Google Reversing Third-Party Cookie Phaseout In Favor Of New Strategy

Google Reversing Third-Party Cookie Phaseout In Favor Of New Strategy

Authored by Stephen Katte via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Google logo in Las Vegas on Jan. 10, 2024. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Global tech giant Google said it plans to reverse an earlier decision to phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser and instead focus on a new strategy involving user choice.

In 2020, Google announced a new initiative, Privacy Sandbox, which would phase out third-party cookies, the data stored in web browsers that lets companies track users and help advertisers target ads.

At the time, the tech giant said the goal was to make the “web more private and secure for users while also supporting publishers.”

However, a July 22 blog post from Anthony Chavez, vice president of the Privacy Sandbox initiative, revealed that these plans have shifted after feedback from stakeholders such as regulators, web developers and advertisers.

“This feedback has helped us craft solutions that aim to support a competitive and thriving marketplace that works for publishers and advertisers, and encourage the adoption of privacy-enhancing technologies,” Mr. Chavez said.

Mr. Chavez says Google is proposing to give users a choice to limit how third-party cookies are used in their browsers instead of outright removing them. Users will have some input into how they are tracked across Google’s search products. There is already a feature to disable cookies in most browsers, and it’s unclear how this latest proposal from Google would differ.

We are proposing an updated approach that elevates user choice,” Mr. Chavez said. “Instead of deprecating third-party cookies, we would introduce a new experience in Chrome that lets people make an informed choice that applies across their web browsing, and they’d be able to adjust that choice at any time.”

According to Mr. Chavez, Google is discussing its new plans with regulators and “will engage with the industry as we roll this out.”

Troubled from the start

In January 2020, Google promised to phase out third-party cookies within two years. The timeline has been extended multiple times in response to concerns from advertisers and regulators.

Google carried out several cookie replacement experiments, but none gained full support. FLoC, Google’s initial cookie replacement, was scrapped in 2022 after two years over concerns it was inadvertently making it easier for advertisers to gather user information.

Over the last few years, the advertising and publishing industry has raised concerns about Privacy Sandbox’s impact on advertising effectiveness, campaign performance, and revenue. In January, the UK’s antitrust enforcer, the CMA, also flagged 39 concerns about Google’s Privacy Sandbox and urged the company to pause plans to implement it.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 18:45

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Kelly Surges Ahead Of Shapiro As Top Contender For Harris’ Veep Pick

Kelly Surges Ahead Of Shapiro As Top Contender For Harris’ Veep Pick

With Vice President Kamala Harris now expected to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential race, the next crucial decision will be selecting a running mate to complete the ticket.

As Emel Akan reports via The Epoch Times, after President Joe Biden endorsed Ms. Harris as the party’s nominee on July 21, several names have been floated as her potential running mate.

As RealClearPolitics notes, her VP pick could make or break her chances at beating Trump.

The choice of a running mate says a lot about the judgment of the presidential nominee and it can increase support for ticket. Political scientists Chris Devine and Kyle Kopko find that a popular pick of a vice-presidential nominee has the most influence on boosting perceptions of the president who chooses them. This would be of particular importance as Kamala Harris has a relatively high number of Americans who have not yet made up their minds about her.

Beyond the electoral effects, running mates matter because vice presidents are just one heartbeat away from the presidency, the most powerful elected position on the planet. For this reason, it is important that a presidential nominee get this choice right.

The most important condition is whether the individual is qualified. Sometimes, out of desperation, nominees give short shrift to this criterion, and they pick an individual for electoral reasons, governing be damned. Arizona Sen. John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008 is a premier example of this. The selection was widely panned, with many believing Palin was not qualified for the position. 

So with that said – here is a list of the leading candidates who are currently in the spotlight.

Gov. Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, 51, has emerged as a top contender for the vice presidential pick. Before assuming office in 2023, he served as the state’s attorney general from 2017 to 2023.

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He is frequently mentioned as a strong candidate for the VP role due to his status as a swing state Democrat and his reputation for being moderate. He is Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel.

Mr. Shapiro endorsed Ms. Harris in a statement on Sunday.

