A loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires

Steve M describes the Villager reaction to sequestration very well:

[T]his is not journalism — it’s catechism. Democrats must be wrong. Republicans can be wrong or they can be right, but Democrats must always be the real guilty parties. This is an inviolate tenet of the Beltway faith. It’s a myth we must all live by — otherwise we might have to address the question of whether it’s even possible to run a country responsibly with the Republicans as one of our two major parties.

So true, but every poll I’ve seen shows that, by a fairly wide margin, the public is against sequestration and will blame Republicans for it. There’s no way Republicans can control the messaging once it hits, because while Cokie and Co. could really give a fuck about spending cuts that disrupt ordinary American’s real lives, a lot of local media will give the story a lot of negative play.

Beltway Republicans live in kind of a double bubble. The first layer is made of their own WOLVERINES and the second is made of establishment media’s BOTH SIDES DO IT. We saw how this played out last November, when they weren’t unskewing the polls, they were agreeing with Joe Scar that the race was a toss-up and that Nate Silver couldn’t possibly know more than Michael Barone.

We know how that one ended.

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139 replies
  1. 1
    Face says:

    There’s no way Republicans can control the messaging once it hits

    This is the funniest thing you’ve written in days. Control the message is what they do. It’s all they do well. This will be Obama’s sequester problem, just you watch and cringe.

  2. 2
    kindness says:

    The both sides are at fault meme allows those oh so Serious Village Elders to claim not to be a part of the very dynamic they are manically supporting by claiming both sides are at fault.

    Just this morning my drive time with NPR was cut short when Cokie Roberts came on and lied how the Sequester is both parties fault because no one would compromise. Thank God for my ipod in the car. It was bliss and fun after that.

  3. 3
    Steeplejack says:

    You got a clean copyedit this time!

  4. 4
    Librarian says:

    These are the days of miracle and wonder, this is a long distance call.

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you citizens, but I’m terrified of THE GREAT SEQUESTER, and plan to take all precautions for whatever may come. Up to and including a personal SEQUESTER SURVIVAL KIT

  6. 6
    max says:

    The bomb in the baby carriage was wired to the radio

    max
    [‘It just took Rush to set it off…’]

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you citizens, but I’m terrified of THE GREAT SEQUESTER, and plan to take all precautions for whatever may come. Up to and including a personal SEQUESTER SURVIVAL KIT .

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    Show me on the map of America where the beltway media touched you.

  9. 9
    TooManyJens says:

    @General Stuck: “It’s the Great Sequester, Charlie Brown!”

  10. 10
    Fred says:

    Mr. O and the Ds better make that song stick ’cause if the whole shootin’ match crashes this time somebody is going to pay holy hell, you can bet.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    America is on the brink of a fiscal disaster and Michelle is doing cameos at the Oscars. Obviously, Obama does not take this crises seriously.

  12. 12
    sharl says:

    Former Biden economic adviser Jared Bernstein is on The Diane Rehm Show now, and has vigorously disputed the both-sides-do-it paradigm so beloved by the Villagers, including those who often come on that show (it’s especially prevalent on the Friday Politics Hour). In fact, Bernstein called out the Republicans for being unwilling to compromise. No news to anyone here, but DRS panels tend to hold tight to that false equivalency.

    I expected to hear hissing, like a vampire with a crucifix thrust in its face, but the other panelists didn’t challenge Bernstein’s apostasy.

    I’d love to believe this might be the start of a positive trend in Big Media, but I suspect that Bernstein has already been relegated to the same bin as Krugman and those other data-driven econ nerds.

    Keep on fightin’, Jared.

  13. 13

    Hmm. I’ve always thought it’s more, “rule #1 of MSM punditry is that critiquing the choreography and possible electoral consequences & motivations of political actors always takes precedence over policy consequences. (Rule #2: “Both sides are too extreme.” This rule holds regardless of how many sides there are, and regardless of how extreme any given sides actually are).”

    Of all people in the world, Peggy Noonan actually wrote something insightful about the right-wing bubble, back in 2008:

    Many [GOP apparatchiks] are ambivalent, deep inside, about the decisions made the past seven years in the White House. But they’ve publicly supported it so long they think they . . . support it. They get confused. … And those are the bright ones. The rest are in Perpetual 1980: We have the country, the troops will rally in the fall.

    “Perpetual 1980” describes the mentality of DC punditry that Steve M describes here (and that Josh Marshall described as DC being “wired for Republicans”). The GOP are the popular cool kids, in the minds of people like Joe Klein. So they’ll always be saying mean stuff about losers like liberals and unions just so the GOP doesn’t give him a swirlie. That may well have made sense in 1980; less so today.

  14. 14
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    So true, but every poll I’ve seen shows that, by a fairly wide margin, the public is against sequestration and will blame Republicans for it. There’s no way Republicans can control the messaging once it hits, because while Cokie and Co. could really give a fuck about spending cuts that disrupt ordinary American’s real lives, a lot of local media will give the story a lot of negative play.

    See Doug, this is where I believe you too optimistic.

    The problem isn’t the polls, the problem is whether the polls will result in any tangible consequences for the GOP. And considering how much disastrous shit the GOP has foisted upon us the last decade or so and still not only managed to retain their general credibility but thrive, especially on the state level, I just can’t see it.

    They’re inoculated from consequences as much as possible, enough to obfuscate the issue down the line especially when the chance for electoral consequences come. And between that time…well, fuck all what the people thing, the GOP does what they want, blames who they want, and they generally still get to get away with it to fuck over as many people as they can tomorrow.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    I thought this was telling–yesterday David Gregory doing a promo for MTP on the Today Show said that Democrats want to avoid sequestration with a combination of spending cuts and new revenues and Republicans think the cuts aren’t enough and we need more cuts. Also, too, Obama got money with Obamacare so he shouldn’t get more.

    The way it was set up by Dancin’ Dave was: Democrats want spending cuts and new revenues; Republicans want spending cuts, spending cuts, spending cuts. If that’s the way someone as insider-y as Dancin’ Dave describes it, then the Village is leaning to the “Democrats want some of both; Republicans aren’t compromising” meme. He’s a pretty good litmus test.

