Pando Appalled That Uber Hires High-Powered Politicos, Media Allegedly Ignoring It

Criticizing a company under constant political assault for its political hires is to mistake the defense for the crime.


Tech world news and commentary site Pando today has a headline far more portentous and seemingly meaningful than its actual content delivers: "No one is telling you the real story behind Uber's latest layoffs."

Those latest layoffs are in their policy and communications arena, and are, Pando says, a result of the new woman in charge of that department, Rachel Whetstone, wanting to remake the department in her image and not that of her predecessor David Plouffe. They are appalled that this story is not being more deeply reported, though Pando itself provides no reported sourcing, even anonymous or suggestive, for their speculation about what the firing means. (Doesn't mean it's not true, natch, as remaking departments is a not-unusual thing for new bosses to do.)

But writer Paul Carr insists that this

telegraphs clearly how Uber intends to get more, not less, aggressive and shady in its dealings with both lawmakers and the media. If you were worried about Uber's power under Plouffe, you should be shitting yourself at what they'll be capable of under Whetstone.

Uber's "power," one supposes, to try to stay in business in the face of political and crony attempts to destroy them, though the story doesn't go into details about what it means by this apparently malign "power."

Carr goes on to note how journalistically irresponsible it is not to have stressed the background of one of Whetstone's prominent new hires, Jill Hazelbaker:

for the one-and-a-half years she spent running comms for John McCain's presidential campaign, having previously worked as press director on Michael Bloomberg's re-election campaign. Not for the fact that Hazelbaker is a towering posterchild for how major tech companies are hiring professional political strategists to manage their policy and communications teams.  

Nothing to see here, says the New York Times. Ignore the flashing red warning indicator that Uber is handing over control of its most important and influential department to career political operators.

The rest of the story goes on to act like, at Uber and beyond, Silicon Valley companies showing more seriousness about the politics of their business in hiring of political operatives is an unknown, unexpected, little considered and apparently worrisome secret that only they are hepping you to.

Now, Reason has been reporting for years now on the near-constant assault on Uber's (and its competitors') very ability to exist at the hand of mostly local, and sometimes state, governments and politically well-connected taxi cartels. We certainly haven't been alone; The New York Times itself as well as all sorts of legacy media covering cities had done the same, and continue to do the same on a near weekly or daily basis.

See Reason's Uber archives for literally dozens of such stories and videos.

I wrote very specifically, hooked off a Los Angeles Times story, back in July that a natural and obvious result is Uber learning that, as I wrote, "to be is to lobby" and spending tons of money and manpower on political machinations.

Inside-staffing issues that merely illuminate the incredibly obvious point that well, these companies have to worry more about politics and reflect it in their hires, aren't nearly as important as Pando pretends. 

That the result of what government tries to do to Uber will be Uber spending more effort and money and manpower lobbying and doing politics is not some mysterious secret, but bone-obvious to anyone, even if specific reporting doesn't go into the inside-baseball aspects of the specific names of internal hires in a behind-the-scenes way. Pando acts as if that's the real hidden story being "ignored."

As Pando concludes:

are political players stealthily seizing control of the New Power being amassed on the West Coast?

We'll keep asking those questions, and digging for answers. It'd be great if we weren't the only ones.

I think a more accurate and important question is, "Are politicians constantly trying to prevent West Coast companies from operating freely and making employees and customers better off, and are they having to waste time and money defending themselves?" Answer: yes.

Personnel questions can be interesting, and shouldn't be ignored entirely. But the specifics of which particular political operative gets these jobs is not the interesting story. Those specifics will continue to change as they already have. Focusing on that and  not on what political battles Uber faces would be the real obfuscating mistake.

What's important is that Uber is in a continuing and ongoing fight for its political life. That story could certainly always be better and more granularly told.

But to act as if the real, and somehow suggestively secretive and sinister, story is My God, Uber is fighting back against political efforts to crush it! By hiring political operatives! And even Republican ones! is to mistake the defense for the crime.