“I will do everything I can to help elect Kamala Harris as the 47th President of the United States,” he said.

Gov. Andy Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, 46, rose to prominence with his election as governor in the deep-red state of Kentucky in 2019. He gained reelection to a second term in November 2023. His name is also circulating as a possible VP pick.

Karen Hult, a political science professor at Virginia Tech, told The Epoch Times that although Kentucky is not a swing state, it is an Appalachian state, making him an “interesting counterpoise” to former President Donald Trump’s running mate, Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

Mr. Beshear endorsed Ms. Harris on X, stating that “she’s incredibly tough & smart, w/ the compassion and empathy to be a phenomenal president.”

Gov. Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, 67, has served as governor since 2017. Before that, he was the state attorney general from 2001 to 2017.

North Carolina is a key battleground state, although former President Donald Trump won the state both in 2016 and 2020.

Mr. Cooper endorsed Ms. Harris for the presidential nomination in a statement posted on X on Sunday.

“Kamala Harris should be the next President. I’ve known @VP going back to our days as AGs, and she has what it takes to defeat Donald Trump and lead our country thoughtfully and with integrity,” he wrote.

“I look forward to campaigning for her as we work to win NC up and down the ticket.”

Sen. Mark Kelly

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), 60, has served in the Senate since 2020. He’s a former NASA astronaut and Navy combat pilot.

Mr. Kelly has national recognition from being married to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived an assassination attempt in 2011. Ms. Giffords was shot in the head at a constituent event near Tucson, Arizona, while she was serving her third term in Congress. The attack left Ms. Giffords partially paralyzed and led to her becoming a gun control activist.

Mr. Kelly, like Ms. Harris, has advocated for tighter gun control.

“He’s quite articulate, and he is more conservative and has a fairly strong defense and national security grounding,” Ms. Hult said. “So, he could also be a very attractive candidate.”

The Arizona senator, in a statement on X, threw his support behind Ms. Harris, stating, “I couldn’t be more confident that Vice President @KamalaHarris is the right person to defeat Donald Trump.”

Other Candidates

Other notable names mentioned include Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore. However, both have stated that they are not interested in joining the presumptive Harris ticket.

Some other names considered include California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“It’s going to be about balancing the ticket,” David Carlucci, a Democrat strategist and former New York state senator, told The Epoch Times.

Mr. Carlucci noted that the Harris campaign will be looking closely at who can propel the campaign in crucial battleground states.

He said he believes Democrats from swing states, such as Mr. Shapiro from Pennsylvania or Mr. Kelly from Arizona, “are going to be eyed very closely.”

While the vetting process is just getting started, a senior administration official told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz that Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly are the leading candidates to be Harris’ running mate.

According to the latest prediction markets, Kelly is surging ahead of Shapiro…

Source: Bloomberg

The two men come from key 2024 battleground states, and have experience battling Trump-endorsed candidates.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 18:25

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Was Donald Trump The Victim Of White Privilege? A Democratic Member Wants To Know

Was Donald Trump The Victim Of White Privilege? A Democratic Member Wants To Know

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

For most of us, this election could not become more confusing. However, Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D., Tx.) may have added a whole new level of confusion for many in suggesting that Donald Trump may have been the latest victim of systemic racism among law enforcement in the United States.

Trump previously cited his alleged abuse in the criminal justice system as a point of shared experience with some in the black community.

Crockett, however, seems to be willing to go further in suggesting that he may be the latest victim of a racist law enforcement system.

In the hearing with Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, the failure to stop and hold Thomas Crooks was raised by both parties in an unprecedented failure of security.

Crockett then got her chance and suggested that Trump may have come close to dying at the hands of white privilege.

“I want to talk about training and the fact that there was a little bit of confusion between this suspicious person and this perceived threat situation, and it seems like a different analysis is being done. One of my questions is what training your officers are getting on bias.

I’ve learned over and over again, dealing with law enforcement, that there’s generally no perception of threat when it’s a young white male, even if he’s carrying a long gun. Yet a lot of times, at least in this country, when it comes to law enforcement, there’s a perception of threat simply because a person has a little bit more melanin in their skin.

