Month: July 2020

Adding to the List of They Who Must Not Be Named

Inspired Photoshop Work

When someone passes a certain level of both inhumanity and irrelevance, they end up on my list of They Who Must Not Be Named.

Well, Ellen Degeneris has now crossed that threshold in a sufficiently egregious way that not only is she on they list, but, She also has been memed by The Onion:

Ellen: ‘I Never Intended To Make Staff Feel Unsafe By Wearing A Bloodied Ram Skull And Stalking Them With A Hatchet’

This is a level of screwing the pooch that approaches some sort of twisted dog bordello.

Exceeding My Already Low Expectation

Vanity Fair has an article about the Trump administration’s initial plans for dealing with the Covid-19, and it was even more nihilistic, corrupt. and venal than I could previously have imagined:

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

Unsurprisingly, Jared Kushner was leaving this effort.

If these people are allowed to leave the White House and simply return to private life, this be deeply corrosive to society.

They need to be put in the dock.

Dodged a Bullet

Last Thursday, a family friend, my kids’ old baby sitter, was not feeling, so my wife and kids did some grocery shopping for her, and delivered her groceries.

At the time, they thought that it was Strep, but it wasn’t.

She got a Covid-19 test, and it came back negative this Thursday.

Charlie, who delivered the groceries appropriately masked, was completely losing his sh%$ this week.

You Know that Private Equity is Cooking the Books When

Even the Pink Paper, aka The Financial Times, calls out the industry for the fictitious returns that the industry reports:

Ever wondered about the extraordinary performance figures that listed private equity firms trumpet in their official stock market filings?

Take, for instance, the latest Form 10-K issued by Apollo, one of the world’s largest buyout groups. This claims that its private equity funds have “consistently produced attractive long-term investment returns . . . generating a 39 per cent gross internal rate of return (IRR) on a compound basis from inception through December 31, 2019”.

Or how about the one from KKR, which says it has “generated a cumulative gross IRR of 25.6 per cent” since the firm’s inception back in 1976?

It’s not just the eye-popping scale of these returns that captures the attention. It’s their amazing “since inception” consistency. Not only do the firms generate stratospheric numbers — far higher than anything produced by the boring old stock market — but they can apparently do it year in, year out, with no decay in returns.


Take Apollo, for example. Its long-term IRR has barely moved from the 39 per cent level over the past several decades. True, it did hit 40 per cent in 2008, before dropping back by a full percentage point the following year. But since then it has been like a stuck record. Financial crises? Great recessions? Market fluctuations? It seems that nothing can knock it off that 39 per cent.

It’s a similar story with KKR. The firm’s IRR since inception has fallen by just 0.7 of a percentage point in the years since 2007 and, at 25.6 per cent, remains barely below the 26.1 per cent return generated by its early “legacy” funds between 1976 and 1996.


But what’s concerning is the ease with which this mathematical circularity has been allowed to create a distorted impression. The main audience for private equity to date has been large, so-called “sophisticated investors”. The fact that these absurd numbers still get headline exposure makes one wonder whether these investors understand them. That is disturbing.

Even more worrying is the way that policymakers appear to have set these financial pig-iron statistics in stone. The industry standard for reporting — the Global Investment Performance Standards — actually makes it mandatory for private equity to report a since-inception IRR or “money-weighted return”.


Realistic numbers matter. The US authorities are thinking of letting the American public loose on private equity with their 401(k) pension plans. Retail investors need to know what they are getting into. It’s time the way private equity reports performance was rethought.

This is conscious fraud, no different in intent, and larger in scale than anything that Bernie Madoff ever imagined.

Not Enough Bullets

Silly rabbit, sacrifice is only for the little people:

When the pandemic prompted companies to furlough or lay off thousands of employees, some chief executives decided to show solidarity by forgoing some of their pay.

But it turns out that their sacrifice was minimal.

