Open Thread: Apparently April Fools’ Day Has Been Rescheduled

… To July 3rd. Does an ambitious couple of kingmakers brand themselves the ‘WTF Party’ in all seriousness? Well, they’re venture capitalists quoting gamer lingo, so…

Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman want to hack the Democratic Party.

Not literally. Not the likes of what befell the team behind Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, resulting in scores of private emails being published online — and countless news stories that helped seal her defeat. No, Pincus, the co-founder of Zynga, and Hoffman, the brains behind LinkedIn, want to force Democrats to rewire their philosophical core, from their agenda to the way they choose candidates in elections — the stuff of politics, they said, that had been out of reach for most voters long before Donald Trump became president.

That’s the guiding principle behind Win the Future, a new project by the tech duo that’s launching in time for July 4. The effort — called, yes, WTF for short — aims to be “a new movement and force within the Democratic Party, which can act like its own virtual party,” said Pincus, its lead architect, during an interview.

Think of WTF as equal parts platform and movement. Its new website will put political topics up for a vote — and the most resonant ideas will form the basis of the organization’s orthodoxy. To start, the group will query supporters on two campaigns: Whether or not they believe engineering degrees should be free to all Americans, and if they oppose lawmakers who don’t call for Trump’s immediate impeachment.

Participants can submit their own proposals for platform planks — and if they win enough support, primarily through likes and retweets on Twitter, they’ll become part of WTF’s political DNA, too. Meanwhile, WTF plans to raise money in a bid to turn its most popular policy positions into billboard ads that will appear near airports serving Washington, D.C., ensuring that “members of Congress see it,” Pincus said…

Hard to top LGM‘s post: Gentlemen, Start Your Wanking!

Pincus, who has spent millions backing Democratic campaigns and organizations up and down the ticket for over a decade, said a major part of WTF came from his dissatisfaction with the way the Democratic Party was spending its energy and his money…

“I just don’t feel respected in the political process as a large donor or as a citizen voter,” Pincus said. “I just feel patronized. Everything I get is like, ‘Hey, you couldn’t possibly — it’s too complex and sophisticated what really goes on,’ and, ‘Hey, leave it to us, and we will go and represent you and fight the good fight, and just give us money.'” …

I lucked into a huge pile of money by latching on to an addictive fad that other people did all the work to implement. Why can’t I get some RESPECT from you professionals?

116 replies
  1. 1
    Schlemazel says:

    If I had billions I would gladly dump them into several organizations that are already fighting the good fight and building the ground game. That is unless my ego were so huge I thought I needed to be in control of everything. Then I would piss it all away on lame bullshit that make people say “WTF?”

  2. 2

    I snorted when I saw the phrase “the brains behind LinkedIn.” I had no idea they thought they had such a thing.

    I predict that this will get about as far as Americans Elect and other such instant classics.

    ETA: This is some classic Gen-X-pretending-to-understand-Millennials bullshit, btw.

  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    I really hate everyone and only need a small 600 square foot cottage with solar on about .25 acres in a nice quiet abandoned mountain somewhere. Plus good internet for gaming. Because, these fuckers. And you know that the merest presence of a million dollars gets you treated like you’re smart, so goddamned tech billionaires will get traction on this fuckwittery of douches.

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    Well, well, well

    Acknowledging that Senate Republicans may not be able to pass their ObamaCare repeal legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning that action will then have to be taken to stabilize insurance markets.

    “If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to private health insurance markets must occur,” McConnell said a Rotary Club meeting in Kentucky on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    @Major Major Major Major: ‘The brains behind Zynga’ isn’t much better. Politics, brought to you by the makers of FarmVille!

  6. 6
    Mike J says:

    That’s Dems’ problem with megadonors; way to many want to start something new & be in charge rather than supporting what’s already there

    Some of their Bernie come lately candidates too.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Loomis at LGM reads these people so we don’t have to.

    National Nurses United president RoseAnn DeMoro, fresh off such insights as “Donald Trump is our best hope for single payer” and “Tom Perez is the greatest establishment neoliberal in human history,” comments in this profile of Kamala Harris.

    “She’s not on our radar,” RoseAnn DeMoro, a Sanders ally and the executive director of National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association, said of Ms. Harris. “She’s one of the people the Democratic Party is putting up. In terms of where the progressives live, I don’t think there’s any ‘there’ there.”

    Retch.

