My co-bloggers have dismissed "Silver Linings Playbook" as a long shot for Best Picture, and I'm thinking.... they're wrong. It's almost impossible to avoid falling in love with this movie. Like "Moonstruck," people will buy copies of "Playbook" and watch it for years to come. It brings back the sheer, unabashed joy of movie watching, and in Hollywood, that's gotta be worth something. So I'm gonna go with heart over head.
DeNiro? No way he doesn't get Best Supporting Actor for this. And scarily good Jennifer Lawrence will also bring home the Oscar. Bradley Cooper was simply wonderful (I had no idea he was quite this talented). Will he win? Hollywood loves it when an actor steps out of typecasting, and for someone whose previous biggest hit was "The Hangover," this portrayal qualifies. So we'll see.
This movie is worth seeing just for the scene where DeNiro cries. When he tries to connect with his son, he reminded me so much of my dad -- but more importantly, he reminded everyone of their dad. (I noticed more than a few heaving male shoulders in the audience after the scene.)
I got a kick out of the locations, by the way. That's Bradley Cooper jogging down the main street of the town where I raised my kids, and the infamous diner scene takes place in the Llanerch Diner, where one of my kids worked. (And where the powerful Republican leader used to hold his morning meetings.)
And if it doesn't win? Ah, so what. Sooner or later, you'll see it and love it.
Needless to say, it would have been very, very bad news for the Democrats if the motion to proceed to debate on their health care plan had failed tonight. But I'm not sure how newsworthy this really is. The potential hold-outs, like Lincoln and Ben Nelson, are going to have much greater leverage later on, when the bill nears its second major procedural hurdle: the cloture motion to proceed to the final vote.
And there's some bad news for Democrats too: Lincoln has joined Senators Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman in making a fairly explicit threat to filibuster a bill that contains a public option. Mary Landrieu, on the other hand, sounds a little bit more open to compromise. But this impromptu Gang of 3 -- Lincoln, Nelson, Lieberman -- could be a tough one for progressives to penetrate.
Yeah, it's going to be ugly by the time they get done dealing away any real hope of competition for the insurance companies. I'm not optimistic about the short-term results here and I have to keep muttering to myself that this will be good for our children and grandchildren - probably.
There literally is no end to the extent by which Republican politicians will lie, distort, and manufacture statements in their efforts to disrupt, deny, and destroy the Obama administration's attempts to govern. At today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on 9/11 trial, the Fort Hood shooter, and terrorism, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) decided to flip-flop on the designation of the Gitmo detainees. Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war"?
SESSIONS: The enemy, who could of been obliterated on the battlefield on one day, but was captured instead does not then become a common American criminal. They are first a prisoner of war, once they're captured. The laws of war say, as did Lincoln and Grant, that the prisoners will not be released when the war - until the war ends. How absurb is it to say that we will release people who plan to attack us again?
Sessions seems to be saying that because these detainees were captured by the military, they have become prisoners of war and should not be released - even if found not guilty or after serving a prison term (assuming less than a life sentence) - until the "war on terror" is over (which, under a Republican point of view, will never be over). But on the other hand, SecDef Don Rumsfeld and the other fun-loving bunch of Bushites were very firm about NOT calling them "prisoners of war" because they were not supposed to get rights under the Geneva Convention (or any other form of legal writs - see waterboarding, justification of).
In fact, as one of the commenters at the TPM post notes, there was public law developed to explicitly designate any non-US citizen who was accused of supporting terrorism or acting against the United States as a terrorist as being eligible for military commissions.
I thought like you until I read this, from the Military Commissions Act: "‘(e) Geneva Conventions Not Establishing Private Right of Action- No alien unprivileged enemy belligerent subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a basis for a private right of action."
This discussion becomes quickly complex with legal passages as a debate over whether the military tribunals should take KSM or if the federal court system has adequate jurisdiction. But it's just so interesting how Republican politicians adroitly jump back and forth as to the question of the detainees' status to how it best fits their argument of the day - are we talking about Geneva convention rights, or are we talking about the process of legal courts?
"I guess when the Right/GOP can say, print (Palin's myth filled book), promote anything without any accountability by the Beltway Press, the GOP has no need for intellectually honest consistency in their claims."
Question: Has Obama succeeded on his promise of being a “post-partisan” President?
Rick Perlstein: Well, the problem with Obama’s post-partisan agenda is that he came into it. He came into his presidency at a time when millions of Americans, perhaps even tens of millions of Americans don’t consider a Democrat president legitimate. Don’t consider liberalism legitimate. Don’t consider the idea of the state forming new programs to help people legitimate. So, he’s in a situation a lot like, you know, Abraham Lincoln faced in 1860 when you had millions of Americans who didn’t even consider what was going in Washington to have anything to do with them.
Yep. And the mainstream right-wing media is explicitly promoting the view that Obama is not a legitimate president.
I just turned on CSPAN 3 and Chuck Schumer is speaking and wondering why Republicans are soo afraid of a public option and is talking about his amendment. He said he actually liked Sen. Rockefeller's amendment better, but he's pushing his amendment. He should be scolding members of his own party for voting against the public option.
Here are the five ConservaDems who voted against the public option earlier:
Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln, Carper and Nelson.
Another vote is due shortly. We will not stay silent. The House of Lords are more interested in their own power than helping the American people.
It looks like Ben Nelson is voting for Schumer's amendment.
The more conservative Chuck Schumer public option amendment was just voted down 13-10.
