Smart Cookies Open Thread: Sen. Warren, Earning Her Media

I know this is stereotyping, which is wrong, but I kinda feel that as a mother and a college professor, Sen. Warren has a lot of experience dealing with adolescents who aren’t quite as smart as they think:

The ads, which had identical images and text, touted Warren’s recently announced plan to unwind “anti-competitive” tech mergers, including Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram.

“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google,” read the ads, which Warren’s campaign had placed Friday. “We all use them. But in their rise to power, they’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor.”…

Warren swiped at Facebook over the removal, citing it as evidence the company has grown too powerful.

“Curious why I think FB has too much power? Let’s start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power,” she tweeted. “Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn’t dominated by a single censor.”…

The affected ads, which included a video, directed users to a petition on Warren’s campaign website urging them “to support our plan to break up these big tech companies.”

The ads were limited in size and reach, with each costing under $100, according to disclosure details listed online.

If she’s not our next President, she’ll be a fantastic VP supporting Harris / O’Rourke / Abrams / Buttig

109 replies
  1. 1
    Ohio Mom says:

    I can’t comment on this, I’m still trying to digest what Ohio Dad just told me, Charlie Pierce thinks it will be Booker or Klobuchar?

    I have trouble remembering either of them is running. Am I in too much of a bubble?

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Was the 1982 consent decree which settled the antitrust case of United States v AT&T good or bad for the US? Was it good or bad for the telecom business? Discuss.

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    It’s Ohio Dad who is in a bubble.

  4. 4
    Princess says:

    I think she’s great and so far she has created the most substantive and interesting platform.

  5. 5
    Jay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Klobuchar announced in a snowstorm 2 weeks ago.

    Booker has not yet announced.

    Anybody predicting any sort of winner, now, when there is 21 months to go to the general,……. they are either delusional or counting on people forgetting their projections.

  6. 6

    If she’s not our next President, she’ll be a fantastic VP supporting Harris / O’Rourke / Abrams / Buttig

    Can we please stop cannibalizing the Senate.

  7. 7
    Barb 2 says:

    I just donated to Warren’s campaign as well as Sen. Harris. Monthly donations.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    Justin Miller’s claim that the only candidate running for the job of President (rather than the title, presumably) is Elizabeth Warren strikes me as hyperbole.

  9. 9

    @Gin & Tonic: Didn’t make a bit of difference in the long run(I’m guessing that’s your point).

  10. 10
    Sab says:

    @Ohio Mom: My guy likes them both. I just roll my eyes with Klobuchar. Booker did make some fans in Newark, whicg would be a tough place to be mayor.

  11. 11
    Jay says:

    “There are at least two Elizabeth Warrens — Bankruptcy Law Liz and Michelob Ultra Betsy.

    Bankruptcy Law Liz has more sweeping policy ideas than you have friends. She reads two books a week, which happens to be the number of books the median American reads in six months. She was a Harvard professor. She calls herself a “data nerd.”

    Michelob Ultra Betsy is an Okie by birth. She says “dangit” and “golly” and “boo-hoo.” She puts an “h” before words that start with “w,” as in “hwhite.” She sounds like people who are probably unlikely to vote for her. She is a populist. And while Liz reads serious tomes, Betsy is currently on the fifth book in the “Victor the Assassin” series.”

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    I saw the Bloglord’s Qatar Airlines tweet, and two words came to mind: “falcon poop”.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ohio Mom: Not to argue with Ohio Dad, but unless Pierce said that on TV tonight, what he wrote earlier today was he expected either Senator Klobuchar or Senator Booker or both to try to pivot to the need to do deficit reduction in response the President’s budget that was released yesterday. That was all he wrote about them.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Most of the Republican senators are well marbled.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:


    For the record, Booker announced on February 1st.

  16. 16
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Warren is the only cantidate running a Presidential full court press ground game right now. If her current pace is sustained, she will have more Townhalls, interviews and media appearances than Obama and Hillary combined.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Bad linky. Fix.

    Booker announced on February 1st.

  18. 18

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve noticed that and I’m sure fine eating, but I’d rather not produce more of them.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Do they go well with fava beans and a nice Chianti?

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Can you (or anyone) name the seven RBOC’s it was broken up into as a result, without Googling? Can you say (again, without Google) who currently controls the old crown jewel of Bell Labs?

