Saturday, February 28, 2009

Still Laughing (and hurting from it)

Thanks to Last in Line for sharing this with me...this is the funniest thing I have seen since "Jizz in My Pants."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Once Again, Remarkable

Yesterday, President Obama called various leaders of Congress, of both parties, as well as key US financial minds to the White House for a meeting on fiscal responsibility. In what has to be one of the most interesting things I have ever seen, he set up the event like a press conference in which he was standing at the front fielding questions and everyone else was out in the audience. I'm not sure I have ever seen a president do this before...certainly not the last four. It sets the tone for how different our new leader is going to run the show.

He took some tough questions and had some very interesting of which was a promise to reduce the federal deficit by half. He said that the economic crisis “will require us to make difficult decisions" and that he “going through our budget line by line to root out waste and inefficiency,” and “eliminating programs that don’t work.” In addition, he “will stop the fraud and abuse” and “make more tough choices,” he said, “to start living within our means again." All of this said after last week's remarks regarding cuts in Social Security, Medicare and a reformation the tax code. What the? Is he really a Democrat?

But talk isn't enough...which is what most Republicans said who attended the meeting...I think with good cause. As our new President addresses Congress tonight and unveils his budget on Thursday, let's all take an honest look to see if he is going to actually make cuts and raise revenues.

Alright, conservatives, if you see the cuts are you going to give him credit or will you continue to do the "tap into your inner rage and find fault with everything" rag?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And My Pick Is.....

Tonight are the Oscars. It seems like Slumdog Millionaire has all the momentum. Of the five films nominated, I think that Milk is the best but I think Slumdog will win. Milk has really hung with me in the last week and it is such an amazing film.

If I had to rate the rest of them I guess Frost Nixon is a close second followed by Benjamin Button, then Slumdog and finally The Reader.

Where It All Began

I thought I would save Frost Nixon, the fifth of the five films to be nominated for this year's Academy Awards, for last. Why? Of all of the films nominated this year, Ron Howard's latest gem is the most congruent with the subject matter of this blog.

To begin with, the film is excellent. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen are absolutely stunning in their performances. The supporting cast, consisting of Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon, and Oliver Platt, is also quite good. The film is based on the great interviews that David Frost had with Richard Nixon in 1977.

For me, the most intriguing part of the film (actually using the interviews themselves as dialog) was the haunting similarity between Nixon's explanations of Watergate/Vietnam and President Bush's explanations of...well everything he did. Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld both worked for Richard Nixon in his second administration and they learned well from the master. The complete and utter bald face lies told time and again in the face of basic facts is as nauseating today as it was 31 years ago.

The money line:

"I'm saying that when the president does it, it's not illegal"

Sound familiar?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tell Me A Story

Braving the relatively minor snowfall last night which, for some reason, inexplicably causes the new wimpy Minnesotan to drive like total douche bags (see: green light means FUCKING GO, BITCH), I trekked over to neighboring Edina to see The Reader.

Based on the novel, the film tells the story of a young man named Michael who has a chance encounter with an older woman named Hannah. They have an affair over the spring and summer of 1958 in which he learns the art of love making. It's been awhile since I was turned that a regular film and some of scenes gave me the screaming thigh sweats!

Hannah moves unexpectedly and leaves Michael wondering what happened. Years later, Michael is a law student and goes with this class to watch trials of suspected Nazi sympathizers. It turns out that Hannah is one of the suspects and the story unfolds from there in a very tragic yet terribly romantic way.

Ralph Fiennes plays the older version of Michael who is essentially a man who never got over his one true love. The main hook of the story, which I want give away, is very near and dear to me as I am a vociferous reader. Kate Winslett is her usual wonderful self and has several nude scenes ( great ass btw). David Kross plays the young Michael and is the real star of this film. He does silence better than any actor I have seen in a long while.

For those of you looking for a night of tragic passion and unrequited love, check this one out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Life Outside the Bubble

Slumdog Millionaire was the first of the five films nominated for Best Picture that I saw. Generally, I had an idea what it was about but had no idea that it would be as compelling as it was.

