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  • Today's comic by Tom Tomorrow is Simpson and Bowles:
    Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow - Simpson and Bowles
  • What you missed on Sunday Kos ...
  • This is a great story—click for the picture accompanying the article:
    Ethan MacPherson was born missing three fingers on his left hand.

    As a relatively new student at Hamilton’s Washington Elementary, he’d run the normal course of answering all sorts of questions from his classmates about that subject.

    “He was kind of struggling with all the questions,” said his mother, Amber Mattern.

    The 7-year-old knows firsthand the challenges of being different.

    On Friday morning, another person with missing fingers came to MacPherson’s class to let him know that it doesn’t mean that he can’t dream big.

    Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester made the trip to Hamilton specifically to talk face to face with the youngster and his classmates.

  • The important thing here is, he won't be showing up to move into the White House:
    Certainly you’ve seen them, or at least one — that steady drumbeat of oddly normal and yet somehow surreal pictures of post-defeat Mitt Romney that keep showing up everywhere. Here, gassing up the minivan with hair and posture right out of a screen test for The Hangover 5. There, with the family at the local Pizza joint. Later in rollercoaster mode at Disneyland. [...]

    And that’s the thing. Romney’s somehow like the anti-Zelig. He’s seemingly everywhere. Popping up in the oddest places and yet not remotely ever fitting in or blending in. In every new setting he sticks out palpably as Mitt Romney. Not ‘Where’s Waldo’ but ‘Here’s Waldo!’ Right there. You can’t miss him.

  • Frackers:
    The oil and gas industry frequently claims there has never been a proven case of hydraulic fracturing contaminating ground water. But not even the fossil fuel barons can claim it hasn’t contaminated academia.

    Last week, an independent investigation found that a University of Texas study concluding hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses no threat to underground water supplies was tainted by a conflict of interest by the study’s lead author

    That author, Charles Groat, was on the board of Plains Exploration & Production Co. and received an annual fee of $58,500 in 2011 while holding more than 40,000 shares of the energy firm worth more than $1.7 million. Groat has left the university.

  • Balloon Juice notes that:
    Margaret Sullivan, the Times public editor, took that paper to task yesterday for not having a reporter at the trial of Bradley Manning:
    The newspaper’s absence was noticed, and criticized, by many media watchers. Beyond the story itself, The Times, which considers itself the paper of record, had an obligation to be there — to bear witness — because, in a very real sense, Private Manning was one of its most important sources of the past decade.
    The Wikileaks story was a huge one for the Times, but they always seemed to be resentful and sullen about how they got that story (Bill Keller’s recounting of Julian Assange’s B.O. is a prime example). The reason is simple: the Times thinks, as the paper of record, that it should have gotten Manning’s leak directly, not via Wikileaks. So even though he’s a key source, the best English-language coverage of the Manning trial is at the Guardian.

    Pride only hurts, it never helps.

  • Does the right to bear arms include carrying "switchblades, double-edged daggers, combat knives, bowie knives, stilettos, and cutlasses on any street in America"?
  • Hurricane Sandy truly was a monster storm:
    Late on Friday, the Administration made a $60.4 billion supplemental appropriation requestfor dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. The request went directly to House Speaker John Boehner. The total is actually a bit higher than estimated. This is a rough sketch of what the Administration plans to use the funds for:
    In total, the Administration requests $60.4 billion in Federal resources for response, recovery and mitigation related to Hurricane Sandy damage in all affected States, This includes efforts to repair damage to homes and public infrastructure and to help affected communities prepare for future storms [...] Our Nation has an obligation to assist those who suffered losses and who lack adequate resources to rebuild their lives. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring Federal resources are used responsibly and that the recovery effort is a shared undertaking: private insurers must fulfill their commitment to the region; public assistance must be targeted for public benefit; resources must be directed to those in greatest need; and impacted States and localities must contribute, as appropriate, to the costs of rebuilding, Accordingly, consistent with the increased emphasis it has placed on the integrity of all Federal spending activities, the Administration proposes that controls be put in place to ensure that funds are used appropriately to protect against waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • Dude, according to Gallup:
    Sixty-four percent of Americans are against the federal government's taking steps to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states where marijuana is legal.
  • It's "Thinking Out Loud About the Fiscal Thingy" day on the Kagro in the Morning show, with Greg Dworkin and Armando, who ponder with us the possibilities as time winds down on the 112th Congress. Will we see a "Grand Bargain" negotiated in stages? A separate tax deal before the year is out? A quickie deal to kick the can down the road on sequestration? What about the debt ceiling? Does it even belong in these negotiations? Finally, a look back at an August show with David Nir discussing the craziness in Michigan's 11th Congressional District, now coming to fruition!

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