Friday, December 6, 2019

"I paint what I see" -- RIP Gahan Wilson

Gahan Allen Wilson (February 18, 1930 – November 21, 2019)

Strange to think that of Addams, Wilson and Larson, only the first has remained current and, in his case, only because of misplaced nostalgia for a not-too-successful 60s sitcom.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

If you built your Potemkin village entirely out of houses of cards

For a while now, we've been working toward a theory of how VC culture and practices can actually undermine innovation, perhaps even to the extent that it's a net drag on progress and real economic growth. This article by Peter Elstrom fills in a lot of the remaining questions in that theory.

A couple of points I want to underline in the following.

The growth fetish plays a major role in this story. We've been chipping away at this ages, but the quick version is that, while the right kind of growth is obviously desirable, it tends to be overvalued by 21st century investors. The fetish is particularly dangerous when it drives companies to make otherwise pointless acquisitions. I'm saving the best example of that (Oyo's real estate purchases) for another post.

I hadn't realized the extent that accounting tricks figured into SoftBank's strategy. I don't pretend to follow the subtleties but I am pretty sure this is bad.

[emphasis added]

In early 2018, the founders of Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group Ltd. flew to Tokyo to see billionaire investor Masayoshi Son. As they entered the offices, Chief Executive Officer Xu Li was hoping to persuade the head of SoftBank Group to invest $200 million in his three-year-old startup.

A third of the way into the presentation, Son interrupted to say he wanted to put in $1 billion. A few minutes later, Son suggested $2 billion. Turning to the roomful of SoftBank managers, Son said this was the kind of AI company he’d been looking for. “Why are you only telling me about them now?” he asked, according to one person in the room.

In the end, SoftBank invested $1.2 billion, helping to transform SenseTime into the world’s most valuable AI startup. The young company’s valuation hit $7.5 billion this year.

That investment model is now under fire after Son, 62, boosted the equity in office-sharing startup WeWork only to see it plummet as investors balked at enormous losses and troublesome governance. Indeed, SoftBank has participated, along with other investors, in scores of fundraisings that have added a total of more than $150 billion to the value of private companies, according to Bloomberg calculations. Among its deals are the world’s top two startups—ByteDance Inc. valued at $75 billion and Didi Chuxing Inc. at about $56 billion. In some cases, SoftBank’s involvement in multiple funding rounds helped drive up valuations that resulted in paper profits for Son’s company.

The WeWork fiasco raises questions about such numbers. The co-working startup’s valuation crested at $47 billion this year with SoftBank’s investment, then plummeted to $7.8 billion in a bailout engineered by Son. WeWork is slashing jobs and scaling back operations.

“WeWork is not just a mistake, it is a signal of weakness in the whole model,” said Aswath Damodaran, a professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who has written four books on valuing businesses. “If you screwed up that valuation so badly, what about all of the other companies in your portfolio?”

SoftBank said WeWork is an exception rather than a symptom of broader problems, and it has learned from the experience.

Since unveiling his $100 billion Vision Fund in 2016, Son has become the most active tech investor on the planet, pouring money into more than 80 companies. That helped create a bumper crop of unicorns, more than 300 startups priced at $1 billion or greater, according to the research firm CB Insights.

What’s not as well understood is the incentive Son has to keep valuations rising. When SoftBank buys shares in a startup and then invests again at a higher valuation, Son says he has made a profit. That is legal under accounting standards, but SoftBank receives no money. The only change is that SoftBank has boosted the value of its original stake from, say, $1 billion to $2 billion by raising the value of the startup. In SoftBank’s income statements and return calculations, at least some of the additional $1 billion can be counted as profit.

“They pump up valuations to get higher returns to look good to investors,” says Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of Patriarch Organization, a Los Angeles-based private equity fund. “That kind of fundraising apparatus is essentially unicorn porn.”

SoftBank said its accounting complies with all standards and is consistent with widely accepted practices. As for startup valuations, it said it is not determining them on its own and invests with experienced firms such as Sequoia Capital and Temasek Holdings Pte. “Our valuations have been validated by more than 120 sophisticated investors who’ve invested alongside and after us,” Navneet Govil, chief financial officer of SB Investment Advisers, the entity that manages the Vision Fund, said in a statement.