A survey of some 3,000 public companies shows that the cuts — which, so far, have come in the form of salary reductions — were tiny compared with their total pay last year. Total pay includes things like bonuses and stock awards that typically make up the bulk of what corporate bosses take home.

Only a small percentage of the companies cut salaries for their senior executives at all, which is surprising given that the pandemic has crushed profits and sales for many companies, forcing large layoffs. But even among businesses that did cut the boss’s pay, two-thirds of the chief executives took reductions that were equivalent to only 10 percent or less of their 2019 compensation, according to an analysis by CGLytics, a compensation analysis firm.


“These salary cuts were more window dressing than anything else,” said Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. The labor federation on Wednesday released a report showing that companies in the S&P 500 stock index last year paid chief executives on average 264 times as much as median employees, down from 287 times in 2018.

I so want the guillotine concession when the revolution comes.

My Bizarre Take on the Veepstakes

While she is a long shot to be Joe Biden’s choice for running mate, I consider Stacy Abrams to be the worst of all the candiates whose names have been mooted thus far.

I find Stacy Abrams is completely unacceptable because of her choices in literature.

If you think that I am joking, I am NOT joking, as Abrams is a big fan of Ayn Rand’s allegorical novel Atlas Shrugged, which I consider to be a major red flag:

One other unexpected detail: In an interview with Womenetics, a B2B services firm that specializes in helping women professionals, Ms. Abrams named three favorite books: The Institutionist, Ender’s Game and… Atlas Shrugged, not exactly a book at the top of most Democrat reading lists. Womenetics called her a “serial entrepreneur” and clearly she has a passion for business. As to how does that translate to the tough business of navigating the politics of Georgia as a Democrat legislator, she seems to have found quick success.

See also here:

When Abrams was little, visiting her grandmother, with her some 16 first cousins running around, she was the one in the corner, holed up with a book. She loved Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, The Count of Monte Cristo, Silas Marner, Little Women, Jane Eyre, Ender’s Game, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Atlas Shrugged (“But not for the Paul Ryan reasons. . . . There was something about how [Ayn Rand] highlighted the capacity of a person to be more than.”) She loved mythology. “Greek, Norse, Roman, Cherokee. If I could reach it, I would read it,” Abrams says.

Being a fan of Atlas Shrugged is on a par with taking Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal as a serious policy proposal.

It is a sign that you are a psychopath.

Herman Cain Dies of Covid Caught at the Trump Rally

At Tulsa, No Mask

Where the former Presidential candidate actually caught the virus is not certain, but the timing of his infections strongly implies that he caught the virus at Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally:

Herman Cain, who rose from poverty in the segregated South to become chief executive of a successful pizza chain and then thrust himself into the national spotlight by seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has died. He was 74.

His death was announced on Thursday on his website and on social media accounts. It did not say precisely when or where he died. Dan Calabrese, the website’s editor, attributed the death to the coronavirus, which President Trump, in a White House briefing, later referred to as the “China virus” and a “horrible plague” in affirming it as the cause.

Mr. Cain had been hospitalized in the Atlanta area this month after testing positive for the virus on June 29.


Mr. Cain had attended President Trump’s indoor rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20 and had done “a lot of traveling” recently, Mr. Calabrese said.

“I don’t think there’s any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected,” he said at the time. “We’ll never know.”

I am not a fan of Mr. Cain, and the opportunity for meming this tempting, but I’m not going to go there.

Just wear your f%$#ing mask, OK?

Pass the Popcorn

Pass the Popcorn

When DC Appellate Court ruled that District Judge Emmett Sullivan had no power to investigate possible corruption in the dismissal of charges, and multiple guilty pleas, against Michael Flynn, I kind of figured that, the two judges who wrote this opinion, a Trump and a Bush appointee, had gotten away with a nakedly partisan, and nakedly corrupt, decision.

It appears that the rest of the DC Court of Appeals was not amused, so there will be an en banc hearing to review the decision.

En banc means that the whole court, as opposed to the normal 3 judge panel, will be reviewing the case.

