The past week or so has seen a surge in commentary on the role of corporations in society, a theme familiar to readers of this site. While it might be convenient to peg the trend to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s newly minted Accountable Capitalism Act (more on that in a second), I think it’s more likely that – finally – our collective will is turning to our most logical and obvious instrument of social change, namely, the instrument of business.
We humans like to organize ourselves into social units. They range from the informal (pickup basketball games) to the elaborately structured (Senate hearings). Our ability to harness collective will is unsurpassed in the animal kingdom, it’s one of our key evolutionary adaptations, driving the success of our species across the globe.
One year after the Shift Forum convened one of the very first conversations around the role of Russia in disrupting the US electoral process in 2016, moderator John Heilemann once again convenes a panel of experts to plumb what we know about the story. What was revealed is both fascinating and deeply disturbing.
John Heilemann: All right, guys. We have the third in our series of political policy-related panels this morning. This is the one that I have been most looking forward to, because I think it gets to one of the issues that everybody in this room has been thinking about. Everyone in the country’s been thinking about, and the one that no one in the country was thinking about.
The Chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and former Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton joined John Heilemann for a candid conversation about “The Hacked Election.” His commentary is not to be missed.
In his first interview since the November election, John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chair whose hacked personal email arguably changed the course of last Fall’s election, suggested a strong remedy for the distrust in democracy sown since Trump’s surprise win: Establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate all the unresolved questions about Russia’s meddling in the election, its role in the hacking, and its possible ties to the Trump campaign.
Below is the full, unedited conversation between Podesta and John Heilemann, author of Game Change, Double Down, and co-creator and host of Showtime’s The Circus. The interview begins with particularly poignant footage of Podesta on election day, and charges through his anger with FBI director James Comey, the role of Russia in the election, and the “vile stream” of fake news driving today’s political discussion.
After leading the team that saved healthcare.gov, Andy Slavitt took the reins of Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. He’s leaving soon, but his legacy is just getting started.
Andy Slavitt left a successful career in the private sector to take what many would call a thankless job. For the past two plus years, he’s been the acting head of CMS, better known as the agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid. That job has the largest budget in the land — a trillion dollars — more than two-thirds larger than the Department of Defense. When we spoke earlier this Fall, Slavitt knew he was most likely going to be out of a job come January 21st — his role serves at the pleasure of the President, and no matter who won, it was probable he’d be replaced. However, his name was whispered as a candidate for other top positions in government, had Clinton won.
Trump’s election has eliminated any doubt of that, but it has also animated Slavitt’s Twitter feed, which was already spicy by government standards (though certainly not as spicy as the new President elect). Consider this tart rejoinder:
I joined government in 2014 from the private sector. I can say with confidence that it is harder to govern than criticize the government.
Donald Trump won the primaries by thumbing his nose at political convention, including the idea — personified by the folks who steered President Obama’s two winning campaigns — that data science can be used to optimize a presidential campaign. If Trump wins tonight, that upset would also spell a profound defeat for this data-driven mindset (Backchannel).
For one thing, the polls and prediction sites run by numbers nerds all tell us that Trump’s headed for defeat. But proving them wrong is only the beginning of the challenge to a scientific, evidence-driven worldview that a Trump victory would represent.
Please vote. Just so you know my bias before reading further, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.
This post is not aimed at you if you have already decided to vote for Clinton or for Trump. It is aimed at you if you haven’t voted, are considering not voting, or are voting for someone other than Clinton or Trump.