The film tells a story of a young man named Jamal Malik and his rise from the slums of Mumbai all the way to a chance appearance on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Jamal is played by Dev Patel who I knew I was going to like because of my obsession with the British TV show Skins.

As he recounts his life to a police office who is torturing him for information as to why he made it onto the game show in the first place, we see the horrors of poverty, the insanity of the human condition, and, of course, the power of love. For most Americans, the sight of the slums in India is horrific. When I saw the film, there were actually people shouting at the screen because they couldn't believe what young Jamal had seen and done in his life.

Convectional wisdom says this is the one that is going to win. I'm holding out my pick until I see The Reader tomorrow night.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Americana At Its Best

Continuing with the Oscar nominations for Best Picture, last Sunday night I took in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Of the five films nominated, I thought this one would be the one I would like the least. It turned out to be one of my favorites.

The film tells the story of a man born old and living backwards...getting younger and younger as the years roll on. His story begins in 1918 and moves forward to present day. The first hour of the film is typical period piece, shoo in for and Oscar nom fare. As we get into the World War Two years, the tone becomes a little more stark. Right about at mid point (the film is almost three hours) you realize that this is a movie about the relationships that one has in one's life. In particular, how the people you love are a constant state of change...and are highly unpredictable.

I have been going through some tough stuff with one such relationship in my life recently and, as usual, the reason why I love films as much as I do was fully illustrated in this narrative. The relationship between Benjamin (Brad Pitt) and Daisy (Cate Blanchett) was nothing short of extraordinary. I have always had questions in my head, for my whole life really, about relationships....questions like why does love seem eternally unfilled...confused...sad..and ultimately lonely?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button answers these questions quite well which, as films often do, made me feel a lot better about the aformentioned relationship.

And it is a very nice tapestry of Americana, from a rabid historian's point of view.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Harvey Delivers from the Grave

A couple of nights ago I called my 91 year old grandmother to check in. I try to call her at least a couple of times a week since my grandfather passed away last April. She was doing just fine.

My grandmother has been a staunch conservative for her entire life. She has gone to the same church for over 60 years and is a strict believer in the word of God.

So, it came as a real surprise to me that she told me that she saw the film MILK recently with her friends. The movie, currently nominated for several Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay, tells the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to a public office.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. He also was instrumental in defeating Proposition 6, a state wide referendum which would have banned all homosexuals from teaching in public schools. He, along with Mayor George Muscone, was assassinated by another member of the Board named Dan White on November 27, 1978. White's motive was anger over the liberal, multi cultural turn that the board had taken. In addition to electing the first gay man, the Board had also elected its first single mom and first Chinese American, two other people that White had planned on killing but changed his mind after he shot Muscone 4 times (3 in the head) and Milk also 5 times (2 in the head) with hollow point bullets.

I had recently seen the film as well, being a part of my usual Oscar blitz at this time of year, and both of us talked about it. She remarked of the horrible treatment by fellow Americans that gay people have had to endure which is depicted quite vividly in the film. She was angry at how un-Christian supposed followers of Jesus were when the topic of homosexuality comes up. And then she dropped a bomb shell on me.

She told me that homosexuals are born the way God intended them to be and it was not learned behavior like some people thought. Wow! Even 20 years after he was shot, Harvey is still changing people's minds.

Needless to say, I was very happy. We talked some more about the film and how incredibly sad it was that America has so many stories about people who try to stand up and change things to make people happier only to be gunned down by psychotic morons.

If you go see the film, a word of warning: they show everything in the assassination scene. It is very difficult to watch. I have no qualms about saying that I wept like a baby before, during and after it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Guess What?

Well that didn't take long. From

Blogger Michelle Malkin, in a story on the conservative Web site on Wednesday, said that if Hughes "had more time, she probably would have remembered to ask Obama to fill up her gas tank, too."

"The soul-fixer dutifully asked her name, gave her a hug and ordered his staff to meet with her. Supporters cried, 'Amen!' and 'Yes!' " she added.

