The First One

I don’t have a lot of the detritus that builds up around group memberships.  No varsity jacket, no fraternity jersey, no exclusive standard-issue paraphernalia – and what little I do have normally reposes in a repurposed humidor atop my dresser.  And one of the things in there, which I pulled out and wiped and charged up last night, is my original iPhone.

I was there, you know.  I was sitting in Caffe Macs watching the keynote from the “skybox” – the one remaining booth bench after they cleared out all the tables to make way for rows of chairs, a bench that we routinely squatted three hours before kickoff to be sure our gang would be relaxed and comfy.  And it took me a second to get that the revolutionary new iPod, brand new phone and amazing Internet device were, in fact, one thing, and at that moment I was all in.  I saved my cash, and then, a week before the thing was released, Himself sat on a stool in Town Hall and told us we would all be given an 8 GB iPhone, gratis, a couple of weeks after the launch.

Looking at it now, you can tell it’s old.  It maxes out at iOS 3.1.3, which is before it was even called iOS if I remember right, and the 480×320 screen is a little on the muddy side after three years of looking at retina displays.  But it feels compact in a way that even the iPhone 4/4S don’t, despite being the same height and the 4/4S being slightly narrower. Maybe it’s to do with the way the 3G and 3GS looked, with the plastic back that was tapered at the edges but ultimately thicker in the back, and which had that same naff quality as a vinyl “crocodile” wallet.  I mean, yes the plastic was necessary for improved antenna performance, but it also took away the premium feel of the device.

Something else I didn’t realize is that both the 3G and 3GS shipped with a smaller battery than the original iPhone.  Which makes sense.  All the compromises that the original iPhone made were deliberately made in the cause of making the battery stretch as long as possible.  Thus no 3G in the original model – coverage wasn’t built out enough to make it worthwhile relative to the hit the battery would take. Thus no GPS in the original model – one more antenna, one more chip to draw power. Thus no CDMA in the original model – GSM, besides being the standard everywhere but Korea and parts of the US, was also less battery-intensive.  Thus no apps, so you couldn’t install anything that would pummel the battery to death.  I guess by the time the iPhone 3G and 3GS shipped, they’d figured out how to make the battery stretch – enough to add things like 3G and GPS to the first upgrade and then a faster processor and an improved camera with video capture to the 3GS the year after that.

Really, when you think about it, the S-path might have been the better one.  Original iPhone, then move to the 3GS and get faster everything plus GPS and a video camera.  If you moved to the 3G a year after the original iPhone, as I did, you only got GPS and 3G for your trouble – same RAM, same processor, and a smaller battery. And you had to go an extra year at the old speed and with no video until the iPhone 4 shipped.  (Of course, then you got the sexy new Dieter Rams-esque design first and the retina display, but you also got the dicky antenna and had to wait an extra year for HSPA+ support or Siri or an 8 MP camera with 1080p support. And you got the iPhone 5 first, which gave you a bigger screen and LTE, but you miss out on the 5S with its improved LTE support, amazingly better camera and TouchID…)

But that’s neither here nor there.  The point is, the original iPhone still feels dead solid perfect in the hand.  Not too big, not too small, of a comfortable weight, with pleasantly rounded edges and – despite six years of scratching and a couple of corner dents – the look of a device that could change the world.  Which it kind of did, despite everything. No apps, at launch, not even a way to bookmark pages on the home screen.  No MMS support, or 3G, or GPS, or even cut and paste. No video capture, and a muddy little 2-megapixel camera that was barely table stakes for a high-end phone at the time.  And yet, it’s still as attractive a package as Apple offered in a phone for the first three years of the iPhone age.

And in the beginning, I had it.  It was our standard-issue phone for the last two months I was around – everybody had it, because we’d all been given it free.  It was our lightsaber, it was our power ring, and it was something that I could take to Paris and Punxsutawney alike and feel like I had dropped in from the future.  The newest phones, like the 5S or the Moto X, are amazing indeed.  But that first phone was magic.

flashback, part 66 of n

I don’t know why that song in particular.  I don’t know how I even came by that song in particular.  But as I stood in the Oasis Laundromat in Mountain View, California, watching game 6 of the American League Championship Series, I kept hitting the “back” button on my new (ish) gold iPod Mini over and over, and listening to the Pogues play “Thousands Are Sailing.” There was a full moon, there was Curt Schilling bleeding through the sock, and I was watching the baseball postseason in a new place for the first time since 1997, and the Boston Red Sox were trying to pull off the single biggest comeback in human history since Our Lord rose on the third day.

