Good morning! In Kimberley, Australia, they’re forecasting a high temp of 111 degrees today. Here are some of the stories we’re reading as we get ready for another freezing day here in the US …
Cruel –> MoJo’s Dana Liebelson and Patrick Caldwell point out that many of the Republican senators who voted against extending benefits for the long-term jobless represent states with the highest rates of unemployment. ALSO: At the WaPo, Robert Costa reports that GOP leaders in the House are coaching their rank-and-file members on how to express sympathy for the unemployed.
New York’s Finest –> Dozens of former NYPD officers were allegedly involved in a disability scam in which they falsely claimed to have been traumatized during the 9/11 attacks.
Conflict much? –> Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker remains a juror in a trial in which a campaign donor is the defendant, according to Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee JS.
Not thrilled with This Town –> The WSJ has an excerpt from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new book in which he writes about how awful it is to deal with Washington these days.
Booting the watchers –> California state senators introduce bill to ban NSA from operating in the Golden State. Steven Nelson reports for US News and World Report.
Your tax dollars at work –> US gov spends over a billion dollars every year on uniforms made in deadly sweatshops in Bangladesh and other developing countries.
Austerity kills –> Headline on this piece by Jessica Weisberg at The Nation says it all: “Fifteen Miners Died on the Job in the Past Three Months — but Washington Is Cutting Inspections.”
Will they grab the money? –> The Daily Beast’s Mike Tomasky has the optimistic view that a number of states which refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare are going to flip-flop soon.
Exceptional! –> At The Incidental Economist, Austin Frakt ponders why Americans live shorter lives, on average, than the citizens of other wealthy countries.
New populism? –> Salon’s Blake Zeff argues that Americans aren’t suddenly becoming economic liberals as they’ve favored progressive policies for a long time.
Eat your heart out, Pink Floyd –> Chinese lunar mission delivering tons of new data, including tests of how equipment does in the sub-zero “nights” on the dark side of the moon.
Now that’s cold! –> AP reports that the Chicago zoo kept its polar bear indoors for fear that she would suffer hypothermia.