…Often times, one of the things that we’ve consistently advocated for on my side — and when I say my side, I mean when we’re faced with a tragedy where law enforcement has made a mistake — is bias training and whether or not our officers are getting it. So I’m curious, in some of the training that you’re talking about that’s part of your budget, is bias training part of it?”

Cheatle responded with “Yes, that’s true.” (An apparent response to the training element).

Notably, Crockett began by getting Cheatle to acknowledge that this was not a failure due to DEI, or Diversity Equity and Inclusion, policies. She then suggested that further DEI training may be needed in light of the assassination attempt.

To be clear, there is no evidence that Crooks was allowed to walk away after being spotted with a “long gun.” The current theory is that Crooks hid the gun before the event.

Moreover, he was identified as a possible threat due to being found with a golf range finder. However, that was not considered a barred or threatening device by the Secret Service.

Yet, Trump may find common ground here with Vice President Kamala Harris who has long maintained that “We do have two systems of justice” and has added:

“I don’t think that most reasonable people who are paying attention to the facts would dispute that there are racial disparities and a system that has engaged in racism in terms of how the laws have been enforced. It does us no good to deny that. Let’s just deal with it. Let’s be honest. These might be difficult conversations for some, but they’re not difficult conversations for leaders, not for real leaders.”

Trump may be willing to have the “difficult conversation” as the now purported victim of white privilege in the dismissal of would-be presidential assassins.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 17:30

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/TxEJ3LN Tyler Durden

WTI Rebounds Off Technical Support After API Reports Across-The-Board Inventory Draws

WTI Rebounds Off Technical Support After API Reports Across-The-Board Inventory Draws

Oil futures settled at their lowest level in over six weeks on Tuesday, with U.S. prices extending losses into a fourth straight session, as worries about a slowdown in demand fed broad weakness among commodities.

“Oil bears appear to be getting in early ahead of the seasonal decline for oil prices,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity, told MarketWatch.

Over the past five years, crude prices have averaged monthly declines from August through November, he said.

Oil benchmarks have been “dragged lower by renewed concerns over Chinese demand, given the absence of further economic support out of Beijing,” said Tan.

But all eyes are back on the tactical leg next as inventory data is due…

API

  • Crude: -3.9M

  • Cushing: -1.6M

  • Gasoline: -2.8M

  • Distillates: -1.5M

Crude stocks fell for the fourth straight week as API reports inventory-draws across all segments…

Source: Bloomberg

WTI is extending its bounce off technical support (200DMA) after API reported the draws…

Both Brent and WTI oil futures settled Wednesday at their lowest since June 7, with WTI prices down a fourth session in a row.

In a note, Carsten Fritsch, commodity analyst at Commerzbank, said headwinds for oil are likely to come from the “generally negative market sentiment towards cyclical commodities, which is also reflected in the fall in the price of base metals.”

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 17:20

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Truth Is The Casualty Of Our Political Wars

Truth Is The Casualty Of Our Political Wars

Authored by J.Peder Zane via RealClearPolitics.com,

These times are different because nowadays political lies are often in plain sight.

A healthy majority of Americans could see for years that President Biden was not fit to serve another four years. But that didn’t stop Democratic Party leaders and their media megaphones from insisting repeatedly that he was “sharp as a tack.”

Biden’s fractured debate performance – and his broken attempts to demonstrate command in the weeks that followed – only confirmed that the emperor had no clothes. It was a game changer only because the power brokers who actually control the party realized that their fraud had been exposed; the jig was up. Reality finally overwhelmed their narrative.

In a New York minute they went from proclaiming Biden the savior of our democracy to humiliating him as a stubborn old fool. Never mind the national interest, the diminished president only had to go when he no longer proved useful to party bosses. Given this lightning-bolt 180, one might feel sorry for the president. What the heck happened, man? But he is not just Scranton Joe, he is leader of the free world. His diminished capacity puts America, and the world, at risk.

The fact that Democrats and their allies are trying to shut down discussion of whether he is truly capable of carrying out the duties of his office as two large wars rage and China is threatening Taiwan shows they are more concerned about their party than our country.

