It’s a self-eating watermelon of despair.– Adam Steltzner, leader of the entry, descent, and landing team for the Curiosity mission, describing the difficulties of scaling an airbag-based landing system.
As we move into the connected age and build a quantified society, Facebook’s...– Om Malik leading into his review of Facebook Home. Don’t mince words, Om, tell us what you really think.
Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s...– Paul Krugman gets it right on the rumored Obama budget. This is the classic misstep; sure, it’s purely symbolic, but it moves the discussion to the right, damages what should be a through-line about the worth (and therefore the inviolability of) Social Security, and sets the stage for a Grand...
Yglesisas Answers it All
Matt Yglesias asks: There’s no mystery as to why the National Republican Campaign Committee hates Nancy Pelosi, but their dislike for San Francisco is a bit puzzling. Almost directly, and seemingly without realizing it, Matt Yglesias also provides the answer: [San Francisco is] an enormous economic success story. The San Francisco metropolitan area has the fourth-highest median...
I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you. The fiction of Ayn...– Flannery O’Conner, as clear on her theoretical 88th birthday as on any other.
I was disappointed when Speaker Gingrich ultimately decided against [forming a...– Rick Santorum wistfully recalls what might have been. He’s right, though, a Gingrich/Santorum ticket would have changed the general election outcome into much more of a 50-state stomping than the merely-wide-margin Obama win that we got. Something for Turtledove to look into, to be sure.
Ezra Klein: I’m starting to worry a bit about Gmail, which is at the core of pretty much my entire life. I know, I know — Gmail is safe. The data it feeds into the Google mainframe is extremely valuable to the search giant. They won’t let anything happen to it. You should be worried and they will, inevitably, let “anything” happen to it. While Reader had far fewer aggregate...
Up words →
Chris Hayes moves to msnbc weekday prime time. Nice. But I can’t help but notice this: “Up” doesn’t have a huge audience […] but it consistently beats CNN on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and it has been praised by media critics for allowing long, thoughtful conversations about politics and public policy, the kind rarely seen elsewhere on television. These conversations...
Breaking: GOP Won Big in 2012 →
At least they won it in every way possible that doesn’t involve, you know, actually winning: [The GOP thinks] they lost because their get-out-the-vote technology failed on Election Day. They think they lag the Democrats in data mining and use of social media. They think media bias defeated them. They think they kinda-sorta won because they won the white vote and the elderly vote. They...
Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an...– Douglas Adams, who would be 61 today, speaking at Digital Biota 2 in 1998.
Four Real but Rejected Names for the Edsel
First: Intelligent Whale
Second: Ford Faberge
Third: Mongoose Civique
Fourth: Utopian Turtletop
Hey, Bob, I saw the movie you just released last night, and it sucked.– Steve Jobs, at the time Disney board member and majority share holder, in periodic calls to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Republicans have very decidedly not agreed to any kind of tax reform that raises...– Kevin Drum, saying what should be printed in the maximum size possible, laminated in armor-strength plastic, and posted on the wall of every news agency large and small. Every single news outlet gets this simple, straightforward fact utterly and completely wrong every single time they venture here....
Sergey Brin: [Smartphones are] emasculating. You're standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass.
John Gruber: I can see the argument that dicking around with our phones in public is not cool, that we should pay more attention to our companions and surroundings, and less to our computer displays. Strapping a computer display to your face is not the answer.
Lemkin: Yep. File Google Glass away with "Because everything is waterproof, the housewife of the future will clean the living room with a hose."
If you stabilize the debt in some reasonable way, we’re going to have growth....– Bob Woodward, very serious person, opines on the economic situation during a Meet the Press appearance. While I certainly don’t anticipate David Gregory will ever produce a substantive followup, one could at least assume anyone in the employ of a major media conglomerate could muster the...
Subway "Foot" Long →
What’s next? A dramatic, four part report that blows the lid off of the 2x4 aisle down at the Home Depot?
[David] Brooks begins [his column today] by noting that the Grand Bargain on the...– Jonathan Chait thoroughly destroys David Brooks. You should really treat yourself to the whole thing.
