Design stasis as applied to rocket design and its persistence. As someone once said, "If we were to design a car now, nobody would go near the internal combustion engine." However, it's the tech we've had for nearly a century, and only the fact of $4+ gasoline in the near future has been enough to shock us into alternatives (witness the evolution of both electric cars and batteries, which have gone through several generations of evolution in the past decade). Lots of good Skiffy stuff in that article. Geopolitics, physics, costs, insurance (of all things) and a good dose of reality. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Tobias is selling signed copied of the hardcover Crystal Rain for a ridiculously low price. I've already got one, but maybe you don't.
Jim Hines jumps into the HCR debate with both feet. The money shot? "Basically, many of these countries with evil, scary, government-run health care appear to be kicking our ass when it comes to actually taking care of their people." Yes, that. For those people who fear "socialized medicine", I think you'd be more motivated to show how much better our system could be instead of supporting the overly costly, poor delivery system we have now. We have some of the best medicine available (although, that's not the forward trend, BTW, one example is SE Asia has become the health care tourism destination, when in the 80s and 90s it was the US), but only if you have the cash to afford it (even if you have insurance). Jim has lots of links and data to share.
Here's an article on some other Myths We Tell Ourselves™. It's about how we all want to cut the budget, but really can't agree what to cut. It's also about how we wildly overestimate some budget items, while wildly under estimate other budget items. I would go on a bender and talk about how we come to these conclusions given the debate over those items and intentional spinning of reality, and then tie that into our perceptions of wealth distribution and just say that as a society, we're basically clueless about the reality around us. And there are those who mean to keep it that way.
And, it's good to see the Dems in a progressive mode instead of wishy-washy at the edges. And I agree, we're at 3 bills up before the house, and not one on cutting the budget or about creating jobs. Glad to see the priorities of the conservatives haven't really changed. Just wish the people who voted for them would realize this. I just hope they figure out the sound-byte and keep repeating it, unlike the usually 20 point rebuttal (which are typically good, but nobody can remember).