Sunday, March 24, 2013

HuffPost Live: Long-Term Jobless Fix

Originally aired on March 14, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chart: Gas Prices & Job Losses During The Great Recession


The takeaway from this chart is that at the same time gas prices were at rock bottom (about $1.61 per gallon, national average, at the end of 2008), we were also losing well over 700,000 jobs per month.

A sobering reminder for when Twitter produces gems like this:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

From Jonathan Chait, writing about "Rob Portman, Gay Marriage, and Selfishness":

"The signal failure of conservative thought is an inability to give any weight to the perspective of the disadvantaged."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Senator Cruz answers his own question

Before he was elected Senator, Ted Cruz discussed the Supreme Court ruling in DC v. Heller. The transcript is taken from the PBS NewsHour, on June 26, 2008. Fast forward to the 5:54 mark:

JUDY WOODRUFF: And so what effect do you see around the country? In terms of other -- does this automatically call into question most other gun restrictions on the books?

R. TED CRUZ: I don't think it does. What the court said was draconian laws like D.C.'s, laws that are, in effect, blanket bans, are going to be unconstitutional.

The city of Chicago, for example, has ordinances that I think are put into substantial question as a result of this decision.

On the other hand, the court said there are other reasonable regulations. The example it used is the prohibition on felons possessing firearms. And the court said those are presumptively legal.

So it identified two extremes: one, laws that are really total bans on any private law-abiding citizen owning a firearm; and at the other level, a sensible, reasonable restriction.

In between, I think we'll probably see litigation, and the gray area over time will be filled in.

Given that, why would he badger Senator Feinstein like this?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"You give us 22 minutes..."

1010WINS is an all-news AM radio station serving the NY metropolitan area. One of its tag lines is: "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world."

Listeners who pay careful attention will note that the station's format cycles every 20 minutes. So... why the difference?

According the the station's news director, Ben Mevorach,

"Our slogan is a bit of a mystery. Everyone who knows the story "definitively" seems to have a different version of the story :)

The story that seems to have the most "rightness" to it is the one told by some of the old timers at the station.

WINS went to 20 minute cycles (shows) based on ratings research and the way people seemed to use the station. Once that decision was made, the station hired a marketing firm to find the best way to advertise the new clock.

The firm went out with "You give us 20 minutes. We'll give you the world." Unfortunately, test marketing found that it just didn't stick in people's minds. It just wasn't memorable. After some fiddling and re-testing, they found that 22 minutes was much more memorable and thus the slogan was born.

As a practical matter, If you listen to 1010 WINS from the start of a show and stop 22 minutes later, you will get two sets of headlines. Since (other than the lead story) the headline package changes, you effectively get all of the stories in our lineup in 22 minutes.

If this confuses you...please know you are not alone."


I came across this 2010 interview with Lee Harris, one of the station's anchors: his take on the story is quite the same. Forward to 2:30 for his explanation.

It's Just Spelled Differently

I recently had an overseas colleague explain that there was no difference between one thing and another: they were just spelled differently.

Consider the following coupon: it describes the plan to reform Medicare put forward during the 2012 Presidential campaign:

And this, from Talking Points Memo:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Sunday defended his plan to reform Medicare for those under 55 years old, a plan that he has pushed in his budgets for years and which he will continue backing in the budget plan he will release next week.

"It's not a voucher, it's premium support, which is very different," Ryan said on "Fox News Sunday."

Ryan explained that under his plan, senior choose from a list of guaranteed coverage options, including traditional Medicare, and that Medicare would subsidize that plan. The subsidies would cover the entire cost for the poor and less of the cost for wealthy seniors.

In this case, my overseas colleague is exactly right: whether it's called one thing (a voucher), or another (premium support), there's no difference: they're just spelled differently.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We Are Wisconsin

WE ARE WISCONSIN FINAL FILM 77min from Amie Williams on Vimeo.

When Wisconsin's newly elected Governor Scott Walker proposes a bill that threatens to wipe away worker rights and lock out public debate, six ordinary Wisconsinites join thousands of protestors at the State Capitol, building a citizen-driven uprising that not only challenges the bill, but the soul of a nation.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

(Updated) Before the next victim is blamed...

Twitter search URL:!&src=typd

Twitter spammers seem to have developed a new strategy for their fake accounts: grab a real tweet from a real person, and repeat it. For example:

Another example:

And the example that seems to have launched the right down their own little 'blame the victim' rabbit hole:

Update: it's not only MSNBC that's being spammed - here's another example: as of this writing, there are 352 instances (not retweets) of:

Am I the only one who saw...

And by "off yourself fraud," you mean what, exactly?

It looks like somebody took their angry pills today:

Friday, March 1, 2013


Sketchbook, February 2013 from Seb Lester on Vimeo.

BlackLetter was used throughout Europe from about 1150 until the end of the 17th century. One of my current preoccupations is developing a set of modern BlackLetter capitals that are highly legible, in BlackLetter terms, and yet retain the richness and beauty inherent in this ancient category of letterform. From time to time I will film clips like this to record my progress. Prints and originals available from Music by Carlos Márquez,