Ohio politician shot at unfavorable comments from Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s by telling Reid, “Go f— yourself.” In fact, Boehner actually used the naughty word twice! Reid replied, “What are you talking about?” Boehner once again said, “Go f— yourself.” Who knew U.S. Congress would turn out to be so much like high school?

When Corrections Corporation of America’s (CCA) Lake Erie prison received an unfavorable audit, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction reacted by

cutting payments to CCA by $573,000

. CityBeat covered the audit and its troubling findings

here

. CityBeat also covered private prisons in-depth

here

.

On the bright side,

Ohio’s minimum wage went up

, like it’s required to do so every year. Policy Matters Ohio says the increase will bring in $340 per year for 215,000 low-wage workers around the state.

Cincinnati-based Kroger is

looking mighty tempting this year

. Stock-wise, anyway. I don’t think many people like grocery shopping.

A court ruled Ohio overcharged 270,000 businesses for workers’ compensation premiums and

must repay them

. The ruling could cost the state millions of dollars.

In case anyone was worried, the national standards Ohio adopted for schools

do not ban The Catcher in the Rye

. Book cliff averted.

Allstate is

hiring in Ohio

. I’m not sure why this is news, but it’s on multiple newspapers today, so there it is.

Gays are now marrying in Maryland

. Is

the apocalypse

near?

Intel could be looking to

revolutionize the cable industry

by allowing people to subscribe to individual TV channels.

That’s not a medieval weapon;

it’s a space rover

! The new rovers planned by top universities and NASA could visit Mars’ moon Phobos or an asteroid. It’s, like, whatever.
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