What A Week

I’m on an eight hour flight back from Europe today and have plenty of time to write so I’m going to skip video of the week this week (but not entirely) and write down some thoughts about the week that was in the US.

Three important things happened this week.

The first was the Supreme Court rejecting the argument that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down because the federal government was subsidizing health care in states that refused to set up their own insurance exchanges. This was a big legal victory for the Affordable Care Act (the second one at the Supreme Court) and could be the thing that seals the deal for this legislation. The Affordable Care Act is performing much better than most people, even its proponents (including me), thought it would. Many more americans are insured, insurance rates have not skyrocketed, nor has the budget deficit, and it is hard to find any indications of job losses resulting from it. Every year that it remains the law of the land make it more likely that it will remain the law of the land. It has become more popular as it has become better understood and people are actually getting affordable health care insurance when they can’t get it from an employer.

The second was another ruling by the Supreme Court. This one on marriage equality. You could feel this coming for a while now. As more and more gay people have come out of the closet over the past thirty years, more and more people know and love gay people. And we want them to enjoy the fruits of life the way we enjoy them. It is only natural that society would come to this place and it is wonderful that our Supreme Court got there in more or less the same time. If you haven’t read Justice Anthony Kennedy’s closing paragraph in the majority ruling, you should. It says it well.

The third was The President delivering a moving rendition of Amazing Grace at the funeral for Clementa Pinckney.

This wasn’t noteworthy because of the President’s voice. It is good but not great. It was noteworthy because it showed his considerable leadership skills and ability to connect with compassion in a time of national healing. Say what you will about Barack Obama, and it has all been said again and again in the comments to this blog, he is a very talented leader and politician and has grown into the role nicely in his second and final term. He was not just singing for those murdered in a church in Charleston last week. He was singing for America to find a way to come back together and heal the racial wounds that have been front and center in this country for much of the past year.

I particularly like the way he emphasized and paused at the word United as he was saying United States of America at the end of that clip. He was sending a message and I got it loud and clear.

It was a good week for Barack Obama and it was a good week for America. I’m landing in America in a few hours. I’ve missed it. It is my home and I love it dearly, particularly this week.

#policy#Politics

Comments (Archived):

  1. rich caccappolo

    I completely agree with you on the leadership and political skills of our President.

  2. pointsnfigures

    I would disagree about the ACA. Thi s posts illustrates what should be done to help the poor in the US. http://johnhcochrane.blogsp…My only point of contention with gay marriage is I would prefer to see voters ratify it, or state legislators vote for it. Messy process, but better for all Americans, even dissenters. Read Scalia’s dissent. What the courts giveth, they can taketh away.Neither decision was good for lovers of individual liberty because of the way they were made.

    1. Matt Kruza

      I will agree here. I am very well versed in the ACA (having for 12 months studied it and became an expert on its impact when selling to individuals and particularly to small and medium size enterprise 5-100 employees). The ACA really only did one thing, expanding coverage, and did it in a rather poor way. Make no mistake, for those who didn’t have coverage it is better. But it did EXCEEDINGLY little to really reform the cost issue of the underlying care. And worse, Obama and the democrats were VERY dishonest in getting it passed, which again to the true liberals (maybe Fred as well?) will just seem like water under the bridge. But, the toll of the dishonesty will make it super hard to make the necessary fixes to make the system better going forward. I have very specific reforms that I hope I am able to get the ear of influential policy makers soon (sort of have some hope of this), but just important to second that Obamacare / ACA is not really a long-term solution and should be called out. I can agree with the other two points fred makes, but it is worrisome that so many prominent liberals do not acknowledge the issues with the ACA because they are just trying to support the president and liberal ideology reflexively. Makes me lose hope of a middle ground solution to fix it.

      1. timmuggs

        People who don’t like ACA seem to live in states that have not adopted it. Just something I’ve noticed about the naysayers.A friend, an entrepreneur who runs his own small & successful networking company, likes it a lot. He has a heart condition & could not get coverage at any cost. Insurance companies would not cover him. Now he has coverage.Among the problems with HC before ACA was that if you got fired or left a job or started your own company, you could not take coverage with you, you had to eventually find your own or get employed by a big company to get it. ACA goes a long way to solve this problem.Ford motor company at one time complained about healthcare — why should they be in the health insurance business? It added costs to every vehicle they made, which was not true for Japanese or German rivals. I hope that the solution that you propose essentially gets rid of the system, unique to the USA, where health care coverage is tied to employment in a company bit enough to provide it.

        1. Matt Kruza

          100% agree on the second part. It should not be tied to te job. This is healthcares original sin as many policy wonks agree (on both sides of the aisle politically). It was a result of wage controls in 1943 ironically. So the the other key point is it has been bad for 72 years so any solution needs to focus on a 5-10 year transition point. Need to get on a flight, but yes, completely agree with your point about not being tied to employment. Hurts our international companies vs other nations, and it hurts small and medium business vs large companies because 1 sick person can mess up to a 200 – 300 person business. And lastly it hurts the sick / older workers who aren’t extremely skilled because why would an employe take a chance on a $30k worker who could lead to $100-250k of medical bills.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Recall why it was tied to employment? FDR’s New Deal froze wages-so to compete for workers companies used benefits which were exempt.

          2. Matt Kruza

            Oh I understand that for sure. No doubt it was was a pretty “liberal” policy, but to be slightly fair to the liberals / democrats is it happened I 1943 at least in part (and maybe primarily) as a cost control for war time rationing, not pre-war as part of the new deal from the history I know. I could be wrong. Regardless, the important lesson is the govt. manipulation of making itt pre-tax and tied to employment distorted the largest part of our economy 75 years later. Sort of like housing policy and education… sensing a theme? Govt. regulation very often causes more expensive products. Not always, but very often. Sadly few understand this starting in 1943 and how FDR’s policy and Truman not switching it after the war is a HUGE part of the mess we are in.

        2. pointsnfigures

          I have hated ACA from the outset. I live in Illinois. This could have been done more effectively and cheaply with vouchers, and increasing competition in the health care system, and requiring transparency. Instead, we get an albatross of a government program the country cannot afford, and a massive opaque healthcare bureaucracy that is getting bigger and consolidating. The healthcare system will devolve into haves and have nots. If you can’t afford private insurance with a private doctor whom you pay a retainer for, take a number and get in line.

      2. Richard

        I’m all for access to healthcare, but as you probably know, the ACA has not been tested yet where it matters, the court of economics. Insurance companies have been reinsured by the federal gov when costs hit a preset ceiling. This reinsurance goes away in a few years.

        1. Matt Kruza

          Yep, a very important point. And the rate increases this year are looking like 10-20% by many major carriers. Will hurt Hillary in 2016 I think. Also, long-term we need to decouple health insurance from the job, but none of these things can happen unless we get the underlying HEALTHCARE cheaper… that is where Obama TOTALLY failedand the issue is so poisonous now I fear it won’t be adressedfor a decade plus

          1. Richard

            it will be addressed but for the foreseeable future, it will be more like a game of three card monte.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      Reminds me a bit of the abortion debate, in that it was becoming legal at the state level before the Supreme Court issued a creative ruling, which made the issue a source of political conflict for generations to come.As someone noted on Twitter, all the dissents and concurrences on this gay marriage case were on the right; as someone else noted, no one ever asks how Sonia Sotomayor will weigh in on a case. Justices on the right wrestle with jurisprudence and those on the left vote in accordance with their ideology.Years ago, I questioned the merits of Fred voting for president based on potential SCOTUS nominations, arguing that the former governor of the most liberal state in the union wouldn’t nominate a reactionary to the court. That remains true, but Fred was right to vote the way he did. And, in hindsight, W. had the right idea when he mooted nominating Harriet Miers as a Justice. Ideological purity trumps jurisprudence if you want your side to win.The Dems have been winning, consequentially, for 8 decades. Let’s give them credit for that.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Free markets are really messy. Centralized top down bureaucracy is not. What kind of society do you want to live in? China-or the way the founders envisioned the US? We are rapidly going the way of China.

  3. Craig Cramer

    I strongly recommend watching the Obama’s entire speech. It may be his best ever. Hugely inspirational about the best in people as individuals and as a collective.https://m.youtube.com/watch

    1. William Mougayar

      He will do well on the speaking circuit after, maybe even better than Clinton did.

