Month: May 2017

Everyone Hates Ted Cruz

Including the normally passively and hopelessly divided Federal Election Commission, which just cited Cruz for campaign finance violations:

This has not been a good week for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. First he is the butt of a cutting joke by Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota (who told “USA Today” that “I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz”), and now the Federal Election Commission has ruled against him — unanimously, no less.

The three Republican FEC members joined the two Democrats to find that Cruz failed to properly account for loans he had received from two banks, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, during the 2012 election, according to a report by Bloomberg. Cruz borrowed $1.1 million worth of loans from the banks during his Senate campaign in Texas, with the FEC determining that Cruz had loaned his campaign $800,000 from Goldman Sachs (where his wife Heidi works) and $264,000 from Citigroup.

The reason that this happened is that literally EVERYONE hates Cruz with a whit hot burning passion, so the FEC saw a chance to throw some shade his way, and took it.

As Al Franken noted in an interview with NPR, “You have to understand that I probably like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz.” 

Once Again the Supreme Court Smacks Down the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

In its ruling in Impression Products, Inc. v Lexmark International, Inc., the Supreme Court once again issues a unanimous ruling overturning an over-broad interpretation of patent asserted by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Aka the “Patent Court”)

A week ago they overruled the Patent Courts rules allowing plaintiffs to sue in the most gonzo patent venue in the nation, and this time they explained to the court that patent exhaustion is mandatory, not optional.

For the lay person, patent exhaustion means that the patent holder only gets one bite of the apple, so (for example) if a chip is manufactured either by the patent holder or by a manufacturer who pays license fees, they cannot charge the person who bought that chip to put in their widget.

In this case, Lexmark was using its patent to enforce a license to prohibit reselling the cartridges by toner refilling firms.

The Patent Court ruled that the patent exhaustion was basically a “default rule” which only applied to the degree that there were no other related restrictions, and the Supreme Court called bullsh%$ on this in no uncertain terms, noting that the Federal Circuit’s interpretation would mean that used car dealers and auto mechanics could be locked out of business with this interpretation.

Once again, SCOTUS was unanimous in its repudiation of an excessively expansive views of patents:

Looking for a landmark ruling on patent exhaustion, the patent community got just that in the Supreme Court’s decision this morning in Impression Products, Inc. v Lexmark International, Inc. The court has been deciding a steady diet of patent cases for much of the last decade and has been rejecting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s rulings in those cases almost routinely; the Federal Circuit is now 0 for 5 in the current term, by far the worst record of any of the federal courts of appeals. Most of those decisions reflect a cautious reluctance on the part of the court to say more than is necessary to decide the case before it, founded on an evident reluctance to wreak far-reaching and destabilizing consequences on the innovative markets for which patent doctrine is so important. In this case, by contrast, the opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts displays a confident and assertive verve, full of quotable maxims certain to populate the U.S. Reports for decades to come. More surprisingly, the opinion attracted the votes of all the eight active justices except for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who dissented only from the court’s resolution of the cross-border question discussed at the end of the post).

The case involves the doctrine of “exhaustion,” under which a patentholder’s rights to enforce its patent ordinarily are “exhausted” with regard to any particular object at the moment the patentholder sells the object. As applied to this case, for example, Lexmark’s rights to control the use of its patented refillable print cartridges would be “exhausted” when it sells those cartridges to retail buyers, even if Lexmark conditions the sale on the promise that the buyer will not refill the cartridge. That, at any rate, is the argument of Impression Products, which makes a business out of refilling Lexmark cartridges in violation of those agreements. Lexmark’s argument, by contrast, supported by a quarter-century of Federal Circuit precedent, is that modern commerce requires that innovators have the flexibility to devise contracting structures that segment the market into separate sectors, each of which gets a different price commensurate with the uses to which products will be put in that sector.

