URLs du Jour


  • Elizabeth Warren is a Harvard Law School professor, and she has a Big Idea: to create a federal "Financial Product Safety Commission" to—as you might guess—bring additional regulations to the financial sphere. The title of the linked article, "Unsafe at Any Rate," is obviously meant to leech off whatever good feeling today's "progressives" have for Ralph Nader's 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed and the regulatory onslaught it inspired. Probably she doesn't detect the irony of the "progressive" rehashing of 42-year-old memes instead of coming up with anything actually innovative.

    And Professor Warren is postitively giddy over at TPM Cafe, where she reports that John Edwards, presidential candidate, has embraced this idea (although he's renamed it the "Family Savings and Credit Commission"). "John Edwards has stepped up," she swoons. "Will other candidates join him?"

    But another prof, Don Boudreaux, has an excellent response to this, packaged as a letter to the editor:

    If such a commission does its job, I suggest that the first dangerous financial product that it attacks be Social Security. Not only are Social Security's returns lousy; not only does the institution providing it have no sound plan to keep it solvent; not only does this institution intentionally mislead its clients about its insolvency (witness its discussions of the illusory "trust fund")—but its "customers" are forced to buy it. THAT is a dangerous financial product!

  • The US Senate passed an energy bill last night. Andrew Roth calls it "an amalgamation of bad ideas." For Iain Murray, it's a "disastrous move". More:
    It avoided the worst proposed excesses, the $28 billion tax hike and an increased mandate for expensive, inefficient renewable power, but includes a 36 billion gallons mandate for miracle fuels that don't exist yet, new efficiency standards for appliances, etc., much higher CAFE standards but no automatic increases after 2020, and criminalizes "unconscionably excessive" gasoline prices. The result will be much higher prices for gasoline, appliances and less-safe autos, but not (for now) for electricity.
    And both of New Hampshire's senators voted for it. Moan.

  • I never metaphor I didn't like: "Sure enough, a quick check revealed that the boxes were, indeed, completely empty."

  • Yes, that last item contained, arguably, a pun. The people responsible have been sacked.

  • Four words: Photo by Steven Spielberg.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 12:52 PM EDT

Pop Quiz, Hotshot!

What Steely Dan lyric does Bill and Hillary Clinton's recent video bring to mind?

  1. You been tellin' me you're a genius
    Since you were seventeen
    In all the time I've known you
    I still don't know what you mean 

  2. I hear you are singing a song of the past
    I see no tears

  3. Well, I've seen 'em on the TV, the movie show
    They say the times are changing but I just don't know
    These things are gone forever
    Over a long time ago

  4. Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said
    So in love the preacher's face turned red
    Soon everybody knew the thing was dead
    He shouts, she bites, they wrangle through the night

  5. Show biz kids making movies
    Of themselves you know they
    Don't give a …
    (Rest is here. We're a PG blog!)

  6. All of the above.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 12:54 PM EDT

So I Married an Ax Murderer

[Amazon Link] [2.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

I'd seen this quite awhile back. Since then, I'd seen the Shrek movies, the Austin Powers movies, and—hey—even the Wayne's World movies. And probably dozens of SNL rerun sketches. So, I said, Mike Myers is a major comic genius, so maybe the Ax Murderer movie wasn't as bad as I remembered?

Wrong. It was pretty much as bad as I remembered. Two good things: (1) Nancy Travis is easy on my eyes. And (2) Mike Myers plays his character's own hyper-Scottish father.

But if you're amused by the latter, you can get it without having to sit through a whole movie:

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:02 PM EDT