The Great Slate:
Tech Solidarity is endorsing thirteen candidates for Congress. Each of them is a first-time progressive candidate with no ties to the political establishment, an excellent campaign team, and a clear path to victory in a poor, rural district that is being ignored by the national Democratic Party. None of the candidates takes money from corporations.
In the third quarter of 2018, the Great Slate raised $1.18M for our candidates. Let’s keep the momentum going into the election!
These are great candidates for Congress. No corporate money. Progressive agendas. Ignored (mostly) by the national Democratic Party. And fighting for seats in districts that in years past sometimes didn’t even field a Democratic candidate. Republicans simply ran unopposed.
I’m particularly impressed by Jess King, who is running in district PA-11 in nearby Lancaster, PA. I have close family who live in that district. I don’t just like her as a candidate — I really do think she can win. If you listen to her talk or read what she writes, she sounds like a real human being, not a full of shit politician. Jess King is smart, informed, and empathetic, and she’s out there every day talking to the citizens in her district. She’s held 52 town halls and counting during this election. Her opponent, Rep. Lloyd Smucker (that’s his name, I swear) has not held a single town hall in over 600 days. He is taking his reelection for granted as a supposedly “safe” Republican seat. I say to hell with that, no seat is safe.
King, a former economic development nonprofit director, has raised nearly 100 percent of her funds from individuals while refusing to accept money from corporations’ political action committees.
The majority of Smucker’s funds, meanwhile, have come from PACs representing corporations such as General Electric, Exelon, Koch Industries and Williams, the company that recently built the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline going through Lancaster County.
I’ve donated to The Great Slate before, and today my wife and I donated another $1,000. It’s easy — they even support Apple Pay. By default your contribution is distributed between all 13 candidates, but you can distribute it however you choose if there’s a particular candidate you want to get behind. They’ve set a goal to raise $1,000,000, and they’re currently sitting at $952,154.
I would love to see this link from Daring Fireball help them blow past that goal. If you can give a lot, do it. If you can only give $10, do it! Every single dollar helps — I mean this so sincerely I just used an exclamation point. If you’re feeling like me — anxious about this upcoming election, deeply concerned because the stakes are so high — donating to The Great Slate is one of the most effective ways you can make a difference today.
Josh Marshall, writing at TPM:
As a friend pointed out yesterday, 2016 can be seen as a fluke. A series of perfect storm factors coming together to make Donald Trump President with a minority of the popular vote and razor thin margins in three critical states. 2018, if it’s a winning election for the Republicans, will be a choice. A ratification of everything we’ve seen over the last two years. That will be a reality we’ll all have to contend with for what it says about the state of the country. It will send a signal abroad that this is now the American political reality and unquestionably accelerate all the geo-political processes Trump has spurred or which drove him to the White House in the first place.
A lot of people are calling this election the most important of our lifetimes. That can sound like hyperbole, I know. You can find some people saying the same thing about every election. But I think Marshall puts his finger on it above. 2016 was certainly a momentous election, but there was no consensus on what a Trump presidency would mean. A lot of people voted for Trump arguing that while he said crazy, ignorant, reckless, hateful things, he wouldn’t actually do crazy, ignorant, reckless, hateful things when in office. Now we know, we all know.
If the Republicans hold Congress it will ratify that this is who we are.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also dismissed
the Times story, calling such reports “evidence that the New York
Times makes fake news.”
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, she also offered two
suggestions apparently aimed at the Trump administration.
“If they are really very worried about Apple phones being bugged,
then they can change to using Huawei,” she said, referring to
China’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker.
A nice burn, but if Russia and China really are listening to Trump’s unsecure cell phone calls, they’re almost certainly doing it by tapping the cellular signal or phone network, not by hacking the iPhones he uses. I don’t think the Times story made this clear, but it should have.
