Watching Some Good Friends Scream "Let Me Out"

[under pressure]

Gosh, if you're a conservative/libertarian with blood pressure problems, you might want to stop reading right here, right now.

Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama's administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's Northern California district.

… but if you're taking medication, you can probably risk going to the linked article. Mona Charen is eloquent on how intrinsically corrupt the waivers are:

There are rumblings of suspicion that HHS has shown favoritism -- labor unions have received some 26 percent of waivers while constituting only 12 percent of workers. As Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, remarked, "What does it say about the feasibility of the health-care law when the administration needs to exempt over 1,000 health plans from its own law?"

Ms. Charen quotes extensively from a National Affairs article titled " Government by Waiver" by Richard Epstein, also one of my favorites. He examines the waiver notion as it applies not just to Obamacare, but other regulatory regimes. What's the common problem in all instances? Epstein:

The fate of our rights and liberties is left to the wisdom and discretion of individuals; we are therefore governed by men, not by laws. It was this exact circumstance that our system of government was designed to avoid: As James Madison noted in Federalist No. 10, "enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." In this sense, the problem of government by waiver shows us just how far we have strayed from the intentions of those who created our system of government -- and how we risk betraying their hope that we might preserve it.

Tossing the car keys to bureaucrats with no effective constraints on their arbitrary behavior is no way to run a country.

Last Modified 2012-09-26 5:58 AM EST

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

As Abe Lincoln probably didn't say: If you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing you'll like.

Good scientist Dr. Paul Armstrong and his lovely wife Betty are on the trail to find a meteorite that he thinks might contain the rare element "atmospherium". Unfortunately, Evil Scientist Dr. Roger Fleming is also looking for it in order to revivify the titular Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and bring about his plans for world domination. And (by sheerest chance) a couple of humanoid aliens (Kro-Bar, and his wife Lattis) have crash-landed their spaceship in the area, and need atmospherium for repairs.

And, worse yet, the aliens have accidentally let loose "Mutant", an ugly three-eyed beast that looks just like a guy in a cheap rubber suit.

As you can tell, the movie is strictly for laughs, poking gentle fun at the cheapie SF horrorfests of the 50s. The movie appears to have been made for about $398, including salaries. (It actually cost, according to one of the special-feature interviews, "under $100,000.")

The dialog is intentionally loopy. When Dr. Paul suspects that Kro-Bar and Lattis may not be of this world, Kro-Bar replies: "Aliens? Us? Is this one of your Earth jokes?"

So it's very funny, but (to quibble) it's just one joke, over and over, for for the entire 90-minute movie. I don't care how funny a joke is: eventually, you're gonna stop laughing at it. (Well, maybe if you're high. We weren't.)

Last Modified 2012-09-26 5:57 AM EST