Half a Loaf 2.0

    [to Flavius & Barefooted]

    The poor or disenfranchised simply don't know where the levers are to do the most harm.

    I know corrupt small businessmen and corrupt mega-multimillionaires. The difference is largely access. But I also know very ethical mega-multimillionaires. Money may provide a bigger venue to display corruption, but I glanced at the troopers in Paula Jones-gate yesterday, and besides lying in her case, they were already pulling other insurance scams. They simply had bad ethics.

    Leadership isn't well taught, or MBA students would actually be heading companies, which they aren't. It's the school of hard knocks, the thousands of mistakes and learning from those mistakes. How do you recognize a leader? you see someone with people following. It's not terribly predictive. There are different kinds of bosses - understanding, inspiring, terrorizing, do-it-themselves, etc.

    But for movements or business, frequently a razor focus on a single idea creates the most success. And far more failures. (I was reading about the fanatics around Suleiman's time, and how the most rabid, least-compromising took over - they were willing to play chicken with reality and commit hara-kiri as needed - something why Ted Cruz scares me more than Trump). 

    Despite the rise of the internet and Unicorns like Twitter and Uber, most companies and people are a bit more diverse and handle a wider set of problems. It's exactly where we see the Bernie vs. Hillary question - Hillary is a Microsoft that is successful but has its share of failures and is still innovating and leading in many areas but open to ridicule in a lot of others. Bernie is an Uber or a lifestyle product like LAP-BAND - he's not specifically interested in growing his brand beyond a particular question, but like a Google going from Search to Android phones or Amazon going from books into all sorts of merchandise plus Cloud computing, the opportunities to diversify arise as he grows his audience.

    There's an amazing book called "The Innovator's Dilemma" that addresses this conflict in tech terms. Why incumbents that have huge R&D budgets often aren't able to latch on to the "next big thing" ™ - it's not that IBM doesn't know how to innovate - they came up with the PC among other things, and are bigger today than 30 years ago. But there are some more disruptive new trends that don't pay to an incumbent *AND THE PAIN OF FOLLOWING THOSE NEW TRENDS* far exceeds the payoff, with no assurance that the new trend will ever arrive. Wearable devices are interesting new tech, but they don't pay service contracts of millions of dollars that an IBM or HP is used to. So a smart product manager or exec will shuffle it to the side and pay a small amount of attention. But a bored college kid with no bills to pay can spend a summer screwing around with a wearable bracelet and controlling program and find some buddies to help and make a website, and voila, it's there, and possibly viable.

    The bread-and-butter issues of government are different from the developing crises that shape any particular administration are different from the specific movement issues that may determine both a primary and general presidential election cycle. And obviously they relate to whether you're in charge or on the opposition bench. Opposition to the Iraq War was important in 2002-2004, but was largely irrelevant as a critical general policy issue after that - the small war was over there, we were over here. Issues about banks and car companies and bankruptcy were important in 2009 - now replaced by talks about hybrids and energy efficiency and lack of wage growth.

    The pitch about global warming reached its most peaked a couple years ago - despite the growing pronouncements of scientists, you won't see any more alarming stories on the front pages. It's passed peak chaos - maybe because of growing renewables we hope work in time, maybe because of economic issues that take our attention, maybe from fatigue... Instead, it's an issue we in general get very worried about for short time periods, and then it fades quickly behind issues that have much more staying power and hit closer-to-home, like wage inequality or Ferguson or the LA terror attack.

    From my perspective, the razor focus on Hillary's speeches to Goldman Sachs is emblematic of this split. For someone on the outside, it looks like a special favor. For someone on the inside, it's part of the pattern of how things get done - who you talk to, relationships you maintain, long-term networking. If you look at IBM or Accenture's professional services and how much they charge for the dumbest things, it looks like corruption and extortionary pricing. But it's actually just the cost of getting things done with a serious corporate customer. I've competed head-to-head with Accenture as a small businessman, offering more value, providing a more effective solution - but I don't have the street-cred, the financial power, the guarantees that I'll be around in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 - there are lots of issues like risk and credibility and references and track record to allow a procurement department or Board of Directors to sign off on you. That's how government works as well. Usually.

