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urlYou have got to be fucking kidding me:

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, desperate to alter the course of a presidential primary fight in which Donald J. Trump is closing in on victory, will announce Wednesday afternoon that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination.

I can hardly imagine a presidential ticket I’d loathe more.  Aside from what, Stalin and Mussolini?

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Pathetic as John Boehner often was, he did manage to somehow engineer a permanent Doc fix and got Obama to give him $2.5 Trillion in spending cuts for no reason. Some of the takes of him as some kind of secret master politician were silly then as now but those are real actual things. As opposed to nothing.

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Biopics are almost always total garbage, from both historical and dramatic perspectives. Nearly all of them have to lie in order to shape a person’s life into a three-act structure, huge omissions are essentially required considering the constraints of a feature film, and interesting complications are brushed aside if they interfere with feel-good nostalgia (to name one example, I strongly doubt the Folsom Prison concert finally exorcised Johnny Cash’s demons viz. dead brother). The thing rides the line between respect and exploitation closer to the latter even under the best of times. But man, the Nina Simone biopic really sounds risible even by those standards. I honestly don’t know what to think about some of the controversy around it–other movies (such as, you know, Malcolm X) have had to deal with the light skinned/dark skinned actor/historical figure issue before. But Malcolm X is fantastic, which is the point–if you’re going to court controversy, you damned well better deliver in such a way that it obliterates all of that.

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The contortions a non-white person has to go through to remain a part of the right’s gravy train are equally sad and hilarious.

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My basic take on Bernie Sanders continuing to press home the Wall Street speeches and the generally poor foreign policy judgment of Hillary Clinton is that worries about general election damage are overrated–regardless of the outcome of the primary, this is going to matter if she becomes president. If Democrats generally don’t trust her on foreign policy and warmaking, then she maybe won’t go out on a limb as often there. (Hope springs eternal, anyway, as I think “humanitarian” intervention is a core value for her, and one of very few issues she cares about enough to lose an election.) If her being close to Wall Street becomes a narrative, then she may feel it necessary to be a little tougher on them to show that she isn’t. This isn’t crazy talk either–HRC is basically the Democratic Bush 41 and his weakness among party activists led to things like the Clarence Thomas nomination. Obviously I don’t want something exactly like that, but an equivalent would be nice. And it seems unlikely that such things will turn an election between her and Trump/Cruz around in any event.

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Image pulled from Regent University’s website

It’s been too long since John Kasich lectured women on how to live their lives. So he did it again. Nice.

Funny thing, out of Trump, Cruz and Kasich, my wife hates Kasich the most by far. It’s not hard to see why. Cruz is such an obvious creep that he’s barely even threatening, and Trump definitely has major issues with powerful, successful women, no question. But Kasich just seems to have this ingrained, boundless contempt for women in general (particularly younger women) that he cannot or will not (most likely cannot) keep under wraps. He stereotypes, he condescends, he lectures, etc., all coming from a place that women are stupid and shallow and need to be told how to think and what to do by an old white dude (and a pretty ignorant one at that). Gee, one should avoid situations where alcohol is served to avoid sexual assault? Great tip! Perhaps your expertise extends to telling seminarians about things a person picks up in second grade Sunday Scho–oh damn. Incidentally, it’s easy to forget considering the image he’s presented, but Kasich is an evangelical/Religious Right type, just one a little bit better about hiding it than some.

I would argue Kasich is the most misogynistic of the three, which is pretty astonishing considering who the other two guys are. But I’d argue it nonetheless. The problem he has that Trump doesn’t have–aside from not knowing his weaknesses–is that he’s so goddamn boring that he only really gets attention when he’s being an asshole, and it clashes with the sober statesman he’s presented as.

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May be overstating the public’s desire for Avatar sequels, but what do I know? I don’t agree with this, though: Cameron’s career has been in creative decline ever since Aliens, though creative decline here has, as it sometimes does, led to unbelievable commercial success. He peaked in a very high place (The Abyss, which has shockingly never had a Blu-ray release, only one of those first-generation DVDs that looks like a postcard on your newfangled television, might have topped Aliens but for the fourth grade writing assignment ending), but his writing has deteriorated steadily beginning with Terminator 2 (where he went from writing things that became catchphrases to writing catchphrases, basically, and we began to see the bloated runtimes that would characterize his career going forward). I wasn’t surprised that Avatar was a huge hit since it promised the sort of uncomplicated escapism that audiences have long craved, as Titanic also did, nor was I surprised when people decided it kinda sucked when they thought about it some more–other than spectacle it accomplished absolutely nothing they hadn’t seen before. At this point, given the direction his career has gone, writing mediocre sequels to a mediocre sub-Dances With Wolves white guy meditation on native peoples seems what he should be doing. At least there’s an honesty to that, unlike George Lucas’s smaller, personal films. Is there nobody with the money to make these things?

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