The court could hardly have been more unequivocal in its broad embrace of a mandatory doctrine of exhaustion. For the court, the doctrine seemed to devolve ineluctably from the first principles of the law of patents:

When a patentee chooses to sell an item, that product is no longer within the limits of the monopoly and instead becomes the private, individual property of the purchaser, with the rights and benefits that come along with ownership. A patentee is free to set the price and negotiate contracts with purchasers, but may not, by virtue of his patent, control the use or disposition of the product after ownership passes to the purchaser. The sale terminates all patent rights to that item.

The court praised the “impeccable historic pedigree” of the exhaustion doctrine, tracing its lineage back to the common law’s refusal to permit restraints on the alienation of chattels.” With a flourish of rhetorical excess, the court suggested that post-sale conditions on alienation “have been hateful to the law from Lord Coke’s day to ours and are obnoxious to the public interest. The inconvenience and annoyance to the public that an opposite conclusion would occasion are too obvious to require illustration.”


In the end, though, the opinion shows a Supreme Court persuaded that the Federal Circuit did not merely err in some detail or nuance, but was as fundamentally misguided as it was when it came up with the venue rules discarded just last week in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC. At bottom, when the court is minded to destroy the status quo, it knows how to do it, and this opinion provides a textbook exemplar. It will take years before we can observe the transactional structures that will emerge to protect the interests that have relied on the Federal Circuit’s lax rules about patent exhaustion. About the only thing we can say about them is that it will be harder, much harder, to implement them than it was before this sure-to-be-landmark decision.

Had this decision been directed by Quentin Tarantino, this opinion would have involved Samuel L. Jackson saying, “Motherf%$#er,” loudly and repeatedly.

The Federal Circuit really needs to be shut down.  It is a complete clusterf%$# that has literally supported the patenting of a rainy day.

It is a court of hammers, which naturally see everything as a nail.

The Currency of the Future Isn’t Current

A primary characteristic of currency is that it is available for immediate use. (i.e. “current”)

This means that unlike things like stocks, bonds, and derivatives, you can use it immediately to get stuff, and there is no one sitting astride that transaction taking a cut.

It turns out that this is a major problem:

Anyone and everyone’s attention in bitcoin is currently transfixed on a single number: the amount of unconfirmed transactions building up on the bitcoin network.

Earlier on Wednesday, the number surpassed 200,000, an unprecedented level.

Professional bitcoin OTC traders FT Alphaville spoke with see this as an alarming development and one of the drivers of rival cryptocurrency ether’s growing popularity. The views of one trader:

It definitely tempts people into ether. This is the biggest problem with bitcoin, it’s not just that it’s expensive to transact, it’s uncertain to transact. It’s hard to know if you’ve put enough of a fee. So if you significantly over pay to get in, even then it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of people who don’t know how to set their fees, and it takes hours to confirm transactions. It’s a bad system and no one has any solutions.

Transactions which fail to get the attention of miners sit in limbo until they drop out. But the suspended state leaves payers entirely helpless. They can’t risk resending the transaction, in case the original one does clear eventually. They can’t recall the original one either. Our source says he’s had a significant sized transaction waiting to be settled for two weeks.


All of which proves bitcoin is anything but a cheap or competitive system. With great irony, it is turning into a premium service only cost effective for those who can’t — for some reason, ahem — use the official system.

So, Bitcoin has become, as Yves Smith so pithily notes, “Prosecution futures.”

At some point the authorities are going to use the block chain to track money in ways that they never could with cash.

OK, This Was Creepy as F%$#

I was using Google Maps, specifically the navigation function today.

The radio was on, it was NPR, and I was talking back to the radio. (I have a problem, OK?)

The phone then said something like., “I don’t understand your question.  Could you please repeat it?”  (Not an exact quote).

I had NOT turned on voice command on my phone, and all I can conclude is that my phone has been listening to and recording me, without my permission, at least when navigation is on.

I did a quick Google (Ironic, neh?) and discovered that Google Maps is tracking you, as well as listening to you. (See also here)

The problem is, I had already done all those things.

It turns out that “OK Google” has been installed in my phone on one of the myriad updates that have been pushed out on Google search.

You know Google Search, that bar across the top of the screen that the folks in Mountain View never let you remove.