    Apple by-passed the traditional phone industry and all its channels when it introduced the iPhone, just as it by-passed the traditional music industry in introducing iTunes and the iPod. There were important new telco protocols in the making for years, guarantees of customer and corporate security that Blackberry and Nokia spent a decade developing, with the help of Ericsson, Alcatel, etc. and the phone companies like Sprint and AT&T. To succeed in that market, you had to spend hundreds of millions, devote teams of engineers to compliance and standards bodies and a variety of far-reaching predictive efforts that even then could fail. And in this case, boy did they fail. Apple/Steve Jobs ignored security and interoperability, said "screw it, let's just do it all over IP", and went directly to AT&T with his content offering and drove a hole in the market. A few years later he added a bit of security, but he didn't care - what he offered was good enough. He also didn't care about whether it worked with Blackberry and Nokia - he drove them out of business. He had his own revenue stream and didn't need them.

    But Apple hasn't been able to do the same with the TV business, for a variety of reasons - timing, lack of mass audience appeal, cost factors that mattered here but not there, etc., just as it's failed in other venues.

    If you look at the iPhone, it's a rough equivalent to a regular phone, but it's not - it had enough phone features to fit expectations while doing something else. If you look at the 2000 election, Bill Bradley and Al Gore were considered rough equivalents, just as Al Gore and George Bush for some were interchangeable. The election wasn't won on who or what was different, but who or what didn't matter. Just like a Nokia or Blackberry, Gore had spent a career working on various issues - largely successfully - and by 2000 they were largely accepted as done and good enough. His edge was perversely dulled by his success. Do-nothing George was good enough. There were no big crises in 2000 aside from the dot.com one, which was an industry Gore helped pioneer. His brand was largely irrelevant to the next-gen progressives who wanted more return to machinery - what NAFTA and Chinese offshoring had diminished - and more focus on the core intractable issues of America like poverty and racism that we never have satisfactory solutions for.

    Hillary is facing the same thing with feminism - she's an emblem of a heroic slogging through all sorts of unfair and misogynist attacks through the years - but for Female Startup 3.0 in 2016, e.g. college "co-eds" (is that word still used?) or new grads, it's largely irrelevant - there are female programmers and some CEOs and more and more professionals and world leaders and young professionals starting a variety of marketing and on-line business, and while there's still a lot of inequality and tilted playing field, it's largely down in the "micro-aggression"/background discomfort range. I'd guess that Obama becoming president broke the "anyone can become president" jar open as well, so for many, a female president soon enough is quite likely and as uneventful as the first Asian or Hispanic president. The huge goal of the incumbents from Gloria Steinem through Ann Richards and Barbara Jordan through the current female leadership has largely fizzled into "whatever", accepted as already done or inevitable, move on to more important things.

    [it's also emblematic that old women are simply old, while old men are simply men, but save that "trophy wife/candidate" for another diary]

    I'm pretty certain that Hillary will win this primary, but the process is illuminating - for me and her and a lot of others - some harsh truths - that once again the brand, the arguments of last election have passed their shelf-life, and like an IBM or Microsoft, she has to reposition yet again, find her Cloud 2.0 or whatever meme that's still relevant newly relevant to the new voters, new conditions, new energy, new world, while carrying over some of the better ideas and positions from before - cleaning out the political closet, re-making oneself yet again. It's not just young voters - I've changed, older people have changed - and change is getting faster.

    It's a bit easier for Bernie - he's largely occupied the same position for 40 years as the issues have come back to him, and men are largely single-tasked. But women are also more attuned to changing fashion, finding something in new styles, new dances, what the kids are doing... (watching Michelle Obama's energy at 52 is pretty impressive, but I see women more Hillary's age still re-creating themselves, maintaining youth & vigor and more importantly the razor's edge on new ideas). Even if it's a feminist message, Hillary has to frame it as this generation's Feminism 2.0 struggle, not last generation or the 60's.

