McConnell’s Election as Majority Leader Announced With Puff of Toxic Black Coal Smoke | The New Yorker


The election of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) as the Senate Majority Leader was announced on Thursday by a puff of toxic black coal smoke rising from the United States Capitol.

via McConnell’s Election as Majority Leader Announced With Puff of Toxic Black Coal Smoke – The New Yorker.

Rand Paul’s Greatest Weakness | POLITICO Magazine


.. Democrats and Republicans are asking the same question and debating among themselves what will be the political silver bullet that finally brings him down.

via Rand Paul’s Greatest Weakness – Sam Youngman – POLITICO Magazine.

Spreading deflation across East Asia threatens fresh debt crisis | Telegraph


China is in effect strapped to the rocketing dollar through its quasi-peg, increasingly a torture machine.

This looks all too like a replay the East Asia storm of 1998, when a tumbling yen triggered a Chinese banking bust and pushed Beijing to the brink of devaluation. Washington defused the crisis by stabilizing the yen, and by promising China membership of the World Trade Organization.

via Spreading deflation across East Asia threatens fresh debt crisis – Telegraph.

Rand Paul Outlines a 2016 Game Plan | US News


Paul has assembled a network of allies and advisers in all 50 states, including veteran political hands in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as in Michigan.

Since 2013, he’s made 15 trips to the first three early primary states

via Rand Paul Outlines a 2016 Game Plan – US News.

Public Increasingly Wary of the NSA, Poll Finds | Defense One


Some 80 percent of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that “Americans should be concerned about the government’s monitoring of phone calls and Internet communications.”

via Public Increasingly Wary of the NSA, Poll Finds – Defense One.

5 Questions About The Historic Comet Landing


Scientists have likened the trillion or so comets in our solar system to time capsules that remain virtually unchanged since the earliest moments of the universe.

One of the things they are most excited about is the possibility that the mission might help confirm that comets brought the building blocks of life — organic matter and water — to Earth.

They already know that comets contain amino acids, a key component of cells. Finding the right kind of amino acids and water would be an important hint that life on Earth did come from space.

via 5 Questions About The Historic Comet Landing.

Forget the Brics – America and China will reshape the new world order | The Guardian


.. what stands out the most is how very much China stands in a league of its own.

China strives to be the number one global economic power. A free rider in the international order, it wants in time to cash in on its new clout and deal with the US on a an equal, interconnected, basis. Its economy and finances are so entwined with those of the US that its interests do not necessarily coincide with those of the rest of the Brics.

via Forget the Brics – America and China will reshape the new world order | Natalie Nougayrède | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Latin America Is Losing Its Catholic Identity | NYTimes.com


.. it has been evident for some time that evangelical, and particularly Pentecostal, churches are growing in Latin America, generally at the expense of Catholicism.

via Latin America Is Losing Its Catholic Identity – NYTimes.com.

Net Neutrality and the Hazards of the Bully Pulpit for Obama | NYTimes.com


Many Americans don’t know what net neutrality is or understand the debate over the issue.

That’s why polling shows variable support depending on how the questions are framed.

via Net Neutrality and the Hazards of the Bully Pulpit for Obama – NYTimes.com.

Best Business Schools 2014: The Complete Rankings Table | Businessweek

.. see how 85 U.S. and 27 international schools fared on the three measures

via Best Business Schools 2014: The Complete Rankings Table – Businessweek.