Shocked and Persuaded

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Separating Fact From Fiction

Really?

The last couple of days have revealed the feckless shell-game nature of society today. On the one hand along the left-hand coast of the Atlantic you have Barack (Hussein!) Obama having to acquiesce to the birthers and their patron saint Donald Trump in making a big show of his public presentation of a long-form birth certificate. And everywhere else you have the drooling nature of people’s incomprehensibly embarrassing infatuation with Kate and William’s wedding.

There are moments when you realize that for the most part we get what we pay for with respect to politics, fiscal/monetary policy, energy, agriculture, etc.

President Obama actually having to acknowledge the birthers and the silly nature of our obsession over the marriage of two excessively privileged and subsidized young people is one of those moments.

It is true that we need comedic distractions from all the bad news and for that I thank the Republicans for their many comical presidential candidates. But this short-term obsession with the unimportant is preventing us from debating and solving the long-term structural issues that will face our kids and our kid’s kids.

The US Fed’s chairman Ben Bernanke presided over the first press conference in Fed history answering some very probative questions. These are the types of questions our politicians should be asking of Dr. Bernanke. But they don’t because they know we are consumed with birth certificates and celebrity weddings.

As I noted in a post on The Times website:

“When the most “left” of senators Bernie Sanders and “right” of congressmen agree you know the only solution is to “End The Fed”. It is an opaque cabal that will not receive more sunlight by simply holding regular press conferences. Politicians do the same all the time and they are as crooked as the day is long. These 2 men are the most honest members of congress and take as little money as is possible from Wall Street and this country’s socially irresponsible corporations. They don’t trust The Fed and with men like Alan Greenspan running the show I don’t either. Ben Bernanke is a decent man and an extremely smart man but he took on the wrong job for such a man. End The Fed!”

2.8% and 170,000

These are the two numbers Wisconsin man-child Republican Congressman Paul Ryan is touting for his “A Roadmap for America’s Future: Version 2.0”. The first has to do with what he and the Heritage Foundation project will be the rate of US unemployment and the latter is what his manifesto says will be average US economic growth per capita by 2083 or put more magically a nearly four-fold increase over current US GDP per capita (See Page 30).

These are nonsense numbers and the kinds of voodoo economics that convinces “middle America” that Republicans like Ryan are on their side when as point of fact he and his fellow Wisconsin governor Scott Walker have no problem putting out this kind of BS with one hand while simultaneously taking in the largess of the Koch Brothers with their other hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Revised Oscar Pix

Best Picture: Inception
Best Director: Darren Aronosfky
Best Actor: OK so I wanted to pick Colin Firth but i am going with Javier Bardem in an upset
Best Actress: Natalie Portman
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale
Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter
Original Screeplay: Inception
Adapted Screenplay: Winter’s Bone
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful (In all fairness this is the only one I saw!)
Animated Feature: What it should be if Hollywood was not about the mega-movie “The Illusionist” (i.e., My Pick!)>>>What it will be because it is “Toy Story 3”
Original Score: Inception
Original Song: Don’t know any of them
Art Direction: Inception
Cinematography: Inception in a route!
Costume Design: The King’s Speech
Makeup: Don’t know any of them
Documentary: Inside Job
Sound Mixing: Inception
Sound Editing: Inception
Visual Effects: Inception
Film Editing: Black Swan

Oscar Pix

My Oscar Picks for 2010-2011. Keep in mind I have not seen Biutiful yet and from all previews and reviews it sounds like a winner on many fronts including Javier as Best Actor.

Picture: Inception
Director: David O. Russell (Although I would write-in Mike Nolan for Inception)
Actor: Colin Firth (ALTHOUGH I have a feeling I would choose Bardem as Biutiful looks awesome)
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (Although John Hawkes was brilliant)
Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld
Best Adapted Screenplay: Winter’s Bone
Best Original Screenplay: Inception
Foreign Language: Haven’t seen any yet
Documentary: Inside Job (easiest pick for me)
Animated: haven’t seen any
Cinematography: Inception
Editing: Haven’t seen DVD extra scenes yet!! Worst Editing The Social Network for not editing out the entire movie and sparring us all!!
Best Art: Inception
Costume: True Grit
Makeup: who knows
Original Score: The King’s Speech
Best Original Song: Don’t know any of them
Best Sound: Inception
Best Sound Editing: Inception
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Animated Short: Haven’t seen any
Best Live Action Short: Haven’t seen any
Best Documentary Short: Haven’t seen any