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Friday, September 19, 2014

September 18, 2014: The United States added more than 2.3 million jobs in 2013, the most in any year since 2005. Despite this, income levels and poverty rates did not improve in most of the United States last year, according to recently released figures from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Read more

Why the world that nerds are creating will be awful.

If you don't think welfare should be replaced by high-nutrient sludge, or are irritated by Google Glass, you're not backwards – you're a human being. Read more

State transportation officials are refuting rancher Cliven Bundy's claim that they are ultimately responsible for keeping his cattle off Interstate 15 in northeastern Clark County.

In a statement Thursday, Mary Martini, district engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation in Las Vegas, said that while the state maintains the fences along I-15 to "designate the right of way" and control access, "it is always the responsibility and liability of the owners to control their animals."

The dispute could be headed for court.

Bundy was sued for negligence this week by a 34-year-old Las Vegas woman injured when her car hit one of the rancher's cows on I-15 about 10 miles from his Bunkerville ranch. Read more

"The game is rigged," writes Senator Elizabeth Warren in her new book A Fighting Chance. It's rigged because the rich and their lobbyists have rigged the rules of the game to their favor. The rules are reflected in a tax code and bankruptcy laws that have seen the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich in U.S. history.

The result?

America has the most billionaires in the world, but not a single U.S. city ranks among the world's most livable cities. Not a single U.S. airport is among the top 100 airports in the world. Our bridges, road and rail are falling apart, and our middle class is being guttered out thanks to three decades of stagnant wages, while the top 1 percent enjoys 95 percent of all economic gains. Read more

Does the word "virginity" evoke discussions of sexuality or religious belief?
That's the question residents in Fayetteville, Arkansas, are asking after a junior high student was asked by school administrators to change out of a T-shirt that read "Virginity Rocks" last week.
Eighth-grader Chloe Rubiano of Ramay Junior High said she got the tee at a Christian festival last year; on the back, it continues its abstinence message: "I'm loving my Husband and I haven't even Married Him."

A self-described militia group claims to be checking names on the 2012 Scott Walker recall petition and plans to confront those found to have outstanding warrants or tax defaults at the polls on Nov. 4.

"We prefer our people be armed," reads a Facebook post by Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, screen captured on a blog at Politicususa.com. "Some will be heading to some of Milwaukee, Racine, and Beloit's worst areas. We will be armed with a list of people to look for at each location."

Read more: host.madison.com

"California's job market continued to expand in August as employers added 44,200 jobs – the largest boost of any state in the country.

But the state's unemployment rate didn't budge from 7.4%, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, the national jobless rate slid to 6.1% from 6.2% in July.Job recovery in California, where this time last year 8.9% of workers were unemployed, is outpacing the rest of the U.S. The state added more jobs last month than Florida, where 22,700 workers were added to payrolls, and Texas, which added 20,100 workers."

Read more

Sometimes a movie, actor or product appears on the American scene to be greeted with a collective "meh" but then make its way overseas and struggles onshore like Gulliver from Gulliver's Travels. Suddenly it finds itself a celebrated giant in this new land.

In other words, there are pop culture phenomena that Americans haven't given a second thought to, that have absolutely exploded across the ocean. Like...

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Democrat Chad Taylor's name must be removed from the ballot for U.S. Senate, dealing a blow to Republicans in the battle for the Senate majority.
Long seen as a safe Republican hold, Kansas has suddenly become competitive in recent weeks, amid struggles by Roberts. Republicans need to gain six sets to win the majority. A GOP loss in Kansas could be a devastating setback.
This is an update on a post from last week. Read more

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie received some very good news yesterday: A nine-month federal investigation has apparently turned up no evidence that he either directed or knew about the politically motivated closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge by his aides in September 2013.

Alibaba's IPO could well be the end of U.S. dominance in the world technology sector, a professor from a Britain's business school told Xinhua on Thursday.

"Alibaba's annual growth rate of more than 30 percent shows that the gap between the Chinese companies, Alibaba and Tencent, and U.S. companies is getting ever closer," said Qing Wang, professor from Warwick Business School, one of the most prestigious and highly selective business schools in the world.

"The ability to understand customers intimately and continuously innovate should enable them to expand overseas with US dominance in the world technology sector gradually being broken," said professor Wang.

Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and U.S. military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship. Read more

ESPN ranks the Spurs as the ultimate US / Canada sports franchise. Toronto Maple Leafs are dead last.

SYDNEY -- Police on Thursday said they thwarted a plot to carry out beheadings in Australia by supporters of the radical Islamic State group. They raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney and were holding six people and have identified the suspected ringleader, officials said.
Mohammad Ali Baryalei, who is believed to be Australia's most senior member of the Islamic State group, was named as a co-conspirator in court documents filed Thursday. Police have issued an arrest warrant.
The raids involving 800 federal and state police officers – the largest in the country's history – came in response to intelligence that an Islamic State group leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to kill, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. Read more

Ahoy! Scallywags and buccaneers, carousers and corsairs, avast! It's Sept. 19, the scurviest day of the year.

No, it has nothing to do with a certain new Apple product -- it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Cast off ye long clothes and put on ye eye patch. Here are 18 ways to pillage and plunder.

1.Figure out your pirate name with this pirate name generator. Read more

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Would an experiment testing rat-pup massages ever survive this political climate? Would it be admonished as waste by deficit hawks in Congress?

"Researchers massaging rats sounds strange, but oddball science saves lives," said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who is participating in the awards ceremony. "In this instance, premature babies got a healthier start. If Congress abandons research funding, we could miss the next unexpected breakthrough."

The American Academy for Arts & Science released a report this week showing that the United States "has slipped to tenth place" among economically advanced nations in overall research and development investment as a percentage of GDP. For science advocates, it was another sobering cause for alarm. Young researchers, they argue, are leaving the field or country. Projects that could yield tremendous biomedical breakthroughs aren't getting off the ground.

Read more

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