Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tweets of the Week (11/23/14 - 11/29/14)

The first official teaser trailer for The Force Awakens

I'm not quite sure how to feel about this.  I'm a bit eager to put the awful prequels behind us and see what a continuation of the original trilogy without George Lucas' meddling might look like, but I'm not sure I can really form an opinion until we get past the teaser stage and start to see some real trailers.

The black stormtrooper seemed a bit out of place.  Not that I have a problem with the idea of black stormtroopers, but I thought the prequels clearly established that all stormtroopers were clones of Jango Fett, who is not black.  I suppose it's always possible that someone was wearing a stormtrooper's outfit as a disguise, much like Luke and Han did in the first film.

The villain's lightsaber has crossguards like a longsword, which may look sort of silly but probably comes in quite handy in a fight against someone with a normal lightsaber.

That speeder looks interesting, and Daisy Ridley looks pretty adorable riding it.  ( She's rumored to play Han and Leia's daughter, but I guess we won't know for sure until sometime in 2015. )

It sure was nice to see the Millenium Falcon again and to hear John Williams' wonderful score, which is probably the best thing I can say about the teaser so far.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tweets of the Week (11/16/14 - 11/22/14)

Here's an interesting idea...

DrewM has a suggestion for how Congress should respond to President Obama's latest power grab:
Yesterday we saw a number of ideas floated about how to respond....rescission, lawsuits, de-funding and withholding votes on nominees to name a few on the table. There's one idea I'd like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address.
The Constitution simply requires that "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Nothing requires that he do so in person.
I like this idea.  Frankly, Obama deserves to be impeached, but if the votes aren't there to remove him from office, then surely Republicans can at least force him to do his boasting and preening (and lying) somewhere other than on the floor of the House.

Of course, Obama being Obama, he'll probably show up anyway just so he can give an even douchier version of the same speech on the steps of the Capital Building.  That's fine.  Let him.  That won't play nearly as well as he thinks it will.  People won't see a president, they will see a spoiled little brat who refuses to play by anyone's rules but his own.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tweets of the Week (11/9/14 - 11/15/14)

Will Obama be a problem for Hillary in 2016?

Allahpundit made an interesting observation:
Has anyone let Hillary know, incidentally, that Obama thinks he no longer needs to worry about short-term electoral concerns? Not that executive amnesty is going to hurt her much in 2016—my strong suspicion is that it’ll help, if only in how it confounds GOP candidates—but his track record on improving other Democrats’ electoral chances is … not good. You would think party bigwigs might prefer less of a loose-cannon Obama at this point, if only for her sake, than having him spinning like Julie Andrews on the hilltop, flinging work permits at every illegal who strays by.
I just assumed that Obama would spend the next two years basically being the biggest asshole ever, but it never occurred to me how the presumptive Dem nominee would view Obama's behavior.  Hillary needs to figure out how much she can distance herself from Obama while still trying to claim her abysmal tenure as his Secretary of State as a plus on her résumé; the more strident and unpredictable Obama gets during his last two years in office, the tougher that will be for her to do.  Plus at any moment the media could push her aside and rally behind Elizabeth Warren instead, much the way they rallied behind Obama in 2008.  ( And with Joe Biden in the mix as well, who the hell knows what could happen. )

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tweets of the Week (11/2/14 - 11/8/14)

Where do we go from here?

The midterm elections finally happened, and Republicans did pretty well for themselves.  Republicans retook control of the Senate, added to their seats in the House, and even won some governorships in unexpected places like Illinois and Maryland.  All in all, if you wanted to see the GOP stick its thumb in Obama's eye, Tuesday was a pretty good night.

So, now what?  Once the 114th Congress is sworn in on January 3rd, Harry Reid won't have a stranglehold on the Senate anymore.  Whether the new Senate Majority Leader turns out to be Mitch McConnell or some other Republican, I don't much care, as long as Harry Reid is finally pushed aside.

One thing you can count on is for Obama to be at his absolute pettiest over the next two years.  You think he's been petty so far?  You ain't seen nothing yet.  Whatever little concern he may have had before about electoral consequences is now completely gone.  He's already talking about sidestepping Congress and the new Congress hasn't even been sworn in yet.  Don't be surprised at all if Obama spends the next two years basically daring Congress to impeach him; expect Obama to take more and more executive action of increasingly questionable constitutionality, all while vetoing every single bill that Congress passes.  And the media will cover for him every step of the way, at least until he makes himself a problem for whichever candidate the media wants to nominate in 2016.

As far as 2016 goes, I'm hoping that Republicans will have enough sense to nominate someone who served at least one term as governor of a red or purple state and whose last name isn't Bush.  There are way too many people running who probably shouldn't be.  Ben Carson is a nice guy, and I respect the hell out of the work he's done as a neurosurgeon, but making Obama uncomfortable for two minutes at a prayer breakfast doesn't make you qualified to be president.  No matter how much you might like the speeches given by Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, neither of them has any executive experience.   It's no coincidence that Herbert Hoover was the last time a Republican was elected president without having first served as a governor, general, or vice president.  If Jeb Bush had become governor of Florida a little sooner and then run for president in 2000, he might've had a chance, but he doesn't have a chance in hell of being president now.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tweets of the Week (10/26/14 - 11/1/14)

A very belated review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I finally gave in and watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I would've watched it sooner, but hearing so many Libertarians overpraising it as a warning about the rise of the police state had me dragging my feet a little bit.  I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would.  It was vastly superior to the first Captain America movie, that's for sure; I actually thought The Avengers worked much better as an introduction to Captain America as a character than Captain America: The First Avenger did.

( I've heard some say that Winter Soldier was a better movie than The Avengers.  I liked Winter Soldier a lot, and it was easily the best sequel I've seen in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, but I don't see how you could say it surpasses The Avengers.  Even Iron Man--generally accepted as the best origin story of the bunch--is still a lesser movie than The Avengers, IMHO. )

Captain America: The Winter Soldier kept a lot of plates spinning throughout the movie, but there's always plenty of well-timed exposition to keep you from getting lost; it maybe even had a bit too much exposition in a few places for my taste, but that's a minor criticism.  The movie didn't really connect directly to the events of The Avengers, but it did feel rather Avenger-y, thanks to the inclusion of Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.  Robert Redford was perfectly cast as Alexander Pierce.  I thought Emily VanCamp was also a nice bit of casting, even though her part wasn't all that big.  I have a funny feeling that she'll eventually end up as a regular on Agents of SHIELD after ABC pulls the plug on Revenge.  ( By the way, if you like all the Hydra vs SHIELD stuff in Winter Soldier, you might want to give Agents of SHIELD a try... Hydra plays a big part in it, especially in season two. )

One thing I wasn't sure how to feel about in this movie was Anthony Mackie as the Falcon; there were moments where the movie seemed to want him to be more than just Captain America's sidekick, and yet he basically gets thrown under the bus the minute Captain America doesn't need to be flown anywhere anymore.  Also, the casting of Mackie as Falcon didn't feel quite right to me in either case, but the rest of the movie is good enough to make me feel like I'm picking nits for even mentioning these problems.