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  1. You know who else used communications people to talk about “uber”?


      1. It’s Heydrich, silly.

        /man in the high castle

          1. How’s life in the Pacific States? Thankfully the japs left LA alone, too much traffic.

            1. Didn’t see the flic.

          2. Make it a conference call. We can camp out. It’ll be a gas.

    2. Biggie Babylon?

  2. What the hell is a Pando?

    1. You don’t want to know.

      Think “Salon”, but more asshole-y

      1. You’re scaring me

        1. Remember Mark Ames? He of, “Accuse Reason Magazine of Being Racist Holocaust Deniers“? Then try and use the buzz off the baseless accusation to focus on “LOOK AT HOW DEFENSIVE THE LIBERTARIANS ARE?? WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE??””

          Yeah, that’s pretty much the Pando M.O. in a nutshell. The same shit they’re doing here = assault Uber constantly, then point at them defending themselves…. and describe that as an implicit admission of guilt.

          They represent the ‘shameless scumbag’ Left. Think The Young Turks on a self-righteousness/cocaine-bender with ‘nothing to lose’.

          Salon is classy and sane by contrast.

          1. I must have been mercifully taking a derp break when that came out. Yeah, that’s pretty fucked up. I know all about the shameless scumbag left. I see them on social media all the time. They won’t hestitate to lie. The ends always justify the means.

            1. Who lives out east ‘neath the willow tree?
              Sexual harassment PANDO.

          2. “If you’re so innocent, why won’t you admit that you’re not?”

            1. pretty much –

              “Rather than simply doing what any sensible editor would do ? apologize for the magazine’s past transgressions but reiterate that the racists articles do not represent its current editorial position ? Welch instead wrote a long blog post, smearing Pando and my reporting, including describing me (apparently without irony) as an “anti-libertarian conspiracy theorist.” He also admitted that ? sure! ? Reason published a bunch of sick, racist pro-apartheid articles… but hey, they also published articles critical of apartheid, so what’s the big deal? “

              its basically playing guilt-by-association, and demanding that Reason denounce itself. “Because ANY GOOD PERSON would beg for our forgiveness!?”

              Of course, they simply don’t allow the possibility that there’s absolutely nothing to apologize for at all.

              The Irony, of course, is that Ames principal paycheck comes from The Nation… a paper that vigorously defended the reporting of Walter Duranty while millions of people died in Soviet-engineered famines.

              1. “its basically playing guilt-by-association, and demanding that Reason denounce itself. “Because ANY GOOD PERSON would beg for our forgiveness!?””

                Where’s that link to the Chi-Com self-criticism sessions?

              2. And he spent MONTHS going through Reason microfiche in the library and finally after going back FOURTY fucking years he finds a single issue that proves Reason has been a front for the skinheads all along. What a retarded douch.

                1. He also implies that these “racist holocaust denying” articles he found….were the “Official Editorial Position” of the magazine, when that wasn’t even the original accusation being claimed.


                  “what any sensible editor would do ? apologize for the magazine’s past transgressions but reiterate that the racists articles do not represent its current editorial position ? Welch instead wrote a long blog post”

                  Its like that classic intellectually-dishonest loaded question = “When did you stop beating your wife?”

                  It mendaciously insinuates and assumes that “transgressions” actually happened, and that Racism was part of the “official editorial position”… when both of those things are demonstrably false and were being vigorously denied…which was the entire point of the response, which Ames rhetorically treats like some kind of crazy-person’s admission of guilt-by-denial.

                  You can’t do anything with scumbags like that. They’re not even the slightest bit interested in the truth of the matter, and are solely focused on some kind of amoral super-partisan bitch-fight.

                2. It’s the same bullying routine that he used to convince the 15 year old Russian girl he freely admits raping to have an abortion after he inseminated her.

                  “I can’t do that,” she said. “I can’t kill our child.”

                  Right then, I stared at Katya with a look?I’m not sure how it appeared to her, but in my mind, I was started to contemplate two courses of action: murder, or AWOL.

