– Earlier in the week I did a bloggingheads with Megan McArdle, where we talked about consumer finance, the foreclosure fraud crisis, the Federal Reserve, and many other topics. The last segment where McArdle, a self-described war-blogger in the aftermath of 9/11, discusses here ambivalence over the killing of Osama bin Laden is particularly worth checking out.
– Ed at ginandtacos discusses the potential field for 2016 Presidential candidates. I didn’t realize Mitch Daniels was that old – 2012 might be his best shot.
– Adam Levitin has a catch-up post on the Attorney General settlement as another wave of back-and-forth is about to happen. He notes that it is important to remember the ~$24 billion being discussed should be categorized under disgorgement of wrongful profits; the costs associated with successful modifications go above and beyond that. A good read if you want to know the political state of the reform effort.
– David Dayen coins the term “camo-washing” to discuss recent attempts by banks to show they are doing right by the mortgages they service by doing their actual jobs for a politically important group – members of the military – and ignoring everyone else.
– Ned Resnikoff on why progressives should consider classical republicanism, discussing the Australian philosopher Philip Pettit.
– Gerry Canavan: “For all the standard horror movie monsters Joss Whedon took up in Buffy and Angel…you’d think there would have been more zombies.” Great essay on Whedon’s television story and elements of zombie horror.
– Though the best office episodes were in season 3 and 4, I endorse Dylan Matthew’s defense of the late seasons of The Office, especially the what-comes-after for Jim and Pam. I really liked Carla Fran’s description of what works for the show Louie:
Our regularly scheduled schlumps…don’t do this kind of work. They exist in their messes (messes that any actress would be lucky to get a chance at), but their saccharine revelations are more of a kind of fable porn, where all struggle reveals sweet lessons and profoundity: angsty confused men grow up to be good men, and thus the hard part is over. CK is already grown up. He sits in his mess, and carries on.
And I think Dylan’s views on the late Office seasons hit a similar note.
– Aaron Bady discusses recent writing on the costs of Higher Ed by liberal/progressive writers, responding to Kevin Drum and Annie Lowrey (whose piece, Is College a Rotten Investment?, is also worth checking out). The mass defunding of public higher education is a part of this story that doesn’t get mentioned in normal discussion, and we should work to change that. When cost inflation is mysterious, rather than a deliberate political choice we are making, it’s harder to conceptualize it as a having political responses. We’ll discuss some of these numbers next week.