Everything bad is Bill Clinton's Fault. Except for Man-Buns.

I challenge you to find fault with any the following:

  1. If the #metoo movement would have been around, Bill Clinton wouldn't have survived being governor of Arkansas, let alone survive a Democratic primary for President.
  2. Bill Clinton's abuse of Monica Lewinsky was horrifying.
  3. It was so horrifying, that a respected reporter was completely correct to try to report it. 
  4. The true story of what Bill Clinton did to Lewinsky was killed by Newsweek editors.
  5. The killed story made its way to what was then an obscure website called the Drudge Report.
  6. The Drudge Report became one of the top sites on the internet after that.
  7. As it grew it sent huge amounts of traffic to a site called Breitbart, making it a huge success.
  8. One of Breitbart's founders was Steve Bannon.
  9. At Breitbard, Bannon worked with investor Robert Mercer.
  10. Mercer funded Cambridge Analytica, which also hired Bannon.
  11. Cambridge Analytica, Bannon, and Mercer were key players in getting Donald Trump elected.

Is there any fault in any of that progression? Any of those facts?

Now, a logical conclusion is that without that set of facts, maybe we wouldn't have Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon would still be a third-rate movie producer, and maybe a few thousand voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania would not have voted for Trump.

Unlike the numbered facts above, it's debatable. 

Bill Clinton didn't just create a world where Trump could beat his wife, he created a world where it was Trump, and not someone else, would challenge his wife. "How do we maximize Trump?" was a memo that actually circulated in the Clinton campaign, according to an inside account.

What's not debatable is that Bill Clinton sowed the seeds that made things bad for Hillary, Monica, and women in general.

He also made things bad for immigrants, way before Trump figured out how to make that an issue.

But Bill Clinton made things good for friends like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Donald Trump.

 

image from i.dailymail.co.uk

So, while we can't blame Bill Clinton for man-buns, just about everything else that's really bad right now can be traced back to him.


Big Day for The Future of Water and for BlogMutt

Today is the official publication day for the book I wrote for the American Water Works Association and Steve Maxwell: The Future of Water.

Today is also the day we are starting a poll to help us find a new logo for the company I founded with Wade Green: BlogMutt.

Amazon almost ruined the whole thing!

It turns out that a disturbingly large part of my life is tied up with Amazon right now. I don't make a percentage of sales for the book, so I'm not super obsessed with checking sales stats on Amazon, but I've made a living as a writer or writing consultant for a long time, so being on Amazon is a big deal for me.

Amazon.com was actually fine. I was only worried about it because Amazon Web Services went down yesterday. I knew that because of the other big part of my life today: BlogMutt. We are super early in the process of launching BlogMutt, so early that we only really have a couple of things right now, including a logo that Wade and I designed, and a beta sign-up form.

Because the internet is cool, we didn't have to make our own sign-up form, we let the inventive team at betali.st do it. Because that team didn't want to have to provision their own server and go through all those headaches, they signed up for Amazon Web Services. We are also developing in part on a site called "heroku" and that site, too, went down. (It's up today, with a promise of being "rock solid.")

A zillion newish web companies use Amazon's cloud, lured in by Amazon's message. In short, Amazon says that it got so good at cloud computing running Amazon.com that it wants to sell that ability. Small companies can tell themselves that they are getting the same kind of reliability that Amazon has for itself.

It turns out that while all animals are equal, some animals are a bit more equal. The cloud that Amazon sells to others is not quite as equal as the cloud it uses to sell stuff.

For me, if I had to choose, I would have rather seen my own book site unavailable on the date the book goes on sale and be able to keep going with BlogMutt. That way maybe people would wait on buying the book until they can do so in person at the Denver Press Club on May 5. That way I'd get to see those people and say thanks. Today is the publication day, what's sometimes known as "The calm before the calm."

(As a small side-note: I'm surprised that nobody in the dead tree press or even a blog that I can find have pointed out that the cloud problem hurt the cloud customers, but not Amazon.com itself. It was my first question, and I wasn't alone. Brad Feld asked, and so far I'm the only one who answered. One other even smaller side note... Whenever there's a widespread internet outage, Skynet jokes are sure to follow, especially when it happens on Judgement Day. I was relieved when Quora did not come back from its Amazon-induced nap to ask only one question: "Where is Sarah Connor?")

