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If you pay attention to the business news, you may have noticed that Twitter isn't doing too well - its stock price and user base are stagnant.  It's been trying to find a corporate acquirer, and in particular, was in talks with Salesforce.  But a couple of days ago, Salesforce announced it was walking away.  And now there's this:
Twitter trolls were part of the reason why Salesforce walked away from a deal

[A]ccording to CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, Salesforce was turned off by a more fundamental problem that's been hurting Twitter for years: trolls.

"What's happened is, a lot of the bidders are looking at people with lots of followers and seeing the hatred," Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," citing a recent conversation with Benioff. "I know that the haters reduce the value of the company...I know that Salesforce was very concerned about this notion."
It's actually heartening to see that Twitter's failure to address harassment is now impacting the bottom line. Gives me a kind of renewed faith in capitalism.
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Donald Trump is exposing the racist hypocrisy at the heart of the Republican party and tearing it to shreds, except for the part where he's neck and neck in the polls with Clinton and Nate Silver is giving him a 40% chance of winning.
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The Cruz Eligibility Question: Legal Scholars Weigh In
Donald Trump‘s contention that Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t eligible to be president because his Republican rival was born in Canada has stirred a spirited debate among legal scholars....

While the balance of scholarly opinion favors Mr. Cruz, a number of legal authorities have weighed in with skepticism in recent days, including a few who have deeply researched the question and say Mr. Trump is actually right.
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that my Trump entertainment isn't over yet. This column about it gives me such glee. My favorite part:
It takes some brass to attack a guy for doin' what you did. Especially when that guy is Donald Trump, and what he's doing is running the same party playbook you have for the last few decades — just louder, and dumber, and with fewer limits than a trust-fund kid in a fully insured rental car.....

You can't argue Donald Trump shouldn't be making policy just because he's rich when you've pushed for and won the complete gutting of the campaign finance system so rich people can write "FOR ZERO DERIVATIVES REGULATION" in the memo of a massive check. This is the system working. How is Trump any less qualified to determine policy than Sheldon Adelson, who may have mob ties in China, who likes to quash marijuana referenda to keep people away from vices that aren't gambling, and who dictates our position on Israel? How is Trump less qualified to talk about abortion than ten-gallon shithead Foster Friess? Why is his money dirtier than the Kochs, whose exploding pipelines kill people? Hell, if anything, his candidacy cuts out the middleman. My god, think of the savings.
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Neglected Roads and Bridges Take Toll on U.S. Companies
Transport is one of the weakest links in the corporate supply chain. Mile after mile, America’s crumbling infrastructure adds to the cost of moving parts, equipment and inventory across the country.

Transport is one of the weakest links in the corporate supply chain. Mile after mile, America’s crumbling infrastructure adds to the cost of moving parts, equipment and inventory across the country.

Aiming for a longer-term solution, President Barack Obama has offered a six-year, $478 billion transportation budget he plans to finance with a tax on companies’ foreign earnings. Political bookmakers give the plan little chance of survival.

The stakes are high, however: the federal government helps maintain over 4 million miles of roads and 600,000 bridges that knit the country together.

But sporadic funding for the system over the past decade has amounted to pothole patches, and with the White House and Congress unable to strike a deal on infrastructure spending, pressure is growing on state and local governments to pick up the slack by financing highway and bridge improvements with toll roads. In many locales, officials are asking businesses to shoulder more of the cost burden directly, imposing so-called “impact fees.”