    Just throwing some questions out there. Ma Bell in the 70’s had control easily comparable, and arguably greater than, Google’s.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    If she’s not our next President, she’ll be a fantastic VP supporting Harris / O’Rourke / Abrams / Buttig

    If she’s not our next President, what’s wrong with her continuing as MA’s senior senator?

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t like fava beans and I don’t drink wine and rarely drink anything else alcoholic, so I couldn’t say.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    No steaks, all rump roast.

  24. 24
    Anne Laurie says:


    Can we please stop cannibalizing the Senate.

    I’ve been honest that I’d rather keep Warren as my personal Senator! But she *would* make a great President, and her chances are better than some fellow Senators who are also running / thinking of running (Booker, for instance, IMO).

    And, here in Massachusetts, her replacement will be chosen by a Democratic legislature, not our (RINO) governor Chickenshit Charlie… so she doesn’t have to worry about the Sherrod Factor.

  25. 25
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Fresh fava beans are gorgeous, lightly steamed but then pop the outer skin, (bitter) off, serve with butter or not.

    Dried or canned, blech.

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sam Stein @ samstein
    Tucker Carlson is going on vacation next week, claiming he was supposed to go on this week but stayed to work amid all the scandal over previously unearthed remarks.

  27. 27
    tobie says:

    Thus far Warren has announced a wealth tax proposal that is likely DOA because it doesn’t pass constitutional muster and, based on the experiences of most EU countries, does not actually generate revenue for the treasury. Then she came out with a flawed break-up-big-tech policy that not only ignores monopolies in all other sectors but ignores the most immediate threat posed by Big Tech, which is the violation of digital privacy. She has proposed pursuing foreign nationals to make them pay the wealth tax and seems oblivious to the fact that this will cause major diplomatic rows, and she’s made clear she wants the “monopolists,” not the “monopolies,” to pay, which is why I assume she has yet to propose a single revision to the corporate tax code. What is there to like in her candidacy?

  28. 28
    TS (the original) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Agreed, VP should be someone who is ready to be the president when the current person’s term is finished – not someone who is great in the senate & not likely to run for President in 8 years time.

  29. 29
    Ohio Mom says:

    @debbie: Nah, Ohio Dad is just conveying Charlie Pierce’s opinion. Both of us are undecided but neither of us would choose one of those two.

    I just usually assume someone like Pierce who follows this stuff for a living would have more insight than I do. It’s discombobulating to hear something so far off from what I’m seeing.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TS (the original): Al Gore.

  31. 31
    waratah says:

    @Gin & Tonic: if that was the one that broke up Ma Bell it was good for me. I could afford a pretty telephone as I did not have to buy the company phone. I think the price of overseas calling was reduced but not as much as when the internet was allowed to be used for calling.

  32. 32
    TS (the original) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Tucker Carlson is going on vacation next week

    Didn’t Bill O. go on vacation – never to return?

  33. 33
    NotMax says:


    re: Dolt 45’s stupendously stupid tweet about airplanes, his plan to save money on his failing from day one airline venture was to illegally reduce the minimum number of cockpit crew (WaPo link).

    Trump had the idea for a “diamond in the sky,” an airline mirroring his casino and hotel’s motif of splashed marble, gold and plush, according to the book “Trump Revealed” by Post staffers Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher. But the airline quickly found luxury was impractical on the airplane, its crew and the customers themselves.

    Marble sinks were too heavy on the airframe, where every inch is scrutinized to save space and weight, so faux-marble was installed. Thick burgundy carpets made it difficult for flight attendants to move their beverage and food carts. Trump advised the attendants to push harder, Kranish and Fisher wrote. And despite customer surveys touting on-time flights and consistent schedules as their main needs, Trump insisted on gold-plated fixtures, leather seats and chrome buckles for flights that typically took less than an hour.
    Those upgrades amounted to about $1 million for every plane, with each aging airframe worth only about $4 million. Trump offered at times bewildering suggestions to save money elsewhere, such as reducing the cockpit crew from three to two. Nobles reminded Trump that Federal Aviation Administration regulations required a pilot, a co-pilot and an engineer, Kranish and Fisher wrote. Source

  34. 34
    TS (the original) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That was my thought – and he won too.

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Here’s one for you: the Mayor of Fall River, MA, was arrested in the fall for wire fraud and tax issues. He’s out on bail, but there was enough support for a recall election that one was held today. Question 1, should he be recalled? Question 2, who do you want as mayor instead. Nothing prevented him from being a candidate.

