Republicans Are The Lannisters Of American Politics

The HBO series “Game Of Thrones” dominated television until it ended with mixed feelings in 2019. Despite the sword and sorcery elements, the series managed to engage a wide audience through its political intrigue as the ruling houses schemed to win everything.

One of those houses, the Lannisters, was rich, incestuous and ruthless — similar to the Republican Party except Republicans have few if any of the Lannisters’ positive traits.

The Lannisters, Unlike The Republicans, “Always Pay Their Debts”

The Lannisters’ unofficial motto of “A Lannister always pay his debts” is a fine financial position but also a warning to enemies that they will always settle the score. While Republicans certainly settle their political scores, keeping a promise for repayment is more tenuous, which Republican Rep. Byron Donalds from Florida demonstrated on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”


Donalds decried the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party for not just blankly giving in to the Republicans’ every demand as they hold the world’s financial stability hostage. But all the talking points collapsed after Chuck Todd played a clip of then-President Trump discussing the debt ceiling.

Donalds comes from the same political cesspool as Matt Gaetz and Ron DeSantis, so he gave the game away with zero shame.

DONALDS: Well, first of all, he also said the other day on a rival network that he said that when he was president, and when they asked why he wasn’t saying it now, he said because he’s not president. Listen, Donald Trump is always negotiating —

TODD: Do you realize how absurd that sounds?

DONALDS: That is not absurd. He’s always negotiating, Chuck.

TODD: How is that not absurd? It’s absurd.

DONALDS: Chuck, he’s always negotiating. That’s what he does. And it’s actually one of the reasons why so many deals for our country worked out to our benefit, as compared to his predecessors, both Republican and Democrat, because he’s always negotiating.

TODD: But do you realize how partisan that sounds?

DONALDS: That is not a partisan statement.

TODD: “What is – what is good for me is not for thee.” He’s basically saying, “When I’m president, –

DONALDS: Right.

You know how stupid and nakedly partisan you have to be for anyone in mainstream political media to call it out, much less Chuck “Both Sides” Todd?!

Donalds then tried a little whataboutism that was so provenly false that Chuck Fucking Todd corrected him (again).

TODD: – there’s no negotiating on this. But, hey, when somebody else is president, screw them.”
DONALDS: Well, no, here’s the thing. Let’s be – let’s be realistic now. When Donald Trump was negotiating debt ceiling with Nancy Pelosi, mind you, they negotiated that.
TODD: No, they didn’t.
DONALDS: When they were –
TODD: They raised it without any restrictions.

Losing an argument to Chuck Todd should be an everlasting political wound, like Jamie Lannister’s right hand.

The Republicans’ Lannister-Like Cruelty And Greed

Republicans, like the fictional Lannisters, think they can somehow “shit gold” by just doing cuts that hurt everyone but the rich. Republicans said as much when a reporter asked about raising revenue to “solve” their manufactured debt crisis last week.

When Republicans claim small businesses and family finances are like the federal government’s budget (they aren’t), they conveniently ignore that real world small businesses and families would have to also bring in more revenue to get out of debt. You either raise prices (businesses) or get a raise/second job (families).

The House Budget Committee Chair, Rep Jodey Arrington of Texas, was happy to show his unseriousness on ABC’s “This Week.”

RADDATZ: Well, the President said he’s willing to cut spending by more than a trillion dollars. […] But he also wants Republicans to consider raising revenue. That has been a non-starter for Republicans. But will you reconsider?

ARRINGTON: No, because you couldn’t get tax policies and tax revenues in the Senate bill. We certainly weren’t going to put it in the House bill. So […] it’s not on the table for discussion.

Then there’s full-time podcaster/part-time Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on “Fox News Sunday” spitting out all kinds of bullshit, unchallenged by host Shannon Bream.

It’s not a surprise that this lie was long debunked. But Cruz continued trying to scaremonger to protect the wealthy with some stats on revenue and spending.

CRUZ: In 2017, total government spending was about $4 trillion dollars, tax revenues were about $3.3 trillion dollars. So, we had about a $700 billion dollar deficit. Fast forward to today, total government spending has gone from $4 trillion dollars all the way up to nearly $7 trillion dollars. We nearly doubled government spending since 2017. What has tax revenue done? They’ve gone from $3.3 trillion dollars to right about $5 trillion dollars.

Lyin’ Ted Cruz “conveniently” skipped the $4.9 trillion Trump added, $1.9 of it being tax cuts for the rich by fast-forwarding from 2017 to today, as if the Trump administration never existed.

Cruz’s hate for IRS agents is also to shield his rich sugar daddies, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made clear on “Meet The Press.”

YELLEN: We have an enormous gap between the taxes we’re collecting and what we should be collecting, if everyone paid the taxes that they really owe. And that’s really a reflection of tax fraud. It amounts to an estimated $7 trillion over the next decade. […] equipping the IRS with the funding they need to audit high-income individuals and corporations, that’s something that doesn’t cost money. It nets money substantially […]

For Republicans, protecting tax fraud by the rich and corporations is better when you can also be cruel to poor people and marginalized groups.

