Hiatus, today.

This is me writing from Kate’s orthodontist’s office, saying hey, guess who overslept this morning? Open thread until whenever I get it together.

Posted at 9:58 am in iPhone |

20 responses to “Hiatus, today.”

  1. brian stouder said on January 26, 2010 at 10:20 am

    let me just say, Rachel Maddow was marvelous last night. Whether Current Events make one happy or unhappy, she has a very watchable show and an unfailingly interesting approach. Last night she had a White House budget guy on, who had been scheduled in advance – and then the ‘BREAKING NEWS” came around that the president will announce a Hoover-like partial “freeze” on government spending in his State of the Union address – and Rachel went right after the guy, and stayed after him! (she wanted to pin down how reduced spending in a recession will be any more successful now than it was for Herbert Hoover in ’30, or FDR in ’37). And (here’s the good part) – she did it withOUT Righteous Indignation or restrained, smoldering anger. She was genuinely, aggressively curious – and wanted an answer from the guy.

    Aside from that, I have one bit of trollery to toss out: Roger Ebert is a toad. He’s not a contemptible toad – but the proprietress linked to an Ebert post attacking all teachers’ unions, in which (both in the post and in the heavily edited comments) Mr Ebert displays a surprising smallness that I hadn’t noticed before. I haven’t visited his corner of the pond very often, and it looks like that won’t be changing.

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  2. MarkH said on January 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I just watched that interview on the MSNBC website, Brian, and I disagree. She wasn’t angry (she wasn’t about to show anger to a fellow liberal anyway), to be sure, but, she was certainly condescending. And she wasn’t after “an answer”, either. She wanted him (Jared Bernstein, Biden’s economic adviser) to admit that the administration was now groveling to the republicans with a new, out-of-left-field policy that has historically been a failure, at least in hers and Paul Krugman’s eyes. They may be right, but Bernstein’s explanation of it not being across the board, unlike in 1930 and ’37, seemed to have some merit. It may be political suicide, as she said, but it needs further explanation.

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  3. alex said on January 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    As shrewd as Obama has been up to this point, I cannot help but think that he’s getting pounced upon before he has had a chance to be heard.

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  4. brian stouder said on January 26, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Alex – agreed; although I DO (dimly) recall when President Reagan was newly minted, and the economy tanked, and the network Bigfoot folks re-discovered people sleeping on grates and so on.

    One report that has always remained in my brain from that era was by Leslie Stahl. She was standing in front of a Union hall (or some such) where the new president had just given a speech – and the folks were cheering him lustily. Literally amidst this wave of smiling faces exiting the hall, Ms Stahl said something like ‘They’re happy on the outside, but they’re crying on the inside’….which floored me!

    A buddy saw the same report, and it became a running joke from then to now.

    now granted – back in those days, national tv news was 30 minutes a night, plus maybe “60 Minutes” on Sunday – whereas cluster-Fox (trademarked by KO) spews bilge like that 24-7;

    but on the other hand, if a huge swath of the nation’s population watches the same 30 minute show each night, that’s almost certainly more effective than 24-7 blather that appeals to all the nuts from a single tree.

    By way of saying, this game ain’t over, and President Obama has every possibility of creaming these guys; and if we have to trade a bumpy ’10 for a satisfying ’12, then I’m all-in, baby!


    Well Mark, she didn’t blurt “YOU LIE!”, or call him a “pinhead”, eh?

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  5. Deggjr said on January 26, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Security spending will continue without limits, which it makes it look like groveling to me. I’d like for Obama to specify that the country be defended with say 44% of the world’s military spending instead of 48%. And use the phrase so prevalent in the private sector: “If you can’t do it, I’ll find people who can.”

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  6. Jeff Borden said on January 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Right on, Deggjr.

    Actually, I would really support anyone who finally stood up and took a magnifying glass to our insane defense spending. Tales of waste, corruption and more waste have been a staple of the news since I was a wee lad. Remember the days of the $600 toilet seats and the $900 hammers? Nothing has changed. Nothing.

    Assymetrical, non-statist warfare is the reality today, which requires rethinking across the wide range of military spending. How many of those massively expensive carrier groups are necessary? Why doesn’t someone put a bullet into the Osprey program, which has consumed tens if not hundreds of billions in money? And what about the absurd Star Wars initiative? When warheads are likely to be delivered via suitcase, shipping container or truck, why are we dropping all this cash on this holdover of Ronald Reagan’s?

    While we are at it, when slashing all these weapons programs, let’s make sure some of that money is diverted to the VA, upgrading of military facilities (barracks, etc.), more assistance to military families, higher pay and better benefits, etc. for those who bear the brunt. The price of one more nuclear submarine would fund a lot of improvements in the areas noted above.

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  7. Sue said on January 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Keith Olbermann acknowledges what we were discussing last week:

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  8. whitebeard said on January 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    What the Osprey program costing billions proved is that the British Harrier jet was not truly capable of flight. Of course, tell that to the Argentinian jet pilots who went down in flames in the short-lived Falklands War when they encountered the Harrier pilots.
    Why on earth would the Air Force try to re-invent the Harrier with newfangled technology? Because it lines some defense contractors’ pockets with fresh, green cash.
    Per Monday’s reference to P. J. O”Rourke’s battle with rectal cancer, the two columns were amusing, enlightening and a jolly good read, eh!

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  9. Scout said on January 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Lifted off the front page over at Talking POints Memo:

    “Those of you who followed the intelligence controversies leading up to the Iraq War will know the name Laurie Mylroie, the crankish “terrorism expert” best known for claiming that Saddam Hussein was the mastermind of 9/11. Our Justin Elliott has discovered that as late as 2004 the Pentagon paid her $75,000 to write a grand 300 page “History of al Qaida.”