                  “What will you do, kill me?” she said, laughing nervously.

                  “Maybe, yeah,” I replied. “I’ll throw you off my balcony. I’ll make it look like an accident.”

                  She started to cry, but I was relentless. I told her that if she had the child, she would be killing me, so it was an act of self-defense. And if I didn’t kill her, then I would flee Moscow and she’d never find me. Her child would be fatherless. He wouldn’t have an Oedipal complex like the other kids; his complexes would be monumental, guaranteed to make her life a living hell ? I wore her down for hours during the night, KGB interrogation-style ?

                  At 5:30 the next morning, Katya, acting the martyr, quietly slipped out of my apartment, made a beeline to the abortion clinic, and sucked the little fucker out (eXiled, 154).

                  1. Actually, let’s play a game: Mark Ames, Matt Taibbi, or Roosh V?

                    First Round:

                    They like to live while they’re still young and attractive… They look at their mothers, who turn into nose tackles at age 30.

                    1. I’m sure that’s “Russian Women” so its Ames or Taibbi.

                      All three of those guys are just slight variations on the same thing anyway = swarthy, bigmouth, amoral assholes who are comfortable with a career in Dishonesty.

                      Of what i’ve read from all three, i’m not sure which has the ability to occasionally turn a cute phrase. Maybe Taibbi. So i’ll give him the ‘nose tackles’ line.

                    2. Slipped it in one minute before the bell!

                    3. What, too difficult? That was Taibbi. Here’s an easier one:

                      Russian women, especially on the first date, expect you to rape them. They’ll go back home with you and say, ‘No, no, no,’ and if you’re an American, you’ve been trained to respect the ‘No,’ because you’re afraid of sexual harassment or date rape, and so you fail over and over. But it took me a while to learn you really have to force Russian girls, and that’s what they want, it’s like a mock rape. And then you come back here and you’re really freaked out?because you don’t know if that actually exists deep in all women’s psyches, that that’s what they all want. All relations between guys and girls is basically violent, I think. It’s all war.”

                  2. Christ. I knew he’d done that, but I didn’t know the specifics. That’s full-on, no fooling, sociopathic.

                    Ames is also incredibly obsessed with Radley Balko. Stalker-like. I’m guessing it’s because he knows he can’t use the same “RACIST!!!” attacks on Radley he uses on other libertarians, and it gets under his skin.

          3. “the ‘shameless scumbag’ Left”

            So, the Left.

        2. I as well feel frightened by the mere thought that this ‘Pando’ can possibly exist.

        1. I told you, you don’t want to know.

          Its better to believe Salon is the worst of it.

          1. Well, New Republic is a thing, so there’s that.

      2. Prog goatse?

        1. MY EYES!!!

    2. Something that should’ve gone extinct ages ago.

  3. If you were worried about Uber’s power under Plouffe, you should be shitting yourself at what they’ll be capable of under Whetstone.

    How do people like this even manage to get up in the morning?

    1. Before it was Obama’s man, so he couldn’t have been too bad. Now it’s some conservative who hires McCain’s stooges, so shit your pants!

      Even worse, this Whetstone girl comes from a line of libertarian radicals. Which is stupidly self-destructive; how does Uber think it can profit when there are no more roads??

      1. UberChoppah is still in its beta stages. No need for muh roadz with that one.

        1. Well they need to get to it, then.

    2. Is Uber power like libertarian power?

      1. Does anyone shit themselves over libertarians? I thought that stopped, like, 5 months ago.

        1. Oh the left and right are always blaming shit on libertarians like we have any power whatsoever.

        2. Of course they may have their pants full shitting over Trump right now.

        3. I’m betting the author believes himself to be hip, talented and edgy because he used the expression “shitting yourself” in an article about the politics of the HR department.

          Oh yeah, he went there.

  4. “to be is to lobby”

    That is what people should be worried about.

