Last week I asked why reporters don't more often ask candidates, "What exactly are you talking about?" when they make sweeping claims about things like our freedoms being taken away. And last night, Rachel Maddow's program featured her doing just that when talking to some Joe Miller supporters out waving signs on an Alaska street corner. It's a pretty telling exchange:
If robots are ever going to do all our housework and pick up all our garbage, they're going to need to improve their dexterity. The human hand is a marvel of coordination, strength, and subtlety. Figuring out how to produce robot hands that can do anything like what a human hand can do has been a famously difficult engineering challenge.
But the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been working on it, and now some scientists working with a DARPA grant have come up with a marvelously low-tech and creative solution, as Popular Science tells us:
If you're living where there's a contested election or two, you're probably getting a lot of mailers from candidates. Maybe you don't like them, but it isn't that big a deal -- give it a glance, toss it in the recycling. But just you wait.
Democrats are probably hoping they can turn this latest Kinsley gaffe (which is when a politician inadvertently tells the truth) from Mitch McConnell into this year's "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it":
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
Citizens United President David Bossie outside the Supreme Court after it ruled on the campaign-finance reform case (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
"If men were angels," James Madison wrote in Federalist #51, "no government would be necessary." And if Americans were attentive and informed about the workings of government and current debates about policy, campaigns would barely be necessary. We could just peruse the documents on candidates' websites, read their résumés, perhaps watch a debate or two, and we'd all know for whom to vote.