    So the results: 67% of voters elected to recall him. 35% voted for him in question 2. But there were four candidates, so he got a plurality, winning re-election.

    Good luck Fall River.

  36. 36
    B.B.A. says:


    What is there to like in her candidacy?

    For starters, she’s not beholden to a foreign power.

  37. 37
    matt says:

    I have to say, Warren’s presidential campaign and run is the best one I’ve seen in a long time.

  38. 38
    Mandalay says:


    I just roll my eyes with Klobuchar.

    She was the only presidential candidate to support the disgusting anti-BDS bill, which encourages states to pass laws authorizing sanctions against those supporting a boycott of Israel.

    For that alone she is dead to me, notwithstanding all her other controversies. I hope her campaign crashes and burns.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TS (the original): He’s at a farm upstate where he’s got plenty of room to run around outside all day.

  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:


    Trump had the idea for a “diamond in the sky,” an airline mirroring his casino and hotel’s motif of splashed marble,

    You gotta hand it to the guy: not many would think to draw inspiration from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    I haven’t been around as much lately, but did folks see Kirsten Gillibrand’s response to The Onion? 😂

  42. 42

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Can you (or anyone) name the seven RBOC’s it was broken up into as a result, without Googling?

    Probably not all of them.

    Can you say (again, without Google) who currently controls the old crown jewel of Bell Labs?

    I remember that they spun it off to Lucent Technologies, after that, no clue.

  43. 43
    tobie says:

    @B.B.A.: I feel confident in saying that’s true for just about every Democratic candidate with the exception of Wilmer, who is not a Democrat, and Gabbard, who is loyal to Assad

  44. 44
    kindness says:

    I love Senator Professor Warren but we really need to keep every Democratic Senator we can. We can’t run two Senators for Pres/VP. That would be crazily unstrategic.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen an unironic use of “Person X is dead to me” before.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Moderation why?

  47. 47
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Um. Was it New England Telephone, New York Bell, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, SBC, USWest, and PacBell?

    [googles] Oh, man, I was close. It was NYNEX, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, US West, and PacBell. SBC was initially formed from the merger of Southwestern Bell and Ameritech, and New England Telephone and New York Bell were already one RBOC when AT&T broke up.

    I knew the remnant of Bell Labs was part of Lucent Technologies, but hadn’t realized it was now part of Nokia.

  48. 48
    Jay says:


    Presidents don’t write legislation. They propose policies. They assemble teams of Experts/Cabinet Members/House and Senate Members to turn a policy into Legislation. Ideally, holes, flaws and loopholes are fixed along the way. In both the House and Senate, as part of the process, in order to gain enough votes to pass, new flaws and loopholes are introduced.

    Given that the 5% control US Policies, continue to concentrate wealth upwards, and that they exceed Guilded Age levels of power, not through Industry or Innovation, but instead Inheritance,

    Is a Wealth Tax possible?

    Facebook, Cambridge Analetica, and the Russian Research Agency thank you for your support.

    Warren has proposed crafting legislation that allows going after people who flee the US with their wealth, to escape US taxes on US earnings. Funny thing, as a Pleb, I have to pay both US and Canadian taxes, on money earned in the US. Shouldn’t that also be extended to the Billionaires Boys Club. BTW, Peter Thiel thanks you for your support.

    If you are expecting perfect proposals from any Cantidate, you are doomed to disappointment.

    Both the House and Senate are also free to ignore what ever they want in a Presidents proposed policies.

  49. 49
    Jay says:

    Stuck in moderation for some reason.

  50. 50
    B.B.A. says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Can you (or anyone) name the seven RBOC’s it was broken up into as a result, without Googling?

    Nynex, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Ameritech, US West, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell

    Can you say (again, without Google) who currently controls the old crown jewel of Bell Labs?


    What do I win?

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve got all of you all regulars cleared out of moderation. Your comments should now be posted. I have no idea why you all wound up in there.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    In case anyone was wondering:

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    It’s considered best to not show your pair of tres this early in the game, but we’ll mark you down as “scared as shit of Warren” as a favor.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It happened in the thread below as well. If you wouldn’t mind….

  55. 55
    joel hanes says:

    OT, but I love me some Nancy SMASH.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, extended a bipartisan invitation on Monday to the head of NATO to address a joint session of Congress, in an unsubtle jab at President Trump’s foreign policy that is meant to underscore broad congressional support for the alliance.

