Today's edition of quick hits:* Deadly storms: "A severe storm that brought destructive tornadoes with it killed at least 19 people over the weekend as it moved south from Georgia and Mississippi into the Florida Panhandle."* Good idea: "Senate Democrats are formally asking Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to have a second confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President Trump's education nominee, arguing that they need an opportunity to further scrutinize her potential conflicts of interests and preparedness to lead the Education Department."* I hope Trump doesn't punish NOAA for this: "A new report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the last day of Barack Obama's presidency, presents a series of updated estimates for future sea-level rise, both in the United States and worldwide. It suggests that, under extreme future climate change, global sea levels could rise by more than eight feet by the end of the century -- one of the highest estimates yet to be presented in a federal report."* SCOTUS: "The Supreme Court rejected on Monday an appeal from Texas officials seeking to restore the state's strict voter ID law.... The Texas law, enacted in 2011, requires voters seeking to cast their ballots at the polls to present photo identification, like a Texas driver's or gun license, a military ID or a passport. Federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the law is racially discriminatory."* The election is having consequences in the Middle East: "The city of Jerusalem, emboldened by anticipated support from the Trump administration, on Sunday authorized the construction of some 560 new homes in areas of the city claimed by the Palestinians as a capital of their future state."* I don't expect this bill to go anywhere, but the fact that it was even introduced is unfortunate: "A proposed House Resolution would set the stage for the United States to remove itself from the United Nations. The proposed 'American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017' is sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL).."* Perhaps the new president is expecting some litigation? "Michael Cohen, a combative defender of president-elect Donald Trump who has worked for Trump's company for the past decade, has been named to serve as personal attorney to Trump while he serves as president, Cohen said Thursday."* An unexpected new angle to the debate over gun policy: "Gunfire -- loud, sharp, rude, abrupt -- is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners."Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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