    Your money at work.”

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  10. nancy said on January 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    If they’d waited a little longer, they could have read “The Looming Tower,” gotten a better history and saved themselves 75K.

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  11. Dexter said on January 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Rachel was really good on Dave Letterman’s show last night.
    The world financial meltdown of 2008 happened at a most inopportune time for a country like the U.S.A. because eight years of Republican rule had left us spiralling into deeper debt, because Bush43 decided to empty the nation’s treasury into the two wars.
    After worse-than-bankruptcy leadership and one year of a new administration, that goddam son of a bitch O/Usama bin Laben is making recordings in support and praise of the “ball sack bomber” (source: Bo Dietl) —some accounts say bin Laden is taking responsibility for the orchestration of the attack.
    So that’s one superpower’s treasury emptied, and billions more borrowed , to catch one man , “dead or alive”, and yet now Bush43 is silent and OBL commands the world’s stage with threats of destruction for the U.S.A.

    Now Iraq is blowing up again, but little is being said about it; no one really cares. Washington just wants it out of the news now, but it is not going to go away.

    Moqtada al-Sadr can command an instant uprising with one five minute impromptu speech or even just one internet release. He has been quiet, but he still lives there.

    And yet we have those who want to take their country back or some such bullshit—back to the days when Bush43 was blowing up Iraq and the US economy collapsed. Yeah, let’s go back to the good old days of Bush43, or even to the insane policies of Reagan with his trickle-down nonsense and his Star Wars missile defense proposals that scientists were screaming about–“IT CAN’T WORK!!!!” they bellowed, but were silenced in the press, and unless you subscribed to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (as I did) you were clueless as to what Reagan was trying to put over on the United States populace.

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  12. beb said on January 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    whitebeard, the Harrier fighter jet incapable of delivering cargo. The Osprey is more of a cargo/gunboat capable delivering around 7000 pounds of supplies or troops. So they are different beasts. That said I don’t think the Air Force got their money’s worth buying the Ospery.

    I feel like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog’s Day. I woke up this morning to discover that the Republicans were still in the White House. It took FDR four years to cave to his deficit hawks while Obama turned in a mere 12 months. FDR’s budget cuts were a disaster in 1937, Obama’s won’t be any better in 2010. I heard on Keith last might something about how Obama would be happy as a one term president if he could get good things done. As the moment I think he will indeed be a one-term president, only I think he will be viewed as a worse one term than Carter. Obama is already crying like a lame-duck, and weve got three more years of this crap.

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  13. beb said on January 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Nancy – comments for Hero or fool are 404!

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  14. nancy said on January 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Odd. Checking now.

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  15. Steph said on January 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm


    I loved this comment on Ebert’s post:

    No, Roger. You are wrong. “Excellent teachers” would not agree with you. It is not bad teaching that is the problem. The number of “bad teachers” is very, very small. It is first and foremost an issue of parents valuing education. I can teach the best lesson in the world, but if there isn’t a parent at home to ask “what did you learn in school today” or to make a child read 45 minutes daily, or to turn off the T.V. and computer, then my efforts will be for naught. Chris’ parents knew the value of an education, and so did Chris.

    Unions can improve, but rarely are included in talks of education reform. Politicians prefer to implement new programs without our input. If they asked us, we would advocate for the same teacher student ration as private schools: 15:1 or even less, kindergarten to 12th grade. Now we can talk about some serious depth and complexity in the curriculum. But instead, our government chooses to spend billions of dollars on war and prisons.

    No teacher can combat that.

    Martha Infante
    California Social Studies 2009 Teacher of the Year

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  16. brian stouder said on January 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Steph – good stuff! Last night, after following the proprietress’s link on facebook to Ebert’s piece, there were 7 comments; the third one was from a reasonable person identifying himself as a teacher in Indiana. I posted an agreement with him. Later when I checked, he was deleted, and my agreement with him was deleted. Further, after a series of agreeable comments, Ebert comments and says something like – ‘gosh, I really expected a lot of disagreement about this – and instead everyone seems to agree’


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  17. nancy said on January 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    FWIW, Ebert doesn’t run an amen corner over there — I’ve seen his blog host many, many comments of disagreement. (You should have seen the debate over “Expelled.”) I have to think the deletion was an error, Brian. I could be wrong, but deletion isn’t really his style.

    Also, comments are fixed and open on the latest post. J.C. fixed it with his iPhone while passing through Cincinnati. (His wife was driving.) All hail J.C.

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  18. brian stouder said on January 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Well, I trust your judgement – and therefore accept that even if I’m tempted to see Ebert as a toad, he probably really is a prince.

    As for J.C.’s mastery of iPhone manipulation while riding in a car through the maze of highways that meet at the Queen City – I can only bow to him. Honestly, my silly Tracphone is capable of a lot more than I can successfully make it do; I will never own an iPhone

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  19. Deborah said on January 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Brian, got to agree with Nancy on Ebert, I think it must have been a mistake. And I can’t wait to own an iphone. I just got my notice from Verison that the investigation into the fraud when someone changed my address and had an expensive Blackberry shipped there, it wasn’t my fault. Gee, ya think? What an amazing conclusion. I am counting the minutes until I am out of my Verizon contract. I’m even going to pay $150 to get out of it early and get an iphone.

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  20. basset said on January 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    The most obvious difference between the Osprey and the Harrier… the Harrier is a jet and gets its straight-up lift from movable ducts which blow air downward. The Osprey has huge, turbine-driven propellers and tilts them upward for vertical lift.

    Pilot Joe must be working tonight, or he would have caught that.

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