When Metro has delays and safety issues, people complain about that. When Metro conducts track work to correct those issues, people complain about that. Does the complaining reflect on Metro, or do people just have more outlets than ever to register minor complaints about everyday life?
The endless cycle of complaining and complaining the complaints weren't instantly & perfectly resolved misses a few points. Metro?s doing track work onweekends and at off-peak times both to avoid direct construction delays at rush hour and toavoid the dreaded "moving momentarily" delays in the future. And it's trying to do all of it with no dedicated revenue stream from DC, Maryland & Virginia.
While dealing with construction delays ? or muchmore annoyingly, bus bridges past closed stations ? is a pain, the alternative is not amagic carpet ride. Chances for delays and frustration abound. Traffic on 66 or395. Construction on the Beltway. And good luck finding parking inClarendon or Dupont without paying or driving around for 10 minutes hunting fora spot ... about the same time you?d have been delayed on Metro.
And have these people taken the subway in New York City? When weekend construction is going on, the train either doesn't come at all, or you get on and the conductor says, "Due to construction, this train is going express to Nova Scotia," and somehow everyone who lives in NYC knows all this even though there are no signs anywhere.
Look, I understand when you're delayed, it sucks - but then you move on ... right? You don't get that impression reading the daily list of grievances. You get the impression people feel so wronged. Louis CK calls us The Shittiest Generation:
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Slumped in your chair as life's meaninglessness washed over you like lava made of Brad Pitt's bubble gum, you may have zoned out for the most tattletale bit of Sunday night's Oscars telecast. (If you just skipped the whole shebang, well?more power to you, Secretary Clinton. Good luck with the Syria thing.) After Octavia Spencer collected her Best Supporting Actress statue for playing a grumpy maid in The Help?proves how far we've come since Hattie McDaniel's win for Gone With the Wind now doesn't it??host Billy Crystal introduced a skit mocking the dim-witted ways a bumpkin focus group might have reacted to a test screening of The Wizard of Oz, from mistaking the Munchkins for children to urging the hapless studio rep (Bob Balaban) to ditch "Over the Rainbow." Ho ho ho.
The point, you see, was that the moviegoing public is a bunch of cretins. Not the studios, who of course invented test screenings in the first place. In other words, don't blame Hollywood if movies are bad. They're bad because we're stupid?and we have too much power. In a further inside-joke twist, the focus-group clods were played by Christopher Guest's stock company: Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, et. al. Guest's specialty is movies (e.g., Waiting for Guffman) about delusional "little people" who behave as if they're celebrities.
It always cheers me up when movieland's closet hatred of the audience comes out. Better that than the show's talking-head montage of screen luminaries earnestly reflecting on what the movies mean to them, which might have been more forgivable if someone had blurted out "a fortune" or "more sex than I can handle" at some point.
Otherwise, this year's Oscars mostly proved that a briskly paced, efficient Oscars show can somehow be every bit as soporific?and weirder still, less entertaining?than the bedraggled and endless ones we fried-eyed veterans are used to. Nothing could overcome the drag of no movies in contention that the public was remotely jazzed about (for all its charm, The Artist is a coterie taste, and its win mostly testified to how bare Mother Hollywood's cupboard was this year). And any Oscar night whose big upset winner is Meryl Streep is not an Oscar night packed with suspense.
When it comes to highlights, I'd probably have better luck scraping for them in my cats' litter box, but I'll try. Yes, Descendants co-writer Jim Rash's onstage parody of Best Screenplay presenter Angelina Jolie's cocked-hip va-va-voom pose was funny, though hardly the Great Moment in Impudence it was made out to be by viewers starved for seditiousness. And despite my annoyance with the gimmick of saucing up the boring technical awards with vamping comedy bits by the presenters?it must make the not-famous winners feel so welcome?Emma Stone's giddy routine with Ben Stiller before handing out the Best Digital Effects statuette was miles better (not to mention better casting) than her whole performance in The Help. Not so Sacha Baron Cohen's hopelessly unfunny slapstick on the red carpet, which only managed to make me tired of Cohen's The Dictator a good two months ahead of its release.