Well, it turns out that there is a way to fix this: (Instructions are for Android Jelly Bean, specifically version 4.1.2, this may vary with version of OS and make and model of phone)

  1. Go to the app drawer, and open up Google Settings (NOT the same as the normal settings app) 
  2. Click on “Search.”
  3. Scroll down until you see”Voice”, and then click on that.
  4. Click on “OK Google Detection”
  5. Turn off “From the Google” which refers to search, and “While Driving”, which refers to maps.  This turns off the phone’s always listening snooping mode.
  6. Then, if you swear to your phone, go back up one level to voice, and turn “Block Offensive Words” off, so you can swear into speech to text.  (Optional for most, but essential for me, as I find the juxtaposition of profanity and technology to be invaluable.)

That should be it, at least until the Bond villains at Google come up with another way to put us into another panopticon.

So Not a Surprise

Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ), has always been a big fan of things like privatizing schools (charters) and has relied on Wall Street for much of his campaign donations, has another source of significant amounts of campaign cash, Ivanka Trump’s husband:

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker — a potential 2020 White House contender and recipient of major campaign contributions from Jared Kushner and others in the Kushner family — declined to endorse his party’s call for the White House to revoke the security clearance of the president’s son-in-law.


Booker refused to support those calls during an interview with CNN Sunday. Asked if supports revoking Kushner’s security clearance, the New Jersey senator said: “I think we need to first get to the bottom of it. He needs to answer for what was happening at the time. It raises very serious concerns for me. And that could be a potential outcome that I seek, but I want to understand, at least hear from Jared Kushner, as well as the administration, about what was exactly going on there.”

Booker also pushed back against those calling for Trump’s impeachment, saying, “I’m not going to rush to impeachment.”

Kushner and other donors affiliated with Kushner Cos. delivered more than $41,000 to Booker’s Senate campaign in 2013, according to data compiled by Politico reported that Ivanka Trump hosted a fundraiser for Booker during that election.

In 2009, Jared Kushner also gave $20,000 to Booker’s Newark mayoral ticket “Booker Team for Newark,” New Jersey campaign finance records show. That year, Booker attended the wedding of Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

Booker also sided with big pharma and against drug re-importation from Canada, so this is not a huge surprise.

Great.  Another Presidential contender who believes in nothing beyond their own manifest destiny to be president.

That’s why we have President Trump.


Tom Hiddleston doing Owen Wilson playing Loki: (I’m not putting up the White Helmet vid ……… Too graphic)

Welcome to Trumpistan

A man on a light rail train in Portland, Oregon, was berating two “Muslim appearing” women, one in a hijab.

When some bystanders attempted to intervene, he slashed three people, killing 2:

Two men were killed in a stabbing on a MAX train Friday when they tried to intervene as another man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, including one wearing a hijab, police said.

A third passenger who tried to help was also stabbed, but is expected to survive, said Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Officers arrested the suspect as he ran from the Hollywood transit station into the neighborhood near Providence Portland Medical Center in Northeast Portland, Simpson said. Police are still working to identify him and the three men stabbed.

The suspect was ranting about many things, using “hate speech or biased language,” and at one point focused on the young women, Simpson said.

The suspect then turned on the passengers who tried to help, Simpson said.

“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson said. “They were attacked viciously.”

One good Samaritan died at the scene and another at the hospital, he said. The third victim was undergoing evaluation, but didn’t suffer life-threatening wounds, he said.

It has since been revealed that the assailant was a well known white supremecist:

Memorial Day weekend started with a horrific attack on a MAX light rail train at rush hour Friday night. Here is what you need to know about the latest developments:

Police identified the victims who died as two local men. Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche died and a third, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was injured. Authorities have said his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Police Chief Mike Marshman said the three men were stabbed in the neck.

Best died at the scene, and Namkai-Meche died at a hospital. Family and friends say the fact they both intervened was in keeping with their personalities and values.

