It’s Caturday!

What your cat does while you're not home

What your cat does while you’re not home

Compared to Salon, The Onion is a straight news site:

Right-wing winter: Why conservative movies clean up in January

Apparently, selling a war is easy. In case you missed it, “Lone Survivor” stunned box office pundits with a $38.5 million haul on its opening weekend. It’s the second-biggest January opening ever (behind 2008’s “Cloverfield”), and the biggest ever for a war movie in the post-9/11 era. As an explanation, the Hollywood Reporter cited the film’s patriotic tone, noting that it “differs from many of the movies broaching Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East in sticking to themes of courage and heroism, versus politics and social issues.” As a point of contrast, THR cites box-office disappointments “Green Zone,” “Rendition,” “Stop-Loss” and even “The Hurt Locker,” which earned only $12.6 million domestically despite winning an Oscar for best picture. Not all of these movies were overtly critical of our recent wars, but none of them blindly accepted war as a moral good like “Lone Survivor” did.

Still, the film’s success is about more than patriotism. It’s about timing. Winter used to simply be a dumping ground for those films that were not good enough to warrant a more competitive release date, but it has recently become a good time to release brainless, pro-violence action flicks. Last year, we saw films like “The Last Stand,” “Bullet to the Head,” “A Good Day to Die Hard” and “Parker” released between January and March. Each was a throwback to a time when action movies didn’t need to have a brain — the 1980s — and several even used the aging stars of that era. In that decade, when the modern action flick was born, we preferred a tough guy with a gun; the brain was optional. Films like “First Blood,” “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon” dovetailed politically with the Reagan administration’s calls for increased defense spending and ramping up of the Cold War.

Over time, our thirst for war has decreased, and the successful action movies of the post-9/11 era are more contemplative about their violence. Nowadays, our summer action movies need to be more ambivalent about their use of violence or at least ponder weightier themes, like the future of our planet or the merits of using violence to fight crime.

But there is still a place for movies that suggest all we need to solve our problems is guts and ammo, and that place is January, when the “intellectual left” is busy watching serious movies destined for Academy Awards. While folks on the coasts are catching up with “Her” and “Inside Llewyn Davis,” the heartland is falling hard for “Lone Survivor,” which lionizes military service, revels in the killing of enemy combatants, and never bothers to question the need for war in the first place. Calum Marsh summed up the film’s politics best in the Atlantic last week: “Not asking is its own kind of answer.” In other words, the filmmakers’ narrow focus on the survival of its four protagonists could be read as a de facto justification for the entire war. By rooting for their survival, we root for America to win. End of story.

I’m gonna go see Lone Survivor this afternoon with my son and a couple friends. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

This poor girl seems to be committing blasphemy:

Obama’s NSA reforms: The devil in the details

Obama’s speech on the National Security Agency Friday charted, at most every turn, a predictable path. He called upon notable moments in U.S. history to frame the question of surveillance, he made claims from national security to defend the NSA, he made qualified announcements about reforms to come, he even pointed a finger at those baddies in Russia and China, who most certainly hate freedom and privacy more than the U.S. government — rest assured. It was oration straight out of the president of the United States handbook.

To be sure, Obama put forward a number of concrete reforms on Friday. They are the stuff of realpolitik: fiddling with the details of surveillance procedures in response to public concern, without enacting any deep structural shift to the government’s hoarding complex when it comes to communications data. Indeed, Obama himself said Friday, “those who are troubled by our existing programs are not interested in a repeat of 9/11, and those who defend these programs are not dismissive of civil liberties. The challenge is getting the details right, and that’s not simple.”

This was the crux of Obama’s performance today: An argument for fiddling with details to placate both outraged privacy advocates and national security hawks. But we all know where the devil resides, so Obama’s focus on “details” is all important: Without scrutiny, debates over the details of NSA reform could distract us from the fact that our state of totalized surveillance is going nowhere.

I knew that Obama couldn’t be trusted when he flip-flopped on the FISA revision/telecom immunity. His followers were totes cool with it though. Now the civil libertarians on the left are suffering from cognitive dissonance because they simultaneously love Big Government and hate Big Brother.

Um, guys? Big Government IS Big Brother. Lefty civil libertarians are just as confused as those smart phone-using, Starbucks-drinking, spoiled rich-kid anti-corporatists at OWS. In fact, there is a lotta Venn diagram overlap between the two groups.

