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Good morning!

International Developments

? “More young Syrians disillusioned by the revolution: Many educated, middle-class Syrians who had embraced the opposition now feel  alienated by its drift toward extremism–and are aligned with neither side.”

? “At least 23 people have been killed by a suicide bomber at a Shia mosque in the Iraqi village of Tuz Khurmato, with scores more wounded”.

? “Gospel of Intolerance“:  the role American Evangelicals play in Uganda’s violent anti-gay movement.  Video.

International Finance

? Dust-up alert:  “Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, clashed with a leading hedge fund investor over whether big banks are too opaque during the opening session of the World Economic Forum in [Davos] Switzerland.”

? In a “largely symbolic declaration” by the Parliament:  “Catalonia Declares Itself a Sovereign Entity”.

? Kick the can:  UK Prime Minister David “Cameron to Promise Referendum by 2017 on U.K. Leaving EU”.

? “UN official calls on British government to investigate undercover police scandal: Maina Kiai says he is ‘deeply concerned’ about use of officers such as Mark Kennedy to infiltrate non-violent groups”.  More on Mark Kennedy herehere, here, here (in the US), and here.

Money Matters USA

? Timmeh is leaving Treasury on Friday.  It was he “who steered the administration of President Barack Obama through the financial crisis”, and what steerage that was!

? “Pentagon faces a rebel yell over pensions“.  In-a-nutshell:  “It is a perfect storm of rising pensions, salaries and healthcare costs.  At some point we will be faced with making choices between new weapon systems or entitlements.”

? Disappointed bank robber moves on.

Politics USA

? US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the Senate today on the Benghazi attack: here, here, here, and here.

? “Senate Democratic leaders described House Republicans as in “‘full-on retreat’ on fiscal policy” since Republicans agreed to raise the debt limit and didn’t try to match the debt ceiling increase with spending cuts.

? “Chris Matthews: Republicans Will Have To ‘Rig The Elections’ To Win From Now On (VIDEO)”  As VA Republicans demonstrated over the weekend, they’re ready.

? House Representative John Lewis (D-GA) is among several Democrats in the House who are reintroducing a voting rights bill.  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is doing so in  the Senate.

? After winning re-election in November, Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) has decided to “take over a job as head of one of Washington’s largest and most influential trade associations”, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association which just happens to have been “the largest single contributor to her re-election campaigns”.

? Couple of researchers “found that wealthier members of Congress were more likely to vote for bills to reduce and repeal the federal estate tax . . . [and to cosponsor] legislation to reduce or repeal the estate tax” than colleagues not so wealthy.

? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has told Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to strike a deal “on filibuster reform soon or Democrats will do it on our own.”  Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has called on Reid to use “the constitutional option”.

? A CNN poll found that: 49% agree that “global warming is a proven fact and is due to emissions from cars, power plants and factories”; 53% want the federal government to be “developing a plan that would allow undocumented immigrants to become legal residents”, a reversal from 2011 when 55% approved deportation.

? VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) , who will likely run for governor in November, is comparing “his fight against the contraception coverage mandate found in ‘Obamacare’ to the non-violent civil rights struggle led by Martin Luther King, Jr.”  Puh-leeze![cont’d.]

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.