Morning Reads

Good morning! Today is National Weatherman’s Day, celebrating the birthday of John Jeffries, who began recording weather patterns in the Boston Colony in 1774. Perfect day for it here in NYC, where a winter storm warning is in effect. Here are some of the stories we’re reading as we try to stay warm…

The big story –> The commentariat blew up over a new CBO report on Obamacare and employment. At Business Insider, Josh Barro runs down what the report actually says, and finds that it’s mostly good news. BUT: It’s being wildly distorted by both the law’s critics and lazy journalists, reports Dylan Scott at TPM. WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler weighs in, giving three Pinocchios to those claiming that the report says Obamacare will kill jobs.

Science Guy debate sparks another debate –> The Daily Beast’s Michael Schulson writes that Bill Nye’s debate with young earth creationist Ken Ham did not go well for Nye, or for science. AND: Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern thinks Nye and Ham were playing by different rules, and that played in Ham’s favor. BUT: MoJo’s Chris Mooney saw it differently, writing that Ken Ham was “trounced” by Nye.

“Independent”: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means –> Lee Fang reports for The Nation that the government of Alberta quietly funded the researchers responsible for a favorable “independent” study of Keystone XL’s environmental impact.

Liz’s party –> At National Journal, Alex Seitz-Wald writes that the rank and file of the Democratic Party is embracing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s economic populism.

And they cut food stamps –> David Dayen writes for TNR that the farm bill still gives scads of cash to big agribusiness, but is sneakier about it than in the past.

Seems like only yesterday –> Slate’s Matt Yglesias games out yet another debt ceiling battle that’s brewing in DC.

Scenes from a militarized America –> At the WaPo, Radley Balko analyses a viral video showing an Iowa family being “terrorized” during a SWAT raid over alleged credit card fraud (of which police found no evidence).

Privatized problems –> At The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen continues his reporting on the problems with private probation companies supervising the release of convicts for a fee.

Heckuva job –> Emma Graham-Harrison reports for The Guardian: “A new Afghan law will allow men to attack their wives, children and sisters without fear of judicial punishment…”

Progress –> Josh Eidelson reports for Salon that the NLRB is considering adopting a rule for union elections that corporate America — and Mitt Romney — loathes.

Maybe we’ll get some bipartisanship –> DC Council moves to decriminalize marijuana for private use. Dan Merica has the details at CNN.

Happy pig –> Maine police responded to a domestic violence call to discover that the screams that horrified neighbors were squeals of joy by a male pig who’d been placed in a pen full of sows.

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