URLs du Jour

2008-12-22

I notice that a lot of bloggers apologize for their light blogging. That seems presumptuous to me, so I won't.

  • At the Corner, James S. Robbins compares a story of private charity with the "stimulus" package on the fast track, headed for a stalled car at a crossing, filled with taxpayers.
    The personal fortunes that will be arranged -- I hesitate to say "made" -- from this stimulus bill will be a national shame. But they will be well concealed in the depths of legislation, policy and administration. This bill is theft on a grand scale, standing on questionable economic theory and cloaked in the language of altruism. We will wind up paying for it, and those who are right now arranging this unconscionable act will get away with it, unless there is any justice at election time in 2010.
    "Other than that, though, it's fine."

  • At Contentions, Jennifer Rubin notes that advocates of the stimulus package, when you get them to talk about it honestly, are pretty modest about its effectiveness:
    Still, the political challenge is daunting, given that economists expect this recession to last for years. "The stimulus package will keep it from getting as bad as it would otherwise be, but that is very hard to measure," said Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, who addressed House Democrats recently. "All you can say is, 'It's probably not as bad as it would have been.' But that is very hard to prove."
    Boy, hundreds of billions of dollars just don't go as far as they used to.

  • Here's something surprising I learned only by reading this Matthew Labash article about Detroit: Martha Reeves, of Martha and the Vandellas, currently sits on the City Council there.

    Also, Detroit is in much, much worse shape than you probably imagined, although this is not Ms. Reeves' fault.

  • And Little Green Footballs fills us in on The Two-Minute Hokey Pokey Hate. Because you've always suspected: that's what it's all about.

  • Continuing our poetry theme from a few days ago: "Casey at the Bat" expressed in baseball cards. Wow. (Via Surviving Grady).)

Step Brothers

[Amazon Link]

[3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

Another movie from the Apatow factory, chock full of good filthy fun.

The premise: Brennan and Dale (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, respectively) are spoiled never-grown-up adults, total leeches on their single parents (played by Mary Steenburgen and the great Richard Jenkins). But said parents get married, and move in together as married people do, dragging their unwilling offspring along. It's hate at first sight between them.

I laughed a lot. I'm not proud of that, but there it is. In my (slight) defense, the movie stays true to its over-the-top exploration of this particular dysfunction. There are a whole bunch of supporting players, who are all hilarious.

Richard Jenkins is fine here—he can do no wrong—but there's no room here for his usual subtle, nuanced performance.

On a related note, I've been waiting (approximately) forever for another Mary Steenburgen movie, In the Electric Mist. It's based on one of my favorite James Lee Burke books featuring his Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux. Ms. Steenburgen plays Dave's wife, Bootsie; in what I consider to be dead solid perfect casting, Dave is played by Tommy Lee Jones. It now appears that the movie will be going straight to DVD on March 24.


Last Modified 2012-10-09 8:19 AM EST