Embedded Video: A rough day for stowaway pythons
- Queue your Samuel L. Jackson impression: "Snake Hitches a Ride on Qantas Flight" (video above).
- I confess that I haven't bothered to get too deep into the debate over whether President Obama has the authority to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin as a debt ceiling dodge. I mean, really, has the debate over fiscal policy really come to this? Fortunately, Megan McArdle is willing to expend her own energy to tear apart the idea:
I hope you'll pardon me while I go off on a rant here. The trillion dollar platinum is an absurdity wrapped in a legislative incongruity inside a farce. It is the logical extension of an utterly illogical legislative process that only becomes more irrational with each passing day. Each partisan battle has become stupider than the last. Silly loopholes are exploited for bargaining power, and the resulting stalemates are generally solved with a temporary patch that solves the immediate problem by creating a bigger one down the road. When the bigger problem arrives, naturally the other side seeks an even sillier loophole, resulting in an even more temporary patch.[snip]When I was reporting on Wall Street, I used to be told with some regularity that government was needed to counteract the short-term thinking of the business sector, who never thought much beyond the next quarterly earnings report. This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries. An ADHD day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably more long-term planning skills than our current congress.
- "Five Facts About Guns, School, and Violence:" 1) Violent crime dropped massively over the past 20 years. 2) Mass shootings have not increased in recent years. 3) Schools are getting safer. 4) There are more guns in circulation than ever before. 5) "Assault weapons bans" are generally ineffective.
- On this day in 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated his Standard Oil company. Somewhere around 1880, the term "Robber Baron" made its earliest American appearance, and Rockefeller was among the chief targets of the term's opprobrium. This is a shame, as all Rockefeller did was make Americans better off and help to usher in the modern age. In this video, Lawrence Reed breaks down the story:
Embedded Video: "Witch-Hunting for Robber Barons - The Standard Oil Story"
- And finally, since we're on the topic of history, the world lost a legend on this day in 1976 when Howlin' Wolf (whose "Spoonful" ranks among my favorite songs of any genre) passed away at the age of 66. Learn a bit more about the fellow - and the blues in general - with this documentary:
Embedded Video: "The Real Story of the Blues"
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