Evening Edition - August 16

5 minute read

August 16, 2019

FTC Chairman Joe Simons just spoke a few simple words that I hope shake Silicon Valley more than a 9.0 earthquake.  The Federal Trade Commission has been looking into the monopolistic practices of tech behemoths such as Google and Facebook, and here’s what he told Bloomberg about the possibility of the government rolling back previously-approved mergers and forcibly breaking these tech giants up:

“If you have to, you do it. It’s not ideal because it’s very messy. But if you have to, you have to.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/ftc-prepared-break-big-tech/

The Justice Department is also looking into Big Tech for other reasons, and a laptop full of reportedly bombshell internal documents provided by a whistleblower could give them plenty of ammunition.

https://www.westernjournal.com/whistleblower-comes-forward-google-intimidates-police-welllness-check/

According to the whistleblower, the documents clearly show that Google blacklists certain sites, manipulates search data for partisan reasons and lies to the public about it.  When his name was revealed via Twitter, Google reportedly tried to discredit him using a tactic you’d expect to see in the old USSR or the pages of “1984”: by reporting him to the authorities for having possible “mental problems.” 

Incidentally, the accusations go beyond lying to the public.  There’s now a serious question as to whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lied to Congress when he denied that Facebook uses audio obtained from mobile devices to eavesdrop on users.  Bloomberg reported this week that, in fact, they do.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/08/14/mark-zuckerberg-lie-oath-facebook-listening-phone/

This kind of too-big-to-follow-the-rules-or-be-impartial behavior from arrogant tech giants has been going on too long and is rapidly worsening, and something needs to be done before they interfere more with the 2020 elections that Russia ever dreamed of doing. 

As one competitor to Google who’s urging government intervention put it, “They have had plenty of opportunities to police themselves, and they have frequently done the opposite and done everything in their power to get away with as much as possible that’s in their own interest and not necessarily in the interest of their user base.”

If you missed “Huckabee” on TBN last weekend (and if you did, you’d better have a good excuse), then you need to see this interview I had with Dennis Prager, creator of the upcoming documentary “No Safe Spaces” and the great Prager University videos that have suffered from attempts to block them from the Internet on the flimsiest of pretexts. 

https://thefederalist.com/2019/08/14/mark-zuckerberg-lie-oath-facebook-listening-phone/

As Prager notes, a platform like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube can be either a publisher or a public forum.  A publisher can determine what is and isn’t posted, but is subject to lawsuits for defamation and other grievances.  A public forum is free from legal liability but relinquishes control over what’s posted.  The government granted them legal protections like a public forum, but lately, they’ve been acting like publishers.  It might be time to force the Silicon Valley elites to make a tough choice: start acting like an open public forum again and knock off the censorship, or lose their legal protection and brace for a tsunami of lawsuits.    

PS – A note from “Huckabee” writer Pat Reeder: We won’t allow any spy devices in our house, but I wanted the Amazon Firestick, and it comes with remote control with built-in Alexa voice recognition.  It’s not supposed to activate unless you push the button, but I don’t trust them.  So since my wife, fellow “Huckabee” writer Laura Ainsworth, and I rescue exotic birds, I installed the Firestick on a TV in a big room that contains two cockatiels, an Amazon parrot, two African grays, a Patagonian conure, and two cockatoos.  I figure if anyone at Amazon tries to eavesdrop on that cacophony and figure out what it means, it will serve them right.    

 

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Today marks 42 years since the world heard the shocking news that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, had died at 42.  That’s right: it’s now been as many years since his death as he had on this Earth.  Sorry to make you feel old! 

We paid tribute to Elvis on my TV show last week, but here’s another must-see tribute.  My friend Wink Martindale, who was a close friend of Elvis’ (he was in the studio at WBHQ in Memphis when Elvis’ first record was played on the radio for the very first time), gave an extensive interview to Fox News, recalling the good times and sad times.  It’s at the link, along with some great photos, some of which you might never have seen before.

