• We still need to govern. To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.

  • A Handy Post-Apple Event Guide for the Geek


    The internet can be a cruel place. Before you rifle off your thoughts on the newest i-thing, do yourself a favor. First, take a deep breath. Feel better? Good. Now read this list before you hit “post”.

    1. Remember, you probably aren’t the intended market. Do you understand the difference between bash and tcsh? Trust me on this one. Put down the laptop.
    2. Never post about the device on the first day. As self-rightous as you feel right now, you’re probably wrong. Your gut-reaction will only solidify how terrible you are at prediction. But you won’t know it until someone publicly embarrasses you 5 years later when the 3rd revision of i-thing is the hottest product since negative blogging.
    3. You don’t know shit about producing/engineering physical products. You understand manufacturing schedules? Consumer trends? So you know exactly what Apple makes per device? What the burn rate is? What the software cost to write? Then perhaps it’s out of your depth to tell the internet how one of the largest producers of the most popular consumer products in your lifetime has no clue what they’re doing.
    4. For everyone who feels like you do, there are 5 that don’t. And they have YouTube channels.

    So what do you think, champ? Still feeling up to it? Then fire away! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Counting the new Republican Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts, the 41 Republicans in the Senate come from states representing just over 36.5 percent of the total US population. The 59 others (Democratic plus 2 Independent) represent just under 63.5 percent. (Taking 2009 state populations from here. If you count up the totals and split a state’s population when it has a spit delegation, you end up with about 112.3 million Republican, 194.7 million Democratic + Indep. Before Brown’s election, it was about 198 million Democratic + Ind, 109 million Republican.)

    Let’s round the figures to 63/37 and apply them to the health care debate. Senators representing 63 percent of the public vote for the bill; those representing 37 percent vote against it. The bill fails.

  • House liberals are on the verge of giving the Republicans exactly what they want: another ignominious, disastrous end to the latest in the nearly century-long, one-chance-per-generation series of so far futile attempts to enact something approaching health insurance for everybody.

    Hendrik Hertzberg

    House Democrats should pass the Senate version of the health care bill, declare success, and spend the next 10 months hammering Republicans for not supporting a bill that bars insurance companies from declining coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, or setting yearly or lifetime benefit limits, or dropping coverage for people when they get sick or when they lose their job.

    Voters are angry not because they disagree with the health care bill, but because unemployment is at 10% and the economy “feels” stagnant. With hindsight, it’s clear Democrats should have spent the last year focused on jobs and the economy. But they’ve come so far and have so much of their credibility at stake that they need to find a way to get it done soon. The bill will become popular. They should pass it and use it to their political advantage, instead of running from every fight like little girls.