It appears that the will be narrowly drawn, specifically covering whether Flynn, or for that matter the DoJ has the right to prevent a finding of fact, as opposed to a review of Sullivan’s ruling:

A federal appeals court in Washington will take a second look at a judge’s effort to scrutinize the Justice Department’s decision to drop its case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed Thursday to revisit U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s plan to examine the politically charged matter, reviving the unusual case testing the limits of the judiciary’s power to check the executive branch.

The court’s brief order set oral arguments for Aug. 11. The decision to rehear the case before a full complement of judges wipes out the June ruling from a three-judge panel that ordered Sullivan to immediately dismiss the case and said Sullivan was wrong to appoint a retired federal judge to argue against the government’s move to undo Flynn’s guilty plea.

In May, Sullivan refused to go along with the government’s request to end the criminal case against Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador in Washington before Trump took office in 2017.

Instead, Sullivan asked retired federal judge John Gleeson to argue against the Justice Department’s request. That prompted Flynn’s attorneys to take the rare step of asking the appeals court to intervene midstream, and they accused Sullivan of bias.


The order from the court Thursday suggests that the judges are seeking a narrowly focused argument on the question of whether Flynn should have waited to appeal until after Sullivan rendered a decision. The court told lawyers on both sides to be prepared at oral argument to address whether Flynn had “no other adequate means to attain the relief” he sought from the appeals court.


The initial ruling against Sullivan from the three-judge panel cut short his plans to hold a hearing to examine the government’s decision.

The DoJ decision was corrupt as hell, and it was clearly pushed because William Barr sees himself as Donald Trump’s consigliere, and not the Attorney General for the United States of America.

Jobless Thursday, and………

Not only did initial jobless claims go up for the 2nd week in a row, but the 2nd quarter GDP numbers show an annual 32.9% decline.

These numbers are not just the worst for the US since modern statistics started being collected after World War II, these numbers are, “US investors are assisting with privatizing the economy,” bad:

The economy contracted at a record rate last quarter and July setbacks for the jobs market added to signs of a slowing recovery as the country faces a summer surge in coronavirus infections.

The Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—fell at a seasonally and inflation adjusted 32.9% annual rate in the second quarter, or a 9.5% drop compared with the prior quarter. The figures were the steepest declines in more than 70 years of record-keeping.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department’s latest figures on unemployment benefits suggested the jobs market was faltering. The number of workers applying for initial unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week—by a seasonally adjusted 12,000 to 1.43 million in the week ended July 25—after nearly four months of decreases following a late-March peak. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased by 867,000 to 17 million in the week ended July 18, ending a downward trend that started in mid-May.

This is unbelievably grim.

The Vampire Squid Skates Again

Goldman Sachs, which was a conspirator in the Malaysian 1MDB scandal, will scate with a payment of a $2½ billion dollars.

As a part of this deal, the people at Goldman Sachs who personally aided, and personally profited from, the theft of billions of Malaysian state resources, will be getting get out of jail free cards.

This is disgusting:

Only Goldman Sachs. Last week, after months of public sparring and days of tough in-person negotiations, the Wall Street bank finally reached a deal with Malaysia over allegations that it had helped a former prime minister loot billions of dollars from the state investment fund, 1MDB.

Goldman will fork out $2.5bn, instead of the $7.5bn the finance minster had originally demanded, and the Malaysian government agreed to drop criminal charges against the bank and cease legal proceedings against 17 current and former Goldman directors.


Evercore’s Glenn Schorr argues that “the only thing that matters is, will this prevent Goldman from doing business in the way they need to do business? I believe it won’t.” If history — and the Malaysian result — is any guide, Mr Schorr is on to something.

Mr. Schorr means that he hopes that GS will continue business as usual.

What is left unspoken is that business as usual for the, “Great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” is corruption, looting, and fraud.

Drip, Drip, Drip

This means that the Gypsy cab companies may have to start paying for yet another societal cost that they foist on the rest of us.