Pushing Biden out allows Democrats to push the reset button on their palpably false narratives. We are already being told that Biden selflessly put America first when, in fact, he had selfishly refused for weeks, maybe years, to acknowledge his decline. Biden always put himself first; they will insist on the opposite.

Even though Biden’s job approval rating was dismal even before the June 27 debate, Democrats and their media allies are now pretending that he was one of the most effective leaders in American history. Their strategy is to exploit America’s deep reservoir of compassion and goodwill regarding a sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory to delegitimize critiques of his failed policies. We get to say he was a lion; those who complain are nasty jackals gnawing at wounded prey.

Democrats’ new presumptive nominee, Vice President Kamala Harris, offers them a new canvas to paint – though not as clean as ones that might be offered by relative unknowns such Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, whom they could have turned into anybody they wanted. Given that Harris was selected as vice president because Biden promised to pick a woman of color – an identity that makes her hard to bypass now that Biden is out – one wonders if the Democrats will be hoist on their DEI petard just as Republicans paid the price for their opposition to abortion in 2022.

Nevertheless, just as they depicted Biden as a vigorous and visionary figure, they will now portray Harris as the hands-down best choice, a bold new leader who has come to the rescue of her party and the country. Even as they attach her to Biden’s supposed achievements, they will cast the president’s unpopular positions – especially regarding immigration and Harris’ role as border czar – as backward looking. Americans want us to focus on her plans for the future.

Harris’ approval ratings have been lower than Biden’s for a reason. While accomplishing almost nothing as vice president she has become famous for her inane word salads and dysfunctional office. Expect all of the that to be swept under the rug, cast, like the videos showing Biden’s weakness, as “cheap fakes.”

Most Americans know better, but Democrats and their media propagandists will do it anyway, because that’s their modus operandi. They don’t just concoct false narratives, they continue advancing them long after they have been debunked. Despite the Mueller Report, they still say Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election. While transcripts clearly show that Trump did not praise the neo-Nazis who marched at Charlottesville or advise Americans to inject bleach to fight COVID, they repeat such canards ad nauseam. Even though they defied the Supreme Court’s ruling on student loans, ignored the law to create open borders, sought to remove their opponents from the ballot, and used the courts to undermine their biggest political rival, their main campaign message is that Trump is an existential threat to democracy. No wonder a recent poll found that one-third of Biden voters believe the Trump assassination attempt was staged.

This and more would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.

Of course, Trump and other Republicans spew nonsense all the time. The difference is, the press works tirelessly – and often tendentiously – to challenge these assertions.

The American people are fully aware of their missteps and mistruths, while Democrat falsehoods are often hidden, dismissed, given a pass.

Democrats say that the November election is a battle for America’s soul. Their tactics remind us of the adage that “truth is the first casualty of war.” But, as Biden’s withdrawal also shows, sometimes reality wins out. 

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 17:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/Ghfq8Fm Tyler Durden

Tesla Slides As Profit, Margins Disappoint; Production Of “More Affordable Models” To Begin In First Half Of 2025

Tesla Slides As Profit, Margins Disappoint; Production Of “More Affordable Models” To Begin In First Half Of 2025

As previewed earlier, today’s TSLA print is likely to be ugly: the company was the only Mag7 member expected to report negative earnings growth as a result of continued anemic sales, even though unlike Q1, in Q2 Tesla sold more than 33,000 cars than they produced which cleared out some inventory that had been a real overhang. So once again, a key metric for Wall Street this quarter is gross margin, or how much of a profit hit Musk took to clear out the inventory. That said, in a note last week, Ben Kallo of Robert W. Baird wrote that “we think gross margin likely benefits from higher mix to the energy segment as well as higher regulatory credits.”

The other big thing markets want clarity on is the great Robotaxi unveil: last month, we learned that it was delayed from Aug. 8, so Musk will likely announce a new date. To be sure, investors will be counting on the Robotaxi, which Musk has also called a “Cybercab,” to drive the company’s next wave of growth. So, as Bloomberg asks, “are we going to just get a new date, or actually hear more about this vehicles capabilities, regulatory approvals and business model?”

