On this day in 1942, Casablanca, a World War II-era drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City; it will go on to become one of the most beloved Hollywood movies in history.
n the film, Bogart played Rick Blaine, a former freedom fighter and the owner of a swanky North African nightclub, who is reunited with the beautiful, enigmatic Ilsa Lund (Bergman), the woman who loved and left him. Directed by Michael Curtiz, Casablanca opened in theaters across America on January 23, 1943, and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Bogart. It took home three Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film featured a number of now-iconic quotes, including Rick’s line to Ilsa: “Here’s looking at you, kid,” as well as “Round up the usual suspects,” “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” and “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
What stands out is what was not mentioned by either Krugman or Feldstein, the Bush tax cuts, which the Republicans insisted be made permanent in exchange for any tax revenues no matter how meager. In the light of the Republican objection to an extension of the 2% payroll tax cut because of the $250 billion dollar per year cost, it is laughable in the face of the fact that just extending the tax cuts another 10 years would cost $5.4 trillion in revenue losses., four times as much as the payroll tax cuts. But not a peep from either man or the interviewer.
Krugman was correct in stating that the Democrats were far too generous and, as John Aravosis has pointed out in the past, they are lousy negotiators, always starting from their bottom line. However, Dana Milbank in his the Washington Post opinion makes clear that this committee was doomed from the start by the mere presence of one man, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), an immovable object when it comes to tax increases, “doing Norquist’s bidding in killing any notion of higher taxes”:
The sabotage began on the very first day the supercommittee met. While other members from both parties spoke optimistically about the need to put everything on the table, Kyl gave a gloomy opening statement. “I think a dose of realism is called for here,” he said. That same day, he went to a luncheon organized by conservative think tanks and threatened to walk (“I’m off the committee”) if there were further defense cuts.
When Democrats floated their proposal combining tax increases and spending cuts, Kyl rejected it out of hand, citing Republicans’ pledge to activist Grover Norquist not to raise taxes. Kyl’s constant invocation of the Norquist pledge provoked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to snap at Kyl during a private meeting: “What is this, high school?” [..]
Norquist, who worked to defeat a compromise, brags about his control over Kyl. When Kyl made remarks in May that appeared to leave open the possibility of tax increases, Norquist called Kyl and adopted “the tone of a teacher scolding a second grader as he recalled the conversation,” Politico reported. Norquist boasted to the publication that, after he upbraided Kyl, the senator “went down on the floor and he gave a colloquy about how we’re against any tax increases of any sort. Boom!”
It is fairly obvious that the Senate Republicans under the leadership of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Norqist’s Svengali-like control, are willing to risk the stabilization of the economy and kill any job creation bills to defeat President Obama and gain control of both houses. As Aravosis points out in his article today the best that Feldstein could do was blame both parties equally. Perhaps over the next year, the Democrats and President Obama should continue to put forth really bold bills, bolder than the President’s last job proposal, to further demonstrate the intransigence of the Republicans. It might go a long way to shed the image that Democrats are the party of capitulation.
Apparently, a South Korean magazine, Weekly Chosun, claims to have tracked down Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota, alive and well and living in Pyongyang. North Korea admitted snatching a 13-year-old Yokota in 1977, but they claim she killed herself in 1994.
The captain of a Chinese fishing boat was arrested in Japanese waters off Nagasaki after leading the Coast Guard on a chase. Sound familiar?
The body of a 35-year-old Iwate man missing since the March 11 tsunami was discovered by his wife in a crushed car being kept at a temporary junkyard.
A powered exoskeleton robot-like suit made by Tsukuba-based Cyberdyne, which would come in handy during nuclear accidents, “features computer-controlled, motorized limbs, which respond to a user’s movements.”
The Daidogei World Cup of street performers featured 87 acts from 21 countries doing their thing at a Shizuoka park.
In an event organized by Panasonic to promote its Lamdash shaver, a world record was set for the largest number of men using the same model of electric razor at the same time in Japan and abroad. According to Guinness World Records, 1,981 men participated at 18 locations.
Last week we started this series, beginning in 1958 and going through early 1966. This week we shall cover to the end of 1967. The reason for the shorter timeframe is that the band were much busier and beginning to know real success beginning then, with a really good year in 1967.
Last week I failed to mention that Keith Moon married Patsy Kerrigan on 19660317. He nicknamed her “Kim”, which stayed with her for the rest of her life. She was killed in an automobile accident in 2006. I apologize for the oversight.
I also neglected to report this piece of trivia about “Substitute”. In the original US release on 19660402, the line in the original that goes “I look all white, but my dad was black.” was altered to “I try going forward but my feet walk back.” I strongly suspect that this was because the Atco executives (this was the only song released by Atco with The Who) feared reprisal from the bigots in the US.
In any event, let us take up where we left off, more or less, last week.
In a Committee Opinion published November 22, The College also states its opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender identity and supports both public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender disphoria.
Transgender patients have many of the same health care needs as the rest of our patients. It would be wonderful if all transgender patients had the resources to be seen in a specialized clinic, but the reality is that many forgo care because they don’t. By increasing the number of ob-gyns providing care to transgender patients we can help improve the overall health of the transgender community.
–Eliza Buyers, MD, former member of The College’s Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, who helped develop the new recommendations