Namkai-Meche, a 23-year-old Reed College graduate from Ashland, was remembered as the sort of person who would stand up for what he believed was right, even if it meant putting himself at risk.

Best, 53, had retired from the Army in 2012 after 23 years in the military. He lived in Happy Valley and had worked for the city for the past few years. He had three teenage sons and a 12-year-old daughter.

The accused was a convicted robber who spewed hatred. Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, remained in jail on accusations of aggravated murder and attempted murder, as well as lesser crimes.

He had filled his Facebook posts with threats to kill people and Nazi sympathies. He came to wider attention in Portland during a march in April. The march occurred after a larger planned parade along 82nd Avenue was canceled over fear of disruptions.

A video of the event shows Christian, wrapped in a Revolutionary War-era American flag, casting Nazi salutes while shouting, “Die Muslims!”

He described himself as a sociopath. His only criminal record appears to stem from a hapless 2002 robbery. When he was 20, he stole cash and cigarettes from a North Portland market. The owner said the robber walked in wearing a black ski mask, with openings cut out for the eyes, nose and mouth, but he knew all his customers and immediately recognized Christian. During the ensuing police chase, Christian was shot in the face.

BTW, the Tweeter in Chief has been studiously silent on this.

My guess is that he lacks the courage to offend his base by condemning what is clearly an act of domestic terrorism.

Well What Do You Know. Obama May Have Spied on Trump………

And thousands of other Americans as well, as is revealed in a recent FISA court decision excoriating the practices of the NSA under the Obama administration:

U.S. intelligence agencies conducted illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period, a practice that earned them a sharp rebuke from a secret court that called the matter a “very serious” constitutional issue.

The criticism is in a lengthy secret ruling that lays bare some of the frictions between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. intelligence agencies obligated to obtain the court’s approval for surveillance activities.


The document, signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, said the court had learned in a notice filed Oct. 26, 2016, that National Security Agency analysts had been conducting prohibited queries of databases “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the court.”

It said a judge chastised the NSA’s inspector general and Office of Compliance for Operations for an “institutional ‘lack of candor’ ” for failing to inform the court. It described the matter as “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, and is a constitutional bedrock protection against intrusion.

Parts of the ruling were redacted, including sections that give an indication of the extent of the illegal surveillance, which the NSA told the court in a Jan. 3 notice was partly the fault of “human error” and “system design issues” rather than intentional illegal searches.


Data captured from both upstream and downstream sources are stored in massive databases, available to be searched when analysts need to, often months or as much as two years after the captures took place.

The prohibited searches the court mentioned involved NSA queries into the upstream databanks, which constitute a fraction of all the data NSA captures around the globe but are more likely to contain the emails and phone calls of people in the United States.

Federal law empowers the NSA and CIA to battle foreign terrorist actions against the United States by collecting the electronic communications of targets believed to be outside the country. While communications of U.S. citizens or residents may get hoovered up in such sweeps, they are considered “incidental” and must be “minimized” – removing the identities of Americans – before broader distribution.

The court filing noted an NSA decision March 30 to narrow collection of “upstream” data within the United States. Under that decision, the NSA acknowledged that it had erred in sweeping up the communications of U.S. citizens or residents but said those errors “were not willful.” Even so, the NSA said it would no longer collect certain kinds of data known as “about” communications, in which a U.S. citizen was merely mentioned.

The NSA announced that change publicly on April 28, two days after the court ruling, saying the agency would limit its sweeps to communications either directly to or from a foreign intelligence target. That change would reduce “the likelihood that NSA will acquire communications of U.S. persons or others who are not in direct contact with one of the agency’s foreign intelligence targets.”

The court document also criticized the FBI’s distribution of intelligence data, saying it had disclosed raw surveillance data to sectors of its bureaucracy “largely staffed by private contractors.”

This is a particularly scathing ruling when one considers the generally lackadaisical approach to the 4th amendment taken by the FISA court.

There is a reason why I call Barack Obama, “Worst Constitutional law professor ever.

This is why we need checks and balances.

