Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Proof the Brown M&Ms clause is not an Urban Legend

I don’t feel like talking about economics right now, so let’s talk Rock and Roll.

The contract with Van Halen’s legendary “brown M&Ms” rider has been published by The Smoking Gun. And it was there for purely rational reasons:

While the underlined rider entry has often been described as an example of rock excess, the outlandish demand of multimillionaires, the group has said the M&M provision was included to make sure that promoters had actually read its lengthy rider. If brown M&M’s were in the backstage candy bowl, Van Halen surmised that more important aspects of a performance–lighting, staging, security, ticketing–may have been botched by an inattentive promoter.

All we need now is the clause by whatever band it was that requested “the brown M&Ms Van Halen refused.”

Otherwise, an open thread with which to discuss Rational Expectations.

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Overcoming Classism, a four-minute lesson

Ken Houghton

Consider this a bright, cheerful post, as opposed to my next one.

As long as TAPPED is talking about “classism,” let’s recall that the easy solution was Common Knowledge by the early 1980s:

When I was in school I ran with kid down the street
But I watched him burn himself up on bourbon and speed
But I was smarter than most and I could choose
Learned to talk like the man on the six o’clock news

Always keep in mind, of course, that a thick accent comes in handy, especially if you’re trying to be underestimated. But that’s not generally in the first round.

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Maybe Not This Time…

…at least not so directly:

The Treasury Department has turned down a request by General Motors for up to $10 billion to help finance the automaker’s possible merger with Chrysler, according to people close to the discussions.

Instead of providing new assistance, the Treasury Department told G.M. on Friday, the Bush administration will now shift its focus to speeding up the $25 billion loan program for fuel-efficient vehicles approved by Congress in September and administered by the Energy Department.

I guess that’s why Ford plans to build more trucks.

But it is an excuse to add Yet Another Oldie-but-Goodie:

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Win the Nobel Prize,* they publish you on Sunday instead of Monday

Krugman believes people want someone who is “serious”:

In a way, you can’t blame Mr. McCain for campaigning on trivia—after all, it’s worked in the past. Most notably, President Bush got within hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballot range of the White House only because much of the news media, rather than focusing on the candidates’ policy proposals, focused on their personas: Mr. Bush was an amiable guy you’d like to have a beer with, Al Gore was a stiff know-it-all, and never mind all that hard stuff about taxes and Social Security. And let’s face it: six weeks ago Mr. McCain’s focus on trivia seemed to be paying off handsomely.

But that was before the prospect of a second Great Depression concentrated the public’s mind….

[T]he Barack Obama voters see now is cool, calm, intellectual and knowledgeable, able to talk coherently about the financial crisis in a way Mr. McCain can’t. And when the world seems to be falling apart, you don’t turn to a guy you’d like to have a beer with, you turn to someone who might actually know how to fix the situation.

UPDATE: Brad DeLong has more on this, with graphics (but without Annoying Videos).

Somewhere, McCain’s uber-handlers are trying to figure out why they didn’t go with Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who would not have been subject to this:

Meanwhile, the video of the night on November 4th should be this one (NSFSanePeople):

*Or its Economics equivalent

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