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

Liberty Update

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Notable Quotes
On the Biden Administration 'Cooking the Books' in Favor of Costly Regulations:

"The rate at which prices are rising has slowed somewhat, but prices are still going up. The vast majority of the public is unhappy about it and expects things to get worse.

"And as long as President Joe Biden is in office, that is a reasonable expectation, for Biden's Office of Management and Budget pushed through new regulations this month that will make it easier for every federal agency to raise the regulatory costs of everything people want to do.

"At issue is the discount rate that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs uses when calculating costs and benefits of proposed regulation. These analyses are not required by statute, but the White House has performed them since President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order mandating them in 1981. Presidents from both parties have since embraced Reagan's requirement, although each president has tweaked the process in one way or another.

"Biden's new twist to the formula would cook the books in favor of costly new regulations. Regulators face many uncertainties when calculating the costs and benefits of regulation, including balancing the trade-offs between higher costs now and benefits decades in the future."

Read the entire article here.

— Washington Examiner Editorial Board
— Washington Examiner Editorial Board
Posted November 20, 2023 • 07:37 AM
On Congressional Passage of a Stop-Gap Spending Bill and the Coming Clash Over Shrinking the Federal Government:

"The Senate easily passed a stop-gap spending bill in bipartisan fashion late Wednesday, averting a federal shutdown for the holidays but setting up a historic clash early in the new year over shrinking government.

"Senators voted 87-11 to approve the plan and send it to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it. Ten Republicans and one Democrat voted against the measure. ...

"While both sides cheered avoiding a holiday, shutdown, the vote only postponed an epic struggle early into the 2024 election year over House Republicans' promise to shrink federal spending and the government for the first time in decades.

"House Speaker Mike Johnson has set in motion a novel two-tier plan to fund the government with separate spending bills in January and February, which will force the Senate to end years of practice of funding the entire government with omnibus legislation."

Read the entire article here.

— John Solomon, Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief of Just the News
— John Solomon, Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief of Just the News
Posted November 16, 2023 • 08:08 AM
On the Explosion of Antisemitism on College Campuses:

"Even as war continues to rage in Gaza, there already is much talk about the 'day after,' meaning what happens there when the guns go quiet.

"The chatter assumes Israel will rout Hamas and that a new entity will fill the governing vacuum.

"Finding a solution is a huge challenge and while America will have a big say, there is another 'day after' issue also demanding our attention.

"It involves the shocking explosion of antisemitism on elite college campuses.

"It, too, must be eliminated because it is morally wrong, and because history leaves no doubt about where it leads.

"Washington has a role to play, but the real action must happen where the problem is -- on the campuses.

"University leaders must lead, or get out of the way."

Read the entire article here.

— Michael Goodwin, New York Post Columnist
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post Columnist
Posted November 15, 2023 • 07:28 AM
Reporting on What the Border Crisis is Costing Taxpayers:

"House Republicans released a report that totaled the costs of record-high illegal immigration at the southern border under the Biden administration and estimated that U.S. taxpayers have paid nearly half a trillion dollars.

"The House Homeland Security Committee on Monday debuted a 49-page document that broke down the education, healthcare, law enforcement, and other costs that the arrests of more than 6 million illegal immigrants have generated since early 2021.

"'Every day, millions of American taxpayer dollars are spent on costs directly associated with illegal immigration and the unprecedented crisis at the Southwest border sparked by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' policies,' the report stated. 'Mass illegal immigration, accelerated by Mayorkas' open-borders policies, now represents a massive cost to the federal government and state governments alike, as well as the pocketbooks of private citizens and businesses.' ...

"The GOP report, authorized by Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), cites data calculated by conservative- and liberal-leaning immigration organizations as the basis for its cost estimates. The highest estimate was generated by the right-leaning Center for Immigration Studies, which concluded taxpayers would have to contribute $451 billion to cover the price of caring for immigrants released from the border into the United States.

"New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to date responding to thousands of immigrants who have traveled to these sanctuary zones in search of housing, jobs, and assistance. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, stated earlier this fall that the border crisis 'will destroy' the city."

Read the entire article here.

— Anna Giaritelli, Homeland Security Reporter at Washington Examiner
— Anna Giaritelli, Homeland Security Reporter at Washington Examiner
Posted November 14, 2023 • 08:35 AM
On the UAW Strike:

"Strikes, and the tension between management and labor that lead to them, go back more than 3,000 years. In ancient Egypt , in the first known strike, artisans working on the burial chambers of Pharaoh Ramesses III walked off the job complaining about insufficient rations.

"Workers striking for more pay or better working conditions, then, is nothing new. Given that long history, most people probably believed that's what the recent strike against GM, Ford, and Stellantis by the United Auto Workers union was all about. That would include, by the way, the autoworkers themselves.

"But now, with the UAW reaching tentative agreements with Ford, Stellantis, and, most recently, GM, it is becoming clear that the strike was about something else.

"The 'Big Three' previously offered more than a 20% increase in base wages, as well as inflation protection for those higher wages, more time off, and thousands of dollars more annually to each worker's retirement plan. But that wasn't enough for UAW.

