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Thursday lunch links: Cold weather, right-wing paranoia, marriage equality and economic inequality

Frozen foodBaby, it’s cold outside! Another blast of polar air has settled into the eastern half of the country and appears likely to stick around for a while.  WRAL.com forecasts little relief over the next week and sports geek tongues are starting to wag about the possibility of the first truly frigid Super Bowl (which is scheduled in New Jersey for Groundhog’s Day). The website nflweather.com (yes, there really is such a site!) says it’s too early to offer a prediction, but other sites (e.g. Accuweather) are already publicly predicting tolerable temps.

And speaking of weather, rest assured that climate change deniers are — as they always do — seizing on the current cold snap as “evidence” that the planet really isn’t warming. If only that were the case. The scientists at NOAA tell us that 2013 tied as the fourth hottest year on record.

Yet another interesting take on the weather comes from conservative Illinois congressional candidate Susanne Atanus. According to the Chicago Daily Herald, Atanus went all Pat Robertson the other day during an interview with the paper — telling the editors that “she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.”

Meanwhile, speaking of troubled souls plagued by certifiably insane ideas, check out “The Year in Homophobia” over on the website Right Wing Watch. Not surprisingly, Pat Robertson is a Top 10 contender along with several other devout but sadly misguided individuals. The site also has a story up today featuring new claims by the always-entertaining Phyllis Schlafly that loads of Americans like her are moving out of states that allow for marriage equality.

And speaking of politics and folks interested in LGBT equality (in this case folks who are for it), Clay Aiken is apparently serious about running against Renee Ellmers in the Second Congressional District race.

Finally, it’s hard to speak of the the U.S. House of Representatives  and the economic policies it’s been pursuing in recent years without discussing the nation’s metastasizing inequality. On this front, check out the chart below from the good people at Inequality.org which shows just how thoroughly wealthy Americans have bounced back since the Great Recession:

 

 

 

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Friday, Feb. 16

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Crucial Conversation – Prof. Peter Edelman discusses his new book, Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

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