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/elvis-presley-wink-martindale-breakdown-final-meeting

--------------------------------

On Thursday, President Trump held a rally in New Hampshire, where he stressed the economy and the yawning gap between his policies and those of the Democrats, and the results of each.  You can read/watch some highlights here:

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/new-hampshire-rally-trump-reminds-crowd-key-issue-2020-economy/

There’s also a growing buzz in the media about ominous signs of a looming recession.  Although apparently, nobody told Walmart…

https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/08/15/walmart-strong-retail-sales-boost-wall-s?videoId=587848849

If the economy is slowing, that’s hardly a shock: we’re in a protracted but necessary battle over trade with China, and in a record-long expansion that actually accelerated well past the point when it should have cooled, thanks to Trump’s policies.)  There are also a lot of factions with a vested interest in talking down the economy for political reasons (remember Bill Maher wished for a recession so it would hurt Trump’s reelection?)  It worked in 1992, when endless media gloom talk about the devastating recession (which was already over well before the election) helped sink Bush and elect Bill Clinton.    

Much of our economic health is based on consumer confidence.  You don’t have to live in a fantasy world, but don’t be bamboozled into thinking the sky is falling just because the “Trump is a Russian agent” narrative imploded and the Democrats need something to run on.  Remember, even if economic growth drops by half, it will still be stronger than it was under much of the last Democratic Administration.  Trusting the Party of high taxes, regulations, open borders, free everything and the socialist “Green New Deal” to prevent a recession is the worst idea since they used to treat anemia with leeches.

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Comments 1-23 of 23

  • Carl Treat Westgard

    08/19/2019 04:54 PM

    Hi Mike..... do you agree that: we are all “family?” The American Family: no pure-breeds. Race-ism is a non-starter with all folks that I, and probably you, know. Dems .... stop the BS!

  • Michael K. Garrett

    08/19/2019 03:42 PM

    All of us conservative Christian Republicans need to hit our TV controller's "mute" button whenever Fox News does a sound byte with a liberal Democrat to be fair to both sides. Once I turn the hot air sound off and I see their lips are still moving, I know they are all still living in their own fantasy worlds and have no clue what the truth and reality are, so why listen. No voters are going to remember anything they have to say now come November 2020. They are full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
    Mike Garrett
    Trinidad, Colo. 81082

  • Nellie Williams

    08/17/2019 10:01 PM

    Thank you for these comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to address this.

  • rodney burke

    08/17/2019 06:56 PM

    FTC is wright. We have in the Big tech what we have in the libs. Communist actions. As proved by them saying someone was crazy for telling the truth. These POC need to either do what they SAY they do or shut up. They don't and yet they do? Really? Nope, this will NOT fly. We have too much communism in this country and it's all out in the open.

  • Paula J. Casey

    08/17/2019 11:12 AM

    Please use whatever influence you may have on stopping our President (whom I admire so much) tries to push the Red Alert Bill. I can't believe Lindsey Graham is behind this too. This could be a dangerous rule with the wrong Administration. All it would take would be for someone to say they think their neighbor is "weird" and you know they have guns (for protection, i.e. license to carry) and a government official come and take away their gun(s) and make them get an attorney which they may not have money to hire and prove they are innocent...sounds more like a Facebook/Google deal....going after those that are conservative and don't agree with the socialists.....I've already sent an email expressing my concerns to President Trump. I am not on Facebook or Twitter...it's trash. Thank you in advance

  • william fuhrer

    08/17/2019 10:49 AM

    During WWI the government made it perfectly clear that rationing was a good thing short term for long term results. How come all economists can not see that keeping the United States a loving Christian Nation versus and atheisti Communistic China in economic leadership is a really GREAT idea

  • Loretta r smith

    08/17/2019 03:22 AM

    I follow Trump camp on Facebook and whenever there’s a Trump survey I want tp participant, nope ?? when page opens to cast my vote....Access Denied...who’s the culprit here?

  • Patricia Marseglia

    08/17/2019 02:49 AM

    endtime battles are so much fun.

  • Amelia Little

    08/17/2019 01:10 AM

    I just have to smh at the recession talk. Uhmm...the markets climbed..and climbed... and climbed some more for how long since Nov 2016? A small dip here and there--with a rebound sure doesn't sound like a recession or depression (another label used recently) to me. A great number of years ago, Bruce Williams said to not pore over stock reports minute by minute, but to look at the larger picture (paraphrased.)