  8. 8
    different-church-lady says:

    1) LinkedIn? Isn’t it that thing that everyone belongs to and nobody uses?
    2) [preempted by Mx4]: Brains! LinkedIn! Behind! Knee-slapper!
    3) ALGORITHMS!
    4) But you know, despite all the invitation for snark and mockery, at least they’re trying something.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    @Yarrow: Sounds like he’s trying to convince his caucus that it’s now or never. Of course, he probably is lying; if this week’s version isn’t any better than last week’s (and thanks to Ted Cruz, it might well be worse), I’m sure he’ll try again.

  10. 10

    @dmsilev: Yeah, but he’s only described as a co-founder; the LinkedIn guy they use the word ‘brains’ for.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    VC on the case huh?

  12. 12
    gene108 says:

    Republicans let their mega-donors take over their Party and electorally it seems to have worked out for them.

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    @Yarrow: Reality: it’ll getcha every time.

  14. 14

    @different-church-lady: I also think of this one a lot when I read in the press that somebody’s ‘using’ ‘machine learning’.

  15. 15
    dr. bloor says:

    It’s about time someone recognized that free engineering degrees are the linchpin issue of our times.

  16. 16
    japa21 says:

    No an April Fool’s joke but good news. The Illinois House just overrode Rauner’s veto of the new budget (though it was close). Rauner will whine and whine, but screw him.

  17. 17
    NCSteve says:

    Once again thinking about crowdsourcing my exciting new Tumbrels and Guillotines project.

  18. 18
    Gravenstone says:

    @Yarrow: Apparently someone got Mitchypoo by the short and curlies long enough to make him understand the insurance markets (and the filthy luchre they contribute) will go tits up without serious intervention.

  19. 19
    debbie says:

    Participants can submit their own proposals for platform planks — and if they win enough support, primarily through likes and retweets on Twitter, they’ll become part of WTF’s political DNA, too.

    Any wanker can retweet or like multiple times, including RWNJs looking to undermine the process; determining popularity this way will only turn WTF to POF (Party of Fools).

    I’m beginning to agree with ruemera’s plan; just go off the grid. When Trump fails, his supporters will attack whoever comes next, much as we have been attacking Trump. This will never stop.

  20. 20
    trollhattan says:

    @raven: In Cupertino, every day is Tet.

  21. 21
    japa21 says:

    And in what would normally be considered an April’s Fool joke, the Brewers, my beloved team in Milwaukee, have just assured they will be in first place at the All-Star break. Most of the “experts” had them finishing 20 games below 500.

  22. 22
    bystander says:

    Just saw Karen Tumulty promoting a WaPo article by Paul Kane, the thesis of which is that the repubs do not have a good healthcare bill because they never expected Trump to win. How do these hacks get by with it?

    I’m down with funding online popularity polls that will never be hacked to determine the future of the Democratic Party. It has to be at least as successful as LinkedIn.

  23. 23
    Timurid says:

    @gene108:

    The emergence of the clown car primary “system” (driven largely by competing cliques of mega donors) has produced nothing but bad results for the GOP at the Presidential level… two defeats followed by a Pyrrhic victory. And now the Democrats are moving toward their own clown car in 2020, at a time they can least afford it.

  24. 24
    Gravenstone says:

    @trollhattan: “Sanders supporter “, basically says it all.

  25. 25
    eric says:

    @NCSteve: to your newsletter, I must subscribe

  26. 26
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    That’s Dems’ problem with megadonors; way to many want to start something new & be in charge rather than supporting what’s already there

    Cross out “with megadonors” and it’s still true!

  27. 27
    Jeffro says:

    Fuck megadonors of any and every political persuasion.

    One citizen, one vote…not one dollar, one vote

  28. 28
    Gravenstone says:

    @raven: Wrong VC. Arguably worse than the original, though.

  29. 29
    debbie says:

    @bystander:

    They had 7 years! Trump wasn’t factor until the end! Gah!

  30. 30
    different-church-lady says:

    @NCSteve: Can hardly wait to see what the Kickstarter rewards will be!

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    From the article:

    Its new website will put political topics up for a vote — and the most resonant ideas will form the basis of the organization’s orthodoxy. To start, the group will query supporters on two campaigns: Whether or not they believe engineering degrees should be free to all Americans, and if they oppose lawmakers who don’t call for Trump’s immediate impeachment.

    Taking this supposed new group seriously for a moment, these two campaigns seem especially dumb. Basing the organization on opposition to Trump or the lawmakers who won’t vote to impeach him seems really narrow. What are they for? Besides free engineering degrees, obviously. Seems like they’re for Mark Pincus getting the attention and respect he thinks he’s entitled to.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Another damaging Chris Christie photo emerges (photo)

  34. 34
    different-church-lady says:

    @debbie:

    Any wanker can retweet or like multiple times, including RWNJs Russian hackers looking to undermine the process;

    It’s like they haven’t read the news in the last three months or something.

