• If you’d like to qualify for a low-rate loan, it helps to be a celebrity, a lawmaker, or a judge:
The three major agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, keep a V.I.P. list of sorts, according to consumer lawyers and legal documents, consisting of celebrities, politicians, judges and other influential people.
V.I.P.-listers who detect errors on their credit reports are said to get special and immediate help fixing the problems, unlike us plebeians who must sometimes struggle for years to get mistakes corrected.
• Florida cop Kevin Kilpatrick was fired twice, but won his job back on appeal. He hasn’t worked in seven years but got paid the entire time (currently $80K a year), and he got raises too. Now he’s returning to a desk job (for which he’ll receive more taxpayer-funded education), but only for two years and nine months, after which he’ll retire with a really nice police pension.
• FBI uses magnetic GPS devices to track activists and others who are deemed troublemakers.
It’s going to take years before we have a Supreme Court ruling on this. Meanwhile, the unchecked abuse of the Fourth Amendment continues.
• In an effort to combat the TSA’s vile patdowns — lawlessness masquerading as security — the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed 138-0 H.B. 1937, which would ban “intrusive touching of persons seeking access to public buildings and transportation.” It’s a start.
• You won’t believe which new demographic Big Tobacco is trying to hook now. And sadly, it’s working.
Rogier is a Dutch-born, New-England-dwelling multi-media maven (OK, a writer and photographer) whose dead-tree publishing credits include the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Reason.