Thursday, August 19, 2010

Joe v. O ('12)

Joe Versus The Volcano (1990) was apparently Tom Hanks' 19th movie, but it doesn't seem to be well known.

"Joe" seems to serve as a morality tale with perhaps a potential prophecy for the politics of our day (not exactly following the sequence of the plot...):

2008 - Joe jumps into a volcano (Patricia: "Nobody knows anything, Joe. We'll take this leap, and we'll see. We'll jump, and we'll see. That's life, right?"): Unknown Barack Obama is elected U.S. president;

2009-2010 - The opening sequence is accompanied by the song "Sixteen tons...and deeper in debt," as we observe Joe and countless other zombie-like workers file into a miserable factory: in the midst of "the greatest recession since the Great Depression," Obama and the Democratic majority manage to increase the federal deficit to $13T, 10% of the U.S. GDP ("Sixteen Tons" refrain: "I owe my soul to the company store");

2010 - Joe realizes he's been suffering from a "brain cloud," and "fires" his boss (i.e., Joe quits; [spoiler alert:] in the movie, it turns out the "brain cloud" isn't real; in any event, Joe's been duped: Patricia, again: "My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement."): midterm elections toss incumbents out as "Tea Party" candidates sweep into power;

2012 - Waking up from "Brain Cloud, Part II" -- hmm, what a coincidence -- it takes Joe 4 1/2 years to wake up: Obama is a one-term president.

Here's the scene where Joe "fires" his boss (Warning: 3 profanities/some crudity):

Spoiler: Joe "wakes up," survives his jump into the volcano, a terrible storm, and has an amazing adventure; he finds true love and meaning in his life (with Patricia, no surprise), and lives happily ever after.

Could fiction repeat itself in real life? I dunno. We'll jump, and we'll see.

Operation Iraqi Freedom - um, we won the war?

Interesting, notably quiet (in the MSM) end of combat troops in Iraq: the last combat brigade pulled out of Iraq this week. Hmm. There's still a lot of work to do. As Blackfive notes, Clausewitz taught that war is the continuation of politics by other means. Blackfive: "We are [now] moving from war to a very tense political environment." Read the whole thing.

This was "Bush's war." Wonder if President Obama will have anything to say on the subject. Probably not. How can you blame Bush for winning?

The perils of praise

Bob Wiley in "What About Bob" re Dr. Leo Marvin: "We can't even try to understand him. He's so much higher up than us. We're like ropes on a Goodyear blimp."

Jennifer Rubin calls out our "brilliant" and "coldly rational" president. Too good, so here's the whole thing:
Attempting to explain the Ground Zero mosque blunder, Margaret Carlson argues that Obama is too smart for us: “He is so supremely confident in his intellect that he forgets, on his way to the correct decision, to slow down and pick up not-so-gifted stragglers.” Well, supremely confident but not so smart. Does he truly not get the distinction between constitutional rights and moral persuasion? Does he not understand that an imam who can’t denounce Hamas, insists America is complicit in 9/11, and won’t disclose whether state sponsors of terror are funding his project isn’t seeking reconciliation?

To be blunt, Obama suffers from a lifetime of others excessively praising his intellect. It insulates him from ideas and facts that conflict with his pre-existing liberal rubric (so “every economist” believed his stimulus would work). It leaves him unprepared to engage in real debate with informed opponents (e.g. the health-care summit). It skews his understanding of how geopolitics works, as he imagines that his own wonderfulness can sway adversaries and override nations’ fundamental interests (the Middle East). Is he as well read as George W. Bush? As intellectually creative as Bill Clinton? As grounded in history as Harry Truman? Let’s get some perspective here.

But Carlson does get it partially right:
His coldly rational comments on the mosque were reminiscent of his remark during the campaign about people in struggling small towns who “cling to guns or religion,” or of when he said police had “acted stupidly” in arresting Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his own house during a burglary investigation. The Obama mindset is dismissive of those who have never sipped espresso in the faculty lounge. Anyone who lets emotion creep in where Obama has let reason reign is wrong.
It’s a deadly combination — intellectual arrogance and lack of sympatico with the public — that leads him again and again to stumble. And when his shortcomings lead to embarrassment or failure, he strikes out in frustration — at Israel, at the media, and at the American people. The image of himself clashes with the results he achieves and the reaction he inspires. No wonder he’s so prickly. You’d be, too, if everyone your entire life had told you that you were swell but now, when the chips are down and the spotlight is on, you are failing so badly in your job.

Who are you calling extreme, extremist?

The Dems and out-of-touch political elites can talk trash. Americans can say, "Scoreboard." November 2nd we'll all check the score:

Getting-Old "Spice"

"Look at your country. Now back to me. Now back to your country. Now back to me. I promised 'hope and change.' But look at your hand. It's empty. Now back to mine. See all that money you earned slipping through my fingers as the federal deficit is nearly 10% of gross domestic product, and unemployment has held steady at nearly 10%. You wish Bush was the man you could be with. But it's all about me. I'm on Air Force One ... criss-crossing the country at your expense to raise money for Democratic candidates who are in trouble for passing legislation you didn't want and spending your great-grandchildren's inheritance. Then I'm off to Martha's Vineyard for my sixth hard-earned vacation of the year. 'Yes I can!'
"I'm on a high horse."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

10 Key Reasons Obama Presidency is in Meltdown

Nile Gardiner in UK's Telegraph counts the ways.
The last few weeks have been a nightmare for President Obama, in a summer of discontent in the United States which has deeply unsettled the ruling liberal elites, so much so that even the Left has begun to turn against the White House. While the anti-establishment Tea Party movement has gained significant ground and is now a rising and powerful political force to be reckoned with, many of the president’s own supporters as well as independents are rapidly losing faith in Barack Obama, with open warfare breaking out between the White House and the left-wing of the Democratic Party. While conservatism in America grows stronger by the day, the forces of liberalism are growing increasingly weaker and divided.

Against this backdrop, the president’s approval ratings have been sliding dramatically all summer, with the latest Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll of US voters dropping to minus 22 points, the lowest point so far for Barack Obama since taking office. While just 24 per cent of American voters strongly approve of the president’s job performance, almost twice that number, 46 per cent, strongly disapprove. According to Rasmussen, 65 per cent of voters believe the United States is going down the wrong track, including 70 per cent of independents.
Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

ObamaCare Illustrated

If this ISN'T a true picture, the administration has failed to provide it. Which, perhaps accounts for why nearly 60% of Americans (according to a CNN poll in March 2010) oppose it. May also help account for why the president's approval rating is at an all-time low of 41% according to a USA Today/Gallup poll yesterday (2 Aug 10):

Hat tip to Texas Congressman Kevin Brady for providing the link.