The Bubble Genius Bob & Elvis Show 6/17/11

Elvis is Back; We Fight Over Text Remarks; Elvis Reviews Super 8; The Firebaggers at Netroots Nation; Syria and Libya; Is President Obama an Imperial President; The War Powers Act; Tea Party Camp; Romney Might Not Be the Nominee; The CNN Republican Debate; The Role of the Media in the Weiner Situation; and much more! Brought to you by Bubble Genius!

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  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Hehe, Elvis said he was under Bob’s desk “jostling his cables”. [snickers]

  • http://twitter.com/MisssterF Jocelynne

    This was a good one.

  • Buffalodavid

    Congrats to both of you for understanding political reality. Years ago I learned that politicians cant always support what they think is right, but they can make sure that they don’t get into the way of progress.

    Here’s my question. Does the War Powers Act count in a NATO situation? Didn’t congress approve this when they signed the NATO treaty?

    Am I missing something here?

    • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

      War Powers Act, Section 2(c): “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

      Our action in Libya has ABSOLUTELY “introduce[d] United States Armed Forces into hostilities,” that simply cannot be argued; the White House itself called this a “limited military operation,” so let’s not bullshit about what constitutes “Armed Forces.” As far as I’m concerned, one Marine with a slingshot and a bad attitude represents a US Armed Force.

      So why is “a NATO situation” suddenly circumventing the War Powers Act? NO treaty arrangement, EVER, circumvents the Constitution, and that’s all our obligation to NATO is: A signature on a treaty. If we put a single gear of the US War Machine into motion against another country, that’s introducing our Armed Forces into hostilities. That’s covered by the War Powers Act. Done and done.

      But don’t take my word for it. The War Powers Act is very clear on treaties, too:

      SEC. 8. (a) Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities […] shall not be inferred […] (2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint resolution.

      Nothing in the NATO treaty language gives any of the signatories thereto the authority to circumvent their own internal laws or constitutions in order to participate in a NATO action, so I’d say the White House is talking out of its ass on this matter. And the New York Times editorial board agrees with me, so neener.

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

        the New York Times editorial board agrees with me, so neener.

        And the Sky Fairy knows, they’ve never been wrong.

      • Buffalodavid

        Few people may hit the like button when they get their ass handed to them, but I really appreciate this answer. Thank you. It seems I’m wrong.

        I will go and sin no more ;-)

        As an old Yiddish proverb says, when two people agree on everything, at least one of them isn’t thinking.

        And denying a fact is just stupid. That’s not Yiddish. That’s me.

  • moderlee

    God save me from pissy, know-it-all fanboys when it comes to what makes a “good” movie. “This is what they should have done.” All you’re doing it grafting your adult sensibilities on to what is a kids movie. Jebus, we all saw Star Wars when we were 8 years old! They were all kids movies! Super 8 is a kids movie. Look, get it out of your system, write your magnum opus and post it. Shower us with your genius, already.

  • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

    I’m not grafting my adult sensibilities onto the film, J.J. Abrams did that for me, and that’s why I didn’t care for it. If you want to tell a good story, with a decent script, and make a fun Summer Blockbuster for kids, DO THAT. But if you’re going to purposefully manipulate a style that carries with it a great deal of emotional baggage for those to whom your film is meant to specifically cater, that’s a lot of baggage for a filmmaker and it requires a certain amount of care and respect.

    My bottom line with SUPER 8 is that it’s a poorly-told story, kids movie or no. The fact that it was dressed in Spielbergian clothes as a purposeful attempt to draw my generation in and make us FEEL a certain way made me angry, after the story let me down so badly. But my apologies for so offending you with, you know, my own personal opinion. You should absolutely continue to insult me personally for having one.

    • moderlee

      Insult?! Look, almost every week, at some point you put on your Pop Culture Sheriff hat and tee off on what you expect to see out of whatever Atrocity Committed Against Geekdom dropped that week. Well, let’s see it. I’m not demanding that you pack your bags and head off to Tinseltown. Bang out a few pages and post it. There is a world of difference between endlessly pissing & moaning about something and, you know, actually doing something. At the very least, you’ll produce something with the attendant satisfaction of doing so. But just sitting back and crabbing does nothing. As a Professional Geek, I hear people like you and all I see is one giant Comic-Book Guy, all shouting “EEEPAAAH!”

