File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

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Holder’s Fast and Furious Sideshow Helps Obama Keep Liberals From Bolting Print
By Ashton Ellis
Wednesday, December 14 2011
Even though it would seem like Obama would rather rid himself of Holder and be free of his ongoing distractions, it suits the president politically to let an icon of the left continue to play games with the law and his oath to do justice.

Every circus needs a clown. 

With President Barack Obama’s campaign machine getting ready to kick into high gear, the Washington punditry is speculating that despite his comically disastrous tenure as U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder is in no danger of being fired.  The reason is simple: Obama needs to please his liberal base by keeping its favorite Cabinet official on the payroll. 

It’s a good thing the left demands laugh lines instead of results.  During testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week about his role in the Fast and Furious scandal, Holder set off peals of laughter from the spectators when he deadpanned a response about the difference between misleading Congress and lying to it.  The difference is “one of intent,” replied Holder.  Contrasting his expression with the audience’s chuckles, the AG seemed to be the only person in the room not to hear an echo of Bill Clinton’s infamous “the definition of is, is” reply to a different inconvenient question.  Maybe the man who served as the number two official at Clinton’s Justice Department learned the lessons of obfuscating a little too well. 

Later in the question and answer period Holder’s performance took a darkly humorous tone when he tried to beat back a painful line of questioning from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).  Issa, who sits on the Judiciary Committee and chairs the one for Government Oversight and Reform, said Holder’s refusal to hand over documents requested by Congress was starting to sound a lot like Nixon AG John Mitchell’s criminal obstruction during Watergate.  Holder sought refuge in an inappropriate, wholly unrelated analogy. 

“Have you no shame?” asked Holder, comparing Issa’s demand for documents to the McCarthy hearings.  Issa shot back the retort, but could have easily silenced Holder by noting that unlike Fast and Furious, no one died because of Mitchell’s handling of the Watergate break-in.  (U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered with one of the 2,000 guns allowed by federal agents to move across the border to Mexican drug cartels.) 

The unintentional irony of Holder’s accusation of McCarthyism is that McCarthy used his congressional platform to claim a communist conspiracy to take over the government, which was later proved true in declassified Soviet documents. 

In a tense back-and-forth with Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Holder tried without success to explain away what looks like to any reasonable observer to be a kind of conspiracy after-the-fact between at least two officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a sub-agency of Holder’s Justice Department.   

After acknowledging that he was aware of the existence – but not the substance – of the email exchange between two ATF officials discussing whether to use the uptick in crimes related to Fast and Furious weapons to push for stronger gun-control laws, Holder denied the obvious.  “Take a step back and think about the implications of what you’re saying.  That the Justice Department came up with a flawed program in order to justify a regulation.”

Sounds crazy, right?  I mean, who ever heard of a cabal of lefty activists so drunk with power and conviction that they would deliberately distort reality, hide and destroy information or lie repeatedly to the public in order to manufacture an outcome they’ve already determined? 

Lungren wasn’t buying it.  After saying he didn’t believe that a conspiracy existed before Fast and Furious went out-of-control, Lungren rightly demanded that the Justice Department shouldn’t exploit a crisis of its own making to justify more draconian gun laws.  “You screwed up, you ought to admit you screwed up, but you ought not to use your screw-up as a basis for trying to extend your authority.” 

Arizona congressmen aren’t laughing either.  After Holder’s performance before the Judiciary Committee on December 8, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar filed a no-confidence resolution against him in the House of Representatives on December 12.  The next day, fellow Arizona Republican Rep. Ben Quayle became the 56th member of Congress to call for Holder’s resignation. 

But to his fans among the liberal elite, Holder’s actions still attract applause.  He’s been lionized for demanding civilian trials for terrorists even New York Democrats oppose.  He is defended ad nauseam on lefty house organs like the Huffington Post and Media Matters for refusing to enforce immigration laws and then suing Arizona when it tried to defend itself from the fastest growing source of crimes in its state.  Above all, Holder is seen as the last voice of undiluted liberalism in an Obama administration seen by its diehard base as insufficiently doctrinaire. 

So even though it would seem like Obama would rather rid himself of Holder and be free of his ongoing distractions, it suits the president politically to let an icon of the left continue to play games with the law and his oath to do justice. 

At bottom, Obama is a showman and, as any ringmaster, knows clowns like Holder serve an important purpose: Their absurd antics distract the childlike from the cares of the real world.   

Notable Quote   
"Battleground state swing voters overwhelmingly believe stopping President Biden's border invasion is more important than bankrolling Ukraine's forever war with Russia, a newly released poll found.Conducted for the Heritage Foundation by RMG Research Inc., the survey of 1,000 likely swing-state voters found strong support for stopping the invasion at the U.S. southern border and little appetite for…[more]
— Shawn Fleetwood, The Federalist
Liberty Poll   

Given dramatically escalating premiums for homeowner and vehicle insurance, do you believe that your state insurance officials are conscientiously regulating those inescapable costs?