Monday, January 20, 2014

Crony Capitalists Join Hollywood Stars for Michelle Obama Birthday Party

I am really sick of all the Michelle Obama birthday coverage, however, it is instructive to note who attended the B-party.

NyPo's Page Six has the scoop (my highlights)
Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder played a top-secret 50th birthday party for Michelle Obama on Saturday night at the White House.

Spies said that more than 300 guests — including Paul McCartney, Jennifer Hudson, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg — were required to check their phones before entering the bash so there could be no photos or tweeting[...]

The party raged till 2 a.m., spies said, for guests including Janelle Monáe, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Ashley Judd and Gayle King.

Also in the crowd were VP Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Smokey Robinson, former pro athletes Billie Jean King, Alonzo Mourning, Magic Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Ahmad Rashad as well as Google’s Eric Schmidt, Disney honcho Bob Iger, 32 Advisors’ Robert Wolf, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, Blackstone COO Tony James, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, Haim Saban, Donna Karan and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Rubinstein is amazing, he gets close to every administration. During the George H.W. Bush administration, he not only showed up at the White House for a 60th wedding anniversary party for George H.W. and Barbara Bush, but he gave the toast!


  1. David Brooks’ Utter Ignorance About Inequality

    Saturday, January 18, 2014
    Unequal political power is the endgame of widening inequality — its most noxious and nefarious consequence, and the most fundamental threat to our democracy. Big money has now all but engulfed Washington and many state capitals — drowning out the voices of average Americans, filling the campaign chests of candidates who will do their bidding, financing attacks on organized labor, and bankrolling a vast empire of right-wing think-tanks and publicists that fill the airwaves with half-truths and distortions.

    That David Brooks, among the most thoughtful of all conservative pundits, doesn’t see or acknowledge any of this is a sign of how far the right has moved away from the reality most Americans live in every day.

    so I guess Reich does have a point?

    1. the last line is the give away to me. Erase "The Right" and replace with the State and you've hit the nail on the head.

  2. The people are starving? They earn zero percent interest? The value of their meager savings are debased? Well then... let them eat cake.

  3. How to Manipulate the Entire IPO Market With Just $250 Million
    Monday, January 20, 2014 at 1:21AM

    Tech isn’t exactly booming, as we’ve seen from numerous revenue and earnings debacles. Most recently, Intel’s: revenues were down 1% from 2012 and 2.4% from 2011. Net income was down 13% from 2012 and 25% from 2011. Looking forward, they’d be flat, CEO Brian Krzanich warned. In 2013, the PC industry just saw its worst decline in shipments ever.

    Dell and HP announced big layoffs. Other tech companies too are “realigning” their workforce. And after rumors started spinning out of control on Friday, Intel confirmed that it too would axe 5% of its workforce of about 105,000 “to align our resources to meet the needs of our business.” Revelations of how the NSA has compromised products and services of US tech companies caused orders to collapse in China, Russia, and other countries, where orders were supposed to grow at big double-digit rates. It left IBM, Cisco, and brethren with a mess on their hands [read.... Costs Of NSA Scandal To Bleed US Tech For Years].

    But that hasn’t kept valuations of tech startups from being pushed into the stratosphere. Turns out, it’s relatively easy these days. By the stroke of a pen and $250 million, an elite club decided amongst each other that the “valuation” of on-line storage provider Dropbox was close to $10 billion.

    BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager with $4.3 trillion in assets, is leading the deal, according to unnamed sources of the Wall Street Journal. The elite club includes “previous backers,” and they included Goldman Sachs, Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, and Accel Partner. In 2011, Dropbox had raised $250 million from these previous backers. The deal valued it at $4 billion. With the above stroke of a pen, the value of their investments has jumped 150%. With that same stroke of the pen, they also jacked up the future valuations of all other IPOs, and many more billions will be made – just like Twitter’s IPO helped jack up Dropbox’s valuation.

    It's a big club, and you ain't in it. george carlin

  4. George Carlin - It's a big club and you ain't in it

  5. What does it tell us about trust amongst the 'in crowd' that the Clintons and all those other big names had to check their phones at the door so that they wouldn't take photos. It's pretty sad that Michelle can't trust Beyonce or Paul McCartney or Angela Bassett to 'promise' not to take pictures.
    If nothing else, think of the baby sitters - how are they supposed to get through to one of the famous moms at the shindig to let her know that junior swallowed his/her/their gold spoon?!?

    1. Don't worry, Krugman's got the babysitter thing all figured out. :)

  6. Seriously, who among that crowd would agree to check their phone? I might leave it in the car or at home but I certainly wouldn't just hand it over to some white house or event staff. Creepy.