This guy used to be a Cabinet Secretary for the Big Dawg:

Robert Reich: Red-state voters are paralyzed by economic anxieties

For years political scientists have wondered why so many working class and poor citizens of so-called “red” states vote against their economic self-interest. The usual explanation is that, for these voters, economic issues are trumped by social and cultural issues like guns, abortion, and race.

I’m not so sure. The wages of production workers have been dropping for thirty years, adjusted for inflation, and their economic security has disappeared. Companies can and do shut down, sometimes literally overnight. A smaller share of working-age Americans hold jobs today than at any time in more than three decades.

People are so desperate for jobs they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want rules and regulations enforced that might cost them their livelihoods. For them, a job is precious — sometimes even more precious than a safe workplace or safe drinking water.

This is especially true in poorer regions of the country like West Virginia and through much of the South and rural America — so-called “red” states where the old working class has been voting Republican. Guns, abortion, and race are part of the explanation. But don’t overlook economic anxieties that translate into a willingness to vote for whatever it is that industry wants.

This may explain why Republican officials who have been casting their votes against unions, against expanding Medicaid, against raising the minimum wage, against extended unemployment insurance, and against jobs bills that would put people to work, continue to be elected and re-elected. They obviously have the support of corporate patrons who want to keep unemployment high and workers insecure because a pliant working class helps their bottom lines. But they also, paradoxically, get the votes of many workers who are clinging so desperately to their jobs that they’re afraid of change and too cowed to make a ruckus.

I am ashamed to admit I once subscribed to the “What’s the Matter with Kansas” theory of politics. Then I realized that not only is it anti-democratic but it’s also a load of crap. The places that have taken the worst hits in terms of job loss over the past 40 years are the true blue northern and Midwest states in the “Rust Belt.” The places that have seen the most economic growth are red states in the South and West.

This post would not be complete without some first-class Grade-A stupidity from Joan Walsh:

Ted Cruz, suddenly the GOP’s biggest loser

Sen. Ted Cruz’s fearless crusade to defund what he calls Obamacare ended with a whimper not a bang Thursday, as the junior senator from Texas dropped his demand that the Senate vote on amendments to defund the Affordable Care Act before passing the $1.1 trillion spending bill.

“The majority leader and Senate Democrats have chosen not to listen to the American people,” Cruz said. The Senate voted 72-26 first to cut off debate, then to pass the bill.

Apparently Cruz’s Senate GOP colleagues spent the Thursday lunch hour begging him to drop his plan for a defund-Obamacare vote, according to the Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery. He still tried, but he didn’t try that hard.

Concerned that the freshman senator’s quick surrender might be interpreted as backing down – which it was – his office issued a statement later saying “he remains committed to keeping the conversation about Obamacare front and center as the law continues to harm more and more Americans by raising their premiums, canceling their plans and keeping them from their doctors.”

Sure. The Affordable Care Act is on its way to stability, as the number of signups continues to surge in advance of the March 31 deadline, and as people who lost coverage find better plans and/or subsidies. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, is on his way to irrelevance.

Last time I checked Ted was still popular in Texas, and right now they are the only voters whose opinion matters to him. I always love it when pundits declare living, breathing politicians dead. I’m not making any predictions about Ted Cruz’s career, but I am pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of him.

As for what he calls Obamacare, saying that it’s stabilized is correct only in the sense that someone in full cardiac arrest is stable. As for Joan Walsh, I’m honestly not sure whether she’s lying or delusional.

Seriously, how can you spoof crap like that? Salon is spoof-proof.


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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66 Responses to It’s Caturday!

  1. The Klown says:

    BTW – tomorrow and February 2nd are good days to go skiing or go play in the snow. Unless you live in California, cuz we ain’t got any.

  2. driguana says:

    Lone Survivor was filmed in Santa Fe…let us know how it is….may be on my list…at least some of the scenery should be good.

  3. Somebody says:

    Perhaps Lone Survivor is popular because people hunger for something that makes them proud of their country? I know the bash the USA first meme is really popular in progressive circles, but it’s really not popular with the majority of citizens. Maybe it’s just me, but when reading that piece I kept thinking about the end of the Carter years and malaise. No matter what you may think about Reagan nobody can deny he was successful in changing the national psyche.

