Friday, April 22, 2011

John McCain is in Libya

He's riding around in an armored Mercedes and calling the rebels his heroes.

He's the Obama administration version of an unmanned drone.

It's time to retire, Sen. McCain.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review of "Atlas Shrugged Part I"

I found myself wondering what it would be like if I didn't know the book so well as I watched "Atlas Shrugged Part I" yesterday.

It was the second day of the movie's release, the matinee feature on a Saturday afternoon. A month or so ago the movie had only been booked into about a dozen theaters. It opened Friday in about three hundred theaters. Reports were that the first showings were selling out everywhere.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that the theater at Hundred Oaks here in Nashville had it showing in two of its twenty-seven theaters and that by showtime, even for a matinee, nearly every seat was taken.

I had read that the movie, independently produced, was low-budget at $15 million. (Coincidentally I watched a documentary recently about the making of "Dr. Zhivago" in 1965. Its $15 million budget was considered outlandish!) Some critics have panned the film for not having the production values that a more expensive undertaking would have.

But I was immediately disabused of the notion that the story suffered from the film's budget. The opening scenes cleverly update Ayn Rand's 50's story smack into the here and now. The urgency of struggling to make a difference as an individual against a tide of social rot is swiftly introduced in the superbly cast and acted characters of Dagny Taggart and Henry Reardon and Ellis Wyatt. And the rot is richly represented by Dagny's spineless brother James, Henry's despicably materialistic wife Lillian and especially the very personification of all things lobbyistic, Wesley Mouch.

It's right after the opening, and before Dagny starts working on her own railroad, that the film stumbles a bit. That's where I was really wondering how someone unfamiliar with the story from reading the book could stay involved. The book takes its time, patiently assembling numerous character type to exemplify the looters and moochers and the producers and to complicate the plot, but the movie has to gallop through a lot of that. I think the movie could have been stronger by having fewer characters in the first half and instead focusing only on a hand full.

But once Dagny starts building her railroad, the movie takes off like the high speed train she's fixing to run on it. And by the time the end suddenly comes, you want more, more, more!

And especially, you want to know who the heck is John Galt?

Let's hope we get part 2, soon.

To see scenes from the movie and to find a theater showing it near you, visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site.

Ok, Maybe Boehner Not Da Man

I think I've heard every possible side of the supposed budget cut deal from last week. That it in fact stops $39 billion in government spending this year, that it in fact will only result in something over $250 million in savings, that Obama got clocked, that Boehner got clocked... and I now have no idea what the truth of the matter is.

Regardless of all that, I was at best premature in declaring John Boehner "Da Man" in my entry last week.

I am really not sure what to think of John Boehner. Personally I admire him for his Horation Alger life and his clear love of country. Although I think men crying publicly is generally pathetic, I think his tears are sincere and people are small to mock him or belittle him for it.

On the other hand I cannot get away from a nagging feeling that he is compromised. There have been rumors for months in the leftist media that he has had affairs that are chronically on the verge of being exposed in the New York Times. The way he acts makes me think that someone on the other side may indeed be holding that sword over his head. For he talks tough, seems to push hard, but then the results are always ambiguous.

It's as if he sat down with Obama and Obama said, "Ok, John, I know you've got to placate the Tea Party. You've got to actually look like you're winning the fight from time to time. If not, you the freshmen reps won't let you keep the leadership. But you cannot actually win the fight. If you do, I will let the dogs out about your personal life and destroy you. So we will make deals that make it look like you won to your side and make it look like I won to my side. That we you keep your Speakership and I keep my agenda afloat. Deal? Deal."

Donald Trump recently said that if it turns out Obama has deceived the nation about his birth legitimacy it will go down as one of the greatest con jobs in history.

If it turns out John Boehner is sacrificing political effectiveness for personal honor at this crucial point, it will go down as one of the greatest personal failures in history.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You Da Man, John Boehner.

From what I can see, no matter how the Obama administration tries to spin it, John Boehner played his hand perfectly in the budget negotiations last week.

Calmly, repeatedly to the point of inanity, Boehner declared that a government shutdown was not an option, yet he held out against Harry Reid and Barack Obama's ridiculous defense of support for genocide in the form of Planned Parenthood funding as an excuse for refusing to lower the federal budget.

In doing so, even to those in the middle who might otherwise be fooled by the Democrats' claim that funding the abortion mills was a defense of "women's health rights," the President and his comrades looked hypocritical, shallow, and worst of all, like the petty, conniving liars that they are.

New polling indicates that even Obama's blind support among blacks is finally eroding. Millions of Americans who work in the private sector and have generally liked the idea of Obama as president found little sympathy for the government and union workers whose unproductive jobs an ever-increasing federal budget protects. They've lived the reality of the constricted free market, the jobs lost, the business owners working long hours with diminished staff and shrinking sales. They might not yet blame government policy for it, but they know something's not right when the Feds just keep adding bureaucrats and IRS agents. All while so many of us are writing checks shelling unbelievable amounts of tax this week and wondering, what the hell am I getting back for this? And why the hell are so many of my fellow citizens not paying taxes and taking so much from the public till?

$39 billion is just a drop in the bucket and a long way from the goalposts that Congressman Paul Wright's real debt reduction plan puts in sight. The Obama administration has still got our backs against our own goal line. But by holding firm this past week, John Boehner has put us back in the possession of the ball and given us confidence in our quarterback.

You da man, John Boehner.