466 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2016
    1. Nearly everyone panned party regulars for not stopping Trump much earlier, but no one explained just how the party regulars were supposed to have done that. Stopping an insurgency requires organizing a coalition against it, but an incapacity to organize is the whole problem. The reality is that the levers and buttons parties and political professionals might once have pulled and pushed had long since been disconnected.
    2. The people, he said, “want change, and they keep putting outsiders in to bring about the change. Then the change doesn’t come … because we’re putting people in that don’t understand compromise.” Disruption in politics and dysfunction in government reinforce each other. Chaos becomes the new normal.
    3. Ryan is as talented as you can be: There’s nobody better. But even he can’t do anything. Who could?”
    4. Helpless to do much more than beg for support, and hostage to his own party’s far right, an exhausted Boehner finally gave up and quit last year.
    5. As soon became apparent, Boehner’s 2011 debacle was not a glitch but part of an emerging pattern.
    6. We’ll never know, but I believe that the kind of budget compromise Boehner and Obama tried to shake hands on, had it reached a vote, would have passed with solid majorities in both chambers and been signed into law. The problem was not polarization; it was disorganization. A latent majority could not muster and assert itself.
    7. it’s tempting to say, “Democracy is messy. Insurgents have fair gripes. Incumbents should be challenged. Who are you, Mr. Establishment, to say the system is broken merely because you don’t like the people it is pushing forward?”
    8. For me, however, 2011 brought a wake-up call. The system was failing even when there was a working majority. That year, President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner, in intense personal negotiations, tried to clinch a budget agreement that touched both parties’ sacred cows, curtailing growth in the major entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security by hundreds of billions of dollars and increasing revenues by $800 billion or more over 10 years, as well as reducing defense and nondefense discretionary spending by more than $1 trillion. Though it was less grand than previous budgetary “grand bargains,” the package represented the kind of bipartisan accommodation that constitutes the federal government’s best and perhaps only path to long-term fiscal stability.
    9. Democrats have not been immune, either. Like Trump, Bernie Sanders appealed to the antipolitical idea that the mere act of voting for him would prompt a “revolution” that would somehow clear up such knotty problems as health-care coverage, financial reform, and money in politics. Like Trump, he was a self-sufficient outsider without customary political debts or party loyalty. Like Trump, he neither acknowledged nor cared—because his supporters neither acknowledged nor cared—that his plans for governing were delusional.
    10. Donald Trump, the perfect vector to concentrate politiphobic sentiment, intensify it, and inject it into presidential politics. He had too much money and free media to be spent out of the race. He had no political record to defend. He had no political debts or party loyalty. He had no compunctions. There was nothing to restrain him from sounding every note of the politiphobic fantasy with perfect pitch.
    11. steep rise in antipolitical sentiment, especially on the right.
    12. Ross Perot’s independent presidential candidacies of 1992 and 1996 appealed to the idea that any sensible businessman could knock heads together and fix Washington. In 2008, Barack Obama pandered to a center-left version of the same fantasy, promising to magically transcend partisan politics and implement the best solutions from both parties.
    13. Politiphobes, according to Hibbing and Theiss-Morse, believe policy should be made not by messy political conflict and negotiations but by ensids: empathetic, non-self-interested decision makers. These are leaders who will step forward, cast aside cowardly politicians and venal special interests, and implement long-overdue solutions. ensids can be politicians, technocrats, or autocrats—whatever works. Whether the process is democratic is not particularly important.
    14. they see the contentious give-and-take of politics as unnecessary and distasteful. Specifically, they believe that obvious, commonsense solutions to the country’s problems are out there for the plucking. The reason these obvious solutions are not enacted is that politicians are corrupt, or self-interested, or addicted to unnecessary partisan feuding. Not surprisingly, politiphobes think the obvious, commonsense solutions are the sorts of solutions that they themselves prefer. But the more important point is that they do not acknowledge that meaningful policy disagreement even exists. From that premise, they conclude that all the arguing and partisanship and horse-trading that go on in American politics are entirely unnecessary.
    15. between 25 and 40 percent of Americans (depending on how one measures) have a severely distorted view of how government and politics are supposed to work.
    16. So far the Democrats have been mostly spared the anti-compromise insurrection, but their defenses are not much stronger. Molly Ball recently reported for The Atlantic’s Web site on the Working Families Party, whose purpose is “to make Democratic politicians more accountable to their liberal base through the asymmetric warfare party primaries enable, much as the conservative movement has done to Republicans.” Because African Americans and union members still mostly behave like party loyalists, and because the Democratic base does not want to see President Obama fail, the Tea Party trick hasn’t yet worked on the left. But the Democrats are vulnerable structurally, and the anti-compromise virus is out there.
    17. In Congress, the Republican House leadership soon found itself facing a GOP caucus whose members were too worried about “getting primaried” to vote for the compromises necessary to govern—or even to keep the government open. Threats from the Tea Party and other purist factions often outweigh any blandishments or protection that leaders can offer.
    18. Party-dominated nominating processes, soft money, congressional seniority, closed-door negotiations, pork-barrel spending—put each practice under a microscope in isolation, and it seems an unsavory way of doing political business. But sweep them all away, and one finds that business is not getting done at all. The political reforms of the past 40 or so years have pushed toward disintermediation—by favoring amateurs and outsiders over professionals and insiders; by privileging populism and self-expression over mediation and mutual restraint;

