Quote

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Morning For Celebration

What could be better on Christmas morning than a wonderful rendition of "Ave Maria."

Hail Mary, Mother of God.




From my family to yours: Everyone have a Merry Christmas.

Time To Celebrate

Is there something wrong with pouring some eggnog and spiking it with Old Grand-Dad this early in the morning? 

Fireplace.  Christmas music.  Holiday hooch.  A celebration.

I call it Christmas cheer. The first one is to all of you.

Is Hollywood Out Of Touch?

Critics of the new movie, "It's Complicated" are saying Y-E-S.  Because the Motion Picture Association of America has given the flick an R rating.  But not for reasons that you might think.  The film doesn't have a Hillary moment in which one of the two main characters - played by Meryl Streep - throws objects at the other - Alec Baldwin.  Nor is there an explicit nude scene with the two (thank God).

No nudity.  No violence.  So why the R?
New Film Ignites Debate on Ratings Policy
By Brooks Barnes, New York Times

Los Angeles — The romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” arrived at the multiplex on Friday complete with an R rating, ranking it in the same category as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Basic Instinct” in the eyes of the Motion Picture Association of America.

But there is no violence in “It’s Complicated,” and the bedroom scenes are decidedly tame by contemporary standards. Instead, the R rating — which experts say could limit the box-office potential of the Universal Pictures film — comes largely from a sequence in which Steve Martin and Meryl Streep smoke marijuana.

The rating has kicked up dust in Hollywood, with movie bloggers starting blistering attacks on the M.P.A.A. for being out of touch. The marijuana lobby is equally miffed. [link]
I'm afraid I must agree.  I think if kids can handle the gruesome death of Mufasa, they can handle a couple of elderly has-been actors doin' the smoke-a-dope.

But I am also inclined to believe that it really doesn't matter what rating the MPAA puts on the movie.  Ain't no children going to want to go see it.  (Ain't no member of the From On High family goin' to see it either) (Alec Baldwin is still alive; who knew?)

But I did want to make a point.  About Hollywood being out of touch.  As exemplified by this movie.

Take a close look at this promotional photo:



It shows the Streep character and her husband (played by Steve Martin) sitting at the dinner table.  And what's on the table before them?  Water, white wine, and lettuce.  Meaning no disrespect, but does anyone out there actually sit down to a meal of leaves?  Ever?

Hello.  USA to Hollywood.

Tinseltown is indeed out of touch.  But not because of anything having to do with marijuana.  We're all out here eating Kentucky Fried Chicken - extra crispy - and Hollywood is depicting fun-loving couples feasting on crap that real Americans reserve for the guinea pig.

Get with it, people!  We want to see a romantic comedy with protagonists - clothed or otherwise - stoned or otherwise - mooshing Big Macs.  Sonic foot-longs.  Texas chili cheese fries.  The stuff that made America great.  Leave the leaves to the environmentalists and other lesser creatures.

Photo courtesy of Melinda Sue Gordon, Universal Pictures, and the New York Times
Click on the image to enlarge it.

A Radicalized Democratic Party ...

... is driving "moderate" Democrats out.  And is giving pause to others:
Keep the Big Tent big
By William M. Daley, Washington Post

The announcement by Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he is switching to the Republican Party is just the latest warning sign that the Democratic Party -- my lifelong political home -- has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.

Rep. Griffith's decision makes him the fifth centrist Democrat to either switch parties or announce plans to retire rather than stand for reelection in 2010. These announcements are a sharp reversal from the progress the Democratic Party made starting in 2006 and continuing in 2008, when it reestablished itself as the nation's majority party for the first time in more than a decade. [link]
Bob McDonnell's landslide victory in the governor's race here in Virginia in November should be a red flag to the few remaining moderates in the party of Pelosi.  If they think they can cling to the coattails of radical liberals like James Webb (whose voting record mirrors that of avowed socialist Bernie Sanders nearly down the line) and Mark Warner (ditto) they are in for a rude awakening.  Americans are fed up with out-of-control government - brought on by a host of Webb/Warners - and they are in a surly mood.

It's Come to Jesus time.  Either read and believe the happy horseshit that the Washington Post puts out or pay attention to the voter turnout in November.  And be careful.  You have only one chance at this.  Get it right.

Point, Counterpoint

The New York Times:

"Given the atmosphere of nasty partisan rhetoric, it's probably no surprise that not a single Senate Republican will support the current health care bill."

Given the overwhelming disapproval of the bill by the American people, it's probably no surprise that not a single Senate Democrat will oppose the current health care bill.

* See "Gallup: Public Support for Health Care Drops 21 Points in Four Weeks."

It's No Accident

Back-to-back headlines in this morning's New York Times:

• Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul on Party-Line Vote


• Senate Passes an Increase in Debt Limit

Speaks volumes.

Want To Know Why The Tea Partiers Are Enraged?

This is just the latest example of corruption, waste, and favoritism in Washington that must stop:
ObamaCare's Longshoremen Rules
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Obama praised the Senate yesterday for clearing a 60-40 procedural vote on his health plan in the dead of night and "standing up to the special interests who've prevented reform for decades and who are furiously lobbying against it now." They're furiously lobbying all right—not against ObamaCare but for the sundry preferences in the Senate bill.

Start with the special tax carve-outs included in the "manager's amendment" that Harry Reid dropped Saturday morning. White House budget director Peter Orszag has claimed that the bill's 40% excise tax on high-cost insurance plans is key to reducing health costs. Yet the Senate Majority Leader's new version specifically exempts "individuals whose primary work is longshore work." That would be the longshoremen's union, which has negotiated very costly insurance benefits. The well-connected dock workers join other union interests such as miners, electrical linemen, EMTs, construction workers, some farmers, fishermen, foresters, early retirees and others who are absolved from this tax.

In other words, controlling insurance costs is enormously important, unless your very costly insurance is provided by an important Democratic constituency.

The Reid bill also gives a pass on the excise tax to the 17 states with the highest health costs. This provision applied to only 10 states in a prior version, but other Senators made a fuss. So controlling health costs is enormously important, except in the places where health costs need the most control.

Or take a separate $6.7 billion annual "fee" on insurance companies that is supposed to be divvied up by market share. This beaut doesn't claim to be anything more than a revenue grab, but at the behest of Michigan Senator Carl Levin Democrats chose to apply it to some insurers and not others. Select companies incorporated as nonprofits will be exempt, even though nonprofits typically have net income exceeding for-profit companies because they pay no taxes. [link]
Contemptible.

And the worst part is, when confronted with the fact that this process is not only wrong but completely out of control, Washington politicians - Democrats to a man, but too many Republicans as well - dismiss the criticism saying, "This is how it's done here."  As if "this" is how their employers - us - the owners of this country - want it done.

Public opinion of Congress is at its lowest it's ever been.  Yet they blindly forge on with their shameful machinations.

Those in the Tea Party movement are mad as hell.  They should be.