John Hayward

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Biden: 'On every major issue, the American people agree with the Democratic Party'

Yes, yes, Joe Biden is a dunce, and he's objectively wrong; there has rarely been a moment when polls show the American people more firmly opposed to everything his Party stands for, right down to the very crucial question of whether government is too large.  The ObamaCare debacle, which is certainly one of the issues America strenuously disagrees with Team Biden on, has pushed overall disdain for Big Government past 70 percent, a high in recent history. Feb 15, 2014 7:05 AM PT

The Establishment perspective

Consider this a companion to "The Cruz perspective," because the GOP Establishment does have some good points to make.  The Republican primary challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Matt Bevin, told Glenn Beck, "I'd be willing to risk losing the Senate if we could keep America."  This is wrong on so many levels that Bevin might want to think about suspending his long-shot campaign and coming back in a few years when he's ready for prime time. Feb 15, 2014 6:32 AM PT

The Cruz perspective

This seems like a moment when everyone is taking stock of grassroots conservatism in general, and Senator Ted Cruz in particular.  He acted to force a vote on raising the debt ceiling that the GOP leadership would rather have conducted as a quiet, anonymous surrender.  The leadership is angry at him over it.  Pragmatic Republicans accuse Cruz of boosting his own personal brand at the expense of the party, or leading people into doomed ideological battles the GOP is not positioned to win, committing the cardinal tactical sin of wasting political capital without hope of a return on the investment. Feb 14, 2014 2:25 PM PT

'Noah' director faces criticism for artistic license

The Hollywood Reporter has a long article about the backlash director Darren Aronofsky has been getting from some Christians in the test audiences for his upcoming "Noah" epic, starring Russell Crowe as the Bible hero.  Aronofsky says only ten or twenty percent of his test audience has criticized the license he took with the story, but clearly their resistance bothers him.  (He's also distinctly grumpy about the idea of screening his unfinished film for test audiences, something forced upon him by the studio; he reasonably maintains that it's unfair to judge a massive special-effects film with most of the visuals waiting to be spliced in.) Feb 13, 2014 9:00 PM PT

'Job lock' and supply-side economics

Back when that H-bomb of a Congressional Budget Office forecast landed on ObamaCare, and panicked Democrats began running around like maniacs and burbling that unemployment is the essence of freedom, I thought they were making a huge and dangerous concession by admitting that government benefits provide a concrete and effective disincentive to work.   Feb 13, 2014 8:26 PM PT

Selling socialists the bricks they need to bury themselves

Twitter buzz over the weekend made me suspect I had chosen the wrong movie to see and review for its cultural significance.  I went with "The Monuments Men," but I'm starting to think I should have seen "The Lego Movie" instead.  I'm a fan of animation, Eastern and Western, hand-drawn and computerized, but I just couldn't see myself in the audience for the Lego film.  Besides, I'm a lifelong sucker for World War II movies, a taste I partially inherited from my mom.  (One of the last movies we saw together before she passed away was Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor," which she wanted to see on opening night.  Her review, which I relate to you in its entirety, word for word: "It wasn't like that.") Feb 10, 2014 7:18 AM PT

Movie review: 'The Monuments Men'

George Clooney's new World War II film, "The Monuments Men," has to be one of the most ill-conceived major studio releases ever.  It's not exactly a bad film or a hot mess; that would make it much more interesting - and the one thing "Monuments Men" is determined to avoid, at all costs, is being interesting.  It's pleasant, and very slightly amusing for a few brief moments here and there, but it's a case study in what happens when the premise of a story is systematically cleansed of all drama. Feb 9, 2014 6:04 AM PT

NBC does a solid for the commies

Speaking of suppressed ideas and sloppy discourse, NBC is really going out of its way to make the Russians happy in its Sochi Olympics coverage.  Did you catch the powerful statement International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach delivered against discrimination and intolerance, widely interpreted as a slam against Russia's treatment of homosexuals?  No?  That's because NBC didn't air it for American audiences.  I don't mean that they failed to air a speech the rest of the world saw.  They just hacksawed out the minute or so of rhetoric that would have made the Russians unhappy. Feb 8, 2014 7:07 AM PT

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