      1. Craig Cramer

        No doubt. I just hope Obama won’t be as crass about it as Clinton is.

        1. awaldstein

          What does that mean?

          1. Dave Pinsen

            That the Clintons’ buck-raking has been unseemly to the point that issues of corruption have been raised. E.g., Bill’s paid speeches to prominent companies while his wife was in government; donations to their foundation by countries with business at the State Department while Hillary was Secretary; the way their foundation has been run primarily as a source of sinecures for family & friends, etc.

          2. awaldstein

            Have they done anything illegal or not?

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Assuming, arguendo, they haven’t, their actions can still be considered crass.

          4. awaldstein

            I don’t agree.Actually had the pleasure of seeing him speak a few times on the circuit.Worth every dollar.

          5. Dave Pinsen

            He’s a great speaker, no question. But that has no bearing on whether their actions have been crass or not.

          6. awaldstein

            Your opinion, my opinion all equal and just different.

          7. Dave Pinsen

            It’s just my opinion that a person’s speaking ability has no bearing on whether that person is crass or not? Is that what you are claiming here?

          8. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            I agree all people are entitled to opinions – so long as opinion is confined to the subjective – when they pose as fact – that is where they cease to be valid.So Dave Pinsen wrote “their actions can still be considered crass.” – which is true whether or not you agree.And undoubtedly “had the pleasure of seeing him speak” is subjective.This rules in favour of @disqus_Awy3Cl8ObF:disqus ! However, I cannot doubt the opinion of @daveinhackensack:disqus either !

          9. awaldstein

            Please give me an example of fact, irrefutable fact as that is the only kind, in the last few comment strings.No gross generalizations. No simple ditties.There aren’t any.It’s all opinion 😉

          10. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Arnold – Agreed – the point was trying to make but you were more concise.

          11. pointsnfigures

            Yes, they have. They traded political decisions made by the Secretary of State for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

          12. JLM

            .The “point of corruption” has long since disappeared in the Clintons’ rear view mirror.BC started as a huckster in an El Camino with a six pack and a hard on.Now, he’s just a huckster in a limo with a twenty four pack and a droopy hard on.Some things never change.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          13. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Perhaps we should explore your fixation with President Clinton’s hard on and its various states of erectness 😉

          14. LE

            The “point of corruption” has long since disappeared in the Clintons’ rear view mirror.I have my red light theory which is loosely related. It goes like this:The reason you don’t run a red light (after coming to a stop of course I mean) even on an empty road in the middle of the night is that your brain must be trained to respect the red light as meaning “stop” on a subconscious level.If you run 1 red light you will probably run 10 of them. At a certain point you will then rewire your brain to find it acceptable to run red lights that you would have never considered doing at first. More importantly you will run a red light while you are moving as opposed to automatically hitting stop when you see one. How many times have you thought “red light I have to hit stop”. You don’t you just do it automatically.The auto reaction is significant therefore on many levels. The brain must be trained to respect the red light subconsciously.With respect to the Clinton(s), same behavior is well known in people who commit fraud in business and in life. They never start out with the big kill, they get there step by step whereby each additional act doesn’t seem that bad compared to the one that came before it.I once spoke to a man who owned a furniture business who I found out reliably hadn’t paid taxes in approx 20 years. He told me at one point “I don’t even know what is right anymore at this point”.”Grinners” like Clinton I have noticed are able to get away with more than non-grinners who are bad boys. An anecdote for sure but just something that I’ve observed.

          15. JLM

            .The second and third bad acts are no longer decisions. That decision was made a long time ago.Well played!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. Craig Cramer

            The relentless pursuit of every possible dollar regardless of source and the sometimes over the line mixing of personal, philanthropic and political agendas. I have no problem with the Clintons (who I mostly agree with on the issues) or other former public officials, building personal wealth. But, when it’s done on the backs of public positions, and often justified in the name of continuing to advance the public interest, I think certain standards apply that are different from how the Clintons have gone about it.

          17. awaldstein

            Cool–don’t see it that way.If the election was held tomorrow, Hilary has my vote.

          18. Dan Epstein

            Give Bernie a look. You might like watch you see.

          19. Dave Pinsen

            Bernie is certainly closer to an old-school Union democrat, looking out for labor instead of hedge funders. But he suffers from what Steve Sailer terms “Ellis Island kitsch” on immigration: because his father was an immigrant, he supports unrestricted immigration, despite its negative effect on employment and wages.Samuel Gompers was an immigrant himself, but he opposed unrestricted immigration because he understood that the law of supply and demand applies to labor. Since 1965, though, Democrats’ focus on identity politics has trumped their concern for workers.

          20. Dan Epstein

            Good point. I haven’t heard Bernie address that concern, but my guess is he would say he’s going to create jobs by rebuilding America’s infrastructure, and he’ll keep wages up by raising the minimum wage and fighting trade plans like the TPP.

          21. pointsnfigures

            Make sure you are the highest bidder-then you can get something from her.

          22. awaldstein

            I was raised a Democrat in a Union Family. Now I vote pragmatic and she is still my choice so far.

        2. pointsnfigures

          He’s from Chicago. It’s all about the money. (So is Hillary)

      2. JLM

        .The obscenity of American Presidents becoming paid speech makers after having been elected to the highest office in the land is surpassed only by their fees.I harken back to the statement made by George Catlett Marshall, in the garden of Dodonna, wherein having been handed a million dollar check by a publisher as a down payment on his memoirs, said:”I did not enter public service to aggrandize my purse.”Obviously, he returned the check.That would be 5-star General of the Army, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Ambassador to China, Head of the American Red Cross, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, author of the Marshall Plan and the man who Winston Churchill called “the architect of victory” in WWII Marshall.The George C Marshall.He was also a VMI graduate and last night I went to an event and wore a pair of VMI cufflinks that he wore.Now that was an inspiring leader.I am tired of hucksters of all stripes.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. William Mougayar

          Well, it is part of the culture and expectations to do that.Of course, he can be creative and donate half of it to a foundation or something like that, but there’s nothing wrong IMO in making a few bucks after 8 years of sacrifice in salary terms.

          1. JLM

            .Just a second, I threw up a little into my mouth.One is either an honorable man or a pimp dog.It is a choice we all have to make.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. William Mougayar

            Well, both G & G Bush and Reagan did speeches after leaving office. Are you saying that was a bad thing? Just trying to understand it.

          3. LE

            Nobody becomes Potus because of anything other than being a narcissistic power hungry delusional ego maniac. Let’s put “tuchas on tisch” [1] here. It is not about saving the world although they might very well believe that is why they are running for office. It’s not about making the world a better place for their children since they have effectively made their children less safe by outing them.Remember the fist bump with Michelle? Does anyone fist bump after finding out that they will be allowed to travel to Ethiopia and help with the ebola epidemic?In that sense it is quite different than someone who dedicates their life to Military service [2] where you have to work hard and rise through the ranks over many years, right? Not just be able to delivery a rousing speech or make the liberal newspapers and Oprah Winfrey fawn all over you where it helps to be “YAHG” [3][1] For the goyim, “ass on table”.[2] Or any number of other careers like EMT, Police, Fire and so on where there is a different type of danger involved.[2] “Yet Another Harvard Grad” (I just invented that btw..)

          4. Dave Pinsen

            It’s not much of a sacrifice in financial terms because 8 years in that position dramatically increases a person’s earning power.

          5. William Mougayar

            Well, that was my point. In terms of net salary, it is, although the perks more than make it for it, but they really make up for it later, in so many ways.

          6. LE

            But the salary doesn’t matter when you are in office. Your time is narrowly defined as well as what you could even do with money. So why does the money matter at all? It could literally be even much.Look at the reasons that people need money and what you can do with money. When, while in office, does a Potus even have a use for more money? What would they do with that money other than invest it for the future and in this case the future is entirely solid as are anything you could do with money with the possible exception of donating to charity Which you can do (as I mentioned in my other comment) by just lending your name and doing a speech and so on.

