Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Spin Doctors Rule ... Magic Crypto Trick

'I just need to make it to 34 and I’ve beaten Jesus at living.'
~Sarah Millican (May 29 1976)

Much used — and abused — but little understood, realpolitik is about not only the art of the possible but also the messiness of politics ... 

Abbott now charges clients $1000 an hour to provide media strategies to corporate clients in crisis situations. This may include public scandals, negative sharemarket announcements or legal disputes.
"I'll go in and coach the CEO on what to say, because they have no idea of how to talk to the media," she says $1000 an hour

Our political future on holiday (part 1) Unqualified Offerings

With several historic northern towns hit by major flooding (and The Sundiscovering 'traces of cocaine' in St Paul's cathedral), the Crosby story didn't get much oxygen the day after it was leaked to the Sunday Times.
"A reward for political service is exactly what it says," the paper said. There was "no point pretending the honours are for making a contribution to the greater good of the country… such titles are dispensed by party leaders to people who have most helped them defeat their opponents"
Mr Cameron has been criticised for his approach to the honours list – at one point even finding a gong for his hairdresser (who fought a noble battle on behalf of the country against its leader's expanding bald spot) Prospect of Sir Lynton lord of spin triggers laughter ...

Britain’s baroque system of honours rarely decorates the kind of punter to whom Lynton Crosby, the political strategist, has devoted his life’s work. The system assumes that a charity grandee or municipal executive necessarily serves their community better than the proprietor of a printing firm in a Bracknell business park who employs 12 locals.
The wonder is not that Mr Crosby might receive a knighthood in the new year, at the recommendation of David Cameron, the prime minister he served so well, but that he would care for one. If steering a Conservative election campaign that was universally panned until the night of the result did not bring its own reward, then scrambling the egos of a puffed-up commentariat surely did.
Media Dragons Spinning Under the Surf of Life Beat Beaches In Sydney ...
The politics of hope has a spurious respectability but reeks of snake oil. It elides good intentions with good outcomes and treats the status quo as a baseline that can only be improved on. For normal people in the actual world, the status quo is superior to many plausible alternatives. Things can be made worse not just better by well-meaning politicians.
“The last time they met a punter,” said Mr Crosby of his critics after May’s general election, “was when they picked up their dry cleaning”. Those who disdain the element of fear (Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is a topical example) tend to do so from a great height, as if there is something below-stairs about worrying for one’s safety or job when there are so many big ideas to be moved by and noble crusades to join.
They also conflate fearful politics with extremism. It is truer to say that fear (of social change, wage competition, outsiders) is what propels fringe parties; fear (of incompetent government) is what ultimately stops them being trusted with power.
Mr Crosby did not win the general election for Mr Cameron. He brought organisational shape and analytic rigour to a candidate who, given the competition, should have won anyway.
This foreigner, however, reads our country better than most native pundits. Too many have what the French called déformation professionelle, the tendency of those immersed in one line of work to see everything through that lens. Because they are passionate about politics, they believe voters are too, or can be if inspired.
Mr Crosby knows we are passionate about securing what we have worked for. We respond to cold, instrumental politics because it takes us seriously. The typical Briton is precarious: an interest rate rise at the wrong moment or the deterioration of their local state school can wound them irrecoverably. You do not need to have a lot to fear losing it.
FT on Odd Adelaide Bred Spinning Media Ethics on Fear 

Speaking in his home town of Adelaide, Mr Briggs said the incident occurred on a recent official trip to Hong Kong when he invited the woman and several other officials out to a private dinner. Minister Jamie Briggs quits Malcolm Turnbull's cabinet after 'incident' abroad Jamie Briggs, an ambitious MP who overstepped the mark

 "Political scandals are not really about ministerial accountability. Rather they are tests of prime ministerial leadership," Dr Scott Brenton from  University of Melbourne wrote in a paper on such matters Political scandals principally a test of leadership
'One-armed butlers – they can take it but they can’t dish it out.'
Tim Vine (March 4 1967-)

 “…the only guilded butler in North America…”  “In Canada, graduating butlers fresh from school can expect annual wages in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, climbing to $75,000 within five years. After 10 years, according to Mr. MacPherson, butlers can look forward to six-figure salaries.”  Finally: ““If you think you love people, but you’re not sure you love people, it’s not the profession for you.”” It makes me wonder. What happened to Polish born Thomas Mann  that colourful porsch driving Rene Rivkin's Perfect butler gets his just rewards

This magic bitcoin trick is sonething Thomas would do ...
I love this scene from Digital Gold, Nathaniel Popper’s entertaining book on the history of and people behind Bitcoin. Wences Casares, a successful internet entrepreneur and Bitcoin enthusiast, is at a party of millionaires and billionaires and he wants to impress the crowd:
To prove how easy this all was, Wences asked Blodget to take out his phone and helped him to create an empty Bitcoin wallet. Once it was up, and Wences had Blodget’s new Bitcoin address, Wences used the wallet on his own phone to send Blodget $250,000..the money was then passed to the phones of other people around the table once they had set up wallets. Anyone could have run off with Wences’s $250,000, but that wasn’t a risk with this particular crowd. Instead, as the money went around, Wences saw the guests’ laughter and wide-eyed amazement at what they were watching.
Wences is something of a character. Russ Roberts did a good interview with him on EconTalk.

Start-Up With Bitcoin in Its DNA Stumbles on Fund-Raising Trail New York Times