Peter Thiel Makes The Case For Confiscatory Taxation On Billionaires

This broke over at Forbes and is bouncing around the ‘nets today:

Peter Thiel, a PayPal cofounder and one of the earliest backers of Facebook FB +0.49%, has been secretly covering the expenses for Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against online news organization Gawker Media. According to people familiar with the situation who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, Thiel, a cofounder and partner at Founders Fund, has played a lead role in bankrolling the cases Terry Bollea, a.k.a. Hogan, brought against New York-based Gawker. Hogan is being represented by Charles Harder, a prominent Los Angeles-based lawyer.

Whatever you think of Gawker, Hulk Hogan, or Thiel himself, this is yet one more way in which extreme income inequality destroys civic life. It’s actually worse than many, given the clandestine way it deepens the corruption of the system that could (in theory) provide a check on the damage that purchased legislative and executive branches can do.

Lazarus_in_Heaven_and_the_Rich_Man_in_Hell_LACMA_M.88.91.91

Here’s a take on the poison here revealed from Caterina Fake:

Champerty, as third-party litigation funding used to be called (and should probably be called again!) was formerly a crime, but the commercial litigation finance industry has been growing in recent years.

Fake notes that much of such litigation is actually a form of speculation, in which rich folks gamble on the possibility of significant payout.  One can imagine the “free market” argument that such funding levels the playing field, allows those who’ve suffered real harm to recoup, and thus makes the legal system a more efficient and effective dispute-settling and behavior-changing engine. But Thiel’s pursuit of Gawker illuminates what this leads to in the real world:

Generally, people avoid frivolous lawsuits because it often exposes them to as much scrutiny as those they sue, so what is significant about this case is that by funding Hogan behind the scenes, Thiel could get his revenge, escape exposure, and influence the outcome of the case.

For the very rich, this is a win however it goes, and damn the collateral damage.

Hogan’s lawyers made decisions against Hogan’s best interests, withdrawing a claim that would have required Gawker’s insurance company to pay damages rather than the company itself–a move that made Nick Denton, Gawker Media’s founder and CEO, suspect that a Silicon Valley millionaire was behind the suit.

I leave it to the actual lawyers to weigh in on the ethics (and consequences, if any) for such a litigation approach. For myself, I’ll note that what you have here is an insanely rich guy gaming the legal system to destroy a media outfit that pissed him off.

And with that, one more thought:  Franklin Roosevelt created the social welfare state in the US as an alternative to revolution.  Today’s plutocrats might want to think about that.  In plainer terms: to remain democracies, modern democractic states need to tax polity-buying wealth out of individual hands; income taxes and a levy on inheritances.  A 90% rate that kicks in well below an estate value of a billion bucks seems a good place to start.

A blogger can dream…

Image: Cornelius Bos, Lazarus in Heaven and the Rich Man in Hell, 1547.






167 replies
  1. 1
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    This doesn’t make sense because Thiel, Hogan, and Gawker are all heels. Usually, a heel vs. heel confrontation means somebody is turning face, but none of these guys can convincingly do that. It’s just bad booking.

    (OK, seriously, fuck Peter Thiel.)

  2. 2
    Dork says:

    What I’ve read is that more Hogan-esque suits have followed against Gawker. Looks like Thiel can just endlessly file suits (via his proxy) until he’s completely bled Gawker of every last lawyer-allocated dollar, then watch as they shutter the door. Or Thiel buys them out for cents on the dollar, and makes it a Valley-friendly rag.

    The blueprint has been drawn; expect other billionaires (Larry Ellison, anyone?) to follow suit. At some point there’ll be no independent check on the behavior and ethics of rich people, for fear of twenty kajillion lawsuits.

  3. 3
    Loviatar says:

    And with that, one more thought: Franklin Roosevelt created the social welfare state in the US as an alternative to revolution. Today’s plutocrats might want to think about that.

    You’re getting there.

  4. 4
    Lurking Canadian says:

    What is Thiel’s problem with Gawker?

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Lurking Canadian: They outed him as gay a few years ago. This is revenge.

  6. 6
    LAO says:

    O/T: A Status Report was filed in the Oregon Bundy Prosecution regarding the conditions of their confinement. That report can be found here.

    My favorite part, so far, is pro-se Ryan Bundy’s status report:

    Ryan Bundy’s status report: “My rights are being violated. My right to life is being violated. All of my First Amendment rights are being violated. My right to freedom of religion is being violated. I cannot participate in religious activities and temple covenants, and wear religious garments. I could wear them at Henderson, but MCDC is depriving me of the right to wear them. My right to freedom of speech is being hampered by monitoring and recording. My right to freedom of assembly is being violated; I am not allowed to see my brother and move about. Yesterday, I attempted to discuss these issues with the U.S. Marshals, and they said that these were simply the jail rules. I asked them specifically about if there was any reason for the ‘keep separate’ orders. In Henderson, my brothers and father were housed together. Up here, they make efforts to keep us separate. This violates my right to freedom of assembly. My
    Second Amendment rights are being violated. I never waived that right. My Fourth Amendment rights are being violated of freedom from search and seizure without effects. They routinely look through my documents and papers without a warrant. My Sixth Amendment rights are being denied. I cannot meet with other counsel in this case without extreme difficulty. I cannot have effective assistance of counsel. When I say my rights are being violated, I want the Court to know that all of my rights are being violated; every last one of them. I could argue that my right to life hasn’t been taken. But the FBI tried to take that right when they attempted to kill me. They missed on that one. I still have the bullet to prove that. And yet I still remain in custody. I
    am being treated worse than the inmates who have been convicted and are serving sentences. They are being given perks and opportunities to work. Those presumed innocent are held
    tighter.”

  7. 7
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    Champerty is actually much more tightly defined at law, and involves a genuine transfer of the litigation. I’ve attempted to make past claims that transfer of accounts that are already defaulted is champertous , but got zero love from judges on it.

  8. 8
    gvg says:

    outing people is bad.

    Gawker is a mixed bag on stories.

    Would forbiding Champery have a side effect of stopping organizations like ACLU and Southern Poverty help little people attack great injustices? Crowd funding worthy cases? Seems like we would need a more taylored approach.

    What can we actually do about rich people law suits. Seems like they always have an advantage right or wrong and that’s not what we want.