    1. Or:
      “To be is to require lobbying”; miss a baksheese payment and you don’t know what’ll happen…

  5. They’ve been on a mission to destroy Uber since…. what, one of their journos got into a pissing match with them 4 years ago, or something? They’re so personally invested in the Uber story that it verges on irrational vendetta as much as ‘issue journalism’.

  6. How about this. Take away government power and then you don’t have people trying to lobby it?

    1. I went in circles with a socialist with this very point for at least an hour a few weeks ago. He just couldn’t comprehend kkkorparashuns not having power without government having the power to give them power.

      1. I’ve had those frustrating conversation many times myself.

        1. I read that as “many times with myself.” which seems par for the course for you, Mr. JB.

  7. Similarly, the Chron “bizz columnist” was whining today about companies keeping money overseas; blaming them for obeying the law, rather than the US corp taxes for making that a proper activity.
    The scare quotes are intended and appropriate; he accuses the companies of tax “evasion”. A “bizz columnist” who doesn’t know the difference between “avoidance” and “evasion”…

    1. I read Fuel Fix because I’m in the industry and the prostiution busts online and that’s it. Although the food section is decent.

      1. “I’m in the industry and the prostiution busts online”

        Wait – what industry are you mixed up in?

        /just a little joke

  8. I think a more accurate and important question is, “are politicians constantly trying to prevent West Coast companies from operating freely and making employees and customers better off, and are they having to waste time and money defending themselves?” Answer: yes.

    War against the Best Coast.

  9. Koch’s War on Poverty.


    1. Less bias than expected.

      1. Yeah, I thought that as well.

  10. Related to this article: the Seattle city council is allowing Uber drivers to unionize.

    God, I hate when Uber forces people to accept their terms of employment. I’m sure this will absolutely not affect Uber rates in Seattle.

    1. Well, Uber drivers shouldn’t be prevented from unionizing by the government.

      And Uber should’t be prevented from refusing to hire unionized drivers.

      1. Huh, I was unaware that employees had to petition to their government (in this case, Seattle) to unionize.

        1. I was speaking more in general principles. It’s not clear to me what the specific situation in Seattle is. Seems to maybe be Seattle trying to preempt state or federal labor laws and some disagreement over contractors vs employees?

    2. Here’s Ars Technica’s piece on the same subject:


      Beware the comments. You have been warned.

  11. Man, what’s wrong with these people when it comes to Uber? Statism really did a job on them.


    Let it go and leave people alone already.

    1. It’s because Uber shows the slightest sign of balls instead of cowering in the face of bullies. And in doing so they reveal everything statists know but don’t want to admit about themselves and the government.

      1. Know what the ultimate sad, irony of all this is? For all there love of government or at the very least acceptance of it for ‘practical’ reasons, bureaucrats don’t give a rat’s ass about YOU.

        Don’t believe me? Go and try and ‘reason’ with them about a problem. It’s ‘fuck you that’s why’ all the way through.

        1. “Know what the ultimate sad, irony of all this is? For all there love of government or at the very least acceptance of it for ‘practical’ reasons, bureaucrats don’t give a rat’s ass about YOU.”

          I see it as perfectly understandable.
          You, as a citizen, are simply a human to be dealt with in a manner requiring the least amount of effort. You are not a customer, since your gripes to the boss have no effect at all. There is no competition which could require the boss to make changes.
          So long as there is no danger of losing a job (and the benes), your only tool is to appeal to their ‘better nature’; i.e., beg.

          1. Pretty much.

            And then usually be told ‘too bad’.

          2. We should have elections for all public employees. Citizens are can take a small piece of paper with them and if given competent, effective service, they hand over the piece of paper to the employee. The employee can then use that paper to vote similarly elsewhere. You could even trade that paper for precious metals if you wanted.

          3. “There is no competition which could require the boss to make changes”

            ^^^THIS. This has been my argument against Obamacare with proggies. Few can grok it.

            Effective feedback loops to government employees are needed. Don’t know how to make this happen.

          4. As a general rule, people don’t give a shit about people they don’t know unless there is the opportunity to make money off of them.

