August 8, 2013

"Booker's stake is a bribe."

"He gets money, the bribers er 'donors' or 'partners' get control and access over public policy, at the expense of the voters. This is blatant graft and of a type that used to be common in the late 19th century, which in so many ways our politics and economy seem to be moving back to."

That's the comment ranked highest by readers of the NYT's embarrassingly puffy piece on Cory Booker, "Tech Magnates Bet on Booker and His Future."

Here's the second-highest-ranked:
“Cory is the inspiration architect,” Ms. Ross said. “He really is the thought-leader soul part of the business.”

Translation: he does nothing but we're throwing money at him to buy influence.

And really? Yet another video sharing platform? The tech sector - which I suppose now includes 99% of everyone under 25-years-old - just keeps going deeper and deeper into the well in an endless feedback loop of self-aggrandizement but what they produce becomes less and less relevant or important to society. But they sure can market junk, can't they?
Here's Waywire, by the way(wire), so check for yourself if it's haywire. You can't tell from one look how long these items have been at the top, but the timelessness of the subject matter makes me think: a long time. I mean: "7 Great Beatles Performances," "Top 15 Most Patriotic Songs," "30 Best Summer Songs"...? These seem to pre-date the Internet! But let's be fair and watch "Top News, August 8," which appears in the upper left-hand corner of the grid. It starts off (for me, now, anyway) with a grainy 38 seconds of a guy in a suit drawing all the pingpong balls for a set of Powerball numbers. (That fits with "betting on Booker.") It then proceeds to another video, a minute of Obama on Leno, then another (showing "Suffering in Syria"), then something about Egypt, something about Dustin Hoffman, something else about Egypt, and ending the run through the top news that you need to know today, August 8th, with "Toddler Beaten to Death by Foster Mother." We see her sad face in a thumbnail.

I'm drawn back to the NYT article, which blithely drops the news: "Waywire has put Andrew Zucker, 15, the son of Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, on its advisory board and given him stock options." Kid luck. It's a crapshoot.

23 comments:

David said...

Of course it's a bribe. So were John Edwards' "consultancy" at Goldman, and Rahm Emmanuel's make me a multi millionaire stint as a investment banker. And Hillary's commodities profits and much, much more.

Won't affect his election chances in the slightest.

RecChief said...

it would be shocking if there were not so many similar examples throughout our history. The most recent I can think of is Hillary's cattle futures gains, but I am sure there are a ton of examples on both sides of the aisle that weren't as well publicized.

Lem said...

Booker is the pony that will become a bookie... or something.

cubanbob said...

It's hard to tell if this transparent bribery is a sign of desperation or simply a sign brazen confidence that they can do almost anything.

YoungHegelian said...

The days of good-government liberalism, especially on the East Coast, are gone.

It's impossible to have good-government liberalism when liberalism is now identity & group interest (e.g. public sector unions) politics. They all know that if good government shuts down the "take", their group will never have the opportunity to be on it.

Ralph Hyatt said...

This graph struck me as bizarre.

Ms. Ross suggested in an interview that she saw in Mr. Booker a kindred social media spirit. She said she has wondered how the civil rights movement might have been different had the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had access to Twitter. “Social media is a movement,” she said, “and Cory Booker is a leader in this movement.”

Yes, lets replace the "I Have a Dream" speech and "Letter from a Jail in Birmingham" with tweets.

I am simultaneously amused and horrified.

These people are the "elite?"

David-2 said...

As you pointed out, the comments you're remarking on are the "reader's picks". I also took a look at the "NYT's picks".

It might be my imagination, but I thought the "reader's picks" were better written, i.e., expressed their thoughts more clearly, more memorably. And were somewhat more interesting.

If others agree with my perception then it would make me wonder what it takes to be an "NYT's pick".

(If others disagree with my perception ... then, never mind!)

bpm4532 said...

It would only hurt his election chances with Democrats if he DIDN'T take such a bribe/conflict-of-interest and fail to disclose it (under penalty of perjury). Democrats seem to expect this from their leaders and value them the more corrupt they are.

I'm surprised how sad it made me to wrote those two sentences as I think the corruption and delusion in that party run deep. It particularly makes me sad when I hear people I know and like just ape the party talking point of the day.

For example, I've never heard these people talk about regionalism and sprawl until the last few weeks as the Democrat's program was rolled out and they all got their emails from OFA.

I alternately worry that these people will never be freed from that Pied Piper or that if they are, their revulsion and self-loathing over their past behavior will go out of control.

David-2 said...

RecChief said...

it would be shocking if there were not so many similar examples throughout our history. The most recent I can think of is Hillary's cattle futures gains, but I am sure there are a ton of examples on both sides of the aisle that weren't as well publicized.