    ( lifted from Steve Benen, one of the hardest-working bloggers ever, at Maddow )

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    As it was absolutely and unavoidably necessary for me to interact with Gmail today, probably my fault.


  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Just saw it and freed it.

  58. 58
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It may have been the joint ALL CAPS email we sent the Blogfather.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: I won’t post anymore instagram embeds ever again. I promise!

  60. 60
    The Lodger says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Here you go, from memory:
    Bell Atlantic
    Southwestern Bell
    Pacific Telesis
    Bell Labs was spun off to Lucent, which merged with Alcatel, and is now owned by Nokia.

  61. 61
    tobie says:

    @Jay: Hillary managed to craft sound policy on just about every issue. I expect all candidates to live up to that standard.

    You seem to be confusing income tax with wealth tax. Yes, you are taxed on income earned in the US. Likewise, all US residents and citizens are taxed on income earned abroad, since the US is one of the few countries that taxes world wide income. Income, however, is not wealth. It’s a different kettle of fish to ask for annual tax, say, on a boat warehoused in Thailand, or on a mango farm in India, or on paintings you’ve lent to a museum in France. These kinds of issues and the question of assessment value will arise if a wealth tax is introduced.

    Google, Netflix, Amazon, etc. are laughing their heads off that they paid no federal taxes in 2018 and no Democratic Presidential candidate has promised to do anything about it. The corporate tax code is the low-hanging fruit that none of our populists seems to want to take. Go figure.

  62. 62
    The Lodger says:

    @The Lodger: Can’t edit. BBA beat me to it.

  63. 63
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was fine with it. It exposed the fakery in one image.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: I backed out of the entire conversation because no matter what I was saying, all I was doing was upsetting people. So I went and did some other stuff that needed doing.

    It is what it is.

  65. 65
    Marcopolo says:

    @tobie: So, I’ve seen several comments by you now knocking two specific Warren proposals. Then you ask what she has to say about corporations. That really leads me to wonder exactly how much time you have spent looking at her total vision of how government works. Here is a post from Vox from August 2018 that lays out her thinking about corporations:

    Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism

    Elizabeth Warren has a big idea that challenges how the Democratic Party thinks about solving the problem of inequality.

    Instead of advocating for expensive new social programs like free college or health care, she’s introducing a bill Wednesday, the Accountable Capitalism Act, that would redistribute trillions of dollars from rich executives and shareholders to the middle class — without costing a dime.

    Warren’s plan starts from the premise that corporations that claim the legal rights of personhood should be legally required to accept the moral obligations of personhood.

    Like most Vox explainer pieces, it is pretty detailed. Go ahead & read it. Definitely one thing Warren has made clear since she announced her candidacy is that she believes wholeheartedly in the value of “markets” and “capitalism” but that they & it need to be regulated a hell of a lot better than they are right now.

    As for her wealth tax, I personally haven’t seen a lot of commentary out there about its constitutionality. But Warren views wealth inequality & the current obscene amounts of wealth accumulated at the very top of the pyramid as an existential life & death issue for whether democracies & democratic governance will succeed going forward. Of course, such a thing would not pass through the Senate the way things are currently configured but the number crunchers say an annual 2% tax on “wealth” over $50 million would bring in somewhere north of $2 trillion over 10 years. That ain’t peanuts. Here’s a nice New Yorker piece on the Wealth Tax that lays out both pros & cons & viability of it even happening. If nothing else, Warren proposing a tax like this opens up the debate (and brings more energy to it) on the topic & I think we should all be in favor of that. Whatever one thinks of AOC, she’s done the same with the idea of increasing marginal tax rates on income over $10 million/year.

    One of the reasons I like Warren (and there are at least 4 or 5 candidates I find interesting right now) is that she seems to have the most fully thought out idea of how/what our government can do to make the life of the average American better. She has proposed programs and policies across a broad range of topics. Her proposal for government funded Universal Child Care is also well fleshed out.

    There are champions & critics alike for pretty much everything she is laying out but she is laying it out. And it is clear she’s been thinking about this stuff all her life–I first became aware of her through her work identifying health care affordability issues as the leading driver of bankruptcies in the US. The Consumer Financial Protection Board (which has been gutted under Trump, alas) did amazing work in protecting joe & jane citizen from financial predators from the level of your neighborhood “emergency” loan operator/pawn shop all the way up to Wells Fargo. That was her baby from start to finish.

