Mulholland Shorties

Was I Wrong About Rahm?: He’s not even sworn in yet, and he’s announced that something he wants to do is enlarge a good old-fashioned public works project! Granted, it’s just bike lanes, but it will put people to work and help other people get around when it’s done.

Food Insecurity is just a fancy word for Going Hungry: Here’s a viewpoint from somebody who once had to endure it. It turns out there are a lot of issues in play.

So You Want to be a Revolutionary: This man wrote a book about non-violent revolution. There’s a link to the PDF, which is credited with change around the world.

Income Inequality: When people in other nations notice it, it’s bad. If that has too many words, this one has lots of pretty pictures. Here’s more.

Release the Hounds: An Indiana Deputy Attorney General suggested using live ammunition on protesters in Wisconsin. Thankfully, he didn’t have the authority to order such a thing. But sanity did prevail: he is now unemployed on the grounds that a man in his position must demonstrate civility.

Speaking of Shafting the People who Teach Your Kids: Providence just sent lay-off notices to each and every teacher. They will decide later who actually gets the axe. Way to promote morale! And just a reminder, the average teacher in Wisconsin makes less than the Wisconsin median income.

Your Insurance Company Believes in Global Climate Change: Because 2010 was one of the worst years for climate disasters ever! That would include things like storms. Oh, and I sure hope those of you in San Francisco enjoy the expected snow.

Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Exist: Seriously, even people from the Fed say so.

Making the Situation Worse: Banks are moving branches from poor neighborhoods to wealthy ones — despite laws requiring them to serve the entire community. In this vacuum, payday lenders and check cashing businesses spring up out of need. And did you know that one in nine banks is in danger of collapse?

Some People Have Never Heard of the First Amendment: Some people think you can outlaw “shariah.”

Who Knew: It turns out Americans like having clean air and water.

Priceless: It turns out you can download sheet music of the classics for free. Mozart’s copyright rights are long since expired.

Truth in Comics: Drew and Bors.

Can we Stop Calling it the Party of Lincoln?: It turns out President Lincoln would disagree with almost everything the current Republican party stands for.

They Really Would Prefer All Women were Pregnant: No word on whether they think we should be allowed to wear shoes.

Plastic Tubes and Pots and Pans, Bits and Pieces: Kids need to do more science.

Batshit Crazy: Qaddafi.

The Only Evidence that I am “Moderate”: I’m clearly somewhere between these two crazy extremes. Honestly, I think of myself as left of center. You know I think that the banks are the root cause of much of our current economic woes, but it would be childish to assert that “Wall Street causes all bad things.”

Placebo: Dogs just want to please their masters. That’s why drug sniffing dogs only have an accuracy rate of 44%. That rate drops to 27% when the person in question is Hispanic.

Lily the Pink: Or, Who Knew Moldovans Drank So Much?

Advice for Democrats: Stop using the Republican’s terminology! I want to scream every time i hear one of you talk about the “death tax” or “tax reform” or “Obamacare” or “Social Security reform.” For pity sake, all these things have names that don’t admit that their way of looking at it is correct!

What Happens When This One Pops?: College textbook price bubble.

Shorties Todd

Well, “free” does appear in the title: someone is suing for charging them a monthly fee for credit monitoring in order to get that “free” credit report.

How can payrolls and the unemployment rate both go down at the same time?“: More than you want to know about how those figures are manipulated and tortured.

Data bears out common sense: Layoffs are often very bad for the companies that make them. Not only are there severance costs and bad morale (duh), it’s harder to hire back good people when market conditions improve.

Speaking of employment: The President is still of the opinion that small business hiring can and must get us out of this recession. Specifically, he said “Government can’t create these businesses, but it can give entrepreneurs the support they need to open their doors, expand, or hire more workers.” And what does he want to do about it? He wants to expand a couple of SBA programs designed to help well established businesses that already have debt. You know what would really help small businesses? Leveling the playing field with large businesses when it comes to taxes. Dave’s point is that only profits get taxed, which benefits large companies rather than small ones; tax cuts benefit big businesses while shafting the government that needs taxes to run. But let’s face it, Joe’s Hardware Shop has no leverage with city hall, but Wal-Mart can threaten to open in the next town over unless it gets tax breaks.

5th Amendment takes a beating: apparently the Obama Administration reserves the right to assassinate Americans overseas with “special permission.”

Makes me wonder why I bother to pay my mortgage: Here’s your real “phantom inventory,” banks refusing to foreclose on homes where the owner is well over a year in arrears. People are paying credit cards ahead of the mortgage now, which makes sense in a way. Financial planners have always said to pay down your high interest rate debts first! And, well, if the mortgage company is unlikely to foreclose, what incentive is there to pay?

Shackleton’s Whiskey: it’s been freed from ice near the south pole, and sent off for analysis and hopefully recreating lost liquor formulas.

Speaking of drinking: did you know that a 7-11 Double gulp is twice the size of what your stomach should reasonably be able to hold? And, at 64 oz, it’s the equivalent of 8 servings of soda.

And speaking of serving sizes: the FDA wants to crack down on misleading serving sizes on nutrition labels. You know, the ones that say a bowl of cereal is 2 servings, or 6 chips is a serving?

Glad to see someone holding the banks accountable: Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against B of A and several of it’s executives, charging that they hid information from shareholders and lied to the Feds to get bailout money.

And last but not least: a lesson about inflation.

Stay warm and dry, wherever you are.