      !

    19. In 1964, to cite one famous example, Lyndon Johnson could not have passed his landmark civil-rights bill without support from House Republican leader Charles Halleck of Indiana, who named his price: a nasa research grant for his district, which LBJ was glad to provide.
    20. Congress has not passed all its annual appropriations bills in 20 years, and more than $300 billion a year in federal spending goes out the door without proper authorization. Routine business such as passing a farm bill or a surface-transportation bill now takes years instead of weeks or months to complete. Today two-thirds of federal-program spending (excluding interest on the national debt) runs on formula-driven autopilot. This automatic spending by so-called entitlement programs eludes the discipline of being regularly voted on, dwarfs old-fashioned pork in magnitude, and is so hard to restrain that it’s often called the “third rail” of politics.
    21. Pork-barrel spending never really cost very much, and it helped glue Congress together by giving members a kind of currency to trade: You support my pork, and I’ll support yours. Also, because pork was dispensed by powerful appropriations committees with input from senior congressional leaders, it provided a handy way for the leadership to buy votes and reward loyalists.
    22. “The idea that Washington would work better if there were TV cameras monitoring every conversation gets it exactly wrong,” the Democratic former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle wrote in 2014, in his foreword to the book City of Rivals. “The lack of opportunities for honest dialogue and creative give-and-take lies at the root of today’s dysfunction.”
    23. Smoke-filled rooms, whatever their disadvantages, were good for brokering complex compromises
    24. In public, interest groups and grandstanding politicians can tear apart a compromise before it is halfway settled.
    25. No wonder his colleagues detest him. But Cruz was doing what makes sense in an age of maximal political individualism, and we can safely bet that his success will inspire imitation.
    26. Congress today is a collection of individual entrepreneurs and pressure groups. In the House, disintermediation has shifted the balance of power toward a small but cohesive minority of conservative Freedom Caucus members who think nothing of wielding their power against their own leaders.
    27. Unfortunately, the reformers overlooked something important: Seniority and committee spots rewarded teamwork and loyalty, they ensured that people at the top were experienced, and they harnessed hundreds of middle-ranking members of Congress to the tasks of legislating. Compounding the problem, Gingrich’s Republican revolutionaries, eager to prove their anti-Washington bona fides, cut committee staffs by a third, further diminishing Congress’s institutional horsepower.
    28. The state parties also told us they can’t begin to match the advertising money flowing from outside groups and candidates. Weakened by regulations and resource constraints, they have been reduced to spectators, while candidates and groups form circular firing squads and alienate voters. At the national level, the situation is even more chaotic—and ripe for exploitation by a savvy demagogue who can make himself heard above the din, as Donald Trump has so shrewdly proved.
    29. Private groups are much harder to regulate, less transparent, and less accountable than are the parties and candidates, who do, at the end of the day, have to face the voters. Because they thrive on purism, protest, and parochialism, the outside groups are driving politics toward polarization, extremism,
    30. Campaign-finance rules did stop some egregious transactions, but at a cost: Instead of eliminating money from politics (which is impossible), the rules diverted much of it to private channels.
    31. Walled safely inside their gerrymandered districts, incumbents are insulated from general-election challenges that might pull them toward the political center, but they are perpetually vulnerable to primary challenges from extremists who pull them toward the fringes.