  35. 35

    So is this that the opportunity to earn an engineering degree should be free to all americans or that we should just hand out the degrees for free? They could maybe enlist the support of an English major to help clarify this.

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    Must admit that first reading engendered the thought “Wow, we haven’t heard from the Viet Cong for years!”

  37. 37
    Catherine D. says:

    @NCSteve:
    Hey, I already have Ithaca Tumbrel and Guillotine Emporium t-shirts.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie:

    Any wanker can retweet or like multiple times, including RWNJs looking to undermine the process;

    As can Russian bots and trolls, as they did during the 2016 election to amplify issues and get certain hashtags trending. Maybe these guys want their organization to reflect what Russia wants.

  39. 39
    kindness says:

    Actually that whole Mega-donor wanting to run the whole show in their chosen image is something that happens in every party where there are Mega-Donors. See countless gazillionaire Bozo’s each driving their own tiny bus (that hordes of paid syncophants pour out of on command).

  40. 40
    bystander says:

    @debbie: If only WaPo had a logic checker!

    Meanwhile, it will not help if both sides do it.

    Two men were arrested outside the Tucson, Arizona office of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Thursday for third degree criminal trespassing during a protest. One of the men was also charged with misdemeanor threats and intimidation.

  41. 41
    Gravenstone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: /shrug

    Ms. DeMoro seems to have her BernieBlinkers going in full effect. I’m happy to be a judgemental bastard when they freely put it on display like that.

  42. 42
    misterpuff says:

    The WTF party: Home of the Big Spliff!
    Wait until they Freep the platform.

  43. 43
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Major Major Major Major: and I was just reading something about how tech needs an infusion of liberal arts degrees (and reading this via LinkedIn, naturally)

  44. 44
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @NotMax: the Viet Cong became Neo-Liberals. Sad!

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    @Yarrow

    To paraphrase Louis B. Mayer, online voting ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  46. 46
    different-church-lady says:

    @bystander: I just hope North Korea doesn’t choose to bomb us just as our new Civil War is starting.

  47. 47
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Yarrow: They may not want to literally “hack” the party, but they clearly aren’t thinking very much about who might literally hack them…

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: This is how Boaty McBoatface happened….

  49. 49

    @NotMax: You and me both.

  50. 50
    Hal says:

    @bystander: Sam Seder has said that multiple times. His main point being that after all these years and repeal attempts, republicans should be far more prepared health care bill wise instead of this stumbling they’ve been doing. It was all for show and to keep them in their cush jobs.

  51. 51
    Immanentize says:

    @japa21: Now I am certain we have migrated to an alternate Universe.

    How was your birthday?

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    I think everyone in the Democratic Party should all just leave. Right now. All y’all need a time out.

  53. 53

    @Gravenstone: Just saying, there are plenty of Sanders supporters who aren’t complete Sarandonesque dumbasses. It’s nice to be nice.

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: I have a BA and I’m a programmer. I can’t recall the last place I worked where an overwhelming number of the coders were CS people. The big companies are like that, probably.

    ETA: And it looks like their entire website is JavaScript, because they’re idiots.

  54. 54
    Schlemazel says:

    @NCSteve:
    I seriously have plans for a gofundme for an automated guillotine. Not to give away the genius behind it but there is a turn table that the deserving are strapped to that makes its way to the blade. The body is disposed of automatically into an incinerator and ready for the next deserving. I estimate it will do 6 a minute and only require two people to load the deserving onto the table.

  55. 55
    Immanentize says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Heh Indeedy:

    And it looks like their entire website is JavaScript, because they’re idiots

  56. 56
    Laura says:

    “I just don’t feel respected in the political process as a large donor or as a citizen voter,” Pincus said.
    Won’t somebody pity the poor douchebro . . . cause it ain’t gonna be me.
    WTF couldn’t be a better signifier for the lot of suddenly (or old money) wealthy that they believe their dollars confer some right to be heard and heeded by the Hoi Poloi.
    It galls me to my core to be subject to 1 dollar 1 vote bullshit whether it be politics, education, culture, or any other matter. Subject matter experts, those who put the work in, and that means the grassroots get my respect, skinny-legged hipster disrupters can get WAY, ALL THE WAY in the back of the line.
    Harrumph!

  57. 57
    bystander says:

    @different-church-lady: Especially if NK takes out the West Coast and we lose General Brown early on.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hal: they don’t actually care about health care, to the extent that they think about it. Ryan, who IIRC has never had a private sector job for more than a year, has his Rand-arrested-adolsecent fixation on “disincentive to work”, McConnell wants to erase the Obama presidency (and there’s some overlap there), they all want to cut taxes on the rich.

