What Happened In 2018

Continuing the year end theme, it is time for my annual recap of what happened this year, to be followed by a look forward tomorrow on the first day of the new year.

Last year I was not particularly confident in my look forward. I thought Trump would be President at the end of 2018, I thought the Republicans would lose control of the House, I thought the “techlash” would escalate, and I was worried about crypto. Those all turned out to be correct. But I had less clarity about the direction of the economy and the tech sector.

What actually happened was that 2018 was a year that we lost trust in tech, government, and a lot more.

Let’s start with tech. This chart I saw in Recode’s year end wrap-up says it well:

While much of the distrust is currently aimed at Facebook, the “I don’t trust you” numbers are growing for many other big tech companies.

I have always felt that search traffic on our portfolio company’s DuckDuckGo’s search engine is a great proxy for distrust of Google and that curve looks like it is going parabolic:

2018 also brought us GDPR, the first of what I expect will be multiple regulatory efforts to control the large tech companies’ use of our personal information for their gain and our loss.

But more important are our personal decisions about the technology we use and what we use less or stop using altogether.

In 2018, we saw social media usage in the US flatten out and possibly even start to decline a bit. Here is another chart from that Recode year-end wrap-up:

And the usage of screen time management apps, like Screentime on iOS, is surging. We know we are addicted to tech, we don’t want to be, and we are working on getting sober.

All of this lost trust is challenging for big tech, and the tech sector in general, but is also a huge opportunity for new companies and new technologies that can offer different products and business models that we can trust more, or don’t need to trust.

This loss of trust in 2018 was not limited to the tech sector. In the US, and also in many places around the world, we are losing trust in our institutions and our elected officials.

In the midst of the most charged political moment of 2018, the Kavanaugh hearings, I was talking to my mom who is 88 years old and has seen a lot and she said to me “I don’t know who to trust.” Neither do I. And I suspect most of us don’t either.

In the US, we have a President who is not trustworthy and may well be a criminal. We will get to that tomorrow when we look forward. And we have a Congress that no more than 20% of us trust and haven’t for over a decade.

We also see the decline of democracy and the rise of autocracy around the world.

These are worrisome trends. But I am an optimist. See a problem, find a solution.

Which takes me to crypto, naturally.

On the surface, one would say that 2018 was a horrible year for crypto. This is the Bitcoin price chart from our portfolio company Coinbase:

Native (token sale) fundraising for crypto is also way down:

But the truth is that 2018 was a year that the crypto market continued to prove its resiliency. Trading volumes declined massively but the underlying blockchains did not collapse.

This is a chart from Coinmetrics.io which shows the transaction volume of the top ten crypto-tokens by market cap over the years:

What this very busy chart tells me is that there are now many public blockchains that are supporting daily transaction volumes in the ten of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

I think this chart of Bitcoin transaction volume from Blockchain.com tells the story of 2018 well:

Crypto took a big hit in the first half of 2018 with the collapse of trading volumes. But the underlying strength of native blockchain transactions picked up the slack and it won’t be long until transaction volumes make new all time highs. Token Prices? Well that is another story, and more appropriate for the look forward tomorrow.

In summary, 2018 was a tough year for our institutions, including the big tech companies that are our new institutions. We are losing trust in them. And looking for new things to trust. Which also creates an opportunity for a post trust society. More on that tomorrow.

Happy New Year everyone.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JLM

    .Trust has become a weaponizable trait of good companies. Coupled with trust is a new way of looking at performance which I call “execution advantage” meaning that the Special in Special Forces is an important trait.I feel this way about Amazon’s ability to fulfill orders and the quality of their warranty of merchantability and return policy.I recently had a horrific experience with a bath tub I bought through Amazon. The supplier wouldn’t stand behind their warranty. Amazon stepped in and made me whole including shipping and re-stocking.That is the factual basis upon which I imbue our relationship with trust. It was earned.The big thought is not that we don’t trust an organization, but that they’ve done nothing to earn it. That is why it has become weaponizable because companies and organizations can earn our trust.Why is a portion of the US gov’t shutdown today? Because the US Congress didn’t pass the requisite 12 appropriations bills in a timely manner. We don’t really have a national budget, we have a dozen appropriations bills which are coupled together and called the national budget, but it is the appropriations bills which make up the national budget.The appropriations bills are to be passed through subcommittees and committees before reaching the House floor (all spending bills are supposed to originate in the House though the Senate likes to cheat). Nobody in Congress is doing their work. Nobody.This is why I don’t trust them. A rational, fact-based rejection of trust, not a political diatribe.For the first time, we have forced the issue of trust of organizations as part of the first page of the report card.There is nothing wrong with not trusting an organization if you can discipline either your or their behavior in such a way that trust is not essential to the undertaking. This is just old fashioned skepticism, commercial wariness.Ronald Reagan wisely said, “Trust but verify.” That is an adult reaction. A lot of what is wrong with the notion of trust is the reality that people are willing to turn a willful blind eye toward doing the necessary research or due diligence to develop a learned, informed, critically thought through trust.Happy New Year to all the world and especially the AVC.com community.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      I feel this way about Amazon’s ability to fulfill orders and the quality of their warranty of merchantability and return policy.Amazon is, in a way, similar to an insurance company. And they will go more in that direction over time.The insurance company is great if you only have a claim here or there that is below some magic amount or number of claims that they think you should be filing. We all know this. You don’t file a claim with an insurance company for a trivial amount or they will increase the amount that you pay and/or it will count against you in some other way. You don’t want to be the claimant who cried wolf.How does this relate to Amazon? They are computing your value as a customer. But like the IRS you don’t know the discriminate function. [1] So if you give them to many returns or you return things that others don’t typically return that counts against you. Sure dollar amount factors into the decision as well.I just ordered a $2400 lens from Amazon. I was going to get it from B&H but they did a shitty thing to me on a simple return that I had where they claimed they didn’t get a $50 item shipped in error returned on a $5000 camera order (which I kept). But honestly, I kind of wanted to get it from B&H so I could build my cred there. Plus if I needed to return it it wouldn’t mess my value to Amazon. I actually (and maybe pathetically) calculate things like that out on the fly when making decisions. Amazon is also pushing me to open a business account. I have resisted doing that.I gave Amazon a great deal of business last year (business and personal). I am tempted (but don’t have the time) to actually setup separate Amazon accounts so I don’t have all my eggs in one Amazon account.Amazon will pull the plug on you if you take their return policies to liberally. If not now (they have done this with people) they will be doing it later at some point.The tell tale sign is that they are so liberal with returns. After they are even more firmly entrenched as the de facto source for what you buy you will see they will tighten that in some way.[1] That is the thing that the IRS uses to decide if you get audited very generally.

      1. SFG

        Man, I thought that I over analysed matters!

        1. LE

          I do this at ‘full machine speed’ on the fly. It’s not work for me at all to think this way. It’s automatic.I’ve told the story about when I met my current wife. She lived in another state. Before the 1st date I checked and calculated what it would cost me to move if I had to do so (sell and and move my office and buy a house and another office). I don’t mean down to the penny or anything. I just mean I made sure napkin wise things would make sense if the relationship went further. Otherwise why go down that road if it goes nowhere? [1] Most people would never do that. They would get involved and then find out they had problems and things would drag on. I try to avoid problems in advance. I don’t like the idea of ‘throw caution to the wind’. It didn’t take long. Just an hour or so of effort at night.To me covering bases translates to ‘less anxiety because you are in control or you think you are in control (what matters)’.[1] Dating opportunity cost.

          1. SFG

            Happy New Year, LE!

          2. JLM

            .”You have two heartbeats to make a fucking decision, Lieutenant. By the third heartbeat, people start dying. One of them could be you.”Somebody said that to me at Ranger School. Turned out to be true.Made a huge impact on me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. LE

            Isn’t it interesting that back in our day smart people going places typically listened to older people and not the other way around.Fools listened to their friends or people that easily could overcome their naivete and lack of experience in how the world worked.My stepdaughter gave me the biggest compliment recently. She was having a problem with a girlfriend a few years ago when she was 12. I told her the girl had mental issues (by what she told me was happening) and that by her behavior she should cut off the relationship. Entirely. No space to go into details but I knew it when I saw it. She reconciled with her (the girl was obsessive and allover her) and they had a friendship for a few years. The girl is super brilliant (parents are Russian engineers who emigrated here in the 80’s). My wife disagreed with me ‘oh you don’t know teenage girls’. My wife usually agrees with me. I said fine and not even ‘you will see’. After all I don’t know teenage girls. And I am not always right.Well when the girls got older (now 14) all the sudden the problem got worse. All of the girls in ‘the group’ (all smart; Indian mostly high achieving) decided to break it off entirely with this girl. I actually felt sorry for the girl. My stepdaughter says to me ‘yeah I remember what you told me and you were right’. Then she says ‘you are always right’. At that point I had to tell her that I would not always be right but mostly am right. (No way I want to fall off a pedestal).

