Gone To Since 1984

And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.

George Carlin

  • October 9, 2014 10:56 am

    iPredict with My Little Eye

    Nobody sane can possibly care about this, but here’s what I think “It’s been way too long” set under an old-school seven colored Apple logo fragment means:

    The return of the Macintosh brand. You may not realize it, but it’s been more than a decade and is creeping up on two decades since the last computer even partially branded “Macintosh” exited a factory. The Power Macintosh G3 would seem to be the last one that qualifies, having been deleted from the lineup in January, 1999. Non-PowerPC based designs like the superb Macintosh Quadra 840av were the last of the Power-free Macintosh names and sported any modifiers after the word “Macintosh.” Everything since the Power-era has been either “Mac” or “Power Mac” this and that. In amidst the sputtering end of the unexpurgated “Power Macintosh” naming era, Steve Jobs unveiled the iMac. I hear that sold pretty well. And we’ve been living with the i ever since. Hell, Steve was the “iCEO” for a not insignificant period of time.

    This new computer will be a new design (though it may well end up looking a lot like or at least being reminiscent of the existing iMacs simply because the requirements of any all-in-one computer design are somewhat limiting) but the all new design will sport a Retina display (or Retina capability with external displays, maybe meaning one is provided by Apple and introduced here; it has been waaaay too long since the last monitor update, after all). Settle down, X-Mac people, I’m pretty sure this new dingus will still be monitor-inclusive, though mayhaps the updated Mini platform will support Retina resolutions.

    And here’s the kicker: the new design is simply called the Apple Macintosh.

    To my mind, people have been reading too much into the naming schema “Apple Watch” as being special positioning for the luxury and/or fashion segment. While it’s certainly true the Watch moniker is much more dignified than “iWatch” could ever be, I think it’s simpler than even that; Apple has made the long overdue decision to start dumping the iNames. Can’t do it with iPhone just yet, but they certainly can do the iMac. And, at some point, maybe even at this event, they’d re-christen the laptop line as well. Could be they refresh that whole lineup and ditch the forever ungainly “MacBook” with something like Macintosh Notebook Pro/Air/MagicPixieDust. They’ll sit right along side the Macintosh, Macintosh Mini, and the Macintosh Pro.

    After all, it’s been way too long.

  • March 3, 2011 1:39 pm

    PAMtastic poll data

    Apropos of this post:

    The [NBC/WSJ] survey — which was conducted Feb. 24-28 of 1,000 adults (200 reached by cell phone), and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points — also listed 26 different ways to reduce the federal budget deficit.

    The most popular: placing a surtax on federal income taxes for those who make more than $1 million per year (81 percent said that was acceptable), eliminating spending on earmarks (78 percent), eliminating funding for weapons systems the Defense Department says aren’t necessary (76 percent) and eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries (74 percent).

    The least popular: cutting funding for Medicaid, the federal government health-care program for the poor (32 percent said that was acceptable); cutting funding for Medicare, the federal government health-care program for seniors (23 percent); cutting funding for K-12 education (22 percent); and cutting funding for Social Security (22 percent).

    So, the approach I laid out for the Democrats is not only popular, it’s the most popular. Well, that and people just have no fucking idea about earmarks and their relative proportion of the federal budget. Add that to the striking unpopularity of the GOP’s putative positions and you have a multifaceted issue about which you can be sure that The Democrat will make not one peep, will grudgingly accept the whatever the GOP’s demands are, and will be roundly slaughtered by voter fury about come 2012 but interpret said slaughter as implicit approval of the GOP message and most definitely not anything to do with The Democrat’s utter fecklessness. Optimism!

  • December 1, 2010 12:09 pm

    PAM McCain II: Electric Boogaloo

      10-2006 McCain:  “The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it,” McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students.
      Early 2010 McCain:  [Gates told the Armed Services Committee, “I fully support the president’s decision.”] In response, McCain declared himself “disappointed” in the testimony. “At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” he said bluntly, before describing it as “imperfect but effective.”
      11-30-2010 McCain:  In all due respect, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not directly in charge of the troops. The Secretary of Defense is a political appointee who's never been in the military. And the president, obviously, has had no background or experience in the military whatsoever. [...] I'm paying attention to the commandant of the Marine Corps.
      Lemkin:  Good to know who we're going to for military policy, this week, anyway. What happens when the commandant comes around? For all of Obama's minor flaws, it's good to remember that putting up with Movin' Them Goalposts, McFlipflopper McCain would have been utterly unbearable.
  • August 25, 2010 12:12 pm

    Five Easy Tweets(es)

    Looking at how Ruth Marcus addresses Boehner’s nonsensical output in her column this morning, dare I say that I see signs of actual progress. Perhaps even the Villagers are growing tired (and maybe even a little afraid) of the GOP’s shtick?