  9. 9
    KG says:

    Hogan’s lawyers made decisions against Hogan’s best interests, withdrawing a claim that would have required Gawker’s insurance company to pay damages rather than the company itself

    Typically, insurance covers claims of negligence, not intentional torts. And as a general rule, a plaintiff pleads both negligence and intentional torts where possible. I can’t really think of a reason to withdraw a negligence claim – normally, it is easier to prove negligence (and thus, more likely to lead to a settlement). However, given the recovery obtained via jury trial, there is likely no claim for malpractice or breach of fiduciary duty.

    To the point of paying for lawyers: litigation gets “financed” in a lot of ways. If you’re a plaintiff a law firm may take your case on contingency. If you’re a defendant and you have insurance, the carrier foots the bill for defense costs and settlement (less a deductible and up to a coverage limit). I’ve worked on both sides of the v in these scenarios. When you’re working on contingency, you’re usually trying to get the case resolved quickly. When you’re insurance defense counsel, your strategy is known as the 3 D’s (deny, delay, deduct). Then there’s contractual attorney fees provisions and statutory attorney fees provisions, but often those don’t play a major effect in how a case is actually litigated.

    Also, 98% of plaintiff lawyers aren’t going to file frivolous law suits. When reviewing a potential case, you look at the likelihood of success/recovery – if you’re on contingency that determines whether and how much you get paid; even if you’re not, it can affect your reputation, which matters big picture. Beyond that, if it’s frivolous, the firm can be liable and the attorneys involved can end up facing disciplinary charges in front of the state bar. That’s why when you see vexatious litigants or frivolous law suits, the plaintiff is usually representing himself. If a law firm is taking a case, it is most likely because they believe there is a legitimate claim to be made.

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    Hogan’s lawyers made decisions against Hogan’s best interests, withdrawing a claim that would have required Gawker’s insurance company to pay damages rather than the company itself–a move that made Nick Denton, Gawker Media’s founder and CEO, suspect that a Silicon Valley millionaire was behind the suit.

    It would be more accurate to say they took an unorthodox approach to seeking damages. Without knowing what exactly the client wanted out of the case, it’s presumptuous to say that his lawyers acted against his interests. If his primary concern was putting the screws to Nick Denton, then Hogan’s lawyers were very much acting in his interest.

  11. 11

    Peter Thiel is fucking hilarious. He’s like a second-rate comic book villain who keeps trying to get into the League of Bad Guys but falling short. “But I encouraged dozens of talented kids to drop out of school! I spent $45 million on an art clock to be installed inside of my secret mountain lair in Texas! What do you mean, try again for next year’s admission period?!”

    Valleywag is 90% stupid and I’m not exactly a fan of Gawker in general, in the same way that I’m not a fan of, I don’t know, TMZ or pre-very-recent Vice (also recent Vice to a lesser degree), but press intimidation is bad, bad bad.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @KG:

    Yup.

  14. 14
    gvg says:

    @LAO: wow. Bundy doesn’t seem to understand what jail is, nor how past actions impact how people treat you. What a loon. I wonder if someone can be insane by reason of upbringing.

  15. 15
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Sadly, yes.

  16. 16
    LAO says:

    @gvg: I appreciated his upset for the loss of his second amendment rights — it’s not like he was involved in an armed confrontation with federal law enforcement. Oh, wait…

  17. 17
    The Other Chuck says:

    FSM willing, Thiel and Hogan will visit the Gawker campus to sort all this out like civilized people. Meanwhile a fucking meteor will level the place.

  18. 18
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Thiel is Dr. Horrible without the dance moves. Or the voice. Or the sidekick. Bad Horse will never let him in the League.

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    @gvg:

    Would forbiding Champery have a side effect of stopping organizations like ACLU and Southern Poverty help little people attack great injustices? Crowd funding worthy cases? Seems like we would need a more taylored approach.

    No. See Botsplainer’s explanation of champerty.

    These groups are not substituting themselves as the injured party.

    However, if champerty was expanded to included no third-party covering of legal expenses or supplying representation, then yes. That would be very bad for groups like the ACLU, NAACP, and for the marginalized people they frequently represent.

  20. 20

    @gvg: Outing people isn’t bad, it’s complicated.

    Was ‘outing’ Thiel bad? For Gawker’s stated reasons, which boil down to “I don’t like Peter Thiel” despite their protestations to the contrary, yes. (Also, Thiel wasn’t exactly in the closet. It was one of those things where some people would say, “did you hear Peter Thiel is gay?!” and it was like, um, you didn’t know?)

    If he’d been contributing to theocratic organizations or was, I don’t know, Marcus Bachmann, outing him (such as it was) would be a different story, too.

    Dude’s a nutjob though.

  21. 21

    Observation: Balloon Juice has a lot of lawyer commenters.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What these idiots like Thiel don’t realize, because they’re idiots, is that they are actively destabilizing society, which creates the conditions for them to literally lose their heads, as in tumbrel rides.

    Bismarck and FDR sought to stabilize things.

  23. 23
    KG says:

    @Cacti:

    However, if champerty was expanded to included no third-party covering of legal expenses or supplying representation, then yes. That would be very bad for groups like the ACLU, NAACP, and for the marginalized people they frequently represent.

    The insurance industry (and probably a decent percentage of the bar) would probably not be down for that outcome either.

  24. 24
    eric says:

    @Cacti: ….I think requiring disclosure (perhaps in Rule 26 disclosures) would be the vehicle to dissuading the issue because it would allow for third-party discovery with interesting privilege claims because (a) they are not joint plaintiffs/defendants and (b) there really is no legal common interest. ETA: the insurance industry is already on board with the Rule 26 paradigm for defendants.

    The ACLU is not ashamed of putting its name where its money goes.

  25. 25
    Marc says:

    Gawker has done some pretty awful things. You don’t need to like Hogan or Thiel to think that it’s shitty to out closeted gay men or to publish sex tapes recorded without the knowledge of the target. This post would have more of a point if he was flooding the zone with bogus lawsuits.

    In the end, I think that there really is such a thing as a right to privacy, and that the people behind Gawker got what they deserved. I’m sick and tired of the idea that anything is fair game if you don’t like someone.

  26. 26
    Miss Bianca says:

    @LAO: I’m gonna repeat this from downstream thread…just for you…

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/11/12/fc/1112fc4ff42eec2cac6c8608afc32f49.jpg

    ETA: Also, it’s not like any *other* inmates get to carry guns in prison. Honestly, unless this is some sort of sophisticated trolling operation, I can’t understand how even *these* guys can be this stupid. It’s almost poignant.

  27. 27
    LAO says:

    @Miss Bianca: I love it!

  28. 28

    @Marc: Thiel. Wasn’t. In. The. Closet.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @LAO: The stupid. It burns.