    I have no idea how she will actually fare in the Democratic primaries (hell I don’t even know if I will wind up supporting her when I get my chance to vote) but I will fight tooth & nail to make sure she gets a chance to talk about & defend her ideas & proposals for as long as is possible. That’s what the entire process is about (and also expanding the playing field for what ideas & policies are acceptable to adapt into the mainstream) & now having read your fairly feeble complaints about her several times I am going to suggest you do some more homework. And also please do lay out a positive argument for whichever candidate or candidates you like atm. I’d much rather read that on BJ than somewhat shallow critiques.

    /rant off

  66. 66
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I have bargained contracts with almost all of those names…ah, memories!

  67. 67
    Mike in NC says:

    Read today that Speaker Pelosi evicted Mike Pence from an office in the House that he was given by suck up Paul Ryan. Awesome move.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    One link is worth a thousand pictures.


  69. 69
    joel hanes says:

    @The Lodger:

    Bell Labs was spun off to Lucent

    and destroyed.
    Along with RCA Sarnoff, formerly one of the things that made America great.
    The Labs gave us C and Unix, which nerds such as myself cannot imagine living without, and _gave_ them_away_.
    For free.

    Also, you know, Claude Shannon, who taught us the deep connection between information and 1/entropy.
    Also Penzias and Wilson discovering the cosmic background radiation.
    And …

  70. 70
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have a friend who keeps a written list. I’ve always assumed that I’m on it even though we’re friends.

  71. 71
    Steeplejack says:

    Gotta say I like the GEICO ad where the wildcatters strike soft-serve ice cream.

  72. 72
    some guy says:

    exciting to see tobie the troll posting over here, and not posting at LGM. until the next time. feels like 2016.

  73. 73
    some guy says:

    @Steeplejack: @Steeplejack:

    We Just Struck Sprinkles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Fucking formatting.

    ETA: Safer to assume that you are on the list. That way you can be ready.

  75. 75

    @Marcopolo: I’m not entirely sure a wealth tax would pass Constitutional muster either, the income tax didn’t and the 16th Amendment needed to be passed to make it legal. I’m not opposed to the idea, it just might be more involved that passing a statute.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @joel hanes

    Quite watchable, albeit heavy-handed, documentary, Genius on Hold, about Walter Shaw and Bell Labs available on some streaming services.

    In the world of telecommunications, Walter Shaw was probably the most important inventor after Alexander Graham Bell. A Bell Telephone lineman turned engineer who eventually had 39 patents to his credit — among them call forwarding, conference calling, touch-tone dialing and the voice-activated speakerphone — he died penniless and forgotten.
    After Shaw’s innovative knack became clear to his corporate bosses at Bell Laboratories, they offered to kick him upstairs from the R&D department while reaping all the benefits of his inventions. Betting that an antitrust suit against the government-sanctioned monopoly would clear the way for him to pursue his work elsewhere, Shaw resigned, only to find AT&T prevailing in the lawsuit.

    The company’s iron grip on the country’s telephone lines prohibited him from developing any of his inventions, which would have been deemed “unauthorized attachments” to the existing system. Eventually the only place Shaw could put his technical know-how to work was for the Mafia, developing the black box that enabled mob bookmakers to evade wiretaps. After it all came crashing down on him — via televised congressional hearings, no less — the Shaw family saga took yet another astounding turn, with son Walter T. Shaw, aka Thiel, embarking on his own life of crime. Source

  77. 77
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @joel hanes: @Gin & Tonic: With respect, *everything* that’s good and useful in UNIX, other than the initial *ideas* came from UCB. *everything*. I was there, I used AT&T SysIII and SysVr{2,3} and they sucked like gaping chest wounds. Berkeley UNIX is what we all know as UNIX, and for good reason. Eventually AT&T saw the light, and had to merge all of UCB’s stuff in.

    Now for the divestiture. It liberated the telecom market. Without the divestiture, you’d still have only one long-distance provider. And that means no innovation — b/c AT&T was 100% set against that. Think about the world we live in, with so many channels for communication: all of that was enabled by the divestiture. Sure, they re-merged — but that wasn’t a good thing, and with a re-energized FTC, such a merger wouldn’t be allowed. There was good reason for them to stay separate.

    As for where Bell Labs went? Part went to “Bellcore” (which was co-owned by the RBOCs), and part remained with AT&T. The Bellcore part withered and died quickly; the AT&T part, slowly.