    32. The paradoxical result is that members of Congress today are simultaneously less responsive to mainstream interests and harder to dislodge.
    33. The switch to direct primaries, in which contenders generally self-recruit and succeed or fail on their own account, has produced more oddball and extreme challengers and thereby made general elections less competitive.
    34. By contrast, party hacks tend to shop for candidates who exert broad appeal in a general election and who will sustain and build the party’s brand, so they generally lean toward relative moderates and team players.
    35. Primary races now tend to be dominated by highly motivated extremists and interest groups, with the perverse result of leaving moderates and broader, less well-organized constituencies underrepresented.
    36. To some extent, the reformers were right. They had good intentions and valid complaints. Back in the 1970s, as a teenager in the post-Watergate era, I was on their side. Why allow politicians ever to meet behind closed doors? Sunshine is the best disinfectant! Why allow private money to buy favors and distort policy making? Ban it and use Treasury funds to finance elections! It was easy, in those days, to see that there was dirty water in the tub. What was not so evident was the reason the water was dirty, which was the baby.
    37. Parties, machines, and hacks may not have been pretty, but at their best they did their job so well that the country forgot why it needed them. Politics seemed almost to organize itself, but only because the middlemen recruited and nurtured political talent, vetted candidates for competence and loyalty, gathered and dispensed money, built bases of donors and supporters, forged coalitions, bought off antagonists, mediated disputes, brokered compromises, and greased the skids to turn those compromises into law. Though sometimes arrogant, middlemen were not generally elitist.
    38. If the Constitution was the system’s DNA, the parties and machines and political brokers were its RNA, translating the Founders’ bare-bones framework into dynamic organizations and thus converting conflict into action.
    39. The Constitution makes no mention of many of the essential political structures that we take for granted, such as political parties and congressional committees. If the Constitution were all we had, politicians would be incapable of getting organized to accomplish even routine tasks. Every day, for every bill or compromise, they would have to start from scratch, rounding up hundreds of individual politicians and answering to thousands of squabbling constituencies and millions of voters. By itself, the Constitution is a recipe for chaos.So Americans developed a second, unwritten constitution. Beginning in the 1790s, politicians sorted themselves into parties. In the 1830s, under Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, the parties established patronage machines and grass-roots bases.
    1. In the fake orgasm scene of When Harry Met Sally, Meg Ryan’s performance of ecstasy is observed by another customer in the cafe, who mistakes it for reality and tells the waitress: “I’ll have what she’s having.” Now that xenophobia, ruling-class anarchism and self-destruction have been placed on the menu of popular political stimulants by the reckless fabulists, the rapidly disillusioned millions may be ready to place the same order. Perhaps another Yeats line will have its day: “We had fed the heart on fantasies,/ The heart’s grown brutal from the fare . . . ”
    2. For even if the chance is one in a billion, it’s a chance: it keeps the boredom at bay by introducing a fantastic possibility.
    3. On the demand side of the equation, we know, of course, that this new reactionary politics appeals to something all too real. That is the desperation of people who have been dumped out of the working- class lives of industry and aspiration they once knew and into the humiliating experience of being discarded as human set-aside. We should not underestimate the extent to which Trump and the Brexiters feed off the sheer anomie of life in left-behind communities. Yes, it thrives on anger, but it also thrives on boredom.

