1. Sometimes the truth is not just that it hurts, but that it’s just so disappointing. You want to believe in romance and have romance in your life—even the most hardcore, cold intellectual wants the romantic notion. It kind of makes life worth living. But with these kinds of things, you really start thinking about what a machine it means we are—what it means that some of us don’t need those feelings, while some of us need them so much. It destroys the romantic fabric of society in a way.
  2. Biden is such a close talker that he occasionally bumps his forehead into you mid-chat, a gesture so minor that it’s notable only when you try to picture Barack Obama doing the same thing. The full Biden plays better around the Mediterranean and in Latin America than in, say, England and Germany. A former British official who attended White House meetings with Biden said, “He’s a bit like a spigot that you can turn on and can’t turn off.” He added, “For all of the genuine charm, it is frustrating that you do feel as if he doesn’t leave enough oxygen in the room to get your points across, particularly for those who are polite and don’t interrupt.” He learned to leave extra room on the schedule to account for what colleagues called “the Biden hour.”
  3. Capitol Hill has become  the main driver of my weeks. When in session, crazy busy; when not (like now), next to dead. I like not worrying about wearing a tie for several days in a row, but the days do tick by that much slower. Even if there’s no hearing or big news event, when Congress is in session, I can go up and try to stalk senators for a bit (even though it tends to be the same ones—Rockefeller, Thune, Wicker, Leahy, Pryor, etc.).

    God help me once August hits. At least I have family visiting for part of that month.

  4. image: Download

    My strange trade publication won a national Society of Professional Journalists award for our coverage of last year’s government shutdown. There was a lot of free alcohol. 

    My strange trade publication won a national Society of Professional Journalists award for our coverage of last year’s government shutdown. There was a lot of free alcohol. 

  5. Do we fall a little bit in love with our anxiety, are we attached to it? It gives a kind of sharpness, a crisp focus to our days that might otherwise be passed in a haze. Communing with phantom terrors sharpens our pleasure; it lends drama or spark to routine. An overdeveloped sense of precariousness makes you appreciate some pretty basic things. If you have clocked a few rigorous post-midnight hours colourfully elaborating the various ways you might be dying, come morning you will be over the moon pouring cereal for a child.

    The truth is that crisis in general, the sense of warding off calamities, of juggling many complicated things, of being harried and hectic and stressed out, can be perversely pleasurable. People hate insomnia but there is, for those who have a lot of it, often a kind of weird secret pleasure in it too. Even though you may hate the exhaustion, you find yourself sort of savouring it, like certain kinds of hangovers: it offers its own vividness. The rawness, the strung-out-ness, the oversensitivity to the world, the ache, they are all sort of pleasing in their own dark way. They make you feel like you are intensely experiencing the hours, not just slipping through.

  6. Scarcely anyone in this oddly prim chronicle is driven by greed. Self-preservation, yes, but greed is nonexistent in the book’s narrative—a tic that’s roughly akin to Jules Verne writing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea without bothering to note that his protagonists are surrounded by ocean water.

    Alex Pareene on Andrew Ross Sorkin

    That said, I still have wanted to read Too Big to Fail

  8. PRI just dropped This American Life. How in God’s name could they think that’s in their best interests? What a brand. Bound to get picked up in no time.

  9. Bold, dismaying move, Associated Press. I do not approve.

  10. 21:21 19th Mar 2014

    Notes: 206

    Reblogged from nogreatillusion

    Tags: journalism

    Never trust anyone posing as a tour guide. Learning things is hard. Do the work.

    Never trust that part of you that wants a tour guide. All of us are tempted by the Cliff-Notes. Decline them. Sometimes you must wander through The Louvre.

    Never try to look cool and learn something at the same time. You must have an awkward phase. All of us would like to skip that awkward phase. That is not how it works. Here is how it works: Get your ass in the water. Swim like me.


    Ta-Nehisi Coates  (via anthonyking)

    Ta-Nahesi, just being great.