Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More from the Tabs

Waiting for Superman poster altered to add speech balloon saying Is this true? Or are you just making this stuff up?Too many tabs open in my browser again. Here are a couple of them.

Superman not so super -- a New York City public school parent looked into one of the factoids tossed out in the film Waiting for Superman (the one that said lawyers are vastly more likely to be disbarred and doctors to lose their licenses than teachers are to lose their credentials) and found the numbers are completely without basis in fact. Makes you wonder what else in the film might be cooked.

Trillin takes on Wall Street -- This op-ed is over a year old (yes, I am that slow) but Calvin Trillin found the essence of the trouble on Wall Street in recent years: "smart guys started this business of securitizing things that didn’t even exist in the first place."

Black and white photo of Fannie Lou Hamer testifying before the credentials committee
Reminded of Hamer -- The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates refuses to debate Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's convenient amnesia about his state's history, but instead reminds us of the life of Fanny Lou Hamer and provides a video of her testimony at the credentials committee of the 1964 Democratic Convention. (Transcript available on American Radio Works.)

Will He Fit Through the Eye of a Needle? -- I can't stop thinking about this infuriating post. It was written by a tax preparer who had to file on behalf of a minister who was paid $40,000 in salary and received $65,000 as a housing allowance ($105,000 total in what any of us would consider income). Because part of it was a "housing allowance," the minister got to legally deduct his mortgage interest and property taxes twice and ended up paying only $740 in taxes (vs. $10,794 if his income had all been salary). Plus, because he's a minister, he was exempt from paying into Social Security and Medicare (FICA), another $8,033 in savings. Somehow, I don't think this is the type of person the Right has in mind when they moan about how so few people pay Federal income tax.

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