Turning to the company’s existing products, one can argue that Tesla’s existing car lineup is old, while Cybertruck sales are off to a slow start as interest rates remain sky high. So what is Tesla’s sales outlook for 2024? Tesla sold about 1.8 million vehicles globally in 2023. So far this year, they have sold about 831,000. Tesla will surely need to pick up the pace in the back half of the year and deliver a million units just in order to keep sales flat.

Finally, while TSLA’s quarter’s earnings call isn’t expected to be very exciting, there are still some important topics that Musk and the team might touch on:

  • Cheaper Tesla models. On the previous earnings call, Musk mentioned that Tesla was still committed to more affordable models and accelerating their launch. But few details were provided. Do these models – which Musk promised by early 2025 at the latest – exist?
  • NACS integration. After laying off the entire supercharging team, Tesla appeared to hire back some of them. That team had been responsible for integrating other companies’ electric vehicles with the ability to access the Tesla Super Charging Network. Only Rivian and Ford have access to date — what about everyone else?
  • Autonomy and Robotaxi. Will Musk be able to keep investors happy with Tesla’s Robotaxi unveiling moved to October?

With all that in mind, here is the hot mess the company reported for the second quarter, which reveal that the margin pain taken to clear out all those excess cars was all too real:

  • Q2 Revenue $25.5BN, up 2% YoY, and beating estimates of $24.63BN. That’s the good news…
  • Q2 Adj EPS 52c, down 43% YoY, and missing estimates of 60c
  • Q2 Operating income $1.61BN, down 33% YoY and missing estimates of $1.81BN
  • Q2 Automotive Gross Margin Ex-Regulatory Credits 14.6%, missing estimates
  • Q2 Free Cash Flow $1.34BN, +34% YoY but missing estimates of 1.92BN

In short: a hot mess as summarized below:

Charted, the results are not pretty but certainly an improvement from last quarter.

No amount of charts however will deflect attention from the ongoing double-digit drop in profits – and the fact that this was the fourth straight quarter that Tesla has missed profit expectations – and margin decline, which the company explained as follows:

Our operating income decreased YoY to $1.6B in Q2, resulting in a 6.3% operating margin. YoY, operating income was primarily impacted by the following items:

– reduced S3XY vehicle ASP as noted above
– restructuring charges
– increase in operating expenses largely driven by AI projects
– decline in S3XY vehicle deliveries

+ higher regulatory credit revenue
+ growth in Energy Generation and Storage gross profit
+ lower cost per vehicle, including lower raw material costs, freight and duties
+ lower cost of production ramp of 4680 cells and other related charges

What’s worse, it was once again the sale of regulatory credits that saved the day: $890 million this quarter, more than double from $442 million last quarter.

“We recognized record regulatory credit revenues in Q2 as other OEMs are still behind on meeting emissions requirements,” says Tesla in the shareholder deck.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that this was the first quarter in a year that revenues beat estimates, and the outlook got a boost as TSLA now expects a “sequential increase in production in Q3″ as it “continued to add to our vehicle lineup globally, including the introduction of new Model 3 and Model Y trims and additional paint options for the S3XY lineup.”

Some more highlights from the letter:

  • Tesla Still Sees ‘Notably Lower’ Volume Growth Rate for 2024, as its teams “work on the launch of the next generation vehicle and other products. In 2024, the growth rates of energy storage deployments and revenue in our Energy Generation and Storage business should outpace the Automotive business.”
  • Tesla’s “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary “unboxed” manufacturing strategy”
  • Here, the company notes that the timing of Robotaxi deployment depends on technological advancement and regulatory approval, and TSLA is “working vigorously on this opportunity given the outsized potential value.”
  • Focus remains “on company-wide cost reduction, including reducing COGS per vehicle, growing traditional hardware business and accelerating development of our AIenabled products and services.”