I wasn’t remotely a Red Sox fan in 1997.  I was aware of the existence of the Sox, was becoming vaguely aware of the whole mythology around the CURSE, had met several folks that year from the general area of Red Sox Nation.  I suppose that by the time I left DC, they were my American League team of record.  I’d been to a game at Fenway, but that wasn’t saying heaps; I’d been to an ALCS game at Yankee Stadium in 1998 and a World Series game at the Jake in 1997, plus games at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, Shea Stadium in New York and – of course – Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  And I suppose from a fandom standpoint, I was already much more invested in the San Francisco Giants, whose own World Series trip in 2002 had gone pear-shaped.

But Boston meant some very good friends – some of my best, actually – and it also meant a whole lot of the DC Irishness from the Four Provinces and thereabouts. I did plenty of screaming along with the McTeggarts’ version of  “Charlie on the MTA” at half-past midnight.  I’d read all the pertinent literature by then, of course – Updike and Shaughnessy and the like – and I’d been a shirttail participant in 1999 and 2003 postseason failings.  To say I was part of Red Sox Nation was completely incorrect, but I could at least claim a valid visa good for six months without recourse to public services.

The song is all about the Irish who had to leave their own country to escape the poverty, the famine, the general hopelessness, and I suppose in a way it rang true with me. By the time I left DC, I wanted to leave, but I didn’t want to have to leave.  I suppose maybe if the last couple of years hadn’t been such a battle, if I hadn’t felt like we were never, ever going to break through against idiot users and even stupider upper management – if I’d had a shred of hope that we could win, I would have wanted to stick it out and keep fighting. But I knew it wasn’t going to happen, and I knew which way the future lay, and I went.

Standing there in the laundromat, watching Schilling bleed through the sock like some sort of arcane mystical act of blood expiation, I guess I was hoping for a symbolic victory of my own.  By proxy, if the Red Sox could climb out of the grave and do the unthinkable, if they could do something that had never been done, then maybe we’d have a win. And maybe it would mean eventual victory in the real world, somehow, and that the fight hadn’t all been for nothing.

I don’t miss the fight.  But since I still have the fight, I miss not having to go it alone.  And if I can’t have my crew, Monday to Friday and weekend nights to boot, shoulder to shoulder, I wish I at least had the cigars back.

New Stuff

Pretty much as we expected.  New thinner iPad, new retina iPad mini, new Mac OS X, new updates to the software all round, speed-bumped MacBook Pros.  The only real surprises were that OS X 10.9 can be downloaded gratis…and that Apple is still selling not only the previous generation iPad mini, but the iPad 2 as well.

This is a little strange.  Sure, keeping the iPad mini as a cheap entry level option is crucial – but it still gets kicked pretty hard by the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, which brings a retina-class display for $100 less than the non-retina iPad mini.  But the iPad 2 – a tablet two and a half years old! – for the same money as the retina MBP?  Is having a display just a hair under two inches larger that desirable, especially when the larger screen has half the resolution?

Part of the case to be made, I suppose, is that every inch matters (PAUSE) – that a 10-inch tablet is somehow materially superior to an 8-inch version, even with inferior resolution on the 10-inch display.  And that people are willing to pay the difference, to the tune of even hundreds of dollars.  I could almost see this working for most Android tablets, given the lack of a real tablet ecosystem and the constant risk that you’ll never get an OS update for an Android device…but then, there’s the Nexus 7 for $229 for a 16 GB (undercutting the retina 16 GB iPad mini by $170) or the 32 GB with LTE for $349 (as opposed to a whopping $529 for the iPad mini-retina).

And then there’s the Kindle Fire series.  Amazon has blown off Google altogether, taken the core of the Android Open Source Project and built their own OS around it, with their own media ecosystem and their own app store, and for their trouble they have technically become the leading Android tablet vendor.  And they’re offering something completely unique in the tablet world…real live remote tech support.

Basically, Apple’s continual offering of the older version is of a piece with the iPhone 5C or even the iPhone 4S still being on the market.  There is a sense than the two-year-old hardware, equipped with iOS 7, is good enough – basically that the iPad will be replaced on more of a laptop timetable than a phone timetable.  If hardware from spring 2011 is still salable as new, there’s probably not going to be a whole lot of reason to run out and replace your tablet just because you’re approaching 24 months.