          4. Susan Rubinsky

            I LOVE the Dating Opportunity Cost (DOC). I use similar assessments, but I also calculate in certain compatibility and lifestyle features that matter to me. (I actually have a weighted rubric).

          5. Vasudev Ram

            May I make you a Dating Calculator? As a bonus, I’ll make it in Python, the hot language du jour :)And why not put in a plug while I’m at it – for my Python and other trainings? Course outlines and testimonials here:https://jugad2.blogspot.com…Heh.

          6. Vasudev Ram

            LE and you can provide the biz rules and I’ll provide the tech.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Yesterday ordered some additional parts for my first server, e.g,, one more 2 TB hard drive, a collection of the CORRECT 6-32 screws for mounting hard drives (not the close but different thread of European M5 screws). I got a FAX modem card that SHOULD work well with 64 bit Windows 7 — good for sending via FAX letters to Congress AND for letting a little editor macro dial phone numbers, etc. I’m not a member of Prime and paid $0,00 for shipping. The estimate was that I’d get the stuff by January 8th. This morning I got e-mail saying that the stuff would be here by Wednesday! So, they are better than promised.I tried to order an MP4 download of the historic Rostropovich performance with the Berlin of the Dvorak concerto Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, paged back through the Web pages to check the spelling of the Tchaikovsky, paged forward to do the download, and the download didn’t work. Well, I went ahead and ordered the CD that had both pieces and more. Called them and explained I’d never gotten the download of the MP4. They took my word for it and credited me the $0.99,I ordered six cans of compressed air for cleaning electronics. One can came empty from its trigger having been caught in the shrink wrap, and they credited my account with the pro rated amount.The FAX modem card was an unanesthetized root canal procedure because basically nearly all the FAX modem cards are now junk because they aren’t Plug n Play and don’t have device drivers for 64 bit processors. Well, the Amazon product descriptions are junk on these points. I tried their on-line chat — their people knew much less about those cards than I did. Finally: US Robotics still takes these cards seriously. So, go to their Web site, get the huge list of cards they have, download the PDF data sheets on them, including the US Robotics cards Amazon sells, make a pick, guaranteed by US Robotics to work with Windows 7 64 bit, with Plug n Play (which should mean that the generic device driver software from Microsoft should work without loading a device driver from US Robotics), and placed the order. So, I had to gather the product information myself outside of Amazon.For some product lines, Amazon is selling high priced items instead of really good, MUCH cheaper items. E.g., I need to wire some DB-9 connectors, that is, 9-pin serial plugs, and Amazon’s products are awful with prices wildly too high. What is great are the “crimp” pins that can attach to the wires either with just a crimping tool or actually solder them. Then, thus connected, the pins just snap into the block with the 9 holes. There are at least 2 really good sources for these, much better than what Amazon is selling, and even in small quantities much cheaper.But I used my inventory list of packing boxes, found lots of old DB-25 and DB-9 parts, so may not have to order new ones yet!Recently on two items I had Wal-Mart on-line do MUCH better than Amazon.Mostly I’m from impressed to thrilled with Amazon.There is a current CB Insights collection of management wisdom from Bezos in his annual letters to shareholders. It’s okay. But the CB stuff never mentions what I regard as the keys to the success of Amazon — the Internet, good client devices, good Web browsers, data rates high enough to send lot of pictures, good JavaScript functionality, and the amazing Amazon server farm.

    2. Vendita Auto

      Hummm, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” ~Theodore Roosevelt “Fat Nixon” or “Robert Mueller” Health & Wisdom to you and yours

      1. JLM

        .Same to you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  2. TeddyBeingTeddy

    I think tomorrow’s post will be an opportunity for a Public Enemy resurgence, coinbase and crypto biz commercials with “Fight the Power” and “Cant Truss This!” in the background.

    1. TeddyBeingTeddy

      As a follow up I just watched the Cant Truss This video and had two observations:-it’s actually Cant Truss It-frava flav is wearing a golf glove with the white suit

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        Touché“…or else I will attack, and you don’t want that..”

  3. William Mougayar

    Most disgusting and distrustful thing I am hearing more about now is the “Deepfake” trend.[Deepfake technology uses artificial-intelligence software to superimpose images of a person’s face onto footage of someone else, or simulate them saying something they did not say.]That’s scary. Takes fake news to another level.

    1. awaldstein

      Truly weird and scary stuff I agree.Lots of celeb fake porn being created. Chilling and disgusting.

        1. awaldstein

          Yup…Trustless and secure and inviolate is one of a shortlist of possibilities that crypto is perfect for.

      1. Richard

        Once I saw that bitcoin couldn’t make money on porn, I knew it was doomed 🙂

    2. Guy Lepage

      As a photoshop artist, I used to get paid to build people from nothing, put Toyota cars in all sorts of scenes and no one could tell the difference. This has been going on masterfully for many years. Adding AI just speeds it up.People will learn to trust third party “trust” orgs to verify anything said. Or a not as likely scenario, trust public key signatures.

    3. LE

      Agree, but with this:or simulate them saying something they did not say.The news business (and it is a business) has been doing this for years in many other ways. When they quote someone out of context or highlight ‘above the fold’ an issue in a way that biases what a reader will think of the issue.Also how they give ‘ink’ to certain people who might as well be superimposed bodies on legitimate faces. Knowing that the only reason that the person they highlight is being quoted or mentioned is because their image or notoriety helps the media sell advertising.

      1. William Mougayar

        They are calling deepfake the future of fake news. I think it will go on further https://www.businessinsider

    4. LE

      Re: Deepfake.When I was doing legal photography in high school and college it was my job to ‘come back with a picture’ that the attorney could use. I learned that the first time I went out for a slip and fall on a sidewalk and told the shiester attorney that there wasn’t a defect. Reply was ‘always come back with a picture’ so I found something and with my skill made the picture in a way that looked as if there was a problem (no darkroom work need was just angles).In another case I had to shoot the forehead of a child who was backed into by her grandfather (I was told and they were making a claim) which was supposed to have a scar. No scar was really there or nothing you could easily shoot. So I rubbed it a bit (or maybe I had the mother do that I don’t remember) to get it ‘red’ so it would come out on the film.

      1. William Mougayar

        Wow. You do have a shady past 😉 lol

  4. John Pepper

    From Brad and Jason C’s Discussion, the two words re crypto strengths ringing in my ears a few days later are “distributing trust”… My New Years wish for 2019.

  5. awaldstein

    Happy New Year Fred and to the rest of the community.This was a year I focused on myself, my strengths, my needs and it transferred over to honestly a great one professionally in spite of the things you mention.I plan on doubling down on me, on my weird assembly of skills and interests and push it forward hard this coming one.Here’s to a good one!

  6. Jeff Jones

    Happy New Year! Let us pray to St Nick….may he bring peace on earth and parade down Broad St.

  7. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Naturally, 2018 was the year I decided to buy some crypto, ha!Your prediction talents are a big reason why I like hanging around AVC — that, and your optimism (not to diminish your musical tastes!). I’ll always be grateful for your introducing me to the ultimate optimist, Ray Kurzweil. It never fails to cheer me up to learn about how many times he’s been right and what he’s predicting for the (astonishingly) near future. Was watching this recent interview with him this weekhttps://www.ted.com/talks/t…

    1. Richard

      Before gambling and speculating check to see who owns the casino.Based on today’s blogs and if you didn’t know better, you would that that cryptocurrencies were a central part of our economy. It is now half the size of their memorabilia market. If you want to speculate on something find a buy a prop from your favorite movie as a kid.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    2. DJL

      I did the same! I personally crashed the market buying at the end of 2017. Sorry to drag you down with me! ;p>)

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      Me too. I waited for it to drop, then bought some.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Sadly, I bought before it dropped : But I’ll just hold it for the next however many years. I would make a terrible day trader.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          hahahaha. I’ve made bad calls on investments before myself. The trick is winning 51% of the time.

