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From the Harper's Index, February:

• Projected annual revenue Mexican drug cartels stand to lose from pot legalization in Colorado and Washington: $1,400,000,000

• Percentage rate at which Arcata, California, plans to tax excessive electricity use in an effort to punish marijuana growers: 45

• Percentage of children living in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture who have thyroid abnormalities: 40

• Number of hours before power was restored to the majority of Long Island residents affected by the storm: 361

• Estimated cost of maintaining Afghanistan’s national security forces in the year after U.S. troops leave: $4,100,000,000

• Annual budget of the Afghan government: $3,300,000,000

• Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007The Real Maverick in the Presidential Race:

By now, John McCain’s identity as a "maverick" has been pretty well demolished among thinking people, though it retains a tenacious grip on certain sectors of the media. In light of McCain’s support for overturning Roe v. Wade, his cave on torture, his hiring of significant numbers of Bush-Cheney staffers, his turn to Bush’s big donors, and, of course, the McCain doctrine of Iraq war escalation, you’d think that it would be the joke among journalists it is among bloggers, but what can I say? I guess they’re slow.  

Those journalists so desperate for a maverick presidential candidate, though, should take a look at former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (pronounced Gra-VEL), a long-shot Democratic candidate for president. Like McCain, if elected, Gravel would be the oldest president. Like McCain, Gravel’s major political experience is in the US Senate (1969-1981). Gravel also is a veteran, having served in the Army in the Counter Intelligence Corps in the early 1950s.  And just as McCain's initial reputation was made on an act of Vietnam-era courage—refusing to be released from POW status early—in his past, so was Gravel's—entering the Pentagon Papers into the public record via his Senate subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds, and filibustering the renewal of the draft. But unlike McCain, Gravel is genuinely a maverick, with the good and the bad that comes with that status.

Tweet of the Day:

The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling via @sharethis
@lavenderblue27 via

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