In other words, Tesla is saying that they it deliver less than the 1.8 million cars they delivered in 2023:

As for the Cybertruck – which became the best-selling EV pickup in the U.S. in Q2 – the company reported that production more than tripled sequentially and remains on track to achieve profitability by end of year.”  Oh, and the Semi got an honorable mention: discussing the car which was unveiled in November 2017, Tesla said that “preparation of Semi factory continues and is on track to begin production by end of 2025.

While the disappointing results would likely have been enough to hammer the stock – even more – after hours, TSLA is only modestly lower thanks perhaps to these three paragraphs in the company’s “product outlook” section, which reaffirm what everyone has been hoping for: cheaper cars are coming some time in H1 2025.

Plans for new vehicles, including more affordable models, remain on track for start of production in the first half of 2025. These vehicles will utilize aspects of the next generation platform as well as aspects of our current platforms and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle line-up.

This approach will result in achieving less cost reduction than previously expected but enables us to prudently grow our vehicle volumes in a more capex efficient manner during uncertain times. This should help us fully utilize our current expected maximum capacity of close to three million vehicles, enabling more than 50% growth over 2023 production before investing in new manufacturing lines.

Our purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary “unboxed” manufacturing strategy.

Here, Tesla again notes that it will release more “affordable models” by the first half of 2025; then again, in the last earnings call, Elon Musk made it seem like it would be early 2025, so perhaps the timeline was once again pushed back a bit. Offering a clearer product pipeline like other automakers in the US – such as Rivian or GM – might help ease concerns that the company is ignoring the core EV business.

Understandably, Tesla dedicated a section of the report to its AI efforts, as follows:

Artificial Intelligence Software and Hardware

In Q2, we focused on reducing interventions with FSD (Supervised), while improving driving comfort. Notably, we rolled out a version of FSD (Supervised) that primarily relies on eye tracking software to monitor driver attentiveness. We also increased the robustness of our next gen FSD (Supervised) model with substantially more parameters. Looking ahead to future autonomous driving and robotaxi service, we continued progress on software and hardware development. Optimus is performing its first task handling batteries in one of our facilities. The south extension of Gigafactory Texas is nearing completion and will house our largest cluster of H100s yet

Elsewhere, Tesla deployed a staggering amount of energy storage during the quarter — 9.4 gigawatt hours — and revenue for that part of the business doubled from the second quarter of 2023. The company previously predicted storage would grow faster than car sales. As Bloomberg notes, that turned out to be quite an understatement.

Even though it is no longer a pressing issue, Tesla noted that its quarter-end cash was $30.7B, with the sequential increase of $3.9B a “result of positive free cash flow of $1.3B, driven by an inventory decrease of $1.8B and partially offset by AI infrastructure capex of $0.6B in Q2.”

With the stock soaring in the past month, if sliding modestly in the the past week, TSLA shares dipped as much as 4% after hours before recovering some of their losses to last trade around $237.

The full Tesla earnings presentation can be found here.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 16:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/z0yv4pU Tyler Durden

Schumer Endorses Kamala During ‘Cringefest’ DC Presser; Asks For Applause, Doesn’t Get Any

Schumer Endorses Kamala During ‘Cringefest’ DC Presser; Asks For Applause, Doesn’t Get Any

Authored by Debra Heine via American Greatness,

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) failed to drum up enthusiasm for Kamala Harris among reporters while endorsing her bid for the Democrat presidential nomination during a press conference on Capitol Hill, Tuesday.

Schumer, 73, said Joe Biden’s “selfless decision” not to run “has given the Democratic Party the opportunity to unite behind a new nominee,” and since his announcement, the party has “swiftly coalesced” around Harris, “and boy oh boy are we enthusiastic.”

Schumer then ludicrously told reporters that the machinations of the Democrat party’s power brokers to oust Biden once he was deemed unelectable was a “grassroots, bottom up” process.

“When I spoke with her Sunday, she said she wanted the opportunity to win the nomination on her own, and to do so from the grassroots up, not top down,” Schumer said.

“Now that the process has played out, from the grassroots, bottom up, we are here today throw our support behind Vice President Kamala Harris!” Schumer declared with gusto, while clapping his hands.

Schumer went on:

“…we are brimming with excitement, enthusiasm, unity.”

