[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Clint Eastwood directed, Tom Hanks is Sully, and it's about as good as it could be.

As we all know, back in January 2009, a US Airways flight out of LaGuardia hit a flock of geese as it was ascending, and both engines were lost. Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger kept his head, judged his options and chances, and set the jet down in the Hudson River, just off Manhattan. Thanks to him, the rest of the flight crew, and some quick-thinking rescuers, the fatality count was zero, when it could have been 155. Or more, if the Airbus had crashed somewhere in NYC.

But the entire flight took about five minutes, the rescue took about twenty minutes, how do you make a decent sized movie out of that?

Well, they fudged a bit, turning the subsequent NTSB investigation into more of an Inquisition than it actually was. Playing the primary (and entirely fictitious) heavy is the immortal UNH grad, Mike O'Malley, and he seems (at least for most of the movie) to want to argue that Sully could have made a safer return to LaGuardia, or made it to Teterboro NJ. Spoiler: given the time involved in diagnosis and alternative-weighing, probably not. Sully is vindicated, as also we already know.

Still: Tom Hanks does his usual fine job of getting into his character's skin. Everybody else is good too. It's always nice to see Valerie Mahaffey, who plays one of the passengers. And the special effects are pretty good, too: you'll swear that they just re-enacted the whole thing for the movie.

URLs du Jour


■ Proverbs 28:19 rates an A+ on relevance and accuracy:

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

In related news: Venezuela Food Shortages See Nearly 75 Per Cent Of People Lose Average Of 19 Pounds

Venezuela’s economic crisis has sent many people into poverty — and some have seen dramatic physical effects on their bodies.

An annual survey reported last week on Venezuelan living conditions found nearly 75 per cent of respondents lost an average of 19 pounds unintentionally in the past year.

There seems to be an autoplay video at the link, and it appears that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has not been losing any weight.

■ Jonah Goldberg's G-File is online, and he reports on his Close Encounters with a ‘Living Constitution’.

The unifying theme here is what has been the central premise of progressivism for the last 100 years: It’s about power (See: Progressives & Power). When the Living Constitution yields the desired ends of progressives, the Living Constitution is a vital means. When the Living Constitution is inconvenient to those ends, we must bow down to the immutable and unchanging authority of super, super-duper, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious precedents.

Jonah also refers to the late Joe Sobran's observation: "When people appear to apply a double standard, it means they are actually applying a hidden single standard — one they don’t want to admit."

■ Kevin D. Williamson makes The Case for Petty Partisanship. He offers a number of ways the ostensibly-in-control Republicans can and should defund the left. Example:

Congress should also adopt a general prohibition on distributing federal settlement funds to nonprofit organizations. Billions of dollars in federal settlements have been directed to “non-victim entities” such as the Urban League and La Raza, which are fundamentally political organizations. If Republicans cannot bring themselves to act out of prudence and principle, then they at least ought to have a sense of self-preservation sufficient to stop funding campaigns against themselves.

KDW's suggestions make so much sense that it's difficult to believe the GOP will take them.

■ I bet you're wondering why the GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill is dead. Well, Peter Suderman of Reason is here to tell you: The GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Bill Is Dead Because Trump Doesn’t Understand How Health Policy Works.

The bill Trump backed made no attempt to balance either the policy or political interests of the legislators, influence groups, or stakeholders involved. Trump spent the week negotiating changes to the bill, but because he neither cared nor understood what was in it, and what lawmakers wanted from the bill, he couldn't act as an effective negotiator. A handful of last minute updates to the bill intended to pick up holdout votes backfired: One reduced the bill's projected deficit reduction, while another was so imprecisely drafted that it ran the risk of killing the individual insurance market entirely, while leaving the federal government in control of the regulations it was supposedly devolving to states.

Yes, Trump not was ignorant on policy and politics. But let's not forget that he also lacks guiding principles, like a devotion to personal liberty or free markets.

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Last Modified 2018-12-25 11:26 AM EDT