          7. Michael Rattner

            Presidents get stuck with a lot of mundane bills. For example they pay for their own dry cleaning and even non-state meals, oftentimes at significant cost. Sticker shock is common: http://www.quora.com/Does-t

          8. LE

            Well first it’s not 8 years it’s 4 years and the choice is yours whether you want to run for another 4 years or not.Second, what does money (Presidential pay) even have to do with this at all?Many attorneys make higher salaries that Scotus ($244,400) but I am guessing a large percentage of them would trade that salary to be a Justice and that decision has nothing to do with job security. Ditto for CEO’s. It’s a power position and comes with many perks (as well as drawbacks) such as respect and unlimited smoke being blown up the “you know what”, attention, accolades all of that. Much more than you could possible get if you earned twice the salary or even 4 times the salary.Plus it’s an all expenses paid job which comes with all the help that you would ever need.And that’s not even taking account the earning power after office. Or the fact that you wouldn’t even need to buy a vacation home you can just stay at one that is owned by someone who needs a favor from you. You know “a friend”.The drawback in being President is almost certainly not money. It’s the loss of freedom for your and your family and living in a fishbowl forever.

          9. William Mougayar

            Ok, in net terms it’s a low salary, and you’re right that the perks make-up for a big chunk of the total value. But Obama is still young and can do a lot after he leaves.

        2. Salt Shaker

          JLM, yesterday I attended a luncheon in Seattle where General Stanley McChrystal spoke. Not the least bit surprising, he is a great orator. I’m sure the General was well compensated for his time, and I have no problem rewarding him for the wisdom he imparted. Perhaps compensation during General Marshall’s time was perceived as unseemly, yet had he been alive today I’m fairly certain he too would jump on the bandwagon. The hourly compensation avail makes A-Rod seem like a welfare recipient.

          1. JLM

            .George D Marshall did not jump on bandwagons — that’s the point — he was the leader of the band.I knew Stan on active duty. All the Regulars bumped into each other at schools. I never liked him. Big ass kisser. I did like his book.Becoming a 4-star is about 0.0001% selection rate.A General never retires. He is on inactive active duty and continues to receive his pay. This is why Petreaus had to formally resign to take the job as D-CIA.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        3. LE

          The obscenity of American Presidents becoming paid speech makers after having been elected to the highest office in the land is surpassed only by their fees.I am not following why you take issue with Presidents becoming “paid speech makers” in order to earn a living or to re-purpose the money that they make to other causes.I have more of a problem with Presidents appearing on Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh In” or rapping the news on Jimmy Kimmel.For one thing they almost certainly have a ton of favors to pay back to people who were their supporters, and to others who have helped them, so it’s not as if they can just turn their backs or even selectively pick where and when they will speak.Plus when and where they speak is often used for fundraising for various causes.I remember when both Joan Rivers and Barbra Walters spoke at my parents synagogue (at different times). There were two types of tickets available one in the audience and another where if you forked over enough money you got to have dinner with them before the speech. And I assume that was a total sellout and the synagogue made enough money to not only pay the speakers but to fund something that they wanted to do. Otherwise, why would they have done that? (They did many events like this).Lastly I think it’s quite obvious that this is a better way for them to earn money rather than trading favors in order to get comped for everything casino junket style.

        4. sigmaalgebra

          Ah, you don’t have towear those old GCMcuff links, I’m aboutto go out and get someexercise in the yard,and there are somebranches that blew offlast winter. They aremostly rotten, but Icould find a somewhatless rotten piece andwhittle out a pair ofnice, new BHO cufflinks! I’ll do alittle photo editingand glue on a pictureof him refusing to puthis hand over hisheart as in the link Iposted above.And, gee, a secondset, with WJC saying”I didn’t have …”on one and the otherwith “What is is”.For GCM, I could add…. Naw. But Icould add …. Naw.I give up — there’snothing I can add towhat you said.BTW, those BHO and WJCcuff links would besomewhat rotten. Hopeyou didn’t expectsomething else!I could also do some Wcuff links but therewould be no room for”There is no doubtSaddam has WMDs”(literally true — westill had the receiptsfrom when we sold himthe chem weapons touse against Iran),”The Iraqi people areperfectly capable ofgoverning themselves”,and “Missionaccomplished” from theW administration.At least I can respectBush 41 for decliningto go to Baghdad.Saddam was awful, butafter HNS destroyedhis military Saddamwas better than any ofthe alternatives theresince. We should havejust privately madehim an offer hecouldn’t refuseand otherwise let himkeep a lid on that1000 year old threelegged civil war.

        5. Anne Libby

          Agree. It’s undignified and disrespects the office

        1. ShanaC

          Long long term? I figured he’d go back to Chicago

        2. Lucas Dailey

          I’m hopeful he’ll move to a higher level of critique of politics & government. Great plans to start, but imo we need to think bigger picture change. He seems to hint at it in the article, I hope he follows though. He’s someone that could really make a difference.

        3. Drew Meyers

          Excited to see this tech corps grow. I read the article a week or so ago.

    2. fredwilson

      watching now. thanks

    3. ShanaC

      Thank you.

  4. Svetlana Kulikova

    My thoughts exactly. And I am relatively new to America.

  5. chrisdorr

    It is almost impossible to believe that all this happened in one week. I watched the President’s speech live and was astonished when he started singing with no musical cue other than his own inner voice. This is a very hard thing to do, especially for someone with no vocal or musical training. He took a risk as he has done so many other times on so many issues. He has proven himself to be one of our great presidents. We were right to elect him both times, as he has risen to the occasion, time after time.

  6. Tom Labus

    This is one of your best posts. Thanks.I consider the ACA signature legislation in our history and beileve President Obama is right there with FDR and LBJ.I would toss in the Trade Bill win for an incredible weekAnd you know he wrote that eulogy himself.

  7. 3agonists

    Kudos America. While some would agree and others would disagree, this week shows why America is such a powerful country to the rest of the world. Envy you people. The fact that an indivisual (in this case a powerful one such as Chief Justice Roberts though) can express himself in a different opinion from that of his party differentiates your country from the rest of the world. And the gay marriage, President Obama, etc. In my view, it is not necessarily that America has always made the right decisions, but that doesn’t stop making efforts to find the right way to go, among many different opinions, in civilized manners (other than in some cases).

  8. lisa hickey

    I know the word “progressive” has become politicized and lost some of its original meaning. But this all feels like progress—real progress. The events are interrelated but distinct enough, different enough, that it feels like a groundswell of more tolerance and open-mindedness embedded in our culture. A reset of the collective mindset. Anyone can disagree with different pieces of what happened this week, but it is hard to disagree with the fact that we moved forward, collectively. I would also add the downing of the Confederate flag to the week that was. I will be interested to see how the events of this week affects innovation overall. For one thing, I think that more and more people realize they have access to the tools and the way to social change in ways they hadn’t before.

  9. JimHirshfield

    Indeed a great week. Well said. Let me add one more item:”Fred Wilson is sick and tired of having his headlines rewritten”

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, it really bugs me

  10. vruz

    Too bad that with his signature on the NDAA, the President erased 800 years of jurisprudence going back to the Magna Carta, and every civil right stunt means nothing if it’s invalidated by the erasure of Habeas Corpus, and Posse Comitatus.Oh, and The Kill List, The Kill List is awesome.You know, the President –a modern day monarch– can kill anybody for any reason, anywhere in the world (including you and me) and start an unprovoked war on a whim, like he did in Libya.Did he close the Guantanamo concentration camp yet?Keep on dreaming.

  11. ezwing

    Ive been follwing your posts for seveeral months now. A curious mix of tech news, career and business guidance, and general comments. I like it.This was one of your best so far. Please keep it up.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks and welcome

  12. William Mougayar

    Somewhat related was also the incident when a heckler interrupted Obama this week during an LGBT event, and the President told him (with a smile) “You’re in my house…be respectful.”It rarely happens, but it reminded me a bit of when someone crosses the lines here on AVC and you call them up on it. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/

  13. Antoine

    Very thoughtful post. A great example of amazing leadership skills shining through.

  14. JimHirshfield

    The funeral may have been a strong moment for Obama, but the fact that people were gunned down by a racist in this day, is deeply troubling.

