ABC’s ‘The View’ Co-Host: Trump’s Appeal Fueled by ‘Self-Hatred’

Monday on ABC’s “The View,” the panel opined on Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and attempted to determine what is behind the real estate mogul’s appeal when it comes to GOP voters. Co-host Michelle Collins speculated Trump’s strategy straight out of “The Game” by Neil Strauss. “I have a theory about this and it hit me this morning,” Collins said. “You know as a woman if you’re at a bar and a guy comes up and insults you, it’s called ‘negging.’ There’s a whole book about it by this guy called ‘The Game’ … When he insults you, you think he must have something great going on.” “[T]his is my theory with Trump,” she added. “The more negative stuff he says, the more he makes us feel terrible about our country and races and people with disabilities. In a weird way I think a lot of people are drawn to him. It seems to be working and I don’t understand why but it comes from a self-hatred, I think.” (h/t The Wrap) Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
Continue reading…


Fiorina: TPP Has ‘Trap Doors’ On Environment, ‘Complicated, Multi-Party Agreements Are Not In Our Interest’

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina argued that the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) “trap doors” on the environment shows that “extremely complicated, multi-party agreements are not in our interest” on Tuesday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.” Fiorina said passages of TPP that deal with previous environmental agreements show why “these extremely complicated, multi-party agreements are not in our interest, because buried in the 5,000 pages negotiated with 12 other countries, are trap doors.” She added, “trade agreements are far better when negotiated bilaterally, as opposed to multilaterally. Secondly, it makes no sense to lock this country in to a multilateral agreement, negotiated over years in secret, that has trap doors, such as you just described.” “his passion comes when he’s talking about climate change. He has no passion when he’s talking about defeating our real enemy, which is ISIS.” She continued, “And while he talks about let’s be accurate and factual about Planned Parenthood, okay, here’s some facts. Planned Parenthood acknowledged, just a couple weeks ago, that they will no longer take compensation for the sale of body parts, or as they call it, fetal tissue. I would call that an admission. Factually speaking, Planned Parenthood funnels millions of dollars in political contributions, as
Continue reading…


Daily Kickoff – December 1st, 2015

  The week got off to a great start with Darrell Issa — a strong conservative voice in Congress — joining Team Marco! The announcement came during an interview with Fox and Friends. Watch here: Here is your Daily Kickoff: Quote of the Day   “[Marco] has been fighting the same fights. He saved us…

The post Daily Kickoff – December 1st, 2015 appeared first on Marco Rubio.

Continue reading…


Muslim Dem Rep. Andre Carson: GOP Syrian Refugee Bill ‘Draconian,’ ‘Bigotry’

Monday on Sirius XM radio’s “The Dean Obeidallah Show,” the second Muslim-American to be elected to the House of Representatives, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), said the Republican bill to increase the scrutiny for Syrian refugees coming to the Untied States that passed with 47 House Democrats voting for it was “draconian” and rooted in a “bigotry.” Carson said, “I think that the Republicans in their bill, they want to shut down the resettlement of any refugees from Syria or Iraq and really hinder and handicap any future settlements. I think the bill was very draconian, at least in my mind. My hope is tht instead of shutting down the refugee program I think we should look at the record so far. Since two years ago, I think 2013, last November, about 2,200 refugees have been admitted to the United States, and half of those were children. So you have families that were driven out of their homes by the disgraceful war in Syria, and ISIS’ or Daesh’s, brutal rule, and a quarter of those refugees are over 60. So they’ve proven to be law abiding citizens and we’ve not had any problems. I think what’s taking place is a deep kind
Continue reading…


Goldman Sachs Files Patent Application For Securities Settlement Using Cryptocurrencies

On November 19, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s patent application 20150332395 or “Cryptographic Currency For Securities Settlement.” Described are “ […] methods for settling securities in financial markets using distributed, peer-to-peer, and cryptographic techniques ” using a cryptocurrency named SETLcoin. The application lists Paul Walker and Phil J. Venables as the inventors of the technology.

Paul Walker is the co-head of technology at Goldman and a member of the Board of Directors of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC). According to Nathaniel Popper’s book “Digital Gold” and his adaptation for American Banker, “When Goldman Sachs Began Flirting with Bitcoin,” Walker led a panel to educate the banks clients about virtual currencies. Popper writes that Walker, indicated that the bank was taking a hard look at how the blockchain might be used to change basic things about how banks do business.”

Phil Venables, managing director and chief information security officer at Goldman Sachs has been described by American Banker as an “outspoken industry leader.”

The patent application addresses chain of custody of an asset, counterparty risk and settlement through a cryptocurrency called SETLcoin. The patent describes a colored coin scheme referred to as a PIC or “Positional Item inside Cryptographic currency”:

[…] For example, dollars available on the SETLcoin network represented by, e.g., PIC ‘USD’ may be authoritatively issued by, for example, the U.S. Treasury.”

SETLcoin, an amalgamation of “settlement” and “coin,” boasts near instantaneous execution and settlement:

[…] cryptographic currency transactions are independently and extemporaneously generated, verified, and executed within the network, without the risks associated with traditional clearing houses that can delay settlements for several days .”