Delivery companies are among the hardest hit by the federal gridlock, but many other industries share the pain. A group of companies including e-commerce giant Inc. is paying thousands of dollars a year in fees to one California county for reliable access to an interstate highway.
Amazing. After years and years of corporate interests lobbying to reduce taxes, they find there's been erosion of the basic infrastructure necessary to run their companies. Who could have predicted?
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Eric Cantor succumbs to tea party challenger Tuesday
In a stunning upset propelled by tea party activists, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was defeated in Tuesday’s congressional primary, with insurgent David Brat delivering an unpredicted and devastating loss to the second most powerful Republican in the House who has widely been touted as a future speaker.
Reap what you sow.
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Chris Christie 2016: A Bridge to Nowhere
To this point, Chris Christie has treated the George Washington Bridge closure story as a joke, and national reporters have regarded it as a minor irritation. The public release of e-mails among his staff changes all that. The e-mails prove that Christie’s loyalists closed the bridge deliberately as political retribution, not as a “traffic study” as claimed. They display an almost comical venality bordering on outright sociopathy. And they will probably destroy Christie’s chances in 2016.

The bridge story itself, while small in nature, reveals a political culture around Christie of people who have no business holding power. Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy on Christie’s senior staff, e-mailed David Wildstein, a Christie appointee on the Port Authority, which runs the George Washington Bridge, instructing, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The resulting hours-long traffic jams worried public officials and created a safety hazard. Wildstein proceeded to gloat over the punishment...

Several things come together to make this scandal especially devastating to Christie. One is that it’s very easy for voters to understand: He punished a town because its mayor endorsed his rival. There are no complex financial transfers or legal maneuverings to parse. Second, it fits into a broader pattern of behavior, documented by the New York Times, of taking retribution against politicians who cross him in any way.
If I were in Democratic politics, I'd be looking for individual horror stories from people who were stuck in traffic ... oh, look.
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Activist Tweets Former NSA Chief’s ‘Off Record’ Phone Call On Train
Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden is more used to being the one listening in on conversations than the one being eavesdropped on himself. The tables were turned on Thursday, however, as Hayden suddenly found his supposedly private conversations blasted across the Internet.

Riding on the Acela express train between New York and Washington, DC, Hayden had the bad luck of sitting near entrepreneur and former director Tom Matzzie. “Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing ‘on background as a former senior admin official’,” Matzzie wrote on his Twitter account. “Sounds defensive.” For the next twenty minutes, Mattzie continued to livetweet Hayden’s conversations slamming the Obama administration, all the while insisting that he be referred to only on background.
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On the one hand, I'm really glad that a film about a glorified rapist - one that was apparently extraordinarily sexist in its own right - failed to attract audiences. (Nothing infuriated me more than the commercials, which flashed all the different labels applied to Assange - "traitor," "conspirator," etc - except "rapist"). On the other hand, I'm really unhappy that Assange is happy that the film failed.



Oct. 13th, 2013 02:24 pm
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John McCain:
I guess that we [Republicans] could get lower in the polls. We’re down to blood relatives and paid staffers now.
giandujakiss: (tiny violin)
'Despicable Me' tramples 'Lone Ranger' at theaters
"From a film-industry standpoint, when you peel back the onion, you're not going to take a big risk on a big-production film that doesn't have a proven franchise," Pyykkonen said, especially in light of other recent bombs including "John Carter," "Battleship" and "After Earth."

"What's going to take a hit is creativity in Hollywood," Oldham said. "You're going to see more sequels and more remakes after these big bombs."
Yes, creativity in Hollywood will take a hit now that The Lone Ranger - an action movie based on a radio show, film serials, and a television show - and Battleship - an action movie based on a board game - were flops.

I mourn, truly.
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Matthew Yglesias:
Polling suggests that the Latino problem for the GOP is deeper than immigration. ... Just 12 percent of Latinos support a cuts-only approach to deficit reduction, and only 25 percent want to repeal Obamacare. Only 31 percent of Hispanics say they’d be more likely to vote for a Republican who supports the DREAM Act. This isn’t to say Latinos aren’t eager to see immigration reform, it’s just that the lion’s share have bigger reasons for rejecting the GOP.

