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Peter Thiel, squillionare, and the crisis of capitalism

From (it seems) a transcript or redaction of a debate between Thiel and Marc Andreesen:


Think about what happens when someone in Silicon Valley builds a successful company and sells it. What do the founders do with that money? Under indefinite optimism, it unfolds like this:

Read below the fold...

Josh Marshall on golfing, yachts, squillionaires, and the "brittle grip"

It's been a long while since I've read WKJM and maybe I should have returned earlier. Here's a "when you've lost Josh Marshall" post:

We see reported today that a number of elite golf courses in the New York area rejected the White House's requests to allow the President to play on their courses when he was in the area over the Labor Day weekend. Let's start by stipulating that of the various kinds of respect or derision aimed at the first black president, his 'golfing rights', for lack of a better word, rate low on the list - certainly not ones the White House press office will want to focus on. Let's further stipulate that if you pay a lot of money to belong to a country club/golf course you'd probably be a bit annoyed that the place had been taken over by the Secret Service when you were looking forward to playing on Labor Day weekend - the rest of us get a little bummed when whole urban centers are locked down because of Presidential visits.

It's worth noting that probably at least some of these clubs were likely restricted in the past. Perhaps some still are, albeit informally. But while I don't think this is mainly or even substantially about race, I do think there's a bit more afoot here than scheduling and convenience. Read below the fold...

We've already got one new war teed up. Do we really need two?

These guys are lunatics.

I mean, these guys are Congress critters. Same same. Read below the fold...

"Landslide Andy." Hah.

The New York Observer:

Mr. Cuomo’s failure to get 65 percent of the vote against Zephyr Teachout, a previously unknown activist whom he sought to portray as a fringe candidate and whom he outspent by an enormous margin, will knock Mr. Cuomo to the back of the first tier of non-Hillary Clinton candidates for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016, but will otherwise probably not have a lasting impact on Mr. Cuomo himself. He will not be vulnerable in November and will still likely get reelected easily.

Ms. Teachout’s strong showing, however, demonstrates the enduring relevance of the activist wing of the Democratic Party, reinforces the ability of a smart but poorly resourced candidate to use social media and less expensive forms of communication to significantly balance out a huge fundraising disadvantage, and shows that establishment Democratic candidates would be well served to run with clear and compelling messages, rather than simply on inevitability and incumbency.

Now they have to do their best to make sure Cuomo loses. The only way for the left to influence the Democratic Party is fear.

And as far as 2106: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the Day (2)

Tweet of the day

I hate hate hate the locution "Leaders" (capital L) as a generic term for people with actual and different titles and offices in our Constitutional system. It's like airport bookstore-level politics. Heck. it's outright Fascist: Fuherprinzip.

I wish there were an Obama speech generator...

... so I could generate his speech for tomorrow night. Readers? Read below the fold...

In the garden: The W-word is coming

Actually, things aren't that bad; this is a rose branch I pruned after it broke under the weight of heavy rain; the touch of red reminded me of a Constable painting.

And busy bees: Read below the fold...

Paul Krugman adopts key MMT talking point

In his latest Op-Ed:

But Canada has its own currency, which means that its government can’t run out of money, that it can bail out its own banks if necessary, and more. An independent Scotland wouldn’t. And that makes a huge difference.

He then goes on to explain the difference between Florida (a non-issuer) and the United States (the issuer of the dollar), and explains how Scotland (as a non-issuer of the pound) could end up just like Spain (a non-issuer) in the EU (the issuer of the Euro). Read below the fold...

Froomkin points out McClatchy laying down a marker on ISIS

For those who came in late, in 2003 or so there were basically two voices pointing out how insane the Bush administration was; you had to be there, and if you were, you remember how amazing it was to find a voice of sanity. One such voice was Krugman, for which he still deserves huge credit, in my book; and the other was Dan Froomkin, who ran a blog, in the days when blogs were new, that was quite literally the only reason to read WaPo, where it appeared. Read below the fold...

The reason we don't feel there's been a recovery is that there hasn't been one

Check out this chart from the Time's actually pretty good Upshot*:

What kind of recovery is it when 80% of the country lost money, and only the top 1% and their subalterns and "pillars" in the top 20% are gaining? Read below the fold...

In the garden: Pollinators in end-of-season rush

Tweet of the Day (2)

Definitely zeitgeist watch material.

Thomas Frank blesses Bill Black's concept of "control fraud," after a defense team in California uses it as their theory of the case

This really is very, very big; I can't imagine why Joan Walsh let it through. Thomas Frank in Salon:

The case started as a routine mortgage-fraud prosecution, brought by none other than the aforementioned U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. A group of eastern European immigrants had bought houses in California in 2006, in a real-estate market that was in the early stages of collapse. According to the indictment, filed in 2012, these people’s mortgage applications contained blank spots and wrong information; they were accused of getting the mortgages in order to sell the houses to one another at pumped-up prices in what is called a “straw buyer” scheme. Also, they defaulted on the loans.

However, members of the immigrants’ legal defense team—several of them appointed by the state—had read the newspapers over the years and were aware of the kinds of things that had gone on in real estate during the bubble. They knew, for example, that in the go-go days of the last decade, the mortgage origination industry routinely cranked out “stated income” loans—also known as “liar’s loans”—to people who were obviously unable to make the payments. The bankers back then almost never checked on whether the borrower was telling the truth about their income; they just wanted to make the loan. So the defense team in Sacramento came up with a novel strategy: How can the borrower have committed fraud on a mortgage application if the lender didn’t care whether their answers were truthful? Read below the fold...


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