ambition

As you may have heard, a couple weeks back venture capitalist Tom Perkins wrote a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal warning that the persecution of the 1% today bears many “parallels” to “fascist Nazi Germany” and “its war on its one percent,” i.e. the Jews. As is typically the case when one throws around the term “Kristallnacht” and suggests that attacks on Danielle Steele in the San Francisco Chronicle are not unlike attacks on Jews during WWII, Perkins took a lot of heat for his op-ed, with the company he founded which still bears his name (along with those of a few others) basically saying they’ve never heard of the guy.

What did billionaire Sam Zell think of Perkins’s comments, BloombergTV’s Betty Liu asked today? 1. That Perkins is right, and the 1% are being “pummeled” because it’s “politically convenient.” and 2. That while we’re on the subject of the 1%, the people attacking them should instead being “emulating” them, because “the 1% work harder,” which brings us to this delightful bit of dialogue:

Liu: But Sam, try telling that to the person who is on minimum wage, who is living below the poverty line, that they should try to emulate the 1%. How are they going to get there?
Zell: Oh, the stories are rampant of people who started with a candy store and took it from there. There are lots of people who have the ambition and have the motivation and have succeeded. Read more »

Eric Schneiderman’s determination to follow in Eliot Spitzer’s footsteps (to a point) is bad news for analysts who answer their phones. Read more »

As you all are well aware, from time to time we cover food eating challenges around these parts. We don’t chronicle all the feats of gastrointestinal fortitude that come our way, though, because while we love you all, not all of your FECs constitute what we’d consider an actual challenge worth covering. As previously discussed, our high bar has everything to do with the first contest we ever wrote about (as a postmortem), which involved a man named Oyster Boy, who consumed 244 oysters in 1 hour at Ulysses, throwing down the gauntlet down for one of you to pick up, vis-à-vis goring yourself for sport. Do we really expect anyone to match OB in magnitude or strength of stomach lining? No, we do not. Having said that, “challenges” such as eating 8 vending machine items in 12 hours (or in an unlimited amount of time!) are not going to cut it. It’s not an exact science but we look for FECs that are imaginative, topical, and/or represent a high degree of difficulty. (And while we wouldn’t actually advise it, live streaming the whole thing would make our day.) Which brings us to this afternoon’s challenge. Read more »