"And that's because this strike wasn't about better pay, retirement benefits, and working conditions. Rather, it was part of the Left's political battle to promote Marxism and its political initiatives -- and not in the same general way that the labor union movement and leftist ideologies have been doing since either one of them began. The connection is specific: This strike was about 'social justice.'"

Read the entire article here.

— Mick Mulvaney, a Former Member of Congress, Budget Director and White House Chief of Staff
— Mick Mulvaney, a Former Member of Congress, Budget Director and White House Chief of Staff
Posted November 13, 2023 • 07:38 AM
On the House Oversight Committee's Subpoenas of Hunter Biden and Others:

"The great English writer Samuel Johnson once told a friend, 'Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.'

The quote came to mind after reading the response of Abbe Lowell, legal counsel for Hunter Biden, to the issuance of subpoenas for Hunter and other family members by the House Oversight Committee. Lowell said that 'Hunter is eager to have the opportunity, in a public forum' -- but premised that on the condition that it be 'the right time' for Hunter to speak. He also dismissed the committee investigation as a 'political stunt.'

It appears that further concentration is warranted. A congressional subpoena is really not an invitation for a sit-down at a convenient time. Hunter has spent years relying on denial and delay to fend off inquiries. With this subpoena, he will now have to choose between cooperation or contempt ... on the committee's schedule."

Read the entire article here.

— Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School
— Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School
Posted November 10, 2023 • 07:32 AM
On Governor Gavin Newsom's (D-CA) Declining Approval Rating:

"Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has clearly been positioning himself to run for president in 2028, if not in 2024 as a backup in case President Joe Biden drops out of the race. But Newsom's future political aspirations are running into an issue: California is poorly managed, and Californians are starting to sour on him.

"Newsom's approval rating has hit an all-time low, according to a poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. Newsom has an approval of just 44%, with his disapproval at 49%. It's the first time his approval rating has been underwater since early 2021, when the recall election against him went forward. His approval rating has dropped 11 points since February.

"There isn't any one culprit either in California's demographics. According to the Los Angeles Times, 'Newsom's decline in popularity spans nearly every major voter category and includes significant drops among his Democratic base and voters who aren't affiliated with either party.' His approval rating has dropped 16 points among California Democrats and 12 points from independents.

"Much of it likely has to do with Newsom giving little focus to his state as he campaigns for Biden (and positions himself as Biden's backup) across the country. On top of that, Newsom went on an international work vacation to China to cozy up to the Chinese Communist Party and pretend he was making progress on climate change. Meanwhile, all of California's problems remain problems, from homelessness and the country's worst poverty rate to the rising cost of living and the fact that the state is being forced into budget cuts as residents flee for greener pastures."

Read the entire article here.

— Zachary Faria, Washington Examiner
— Zachary Faria, Washington Examiner
Posted November 09, 2023 • 08:31 AM
Reporting on the U.S. House of Representatives Censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI):

"House lawmakers on Tuesday censured Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the sole Palestinian American in Congress, over her remarks and actions in response to the Israel-Hamas war.

"The censure resolution, authored by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., passed 234 to 188, with 22 Democrats voting for it and four Republicans opposing the measure. A censure vote only requires a simple majority to pass.

"The resolution censures Tlaib, D-Mich., for 'promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.'

"'It is a sad fact, but this type of antisemitic hate is being promoted by a small group of members in this body, chiefly Rep. Tlaib,' McCormick said on the House floor before the vote. 'We must hold her accountable.'"

Read the entire article here.

— Scott Wong, Kyle Stewart and Zoë Richards, NBC News
— Scott Wong, Kyle Stewart and Zoë Richards, NBC News
Posted November 08, 2023 • 07:35 AM
On How Terror-Tied Dark Money Groups May Be Fueling Anti-Israel Protests:

"Activists organizing pro-Palestinian protests across the United States in the wake of the Hamas attacks against Israel share various deep affiliations with designated terrorist factions, all while quietly receiving checks from anonymous sources, records show.

"The streets of Washington, D.C., were flooded Saturday with tens of thousands of activists demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and for the U.S. to choke off aid to Israel, where more than 1,400 civilians and soldiers have been killed by Islamic terrorists since Oct. 7, the deadliest attack against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Groups behind the increasing number of anti-Israel protests and the recent one in the nation's capital that spurred vandalism maintain particularly opaque dark money funding structures and have also faced scrutiny over the years for their ties to terror, a Washington Examiner investigation found."

Read the entire article here.

— Gabe Kaminsky, Investigative Reporter for the Washington Examiner
— Gabe Kaminsky, Investigative Reporter for the Washington Examiner
Posted November 07, 2023 • 08:18 AM
Reporting on Election Fraud Cases:

"A new primary election has been ordered by a Connecticut state court amid alleged fraud, while Democrats in Massachusetts and New Jersey are also accused of or charged with election fraud. This brings the total of election-related criminal cases across the country to at least three.

"Democrats in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are facing various allegations of election fraud, as two instances are related to this year's elections while two more are with regard to prior elections.

"On Wednesday, Bridgeport Superior Court Judge William Clark overturned the results of a Democratic mayoral primary and ordered a new election in connection to allegations of absentee ballot abuse."

Read the entire article here.

— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
Posted November 06, 2023 • 07:44 AM
Notable Quote   
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
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?