You're right to not include Al Gore's work with Apple and Google. That wasn't buying influence: those companies wanted the valuable direction that the inventor of the Internet could give them.

Steve said...

Gore is walking around with a couple hundred million petrodollars and we're worried about Booker's youtube for stupid people?

Of course it is graft. No one cares. Well they cared when Reagan took a couple million from the Japanese for a speech but Clinton and Clinton have won the race to the bottom and cleared the space for their brethren.

Steve said...

Gore is walking around with a couple hundred million petrodollars and we're worried about Booker's youtube for stupid people?

Of course it is graft. No one cares. Well they cared when Reagan took a couple million from the Japanese for a speech but Clinton and Clinton have won the race to the bottom and cleared the space for their brethren.

AF said...

I don't read the piece as puffy, FWIW. The point of view is a little desultory, but there is a lot of material in there that makes the whole project sound like a corrupt boondoggle. That material wasn't put in there by accident nor was the implication drawn by the NYT commenter lost on the article's author.

William said...

Who stands the greatest chance of winning a Pulitzer: the reporter who finds malfeasance in the office of Nancy Pelosi or the one who uncovers wrongdoing in the office of John Boehner? Trick question of course. A reporter would never take the trouble to investigate the financial dealings of Nancy's iffy husband.......to be fair, they're not much interested in John Boehner either. The Holy Grail of investigative journalism remains the discovery of a Republican politician who paid for his girl friend's abortion......I like Corey Booker. He's a quantum jump ahead of Newark's previous mayor, Sharpe James. But I have this nagging doubt that if there were something wrong with Booker, I would never hear about it.

ThomasD said...

Tammany Nation.

What this county needs is some 'controlling legal authority' but that just ain't gonna happen.

Congress might have been an option, but the 'progressives' have destroyed that.

Cicero was right.

So was Franklin - it's all over, now it's just a fight for the spoils.

Edward said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazaar_of_the_Bizarre

Wherein the Master Traders achieve
the ultimate goal: To exchange a
societies most precious treasures
for their own toxic wastes.

Seeing Red said...

Via ZeroHedge:

A massive 1,131 individuals renounced their US citizenship last quarter, according to data that has yet to be officially released (though we were able to procure an advanced copy). This is a huge jump. Compared to the same quarter last year in which 188 people renounced their US citizenship, this year’s number is over six times higher. Not to mention, it's 66.5% higher than last quarter's 679 renunciations. This brings the total number of renunciations so far this year to 1,810. While still embryonic, it’s difficult to ignore this trend– more and more people are starting to renounce their US citizenship.

David R. Graham said...

"more and more people are starting to renounce their US citizenship."

Not Americans. Quitters.n

Martin said...

I've been in local government in a large city for about 40 years and I have NEVER seen a politician or political appointee make an argument for minority contracting that didn't include teh specific contractor he wanted to gte the deal.

That is the corrupt heart of liberalism and the Democratic Party. Though, to be fair, GOPs play the same game, just not as much or as well.

Given that as teh environment that creates teh Corey Bookers and Barack Obamas, how can anyone be surprised at Wayfire or Solyndra or Rahm at Wasserstein Perella and the Freddie Mac board, or all the dozens of similar corrupt deals--99% of which you never hear of, by the way.

hicks said...

"Bermuda" Mike Bloomberg made the government official into the source of the bribe.

Ironman said...

Let's not forget the pre-Senate employment gigs of Maria Cantwell (stock options and awards) and Al Franken (way above market salary), who both were unusually well compensated in ventures funded by Rob Glaser prior to their respective runs for office.

lewy14 said...

AF - yes, the details in the NYT piece are incriminating. But that's a feature, not a bug.

The whole piece is intended to be "in your face".

The NYT story says: this is the team which is in power now. This is how they do it. No, we're not calling them on it. Neither are you, bubbie, if you know what's good for you.

Also, if you have some firsthand experience in this space - as I do - the reality is even worse than the appearance.

Judy Milam said...

"A massive 1,131 individuals renounced their US citizenship last quarter, ..."

One of those wouldn't happen to have been Matt Damon, would it?

Ah well, one can dream.

submandave said...

"Yes, lets replace the 'I Have a Dream' speech and 'Letter from a Jail in Birmingham' with tweets."

But these are from the era of political thought, something that has no place in today's sloganeering and pandering to cultivated demographics. Celebrity and sales pitch have trumped sincerity and consideration. Why worry about trying to convince an electorate when all you really need to do is herd a compliant constituency of sycophants?