Parody Trailer: Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark ThirtyWhile making dinner, I was watching The Rachel Maddow Show. A commercial came on for the film Zero Dark Thirty, which readers of this site will know is a torture apologia and what looks like a typical Hollywood action film. It has also been attacked by three Senators as being “grossly inaccurate.”

The commercial had scenes from the movie with periodic quotes from all the idiot critics who are heaping praise on the film. I thought: what if instead, we had quotes from the knowledgeable political commentators who have attacked the the film. So I did it, and here it is:

I’m more proud of this than any of the videos I have done, which doesn’t say that much. But this came out exactly the way I envisioned. If you like it, give me a thumbs up over on YouTube. If you don’t like it, fuck off!

Funny Conversation

Francis: What’s your zip code?

Andrea: I don’t know. I have to look it up.

Francis: Just give me a zip code near you!

Andrea: Of course know my own zip code!

Francis: [Pause to think] Fuck you.

Gone! The Republicans Fold

Eric CantorEric Cantor would like you to know that he isn’t giving up. It is just that they can’t solve all the country’s budget problems in one month. But four months? No problem! And you know that he’s serious: he included the new Republican catch phrase, “No budget, no pay.” I’ve got shivers.

For those of you not up on that stuff (And why would you be given all the news about Algeria?), the Republicans came out of their retreat with a great new idea: let’s raise the Debt Ceiling for a little while—three months. They claim that they are only doing this so that they can have time to fix the budget, but this is bullshit. I’m sure there are two factions here. The more reasonable Republicans think this is a way of easing into their inevitable loss. The other Republicans think this is a way to put off the confrontation until the optics are better.

The House leadership is making a big deal of the fact that they have passed a budget but the Senate has not. Of course, the House budget was just Ryan’s plan with all its magic asterisks. But note that this is no longer a fight with the President. The House leadership seem to have decided that it can’t be won. Why they think they are going to do better with the Senate, I do not know.

Greg Sargent argues that the Debt Ceiling is now dead and that the House Republicans have moved on to the upcoming budget vote to use as leverage. He even quotes a GOP aide who said that the House “may need a shutdown [of the government] just to get it out of their system.” That’s certainly true. I do think we will see a government shutdown, but that isn’t that bad as long as it doesn’t last long. And it is another opportunity for the Republicans to make themselves look bad.

I think there is another thing going on here. By pushing the Debt Ceiling back a couple of months, the Republicans put themselves in a position to use whatever deal they strike with the Democrats over the sequester as a reason to claim victory and raise the Debt Ceiling for a longer time period. But make no mistake, even though this is great news, the Republicans remain as big a problem as ever. There really is a drag on our economy, but it isn’t regulation; it is the Republican Party.

Afterword

The title of this article is a reference to an article I wrote yesterday, Republican Hostage Plans Going, Going…

Forget the Kids. Are Your Guns Safe?

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Hammers. Knives. Cars. Rope. Poison. All of those things, in the hands of a crazy person, can certainly kill people. Twenty small children in a matter of seconds? No. But an automatic weapon in the hands of a crazy person, most definitely.

Basically you just need to calm the fuck down. Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Fox News, and your own paranoid delusions are not benchmarks of reality. You know the government has drones right? They don’t need to take your guns, they can just blow up your whole goddamn house. If you want to keep your outrageous weapons for your “protection” then keep them locked up. Unless you’re a crazy person with a key to the gun safe, then don’t have guns in your house. Or at the very least, stop breeding. You never know when your child might find your protection is his funeral.

Krugman on Social Security Paradox

Paul KrugmanI’ve written before about the Social Security Paradox. This is the claim of supposed budget hawks that Social Security benefit cuts may be necessary in the future so we must cut future Social Security benefits now. If that sentence sounded kind of circular and meaningless, that’s the point: it’s a paradox!

In Paul Krugman’s column today, he deals with this issue a little, The Dwindling Deficit. I’m afraid he’s he a bit more pithy than I am, “So the plan is to avoid cuts in future benefits by committing right now to … cuts in future benefits. Huh?” Huh, indeed! But he goes on to give the Very Serious Position its due:

O.K., you can argue that the adjustment to an aging population would be smoother if we commit to a glide path of benefit cuts now. On the other hand, by moving too soon we might lock in benefit cuts that turn out not to have been necessary. And much the same logic applies to Medicare. So there’s a reasonable argument for leaving the question of how to deal with future problems up to future politicians.

I like his counter argument. However, I think that he’s giving the other side too much credit. In fact, I’ve never heard the argument put that way. Instead, these entitlement cutters always take it as a given that smaller Social Security checks are a good thing in themselves. The only argument I ever hear is totally disingenuous, “If we don’t make cuts now, the program will go bankrupt!” This is not true at all. If we do nothing, Social Security will be able to pay 80% of promised benefits in perpetuity. This includes rising wages, so even in real dollars future retirees will be better off with 80% of promised benefits.

So don’t accept what all the Very Serious People say. In almost all cases, what the Very Serious People know—Just know!—is false.

Update (18 January 2013 11:31 am)

Krugman has a blog post this morning that gets more to the core of what I’m talking about. Here’s an extended, but edited, version:

Essentially the entire GOP is committed to radical policy goals that are also deeply unpopular…

One faction basically wants to use the party’s power of obstruction: threaten to provoke a crisis over the debt ceiling—in fact, do this again and again—and thereby force Obama to implement the GOP agenda.

The other faction wants to achieve the same goals by stealth. Pretend that what you’re really concerned about is debt and the fate of our children; cultivate the Very Serious People and the deficit scolds; impersonate a budget wonk; and smuggle the agenda in by dressing it in fiscal responsibility camouflage…

But there is no hint at this point that anyone in the party is willing to consider the possibility of not demanding policies the public hates.

Thank You John Mackey!

Whole Foods MarketI am very happy with John Mackey. You may have heard that the Whole Foods CEO said that he was wrong when he said that Obamacare was socialistic; he meant to say that it is more fascistic. And here’s the thing: he’s right! And do you know why it is we’re stuck with a fascistic healthcare insurance system rather than a socialistic one? Because of assholes like Mackey.

Get below the surface of fascism—its violence and racism—and you are left with crony capitalism. This is one of the reasons that I call the Republican Party proto-fascistic: they want to destroy the socialistic aspects of our government as it is applied to individuals. But they are all for corporate socialism! (There are other reasons I call them proto-fascistic, of course; like the fact that they are a racist party that governs through fear.)

So I don’t think we should get all mad at John Mackey for calling Obamacare fascistic. He should be praised for being slightly better informed than most libertarian fucktards. But if I owned stock in Whole Foods Market, I’d be very mad Mackey. The main reason is that saying such things are not good for business. They are provocative without being useful. Keep your politics out of your business—especially when a lot of your customers disagree with your politics.

But there is another reason a stock owner might be mad about Mackey. Until recently, I always assumed that Whole Foods employees were payed like Costco employees. But now I know (and I’m sure I’m not alone), that they are paid only a bit more than minimum wage to start and generally don’t get much in terms of benefits. So I’ve decided to stop shopping there.

I’m not a big fan of Whole Foods anyway. But it is super convenient for me. In order to shop at the local organic grocery store, I have to go way out of my way. But I’ll do it now. This only takes a couple hundred dollars a year away from Whole Foods. But this money should have been going to the local store anyway. So it’s a lose/win: the bad company loses and the good company wins.

So thank you, John Mackey! If it weren’t for your libertarian ranting, I would be continuing to give money to your evil enterprise.