News to me

The New York Times, following Pres. Obama’s statement on the looming government shutdown:

In addition to criticizing Mr. Boehner in harsh terms, Mr. Reid excoriated what he called the “banana Republican mindset” of the House. He called on the speaker to put the Senate bill up for a vote, which would almost certainly pass in the House because of overwhelming Democratic support and backing from moderate Republicans [my italics].

When there’s nothing else to do…

On hacking the new iPhone 5s:

The method involves waiting for a notification, or forcing one by sending a text message or ejecting the SIM card. Once the notification pops up, a hacker has to swipe right on it while simultaneously swiping up on the Camera icon. While keeping a finger on the Camera icon, a person must then slide to unlock and tap the Emergency Call button. After dialing, hitting the Call button quickly two or three times should crash Springboard, but allow the call to go through once Springboard restarts.

Read more:

Then and now

On August 18, 2010, this is what they said:

From Jack Zduriencik: “Eric brings the energy, passion and leadership that we think is important as we move forward, and he has a track record of winning at the major league and minor league levels. Eric has taken clubs to the playoffs and he has twice won 90 games at the major league level. As a former Manager of the Year he has experience working with both veteran and younger players and as we move ahead we look forward to his contributions.”

From Wedge: “I think this is a terrific opportunity and I am excited to be a part of it. Seattle is a great city for me and my family. With the fan support, the ballpark, the ownership and management, the Mariners are in a great position to be very successful.”

And now

“If they’d offered me a five-year contract, I wouldn’t have come back here. So, let’s be clear with that.”

— Eric Wedge

Imagine if J. Edgar were still alive

Thanks to Eric Snowden’s revelations, we know this:

…N.S.A. analysts can exploit that information to develop a portrait of an individual, one that is perhaps more complete and predictive of behavior than could be obtained by listening to phone conversations or reading e-mails, experts say.

Phone and e-mail logs, for example, allow analysts to identify people’s friends and associates, detect where they were at a certain time, acquire clues to religious or political affiliations, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner or exchanges with a fellow plotter.

We’re talking about Americans, here. What assurances do we have that the spy agencies no longer have a Hoover and a president who target domestic political enemies along with potential terrorists?

None, you say.

Mariners find new ways to be dysfunctional

Eric Wedge resigned yesterday, just before the final three games of a remarkably awful season. His boss evidently failed to give him a multi-year contract extension. So, after telling the media a couple of days before that he was “all in” with Seattle, Wedge received a different perspective from inept General Manager Jack Zduriencik, who’s guaranteed only another year himself.

So continues the mediocrity, the one thing that is actually guaranteed by the Mariners organization. The Seattle Times breaks down the managerial history, starting with the club’s only effective skipper, Lou Pinella.

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 9.21.16 AM

Keep in mind that the above list is of the Mariners best. The other eight must have really sucked.

The Times‘ Larry Stone painted a cynical gloss on events, suggesting a job description for Wedge’s replacement followed by this:

Welcome to the managerial graveyard. Seattle, where baseball hopes and dreams go to die.

Responding to the news last night, the Mariners promptly lost to the Oakland A’s, managed by—gulp—Bob Melvin, last year’s manager of the year. I’m sure that he’s happy to be out of Seattle, even if his ballpark is often flooded with shit—literally.


Kwazy Kwackups

Gail Collins, writing for the New York Times on Ted Cruz’s self delusions:

A hundred thousand people cheering you on in the social media feels like a mass movement. But this is a gigantic country. You can find 100,000 people who believe in a secret plot by Belgium to corner the market on beetroot.