  8. Tom Labus

    From Jason’s conversation with Brad the other day: We need more of Brad and another hour with Jason.There are a lot economic and social balls in the air right now. How many we keep in the air will depend on avoiding more policy disasters.The biggest discussion at a immediate family dinner was not political but rather whether Google Home and Alexa should be in any houses at all.

  9. LE

    And we have a Congress that no more than 20% of us trust and haven’t for over a decade.People don’t really have their own opinions on what congress (or any other politician) is doing. They only have what they read. Primarily what others say (in their best NPR voice) about them or in the paper where they are typically quoted out of context. Plus they are biased (because most people are lemmings) by what others tell them to think.I always get a kick out of polls for this reason. What it measures is what people read. Not what they think independent or first hand.Look at the way Kevin Spacey was portrayed as ‘weird’ for that video he posted in character the other week. Here we have a creative guy expressing himself that in any other context would not have been portrayed by the press, bloggers, media as ‘weird and bizarre’ other than the crimes which he had been accused of. As a result people will generally think (if polled) ‘Kevin Spacey is screwed up’. Especially when the authoritative news sources say that about him.

    1. Richard

      Politicians are a lot like VCs, you know deep down they are in it to get re-elected, rely of short memories and spin every story to look good, but once you get to know a VC personally, she is the exception.

    2. JLM

      .People may have a good or bad opinion of the Congress in toto, but the only thing that matters is what they think of THEIR Congressman or woman.Most incumbents win. Very few lose. Most of the losses have to do with changing demographics and not the Congressman themselves.Alexandre Ocasio-Cortez won her primary against a member of the entrenched leadership by 4,000 votes.PRIMARY VICTORY, the general in that District is a cake walk because of how it is drawn.Everybody hates Congress. Everybody loves their Congresman/woman.Quick — who is YOUR Congressman/woman? More than 80% of Americans can’t get that answer right.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        but the only thing that matters is what they think of THEIR Congressman or womanI would say that there is an impact on ‘toto’. The reason is you are more likely to vote out your own congressman if you think that the rest of the bunch is defective (as portrayed by the media).Think of it as a version of the halo effect. If you believe Whole Foods is about quality you are more likely to give them a pass on a product that is not up to par than you are if you feel they are screw ups. In which case you are more likely to decide the object (same quality) is defective. This is the way people think. Not everyone sure but most is my belief. Now you could argue ‘no it’s the opposite the shining star is helped by the general negative of the group they are in’.Look at the way I see things. “Microsoft and Bill Gates” well they suck. Apple and Steve Jobs well ‘walk on water give them a pass’. A good product from Microsoft has the negative halo (to me that is).Alexandre Ocasio-Cortez won her primary against a member of the entrenched leadership by 4,000 votesTrue to what I was saying about her. Look at all the press the waitress is getting. The press is eating her up as content. At the stage she is at ‘any pr is good pr even if negative in some way’. Claire McCaskill playing the role of the old white guy!Should be interesting to see what happens going forward. Men will listen to her women (I predict) will be jealous of her (because of what they men do). The press will definitely listen to her.You know what I love the most about AOC? To hear her complain that she is living hand to mouth and can’t rent an apartment until she starts her $174,000 per year job. Did you hear that? ‘What am I supposed to do this is unfair!’ (Paraphrased). And not understanding that that is her fault not anyone elses fault. Just like you would expect from an entitled millenial socialist.Is it legal to give her money so she can rent? To lend her the money? I’d do that in a heartbeat just for the free publicity. (Not sexual; just publicity important to point that out).My wife had never heard of her.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I’ve heard of her: She wants 100% “renewable energy” in “10 years”.Uninformed, misinformed, wildly overly emotional, irrational, irresponsible, hysterical, incapacitated by her emotions (has created dependency and, thus, has had reproductive advantage), would take the US economy back to about 1900 and kill tens of millions of US citizens, would eagerly do more damage to the US than any adversary has hoped for.Grotesquely, outrageously incompetent and dangerous.Yup, the media likes her — headlines, eyeballs, ad revenue. But to me total loss of any credibility.Bluntly put, Exhibit A for why too many women are not yet ready to vote.

      2. Susan Rubinsky

        Funny story. I was dating this guy, this fall. We were driving down the road and he spotted a “Ned & Sue” sign. This was days after the election.He said, “Who’s Ned and Sue?””Our Governor and Lieutenant Governor Elect,” I replied.This was after I spent three months running an advocacy campaign about a ballot initiative in CT, working closely with many political leaders. I would talk with him almost daily about the project, the election, who was running, etc.The next day, I sat down with him and told him that I didn’t think it was going to work out between us because I needed to be with someone who was engaged with current affairs and was more civically involved. So things were ended.Two weeks ago, I called him, said I had some of his stuff and did he want to get together so I could give him back his stuff. He agreed. We met. He said he wanted to talk about why we broke up.He then launched into a monologue about how wrong I was and that “I can’t believe you broke up with me because I didn’t know who my senator was!”I almost laughed out loud. Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senator, who cares?

        1. JLM

          .Funny. Here’s a good one.In the Army, I used to make my soldiers write their blood type on the back of their boots. The medics liked this.So, you would get a Sharpie and write O+ on the back of your boots.It was also on your dog tags, but a lot of times, you couldn’t read it on the dog tags because it’s so small.I used to ask the troops what their blood type was and this guy turns around and looks at his boot and tells me “O+.”You know you have a bad job when you have to write your blood type on your boots.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      Totally agree. I thought that video was bordering on brilliant and is the perfect example of how people chose to think or not think for themselves.

  10. Vendita Auto

    Just noted: An interesting review of 2018 cryptoassets market from University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Financehttps://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/f…

  11. sigmaalgebra

    ForIn the midst of the most charged political moment of 2018, the Kavanaugh hearings, I was talking to my mom who is 88 years old and has seen a lot and she said to me “I don’t know who to trust.” Neither do I. And I suspect most of us don’t either.In that case, really easy to know whom to trust — Kavanaugh. The accusers had nothing more than zip, zilch, and zero and made fools of themselves.ForIn the US, we have a President who is not trustworthy and may well be a criminal. We will get to that tomorrow when we look forward.Realizing that Trump engages in what he calls “harmless exaggeration”, is always selling, and toots his own horn, I rank Trump as the most “trustworthy” politician I’ve ever read about. In particular, he’s actually trying to keep his campaign promises. And I’ve watched fairly carefully but not seen even as much as zip, zilch, or zero significant evidence of Trump being significantly less than trustworthy on anything of any significance.And beyond trustworthy, I trust his judgment, e.g., as indicated by his campaign promises, directions in office, and accomplishments.To me Trump looks like the best POTUS since Washington. He beats Lincoln because Lincoln was irresponsible in his actions and especially in his statements before and after Fort Sumter: If Lincoln had had the judgment of Trump, we could have avoided the Civil War and saved the 600,000 lives.Just now Trump is trying HARD to stop illegal drugs, criminals, and sex slaves from crossing into the US from Mexico. Very good for Trump.Just for the drugs, the reports are that the US has 72,000 citizens die each year from drugs from Mexico — that’s a LOT and is fully comparable with the deaths of US wars back to WWII. Oops, US military deaths in WWII supposedly were 416,800. In six years, the drug deaths will exceed the WWII deaths. The rate of deaths per day from opioids is comparable with the rate from WWII. WWII was a war; well we have a war on drugs. So, the drug deaths are worse than all the US wars back at least to WWI. Drug deaths are WORSE for the US than WWII.Anyone with a family member addicted to or killed by opioids will take this war seriously.On stopping opioid deaths, darned good for Trump, both POTUS and FLOTUS.On stopping the disasters from Mexico, Trump is being opposed by slavers and the politicians on the strings of the slavers. Very ugly situation. Trump is trying to stop it. Darned good for Trump.The global warming scam has become an industry of people who stand to profit from shooting the US economy in the gut over fossil fuels. Of course, they don’t want nuclear fuels, either. Instead they want their subsidies and to see electric rates “necessarily skyrocket”:http://www.youtube.com/watc…Under Trump, USGS just reported some astounding figures about the fossil fuels likely available from the Permian basin. Last I heard, yesterday, is that recovery is doing so well there that they generate so much natural gas that they can’t handle it and have to pay people to take it away. With fracking, coal, the pipelines, the leases, etc., Trump has the US fossil fuel industry literally the best in the world, beating Russia, the Mideast, etc.So, Trump has pushed back hard against that anti-fossil fuel flim, flam, fraud, scam. Darned good for Trump.On ISIS and Akrapistan, IIRC Trump gave Mattis a deadline to fish or cut bait, crap or get off the pot, win and leave or just leave, extended the deadline, and now is LEAVING. I see no way US serious interests or national security are significantly hurt by just leaving. We can’t make those areas shining cities or into even the 20th century, but no one else can, either. We all have seen outrageous losses in US blood and treasure chasing those absurd foreign adventures. Very good for Trump.People concerned about US foreign policy for US national security should pay attention to the 72,000 opioid deaths a year and support Trump’s efforts for The Wall.Since I don’t want to be wrong about Trump, I will look forward to tomorrow with evidence I’m wrong. That will be a unique day for the world since so far the worst accusation with any credibility about Trump since he announced for POTUS is that he had two scoops of ice cream; since that is the worst from the intrepid, angry anti-Trump people, those intrepid, angry ones have in effect given Trump a unique, world class clean bill of health, and anything more serious than that ice cream will be more serious than all of ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo, Boston Globe, LAT, Comey, Mueller, etc. have been able to find. Will pay close attention tomorrow.And we have a Congress that no more than 20% of us trust and haven’t for over a decade.I trust Congress to walk, talk, and raise their hands just exactly as their string pulling masters pay them to do. The solution is to have the citizens become informed and vote. I’m concluding that I had no idea how much the string pullers where dominating US politics and government. If Trump wins this battle, i.e., gives the country back to the 90% common person in the street voters, then he will have made one of the biggest steps forward for US democracy since the Founding Fathers.At this rate, Mount Rushmore would be a step down for Trump.Again, I’m looking forward to being better informed tomorrow, with either (A) some credible information that I’m wrong or (B) yet another failed attack on Trump making him look still better.I’m disappointed in General Mattis — I thought he was brighter than that. I’m a little disappointed in General Kelly — apparently only 28 hours of sleep a week was too little for him and just wore him out!