            The magic of free (r) market interactions is that they get people to treat each other better than they otherwise would.

  12. OT: My 13-year-old son, bless his heart, is really getting into libertarian ideas. He had a big debate with his social studies teacher recently over the minimum wage (teacher thought it should go to $15/hr nationwide, while my son said that’s a great way to lead to greater unemployment and raise the bar for getting a job, especially for the young minority population — yay, son!) And he like to watch Stossel with his dad.

    I’m thinking he might enjoy a really good and accessible introduction to libertarian thought as a stocking-stuffer. Any suggestions, anyone? He’s probably a bit too young for Hayek, and the video gamer in him would probably be bored by Ayn Rand for at least another year or two. Is there something that would be a fun, interesting primer for libertarianism for teenagers?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    1. My 6 year old daughter LOVES How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes. It provides a great starting point for discussions on both the moral and practical aspects of centralized power. The artwork is crap, though.

      1. Oh~! yeah along these lines? Would be great to give him those graphic-novel “For Beginners” bio-books of people like Keynes or Lenin or Ghandi and…. lots and lots of others.

        I read like a dozen of those in college, just because they had a rack of them at the bookstore, and they always were nice complements to dry topics. Some were versions of things i’d already read (*like Kapital) …or Bios of people i’d read…. which actually really helped distill the mountain of bullshit down to some simple themes, and provide some background ‘color’.

        They definitely vary in quality… some seemed to actually fail to understand the subjects…. but the bio books were all definitely good. it was the ones that tried to include “too much” in one volume that ended up making the subject matter as cartoony as the art. Like, the “Ethics” one tried to survey the history of philosophy, and basically offer a page or 2 to each idea. Nice, but not much to chew on.

    2. Who did the book defending hoarders and speculators? At first glance, it’s something you presume to be simply tulpa-levle-contrarian, and then as you read, you see why Jeb Bush denied the FL residents generators by setting prices.

      1. Walter Block’s Defending the Undefendable? That is a good book to get your son thinking… just keep an eye on him. It’s purposely provocative, and leans hard on Rothbardian radicalism, which I think was always meant to be taken as somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

        1. “Walter Block’s Defending the Undefendable?”

          Danke! Wonderful book.
          And it may lean hard the other way, but that make the reader defend the opposite views.
          If you got it, let’s see it!

    3. Or “Economics in one easy lesson” by Hazlet.

    4. Are you familiar with Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do?

    5. I read Anthem by Ayn Rand when i was like 12 and that was probably the first “libertarian” book i’d ever read that i remember having an effect on my thinking.

      I never much liked her other novels, but that one was a real winner for me, at least in how it affirmed ideas i already had forming. Its written like Ray Bradbury-esque Sci-Fi, so age appropriate under 15.

      I also think the True Believer (Eric Hoffer) is remarkably accessible book for (almost) any age… and while its not “libertarian” in any doctrinaire way…. i think there’s nothing in it that a libertarian would disagree with. Its probably the single most influential book i’ve ever read, even though i don’t think i came across it until… about 7 years after college. its definitely a powerful material for anyone who wants to challenge the dogma of contemporary education.

      Then there’s the transcendentalists. Thoreau definitely contributed to my eventual libertarian impulse. I also read him while pretty young, then again in college. Collections of his essays were always lying around my house, so no single book comes to mind.

      While Vonnegut’s books all drifted further and further left over the years…. Welcome to the Monkey House is a book of short stories all of which seem to have a libertarian angle on them. Harrison Bergeron comes from there, as does The Euphio Question, and the title story…

      that’s just off the top of my head.

      1. “I also think the True Believer (Eric Hoffer) is remarkably accessible book for (almost) any age”

        Weird, as he was a west-coast longshoreman in that commie Harry Bridges’ union.