    1. Richard

      The idea that a president gets credit for a speech in reponse to a tragic event is a troubling post 911 phenomena.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yup

      2. awaldstein

        How so?People need leadership around challenging moments. Best speeches have been in this vein since forever.

        1. Richard

          Leadership and Speeches need not and i argue shouldn’t come from the same group of people who control so much of the economy.MLK, who delivered one of the most important speeches over the last 50 years, exemplifies this point.

          1. awaldstein

            We hold different views of the world.I’ll still meet you at Moon Juice in Venice and have a blend with you when I’m in LA next.

          2. Richard

            Im game, but I wont be talking politics :). Lets talk food distribution startups. If you want to see a juice bar of beauty, the the Juice Served Here/Verve Coffee Shop in DTLA really nailed it.

          3. awaldstein

            checking it out. big fan of moon juice obviously.luli is on a tear now–going to go regional with whole foods over the next while and opening a tiny Luli shop for immediate distribution and as an outpost for raw for manhattan.also doing a round. food biz is a capital hog as you know.

          4. Donna Brewington White

            Exciting! Congratulations!

          5. panterosa,

            Go Luli!!

          6. creative group

            MLK speech was delivered at a time when his ethnic group wasn’t provided identical rights under the law (Civil Rights legislation wasn’t even passed when speech was delivered), infrastructure and system that used water hoses and dogs to oppress and suppress the same speech you referenced.No clarification is required your posts speak volumes.

    2. Salt Shaker

      It’s become a vicious cycle. Some heinous gun killing, followed by a deeply poignant and reflective memorial. Yet the fundamental probs sadly are never adequately addressed, and are continually swept under the rug.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Sadly so

      2. Dave Pinsen

        One of the “fundamental problems” is that the media has fomented racial violence by advancing its narrative. The perpetrator of the Charleston massacre essentially claimed to have been radicalized by the disconnect he saw between the media’s narrative (that blacks are invariably the victims in interracial violence) and the statistical reality (blacks are far more likely to be the perpetrators of interracial violence).To be clear, the killer in Charleston bears the guilt for the atrocity he committed, just like the killer of those cops in NYC last winter was guilty of those murders. But perhaps it’s time for the media to stop fanning the flames.

        1. Salt Shaker

          Dave, this obv is a complex issue that crosses many boundaries, including social, cultural, economic, educational, etc., although I do agree the media hasn’t been helpful in framing a meaningful, balanced narrative. In its quest to be PC, in many respects, it’s done just the opposite. All of these unfortunate killings get lumped into a singular narrative, while the circumstances and back story of each are frequently quite different. IMO, the Ferguson narrative obfuscates or dismisses the back story and many of the facts, while Charleston is considerably more straight forward and less open to interpretation. Nonetheless, they’re all quite tragic.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            The shooting of the cops I alluded to above isn’t very open to interpretation either. In both cases, I’m going by the words of the killer. Roof said he started to look into disparities in interracial crime after the media’s tendentious coverage of the Trayvon Martin case. Brinsley said he was going to “put wings on pigs” in revenge for police killing of Brown.

          2. Salt Shaker

            The media has an obligation to cover, and the awareness of these hate crimes, hopefully, at some point, will lead to a cultural and attitudinal change, although societal inequities and imbalance are a huge factor in driving the despair and dysfunction. The media has an obligation to not only inform but to educate, yet political alliance/agendas continue to drive a polarizing narrative.

          3. LE

            The media has an obligation to cover, and the awareness of these hate crimesIf you watch CNN wall to wall coverage complete with hours of talking heads feasting on the juicy morsals of any new event you can’t possibly call that “coverage”. It goes way beyond “coverage” (even NBC Nightly news which I also watch).Of course you remember “Camp OJ”, right? That is perhaps where it all started. That is not coverage nor is wall to wall coverage of any of the recent police events necessary to inform the public. It’s infotainment plain and simple and a way for the networks to sell advertising. Has nothing to do with any right or need to know on any level. It’s produced in a way to make it compelling “must see” TV.

          4. Salt Shaker

            You can’t conflate cable TV news–which is 24/7 coverage–w/ broadcast news, which is fundamentally an hour a day (sans shows like Today, GMA, etc., which are far more entertainment oriented, athough they still are part of a network’s news division). Cable TV news has an enormous pipe to fill, while continually trying to engage an audience most often in the absence of late breaking or worthy news to cover. They literally have no choice but to pusue an entertainment agenda.CNN and MSNBC are getting crushed, so clearly their programming strat isn’t resonating, while FOX is killing it. Regardless, I’m sure Edward R. Morrow, Walter Cronkite, etc., are prob stirring in their grave the way TV news today is both crafted and delivered. Other media, such as print and online, can drill deeper and be more analytical since they’re generally targeting a more narrow constituency. Bottom line: There’s very, very little objectivity in news media today, although a gen decline in ratings suggests the viewing public is perhaps (finally) getting sick of all the rhetoric and political patronization.

          5. Dave Pinsen

            Most of the hate crimes the media covers have two things in common:1) A white alleged perpetrator or perpetrators.2) They either didn’t happen at all (e.g., the rape of Tawana Brawley, the Duke Lacrosse rape case, the klan sightings at Oberlin, etc.), or weren’t hate crimes but were intitally characterized as such by the media (e.g., the Trayvon Martin case, in which a TV network edited a 911 call by Zimmerman to make him appear racist, and in which the media invented the phrase “white Hispanic” when it turned out that the part Afro-Peruvian Zimmerman was Hispanic, despite his gringo last name).The Charleston shooting was a rare exception in that it was an actual hate crime perpetrated by a white person against African Americans.The more frequent hate crimes perpetrated by blacks on whites rarely get covered by the national media (do a search for “the Wichita horror” for an example of one you’ve probably never heard of), and when they do get covered, they aren’t treated as an issue we as a nation have to wrestle with. If the media have a responsibility to cover actual hate crimes, they have been doing a poor and biased job of it.

          6. Salt Shaker

            No question it’s reverse discrimination, but to pursue balanced reporting today just isn’t PC, as twisted and illogical as that sounds, cause these narratives are now so well entrenched they’ve become almost beyond reproach.The same applies to the narrative w/ today’s police. Sure, there are many bad cops that are biased and engage in racial profiling, just like there are bad eggs in any industry. Yet, cops have been emasculated by the media. In Seattle it’s even worse cause of a DOJ investigation and settlement. Cops here have told me they feel their lives are in danger cause they no longer have the ability to do their jobs adequately. Basically, they’re the one’s wearing the handcuffs, all fueled in large part by a ridiculously liberal, biased media. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself to be a pretty liberal guy, but what’s tolerated here in Seattle vs. New York–where I live half the year–w/ respect to petty crime and so called “quality of life” issues makes it feel like I’m living on two different planets.

        2. LE

          One of the “fundamental problems” is that the media has fomented racial violence by advancing its narrative.Agree 100%. That is what they do best and that is the business they are in.Remember all the hype about Ebola that never came true in this country? Nurse that was quarantined by Chris Christie (iirc) would have never happened without the media blitz that revved everybody up and raised the stakes to a “not on my watch” knee jerk reaction by politicians. Same with Anthrax. There are probably dozens of events like this where the media strips the carcass of any real truth in order to sell advertising and justify their existence.

    3. LE

      You have one lone mentally ill guy who did that. Don’t make it more than it is or that it is some kind of trend as is being done with police abuses. Which is extremely rare although with the advent of POV video it seems like some kind of rampant epidemic that we have to worry about.The media is always totally manipulative in how they present things to the public using words like “growing trend” or “growing concern” or “has critics wondering if” and so on.

  15. iggyfanlo

    AMEN… I feel the USofA got a real hat trick this week, but for us to still stand United and allow Scalia and Roberts to give their views, guidance and opinions in open dialogue is what really sets America apart… differences and iteration

  16. kidmercury

    the real obamacare hikes are starting in 2016: http://money.cnn.com/2015/0…then you will see the cascading impact to deficit and employment.

  17. Salt Shaker

    The ACA will now for sure solidify Obama’s legacy. There are many, many good aspects to the legislation, but it is still flawed. Expanded health coverage for the masses is arguably its greatest achievement, but the cost side of the equation is still rampantly out of control. On a personal note, my healthcare premiums have increased by over 50% since the law’s inception. I don’t mind subsidizing those in far lower income brackets, which, in essence, is what I’m doing, but reigning in costs via greater system transparency is still woefully inadequate.

