New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you’re one of the three people who reads this here premier “web log,” you may have once checked out the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is from Maureen Dowd, who in her stupid-as-fuck column today, “Is Barry Whiffing?” writes:

A singles hitter doesn’t scare anybody.

Look, this column was so stupid I almost took it out of contention because it made me physically angry. But, Jesus, that line is so stupid even out of context, and that’s the whole point of this feature. She doesn’t even fucking get baseball. Base hits win games. Go fuck yourself.

Morning Constitutional – Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Good morning, everybody. Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas broke up. Now, your morning constitutional:

U.S. gross domestic production growth in the first quarter of 2014 was turrrrible, growing at an annualized rate of .1 percent. Yes, point-one-percent. Blame lies mostly on the weather, stocked inventories from last year, and a small drop in exports.

It’s not all bad news, though. ADP says that the U.S. economy added 220,000 jobs in April, up from 209,000 in March.

Clayton Lockett died Tuesday 40 minutes into a botched execution in Oklahoma. Thirteen minutes after Lockett had been given the dose of a new and untested death penalty drug cocktail, Lockett lifted his head and started mumbling. The doctor then tried to stopped the execution, but Lockett died of a heart attack 40 minutes later. The state used a new, untested cocktail of drugs because the drugs previously used have become unavailable.

Iraq is holding its first parliamentary elections since the U.S. withdrew its troops amid heavy security. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is hoping to win a third term, although odds may be narrow.

Prosecutors in D.C. and New York are nearing criminal charges against two of the largest bank in the country and are meeting with regulators to find a way to punish bank’s criminal activity without putting them out of business or harming the overall economy.

Pro-Russian militants took over government buildings in Horlivka on Wednesday, another sign that the Kiev government is losing control of its eastern provinces.

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the EPA does have the authority to regulate coal pollution that contributes to soot and smog in neighboring states.

On Tuesday, a federal district court ruled that Wisconin’s voter ID law is unconstitutional and violates the Voting Rights Act. Rick Hasen has some good thoughts about why the case is a major victory for opponents of voter ID, and where it’s going.

According to a civil society group in Nigeria, scores of young girls who were recently abducted from school are being forced to marry Boko Haram militants.

Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear operator, has agreed to buy Pepco, the utility that services the Maryland and D.C. area, for $6.8 billion.

Totally surprising: Young people waited until the last minute to sign up for health insurance under the ACA and did so in droves.

Where the best tippers in the U.S. are.

Finally, man armed with potato arrested.

Morning Constitutional – Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Good morning, everybody. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin are engaged. Now, your morning constitutional:

On the last day of his trip through Asia, President Obama defended his administration’s foreign policy, basically saying that while going to war may seem sexy, avoiding conflict, while boring, is more in keeping with U.S. interests.

The European Union on Tuesday named 15 more to the list of Russians targeted by economic sanctions, including key members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Who has been targeted? Pro-Russian militants have seized the regional government’s headquarters in the eastern city of Luhansk.

Syrian state-run news media reported that 50 were killed in bombing attacks in Damascus and Homs on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is sending a team to investigate claims that the Syrian government is using chlorine gas.

Secretary of State John Kerry apologized Monday night for suggesting during a private appearance that if a peace deal was not achieved, Israel risked becoming an “apartheid state.”

How the Israel-Palestinian conflict is turning front-and-center for Navajo politics.

The dark side of the North Dakota oil boom: drugs, violence, and human sex trafficking.

The White House Monday released guidelines to colleges to combat rape and sexual violence on college campuses. Meanwhile, colleges start calling rape “non-consensual sex” because apparently the word makes them more uncomfortable than the actual problem.

LOLRomney.

The problem with music has been solved by the Internet.

Finally, woman charged after case of “dodgeball rage.”

Morning Constitutional – Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Good morning, everybody. Uma Thurmond isn’t engaged anymore. Now, your morning constitutional:

President Obama landed in Tokyo Wednesday night (local time), the first stop on his week-long trip through Asia. He began the trip by stating that a group of islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by both China and Japan fall under the U.S.-Japan security agreement.

Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., the commander of U.S. forces in Japan, has been reprimanded for allowing sexual assault complaints slide, but despite being disciplined, he has been moved to an important position at the Pentagon.

Last week, rebel militants in South Sudan seized Bentiu, an important oil town, and separated residents by ethnicity before killing at least 400.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia will respond if its interests in Ukraine are attacked.

Not for the first time, Homs becomes an important city in the Syrian civil war.

A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget worries leaders as U.S. and other world powers prepare to leave the country.

Colleges look for new ways to encourage diversity after the Supreme Court yesterday upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions.

The Republican-led Missouri state legislature is starting impeachment proceedings against Democratic governor Jay Nixon.

Ray Moore, Republican candidate for South Carolina lieutenant governor, urges Christian parents to take their kids out of the “godless” and “pagan” public school system. (Just out of curiosity, how can it be both?)

