Biden Can’t Abide Facebook
Joe Biden is going after Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). He wants to get rid of a law that protects Facebook and other social media sites from liability for posts by its users. This would mean that Facebook could potentially be sued by anyone who claims that a post on Facebook caused or was related to some crime or other. Talk about a can of worms. Biden stated this opinion in an interview with the New York Times (NYSE:NYT). He went farther, saying that this protection should be revoked “immediately.”
The law protecting Facebook was passed in 1996, 8 years before Facebook even existed. It essentially protects free speech on the internet, which Biden now wants to revoke. His logic was that newspapers like the New York Times can’t publish something known to be false, but Facebook can, (even though the first amendment states that Congress shall make no law limiting the freedom of the press). Therefore, Facebook should not be able to do what the New York Times cannot do. Biden may be angry at Facebook for refusing to take down an ad by the Trump campaign that he considers false, and he’s using his legislative clout to claw back. He says, somehow, that this will have “…no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None whatsoever.” How exactly fact-checking every single post on Facebook would not have an editorial impact on Facebook is not currently being fact-checked by Facebook.
Epic Systems Is Unhappy With Google Cloud
Epic Systems, one of the biggest players in medical record systems, is not very happy with Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Google Cloud. Epic has said that it will not be integrating with Google Cloud any further, and instead move its databases to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure. Epic reported that its customers were not showing enough interest in Google’s cloud technology to warrant further investment. Google is already lagging behind AWS and Azure and market share. Google is still looking to land May Clinic and attracting new clients through artificial intelligence features and machine-learning. The loss of Epic may have something to do with recent news that a small number of Google employees had access to some patients’ protected health information stored with one of its cloud clients.
The shakeup in the cloud computing space is happening together with a general decentralization of the power brokers in the space. Perhaps quite appropriately, as the whole idea of cloud computing is the decentralization of data storage and processing. Coming into the fray now is Papertrail, a cloud-hosted log management system that aggregates logs for easy viewing and organization, scanning in real-time for immediate visibility into system activity.
Idahoans Importing Marijuana from Oregon
The black market for cannabis in Idaho is thriving. All people in the potato state have to do is cross the border into Oregon, buy whatever they can, and sell it at a profit in Idaho. This is probably what many people are doing, given that marijuana sales in Oregon are 420% higher than the statewide average. This statistic is surely driving cannabis enthusiasts into a cackling hysteria, given that 420 is a code name for cannabis. They’re probably seeing it as some sort of sign, but sign of what is the question. It took the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis to conclude that Idaho residents are the ones responsible for the spike in sales on the border. This means that cannabis entrepreneurs will probably increase their presence on the border in order to take advantage of the extra demand from Idahoans. That is, until inevitably a law is passed forbidding the sale of any cannabis products to anyone who is not a resident of Oregon. It is unclear if Idaho has the leverage to get Oregon to pass such a regulation, but they will probably give it a try. Meanwhile, the Idaho Statesman reports that efforts are underway to get a marijuana legalization initiative on the Idaho ballot these elections. (NYSEARCA:MJ)
Chinese Commitments for $200B In Added US Imports Get Cloudy Again
The grey area in the Phase One trade deal with China keeps getting more confusing by the day. After committing and then pulling back and then committing again to hard numbers, the Chinese are back again saying that imports from the United States will be according to “market principles”. Whether this is consistent with the hard number of $200 billion committed to or not, was left ambiguous. Praising the US, China’s Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the US has a high quality supply of energy, goods, agriculture, medical care and finance services. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He added more cloudiness to the pudding when he said that Chinese companies will import U.S. agricultural goods according to consumers’ need, and demand and supply in the market. Imports of medical services could increase though if China doesn’t quickly get this coronavirus issue under control.
In other China news, single-use plastic bags will be outlawed in China by the end of this year, with the exemption of markets selling fresh produce, which will be able to continue using single-use plastic bags until 2025. Other single-use plastic itms will be phased out, but no deadline on that.
Boris Johnson Threatens to Sack Cabinet If They Spend Their Time On Media Circuit
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given his cabinet another public warning not to waste their time grooming their image with the media and scheduling lunch meetings with journalists. Instead, they should be spending their time crafting and implementing policies for a post Brexit UK. The move to publicly admonish his cabinet is seen as the initiative of his chief special advisor Dominic Cummings who spearheaded the Vote Leave campaign and Johnson’s huge election victory last month. “It is very frustrating when they deal with their own paranoia by deciding they must go on this or that TV show, when the PM wants them just to do the job,” said a government insider to The Guardian. Cummings has already called for “assorted weirdos and misfits” to populate Downing Street and reform government in an attempt to completely change the culture and the way London operates.
According to the latest Opinium poll, the “crack the whip” approach on his own government seems to be working. 42% of voters believe Johnson is doing a better job than expected and 39% say their opinion of him is more positive since the election.
The UK’s FTSE 100 is now at the top of its trading range established in 2017, with 11 days to go until Brexit is finally official. (NYSEARCA:EWU)