  18. Richard

    “it was a good week for Barack Obama” therein is the problem. We need to stop glamorizing ALl politicians.

  19. Jordan Thaeler

    Both decisions are a major loser for Federalism. I reasonably expect secession at some point in the next 20 years. That is American.

  20. William Mougayar

    It is a good feeling to be heading home after being in 5 countries in 10 days.

  21. heather

    Also agree with your comments Fred. I really enjoyed sharing these moments with my son this week too. Whichever way you lean – this week was full of rich lessons for young people. I happened to be at the #MCON Conference in Chicago listening to several cause-minded and ambitious millennials – which I really enjoyed. But even more, I looked forward to returning to my hotel room each night for a call with my 19 year old son to hear his take on all that transpired in our country.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      When this comment began I was picturing a much younger son. What a pleasant surprise when you revealed that he was 19 and that you talk nightly. I have a 20 year old who is very much his own person. He stretches my thinking more than I thought possible. What a gift. Painful sometimes but a gift. Also, he has begun seeking my advice for the first time in a few years. That feels like a huge accomplishment.Kudos to your parenting!

  22. David Fleck

    There are times when I’ve been proud to be an American, and times when I’ve not. But I’ve always loved my country. Just like family and good friends, it’s unconditional love.This week I not only love my country, I am proud of it.

  23. laurie kalmanson

    awesome post.awesome update to the law of the land; marriage is a civil right, and civil rights are human rights.i am concerned that the opposition to treating gay people as humans will litigate it forever, with more or less success, as they have challenged the idea that women are people and that reproductive rights are civil rights — it’s awesome, but it’s far from over.ruth bader ginsburg made human equality the basis of her marriage equality thinking; once women achieved equality as humans, marriage was no longer a man / legal rights having person and a woman / subordinate and not legal rights having person; it was a marriage of equals, so two men or two women have exactly the same standing as a man and a woman. it’s a nice piece of thinking.quote:[Same-sex couples] wouldn’t be asking for this relief if the law of marriage was what it was a millennium ago. I mean, it wasn’t possible. Same-sex unions would not have opted into the pattern of marriage, which was a relationship, a dominant and a subordinate relationship. Yes, it was marriage between a man and a woman, but the man decided where the couple would be domiciled; it was her obligation to follow him./quotereproductive freedom would have been based on stronger footing had it been equality rather than privacy; the optics are better.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      I’m shocked: Ginsburg felltotally for total, bitter,angry, destructive feministnonsense.Traditionally, a man married awoman mostly because he lovedher; her grace, beauty,affection motivated him want tocare for her, support her, giveher security. He did the hardphysical work and willinglyrisked his life to protect andcare for her.Women were very much privilegedcharacters.In fact, traditionally forwomen, Ginberg’s equalitywould be a really big step down.And she didn’t have to “follow”him unless she still wanted toeat. He moved because of solidreasons, typically economic, notbecause of trivia. Since he wasthe provider, sure, in effectshe had to follow him, if shestill wanted him to provide forher, if she wanted to have food,clothing, shelter, etc.That Ginsberg got on the SCOTUSis, then, just awful. That sheused her destructive feministnonsense in this LGBT decisionis much worse.The decision was wrong becauseit was not a Constitutionalissue, was liberal, socialengineering, legislatingpersonal attitudes from thebench by the unelectedMembers of the SCOTUS, was anissue that should have been leftto the elected Members ofCongress.The respect for the SCOTUS wevery much need has now beentrashed.And all the female justicesvoted with the majority.As a result, at least in mymind, women now have one heck ofa barrier to entry to get on theSCOTUS. The stereotypes ofwomen as overly emotional,irrational, and irresponsiblehave been confirmed morestrongly than I would have everbelieved possible.Sweetheart, you are to be caredfor and not to try to make it onyour own. So, at leasttraditionally, you darned wellbetter follow him, and thank himmany times a day, sinceotherwise you stand to be poor,tired, cold, hungry, sick, anddead.Honey, you were built not to beable to make it on your own, tobe dependent. Why? It hadreproductive advantage.Now? You can be a nurse, schoolteacher, customer servicesrepresentative, or lawyer, makemoney, and regard yourself asthe feminist ideal ofindependent, autonomous,self-sufficient, and equal,but there are at least twobiggie problems:(1) Already on the SCOTUS, wetried, and after not very long,you are blowing it; we should bevery reluctant to put a woman onthe SCOTUS again, or in anyresponsible position, for atleast another 1000 years. Wewill need long enough for asignificant change in the genepool.(2) Dependency had reproductiveadvantage, and the feministideal has the opposite effect:Feminism leads to weak, sick, ordead limbs on the tree and, net,reduction of genes in the genepool that are willing toentertain feminism. Feminism iskilling itself off, isself-correcting.If women growing to be rationaland responsible means that theyare also weak, sick, or deadlimbs on the tree, then, asDarwin would know, there is nohope for women growing to berational and responsible.Justice Ginsberg, have you beendrinking again?

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Okay, Justice Ginsberg wants to beequal.Fine. Okay.In part she was talking about the pastwhere she believed that women were notequal.Okay, Justice, back then, say, 80, 100,200 years ago, here’s what it would takefor a woman to be equal, like aman:http://www.youtube.com/watc…Want to try that? Hitch up the Percheronsand plow the north 40 acres?And how much do you weigh, maybe 120pounds, maybe 105 pounds? Are you sureyou could even lift the horse collar for aPercheron?Percherons get hungry; sure, pick up apitch fork and toss a few bails of haytheir way.Percherons are really strong: Have a cargo off the road and get stuck in a ditch,just hitch up a Percheron, and right awayout comes the car.Once I saw a Percheron want to go outside;he just wanted to walk outside; hehappened to be hitched to part of a wagonso took that with him; that thing he washitched to caught on part of the barn andpulled it out — basically the Percheronpulled down one side of the barn.Say, milk some cows, that is, fill a milkcan that, full, weighs nearly as much asyou do.Uh, a standard bag of chicken feed, orcement mix, weighs, what, ball park 100pounds, that is, nearly as much as you do.You’ve been working out and bulking up,right?Ever shovel out a dairy barn that has 60cows? Before breakfast?I’m not a real expert in such things, butmy father grew up in dairy farm country inNYS, and I visited one summer; and myfather in law raised chickens 40,000 at atime — worked 20 hours a day, six days aweek and backed off to 10 hours on Sunday,and, from just 88 acres, net in today’smoney about $80,000 a month.Raising 40,000 chickens at a time will putsome hair on a man’s chest — I’m lesssure about you.Justice, one of the things the farm boysliked to do on a day off was to playfootball. They took pride indemonstrating their skills, determination,and physical strength.Justice, there was a good reason the girlswere off the field, on the sidelines,dancing around; they all knew very wellsome of what you are missing: One hit onthe football field and you’d land in thenext county.That you could do the work of men or evenboys was an outrageous laugh. You’d nevertry it or even think of it.On a farm with 40,000 chickens, maybe thewife or daughters could gather some eggsfor an angel food cake. Really hard workwhipping up those egg whites!Meanwhile the father, e.g., my father inlaw, was collecting the 100 or so chickensthat died in the previous 24 hours,tossing them into a trench and coveringthem over, mixing a ton or so of chickenfeed, scattering a ton or so of woodshavings, growing corn and soy beans forchicken feed, for the chicken feedhandling 55 gallon drums of ground fish,and using hammer, nails, lumber, and tarpaper to build two more chicken houses formore flocks of chickens.Of course, things were different in thewinters: At -30 F with 30 MPH winds, outin the unheated barn, with feet hurtingfrom the cold, repairing the farmmachinery. I helped him once, with someof the fuel injection for a Diesel, and myfeet hurt, really hurt.Of course the girls/women were notequal; instead, they wereprivileged characters, cared for whereequality would have been a reallybig step down. Bluntly, only a tinyfraction of the women could do men’s work.