Two votes flipped, Nelson and Carper, but Baucus, Lincoln and Conrad voted against it. Good doggies.
Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) lashed out Friday at the ads being run against his position on health care reform in his home state, saying they would backfire -- and might even derail the entire reform process.
In a statement issued late in the afternoon by Nelson's office, spokesman Jake Thompson warned that if the new series of ads calling out the Senator's "stalling" on reform were "an indication of the politics going into August, then health care reform may be dead by the end of August."
"Nebraskans don't need outside special interest groups telling them what to think. Senator Nelson has nothing but praise for Nebraska groups working toward health care reform. Unfortunately, he says, these outside groups undermine the sincere and dedicated efforts of people in our state," Thompson wrote. "Recently, similar ads have run in Nebraska. Those ads by other special interests prompted hundreds of Nebraskans to call our offices, with 9 to 1 urging Senator Nelson to do exactly the opposite of what the special interest group wanted. In short, the ads backfired."
Politicians who dare to say that they will kill health care because the American people want change just proves our point about the gasbags that reside in Washington that rule our country for themselves and not for the people they were elected to represent.
They seem to think that the support they got in 2006 and beyond is going to keep them up if they just have a (D) behind their names. Conservative democrats who obstruct meaningful progress in Washington are the political equivalent of Bush Republicans, and they’ll be treated that way.
Do your job, Senator.
We will not back down and we will not go away. Blanche Lincoln will hear from us shortly too.
On January 28, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, introduced H. Con. Res. 34, a resolution "Calling upon the Capitol Preservation Commission and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol to place the Lincoln-Obama Bible on permanent display upon the Lincoln table at the Capitol Visitor Center for the benefit of all its visitors to fully understand and appreciate America's history and Godly heritage."
Now, I have no objection whatsoever to this Bible being displayed in the Capitol Visitors Center. It is an historical fact that this was the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used at his second inauguration, and an historical fact that Barack Obama chose to use this same Bible at his inauguration, so displaying it on the table used to hold it at Lincoln's inauguration, which is already in the exhibit, and adding a sign saying that Obama also used it, is absolutely appropriate. I don't think anyone could reasonably disagree that the symbolism of our first black president incorporating in his inauguration this connection to the president who freed the slaves is something that should be seen by future generations visiting the Capitol, and putting the Bible on the table used to hold it at Lincoln's inauguration would add to the accuracy of the exhibit's recreation of that event.
What I do object to in H. Con. Res. 34 are some of the reasons given by Forbes for displaying the Bible, in both the resolution's title and its "Whereas" clauses, the most objectionable of which is:
"Whereas the Holy Bible is God's Word"
This is nothing but a sneaky way of getting the Congress of the United States to declare that the Christian Bible is the word of God, which, of course, for many Americans, it is not. This "Whereas" should be struck from the resolution entirely.
That whole "Separation of Church and State" clause really is soooo hard to grasp, isn't it? Rodda has since introduced HR 397 affirming our "rich spiritual and religious history" and designating the first week of May as "America’s Spiritual Heritage Week". He also issued a challenge to Obama or any takers to debate when we stopped being a Judeo-Christian nation:
"I challenge the president or anyone else -- come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation -- and you can't do it."
Mr. Forbes, just name the time and place -- your turf, my turf (up here in NJ-6), DC, or anywhere else -- and let's debate your resolution clause by clause and see how well that very impressive looking list of footnotes you keep boasting about stands up to scrutiny.
I'll be sending a registered, return receipt letter to Mr. Forbes's office formally accepting his challenge to make sure he knows that I, as an "anyone else," have stepped up to accept it.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Forbes's "spiritual heritage" resolution, it's a re-introduction of H. Res. 888, the "religious heritage" resolution he introduced in the last congress. In a series of pieces last year, I debunked the dozens of instances of historical fiction in that resolution, and thanks to the efforts of a few organizations and a whole bunch of bloggers who joined in the fight, H. Res. 888 never made it to the floor. But, a few months ago, outraged over President Obama's statement in Turkey that America is not a Christian nation, Mr. Forbes reintroduced the same resolution as H. Res. 397. It currently has 74 co-sponsors.
I recently re-posted my debunking of H. Res. 888, as soon as I saw that Mr. Forbes had re-introduced it as H. Res. 397, so, if anyone wants more details about the resolution, or to see why I'm thrilled that he has issued a challenge for someone to debate him on it, you can find it here.
You can contact Forbes here to encourage him to schedule the debate. Better yet, let's get it up on video and we'll be happy to air it here.
Politicians of both parties routinely paraphrase Abraham Lincoln's mantra that "my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side." But in fighting his own civil war to hold onto office, disgraced South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has turned Lincoln's maxim on its head. Proclaiming in an opinion piece Sunday that He will make him "a better and more effective leader," Sanford in essence declared God is on his side.
Sanford's misappropriation of the Almighty was featured prominently is his latest apology to Palmetto State residents. Among the lowlights:
"It is true that I did wrong and failed at the largest of levels, but equally true is the fact that God can make good of our respective wrongs in life. In this vein, while none of us has the chance to attend our own funeral, in many ways I feel like I was at my own in the past weeks, and surprisingly I am thankful for the perspective it has afforded...
It's in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader."
By "changing me," Mark Sanford does not mean steering clear of the C Street residence in Washington, an apparent den of iniquity which produced fellow Republican adulterers John Ensign and Chip Pickering. Instead, he seems to suggest God apparently will provide the playbook for Sanford's political survival.