And there’s no sign that a single Tyrion Lannister resides within the Republican Party.

Have a week.



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HBO Content to Move From Disney+ Hotstar From March 31: Details

HBO content such as Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, and Euphoria will be leaving Disney+ Hotstar by the end of March 2023. Replying to a tweet, Hotstar’s support team confirmed that starting March 31, HBO shows and movies will not be available to watch on the streaming platform, which has been the key destination for Indians to access the WarnerMedia content after the company discontinued HBO cable TV channels in the country in 2020. Of course, all Disney material, which includes Marvel and Star Wars content, will remain on the platform.

“Starting 31st March, HBO content will be unavailable on Disney+ Hotstar. You can continue enjoying Disney+ Hotstar’s vast library of content spanning over 100,000 hours of TV Shows and Movies in 10 languages and coverage of major global sporting events,” the tweet reads. A report from last month suggested that the shake-up is in line with some restructuring and cost-cutting plans returning Disney CEO Bob Iger announced, which included the layoffs of 7,000 workers. The original licensing deal between the two parties was signed back in late 2015 — when the platform was simply called ‘Hotstar’ — which brought over HBO content to the streaming service. At the time, Game of Thrones was a huge draw, which began streaming on Hotstar in India immediately after it finished airing in the US.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was another major source of traffic for Disney+ Hotstar, but took a big hit when Viacom18 bagged the digital streaming rights for it — for the next five years. Disney Star still holds the TV broadcast rights for it, though.

Additionally, Hotstar also did not renew the streaming rights for Formula 1 in 2023, with that content moving over to F1 TV Pro. That said, other sports content such as the Premier League, the Indian Super League, and select international cricket matches are still available to stream.

There were signs of some internal shake-up happening, long before the initial report. Normally, it is understood that in India, all HBO shows would appear on Disney+ Hotstar. However, when The Last of Us was gearing up for its premiere on January 15 around the world, the company never put up any banners or advertisements for the same, while the PR and support teams were still unsure of whether the series will be coming to India, after all. On January 16, however, the pilot just dropped with no prior announcement, to the surprise of fans, and has been strictly following a weekly schedule — save for episode 5, which was brought forward by two days to avoid clashing with the Super Bowl LVII event.

With Succession’s fourth and final season poised to drop on Disney+ Hotstar on March 26, it will be interesting to see how the company handles it. They could either release episode 1 and then shut down all HBO content, or avoid premiering the pilot altogether. Nevertheless, if you still haven’t caught up on the current fan-favourite The Last of Us series, The White Lotus, or any other HBO show, now would be a good time, since as of now, there is no solid confirmation for where the HBO content will end up. Industry analysts suggest Amazon Prime Video is a good candidate, where it could be packaged along with its usual content or provided as a separate subscription-based paid channel — akin to AMC+.


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‘House of the Dragon’: Author George RR Martin wanted a different starting point for series


The first season of ‘House of the Dragon’, which is based on Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood’, ended its 10-episode run recently with a cliffhanger finale

The first season of ‘House of the Dragon’, which is based on Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood’, ended its 10-episode run recently with a cliffhanger finale

Fire & Blood author George RR Martin has said that he had suggested a different point in his novel to start the story for the House of the Dragon series. The author said this during an exclusive interview with fellow fantasy writer David Anthony Durham for Penguin Random House.

When asked about the most difficult creative decision in the making of the series, George revealed that the writers had many possibilities for where to begin telling the story of the House of Targaryen.

“One of the writers wanted to begin it later, with Aemma dying. Skip the Great Council, skip the tournament, a scream sounds out, Aemma is dead, that’s where you begin.”

He continued, “That was one possibility. Another of the writers wanted to begin even later than that, with Viserys dying. But what happens there? Then you have to present all that material in flashbacks or dialogue, which becomes challenging, too. But we discussed all these possibilities.”

Revealing what he himself would have preferred the starting point to be, the American author said, “I would’ve begun it like 40 years earlier, with an episode I would’ve called ‘The Heir and the Spare. Jaehaerys’ two sons, Aemon and Baelon, are alive, and we see the friendship but also the rivalry between the two sides of the great house. Then Aemon dies accidentally when a Myrish crossbowman shoots him by accident on Tarth, then Jaehaerys has to decide who becomes the new heir. Is it the daughter of the son who’s just died, or the second son who has children of his own and is a man where she’s a teenager? You could’ve presented all that stuff, but then you would’ve had 40 more years, and even more.”

Ultimately, the TV series begins with the Great Council convened by King Jaehaerys Targaryen to decide whether his heir should be Princess Rhaenys, the daughter of his eldest son, or Prince Viserys, the son of his second son. Martin, who has long experience in film and television, said there’s no right or wrong answer on where to begin. “There are many ways you can approach these things and if you do it well, it can work.”

House of the Dragon, which ended with a cliffhanger finale on October 23, is the prequel to HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones and is based on Martin’s Fire & Blood novel. The second season of the series is expected to air in 2024.



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