FEC: Threat or Menace?

Cato's Daily Dispatch has an item pointing to this article concerning the Federal Election Commision's ongoing struggle to regulate currently-unregulated political speech on the Internet. From the article:

A growing number of the online pundits of various political persuasions are urging the Federal Election Commission to explicitly grant them the same wholesale exemptions from regulations governing contributions to political candidates that mainstream reporters, editorial writers and pundits get.

Color me skeptical, but I'm extremely doubtful that any bunch of ham-handed federal regulators will be able to draw a bright well-defined line distinguishing "online pundits" from other Internet content providers, in order to allow the former to publish freely and impose speech restrictions on the latter.

Fearless predictions: (a) any regulation will have major loopholes, allowing the regulation-savvy to set up whatever Internet presence they want; (b) this will irritate enough politically powerful people so that there will be major pressure for the FEC to make its rules ever more stringent; (c) ordinary people not wanting the hassle of deciding whether they're "allowed" to post their political opinions will decide not to do so, effectively chilling them out of their right to free expression.

The best solution would be to jettison the whole evil idea of political speech regulation embodied by McCain-Feingold and the FEC. That's unfortunately unlikely. So get ready for continuing (albeit depressing) adventures in government restriction of free political expression in the name of "reform".

URLs du Jour (7/13/2005)

  • How long can the Huffington Post tolerate Greg Gutfeld in its midst? He's Iowahawk-level funny, and isn't reluctant to skewer leftist vapidity emitted by the other HuffPo contributors. That doesn't seem like a recipe for longevity.
  • For another HuffPo takedown, see Alex Tabarrok compare reality with Laurie David's earnest UPPERCASE environmentalism.
  • Lileks on relaxation, enjoyment, nostalgia, and (above all) gratitude. I gotta get a dog.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 11:03 AM EDT

Ray

[Amazon Link] [3.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

The music is great. Jamie Foxx's performance is great, and he deserved the Oscar he got for it (and I thought his acceptance speech was one of the best I've ever heard). And Curtis Armstrong vanishes into the role of Ahmet Ertegun—I didn't recognize him at all.

But the script is beyond hackneyed. If they want to establish (for example) that Ray Charles' foray into country music was a surprising critical and popular success, they'll have a character say "Well, Ray, your foray into country music was a surprising critical and popular success." Bleah.

Much of the movie turns on some facile psychologizing and showbiz cliché. Gee, drug abuse, womanizing, dumping inconvenient personal relationships when they stand in the way of success? Who knew that sort of thing went on in the world of professional music? Anyone who's seen more than three movies in this genre, is who.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 10:25 AM EDT