Good morning! Today is International Human Rights Day, so try not to commit any heinous crimes. Here’s a look at some of the stories we’re reading on a snowy morning in New York City…
Heartbreaking –> Andrea Elliott chronicles the hard life of a homeless child in an amazing piece of reporting for the NYT.
Ameristan –> At AlterNet, CJ Werleman writes that according to many metrics, the US has become a developing country.
Burned in a big way –> Rep. Alan Grayson lost $18 million in a high-stakes swindle, according to the Associated Press.
Profits of death –> While the Newtown shootings traumatized the nation, a new study finds they were a boon for lobbyists and media companies. Jennifer Kirby reports for TNR. ALSO: MoJo’s Mark Follman says at least 194 American children have died from gunshot wounds in the year since the massacre.
Watered down? –> In the WaPo, Mike Konczal reports that the final version of the Volcker Rule will be announced today, and offers a standard to judge whether it’s any good.
A populist win –> Sally Kohn writes at Salon about how grassroots organizing “crushed” the predatory pay-day loan industry.
And a painful compromise –> Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner reports that Democrats are prepared to close a loophole that would ultimately result in some food stamp cuts that they think they can live with as part of a larger budget deal.
Dirty states –> The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the EPA’s authority to stop states from polluting their neighbors. Matt Mellema reports for Slate.
ALEC was there from the beginning –> At the Desmogblog, Steve Horn reports that ALEC created the precursor to the State Policy Network – the shadowy network of state-based “stinktanks” — in the late 1980s.
Rent is too high –> Almost three in ten Americans bear a “severe cost burden” for housing, according to a new Harvard study written up by Peter Coy at Businessweek.
Francis –> Writing in Foreign Policy, EJ Dionne is very excited about the Pope’s new tone.
The final frontier –> On Monday, scientists published the strongest evidence yet that Mars contained fresh water. The revelation comes just a month after researchers discovered that every fifth star like our sun has an Earth-like planet in its orbit. Carolyn Johnson reports for The Boston Globe.
What else? What are you reading? Let us know!