    1. Richard

      What is abundantly clear – what ever side of political spectrum you are on – the biggest problem we have is the lack of curiosity, the lack of professional responsibility and the blatant ignorance those who are entering the news business. We need to get the some bright -objective- minds into this space and the commitment of the super wealthy to fund this. It’s nice to see venture capitalists funding another Stem or Global program, but we need much more long term thinking from this group.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        To borrow, “I agree with you more than you agree with yourself”. “Well played”.Apparently the story of some rich people using the media to dupe, fool, exploit, manipulate the common people is an old one. At least in 1941 Frank Capra believed that US movie audiences would accept the point. As athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…can see the Capra, Cooper movie Meet John Doe.There the newspapers were trying hard, walking on eggs, (A) to keep enough credibility to keep enough eyeballs for enough ad revenue while at the same time (B) serving the “hidden agenda, follow the money”, dupe, fool, exploit, manipulate the common people for some rich people who wanted more power and, then, more money. Capra was a bright guy.So, it’s an old story.The people can save themselves: Insist that the media provide solid information as needed by an informed electorate in a democracy and, for a first step, insist that news articles meet at least common high school term paper standards for credibility with good support from primary references.No credibility, no eyeballs. For me, no way would I take even a prediction that the sun would come up tomorrow from any of ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo, Boston Globe, LAT, Politico, Yahoo, AP, Reuters, and I ignore them except occasionally to see how bad they still are to debunk them. And I take with a shovel full of rock salt anything from Fox.I want solid, objective evidence, with references to credible, primary sources. The rest is either just a poor excuse for entertainment or something toxic to be flushed. To borrow from a movie, ABC, …, Reuters are “dead to me”. Fool me 10,000 times over decades, shame on you. Fool me once more, shame on me.The Internet is killing off ABC, …, Reuters and providing an opportunity for much better content.Then much more can and should be done: Some fields in the US are awash in quite high standards, fields such as math, physical science, engineering, medical science.

        1. Richard

          Good flick!

      2. JLM

        .Critical thinking and intellectual curiosity are in the shortest supply they have ever been in my lifetime.http://themusingsofthebigre…Most folks cannot even define the terms.And, yet, we are at the zenith of the written and spoken word.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. DJL

      Can you imagine what Trumps approval rating would be if the media honestly reported his campaign promises versus his accomplishments? He has gotten more done in a short time to proactively grow the economy that any President in history.

      1. SFG

        Quiet. It’s Russia’s fault, remember?

      2. OldManGoldenwords

        Media job is not to be state/president’s propaganda machine unlike in other countries ruled by dictators. Well we have diversity of media. Unfair and biased news TV is doing advertisement of his accomplishment.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          The media didn’t attack Obozo. So, the media is the “propaganda machine” for the Democrats and, really, their string pullers who pay the money.

          1. OldManGoldenwords

            He was not conartist like current guy either

          2. sigmaalgebra

            What Obozo did and tried to do to US energy looks like deliberate sabotage, treason, to me, a really BIG CON. He let Bill/Hill pursue their BIG CON. He put up with “That awful Internet video” — BIG CON. He did the Iran deal — treason, worse than a BIG CON. He about had to know about the Comey BIG CON and was part of it or put up with it. He let Rice abuse the NSA and expose people — BIG CON. He made a big State of the Union statement in favor of only legal immigration but clearly had no intention of ensuring that — BIG CON. He dumped on both England and Israel — sabotage, worse than BIG CON. He did nothing against ISIS — treason, worse than BIG CON. He did nothing to enforce our immigration laws — in violation of his responsibility to enforce the law — BIG CON. He did nothing about the sanctuary cities — BIG CON. He encouraged race riots, e.g., via BLM — treason worse than BIG CON. He kept US growth rate low and US unemployment high because he HATES the US — deliberately hurting the US, treason, worse than BIG CON. With his sequester, he seriously damaged US national security — treason and worse than a BIG CON.We knew what we were getting — he is like his buddies, all haters of the US.You have some examples where Trump has conned anyone in any significant way since he announced for POTUS? Pick your best and let me know with details.

          3. OldManGoldenwords

            BIG CON you are saying is just spin selling. Yours friends at unfair and imbalanced media is trying it for years but never sticks. Bcus they are all spins and falsehoods. when muller gives report of individual 1, we will have legal indictment of CON ARTIST and everything will be proven in court beyond reasonable doubt. BTW spin doesn’t help in court. Spin only help the people who confuse facts with emotions.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            I asked for your best example of a Trump big con, and you gave nothing,I listed many Obozo big cons, and you refuted none of them.Before the voters, your stuff won’t win in 2020.You degenerated to attacking me personally which has nothing to do with Trump, Obozo, or big cons.You are welcome to wait hoping to see Trump indicted by Mueller. Maybe Vegas has some ways to quit arguing over the obvious, place some bets at terrific odds, and make some money.

          5. OldManGoldenwords

            Trump’s CON JOBS are not hard to find with simple google search unless one is trying willfully be ignorant. Even if I refute and list Trump conjob you are not going to accept anyway. I am not even going to waste my time trying. If you chose Las Vegas over court its you choice.

        2. JLM

          .If we have “diversity of media” wouldn’t reporting on Pres Trump’s achievements be desirable? Sought?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. Rick Mason

        Plus he was the first president in my lifetime to never receive a honeymoon. They were investigating him even before he received the Republican nomination. I am going to be very interested in 2019 to see what Mueller has when he finally shows his cards.