As for Billy Crystal, he did look a mite weary at being hauled out of the freezer yet again to save the day after original host Eddie Murphy vamoosed in deposed producer Brett Ratner's foul wake. It didn't help much that Crystal looked as if he'd been summoned direct from the set of a TV pilot called Henny the Talking Liver and hadn't had time to change makeup. But if the test of a true pro is being able to fake delivering the goods when you don't have any to deliver, give him credit for being a pro. That he wasn't remotely interested in what he was doing hardly got in the way at all?and showed good judgment in the bargain.
Fun footnote: As it happens, someone did urge the makers of The Wizard of Oz to lose "Over the Rainbow" before the movie's release in 1939. But it wasn't a ninny at a test screening. It was the boss of M-G-M, Louis B. Mayer, and he very nearly got his wish. Hollywood scholars that they are, both Guest and Bob Balaban?whose uncle Barney headed up Paramount in those days?probably know it, too. But since the odds of ever seeing an Oscar spoof from Guest and company starring a moronic studio head are beyond nil, I guess we'll just have to take the rap for how bad movies are in good grace. Murmur along with me, like Sidney Carton ascending the scaffold: "It is a far, far better thing we do ? "
The sovereign citizen movement is for many states no longer just a nuisance to be put up with, but a serious law enforcement issue to be confronted. [...]
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When the Citizens United decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in January, 2010, the most common criticisms were: 1. Corporations are not citizens. 2. It will increase the already disproportionate role of money in politics. 3. There is no requirement for identifying the donors to the SuperPACs that worked on behalf of [...]Related posts:
I was having with a friend yesterday. He's a whopping young-30-something, and was telling me how Aetna just turned him down for health insurance because of his "pre-existing conditions." Not wanting to pry (did he have cancer or HIV?), but feeling there was a story here, I risked prying just a little. Turns out he has a bad shoulder, exczema, allergies, and a fourth equally benign thing.
How can this be, I thought - doesn't ObamaCare get rid of pre-existing conditions?
I dunno. Do you?
I don't know a single thing that the President's health care reform actually does, did or will do. It does something with pre-existing conditions, some day, somewhere. And some day there will be those exchanges, or something, where only a few of us can buy insurance or something.
Oh, and only because my CareFirst BCBS premium went down this year did I learn that there's a 80% floor on how much of your premium needs to be spent on actually health care provision (or something like that). But I only learned the details on that when my BCBS premium went down and I tried to find out why (BCBS won't admit why, though they told a reader it's because of ObamaCare).
What does health care reform actually do? I'll bet most of you have no idea, other than what I listed above, but even then you're murky on the details.
I wrote, during the health care debate, that the Obama administration needed to explain to people how health care reform was going to decrease their premiums and increase their benefits. Period. It seems it may have caused my premiums to go down, but no one can confirm it.
With all that in mind, I'm not surprised that 47% of the American people think health care reform should be repealed. They have no idea what's in it. We hear from the GOP presidential candidates, practically every day, about how bad ObamaCare is. They claim it's going to cost a trillion dollars. That too is a lie. In fact, not only is health care reform paid for, repealing health care reform will up the deficit by $230bn over the next ten years, according to CBO. But you don't hear the Republicans talking about that little inconvenient fact.
I realize the President wants to focus on jobs for his re-election, but at what expense? I don't think he can afford, we can afford, this ongoing unwillingness to defend the work he's already done. If this was his signature goal and achievement of his first term, he ought to own it. Or people will continue to believe the Republicans when they say that it was all a big socialist waste of a trillion bucks, a typical Democrats spending spree on nothing (cf. the GOP lie that the stimulus didn't work, which the public also believes). At some point, Democrats have to realize that the message wars matter, and you need to start fighting them now if you want expect to win later.
