That the rise of super PACs has given a small number of wealthy donors an outsized level of influence in our political discourse isn’t a secret.
After all, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wouldn’t have even been in the Republican primary game if it wasn’t for a supportive super PAC funded by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. And super PACs supportive of Mitt Romney have kept him within financial shouting distance of President Obama in critical swing states like Florida and Virginia
via How 17 people funded Republican super PACs — in one chart – The Washington Post.
Poor Mitt Romney.
Well, not that poor.
The wealthiest man ever to secure a major party nomination for the presidency is crying foul because President Obama’s campaign has dared to explain how Romney made his money.
Romney was a robber baron. And he continues to profit—to the tune of $230 million and counting—from the “vulture capitalism” his Republican primary opponents decried.
via Romney Still Reaps Huge Profits From Bain's Vulture Capitalism | The Nation.
New research has concluded that salty, mineral-rich fluids deep beneath Pennsylvania’s natural gas fields are likely seeping upward thousands of feet into drinking water supplies.Though the fluids were natural and not the byproduct of drilling or hydraulic fracturing, the finding further stokes the red-hot controversy over fracking in the Marcellus Shale, suggesting that drilling waste and chemicals could migrate in ways previously thought to be impossible.
via New Study: Fluids From Marcellus Shale Likely Seeping Into PA Drinking Water – ProPublica.
Over the past three decades, the global financial system has become more dynamic and interconnected, more concentrated and complicated than ever before. Financial engineering seems to know no limits to creating new instruments that link institutions in new ways.
Is that a good thing? Or could the resulting financial network be too complex? Or, perhaps, complex in the wrong way?
About Mark Buchanan
Mark Buchanan, a theoretical physicist, is the author of “The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You” and two other science books. A former editor of Nature and now a columnist for Nature Physics, Buchanan writes about efforts to use physics concepts to understand dynamics of biology and the social sciences, and is at work on a new book about the physics of finance.
More about Mark Buchanan
A look at biology — which has been tinkering with network designs for billions of years — suggests that the answer to the last question is most likely yes.
via Living Cells Show How to Fix the Financial System – Bloomberg.
Americans think it is more important to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, as President Obama proposed on Monday, than extending them for all taxpayers, as advocated by congressional Republicans and presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. The public also favors Democrats’ plan to create jobs through additional spending on infrastructure and retaining public-sector employees over the Republican plan to cut taxes for businesses.
via Poll: Americans Prefer Obama’s Tax Cut Plan – Steven Shepard – NationalJournal.com.
Building an amazing desktop computer is easy, but even after you stuff your new system with the latest hardware, hook up your cabling, and make room for your giant monitor, you’re not quite done. Make it easy on the eyes with this handy guide.
By David Murphy, PCWorld Jul 6, 2012 11:00 am
Building a desktop computer that’s amazing is easy, if a little time-consuming. But even after you’ve stuffed your new system with all the latest hardware, hooked up your cabling, and cleaned off your desk for a giant monitor, you’re not quite done.
Your new desktop masterpiece is going to do you little good if you can use it for only a few hours each day. And you have the failure of your own biology to thank for that: Humans were made to be hunters, gatherers, and thinkers, not desk jockeys.
via How to Eliminate Eyestrain From Your Big, Beautiful PC | PCWorld.
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Energy security, and environmental and livability concerns drive government policy on green-building technologies but eventually cost and affordability determine the extent and pace of adoption, according to Lux Research. The firm ranked 21 countries using these factors to determine the best markets for green buildings.
“Buildings are the spine of the increasingly urban world we find ourselves in, now containing over 50% of the global human population. Buildings use 40% of the world’s energy and account for 40% of the carbon dioxide emissions,” said Aditya Ranade, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Policy’s Dramatic Impact on Green Buildings: The Global Hotspots.”
via U.S., Australia, Germany Are Trendsetters in Green Buildings.
Here’s some great news, as reported by Bettina Wassener in The Times Hong Kong bureau:
China said Tuesday that it would prohibit official banquets from serving shark fin soup, an expensive and popular delicacy blamed for a sharp decline in global shark populations. The ban, reported by Xinhua, the state-run news agency, could take as many as three years to take effect, and it remains unclear how widely it will be adhered to across a sprawling nation where orders issued by Beijing are often shrugged off by officials in faraway regions and provinces.
via Shark Fin Soup Off Menu at China’s Official Banquets – NYTimes.com.