Political Headlines - December 5, 2012

  • Patrick targets local aid to help cover budget gap: Governor Patrick announced an array of cuts to help cover a $540 million shortfall, including a further reduction in the money local communities receive. Globe politics reporter Noah Bierman details.


  • GOP deduction cap would hit the comfortable: House Republicans' proposals to cap or even eliminate itemized deductions would exact a bigger toll on upper- to high-income earners in the professional classes. Globe Washington bureau chief Christopher Rowland reports.


  • Treaty for disabled rights falls short in Senate: Senator John Kerry made an impassioned but ultimately futile plea for ratifying a treaty aimed at advancing the rights of the disabled. Globe politics reporter Bobby Caina Calvan elaborates.


  • Timothy Cahill jury begins deliberations: Defense lawyers assailed Cahill's campaign operatives during closing arguments in the trial of the former state treasurer for alleged ethics violations. Globe politics reporter Michael Levenson elaborates.


  • Raise the charter-school cap again: It doesn't make sense for urban districts to pay traditional school teachers more for a longer day when charter schools can deliver more learning time for less. Globe columnist Scot Lehigh explains.


  • Fracking is the new gold rush: The new, heady pursuit of oil, thanks to the reserves unleashed by fracking, raises the question: What will happen when the rush is gone? Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson covers.


  • Bridge is lighting the way forward: Look for the newly lit Leonard P. Zakim Bridge by next ­Friday, not only a symbol of a new Boston, but a sign that government can get good things done. Globe columnist Brian McGrory writes.