In reaction to the dead silence that ensued, Schumer told reporters:

“I’m clapping—you don’t have to.”

Laughing, he added, “it’s a happy day, what can I say?”

The New York Democrat continued, saying:

 “Kamala Harris and her candidacy has excited and energized the House Democratic Caucus, the Democratic Party and the nation.  I’m proud to strongly endorse Kamala Harris to be the 47th president of the United States of America!

He paused and waited for applause, but there wasn’t any.

“Applause?” he asked weakly, pointing to members of the press.

Schumer then handed the mike over to Jeffries, who said that Harris is “ready, willing and able to lead us into the future.”

When Schumer was asked during the Q&A whether he had “personally asked” Biden to step down during his visit to Biden’s beach house in Delaware on July 13, the senator didn’t deny it.

“Look, what I would say is that the president has done an amazing, amazing job as president—one of the best we’ve ever had and he put his country first and made the right decision,” he said.

Watch the farcical cringefest here…

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 16:30

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/gBTFHte Tyler Durden

Public University Sued Over Alleged Use Of Student Fees To Support Leftists Political Groups

Public University Sued Over Alleged Use Of Student Fees To Support Leftists Political Groups

Authored by Patrick McDonald via Campus Reform,

A recent graduate of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota is suing the university administration, alleging that she was forced to pay a fee that went to a liberal student activist group.

Tayah Lackie filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in May, with assistance from the Liberty Justice Center and the Upper Midwest Law Center.

Lackie’s lawsuit contends that a mandatory fee going to a political agenda that she disagrees with violates the First Amendment because it compels speech.

“A state school can’t make you pay a political group just to be enrolled,” Liberty Justice Center President Jacob Huebert said.

“The Students United scheme violates students’ First Amendment rights, and we look forward to the courts saying so in our case.”

The lawsuit alleges that all students at St. Cloud State must pay “union dues” to a group called Students United, which “advocates for and takes positions on controversial policies and legislation, and which purports to speak on all students’ behalf.”

The lawsuit then proceeds to give examples of Students United making political statements and expressing potentially controversial political advocacy.

“For example,” the lawsuit details, “Students United has aggressively advocated for the abolition of student debt—including through a website called ‘Fck Student Debt’ and a Twitter/X account, @FckStudentDebt.”

“According to the website, Fck Student Debt is ‘a special project by Students United to eliminate all of the student loan debt created by higher education institutions in the state of Minnesota and to push federal legislators to cancel student loan debt,’” the lawsuit explains.

On Students United’s website, the group states that its “vision” is to “create the model of inclusive higher education policies and leadership.” The group currently has a “Director of Student Leadership & Equity,” and each of the group’s officers have pronouns following their names on their bios.

Yet, despite specific political arguments being made by Students United, the lawsuit states that “every” student in the Minnesota State Colleges and University system “is forced to associate with and subsidize Students United and its speech—even if the student disagrees with it.”

The state of Minnesota filed a motion to dismiss Lackie’s complaint on July 15.

Campus Reform has contacted St. Cloud State University, the Liberty Justice Center, and the Upper Midwest Law Center for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 15:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/9lrANIw Tyler Durden

Trump Asks Appeals Court To Overturn $454 Million Civil Fraud Judgment

Trump Asks Appeals Court To Overturn $454 Million Civil Fraud Judgment

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump on July 22 asked a New York appeals court to overturn the $454 million New York civil fraud judgment that was handed down earlier this year.

In court papers filed with First Department of the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, the state’s mid-level court, his lawyers wrote that Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 16 finding, that claimed former President Trump made false statements to insurers, banks, and other entities about his wealth, was incorrect.

“Based on the ruling in this case, no company will want to come to New York to do business, and many businesses are fleeing,” his attorneys wrote.

“The economic aspects of this decision are a disaster for New York.“ The New York Attorney General’s office ”has used the statute in a way never seen before,” they added.

The lawyers said “there were no victims and no losses,” adding that the former president’s business partners “raved internally about their business with him and were eager for more.”

