Today in Ukraine
SNL kind of nailed this.
Once upon a time…[via @johnfugelsang twitter]
Egypt, Bulgaria, Brazil, Turkey, June 2013
(Reuters) - As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.
The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil’s Congress building and then stormed it. (via Biggest protests in 20 years sweep Brazil | Reuters)
Minutes after Mayor Rob Ford arrived at a contentious community council meeting in Etobicoke on Tuesday evening, he bolted out of his seat, sprinted up an aisle, and left the building — to wander around the parking lot and slap “Rob Ford Mayor” fridge magnets on the doors of cars.
When a reporter told Ford that some people might find his behaviour strange, he retorted that some people find the reporter strange. Magnets in hand, he made no further comment.
Gawker has a story tonight saying there is a video of Ford smoking crack cocaine within the last 6 months, available for any news organization that will pay $1 million. That is not hard to believe, given this behavior.
There’s probably an insufferable 30-second commercial up front of this, and I get as tired as you do of people posting ‘Daily Show’ clips. But this episode of ‘Sodomy! Zygotes! Welfare!' is amazing to watch.
The Onion’s editor-in-chief, Will Tracy, said in an email to BuzzFeed that the paper has not staked out a position on what the U.S. should do in Syria.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve staked out an editorial line so much as we’ve chosen to acknowledge two equally valid points of view at once,” Tracy said. “Specifically, we want to support the rebels because of our own strong financial ties to the jihadist movement, but we also want to support Bashar al-Assad because he’s been a close and dear friend of the paper for nearly two decades.”
You expect this kind of shit from Amazon. And, yeah, I guess in 2013 we have to expect this kind of shit from Google, too. Inhofe is awful, but Google is happy to help him keep his seat in the US Senate. Because, they say, they have a data center in Oklahoma. Which kind of makes— wait, what?
Via Gawker: Texas Lawmaker Braving Backbreaking Filibuster to Stop Abortion Bill
Today, around 11 AM, Texas State Sen. [Wendy] Davis [Dem] began a filibuster that must last until the special session ends tonight at midnight in order to ensure the bill’s demise.
This will be no easy task: Senate rules require all filibustering lawmakers to remain standing for the entire duration of their speech — forbidding them from so much as leaning against a desk. Davis is allowed to take questions from fellow Democrats, giving her time to rest her voice, but can’t leave the podium for any reason.
To ensure she had sufficient material to speak for 13 hours straight, Davis asked women who have undergone abortions to send her their story “so I can tell it from the Senate floor.”
To put into perspective the kind of mindset Davis is up against, the bill’s [Republican] sponsor, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), believes putting an exemption in the law for victims of rape and incest is unnecessary because these women have already been “cleaned out” by emergency room “rape kits.” (via Texas Lawmaker Braving Backbreaking Filibuster to Stop Abortion Bill)
On June 11, employees at StumbleUpon received an email from their co-worker, Aaron Ginn, former digital “Growth Hacker” for the Romney Campaign, announcing that the company was going to host a 24-hour “Liberty” Hackathon on June 21st.
“The Hackathon’s theme [is] liberty focused issue advocacy and combining political and private data,” the email explained. It included a link the event’s website with a longer explanation:
Ginn was one of the organizers. The funder: the billionaire conservative Charles Koch, CEO, chairman and co-owner of Koch Industries.
Ginn’s announcement was immediately met with reply-all emails questioning the decision. Why the company was putting their name behind libertarian and conservative causes? Wasn’t this going to be negative brand association? In direct response to the company’s decision to host the Hackathon, roughly fifteen percent of the staff — about a dozen, at StumbleUpon’s size — started looking for new jobs in order to leave the company, according to an inside source who spoke with BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity.
“There is insane anger to the point where people are willing to walk out from their jobs. And management isn’t willing to do anything,” the source told BuzzFeed at the time. “People are looking for other jobs and taking days off to gointerview. They have lost all faith in management.”
“The CEO said he didn’t he do his homework in order to realize what he accepted,” said the source. “The PR guy was never told and he is having to try to clean up.”
A screaming fight erupted between Ginn and another StumbleUpon employee. The two were told to leave the office, cool off, and talk to HR. (HR didn’t take any steps against either employee.)
It is to laugh.
This a great article about the politics of convenience and selfishness. An excerpt (but i really recommend reading the whole thing):
The audience was eager to see meaningful immigration reform and had been encouraged byZuckerberg’s op-ed in the Washington Post announcing the formation of FWD.us, published a couple of weeks earlier. In the editorial, the Facebook CEO spoke the language of entrepreneurs. “In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country,” Zuckerberg wrote. “A knowledge economy can scale further, create better jobs and provide a higher quality of living for everyone in our nation.”
The goodwill generated by Zuckerberg’s prose, however, was soon laid to waste. News had already broken about two controversial TV ads paid for by FWD.us-organizations. One, a 30-second spot in support of Alaskan Senator Mark Begich, a Democrat, advocated for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Another, a one-minute spot in support of South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham, a Republican, endorsed the Keystone Pipeline, which is anathema to environmentalists. Thanks to the ads, many in the crowd that day were deeply skeptical of FWD’s approach, and what they found out from Green did nothing to ease their concerns.
Green was unapologetic about the strategy, intended to give cover to senators who might vote for comprehensive immigration reform but could consequently be at odds with their conservative constituents. Green’s message to the group was: “This is the way things get done in Washington.” He came across as pompous, said one person who attended the meeting, as if he were lecturing the techies on how politics works.
“I was surprised at how sure about their ways he was,” says Josh Miller, founder of New York-based startup Branch, who later wrote a scathing editorial about FWD.us. “In service of noble causes,” Miller wrote, “FWD.us is employing questionable lobbying techniques, misleading supporters, and not being transparent about the underlying values and long-term intentions of the organization.”
Lerer Ventures managing director Kenneth Lerer, who wasn’t at the meeting and chose not to contribute to FWD because it was giving to Republican and Democratic senators who voted against background checks on the recent gun control bill, says FWD’s “political strategy is incompetent.” The Huffington Post and NowThis News co-founder says, “Whatever they were hoping to gain with the money that they were going to spend has probably been neutralized to a great extent because of the bad press that they’ve received.”*
The meeting has not produced dividends for FWD. In theory, New York, a city of immigrants whose tech companies are hurting for talent just as much as those in California, should be as important to FWD as is Silicon Valley. It is certainly equally invested in the immigration debate, a point emphasized by the leading role New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Partnership for a New American Economy have taken in the national discussion.
FWD, however, does not enjoy widespread support in the city. Of the 36 high-profile supporters listed on its website – a list that include such luminaries as Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, John Doerr, Reid Hoffman,* and Marissa Mayer – only one is based in New York: Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson.
New York, though, is just a symptom of a wider problem for FWD.us. A bipartisan organization that was greeted with excitement by the tech industry on its April 10 launch has lurched from misstep to misstep, despite enlisting the help of Washington political veterans from both sides of the aisle. Its early moves have alienated some of its core constituents and supporters, caused head-scratching in Washington, and resulted in questioning of just what kind of an operation FWD is running.
In a sentiment echoed by several of his peers, a well-known Silicon Valley investor who has a longstanding interest in environmental issues has said: “The FWD.us fiasco feels like a case of geeks playing fantasy baseball who then all of a sudden found themselves thrust into the major leagues. I am amazed at how poorly advised and unprepared they were.”
Man, this guy knows how to give a speech. And he kept it to under 75 minutes!