From the Mouth of Babes………

A group of 8th graders were touring the Capitol, and they ran into the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

When he offered to take a picture with them, half of them refused, because they thought that he was a scumbag:

About 100 eighth grade students refused to pose with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Friday, snubbing the top Republican to protest his policies.

Though Ryan’s official Instagram features a photo of him waving to a group students from South Orange Middle School in South Orange, New Jersey, it does not show their peers sitting in a park lot across the street, in an apparent rebuff of the GOP leader.

“It’s not just a picture,” student Matthew Malespina told ABC News. “It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country.”

When he learned of his school’s impending photo op with Ryan, Malespina texted his mother he’s “just not going to do it.”

“The point was, ‘I don’t want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for,’” Matthew’s mother Elissa Malespina said.

An equal number of students opted to participate in the photo.

Good on them.

I know that some tossers will bleat about “civility”, but this was a political photo-op. If you disagree with the politics, you are obligated to refuse.

The photo-refusniks should be getting extra credit in their civics class.

Google Gives Us a New Definition of Chutzpah

The US Department of Labor is investigating Google for discriminating against women.

In response to a request for payroll data, Google has claimed that it’s too expensive to collect the data.

This from a company that nets billions in profits, and which has automated search to a degree that would have been unimaginable only 3 decades ago.

It’s like the man who murders his parents, and then asks for mercy because he is an orphan:

Google argued that it was too financially burdensome and logistically challenging to compile and hand over salary records that the government has requested, sparking a strong rebuke from the US Department of Labor (DoL), which has accused the Silicon Valley firm of underpaying women.

Allegations of possible employment violations emerge at court hearing as part of lawsuit to compel company, a federal contractor, to provide compensation data

Google officials testified in federal court on Friday that it would have to spend up to 500 hours of work and $100,000 to comply with investigators’ ongoing demands for wage data that the DoL believes will help explain why the technology corporation appears to be systematically discriminating against women.

Noting Google’s nearly $28bn annual income as one of the most profitable companies in the US, DoL attorney Ian Eliasoph scoffed at the company’s defense, saying, “Google would be able to absorb the cost as easy as a dry kitchen sponge could absorb a single drop of water.”

The tense exchanges in a small San Francisco courtroom emerged in the final day of testimony in the most high-profile government trial to date surrounding the intensifying debate about the wage gap and gender discrimination in the tech industry.

The DoL first publicly accused Google of “systemic compensation disparities” during a hearing in April, saying a preliminary inquiry had found that the Mountain View tech firm underpays women across positions.

The current court battle stems from the DoL’s lawsuit filed against Google in January, accusing the company of violating federal laws by refusing to provide salary history and contact information of employees as part of a government audit. As a federal contractor, Google is required to comply with equal opportunity laws and allow investigators to review records.

That whole, “Don’t be evil,” thing is so last week, I guess.

Don’t Worry, Trump Will Pick Someone Worse

Joe Liberman has withdrawn his name from consideration for the next FBI Director.

He cited conflicts of interests, he works at a law firm that represents Trump, as the reason.

I’m not sure how you could find anyone worse to run the agency, but I have faith that Trump has the ability to do so.

I’m thinking that he will appoint Roger “Ratf%$#er” Stone.

Hopefully, He Wakes Up in Hell

Zbigniew Brzezinski has died at age 89.

He was head of the National Security Council during the Carter Administration, and as such, proposed, a policy to buy a civil war in Afghanistan because he thought that it would hamstring the Soviets.

He was right, but he also lit the fuse that created al Qaeda and its ilk.

I don’t think that he deserves to be in hell for indirectly causing 911, he could not have predicted that.

He deserves to be in hell for what he successfully accomplished: Creating a Vietnam for the Soviets in Afghanistan.

With the Vietnam war having ended only a few years prior, he knew what that meant, because there were somewhere around 2 MILLION civilian deaths in during the Vietnam war.

He knew that he was unleashing a cycle of unspeakable violence and brutality on the people of Afghanistan, but he did not care, because he hated Russians.

He was a war criminal.