  59. 59
    bystander says:

    @Hal: Our healthcare system has been a mess for decades. The repubs have never shown any interest beyond bandaids.

  60. 60

    Free Engineering degree? You mean I don’t have to spend four years in Engineering classes? This sounds much better that what I did 35 years ago,

  61. 61
    debit says:

    @Schlemazel: I was with you until the incinerator. How about a grinder instead? And then, meat pies.

    ETA: it’s possible I’ve seen Sweeny Todd a few times too many.

  62. 62
    different-church-lady says:

    @debit: SOYLENT GREEN IS DEPLORABLES!

  63. 63
    d58826 says:

    Tell me this is a joke. I’ve seen on twitter that the WH forgot to make hotel reservations in Hamburg? There are a number of references but no link to a press report. Funny if true

    And tell me that isn’t true – NBC is reporting there will only be 6 people in the Trump/Putin meeting tomorrow: the principals, Tillerson, Lavrov and translators. And that ISN”T funny

  64. 64

    @Immanentize: Somebody on the LGM thread notes that their SSL certificate was also misconfigured earlier today. 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @Laura:

    1 dollar 1 vote bullshit

    I read this as “1 dollar 1 bullshit” and I thought, “yeah, that sounds about right.”

  66. 66
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    After42 years in IT, mostly as a programmer, I will be glad to be out.

    IT seems inundated with greedy rwnjs, and “process” people. The thrill is gone

  67. 67

    @Immanentize: The kid loved the name Boaty McBoatface.

  68. 68
    different-church-lady says:

    @d58826: It’ll be great when Trump tells the other 4 to leave the room, and then asks Putin to make the Russian investigation go away.

  69. 69
    Immanentize says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: So did I!

  70. 70
    different-church-lady says:

    @A Ghost to Most: You can’t spell idiot without IT.

  71. 71
    Immanentize says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    These guys. I swear. My son mocks them. It is always idea over tech and security for “Tech gurus.”

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Citizen_X says:

    Wtf is Zynga, anyway? Is that like Zima?

  74. 74
    debit says:

    @different-church-lady: Hah, yes. Or, in keeping with the French revolution theme: instead of let them eat cake, let them eat each other.

  75. 75
    ruemara says:

    @d58826: Neither of those are jokes.

    @Citizen_X: mobile game company. Still hanging on despite rumours of their death. Makers of Farmville et al

  76. 76

    @Schlemazel:

    only require two people to load the deserving onto the table

    That ain’t no jobs program, why do you hate the WWC?

  77. 77
    Immanentize says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I think the first suggestion should be that the name of the group be changed from “WTF” which is disrespectful, to “Boaty McBoatface!”

  78. 78

    @Citizen_X: Farmville.

    @A Ghost to Most: The most annoying thing for me is the kids who keep reinventing things and then pretending they were the first to come up with it, and the associated rapid fad cycles over web stacks. And I am saying this as a 32-year-old. I can only imagine what it’s like for you.

  79. 79
    d58826 says:

    @ruemara: time to stock up on the local painkiller of choice – white lightening

  80. 80
    Citizen_X says:

    @Schlemazel:

    there is a turn table that the deserving are strapped to that makes its way to the blade. The body is disposed of automatically into an incinerator and ready for the next deserving.

    Is this because they wouldn’t let you join the bloody Freemasons?

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: “To Serve the White Working Class… it’s a cookbook!

  82. 82
    debbie says:

    @d58826:

    The first appears to be true. Also, Melania appears to have a gig as a flamenco dancer.

  83. 83
    different-church-lady says:

    @Citizen_X: “I’ve got my own apron…”

  84. 84
    Schlemazel says:

    @debit:
    I am afraid the evil the deserving carry would be spread. Better to burn it to ash.

  85. 85
    different-church-lady says:

    @debbie: But that was 30 years ago, when they used to have a show…

  86. 86
    Schlemazel says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    I think the elimination of all that useless sludge would create a huge economic boom.

  87. 87
    Gravenstone says:

    @debit: Are you now or have you ever been KMOT Dibbler?

  88. 88
    Immanentize says:

    @Immanentize: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Please help out the cause! Change the name WTF (BAD!)
    Done AND DONE!

  89. 89
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Yarrow: So this boils down to “If all our efforts to sabotage and get rid of Obamacare haven’t worked, we’re probably going to have to stop sabotaging Obamacare”, right? :)

  90. 90
    Schlemazel says:

    @Citizen_X:
    No, it is because I hate the deserving beyond reason. THey are destroying this country and I have had enough

  91. 91
    debit says:

    @different-church-lady: And now I have to kill you. At the Copa.

