New York's Premier Bro State Senator Greg Ball Plagiarizes, Gets Busted, DGAF About It

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Listen, nerds: Greg Ball doesn't care about your plagiarism allegations.
When we last checked in with upstate-dwelling State Senator Greg Ball, he was making virulently anti-immigrant statements to score some cheap political points. Now, just as cheaply, he's playing to the other side of the house, sponsoring a bill to ban killer whales from New York's water parks and aquariums, as the Albany Times-Union reports. Ball dubbed it the "Blackfish" bill, and the Times-Union points out it's "largely symbolic," given that there aren't any killer whales in New York at the moment and we're not exactly a bastion of marine mammal entertainment. Still, at least Ball isn't anti-immigrant and pro-whale torture, right? That'd be an unfortunate combination.

But the Times-Union noticed a more interesting piece of Ball's bill, namely the part that his office plagiarized outright from a 17-year-old kid. Donald Julius Rapier, a junior at Lindblow Math & Science Academy, wrote this op-ed for the Huffington Post in January. Ball's staff was apparently quite taken with one passage, which appears verbatim in the bill.

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State Senator Andrew Lanza Called Atheist Billboard "Hateful," So Now There's One in His District

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Image via American Atheists
The atheists wish you a merry, Christ-less Christmas. Except you, Andrew Lanza.
On Tuesday, we told you about the American Atheists' latest billboard, a cheery, seasonally appropriate number that wishes everybody in Times Square a merry Christmas, minus the Christ part. Predictably, the godfearing folks at FOX News and on Glenn Beck's program were very upset, while most everybody else recognized it as a well-timed bit of marketing for the non-belief lifestyle and moved on.

Well, not everyone. State Senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican who represents Staten Island, is going all in on his war against the American Atheists. It's not going well.

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Senator Chuck Schumer Calls on House to Pass the Violence Against Women Act with Key Provisions

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Sen. Chuck Schumer
Senator Chuck Schumer this morning called on the House to pass a bill called the "Violence Against Women Act," which he says literally saves women's lives.

A measure to reauthorize the act was approved by the Senate on Thursday with broad bipartisan support, despite some objections from Republicans about a few key provisions. The legislation includes grants to help train cops and legal officers in stopping domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. In addition, it also toughens federal anti-stalking laws so that digital stalking and "new forms of harassment" tied to the internet and social media are more harshly punished.

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