  24. Kirsten Lambertsen

    It’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to sing properly in a situation like that. He clearly is a very talented singer to have sounded so good. There is no way he could hear himself once the music started up and everyone started singing with him.I love the singing moment, a LOT. It says so many things about our country and the man. But, the downing of the Confederate flag in SC is the actual, important, watershed moment so far to emerge out of this unspeakable tragedy.

  25. JLM

    .The greatest triumph was really for the “system” – the “process” created by the Founding Fathers. It worked exactly the way it was designed over 200 years ago.This is not a commentary about the subject matter, either pro or con.When an issue bubbles forth from the people and it is litigated to an uncertain result, it is the job of appellate courts to attempt to resolve the ambiguities.When appellate courts cannot resolve it amicably across the land or it becomes a challenge to the rights of the people under the Constitution, then it is rightly sent to the Supreme Court for a final decision.It is briefed, argued and analyzed.Then a decision is made. In the issue of same sex marriage, the decision was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy arguably providing the decisive vote.In a land of 330MM people, one man made the final decision. That is the way the system is designed. That is the way the Founding Fathers deemed it to be. That is the way it worked.This is the best such system on the planet and until another better one emerges, we are well served.That is the real triumph here — that controversial issues can be decided in a manner that does not call tanks out into the streets.It is fair to find fault with that one man’s decision but, for me, that is an issue for another day. Today I celebrate the triumph of our system.I am not so naive as to suggest that there is not an element of social engineering or political gamesmanship even at the Supreme Court but it is a process of men/women and only men/women. The human element is not perfect.Tom’w we can fight about whether it was decided wisely. But, today, it worked and it is why we are a democracy and other places are not.God bless America.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      It feels good to be an American today.”It worked exactly the way it was designed over 200 years ago.” Though, I’m not so sure the founding fathers (well read, well bred and well wed) would have have been willing to be as patient as we asked LGBTQ or POC to be (and continue to be).

      1. JLM

        .Actually, no. This issue from its first legal challenge to final resolution took less time than it took to found, form the country and to write its Constitution.This was a “rocket docket” if ever there was one.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          I’m not starting at the first legal challenge.

    2. JaredMermey

      I wish more people held this view. Today, one vantage point may have won. Tomorrow, the other might win.If everyone held this view then the rhetoric would be a little less ugly, the process would move a little bit faster, and The Union would be a little more stronger.

    3. LE

      Then a decision is made. In the issue of same sex marriage, the decision was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy arguably providing the decisive vote.In case you missed it, the “thing that led to the thing” (as I like to say) was an in the closet gay law professor who must have had the hots [1] for a young Anthony Kennedy, you should read this:http://hosted.ap.org/dynami…To wit:Kennedy’s friendship with Gordon Schaber began in the mid-1960s when Schaber recruited the young lawyer to teach at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Schaber, who served as the school’s dean for 34 years, was in the process of transforming McGeorge from an unaccredited night school to a respected institution that now is a part of the University of the Pacific. Schaber never married and was widely believed to be gay, according to accounts from a dozen people who worked for him or were active in Sacramento’s political and legal communities. “Schaber’s sexual orientation was general knowledge among the Sacramento community and the law school community,” said Glendalee “Glee” Scully, the longtime director of McGeorge’s legal clinic, where students got practical experience by taking on cases for people who couldn’t otherwise afford a lawyer.[1] Kind of in the same way that a man might pay more attention to a young attractive woman in other words “don’t look for the zebra” and Occams Razor applies here.

  26. John Livesay

    Wonderful recap of a powerful week

  27. JLM

    .The challenge to Obamacare’s support of state exchanges v the national exchange was a silly challenge and should never have been undertaken by any reasonable person.It was a spoiling attack intended to destroy the underlying legislation.The analysis and logic was not challenging for a law school enrollee — someone who had only been admitted to law school.The legislative intent was clear. To ignore that legislative intent would have resulted in an “absurd” conclusion — as the word “absurd” is used in a legal context.The Republicans cannot hope to overturn Obamacare with a “war on typos.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  28. panterosa,

    United – exactly Fred, the word stuck out. WE.WE embracing our diversity, because a big WE is better, more human, global, universal.US and THEM is for the narrow view, US and THEM fight.WE solve problems together.WE look in the mirror and see the rainbow. I hope WE can see our black and white better from this.WE feel good right now, because more of WE is celebrated and connected, loved and supported.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Eloquently stated!WE are realizing that politicians choose to divide in order to conquer, and WE will not be conquered.

      1. panterosa,

        Kirsten, agreed, the smarter, kinder WE thinks long term – in generations, not election cycles.

    2. fredwilson

      exactly

      1. panterosa,

        In the last two weeks WE have cried together, in despair and in joy, and those tears brought us together. Makes me think of Jerry’s belief in the power of tears to release and heal.

    3. ShanaC

      It’s a better time to be an American than in a long time. Maybe we’re finally turning a corner

  29. sigmaalgebra

    You mean singing or signing?Ah, I can believe that you have more to dowith the second than the first!The ACA was 99 44/100% politics. Obamadidn’t care enough about health care evento become even slightly informed. E.g.,the American College of Surgeons slappedObama down hard for one of his egregious,ill informed, misinformed, dangerousstatements about health care. The ACA wasnever about health care.So, essentially as Pelosi giggled, like alittle girl in the third grade who hadtricked the little boys, really, at best,pass the ACA, get to the point that insome sense the US accepts that the FederalGovernment should pay for health care ifonly as a last resort, get something, evenjunk, passed, and let people later fix it.So far, that’s worked to some extent.But the standard Republican position is”repeal and replace”. In that case, allObamaCare will have accomplished is justthe politics of in some sense the USaccepts that the Federal Government shouldpay for health care if only as a lastresort.The US has Medicare and Medicaid, and somestates have community rating. Usuallystates without community rating believethat they can’t afford it. They may havea point.Passing junk legislation, e.g., that mightmake a big mess out of the US health caresystem, is seriously irresponsible. It’salmost revolutionary, i.e., justdestroy the old system, leave it as asmoking ruins, and then rebuild fromthere. Can hurt a lot of people doingthat. As in the remark by the AlecGuinness character in Dr. Zhivago,”Do you know what it cost?”.Health care planning by Michael Moore,Fidel Castro, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton, Karen Davis, and TheThree Stooges, all based on “It just feelsright”, or at least they hope it will andbelieve so until they get sick — nothanks. We’re talking surgery with dull,rusty butcher knives. Especially inhealth care, grotesque incompetence can bea very ugly thing.For gay marriage, I don’t care what LGBTscall their bonds. And if they wantto fit into existing laws about marriage,fine with me.The idea that the LGBTs need marriage sothat they can be good parents in goodfamilies — boggles the mind.I agree that the decision should have beenmade by elected Congress, not theunelected SCOTUS. With that decisionthere will be screaming of aliberal court legislatingfrom the bench.Thus respect for the SCOTUS can fall, andthat can be a really big loss. So, we’reback to getting a short term result for along term loss, that is, analogous tobusiness confusing current earnings andasset depreciation, say, make some moneythis month but trash the brand name.Our Founding Fathers gave us a magnificentlong term asset, but now we are trashingit for short term gains.Just why are we so eager to trash ourConstitution, i.e., use and, thus, trashthe status of the SCOTUS to do a job ofCongress that Congress didn’t want to do,for 100% of our people in order to do arelatively small favor (good parents?)for, what is it, 1-% of our people?Another cost: With the 5-4 decision withall three of the women in the majority,women will now be labeled as consistently,reliably soft-hearted, overly emotional,irresponsible, and irrational, that is,with some of the stereotypes, and, thus,face one heck of a barrier to entryto being appointed to the court. Thatrecord will outlast the Pyramids,literally.Those three women are likely brilliant?Yes. Likely in appropriate control oftheir emotions? No. So, those women haveobtained a short term gain at a long termloss.But here Obama was just playing politicsas usual, and whatever he said was easyfor him.Obama still doesn’t look at a problem,analyze it, find a good, feasible solution,propose it, and work to make it real.That’s part of leadership, and being President,he just won’t do.Instead, he sees opportunities forheadlines, makes a speech, gets someheadlines, and pleases his base. But hisbase doesn’t read past the headlines ortrack what he said. So, after theheadline, Obama just f’gets about it.His headline statements lead to somethingreal only when others do the work.Otherwise, if someone asks, he blames Bushand/or Congress. I can blame Bush; I havetough time blaming Congress, a majority ofall 535 Members.Obama wants to avoid blame; so, he justwill not take any action where he could beblamed. So, as a leader, he isirresponsible.Clever? Yes. Responsible? No. Possibleto do that and appropriately care aboutthe US? No.So, he doesn’t really lead, that is,”leads from behind”, is irresponsible as aleader, is showing how to be presidentwithout really trying or even caring.I still think that basically he hates theUS and wants to “stick it to Whitey”, andmuch of the rest of the US that he was notworking for as a community organizer e.g.,by refusing to enforce the immigrationlaws.Both YouTube and I still rememberhttp://www.youtube.com/v/hU…I like the US, too, but in simple, bluntterms, Obama got elected because theliberal media liked to get attention foreyeballs for ad revenue by ganging up,getting on the bandwagon, piling on, andpushing the theme of white guilt (the samefor gay rights?).Okay, in the classic trilogy oftransgression, retribution, andredemption, now we’ve gotten ourretribution of white guilt, Obama asPresident, trashing our Constitution,maybe wrecking our health care system, andtrashing our immigration laws and even anyconcept of citizenship, and we’ve gottenour redemption for our transgression ofpast sins. Since soon Obama’s last termwill be over, we can get back to being agood, honest, and productive countryagain.If we needed a real president, then we’dbe in real trouble.