  16. 16
    Bulworth says:

    Obviously we have a spending crisis, an entitlement spending crisis, a debt crisis (Fix The Debt!), Obama is spending too much, PBO hasn’t done anything to cut spending, and now Obama is going to cut spending and the spending cuts are terrible and are all his fault.

    /

  17. 17
    eemom says:

    @srv:

    America is on the brink of a fiscal disaster and Michelle is doing cameos at the Oscars. Obviously, Obama does not take this crises seriously.

    k, I’ll bite (again). I don’t care what dumbass spin the bobblebots put on it — I personally think it was inappropriate as hell for the Obamas to have anything to do with that disgusting spectacle. I’m disappointed.

    eta: AND I don’t fucking care if Laura Bush did it first. We’re supposed to be BETTER than them, remember?

  18. 18
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I think the forces of Money are going to weigh in on the sequestration “debate” shortly, and then said debate will be over, either with a short-term bill to kick the can down the road, or (less likely) a quiet repeal of the whole idiotic idea.

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    Democrats must be wrong. Republicans can be wrong or they can be right, but Democrats must always be the real guilty parties.

    Funny, that’s the same thing our purportedly “leftier than thou” troll always says.

  20. 20
    Tone in DC says:

    @Face:

    This is the funniest thing you’ve written in days. Control the message is what they do. It’s all they do well. This will be Obama’s sequester problem, just you watch and cringe.

    If this were actually the case, we’d have President Mitt right now, and a GOP Senate.

    The more Boehner, McCain, Cantor, Rubio, Scott Walker and the second string wingers show Americans who they actually are, the less Americans like them.

  21. 21
    negative 1 says:

    Wouldn’t a winning message about the fauxquester from the Dems be tied to what the cuts are denying the average person? For instance, if this goes through your child’s college will lose funding – guess where they’re going to make up the difference?
    I agree with Doug that people will blame Congress, and right now that means rethugs. However, I don’t think the Dems should let up on the messaging that the rethugs are a roadblock to prosperity.

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    There’s no way Republicans can control the messaging once it hits,

    The overall dollar amount is really quite small compared to the size of our economy. But the short time frame for them to roll out, plus the across the board nature of the cuts, is certainly going to cause some pain. Mostly for working people and immediate job loss.

    The republicans are in such denial that they are without any semblance of central leadership as a party, that they keep creating these crisis, and Obama and his bully pulpit leads us out of impending disaster, adding another layer to all the others for republican incompetence. And you have a hundred wingnuts giving out a hundred different messages at once. Often contradicting and completely detached from any kind of pragmatism.

    And all of it seemingly propelled by the nihilist tea tards in the House of Reps, being the loonatics the GOP embraced in 2008 for a quick fix of political heroin. It is all good news for democrats, unless the nutters happen to blow up the country and world with their gong show politicking.

  23. 23
    Console says:

    This is one of those times where the lazy sterotypes in place of analysis works in the Dems favor. It’s hard for Obama to catch a lot of blame for the sequester because democrats are supposed to be against spending cuts. That’s a hard defining characteristic to overcome

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @eemom:

    It was a pretty minor payback to an industry that donated millions of dollars to the president’s re-election campaign. And, as others have pointed out, she wasn’t even the first First Lady to do it.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @eemom: I love Michelle Obama and thought she looked stunning, but it was weird that she announced the Best Picture winner, and from the White House. I prefer the announcers to be on the stage to announce the winners. The video announcement seems too distant. Plus, she doesn’t have a particular relationship with any of the Best Picture nominees, so why choose her?

  26. 26
    Wag says:

    Doug-
    You missed the key part of that lyric in the title

    A loose affiliation of millionaires and billionares and (WAT)babies.

  27. 27
    Zifnab25 says:

    We know how that one ended.

    With Republicans controlling a 23-seat majority in the House and Democrats having a waffly-at-best majority in the Senate. Meanwhile, Obama continues to hammer away at the pressing concern that is a balanced budget. And the issue of “jobs” seems to have completely fallen off the radar, despite four years of unemployment above 7%. :-|

    People are rallying behind the President, in no small part, because the economy is slowly crawling its way out of the shitter. But when 700,000 people get handed pink-slips all at once and the DOW takes a triple digit nose-dive in response, I question where support will actually land. Plenty of independent minded voters are loosing their enthusiasm for Obama. And if Republicans are good at nothing else, its re-branding. I don’t feel super safe sitting in Wiemer Germany as so-called liberals dick around trying to find some happy middle ground with a pack of fascist pricks just waiting for an opening to slide in the knife.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    Plus, she doesn’t have a particular relationship with any of the Best Picture nominees, so why choose her?

    They often choose someone who seems thematic to the expected winner (so, the year that Martin Scorsese finally won Best Director, they had George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola as the presenters). I’m guessing they expected Lincoln to win, but it was upset by Argo.

    As for why FLOTUS did it, it’s like I said yesterday — it’s not really a shock to me that a person whose job is PR did a PR appearance.

  29. 29
    bemused says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    Wow, I never thought I’d want to use a line from foggy Noonan but Perpetual 1980 is a winner.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    Didn’t watch the Oscars, from having not seen any of the movies awarded. But I don’t care if the Obama’s got involved with the awards. It was a slap in the face to one of the wingnuts worse bullshit memes about Hollywood and their smearing the film industry for decades with half baked charges of them as some kind of outside the mainstream liberal traitors of this or that winger notion of patriotism.

    Having the WH acknowledge the industry as a viable dem constituency is a good thing. Because it is true, and there is no reason to run and hide any more from right wing stereotypes and overall bullshit smears.

  31. 31
    NonyNony says:

    @Tone in DC:

    If this were actually the case, we’d have President Mitt right now, and a GOP Senate.

    Face, like so many pundits and amateur pundits, confuses “controlling the message” with controlling the message.

    Republicans are really, really, really good at getting the national media to parrot whatever they want them to parrot. Or, worst case, to put a “both sides do it” spin on what’s going on.