        1. Have you ever read the book?

          1. Really asking? Yeah, about 1970 and was surprised at the time. Have I forgotten something?

            1. No, i thought you meant, “Weird” as in you didn’t believe it yourself. I think i misread your remark.

              1. BTW, I did find it on the next-to-top shelf, “Perennial Library” edition, c/r 1951, marked $0.60.
                Yep, I’m an old fart.
                But it’s only a hundred pages or so, so I’ll get through it again in the next day or two to see if I’ve forgotten/confused things.
                And another BTW: Tugboat Annies (on 3rd St.) never put up the lunch menu until she found out what Bridges’ thugs had stolen.
                And third BTW, Oakland managed to break off of Bridges’ local near or somewhat after Bridges swore ‘his’ longshoremen would never unload containers! It was widely presumed that they made theft too difficult.
                But he was largely correct; the container business moved to Oakland. SF is now an adult amusement park.

                1. This interview is probably a good refresher on the guy

                  The very first question is, “Why the hell did you stay a dockworker when you were making money as a writer”?

                  1. The interview seems valid; he wasn’t as ‘humble’ as was suggested.
                    When I got to SF, I knew people who knew him; ’nuff said.

                    1. Humble? he was a walking celebration. He loved everything about the American idea.

                      I think the word, ‘humble’ might have been used to describe the fact that he lived in one room his whole life, and worked on the docks long after he didn’t need to.

                      I don’t think the guy needs to be celebrated because of some ‘poverty chic’ thing. I think he’s the greatest example of everything leftists don’t understand about “the Poor”. He loved being poor, and loved poor people because he thought they helped make the American idea successful – because *desire* motivates action. He’s like an antiseptic that kills every stupid fucking idea lefties have about “poor people”.

                      In part 2 of the interview he makes this point – the most miserable people on earth are the paper-pushers in shitty bureaucracies. The poor remain happy because they have ambition and self-respect.

                    2. *note = he got into some serious problems in the later 60s because… he pointed out that the big problem with blacks in america? was that they were poor… but they lacked that whole ‘ambition and self-respect’ stuff.

                      he was pushing the Thomas Sowell type lines when it was epic-uncool to do so.

                    3. What is a little depressing? is this point he makes… about “the vigor of a society should be gauged by its ability to succeed without leaders”

                      was true when he made it. but that his argument would mostly fail in the modern day because no one believes that we can run the world without Top Men.

      2. I think a worthwhile side note about some of the above….

        …is that – i don’t think you engender “libertarian thinking” primarily by feeding a young mind “Libertarian stuff”.

        You feed them stuff that gets them thinking….full stop. Especially stuff that gets them thinking that the dominant dogma of any given age is always *flawed*. That its healthy to maintain a skeptical view of the popular things that seem to motivate others. in short = Iconoclasts. Sooner or later that attitude leads you to appreciating some basic underlying facts about how the world works… and that eventually leads you to an appreciation of liberty – if not Big L Libertarianism

        1. Excellent point, Gilmore, I agree. So I am getting him some other basic econ that’s fun, like Freakonomics, but wanted to make sure I had at least one bit of libertarian thought to keep his fire going.

          Thanks everyone for the awesome suggestions!
          Always such a great group of minds on this board.

        2. I agree with the notion that critical thinking and skepticism lead to libertarianism. At least, that was my path.

          Although I will admit that it confuses me that so much of the skeptic movement is wrapped up in big-government progressivism. It seems anathema to the rational mindset to me, but it doesn’t seem to bother many of the most prominent voices in the skeptic movement. Every now and then you’ll hear them let slip a barb against liberty and I always find it jarring – the notion that someone who is otherwise hell-bent on rational thought would reject personal autonomy and responsibility is difficult to grasp.

          1. It stems from the fact that people are, by and large, stupid. It takes either apathy or antipathy to not try to help the gormless masses – or the realization that any such ‘aid’ will have a net negative result.

            I came to the apathy by way of antipathy.

    6. Bastiat seems like a good choice for a young person. Clear, concise, funny, often illustrates his points with imaginative stories. Economic Sophisms would be the big book, and I think it usually comes with That Which Is Seen. If it doesn’t come with The Law, well, that’s short enough to read online.

