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  • Today's comic by Mark Fiore is Post-Racial America Alert:
    Cartoon by Mark Fiore -- Post-Racial America Alert
  • What's coming up on Sunday Kos ...
    • Bring 'Ragin' Cajun' Lt. General Honoré to Ferguson, by Denise Oliver Velez
    • Rick Perry and the GOP's 'criminalization of politics' scam, by Jon Perr
    • Want to make sure every vote counts? Get involved in these key races for secretary of state, by Jeff Singer
    • The price of a 'free' public education turns out to be damn expensive, by Mark E Andersen
    • On ISIS, we need to just f-ing stop freaking out, by Mark Sumner
    • The media is the tool used too misrepresent black men for a purpose, by Egberto Willies
    • Dear Hillary: Don't worry about 'Obama's third term' nonsense. Run on progressive values and record, by Ian Reifowitz
    • Daily Kos Elections power rankings: The Senate (Back to School Edition), by Steve Singiser
    • Not to repeat myself BUT......., by shanikka
  • Firearms charge dropped against man who fired shotgun claiming 'Joe Biden defense': The Clark County, Washington, prosecutor won't charge Jeffrey C. Barton with a firearms offense. But he will be charged with obstructing an officer. Barton emerged into the limelight after he fired his shotgun into the air to scare off car prowlers. That was a violation of the county's no-shooting zone. Barton claimed: "I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air." This so-called "Joe Biden defense" referred to a comment the vice president made in February 2013 in which he said semi-automatic weapons are not necessary for home defense because a couple of blasts from shotgun will drive away intruders. The prosecutor, Tony Golik, said: "A person, even in a no-shooting zone, still has the right to defend their person or their property," Golik said. "In this case, based on the facts, there is a reasonable argument that Mr. Barton may have been defending his person and property when he fired in the air." He did not explain the specifics of the obstruction charge. Trial is set for Oct. 24.
  • No way these 15 sitcom characters could afford their apartments or houses: It's a tradition dating way back in movie history. People living from tiny paycheck to paycheck or no paycheck are depicted living in fancy, roomy digs. Now Chris Kolmar at MOVOTO has taken a look at the living arrangements of 15 sitcom characters on "Friends," "Frasier," "Mad Men," "Seinfeld," "Family Matters," "Roseanne," "The Simpsons" and eight other shows. Kolmar examined "the real-life cities and neighborhoods that the sitcoms were set in and found comparable real estate and rental listings." In a handy infographic, he points out, for example, that the San Francisco house on "Full House" would take 133 percent of the family income and that 100 pecent of Al Bundy's job as a shoe salesman would be taken by the mortgage for the "Married With Children" house in Deerfield, Illinois.
  • Fed Chief Yellen says job improvement overstates health of labor market:
    [Yellen said that despite] "the fall in the jobless rate to 6.2% from 10% in fall 2009 and average monthly job growth of 230,000 this year, "it speaks to the depths of the damage that, five years after the end of the recession, the labor market has yet to fully recover." [...]

    On the one hand, she said, the number of people participating in the labor force is near historic lows. And while much of the decline is due to Baby Boomers retiring, Yellen said even those retiring or going on disability could return to the workforce as the job market improves. That could push up the unemployment rate again -- an argument for keeping interest rates low for a longer period.

    Similarly, she said, an unusually large number of Americans are working part-time even though they prefer full-time work, and hiring and the number of workers quitting jobs remains relatively low despite strong growth in the number of job openings. Economists have argued over whether these trends reflect long-term structural changes in the job market or short-term episodes that can be influenced by Fed policy.

  • High-end stylist gives free haircuts to NYC homeless.
  • Homeowners, legislators fight rules saying solar is too ugly to install: Utilities and homeowners' associations (HOAs) are still stuck in the past when it comes to installing residential solar. And a lot of the opposition is based on how solar panels look.
    “If you live on a farm, you can put a windmill on your land,” said Minnesota state representative Will Morgan, who introduced the bill [to set limits on how much HOAs can restrict solar installations]. “Solar represents a chance for suburbanites to do something about greenhouse gas emissions. My motive is to make this available to as many people as possible in a reasonable manner.”

    Even when solar-friendly laws have been put in place, associations and homeowners can have trouble interpreting them. [Florida attorney Evan J.] Rosenthal said that in some states where solar access laws have been passed, it can be even harder for homeowners to install a solar system due to “vague and unclear” laws that leave too much wiggle room for HOA [homeowners' associations].

  • Study: 100,000 African elephants poached in just three years:
    Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Catching up on the Ice Bucket Challenge. Crazy warrants, fines & penalties in Ferguson. Gideon, with food for thought on Risen, Elizabeth Warren, Ferguson, the Kajieme Powell shooting & more. Might  cop-cams create new problems?

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