[P]erhaps the most telling exit poll result about Hispanics is the almost identical thumping Romney took with Asian and Jewish voters, and even more so with black voters. ... As Tom Scocca wrote last week, all kinds of people vote Democratic, and it’s the Republicans who rely on a narrow ethnic niche to win. The real issue isn’t Democrats courting minority “special interests” (indeed, as an economic matter Latin American immigration is good for everyone except Americans who primarily speak Spanish), it’s Republicans who use targeted outreach to help boost their share of the white vote despite a generally unpersuasive message. Viewed in that light, the anti-Sotomayor demagoguery becomes far more comprehensible. Far from an unforced error, it’s part of a reasonably effective strategy to ensure the loyalty of white voters without altering an economic agenda that’s relentlessly biased toward the rich.
This is just what I was saying in my earlier post - the GOP relies on racial resentment to sell its economic policies, which is why it's in such a tight spot now. I'm reminded of how, after the financial collapse in 2008, the first, immediate reaction of the GOP was to blame everything on overregulation that forced banks to make bad loans to black people. You could not hope for a more clear illustration of the GOP strategy: persuade white voters to support its economic agenda by convincing them that any government action benefits blacks at the expense of whites.

Meanwhile, here you can read about a federal judge's reaction to the continuing attempts of Ohio's Jon Husted to disenfranchise voters.

And here is a second QOTD from Senator-elect Mazie Hirono:
“I bring quadruple diversity to the Senate,” Hirono said at a rally earlier in the campaign. “I’m a woman. I’ll be the first Asian woman ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate. I am an immigrant. I am a Buddhist. When I said this at one of my gatherings, they said, ‘Yes, but are you gay?’ and I said, ‘Nobody’s perfect.’”
And finally, just for [personal profile] rivkat:

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He admits that the outstanding ballots are from Democratic counties and therefore will not push him into the lead.

Of course, this hardly matters because:

Meanwhile, your QOTD:
From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.

Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.
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Mauled by Ads, Incumbents Look to Declaw Outside Groups
An expansive onslaught of negative political advertisements in Congressional races has left many incumbents, including some Republicans long opposed to restrictions on campaign spending, concluding that legislative measures may be in order to curtail the power of the outside groups behind most of the attacks.

While Democrats have long denounced a 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the gates on unlimited spending on advertisements, some Republicans are now growing more disenchanted with the system that allowed the barrage of ads, often by shadowy groups, and the effects it has had on what they see as a sullen and disenchanted electorate.

“Once we get back, those that do get re-elected will all be commiserating about all the negative ads,” said Representative Joe Heck of Nevada, a Republican who faced ads accusing him of voting against a rape crisis center and against money to help victims of domestic violence, among other things. “And that will start the groundswell for reform.”

The 2010 Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was expected to be an unalloyed advantage to Republicans, who have a deeper bench of rich individuals and corporations willing to finance candidates.

The decision has appeared to benefit Republicans over all this election cycle, as Republican money has poured into the presidential contest. Democrats say their third-party allies have also been outspent, by about two to one, in Senate campaigns. But the impact of Citizens United has come with complications, with some Republican incumbents in the House at a disadvantage.

Earlier this month, before Republicans surged ahead with an additional $25 million, the total spending and reservations for ad time in the House campaigns has been dead even at $89 million, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Conservative donors were confident that the House Republican majority was secure and sent their money elsewhere. Democratic donors, including unions and environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters, have been more strategic, concentrating their fire on a handful of vulnerable House Republicans.

Mr. Lungren said the attacks on him began just months after the 2010 election, with radio advertisements and automated phone calls. They have accelerated into an onslaught of television commercials in what has become the most expensive House race in the country....

He said the 2012 experience could be transformative for other Republicans who have spent the last six months enduring the grim piano music and disconsolate faces of “voters” in negative ad after ad, sometimes against them, sometimes on their behalf but always without their signoff. “We had to see how this worked out for a cycle,” he said.

Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who runs the group charged with electing Republicans to the Senate, has said he thinks it would be worthwhile to examine the campaign-finance system after the election.

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