    These assholes need to rot in cells forever.

  30. 30
    Cat48 says:

    Hillary broke record keeping rules, per the State Dept IG, & cable is going nuts.
    It found that prior SOS also,broke same rules. I thought we already knew this.

  31. 31
    Bob In Portland says:

    Thiel is a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention.

  32. 32
    Jay B. says:

    Gawker is a media outlet, they are a union shop (now) and have had many entertaining pieces. They have several really good writers too. I have literally no idea how Hulk Hogan won a $140 million judgement against them for, basically telling the truth about him (even if zero people should give a flying fuck about anything that moron does or says), but Thiel’s involvement in this makes me care about it in a way I didn’t yesterday. I assume now that the jury who leveled the monetary judgement was bought off and that this is the next wave of wealthy/GOP destruction of the press and, ultimately, the truth.

  33. 33
    Marc says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Something can be an open secret in some circles and an actual secret in others. It’s not up to people like the Gawker staff to make those sorts of decisions.

  34. 34
    nutella says:

    It’s hard to know who are the bad guys in this. Gawker was out of line to publish that sex tape but Peter Thiel? Ugh! And Peter Thiel’s money? Almost always he uses it to damage the US economy, society, and government. I wish he’d gone ahead with founding that new country and moved there permanently.

    Gawker is continuing with stories though. This one sounds like a light topic but could make a splash in some circles: Is Donald Trump’s Hair a $60,000 Weave? A Gawker Investigation

    Most candidates would laugh this speculation off, but we know that
    1. Trump is as sensitive about his hair as his fingers
    2. Trump tends to lash out when sensitive areas are criticized
    3. Trump’s minions lash out whenever he is criticized
    I am impressed that the author published this with a byline, given the above and the fact that her name sounds female and Jewish. This is likely to be even less popular in the Trump camp that Ioffe’s bland article about Melania that caused such a ruckus.

  35. 35
    bystander says:

    @Cat48: Breaking rules will soon be referred to as multiple felony convictions. But it’s not helping in any event.

  36. 36
    Face says:

    Does this mean Hogan owes a % cut of the settlement booty to Thiel?

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    The rules of professional conduct cover this situation. If the court is concerned that the checkbook is improperly influencing the client’s decision making, it can inquire. If the lawyer thinks the checkbook is exerting undue influence, he or she can and should wothdraw, noisily.

  38. 38
    Marc says:

    @Jay B.: So you’re OK with publicizing sex tapes of someone recorded without their knowledge? Is this OK all of the time, or only for people whose politics or personality you don’t like? It’s OK to do this for women too, or just for men?

  39. 39
    elftx says:

    Didn’t Sheldon Adelson admit when bankrolling Gingrich he was doing it to have the lawsuit against him dropped?

  40. 40
    Cacti says:

    @nutella:

    Most candidates would laugh this speculation off, but we know that
    1. Trump is as sensitive about his hair as his fingers

    Speaking of which, just for LoLs, Vanity Fair has compiled a photographic history of The Donald’s tiny digits.

    Link

  41. 41
    scav says:

    @Cat48: never under-estimate how difficult reality or memoriy-above goldfish-standard are for some people. (Note also grudges are hard-wired:different system).

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    AHHHHHHH

    Thanks for explaining it.

  43. 43

    @Marc: It wasn’t a secret. He was out. He just didn’t go talking about it at VC meetings. And I should also point out it’s not like an article in Valleywag did any appreciable financial harm.

    Was it wrong of Out to do a 2008 cover story about the ‘glass closet’ with discussion of Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper?

  44. 44
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    The cluelessness of the Bundy clan and the incompetent lawyers who enable them would make a movie that renders “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” into a moody melodrama by comparison.

    Have the Coen Brothers write the script and produce it.

  45. 45
    KG says:

    @Jay B.:

    I have literally no idea how Hulk Hogan won a $140 million judgement against them for, basically telling the truth about him (even if zero people should give a flying fuck about anything that moron does or says)

    Truth is a defense in a claim for libel or slander. It is not a defense in a claim for breach of privacy. That’s ultimately what the case was about, Hogan claimed that Gwaker violated his right to privacy. Gwaker argued that it didn’t violate his right to privacy because he’s a public figure and thus his actions are newsworthy (it doesn’t help that much of the legal reasoning behind public figure law tends to be circular in nature). The jury found in favor of Hogan. Part of the issue is that the right to privacy and its application to public figures is very convoluted as it brings up First Amendment issues.

  46. 46
    karen marie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Great, isn’t it?

  47. 47
    Nicole says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Thiel has given money to O’Keefe for producing his bullshit exposés. Back in 1995 he also spoke out against Stanford U. extending benefits to same sex partnerships.

  48. 48
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @srv:

    On the downside, you can’t beat or threaten a robot in order to demand greater efficiency.

  49. 49
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cacti:

    Wow, they really are small! That’s hilarious.

  50. 50
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: The next “Fargo”: “Bunkerville”

  51. 51
    Nicole says:

    @Jay B.: It was a jury award. It’s unlikely to be upheld; juries like to give out huge awards in these kinds of cases but they don’t stand often.

    IANAL: I just actually kind of enjoy Gawker, despite its hard-on for Bernie, and did a lot of reading about this case on various sites.

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    My favorite one was how dainty the Donald’s hand looked when it was engulfed by Chris Christie’s comparative catcher’s mitt.

  53. 53

    @Nicole: gvg said “outing people is bad” with no qualifications. I was responding to that.

    Personally, I don’t think Thiel’s actions would have warranted a real (see my above posts) outing (if he’d been actually in the closet). We’re not talking about Lindsey Graham here. But I wouldn’t be especially upset about it either.

    Just because libertarians are stupid and icky doesn’t mean their sexuality is relevant absent damaging hypocrisy.

  54. 54
    Marc says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I generally respect people’s wishes as to what they want to make public, especially on matters that are basically no one else’s business. It’s not as if Gawker has a filter here – they outed someone at random because he was related to someone more prominent that they didn’t like (Geithner). This context makes me a whole lot less sympathetic to them.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I’m picturing Malkovich as Cliven, Chris Pratt as Ammon and Chris Kattan as Ryan…

    ETA: Christopher Walken as Larry Klayman.

  57. 57
    nutella says:

    @LAO:

    Mostly he’s an entitled idiot but if this is true

    I cannot participate in religious activities and temple covenants, and wear religious garments.

    then the jail is doing the wrong thing and should let him do any weird religious practices he wants. Well, short of actually leaving jail to go to the temple, that is.

