DNA Lounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein it's the Incident Report of the Week!
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Thoughts and Prayers and NRA Funding

Since the New York Times seems to specialize in bemused puff-piece profiles of nazis these days, it always surprises me when it gets its head out of its butt and does actual data-driven reporting, like this incredibly long calendar-based infographic full of un-checked checkboxes:

What Congress Has Accomplished Since the Sandy Hook Massacre:

More than five years have passed since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six adults were killed. In that time, dozens of gun control proposals have been introduced in Congress attempting to fix glaring issues with gun safety and regulation. More than 1,600 mass shootings have taken place in America since then.

Here is a guide to what Congress has -- or, more accurately, has not -- accomplished during this time.

Or this, from a few months ago:

Thoughts and Prayers and NRA Funding:

Most Americans support stronger gun laws -- laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. [...] Below are the top 10 career recipients of N.R.A. funding -- through donations or spending to benefit the candidate -- among both current House and Senate members, along with their statements about the Las Vegas massacre. These representatives have a lot to say about it. All the while, they refuse to do anything to avoid the next massacre.

  1. John McCain, Ariz. -- "Cindy & I are praying for the victims of the terrible #LasVegasShooting & their families." $7,740,521

  2. Richard Burr, N.C. -- "My heart is with the people of Las Vegas and their first responders today. This morning's tragic violence has absolutely no place here in America." $6,986,620

  3. Roy Blunt, Mo. -- "Saddened by the tragic loss of life in #LasVegas. My thoughts are with all of the families affected by this horrific attack." $4,551,146

  4. Thom Tillis, N.C. -- "Susan and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims of this horrific and senseless tragedy in Las Vegas." $4,418,012

  5. Cory Gardner, Co. -- "My family and I are praying for the families of those injured and killed in Las Vegas last night." $3,879,064

  6. Marco Rubio, Fla. -- "I'm praying for all the victims, their families, and our first responders in the #LasVegas #MandalayBay shooting." $3,303,355

  7. Joni Ernst, Iowa -- "My prayers are with all of the victims in Las Vegas, and their loved ones affected by this senseless act of violence." $3,124,273

  8. Rob Portman, Ohio -- "Jane & I mourn the loss of innocent lives in this horrific attack in Las Vegas last night. We are praying for those taken from us, their families & all those injured in this attack." $3,061,941

  9. Todd Young, Ind. -- "We must offer our full support to the victims and their families as our nation mourns." $2,896,732

  10. Bill Cassidy, La. -- "Following closely the horrendous act of violence in Las Vegas. Our prayers are with those who were injured, killed and their families." $2,861,047

Previously, previously, previously.

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The Body Trade

Demand for body parts from America -- torsos, knees and heads -- is high in countries where religious traditions or laws prohibit the dissection of the dead.

MedCure shipments are now the subject of a federal investigation. In November, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the company's Portland headquarters. Though the search warrant remains sealed, people familiar with the matter say it relates in part to overseas shipping. [...]

In 2012, MedCure opened its European hub in Amsterdam. Since then, MedCure has sent to the Netherlands at least six refrigerated cargo containers filled with frozen human remains, manifest records show. The first container -- 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, 9.5 feet tall -- departed the Port of Tacoma in Washington state in July 2012. The body parts weighed about 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) and were valued at $259,210. [...]

On November 1, as Daniel Gallegos' head and the heads of six other donors were returning from Israel to UTN in Arizona for cremation, someone noticed a discrepancy on the shipping documents. According to records reviewed by Reuters, the shipping manifest described the contents as "electronics" valued at $10 each. A label on the coffin-sized package described the contents as human remains.

Government records show that border officials were troubled that the package appeared punctured and a strong smell was wafting from the box. They also demanded death certificates to ensure that the specimens were disease-free, records show. One of the donors, records show, carried staphylococcus aureus, an infection the CDC website says poses a potentially serious risk to healthcare workers.

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