Good morning — and happy Friday! Here are some of the stories we’re reading as we approach the end of a frigid week…
Call it like it is –> HuffPo’s Ryan Grim reports that the White House is challenging Democrats who support new sanctions on Iran to admit that what they want is another war in the Middle East.
They’re not like the rest of us –> Eric Lipton reports for the NYT that for the first time ever, over half of the members of Congress are millionaires.
Christie bullied whom? –> Rachel Maddow raises the possibility that “Bridgegate” was done in retaliation for something other than the non-endorsement of the mayor of Fort Lee (video).
Climate bizzaro-world –> At DeSmogBlog, James Powell notes that only one out of over 9,000 authors of peer-reviewed scientific papers published last year rejects the reality of climate change caused by humans.
Potentially big deal –> Sarah Kliff reports for the WaPo that Maryland is about to embark on an experiment in health care cost-control that could have wide-ranging ramifications for our insanely expensive system.
Confusing cause and effect –> At TAP, Matt Bruenig argues that those who believe the decline in marriage has led to more poverty are getting it backwards.
LIZ!! –> Elizabeth Warren offers new legislation that would require regulators to disclose details of the settlement deals they cut with banks allowing them to avoid prosecution.
Smells like freedom! –> 300,000 residents of West Virginia are without water — and bars, restaurants and schools have been shut down — after a company called Freedom Industries spilled a toxic chemical used in the coal industry into the Charleston river. Regulators discovered the leak by following the odor.
Corporate indoctrination –> Radio Disney is in hot water for touring Ohio schools with a program touting the wonders of fracking that was funded entirely by the energy industry. Peter Moskowitz reports for AJA.
Cuomo vs de Blasio? –> At The Nation, Bryce Covert writes that universal pre-K — a central campaign promise of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio — will be a big test for Andrew Cuomo, the state’s fiscally conservative governor.
Headline says it all –> Jeff Bryant at Salon: “The truth about charter schools: Padded cells, corruption, lousy instruction and worse results.”
Fake –> At Washington Monthly’s “Ten Miles Square” blog, Daniel Luzer points out that the Duck Dynasty crew were a bunch of clean-cut yuppies until TV transformed them into “genuine” rednecks.
My, that’s big! –> James Morgan reports for BBC that astronomers have measured the size of the universe to 1 percent accuracy. Spoiler alert: it’s really big.
Smokey but no Bandit –> The Houston Chronicle reports that an 18-wheeler caught on fire near Austin, Texas. But the truck was filled with Coors so an off-duty firefighter was able to extinguish the blaze with beer.