North East West & South 2/5/2009

N.E.W.S. of the day…with smartassery.

Obama Needs To Listen To The GOP’s New Leader

The Republican National Committee has a new dude up top, named Michael Steele. As Sarah Palin was a “get on that bandwagon” choice to show that Republicans can do a Hilary too (which showed, instead, not so much), the choice of Steele (who is one of, what, one black guys in the party?) is their attempt to show they can have black folks too.

But I have to admit, so far he has shown a grasp of certain matters that I think President Obama needs to heed. Steele says that bipartisanship is overrated, and I think he is absolutely correct. Bipartisanship to Democrats is “Let’s give the other side input and try to reason things out.” Bipartisanship to Republicans is “If we’re in power, fuck you guys; if you’re in power, you need to do what we want you to do.” It’s time Democrats learned that expecting any actual attempt at cooperation from the GOP is akin to teaching table manners to a hagfish. It never works.

It’s not like they have anything to bring to the table for reasonable discussion. Look at our country, and our planet, after eight years of their rule. The further we get from letting them have their way, about anything, the better. They do not want bipartisanship, they want to stand in the way till they can claw their way back to power. Obama, so far, is taking the high road too much, and may find it runs off a cliff. He wouldn’t be the first Democrat to find that out.

The stimulus plan passed in the House with how many Republican votes? None. There’s their reply to your attempts at bipartisanship, Barack. There’s their answer to your attempts at including them, honoring them, showing them respect.

Additionally, after Rush Limbaugh made comments about how he’s hoping for Obama to fail (at this time where so much is going wrong, and we’re still at war on two fronts), a large amount of Republicans have re-embraced him as the near-official mouth of their party. Partisanship is the Republican creed, and we need to put patriotism, to our country, our species, and our planet, first.

The GOP, as it stands, is in well-earned decline, and until it is replaced by something that at least makes an attempt at serving our county’s best interests, needs to be ignored as much as possible. It’s a rabid mutt in the yard, and needs to be chased off, not fed with the family dog.

Christian Fucking Bale

I haven’t watched the video of Christian Bale going apeshit on Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut, but references to it are all over the place. It’s painful to see, because I admire Bale a great deal as an actor, and you do want to believe in the folks you admire, but he did lose it in front of a camera, so that’s the chance you take. And while people think they know famous people, they really don’t, and for all I know, Bale is a monster of a man.

Or he may be a saint who was having a rotten day. I don’t know. I don’t actually care, as long as he’s not actually victimizing anyone and is doing a good job in the movies.

I am sympathetic to Bale in this matter, however, based on having read the backstory of the video. Bale is a very intense method actor, who puts himself deeply into character, and Hurlbut apparently kept doing things like tweaking light setups during the actual filming of scenes, which is a no-no. When a scene is being filmed, it’s crucial that no one is moving around in the actors’ sight-lines, much less doing something as distracting as moving the damned lights around. And Bale had politely asked him several times to stop doing this, and it hadn’t worked. Finally, he blew a scene for Bale, who was no doubt worked up within his character, and the actor lost it.

What Bale might have done was just pull rank and have the asshole fired, but he didn’t. He just vented loudly, since simply asking the guy to not do these things hadn’t worked, then let it go and said let’s get back to work, likely hoping the message would stick this time.

The bad guy here is director McG, who should never have let this become an issue on his set. But one gets the impression McG’s not exactly Scorsese anyway.

Another Buggy Release From Bill Gates

As reported on Yahoo:

Microsoft founder turned disease-battling philanthropist Bill Gates loosed mosquitoes at an elite Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference to make a point about the deadly sting of malaria. “Malaria is spread by mosquitoes,” Gates said while opening a jar onstage at a gathering known to attract technology kings, politicians, and Hollywood stars. “I brought some. Here I’ll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected.” Gates waited a minute or so before assuring the audience the liberated insects were malaria-free.

Kudos to Bill Gates, who left Microsoft and started a charitable foundation with his wife that has been far more than just a philanthropic mask like those worn by many other wealthy people. Gates is actually trying to do something positive with his money, like helping millions of people worldwide in the fight against malaria.

“There is more money put into baldness drugs than into malaria,” Gates joked. “Now, baldness is a terrible thing and rich men are afflicted. That is why that priority has been set.”

Yeah, Gates is also known for many questionable business tactics over the years, but that doesn’t seem to be where his head’s at anymore. At a time we’re seeing the results of our nation’s coddling of greedy people, it’s awesome to see him out there giving back to the world that gave to him.

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