Which is good.  I’m in very little hurry to run out and buy a new tablet; the old Dynabook is still a complete laptop replacement for 90% of my purposes.  The interesting question would be…would a free first-generation non-retina iPad mini be a satisfactory alternative? Asking for a friend…


So after tons of messing about with the phone, I think the battery life is more or less sorted. Twitter is the main culprit – lose the Twitter app, and the addictive need to keep refreshing constantly (thus taxing the screen and the data connection constantly too) and everything’s fine. Downloading and playing podcasts, some music, mail, Instagram, Wikipedia lookups, what have you – in mixed use without plugging in, I project out to about 10-12 hours mixed use. The last two days at work, I’ve come home with the battery above 50%.

The key thing is, I haven’t turned off that much. I ditched parallax view and animated wallpaper, and shut off auto-updating of applications, but some background data is still updating and location services are full-tilt including Frequent Locations. Work MDM is enabled, and I’m seeing the “right now it would take you X minutes to drive home” in the Notification Center. So this is more or less full featured…and we’re good.

The next big test is Saga. I considered Google Now, but if I don’t use Gmail, there’s really nothing it can give me that I don’t already have in the OS, save for transit directions (not that big a deal since I started driving to work every day). Similarly, what Donna does isn’t really necessary with the Today features. But Saga does more comprehensive location-logging and rolls in Dark Sky notifications to boot (saving me downloading Dark Sky itself – all I need is the precip, not the notoriously erratic temps) so it gets the nod. If it works without slaughtering the battery during a normal workday (tomorrow), I dare say our issues are truly licked. And I haven’t even tried the T-Mobile SIM yet…maybe later.

The Transformation Is Complete

Ars Technica (which is an everyday read for me, and it should be for you too) absolutely goes in on Google’s control of Android, and how their much-vaunted “openness” is being modified (where by “modified” they mean “kicked to the curb”) for the sake of consolidating control.  The tl;dr version: while Android launched with open source for the OS and the apps, those apps are being replaced with closed-source alternatives and the old ones deprecated to the point of uselessness, and if you want to make a Google app-equipped Android device, you can’t make devices with any other flavor of Android.

Those of you who remember the old days of Microsoft dominance will recall that if you wanted to make Windows systems, you couldn’t make anything else – Hitachi tried to install BeOS as a dual-boot option and had to engage in all kind of shenanigans to make it invisible unless you really wanted it to run, so that Microsoft wouldn’t strip their Win license. To date, the only Android device-maker willing to go that route – to eschew the Google apps and Google Play store and take a chance on going it alone – is Amazon, which has the money and the media library and the server back-end to make it feasible.  It also explains why so many phone makers – Samsung most prominently – are bundling their own versions of what seem like standard apps: it’s a hedge against the possibility that they’ll ever have to cut ties with Google and go it alone.

Ultimately, this drives home how untenable the open-source model is for handsets – it’s no longer enough to have hardware and an OS; you now need services and applications.  Android may technically be “open”, but out in the real world it’s anything but.  There might be a niche for something like the Fairphone or the Phonebloks approach, but you’re really, really, really going to have to want to roll your own to make it remotely worthwhile…especially when a Nexus phone is only $350 off-contract or an iPhone 5C can be had for $50 on contract.

It’s Linux all over again: it can be made easier and many of the edges filed off with the cunning use of Ubuntu, if someone’s willing to create the Android equivalent (maybe Ubuntu themselves?) but for 99% of the world, the juice ain’t worth the squeeze.  Meanwhile, Google really has become the mobile Microsoft; the only difference this time is that when Apple got there first, they fortified their position a hell of a lot quicker and stronger than they ever did on the desktop.  If we’re going to have a virtual duopoly, at least they’re punching at relatively equal weight this time.

And another thing

If there’s been one hard rap on Barack Obama as President, it’s that he’s too stuck into his own “let us now reason together” shtick.  He’s interested in bipartisan negotiation and dealing for its own sake, rather than lining up Democrats and cracking the whip and saying “you’ll hew to the party line or we’ll find somebody who will.”  It’s how the Affordable Care Act wound up without so much as a public option, let alone a single-payer model.  It’s how the original 2009 stimulus package wound up too small.  And it’s how the Republicans were able to leverage the debt limit increase in 2011 into the sequestration model that afflicts us now…and it’s why they were convinced they could do it again.