But the profits SoftBank booked were mostly on paper. In the first fiscal year, unrealized gains on investment valuations accounted for essentially all the stated income for the Vision and Delta funds. In the most recent fiscal year, unrealized gains on valuations amounted to 1 trillion yen, while realized gains—like the sale of India e-commerce giant Flipkart to Walmart Inc.—totaled less than 300 billion yen.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

These stories are a lot funnier when the victims are Silicon Valley VCs and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund

We could have a long philosophical conversation about the distinction between a security based on records on a secured server and one based on records stored in a blockchain. For now though, I just wanted to point out familiar all of this sounds to anyone who has been following WeWork and Uber and all of the other unicorns. The same suspension of disbelief, power of positive (and fear of negative) thinking, next-big-thingism, fear of missing out.

The main difference is that the people who fell for WeWork and Theranos were supposed to know better.

From the BBC:

But there was something wrong. In early October 2016 - four months after Dr Ruja's London appearance - a blockchain expert called Bjorn Bjercke was called by a recruitment agent, with a curious job offer. A cryptocurrency start-up from Bulgaria was looking for a chief technical officer. Bjercke would get an apartment and a car - and an attractive annual salary of about £250,000.

"I was thinking: 'What is my job going to be? What are the things that I'm going to have to do for this company?'" he recalls.

"And he said: 'Well, first of all, they need a blockchain. They don't have a blockchain today.'

"I said: 'What? You told me it was a cryptocurrency company.'"

The agent replied that this was correct. It was a cryptocurrency company, and it had been running for a while - but it didn't have a blockchain. "So we need you to build a blockchain," he went on.

"What's the name of the company?" asked Bjercke.

"It's OneCoin."

Investors often told us that what drew them in initially was the fear that they would miss out on the next big thing. They'd read, with envy, the stories of people striking gold with Bitcoin and thought OneCoin was a second chance. Many were struck by the personality and persuasiveness of the "visionary" Dr Ruja. Investors might not have understood the technology, but they could see her talking to huge audiences, or at the Economist conference. They were shown photographs of her numerous degrees, and copies of Forbes magazine with her portrait on the front cover.

The degrees are genuine. The Forbes cover isn't: it was actually an inside cover - a paid-for advertisement - from Forbes Bulgaria, but once the real cover was ripped off, it looked impressive.

[Also an ex-McKinsey consultant. That may be my favorite detail. -- MP]

But it seems it's not just the promise of riches that keeps people believing. After Jen McAdam invested into OneCoin she was constantly told she was part of the OneCoin "family". She was entered into a Whatsapp group, with its own "leader" who disseminated information from the headquarters in Sofia. And McAdam's leader prepared her carefully for conversations with OneCoin sceptics. "You're told not to believe anything from the 'outside world'," she recalls. "That's what they call it. 'Haters' - Bitcoiners are 'haters'. Even Google - 'Don't listen to Google!'" Any criticism or awkward questions were actively discouraged. "If you have any negativity you should not be in this group," she was told.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Which could explain why it looks like a DeLorean hatchback -- Tuesday Tweets

Always enjoy it when Josh Barro weighs in on a nepotism debate.


Worth it just for the use of the phrase "controlled detonation."

Good quote.

We'll be revisiting this.

For the cult of personality thread.

My question is how big is that 1/3 next to Trump's thin margin of victory?

Monday, December 2, 2019

Perhaps the part about the laws of economics not applying should have been a tip off.

Excellent article by Gabriel Sherman who is definitely the kind of writer you'd want on this beat. There is, however, one theme I'd like to push back on. We hear a lot about how powerfully charismatic and incredibly persuasive company co-founder Adam Neumann was.  How else would he convince men like Jamie Dimon that a laughably bad business plan was not only viable but would justify a valuation of almost fifty billion dollars?

The trouble with that explanation is that we've seen a remarkably large number of these masters of mesmerism recently. Think of all the companies which, in the past decade or so, have raised huge amounts of money based on pitches that collapsed immediately under even mild scrutiny. They can't all be the work of superhuman salesmen.