The order is directed at the New York unemployment office, but it appears that it will likely force these companies to report earnings, and (eventually) pay the unemployment insurance premiums that they have been evading:

A federal judge has ordered the state of New York to quickly pay unemployment benefits to four Uber and Lyft drivers who have been waiting for the payments since March or April. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which filed a lawsuit over the issue back in May, says that the ruling could ultimately help thousands of drivers in similar situations.

Uber and Lyft have long argued that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees. That stance has come under increasing pressure. Since 2016, the New York Department of Labor has held that ride-hail drivers were employees for purposes of unemployment insurance. But Uber and Lyft have dragged their feet, failing to provide wage data that would enable the agency to calculate unemployment payments for each worker.

As a result, when Uber and Lyft drivers forced out of work by the pandemic applied for unemployment benefits, some were told that they weren’t eligible because state data showed them with zero earnings. Workers continued to be denied benefits even after they submitted 1099 tax forms showing their earnings.


In her Tuesday ruling, Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall sided squarely with the drivers. She acknowledged that Uber and Lyft bore some of the blame for failing to supply the state with necessary data. But she said the state still had an obligation to pay benefits promptly—using data supplied by workers themselves if necessary.

Assuming that Andrew “Rat Faced Andy” Cuomo is not in the gig companies’ pockets, (a big if) collecting wage data, along with pursuing payment of premiums, should occur as a matter of basic bureaucratic imperative.

Stupid and an Asshole to His Staff

PLAYBOOK PM: After we reported that @replouiegohmert was positive, we got an email from a Gohmert aide.

— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 29, 2020

The big news is that Louie Gohmert has tested positive for Covid-19, and the distinguished gentleman with nothing between his ears but a shock absorber is blaming the few times he wore a mask for catching the disease.

This guy is stupid. Really stupid. Really, really, really, really stupid.

That’s not what matters in Congress.

Hubert Humphrey was generally considered to be one of the smartest men, if not the smartest man, in the Senate during his tenure there, and he was also known to be hamstrung by low quality staff.

In comparison, Teddy Kennedy was known for his ability to recruit and sustain an absolutely first rate staff, and arguably got a lot more done, despite generally not being considered a particularly noteworthy intellect.*

A significant portion of Louie Gohmert’s staff HATE him.

If they didn’t, you would not see leaks like this.

If his staff views him with this level of hostility, he cannot deliver, either on the national level, or in his district.

While this does not make him vulnerable to a Democratic Party challenge in the general election, TX-1 has a PV of R+25, it does mean that an enterprising Republican could successfully challenge him in the primary.

H/t Atrios.

*My father mentioned this in his recollections of discussions with Alaska Senator Ernest Greuning now and again.

Data Point of the Day

Donald Trump has made warnings about the threat of antifa and “far-left fascism” a central part of his re-election campaign. But in reality leftwing attacks have left far fewer people dead than violence by rightwing extremists, new research indicates, and antifa activists have not been linked to a single murder in decades.

A new database of nearly 900 politically motivated attacks and plots in the United States since 1994 includes just one attack staged by an anti-fascist that led to fatalities. In that case, the single person killed was the perpetrator.

Over the same time period, American white supremacists and other rightwing extremists have carried out attacks that left at least 329 victims dead, according to the database.

More broadly, the database lists 21 victims killed in leftwing attacks since 2010 , and 117 victims of rightwing attacks in that same period – nearly six times as much. Attacks inspired by the Islamic State and similar jihadist groups, in contrast, killed 95 people since 2010, slightly fewer than rightwing extremists, according to the data set. More than half of these victims died in a a single attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.


While researchers sometimes disagree on how to categorize the ideology of specific attacks, multiple databases that track extremist violence, including data maintained by the Anti-Defamation League, and from journalists at the Center for Investigative Reporting, have found the same trend: It’s violent rightwing attacks, not “far-left” violence, that presents the greater deadly threat to Americans today.

If the right wing were treated as the threat that they actually are, we’d have hundreds of co-conspirators in prison serving sentences or awaiting trial right now.