    I mean, if you’re going to start arguing against divestiture and anti-trust, why don’t you go old-skool and start arguing that IBM should never have had that consent decree that forced them to *sell* computers instead of *renting* them? Hell, back then IBM gave the source to their operating systems to any customer! Who could improve on that? That’s Computing Nirvana ™.

    The idea that somehow Ma Bell would have permitted the rise of this massive cornucopia of communications technologies, if it were a single all-encompassing behemoth …. that’s hard for me to take seriously. This the same company that, once it rolled out touch-tone signaling nationwide, would put controllers at the poles to block touch-tones, allowing only click-dial thru, until the subscriber had paid for touch-tones. Yes, that’s real, and that happned in Weatherford, TX in the late 70s. Tell me again how Ma Bell would be friendly to innovation. Then pull the other one.

  78. 78
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Chetan Murthy: I should have added: and when AT&T tried to *sue* UCB for releasing the 386BSD distribution, the judge sided with UCB, making it clear that they saw AT&T argument that UCB had stolen AT&T’s IP as bullshit — quite the opposite, that AT&T had benefited disproportionately from UCB’s IP that was given away for free to AT&T and others.

  79. 79
    Marcopolo says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I hear you. History has given us a number of examples where inequality of wealth and opportunity have led to, shall we say, kinetic solutions. But I’ll go a little out on a limb & say the threat current levels of global wealth inequality pose to responsive/ democratic governance across the world is equivalent to the threat global climate change poses to a livable environment. And I would much rather figure out a political solution to it than find myself in the back of a crowd watching a line of folks being marched to a guillotine (or something similar). Once you open that kind of barn door there is no telling where things wind up.

  80. 80
    Jay says:


    Hillary had unique advantages, but her proposed policies didn’t become the Party platform, only part of the platform. It’s easier to write minimalist proposals than maximum proposals, and there are a bunch of things that we are grappling with as Democracies that have only become apparent in the past few years.

    I was reading an interesting Economics study yesterday. To sum up, the study showed that most “new” Companies were built with inherited wealth, and only spun out in IPO’s when the prospects for growth had been almost completely extracted, and were spun out only for the owner to cash out.

    Decades of pro-low Corporate Tax propaganda has brainwashed the American Public. Any Cantidate that proposed pulling subsidies and raising taxes on Corporations would be buried under Fauxconomist Op-Eds and billion dollar PAC’s. If a Cantidate wants to do it, the best way is to keep their lips zipped, then after they are elected, make it a fait d’accomplis.

    People on the other hand, are pissed at Big Tech. On this site alone, how many people here have admitted that they are held hostage by Zuckerburg, that they’d quit Facebook,…. except that Facebook is holding their Knitting Club/Family photos/Animal Shelter hostage?

  81. 81
    NotMax says:

    @joel hanes

    The thought of Shannon’s doohickey on his desk still elicits a grin.

    Otherwise featureless, the box possessed a single switch on its side. When the switch was flipped, the lid of the box opened and a mechanical hand reached out, flipped off the switch, then retracted back inside the box. Source

  82. 82
    tobie says:

    @Marcopolo: My browser just crashed so I will try to rewrite in brief what I just said, which is fight tooth and nail all you want. That’s what the marketplace of ideas is all about. It would be nice if your post was not dripping with condescension but so be it. Nothing you say addresses the issues I raised with the wealth tax. There’s a reason that France, Germany, Sweden, Finland and many other developed nations repealed their wealth taxes. What they found is that the tax led to capital flight and the warehousing of wealth in immovable assets whose value is difficult to asses. There’s also the question of whether one can tax unrealized or notional gains. And then there’s the questions of whether the wealth tax is constitutional at all etc. I’m fine with raising marginal income tax rates but I don’t see this as the panacea that most of you do since I’m unclear on how hedge fund managers and bank CEOs are actually paid. Athletes and entertainers will see their taxes rise with higher marginal rates but I don’t know if the Jaime Dimons of the world will be touched. If you have any links on how CEOs in the financial industry are compensated, that would be helpful. I’m genuinely curious about this subject. Thank you for your other links.

  83. 83
    Steeplejack says:

    There was an excellent segment on MSNBC’s The Last Word tonight with Lawrence O’Donnell talking to Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA). Substantive, with absolutely no political bloviating. Makes me optimistic that “freshman Dems” in the House really are changing things. O’Donnell starts talking about Porter at 3:45. Porter grills the Wells Fargo CEO in a hearing Tuesday at 5:45. The live interview starts at 7:30.