      Insult? Son, that was a challenge. Now show me something.

      • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

        I’m baffled by your premise. Are you saying that I’m to be somehow dispossessed of my opinions of Pop Culture — “fanboy” or not — because I am unable to produce something better than that about which I bitch? Is that your thesis here? In other words, a scathing rebuke of the Star Wars Prequels is worthless without my banging out a few pages of MY screenplay for the films and posting those? What the fuck?

        Films, TV, books, comics and video games are made for the fans of those franchises, we’re the judge and jury. And I’m sorry, but my $9.25 at the box office gave me every right to voice an opinion on that investment; that “pissing & moaning” is what I’ve got INSTEAD OF A SATISFYING TIME AT THE MOVIES.

        • moderlee

          Nobody’s trying to take away your freedom to be a wondercrab. I just want to know what you’re prepared to bring to the table. So far, all I’m hearing is “Dance for me, art-monkey!” You’ve just GOT to have one good idea in you. If you’ve appointed youself as a Judge of Media, I would think you have something to offer in return. It can be anything. If there’s a creative impulse in there, I want to hear about it. THAT’S the hard part.

          • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

            Okay, so let me get this straight: In your Bizarro-World, the Fanboy who invests his ten bucks in the media has no right to demand satisfaction from that investment, while the Faceless Commentator with no financial investment in my personal opinion requires that I Put Up Or Shut-Up because his or her delicate sensibilities are offended by the constant bitchery, have I got that right?

            Maybe you missed it, but Bob and I spent several minutes 2 weeks ago sucking on Christopher Nolan’s magnificent brainsac for consistently bringing smart, well-crafted, brilliantly-told stories to the screen. I saw INCEPTION three times in the theater, all full-price post-matinee prices, because it was so well made and such a compelling story. I word-of-mouthed half a dozen people into seeing it, and purchased the film on BluRay the day it was released. These are the means by which outstanding content is rewarded; my raving bitchery is what you get when your product sucks donkey ass.

            In what warped universe is my ability to “offer something in return” the only metric by which I’m allowed to fucking rant about how The Suck something is? Like I said: I PAID MY TEN BUCKS, IF I DON’T GET ENJOYMENT FROM THE PRODUCT, I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BITCH ABOUT IT.

          • moderlee

            Dammit. Missed the Nolan love. Agreed. That fucker rocks my world.

            And faceless nothing. I do put my wares out for ridicule…for $2.99 a month at your Local Comic Book Shop. Maybe this is just another round in the endless “If It’s So Damn Easy, You Do It” argument. Something as aggrivating as a bad time-travel story because there’s no true conclusion.

            All I’m asking…again…is what would you do? Bitching takes zero effort. I rant & rave against the last 15 minutes of Sucker Punch, but I am prepared to offer a creatice way out of that black hole of an ending.

            I just don’t see where you’re getting so god-damned aggrieved. Show. Don’t tell. Just one thing.

            Look, do, or do not. Me, I’ve gotta get back to actually doing.

          • The_Dork_Knight

            Big comic fan here. Would love to know who you are.

          • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

            I think he’s Lee Moder, Comic Book Artist: http://mirrorsmirror.tripod.com/moder.html

            If so, good on you, sir! Obviously quite talented and full of the “Doings”! Apparently this town isn’t big enough for your massive creativity and my opinions to peaceably coexist. I doff my hat to your overwhelming doings.

          • The_Dork_Knight

            He has talent, but sounds like he got a bad review recently and took it out on you, (even though, as I mentioned, Super 8 was good, and you are clearly wrong… lol).

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YM23FX2FBZEC3UVDPZRGCUBIZ4 staci

          Holy shit, it costs $9.25 to go to the movies. Egads!

      • The_Dork_Knight

        I loved Super 8. Elvis is wrong about Super 8 in the same way anyone who doesn’t agree with me that the Kirby Silver Surfer is the only true Silver Surfer is wrong. He’s entiled to his opinion without you going all grumpy old man on him.

        • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

          Crimson Tide drop-in FTW.

          • The_Dork_Knight

            Geek points for getting the reference.

          • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

            Damned straight!