The good news is that the internet seems to have worked through it's funk. Also, it's Good Friday, the middle of Passover, the day after Skynet did not attack us and Earth Day. It's also the day that Alfalfa's reopens in Boulder, so now you can get this song stuck in your head the way it's been stuck in my head all day:

"Alfalfa's" by Leftover Salmon by fullpedal

So it seems like a good of a day as any to launch our logo survey for BlogMutt.

We will launch the site itself soon enough, but for the logo I need your help. Our logo has served us well in our nascent stages. We made this one ourselves using a picture of the Yates family dog, Professor Beuregard Thibodeaux Tagalong "Buddy" Yates the 122nd. (Quinn, now 7, thought the "122nd" made his name sound better.) Anyway, the logo now is cute, but we need something more professional that will look good on coffee mugs and other tchotchkes, as well as on a smart phone, etc. So take a quick look here and let me know what you think:

(If there is no graphic with a bunch of logos above these words, there's some glitch. Click here to take the poll, it's one page with eight choices.)

Thank you very much for taking that poll, and thanks for reading. Spring is here!


Drudge, Hypochondria, and the President

I'm convinced that Drudge is a total hypochondriac. He's got about 20 stories about the swine flu up right now.


Not that there's anything wrong with that, but he is leaning a bit too far in the panic direction.

On the other side is TechCrunch, which has a story up, saying that "panic" is being spread over the web

I disagree. I think these types of flu are a bit scary, and with the federal government now working on it, it's a legitimate news story.

(I bet we find, eventually, that like the last big scare of the bird flu, that this is not just some random thing, that there is a big-picture story that caused this. It turns out the avian flu was caused by chicken farmers in China giving Tamiflu and other antivirals to their chickens. It didn't work, surprise surprise, but what did happen is that they helped create a flu bug that did not get better when you took Tamiflu. This is something I learned about from a doctor because it hurt me directly: I got the flu and couldn't take Tamiflu to get better.)

The thing that worries, me, however, is that Drudge has such animus toward Obama.

I don't know if there's anything to the story that Obama met and shook hands with a man in Mexico City who died the next day from the swine flu, but I do know that if it happened to President Bush that Drudge would have had that story front and center.

You're doing a heck of a job, Wang

It's always interesting to watch the local version of stories from China. This one just cracked me up:

TRAFFIC on the Beijing-Guangzhou railway line has "basically" returned to normal, a spokesman of the Ministry of Railways announced.

Transport capacity has been greatly restored and the railway authorities are doing their best to send hundreds of thousands of stranded travelers across the country on their way home for next week's Spring Festival, Wang Yongping, the ministry's spokesman, said last night, China News Service reported today.

That's from the Shanghai Daily.

So, normal includes as many as 800,000 people hanging around a train station?

OK, that's an easy pot shot. It's just that I can relate to a train station and bad traffic. I used to make a living off bad traffic. It's a little harder to relate to $1.4 trillion.

And yet with all that money, they can't make their trains work? Something's out of whack here. Reading Fallow's piece just makes me nervous.


Yikes

Here are a couple of pictures from James Fallows' excellent blog:

Japanese way to fuel an airplane


Chinese way to fuel an airplane width=

Fallows is generous about the Chinese way. "At the moment, I am feeling positive toward both approaches," Fallows writes.

Not me. Airplanes, children's toys, freedom of expression -- these are all things that I think should be approached properly. Just "getting it done" is not OK with me.


Food, but no feeds

The "Grand Bargain" after the democratic uprisings in China ending with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, was that China would essentially let the Chinese have their freedom in the business world in exchange for not wanting to upend the government.

It won't last. Markets don't need much from the government, mostly just a fair playing field. Markets also need unfettered access to information, which the government shouldn't have anything to do with, but that doesn't seem to be the case in China.

With news that the "Great Firewall of China" is now blocking ALL feeds, not just ones with banned words, the government makes it even more clear that it only wants business to succeed as long as the business does not rely on the flow of information. No wonder so many entrepreneurs decide the only thing to do is manufacture stuff for the absolute cheapest price possible.