    Problem is – that isn’t the message. Republicans think that they’re controlling the narrative but right now the narrative is that “things suck, people got no jobs, people got no money, and Republicans don’t want to help them“.

    That last little bit is killing them. It killed them in November, and it will continue to kill them. And they can’t change it because it’s at the core of what they stand for – they honestly seem to believe that in case of famine, we should eat the children. And people recognize that.

  32. 32
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Violet:

    Plus, she doesn’t have a particular relationship with any of the Best Picture nominees, so why choose her?

    Umm . . . are bias and nepotism supposed to be desirable in a presenter?

  33. 33
    srv says:

    THIS time the village and public will hold the Republicans accountable…

    Hmm. The last time “I Want To Believe” was in fashion was during the Gingrich era. Maybe we’ll get lucky.

  34. 34
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    the NIH is going to take a ~6 percent cut in the budget as a result of the sequester.

    the intramural portion (the funds that go to Bethesda) of that money is protected. It helps to have your senator as chair of the appropriations committee. That means the 6 percent gets spread over the remaining 90 for extramural (competitive grants).

    some NIH institutes are already only funding the top 10 percent of competitive grants. Now we’re looking at the top 8, at best, plus further grant size reductions/clawbacks.

    This sucks.

  35. 35
    Steve says:

    Is there anyone at all in favor of just letting the sequestration happen? I mean, I thought at least someone was in favor of drastically shrinking the size of government and cutting all this wasteful spending of Obama’s. Sure, the sequester isn’t exactly carefully tailored, but it’s something that is actually attainable – by doing nothing, actually. It’s almost as if no one is actually in favor of cutting spending, other than in the abstract.

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne: If you look at the list of presenters, they seem to be Oscar winners or at least very well known actors or directors. Michelle Obama being a presenter is definitely atypical.

  37. 37
    taylormattd says:

    @Face: given the entire post is about how the beltway press reflexively says democrats are wrong, Doug is isn’t saying the GOP wont be able to control what they say. Rather, he is fairly obviously saying the GOP will not be able to control who gets the blame.

  38. 38
    General Stuck says:

    I don’t feel super safe sitting in Wiemer Germany

    AkA Texas

  39. 39
    taylormattd says:

    @eemom: the fact that you do not enjoy the Oscars does not mean the show is evil or disgraceful.

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    @Bobby Thomson: They usually have someone related to the thing do the presenting. As Mnemosyne pointed out, they used three famous directors as presenters when Scorsese won his award. The presenters for the Best/Supporting Actor/Actress is usually the person who won the award the previous year.

    The whole show is the industry awards itself, so it’s pretty biased and nepotistic all on its own.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    Oh, I’m not saying she’s not atypical, but I just don’t think it’s the horror show some people are claiming. And, again, I think it was supposed to be a cute tie-in to having the FLOTUS from Illinois present an award to the movie about the previous president from Illinois. It’s just that, given the vagaries of the actual voting, it didn’t work out that way.

    And, technically, she was the co-presenter with Jack Nicholson.

  42. 42
    Bokonon says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    So they’ll always be saying mean stuff about losers like liberals and unions just so the GOP doesn’t give him a swirlie.

    A swirlie. There is a term I haven’t heard in a long time.

    Did you happen to go to high school in Connecticut?

  43. 43
    Tone in DC says:

    @srv:

    Maybe, maybe not.

    The VSP/villagers didn’t break OvenMitt’s 47% diatribe, after getting it on tape. James Carter IV did. The MSM didn’t make these wingnut non-OB/GYNS pass all these anti-abortion bills in Virginia, Texas and so many other places, some involving invasive ultrasounds. No one made Flushed BlimpBaugh call Sandra Fluke a slut over and over. The drug addled idiot himself spewed that on national radio and TV. And never mind Mourdock and company going on about their ideas on rape.

  44. 44
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Violet:

    They usually have someone related to the thing do the presenting.

    If by “the thing,” you mean Hollywood, well duh. But you were saying they make a point of having someone present Best Picture who has a connection to one of the Best Picture nominees, and that’s just wrong.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne: I would have liked it better if she’d actually shown up on stage. That would have been a big thrill. The video thing is what kind of put me off it. I guess if she’d shown up, the security would have had to be even higher, so probably not worth it. Still, I adore her, and she looked stunning–loved her dress–and the military people behind her seemed kind of excited to be there, so it was kind of cool overall.

  46. 46
    Tone in DC says:

    @NonyNony:

    I agree, they don’t want to help. And people are seeing that.

    Also, there can’t be much remaining of the GOP’s feet that hasn’t been shot clean through.

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:

    @Steve:

    It’s almost as if no one is actually in favor of cutting spending, other than in the abstract.

    It is exactly like that, as you know. And have a political cost from austerity related pain from government retraction in services and funding.

    This is the tea tard effect. Old goopers brain trust realize this and where to keep the demagoguing for pol effect separate from actual cutting stuff. Unless, somehow they can trick dems into joining them in the backlash.

    The latest amusement comes from wingnuts wanting to give Obama discretion to tailor the cuts to his liking, but no revenue increases, only spending cuts.

  48. 48
    Yutsano says:

    @Steve: No. It’s taking a machete to a task that requires a scalpel. There are certainly cuts and redundancies that can be eliminated or reduced in the government, but the sequester doesn’t do that. It just hacks at the budget willy-nilly. If you cut pretty much everything equally, you end up hurting a lot of people, especially the most vulnerable. But Congress refuses to work, so here we are.

  49. 49
    Wapiti says:

    @Steve – I think you’re right. Everyone talks about cutting spending in the abstract, but no one really wants the pain *and* being identified as responsible for causing the pain.

    But sure as god made little green apples, there will be someone in the future proposing a balanced budget amendment, totally oblivious to the ugliness of this sequester.

  50. 50
    Tonal Crow says:

    because while Cokie and Co. could really give a fuck about spending cuts

    That should say “couldn’t really…”.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    But you were saying they make a point of having someone present Best Picture who has a connection to one of the Best Picture nominees, and that’s just wrong.

