THE PARTY OF NO … JUDICIAL CONFIRMATIONS

A smaller percentage of President Obama’s nominees has been confirmed at this point in his presidency than in any other presidency in American history. (And yet, with some exceptions, his nominees have been less ideological than those of his predecessors.) So finds the Alliance for Justice.

There is a striking contrast between how the Democratic minority worked with President Bush after he “won” in 2000 – with fewer votes than Gore – and how the Republican minority has chosen to work with President Obama after he won – with 10 million more votes than McCain – in 2008. This is just one example.

IPHONE SCRABBLE

I’d just like to note that FORAYED is a word, and that the iPhone Scrabble app – which was not free – surely should have buttons that allow you to:

  1. Override its ignorance of words like FORAYED.
  1. Hear definitions of any of its preposterous words (you’d touch an icon to hear the definition and shake the phone violently to reject it). PECTIZES? CALLANT? ACNODES? Really?
  1. Allow a “back” function in case you accidentally touch “play” before completing your word (easy to do, especially if the vehicle you’re riding in hits a bump). You were going to make ANAGRAM for 72 points (with the 50-point bonus) but accidentally touched “play” after just AN and got 4 points instead.
  1. Allow a “back” function for when you see that the computer had the Q and an I, and you opened up a double triple letter score by placing an unexposed I just below the triple, so it could make QI in both directions for 62 points (it’s no reflection on your IQ if you are unfamiliar with QI) – and, well, you could just as easily have started your word one letter back so the I would not have fallen below the triple. Not to say you should be proud of using the “back” button in this circumstance, but what golfer is not allowed the occasional mulligan? And for heaven’s sake, you’re competing against more computing power than all of NASA had when it put a man on the moon, so give . . . me . . . a . . . break!

For $2.99, can’t we expect these four?

And what’s the deal with CPU – as the computer calls itself – always allowing its opponent to go first? It’s condescending. Shouldn’t it randomly generate who gets to go first?

And how about a $4.99 super platinum deluxe version that gives you the option of selecting one or more of my house rules?

Here are my house rules:

  • If you have three of the same letter, which is a total drag, you may – at any time, without waiting your turn, announce that you are going to throw in one, two, or three of them, show them (not that I don’t trust you) . . . and then do so without penalty. Computer Scrable already has an “exchange” icon. If you selected this house rule, it would know not to penalize you if you did indeed have three of the same letter and chose to exchange one, two, or three of them. And of course your opponent would have the same option, so neither of you is disadvantaged.
  • If a blank has been played, whoever has or later picks up the letter it represents may – at any time, without waiting his turn – swap the real letter for the blank. This is rule is almost Solomonic, and without having to dismember the baby. Consider: in regular Scrabble, half the time one player gets both blanks. Well, c’mon! The blank, properly utilized, is huge! How can the blankless player hope to win? But if the blank can come back and forth multiple times, there may wind up being, in effect, three or four or five or six blanks, decreasing the chance that one player will be shut out (and adding an interesting twist of strategy to the game).

Feel free to add your own.

CHASE QUICK DEPOSIT

OMG. JPMorgan Chase now allows you to deposit checks without ever going to the bank. With Quick Deposit, you just use your iPhone’s camera to send Chase a photo of the check, front and back, confirm a few things – and you’re done. I can’t wait for Citi to offer this. (Chase limits this to checks under $1,000; I hope Citi won’t.)

THE OFA IPHONE APP

And, if you were too busy to try it yesterday, how cool is this? Watch the demo, download the app, hang on to Congress.

TINNY

I assumed all iPhone 4’s had unpleasant metallic sound quality. Turns out, only mine (and some others) do. My friend Chad had the same issue, brought it in, and got it swapped out at no charge.

 

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