  4. Lulu says:

    My daughter is hosting three girlfriends from college this weekend. All three thought they would get great jobs in NY, Chicago and LA. They graduated in May 2012 from the University of Texas. Shit low paying jobs and not nice people have made them homesick. All three are trying to move back to Texas because it is economically and socially difficult where they went. Oikophobia is not as cool as it once was and is frequently outgrown after college. All three are smart, really attractive young women who aren’t as progressive as they were 20 months ago.

    • DeniseVB says:

      My first thought, wow, those girls have jobs in those difficult job markets ! Second thought, Sex and the City is fiction 🙂 Most young girls starting out tend to think that’s how life is in the big city, in today’s NYC rental market Carrie’s apt (location and size) would be about $4500/mo. It was indeed a culture shock when my daughter moved there. 3 roommates in a 2-bedroom walk up in the craphole lower East Side was 3k/month about 12 years ago. Definitely not for the thin-skinned. 😀

      • Lulu says:

        The one working in NYC lives in NJ. The job she has is at an ad agency and she is a flunky. The one in Chicago is an accountant and the people she works with are mean and nasty she says. The girl in LA has had her car stolen repeatedly and she thinks the dating scene is “repulsive” (I am not sure what that means). All three miss the Texas climate in which they grew up. Sometimes you have to move away to appreciate what you had. I think they are not making much and miss the standard of living in which they grew up. And they miss Texas guys who are pretty nice. My daughter has been telling them it is ok to come home after trying new things.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Other than L.A. I think the other two cities are worth hanging in there for. (Unless you’re a Kardasian, L.A. sucks, I’ve lived there, 2 of my kids were born there, so it could have been post-partum depression too 😉 )

          Of course you can go home again, I’ve never experienced Texas, but everyone I know who has, loved it. I was just reading one of those lists, you know the best of/worst of, Denton TX was #1 Best Small Town in America. I love small towns! So I got on Zillow……..I play my version of Fantasy Real Estate 😀

        • Lulu says:

          Denton is a college town near Dallas. So you have a big city nearby plus a nice small town. One of the prettiest small cities in Texas is Tyler. I would live there. The problem with Texas is the climate which is harsh. I have never lived anywhere else except for short periods and even I find it too much sometimes.

        • DeniseVB says:

          I’m not sure how my kids ended up in NYC and Denver, they were raised as special snowflakes in coastal Virginia. Beach, surf, lifeguards and really never knew how to drive in snow. Now they have second jobs as a ski instructor and figure/hockey skating coach. Come to think of it, they’ve always had two jobs. One to pay the rent and one for the beer and pretzel money 🙂

          Hub and I did look at San Antonio for awhile. Weird reason, a desert tortoise we rehabbed for 25 years was taken in by our local zoo then transferred to the SA zoo. We wanted to be close to her. Didn’t go over well with the kiddoes….LOL.

  5. 1539days says:

    It isn’t just winter movies. I used the example last year of Elysium vs. We’re the Millers. Elysium was this socialist fantasy about how the rich were going to live in the sky while the poor would toil and die on a polluted earth. In ended up making less than its budget in US ticket sales but had good domestic box office because they just saw Matt Damon blow shit up.

    We’re the Millers was a pot comedy which indirectly promoted the value of family and made the DEA heroes. It had a budget of $37 million, made $150 million domestically and $120 million overseas. Total global ticket sales were just $16 million less than Elysium for a movie that cost $80 million less to make.

  6. The Klown says:
  7. votermom says:

    Another leftocrat eyeing the WH

  8. The Klown says:
    • This is what gets me:

      Larson was a child protective services supervisor at the time and was the boy’s legal guardian.

      That shit doesn’t happen here. If you work for DCS (what CPS falls under) you can’t care for kids in any other capacity. You can privately adopt children, but you cannot foster or adopt wards of the state. And that’s how it should be for exactly this kind of reason. In addition, it’s a total conflict of interest, and subject to abuse of privilege.

  9. foxyladi14 says:

    Cluck Cluck!!! 😯

  10. helenk3 says:

    the movie Lone Survivor really seems to have the left up in arms doesn’t it. The true story of 4 men, every day Americans that found extra ordinary strength and did their duty with three of them giving their all and one left to tell the story. They were and are all they could be. Why the that scare the left so much? maybe because they worship whimps and shitbags instead of those strong enough to do what they have to do?
    the complaining about the movie does say a lot about the left and it is not good.
    I can remember a time when these heroes would have gotten the respect they deserve from all Americans and it is very sad that that time no longer exists

  11. 1539days says:

    I’m looking at Robert Reich’s interpretation of the problem with Kansas and it really is a misread of what is in people’s best interests. What Reich can’t admit is that most of what government now does kills jobs. The left brings up decades-old programs like Social Security and Unemployment, but doesn’t bring up the taxes and regulations added on a regular basis, all of which have to be reviewed by every business for fear of being shut down. They’ll talk about OSHA and pollution, but not about frivolous regulations that are given the same weight as important ones just because regulators need something to do.

