[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Let's see… IMDB counts 8 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), and one win. Amy Adams also got nominated (Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, …) for her performance as Louise, the genius linguist academic. So, yes, it's pretty good.

First Louise is shown as an (apparently) single mom raising a cute kid, only to lose her at a too-young age. But then we move to the real plot: 12 huge alien vessels appearing at random spots around the world, their origin and purpose a mystery. Louise is dragooned by a humane but tough Colonel (Forest Whitaker) to attempt to solve the riddles. She's helped out by Ian (Jeremy Renner), an affable theoretical physicist from Los Alamos.

A little slow at times, but that's OK. No-spoiler advice: pay close attention to everything Louise says (in dialog and voice-over) in the early going, as it will help illuminate things later. And afterward, you might want to check out the IMDB trivia page too, if you miss the joke about the names Ian suggests for their alien contacts.

URLs du Jour


■ Pun Salad delivers your Proverb du Jour, 28:15:

Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

Our Getty image today: not Donald J. Trump.

■ Trump doesn't resemble a roaring lion or a charging bear, and Kyle Smith at the NYPost argues Trump’s first two months prove he’s anything but a fascist. Because, this little thing called the Constitution. Kyle has a longer memory than your average progressive:

Remember when The New Yorker was running “Our Broken Constitution” (Dec. 9, 2013) and saying, “The compromises, misjudgments and failures of the men in Philadelphia haunt us still today.”? Remember “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution”? (New York Times op-ed, Dec. 30, 2012) and “Let’s Stop Pretending the Constitution is Sacred” (Salon, Jan. 4, 2011)?

Yes, that was back when progressives were cheering for Executive Overreach; the Presidency was in their hands, and they imagined it would be so forever.

■ Peter Suderman at Reason discovers that Republicans Are Trying to Embrace Obamacare’s Ideas Without Embracing Obamacare. And he adds: "It Won't Work."

Suderman looks, specifically, at the Rube Goldberg way the GOP plan tries to backdoor-mandate "coverage". He argues, convincingly, that the result will be worse than the Obamacare status quo, quite a feat.

The core problem for Republicans, and for the House health care bill, is that they are trying to replicate Obamacare's basic structure in a form that is somehow not Obamacare. It is not the same exact plan, but like Obamacare it relies on a system of insurance market subsidies and regulations, along with financial penalties for those who don't stay covered.

Obamacare was already a politically compromised piece of legislation with serious flaws and real uncertainty about its long-term stability. Republicans have decided to use an unstable version of its already-kludgy policy scheme for the individual market as a foundation for their own plan, buying into its essential ideas even as they claim to reject them.

As a geek, I approve Suderman's correct use of "kludgy".

■ Kevin D. Williamson reflects on Daniel Hannan's remarks at the recent "Ideas Summit" put on by the National Review Institute, and says some perceptive things about democracy, populism, and liberty: The Anglo-Americans.

But there was much that was said, honestly and in good faith, that left me increasingly convinced that the current expression of populism — Trump populism, in short — is simply incompatible with a politics based on property rights, individual liberty, and the traditional moral and social order and the hierarchies that sustain it. There is more to conservatism than free trade, but the argument for free trade contains within it practically the whole of conservative economic thinking and a great deal of conservative thinking beyond economics: facing reality, making choices, enduring the consequences, accepting tradeoffs, accepting responsibility. The right to trade is implicit in the right to own (and hence to control) property. A right to trade that exists at the sufferance of the sovereign is not an unalienable right with which we are endowed by our Creator. It is something else, and something less.

KDW's positions (which, 99.9% of the time, I share) are not "on the table" at this time. It's not quite accurate to say they're "unpopular", I think. It's more like they're being resolutely ignored by people who should know better.

■ Your Tweet du Jour:

■ And your Toon du Jour:

[A Bad Plan Rots From the Head Down]

Last Modified 2019-06-18 6:32 AM EST