Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beware the Deregulators

Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus, a darling of free market conservatives and the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was honest enough last week to summarize the fundamental contrast between the outgoing and incoming Congressional philosophies when it comes to federal oversight of the financial services industry: "In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lonely Pragmatists

In a graphic illustration of how the ideologues on the Right and the Left have seized the political discourse, two of the smartest people in the nation's capital -- a Republican and a Democrat -- received giant sucker punches from their own political parties last week for having the audacity to embrace policies that were reasonable bipartisan compromises designed to move the country forward.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The NCAA Credibility Problem

Last night's USC-UCLA football game, the annual cross-town rivalry game here in Los Angeles, was the final game of the year for both schools. For UCLA, it was because the defeat by the vastly superior institution once again (no author bias involved) concluded a 4-8 season, which is not good enough for a bowl game. But for USC, it was because the school is serving the first of a two-year ban on bowl game appearances imposed by the NCAA as punishment for violation of various rules back in 2004 and 2005.