The latest earnings report from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, demonstrates that the company is still a cash cow, but it does nothing to allay fears about the intrusive role “big data” plays in our lives. Nor does it provide respite from serious credibility problems facing the company’s leadership.
For instance, Google CEO Sundar Pichai may have lied to Congress. Pichai testified in December before the House Judiciary Committee, where members grilled him about transparency, data collection, and how Google filters search results. Moreover, several Republican congressmen wanted answers about political and ideological bias.
The plaintive Pichai was unequivocal. “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result,” he claimed, because of the massive scale of trillions of searches each year. “It is not possible for an individual employee or groups of employees to manipulate our search results.”
However, according to an internal discussion thread leaked by an anonymous company … Read More ➡
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has a habit of redoubling her efforts when her ideas fail. That’s especially true given that she now chairs the House Financial Services Committee. One of her top priorities is bullying banks into boosting mortgage lending to marginally qualified borrowers based on race or ethnicity. And her main vehicle for that now is a proposed subcommittee on diversity and inclusion. In a prepared statement on January 30, she declared, “I am proud to say that this will be the first Subcommittee of its kind in Congress.”
One hopes it will be the last. For if she gets her way, the outcome, taken to its logical conclusion, may be a financial meltdown rivaling the one a decade ago.
Rep. Maxine Waters took the helm of the Financial Services Committee this month after easily winning re-election as part of the Democrats’ House takeover. But according to the California Democrat’s post-election filing – which has prompted fresh calls for a full audit – her campaign may have some financial issues of its own to sort out.
The Citizens for Waters report to the Federal Election Commission from Dec. 11 lists $183,022 in debt to her daughter Karen Waters, who is in charge of distributing “slate mailers.”
The mailers have faced scrutiny since 2010 because the campaign, beginning in 2004, has paid Waters’ daughter or her public relations firm Progressive Connections to produce, print and mail the sample ballots. Watchdog groups have raised questions about the propriety of campaign funds financially supporting a family member, as well as Waters raising contributions in excess of federal limits through an unusual process. Since … Read More ➡
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has a well-earned reputation for vindictiveness. But she’s now reaped poetic justice. Yesterday the Texas Democrat resigned her posts as chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation following a wrongful termination suit filed earlier this month by an ex-female staffer identified in court documents as “Jane Doe.” The former aide, who seeks $75,000 in damages, had been fired last spring after stating her intent to pursue legal action against a former foundation employee, Damien Jones, who allegedly raped her back in the fall of 2015, a time during which she interned for another House member. Lee has denied wrongdoing from the start. But increasing pressure from black colleagues helped persuade her to step down.
Now in her 13th term in office, Sheila Jackson Lee represents the heavily black 18th District of Texas, which encompasses a large portion of Houston. … Read More ➡
Kamala Harris, the junior U.S. senator from California, is a woman in a hurry. Elected in 2016, Harris today announced her candidacy for president in 2020. “I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m very excited about it,” she told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Her track record, however, suggests she would be the kind of president who among other things would cut ethical corners on behalf of labor unions. Back in 2015, Harris, as California attorney general, helped a powerful affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) scotch the purchase of a half-dozen nonprofit health care facilities by a corporate buyer to protect union jobs. While a federal judge twice has dismissed allegations by the buyer, Prime Healthcare, that she abused her office, the case deserves another look.
The year 2018 saw the indictment, conviction and sentences of plenty of organized labor scams. New York City played host to some of the largest. For sheer magnitude, nothing anywhere could match the network of union fraud surrounding the construction of Hudson Yards, a large-scale, mixed-use development on Manhattan’s West Side. Set for completion in 2024, the project from the start has been a source of easy money for labor organizations affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. The general contractor, Related Companies, having reached the limits of frustration, filed suit last March with the State Supreme Court against the council and its president for promoting or allowing illegal practices that allegedly have added over $100 million to the total project cost.
In other cases from the Big Apple, the president of a United Industrial and Service Employees local, Rocco Fazzolari, pleaded guilty … Read More ➡
Long after North Carolina and dozens of businesses and organizations resolved a conflict over a policy to allow so-called “transgenders” (regardless of their genitalia) to use the public/business restroom of their choosing, Netflix is trying to stir up trouble again.
Pate, who lives in Wilmington, NC after 25 years in Hollywood, had his hometown in mind for location shooting. “OBX” is shorthand for “Outer Banks,” the barrier islands that stretch nearly the entire coast of North Carolina.
Pate says Netflix asked him to explore sites in South Carolina, including coastal Charleston, for potential filming – but … Read More ➡
Rashida Tlaib isn’t a typical House of Representatives freshman. That may be why so many of her party colleagues are giving her tacit approval in the wake of her video broadside last Thursday against President Donald Trump. Rep. Tlaib, D-Mich., a Muslim born of Palestinian immigrant parents, having taken an oath of office only hours earlier, called for Trump’s impeachment in highly vulgar and inflammatory language. Party elders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, offered a rebuke to her statement. But their words seemed more motivated by strategy than by principle. And a likely major explanation for this tacit approval is that Democrats are giving a free pass to Muslims in their nonstop celebration of “diversity.” It’s an attitude that endangers national security as well as coarsens debate.
The 2018 House elections were a windfall for the Democratic Party. Exploiting resentment of President Trump and Republicans generally, the party generated a … Read More ➡
What is it about Silicon Valley corporations that make them want to pander to the sensitivities of oppressive dictatorships?
The answer, of course, is earnings, share price and the almighty dollar. But the recent example in which television-streaming service Netflix yanked a program critical of the oppressive Saudi Arabia regime is extreme cowardice, even for the most conflict-averse corporation.
The background: Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing journalist and Saudi dissident who was critical of the government’s intolerance of dissent, was murdered and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. International and U.S. intelligence assigned the responsibility for the killing on Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but the regime has denied his involvement. Many have called for the United States to alter diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia until justice is served in Khashoggi’s death and the nation enacts reforms regarding personal … Read More ➡
There are few sights these days as pitiable as a corporation acceding to the demands of radical activists on the basis of an ostensibly insensitive comment made by one of its officials or employees. As the script normally dictates, the offending individual steps down, while the company profusely apologizes for its insensitivity and vows to redouble its commitment to “diversity.” That’s what makes Fox News Channel’s refusal to fire political talk show host Tucker Carlson in the face of an activist-triggered advertiser boycott so refreshing. By resisting the speech police, the network just might have set an example for other corporations.
Tucker Carlson, now 49, host of Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, isn’t one to back down from a controversial issue. Indeed, not backing down is pretty much his main job requirement. His blunt style won him the 8 P.M.-9 P.M., Monday through Friday time slot on Fox … Read More ➡