Hopefully, Obama has learned his lesson.  You can’t negotiate with zombies. He was an idiot to try it to begin with – when prominent Republicans are publicly announcing that they’re rooting for your failure and they’re going to be the universal “NO” before you’re even sworn in the first time, you have to start with at least the idea that you might have to do things without their help.  But I guess at some level, he had to try it his way and be forcibly disillusioned in the process. Then again, anyone who looked back at the original Clinton budget in 1993 and saw zero Republican votes for it, at all, should have known what was up.

But they held the line this time. Hopefully it’s the start of a different approach.

Oh and one more thing

Ted Cruz is absolutely the huge winner here.  He got to be the ringleader fighting the good fight against the hated brown usurper, without the hassle and inconvenience of actually being on the hook for the credit default.  Notice that Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, his likely rivals in two years, also made sure to vote against the deal.  They’re going to be smoking the straight Dixie all the way to 2016, because whenever Ted Cruz wakes up in the morning, he looks in the mirror and sees the 45th President of the United States.

If he’d won, he’d have to face the consequences of sandbagging Obamacare – restoring discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, kicking freshly-minted college grads off their parents’ insurance, eliminating options for people who can’t get insurance now – and the consequences of trashing the economic system associated with an American default.  But without those, he can howl about “friendly fire” and say that if only the Senate had more like him, they would win.  In the classic “Folkways of the US Senate” dichotomy, Ted Cruz is the Platonic ideal of the show horse.

But he’s learned one lesson that so many in the GOP have learned.  After all, the Democrats have only had complete control of the elected federal government (House, Senate, Presidency) for a whopping total of 8 years since 1969.  The Republicans only had it for 4 or 5, but they also had at least two pieces of the puzzle from 1981-86 and 1995-2007.  And they’ve had a majority of the Supreme Court appointees since about 1990 as well.  So…why isn’t there prayer in school?  Why is abortion still broadly legal?  Why is there no flat tax? 

The GOP at large and Ted Cruz in particular have learned a lesson that any profession wrestling aficionado has always known.  The money isn’t in winning the championship…the money’s in the chase.

Buying time…but not much else

So we have a deal.  The main elements are: continuing resolution funding through January 15 (maintaining the sequester, as far as I can tell), debt ceiling clear until at least February sometime, and precious little else.

This was important.  It was very important that Obama stand solid and that the Democrats stand solid behind him, which they did – every Democrat in Congress backed the bill. This was crucial because what they are trying to do here is delegitimize the tactic of government shutdown and debt-limit brinksmanship as a means of allowing one party in one house to hold the budget – or the full faith and credit of the United States – to ransom for things they could not otherwise obtain through legitimate legislative or electoral means.

Too many people expected Obama would fold.  He folded in 2011, for the sake of buying stability until the elections, and in return got a super-committee that failed to produce an official budget (whose chairmen then produced a non-binding statement of opinion that media idiots have since interpreted as the committee’s official report) and some automatic cuts that would take effect if nothing was done.  Nothing was, and they took effect, which is the sequestration that’s resulted in blunt-instrument diminished government services in 2013.

And what’s to prevent us going through all this again in February? Nothing.  That’s right: nothing at all.  Already the mental defectives of the Tea Party are screaming that they were THIS CLOSE to victory before being stabbed in the back by the evil liberal media (you know, like those pinko socialists at the Wall Street Journal) and by people who are Republicans In Name Only (you know, like 2/3 of the elected Republicans in the Senate who voted in favor of this bill and the 85 members in the House who decided enough was enough).  And because they feel entitled to their own opinion, their own facts and indeed their own reality, they will almost certainly try again in February, because they represent the True Will Of The American People and will certainly be swept to victory once people realize the truth about the illegitimate Kenyan socialist Muslim atheist dictator.

The thing is, the GOP is like a drug addict.  Fifty years ago, they sampled the Confederacy, and it was too much for them to handle – and Goldwater sank like a stone.  Then they got a diluted dose thanks to Wallace, and Nixon got into the White House in ’68.  Then they started mainlining it in 1972, won 49 states, and by that point, they were addicted to having the South in their column.  And they could maintain for a while, but they grew to need more and more of it – especially after 1994, when they could get even purer amounts of South.