"How does a 61-year-old homeless woman who's living in a pickup truck with her son JUST HAPPEN to get a ticket so she can VERY PUBLICLY ask Prez. Obama for a HOUSE? Anyone? Who pushes her up on stage? She's right at the front of the crowd. Did she just happen to get a seat there?" asked reader Erik E.

I don't know, Erik but as is the usual with the right, you have demonstrated a complete lack of taking any sort of responsibility and completely missed the point.

What a fucking shock.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wait For It

President Obama spoke today at a rally in Ft Meyers, Fl to pitch his stimulus package to the American people. Ft Meyers has been hit hard by foreclosures so the audience was filled with people in economic trouble.

He took questions and the woman at left, Henrietta Hughes, got up and told him how rough her life had been lately. I predict the right will pile on her like flies on shit in the next 48 hours. She is a perfect example of who they love to rip apart. Let's keep an eye out, shall we?

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Sad Return of a Monster

Well, Dick didn't waste anytime did he? Less than two weeks after leaving office, former Vice President Cheney said that there is a "high probability" that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic attack on US soil and the policies of President Obama will make it easier for them to do so.

Dipping deeply into the "fear and shit your pants" bag of old tricks, Dick specififed that the closing of Guantanomo Bay will lead to a nuclear attack on this country. Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business,” he said. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.” He went on to say that if these kind of policies continue, the United States will be at risk in more ways than we can possibly understand.


I don't mean to make light of something as serious as our national security but I'm sorry.....I laughed my fucking ass off when I read this. He sounds like a character from a cartoon for crying out loud. And highly simplistic and child like one at that. Thank God this fucker isn't in charge of anything anymore and we can finally get down to the business of stopping these guys.

Someone needs to ask the former vice president if he is so concerned about Al Qaeda, why are Osama bin Laden and Ayman El Zawahari, the men responsible for 9-11, still at large after SEVEN AND A HALF FUCKING YEARS! Why did he insist on invading Iraq and allow Al Qaeda to reconstitute itself as it has been fully proven in this NIE report. In fact, Dick should review this blog post and come back to reality.

As for the rest of us, in light of Dick's outburst, why don't we review what appeal to fear means.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Siimply Wonderful

So, where does my guy go when needs to "get out of the White House" for awhile?

A school, natch. It's so refreshing to have a president that relaxes by hanging out a school...the place where the future begins.

And anything can be fixed:)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Liberal Media Watch

There has been an awful lot of talk on all the major news networks regarding President Obama's cabinet picks and their failure to pay taxes. Actually, it's been wall to wall coverage and every day, it seems, a new appointee has come out with yet another sob story about "honest mistakes."

Hmm...what I am missing here?

I thought that the media was all liberally and soft and shit on Obama. Could it be that (gasp!) the media is actually more interested in ratings and profit than political leanings?

Nah, can't be.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Most Liberal Agenda?

Conservatives have been trying since inauguration day to paint President Obama as pursuing the most liberal agenda in modern history. At first it just seemed silly what with our new president keeping on Robert Gates, appointing life long Republican James Jones to be National Security Advisor, and appointing Ray LaHood to be Secretary of Transportation.

Today, it will sound absolutely ludicrous.

In about an hour, President Obama will appoint Judd Gregg, yet another Republican, to be Commerce Secretary and serve in his cabinet. Gregg is a fiscal conservative and staunchly pro life. The American Conservative Union, which is THE congressional ratings association for Republicans, gives him a lifetime rating of 78 percent.

Now, how can our president be pursuing the most liberal agenda in our country's history and still have people like this on his team? Is it because, unlike my esteemed colleagues on the right, that my guy actually likes to listen to (gasp!) alternative viewpoints?

Monday, February 02, 2009

A Quick Goodbye Please

Alright, I know I am biased but Tom Daschle should withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Geithner I can forgive because he has talents and skills we sorely need right now but Daschle does not have any such skills. In fact, I always cringed whenever he was on TV stumping for Obama. Why my guy made him the co-chair for his election is still a head scratcher for me.

Tom Daschle represents so many things that I loathe about the Democratic Party that I am hoping and praying that he goes away soon to a life of quiet rumination.