Update below the fold
Focusing on a libertarian sliver of the Bay Area’s tech crowd, the Kentucky Republican hopes the three-day trip can tap into a powerful resource that could boost his fundraising skills, message delivery and voter turnout — potent technology tools that were a crucial component in President Barack Obama’s two general election victories. But Paul also has a more lofty agenda — using his strongly held views on National Security Agency surveillance, Internet privacy and free markets to broaden the traditional GOP coalition — and perhaps even persuade California voters to turn their state red for the first time since George H.W. Bush in 1988.Repeal, Reset, Rebrand, Reboot....RW buzzwords abound as the "conservatarian" lovefest has been running opposite NN14 since Thursday, with Rand Paul's keynote speech secheduled for today ay noon PT / 3pm ET.
The conference, called Reboot, is sponsored by a group founded by three young Republican operatives-turned-tech entrepreneurs. The event, organized by a group called LincolnLabs, is sponsored by Generation Opportunity, a branch of the Koch brothers' political network that targets young voters. (They're the group behind those Creepy Uncle Sam ads.)Aqua Buddha will be speaking to the Cheeto-fueled, right-wing basement brigades today, although it would seem like these digital infowarriors would make this particular keynote speech at least as accessible as the NN14 keynotes. More interesting is whether a 2016 victory by Rand Paul will see Paypal go all Bitcoin as a result.
Paul has already found one wealthy friend in Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder and early investor in Facebook and LinkedIn, who gave more than $2.7 million to super PACs supporting Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. According to POLITICO Playbook, Paul had private meetings earlier this month with both Thiel and Zuckerberg at the Allen & Co. media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Also in Paul’s corner: Scott Banister, a PayPal board member and marijuana reform advocate who is scheduled to speak alongside Paul during the panel at the libertarian technology conference in San Francisco.It is a mash-up when one considers how the Chamber of Commerce sees its role as President Taft wearing Google Glass much like C-Span's announcement to soon require online registration. And how hard would it have been for Paulistas to livestream Rand Paul's speech today, unless they're worried about receptions like he received at UC Berkeley in the Spring.
Online access to these three TV (C-SPAN) channels will soon require registration. Learn more.I stand with kos on the issue of pledging to not go to AZ, although it is occasionally unavoidable for some of us in terms of changing planes in Phoenix PHX. It's of course easy to say/do if one doesn't usually have the cash to go to any Netroots Nation conference even if it's proximal. Hopefully there will be more interest in the quarterly "salons" and if affordable I promise to go to one of those DK regional meetings especially since the run-up to 2016 will be fraught with the usual right-wing stupidity like today's Rand Paul speech in San Francisco at the Kochs' "conservatarian hackathon" Reboot
Just to keep the narrative coherent here's something with more Paulista details
But the fun for close Rand followers began even before Rand stepped to the podium. Frieda Levy introduced Rand. As part of her introduction, she told the story of the time Rand was a keynote speaker at one of those secretive Koch brothers conferences.
Charles Koch's son, Chase, introduced Rand at one of those conferences and said he could identify with Rand and how difficult it was to be a child of a prominent libertarian. Levy than noted that Chase told the Koch crowd that as a child he was required to read Mises and Hayek. This caught my ear, since Rand had just scrubbed from his Senate page a book list that included works by Mises and Hayek (SEE: The 17 Books Scrubbed From Rand Paul's Web Site)
Rand's speech could best be described as Reaganesque, not in the style of delivery, but in the abundance of free market rhetoric, like with Reagan, if you listened carefully, though, it was free market rhetoric with a lot of BUTS.
Early in his talk, Rand referenced the Ayn Rand characters, Ellsworth Toohey and Howard Roark. He said that Silicon Valley was filled with Howard Roarks and that Washington D.C. was filled with Ellsworth Tooheys.
Paul closed his comments by issuing a call to Silicon Valley, questioning why tech-conscious types are still supportive of left-wing candidates and ideas: “Obama is not for innovation or freedom, he is for the protectionism crowd who would limit activities [of those in Silicon Valley]”On education: “We’re going to see a revolution in education where the LeBron James of education is going to have two million people watching him every day teaching calculus or whatever it is”. The problem is of course that "the LeBron James of education" will not skip college or stage 30 minute television programs to announce that they are betraying their home town and moving to where s/he can win a world championship, and finally there are already by proportion thousands of "LeBron James of education" and the activity called teaching (as learning) cannot be done at a ratio of two million to one.
He commented on how Bitcoin should be backed by something, such as shares in major U.S. companies who create their own Bitcoin products, and claimed that someone should be arrested for the overreach of the NSA. Finally, he said that the “Idiots and Trolls in Washington” can’t outthink the market - a sentiment that resonated heavily with the ‘conservatarian’ audience.
Speaking on employment, Sen Paul joked about a Dilbert cartoon whereby a mother expresses concern over her son being replaced by a robot. Dilbert shoots back, “I’ve met your son, and I’m pretty sure he could be replaced by a hammer”.Given the disintegration brought to the schooling system by privatization among other catastrophes, human and technological, it may be that there are many boxes of hammers produced by the LeBron James of libertarian educational thought, although like a nail-seeking hammer, they do tend to be very risk-seeking.
Paul used the joke as a segue into serious trepidations over the U.S. education system: “I’m not concerned with the American worker being replaced by a robot, but seriously, by a hammer,” he said, reflecting on the poor education that many Americans are getting from the current schooling system in the country.