The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the ratification of a deeply controversial United Nations treaty on disabled people, dubbed the UN “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (UN CRPD), which critics say represents a serious threat to American sovereignty and certain unalienable rights. After voting to consider the agreement in late November during the lame-duck session despite furious protests, a vote on whether or not to formally ratify the planetary disability scheme has been set for Tuesday, December 4.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted against the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees, despite veto threats from the White House. The measure was an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization Bill, which failed by a vote of 54-41, with 10 Democrats voting against their party in favor of the amendment.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) continues to pump his bill to impose transaction fees on high-frequency trading, saying that they would raise a lot of money with few consequences.

On November 29, the Senate passed the Feinstein-Lee Amendment to the 2013 NDAA, purporting to protect the right to trial of those detained as suspects.

President Obama has hardened his views on “fiscal cliff” negotiations with congressional Republicans, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner telling a closed-door session of congressional leaders that Obama is now demanding $50 billion in more “stimulus” spending, $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over 10 years, and presidential control over the national debt limit. Any other deal, Geithner counseled, would be vetoed and make inevitable the fiscal cliff's the automatic tax increases and spending cuts on January 1.