Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Helping You Read Gooder Edition.

A CT scan of a McDonald’s Filet O’Fish sandwich. [via Radiology Art]

Out of Good Options for Detroit. When G.M. and Chrysler asked for billions of dollars in government money last week, they argued that it would ultimately cheaper for taxpayers than if they filed for bankrutcy. But the Obama administration is  looking into letting the automakers file for bankruptcy, but said that the efforts to line up a loan — which would be the largest bankruptcy loan ever — is just the administration performing “due diligence.” There’s no guarantee that either route will fix Detroit’s serious problems and keep it from failing. But if it does fail, it would pretty much mean the economic devastation of the entire Midwest. Good times. (Related: One of the House Republicans who represents suburban Detroit defends his opposition to the stimulus.)

And a $2.50 ATM Surcharge The government mulls taking a 40% stake in Citigroup.

The Heartbeat Grows Fainter. The company that owns the Inquirer and the Daily News, my hometown papers, is going to file for bankruptcy. Sigh.

The Man Behind the Stimulus. You may have seen John Maynard Keynes ‘ name pop up a lot since the economy went in the toilet. The recently passed stimulus package was based on his theory that governments can spend their way out of downturns. Liberal economists like Paul Krugman point to the U.S. economy after the New Deal/WWII as proof that it worked. Conservative ones like Tyler Cowen aren’t so sure. This American Life gives a typically brisk, sharp intro to Keynes (smart, weird, kind of a dickhead) and explains why his ideas still spawn so much disagreement all these decades later. (For the more advanced economists out there, you should holler at/follow Eric’s blogging over at Edge of the West.)

Snarking Our Education Policy. Besides its other problems, ‘No Child Left Behind’ has a pretty big image problem from being so closely associated with Bush. Arne Duncan, the education secretary, thinks part of fixing the law will be rebranding it . “Let’s give a new name,” he said. Snarky-ass suggestions are already pouring in: The Rearranging the Deck Chairs Act; the Double Back Around to Pick Up the Children We Left Behind Act; the Teach to the Test Act, and our favorite, the Act to Help Children Read Gooder.

Can I Get a …From Ryan Lizza’svery good New Yorker piece on Rahm Emmanuel: “He is a political John McEnroe, known for both his mercurial temperament and his tactical brilliance. In the same conversation, he can be wonkish and thoughtful, blunt and profane. (When Emanuel was a teen-ager, he lost half of his right middle finger, after cutting it on a meat slicer—an accident, Obama once joked, that rendered him practically mute.’)”

Streets is Watching. A new study says that minorities are more likely to be the victims of violent crimes during economic downturns. A sociologist wonders if the small uptick in break-ins during a bad economy is due less to a swell in the number of people turning to crime and more to an increased demand in cheap stolen goods. [Crawler.]
Blackalicious. Some BHM Trivia for that ass, courtesy of the Census Bureau.There are now 40.7 million black Americans in the U.S. (including those of more than one race) putting the total population at 13.5 percent. Mississippi is the blackest state in the U.S. with a population of 35.7 percent. The black population is expected to hit 65.7 million in 2050 (15 percent). There are more black military veterans (2.4 million) than any other minority group. Nineteen percent of blacks over 25 have a bachelor’s degree. The median income for Negroes jumped from $32,876 in 2006 to $33,916 in ’07, although the poverty rate (24.7%) didn’t budge. And the U.S. currently boasts 49,730 black physicians and surgeons, 70,620 postsecondary teachers, 49,050 lawyers, and 57,720 chief executives. Phew.
Oh, a new Pew Center study found that black folk love them some church and aren’t big fans of gay marriage. No shit. [Both via Color Line.]
“I’ll Crush You With My Wallet!” Billionaire curmudgeon Warren Buffet personally asked Alice Schroeder, whom he’d known for years, to report on his life and write his biography. (He said he didn’t want it to be fawning, either, telling her explicitly to pick the less flattering version.) The result was the blockbuster Snowball . Now, Schroeder says, Buffet has been a lot less warm to her, which she took as proof of a job well done. (Said quadmoniker, who just finished Snowball: “I think it’s actually because the book is bad.”)
The Tyler Perry Juggernaut Keeps Rolling. Madea’s Blah Blah Blah earned $41 million dollars to pace the box office. Our ambivalence aside, it’s sort of amazing that there aren’t Hollywood types vigorously pitching movies to the TP audience as they’ve consistently turned his inexpensive productions into huge cash cows. (Not that Hollywood needs the help. Movies are cheap fun and are doing so well in 2009 that Jeremy Kay of the Guardian thinks it could be the biggest box office year ever. )
Speaking of Movies…Behold, the Trilogy Meter . They got everything right (from the movies we’ve seen, anyway), but the third Spider-Man movie shouldn’t have any blue. It was absolute assjuice, fam.
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Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs about race and ethnicity for National Public Radio. He is a native of South Philly and reads and writes and runs and rants. You can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to him on Facebook.

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