    No, I did not say that. I said SHE doesn’t have a particular relationship with any of them. I didn’t say the usually do that. I did link to the list of presenters that shows they usually use a very well known and connected Hollywood actor or director.

    I did point out that she didn’t have a connection to any of the films, so it seemed kind of random to me. Maybe if, say, she’d been connected with another film–like one that hadn’t been nominated for Best Picture–then it would make more sense to have her there to present the award. But she just seems so random. Picking someone off the street would make as much sense to me. It’s a night for Hollywood and the movie industry to award itself. How does the First Lady fit into that?

  52. 52
    SatanicPanic says:

    @eemom: and here I thought only the Beltway was obsessed with trivial issues.

  53. 53
    piratedan says:

    this song title pretty much sums up what the National media feels without a Gun-Toting, Jeebus-loving Republican in office

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoCD6DX__pg

    since I don’t have cat pics to post, had to go with oldies music :-)

  54. 54

    @bemused:

    Wow, I never thought I’d want to use a line from foggy Noonan but Perpetual 1980 is a winner.

    Yeah, bizarre. I don’t know how she managed to think of that and type it down, but it was a pretty good column.

    @Bokonon:

    A swirlie. There is a term I haven’t heard in a long time. Did you happen to go to high school in Connecticut?

    Massachusetts.

    As I recall, it was something more talked about than actually done, in the mid-1990s.

  55. 55
    becca says:

    @Violet: also, it sucked to be Bobby Jindal on MTP. I caught the show by happenstance and was pleasantly surprised D-Dave kept real heat on him.

  56. 56
    Violet says:

    @becca: Was that this week? I had the TV on for a few seconds during MTP this week and recognized the guest couldn’t remember his name. Did the Info thing on my TV remote and the names that came up were not who the guest was. So then rewound the TV to see who it was and it was Ray LaHood. He was not listed on the Info for the show. I wonder if he was a last minute guest? Anyway, the few seconds I caught while looking for his name, he was adamantly telling Dancin’ Dave that the President is willing to compromise and the Republicans are not. He had a raised voice and was very insistent about it. It was nice to hear.

  57. 57
    James Gary says:

    Re: “Swirlies” — the term was in use as early as the mid-1970s and far west as New Mexico and California. I suspect it was/is not specific to New England.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    If you cut pretty much everything equally, you end up hurting a lot of people, especially the most vulnerable.

    This. The biggest problem is that we’ve been told to cut the fat out of government for a long time, so most of the easy gains are gone already. The only places where there’s a lot of fat left to cut are the ones that are protected by powerful special interests, like boondoggle defense contracts and agricultural subsidies. Those special interests are pretty much by definition powerful enough lobbies to prevent selective cuts to their programs, so even when the ax falls on them, it’s going to fall on everyone else, too.

  59. 59
    Supernumerary Charioteer says:

    @Steve: The armchair fiscal-conservative ‘debt is inherently immoral’ sphere of the Tea Party. They think abstractly enough about fiscal policy that no demonstration of actual human pain is going to dissuade them from their crusade.

    They’re pretty active right now. If the sequester goes through, they get their jollies because discretionary spending went down, and if a deal goes through, they’re going to start calling to send Bohner and McConnell to the guillotine.

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    and here I thought only the Beltway was obsessed with trivial issues.

    I didn’t say it was freaking earth-shattering. Something about the symbolism of it just really, really rubbed me the wrong way.

    @Mnemosyne:

    It was a pretty minor payback to an industry that donated millions of dollars to the president’s re-election campaign

    um….wow.

    Would you all have thought it was this cool if she showed up at a gazillion dollar event honoring Democratic bankers? Perfectly acceptable “payback”?

  61. 61
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    The things about the Villagers is that they have an outsized impact on policy because apparently everybody in DC reads/watches them, while being not particularly well informed about how little anybody else outside the Beltway pays attention to them. But with regard to moving public opinion in the hinterlands, they have a fairly narrow window for doing so.

    If it involves a dry and boring political issue that nobody except activists and policy junkies really cares about (examples: Benghazi, the Hagel confirmation, anything to do with the filibuster), then nobody outside the Beltway is watching them and they have little influence on public opinion one way or the other.

    If it involves an important and pressing issue that the public is deeply concerned about (examples: natural disasters like hurricanes, the 2008 financial crisis) then again their influence is limited because ordinary people will seek out information from a broad spectrum of sources including local media, non-traditional media, etc.

    The Villager’s sweet spot for moving opinion is in between these two extremes (ironic, huh?), involving issues such that the public suddenly wakes up to something which matters to them a fair bit and are just sufficiently motivated to follow what the usual suspects are saying about it, without taking it to the next level.

    Unfortunately, in this case Sequestaggedon may fall into this middle zone.

  62. 62
    bemused says:

    Alex Pareene did a good piece on the Sunday morning villager gong shows where no one watching them actually learns anything other than the villagers are a round table of beltway bullshit reinforcers.

  63. 63
    Violet says:

    @Supernumerary Charioteer: McConnell is vulnerable because of his upcoming election. Boehner won his Speaker position again despite people thinking he might not. I don’t see that changing, really.

  64. 64
    dedc79 says:

    Anecdotal I know – but when I walked through my office’s kitchen this morning, the local news was on, and a bunch of employees were standing there watching as the anchors listed all the cuts that were coming to DC/MD/Northern VA – cuts to school programs, furloughs to certain govt workers, etc…

    Everyone was pissed and they knew who to be pissed at, regardless of what Cokie Roberts says.

  65. 65
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    And the issue of “jobs” seems to have completely fallen off the radar, despite four years of unemployment above 7%.

    But when 700,000 people get handed pink-slips all at once and the DOW takes a triple digit nose-dive in response, I question where support will actually land.

    @Zifnab25: This, and this.

    I’m actually far more concerned about the first than the second. 7% unemployment (or whatever the actual, higher number is) is flat-out unacceptable. Just because Wall Street has stopped bitching, as enough rubes have managed to fight their way back into shitty jobs to keep Walmart and McDonalds kinda-sorta running as usual, doesn’t mean that things are good.