And now it’s 2013, and they’re just now looking up and realizing that they’ve been shooting Russian street heroin for the last five years and their flesh is starting to turn to stone and drop off.

The GOP no longer functions without the South, without Southern-style politics.  They’ve dug themselves into safe one-party districts, where like the South of old, one gets elected by slinging the shit the loudest and most vociferously. Only instead of throwing around the N-word and defending the flower of Southern womanhood, now they shriek endlessly about death panels and Benghazi and socialism.  Thanks to Citizens United, the party no longer has any leverage via campaign money; you just need a Sheldon Adelson or Foster Friess or some other wingnut with more money than sense and you can run your campaign on his largesse without having to rely on the Republican Congressional organizations for campaign support.  AM radio and social media will give you all kinds of press and publicity from your true believers without ever having to interact with the hostile inquiries of the lamestream media.  And when you get to the House of Representatives, there’s enough of you that you can swing the vote for Speaker of the House – so he’s not going to have anything to threaten you with to get in line.

In short, the teahadists are now a self-propelled, self-replenishing zombie army. And we don’t have the means to win a zombie war right now.  The only way this stops is if the GOP can tear the needle out of its arm once and for all and accept that they’re going to have to go cold turkey for a while, wait for the Democrats to over-reach, and then rebuild with the more traditionally-Midwestern approach rather than getting strung out on the strains of Dixie.

And before we go, repeat it over and over until you get people to understand: this is a one-sided problem.  The Democrats are pushing the health care bill designed by the Heritage Foundation in 1994 as an alternative to Hillarycare, and implemented in Massachusetts by the most recent Republican candidate for President. Occupy Wall Street has no caucus in the Congress.  The problem is coming from one party, and they have to clean it up if we’re ever going to move forward – or else reconcile themselves to a permanent minority.

Hanging Out Wednesday’s Wash

* So it looks like Glenn Greenwald is going into business for himself, aided by eBay founder money.  This could be yet another attempt at building an alternative media outlet a la Huffington or Grantland, or it could be striking while the iron is hot to maximize the career leverage (and profit) afforded by being the sole conduit of the great Snowden revelations, which are trickling out in a manner that suggests nothing so much as the endless stream of surprise contracts Mick Foley just happened to have signed before being fired as WWF General Manager on Monday Night RAW back in the day.  It will certainly do nothing to dissuade the many people who are convinced that this entire affair is about maximizing the attention and tangible rewards afforded to Greenwald, which once again drives home the point that what should be a huge story is instead being turned into the meta-story, and largely by those claiming to push the story in the first place.

* The saga of the banjo-playing donkey is over: the iPhone 5 is again performing within acceptable parameters.  Now starts the experimentation: restore work MDM, disable a few features to see if we eke out a little more juice, maybe try running something like Dark Sky or Saga and see if it has a major impact, and – most of all – try throwing the T-Mobile SIM in there and see what happens. But the more I look at the new iPhones, the more I keep thinking that my next phone ought to either be the Moto X or a notional iPhone 6 that is more like the X.  I want the slightly larger screen and the larger battery that goes with it, and I definitely want the specialized co-processors for power-sipping ambient monitoring.  For the first time since 2007, somebody’s legitimately stolen a march on Apple in the phone-innovation space, and 64-bit alone isn’t yet demonstrably enough to make up the difference.

* Worth noting: there is no 64-GB iPhone 5S to be had in America, not even for ready money. I did an availability search around Silicon Valley.  Then Nashville.  Then Birmingham, then DC, then New York City, and in a broad swath all the way from Connecticut to Louisiana, there simply exists not one single 64 GB iPhone 5S of any color available for same-day pickup.  Meanwhile, the 5C can be had anywhere, including for half off with contract at the likes of Walmart or Target or Best Buy.   I’d be curious to see how the numbers for the 5C stack up against the numbers this time last year for the 4S, because the 5C is merely supposed to be the iPhone 5 with a candy shell and a bigger profit margin.  And at this point – given that the battery life is even better than the 5S and that my employer doesn’t permit fingerprint-unlocking in the security MDM – I’d as soon have a white 5C as a gold 5S.

