Big Tech Hearings Going On NOW

Congress is finally calling the Big Tech CEOs on the carpet to answer important questions about their business practices and whether those might violate antitrust law.

I encourage everyone who can to watch the hearings as they stream live. There are several websites where you can watch it, here is one:

Watch the hearings on the New York Times

Why is this so important? Check out my column from yesterday:

Cruelty is the point: The NC GOP's war on the poor & unemployed

There is simply no excuse for this draconian behavior:

It started in 2013 when, just after securing the governorship on top of both houses, the GOP supermajority passed HB4, a bill that made unprecedented cuts to unemployment compensation.

The bill lowered the maximum weekly payment amount from $535 to $350 and completely eliminated state appropriations for unemployment program administration, forcing the program to rely on declining federal funds. As a result, staff time designated to processing initial claims dropped by more than half from 2005 to 2020.

Get that? All these delays in processing the mountain of unemployment claims caused by the pandemic can (and should) be laid at the feet of Legislative Republicans. All this time they've been pointing a finger at Governor Cooper, they should have been pointing it at themselves. That's actually a question I've been trying to answer for a couple months, but I've been approaching it wrong. I looked at budgets going back five years to see if I could find a drop in funding, and couldn't seem to find said line items at all. That's because they're gone, and have been since 2013. Tens of thousands of North Carolinians have suffered because of that, and most of them blame the Cooper administration:

Letter from the Frontlines: Please Listen to Experts and Wear Your Mask!

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, especially in North Carolina, and I have seen the devastation firsthand. I am a proud nurse with the honor of serving patients in North Carolina. Throughout the past few months, nurses and healthcare providers across the state have been recognized for the work we are doing on the frontlines. I am grateful for the outpouring of love and support I have received personally and from so many who have donated to my hospital.

Wednesday News: Hit those high notes

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CUNNINGHAM PUSHES HARD FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION: Cunningham and Democratic interest groups have begun attacking Tillis' record as a state lawmaker and speaker of the North Carolina House, where he and other Republicans have, for years, blocked all efforts to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of low-income adults. In the middle of a public health crisis and an economy in which millions have lost their jobs – and employer-provided health coverage – Medicaid should be available as an option for more people, Cunningham said. "There are a lot people who are sick and hurt and financially in dire straits right now," he said. "We need to make sure all of our people have quality, affordable health care in the midst of this pandemic." Cunningham also is pressing for a more coherent national strategy to battle coronavirus, including more investment in testing and contact tracing, saying he hears "very deep anxieties" from families and business owners "who just don't know what tomorrow may bring."
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/tillis-cunningham-spar-over-pandemic-response/19202984/

Taking a Look at Big Tech: Amazon Under the Lens of Anti-Trust

CEO’s of the country’s four largest tech companies – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee tomorrow. Though this hearing is the result of a year-long investigation of competition in the digital marketplace, the opportunity to examine Big Tech practices and monopolies is increasingly pressing as the coronavirus pandemic has further revealed how these companies, especially Amazon, have consolidated power at the expense of small businesses.

Emily Nicholson for NC House

"I have been approached with a question that I don’t think a male candidate would be asked. I asked someone to vote for me, a Democrat, and he said “I’m not sure I can vote for you because I’m worried about your kids not having a mom at home.” I was shocked! We face so many preconceptions from men and women. Some of my own family members are asking me that question too. As a woman having to answer a question a male candidate wouldn’t face feels wrong. I want policy questions. My husband and I have worked out how to balance our family and it’s our business.

Tuesday News: Two wrongs = really wrong

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MIKE PENCE TO VISIT BOB LUDDY'S PRIVATE SCHOOL WEDNESDAY: Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit the Triangle on Wednesday, two days after President Donald Trump toured a local facility involved with manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a letter sent to families of Thales Academy. Bob Luddy, founder of the Thales Academy private schools, sent a letter to families at the Apex campus to say that Pence would make a “short visit” to the school, according to the letter provided by ABC11, The News & Observer’s newsgathering partner. “The U.S. Department of Education is promoting school choice in every way possible. Vice President Mike Pence has long been an advocate of school choice, which he promoted as governor in his home state of Indiana,” Luddy wrote. Thursday, the Raleigh campus of Thales Academy was informed that a visiting staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, The N&O reported.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article244534077.html

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