    So I see a similar situation to spring 2008, where Hillary had to re-group and re-define why she was running, what her USP (unique selling proposition) is, what's the simple method to her madness, but more important, identifying what's inevitable and within reach and requires our work, and attaching herself to it, leading it, becoming it, building it. When Bill did the "Bridge to the 21st Century", it wasn't like the 21st Century wouldn't come without him, but he wasn't all "what did you do in the Cold War, granddad" either - he was going to be a key part of making that future certainty a better one, not focused on what did or didn't work before.  There may be something in incremental change that Hillary's good at, but even there, she has to package it, productize it, turn it from something inevitable into something that's new and improved and that no one can do better than her. She's halfway there, but as Nokia and Blackberry found out (or herself in 2008), sometimes that halfway/half-a-loaf still ain't good enough. What's the full loaf gonna look like and how we gonna bake it?


    I don't know what she can say/do at this point.  It would be like Carly Fiorina saying to HP, "You know what?  You were right.  I fucked up.  But take me back, and I'll do better this time." 

    It would be like Sarah Palin going back to Alaska and saying, "You know what?  You were right.  I fucked up.  But take me back, and I'll do better this time."

    It isn't working for Jeb Bush either, so I'm not making this a sexist thing. 

    It's just...we've been there, done that, we see through things faster than the editorials and op-eds can keep up with.

    We want change, and we got it before, and it wasn't enough but it was close. 

    THAT is the ceiling we want to shatter.  We want real change.  We can't wait.

    We can't afford to wait anymore.

    (My view, for what it's worth)



    Look, everyone fucks up, and no one says it. Bernie's not apologizing for his screwed-up votes - it's political suicide to ever admit you're sorry. Hal wants Hillary to admit she did something illegal with email servers and then he'll be satisfied. Sure, just put the barrel of this gun in your mouth and all will be forgiven.

    Not sure what the "we can't wait" and "THAT is the ceiling we want to shatter" refers to. Of course we can wait if we're not effective enough to push whatever THAT is through. Palestinians have been waiting for 60 years, but that doesn't mean they won't wait 60 or 600 more. Blacks waited hundreds to be treated as fellow humans. Women waited for some kind of political participation thousands of years - they only got the vote in Switzerland in the 70's.

    It's worth a lot - as much as anybody else's as far as I'm concerned.  I agree with you by the way LisB.  I don't think Clinton's campaign is fixable since history is preserved in amber.

    Clinton's campaign isn't even broken. This is like a team coming out of spring training thinking it won the world series. Hillary let Bernie outspend her $2.8 mill to $800k on TV ads. There have been 8 recent NH primaries with neighbors running and they won 7 times. Still, Hillary won on delegates in both. If you think her superdelegates are switching to a 74-year-old socialist to pull a McGovern or Mondale,  your crack pipe's too full. America is not awaiting a revolution - a bunch of younger voters like the idea and only a few others. Wait till you get a few steps off the beach - the water's a lot rougher. Remember how the Panthers were going to wipe out boring old Peyton Manning? Well they largely did, but Denver still won.

    Perhaps you're right.  What I don't get is your gleeful certainty that the candidate who lost every income demographic, except for people earning over $200K, will ultimately prevail.  If she does in fact pull this out, it will merely demonstrate the game is rigged in favor of the billionaire class.  Look at who's berating young women for supporting Bernie - two multimillionaires.   Are you on the side of the 1% or the 99%?  That's how this election breaks down.

    Well, the Bernie team meme is that everything's rigged anyway, so I don't expect to convince you of anything.

    As for income demographics, I don't know that the US is stratified so much that way vs. regional & ethnic attitudes. I remember guys who made $20K a year being all into what the stock exchange was doing as if that was going to help them.

    And your idea that "two multimillionaires" are berating young women - like uh, that's all they are is their bank balance? If this was Minsk 100 years ago emerging from feudalism, maybe it'd be all this class jealousy, but I don't think many Americans view someone with a million dollars as the enemy the way you do. Actually, most Americans seem to want to be the one with a million dollars, and where they're pissed is the avenues to be a Kardashian or 1/10th a Kardashian have closed off quite a bit the last decade, even though the tech & online business sectors show they definitely still exist.

    Yes poor people want to be rich but that doesn't mean they have the same economic interests.  In fact, they quite frequently have diametrically opposed interests.  Regarding regional, ethnic, and sexual tensions, of course they exist and they are exploited to the hilt by politicians and their surrogates.  How do you think the 1% maintains its stranglehold on our political economy?  This is precisely what Bernie is fighting to overcome.  See his brilliant new ad - Together.   In terms of convincing anybody of anything, have I convinced you of anything?  Has any Bernie supporter?