As an alternative, is it possible that the combination of a Randian worship of the wealthy,  conditions that made it easier than ever to luck into great fortunes and the rise of the credulity driven hype economy have all made it easier to find gullible people with way too much money?

WeWork executives had long grown accustomed to Neumann’s belief that the laws of economics—even reality itself—didn’t apply to him. It was in the nature of unicorns that they bent reality, and that certainly had been true of WeWork. Fueled by $12 billion of venture capital and debt, Neumann grew WeWork in less than a decade from a single coworking outpost in SoHo into a 12,500-employee company with 500,000 users in 111 cities across 29 countries. But in 2018, WeWork had lost $2 billion and had a highly questionable business model—the company signed long-term leases and sublet space to freelancers and corporations on a short-term basis. Its valuation somehow kept rising.

The company’s valuation put Neumann’s net worth at $4.1 billion—and his spending more than kept pace. “It was Succession craziness,” a colleague said. Neumann was chauffeured around in a $100,000-plus Maybach sedan and traveled the world on a $60 million Gulfstream G650. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, he and his wife, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann—Gwyneth’s first cousin—spent $90 million on a collection of six homes that included a 6000-square-foot Gramercy condo, a 60-acre estate in Westchester County, a pair of Hamptons houses and a $21 million mansion in the Bay Area that features a room shaped like a guitar. They employed a squadron of nannies for their five children, two personal assistants, and a chef. “Adam went through money like water,” a former executive said.

In a way, the spending made sense, because Neumann himself was the product. He pitched himself to investors as a gatekeeper to the rising generation. A new way of working. A new way of living. Work was 24/7, coworkers were friends, office was home, work was life. For baby boomers who experienced office life as cubicles and bad coffee, his message was irresistible. “Every investor who walked through was sold,” a WeWork executive told me. They saw Neumann as a millennial prophet who did shots of Don Julio during meetings while preaching about the dawn of a new corporate culture, one in which the beer and kombucha flowed and MacBook-toting employees would love coming to work. After sitting with Neumann in his office, outfitted with a Peloton bike, infrared sauna, and cold water plunge, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson told Fast Company that Neumann reminded him of the Apple cofounder. Neumann later told colleagues that Isaacson might write his biography. (Isaacson never considered writing such a book.)

Through a combination of egomaniacal glamour and millennial mysticism, the Neumanns sold WeWork not merely as a real estate play. It wasn’t even a tech company (though he said it should be valued as such). It was a movement, complete with its own catechisms (“What is your superpower?” was one). Adam said WeWork existed to “elevate the world’s consciousness.” The company would allow people to “make a life and not just a living.” It was even capable of solving the world’s thorniest problems. Last summer, some WeWork executives were shocked to discover Neumann was working on Jared Kushner’s Mideast peace effort. According to two sources, Neumann assigned WeWork’s director of development, Roni Bahar, to hire an advertising firm to produce a slick video for Kushner that would showcase what an economically transformed West Bank and Gaza would look like. (Bahar told me he only advised on the video and no WeWork resources were used.) Kushner showed a version of the video during his speech at the White House’s peace conference in Bahrain last summer.

To a passel of geezer capitalists, this was too big to miss, even if they didn’t fully understand it—possibly, not understanding it was the point. Rupert Murdoch, Sir Martin Sorrell, and Larry Silverstein all took meetings. Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire cofounder of developer Boston Properties, told a real estate executive shortly after WeWork launched that Neumann was creating the future of work. Zuckerman soon offered to buy WeWork for $500 million. (Neumann declined the deal but accepted a $2 million investment from Zuckerman.) “Adam was probably the best salesman of all time,” a former WeWork executive told me.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Flaky New Age conspiracy theories are becoming more relevant. Here's some historical context [repost]

Monday, June 18, 2018

The idea of ancient astronauts is a bit more ancient than I realized.

Another interesting nugget I came across while researching the technology project. We've already discussed how the fundamentals of what we would now call new ageism – – mysticism, extraterrestrial civilizations, psychic phenomena – – were largely a product of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I had always assumed that the belief in ancient astronauts was a fairly recent addition, something that people came up with in the 1960s. Apparently, though, the notion that aliens visited her thousands of years ago and left their mark through mythology and monuments actually dates back to at least the 1890s.