[The Hastert] rule is completely dead. The Democrats now effectively control the...– Unnamed Republican Aide, likening the appropriate and intended function of the House to “tremendous power.” How we can have an MSM that drones on and on about “reaching across the aisle” in the face of a reality that includes a de facto rule stating that nothing moves unless...
Any Reasonable Definition →
Dear media, please read and understand every word of this before your next utterance re: Aaron Swartz: MIT operates an extraordinarily open network. Very few campus networks offer you a routable public IP address via unauthenticated DHCP and then lack even basic controls to prevent abuse. Very few captured portals on wired networks allow registration by any vistor, nor can they be easily...
They will only cause the lower classes to move about needlessly.– Field Marshal His Grace Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, reflecting on early steam railroads.
Where's the Urgency? →
Henry J. Aaron provides must read stuff over at Brookings: To see what the Boehner rule means, consider the following facts. Based on projections done last August by the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt will increase over the next decade by about $12 trillion under current law. To cut spending over the next decade by $12 trillion, it would be necessary to cut annual spending by...
Bloomberg is reporting that Obama is the first President since Ike to win two elections by a 51%+ popular vote margin. Yes, not even Saint Reagan, he of stayin’ up late and workin’ cross the aisle with ole Tip, managed the feat. And if we hear anything about that era, we hear about Reagan crushing History’s Greatest Monster and Son of History’s Greatest Monster. Steve Benen...
Lead, Lead? →
Kevin Drum lays out a convincing case that the now-receding crime boom was primarily caused by leaded gasoline (in fact, the pattern repeats itself in country after country: as lead goes out of use in gasoline, crime goes down). Intriguingly, none of the major interest groups seem to care: Political conservatives want to blame the social upheaval of the ’60s for the rise in crime that...
This Exchange Happened
Real Clear Politics’ Alexis Simendinger: After the Republicans run down the alley from which there is no exit, will the president be standing there or calling them?
WH Spokesman Jay Carney: The dangers of throwing out metaphors is that people pick them up and, what I am confident of is that they don't have, at the end of that alley, like, a Batplane to fly out, you know, to their own rescue… Do you remember that scene? It was good. It was a good scene.
Other Reporter: Does the president have a Batplane?
WH Spokesman Jay Carney: I can't talk about that. It's classified.
Rush tomorrow: Why won't the President's handlers come clean about his Batplane? And, isn't it really more of a Batcopter? Why does this man lie so often?
What Apple understands and its critics did not (and still do not) is that many...– John Gruber writes what must be his most incisive, accurate paragraph in years. And he happens to write a lot of good paragraphs. There’s a lot more than a few thoughts about Apple in here; many, many segments of Our World could take a lot of useful advice by refiguring this conceptual...
…in the middle of one of the most dangerous regions in the world, even...– John Cole, speaking the truth over on Balloon Juice.
There Is No GOP Budget Proposal
Can we please at least agree that vaguely worded letters sent to the President do not constitute a legislative proposal? Or did the CBO start scoring letters that are 90% vacuous talking points; add to that the fact that these very empty talking points were soundly crushed by plebiscite just weeks ago? Likewise, slightly less vague details provided on background do not a serious proposal make....
Clip and save this section for use during fiscal “negotiations”: Serious (ser’ ee uhs) adj. any of a group of proposals that immiserates large numbers of ordinary people, either immediately or in the future, via cuts to broad-based social welfare programs. Unserious (un ser’ ee uhs) adj. any proposal that slightly inconveniences rich people via modest tax increases or annoys...
It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along...– Michael Grunwald writing for Swampland because such things just aren’t said in the polite company of mainstream journalism or even journalistic criticism like that on offer at Reliable Sources. Still: Huzzah. That anyone says it, even a lowly blogger out here on drugs, is a small victory. And,...
Why am I optimistic? Because you can smell the winds– Chuck Schumer, Senator from New York, explaining why I am very glad not to be involved in or even be located near these “negotiations.”
