When you look over the history of invention, it's clear that the pace of change has increased steadily over time. Three thousand years or so passed between the invention of the alphabet, for instance, and the invention of the printing press. But the microchip was invented in 1958, and the World Wide Web went on line a mere 35 years later, depending on when you date the beginning.
When it became clear that Republicans were going to have to offer their own ideas on health care, if for no other reason than to show they are more than the Party of No, they put on their thinking caps and came up with four. One -- "Give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs" -- is essentially meaningless. Another -- "Allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices" -- sounds like the exchanges established by the Democrats' plan, just in less effective form.
Let's say you're a subscriber to Newsweek, or you get the New York Times Magazine with your Sunday paper. Within the last few months, you probably noticed that each of these magazines went through a redesign -- new fonts, new layouts, new look. But let's say in that first redesigned issue, or maybe the second, the magazine contained multiple articles from its regular writers with titles like, "Our New Redesign: Why I Think It Sucks." That would be a shocker: One of the principles of publishing is that, generally speaking, you want to convince people that the publication in their hand is actually really great, and they should keep buying it.
The latest New Yorker has an interesting profile of Paul Krugman, and it contains this fascinating nugget:
Krugman and [wife Robin] Wells pulled out of the stock market ten years ago and never went back.
"It just takes a lot of work to think about it," Krugman says, "and at no point—except maybe early 2009, if I'd been really feeling daring, stocks really did look cheap—"
"We bought a couple of things," Wells says. "We bought muni bonds and some Ford Motor bonds. The thing is, if you look at it on a historical basis, even back in the two-thousands, stocks are not cheap."
Seemingly spent on all their absurd arguments about the substance of health-care reform (death panels! socialism!), Republicans have now moved on to making absurd arguments about the process of health-care reform, namely that circumventing the filibuster is like spitting on James Madison's grave (just to clarify, the filibuster is not in the Constitution). But when you listen to them talk, you quickly notice that they never make a real, substantive argument in favor of the filibuster. Indeed, the word "filibuster" doesn't pass their lips too often.