* People keep trumpeting market share for Android phones, but iOS still rules the roost as far as actual web traffic goes. From the look of things, the bulk of Android’s market share is coming in the free-with-contract space, and going in large part to people who have a smartphone simply because the smartphone is now the default for “phone.”  The Moto X is the first Android phone to seriously eschew competing on “look how big” and “look how many gimmicks” and “look at this spec sheet” and instead compete on user experience…and it’s going to work.  Hell, it’s working on me, ain’t it?

* It’s diet time again. I’m trying to go back to the simple rules from March: no vending machine food, no extra sweeteners, no bottled soda, no empty starch calories.  We’ll see how well it works out; I already carved out one exemption for some caffeine-free Coke Zero last night and will probably have a few cocktails Thursday night (happy birthday surrogate-sister-in-law!) so I may not be as hardcore this time.  Then again, I made myself kind of miserable last time, and making sure I don’t resent doing it is going to be a big part of making sure I stick with it.

* The city council in Cupertino signed off on Campus 2 last night.  Before Christmas, they’ll be starting construction near my old office, bulldozing a huge old HP property to build something literally the size of the Pentagon.  Call it the mausoleum of Steve if you like…but one thing that stuck out is that in discussing the thing, Jobs specifically mentioned that it would have an apricot orchard. “You used to see them everywhere, even on the corners, and they’re part of the legacy of this valley,” he told his biographer.

And that led me to go back and look…and sure enough, of the big-ticket CEOs currently running things in Silicon Valley, none of them is actually from here.  Most of them came through Stanford, or else got pulled in via some other company.  But Steve and Woz?  They were from here.  They grew up in the orchards.  They bought components cheap at Halted Specialties, they ate pineapple pizza at Frankie Johnny and Luigi’s, they called Bill Hewlett up by finding his phone number in the Palo Alto white pages.  They grew up with the Valley.  They were part of what I think of as the “Wagon Wheel” era, when military and high-tech collided and kicked out the semiconductor industry and set the Bay Area on its way to becoming what it is today.

Steve lived that history, and he thought it was important enough to respect.  Important enough to make sure there were orchards.  I don’t know exactly what that says about him, but I know it’s nothing that comes up when you talk about the Googleplex or SoMa or Facebook’s forthcoming gated community.  And it’s why a hundred wannabe entrepreneurs who think all you need is a signature shirt and a shitty attitude have completely missed the boat on what made Steve Steve.

Over the Edge

This isn’t new, you know. A quick look at Michael Lind’s infamous 1995 New Republic article, which anticipated my own thesis and prospective dissertation, will tell you this was largely inevitable.  But I just finished a timely re-read of Rick Perlstein’s Before the Storm – the history of the Goldwater movement of 1964 and how it came to be – and it’s all there.  Paranoia about a “different” President, albeit Catholic rather than black.  Fear of creeping socialism in the form of government health programs – then, the very same Medicare that Teabaggers now defend virulently against the menace of “government health care” and now, the very same individual-mandate program that Heritage pushed in 1994 as an alternative to the Clinton plan. Plus ca change…

So as we sit and watch and wait, we look again at Texas.  Texas, which gave us Dallas, hotbed of right-wing extremism and deathtrap for Kennedy.  Texas, which gave George W. Bush a leg up to becoming President.  Texas, which now gives us Rafael “Ted” Cruz, the Pied Piper of the teahadists, singing a fifty-year-old tune about socialism and imminent doom with a healthy leavening of sub rosa racism.  And meanwhile, they have the weakest Speaker of the House in generations so scared that he will ride the atom bomb all the way down to default rather than risk their wrath.

Congressional government + Parliamentary politics = constitutional crisis.  This was inevitable from the day the GOP was left with only partial control of Congress during a Democratic administration.  It’s also the existence proof of false equivalence, because as much as CNN and NPR want to talk about coming to a compromise, there’s one side that puts its wingnuts in office.  Count how many Congressmen were elected on the back of Occupy Wall Street and balance that against the number of Teabag mental defectives currently refusing to honor the full faith and credit of the American government, and you’ll know who to blame tomorrow morning when things come crashing to the ground.

The only question now is this: when the time comes, will the Village, and the political media, and the public at large – will they finally have the balls to call a spade a spade and lay the blame where it belongs?  Because if the usual plague-on-both-your-houses, false equivalence, both-sides-do-it bullshit persists, you’ll know once and for all that Washington really is rigged for Republicans – even when they only control enough of the government to chuck bombs.