    They aren’t.

    And the only way to fix it is jobs. The only real long-term solution is the German model, where there are a substantial number of folks working in manufacturing. Bring it back home, America. Let’s get everyone working.

  66. 66
    Goblue72 says:

    @eemom: you really need to get laid or something

  67. 67
    General Stuck says:

    Our betters on the progressive left wanted Obama to take it to the wingnuts and not back down for the sake of greater principle. Well, this is what that looks like in a cold civil war brought by the GOP. This is man o man o stuff, The OK Corral, and High Noon of politics, and some folks are going to get hurt. But they will love us when we win.

  68. 68
    raven says:

    @Violet: Too bad it wasn’t Django!

  69. 69
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage): You’re underestimating just how bad it’s going to be. Paylines for R01s are *already* below 10 percent – last I heard from a senior PI they were at 6%. The sequester just might be enough to put paylines negative, i.e., NOBODY gets their grants renewed, and existing grants start to get clawed back.

    Fun time to be starting a science career. I know. I’m getting laid off just as this hits its sixth month.

  70. 70
    Mike E says:

    @eemom: How dare you deny the 1st Lady’s right to bare arms.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Supernumerary Charioteer:

    They think abstractly enough about fiscal policy that no demonstration of actual human pain is going to dissuade them from their crusade.

    Furthermore, they don’t like the idea of debt because they’re such selfish assholes and they don’t want to feel any moral obligation to anyone, they deny the existence of society and human interdependency, they’re all rugged individualists who don’t need anyone’s help, and by God, keep the government away from their Medicare.

  72. 72

    Beltway Republicans live in kind of a double bubble.

    A double bubble, huh? That’s something to chew on.

    It could really gum up the works.

  73. 73
    Mike E says:

    @Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage): I read NIH as NHL and thot, Meh, fuck ’em.

    That War On Science, not so great. :/

  74. 74
    Gex says:

    Lysenkoism can never work in the long run. Sadly, it can do a lot of terrible damage in the meantime.

  75. 75
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike E: All the science we need to know is in the Bible. Ain’t u stupid libz learned nothin’ yet?

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck:

    Our betters on the progressive left wanted Obama to take it to the wingnuts and not back down for the sake of greater principle. Well, this is what that looks like in a cold civil war brought by the GOP. This is man o man o stuff, The OK Corral, and High Noon of politics, and some folks are going to get hurt. But they will love us when we win.

    Good point. Usually the beef from that quarter is “Obama compromises too easily and everything is a disaster.” This time it’s shaping up to be “Obama didn’t find a solution and everything is a disaster.”

    @Console:

    This is one of those times where the lazy sterotypes in place of analysis works in the Dems favor. It’s hard for Obama to catch a lot of blame for the sequester because democrats are supposed to be against spending cuts. That’s a hard defining characteristic to overcome

    This is how I feel too. The Republicans have way too complicated a rhetorical maneuver here: “We’ve always clamored for drastic spending cuts and now there are going to be spending cuts but we’re still mad because they aren’t exactly the right kind but we won’t say what the right kind would be, except for bear DNA and Solyndra.” Spending cuts are what Republicans want. If spending cuts hurt everyday people, it’s Republicans’ problem.

    Now, more important than the politics is the actual damage that could be done. But I can’t see how it’s winning politics for Republicans, and if anything it will accidentally end up demonstrating that when the government cuts things, people don’t like it and get pissed. Which _helps_ Democrats politically.

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’ve wondered — how much do you think the typical conservative Republican owes on a house? Because I do not get how you can simultaneously think debt is immoral and have your biggest monthly bill be a form of debt service.

  78. 78
    WereBear says:

    Let me get this straight. The Republicans fought hard for this, and now that it’s coming, they don’t want it?

    Gee, it’s like they don’t know what they are doing.

  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    Just for giggles, I went over to sully’s place and of course he is talking about how necessary spending cuts are. I would have thought his endorsement of the “courageous” austerity measures in England and the resulting triple dip recession would have caused a bit of self-reflection–but noooooooo. He is still a firm proponent of let them eat cakeonomics.

    I am just done with all of them. Sociopaths all of them. In my more charitable moments I think that perhaps they just don’t understand the consequences of what they are promoting. But there is no excuse for not understanding. Now I think that they do understand that it will be poor children, children and adults with disabilities, the heroes who work in special education who suffer. They just don’t care.

    So I’m done with them.

  80. 80
    JP7505A says:

    @Steve:Well the polls seem to show that people only want to cut abstract spending or spending on someone else.

    What I find depressing is given that most of these programs and agencies are supported by 60+ percent of the public, GOP and Dem, but rightwing wingnuts continue to get elected to all levels of government in sufficient numbers so as to paralyze the process.
    They want to go back to spending levels not seen since the 1920s. Of course in the 1920s the population was less than 200 million as opposed to 300+ today. We did not have an interstate highway system. In fact most roads weren’t even paved. The faa/NTSB and air traffic control system did not exist and flying really was a death defying adventure. We can cut education budgets to the 1920 level, after all if an 8th grade education was good enough for our grandparents its good enough for our kids and grandkids. I remember the yellow quarantine signs on the door for measles and chickenpox, as well as the dreaded red sign for scarlet fever. Surely we don’t need any of the programs that relegated those diseases to the history books. The Chinese will be more than happy to help control the next SARs outbreak once we eliminate the CDC. Surely we won’t mind eating horsemeat, like our unwitting friends in Europe, after the FDA and meet inspection programs are eliminated. Every one complains about the weather so surely we can do without the weather bureau. Just because they have gotten good enough to predict the zip code of where super storm sandy would make land fall doesn’t mean that they serve any useful purpose.
    On the other hand let’s not cut a dime from defense spending. In fact it has to be increased to protect us from all those crazy moooslims. Of course they don’t seem to have an answer as to where the engineers and scientist who build the weapons systems or the educated soldiers who use them will come from, what with that 8th grade education.

  81. 81
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Budget cuts are the property of Republicans. They’ve been saying so for thirty-three years.

