Republicans are mocking President Obama's $3.73 trillion budget for 2012 for waving feebly at historically huge federal deficits. As if to show how it should be done, they are ready to start muscling their own package of deep cuts in domestic spending through the House....excuse me? What f-ing leg does the GOP have to stand on? The latest figures from the GOP has them cutting $61 billion from a $3,800 billion budget--a whopping 1.6%.
1.6% is not a "deep cut". It's bigger than a rounding error, but not by much, and it's just as feeble a wave at "historically huge federal deficits" as anything Obama's come up with.
Pelosi: "House Republicans are going too far, sacrificing Americans' health, safety and future in order to protect the special interests." ...how? By cutting $61 billion from a $3,800 billion budget? 1.6% is "too far"?
I'm left gasping incoherently at all of this. There's no "deficit reduction" going on here; all I see are token efforts to make it look as if the GOP is trying to rein in spending. But it's not; $61 billion is a literal drop in the bucket!
The budget for next year requires that the US government borrow $1,500 billion. If the GOP gets its way, the US government will still have to borrow $1,439 billion. How does that materially help anything whatsoever?
Answer: it doesn't.
I would like to say that I'm disappointed in how the GOP is behaving, except that I expected this, and it's impossible to be disappointed when someone performs to your expectations. (However low they may be.) I knew they weren't going to do a goddamned thing about the out-of-control deficit spending the Democrats emplaced 2007-2010; I knew it because the GOP stopped caring about "fiscal responsibility" after 1997 and became the party of "Democrat Lite".
What the hell did we vote for in 2010? "Same shit, different Democrats." So I'm ready to make a prediction for 2012:
Obama will win a second term as President, because the GOP vote will be split everywhere. The GOP will get shellacked all over the place as voters like me try to find a party with candidates who will actually do something about the de facto socialism of the federal government.
If the GOP keeps this crap up, this life-long Republican is going elsewhere.
Boortz is right to pick on Republicans, damn it.
* * *
Some popular song I heard sometime in the last year sounds a hell of a lot like the end theme to Mermaid Forest (the OVA, not the TV series) and I had the chorus of the pop song stuck in my head; it was keeping me from remembering the Mermaid Forest song, so I fired up WinAmp and listened to it.
Anyway, then I decided to listen to a few tracks from the Mimi wo Sumaseba OST. (The English title is Whispers of the Heart.) One of the wonderful things about that OST is track 11, "Country Road (Violin Version)".
See, the story is set about the time that "Country Roads" was a popular song in Japan, and the main character writes a translation of it in Japanese; there's a scene where she sings it, and track 11 is that song. The really neat thing: she's singing it as the guy who's going to end up being her boyfriend plays the violin (one he's made, I think) and his grandfather's friends come in with various Renaissance instruments and start playing. So there's one guy with a violincello, and a guy with a crumhorn, and so on; and once she's done singing the song they do this awesome Renaissance riff on the song.
It is criminal that this riff is a mere 30 seconds long.
...but it's emblematic of the entire movie. It's about being different, about making things in unusual ways, about finding unusual and good combinations--syntheses--of disparate elements.
The guy's grandfather is an anachronism, an old-world craftsman living in the middle of a major Japanese city, and his grandson is so passionate about becoming a violin maker that he quits school and goes to Europe to try out as an apprentice. The main character, Shizuku, simultaneously begins putting all her effort into writing a novel, even to temporarily abandoning her studies for her high school entrance exams.
When I think about it, I conclude that Mimi wo Sumaseba has got to be my favorite Studio Ghibli film--or if not the favorite, then very close to the top...but I can't think of a single other Ghibli film that I've watched more often.
The guy who directed it died at age 47 of an aneurysm. Damn it.
The artwork is gorgeous. That's true of all Ghibli films, but this one is the best, at least to me. I understand intimately the theme of trying your best to improve your art, working alone for long hours knowing that you might not ever be good enough, that your talent might simply be too ordinary. Even the music--
So now I'm thinking that I'll have to dig it out and watch it again.
* * *
Speaking of anime, the other day I watched the playlist and mistakenly ran an ep of Arakawa Under the Bridge rather than the sequel series Arakawa Under the BridgeXBridge. I watched the entire first season OP thinking, "Oh, they're using the first season OP this time!" because the series is odd enough that I wouldn't put it past them. But no; it was my mistake.
I'm paying for it, too: I've got the OP stuck in my head. It's quirky and kind of annoying, but my subconscious loves it, so I keep hearing the chorus over and over AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!! and it's getting on my nerves.
Fortunately, I've still got "My Sharona" on tap.
(No, I'm not going to post the lyrics again.)
Fairy Tail changed OP and ED themes already, at ep 12. The first OP was "meh" but I kind of liked the ED.
And, Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii ga Nai--if that bitch was my little sister I'd let her stew in her own juices after a while. Ep 4--shit, if I were that guy I would have just let her open the box from Saori in front of her friends, and afterwards I'd tell her, "Well, that's what happens when you DON'T LET PEOPLE FINISH THEIR DAMN SENTENCES!" Yeah, try explaining to your friends why you got a box of hentai doujins. I'd like to see that.
The "little sister" is an arrogant, annoying twerp. I like the guy and his girlfriend, and I love Saori. (I keep hearing her use the archaic "de gozaru" ending in her sentences, which is a relic from the samurai days. She's awesome.)
* * *
Darkmaster hit 40th level. Last night Sailor V and I were kicking ass all over the Scarlet Monastery, but computer problems forced him off-line for about 15 minutes and I'd been fighting sleep since 10 PM, so I logged off and hit the hay around 1 AM with the Cathedral left unfinished; we're going back in later on, whenever I get around to it.
He's found used copies of the expansion packs on Ebay, so very soon he'll be able to level his toon to 80th. Heh.
This character which I made as a lark is actually turning out to be kind of fun. The changes made for Cataclysm actually make the rogue playable for me.
One good change: backstab no longer requires stealth. Targets move around so much that it's kind of hard to get behind someone, in stealth, and then backstab him--particularly when you're not in a party--and the stealth requirement meant that if you missed your shot before combat began, you couldn't use it until the next combat, because you can't go into stealth when you're in combat.
It also meant that you had to choose what attack you'd use to start combat--garotte or backstab--because using either one would break stealth. Even if you didn't draw aggro, you were in combat because of your attack; you couldn't go back into stealth to use the other stealth attack.
Now, though, Sailor V can send his pet after a guy while I, in stealth, creep behind him; once the wolf has aggro I can garotte him while his attention's on the wolf. Once I'm out of stealth, backstab, then sinister strike until I've got all five combo points, and then hit him with a finishing move. With poison on both weapons, I end up doing a pretty fair dinkum job as DPS.
Still not seeing a downside to the revamp for Cata. I know there has to be one; I just haven't found it yet. A bunch of people were predicting that the revamp would drive people away from the game, but I don't see how; certainly it seems a lot more playable to me than it was before, and it wasn't any slouch then.
* * *
Anyway, I said I went to bed around 1 AM? Yeah, that worked. Or not.
Problem is, I'd start to fall asleep; then GRONK I'd snore myself awake. *sigh* I don't know what the problem was, as I don't normally do that. I know I snore; I don't normally wake myself up in the process.
Eventually, though, I fell asleep...and woke up at 5 with the bottomless pit below my sternum demanding tribute. I might have gotten 3 hours of sleep, though it's probably closer to 2.
I'd wager some of my current emotional state is due to fatigue. I will now test my theory by going back to bed. Ha!
(BTW, the "mood" field LJ has has 180-odd different moods in it. One is "recumbent". Is that a mood? I thought it was a bicycle.)