      Staying in the 19th century, Benjamin Constant’s Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments. It’s basically the formalized ideas of the founders and classical liberal thought about the proper duties of government. That’s if you want something more formal about the old liberal idea of good government, and more general than the Federalist Papers. Mises’s Liberalism is also a good, short treatise, but may be too dry and specific to the interwar period for him. If you want to encourage your son to talk like a radical in class, Herbert Spencer’s The Man Versus The State may do the trick. Ditto Lysander Spooner. Or bother authors may bore him.

      Democracy in America is a pretty foundational text, so your son will probably read it in school anyway.

      1. That last one (Democracy) i agree is essential stuff.

        The Road To Serfdom also comes in pamphlet form.

    7. It’s surprising how much libertarian fiction can be found on Baen. The first few pages on “On Basilisk Station” just *decimates* the idea of a Basic Income Guarantee.

    8. The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith is a fun ancap utopia and he makes a few arguments for why it works. It’s fiction, though, and less philosophy than fun. Still, probably not a bad read and I don’t recall it being two adult (there is maybe one sex scene? Some gun play, a bit of cursing)

    9. More Liberty Means Less Government by Walter E Williams would be perfect. A book full of short articles about unintended consequences.

      1. Then this:



        Should have more than enough information to debate ANY statist and why they are hopelessly wrong, and this without resorting to any full-on libertarian sources.

    10. The moon is a harsh mistress, by Robert a. Heinlein.

  13. Microsoft and Google have been tamed, why not Uber?

    If you remember way back when, Bill Gates dressed in a Star Trek outfit and Sergey Brin quoted Ayn Rand. But those were different times. The 1990’s.

    HILLARY2016! Campaign slogan: Bring it back.

    1. The only way to stop this is to take power and money out of politics. Because of human nature, there’s no other way to stop this or even to prevent it from becoming gradually worse. It’s impossible to ever elect enough people who are running for public office to actually help their fellow humans instead of gaining money and power for themselves and their friends and donors, under the current system. There will never be a libertarian moment in this incestuous cesspool.

      That fact is something that progs refuse to understand.

      I propose some simple solutions. First of all, pay publicly elected officials all the way from local county clerk to the president of the USA, minimum wage. Then term limits, after which one has met, you can never, ever run for public office again. Then severely punish cronyism. Anyone caught and convicted serves mandatory prison time and half of all their assets are sold and divided up evenly among their constituents. I would actually prefer the death penalty for cronyism, except that as a libertarian I cannot in case a mistake is made. There’s no parole from dead.

      1. The only way to stop this is to take power and money out of politics.

        You lost me right there. You sound like John McCain, though I doubt you meant to. I don’t know to do about this. One possibility is to use your own money to enter the political arena and speak at will. There is someone doing that.

        1. “You lost me right there.”

          And I don’t even ply Hyperion on TV, but I think the point is taking the power to *distribute* money out of politics.

      2. “First of all, pay publicly elected officials all the way from local county clerk to the president of the USA, minimum wage.”

        This has the added advantage of making it clear that those running for office are nothing other than power-hungry schmucks.
        It also makes it impossible; who is ever going to let this pass and therefore be exposed as such?

        1. No, it would cause elected political offices to be filled with gadflies.

          This makes me think of Trump. He is a right-of-center gadfly fully engaged in a national election. YMMV, but I like him. He speaks the unspeakable and prods along without a care.

      3. A single term with votes of confidence every year or two. Pay them well and double their pay as pension, under the provision they never take another dime from anyone. Their children, spouse and friends may take a job with companies they had dealings with, provided the former politician agrees to remove both testicals or breasts as compensation for such.

        Violators tarred, feathered, drawn and quartered in the public square.

  14. When you say “Nice business you got there, be a shame if something regulatory happened to it.”, expect them to do something about it.

  15. Argentina’s new president has eliminated a bevy of export taxes on farm and industrial goods. The bad news is that the soy export tax is still 30% and he has promised to crack down on ‘hoarders’.



