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Among the “eggheads” (to borrow a slightly dated term) dominating the upper tiers of the Obama administration – Summers and Orszag being perhaps the most prominent examples – Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein, named by Obama to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), may be my favorite. Sunstein is brilliant, an unbelievably productive scholar – and, indeed, that presents something of hazard. Sunstein’s 2008 book with economist Richard Thaler Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness was widely read – and has generated much discussion about what it means for OIRA.

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The New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera , who recently wrote a smart and understandable account of the AIG fiasco, was on the Daily Show Wednesday night. The idea that AIG was in the business of “regulatory capital” sort of sums it all up. It’s a remarkable story.

Paul Krugman is right on.

Public Energy (Dave Wild) on Flickr. Creative Commons.

Source: Public Energy (Dave Wild) on Flickr. Creative Commons.

The American Prospect’s blog Tapped summarizes this congressional briefing on the politics of the carbon tax, noting, “The entire conversation was based on how to curb industry and business emissions. But how do you apply these policies towards methane burping/farting on farms?” That’s right, cow gas.

Also in today is a piece discussing oversight by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming focusing on late-term regulatory decisions. The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Ed Markey (MA), has released a report entitled “Bush Watch: The Last 100 Days,” and plans a hearing which will be livecast on the committee’s website tomorrow (12/11).

OMB Watch keeps an eye on the Bush administration’s last minute regulatory actions.