- Today's comic by Matt Bors is Clues scarce in search for news:
- Animated map shows bomb runs on Laos during Vietnam War:
Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped around 2.5 million tons of bombs on Laos. While the American public was focused on the war in neighboring Vietnam, the US military was waging a devastating covert campaign to cut off North Vietnamese supply lines through the small Southeast Asian country.
The nearly 600,000 bombing runs delivered a staggering amount of explosives: The equivalent of a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes for 9 years, or a ton of bombs for every person in the country—more than what American planes unloaded on Germany and Japan combined during World War II. Laos remains, per capita, the most heavily bombed country on earth.
- Secret Service agents sent home from European trip: Whatever the reasons for the early return trip, it occurred before President Obama's arrival in The Netherlands on Monday. At least in one case, a night of excessive drinking was at issue. The agent was found passed out in a hotel hallway Sunday.
The incident is another headache for an agency that has come under criticism since several agents were caught visiting prostitutes ahead of a presidential trip to Cartagena, Colombia, two years ago. The service adopted stricter rules for agents’ behavior after the incident, including barring agents from drinking 10 hours before duty.
- Infowars operative gets a verbal heave-ho from Rhode Island state senator:
Here’s another episode in the adventures of Infowars “reporter” Matt Bidondi, the Alex Jones functionary last seen on Yr Wonkette being told to “keep runnin’ your pissflaps” and to “drink a dick, dude,” by an Irate Boston Man after last year’s Boston Marathon bombing. This time around—just this last week, in fact— poor Mr. Bidondi was being victimized by Rhode Island state Sen. Josh Miller in the Rhode Island capitol building. Miller, who supports several pieces of gun-control legislation, was approached by Bidondi, who very calmly shouted “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed, you people need to understand that!” And then Miller smiled and replied “Go fuck yourself.” (We liked the aide or photographer or whoever who leaned over and repeated the line. Nothing like having a good toady on your staff, as Yr Editrix is well aware.) Needless to say, the gentle souls at Infowars are shocked and hurt by Miller’s incivility.
- McCain mocks moves against Russia that he suggested:
“I’m sure that that has got to reduce Vladimir to tears, that he’s not going to be able to be in the G-8,” Mccain said on Fox News on Tuesday, according to Media Matters. “Take over part of a country and you don’t get to go to the next meeting in some wonderful European capitol.”
But just a few weeks ago, McCain himself was calling on Russia to be expelled from the G-8, telling PBS’s Charlie Rose that he would first sanction Russian officials’ bank accounts and ability to travel—which Obama has done. “Then, obviously, I would look at other areas. You know, throw them out of the G-8, of course. It should be the G-7,” he said.
- Chevron starts its own "news" website in Richmond, Calif. Oil giant's creation greeted skeptically in working-class community:
The Standard is the brainchild of Sam Singer, a San Francisco public relations guru known for managing crises and mending damaged reputations. He hired former San Francisco Examiner reporter Mike Aldax in early December to start assembling stories for the website, which went online in January.
The effort was sensitive enough that when a Chronicle reporter asked about the Standard in mid-December, Singer said Chevron had not yet decided whether to pursue the project. The Standard's first stories appeared online two weeks later.
- U.S. coal shipments exports greenhouse gas emissions:
Thanks to the natural gas boom, carbon dioxide emissions dropped in the United States. But those emissions savings were probably completely undone thanks to U.S. coal exports.
That’s the finding from new research by CO2 Scorecard, which looked at how the U.S. coal industry increase its exports in order to deal with the rise of natural gas in the nation’s power market.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin and Joan McCarter round up ACA news: sign-ups, "fatigue" & more court challenges. Blue slip reform & the SG nomination. As the administration floats NSA reform, how much snooping is your email provider doing?
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