Monday, February 4, 2019

Random Thoughts: Picked Off One By One

Random thoughts from January, 2019:
  • Jan 2 2018: Bird Box (2019): The rule in "A Quiet Place" was "don't talk." Here, it's "don't look." Not quite a zombie movie, but a close cousin. Movie cuts between the present and five years before, which robs the earlier scenes of all suspense. Large wasted cast, picked off one by one. C+
  • Jan 2 2018: Texas Governor Abbott hates taxes more than he likes kids.
  • Jan 3 2018: RT @RepColinAllred: "On my first day in Congress, I'm proud to lead the charge against this partisan lawsuit attacking Americans’ health care. We will not stand idly by while special interest forces and their allies in Washington look to rip away health care from millions of hard-working Americans."
    God it feels good to have a Texas representative in Washington finally standing for individuals.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

  • Jan 3 2018: RT @jaketapper: "Remains absolutely stunning that POTUS yesterday said 'the reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there.'"
    Ronald Reagan is rolling in his grave.
  • Jan 3 2018: "Many of [Beto's] voters do not in fact know what Obamacare is." -- Mark Davis.
    He says with unintended irony.
  • Jan 4 2018: Mary Poppins Returns (2018): Don't compare to original. That's not fair. Sequel is fun, infectious, and true to the original story. Emily Blunt succeeds in the iconic role. Movie has songs, dance, an all-star cast and special appearances, some humor and villainry and fantasy. B+
  • Jan 4 2018: The Bird Box challenge is so last week. Try the new Bird Box/Quiet Place challenge: see how long you can watch Netflix while wearing a blindfold AND having the sound on mute.
  • Jan 5 2018: Vice (2018): Part dark satire, part Dick Cheney biopic. Half the country will hate it. Cheney is portrayed as evil, Bush a dupe. Nailed it? Squeezes a career of undermining American democracy and Constitutional government into 132 minutes. Most important movie of the year. A-
  • Jan 6 2018: I've already become so adept at Marie Kondo's six basic rules of the tidying method that I've managed to toss out three of her six rules.
  • Jan 6 2018: Popular headlines on NextDoor:
    1) Packages stolen from doorstep!
    2) Coyote spotted!
    They appear so often, I'm beginning to think they are connected.
  • Jan 7 2018: Headline: "Dallas Morning News lays off 43 as company struggles with revenue declines."
    Sad to see. Decades after I dropped my print subscription, I resubscribed last month to the online version primarily to encourage local journalism.
  • Jan 7 2018: Always playing catchup. I remember when MasterCharge changed its brand to MasterCard to de-emphasize that it was a charge account. Now it's rebranding again, dropping the name MasterCard to de-emphasize that it is a card at all.
  • Jan 8 2018: RT @joshtpm: "I think the full meaning and impact of the Times revelation about that polling data hasn't sunk in yet. Trump's campaign manager was secretly sharing confidential campaign polling data with oligarch closely tied to Vladimir Putin."
    So in other words, collusion. I'm shocked. Shocked.
  • Jan 9 2018: Dallas Morning News headline: "Manafort shared data."
    Talk about making it sound innocuous. What data? With whom? How about this instead? "Manafort colluded with Russia to influence election."
  • Jan 9 2018: RT @thehill: "FDA says routine food inspections stopped because of shutdown, raising health concerns."
    I'm glad that our President cares about our safety. Oh, wait...
  • Jan 10 2018: If Beale Street Could Talk (2018): James Baldwin's tale of young love victimized by the justice system. Beautiful looking film that is at times touching, infuriating, and inspiring. Great acting from whole cast. Set in 1970s, it could be a story of today. An important film. A-
  • Jan 10 2018: Good news: scientists off by 40% in their previous research on ocean warming.
    Bad news: new research shows ocean warming 40% faster than earlier thought.
  • Jan 10 2018: RT @impactnews_pln: "Citing health, embattled Plano councilman Tom Harrison will not seek re-election."
    That and his anti-Muslim bigotry that would have been a huge issue in a re-election campaign.
  • Jan 10 2018: RT @JayCaruso: "It's doubtful you could be any more ignorant than this...You're just whining because the DMN calls out your org for the grift machine that it is. One that backs anti-vaccine candidates under the guise of 'vaccine choice.'"
    Jay Caruso is a right wing commentator who calls Michael Q Sullivan and Empower Texans a "grift machine." I rarely agree with @JayCaruso, but he nails it here. FYI, Empower Texans is a right-wing PAC, not a media company. They've been misrepresenting themselves for years.
  • Jan 12 2018: Trump is so bad at deal-making. Trump should have spent billions on new wall construction after the 2016 election, which GOP won, instead of after the 2018 election, which GOP lost.
