- Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Cartoon: Super-Fun-Pak Comix:
- Unlikely drone opponent:
If there's anyone deeply familiar with the US's ongoing secretive drone campaign throughout the Middle East, it's former Army General Stanley McChrystal. As head of the US military's Joint Special Operations Command McChrystal oversaw a marked uptick of drones strikes in Afghansitan before retiring in 2010. Only now, he's warning about impending drone blowback.
- Initial claims for unemployment compensation rise slightly: For the week ending Jan. 18, the Department of Labor reported Thursday that the seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment compensation rose to 326,000, up 1,000 from the previous week's revised first claims of 325,000. The four-week moving average that flattens volatility in the weekly figure fell to 331,500, down 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 335,250. While initial claims are down, continuing claims rose for the week ending Jan. 11 by 34,000 to 3,056,000. For the comparable week a year ago, continuing claims were 3,166,000.
- Existing home sales up slightly in December. Sales rose to a lower-than-expected annual rate of 4.87 million units.
The outlook for future sales is not good, at least based on available supply of homes on the market which fell sharply to 4.6 months from 5.1 months in November. Rising prices are another negative for the sales outlook, up 1.3 percent for the median to $198,000. At plus 9.9 percent, the year-on-year rate for the median price contrasts sharply with the year-on-year sales rate of minus 0.6 percent.
All cash buyers are king in the home sector, making up a steady 32 percent of existing home sales. In contrast, first-time buyers are on the decline, at 27 percent vs 28 percent in November. Weakness in first-time buyers reflects both rising mortgage rates and the still soft jobs market.
- AP fires Pulitzer-winning photographer Narciso Conteras for doctoring photo: The photo was of a Syrian rebel. Conteras admitted that he had cloned other parts of the photo to remove a reporter's video camera in the photo. AP's Director of Photography Santiago Lyon said of Conteras, "He will not work for the AP again in any capacity."
- Coke Olympic sponsorship ads everywhere in Russia but invisible in United States:
“Coke is a huge story on its own,” says Ken Kidd of Queer Nation, a gay rights that’s been taking the lead in dogging Olympic sponsors, and friends of Putin. “Where are the in-store case cards and aisle promotions? Where are the Olympic rings on their cans and bottles? The sweepstakes tie-ins? Have you seen a Sochi Coke-themed commercial in the US? I certainly haven’t.”
- These Daily Kos community posts were the most shared on Facebook Jan. 22:
- Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But just because something is law doesn't mean that it's safe, as exemplified by the Republican Party's "War on Women." A Kentucky lawmaker wants to introduce an act that classifies abortion as a form of domestic violence. Maybe the GOP should try arming fetuses instead. It's not like they haven't considered it. The Morning Crew also discusses where Whole Foods gets it produce (18:29), Imani explains the Republican party (19:56), an award-winning photo sparks a massive controversy (34:35), and the Legislature consider extending the maximum age of foster care to 21 (43:00).
- 11 popular soda brands show how much possible carcinogen they contain.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Chris Christie's still in the news, and not going away, Greg Dworkin told us. VA's new AG won't defend the state's same-sex marriage ban. The "three Rs" of the ACA. More on the explosive "human incubator" story. Shifting gears entirely, the town where the Superb OwlTM is actually being played gets none of the NFL love & big buck$. An unintentionally revealing almost-sorta-semi-defense of Bob McDonnell. A former coal miner says they've been dumping this stuff in the WV water forever. Hunter's take on Dick Black's apparently uncontrollable libido has a happy ending (no pun intended): he's dropping out of the VA-10 race.
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