From Wikipedia:

Edison's Conquest of Mars is an 1898 science fiction novel by American astronomer and writer Garrett P. Serviss. It was written as a sequel to Fighters from Mars, an unauthorized and heavily altered version of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds. It has a place in the history of science fiction for its early employment of themes and motifs that later became staples of the genre

Emphasis added:

The humans reach Mars, but in spite of their superior forces they have lost half their men to the Martians' overwhelming numbers. The Martians envelop the planet in a smoke screen, and the humans retreat to the moon Deimos. During a raid on Mars for supplies, the earth men find Aina, the last of a population of human slaves whose ancestors were captured from Kashmir in a Martian raid 9,000 years before. During this raid, the Martians also constructed the Great Pyramids and the Great Sphynx in Egypt, the latter of which is a statue of their leader. Aina advises Edison that meeting the Martians in battle would be fruitless, and that they should instead attack the dams that channel water from the polar ice. Since most of Mars' cities are under sea level, the flood spreads rapidly, killing most of the Martians and destroying their civilization. Edison and company force a peace with the surviving Martians, and return home to great celebration.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Our annual Toys-for-Tots post

A good Christmas can do a lot to take the edge off of a bad year both for children and their parents (and a lot of families are having a bad year). It's the season to pick up a few toys, drop them by the fire station and make some people feel good about themselves during what can be one of the toughest times of the year.

If you're new to the Toys-for-Tots concept, here are the rules I normally use when shopping:

The gifts should be nice enough to sit alone under a tree. The child who gets nothing else should still feel that he or she had a special Christmas. A large stuffed animal, a big metal truck, a large can of Legos with enough pieces to keep up with an active imagination. You can get any of these for around twenty or thirty bucks at Wal-Mart or Costco;*

Shop smart. The better the deals the more toys can go in your cart;

No batteries. (I'm a strong believer in kid power);**

Speaking of kid power, it's impossible to be sedentary while playing with a basketball;

No toys that need lots of accessories;

For games, you're generally better off going with a classic;

No movie or TV show tie-ins. (This one's kind of a personal quirk and I will make some exceptions like Sesame Street);

Look for something durable. These will have to last;

For smaller children, you really can't beat Fisher Price and PlaySkool. Both companies have mastered the art of coming up with cleverly designed toys that children love and that will stand up to generations of energetic and creative play.

*I previously used Target here, but their selection has been dropping over the past few years and it's gotten more difficult to find toys that meet my criteria.

** I'd like to soften this position just bit. It's okay for a toy to use batteries, just not to need them. Fisher Price and PlaySkool have both gotten into the habit of adding lights and sounds to classic toys, but when the batteries die, the toys live on, still powered by the energy of children at play.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

"As God as my witness..." is my second favorite Thanksgiving episode line [Repost]

If you watch this and you could swear you remember Johnny and Mr. Carlson discussing Pink Floyd, you're not imagining things. Hulu uses the DVD edit which cuts out almost all of the copyrighted music. [The original link has gone dead, but I was able to find the relevant clip.]

As for my favorite line, it comes from the Buffy episode "Pangs" and it requires a bit of a set up (which is a pain because it makes it next to impossible to work into a conversation).

Buffy's luckless friend Xander had accidentally violated a native American grave yard and, in addition to freeing a vengeful spirit, was been cursed with all of the diseases Europeans brought to the Americas.

Spike: I just can't take all this mamby-pamby boo-hooing about the bloody Indians.
Willow: Uh, the preferred term is...
Spike: You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not goin' around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world is not people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.
Buffy: Well, I think the Spaniards actually did a lot of - Not that I don't like Spaniards.
Spike: Listen to you. How you gonna fight anyone with that attitude?
Willow: We don't wanna fight anyone.
Buffy: I just wanna have Thanksgiving.
Spike: Heh heh. Yeah... Good luck.
Willow: Well, if we could talk to him...
Spike: You exterminated his race. What could you possibly say that would make him feel better? It's kill or be killed here. Take your bloody pick.
Xander: Maybe it's the syphilis talking, but, some of that made sense.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

In LA, we're dreaming of a white Thanksgiving

From the Los Angeles Times:

A “broad swath of precipitation” is expected to blanket Los Angeles County and surrounding areas starting early Wednesday, said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. The heaviest rain and snow are predicted to fall on Wednesday from the morning to the afternoon. Lighter showers are forecast for Thursday and Friday and could extend into the weekend. Rainfall estimates for this week’s storm call for about 1 to 2 inches for the coast and valleys, and 1.5 to 3 inches for the foothills and at lower elevations of the mountains. A foot or more of snow is possible at higher elevations.

