Kevin Can Wait: Over the break, the big DC question was whether Kevin McCarthy could offer enough concessions to earn enough GOP votes to become Speaker of the House. As I’m writing this, that’s still a big question. He fell short in the first vote. McCarthy not becoming Speaker sounds pretty good until you realize that Jim Jordan is the guy coming in second. Meanwhile, George Santos who lied his way into office is set to be sworn in. (Something tells me Santos will fit right in.)

+ Gas Backwards: “This is not to say that Alabama is evolving; if notions of progress were distributed evenly among the states, this would be the point in the story where I would be able to report that this series of botched executions had caused Alabama’s leaders to consider abandoning the death penalty altogether. Instead, Alabama is choosing a path of technical, rather than moral, innovation.” The Atlantic: Alabama Makes Plans to Gas Its Prisoners.

+ Block, Renner, Navratilova: Ken Block, an action sports legend who co-founded DC Shoes and Hoonigan Racing, died on Monday at age 55 after a snowmobile accident. Block’s stunt driving was absolutely legendary on YouTube. Actor Jeremy Renner underwent surgery after suffering very serious injuries from a snow plow accident. And Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.

+ Someone’s Looking Forward to the Heat: “People in Chicago, who have very few issues with termites — not zero, but very few — they might start getting the kinds of problems that people further south would have … And people in Toronto who basically don’t have problems with termites at all, they might start getting the sorts of issues that Chicago has.” But let’s start down under. WaPo: Hungry and on the march as the climate heats up: Termites in Australia.

+ Shop Til You Drop: “Rico Marley was arrested as he emerged from the bathroom at a Publix supermarket in Atlanta. He was wearing body armor and carrying six loaded weapons — four handguns in his jacket pockets, and in a guitar bag, a semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.” In other words, he was just behaving like the average American is invited to behave. Hence, this question posted by the NYT (Gift Article): A Heavily Armed Man Caused Panic at a Supermarket. But Did He Break the Law?