URLs du Jour

2009-06-15

  • Those of us with a generally libertarian bent can always use a reminder of why today's GOP is so deserving of scorn and ridicule. Today's reminder is from Chris Edwards at Cato@Liberty:
    As I note in my New York Post op-ed today, Republicans are fond of implying that President Obama is a big-spending socialist. But the House GOP recently offered a spending cut plan that was able to find savings worth less than one percent of Obama's budget.

    As Tad DeHaven and Brian Riedl have also pointed out, the GOP spending reform effort is rather pathetic. It proposed specific annual budget cuts of about $14 billion per year.

    Edwards goes on to point out that the Democrat-leaning Brookings Institution proposed a "smaller government plan" a few years back that cut $342 billion in annual spending. If the GOP can't at least propose something comparable, they should just give up. The Obama-Lite approach will just not cut it.

  • Nobel economist Gary Becker detects the hubris behind the Obama administration's "Pay Czar" scheme: the Hayekian "fatal conceit" …
    … hat government officials can effectively determine prices and production through various forms of central planning without having the incentives and information available to firms in competitive markets. A closely related conceit is behind the belief that someone sitting in Washington can determine the pay to hundreds of executives and other employees.
    Having government bureaucrats dictate compensation levels is a bit of brain-dead populism that might play well politically, but like the price controls of the 1970s we'll wind up with "unintended consequences." (Via AmSpecBlog.)

  • Spot the silly error in this (otherwise) good story from my local paper. (Hint: paragraph three.)

Criss Cross

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

It's a long wait time for Gran Torino, so Netflix sent this instead, a 1949 film noir classic from director Robert Siodmak with Burt Lancaster as the protagonist/fall guy/sucker/schmuck, Yvonne DeCarlo as the femme fatale who leads him into patsydom, and Dan Duryea as the psycho thug menacing them both.

Burt works for an armored car company; his relationship with ex-wife Miss Yvonne gets him roped into a heist scheme. The movie's opening scenes show him wangling to be the driver of the armored car while another guard, an old guy nicknamed "Pops" rides in back. (Is Pops toast, you ask? That's a safe bet.) Then we get a long flashback showing how Burt got into this pickle, then finally the violent robbery, followed by the dark conclusion.

The movie's theme is betrayal: lots of double-crossing, a few instances of triple-crossing, and I'm pretty sure at least one quadruple-cross. You just can't trust these guys.

Burt Lancaster, as usual, dominates every scene he's in; they don't make 'em like him any more.

If you're like me, you're asking: Yvonne DeCarlo? What was she in? Wasn't she Danny Thomas's wife in Make Room for Daddy? Nope, you're thinking of Marjorie Lord. (Or maybe Jean Hagen.) Ms. Yvonne played Mrs. Munster in The Munsters. And also Mrs. Moses in The Ten Commandments.


Last Modified 2012-10-07 7:55 AM EDT