    They’re now going to reap the harvest. The public isn’t going to like what gets cut AT ALL, and Dems will 100% escape blame for it, after all, we never cut spending, we spend like lunatics, right?

    That’s what the GOP and media have been saying for 33 years, anyway, since Reagan wrote the Gospel.

    Those getting cut aren’t taking it lying down. 10% across the board, my ass. The sacred cows in DoD aren’t getting touched. I assume all the other agencies getting cuts are doing the same thing. Keeping their cores well-fed while cutting every public service they can.

    Do you know what the first thing was that the Navy cut? The very first thing?

    The Blue Angels. No shows for 2013, thanks to the sequester. Think the public won’t notice that? Think they’ll blame Democrats? Ha, not in a million years.

    Good luck, GOP. Obama keeps painting you into a corner and you keep on not figuring it out until you’re fucked and have to capitulate.

  82. 82
    Redshirt says:

    We need a crisis calendar – isn’t there another debt limit showdown coming up soon?

    At this point, I think the Repukes are working for the media – to keep viewership up lurching from crisis to self-created crisis.

  83. 83
    Hoodie says:

    Polls can be unreliable, but keep it simple and stupid, folks, because logic is solidly in Obama’s favor. Republicans are the 24/7 Cutting Spending Party. The sequester was what they agreed to in response to raising the debt ceiling, so it’s gonna be hard for them to complain about the effects, because Obama simply agreed to what they extracted from the deal. I don’t think anyone — including rank and file Republicans — seriously thinks that Obama wants any significant cuts, much less across the board cuts. At most, they think that was some trick that the evil, but also feckless Kenyan deceiver foisted on the poor Republican leadership.

    This is why Republican messaging is inconsistent on this, i.e., bleating about “Obamaquester” while simultaneously saying the cuts are no big deal. Their agreement to the sequester was like threatening to shoot themselves in the face if the Dems failed to reach agreement with them in the Supercommittee process. Obama and the Dems said “ok, we’ll take that deal.” Now the Republicans and their Villager friends want Obama to bail them out because somehow this was all a fraternity prank that Obama is taking too seriously.

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    @WereBear:

    I think Agent Orange even declared that he got 96% of what he wanted. Of course a lot of the fauxgressives jumped on that to bemoan President Obama’s cave du jour.

    No, they do not know what they are doing and those who do–don’t care.

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: All aerial show teams are grounded, not just the Blue Angels. It’ll cost the Navy a ton in canceled air show contracts, but hey austerity cannot ever fail. Can’t have the bankstahs lose a single dime in profit. Ever.

  86. 86
    MomSense says:

    @Redshirt:

    Can we make it like an advent calendar–with our favorite wingnuts popping out as we count down to the crisis.

    My Dad said “this is no way to run a super power”. So true.

  87. 87
    taylormattd says:

    @eemom:

    um….wow.
    Would you all have thought it was this cool if she showed up at a gazillion dollar event honoring Democratic bankers? Perfectly acceptable “payback”?

    This is just utter gibberish. I mean, what the fuck are you talking about?

  88. 88
    Fair Economist says:

    @Violet:

    I did point out that she didn’t have a connection to any of the films, so it seemed kind of random to me.

    A movie about the end of slavery and an African-American presenter married to the first African-American president?

    I see a connection.

  89. 89
    Woodrowfan says:

    @James Gary: I heard the term in the mid 1970s in Ohio. I suspect “swirlies” were invented a long time before then…

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @eemom:

    Would you all have thought it was this cool if she showed up at a gazillion dollar event honoring Democratic bankers? Perfectly acceptable “payback”?

    Hollywood is equally as destructive to our economy as the bankers have been?

    I didn’t realize I was talking to Tipper Gore.

  91. 91
    Bokonon says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    So they’ll always be saying mean stuff about losers like liberals and unions just so the GOP doesn’t give him a swirlie.

    Hah. Knew you had to be from New England. Was it a private school or a public school you attended?

    [For everyone else – a “swirlie” is a regional slang word that refers to what happens when other people grab you, stick your head in a toilet bowl, and then flush. It is a pretty nasty piece of work, and totally humiliating to the person on the receiving end. Bonus if you actually hork up some of the toilet water.]

    Me? I attended a private school in Connecticut during the wild and wooly days of the early 1980’s, and let me tell you … swirlies definitely went down back then. I fought off one of these myself.

    But I think that schools have been cracking down on that sort of hazing, bit by bit, decade by decade. So they are turning into folklore as opposed to a real day-to-day risk if you tick off a group of jocks or upperclassmen.

  92. 92
    Hoodie says:

    @eemom: So, let me get this straight: you have a problem with the first lady showing up at event for an industry that is one of the country’s biggest exporters and employs hundreds of thousands of people? An industry that gives us global cultural influence? Would you have the same problem if she showed up at an awards ceremony at some factory? The Oscars are at least nominally a celebration of excellence, and almost all of the films nominated were American. Seems like the president would want to talk that up.

  93. 93
    bemused says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    Noonan had an unintentional moment of self-awareness sneak out never to be seen again.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Fair Economist:

    A movie about the end of slavery and an African-American presenter married to the first African-American president?

    I see a connection.

    Me, too. I’m confused about why Violet is confused.

    If nothing else, I think this answers the persistent question of whether or not the Oscars are fixed as, “Not.” Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gone to all of the trouble to get the First Lady to present the Oscar for Lincoln and then not have Lincoln win.

    This also is not the first time that the Academy has miscalculated who the winner was going to be and asked someone to present the award who was personally significant to only one movie/recipient.

  95. 95
    shortstop says:

    @Fair Economist:

    A movie about the end of slavery and an African-American presenter

    …who is the direct descendant of American slaves.

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @Hoodie: The GOP won when their idea to have cuts equal to the amount the debt ceiling is raised was not laughed out of town.

    It makes no fucking sense. The two items are essentially unconnected. How about cut the budget to zero and raise the debt limit to infinity? That is the end of the process.

    All else is living with the consequences of accepting absurdity.

