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1. Here are my comments on J. EDGAR. I didn’t add that one reason it flopped is nobody cares about Hoover one way or the other these days.

2. Mr. Ceaser is properly worried about Newtmania and admits that all Romney can do now is wait and keep ready. He is certainly right that Newt showed he’s more a bloward intellectual than a statesman with his Palestine was invented comment. America, after all, was in a way invented. Almost all the countries of the Middle East were recently invented.

3. Jim and Pete have come around to hoping Paul wins in Iowa. And Pete is right that the polls are favorable. The softness of Newt’s support, not to mention the lack of organization, may cause him to do much worse than expected. Or at least Kant commands us to hope.

4. Our friend Mr. Cheeks has the more farfetched (but noble in a way) hope that Newt and Mitt will cripple each us and either Bachmann or Santorum will be the nominee as a result.

5. Believe me, I’m all over the downsides of Mitt, but: Of all the candidates mentioned above, he’s the only one who has any business being president or any real chance of defeating the president. I’m all about the “dark horse” emerging, but I don’t see the “how.”

6. I appreciated Jim’s comments on THE DESCENDANTS in the thread below: But when the Clooney character opens with his Hawaii is no paradise because people are screwed up there too comment, he himself his particularly screwed up. He’s self-absorbed in a stingy or ungenerous way. He says he wants to give his children just enough, but not too much, and that’s why he lives only his lawyer’s income and not his huge inheritance. But we see that he’s only the “back-up parent” and we soon find out his wife was in a big-time affair that originated at least with his neglect of her. His more feckless relatives who’ve blown their fortunes are at least more about enjoying life, and they appreciate paradise for what it is—which ain’t everything, of course.

7. Clooney is a “descendant” of Hawaiian royalty and missionaries. He doesn’t look Hawaiian, can’t speak the langauge, and doesn’t hang out with the indigenous people. But he’s inherited the means to live like an aristocrat (which he sort of does—not needing to work and taking off as he pleases) but without taking responsibility for who he is. Keeping the 25,000 acres his family holds in trust from development is supposed to be act of Hawaiian repsonsibility, but we can’t forget that he’s really sticking it to his family members who need the money (unlike a real aristocrat, he seems to have no genuine affection or sense of responsibility for his extended family) and his dead wife’s lover. The film ends with him reconciled in a TV-watching way with his daughters, but his heart hasn’t really expanded all that much, it seems.

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