CDOT'S SHALIN BHATT TODAY AT 2 TODAY There have been some pretty epic battles this legislative session about how to fund our transportation needs, and we'll have a full update at 2.  Plus, Shalin generously takes your questions as well.  


I LOVE CHARTER SCHOOLS AND YOU SHOULD TOO And my guest at 3 is Derec Schuler who has helped found some of the most successful charter schools in the area.  He's got a new one coming up in Douglas County and we will discuss why his schools are so different from a traditional public school.  


I'M THINKING BILL O'REILLY SURVIVES THIS SCANDAL But right this second, advertisers are happy to sit on the sidelines while the dust settles.  He's gone from 33 national spots per hour to 10.  That is a BIG deal, but as long as people continue to watch, and they are watching, the advertisers will be back.  Trust me on this.  And I will continue my decade long personal boycott of a man I find creepy and gross.  


JAPAN IS HAVING THEIR OWN GREAT POTATO FAMINE! Okay, it's a potato CHIP famine, as floods destroyed a lot of the potato crop in Japan's largest potato producing region this year.  That means bags of chips are a hot commodity, with prices going SIX TIMES higher than normal.  Would you pay 12 bucks for a bag of chips that is usually 2?  Those crazy kids in Japan are.  I think we start an import/export business just for chips.  Who's with me??


HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW STAR WARS TEASER?  It's not a full trailer, but I must say, it piqued my interest.  

ARE YOU BETWEEN THE PRIMO AGES OF HAPPINESS?  If you are older than 23 or younger than 69, the answer is yes, at least according to several recent studies.  Those are the two ages when people are happiest.  Don't worry, there are things you can do to up your happiness levels and there is a handy list here.  I get why people in middle age are the unhappiest, we have a lot of crap on our plates with aging parents and growing children, but we don't have to wallow in it.  


THIS IS WHY BEING A MOM IS SO HARD THESE DAYS Because mom and superstar Kelly Clarkson posted a picture of her two year old with a piece of bread with Nutella on it, and the internet went into super judgy overdrive and accused her of child abuse because it's a high sugar treat.  I'm not even kidding with this.  The internet needs to STHU now and go away.  A mom should be able to give her kid a treat without complete strangers questioning her parenting.   Why is it NOT okay to judge someone based on their sexual orientation or religion or anything else but perfectly fine to destroy a mom who loves her kid but may think a treat is okay?  I only include this to show how stupid and naive it is when people say, "I don't judge".  That's crap, we all judge, the internet just makes it easier to hide behind a keyboard and throw stones. 


THE US GOVERNMENT COLLECTED RECORD PAYROLL AND INCOME TAXES AND STILL CAN'T BALANCE THE BUDGET Which should prove...AGAIN...that it doesn't matter how much they take from us, they are never going to spend it responsibly.  So any talk about dealing with deficits and taking care of the debt is a BIG FAT LIE from either party.  Period.  Read the gory details here.  


OUR GAME OF CHICKEN WITH NORTH KOREA CONTINUES As now we are posturing that we will act unilaterally if North Korea does another nuclear test.  I'm beginning to think this isn't going to end well.  


DOES BAD SKIN MAKE THE VILLAIN OR THE OTHER WAY AROUND? Dermatologists have had enough with movie villains being portrayed as having bad skin.  When you think about it, they may have a point.  In a study (they did a study!) about villains and how skin conditions are used to make them "other", they even picked on Darth Vader:

“The unmasked Darth Vader epitomizes the use of facial dermatologic findings in combination to project evil,” the study stated. “With his bald scalp, unnatural fair gray skin, periorbital hyperpigmentation, facial scars, and deep rhytides, Vader manifests sheer evil and incites apprehension and fear of the unfamiliar.”

Read this to see the full list of top 10 movie villains and you can note how many of them are hopelessly deformed.  


THE WALMART TAX MYTH IS JUST THAT, A MYTH You've no doubt heard the trope that the American taxpayer subsidizes Walmart because it pays workers so little that workers qualify for government benefits that we foot the bill for their employees.  Except that myth is bases on shoddy work done by politicos who, by the way, are the same ones who keep expanding eligibility for those programs.  Read about it here