Thinking about the 2018 Elections

If you are like me, you are concerned about the direction the US is headed.  Trump is part of the problem. But equally concerning is the attitude of Republicans about politics. That attitude shouts out, “We really don’t care if what we say makes sense. We can win anyway.”

And they are indeed in control of Congress and the White House. That control has given them a potential conservative majority on the Supreme Court. They are sitting in the catbird seat.

But there are signs that all is not well in paradise.  Trump won, but he has been astoundingly ineffective as a leader, not to mention embroiled in endless controversy.  And Republicans have been unable to move any significant legislation through both houses of Congress. The disaster that is their health care proposal speaks loudly that they will have difficulty governing the way they have promised that they would. And folks may start waking up to the reality that while Republicans say they are for the middle class, their policies are not grounded in protecting or building the middle class. They have been and remain the trickle down party.

Which is why the 2018 election is important. If Democrats can take back the House, the power game in Washington fundamentally changes. Trump would no longer have a republican wall to protect him from House investigation. And a democratically controlled House could prevent truly stupid legislative proposals from dominating the agenda. And perhaps most important, Democrats would have a pulpit to get their message across to the broader electorate. They could start telling a new story.

The conventional wisdom was that this is a pipe dream. But consider what just happened in Montana – a very, very red state.

To win by only 7 in Montana, a state that Trump won by 20 points, is a clear sign that seats Trump won by 4 or 5 points or more aren’t truly safe.

This is part of a larger trend where dems have been pulling in pretty good polling figures. So yes, the dems have a shot. And it is a big deal.

So … are you engaged in this? Are you engaged locally to help push the dems over the top? If not, why not? Now is the time.

Think about it.

Jetting Off to Sweden’s Islands

The article starts off this way

A beach getaway might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trip to Sweden, but once the long-awaited warmth of summer reemerges, Swedes wake from hibernation and celebrate by escaping to the coasts to catch some rays. Many of the most popular summer destinations are amongst the more than 200,000 islands (yes, more than 200,000) that dot the water off the mainland.

And it offers an amazing l8ist of places to visit., I will be consulting it this summer!

The News about Kik and Kin

Kik is a messaging system that is used by lots and lots of people. I am not one of them. But I will be now.

the reason I will join kik is that kik is adopting something called kin. In other words, kin will be fully integrated into the kik service.

So what is kin? It is an ethereum based crypto-currency.

Got that?

If not, don’t worry. You will be in the majority. Here is the skinny. Using kik, you will now be able to make direct micro-exchanges.

Fred Wilson has more. Go for it!

Still not persuaded? Here are a few bullet points to keep in mind

  • web-based business models are generally 2attention based”. The more attention they can grab, the more content can be monetized
  • This has led to “network effects” — meaning getting big is everything. So you get Google, Facebook, etc. instead of a lot of small businesses that compete to add value to you
  • The effect has been to control attention rather than to empower users.
  • To get around the network effects, we need a new business model that allows smaller web-based content providers to monetize what they do without relentlessly pursuing more traffic
  • to get there, you need more ways to allow direct exchanges between developers and users
  • crypto-currency embedded in a network that ties a community together can achieve that

A glimpse at the Book of Dust

A New novel by Philip Pullman, starts off this way

Eleven-year-old Malcolm lives with his parents at the Trout Inn near OxfAdd Neword, across the river Thames from Godstow Priory, where the nuns are looking after a special guest. One night his father comes to Malcolm’s bedroom.

“Malcolm, you en’t in bed yet—good. Come downstairs for a minute. There’s a gentleman wants a word with you.”

“Who is it?” said Malcolm eagerly, jumping up and following his father out.

“Keep your voice down. He’ll tell you who he is if he wants to.”

A special guest with an urgent mission has come to visit young Malcolm. The Observer offers more of the story.

Read on!