  • Jan 15 2018: They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018): Documentary of last, unfinished film by Orson Welles, which was going to be a movie within a movie, or maybe a documentary of making it. Sad how an egocentric genius lost his creative spark and focus. Movie fails to get inside his head. C+
  • Jan 17 2018: Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018): Documentary of forgotten Polish sculptor. At first it seems like a profile of quirky, eccentric old man living in SoCal. Later, when his career in Poland between the wars is covered, it gets much deeper and darker. C+
  • Jan 20 2018: NFL unifies America. Can anyone find a tweet by anyone defending that 'no call' in the Saints Rams playoff game?
  • Jan 20 2018: Am I the only one who deals with controversies over NFL officiating by not watching? I still care who wins but I can't stand to watch how much those wins come because of (or despite of) bad calls (or bad no calls).
  • Jan 21 2018: Throw out NFL overtime rules. But don't adopt college rules. Use standard football rules, except each team gets at least one possession. Overtimes will last longer than players' want, but at least for playoffs, we should have a fair and balanced setup with real football rules.
  • Jan 21 2018: My way, way, way too premature opinion: Kamala Harris makes one attractive candidate who ticks all the boxes.
  • Jan 21 2018: Crazy Rich Asians (2018): Traditional rom-com. Super rich boy falls for super smart girl. Obstacle? His family disapproves. Only thing novel about it is the large Asian cast. Change mahjong to bridge and it could be set in the Hamptons. Biggest plus? The jokes aren't racist. C+
  • Jan 22 2018: I foresee the wildest race for Oscar in years. No clear favorite. Widely diverging opinions on what kind of movie deserves it. Betting markets will be active. Probably just what Oscar needs.
  • Jan 23 2018: The Wife (2018): Glenn Close as the quiet, reserved wife behind a man awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature...until the awards ceremony brings her true self to the fore. An important lesson in gender roles. Great performances by both Close and Jonathan Pryce. B+
  • Jan 23 2018: The promise: No one will lose coverage. There will be insurance for everybody. Healthcare will be a "lot less expensive" for everyone—the government, consumers, providers.
    The reality: Uninsured rate goes back up under Trump and GOP.
  • Jan 23 2018: Trump should just tweet the SOTU: "The state of the union is strong...the strongest. All because of me."
  • Jan 24 2018: Just a reminder that while we're bringing our country to its knees over a border wall with Mexico, the atmosphere and ocean continue to warm, threatening pretty much everything.
  • Jan 24 2018: Headline: "The IMG-to-Oak Hill-to-Duncanville transfer has been taking over games all year in the DFW Metroplex."
    It's understandable why many suspect high school transfers for athletic purposes is out of control in Texas.
  • Jan 25 2018: TIL: Nancy Pelosi is seriously interested in supplying the checks and balances on an out-of-control Executive that our Constitution demands.
    Paul Ryan? Not so much.
  • Jan 25 2018: Good news for GOP: Trump will get his SOTU in House chambers.
    Bad news for GOP: America will get to see Nancy Pelosi behind and above him the whole time, like a mother watching over a delinquent child.
  • Jan 25 2018: Another Texas city moves toward adopting a climate action plan (texasvox).
    Richardson, are you listening?
  • Jan 25 2018: Government shutdown ends without wall funding. Does this mean Trump has to return the money to Mexico?
  • Jan 27 2018: White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney signals that Trump just might shut down the government again over wall funding. I remember something about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results applies here.
  • Jan 27 2018: Cinderella at LHHS: Great singing, dancing, live orchestra, sets, costumes, sound and lighting by RISD students, music and lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein, what's not to like? A delightful evening of musical theater. Support local live theater. Support RISD.
  • Jan 28 2018: On the Basis of Sex (2019): If this were fiction, you'd knock it for having an obvious arc. But it's not. It's a dramatization of why every girl, every woman, and yes every man owes RBG a debt of gratitude. She's not just a character on SNL. She's a real American superhero. A-
  • Jan 28 2018: RT @GregAbbott_TX: "What a joke. HISD leadership is a disaster. Their self-centered ineptitude has failed the children they are supposed to educate. If ever there was a school board that needs to be taken over and reformed it’s HISD. Their students & parents deserve change."
    Whoa. Why is Governor Greg Abbott sounding more and more like Donald Trump every day? Doesn't he realize that Trump's popularity drops the more he reveals himself to be an arrogant jackass?
  • Jan 30 2018: David Frum notes a rightward shift by Boomer generation driven by a perceived threat to Medicare from Obamacare. Maybe a Medicare buy-in will be politically more popular. Or will an expansion of Medicare be perceived as a threat, too?

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