Very Important Chart of the Day

This is all over the liberal blogosphere today.  I could link to about all the usual suspects, but I came across this on Kevin Drum first, so here you go…

The amazing (and utterly depressing thing) is that conservative elites keep on repeating nonsense about tax cuts paying for themselves with increased revenue.  In no real world is this true.  Ezra Klein rounds up a bunch of quotes from conservative economists to the contrary, yet leading Republican politicians just keep repeating this utter nonsense.  Ouch– the stupid!!

Of course, this liberal pushback comes because these conservatives just don’t really care about the deficit as they keep putting tax cuts ahead of deficit reduction.  Yet, the media just don’t get this at all.  The deficit reduction business is almost purely a political pose.  I love Yglesias’ take:

Incidentally, if there’s anything that makes me want to lock every MSM political journalist in a small barn which I then light on fire* it’s the persistent refusal of the journalistic class to internalize the fact that the conservative movement in America doesn’t care about the budget deficit. It’s not that they sometimes care more about other things. Or that they care less than the should. Or that they’re hypocrites on occasion. It’s that they don’t care about it at all. Not even a little. Indeed, they’re opposed in principle to deficit reduction. The conservative movement has more record of boosting foreign aid to sub-Saharan Africa than it does to deficit reduction.

If you ever come across people pushing this supply-side nonsense, I suggest you send them to Klein’s or Yglesias’ posts linked above for a thorough debunking.  You might also, in as polite a way as possible (especially if they are a Republican Senator), let them know that they are a political moron.

Galactic Rebellion for Dummies

Oh, my, this is brilliant.  Thanks to Jon Chait.  Being on this subway car would’ve made my life:

Civil Rights vs. Blogging

Going to be a slow day here (you got a lot yesterday– don’t complain) as I’ll be spending much of my day at the meeting of the North Carolina Advisory board of the US Civil Rights Commission.  Of which I am a member.  Really.  A few years ago they asked me to come and testify about issues with the pay gap and gender.   I did and a few months later I was asked to join the commission myself.  Pretty cool.  Today we’re addressing a report on the disproportionate punishment that minority youths face in NC school systems compared to white youths.   Should make for an interesting discussion– and hopefully some useful policy recommendations.

Ummmm, no.

Given my interest in media portrayals of parents and politics, I was naturally drawn to today’s Kathleen Parker column about Sarah Palin’s image as a mom.  All I can say is– she won a Pulitzer for writing drivel like this?!

No, the genius isn’t the message but the messenger. Sarah has positioned herself as the spokesperson for The Good Woman (i.e., conservatives) and thus has inoculated herself and her message from criticism. To criticize Sarah now is to impugn Womankind. Worse, it is anti-Mom.

Seriously?  Criticizing Sarah Palin is like criticizing motherhood?

As described by Sarah, the “Mom Awakening” can be visualized as mama grizzlies on their hind legs ready to maul anyone who tries “to do something adverse toward their cubs.”

Somehow, I don’t see Sarah Palin’s version of a “mom awakening” becoming a meaningful political movement.  For now, I’ll go ahead and criticize Sarah Palin as vapid and incoherent.  Take that, motherhood!

Inglorious Tarantino

Watched Inglorious Basterds over the last couple nights and, I’m really not entirely sure what to make of it.  I felt like aspects of the move where four stars and others were only worth 1.  My main thought, though, is that Tarantino certainly is a self-indulgent director.  There’s a couple scenes in the movie that really go on for a simply amazingly long time.  Sure, they are building tension and suspense, but I suspect that same amount of tension could have built in half the time.  It honestly felt to me like Tarantino was saying, “look, I’m Tarantino, I can make this scene go on for as long as I want and who’s going to stop me.”  There’s something to be said for pacing and narrative momentum– something this film was sadly lacking in.  It simply would have been a much better movie clocking in at 2 hours, rather than 2 1/2.

With Tarantino, you’re always going to get self-indulgent gore.  I accept that, but I sure don’t like it.  Do you really need to see in graphic detail as Nazis are scalped or have “SS” carved into their foreheads?  Seems too much like torture porn to me.  I really don’t want to know people who enjoy watching that.

Though, credit to Tarantino for making a movie that I could love and hate at the same time.  I think Stephanie Zacharek’s view probably comes closest to capturing my own reaction.  The lede:

Quentin Tarantino thinks big, and he’s got balls. If that were enough to make a masterpiece, “Inglourious Basterds” would surely be one. But “Inglourious Basterds,” in addition to having already stirred controversy for its Jews vs. Nazis conceit, is unwieldy, long-winded, self-indulgently nutso and, in places, very, very boring. [emphasis mine] It also caps off its two-and-a-half-hour run time with an extended finale – partially orchestrated to David Bowie’s “Cat People” theme song, no less – that I could watch again and again with pleasure. In other words, Tarantino has taken a huge leap and made a movie that doesn’t fully work, which presents those of us who love his work, hate his work or love-hate his work – which should cover just about everybody – with a confounding question: Do we praise the leap, or shake our fists at the result?

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