  97. 97
    Violet says:

    @Fair Economist: Well, yes, and there’s her being the First Lady and one of the films being about a President from Illinois (and featuring a First Lady). And then another one–the film that won–was about some action in the Middle East involving a Democratic President, so there’s that connection.

    Yeah, there are thematic connections, but she didn’t star in one, even appear in one, pay for one, direct one, or anything like that.

    I love Michelle Obama, though. I’m always happy to see her and she looked stunning last night. I just thought it an odd choice.

  98. 98
    catclub says:

    @shortstop: Maybe they were hoping Django Unchained would win. And having Michelle Obama announce THAT (with a big smile) would have heads exploding.

  99. 99
    NonyNony says:

    @Bokonon:

    [For everyone else – a “swirlie” is a regional slang word that refers to what happens when other people grab you, stick your head in a toilet bowl, and then flush. It is a pretty nasty piece of work, and totally humiliating to the person on the receiving end. Bonus if you actually hork up some of the toilet water.]

    Dude – they have swirlies out here even in the hick areas of the Midwest. We have both flush toilets and mean-spirited bullies out here, which are pretty much the only ingredients you need to come up with the idea.

  100. 100

    @Bokonon: By the time I was in public school in suburban Boston in the 1990s, swirlies had pretty much entirely retreated to the realm of folklore, in my experience.

    @bemused:

    Noonan had an unintentional moment of self-awareness sneak out never to be seen again.

    Well to be fair she did have one more during that campaign, but she didn’t actually mean for anyone to hear it.

  101. 101
    Djur says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Well, I guess there are some positive outcomes from the sequester after all.

    Can we just keep air shows canceled forever?

  102. 102
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tone in DC: I think what Face was saying is that objectively, the GOP should be a radioactive turd when it comes to politics or governing or surmising about policy positions, etc.

    However, they are not yet. The courtiers still fawn over them & take their proposal seriously, bend over backwards for them, etc. etc.

    Some of them, of course, are paid shills & stooges. Others, however, should be calling a duck a duck. The fact that the 1st para above is not what is happening right now, has alot to do with the Republican’s marketing ability & general glib lying (‘messaging’).

  103. 103
    MomSense says:

    @Djur:

    Yes, please. I live near the site of a regular air show and it traumatizes my pets. The big dog manages to get under the bed and gets stuck and we pretty much have to take the bed apart to get him out.

  104. 104
    Paul in KY says:

    @NonyNony: Agree with your comments too, but I also want the heads in DC to come around as well.

    Maybe a clam bake or two at Camp David?

    We need both (Mr & Mrs America & the Villagers) to drive the stake thru ‘Modern Republicanism’, IMO.

  105. 105
    Hoodie says:

    @catclub: Not quite; after all, the government does take in some revenue. Even so, it seems like cuts equal to the amount the debt ceiling is raised was effectively laughed out of town, because even the Republicans didn’t take it seriously. The sequester was the alternative the Republicans turned to and, as we are now seeing, it wasn’t serious either. The Republicans have not won anything yet that they didn’t already have, mainly the ability to cut farts and make everyone smell them. They’ve lost most of their faceoffs with Obama. Courage, mon brave.

  106. 106
    Paul in KY says:

    @James Gary: Used in KY, mid 70s.

  107. 107
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Bokonon: I grew up in Michigan and know what a swirlie is. It’s not uniquely New England.

  108. 108
    Paul in KY says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: That would rely on those people who buy/own factories to do that in order to get the proles working again.

    We are well & truly fucked if that is the answer.

  109. 109
    danimal says:

    I think the sequester, if untouched, will be a disaster for all of us.

    I think the sequester, if it goes into effect, creates a firestorm of negative press and is then refined/reframed/defanged in the appropriations process, is a disaster for the GOP. The futility of FIX THE DEBT WITH SPENDING CUTS ONLY will be a millstone around the GOPs neck, and they won’t be able to spin it away unless the develop an Olympic-level figureskater to be their spokesperson.

    I think Obama is well-aware of this.

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    @Fair Economist:

    A movie about the end of slavery and an African-American presenter married to the first African-American president?

    Not just a movie about the end of slavery; a movie about a president from Illinois fighting to end slavery. And the African-American president the first lady is married to is also from Illinois. Yeah, no connection there whatsoever.was, after all, about a

  111. 111
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I didn’t realize I was talking to Tipper Gore.

    I didn’t realize starfucker is the new Obot.

  112. 112
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I think if you feel the need to scream at the top of your lungs “it’s the other guy’s fault!” every 5 seconds, it’s a tell that you’re losing the messaging war.

  113. 113
    eemom says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s a fucking Hollywood MOVIE. It’s not history.

  114. 114
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve never thought they were ‘fixed’. I did wonder if the show’s producers had some advance info on who actually, objectively won & then crafted show around that info.

  115. 115
    Paul in KY says:

    @NonyNony: Plus, ‘swirly’ is a slang term that comes immediately to mind when you watched those things ‘swirl’ 346,023 times :-)

  116. 116
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Fair Economist:

    A movie about the end of slavery and an African-American presenter married to the first African-American president?

    Hell, even the movie that actually won, Argo, was about a heroic secret mission initiated the CIA under the Carter Administration so there’s that connection too.

  117. 117
    Bokonon says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    I grew up in Michigan and know what a swirlie is. It’s not uniquely New England.

    Okay, I stand corrected. I guess the term is more widely used than I knew.

    Once I escaped high school and got to college (and even after that), nobody outside of New England seemed to have any idea what a swirlie was – and they were repulsed by the whole waterboarding-lite thing when they found out. But that was literally a quarter century ago. Lots can change during that time.

  118. 118
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I’ve never thought they were ‘fixed’. I did wonder if the show’s producers had some advance info on who actually, objectively won & then crafted show around that info.

    I remember when Brokeback Mountain lost to Traffic. There were (IMO absurd) accusations that Brokeback had actually won but that the presenter, Jack Nicholson, IIRC, decided to announce that the winner was Traffic out of “homophobia” and the Academy just went along with it to avoid scandal. That’s the only time I can recall an accusation of the awards actually being “fixed” (as opposed to when a dark horse wins due to last minute marketing or something — see Shakespeare In Love beating out Saving Private Ryan).