Snow levels are expected to plummet from 4,000 feet on Wednesday to about 2,500 feet by Thursday. This means the 5 Freeway over the Grapevine, along with Highway 14 and Highway 33, will likely see a significant dusting of powder — and with it, the seemingly inevitable traffic snarl, said David Sweet, also a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. 

 For you Easterners out there, the highest elevation in the city is around five thousand feet while the highest point in LA County around ten thousand. A snow level of  2,500 feet will cover a good chunk of land.

Of course, the real action is a ways north of here.
Dangerous winds in the Sierra toppled a semitrailer truck, downed power lines and closed a stretch of highway in Southern California on Monday ahead of a winter storm expected to bring up to 2 feet of snow to mountain tops around Lake Tahoe. U.S. Highway 6 was closed due to downed power lines south of Yosemite National Park near Bishop. A wind gust of 94 mph was reported Monday morning at Mammoth Lakes Airport.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tuesday Tweets

There was a brief period twenty-plus years ago when graphing calculators made some pedagogical sense, but that period is long over.

Talking Points Memo has become, unsurprisingly, my go-to site for impeachment analysis.  

The relationship between Trump and the GOP is another thread we'll be returning to. 

The punchlines just write themselves.

And to close.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Worst moral hazard argument ever (and that's a competitive field)

One of the more amusing subnarratives (in a schadenfreude way)  of the impeachment story has been the efforts of what we might call the Brooksian wing of reality-based conservatives. In contrast with the Rubin wing, which is perfectly willing to let the chip fall...
... the Brooksians also acknowledge the obvious with Trump but then look for a way of playing things out that minimizes the damage to the GOP and the larger conservative agenda. This usually involves arguing against impeachment, since as previously argued,  the trial represents a no win scenario for the GOP.

Jim Gergaghty of the National Review does, however, deserve credit for being the first to make the case against impeachment on moral hazard grounds.

Removing President Trump from office would say to the American people, “Don’t worry if you make a choice that turns out bad. We will save you from the consequences of your actions.” If you want the American people to exercise better judgment in future elections, you need to make them live with the consequences of their bad decisions. The lesson of a successful impeachment of Trump would be that Americans should vote for whoever they want and not worry about electing a seriously flawed president, because if he ever got too bad, Congress would step in and take him out. The narrative is clear: The will of the people matters, until the stakes get really high, and then the grown-ups will step in, reverse decisions, and put out the fires.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A couple of thoughtful video essays by Bob Chipman

To be a good popular art commentator in 2019 you have to have a deep understanding of nerd culture combined with strong critical detachment. It is difficult to find writers who can manage both at once and I don't think anyone does it better than Chipman.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

When your opponents face a no-win scenario, it's in your interest to see that they finish the game

Picking this up from Tuesday...

One of the reasons the impeachment is such a dilemma for the GOP is that it requires officials to take a position that will piss off either a majority of the country or a key block of the Republican base that is personally loyal not to the party but to Trump. If the first group really does exceed 70% and the second stays above some threshold (let's call it 15%), the situation can become almost impossible to navigate.

One of the main implications of this is that the saner conservatives out there have done these calculations and that's why they are desperately looking for a way out. The corresponding implication on the other side of the aisle is that, regardless of how the vote goes, it's in the Democrats' best interest to not only have it, but to make it as public and binding as possible.