    There are times when I flirt with the notion that the country would be better off with divided government.

    She starts, ominously and predictably enough, with some Serious Person boilerplate: the compromise position on anything is always superior, even when one side’s position is empirically better relative to some definable long-term metric. But, for once, she quickly rights the ship, and this opener proves to be simply Reese’s Pieces for the many Broderians reading her piece on their homeworld:

    The man who would be speaker outlined his agenda Tuesday in a speech to the City Club of Cleveland — economic policy reduced to, literally, five easy tweets. The Ohio Republican offered up a depressing blend of tired ideas, tired-er one-liners (“We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community-organizer”) and cheap attacks. The cheapest: calling for the firing of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and economic adviser Larry Summers.


    [Boehner says “job-killing” twelve] times, actually. As in “job-killing tax hikes,” “job-killing bills,” “job-killing agenda,” “job-killing federal regulations.” This is bumper-sticker politics, not a real economic plan. I’ve been skeptical that Democrats would get much political traction with their argument that the Republican agenda is just George W. Bush recycled, but speeches like Boehner’s make me rethink.

    Even those two paragraphs appearing on the WaPo Op/Ed page would be cause enough for a minor celebration. But, being a professional, she saves her best for last:

    The argument for immediate spending cuts is hard to square with the argument against tax increases. If the latter is harmful — a disaster, in Boehner’s words — then surely the former is as well. “When Congress returns, we should force Washington to cut non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels — before the ‘stimulus’ was put into place,” Boehner says. This would be more convincing if he were willing to identify specific cuts. It is, even more, an enormous dodge. Stimulus spending is a sliver of the long-term fiscal problem.

    Democrats — and the country — would benefit from a responsible opposition party. I’m still looking for evidence of one.

    So am I. But there are two important points in here, both of which being concepts that almost never see the light of day in the MSM:

    1. That you can’t say that massive non-military spending cuts are critical, but that any and all tax increases are unthinkable.
    2. That tax-hikes would be a disaster, but that we need not ever worry about the fiscal impact of said non-tax-hikes at all, and that we may furthermore consider them “free” is nonsensical on its face.

    Getting those two simple concepts into wide and repeated circulation: a big deal. Now, of course, when Obama returns from vacation to fire his cabinet, well, that’s something else.

  • March 31, 2010 10:07 am

    STARTing to sink in

    I suppose this qualifies as PAM; Spencer Ackerman over to the Washington Independent has finally noted that even if you manage to keep Dick Lugar aboard the START train, you still have to find seven other GOPers willing to vote with the President on anything:

    that acrimonious tenor is likely to flip some of the [relatively few GOP] yes votes [on arms reduction under W Bush for fuck’s sake] to either no votes or abstentions, however striking the hypocrisy.

    Indeed it is. Now, of course, this isn’t considered to be the result of faulty logic or lousy governance on the part of the GOP, mind you. Oh no, definitely not that. They’re just playing the game and trying to win the day, politically. All that matters is what happened five minutes ago, and that’s only for the next 15. What we have here is plainly, plainly a failure on the part of The Democrat:

    It’s just not clear yet [if the GOP votes will be there]. If not, it won’t just be an indictment of the Obama administration’s legislative acumen.

    I guess we’re supposed to celebrate the “won’t just be” part of that. Strikingly bad construction. Rest assured that we shall never, ever see an article that systematically attacks the GOP’s stunning and repeated hypocrisy and categorizes the brazen lies, all of which is made worse by being lies and hypocrisy in service of nothing; they have no policy ideas to offer that go beyond a four word, rhyming phrase, and they never do. Because they aren’t required to. Nihilism works because it’s allowed to work by the Washington media establishment. At least it is when it’s coming from the GOP. And, in this case, it’s a brazen hypocrisy that threatens us all, directly and existentially. This ain’t kids with dirtbikes, these are actual fucking hydrogen bombs. And it’s a brazen violation of what was supposed to be a long-respected construct that “politics ends at the waters edge” when it comes to granting the President reasonably wide leeway on foreign policy, and especially when it comes to nuclear foreign policy.