      4. LE

        Can you imagine what Trumps approval rating would be if the media honestly reported his campaign promises versus his accomplishments?If you study relationships and people (I do) you will find that negatives way heavily on how someone is perceived and easily cancel out positives.Take a husband and wife. Husband can hit it out of the park in multiple areas (I will leave it up to you to come up with a list). But if he does any of the following none of the positives matter. I will use ‘husband’ but same with role reversal.a) Beats or hits wifeb) Alcoholism or drug abusec) Cheats on wifed) Doesn’t earn a living.e) Not good with kids (probably can be mitigated though)….and so on.Negatives count way way more that positives and are heavily weighed and can bring someone down. It’s as simple as that.Now people vary in how they interpret the negatives of Trumps (or anyone’s) behavior. And some people come loaded for bear and it wouldn’t matter. But nobody can disagree that he shoots himself in the foot all the time and a simple adjustment of his behavior, if that was possible, would go a long way to making people accept his accomplishments. Or making it harder to ignore those positives.Look at all the people that are crapping on Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and the like. They could donate a wing to a hospital and help any and all causes and people will still think they are scum. Because of what they did. Enough people to change the balance of perception and make them an enemy and a low form of life. You can do heroin or meth and be accepted into society but you can’t apparently do what they do (or are accused of doing). No redemption period.Even Fred’s friend Mario Batelli. How quicky his fortunes changed. He is toxic because of negatives. Anything he ever did positive generally doesn’t matter now.https://www.nytimes.com/201…Yes it is true that the media is not going to like a conservative or a republican. But they are a kid in a candy store now with all the material they get to slam the President. Try watching CNN either Erin Burnett or Anderson Cooper. They don’t even know where to begin.Trump is a savant for sure. His biggest failing is not being to navigate his emotional reactions to things. You can still be honest with what you think and not be a tool and make it harder for people to bring you down. And of course two wrongs don’t make a right pox on all houses.You know what my DX is for his behavior? Pressure, his age, and lack of sleep has exacerbated the underlying pathology that drove him all his life. He was always crazy and a loose canon and exaggerated (all developers do). But honestly (and I have been watching him since I was in college before most likely anyone else on this blog even knew about him) there is no other explanation for why someone would try so hard to be disliked by so many and stroked by so few.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Okay, I see that Trump does his “harmless exaggeration”, is always selling, and toots his own horn.Other than that, I don’s see anything wrong with his personality.Instead, from much that I have seen, he is sympathetic, empathetic, highly considerate of the emotions of others, etc. E.g., he essentially never just walks past voters and instead walks slowly, makes eye contact, when security permits shakes hands, signs a MAGA hat, etc. E.g., at a rally, he walks in slowly, looking at the people nearly one by one, making approving eye contact, motions, gestures. While he is speaking, he refuses to ignore his audience and makes eye contact or a few words with individuals, especially from the collection of people behind him,For his little outdoor news conferences as he comes and goes, he stops and, for any reasonably respectful newsies, is good and gracious at answering their questions. If he was any more forthcoming he would demean the respect for the office.At his rallies, huge audiences LOVE him, as a good, trusted, father figure, etc.To me, his use of Twitter is a masterstroke and very smart use of the new tool: His Twitter feed is such a big part of the important news that a lot of newsie’s articles and on-screen reports are JUST recaps of a recent Trump Twitter post.I see much more serious personality flaws in Obama (says “I” too much), Pelosi (wants to ignore US citizen babies and mother illegal immigrant babies), Schumer (keeps looking down and has too tough a time looking the camera head on), Romney (cold as deep frozen fish and as mechanical as a fork lift), Fauxcahonas (has only two volume setting, screaming and off), Waters (knows only one word, impeachment), Comey (is good enough as a lawyer to know how much lying he can get away with and gets away with it), Feinstein (we didn’t leak the letter), etc.I’m eager to learn what you see Trump does wrong, what his flaws are, literally trying, Specifically, what do you see?

      5. JamesHRH

        Or his geo political philosophy?I think he is actually susceptible on the merits….

    3. JLM

      .Report from the actual border in Texas.The issues of drugs, human trafficking, violent illegal alien crime, and cartel activity are real, measurable, and toxic.If there was no illegal immigration, these considerations would be sufficient to mandate a firm Southern border wall/fence/interdiction.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. sigmaalgebra

        The issues of drugs, human trafficking, violent illegal alien crime, and cartel activity are real, measurable, and toxic.Yup.And IIRC Trump made exactly this point in only slightly different words the day he and Melania rode down the escalator in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for POTUS, and the media went hysterical like Trump had spoken unspeakable lies.I’m eager to see how Nancy/Chucky argue we don’t need The Wall and, instead, want to continue withThe issues of drugs, human trafficking, violent illegal alien crime, and cartel activity are real, measurable, and toxic.and 72,000 opioid deaths a year, MS13 taking drug territory and pushing drugs, girls who should be in grade school memorizing poetry and making decorations from construction paper are sold as sex slaves.Maybe one reason the disaster has gone on so long is that it’s so bad people don’t believe it. But at 72,000 drug deaths a year, lots of people are understanding the disaster from their own families or ones they know.Nancy/Chucky are playing one of the weakest hands in all US politics and are going to lose this one and walk off hanging their heads; Trump’s going to win this one and in 2020 win back the House and the White House and win more in the Senate.A problem is that after Trump, the Republican party may return to the Bush family, Romney, Ryan, Flake, neo-cons, New American Century, New World Order, let The Wall fall down, etc.”The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” We’ll have to keep fighting.

  12. Pointsandfigures

    Think you are wrong about mistrust of government. That’s been brewing in one party or another since 2000. Trump is a manifestation of that sentiment. Also think you are wrong about the criminality part of Trump. Hey, he’s a politician and politicians aren’t always on the level. You can count on one hand who is. That includes state and local politicians.I think if you look at the EU, there are parallels to the US when it comes to trust in institutions. The dust up in France over gas taxes is a clue. 2019 might be the year where the people rebel against over arching and intrusive govt, and big tech. People I know are sick of getting taxed for no apparent public good. In NYC it might be the dysfunctional subway system. In IL, it’s the total corruption. Our state public pension problem is $243 Billion in the hole and counting-let alone the hole that Chicago and other cities/counties are in. People are fleeing Illinois in droves-and they are leaving California and NY for states that are more tax friendly.On crypto, the interesting thing to me is transaction volume. Will 2019 finally be the year that crypto finds a broader mainstream use case?

    1. JLM

      .Mistrust with gov’t has been brewing since the American Revolution which was fought over — wait for it — mistrust in gov’t.I am amazed that we don’t know our history. Nothing going on today even compares with the distrust w/ gov’t from the Vietnam War Era.The riots then were spectacular.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Vasudev Ram

        >I am amazed that we don’t know our history.The famous Santayana quote comes to mind. Same applies somewhat these days in the tech field. People keep reinventing algorithms / technology, sometimes in a poorer way than the earlier stuff invented decades ago, because they don’t bother to look it up in the tech literature. This point comes up now and then on HN, and Rich Hickey, Clojure language creator, said something like it too, IIRC.Full Santayana quote (last sentence is usually what is quoted):”Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”https://en.wikiquote.org/wi…

        1. JLM


    2. SFG

      Where I live in CA, people leave not because of taxes. They leave because if you want to live on a decent part of down and not have a mega-commute, your starter home is 1.5mil. A Even “average” high income younger couples are punting to the great state of Texas. Who wants to scrape by to pay 6k per month mortgage plus almost 2k per month in property taxes to live in a doghouse? But they still do sell!

    3. LE

      If you know anything about how business people who run the type of business that Trump runs (essentially small family business) then you know by and large they are generally cutting corners and cheating and getting away with what they can. I think most people would never even imagine the type of thing that goes for normal in businesses of the type that Trump operated (not to mention NYC construction).I can tell of countless examples of how people like this think and act that I have encountered over the years. It’s a sport in itself.I told the story of my first business which I sold. We did mostly credit but took in a fair amount of cash. I would typically take about $50 per week in cash and deposit the rest (revenues were over $1m per year in the 80’s at 15 to 20% profit). The buyers came in (including a big shot corporate attorney) and they wanted to know how much cash I was taking out of the business. I told them the truth. $50. And they didn’t believe me. The more I stuck on the $50 the more they thought I was lying. And I didn’t even take $50 every week.I was telling the truth not because I am so honest. But because I wanted revenues as high as possible because I knew I would be selling the business. But they were certain I was saying that because I didn’t want to let it be known that I was taking money out of the business. True story.I get a kick out of Marcus Lemonis on his show. He runs numbers on small business. I am guessing he knows that they are taking cash when the % don’t work. But the show never highlights that at all. Possible he doesn’t realize simply because he never had a cash register himself.

      1. Adam Sher

        The Profit is a fun show. Marcus runs light in financial analysis after he puts money into a business. Coming back to the numbers would be useful for the audience to see. Shark Tank conspicuously avoids real financial metrics when it showcases investments 1+ years later. I suspect in both shows the lack of real financial communication is purposefully construed because the businesses aren’t performing well.

    4. Susan Rubinsky

      Yeah, CT too on the fixed pension costs — they account for 52% of CT’s budget. Needs to be broken. And the Dems are on the wrong side of that bargain.

      1. JamesHRH

        Wha ?That is untenable.

    5. JamesHRH

      The future is either more smaller countries or light larger national federations.Houston is like the 50th largest country in the world by economy and Harris County is nearly twice the population of Finland.The way the map looks today is not how it will look on Dec 31 2048.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        The Secession movement is strong in states like California, downstate IL, upstate NYC. It will get stronger because we aren’t as mobile as a society as we once were (govt transfer payments are part of the issue) There is a bit of a great sort going on right now. It will get stronger.

