The Secret Masters

Column: Meet the liberal billionaires who rule your world
Billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Tom Steyer

The timing of a story by the campaign finance reporters of the New York Times, and its placement in the paper’s national edition, is fraught with meaning. Articles in which the totemic names “Koch” or “Adelson” appear have a habit of being published in the prime time of an election cycle, and share the uncanny ability to float, bubble-like, to the front-page. Stories that deal with the liberal moneymen who finance the Democratic Party and its affiliates, by contrast, tend to appear after the fact or when nobody is looking, and, like ballast, fall to the back of the A section, obscured by ads for Tiffany’s, Burberry, and Zegna. I wonder why.

Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later

Feature: Victims of Sandy struggle to put their lives back together
Superstorm Then And Now, Breezy Point, NY / AP

One year ago Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast leaving an unparalleled path of destruction in its wake. The nation’s second-costliest storm affected millions across two dozen states, and today many are still dealing with the storm’s aftermath.

Many towns in New York and New Jersey continue to show Sandy’s effects, and their recovery is far from complete. A drive through towns such as Union Beach, Sea Bright and Highlands show some homes still in disrepair, many empty lots where homes once stood, and businesses shuttered or listed for sale.

Medieval Times

Column: ‘Vanity Fair’ and the New Feudalism
Zuckerberg, Bezos, Musk, Bloomberg / AP

Looking for a distraction from the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate? I urge you to read Vanity Fair’s latest advertisement for “The New Establishment,” a list of “50 Titans Disrupting Media, Technology, and Culture,” the century-old magazine’s annual mash-note to the rich and powerful and self-satisfied. These disrupters innovate technologies, set the trends, define the limits of acceptable conversation in culture and politics and society, and pour money into the network of liberal foundations and Democratic campaigns around which our world is increasingly organized. They are the winners in the cognitive lottery that is the New Economy, the men and women creating and shaping, by accident and by design, the “New Feudalism” described so well by Joel Kotkin in The Daily Beast. It’s good to know their names.