Further, the application defines a cryptocurrency or “cryptographic currency” as a

[…] digital medium of exchange that enables distributed, rapid, cryptographically secure, confirmed transactions for goods and/or services.”

The patent goes on to describe an “atomic commitment protocol” and “fungibility engine.” The patent also explains how a settlement cryptocurrency would also make credit checks obsolete.

The Complexity of Asset Ownership

According to the patent application, SETLcoin ownership can be used to prevent fraud, including float fraud such as kiting. One of the earliest cases (if not the earliest) of ownership fraud at Goldman Sachs dates back to 1884 as detailed in an article for the New York Times, “Note Brokers ’ Responsibility ” from March 19, 1886 and further highlighted in the book “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World.”

A forged note for $1,100 endorsed by a Carl Wolf was sold by Goldman to a Frederick E. Douglas. Wolf then “ran away.” Douglas was unsuccessful in suing Goldman to recover his losses. “Money and Power” notes that this was one of the first legal examinations of the role and responsibilities of a financial intermediary.

A more recent examination of the complexities of asset ownership (and unwinding of shares) was detailed this summer by Bloomberg in ”Banks Forgot Who Was Supposed to Own Dell Shares.”

The Depository Trust Company (DTC), the central securities depository subsidiary of DTCC, according to their website:

provides settlement services for virtually all broker-to-broker equity and listed corporate and municipal debt securities transactions in the U.S.”

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of e-commerce firm Overstock, has written about DTCC in “The DTCC’s CNS naked short selling residue” and most recently the clearing debacle in “Goldman Sachs Internal Memo (Yesterday): ‘Easy to Borrow List to be Discontinued.’

Byrne sued Goldman Sachs and others for allegedly naked short selling his company’s shares. That is “clearing operations at the banks intentionally failed to locate and deliver borrowed shares for clients shorting stocks.” It is somewhat ironic here because it appears that Goldman’s cryptocurrency application could prevent the very same behavior it allegedly participated in according to the lawsuit.

Byrne embraced cryptocurrency as a result and started the Overstock subsidiary which is also using digital currencies and blockchain to settle trades and asset ownership.

According to tØ’s website they provide:

radical transparency and true settlement (which) combine to grant real, unambiguous ownership — nearly instantly. If you buy it, you own it. It’s that simple .”


Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are lauded for their trustless nature — that is to say, there is no reliance on a trusted third party. Goldman’s patent filing however allows for the possible introduction of an “authoritative source” such as the Securities and Exchange Commission:

...there are no prior ownership rights when an SETLcoin is first issued; therefore, […] {In addition to} […] one or more trusted nodes […] a government entity, {such as} the Security Exchange Commission, or other entity {can} […] verify and authentic the issuer’s transaction.

Blockchain Cometh

Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners co-led a $50 million strategic investment round in Bitcoin company Circle in late April of this year. This was the first publicly announced cryptocurrency investment by Goldman. However, as reported by CB Insights, Goldman’s investment activity into fintech startups has been intensifying.

According to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), Goldman is the fifth largest bank holding company with $859.93 billion in assets as of June 2015. The cryptocurrency technology patent was filed prior to Goldman’s membership in R3 CEV. R3 is working on a common blockchain standard for its members (which includes many of the banks listed in FFIEC).

Goldman’s thoughts on Bitcoin were broadcasted at it Talks@GS in “The Evolution of Bitcoin” and podcast “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs” in Episode 16, The Future of Finance.

Photo Bjoertvedt / Creative Commons

The post Goldman Sachs Files Patent Application For Securities Settlement Using Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…


Scaling Bitcoin Gears up for Hong Kong

The Scaling Bitcoin workshops are gearing up for their second phase. After the initial conference in Montreal in September, Bitcoin’s engineering and academic community will gather in Hong Kong later this week to discuss how best to scale up the network to allow for more than a handful of transactions per second.

To get a feel for what to expect from the workshop, Bitcoin Magazine spoke with Pindar Wong, co-founder of Hong Kong’s first licensed ISP and the Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong planning committee chair, and MIT Digital Currency Initiative’s Neha Narula, Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong program chair .

BM: What do you hope to accomplish in Hong Kong?

Wong : “With these conferences, we’re trying to foster the educational and technical understanding that the scaling Bitcoin discussion is both broad and nuanced. In doing so, we hope to help build community, not by controlling the dialogue, but by synchronizing it by focusing on facts, not opinion. By using the scientific and academic approach we’re trying to foster collaboration.”

Narula : “One of the amazing things about this workshop is that we’re actually going to get specific plans. We’re going to have presenters talk about the BIPs [Bitcoin Improvement Proposals] that they have created, their designs, their ideas and their implementations. And we’re even going to get some test data and experimental results.”

BM: Is this more specific approach the biggest difference as compared to the first edition in Montreal?

Narula : “I think so. One major goal of phase one was community building, and really getting people together in one place who haven’t had a lot of opportunity to talk to each other face-to-face. This time we’re really trying to focus on the question of scaling Bitcoin; what are the strategies and techniques we can use to do that? The presentations are all directly related to the question of how to realize more transactions per second on Bitcoin’s blockchain, including solutions like layering protocols.

