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  • Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is Trend forecast 2013:
    Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Trend forecast 2013
  • You'll no doubt be happy to know the rich got richer in 2012:
    The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2012, adding $241 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 100 wealthiest individuals.

    The aggregate net worth of the world’s top moguls stood at $1.9 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the index.

  • I increased donations to charity in 2012. This deal limits my deductions so I, & many others, will likely donate less in 2013.
    @AriFleischer via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    In other words: I'm a great guy for giving to the most vulnerable, but I can't be bothered if there's nothing in it for me. Ari, do you know the meaning of: Total asshole?
  • Wackos on the march—Episode MMCLXXXVII:
    ...Wisconsin state Senator Glenn Grothman (R) has launched a new war on Kwanzaa, claiming it is a fake holiday invented by racist radicals who want to “divide America.”

    In a press release entitled “Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa,” Grothman ranted that Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by “left wing nuts” because “they don’t like America and seek to destroy it.” Grothman is comforted by his belief that “almost all black people ignore” Kwanzaa, but is deeply troubled by the fact that schools are teaching the holiday:

    Irresponsible public school districts such as Green Bay and Madison (and who knows how many others…) try to tell a new generation that blacks have a separate holiday than Christians … But why do they do it? They don’t like America and seek to destroy it by pretending that its values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, don’t apply to everyone. Mainstream Americans must be more outspoken on this issue. It’s time it’s slapped down once and for all.

  • 2013 could be another big year for renewable energy:
    The U.S. solar industry grew at a rate of 13.2%.  A global oversupply of solar panels lowered prices for American consumers, resulting in higher demand and greater profits for solar installation companies. SolarCity’s IPO proved to be successful despite claims that its stock would immediately plummet. And even with excessive political attacks by opponents of renewable energy—over $250 million spent in the 2012 election—the industry has gained strong public support across the country.  Industries such as wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, electric transportation, and solar have achieved success in 2012 but the next step in supporting growth is creating a more stable policy landscape.
  • Means testing Medicare and Social Security a really really really bad idea.
  • Putnam County, N.Y., refuses to identify gun owners:
    Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant said he would defy a request for information about pistol permit holders from the White Plains, New York-based Journal News, which has come under criticism for publishing thousands of such identities already.

    "There is the rule of law, and there is right and wrong and the Journal News is clearly wrong," Sant said in a statement. "I could not live with myself if one Putnam pistol permit holder was put in harm's way, for the sole purpose of selling newspapers."

  • Study: The womb is child's first language lab:
    Research led by Christine Moon, a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, shows that infants, only hours old showed marked interest for the vowels of a language that was not their mother tongue.

    "We have known for over 30 years that we begin learning prenatally about voices by listening to the sound of our mother talking," Moon said. "This is the first study that shows we learn about the particular speech sounds of our mother's language before we are born."

  • Predictions, predictions, predictions, predictions, predictions, predictions. When will they ever learn?
  • Afghanistan remains a basket case.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, yes, we went over the Fiscal Thingy, and just like we said, it turns out to have been fixable retroactively all along. Not that the traditional media is giving up on the metaphor, since they're reporting we somehow "averted" turning the calendar over without a deal in place, which we all know was the case. Whatever, Cheeto munchers! Greg Dworkin joined in for the "Republicans in disarray" discussion, then, a look December's accidental shootings by responsible gun owners, which tend to involve shooting the people the guns were supposed to protect.

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