Obama ignored vast swaths of his agenda [while campaigning], barely mentioning...– Jonathan Chait, who may as well be yelling at the clouds because, even though he’s right, it seems the forces of the status quo (MSM and GOP alike) can and will move heaven and earth if need be to preserve the current Bush-Obama tax cut rate for the very richest ~2% of Americans rather than...
The lesson here is simple. At a deep ideological level, Republicans believe that...– Kevin Drum, making a point that I’d take even further: The GOP not only has no interest in “making it work,” they have a vested interest in the federal bureaucracy looking as ineffective as possible. That’s the only way to feed the larger narrative that government is bad in...
The trouble with moderate Republicans →
John Chait looks at “moderate” Republican apologists and doesn’t like what he sees: [Michael Gerson] wants a specific assurance that Ryan doesn’t plan to roll back government at the expense of the poor and vulnerable? We already have a specific, written assurance that it will come at the expense of the poor and vulnerable. That assurance is called “the Ryan plan.” It details...
How You Know it Landed
Mitt Romney: our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917.
Barack Obama: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works.You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.
Sean Hannity: Marines still use bayonets, so maybe somebody should educate the president about how the military works.
How Biden can win the vice presidential debate →
“Did Romney call for well-off Americans to contribute nothing to deficit reduction — or for hard-working high school graduates to be deported, though they were brought here as children – or for millions of poor workers to be stripped of basic health coverage – because he really believes in this pinched vision of America? Or did he do it because he thought that’s what it took to win the...
It’s been unbelievable to see what Louis’ been able to do when left to his own...– John Landgraf Prexy of FX (because “President” is apparently far too long a word for your average linotyper to cast and print successfully in an online medium; best to shorten it in idiotic ways) comments on the success of Louis CK when left to his own devices. Other artists, of course,...
Scott Brown's Favorite Justice
Perhaps an ad should be made that superimposes Scott Brown’s self-professed man-love of Justice Antonin Scalia with these comments that Scalia recently made at the the AEI: The death penalty? Give me a break. [The framers of the Constitution didn’t think it was unconstitutional and neither do I]. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution...
Today's GOP: Futile and Bizarre →
This urge among conservatives to refight the 2008 election is as futile as it is bizarre, premised as it is on the existence of a secret video or document from Obama’s “hidden” past that will expose the moderate Democrat as the hardcore left-wing radical they already believe him to be. But as [FOXnews contributor Brian] Kilmeade pointed out, Obama’s actual policy record...
The CSN logo that Crosby, Stills and Nash have used since the mid-1970s was...– Wikipedia, omitting a reference to the extensive “Wait, what?” article.
You’re not really drinking a beard, you’re drinking a great beer...– Brett Joyce, president of Rogue Ales, describing the finer points of a beer the company has fermented using yeast harvested from brewmaster John Maier’s beard.
Why So Evil, Apple? →
Tim Cook, History’s Greatest Monster: While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app. Nice try, pal. So long as anyone can find any problem or even a variance in the mapping dataset, Apple is...
Mitt Romney was pretty unanimously considered the strongest candidate in the...– Kevin Drum. Nothing to say about that but: yep.
Real Reason W Lays Low
Bombshell in the Michael Lewis Vanity Fair profile of Barack Obama; not only did he slightly move Churchill, he’s changed the rug. Yes, THE Rug. The Washington Post’s Peter Baker profiled it thusly back in ought-six: Bush seems fixated on his [Oval Office] rug. Virtually all visitors to the Oval Office find him regaling them about how it was chosen and what it represents. Turns...
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be...– Plutarch
Why You Should Ignore the Verge (in 44 words or...
Josh Topolsky: I am now responding to Marco Arment, John Gruber, and anyone else who sets up a minimal Wordpress blog and thinks that the ability to publish text onto the internet gives them insight into what journalism is or what I do for a living.
Businessweek: John Gruber makes an estimated $500,000 a year from his [minimal Wordpress] blog Daring Fireball. [But, let's face it, how can he possibly know about or even have passing insight into real journalism such as that practiced The Industry Leader (and daily lesson for us all), The Verge.com?]