Wong : “Another concrete difference, the main reasons we began this process, is that we recognized that it would be much easier for the Chinese Bitcoin community to participate in Hong Kong. So we’ll have Chinese miners, pool operators, ASIC providers, and also those who host facilities. So all the diverse voices, that we don’t normally have, that we normally don’t see on the development mailing list, will be there. That’s the thing that I am most excited about.”

BM: Are you expecting a concrete scaling solution to come out of this conference?

Narula : “I think it’s important to note that this conference is not about forcing anyone to do anything. It’s about providing the atmosphere and the space for this kind of discussion to happen. Instead of this discussion happening through the media, or through IRC, or on forums, it can actually happen in part face-to-face.”

Wong : “We’re basically a platform. We’ve been very clear at the beginning that we’re not about making decisions, because it’s not up to us. That said, it would be great if the workshops could help to achieve this notion of consensus. Obviously, given that Bitcoin is essentially a bottom-up structure, where everyone has their own points of view, consensus is not something that you can impose. It has to emerge, so we hope that having the dialogue, the communication, and this idea of collaboration might help.”

BM: But not everyone will make it to Hong Kong, of course. The most notable example being Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Core developer Gavin Andresen.

Narula: “Before phase one there was a lot of outreach activity … it was the first time we’ve had all the five Core developers come to an event. It was a very precious opportunity for everyone to come together and have an understanding for where everyone’s coming from. Similarly, for phase two, we’ve done outreach to all the key players, to make sure that they feel welcome, including Gavin. But I think that the distance is a bit much for him at this point. And we do recognize that it’s a long way to come.

And it is up to anyone to decide to come – or not. That’s why we’ve also made sure there are good online mechanisms. Most of the heavy talks are early in the morning to make sure that those on the American east coast can tune in to the live-stream and contribute through IRC.”

BM: How big a part will the block-size dispute play?

Wong : “The block size is just one dimension. There are many different approaches to scale Bitcoin, such as layer two mechanisms that were touched on in phase one in Montreal. Even the issue of ‘What does it mean to scale Bitcoin?’ is not really settled; different people have different views.

But yes, as opposed to phase one, we will look specifically at the block-size parameter in Hong Kong. We’re also looking at the testing that has been done in between phase one and phase two, and we’ve set up a cloud infrastructure at the conference hall, so people who have developed code and want to test it can do so.”

BM: One common criticism against the first workshop in Montreal was that there wasn’t really any result to show for. Some even allege that the conferences are a stalling mission, in order to prevent the block-size limit from being increased and win time for alternative scaling solutions to be developed.

Wong : “Whether we’re stalling or not is in the eye of the beholder. I do know that the volunteers who have come forward to organize these conferences, like myself, are all working as fast as we can.

The more substantive point is: Did phase one achieve what we said phase one would achieve? And did the period in between phase one and phase two achieve what we originally intended it to achieve? I would say that we’ve had mixed success.

From a community-building perspective and from an educational perspective, phase one was phenomenally successful. However, I do recognize that in terms of the technical consensus, we’re still in relatively early days. There is a lot of testing to be done. In some sense, therefore, phase two is really phase 1.5; we are half a phase behind. I take a lot of responsibility for that. I thought this would be the right amount of time and the right amount of space that people would need, but that might have been a bit optimistic. It would have been better to have more time between phases.”

Narula : “I think it’s important to note that this is an ongoing process. I only got involved after phase one myself, but everyone I spoke to about that conference said it was one of the best Bitcoin conferences they’ve been to. That was in part because it was really about the technical discussions, not just a sales pitch from various companies, and VCs [venture capitalists], and things like that.

We intend the second phase to be really about the community and the piece of software that they’re building, too. Because Bitcoin really is an amazing system. But, unfortunately, it’s also extraordinarily complicated, and there are a lot of moving pieces. That’s why we need things like this conference. Let’s work on it.”

Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong will take place on the 6th and 7th of December. For the full schedule, tickets, online participations, and more information, visit

The post Scaling Bitcoin Gears up for Hong Kong appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…


McCain: Obama Fighting Islamic State with ‘Incrementalism,’ ‘Reminiscent of Vietnam’

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said President Barack Obama has “no strategy” and is fighting the ISIS with “incrementalism” “reminiscent” of Vietnam. McCain said, “They have no strategy as far as Syria is concerned. You have now seen the Saudis involved in Yemen. You have seen a real change in their behavior. If we told them that we would eliminate both Bashar al Assad and ISIS, I think you could put together a coalition. You are not going to defeat them from the air. You are going to have to have people on the ground and I believe you could assemble that coalition with the United States playing a supporting role because they realize that ISIS and Bashar al Assad are a direct threat to them.” Mitchell  asked, “Let me just be clear about American troops. American special operation forces in Syria, in particular, what Ash Carter was talking about today. Do you support that? Is enough being proposed?” McCain said, “It’s incrementalism. it’s reminiscent frankly of the Vietnam conflict when we would react to North Vietnamese successes. It also indicates we don’t have a strategy. We are reacting to Paris. we have to articulate,
Continue reading…