      Boredom

    4. The problem with pure nonsense is that is cannot be contradicted: it is no good arguing that colourless green ideas don’t really sleep at all.
    5. statement of the sort invented by the linguistic philosopher Noam Chomsky: “Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.”
    6. This is not a politician refining a serious policy proposal or even a fascist planning an outrage. It is just a spoofer trying to remember what spiel he came up with last.
    1. An abundance of contemporary research in neuroscience, psychoanalysis, and developmental psychology tells us that being curious about the meaning of behavior, rather than simply naming and eliminating it, promotes growth and healing.   Forces in our culture can get in the way of listening for meaning.  The pressure to diagnose in order to “get services” is one such force. As this example demonstrates, the listening itself is the “service” that is needed.  For young children and families, both reassurance and diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder may represent forms of not listening. In contrast, when we alot time for listening with curiosity, free from pressure to either reassure or diagnose, we allow parents to connect with their natural expertise and help get development back on track.
    1. In one sense, these Dems think nothing much has changed: They expect this to be a close, hard-fought race throughout, in part because these elections always are, so there will be a lot of ups and downs between now and November.
    1. “The number one fact about the news media,“ he said, "is they love fights."
    2. Back when the average millennial voter was still playing the original Pokemon—or, you know, being born—Newt Gingrich brought a new, confrontational, shoot-the-hostages approach to Congress, shutting down the government twice in the process. He's the man who divorced his first wife while she was in hospital for cancer, and was eventually forced to resign as Speaker of the House not only because of an embarrassing Republican wipeout at the polls, but also when Congress began investigating a labyrinth of fraudulent non-profits that looked like the kind of scandal that would send anyone back into permanently quiet retirement. But no: He’s back. Again. So who is Newt Gingrich, and why do people get so worked up about him? Here’s your primer, millennials.
    1. The lesson to Labour veterans was clear: When you go too far to the left, the result is an eternity in opposition and a Conservative government that’s totally free to crush unions, privatize important government functions, and gut the safety net. If you moderate, you may only get half a loaf, but it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing.
    2. Now that Corbyn is officially on the ballot, he’s probably the favorite to win. If he does, the Labour Party will be left in an essentially broken state, with almost all of Labour’s MPs openly and publicly opposed to their leader.
    1. But simply put, motivating supporters to head to the polls for down-ballot races — from congressional seats to positions in state legislatures — is much more challenging than high-profile presidential contests.
    1. I’m concerned by the costs of booting up frameworks on mobile.

      Seems reasonable, but isn't this the problem of choosing any tool? If my app is complex enough to need a framework, will users really be using it on a phone? Isn't it possible to simply not overuse a framework?

    2. initial payload

      What about caching? First load ever might be expensive, but after that, shouldn't a lot of stuff be cached?

    3. Vanilla

      So... a ToDo app as featureful as everything else, written in raw html/css/javascript? How long did that take?

    4. monkey patch

      Or a real patch. Why monkey?

    5. Re-learning it. One day you’re just bimbling along, developing your app, and in the console you see a warning telling you that there’s been a deprecation, and that you need to update your code. That often requires figuring out what the latest version of the framework needs you to do differently, and that may also mean updating projects that shipped with older versions of the framework.

      So... why? Can't you just lock in your old version of the framework and soldier on? That sounds like a gratuitous upgrade just to be on the latest version. Sure, if you're facing (critical) bugs that are fixed in a later version or there's a feature in a later version that you NEED.

    1. In her book Why Presidents Fail, Brookings scholar Elaine Kamarck argues that "successful presidential leadership occurs when the president is able to put together and balance three sets of skills: policy, communication, and implementation." The problem, Kamarck says, is that campaigns are built to test only one of those skills. “The obsession with communication — presidential talking and messaging — is a dangerous mirage of the media age, a delusion that inevitably comes crashing down in the face of government failure.”
    2. Clinton began her 2016 campaign with a listening tour, as well, and it is worth considering the possibility that these tours are not simply bullshit. This is, to be honest, a possibility I had not really considered until speaking with past and present Clinton aides who have been forced to take their boss’s process seriously.
  2. Jun 2016
    1. @Component

      If using emacs tide-mode, customize variable tide-tsserver-process-environment to include --experimentalDecorators.

  3. May 2016
    1. "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."

      Attributed to St. Augustine, but actually from Rupertus Meldenius or maybe Archbishop of Split (Spalato) Marco Antonio de Dominis. There's an entire Wikipedia entry on it, of course: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_necessariis_unitas,_in_dubiis_libertas,_in_omnibus_caritas

    2. This living core, as they believed, stands revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal and corporate experience, and confirmed by reason.

      The Methodist Quadrilateral: scripture, tradition, experience, reason.

  4. Mar 2016
    1. 10:57:02KNOXAnd the system is designed to exclude third parties. The system is designed from, from the, sort of, the aftermath of the Soviet Revolution. It's designed so that it's extremely hard for a third party to get on the ballot, to have a viable candidate, to raise money and the rest of it.

      Whoa. Anybody know anything about this?

    1. Code contracts include classes for marking your code, a static analyzer for compile-time analysis, and a runtime analyzer.

      Whee.