Insurers open stores to peddle health plans: “Health insurers increasingly want to make shopping for a new health plan as easy and convenient as dropping into a local retailer to buy a TV. In recent years, a number of them have opened stores where consumers can stop by to talk with a customer service representative about buying a plan or resolve questions about their current coverage.” [Kaiser Health News]
Georgia advances abortion ban: “A measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the scientific evidence showing unborn children feel pain passed out of committee and moves to the floor of the Georgia state House.” [LifeNews]
Conservatives seek to reframe contraception debate: “Conservatives ? including conservative women ? are pushing back hard against charges that opposition to the White House?s contraception mandate is an attack on women.” [The Hill]
Women’s Strike Force PAC: “In response to the wave of Virginia legislation that was seen by many as an attack on women?s rights, a group of women founded Women?s Strike Force?a political action committee that will recruit and support candidates to defeat politicians who back the ultrasound abortion and personhood bills. A number of former elected officials are founding members of the group.” [NBC Washington]
Oklahoma exchange proposal passes test vote: “A proposal to establish a state health-care exchange while deliberately not complying with the federal Affordable Care Act passed a test vote Monday, but only with the tepid support of three lawmakers.” [Tulsa World]
HPV vaccine for boys: “The leading group of U.S. pediatricians says it’s now time for boys, as well as girls, to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus. The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidance to parents and doctors in favor of routine immunization for boys against the virus.” [NPR]
Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice?s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.Leading Off:
? NE-Sen: No way! Way? Aaron Blake says that former Dem Sen. Bob Kerrey, who said three weeks ago that he wouldn't seek his old seat, is changing his mind and will run for Senate, "according to a senior Democratic aide." Kerrey has been notoriously flakey about potential runs for office over the last decade, so I'm gonna believe it only when I see it. Indeed, Paul Johnson, a Democratic consultant and one-time campaign manager for Bob Kerrey, says that while his boss is reconsidering his earlier decision not to run for Senate, reports that Kerrey's made up his and will indeed go for it "are not true."
But if Kerrey does go for it, could this have actually been the play all along? Recall that Nebraska has a very unusual?I believe unique?filing system. Incumbents must file by Feb. 15, regardless of whether they're seeking re-election or running for some different office. Non-incumbents, however, have until March 1 to file?non-incumbents like Bob Kerrey, for instance. Why does this matter? Because the Republican that Democrats most feared might run, Gov. Dave Heineman, made a lot of noise but ultimately didn't wind up joining the race. Kerrey's original announcement came on Feb. 7; had he gotten in, Heineman may have felt increased pressure to run himself. But by "declining" when he did, Kerrey could lull Heineman into not running... and then pull a switcheroo after the 15th. This would be some pretty good trickery if so.
Tuesday's blue-plate special!
Mikeb302000 says we can pry them from Hollywood's warm, living, hands, and that's OK with him!
DarrelPlant questions how one both takes away holy books because you suspect they are being used to pass messages between prisoners, and burn them.
Library Grape remembers the long, drawn out battle of the 2008 Democratic Party Primary, but sees something different with the Republicans.
Bonus Track: PBH gives us the Mitt Romney Calculator and tells us why Mitt should pay $3,300 for a pizza.
Source: ForexYard Dollar Retreats from 9-Month High vs. Yen
The US dollar capped off its recent bullish trend against the Japanese yen yesterday after reaching a 9-month high at 81.65. Analysts noted that as long as US interest rates remain at their current levels, the USD/JPY may not be able to break the psychologically significant 82.00 level. Today, traders will want to pay attention to a batch of US data, including the Core Durable Goods Orders and CB Consumer Confidence. Positive results may help the dollar recoup some of yesterday's losses.Economic News USD – US Indicators Forecasted to Generate Volatility Today
The USD saw a mixed trading session yesterday, as an increase in risk aversion led to . . . → Read More: Dollar Retreats from 9-Month High vs. Yen
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