The new iPad isn’t “the iPad 3” or the “iPad HD” or “the iPad 2S” — it’s just the new iPad. There’s a lot of talk about the branding implications of this, but little about the fact that the iPad (like the Mac) is now an unversioned product.
Previously, hardware changes were bound to the version; Apple wasn’t going to up the RAM or put a better battery in the iPad 2 because that wouldn’t be an iPad 2 any longer. Now, if they want, they can make these sort of incremental improvements the same way they do with Macs—with just a note on the website.
The most fiscally prudent administration in living memory was Clinton’s. Bush was gratuitously bad on the fiscal front: he didn’t need to enact those monster tax cuts. Obama was necessarily bad on the fiscal front: he inherited a recession and had no choice. But the flip-side of stimulus spending in a recession is tax rises when the economy starts to recover so that you can pay for all that stimulus. If Congress refuses to enact any such tax hikes, that’s a problem. And so it makes sense that the downgrade came now, when Congress’s intransigence came into full focus.