  84. 84
    Jay says:



  85. 85
    Jay says:


    It would be, if people followed links.

  86. 86
    B.B.A. says:

    I watched “Burn After Reading” a few days ago. I feel like, in a couple of years, we’ll look back on this era like JK Simmons looked back on the plot of the movie.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve cleared everyone out of moderation that was in there. I’m now going to rack out. So whatever you all are doing to wind up in moderation, do something else instead.

    Catch everyone on the flip.

  88. 88
    Steeplejack says:

    @some guy:


  89. 89
    NotMax says:


    whether the wealth tax is constitutional

    That old rag? All a president need do is declare a National Emergency, don’tcha know. //

    (takes cynicism out of overdrive to allow it to cool down)

  90. 90
    trollhattan says:

    @The Lodger:
    Pacific Northwest Bell, also, too.

  91. 91
    tobie says:

    @Jay: First, thank you for taking my comments seriously and engaging with them. I agree with just about everything you say here, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that only the wealthy can start companies and then orchestrate the whole IPO process so they get the lion’s share of the profits. I’m not denying the concentration of wealth in the hands of the very few nationally and globally. My most immediate concern with big tech is that they seem to know everything I do from what I search for and buy to what temperature I want in my house to when I set my coffee maker in the morning and everything else in between. Digital privacy is a bigger issue for me than digital monopolies. It’s still early in the primary season and maybe these issue will come up. I sure hope so.

  92. 92
    joel hanes says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    sockets and finger are groovy, and so are the usenet tools.
    I despise the csh and all its variants, although I must use tcsh at work; ksh man myself, although I can live with zsh.

    but your claim is bullshit. sorry.
    I/O redirection in the shell ?
    all files are just a stream of bytes I/O model ?
    awk, lex, yacc, grep, find …
    all that visionary framework was there before Berkeley ever changed what they were given for free, and improved it.

    also, gcc and emacs come from MIT

  93. 93
    joel hanes says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    if you’re going to start arguing against divestiture and anti-trust

    I’m not.
    I’m talking about things that really happened, and also about the onion on my belt.

  94. 94
    Marcopolo says:

    @tobie: The New Yorker piece I linked on Warren’s wealth tax mentions France & Denmark as countries who tried & dispensed with wealth taxes. It also mentions Switzerland as a country where a wealth tax seems to work. It also discusses how to value “wealth,” what strategies wealthy families & individuals might use to reduce their wealth footprint, and what steps might work to discourage wealth flight to other countries. Their are a lot of economists looking at the topic. Whether it would work or not is not a clear cut thing. Success or failure would no doubt be entirely dependent on the wealth taxes design & execution (as is the case with most of the taxes on the wealthy & corporations–who, of course, have really good well-paid lobbyists working on Capitol Hill to get all the loopholes they can into any legislation). But we shouldn’t rule out-of-hand that it won’t work from the get go.

    Here is a Vox piece on CEO compensation. Because there are so many different strategies that CEOs can use to pay themselves (and since they are the folks who are writing the checks) it would really take a book to describe them all in sufficient detail but this does at least lay out the different methods. One of the things I have come away with from reading about all of this for years is that in order for the government to figure out how to accurately and appropriately tax corporations (and CEOs and other wealthy people), the government needs to locate, hire, and train (and probably compensate) it’s employees in such a way as it attracts the same level of talent as those groups do. Another thing Warren has been relentless about is that we need to greatly expand the size of the IRS (and other financial regulatory agencies) in order for them to actually be competitive in successfully dealing with corporations & the wealthy. In actuality, since at least Reagan, what has happened instead is that these agencies & their staff have been repeatedly trimmed while the capacity of the people & entities they are supposed to monitor & regulate has grown markedly. The playing field is remarkably unlevel atm.

  95. 95
    Jay says:


    The lack of digital privacy is in a large part, a product of the Digital Monopolies. You are valuable data because one entity can track you across multiple platforms and interactions and monetize your data, and access to you across multiple platforms.

    With out collusion, ( and there is collusion taking place), were the Monopolies broken up into descrete platforms, there would be less tracking taking place and you would have a lot more digital privacy.

    I limit a lot of my “existance” on line to being an anonamous observer, and a nym, hiding behind other nyms, with limited 3rd party pay as you go credit cards and no online banking, because as the web, and web convenience grew, I saw which way this was going and knew Regulation was 2 decades behind.