    There are also claims that Cliven and others are in solitary and if true that should be fixed right now. There’s no reason for it and it looks like overreaction.

    I expect they can make a pretty good case for separating defendants charged with conspiracy so they don’t continue to conspire.

    But he’s nuts to think the bill of rights applies the same way in jail as it does on the outside. The entitlement and ignorance are amazing.

  58. 58
    Mike J says:

    Fire up your twitterizers, Warren is goingn after trump again

    Elizabeth Warren ‏@elizabethforma 5 minutes ago
    Anytime someone calls out @realDonaldTrump, he replies with right-wing conspiracies & lies. It’s not presidential – & getting very old.

  59. 59
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cacti:

    Yes, that one is probably the best, although the tiny thumb’s-up is also good.

  60. 60
    sharl says:

    @Jay B.:

    I have literally no idea how Hulk Hogan won a $140 million judgement against them [Gawker] for, basically telling the truth about him (even if zero people should give a flying fuck about anything that moron does or says), but Thiel’s involvement in this makes me care about it in a way I didn’t yesterday. I assume now that the jury who leveled the monetary judgement was bought off and that this is the next wave of wealthy/GOP destruction of the press and, ultimately, the truth.

    ~
    Related to your question, one thing I’ve been wondering about is if and how Hogan’s legal team managed to get a (possibly) favored Florida judge assigned to their case.

    Trial judge in Hulk Hogan-Gawker case is most reversed in Pinellas

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hulk Hogan has plenty of reasons to celebrate his $140 million win against the website Gawker over its publication of a sex tape.

    But this fact may give the former professional wrestler pause: Over the last four years, the judge who oversaw his trial has been reversed on appeal more times than any of her colleagues in Pinellas County.

    The latest setback for Circuit Judge Pamela A.M. Campbell, who hears civil cases, came at an inopportune moment — in the middle of Hogan’s two-week invasion of privacy trial against Gawker Media. With national attention trained on Campbell’s courtroom, Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned her decision to keep roughly 2,000 documents confidential, a ruling that could loom large in Gawker’s expected appeal.

    A review of Campbell’s cases shows that since 2012, the appellate court has reversed her decisions 22 times, all for errors the court blamed on the judge.

    Lawyers who have appeared before Campbell are loath to discuss her practices on the record — criticizing a judge is not just bad for business, it can land lawyers in trouble with the Florida Bar. But several interviewed for this story said they were not surprised to learn she is the most reversed circuit judge in the county.

    A graduate of Stetson University College of Law, Campbell practiced guardianship and probate law for years before finding herself in the middle of one of Florida’s biggest controversies. She represented the parents of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman whose family fought the removal of her feeding tube, igniting a national debate over life and death. After years of appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case, and Schiavo died in 2005.

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who intervened in the case on Schiavo’s parents’ behalf, appointed Campbell to the bench in 2006.

  61. 61
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Yeah, all excellent choices…is it wrong that I’m still seeing Steve Buscemi as Ryan? He’s probably too old, tho’.

  62. 62
    Poopyman says:

    @Cat48: It’s long been felt in certain circles of the USG that folks at DoState consider themselves Special Snowflakes. I’m not at all surprised that each SoState (regardless of party) drinks the Kool Aide sooner than later,since the rules for the lesser folks don’t apply to them.

  63. 63
    infovore says:

    And with that, one more thought: Franklin Roosevelt created the social welfare state in the US as an alternative to revolution.

    Otto von Bismarck created welfare state programs in 1880s Germany for the same reasons.

    Today’s plutocrats might want to think about that.

    That doesn’t appear to be their strong suit.

  64. 64
    gogol's wife says:

    @liberal:

    Interesting, but I was struck by this gobsmacking passage: “Trump’s narcissism is complicated by his transparent insecurity. But I actually find Barack Obama’s serenely untroubled narcissism to be creepier.”

  65. 65
    Bill says:

    Hogan’s lawyers made decisions against Hogan’s best interests, withdrawing a claim that would have required Gawker’s insurance company to pay damages rather than the company itself–a move that made Nick Denton, Gawker Media’s founder and CEO, suspect that a Silicon Valley millionaire was behind the suit.

    I leave it to the actual lawyers to weigh in on the ethics (and consequences, if any) for such a litigation approach.

    Ok, as a lawyer I’ll chime in. Third party funding of litigation is permissible so long as the actual party continues to control the litigation, and the lawyer adheres to rules regarding client communication, strategy etc… The statement above is a bit misleading. It leaves the reader with the impression that the lawyer listened to the person paying the bills rather than Hogan, without consulting with Hogan or getting his approval. It’s entirely possible that the issue was thoroughly discussed between Hogan and his lawyer, and this strategy is what Hogan wanted. We’ll probably never know though because that communication is privileged.

  66. 66
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cat48:

    It found that prior SOS also,broke same rules.

    So what? I learned the “Johnny/Janey did it, too!” excuse doesn’t work in Kindergarten. Roughly.

    Hillary’s been running/gunning for President for about as long as I’ve been alive; she could have rigorously followed all rules but chose not to do so for reasons unknown to me.

  67. 67
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    What these idiots like Thiel don’t realize, because they’re idiots, is that they are actively destabilizing society, which creates the conditions for them to literally lose their heads, as in tumbrel rides.

    Bismarck and FDR sought to stabilize things.

    New money, short memory. Old money knew enough to keep the rabble from rioting. Today’s Masters of the Universe only think of today.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    Should I feel torn? I don’t care about Gawker with respect to this issue, nor do I see plutocrats damaging society as a result of Thiel funding this lawsuit.

    But then again, I don’t quite see Gawker as an online news organization.

    In plainer terms: to remain democracies, modern democractic states need to tax polity-buying wealth out of individual hands; income taxes and a levy on inheritances. A 90% rate that kicks in well below an estate value of a billion bucks seems a good place to start.

    I understand that this is becoming the new conventional wisdom, but at worst this leads to a kind of infantile socialism a la Bernie. I am all for higher tax rates as well as other tax reforms. But playing with the economic system does not insure good political outcomes, let alone a stable democracy.

    Income inequality is a world wide problem. The largest increase in billionaires has been in China, which is not a democracy, and the Chinese plutocrats have become as adept at offshoring their money as US and British billionaires or Russian oligarchs. Corporations have also found ways to park billions in profits off shore. None of this money can be taxed or used for any useful purpose.