    1. fredwilson

      those were typos. i fixed them

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Sorry to point to typos, but, when I posted, the errors were still there,and I didn’t see anyone else mentioningthem. And there was the hint thatthese particular errors were a case ofa Freudian slip, that is, from someonewho does a lot more signing than singing?

  30. BillMcNeely

    The President was on his game in that clip.

  31. Stephen Bradley

    It was a very big week. I’m not really a big Obama fan… but I am today. Along with all the news…that video is pure awesomeness.

  32. creative group

    The acknowledgment of the tragedy in Charleston, SC is welcomed.People recognize events, occurrences and observances when someone they respect, lettered, or hold’s a place in society unattainable by the average citizen addresses it. A good idea doesn’t become a great idea because Albert Einstein talked about it. The idea was always great when first acknowledged.

  33. David A. Frankel

    Fred, as always, thank you for effectively summarizing what a number of us are thinking. However, I believe the significance of the Confederate flag being lowered in front of the SC capitol cannot be understated as it relates to the Obama clip. He is, after all, our first African-American president, and I think the removal of this long standing symbol of divisiveness & hate under his watch was important in so many ways to the African-American community & to our country overall. People may not ultimately agree with what he was able to accomplish during his presidency, but no one will be able to say that he did not try to improve this country and move it forward.

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. I should have addressed that too. Big miss

      1. David A. Frankel

        You are allowed a few. 🙂

      2. LE

        If people really had cared about that they would have said something about that before. In droves. And kept at it if it really mattered to them. They didn’t. Reminds me of all the fuss abut the sports team which all the sudden became highly offensive to a large number of people that never cared about that before. The redskins.So now we have a society where everybody gets to vote on every single issue. The power of social media. [1] Not a good way to go. You will agree with me when things that you are not in favor of get decided the same way. I like the process. I don’t like it at all when a vocal small minority gets the rest of the lemmings on the bandwagon and subverts the process that we have in place to get things done.[1] Which has a tremendous amplification factor unfortunately that isn’t even representative of the entire public. Not that I care that much I wouldn’t want the entire country voting on every issue either because they are to stupid to know or think of the big picture. Same reason you didn’t let your kids decide not to go to school. Really.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Yup, no business having the Confederate flag in any government institution-best put into museums. I think private businesses banning the sale of it might be a bit too far-since most of them still sell Mao, Che, Stalin, Nazi, and other merchandise of despots that killed and persecuted millions of people.

    3. DJL

      Don’t forget – to the left (including Obama) – the American flag is a symbol of opression and racism and bigotry. So why not remove that? It is coming next. All we have to do is get some nutjob to shoot up a mosk with an American flag t-shirt and the rest follows, correct?

  34. goldwerger

    Great summary for a great week:

  35. creative group

    Those in this world who are close minded, racist, prejudice, hateful, etc. require no excuse to have those thoughts.Racism is a learned behavior. The majority of children at a playground are instant friends until their parents ruin them with hate, etc. (There are always exceptions we are highlighting the rule)When anyone uses any platform to disguise their visceral views not based on a difference of opinion or policy the erudite can see through the fog.

  36. Dan Epstein

    Surprised not to see more discussion of gun control/regulation this week, but then again, you can’t do everything at once. I hope that’s on the way soon.

  37. Wade

    I’ve worked on shrimp farms in Nicaragua and the Wall Street of Brazil, and every time I come home to America, I appreciate home in a new way. This week only swelled my love for my country. Welcome back, Fred.

  38. Cookie Marenco

    Excellent week, I agree! 🙂

  39. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    >>Every year that it remains the law of the land make it more likely that it will remain the law of the [email protected]:disqus I think this is a false interpretation of the Lindy effect – We know in hindsight that :The Lindy effect is correct for the first half of the lifetime of an entity and wrong for the second half.Since absent hindsight you never know which half you are in, (the chances are exactly 50/50) you must assume that the chances are that you are right are also 50/50 – It is therefore an utterly vacuous guess .So far better apply Hofstadters law which is recursively reliable (and as a bonus applies to entrepreneurship): It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”It will take longer than we expect to nullify this legislation”

  40. Rick Borry

    I strongly support healthcare for everyone, but I cringe at “The Affordable Care Act is performing much better than most people… thought it would.” Last year, my individual health insurance plan (in place since 2010) – that worked completely fine for my family of 6 – was cancelled due to not qualifying for ACA, BlueCross directed me to a plan costing twice as much monthly with twice the out-of-pocket and deductible costs, and then after switching plans my doctor and my wife’s doctor dropped us after 8 years of regular care because they were not reimbursed enough by our new plan to stay in business. Every insurance agent I speak with has heard my story thousands of times, and we have no option because the main insurance companies in Dallas offer identical plans at nearly identical rates.So, I pay twice as much for half the coverage, yet my doctors’ share is cut to the point where I no longer have a doctor as I wait for the open enrollment period to switch to a new policy. I have to ask – where did the extra money go? It seems that people in my mid-upper income bracket not covered by company healthcare but who had insurance are paying for the uninsured – when that responsibility and cost should be shared by all of society, not just my segment.

    1. Salt Shaker

      You nailed this. My experience exactly. My excellent health plan in NYC got cancelled cause it didn’t meet the new criteria. The ACA is designed to help the disadvantaged at the expense of the advantaged. I’m onboard w/ contributing financially to support those of need, but don’t expect me to be happy when I’m paying extremely more for extremely less coverage. Punch me in the stomach, but not in the face, too.

      1. DJL

        The ACA was never designed to lower premiums or improve care or allow you to keep your plan. It was a lie from the beginning. The (“evil”) insurance companies have reaped a massive profit windfall, and were actively involved in crafting the ACA (with our friend Gruber.) The Supreme Court has had to essentially re-write it twice to make it even stand. I cannot wait until the government madates that everyone buy my product at any price I choose! It is a disgrace.

    2. ShanaC

      What was missing in your previous plan that made it non-compliant. It’s making it easier for me to get insurance

      1. Rick Borry

        Who knows? My opinion is that the insurance company found a technicality in the law that allowed them to double my cost, cut their liability in half, and reduce payments to providers. Profit-minded businesses take advantage of that opportunity.I think a better solution would have been to increase the medicare tax we all pay already, and put everyone who doesn’t have insurance on Medicare. Then for those on private insurance, give a tax credit equal to the amount Medicare pays per person for coverage. Everyone is insured, but you still have private insurance options if you want those. Everyone shares the cost and responsibility of healthcare for all.I’m not worried about me – I’m enterprising and will figure a way around this. My concern is for the viability of the system – if the people like me who are paying for the uninsured figure ways around the system, then a smaller and smaller pool bears the costs of the previously-uninsured. It becomes unsustainable. Spread the costs among 300M Americans in a $15T economy and we can easily afford to do it together.