Who had the 2020 Over and Under for the First Shark Attack Death in Maine?

In yet another example of the weirdness that is 2020, or with an assist from anthropogenic climate change, Maine has seen its first ever shark attack death:

A woman swimming off Bailey Island in Harpswell on Monday afternoon was attacked and killed by a shark in what one expert says is the first such fatality recorded in Maine waters.

The woman has not been identified pending notification of her family.

She was swimming offshore near homes on White Sails Lane when a witness saw her being attacked by what appeared to be a shark, the Maine Marine Patrol said.

Two kayakers brought the victim and another woman to shore, where a crew of Harpswell emergency responders met them. The woman died at the scene.

The second woman, who was swimming with the victim, was not injured, said Jeff Nichols, a marine patrol spokesman.

“This is the first documented fatality ever in Maine,” James Sulikowski, a former University of New England professor and researcher who conducts shark research in Maine and locations worldwide, said in an interview Monday evening. “Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine.

“My guess is that the person was mistaken as a food item. In this area of Maine and depending on how close to shore the event occurred, my guess is it was a white shark.”

I will be so glad when this year is over.

Thanks, Andy

Cuomo’s sellout to negligent nursing homes was so egregious that Republicans copied and pasted it into their bill:

Senate Republicans copied key parts of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial corporate immunity law and pasted it word-for-word into their new coronavirus relief proposal released on Monday. The provision could shield health care industry CEOs, executives and corporate board members from COVID-related lawsuits in the event that their business decisions end up injuring or killing health care workers and patients.

Among all federal lawmakers running for reelection in 2020, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the top recipient of campaign cash from the hospital and nursing home industries. One of the biggest career donors to Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn — the author of the bill — is a private equity firm that owns one of the nation’s largest hospital staffing companies. Additionally, a super PAC defending Senate Republican incumbents also just received $10 million from a private equity billionaire whose firm owns another major medical staffing conglomerate.

Executives from those industries stand to benefit from the corporate immunity provision that Senate Republicans spliced into their legislation.



TMI previously reported that in April, Cuomo worked with a major health care industry lobby group to slip language into his state’s budget designed to block lawsuits against hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic, as the casualty count exploded in New York. The provisions did not just cover frontline health care workers — it included language extending that protection to any ”health care facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee,” or other corporate manager.

Cuomo pushed the provision after his political machine received more than $1 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association.


“Governor Cuomo brushes aside criticism for his mishandling of nursing homes as Republican partisan politics but as it turns out he has inspired Republicans to follow his policies,” said New York Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has fought to repeal the immunity provision in New York. “Giving nursing home executives and health care corporations early blanket legal and criminal immunity was just wrong, plain and simple.”



Amid growing outrage over the corporate immunity law, Democratic lawmakers in Albany passed Kim’s bill to narrow their state’s liability shield.

But if Senate Republicans pass their legislation in Washington, the New York statute will effectively become the law of the land in every state in the country.

“Rat Faced Andy” Cuomo is a cancer on the Democratic party.

Captain Renault Abides

I am shocked I tell you, shocked, that gambling is going on in this establishment.

So, we have now learned that the “Umbrella Man”, the one who started the looting at the Minneapolis demonstrations, was a white supremacist provocateur engaging in a false flag operation.

It was obvious from the start that this individual was not a supporter of the protests, though I would wait until an arrest is made before ruling out any possibility of police involvement.

Even if this guy is a member of the Hell’s Angels and of prison white supremacist gangs, I would want his name, and an investigation to rule out that he is an informant of the like:

A masked man who was seen in a viral video smashing the windows of a south Minneapolis auto parts store during the George Floyd protests, earning him the moniker “Umbrella Man,” is suspected of ties with a white supremacist group and sought to incite racial tension, police said.

A Minneapolis police arson investigator said the act of vandalism at the AutoZone on E. Lake Street helped spark a chain reaction that led to days of looting and rioting. The store was among dozens of buildings across the city that burned to the ground in the days that followed.

