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  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Pinocchio, Inc.:
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling - Pinocchio, Inc.
  • Here's a link to planned nationwide protests over the Michael Brown shooting and the subsequent citizen response in Ferguson.
  • Two years later and toxic oilfield wastewater at illegal ND dump still not cleaned up:
    It's been two years since state regulators touted a record $1.5 million fine against a company for illegally dumping 20,000 barrels of toxic liquid and threatening drinking water supplies near a large western North Dakota city, and little has changed. The now-dissolved company is under federal investigation, the penalty is unpaid and the affected site is still contaminated.

    Environmental groups are calling for more federal oversight of North Dakota's exploding energy development, saying that the state has done practically nothing to penalize the company and that the illegal dumping near Dickinson wouldn't have happened if state regulators were required to do due diligence. A simple Internet search would have revealed that the company's owner had a criminal past long before wells were drilled in North Dakota, they say.

  • Republican governors want to eliminate SEC rule contribution limits:
    Republicans eager to challenge campaign spending limits before the Supreme Court have found their next target: a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that limits contributions from Wall Street financiers to governors and other state officials running for federal office.

    Aimed at combating bribery or “pay-to-play” schemes when states seek help managing their investment decisions, the SEC restrictions have proven to be irksome to governors with an eye on the White House and state officials seeking a seat in Congress who are cut off from a big pot of campaign cash.

  • Contrary to critics' claims, Germany's renewable energy makes its electric grid more reliable:
    To hear its critics tell it, Germany’s ambitious push to switch over to renewable energy has delivered an electrical grid that’s capricious, unreliable, and prone to blackouts. But according to data highlighted by ECO Report last week, the reality on the ground couldn’t be further from that caricature.

    Specifically, the availability of electricity in Germany was lost only for an average of 15.91 minutes per customer in 2012, according to figures from the Council of European Energy Regulators. That’s far better than the United States, which saw its electricity become unavailable for a whopping 244 minutes per customer in 2008. Germany also did significantly better than the United Kingdom (lost 81.42 minutes per customer in 2008), the Netherlands (lost 33.7 minutes per customer) and France (lost 95.1 minutes per customer). Of all the countries tracked, Japan and Singapore are the only two with grid reliability to match Germany’s.

  • Jamie Dimon’s $13 Billion Secret.
  • Initial unemployment claims rise: For the week ending August 9, seasonally adjusted initial claims rose to 311,000, up 21,000 from the previous week's revised level of
    290,000. The four-week running average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly number, rose to 295,750. The total number of people claiming unemployment compensation for the week ending July 26 was 2,536,430, down 40,062 from the previous week. For the comparable week in 2013, there were 4,579,832 persons claiming compensation in all programs. But much of the year-to-year drop was because of the Republican refusal in December and since then to renew the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program established to provide checks to Americans who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. As soon as that program expired just after Christmas, 1.3 million long-term unemployed lost compensation.
  • DARPA uses teenaged gamers to beta test future military software:
    Why is DARPA the original primary funder of [an educational video game-maker, the Center for Game Science]? According to written and recorded statements from current and former DARPA program managers, as well as other government documents, the DARPA-funded educational video games developed at the CGS have a purpose beyond the pretense of teaching elementary school children STEM skills.

    Instead, the games developed at CGS have had the primary purpose of using grade-school children as test subjects to develop and improve “adaptive learning” training technology for the military.

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin's back, but it's all about Ferguson, police militarization & political theory today. The political dynamics of militarization, how it happens & why. I think we hit points not discussed elsewhere, if I do say so myself. And I do.

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