    Eg, Yellow Vests Canada on Facebook is a fever swamp of Islamophobia, death threats against the PM, conspiracy theory, anti-semitism and Nazis. So much for “economic anxiety” in Canada’s Oil and Gas sector.

    Yellow Vests Canada Exposed, which outs the swamp, has been banned from Facebook.

  96. 96
    Jay says:


    And as a result, the IRS goes after the low hanging fruit, not the Mercers, who owe $8billion, but instead the minimum wage waitress who may have underdeclared her tips.

  97. 97
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @TS (the original): So did the Shah

  98. 98
  99. 99
    ixnay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: cannot te!I if you missed the reference. OMG has a snark font; could that be done here?

  100. 100
    Marcopolo says:

    @Jay: Yep. And actually, upon rereading my comment it occurs to me that this is exactly the process Trump & the Republicans are using on the entirety of the US Federal government (destroying its capacity) in order to make it easier picking for the vultures. Look at DeVos & for-profit universities. What has happened with the State Dept. The EPA, Dept. of Energy, HUD, etc…

    I’m depressing myself so I will stop there.

  101. 101
    Jay says:


    Saw that, also saw AOC, the Backbench is brilliant.

  102. 102
    Jay says:


    It’s not just that. It teaches the low hanging fruit to hate on the Regulatory Agencies.

    One part of the conservative agenda, and not just in the US, ( eg. Brexit) is to break more stuff than can be fixed in even 3 Progressive terms, so the net movement is always regressive.

  103. 103
    Steeplejack says:


    [. . .] the government needs to locate, hire, and train (and probably compensate) its employees in such a way as it attracts the same level of talent as those groups do.

    My rich doctor brother will occasionally do a hilarious but structured and plausible rant about how the IRS needs to have a “special operations command” (preferably with a cool acronym like KAOS or SMERSH) to go after the plutocrats. A key part of the plan is that the teams would get a “draw” and then a commission or bounty on whatever they extract from the fat cats. Motivation! And it could cut down on the revolving-door problem of people leaving government and taking their insider knowledge to work for the plutocrats.

  104. 104
    Jay says:


    They would have to be Idealogues, backed by law.

    If the Mercers spendva billion dollars on an army of Tax Lawyers to fight the IRS for 10 years and get their tax bill reduced to $6 billion dollars, they come out at least a billion dollars ahead plus interest and gains.

    They should be empowered like the guys in the Organ Donor Repoman film I never saw.

  105. 105
    Fair Economist says:

    Warren’s antitrust proposal is AFAIK unique among the current “big ideas” in that it doesn’t require new laws passed through a Senate with a Blue Doggy median vote. It just requires actually enforcing the early 20th century laws on the books.

  106. 106
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    The convention here is to mark your sarcasm with “sarcasm tags” thus. //

  107. 107
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @joel hanes:

    I’m talking about things that really happened, and also about the onion on my belt.

    Harrumph harrumph, lemme readjust my onion ….
    UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. v. Berkeley Software Design, Inc.

    In 1993, soon after UC filed its countersuit, USL was purchased by Novell. Novell CEO Ray Noorda favored a settlement that was reached in 1994. The salient points were:[4]

    4.4BSD-lite to be released containing no disputed files. University to encourage licensees to switch from Net/2.
    University to cease distribution of certain files.
    USL to grant three months’ grace period to users of disputed files.
    Certain files distributed by University to carry USL copyright notice.
    Certain files distributed by USL to carry University copyright notices.
    USL to permit free distribution of certain files.
    University not to actively assist in legal attempts to challenge USL’s rights to certain files.
    Of the 18,000 files in the Berkeley distribution, only three had to be removed and 70 modified to show USL copyright notices. A further condition of the settlement was that USL would not file further lawsuits against users and distributors of the upcoming 4.4BSD-Lite release.

    Yeah, there were good ideas in AT&T UNIX. BSD vastly and *transformatively* improved on them, and the courts agreed with this opinion. 70 files out of 18k. 70 files.

  108. 108
    Arclite says:

    In addition to Google, FB, and Amazon, we need to add Comcast and Time Warner. Also, Disney.

  109. 109
    debbie says:

    @TS (the original):

    Bill O’Reilly often pops up on Glen Beck’s program. He’s still an asshole.

Comments are closed.