    Seriously, I once had this earwormed for solid two weeks and wound up curled in a fetal position weeping softly. #music #passion #alwaysinfashion
    #youllfallinlooooooooooove

  92. 92
    debit says:

    @Gravenstone: I may have once or twice been known to gather at the periphery of large crowds with a fine selection of sausagelike meat . Onnabun.

  93. 93
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    Be sure to let us know how many likes and retweets you get.

  94. 94
    different-church-lady says:

    @debit: I have been told you can kill any earworm simply by singing the three-note audio logo for Menen: “Byyyyyy Men-en!” It works for me about 90% of the time.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @japa21: Arcia is awesome.

  96. 96
    eric says:

    @different-church-lady: does not work for the theme from i dream of jeanie ;)

  97. 97
    NotMax says:

    @d58826

    white lightening

    Bleach makes a terrible mixer.

  98. 98

    @NotMax: Now if we could get Obama to say that, we’d have a lot fewer Republicans.

  99. 99
    Yarrow says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I think it might boil down to the insurance companies telling McTurtle that he needs to pass a health insurance bill or stfu or the money is going elsewhere. Uncertainty is bad for them and they’ll make it bad for McConnell.

  100. 100
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I designed and coded one of the very first network switches using the then just available Motorola 68000 cpu. I was given the hardware, a library of C calls, and a C compiler. Built the entire buffer mgmt system, state event engine, the works. That was fun.

    I miss the cowboy days.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    debit says:

    @different-church-lady: The Beatle’s Blackbird used to be my go to earworm killer. Copacabana laughed at it and sang even louder. Now about the only thing that works is A Whole New World from Aladdin. But then I get earwormed with that.

  103. 103
    Kraux Pas says:

    To start, the group will query supporters on two campaigns: Whether or not they believe engineering degrees should be free to all Americans, and if they oppose lawmakers who don’t call for Trump’s immediate impeachment.

    On the first I’d ask “why only engineering? What about other degrees or, perhaps more importantly, non-four-year-college opportunities for continuing education?”

    As far as the other one, as of right now I’m skeptical of any politician calling for Trump’s immediate impeachment. there’s an ongoing investigation in its early stages. Patience.

  104. 104

    @A Ghost to Most: Have you mucked around much in neural networks?

  105. 105
    Applejinx says:

    It’s garbage, but then so is Mark Penn’s and Andrew Stein’s recent op-ed. There is an awful lot of garbage about.

  106. 106
    different-church-lady says:

    Here, let me make this infinitely worse for all of you:

    OH… OH SHEILA! OH, OH, OH… OH SHEILA….

  107. 107
    Laura says:

    @Yarrow: the beauty of it is it works either way!

  108. 108
    Applejinx says:

    867-530ny-e-ine

  109. 109
    Kraux Pas says:

    Those days when you consider deleting your entire contact list because of a constant undercurrent in your relationships of low-level homophobia….

  110. 110
    Laura says:

    @Citizen_X: if memory serves (cause it hasn’t of late), Zynga is the name of Young Master Pincus’ late pooch.
    @Major Major Major Major: And I am saying this as a 32-year-old. I can only imagine what it’s like for you.
    Its like EFGoldman,the early years! There’s an onion belt in your future young man. (heart emoji)

  111. 111
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I started out working on a recursive parts database for the Trident missile, then worked for GE for 20 years, building network switches until we could buy them commercially, then building commercial database web applications in PL/SQL and Perl.
    Now I am a broken down Oracle DBA, who codes to make our lives easier.
    Careful, programming will mess with the way your brain works.

  112. 112

    @A Ghost to Most: Was just suggesting it as a place where there’s lots of opportunities for getting your hands dirty and doing low-level fine-tuning. People are doing great stuff in rust too.

  113. 113
    SgrAstar says:

    @Immanentize:

    This is how Boaty McBoatface happened….

    Ahem! Anything wrong with that? ❤️Boaty❤️

  114. 114
    Turgidson says:

    @bystander:

    Our healthcare system has been a mess for decades. The repubs have never shown any interest beyond drowning it in kerosene and then trying to light matches.

    fixt

  115. 115
    Turgidson says:

    @d58826:

    It’s pretty fucking funny. In my early 20s I embarked on one of those Europe trips the damn kids are always doing. I was only sporadically sober and certainly not too concerned with long-term planning. But even my early 20s twit self fucking reserved my stupid hostel bed sufficiently in advance.

  116. 116
    tybee says:

    @different-church-lady:

    SOYLENT GREEN IS DEPLORABLES!

    if that were only true…

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