“This President is not just supporting Republican-friendly policies,” says Rachel Maddow, “he’s supporting actual Republicans’ actual policies. And the Republicans are voting no, against their own ideas.” The first five minutes show and tell the story.

Our government is broken when one party will not accept anything – even its own ideas – that the President proposes.

A powerful five minutes.


Leaving aside all we learn about him in Game Change, how about the Senator’s flip this week on repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell? In 2006, he said he’d defer to the military brass; if they ever came to him and said it should be repealed, well, at that point he’d seriously consider it. But when this week the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before him that it was time to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly – an opinion buttressed the next day by former Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell – McCain decided that they should defer to his judgment instead.


Stephanie Hill: “Greek vs. Latin. ‘Hemi’ (in which the ‘e’ is pronounced like a long ‘a’) is a shortened version of the Greek word for half. Semi is Latin. Sphere is Latin taken from Greek. (What about ‘demisphere?’)

Daniel: “Semi – half, from Latin . . . hemi – half, from Greek . . . demi – divided in half, from Latin. Thus, demitasse – a half cup of coffee . . . semiquaver – an 1/8th note in music . . . demisemiquaver – a 16th note. Okay, I didn’t really know this answer but Google is all knowing.”

Richard Theriault: “Semi is Latin, hemi is Greek – just like homo and iso, both meaning “same.” Though there we seem to distinguish between homo as same KIND and iso as same SIZE. Most geometric names are Greek roots, as in dodecahedron, a 12-faced solid (as opposed to dodecagon, a 12-sided plane figure). Just a convention of language, in that prefixes for multiples and fractions have Greek roots. Mostly. Kilo/milli; mega/micro; tera/nano, etc. But it falls apart at lower values. We seem to stick to Latin for up to 100 and then shift to Greek. Hey, it’s English. Nobody said it has to make sense!”


Oh, my. Need I say more? (Okay, I’ll say a little more. If a pound of premium coffee costs $8 and you get 50 small roll-your-own Nespresso cups from it, then that’s 16 cents each versus 55 cents for the Nespresso pods. Three cups a day – decaf! demitasse! – and you save $400 a year. Not nothing. Although obviously, if money mattered to you, you wouldn’t have bought this expensive coffee maker in the first place.)


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