    I remember the day Elvis died. Just like I remember sitting in my 7th grade classroom when the principal of the school came to tell us JFK had been assassinated, I remember watching tv during my lunch break, when the news came that Elvis Presley had died.

  • Rebecca Holstine

    08/17/2019 12:49 AM

    I had been living in England during Bush Sr.'s presidency. I knew how much the Europeans admired him and what they thought of Clinton. Which was not good, since he had been ask to leave Oxford because too many young ladies complained he was sexually bothering them. We got back home in June before the election. Then I heard a whole different story about Bush. How he was out of touch with the common man, how we were heading for a recession. ( I already knew there had been one, as it was in the papers in England. And so I knew we were nearly out of it) . I was sure Mr. Bush would be re-elected. Imagine my surprise when I went to the polls to vote and watched the returns and found the American people had elected Clinton. I was shocked to put it mildly. I was depressed for a month. I never like Clinton. There was something about him that made my skin crawl. Sorry to put it that way, but that is the truth.

  • Anne Amato

    08/17/2019 12:23 AM

    Dear Governor,
    Totally agree with your "take" on Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo (TOTALLY left leaning in its news reporting!) Have not been on FB for years now...won't use Twitter or Google either, and all these AI inventions such as Alexa are VERY dangerous.
    AI, AGI, ASI...will NOT be like "I Robot" when it develops...there will always be someone who ignores the basic "three rules of robotics" in that old book....(for their own gain--power and money).

    BUT...an Amazon Parrot? You are not kidding us, are you? Will you post some photos sometime? Have always loved birds...and....for a long time wanted one of those. (Doubt my two rescue cats would appreciate it now though).

    And...please...no jokes....but in MN, the Common Loon is our state bird...and it is an endangered species. The male and female are identical in appearance, they mate for life, and cannot really "walk"....so.....nests are important.
    Have had a Loon nest below the cliff on the lake here and spend most summer months (especially weekends) yelling at stupid people who are harrassing them. The beautiful Loon calls and also their distress warning calls would also be great for Alexa! But....afraid my yelling would also get recorded. ??


  • Keet Parakeet

    08/17/2019 12:17 AM

    ROFL!!! As a person with experience with some the birds listed (among others) as being rescued, the eavesdroppers will surely get what they truely merit!!! Incidentally, the tales that the birds only repeat what they hear is not fully true. In my experience, some, being bored or just plain manipulative, decide to mix it up a little to see what gets a rise out of the humans within earshot. "Dirty Birdy" from cage cleaning time dialog becomes the rhyming "Dirty Gerty" irritating the cleaning lady of that name. Creative birds can truely give them what they merit.

  • Peggy Bergmann

    08/16/2019 11:31 PM

    MAGA

  • Paul Reed

    08/16/2019 11:05 PM

    Big Tech isn't the only group that needs to be busted up. And by the way, I still vaguely remember when MA BELL had to break up into baby bells!
    I'm referring to health care, but especially the top 3 PBM's that control over 86% of all our nations prescriptions, both commercial and Medicare D AND have their toe into much of the cash market through so called "discount cards" that just collect their information and sell it to marketers.
    Look at what has happened in OHIO with managed care finally kicked to the curb because of the horrendous theft of government, private citizens and private and public business owners funds. It was so bad, the legislature has developed a fund to pay back some of the stolen money, much of which will go to pharmacies that are no longer in business! In addition to those thefts, the insurance companies are FORCING patients to move to the pharmacies that they own (CVS/CAREMARK) another unfair advantage. The list goes on. The whole reason the BELLS were broken up was because they had become too big and shut out all competition. It is time!
    For more info please contact https://www.truthrx.org/ Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency

  • Carl Smith

    08/16/2019 10:49 PM

    you can bet your last Dollar that the Media will do all it can to Trash the economy on a 24/7 basis. It's thier Last Straw and since thier credibility is already shot what do they have to lose? They cannot mature enough to realize they picked the wrong horse and Paid ZERO attention to the Middle of America. I have dealt with a ton of sour losers in my life but the GROUP THINK that is common among Groups is common, Football players, Unions, reporters posing as Journalist, ALL THINK the same way and LOSING is never pleasant but Dad taught me to accept losing as a Learning experience to Never do or think this again. The definition of Insanity comes to mind. The media is either VERY Stupid or so ideologically Indoctrinated it would make Lenin and Mao proud.

