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  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Vladimir Putin: The New York Times' New Columnist:
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling - Vladimir Putin: The New York Times' New Columnist
  • Texas appeals court lets Tom Delay off the hook:
    DeLay, 66, was convicted in 2010 for his alleged role in a scheme to influence Texas elections.

    He was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering after he was accused of helping funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

    In documents released early Thursday, however, an appeals court said the evidence in the case was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions."

  • Real global warming around the 175,021st Century or so.
  • Tim Kaine can spell:
    The National Press Club held its Centennial Spelling Bee on Wednesday, commemorating the 1913 showdown between lawmakers and reporters. Back then, an Ohio congressman emerged victorious and President Woodrow Wilson was among the attendees.

    A full century later, the individual title again went to the politicians, as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) topped Politico's Rebecca Sinderbrand in the final round. Kaine's championship word was both fitting and sweet, as "nonpareil" sealed his victory.

  • Washington Post decides to write about poverty for a change, with a quiz.
  • Guess who gets a new body if human head transplants become standard:
    The cost of a surgical procedure like this would be millions of dollars (after the construction of special operating rooms, obtaining necessary equipment, training surgeons and staff, etc.). Would it ever be worth is to spend that much money to save one life? If “yes,” who would qualify? How would we prioritize?

    Would this lead to black market surgery for those who could afford it to have a chance at quasi-immortality? [...]

    Does its new family consist of both of the previous beings’ families? If it has children, are they legally part of the biologic parent (i.e., from his reproductive cells) or the cerebral parent (who directed the procreative act), both, or is it the child of a new person?  

  • A place to start on reducing income inequality. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic doesn't call it a panacea, but it would help:
    Raising taxes on investment income would not, with the wave of a wand, eliminate income inequality. It would not bring back unions. It would not bring back manufacturing jobs. It would neither elongate the workweek nor raise wages. It wouldn't spur innovation. In fairness, it might hurt the financing for new, risky  companies that could grow into domestic job-engines.

    But it's awfully simple and direct. The most important source of income gains for the investor class is, after all, investments. If we want to mitigate, if not quite solve, income inequality, let's start there. It would accomplish something small, but significant: Help Washington keep more low- and middle-income families free of federal income taxes while raising rates on capital gains from global finance and business, which today go almost entirely to the richest sliver of the country.

  • Pre-Neanderthal humans cooperated to kill ancient elephant:
    Research by a University of Southampton archaeologist suggests that early humans, who lived thousands of years before Neanderthals, were able to work together in groups to hunt and slaughter animals as large as the prehistoric elephant. [...]

    Excavation revealed a deep sequence of deposits containing the elephant remains, along with numerous flint tools and a range of other species such as; wild aurochs, extinct forms of rhinoceros and lion, Barbary macaque, beaver, rabbit, various forms of vole and shrew, and a diverse assemblage of snails. These remains confirm that the deposits date to a warm period of climate around 420,000 years ago, the so-called Hoxnian interglacial, when the climate was probably slightly warmer than the present day.

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, GopFight! Greg Dworkin updates the ACA rollout, noting better mental health coverage—much in the news just now—is included. Armando on the Chuck Todd flap, and a court's rejection of NJ's bid on legalized sports betting. Gun nut/police chief Mark Kessler faces a disciplinary hearing today. An IA county pays for a #GunFAIL involving armed cops at a kids' event. A lengthy list of corrections to "Rise of the Warrior Cop." Forbes: "Give Back? Yes, It's Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%." Slate's "9 Things Wrong With BuzzFeed's Article About 9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped by Someone With a Personally Owned Firearm."

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