TSA pat-down protestOn Wednesday, Dec. 22, an Austin, Texas woman hoping to spend Christmas with California friends, collided with the TSA and was arrested for refusing the security pat-down, then banned from the Austin airport for at least six months.

Stephen BreyerAn oft-quoted maxim attributed (dubiously) to Mark Twain instructs writers: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” Perhaps Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been reading the recently published diaries of Twain and has been inspired to weave a little yarn of his own — a story strong on emotion but woefully light on facts.

moneyLeave it to Democrats to make the spendthrift Republicans of the George W. Bush era look like tightwads. “The federal government,” reports CNSNews.com, “has accumulated more new debt — $3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29) — during the tenure of the 111th Congress than it did during the first 100 Congresses combined, according to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.” That comes to “$10,429.64 in new debt for each and every one of the … people counted in the United States by the 2010 Census,” writer Terence P. Jeffrey explains, adding that the total national debt as of the close of business on December 22 “now equals $44,886.57 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

According to a local news station, a Milwaukee man named Terry Duncan received a $500 fine last week for cursing on a public bus. While the Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies assert that the man’s behavior was rude, Duncan himself views the fine as a violation of free speech.

For years the small town of Prichard, Alabama knew they were in trouble. Back in 2004, the city hired an actuary to analyze and summarize their employees� pension plan. He told the city the plan would run out of money by the summer of 2009: �The plan is projected to exhaust [all of its] assets around [the middle of] 2009.� In September of that year, the city stopped mailing pension checks to its 150 beneficiaries because there was no more money in the account.