          • The_Dork_Knight

            Crimson Tide, now thats a great goddamn film. The scene where Washington refused to repeat Hackman’s commands to launch and ends up releaving him of duty remains one of the most compelling and tense 10 minutes in film history.

          • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

            Agreed. Still one of my favorite suspense films of all time, endlessly rewatchable. Great cast of almost-stars-at-the-time, too; Gandolfini and Mortensen were awesome in small supporting roles.

          • The_Dork_Knight
          • The_Dork_Knight

            I feel bad for Cobb. How’d you like to be that guy in this situation?

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    One of your best shows, imho.

    I think that all the left wing caterwauling about libya, et al, is counterproductive. I agree with Elvis that politically, it would behoove Pres Obama to let Congress do their thing. But other than that, blah.
    Also……..imperial presidency, Elvis? Really? Bob’s right on this. And I would find it very difficult to believe that the Pres has any desire to increase U.S. land holdings for any reason. And THAT is what constitutes an “imperial presidency”.

    I also read Sullivan’s piece on conservatism yesterday. Really excellent.

    • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

      I don’t equate “Imperial Presidency” with the absolute constraint of “Empire-Building,” I don’t think President Obama is a ne0-Colonialist in the least. When I say “Imperial Presidency” I mean that in the Schlesinger sense of “a president who exceeds his Constitutional authority,” period. Under those terms, Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman were all Imperial Presidents, though none of their extra-constitutional behavior had anything to do with Empire Building.

      • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

        I thought you meant “imperial” in the anti-Bush-Iraq-Policy sense.

        That said, I don’t think President Obama’s decision to participate in a NATO action in Libya would qualify him as a Schlesinger imperialist. He’s not secretly bombing Cambodia or suspending habeas. Lincoln almost had a Supreme Court justice arrested. I see nothing like that on President Obama’s record so far.

        • http://twitter.com/elding Elvis Dingeldein

          If you take “Schlesinger Imperialist” to mean, as I do, “a president acting outside of Constitutional limits,” then I’m afraid you’ve got to agree with me. True, not as wacky as Lincoln firing 20-pound cannons directly into the Supreme Court, but still extra-Constitutional viz the War Powers Act. So IMPERIAL PRESIDENT I SAYS!

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole
  • JMAshby

    If our (non-existent) participation in Libya makes him an “imperial president” then so does Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan.

    If providing logistical support to NATO allies who are currently involved in combat constitutes “imperialism” then there’s almost no escaping that label. Wouldn’t that suggest your definition is too narrow or simply that the bar has been lowered so far by the previous president we no longer recognize it?

    It has been over two months since any US forces were directly involved in combat in Libya, by the way.

    • mrbrink

      I thought this was a pretty good take down, Ashby.

      In short, NATO, the UN Charter, the Supremacy Clause, the Libyan embassy threatened and evacuated…are all legal grounds needed for intervention.

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

        Great link, mrbrink. ty. :-)

  • muselet

    Elvis, welcome back. Bob did a good job solo, but the show’s better when it’s the two of you.

    You guys went into great detail about what I habitually shorthand as “our wonderful news media.” Thanks for saving me a lot of typing.

    I’ve pretty much given up on J.J. Abrams. As far as I can tell, the man is incapable of telling a story, or, perhaps, can’t be bothered. I’ll give him a couple of points for advancing Greg Grunberg’s career, but beyond that, not so much.

    –alopecia

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    FINALLY got to finish the show tonight. Sure Bob, tell us ALL about the hibiscus soap and then we can’t even buy it!

    I actually bought and received the other day their mint-scented A-Bruin Bear soap, their Fruitcake Perfume Oil (which smells incredible and doesn’t make my allergies go nuts), and the Life’s a Beach Salt Scrub (which if someone were to rub on my feet they would win my love forever!)

    Plus, they threw in several other small soaps. The small soaps include a little red robot (that kind reminds me of a cross of the robot on Yo Gabba, Gabba and the robot that humps washers on Robot Chicken). A little Easter Island face soap. Two little stars and a small Pi symbol.

    I LOVE me some Bubble Genius but perhaps we should demand the hibiscus for the masses….. ;P

    This was a great show in every way. Elvis is back in a major way and Bob is the anchor. You guys rule!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PUEIHSCZDFTXPGJTCRELL4ZQUU Happy

    Great show. I love it when Elvis gets all riled up. :D