    People’s faith in government is equal to the ability of government to be worthy of that faith.

  12. r u reddy says:

    Reich supported the NAFTA and the WTO and the MFN for China which dropped wages, weakened unions, exported jobs, etc.

    I never read What’s the Matter With Kansas? Only reviews of it. I get the feeling that Franks’s title was ironic. It is a quote of what all the better-off cultural/lifestyle liberals were asking about Kansas. If the reviews themselves understood Franks correctly, he was saying that millions of cultural conservatives voted for Democrats when Democrats were still New Deal/ Fair Deal oriented and defended the economic and political interests of culturally conservative Democratic voting citizens. When the Newer Democrats betrayed the economic survival interests of working people and families by supporting Free Trade, de-regulation of banking and derivatives-trading and etc.; working class Democratic voters realized the Democratic Party was their enemy now. Since the Free Trade Democrats now attacked working class economic survival just as as much as the Free Trade Republicans had, and the Republicans at least honored the culture and standards of conservative Democratic voters, those voters reasonably supported the party which at least honored their culture.
    That is what I understood Franks to be saying.

    • 1539days says:

      Now we have have the military industrial complex Democrats who tell us domestic spying is for our own good and you’re a racist traitor for being against Obama’s nonsensical foreign policy.

    • The Klown says:

      The main thrust of WTMWK is “Why do those stupid rednecks insist on voting for the wrong people?

  13. 49erDweet says:

    In honor of Caturday this:
    Apologies if it’s a repeat, but it’s IMO worth it.

  14. The Klown says:
  15. mothy67 says:

    Looks like Our Lady of Perpetual Contoversy aka Madonna used the n word on I n s t a g r a m. Something tells me she won’t be treated like Paula Dean.

  16. helenk3 says:

    backtrack again vows to rule by degree.
    this is something that is not getting enough attention.
    nobody in congress seems to have the guts to stand up to him. the courts have become a whimpering sick joke.

    • 1539days says:

      The Congress can always invalidate an executive order, but Prince of Darkness Harry would never do so in the Senate. The only option the House has is to cut spending off. Somehow, Obama is getting stuff done while Boehner is a bully.

  17. DeniseVB says:

    My new blog is up 🙂 Funny how I could wrap myiq,koffler and Motus in my head, and it’s was a good thing 🙂

  18. 1539days says:

    Aside from the delusional, the interesting part about Joan Walsh’s apparently glee over Ted Cruz is that he’s been supposedly defeated by not having a vote to defund Obamacare. She wouldn’t, for example, credit him with being bipartisan. The people who whine about partisan politics really want to turn moderates to the left and ostracize the conservatives. In her case, Cruz is one of those to be ostracized.

    The truth is even funnier, however. Republicans do not want to stop the runaway Obamacare train from running over Democrats in November. That’s why they want Cruz to stand down until a month before the election. The March deadline for enrollment is also known as the last day to sign up for an expensive health insurance plan rather than pay the $95 and up poll tax on every man woman and child in America.

    • Lulu says:

      Cruz has clearly and repeatedly said that he wants Obamacare defunded and repealed because it is HARMING people. It is also about to blow up the health insurance industry and by default the healtcare delivery system. If this is what Joan Walsh wants then she should just say so. The Republicans who want it to blow up and harm people are not a lot better than Joan Walsh but at least they can say they want voters to learn a lesson on paying attention to who they elect.

      • The Klown says:

        I don’t know that any Republicans WANT it to blow up and harm people, I think they are like me and just expect it will, and they don’t see any incentive for themselves to save Barry’s bacon.

    • The Klown says:

      They don’t mind him standing up and speaking out, because that way they can say “We told you so!” They just don’t want him to fight too hard.

  19. helenk3 says:

    Judge Jeanine Pirro is on fire tonight over the Benghazi report. when the video becomes available it is a must see

  20. DandyTIger says:

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