Quote of the Day postsFriday May 22, 2015
Quote of the Day
“We will bring to the Iraqi people: food, and medicines, and supplies ... and freedom.” [APPLAUSE]
“[The 2003 Iraq war] was, in short, a war the White House wanted, and all of the supposed mistakes that, as Jeb puts it, 'were made' by someone unnamed actually flowed from this underlying desire. Did the intelligence agencies wrongly conclude that Iraq had chemical weapons and a nuclear program? That's because they were under intense pressure to justify the war. Did prewar assessments vastly understate the difficulty and cost of occupation? That's because the war party didn't want to hear anything that might raise doubts about the rush to invade. Indeed, the Army's chief of staff was effectively fired for questioning claims that the occupation phase would be cheap and easy.”
-- Paul Krugman, “Errors & Lies,” The New York Times
Adam on Kimmel on Letterman
“I think it's been decided. The guy who loves Dave the most? Kimmel. My, what a tribute. I just remember that everyone who was cool in high school stayed up to 12:30 on weeknights to watch him. I wasn't cool. But I started to log those late nights myself, and it made me feel part of something. Kimmel explains it.”
-- Adam Wahlberg, who has been sadly counting down to the last “Last Night with David Letterman” show, which happened last night.
Simon Pegg: Childish Movies Create a Childish Culture
“Before 'Star Wars,' the films that were box-office hits were 'The Godfather,' 'Taxi Driver,' 'Bonnie and Clyde' and 'The French Connection'—gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed. I don't know if that is a good thing. Obviously I'm very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we've been infantilised by our own taste. Now we're essentially all consuming very childish things: comic books, superheroes ... Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously!
”It is a kind of dumbing down in a way. Because it's taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about... whatever. Now we're walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything—other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot.“
-- Simon Pegg (Scotty of the ”Star Trek“ movies), this week to Radio Times magazine. Couldn't agree more. Although to nitpick, not sure how big of a hit ”Taxi Driver“ was. Better sub in ”One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,“ which was a bigger hit than all of them.
BTW, there's a poll after the article, asking ”Do you agree with Simon Pegg? Vote now." Please do. The votes against Pegg for stating the obvious are ahead 51.3% to 48.7%. The bastards keep winning.
UPDATE: A day later, it's 52% to 48% in favor of Pegg. A bit of sanity.
Quote of the Day
“I've been watching politics since Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and Obama is my favorite, favorite president. I am just thankful for every day that he's in office. I am so proud that he represents my country and I think he represents me — I think he represents the America that I know.”
-- singer-songwriter James Taylor to the Associated Press earlier this week.
Quotes of the Day
If it feels like you've been getting ripped off all your life, you have:
The salient basic numbers are these. Since 1979, compensation for the top 1 percent has grown 138 percent, while median wages have increased just 6.1 percent. Worker productivity has grown 63.5 percent in this time, and if wages had kept pace with productivity, the annual median wage today, instead of being around $35,300, would be $54,400.
That's from Michael Tomasky's piece, “2016: The Republicans Write,” in which, in The New York Review of Books, he reviews the various books by Messrs. Rubio, Santorum, Ryan, Carson, Huckabee, Walker, and comes away unimpressed about their views on the most pressing economic issue of our time. Another key quote:
Here's the difference between Clinton and the Republicans. She, like virtually all Democrats, accepts the basic fact that wages for median workers have been more or less stagnant since 1979. She probably accepts the idea that this stagnation, alongside rising inequality, is the greatest economic challenge we face. She probably accepts the standard set of reasons that economists offer about why this has happened—globalization, technological change, immigration patterns, a decrease in workers' bargaining power, the rise in high-end compensation, and various federal tax and wage policies. And finally, she probably accepts that the solutions to the problem are chiefly economic solutions—changing tax policy, giving workers greater “voice,” taking steps to ameliorate the negative effects of globalization, and so on.
The extent to which Republicans accept any of this is far from clear.