June 13, 2010
There’s just a quickie edition of Scifi Weekend this week while I’m out of town. American viewers of Doctor Who saw the first of a two part story in which the Doctor met some beings from down under. The BBC had the doctor try to fit in among normal people, including a game of soccer. This was far more fun than the World Cup.
Next week (BBC): The Pandorica opens.
The big news of the week was reported in a separate post: Torchwood to return with a bigger budget as a joint venture between the BBC and Starz.
True Blood returns, meaning more hot vampire sex. Anna Paquin discussed her nude scenes with Entertainment Weekly:
Anna Paquin (who plays Sookie Stackhouse) is certainly used to getting naked on the show, but says the graphic love scenes are the least of her concerns. “It doesn’t really bother me,” she admits. “I’m really close with all of our cast, and we’ve all seen each other in various compromising and odd situations.” The actress is, of course, particularly close with fiancé Stephen Moyer (who plays Sookie’s vampire lover Bill), and Moyer says their real-life romance definitely adds to their love scenes. Jokes the actor, “I think that one great bonus is we don’t need a fluffer.”
June 11, 2010
Mike Huckabee wants to keep the culture wars alive and doesn’t like the suggestion from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels that the next president should drop the social issues and concentrate on fiscal problems. Huckabee responded:
Apparently, a 2012 Republican presidential prospect in an interview with a reporter has made the suggestion that the next President should call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and traditional marriage to focus on fiscal problems.
In other words, stop fighting to end abortion and don’t make protecting traditional marriage a priority.
Let me be clear though, the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and cut spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.
Are you ready to stop fighting for traditional marriage? I cannot. I will not.
Can you let the tragedy of abortion go unchecked while we get our financial house in order? I cannot. I will not.
What would the Republicans be without the culture wars–their attempt to fight the modern world and impose their religious views upon everyone else? As Joe Klein pointed out earlier this week, the whole Republican fiscal conservative line is a farce which they have neither the interest or ability to carry out. However using the power of government to impose their perverse moral code upon others is something which today’s Republican Party can stand behind.
Really cut the budget–will never happen under the borrow and spend Republicans. Have government control the bodies of women–Republicans are all for it.
Actually pay for their wars–never. Tell others who they may or may not legally marry–a “right” Republicans will fight to defend.
Conservatives like Mike Huckabee will makes sure that the American Taliban does not go away.
June 10, 2010
Earlier in the week Freddy “The Beetle” Barnes suggested in his column that Barack Obama would secretly be happy to see the Republicans take control of the House as this would make it easier to balance the budget. I’m not sure which is more ridiculous–Obama wanting to deal with a Republican-controlled Congress or to think that a party as fiscally irresponsible as the GOP would help balance the budget. Joe Klein set Barnes straight:
1. There is no way the President is rooting for a Republican takeover of the Congress, given the extremist, recalcitrant path the party has taken in recent years. The rumor that Barnes cites is nonsense.
2. The Republicans have shown no–I mean, zero–interest in cutting the budget in the past. They didn’t do it under Reagan; they didn’t do it under Bush Junior. Quite the opposite, they exploded the budget deficit with wars and tax cuts. The exception was the Clinton era, when Ross Perot’s success changed the political landscape for a few years, making budget-cutting cool. But the Republicans’ usual modus operandi is to take really courageous stands against federal funding for the arts–a huge program!–or federally-funded abortion…overseas, or earmarks (while sneaking their own pet projects into Christmas tree bills), but when a real budget-cutting proposal comes along like Rep. Paul Ryan’s honest but ridiculous Medicare evisceration, they run for the hills.
3. There ain’t all that much to cut. Really. The discretionary domestic spending that Barnes talks about is chump change. The real money, as everyone knows, is in defense and entitlements. Some leaders of the Tea Party movement, to their credit, have raised the possibility of cutting the defense budget (which, in truth, is what the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would like to do but can’t because of Congress, especially the sun belt Republicans with defense plants). Social Security can be fixed fairly easily, and Barnes is right in this case–it’s Democrats who oppose some of the more plausible fixes, like raising the retirement age (although Republicans have demagogued the essential Clinton-initiated component of taxing the benefits of wealthy Social Security recipients). And there is Medicare, where the real solution–moving recipients out of fee-for-service and into managed care–is about as popular as the oil spill.
So Barnes is peddling from an empty sack here–and, assuming an even rudimentary knowledge of the federal budget on his part, he knows it. The fact that the Journal would print such twaddle as opinion and not the utterly cynical propaganda that it is shows the marked disintegration of respect for coherent thought at that Temple of Right-Thinking. It would be nice to have an actual conversation about this stuff, but it just seems impossible.