  13. Richard

    One trend I don’t see talked about much is the demise of the radio industry – and how it was quickly disrupted by the podcast industry. SoundCloud missed an opportunity here!

    1. fredwilson

      There are more podcasts on SoundCloud than any platform other than Apple

      1. Richard

        I knew that, I’m rooting for you.I have SoundCloud on my phone, but all the below are suboptimal for podcasts1) search 2) playback 3) fast forward 4) rewind 5) history 6) recommendations7) engagement 8) ux

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      This may be an area for future consolidation. I have a handful of apps on my phone (and on my Sonos system) so I can listen in to my favorite podcasts. But the same can be said for music from band to band to band (I mostly listen to bands I can see live in local/intimate venues; eg., longtail music.)

  14. Salt Shaker

    Trust, so hard to earn, so easy to lose. At least w/ pub companies they have shareholders’ interest as a stated goal, which doesn’t always dovetail w/ pub interest. With gov’t today, it’s hard to know whose interests are genuinely being served, with so many fiefdoms and agendas, personal and otherwise. Hard to find trust w/ so many moving targets.

  15. Angelo Santinelli

    While I look forward to reading something more optimistic in tomorrow’s post, I must admit that I am not feeling terribly sanguine about 2019. The democrats will take over the house and begin an all out assault on the President ( Not saying they are wrong to do so). The result might not be what they hope. They might succeed in getting rid of Trump, but I fear that both parties will do more damage to the democracy. Could a loss of faith in government, the Supreme Court, the media, and the markets usher in a “yellow jacket” movement like that seen in France? We know that other countries will be unrelenting in their attempts to undermine democracies around the world. Will people take the bait? Will the media (social and otherwise) develop a conscience and bring us accurate news, or will they continue to try and make the news?As for any hope of GDPR-like laws going into effect in the U.S., again I am not that hopeful. I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that we will see more Kabuki Theater in Congress. They’ll haul in all the usual suspects from Silicon Valley and while showing their lack of understanding of all things tech related, nothing will come of it because pols do not bite the hand that feeds them.I am hoping for the best and preparing for more market and geopolitical turmoil. What role tech decides to play will be anyone’s guess. While I do believe that we may see more opportunities to create things that we trust, will they come about in time to quell nerves in 2019?Hopefully, the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock won’t usher in the decade that followed – great music at the start and disco at the end! Yikes!

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > They might succeed in getting rid of Trump,The Democrats, Pelosi, Waters, etc. can say and do anything they want in the House, including send a Bill of Impeachment to the Senate. Considering what the Republicans did to lover boy Bill about a dress stain, maybe it’s fair play,But for a Bill of Impeachment to remove a POTUS from office requires a trial in the Senate and, IIRC, 2/3rds. They will never get the 2/3rds.All the Democrats can hope to do is make a big stink that they hope will get them some votes in 2020. Well, the stink won’t work. The stink will before far too many voters, well, stink.Why? Trump is accumulating one heck of a record of high interest to plenty of voters.

    2. JLM

      .The Dems are entitled to legislate and to undertake their oversight duties in any manner they desire. While I don’t currently identify as a Dem (I self-identify as a 25′ January swell in Rincon for the winter), I applaud their efforts.Have at it, Nancy. You won fair and square. Let the games begin. Hitch you pants up, President Trump and the White House this is what happens when you lose elections. [GOPe, it would be nice if you at least pretended to be Republicans.]If they desire to “investigate” they must, however, have some raw, underlying probable cause, some allegation which carries with it the messiness of having an actual statute and an attendant violation. Bit of evidence might be nice also.You can’t just say, “Hey, collusion isn’t a crime, but it sounds so bad.”We watched Dir FBI Comey contort the truth to come up with something, anything to launch a counter-intel investigation. [Counter-intel investigations are useful because they allow the “three hop” intervention package — you can tap a target, the target’s contacts, and the target’s contacts’ contacts. The three hopper covers most of the known world.]This is exactly why they put the bullseye on Carter Page — he three hopped his way to every single person in the campaign except for Candidate Donald J Trump WHO DOESN’T USE EMAIL!If you obtain four FISA warrants — which requires the investigators to opine that the target is either a spy or an agent of a foreign gov’t — and never charge, indict, run in front of a grand jury the target, then the public is entitled to ask WTF was the underlying probable cause?In the same manner, the House cannot just pick a name out of a hat and say, “Hey, let’s investigate the crap out of this guy cause we don’t like him and maybe we can find some crime so we can impeach him.”Impeachment is a political action and the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” which really means “high crimes and high misdemeanors” is not important if a majority of the House agrees on a charge.However, you have to go wrangle 67 votes in the 53 Republican vote Senate. To get 67 votes for removal from office would require the Dems/Independents to use their full 47 votes and to grab 20 Republican votes.That would be 20 out of 53. Nobody thinks that has a snowball’s chance in Hell of happening.Go for it, Dems.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  16. DJL

    We have one problem in this country – a biased, hateful and ignorant media. It is driving nearly all of these trends.”In the US, we have a President who is not trustworthy and may well be a criminal.”I am sorry, this is nothing more that “Trumped Up” media hype. Despite all of the media’s 24/7 attacks on Trump, there is not one legitimate charge against him that is based on fact. After millions of taxpayer dollars and 24 months of “Russia” collusion investigation – not ONE single piece of evidence was discovered that linked Trump to Russia. Everyone knows it is completely bogus. Paying off women to keep quiet before you even run for office is NOT campaign finance violations. It is a Liberal media fantasy to try to destroy Trump any way possible.You might dislike the way Trump operations. You might hate his tweets. But calling him a “criminal” is not supported by any facts. The people who voted for Trump trust him more than any elected official EVER. (But you won’t get that reading the NYT.)Your 88 year old Grandmother is being victimized by the media. They thrive on division, distrust and hate. Without those they have no audience.I am very disappointed that so many intelligent people cannot see through this.

    1. JLM

      .The Kavanaugh issue is a good one to focus on because there is a past, a present, and a future to the discussion.Guy breezes through an earlier confirmation hearing, sits on the DC Appellate Ct bench for 10 years, and writes 300+ opinions–perhaps the most extensive auditable body of judicial work for any SCOTUS nominee ever.Diane Feinstein — a very weird and dishonorable person — comes up with a specious report and attempts to derail the hearings after they are complete (just like the Anita Hill resurrection in the Clarence Thomas hearing) and pretends she and it are a serious undertaking.The Dems, naked attempt to quash the confirmation, get their extended investigation, nothing surfaces.That is the past and the present.Kavanaugh is confirmed, sits on the SCOTUS, and begins to vote exactly how anticipated — newsflash, he isn’t too damn conservative.All of the spurious and scurrilous allegations and defamers disappear. The Creepy Porn Lawyer spits the bit on his client and his 17 minutes of fame.It was all just a head fake for naked political reasons.Anybody confused about who was in the right or trustworthy needs to get a lobotomy.BTW, having beers with Brett tonight. Going to get wasted. Spartacus theme party. Sorry.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Tom Labus

        Judge Garland never got a chance to even say hello.

        1. JLM

          .Point being that Mitch McConnell was the Senate Majority Leader and President Obama was not?Funny thing is that Judge Garland and Brett Kavanaugh had nearly the identical voting record on the DC Appellate Ct.Not close — nearly IDENTICAL.I suspect that if Pres Obama had broken bread with Mitch before publicly announcing his nominee and given Mitch sufficient time to vet him, Mitch might have agreed to the nomination.The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave Garland the same rating as Brett Kavanaugh — “well-qualified.”Worth noting that “well-qualified” is the highest rating the ABA SCFJ gives and that it was unanimous.His failed nomination confirmation is squarely based on a foot fault by Pres Obama.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Tom Labus

            Is this from your science fiction creative writing course?

          2. JLM

            .Sci Fi is way too hard. Fantasy is more like it. Happy New Year!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. DJL

        Notice how the MSM never goes back and says “Oh, heck, we were wrong! It turns out that he was innocent all along!” AKA Duke La cross. 50% of America believes that the Russians tampered with votes. And they never heard otherwise. Sad.