“This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” Sgt. Erika Christensen wrote in a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week. “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella Man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”

Police identified “Umbrella Man” thanks to a tip that came via e-mail last week, Christensen said.

The Star Tribune could not independently verify the police account, which has so far only surfaced in the search warrant, and isn’t naming the man because so far he has not been charged with a crime. The man, who has a criminal history that includes convictions of domestic violence and assault, did not respond to messages seeking comment. Spokespersons for the Minneapolis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is also involved in the investigation, declined to comment.


Christensen wrote in the affidavit that she watched “innumerable hours” of videos on social media platforms to try to identify “Umbrella Man,” to no avail. Investigators finally caught a break when a tipster e-mailed the MPD identifying him as a member of the Hells Angels biker gang who “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” she wrote.

Police have also connected the 32-year-old man to a widely publicized incident in Stillwater late last month, in which a Muslim woman was confronted by men wearing white supremacist garb.

A subsequent investigation revealed the man was also an associate of the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood, a small white supremacist prison and street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky. Several of its members were also present at the Stillwater incident.

One would hope that whoever ends up investigating this is not connected with the Minneapolis PD or DA, because only through a truly independent investigation give us a credible narrative.

Introducing the Mega-Morissette

Facebook is suing the EU claiming that its Brussels’ anti-trust investigation of the social media giant’s online markets constitutes a violation Facebook’s privacy.

In related news, Mark Zuckerberg murdered his parents and asked for mercy as an orphan.

This is f%$#ed up and sh%$:

American tech giants have enjoyed a reversal of their EU legal fortunes over the past fortnight as Euro nation courts issued rulings in their favor – and now Facebook has even sued the European Union itself, alleging the political bloc’s agencies broke their own data protection rules.

Facebook filed a lawsuit against EU competition regulators on Monday alleging that enforcers were improperly seeking access to sensitive employee personal data.

The anti social media network said in a statement to financial newswire Reuters that EU regulators had made “exceptionally broad” demands for documents during an antitrust investigation into Facebook’s online marketplace.

Facebook assistant general counsel Tim Lamb was quoted as saying, apparently with a straight face: “The exceptionally broad nature of the Commission’s requests means we would be required to turn over predominantly irrelevant documents that have nothing to do with the Commission’s investigations, including highly sensitive personal information such as employees’ medical information, personal financial documents, and private information about family members of employees.”

Notwithstanding Facebook’s business model of encouraging the world’s citizens to upload such details about themselves to Facebook’s services for the company to monetise, the suit has been filed in the EU General Court in Luxembourg. It includes demands for the court to halt further EU regulatory data demands against Facebook until further notice. An EU Commission spokesman said it would defend the lawsuit.

Facebook also told the newswire that EU agents had demanded copies of any internal Facebook document containing phrases such as “not good for us”, “big question” and “shut down”, among 2,500 others.


Good. To quote XTC, “People will always be tempted to wipe their feet, On anything with ‘welcome’ written on it.”

A revolt is brewing among Bernie Sanders delegates three weeks from the Democratic National Convention.

More than 360 delegates, most of whom back Sanders, have signed on to a pledge to vote against the Democratic Party’s platform if it does not include support for “Medicare for All,” the petition’s organizers told POLITICO. They argue that single-payer health care is an urgent priority amid a worldwide pandemic and the biggest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression.

“This pandemic has shown us that our private health insurance system does not work for the American people. Millions of people have lost their jobs and their health care at the same time,” said Judith Whitmer, a Sanders delegate and chair of the convention’s Nevada delegation who helped spearhead the pledge. “There’s people leaving the hospital now with millions of dollars in medical bills. What are we going to do about that?”

Good.  It’s rational to make this a fight on principle.

First, taking a stand on principles helps the progressives’ long game, and second, a fight over this at the convention, even if it is a sparsely attended remote event, is just the sort of flash that the press loves to cover.