Andrew Marantz, writing for The New Yorker two years ago about HBO’s Silicon Valley:
During one visit to Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, about
six writers sat in a conference room with Astro Teller, the head
of GoogleX, who wore a midi ring and kept his long hair in a
ponytail. “Most of our research meetings are fun, but this one was
uncomfortable,” Kemper told me. GoogleX is the company’s “moonshot
factory,” devoted to projects, such as self-driving cars, that are
difficult to build but might have monumental impact. Hooli, a
multibillion-dollar company on “Silicon Valley,” bears a singular
resemblance to Google. (The Google founder Larry Page, in Fortune:
“We’d like to have a bigger impact on the world by doing more
things.” Hooli’s C.E.O., in season two: “I don’t want to live in a
world where someone makes the world a better place better than we
do.”) The previous season, Hooli had launched HooliXYZ, its own
“moonshot factory,” whose experiments were slapstick absurdities:
monkeys who use bionic arms to masturbate; powerful cannons for
launching potatoes across a room. “He claimed he hadn’t seen the
show, and then he referred many times to specific things that had
happened on the show,” Kemper said. “His message was, ‘We don’t do
stupid things here. We do things that actually are going to change
the world, whether you choose to make fun of that or not.’ ”
(Teller could not be reached for comment.)
Teller ended the meeting by standing up in a huff, but his
attempt at a dramatic exit was marred by the fact that he was
wearing Rollerblades. He wobbled to the door in silence. “Then
there was this awkward moment of him fumbling with his I.D.
badge, trying to get the door to open,” Kemper said. “It felt
like it lasted an hour. We were all trying not to laugh. Even
while it was happening, I knew we were all thinking the same
thing: Can we use this?” In the end, the joke was deemed “too
hacky to use on the show.”
Via Tom Gara, who quipped, “Whenever there’s a big Google story in the news, I always think of this, the funniest thing ever written about Google.”
Daisuke Wakabayashi and Katie Benner have published a scathing exposé in The New York Times on Google’s massive payouts and protection to senior executives credibly accused of sexual misconduct. Like many long reports in The Times, some of the most intriguing details are buried deep in the report. Almost 1,900 words in, is this regarding Andy Rubin:
Mr. Rubin, 55, who met his wife at Google, also dated other women
at the company while married, said four people who worked with
him. In 2011, he had a consensual relationship with a woman on the
Android team who did not report to him, they said. They said
Google’s human resources department was not informed, despite
rules requiring disclosure when managers date someone who directly
or indirectly reports to them.
In a civil suit filed this month by Mr. Rubin’s ex-wife, Rie
Rubin, she claimed he had multiple “ownership relationships” with
other women during their marriage, paying hundreds of thousands of
dollars to them. The couple were divorced in August.
The suit included a screenshot of an August 2015 email Mr. Rubin
sent to one woman. “You will be happy being taken care of,” he
wrote. “Being owned is kinda like you are my property, and I can
loan you to other people.”
How is this buried so deep in the story and not the lede?
Mr. Rubin often berated subordinates as stupid or incompetent,
they said. Google did little to curb that behavior. It took action
only when security staff found bondage sex videos on Mr. Rubin’s
work computer, said three former and current Google executives
briefed on the incident. That year, the company docked his bonus,
Here’s another story, also buried over 1,100 words deep:
In 2013, Richard DeVaul, a director at Google X, the company’s
research and development arm, interviewed Star Simpson, a hardware
engineer. During the job interview, she said he told her that he
and his wife were “polyamorous,” a word often used to describe an
open marriage. She said he invited her to Burning Man, an annual
festival in the Nevada desert, the following week.
Ms. Simpson went with her mother and said she thought it was an
opportunity to talk to Mr. DeVaul about the job. She said she
brought conservative clothes suitable for a professional meeting.
At Mr. DeVaul’s encampment, Ms. Simpson said, he asked her to
remove her shirt and offered a back rub. She said she refused.
When he insisted, she said she relented to a neck rub.
“I didn’t have enough spine or backbone to shut that down as a
24-year-old,” said Ms. Simpson, now 30.
A few weeks later, Google told her she did not get the job,
without explaining why.
This guy still works at Google as a director of Google X.