        1. JLM

          .The only charge levelled at the Russians is using social media to influence the electorate in the selection of a candidate. After the election the same bunch is charged with fomenting unrest amongst Dems about the outcome of the election.It is not even clear any of this is a crime.The exact words used were a “state backed troll farm.”Rod Rosenstein said, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge.”All of these Russian individuals and corporations are beyond the long arm of American extradition and Mueller knew it from the start.Why bother indicting someone who cannot be extradited? Showboating?Did we just discover that the Russians engage in misinformation and disinformation? Cause this has been out there since 1917.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. fredwilson

      I said may be. And we will find out soon enough

      1. JLM

        .Nobody is completely trustworthy. I wouldn’t trust Mother Theresa to fix my car.I’d trust you on matters pertaining to VC, but not, say, judgment on high rise office building structural systems: steel v reinforced concrete.I trust Pres Trump on his policy initiatives — most of them, not all of them.Trust is a multi-faceted, contextual driven, subtle emotion driven by, hopefully, facts.Trust in a serious context requires critical thinking not emotions. There is nothing wrong with emotion driven trust — as an example the trust a son places in his father, but even that is driven by intimate knowledge driven by long experience.I trust Trump on tariffs while I know a lot of smart people who are very skeptical. Why do I trust him?Because I am intimately familiar with the Canadian Softwoods Lumber Tariff which impacts Southern pine timber holdings and lumber in the USA. It is fact based.Trust is not quite the same thing as believing. Do I believe Stormy had an intimate encounter with then civilian Donald J Trump a dozen years ago?Yes.Do I trust the rendition offered by the Creepy Porn Lawyer? Not so much.It is unfair to say that President Trump “may well be a criminal” as it is within the reach of the language but far from the shadow of any credible evidence.It is a shot in the dark. In your case, it is an expression of your desire.I think that Mueller’s report will raise a bruise and a blister, but it will not contain any criminal allegations related to Russian collusion. Not even close.The Mueller investigation should never have been authorized given the sketchy Geo Pop and Carter Page nonsense.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. jason wright

      The media’s death throes? I’ve always assumed that the Clinton camp had promised the media industry’s lobbyists various ‘reforms’ to protect and defend their interests against the web’s shredding of their business model.

    4. Salt Shaker

      Select whatever sports metaphor you desire, doesn’t really matter, any is suitable. It’s bottom of the 7th, it’s the beginning of the 4Q, 2 shot bonus the rest of the way. You honestly believe Mueller doesn’t have substantive, corroborated facts about nefarious activity directly linked to Trump? Come on, this would have been tied up long ago, but he likely keeps uncovering more loose ends. It’s so silly to believe this is a “witch hunt.” Totally illogical that there’s nothing there. The bigger issue is whether the GOP rolls based on the evidence/data presented. They will when/if it’s required to save their own souls. McConnell will fold in a heartbeat if he senses trouble w/ his own re-election campaign. Darwin would have been a big admirer of today’s Congress.

      1. JLM

        .Just getting ready to go out, so I don’t have my best thinking cap on.There is a bit of an exemplar for Mueller if you look at his NFL report on the reaction of the NFL management to the Rice v Janay Palmer one round TKO in the Atlantic City elevator.He cleared Roger Goodell – surprise – in a 96 page report which took four months to investigate and write.The report itself was better than any sleep aid including Ambien. One man’s boredom is another man’s attention to detail.What is telling is the questions asked of the folks who have “cooperated” with the Special Counsel.None of them really seem to focus on the issue of Russian collusion.The obstruction concern is very much in the eye of the beholder.I think the report is going to be blistering, but there is little to suspect that it will lay a glove on anyone as it relates to Russian-Trump collusion.I doubt there is a single thing that Trump did during the campaign that even gets a rise out of Mueller, but that doesn’t say there isn’t some matter from years earlier — Stormy was a dozen year old tale — or totally unrelated.Manafort was the big fish they wanted. They got him. Apparently, he’s given them squat. So much so they want to hang the guy.The indictment of the Russian companies and the Russian individuals is a very lame piece of lawyering, but even it doesn’t get too far from the notion that the Russians ran a troll farm.Anybody surprised that some Russkis beyond the extradition power of the USA ran a troll farm? I would be surprised if they didn’t.There is no way the Republicans in the Senate abandon Trump.The math in the Senate goes like this — 47 Dems/Inds. Not a given they get all 47 votes from Dems, but play along.Require a total of 67 to remove from office.To get to 67, Dems require 20 Republicans out of 53 plus any Dem defections (Manchin, Jones).Hard to see the Republican party surviving as an organization with a national footprint if that were to happen.Politically, the best thing for Trump would be a bombastic report and an ugly-on-an-ape impeachment in the House. No removal in the Senate. Would not be good for the country.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. DJL

        The Mueller investigation should never have started – because it was based on a lie. (“Research” paid for by Clinton team.) The only reason it continues is that they want to destroy Trump so badly they will make shit up if they have to. Seriously, this has already been proven. There was no “collusion”. There were some Facebook ads mostly after the election. There is NOTHING there. But if you give a bunch of Liberal Trump-hating lawyers a blank check and unlimited media backup, they will eventually find something.

        1. Salt Shaker

          Please explain to me why you’re not the least bit open minded about the possibility of incriminating evidence? You are acting as judge and jury w/ out the benefit of evidence. The fact none has been presented to your satisfaction is hardly a rationale for why none is forthcoming. You’ve concluded that anything that subsequently surfaces is undoubtedly manufactured or contrived, irrespective of what it actually is. Not sure, respectfully, I’d want you in my jury box 🙂

          1. DJL

            Huh? Last time I checked people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. That means that Mueller needs to produce evidence. The burden of proof is on him. But you have already convicted Trump – doing exactly what you just accused me of.Not sure what about my post would lead you to believe I am that close-minded. If there is something criminal – he deserves to go. But it needs to be real and a true crime. Not made up Liberal fantasy.Are you open to the idea that he is innocent? How about the fact that the entire investigation is fraudulent and based on lies bought and paid for by Clinton? Hmm.

          2. Salt Shaker

            “But if you give a bunch of liberal Trump-hating lawyers a blank check and unlimited media back up, they will eventually find something.”Your words. Hardly objective or unbiased, and a POV (or the very least strong inference) that guilt will be found based on faulty, contrived evidence. Conspiracy theories abound. Of course, he could be innocent or the evidence (yet to be) presented is circumstantial or plainly weak. Haven’t you already reached that conclusion?

          3. DJL

            Look in the digital mirror! You are accusing me of bias while ignoring your own.The fact (yes fact) that the Mueller team is made up of ex-Clinton Democrat supporters is not an opinion. The fact that Mueller has a blank check and gone far beyond the original investigation is not an opinion. Why do you continue to ignore facts that I present and accuse me of being biased? Not getting it.

          4. Salt Shaker

            Mueller and Rosenstein are Republicans, most of the rest of the team are Dems. Why gravitate to the notion political affiliation impedes objectivity? Basically, that’s what you’re saying. I think that’s the case w/ our elected officials, who will do anything and everything to maintain power and control, but I think the Mueller team—consisting of private sector attorneys and DOJ prosecutors (Repub controlled, btw)—can do their jobs objectively and w/ out bias. Honestly, it’s a weak, convenient and non-facts based defense.

          5. DJL

            But then there are those inconvenient texts by the FBI team doing the investigations that show blatant hate for Trump. And the same team that totally ignore HRC’s real crimes while going after everyone Trump knows. Objective my ass.

          6. Salt Shaker

            Right, so let’s indict an entire organization cause of a few texts. The whole DOJ, FBI, etc., is rotten to the core. The FBI employs 35,000 people. They’re all bad amigos and can’t be trusted cause of a few texts among lovers. Come on, seriously?

          7. DJL

            This has gotten ridiculous. If you don’t care that Federal Agents who are supposed to be investigating someone are shown to be biased and hateful to them, then there is really nothing left to discuss. You are first arguing that his team “can be unbiased.” Then when I point out that they are already biased (ie. you lost that part of the argument) then you switch to giving them a pass because they are “lovers.”You want to bring down the President because of comments he made on a tape ten years ago about grabbing (you know), but you want to forgive two Federal agents for lying and destroying evidence. That is the power of Trump Hatred.Its time to move on. We both have better things to do. ;>)

          8. Salt Shaker

            Last response. I’m not forgiving (or excusing) anybody. They were removed from the investigation. You’ve concluded, nonetheless, it is tainted even w/ those steps. Not sure how you can conclude that. It’s convenient to keep espousing a breach in protocol has undermined everything, like some form of systemic cancer. I choose to have a semblance of faith in our systems and will rely on facts (not speculation) when ultimately presented. Have a pleasant evening.