    I'm bored by most political ads. I read so I don't need nor do I like superficial campaign slogans. The Together ad is the worst type of ad. I hated it for the same reason I hated Obama's Red States Blue States speech. Many people loved it and it was a big hit in democratic circles. Maybe this ad will be a big hit as well among democrats. Both picture a dream and a wish that doesn't reflect the reality. I like information that reflects a cold hard clear eyed look at reality.

    There is a liberal America and a conservative America. They have different views on many issues that have no compromise position, no win/win solution. Abortion is one such issue. One side wants them to be legal the other wants them banned. Taxes is another issue. One side wants them raised the other wants them cut. In the end on many of the issues that divide us one side will win and the other side will lose.

    There is a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There is a straight and gay America. Some of the problems they face are similar but they each have different problems that need different solutions. Creating jobs and raising incomes is great but in the end it just leaves blacks and other minorities as better paid second class citizens.

    Sanders, or any politician, is not going to unify America. It's sweet talking bullshit. Every time he takes detailed positions on the many issues that divide us those divisions will become apparent.  I'm not into sweet talking bullshit. I'm into a clear eyed look at reality.


    "Creating jobs and raising incomes is great but in the end it just leaves blacks and other minorities as better paid second class citizens."  Perhaps you could provide evidentiary justification for this claim.  I addressed it and came to the opposite conclusion here.

    History may be preserved in amber but perceptions aren't.  Donald Trump had one word to describe Hillary and he chose "evil".  That's because he knows it's the perception and he'll play it to the hilt.  It's nowhere near the truth but it doesn't have to be.  It just has to be an accepted "truth".

    That's gonna change.

    Stuck in a hospital room with a  MRSA I was reading Jobs' Biography.

    The specialist  noticed it and said his son worked at Apple. He got on the elevator one day and Jobs got on too. And immediately got into an argument with one of the other riders, when the door opened ,said "You're fired".

    It was " Lenin , who?" until he got off the train at the Finland Station.

    Lincoln wasted a lot of time with losers until he noticed that Grant wasn't one.

    There are lots of ways to San Jose. 

    Flav, you can't pass up a song-op like that (and probably the Wrecking Crew was doing instruments on it):

    TF(ucking)LDR-PP, as I know you study your read stats like Trump deconstructs his polls, free advice.


    In the name of god, KEEP IT SHORT

    Just trying to KEEP IT INTERESTING. Assuming most of the folks here are over the Ritalin/ADD stage.

    Never was much for Twitter - used to devour 1000+ page books, so these are like smoke puffs.

    I happen to prefer longer essays, as long as they're thoughtful and, in turn, thought provoking. This most definitely was ... thanks, Peracles.

    Keep an open mind, you can learn a lot from Jr's example. Not just about keeping it short but also about your atrocious topic choices. We need more about whether Cruz's college bathrobe was plaid or paisley. When Chelsea said, "President Sanders" was it a slip of the tongue, self fulfilling prophecy, or a true vision of the outcome of the election? Did Cruz say n**** on a youtube video?

    Stop treating us like we're intelligent and knowledgeable adults and give us the National Enquirer stories we want.

    Or as Salieri said, "too many notes".

    Funny, I had forgotten that line from the movie. It reminds me of a story about Charlie Parker. He went to the Poconos to woodshed. It wasn't uncommon for jazz musicians to go there. Close to NYC, cheap to stay, and nothing to do except practice. If some musician said I've just come back from the Poconos the others give him a look that said, ok show me what you've learned. When he came back he was a changed musician. He went to some NYC club, sat in with a band and blasted out an improvisation with a blistering furry of notes like no one had ever heard before. Supposedly one of the other musicians went up to him, took away his sax, and said, "Too many notes."

    The emperor

    Got me - I have no clothes. (played by Frank Burns if I recall?)

    and for OK, nice bit on The Bird (trying not to over-comment/monopolize the site)

    Having been drawn hither by my interchange with O-K, I note your remarks.  We in the A.D.D. rights movement (betcha didn't know there was one...) Have learned to embrace our affliction, or anyway the medication. thereof

    Yeah, I know - drugs or poontang or both - file under TSWB (too short; why bother)

    "Drugs or poontang"

    You say that like...

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