Of course, we have to acknowledge that the buck stopped for these policies with Carter, who someday will share a place in hell with him.

A Simple Metric To Identify Democrats to be Primaried

There is a divide in the Democratic Party now over the political path forward, between those who think that they should hammer the Republicans on healthcare and social programs, and those who think that the party should be all Putin all the time:

The Democratic Party is embroiled in a debate over where they should focus their efforts to win back political power: health care or Russia.

The party’s campaign committees and many of Democrats’ leading super PACs have spent virtually all their energy this year on shaming Republicans for their push to repeal Obamacare, an issue that clearly touches voters’ daily lives.

But on the other side of the split, American Bridge — the party’s outside-group research arm run by David Brock, the well-known Hillary Clinton ally — is among those convinced the investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials is one Democrats would be foolish to downplay or wait to take advantage of.

(emphasis mine)

Of course David Brock would be at the center all of this and on the wrong side.

Ever since he switched sides, he has had this weird obsessive bromance with Hillary Clinton, and addressing real issues diminishes the polical future of both Hillary and her Evil Minions.

This is a proxy for a number of other positions. Basically Brock and his ilk are placing their doing well over their doing good for the country.

It’s why DNC Chair Tom Perez got booed when he pushed Russian conspiracy theories instead of talking healthcare.

These are people who have no future in the Democratic Party.

Incompetent Preening Narcissist

A few days back, I noted news reports that said that Comey’s rather unconventional behavior regarding Hillary’s emails was driven by a document that was almost certainly a Russian forgery.

Clearly, this must have offended Comey and his Evil Minions at the FBI, because now they are saying that, Comey knew that the documents were fake, and acted on them because he did not want people saying bad things about him:

Then-FBI Director James Comey knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email was fake — created by Russian intelligence — but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself, according to multiple officials with knowledge of the process.

As a result, Comey acted unilaterally last summer to publicly declare the investigation over — without consulting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch — while at the same time stating that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information. His press conference caused a firestorm of controversy and drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

Comey’s actions based on what he knew was Russian disinformation offer a stark example of the way Russian interference impacted the decisions of the highest-level US officials during the 2016 campaign.

No, it is an example of how clueless self-importance had driven James Comey’s behavior.

He wasn’t concerned with the reputation of, “The probe and the Justice Department itself,” he was concerned with HIS reputation.

In the long run, and by that I mean any period longer than the standard news cycle, “The probe and the Justice Department itself,” would have been unaffected by any criticism coming from people quoting forged documents, because in short order, they would have been shown to have been forged.

What ……… A ………Tool.

It’s Bank Failure Friday!!!

And here they are, ordered, and numbered for the year so far:

  1. Fayette County Bank, St. Elmo, IL

Full FDIC list

So, here is the graph pr0n with last few years numbers for comparison (FDIC only):

First, a comparison of 2016 and 2017 YTD. Notice that 2017 is well ahead of 2016. In fact, with less than half the year gone, it now ahead of the whole year of 2016, and it is on a pace to beat 2015.

I think that banks are getting complacent again:

Then we have the whole data series YTD:

And finally, we have the full series for a full year:


John Oliver on how Trump is giving journalists whiplash, confusing Fox pundits, and exhausting the rest of us:

I’m Impressed

Jeremy Corbyn called for young people to register to vote in the UK, and 90,000 of them registered in one day:

Over 90,000 young people registered to vote on Sunday in a boost to Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign.

A total of 90,200 18- to- 24-year-olds applied to vote on 21 May, according to the latest figures.

It came as the Labour leader made a last-ditch plea for students to register to vote by stressing its manifesto pledge to abolish tuition fees as early as this September.

Just 6,827 55- to- 64-year-olds and  2,628 65- to- 74-year-olds registered on Sunday- a day before applications close.

I understand why all those Blairites in Labour are so concerned about Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Clearly he cannot motivate people to vote for Labour.

Once again, I am forced to invoke the Iron Law of Institutions, which states that people pursue power within an organization, even at the expense of the power of that organization.