    3. Jim Ritchie

      Exact same thing happened to me here in CA. The ACA is an unmitigated personal disaster for me and my wife. Rates doubled, deductibles doubled, and our personal Dr. dropped all ACA plans. What a load of baloney.

  41. Mo Koyfman

    Beautiful post, Fred

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks Moshe

  42. JLM

    .It is difficult to see from whence the notion that Obamacare is working well comes.First, some macro-statistics:We started out w/ approximately 35MM of the US population uninsured.Today, we have approximately 18MM of the US population uninsured.Total Medicare enrollment is 49,435,610 (2012) while “marketplace” (Obamacare) enrollment is 10,187,197 (2015). This is the number of people who opted for Medicare as their insurance policy to fulfill their mandate. Most are just folks who became eligible by virtue of their age.[Note: None of these numbers include illegal aliens for whom the needle has not moved. Pick your number and add it to the totals.]Much of what is touted as Obamacare enrollment is really just folks becoming eligible for Medicare (based solely on age) and taking advantage of that enrollment.These enrollments are all counted as “new” even if they had policies the day before because those policies are cancelled and the new Medicare policies are considered “new” policies which theoretically transforms someone from the rolls of those who were insured to someone who is now uninsured.This is some pretty bogus accounting which stands to understate the number of uninsured remaining — they reduce the number of uninsured when a new Medicare policy is enacted even though that individual could have had a policy the day before.Net result of Obamacare is that the number of uninsured in the US has really not decreased dramatically.Over 4.5MM babies are born every year. These babies are not reflected in any of the numbers and while their Moms may be covered many of them are not.Do you recall how interested everyone was in the enrollment numbers when Obamacare first went live — during the healthcare.gov website fiasco?Have you noticed that NO numbers have been released since then?Nobody can make the numbers foot on number covered, number not covered, deaths and births. Nobody has an accurate set of numbers.If anyone had “good” numbers they would be spiking the football in the Rose Garden, no?Two last points — the big winners were and are the insurance companies who have the gov’t operating as their marketing departments. They are also wizard smart.Time owned Assurant — wholly owned subsidiary — just cancelled all their policies and transferred them to another subsidiary at a 50% mark up in premium.Again, Assurant cancelled contracts mid-contract but said “Not to worry, we have gotten you a new policy at another company.”Did not tell anyone that the other company was another Time subsidiary. Of course, nobody can just go get another policy since the open enrollment period does not open again until the end of the year.Last point — big insurance companies like Aetna who know the numbers are starting to buy other companies (Humana) because they know how good the business has become.Anecdotally, many of the 18MM who got insurance for the first time are happy. Why not?The balance of the 330MM Americans who are now facing higher premiums and increased deductibles are not happy.Cost of healthcare? Still going upward.Physical access to healthcare? Not improved.The basis upon which Obamacare was passed — you can keep your doctor/insurance policy — is the same basis upon which is continues to be operated.It is very difficult to find a fact based foundation from which to opine that Obamacare is working better than one expected.And, then, there is Hawaii whose exchange just went bankrupt and closed down at a cost of more per head than it would have cost to provide either the insurance or the coverage.No, this is a train wreck.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. DJL

      Thanks for the sanity, JLM. The only ones who don’t think Obamacare is a train wreck are Obama and the media. The data speaks for itself. We were one of the many millions of families that got screwed. And we have 3 Doctors in our family. They all hate the ACA. The American left has completely suspended logic to classify this as a “success”.

  43. Twain Twain

    UNITED.’No Man is an Island’ — John DonneNo man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

  44. Yinka!

    That is a great clip. When I first saw it a couple days ago, I watched it a few times and enjoyed hearing and seeing the reactions of the congregation as he spoke. Delightful.It’s good to see the US finally on the same page with many other countries on the marriage equality issue; Canada legalized it 10 years ago.Ditto on the ACA; glad affordable health care for US residents is there to stay.

  45. rich caccappolo

    Plus, the Supreme Court fair-housing deal and the Senste vote on the trade deal – quite a week.

  46. ShanaC

    Interestingly the judicial responses never talk about divorce, so I’m wondering if because of the way the decision was written about the equal protection clause if a divorce case would also have to be brought to the Supreme Court or not.

  47. Terry J Leach

    Beautiful post.

  48. Nyagaka Ongeri

    Thanks for the post Fred, encapsulates a really memorable week.What is lost about the President’s speech in Charleston is not that it represented great oratory. It’s about the way it addressed the isolation and sadness people of color feel about being assailed in God’s house. If you went to a black church anywhere in the country last weekend you would have sensed the hollowness and sadness. The President spoke directly to that.

  49. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    It has been a historic week! Amazing Grace is my favorite hymn. We sang it this morning at the end of our yoga class.

    1. DJL

      Obama sings “Amazing Grace” while helping to destroy Christian values across America and the world. Christianity is the only religion he speaks out against. This is the same man who campaigned in 2008 on “marraige is between and man and a woman, and my Christian faith teaches that it is also sacred.” What a hypocrite.

  50. Richard Lee

    Fred, I am also traveling abroad (through Italy), and while the excitement is much more muted compared to the US, I do see rainbow flags already popping up in Rome. The rest of the world will lag the USA on issues like this, but great to see our country take leadership in equality of human rights

  51. scottbarstow

    I would like to live in the world where the tripling of insurance premiums is not considered “skyrocketing.” In 2012, as the owner of a small LLC, I had what would best be described as catastrophic health care coverage along with an HSA. The premium was ~$350 a month and the coverage was basically every doctor in the city. Today, that same policy costs me $900 and I am severely restricted.I don’t mind paying a bit more so that others can have decent health care. I have a huge problem paying 2.5-3x as much for worse coverage and higher deductibles.I get that these kinds of increases would not register on your Richter scale, Fred. But it’s absolutely absurd to suggest that premiums have not gone up severely. This is true of almost everyone else I know in my position as a small business owner.Premiums have, in fact, skyrocketed, but we shouldn’t let the facts dampen the celebration.

  52. Dave Pinsen

    When the media is in your corner, there’s no need to worry about talking points.

  53. Marc Verstaen

    Yes, we know. But we are likely not seeing what you see.

  54. Dave Pinsen

    The bayonetting-the-wounded phase of the culture war. It’s not enough for the left to win: it has to destroy its enemies.

  55. Kirsten Lambertsen

    You mean, like this?

  56. Dave Pinsen

    You got me, Kristen: 100% of the media is not in Obama’s corner. Touché.

  57. awaldstein

    I’m there in a few weeks and i’ll check it out.Investors want Luli there so we shall see.

  58. fredwilson

    And a shitty week for intolerant people like you

  59. JLM

    .Bit strong, bartender. Can I get a little more ginger ale in my bourbon?Have to be a little tolerant when confronted with the trifecta of fascism, nationalism and cultural nihilism, no?That is a fairly strong ration.It was an excellent post measured by its provocation of thought. The best thinking is when it brings out both sides of a question, not when it is an ego fop to a single group.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  60. SCOTUScare

    Hey Fred.I am having a shitty month because my health insurance is being canceled.So much for if I like my plan I can keep it.I guess tolerance is a one way street.

  61. fredwilson

    i stand by my commenti don’t like attitudes like his around here

  62. fredwilson

    yes i do support what you call facism and nationalism and i call good policy that makes america better for everyone

  63. fredwilson

    get a new one

  64. SCOTUScare

    New plans have 20% higher premiums with twice the annual out of pocket cost … But Obama care is working.Premiums are going to go even higher after the federal loss supports go away.Also, I can’t get insurance through the exchange because only certain email domains are supported. Seriously, I could not create an online account because I do not have a gmail, hotmail, yahoo, or aol email address.Obamacare is so bad it makes my health insurance company look good. Think about that.So if you are unhealthy and do not make much money, Obama care is probably great.If you are moderately successful and already take care of yourself, it stinks.You might want to have a little tolerance for folks whose lives are being disrupted because of this stupid law. There was no reason to hurt so many people to help the few million people who did not have health insurance.

  65. fredwilson

    I disagree. Calling me a liar is not going to resolve our disagreement