    START is a dead letter under a Democrat. Period. May not even get out of committee. That’s what the MSM should be looking at, day after day, 24/7: how can the country’s governance be this fundamentally broken? Instead, we’ll get plucky dogs and Clinton’s penis.
    The Democrat should be hollering today and every day about the thousands, thousands of potentially loose nukes that are now going to be sitting around, just waiting to find a use. And putting it all on the GOP’s doorstep. We’ll see none of that. Instead, Obama will just stroll into the messaging buzz-saw. Again.

  • March 22, 2010 4:37 pm

    Alan Grayson (D, FL) predicts exactly what was going to happen (that an amendment to the already passed healthcare bill goes through reconciliation alongside ping-ponged Senate bill), gets laughed out of the room by Chris Matthews. I’m oh so sure that Matthews is duly chastened as of this morning…

  • February 23, 2010 9:53 am

    Code Brown: PAM

    ryking reports that:

    the Teabaggers were going apeshit over Brown’s vote for the jobs bill on Twitter and I almost wet myself laughing at the vitriol. I guess these imbeciles thought he’d vote like a typical GOP automaton. News flash, imbeciles: Brown knows he won a protest vote in Massachusetts; he wants to be re-elected after he serves out the last two years of Ted Kennedy’s term so he can’t — and therefore won’t — march in goosestep, er, LOCKSTEP, with the America-hating GOP.

    I wish I thought this was an accurate analysis. Unfortunately, I’d say this is an example of the GOP leadership knowing that a lockstep vote here, coming hot on the heels of the Brown mania, would be an all-too-clear and inescapable indictment of their current anti-democratic ways.
    Of a piece with that, repeatedly bottling up jobs bills just isn’t going to play for any of them. Thus, Brown is given the go-ahead to vote for cloture, and a few of the moderate GOPers also scurry in to join him. The key vote, though, comes later: when the bill will pass 98-0 or some-such. The GOP Senate knows well that people don’t pay attention to anything, and certainly not the vagaries of cloture votes. No price will be paid for their delaying or otherwise weakening bills; after all, the GOPers can still just run on having voted “for” it in the end. They know that neither will their enablers in the media ever bring up the inconvenient cloture votes nor will the Democrat ever stoop to being so impolite as to mention such a thing in public.

    It’s basically stimulus 2.0: take all the glory of anything that works or turns out to be popular, while doing none of the actual policy work needed to bring it about. In fact, you fight all that every step of the way and use the legislative mayhem to further inculcate the sense that DC is fundamentally off the rails. Rest easy that nobody on any side of the aisle or in the media will say or do anything about it. It’s an entirely cost free position that, so far anyway, is working like a charm.

    So, no. I don’t feel the need to advance our Code Brown independent vote counter past 0. That happens in the unlikely event of his taking a difficult stand, one clearly against the leadership’s wishes. When FOXnews hollers about a vote, or he’s forced to apologize for some perceived slight, or prostrate himself before Rush: then and only then the 0dometer will advance. And sorry, it’s just not going to happen.

  • February 3, 2010 12:19 pm

    PAM McCain

      10-2006 McCain:  “The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it,” McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students.
      2010 McCain:  [Gates told the Armed Services Committee, “I fully support the president’s decision.”] In response, McCain declared himself “disappointed” in the testimony. “At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” he said bluntly, before describing it as “imperfect but effective.”
  • January 27, 2010 5:45 pm


    Alright then, how did we do? We were basically calling for:

    It makes much more sense going forward for Apple to abstract away the “I’m ready to sync” part of the current equation; you buy the app, it comes with an iPhone app, they are linked and automatically exchange info. Changes then sync next time you dock the phone or tablet or, presumably, automatically over the air if you so desire.

    Some of which we got, I guess. Certainly not the xenomorph part of my theory (yet); instead, you get to buy iWork for your Mac, and then buy it three more times for your iPad. Why the hell didn’t I think of that? But we didn’t get tight, vertical integration of any kind, really, even though Steve did use the product matrix with the hole between iPhone and a laptop. Just have to wait for some future revision (if ever) to really get the full-on, 24/7 back-and-forth arrows going there. Or else they suspect the entire “home computer” side of the equation will gradually extinguish itself over a number of years and obviate the whole issue. And maybe it will. iPad certainly represents a first step in that direction.

    That’s what makes its interface choices, and the relative popularity of same very important going forward. As the Macintosh set the standard for computing, well, so far, I strongly suspect the iPhone and its descendants is setting the standards for future consumer computing. At the very least as said computing gets done through Apple.

