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The Cost of Texas' 'Miracle' Economy, Gag Orders and EPA Interference (MuckReads Weekly)

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? <a href="">Sign up</a> to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

‘They throw these workers away like tissue paper’ - In a four-part series, the Texas Tribune investigates the cost of the “miracle” economy that Gov. Rick Perry and other state leaders have touted over the last decade: more worker fatalities than any other state, 500,000 workers without workers comp and lax regulation of those with private occupational insurance.  — Texas Tribune   @byjayroot

More federal workers and those on Wall Street fear retaliation for whistleblowing - It might have something to do with the rise in restrictive nondisclosure agreements being used by the federal government and private employers alike. — The Washington Post via @NEGordon

How politics derailed EPA science on arsenic, endangering public health - The agency concluded in 2008 that arsenic is 17 times more potent than the agency’s own guidelines state, but it has been blocked from releasing its findings for years thanks to lobbying that seems to lead to one Congressman’s door. — Center for Public Integrity via @danielle_ivory

About those SWAT records - A number of SWAT teams in Massachusetts told the ACLU they didn’t have to respond to records requests related to their recent study on the militarization of U.S. law enforcement. Why? Several are run by police-funded “law enforcement councils” that are incorporated as private corporations. — The Washington Post

In case you missed James Risen’s scoop on State Dept.’s Blackwater allegations - Read Jean Richter’s Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials asserting that the agency’s “management structures…in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves.” Richter went on to allege that a Blackwater manager threatened that he “could kill” the department investigator without repercussion. — The New York Times

This week’s podcast - What did we learn from plotting all the NSA surveillance programs we know about in one easy-to-read chart? “Most of what the NSA is doing is their job, which is foreign surveillance,” says privacy and security reporter Julia Angwin. Julia and ProPublica editor Eric Umansky expand on what we really know about NSA spyingSubscribe here: SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher


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