    And the other shoe: there is no guarantee that increased tax revenues will be used wisely or “redistributed” in any way that maximizes prosperity or political stability. It comes down to that old cliche, the devil is in the details.

  69. 69

    @Marc: I’m not sympathetic to Gawker. That Conde Nast piece was awful and damn near cost them their entire corporation. I basically loathe Nick Denton in particular and Valleywag in general. I’m not defending Gawker here.

    That doesn’t make the Thiel outing, such as it was, not a non-issue. The Conde Nast thing was scummy through and through, absolutely disgusting. Thiel, eh. Would I have done it? Nah.

  70. 70
    🌷 Martin says:

    @srv:

    Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.

    One factory has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots”, a government official told the South China Morning Post.

    I blame NAFTA.

  71. 71
    eric says:

    @Bill: if the communication is between the funder and the lawyer, why is it privileged?

  72. 72
    Mike J says:

    @🌷 Martin: Obviously the workers should accept less money and skip perks like suicides prevention nets.

  73. 73
    joel hanes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    she could have rigorously followed all rules

    So you missed the part that said that State’s IT infrastructure is so antiquated that it would not work with the telephones owned by its staffers, and the part that said that State’s laptops were so antiquated and slow as to be unusable for actual work, and the part which notes that to comply with the official policy she would have needed to print out many thousands of emails and file the paper copies with some internal State office?

    IIRC, State’s servers got hacked, but Sec. Clinton’s basement email server did not.

  74. 74

    @🌷 Martin: Shush, you. Didn’t you hear you’re the Thomas Friedman of Balloon-Juice? Robots don’t exist.

  75. 75
    scav says:

    @The Dangerman: Possibly because wandering into an established organization with real tasks ahead of it, announcing large chunks they’ve done in past is wrong wrong wrong because I’ve got political ambitions (and no doubt scrutinizing all departmental actions in the same self-serving light) isn’t perhaps the fast way to keep the whole charabang on the road moving forward, let alone make friends and maintain collegial relations. Or, I suppose it is far easier to read a far darker and more evil intent in her following SOP than everyone else.

  76. 76
    Face says:

    @Nicole: It was just announced that it was upheld (cant link). Every last dime. So there’s that.

  77. 77
    LAO says:

    @nutella: I rarely take the position of siding with prison authorities — separation orders are, IMO, mostly bullshit and I agree that inmates — especially pretrial detainees — don’t give up all of their constitutional rights. The conditions of confinement here, seem too strict to me but its not built on animus to the Bundy, but the fact that this appears to be a local, post-conviction facility.

    But what I thought was amusing was, how over the top his complaints are — especially his inability to carry a firearm.

  78. 78
    Mike J says:

    Matthew Yglesias ‏@mattyglesias 18 minutes ago Washington, DC
    Tough election for single issue email server management voters who also aren’t into white nationalism.

  79. 79
    smith says:

    @joel hanes: As a former federal employee, I can guarantee you that a minimum of 98% of federal employees have violated some record keeping rule or other. Same with information security. Some of those rules are fiendishly convoluted and some are contradictory or virtually impossible to follow.

  80. 80
    liberal says:

    @gogol’s wife: Not saying that I agreed with all of it. Just continue to find it amusing who will whore themselves out to Trump, and who won’t. (It’s not like this proclamation is enough to absolve Murray of his considerable sins.)

  81. 81
    Bill says:

    @eric: That’s not the communication I was referring to. Communication between Hogan (the actual client) and the lawyer are privileged.

  82. 82
    LAO says:

    @Miss Bianca: I would watch that.

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: NO WAY on Chris Pratt — he is way to lovable.

  83. 83
    liberal says:

    @Mike J: Reminds me of a funny tweet Billmon retweeted: “I’m proBernie but would vote Hillary as I am a one issue voter and that issue is not opening the seventh seal and ushering in the apocalypse”.

    Which in turn reminds me of an awesome bumper sticker from 2004: Bush/Cheney 2004: Don’t Change Horsemen mid-Apocalypse

  84. 84
    Cat48 says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Agree, rules should be followed on record keeping. They should be followed on Classified Information, too, but they are not. I think everyone (media) should wait for the FBI decision before they have a melt down, as most of this Info was out there,not new.

  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Just because robots exist doesn’t mean than TF isn’t an idiot.

  86. 86
    liberal says:

    @Cat48: Impossible…the entire world works by downloading possibly privileged data onto their own desktop/laptop, importing it into Excel, then going from there.

  87. 87
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Silicon Valley geeks constantly quote things Peter Thiel says as if he were some sort of sage Thought Leader of canny futurism, and it drives me up the wall.

  88. 88
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Robots don’t exist.

    Well, they do exist but our populist blog uprising will force them to not exist, and computers will vanish as well, and we can get back to the salad days of mining salt by hand as God and the AFL-CIO intended.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Marc:

    Yeah, I don’t really get the notion that it’s allowable to circulate private photos or videos of someone just because they’re a public figure. The stolen iPhone celebrity photos really bothered me, too. Being an actor or musician should not have to mean giving up all right to your privacy if jerks figure out how to steal your information.

  90. 90
    Poopyman says:

    @🌷 Martin: The salt mines are a union shop? I did not know that.

  91. 91
    Miss Bianca says:

    @LAO: I think just as a writing exercise it would be fun to script some of the encounters with their lawyers.

    “Yeah, and another thing – you know they won’t let me carry my piece in here? And I’ve been *threatened*!”

    “I’m pretty sure they don’t let any of the inmates carry guns, Ryan.”

    “Are you *sure*? My Second Amendment rights are being violated!”

    “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I learned that in law school.”

    “Well, that’s bullshit, man. Add that to my motion. You’re going to add that to my motion, right? That my Second Amendment rights are being violated?”

    “Uh…”

    “Come on! What am I paying you for?”

    “Uh…you’re *not* paying me, actually…”

  92. 92
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @LAO: Someone needs to tell Bundy to ask Tim McVeigh about how his rights to free assembly and free speech are being violated by the fact he’s now dead for taking things one step further than he did. He’s lucky he’s alive to whine like a little Constitutional Crybaby.

    And then they need to tell him to put his Big Girl Garments on and STFU.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav:

    Or, I suppose it is far easier to read a far darker and more evil intent in her following SOP than everyone else.

    DING DING DING DING DING

    She’s just utterly evil, unlike war criminal Condi Rice, for example.

  94. 94
    Gravenstone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: As well as a large cohort in the STEM camp.

  95. 95
    Trollhattan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    At least the show “Silicon Valley” understands. “I’m in the three-comma club!” “Yeah, you invented internet radio a decade ago.”