    AT&T stays on as carrier. If Apple was ever going to go with Verizon, this was the product. Not happening. Mark my words, Apple will buy or found its own damn dumb-pipes company before it has product on the Verizon network. Period.
    The lack of contracts part of the equation is certainly interesting. I suspect AT&T sees it as a way to lessen the network impact by encouraging people to buy a month of service when they really need it, then let the service lapse for a while. No other explanation for it, really. We can therefore expect iPhone 3G service to get markedly worse in densely populated areas since they think they’ve got the overloading issue prefigured. Wonderful.

    My overall iPad-specific thoughts in convenient numerical form:

    1. I think the iPad is really aimed at MacBook Air users; they’re not exactly power users, but they need to be able to open and edit a spreadsheet or a document of some sort on the go. Weight is their critical factor. iPhone, though pocket-sized, can’t provide the file editing and really never will; again: it’s pocket-sized. And but so the same folks clearly aren’t willing to lug a MacBook around, since any MacBook out there is cheaper and vastly more capable than an Air, and yet they went for the Air anyway.
      Obviously, the non-laptopped are also targets here; they may well have an iPhone and wish it did just a bit more, or they want something like an iPhone but don’t want to or couldn’t mess with the contracts and/but also saw iTouch as too limiting for one reason or another.
    2. The sandboxing implicit in the iPhone/iPad OS automatically and fairly drastically limits what you can do with it when compared with a “real” laptop computer. But I suspect we’ll only see more and more of that approach in consumer devices. Notably missing from the demos, though, was “what happens to the files” you are opening/saving/editing with the various iWork apps that were demoed. Pretty clear they aren’t automatically syncing via the cloud, or we’d have been shown it. I suspect you have to plug it into a Mac, where you then bump them back into your traditional filesystem. Presumably iTunes then deals with pushing any Mac-side updates back again and sorting out versions. Or not. Small deal to give you the capability to move this stuff into .me, though. Seems so painfully obvious, one wonders where it was today.
    3. Brushes looks like an absolute killer app on the iPad (as opposed to the iPhone version of the same app being interesting, for sure, but not really a reason to buy an iPhone/iTouch). Seriously, it’s DTP for tablets.
      Likewise, I think comic books, textbooks, and newspapers will prove to be unexpectedly powerful. The interweaving of text, video, charts, chat, depth, and you-name-it really could revitalize the whole news-papering trade. Likewise comics seem to be crying out for a killer platform and easy, impulse purchases that don’t involve Comic Book Guy (worst tablet ever). Just seems like an awful lot of business to be done in the currently-printed realm, especially when iPads are down ~$200. Perhaps already, seeing as KindleDX is  ~$450, of similar dimensions, and an utterly hobbled, so-last-decade device by comparison.
    4. Another dark horse not related to comics: The MLB app looks like something out of the not-too-distant future that I’ve been promised every time anyone does a “what will  the teevee be like in 10 years” piece for OMNI. Wowie. Unlimited possibilities. Pop-Up video goes wide. Really a big deal.
    5. The matrix: I really never thought that, as of this announcement, iPhone would be instantly, clearly, and definitively the iPad mini. But it is. Funny how things work out sometimes.
    6. The name? Boy, Apple is really feeling its oats right now. The least of the problems with the name is its relative proximity to iPod. Generally speaking: not so fresh. In related news: the countdown clock for the end of the iEra is probably set back another five or ten years now. Jesus.

  • January 4, 2010 11:22 am


    • If terrorists successfully attack during a Democratic president’s first year in office (first attack on World Trade Center), it’s the Democrats’ fault, and the attack is good news for Republicans.
    • If terrorists unsuccessfully attack during a Democratic president’s second term, it’s the Democrats’ fault the terrorists even tried, and the attack is good news for Republicans.
    • If terrorists successfully attack during a Republican president’s first year in office (9/11), it’s the Democrats’ fault, and the attack is good news for Republicans.
    • If terrorists unsuccessfully attack during a Republican president’s second term, it’s only because the Republican is “taking the fight to the enemy,” and the attack is good news for Republicans.
    • If terrorists unsuccessfully attack during a Democratic president’s first year in office, it’s the Democrats’ fault the terrorists even tried, and the attack is good news for Republicans.

    This helpful guide brought to you by Steve Benen and the Washington Monthly. Clip and save.