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  • Today's comic by Matt Bors is Mmmm Soylent:
    Cartoon by Matt Bors -- Mmmm Soylent
  • If the Las Vegas killers had been Muslims, would the media call them "terrorists"?
    “Without a doubt, if these individuals had been Muslim, it not only would be called ‘terrorism’ but it would have made national and international headlines for weeks,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based group. “It was an act of terror, but when it’s not associated with Muslims it’s just a day story that comes and goes.”
  • El Niño could make 2014 or '15 a record year for heat:
    El Niño, if it develops, will upend everybody's weather—but it may also have another impact: Driving up global temperatures. El Niño, after all, is a global weather phenomenon whose most notable characteristic is the presence of extra-warm surface water in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific ocean. This tends to unlock greater average global temperatures, notes Joseph Romm of Climate Progress.

    Or as climate expert Michael Mann of Penn State helpfully explained by email: "Global temperature variations can be thought of as waves on a rising tide. The rising tide is global warming, which has raised global temperatures nearly a degree C (1.5 F) over the past century. The waves are the shorter-term natural fluctuations related to phenomena like El Niño (or its flip-side, La Niña), which warm (or cool) the globe, respectively, by 0.1-0.2C."

  • The geography of gun deaths—a map:
    As of 2007, 10.2 out of every 100,000 people were killed by firearms across the United States, but that rate varies dramatically from state to state. In Hawaii, at the low end, it was 2.6 per 100,000; in New York and New Jersey it was 5.0 and 5.2 respectively. At the high end, 21.7 out of every 100,000 residents of the District of Columbia were killed by guns, 20.2 in Louisiana, 18.5 in Mississippi, and 17.8 in Alaska. Arizona ranked eighth nationally, with 15.1 deaths per 100,000.
  • Eight charts illustrate how Iraq is descending into chaos. The overrunning of Mosul this week is just the latest example:
    Whether the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq would have prevented the resurgence of violence is far from certain, but one thing isn't up for debate: Under the rule of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the country has seen a remarkable lack of progress on a variety of economic and security indicators. In many, it's actually taken several steps back. The case against Maliki is laid out in a report by Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Cordesman, who has been writing about Iraq since U.S. forces swept into the country in 2003, points out that by several key metrics, the Iraq of today looks worse than it did under Saddam Hussein.
  • Cantor Cantored. Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine:
    Cantor went out the way he carried himself throughout his career: making comically disingenuous attacks. His television commercials assailed Brat as a tax-loving Democrat—he served on a non-partisan state revenue-estimating commission—and actually ran ads calling him a “liberal college professor”:

    It is conceivable that, by preposterously describing a Rand-loving right-wing crank as a liberal, Cantor actually managed to underestimate the intellectual discernment of his voters. In any case, he had ceded all the premises of the argument to his opponent even in the course of smearing him. Cantor was, finally, Cantor'd. He will not be missed.

  • Herpes infected humans before they were human:
    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans—Homo erectus—approximately 1.6 million years ago.
  • After death of "world's oldest man" at 111, some conflicting advice on long life from centenarians: Eat well and relax; No alcohol, plenty of water… and a good cigar; Smoke, drink and make merry; Garlic, porridge and prunes; Raw eggs and plenty of sleep; Find a good partner; Mind your own business.
  • Oklahoma tea party candidate says stoning gays to death would right:
    A conservative Christian Tea Party Republican candidate running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives says he is OK with stoning gays to death. Scott Esk reportedly said in a Facebook conversation, “I think we would be totally in the right” to stone gay people to death. He also quoted the bible—including Leviticus 20:13—and added, “ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”

    The Facebook conversation was ignited by a posting of Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge?” comments last year. Esk apparently believes he is capable.

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin & Joan McCarter on Cantor. Sen. Warren's student loan bill filibustered. Who's funding its criticism? 892 guns found at airports this year, up 19% over 2013's record-breaking rate. Who's disrupting whom at Airbnb?

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