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Picks of the day

Some of the best stuff I read today:

1. Jack Balkin gets all worked up about the Senate:

We need a reform of the Senate rules immediately. Even though these rules are not constitutional, they have in effect changed the Constitution, and reforming them is perhaps the most seriously needed change in our governmental system today.

I can think of some other changes that might be more seriously needed — indefinite detention without charges comes to mind — but this is a pretty important one.  Will it happen?  I doubt it.

2. Matt Taibbi was apparently getting emails from some “teabaggers” after his unfavorable review of Sarah Palin’s book.  They asked him rhetorically whether he thought the media was being unfair to Palin.  And then Taibbi demonstrates why he’s becoming my favorite journalist:

Now, this is the part of this red-blue schtick where I’m supposed to strike back without thinking and re-hash the history of, say, the Monica Lewinsky scandal in rebuttal and then, as the argument progresses, do the whole “I know you are but what am I?” thing until the end of time. I’ve decided from now on that I’m just not going to go there with any of this culture-war bullshit. It’s exhausting. I mean, hell, if you want to argue over who’s more justified in wallowing in media victimhood, that’s not a fight I mind losing. Mazel tov!

I would, however, like to point out a few things, none of which really involve taking sides in this particular cat-fight. In no particular order:[...]

Read the whole thing.  And then read his review of Going Rogue.

3. Ross Douthat must have been up late last night — he managed to dig up a right-winger that isn’t a complete idiot.  Luigi Zingales points out the difference between “pro-market” and “pro-business,” and argues that we’re going to have to rein in the financial industry if we want to avoid becoming Italy:

We thus stand at a crossroads for American capitalism. One path would channel popular rage into political support for some genuinely pro-market reforms, even if they do not serve the interests of large financial firms. By appealing to the best of the populist tradition, we can introduce limits to the power of the financial industry — or any business, for that matter — and restore those fundamental principles that give an ethical dimension to capitalism: freedom, meritocracy, a direct link between reward and effort, and a sense of responsibility that ensures that those who reap the gains also bear the losses. This would mean abandoning the notion that any firm is too big to fail, and putting rules in place that keep large financial firms from manipulating government connections to the detriment of markets. It would mean adopting a pro-market, rather than pro-business, approach to the economy.

4. Even though I agree with Peter Rosen that ER docs aren’t entitled to a patient population that they like($) and shouldn’t judge their patients, this is funny:  (HT: Shadowfax.)

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