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Monday, February 04, 2013

Stories to Watch 2/4/13

The NRA's ability to influence elections has been vastly exaggerated. In the last election cycle, they spent $15 million trying to keep Pres. Obama from being reelected. And we all know how well that went. In congress, their efforts went almost exclusively to electing Republicans -- in a cycle when the GOP lost seats. If you're a politician and you've been afraid of the NRA, you can stop now.

A study to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that men are from Mars Earth, while women are from Venus Earth.

Yes, Chuck Hagel will be the next Secretary of Defense. Expect the wingnut blogosphere to go absolutely apoplectic when they finally figure that out.

This is the sort of thing that could change our entire society; the chairman of the FCC is reportedly working on plans to provide free, nationwide wifi. Not only would this connect everyone, but things like cars and airplanes could be networked, allowing for innovation in ways we can only begin to imagine.

A new study finds that "Ads posted alongside search results for names likely to belong to blacks tended to suggest criminal activity with offers along the lines of background checks for arrests." Google's got some explaining to do.

A new poll finds the idea of a carbon tax is very popular -- even among Republican voters.

Republicans continue to believe that they have a messaging problem, not a policies problem. Keep thinking that and you'll keep losing elections.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is seriously considering a presidential run.

A gun dealer say the AR-15 assault rifle is "kind of fashionable" and that people buy it for its looks. So if they can't get an assault rifle anymore, maybe they can get some new boots or something. Hard to take gun nuts seriously when they don't take guns seriously.

Leonard Pitts dropkicks conservative efforts at highjacking Black History Month and the legacy of Martin Luther King jr. to sell guns.

Finally, at Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing, grandstanding Republicans wanted more answers about Israel than they did about the health and safety of US troops in Afghanistan. Democrats didn't do much better.

[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]

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