  • Phil Stocks

    08/16/2019 10:26 PM

    Google does: "manipulates search data for partisan reasons"
    Google this: Donald Trump testifies for Jeffrey Epstein victim.
    What do you come up with?
    Zilch point zero, nadda, goose egg, absolutely nothing!!!

  • Robert W W Johnson

    08/16/2019 10:07 PM

    AI trading can/will allow stock or bond market to be managed by larger traders, as appears to be what happened last week.

  • William Lane

    08/16/2019 09:22 PM

    Pastor, May the Lord continue to bless your work and your words. I find your comments spot on and your insights very refreshing. I just wish we had more pastors, Like the late Billy Graham and his son and you that would speak out, not necessarily from their pulpits, but in their every day actions and words to bring the gospel back into everyday life in this blessed country of ours. There is a passage in scripture, I don't remember where, "The Lord laughed", and I think He both laughs and cries with the folly of mankind. (yes NOT Gender neutral).

  • gary Stilwell

    08/16/2019 08:38 PM

    google/facebook/twitter--and all the other tech manipulators should be broken up into itsy-bitsy pieces, period.
    This edition focuses on the wrong things--you want investigation into why shooters commit these crimes?? take a look at why congress persons advocate the nutcase things they advocate--it's the same characteristic--these folks are mentally deranged-look to their upbringing--indoctrinated into believing crap that is not true-our children are being brainwashed as we speak---

  • Lawrence E. Foster

    08/16/2019 08:19 PM

    Ref the media's efforts to talk up a recession, I'm reminded of 2006 when Shrillary went around screeching "This is the worst economy since Herbert Hoover". It wasn't, and was not until we elected democrats to control both the house and Senate that we realized Shrillary meant "We are going to make this the worse conomy since Herbert Hoover". They then proceeded to do so by allowing Barney Franks and Chris Dodd to manipulate the housing market for short-term political ends, and completely trashing the housing market across the country. Unfortunately, that was 14 years ago, and dem voters tend to belong to one of two groups - those who were in Junior High in 2006, and those who have been smoking democrat-approved pot since 2006 (and can't remember where they left their car, let alone what happened to the economy in 2006.) If you get a chance to talk to any dems, remind them what happ3ened the last time nanny Pelosi was in charge of the house and dems controllled the senate. The crash did not happen under Obama - it happened under nanny and Harry (reid).

  • Judy Baker

    08/16/2019 08:18 PM

    If we are holding illegal immigrants we should be making them learn English while we are taking care of them. No one should be allowed in our Country Legally or illegally unless they can speak and understand English. They should not be a citizen until they can read write and understand English.

  • Jerry

    08/16/2019 08:07 PM

    The Socialists will do anything to tear our country apart My thoughts about these nut jobs acting the way they are is to soften Trump up with every low talking point they can think of. About 4 months before the election they will insert a normal like candidate that will advocate sensible programs speak with intellect and tell the American people he is actually going to do the things Trump already has done and take credit for all the good he has done. Trump has had to clean up mess after mess the past administrations have caused or did nothing about them. Along the way things look bad however in the long run our children and grandchildren will be happy he did our kids will be in better shape when we are gone. Absorb a little uneasiness for now enjoy the wealth in the future. Who needs China telling us what to do and rest of the nitwitted countries that dislike us we live here make it the BEST it can be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stephen Russell

    08/16/2019 07:48 PM

    Busting Big Tech: Hooray & Yes, IF those CEOs lied IE Google 2, Shake down, Bust up & Over regulate Big tech Yes.
    IRS raids OK
    Awesome
    Tired of "spies" online & with home devices(save SimpliSafe).
    Dont trust others.
    Been abusing users of Alexa since debut & No response made
    Sue for damages, class action suit? say 30B