I’m too distracted by Christmas Cats TV to post anything else for this thread, so maybe you should be distracted by it too? (As you can see in the screencap, there are lots of strange things happening there!)
We’ve been covering the fast food/low-wages strike, and for today (or for your reading list this weekend) add Thomas Frank’s Harper’s story to your list, who visited North Carolina earlier this summer to report on the strikes.
TSA outposts at hub airports, such as John F. Kennedy International in New York or Dallas-Fort Worth International in Texas, collect cash from smaller regional airports, then forward it to TSA headquarters in Arlington. Passengers entering Miami International Airport left the largest amount of change at security last year, $39,613, while people leaving Las Vegas — perhaps flush with slot machine winnings — forgot $26,900.21.
Passengers left $8,207.21 behind at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, $5,247.56 at Reagan Washington National Airport and a whopping $16,536.92 at Washington Dulles International Airport, the report said.
According to The Washington Post, Americans left about half a million dollars in forgotten change while going through airport security last year. My plan of action of going through airport security is to dump everything I have in my pockets into one zippered compartment of my carry-on rather than in the bin, though I suppose if you don’t have a bag or carry-on with you, it makes it easier for you to forget (I also imagine people rushing to their gate and leaving their change behind on purpose).
But the most interesting part of this story is that the TSA hasn’t figured out what to do with the money besides fix some signs at the cost of $6,000 because the cost of spending that money could be greater than the money collected:
A similar measure Miller introduced in the last Congress, H.R. 2179, would have awarded the money to United Service Organizations, Inc., the nonprofit that runs in-airport lounges for military personnel. The Congressional Budget Office estimated [pdf] that collecting, accounting for and transferring the money to the USO would cost $1.2 million — $700,000 more than the actual amount collected.
Photo: Dan Palushka
What are your estimates?
With their unparalleled eye and broad-reaching sense of fashion, what they offer isn’t just technical skill, but a certain transformative promise; a clear vision of the way you want to look right now and the ability to make it happen. The Duchess of Cambridge’s newly darkened hair and side-swept layer of fringe may not involve such a radical change—but after seeing it crowned by a diamond tiara en route to a diplomatic reception last night, it’s hard to argue with the politics of her unfailing royal polish.
The cost of Kate Middleton’s haircut + coloring: $984. Vogue comes to the Duchess’s defense by arguing that Middleton is a high-profile person who is in front of a lot of cameras and since she visits a high-profile hair professional, the costs are just what they are.
I am no stranger to expensive haircuts—my own costs $50—but besides the professional cutting your hair with the clear vision and all that, what else goes into a $984 haircut? The serum made from a flower that grows in a single place in the Amazon rainforest? Shampoo made from kitten tears? I’d like to know.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
At Newsweek, David Cay Johnson takes a closer look at the Detroit ruling lifting protections on state pensions, and explains some of the history that has led to the shortfalls all across the country. This, of course, is a huge deal for retirees who’ve worked who are bracing for pension cuts.
At Deadspin, Drew Magary talks about the items on his daughter’s Christmas wish list and it’s very, very funny, mostly because his daughters asks for things like, an American Girl Doll that won’t be on the market until next year
A private equity firm named Blackstone bought credit default swaps against a Spanish gaming company called Codere, betting that Codere would fail to make its debt payments on time, and then paid Codere to purposely miss a debt payment so that it would receive a payout triggered by the swaps. Blackstone made at least $15.4 million through the scheme, which was legal. On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart compared the scheme to buying insurance on a restaurant, and then burning down the restaurant to collect the insurance money.
I have six months left on my lease (I live in D.C.), and I just have to move for personal reasons.
A judge ruled yesterday that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy and lifted protections on state pensions, which are guaranteed by the state constitution and previously widely regarded as safe and risk free. The ruling says that public employee pensions are not protected in a federal Chapter 9 bankruptcy (even though the state’s constitution explicitly protects them), and this could have wider implications on the pensions of public employees in other states.
Today at Longreads (where I am also an editor), Atossa Abrahamian writes about her three favorite stories about taxes this year, highlighting pieces from The Washington Post, Vanit Fair, and Bloomberg. Add these to your never-ending reading lists!
Last night, I attended a fundraiser to raise money for a children’s literacy program that was organized by a friend. It’s the season of charitible giving, and there are a ton of these kinds events and programs going on.
Richard Lawson is starting his new job as an entertainment columnist for Vanity Fair today, and he wrote a lovely piece on his blog about joining the workforce after college, about his first job in New York City working in sales for Broadway shows, and about the role our jobs have in helping form a part of our identities. Here he is talking about leaving that sales job and moving onto something new:
When I worked in an office and was having a bad day, I coped by keeping to myself at my desk, and taking breaks to go outside and breathe. If something was bothering me, I tried to not let it show on my face. NPR’s The Salt asked some waiters how they cope with having a bad day while having to interact with customers and provide service with a smile.