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  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is One day at the offices of Nerrex Arms, Inc.:
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling - One day at the offices of Nerrex Arms, Inc.
  • Dempsey: No more troop withdrawals from overseas bases:
    The drawdown of U.S. troops from overseas bases has likely run its course for now, America’s top military commander said Thursday.

    Some U.S. lawmakers have been pushing for more troops to return to Stateside bases, but Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin E. Dempsey said Thursday he doesn’t think there will be further dramatic changes in the U.S. military’s forward presence, even in light of recent budget cuts.

    “We have pared that back as far as we reasonably can and still have the influence that we do. I don’t think you will see dramatic changes in our forward situation,” Dempsey told servicemembers gathered at a Yokota hangar on Thursday.

  • Bill Clinton has made four tweets since he joined Twitter:The former president is closing on 321,000 followers, but is only following eight. Six of those eight are organizations, the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Library being two. The only people he's following are Chelsea Clinton and Stephen Colbert.
  • Rebel flags fly at South Dakota VA hospital. Two Confederate battle flags were removed and then restored to historical displays at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Hot Springs last week after some patients said they were symbolic of racism. Two of those patients undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder were released two weeks early in a move they say was made to get rid of them and end the controversy over the flags.
    “The original purpose of the VA’s Hot Springs facility was for the care of Civil War veterans,” [VA Black Hills Health System Director Steve DiStasio] said. “Out of respect for all of our nation’s veterans, from every battle in history, we will maintain the historic Freedom Shrine (display) in its entirety.”  
  • 11th Century minaret at famed Aleppo mosque destroyed. Even the Mongols didn't destroy the minaret during their 13th Century rampage through Syria:
    President Bashar Assad's government and the rebels trying to overthrow him traded blame over the destruction to the Umayyad Mosque, a UNESCO world heritage site and centerpiece of Aleppo's walled Old City.

    "This is like blowing up the Taj Mahal or destroying the Acropolis in Athens. This mosque is a living sanctuary," said Helga Seeden, a professor of archaeology at the American University of Beirut. "This is a disaster. In terms of heritage, this is the worst I've seen in Syria. I'm horrified."

  • UC Santa Cruz cops bust student with giant reefer at 4/20 smoke-out. The marijuana joint was four feet long and weighed about two pounds.
    That’s what UC Santa Cruz police officers were confronted with when they descended on a rally last Saturday. The young man was not happy when his cartoonishly large joint was hauled away, according to video footage capturing the incident.

    “Dude, you’re a liar. You’re a liar,” the young man complained as he walked beside a police officer carrying the torch-like joint. “I can’t wait to see you in court. I can show how you’re harassing me.”

  • Bloomberg: Renewables will be around 70 percent of new power between now and 2030:
    New research by analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that annual investment in new renewable power capacity is set to rise by anywhere from two and a half times to more than four and a half times between now and 2030. The likeliest scenario implies a jump of 230%, to $630bn per year by 2030, driven by further improvements in the cost-competitiveness of wind and solar technologies relative to fossil fuel alternatives, as well as an increase in the roll-out of non-intermittent clean energy sources like hydro, geothermal and biomass.
    That would mean that renewables would make up between 69 percent and 74 percent of new power capacity added planetwide by 2030.
  • For library dedication: 50 Reasons You Despised the Bush Presidency: No. 1. He stole the presidency in 2000.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Congress is still mad about airline delays, clearly the fault of this annoying "government," whoever that might be. Greg Dworkin on Eric Cantor's failed effort to put a softer face on the Gop, with a not-quite-repeal of Obamacare. The minor media firestorm over the empty dais at a Congressional hearing on long term unemployment. The new Hostess owners plan to reopen, but without unions. David Wehde, Organizing Director of Working America, on the launch of FixMyJob.com, the WebMD of workplace organizing. Finally, a Concord Monitor editorial on the failure of the gun bill, and the case it makes for filibuster reform.

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