I think I'm pretty much in line with Josh Marshall on this (which is generally a good place to be).
The Democrats’ job is to lay out the evidence in a public setting and get elected Republicans to sign on the dotted line that this is presidential behavior they accept and applaud. That won’t be difficult. They have one last chance to change their answer. Democrats real job is to clarify and publicize that that is their answer.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Another example of Left/Right convergence

One of these days, I’m going to write a big bomb-throwing post proposing that political scientists should completely abandon the use of the left-right spectrum in serious research. It is an innately multivariate concept that cannot be reduced to a scalar. Attempts to create an operational definition have ranged from inadequate to disastrous. On top of all that, since everyone thinks they know what “left” and “right” mean, any use of the terms in a supposedly scientific context inevitably produces more confusion than illumination.

One of the indications that a Euclidean framework won’t work is the existence of beliefs and positions that tend to attract people from the extremes of both the left and the right. We’ve already discussed conspiracy theories and alternative medicine. Perhaps we should add certain segments of anti-war movements.

I’m not talking about strange bedfellow scenarios like the one that temporarily aligned the left with the reactionaries against FDR liberals. This is something more paradoxical, where people supposedly on opposite ends of the spectrum gravitate to the same point not out of convenience or strategic alignment (such as the apocalyptic evangelical wing’s support of Israel).

This isn’t to say that there aren’t differences between the anti-war movement on the left and on the right, but I suspect when you start going through the crowd at a Gabbard rally, it might not be easy to tell which direction a given supporter came from.

From Fresh Air:

GROSS: So Enoch is anti-Semitic, racist and promotes those thoughts on his blog and podcast. Did he support Donald Trump during the election? Does he support President Trump now? Did he play any role in promoting Trump?

MARANTZ: Yeah. So he and the rest of the alt-right definitely supported Trump during the campaign and saw him as the best they were ever going to get from a plausible presidential candidate. I mean, they saw him as someone who would give voice to their kind of white identity movement in a tacit way but still in a way that sounded very clear to them.

After he became president, he started to alienate them by being erratic and inconsistent - also by being a little too hawkish. A lot of these people came out of anti-war organizing, either from the left or the right or both. So when he started dropping bombs on Syria, a lot of the alt-right stopped being Trump supporters. And then also when he failed to build the wall and failed to enact what they wanted, which was essentially a proto-white nationalist agenda, he lost a lot of their support, too.

But a lot of them - you know, in a way the anti-Semitism, it's not just a kind of purely irrational - I mean, it's obviously irrational, but it doesn't come out of nowhere. A lot of it for them comes out of what they perceive as libertarian or anti-war politics.

GROSS: So if Trump were to run again, do you think he'd have the support of Mike Enoch or other people that you've written about in the book?

MARANTZ: Yeah, it's a really good question. A lot of them have moved on to other people like Tulsi Gabbard. A lot of people in my book are really into Tulsi these days.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tuesday Tweets

Lots of topics I need to revisit one of these days.

Describing your own paper's work as "deeply reported" is so New York Times.

One of the reasons the impeachment is such a dilemma for the GOP is that it requires officials to take a position that will piss off either a majority of the country or a key block of the Republican base that is personally loyal not to the party but to Trump. If the first group really does exceed 70% and the second stays above some threshold (let's call it 15%), the situation can become almost impossible to navigate.

As always, the question here is just how much of this Netflix Original does Netflix actually own.

We knew it was bad, but perhaps not this bad.

Leon G. "Lee" Cooperman (born April 25, 1943) is an American billionaire investor and hedge fund manager. He is the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, a New York-based investment advisory firm managing over $3.3 billion in assets under management, the majority consisting of his personal wealth.

In September 2016 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Cooperman and Omega Advisors with insider trading, more specifically for "trading stocks, bonds and call options of Atlas Pipeline Partners in July 2010 on information he obtained from an executive at the company." Cooperman's firm agreed to a $4.9 million settlement with the SEC in May 2017 but admitted no wrong-doing.

Cooperman through his Omega Charitable Partnership, along with Anthony Melchiorre owns American Media, Inc. (AMI), publishers of the National Enquirer, since August 2014

Remember earlier in the post when we were talking about supporters being personally loyal to Trump?

One of the more encouraging recent developments in journalism has been people in the industry finally starting to listen to Sullivan.

SF remains the go to example, despite not being even vaguely analogous to the cities in question.

The sad part is that Steyer might not end up being the most clueless and self-indulgent billionaire to run for president this year.