  16. “telegraphs clearly how Uber intends to get more, not less, aggressive and shady in its dealings with both lawmakers and the media. ”

    Whoa, stop right there… just how much US government kool-aid did this guy drink? The government has engaged in a relentless, coordinated and corrupt campaign against uber at the behest of deep pocketed and well-connected union bosses, and we call uber “shady”?

  17. Nope, nothing could go wrong. 100 of “migrants” to Norway have pictures of executions and severed heads on their phones,


  18. Well now that makes a lot of sense dude.


  19. I think Uber’s lobbying is troublesome. Just for the exact opposite reason these assholes do. I think it’s troublesome – no batshit insane – that Uber has to lobby. I think it’s batshit insane that the government sees itself as having the authority to do any goddamned thing about an app that connects people who need a ride and people willing to sell them one. I think it’s batshit insane that you would have to go beg, cajole, and bribe someone for permission to exercise what are supposed to be your rights in a free country. And I think its the height of batshit insanity that some piece of shit calling himself a journalist would damn you even asking permission to do what you shouldn’t even need permission to do in the first place.

  20. Sorry all, I cannot hear you over the sound of Playa laughing… http://www.forbes.com/sites/he…..hing-well/

    1. Forbes doesn’t work through the work proxy and google doesn’t have a cached version of the article yet – care to summarize?

      1. Basically, the article is a devastating indictment of Chipotle’s decision to market to the locavore movement despite the predictable result that they would be at a very high risk of transmitting pathogens to their customers. It explains why locally sourced, naturally fertilized (i.e. pooped upon) and non gmo (needs more pesticides) foods actually are less healthy. It points out the large number of foodborne illness outbreaks affecting different stores in different areas, pointing out that the fact that each outbreak involves a different species of pathogen implies that their entire supply chain is deficient (rather than having one incident of very bad luck).

        The title: Chipotle: The Long Defeat Of Doing Nothing Well.

        1. the fact that each outbreak involves a different species of pathogen implies that their entire supply chain is deficient

          Attention Forbes writers: This is how you get to the point without being a smug douche.

      2. Sell stock in Chipotle Mexican Grill. They’ve had a lot of food poisoning.

        The writer is a insufferable prick. Choice examples:

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking another, unrelated Chipotle food poisoning outbreak in California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington, in which victims have been as young as one year and as old as 94.

        As though they have any control over who eats the food once purchased…

        Chipotle is a company so out of control and negligent that it repeatedly endangers the public.

        Don’t worry, I’m sure the class action lawsuit will set them straight. And the alleged victims will get at least $0.05 apiece! Although this is fairly even-handed, if needlessly loquacious:

        Although the crops, meats and other foods produced by modern conventional agricultural technologies may not bring to mind a sentimental Norman Rockwell painting, they are on average safer than food that reflects pandering to current fads.

    2. Also this:

      “We [Chipotle] may be at a higher risk for food-borne illness outbreaks than some competitors,” the company admits in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “due to our use of fresh produce and meats rather than frozen, and our reliance on employees cooking with traditional methods rather than automation.” (Think about that: Would you agree to open-heart surgery if the anesthesiologist planned to use “traditional methods” instead of state-of-the-art technology?)

      I have a better question than the one posited by the author: What the heck should one construe from the statement “cooking with traditional methods rather than automation”? That is an incredible statement. It sounds more like a moral pose than a reason. It also suggests that “traditional methods” don’t involve washing and scrubbing your veggies in water and iodine before placing them in the salad bar.

  21. [Pando’s] [c]riticizing [of Uber, which is] under constant political assault for its political hires is to mistake the defense for the crime.

    For Marxians it is “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

    Tech world news and commentary site Pando

    There should be a warning label together with that statement: “Visit at your own risk”

  22. To many progressives, the defense IS the crime.

    How could anyone but a moral cretin dare oppose them? To stand in the way of of the state, to attempt to influence the state in any manner not approved by the proof intelligentsia is dirty under handed and dastardly, and should be illegal.

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