  17. JLM

    .Does the world trust VCs?True story.Great buddy of mine is a well-decorated Vietnam War Era vet. We served during the same time period. The kind of guy you want on your side when the feces hits the fan. Solid as a rock.Engineer, MBA — becomes a real estate developer in a big Eastern city. Crushes it. Becomes an angel investor, flirts with raising a fund and decides to invest his own money. Deep into the startup world.The other day we’re talking and I ask him, “Does it really matter whether you’re an angel or a VC?”He looks at me and smiles.”Well, I have to admit every time I hear the words “VC” I first think of the Viet Cong.”I laugh and say, “Me too.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Naw: The Viet Cong, and I have no sympathy for their political or economic ideas or humanist values, defeated by far the largest military in the world. So, the comparison is something of an insult to the Viet Cong!

      1. JLM

        .Actually, it wasn’t the VC; it was the NVA — the NVA was a very professional army that fought well under the power of US might.We lost our will, but we never really lost a battle with either the VC or the NVA.Walter Cronkite got it wrong when he panicked at the 1968 Tet Offensive. We had decimated them. We cut and ran when we should have doubled down.All in all, it was an ill-advised war for the wrong reasons in a shitty place supporting a lousy government.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Yes, I was deliberately being too simple going along with the joke about VCs.As I read the history, though, the VCs actually gave the Saigon government a really hard time. The US helped, and then the NVA helped their side.Yes, Walter Crankcase was too leftist; we could have doubled down after Tet; we never really lost a battle or even the war in any usual sense; and, yes, we could take and hold ground.But the corruption of the Saigon government was so bad that they were hated all over Viet Nam, even in Saigon. Net, the puppets we were backing in Saigon were no good, could not “sleep in the villages”, without the US would have lost even against just the VC; we backed losers. Even if we took and held land and villages, we would have had a hard time getting loyalty or sleeping in the villages.We had lots of good reasons to leave and not very good reasons to stay. And, when we cut and run with people hanging off the skids of helicopters, what’s happened that is so bad for the US? Nothing.I still don’t approve of their politics, economics, or humanistic values, but they are not hurting us and, thus, the work for them to become a better country is theirs to do, not ours.All in all, it was an ill-advised war for the wrong reasons in a shitty place supporting a lousy government.Yup.Truman let France return and backed them. Right, Dulles, the Keenan long telegram, the Iron Curtain, who “lost China”, etc. were hot topics. Japan and Germany recovered. So, the French colony should also recover and block Communist expansion?Ike kept us OUT of there. But JFK, LBJ, Nixon, and Ford could never say “LEAVE”. McGovern said that and lost. Nixon had a secret plan. Kissinger sounded like he knew a way out. Maxwell Taylor was gung ho. McNamara seemed he believed he could name the day and hour of victory.I have total contempt for Taylor, McNamara, Rusk, Rostow, etc. but NOT for the US soldiers. They were called, came, and did what they were asked to do and gave their blood.It took us a long time, and we paid high tuition, but we did learn the lesson for some years: In some foreign lands, bringing a country forward a few hundred years into the 20th century might take, right, a few hundred years.From such lessons, my view of Akrapistan is that the whole place has 99 44/100% of all their culture from just one place — Islam, except when it is from radical Islam. They have no desire or willingness to enter the 21st, 20th, …, 15th centuries.We can leave, continue to gather intelligence, maybe do some special operations, and, in total, defend against them. Our 17 years in that place should be full tuition for a big lesson: That place will stay in the 15th or so century. There can be a few exceptions around the edges, but mostly the only culture will be Islam from the 15th or so century.From what I know, I can approve of Gulf War I but not Viet Nam, Gulf War II, or Akrapistan.

  18. jason wright

    Did ‘we’ lose trust in them, or did ‘they’ lose trust in each other? The established order is ripping itself apart. It’s a spectacle to behold, but it’s not who or what ‘we’ are. Remember that please and be positive.

  19. LE

    In the US, we have a President who is not trustworthy and may well be a criminal.Agree.But you have to break that down a bit. A President often must say one thing but do another thing for the simple reason that lying is necessary to get the job done. I know that is not the trustworthy you mean but you must realize that all Presidents or leaders or politicians can’t always tell the truth because as in that movie ‘you can’t handle the truth’.As far as ‘criminal’ the question is is it significant enough (separate from any other reason for dislike him) to impact the job. Nixon was a criminal. But I am sure you would swap him for Trump easily if you could and ignore the Watergate break in entirely. Ditto nobody cared about what JFK’s father did to get him elected. Clearly broke the law buying the election.If I have a brain surgeon and he is the best person for the job then I honestly don’t care if he cheats on his wife or does not pay taxes or otherwise has issues. (Using an example to illustrate the thinking). Generally.Trump’s biggest issues are his ‘inability to control emotions, play well with others, and listen to advice from people he has hired’. Not some of the time but most of the time. As I like to say ‘that is the crime’. That is what bothers me.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > control emotionsHe’s been under outrageous provocations and responded well. At times he should “counter punch” and does: His characterization of “fake news” is fully appropriate. Similarly getting rid of, by working around, that insulting, obnoxious publicity seeker at the news conferences — haven’t heard from that slob in weeks.> play well with othersHe plays well with lots of people, even ones on the other sides of tables long bitter enemies of the US — Xi, Kim, Pukistan, then narco state Mexico, etc. He got along with Macron and gets along with the Canada guy — they both have great differences with Trump. He repaired our relations with both England and Israel that Obozo hurt so badly. He did well with the Baltic states and there pushed back Russia.He’s played really well with US coal, steel, aluminum, energy, and manufacturing.CNN and nearly all the rest of the MSM want to dump on Trump 24 x 7 for whatever reasons; dancing a waltz with them is not appropriate; but he does well even with nasty interviewers. For Nasty Nancy he offered to round up votes she needed to become Speaker.He got along well with Governor Moonbeam just after Monnie’s Greenie nonsense again resulted ini $billions of damage to California.For the hurricanes, he and Melania were right there on the ground, listening and acting.He’s consistently about the best friend women have in politics and high office.I do get some hints that he can work some of his subordinates really hard.> listen to advice from people he has hiredAs I recall, Generals Kelly and/or Mattis confirmed that he listens and is well informed. Then he makes his decision. That’s what he’s supposed to do. Then his decisions really are well within the themes and directions that got him elected. So, we’re OUTa the Paris Accords, the TPP, Syria, soon Akrapistan, etc. For The Wall, that was one of the most important reasons he got elected, but now he is getting attacked with high determination by all of the MSM, Nancy, and Chucky. The attacks are not from some personality or socialization issue but just from differences over power politics — Nancy and Chucky are dancing very obediently on strings pulled by people IMHO giving money.On Hannity I’ve seen lots of clips from the MSM attacking Trump with apparently every far fetched, unsupported accusation they can come up with, and one of the main themes is that there is something wrong with his personality or character; they talk about those because they (1) are out to dump Trump and (2) can’t find anything more substantive, and (3) those amorphous accusations are amorphous to defend or debunk.The accusations, amorphous, unsubstantiated, with no clear evidence, are just propaganda, and the MSM and Democrats are ganging up, piling on, and repeating just as in Nazi Minister of Propaganda Dr. J. Goebbels and his “If you tell a lie often enough, then people will believe it. Eventually even you will believe it.”.In high school if enough people gang up and whisper that Joe is a slob, then even with no evidence at all a lot of people will go along, shun Joe, even sabotage him, etc.Dump on Trump is hurting our country.I’m waiting until tomorrow when AVC will attempt to post some serious objections to Trump.

  20. Lawrence Brass

    The most remarkable part of crypto and particularly Bitcoin is that it recovers on its own. It weathers its own storms. No trillion dollar rescues. That is resiliency.Microsoft, trustworthy regarding personal data? Debatable.Turstworthy? Chef Gordon Ramsey! Went through his Turkey & Gravy tutorial today, practically all day and tasted the gravy a minute ago. I will arrive the table sure about an easy win. ;-)Thanks AVC for an amazing year.

  21. Ray Chow-Toun

    may from 2019 we start to realize that crypto is not limited to the bitcoin convulsions, that crypto currency exchange rates are just a tiny tip of the iceberg, that sustainable investment in crypto is in exploring the unlimited Apps based on this technology