  119. 119
    Paul in KY says:

    @Citizen Alan: Sometimes on the Grammys (false equivalency, I know), it seems that the act among the nominated in a catagory that does a song from that catagory seems to win a disproportionate amount of time.

    Would be interesting to see if someone had ever done an analysis there (would want to include all Grammy shows televised to get the largest sample).

  120. 120
    LAC says:

    @Violet: And that beautifully sums up the presentation by the First Lady. Maybe she needed a break from the A-hole governor’s ball. I don’t know what the big deal is or what it has to do with the sequestration mess. Other than the reflexive need of some of us on the left to wag our genitals and go “HELLLOOO!! Look at me!! Focusing on the wrong thing again!!”

  121. 121
    shortstop says:

    @eemom:

    It’s a fucking Hollywood MOVIE. It’s not history.

    A lot of people really like movies. About a billion of them were watching the show last night. They saw Michelle Obama present — warmly and well — an award to one of the very popular films that millions upon millions of average people enjoyed seeing this past year and that many millions more plan to see in the future.

    Are you beginning to see how this works…and why no one in the administration will ever take your advice about PR issues?

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @eemom:

    I didn’t realize starfucker is the new Obot.

    Yes, because I’m happy that one of my studio’s movies won last night, that makes me a starfucker.
    /eyeroll

    @Paul in KY:

    I’ve never thought they were ‘fixed’. I did wonder if the show’s producers had some advance info on who actually, objectively won & then crafted show around that info.

    Price Waterhouse actually is very obsessive about keeping the results secret, but the producers do try to ride the wave of gossip and see if they can guess who the most likely winner(s) will be. Sometimes they guess right, and sometimes they guess wrong. That’s showbiz. ;-)

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Crash, actually not Traffic.

    There have always been rumors like that — when Marisa Tomei won Best Supporting Actress, the rumor was that Jack Palance was old and addled and read the wrong name, but they let it go.

    Someone came across a pretty good thing the other day that explained the Crash victory over Brokeback as an East Coast/West Coast thing. The non-Hollywood Academy members loved Brokeback, but the West Coast members love movies about Los Angeles, so Crash won.

    The real secret conspiracy theory is that Crash won because Paul Haggis was a Scientologist at the time, but no one likes to talk about that one.

  124. 124
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was surprised that “Silver Linings Playbook” didn’t win because I figured Hollywood was always so obsessed with “recovery” and emotional disorders and such.

  125. 125
    Ecks says:

    @NonyNony: We had the concept in Canada too.

    Wikipedia even has synonyms for the same act in Australia (dunnyflushing), England (Bogwashing) and India (Brainwashing – the best of the lost by a considerable margin).

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom: I’m not getting why you’re so vehement about… something.

  127. 127
    shortstop says:

    @Ecks: What an awesome page on school pranks. Bringing this thread full circle, the sequester will probably bring a stop to life-enhancing research like this:

    In 2007, eight-year-old second graders Jared and Justin Serovich came up with “wedgie-proof” underwear — with a tear-away waistband — at the Central Ohio Invention Competition, where their invention got them into the finals.

    I’m not making fun. I think these children are geniuses.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yes, but Silver Linings is a comedy, and comedies are never worthy unless they’re directed by Woody Allen. I think they were unwilling to nominate The Hunger Games, so IMO Jennifer Lawrence probably got that award for both performances.

    The screenwriting nominees were terrific this year — I think even Tarantino was surprised that he managed to win. Somebody should have made him straighten his tie before he went up, though.

  129. 129
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s like making Barney Frank comb his hair. Let Quentin be Quentin!

  130. 130
    Ecks says:

    @shortstop: hey, anti-bullying tech is cool by me, even anti-bulling low-tech :)

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @shortstop: I kept thinking of the Simpsons’ Itchy and Scratchy bit with special guest director Quentin Tarantino.

  132. 132
    Djur says:

    @eemom: Your complaint only makes sense if you take as a given that Hollywood is a bad place full of bad people who do bad things. Otherwise, why would it be questionable for the First Lady to participate in an awards ceremony for one of America’s most prominent industries?

  133. 133
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: See your point, starfucker ;-)

    Sometimes it is readily apparent who will win.

  134. 134
    Maude says:

    About Michelle Obama announcing an award at the Academy Awards, no one brought up Hattie McDaniel.
    The Academy didn’t forget.

  135. 135
    BC says:

    @Violet: Don’t understand your point – unless you were in the room, everything you saw was on a video! So what if one person was in DC and everyone else was in LA – to the television viewer, they might as well have been in the same room.

  136. 136
    Ecks says:

    @BC: Eh, you can see a person reacting to the energy of a crowd. It’s like how recordings of live concerts are sometimes better than studio recordings – it’s never live when it comes out of your headphones, but the atmosphere it was recorded in changes the performance.

  137. 137
    Chris Andersen says:

    I keep thinking back to the government shutdowns in ’95. Both the Republicans and the beltway media thought that the Dems would get blamed for it. But what happened instead was that it made people realize, in a very real sense, just how important government actually was to their every day lives. So, instead of being the fulfillment of their anti-government dreams, the shutdown actually gave a huge boost to Democratic arguments for the importance of government.

    I expect the same thing to happen this time. The one thing that makes it bad this time is that the economy is still barely recovering from a recession while the ’95 shutdowns took place at time when the economy was just starting to boom. We can little afford a prolonged fight about this crap at this time.

    I expect the Dems to win the PR battle on this hands-down. But the country will suffer for it.

  138. 138
    MCA1 says:

    @Librarian: I don’t know about miracle and wonder, but definitely lasers in the jungle.

  139. 139
    tam1MI says:

    A movie about the end of slavery and an African-American presenter married to the first African-American president?
    I see a connection.

    Not to mention the movie about the rescue of the Iranian hostages under a Democratic president, the movie about the black guy rescuing his kidnapped wife, a movie about a little black girl’s adventures in a waterlogged world, and then there was that one film about taking out Osama bin Laden…

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