  96. 96

    @liberal: A couple members of our esteemed commentariat called Emoji Martin that the other day for having the unmitigated audacity to point out that automation/internationalization is coming and doesn’t really fit into a traditional 20th-century labor model.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    So does that mean that Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell are going to be equally prosecuted for breaking the exact same rules?

    If you think that they are, I have a lovely bridge to sell you, barely used.

  98. 98
    LAO says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Constitutional Crybaby.

    Thanks for the name of my new band. (Although I may go with Constitutional Crybabies)

    @Miss Bianca: You are a treasure.

  99. 99
    eric says:

    @Bill</a@Bill: but if it is shared in anyway with the Funder, would it obviate the privilege. That set up would make me very nervous as the lawyer.

  100. 100
    Trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Truly an encyclopedic fauxtrage. “Hillary could have followed rules yet to be written, and did not. I cannot trust somebody with this decisionmaking ability anywhere near the White House.”

    Quite.

  101. 101

    @Matt McIrvin: So glad I don’t run in those circles. They really are the types who would think David Brooks a sage if they were thirty years older.

    @Trollhattan: That show has us dead to rights.

  102. 102
    D58826 says:

    This is totally OT but somehow appropriate with Memorial day weekend coming up. It also puts to shame all those true Murkins whose patriotism extends no further than a lapel pin. Didn’t realize that he never did a big budget war film even though ‘Strategic Air command’ was kinda war related. The in flight photography was great

    This is the best line ‘ When interviewed for the seminal 1970s documentary series “The World at War,” he was identified as “Squadron Commander James Stewart” and spoke only of the bombing campaign.

    The conservative Stewart and the liberal Fonda were life long friends, they just skipped politics.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..78270.html

  103. 103

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    What these idiots like Thiel don’t realize, because they’re idiots, is that they are actively destabilizing society, which creates the conditions for them to literally lose their heads, as in tumbrel rides.

    It also creates conditions for them to take over completely, which is what they’re after. I guess they’re willing to take that gamble with all our lives.

  104. 104
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Okay. That makes sense. I suppose Thiel gets a big chunk of Hogan’s bounty. Things that make you go hmmmm.

  105. 105
    Joel says:

    Like I said, it’s too bad the guy who parodied Thiel in Silicon Valley was the one who was struck by cancer.

  106. 106
    Terry chay says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Peter Theil was not outed a few years ago. He was outed in 2007. If that was the case, then the editor of ValleyWag at the time was an openly-gay man so it was not out of viciousness that others are claiming. The audience of ValleyWag unlike other Gawker properties was (is?) Silicon Valley and San Francisco tech and venture funded scene: both super gay-tolerant subgroups of two super gay tolerant areas who look at closeted gays as an anachronism. I bet that was the spirit of the article.

    In any case Valleywag was shuttered in 2009. And it being restarted recently (2013?) and has an entirely different editorial staff and agenda from what I heard.

    Guy holds a grudge over nothing especially since he is openly gay is and has been for the last 5 years To my knowedge. My guess is he’s doing it because he made a threat back then and wants to follow through.

  107. 107
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Cat48: Yawn. Is this supposed to be the reason we dump Secretary Clinton and vote for the unqualified loony with the possum on his head?

  108. 108
    Gravenstone says:

    @🌷 Martin: That Butlerian Jihad is gonna be an awful tough sell to a crowd wh communicates via computer….

  109. 109
    chopper says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    champertous

    come on, now. the correct word is “champeriffic”.

  110. 110
    D58826 says:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....acies.html

    A walk down Clinton memory lane for those to young to have experienced it’s original Broadway tour.

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Hillary’s been running/gunning for President for about as long as I’ve been alive

    this explains a lot.

  112. 112
    RaflW says:

    The very forceful push in my lifetime by the GOP to eliminate the Estate Tax is one of the bigger and more despicable anti-American efforts. All men* are created equal, but some get to inherit Saudi sheik level bankrolls as infants. Our founders were concerned about shaking off the yolk of royalty, and of taxation without representation. Our country is devolving to what they would hate, I’d wager.

    *and women, black and brown people, trans, queers, etc. Just using the stilted 1700s language for a reminder of how (some of us) have evolved in our thinking.

  113. 113
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Shh. This election is all about returning to better times, when whites ruled all and when TWUA workers could toil at textile piecework, making the same pair of underwear by hand for 40 hours a week, and when women knew that was their place in the world, and not lording over us with their nutrition charts, movies about busting ghosts, and non-ultra-violent video games.

  114. 114

    @Major Major Major Major: Do we know for sure that Martin is not a robot?

  115. 115
    Mike J says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: UV Thunder built him in the garage.

  116. 116
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Gravenstone: Shush now. They know when the computers are gone they’ll all spill out into the streets. They’ll get to making those pro-labor signs once they finish a few more Overwatch matches.

  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    @liberal:

    When you’ve lost Charles Murray…

    Of course, the National Review impotently tried to block Trump’s rise earlier this campaign season. More than anything else, they fear that Trump will sever the connections between the lumpen masses and their supposed superiors. You can’t be The Establishment if you don’t have minions.

    I wasn’t expecting this Bell Curve half gainer with a double twist:

    But I cannot end without urging you to resist that sin to which people with high IQs (which most of you have) are unusually prone: Using your intellectual powers to convince yourself of something despite the evidence plainly before you. Just watch and listen to the man.

    Poor little Ubermen. They are too strong and mighty for their own good.

  118. 118

    @sharl:

    She represented the parents of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman whose family fought the removal of her feeding tube, igniting a national debate over life and death. After years of appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case, and Schiavo died in 2005.

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who intervened in the case on Schiavo’s parents’ behalf, appointed Campbell to the bench in 2006.

    So she was made a judge as a payback for helping to mess with Terry Schaivo’s death. Aren’t Republicans wonderful?

  119. 119
    gogol's wife says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yeah, that was a good one.

  120. 120
    WereBear says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Thinking is for the little people.

  121. 121
    Applejinx says:

    @nutella: Yeah, but I suspect he considers ‘guns’ religious garments.

  122. 122

    @The Dangerman:

    she could have rigorously followed all rules but chose not to do so for reasons unknown to me.

    AFAIK, the main reason is because the State Department’s IT infrastructure was so bad it was effectively impossible to get any work done while following the rules.

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It also creates conditions for them to take over completely, which is what they’re after. I guess they’re willing to take that gamble with all our lives.

    uh huh
    uh huh

  124. 124
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🌷 Martin: Your snark is up-to-the-minute!

