The Republican Budget

House Republicans are about to create a plan on cutting $100 Billion from the domestic budget.  Should be interesting:

House Republican leaders are so far not specifying which programs would bear the brunt of budget cutting, only what would escape it: spending for the military, domestic security and veterans.

The reductions that would be required in the remaining federal programs, including education and transportation, would be so deep — roughly 20 percent on average — that Senate Republicans have not joined the $100 billion pledge that House Republicans, led by the incoming speaker, Representative John A. Boehner, made to voters before November’s midterm elections.

Can’t wait to see the specifics they come up with for this.  Of course, there budget will go nowhere, but Americans actually are not big fans of cutting schools and roads.  As Chait points out, they’d much rather just raise taxes on the rich or cut defense spending:

It’s easy to talk about cutting $100 billion in the abstract, it’s a lot harder when you are talking deep cuts in public services that Americans overwhelmingly value.  There’s only so far you can get with “waste, fraud, and abuse.”  It will be interesting to see what they come up with.  The Democrats ads for 2012 may just write themselves.

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Movie time

So, been watching a lot more movies as of late.  When you are sitting there trying to rock a baby back to sleep at 2am, you can either just sit there in darkness and silence, or catch up on your Netflix queue.  Felt like sharing some thoughts based on recent viewing…

  • The Kids are All Right.  Way over-rated.  It was okay, but nothing more than that.  Definitely not worth all the acclaim its received.  Basically, I think critics have a soft spot for lesbian movies, Annette Benning playing someone really uptight, and Julianne Moore, period.  Put them all together and it’s catnip.  Not a waste of time, but certainly not nearly as good as I had been led to believe.
  • Restrepo.  Sebastian Junger’s amazing first-person documentary of an incredibly dangerous forward operating base (Restrepo) in Afghanistan.  Junger and collaborator Tim Hetherington clearly put themselves at enormous personal risk, but the result is harrowing war documentary scenes like you’ve never seen before.  I put Junger’s book about this, War, to the top of my reading queue.
  • State of Play.  Half-way through.  Good, but very conventional thriller.  Didn’t realize what a thinly-veiled attack on Blackwater/Xe this was going to be.  Mostly though, I wanted to mention that in now way does Russell Crowe look the same age as Ben Affleck (he’s eight years older), yet their characters are former college roommates.  Couldn’t they just have come up with a more visually realistic backstory.
  • Solaris. It’s 8 years old and I’ve watched it before, but I couldn’t resist when I chanced upon it on HBO far too early one morning with Sarah.  I love this movie.  I can definitely see how it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it is terrific.  Also, rarely does a score contribute so wonderfully to setting an overall atmosphere and tone.  This got quite mixed reviews from critics at the time, but I really like Ebert’s take.

Dog bites man

And in similar news, yet another falsely convicted Black man in Texas is exonerated based on DNA evidence.  In this case he only had to wait 30 years.  Best part, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the highest court in Texas for criminal cases) thrice turned him down.  “Texas Justice” is an oxymoron.  Discuss.

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