Good morning! Here are some of the stories we’re reading on another chilly day in NYC…
Kremlin Network News –> An American anchor for Russia Today resigned on-air in protest of the network’s Ukraine coverage. James Kirchick has her story at The Daily Beast.
“Clean” coal –> Spencer Woodman reports for Salon that the head of North Carolina’s Environmental Protection Agency is a former businessman — and a fierce anti-environmentalist and climate change denier — whose agency blocked multiple lawsuits against Duke Energy for its handling of coal ash. ALSO: Alpha Natural Resources, one of the countries largest coal companies, will pay a record fine for polluting waterways in five Appalachian states, reports Dina Capiello for the AP. Alpha acquired Massey Energy in 2011, and more than half of the violations came from that company’s operations.
Plutocrats’ civil war –> Dave Levinthal reports for the Center for Public Integrity that the GOP’s “civil war” is actually a battle between deep-pocketed super PACS. ALSO: Slate’s Dave Weigel writes that those Texas tea party challenges were all about fundraising.
Not your father’s Pope –> Francis didn’t go as far as endorsing civil unions for gays and lesbians, but he came closer than anyone could have imagined. Catherine Thompson reports for TPM.
Can’t have civil rights defenders defending civil rights –> In a minor debacle for the administration, Obama’s nominee to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division was rejected by the Senate — with seven Democrats joining in — as a result of arguing that accused cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death penalty hearing was tainted. Ian Millhiser has the details for ThinkProgress.
That’s some democracy –> Rep. Darrell Issa cut off Democrats’ microphones during a hearing on the IRS’ scrutinizing “social welfare” organizations. WaPo columnist Dana Milbank calls him out.
Lobbying for disaster –> A report released this week projects that if Big Oil gets its way and kills decades-old regulations on crude oil exports, it would release the equivalent of four billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Lauren McCauley reports for Common Dreams.
Good times for some –> The headline on Julie Creswell’s NYT report says it all: “For Rich, ’13 Was Good for Making, and Spending, Money.”
But not for others –> Katherine Peralta reports for Bloomberg that college grads are increasingly being forced to take low-wage jobs, and it’s pushing out people with less education.
Small victories –> TNR’s Alec MacGillis calls the decision by Facebook and Instagram to crack down on illegal gun sales a “small but auspicious” victory for gun safety advocates.
We need a raise –> Eric Morath reports for the WSJ that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would save the government $4.6 billion in food stamps, according to a new study by the Center for American Progress.
They just want some dignity –> Chinese workers at a factory that was recently sold by IBM are striking, part of a growing trend in China as labor shortages give workers new confidence to flex some muscle. Keith Bradsher reports for the NYT.
Facts are hard –> At MoJo, Chris Mooney offers five obviously false beliefs that have become unimpeachable “facts” for far too many Americans.