The U.S. middle class is no longer the richest middle class.

Bob Dole is back in Kansas. Money line: “I thought I was a conservative, but we’ve got some in Congress now who are so far right they’re about to fall out of the Capitol.”

All four Republicans running for Senate in North Carolina said that climate change is not real.

Is it racist to only date people of your own race? (Yes.)

Amazon to start offering HBO content to its Prime customers.

Mayor gets police to raid home of someone who made fun of him on Twitter.

Finally, man with 5,000 bras to open museum.

Why is the Spotify player such a piece of shit?

Spotify is a pretty decent service. For free, you can listen to practically anything that’s ever been released commercially (sadly, no RVIVR, but that’s on them because they’re UP THE PUNX), as long as you’re willing to listen to some ads once in a while.

And I’m not against listening to ads once in a while.

The problem is, for a tech company with so much data, they use it horribly. Or they don’t use it at all. You’ll be listening to a sweet Biber partita, and get thrown a massively loud advertisement for ADVANCED AUTO PARTS. Listening to Old Crow Medicine Show? How about you try listening to LIL WAYNE’S NEW HIT ALBUM?

The worst, though, listening to something classy at work or church or school? How about TROJAN MAN?

Look, the first thing you can do is have a setting for (N)SFW ads. The second is, while a little harder, make the ads less annoying, by paying attention to what I listen to. This shouldn’t be difficult: I’m always looking for new music!

Now, you’re probably thinking: You know, you could just pay for it and get rid of the ads. Well, I’m not going to pay for this, and the annoying ads are part of the reason. I’m not going to incentivize you to annoy me into submission. Second, give me a decent product to go with your decent service. The application is a piece of fucking shit.

What do you think happens when you click on this red X?

spotify 1

If you guessed “act like every other Windows* program” you’re wrong. Pretty much all programs act the same way when you click the red X: It quits the application. Not so for Spotify! No, it just minimizes the player. Seriously. You’re like “I need to stop the player from playing, let me click the quit program button” and Spotify says “Fuck you, you can’t quit me” and you go “I WISH I KNEW HOW TO QUIT YOU!”

Because you actually have to go to the menu and select “Exit.” And the menu is fucking thin and impossible to click on correctly:

spotify 2

The rest of the UI is spacious (in fact, most of it since last week’s redesign is wasted space).

What about when you click the play/pause button—do you think clicking it does what you expect? Well, about half the time. Because, yes, back to ads, if there’s a display ad, you have to click twice. Why? I have no fucking clue. Probably to be like “Fuck you, there’s an ad here that’s more important to us than you.”

And speaking of that, the fucking turd of it all: When an audio ad plays, it you mute your computer or otherwise turn down the volume, the ad actually pauses.

So, Spotify, fix your shit. Make your application like all other programs. Make it actually work. I might pay.

Oh, and fix the shit where if two bands share a name, they get the same page, or if a band has a “the” for some reason there’s a page for it with and a page for it with out the “The.”

P.S. I have a sweet Spotify playlist of new music that I update periodically.

All this is applicable to the OSX version of the player as well.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you’re one of the three people who reads this here premier “web log,” you may have once checked out the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is from David Brooks, who in his column today, “The Leadership Emotions,” writes:

This kind of leader is warm-blooded and leads with full humanity.

So, in other words, human.

Morning Constitutional – Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Happy Earth Day, everybody. Rosie O’Donnell lost 50 pounds. Now, your morning constitutional:

President Obama begins a week-long trip to Asia today, the centerpiece of which is a new agreement with the Philippines that would give American ships and planes extensive access to Philippine bases.

Meanwhile, Vice President Biden is in Ukraine, and pledged American support for a fair election, as well as $50 million in additional economic assistance.

Experts say the Russian military, despite being seen as outdated, is employing sophisticated 21st century tactics against Ukraine.

On the other hand, life in newly-Russian Crimea is getting chaotic, as, well, basic state services are all completely changed and not functioning fully yet.

The Justice Department is preparing a new effort to push equity in criminal sentencing for drug offenses, one piece of which is the administration preparing clemency requests for non-violent drug offenders who are serving long sentences.

The number of American troops in Afghanistan may soon drop below 10,000, maybe even below 5,000.

The White House has chosen a new counsel, W. Neil Eggleston, who has an impressive-as-hell resume.

Lots of people who are refusing to sign up for health insurance are doing so for bone-headed reasons.

Among the slew of cases the Supreme Court is hearing, they will decide what constitutes pomegranate juice.

Many Americans think owning a home is a better investment for them than it is.

The Obama administration looking to curb the number of immigrants it deports who have limited or no criminal records.

Yup, Americans pretty dumb about science.

The current debate over Common Core is more about politics than education.

Ford to announce that current CEO Alan Mulally will retire and Mark Fields will be its next CEO.

Netflix planning a price increase. Why should should care.

Finally, a high school student was suspended after asking Miss America to the prom.