Topical trends for this Tuesday

"But where is pizza rat's slice from?" wonders NerdWallet's Anna Helhoski of the rat so intrepid he captured our hearts while dragging a whole slice of pizza home on the subway (at just innumerable shares so far, seriously). "Here's the Pizza Rat video we were just talking about on the air. That's a rat that can put food on the table," observes Damon Amendolara with CBS Sports. "#PizzaRat is basically a more modern bald eagle," decides his colleague Will Brinson. At the Washington PostHunter Schwarz calls it "The best Why I Left New York essay I’ve ever seen." Only Malcolm Kelly with CBC News seems unmoved by this vermin's prowess: "Look, a disease carrying vermin drags filty discarded pizza down into garbage strewn subway. Cute."

Some other late-breaking news of a slightly newsier variety: suffering from lack of funds, Scott Walker officially quit the presidential race yesterday, calling for other lagging Republican candidates to do the same and unite behind a candidate with a more positive campaign (presumably, something more positive than the one currently being waged by Donald Trump). Tom McKay at Mic wonders, "and then there were ... 15? 16? who can keep track of this?" Curtis Gilbert with Minnesota Public Radio muses, "At this rate, they'll be able to fit all the candidates on stage pretty soon." On that note, here are 9 worthwhile things that WaPo's Jenna Johnson learned about Walker on the campaign trail.

Now that we're really deep into the political beat, let's get real on the obstacles Joe Biden would face if he did run. "Biden would face challenges of: $, message, org, and the way we often treat O Virtuous Autheniticity in real time," Katherine Miller elaborates (we think "autheniticity" needs to be a new word). Polls show that Trump still leads Iowa while Hillary Clinton really isn't in such bad shape at all, either. Plus, Ben Carson says he's brainstorming a book called "The Organ of Species" (get it?! get it?!) that will prove "how the organs of the body refute evolution.” Make of that what you will. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's Islamic State War Czar is stepping down. "How long before he writes a book about how the White House didn't let him do his job?" asks Bobby Ghosh with Quartz.

And in other major headlines, Volkswagen admits that 11 million cars worldwide were equipped with their dasterdly, deceptive diesel software, while satellites show that Russia is expanding its military presence in Syria. "Now, a Russian buffer protecting Assad," notes Wall Street Journal's John Bussey.

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