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “bleep, bloop…buggy whips..blarq, wheee…1099 workers inevitable paradise…blurb…Gilded Age is The Greatest Age…bleep, blop, bloop”

  126. 126
    D58826 says:

    @Roger Moore: and for two other words – ken star

  127. 127
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Matt McIrvin: schrodinger’s cat needs to up his game. Should have questioned if I was a synth rather than a robot.

  128. 128

    @🌷 Martin: That’s s too hip for a cat that does not exist.

  129. 129
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🌷 Martin: An Omnic!

  130. 130
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Applejinx: Heh. Indeed.

  131. 131
    D58826 says:

    Just saw on one of politcos hatchet jobs that DOJ supposedly drew up draft indictments of Bill/Hillary over whitewater in 1993. There are several law suits demanding that they be released. Whiter what Politico is reporting is true doesn’t really matter any more. At this point no matter what you say or write, no matter how silly or outrageous, no matter how scurrilous, its ok if you are talking about Bill or Hillary. It is an oft repeat line that you have to be nuts to run for the presidency. In Hillary’s case that is doubly so. She could have left State as a well respected figure, enjoyed her speaking fees and spoiled her grandkids. Instead she wants to deal with the infantile antics of the GOP

  132. 132

    @🌷 Martin:

    schrodinger’s cat needs to up his game.

    Her game; Schrodinger’s Cat is most definitely a woman.

  133. 133
    gene108 says:

    @gvg:

    I wonder if someone can be insane by reason of upbringing.

    From my anecdotal experience, upbringing is a driving factor that contributes to mental illness in adulthood.

    Destructive thought patterns are created and reinforced at home.

  134. 134

    @gene108: There was an adopted separated twin study, fairly widely cited IIRC (been a while since undergrad) in… Scandinavia? It of course had severe limitations by nature. But it found that having a schizotypal adoptive parent (mother?) and normie genes was correlated with adult schizotypal behaviors, on par with having a normie adoptive parent and schizotypal genes.

  135. 135
    The Dangerman says:

    Hold on; I’m repeatedly told the reason that Hillary do what she did was that the IT in State was antiquated? Seriously? How does leading an organization (she was, after SoS) with antiquated IT (that she did not fix, apparently) reflect well on Hillary?

    As always, long as excuses (waaah, “everybody did it”, waaaah “they made me use Windows”) and short on following rules. Disgusting.

  136. 136

    @The Dangerman: The White House wasn’t even up to snuff IT-wise to let Obama use a BlackBerry in 2009. These things move slooooooooooowly.

    And what does the status of an organization when you get there have to do with the price of eggs, anyway?

  137. 137
    D58826 says:

    @The Dangerman: Lets start at the beginning. Congress appropriates the money. Hillary can’t spend money that she hasn’t been appropriated.. When confronted with the choice of spending a limited amount of money on current operations or a long term IT project she chose the former. Why Didn’t Colin/Condi fix the problem. They had eight years, in which the GOP controlled Congress for 6. And since 2010 Congress has not been passing spending bills that increase government spending.

  138. 138
    PJ says:

    @KG: Gawker was not helped by the fact that the editor who approved the posting on Hogan made a child pornography joke during his deposition. I don’t imagine that went over well with the jurors or the judge.

  139. 139
    Socraticsilence says:

    @LAO:

    Look, if he needs religious accommodations I’m okay with that but is he really arguing his Second Amendment Rights are being violated in Jail? I mean even the most expansive judicial rulings on the Second wouldn’t back that– even people like Thomas would find that a laughable assertion– Hell, even libertarians would make little jerk off motions if you tried to argue that.

  140. 140
    D58826 says:

    and another true Murkin patriots reputation bites the dust

    All told,” Kyle wrote in his book, “I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze [Stars], all for valor.”
    But Kyle, who was murdered by a fellow military veteran several years after leaving the Navy, embellished his military record, according to internal Navy documents obtained by The Intercept. During his 10 years of military service and four deployments, Kyle earned one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with Valor, a record confirmed by Navy officials.

    Still a hero but a bit tarnished

    https://theintercept.com/2016/05/25/american-sniper-chris-kyle-distorted-his-military-record-documents-show/

  141. 141
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    We now have a generation of tech billionaires whose grew up watching Lex Luthor, Tyrell Corporation and Cyberdyne Systems.

    @Terry chay:

    If that was the case, then the editor of ValleyWag at the time was an openly-gay man so it was not out of viciousness that others are claiming.

    Indeed, it was Owen Thomas (who is a friend of friends) back in late 2007, and he made his rationale clear at the time:

    On Sand Hill Road, like funds like. The clubby ranks of VCs are mostly straight, white and male. They instinctively prefer entrepreneurs who remind them of themselves. At best, it’s a wrongheaded sense of caution. At worst, it’s prejudice with a handy alibi.

    This is still largely the case: the willingness of Sand Hill Road to fund founders who have the outward appearances of a Zuckerberg has been well documented, even if there’s not much there there.

    Of course, Denton himself is gay, and in the top comment to that Valleywag post he noted that “when I was looking into the story, a year ago, I got a series of messages relaying the destruction that would rain down on me, and various innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, if a story ever ran.” Well, it’s raining.

  142. 142
    J R in WV says:

    @LAO:

    Thanks for keeping us informed of events in the Loon Refuge Conspirators, their activites are so entertaining.

    Just the other day I web-surfed to a financial advice web center warning that the economy was on the verge of total collapse. Then I noticed that they were the Sovereign Wealth Group – or words to that effect, including “sovereign” – which was a clue that they are the same group of nuts who fomented the Loon Conspiracy!

    They are everywhere.

  143. 143
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Hogan’s lawyers made decisions against Hogan’s best interests

    If this can be proven – and that may not be too difficult – it’s one of the few things a lawyer can do that can get them disbarred permanently. Sadly, the guy who paid for the whole nasty business walks.

  144. 144
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    My favorite part, so far, is pro-se Ryan Bundy’s status report

    @LAO: Maybe when he gets out he can become an advocate for reform of the justice system, and finally do some good with his miserable life.

    Oh wait, I forgot: he’s never getting out. Never mind.

  145. 145

    Thiel is a problem and he’s going to continue to be a problem. Fortunately seems to be so out of touch with reality that he’s not doing that much damage most of the time. Still, this is a worrisome case.

  146. 146
    The Dangerman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The White House wasn’t even up to snuff IT-wise to let Obama use a BlackBerry in 2009.