In their appeal, they contended that the judge made an “erroneous” decision and, during the case, “struggled to understand basic banking concepts” before he handed down the fine. They further said that he erred in rejecting an earlier appeals court decision regarding the statute of limitations for the case, arguing that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil lawsuit should have been dismissed.

The former president’s team also contended that after Justice Engoron’s decision, it gives the state attorney general’s office “limitless power to target anyone,“ including ”political opponents,” according to the 116-page filing.

“If Appellants’ conduct constituted ‘fraud’ […] then that word has no meaning, and [New York Attorney General’s] power to seize and destroy private businesses is boundless—and standardless,” the attorneys added.

Before the trial, Justice Engoron rejected many of the Trump attorneys’ objections as the case proceeded, at one point equating them to the plot of the movie “Groundhog Day” and fining some of the lawyers $7,500 each for “repetitive, frivolous” argument. The Appellate Division previously denied former President Trump’s bid to end the case on statute of limitations and other grounds.

After the judge handed down the judgment, former President Trump posted a $175 million bond in April to halt its collection and prevent interest from accruing. The move also blocked Ms. James from seizing some of his assets in New York City while he appeals the matter.

The Epoch Times contacted the New York Attorney General’s office for comment Tuesday.

In a statement to multiple news outlets, Ms. James’ office said that the appeal filed Monday repeats some arguments that were already rejected. “We won this case based on the facts and the law, and we are confident we will prevail on appeal,” a spokesperson said.

Former President Trump, the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election in November, has maintained his innocence in the fraud case, saying he’s being unfairly targeted.

Should former President Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, have to pay the entire judgment, it could imperil his cash reserves, although he might be able to recoup some of those losses due to his large stake in Trump Media, which owns his Truth Social platform.

Earlier this year, he was ordered in a separate case to pay nearly $84 million in damages after a New York jury found that he defamed a writer, E. Jean Carroll.

In May of this year, he was convicted by a Manhattan jury on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in relation to payments made during the 2016 campaign. Sentencing for that case is scheduled for September.

The Manhattan case may be the only one of four cases against former President Trump that goes to trial before the November election. A federal judge in Florida last week dismissed federal charges involving his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House, arguing that the special counsel appointed in that case, Jack Smith, was improperly appointed by the Department of Justice. Mr. Smith has vowed to appeal the judgment.

Two other election-related cases brought against him in Washington and Georgia have been stalled, and it’s not clear when either will go to trial, if ever. The former president had pleaded not guilty to all charges in the four cases.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 15:05

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/HLUv4C7 Tyler Durden

‘Worst Since COVID Lockdowns’ – Regional Fed Surveys Plunged In July

‘Worst Since COVID Lockdowns’ – Regional Fed Surveys Plunged In July

It was ugly in macro-land today with existing home sales crashing (as home prices hit record highs). But a couple of Regional Fed surveys really laid an egg…

First out of the gate was the Philly Fed Services Activity Survey, which puked in July from two-year highs to near four-year lows…

Source: Bloomberg

The indexes for general activity at the firm level, new orders, and sales/revenues turned negative. The full-time employment index suggested a decline in employment, and prices are rising once again…

  • New orders fell to -7.1 vs 6.7

  • Sales fell to -3.5 vs 14.3

  • Prices paid rose to 30.2 vs 24.4

  • Full-time employment fell to -4.9 vs 14.6

  • Part-time employment fell to 4.0 vs 13.1

Of particular note was that the capital expenditures-equipment fell to 10.8 vs 24.5… not a great sign for the future of AI investment that is still supporting stocks.

And it’s not just Services, The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey crashed to -17 (the worst since the peak of the COVID lockdowns)

Source: Bloomberg

And under the hood, it was even more of a shitshow…

  • Shipments fell to -21

  • New order volume slowed to -23

  • Order backlogs rose to -20

  • Capacity utilization slowed to -13

  • Inventory levels of finished goods increased to 20

Overall, it’s bad news as Bidenomics shits the bed…

Source: Bloomberg

We just cannot wait to hear what Harris has up her sleeve to ‘fix’ this…

Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/23/2024 – 14:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/xNjHIFR Tyler Durden