    And what did Obama do?

    Don’t rush, I can wait…

    ….oh yeah, he fixed the problem. Pretty damned quickly, I suspect.

    Amazing what a little leadership can do.

  147. 147
    joel hanes says:

    @🌷 Martin: 008211246

    Should have questioned if I was a synth rather than a robot.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    AFAICT, the only way to truly make the determination is to kill the subject and loot the corpse. If you find synth components, well then. Otherwise, you’ll get an Advanced Targeting card that has some useful scrap.

  148. 148
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerged from the meeting with Obama and announced live on Japanese television that he raised a formal protest over the death, which he said shocked not only Okinawa but all of Japan.

    “I firmly launched a protest as the Japanese prime minister in regards to the most recent case in Okinawa,” Abe said right off the top. “The entire time for the small group discussion was spent on the specific case in Okinawa, and I feel profound resentment for this self-centered and despicable crime.”

    @srv: The cure is easy: make the base a closed base. No servicemen are allowed to leave. The Okinawans, surprisingly, consider that unacceptable. Seems like they like our men spending cash there or something.

    They want a US base, they want us paying for their defense, but they don’t want to deal with the inevitable problems. They can’t have it both ways. Hell, the Philippines don’t have a twentieth of the resources Japan has and they threw us out. Japan has that choice. They’ve refused it time and time again.

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yes, and engineers, and scholars, and highly educated people in general. Generally a good thing. Some loons, too, which is, well, less good, but not altogether bad either.

  150. 150
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Amusing take on this whole Thiel thing: Felix Salmon is speculating that Thiel himself is the source for the Forbes story. He notes that nowhere in the story nor in the Sorkin follow-up in the NYT does anyone say “Thiel refused to comment.”

  151. 151
    chopper says:

    @The Dangerman:

    ….oh yeah, he fixed the problem

    yes, the president did that. and it figures that once hilz is the president, she would be able to make that happen as well.

  152. 152
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @The Dangerman:

    How does leading an organization (she was, after SoS) with antiquated IT (that she did not fix, apparently) reflect well on Hillary?

    Even if she did initiate upgrading State’s IT, it’d still be in the Request for Proposal stage. Government IT works at a snail’s pace.

  153. 153
    chopper says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    likewise, the NSA decided on a blackberry for the president. when clinton asked for one, the NSA said no. i’m not sure what she was supposed to do at that point, ‘leadership’ the NSA into giving her one? use the ‘bully pulpit’?

    i swear to god some of these bernie guys talking about hillary sound like homer simpson talking about flanders.

  154. 154
    chopper says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Government IT works at a snail’s pace.

    you’re telling me. oy, this stuff is old.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    chopper says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    “Mr. Koufax, don’t you think Flanders is a big jerk?”

  157. 157
    Anne Laurie says:

    Strictly for your amusement, Tom:

    (Since you beat me to the front page — with a much better, more informed post than I could’ve put together)

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I seem to recall that Ms Clinton did not trust federal system administrators with her email, and thus decided to use her own servers. She has had some experience with betrayal of secrets that were no else’s business, after all.

    Maybe a smart move, as 99% of federal sysadmins are contractors, like Ed Snowden. Also, as discussed, previous Secretaries of State followed similar practices as Ms Clinton did.

  159. 159
    nutella says:

    So a new filing in the Malheur case was made by the Oregonian newspaper against Grant County officials complaining about FOIA violations. It is quite distinctive for a Bundy-related document in that it sounds like it was written by a literate person who has heard of and possibly even read the actual laws he refers to.

  160. 160
    Peter Thiel says:

    This entire discussion is inflammatory and defamatory. I’m having my lawyer file an injunction to shit this place down. Unfortunately, the judge I use is on vacation until next week.

  161. 161
    Bill says:

    @eric: This scenario happens all the time with insurance companies. You have to be careful as the lawyer.

  162. 162
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Her game; Schrodinger’s Cat is most definitely a woman.

    Oh dear. My apologies, Schrodinger’s Cat. Almost certain there was some gender bias behind that assumption of mine.

  163. 163
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Hold on; I’m repeatedly told the reason that Hillary do what she did was that the IT in State was antiquated? Seriously? How does leading an organization (she was, after SoS) with antiquated IT (that she did not fix, apparently) reflect well on Hillary?

    Jesus fuck, federal IT procurement has mostly evolved by ten-year convulsions. It’s got better in recent years, but the idea that Secretary Clinton could “fix” the combination of procurement and red tape is fantasy land. The tech side of the Obama campaign team that joined the White House staff went from Macs and smartphones to being assigned systems running Windows XP.

  164. 164
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    He notes that nowhere in the story nor in the Sorkin follow-up in the NYT does anyone say “Thiel refused to comment.”

    In the original Forbes piece: “A spokesperson for Thiel declined to comment.”

  165. 165
    🌷 Martin says:

    @joel hanes:

    AFAICT, the only way to truly make the determination is to kill the subject and loot the corpse. If you find synth components, well then. Otherwise, you’ll get an Advanced Targeting card that has some useful scrap.

    I think you can also strip them bare and check their energy resistance.

    Worth noting that SS can have even higher energy resistances when laid bare. (I am a strong proponent of the theory that SS is an experimental upgradable synth given that the perk system obviously doesn’t apply to any other human given that gravy has been running around for a few decades and not only can’t manage to unlock a simple door to power up some power armor, but hasn’t seen even half as much of the map as I have in 2 weeks. I rationalize my Mary Sueness by accepting that I am neither human nor a normal synth. That said, I have my doubts about gravy’s (and some others) humanness. No matter how many times I fat man them, they refuse to die, unlike me. That’s highly suspicious.)

  166. 166
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: That’s what I get for trusting Felix and not reading the article.

  167. 167
    Dmbeaster says:

    We have three basic methods for regulating conduct. One is doing nothing and letting raw economic power decide things. Another is government regulation backed with meaningful enforcement and penalties. A third is private use of courts which acts like a form of government regulation only directed by those with claims, and also only works if meaningful remedies are achievable.

    The Gawker case is the third prong. The fact that it was financed by an angry rich guy does not matter much. Gawker was grossly out of line, and other than a private lawsuit, what would be the remedy for policing its bad behavior?

    And as noted above, many lawsuits seeking positive social results are funded by angry rich guys. Since lawsuits are a prime way in which social norms are enforced, I would not go too far down the road of limiting how they might be financed. The right wing has already cornered the market on that strategy, and it is called “tort reform.”

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