Watch: Google CEO Forced to Explain Why Trump’s Photo Appears When You Search for ‘Idiot’

By Raw Story. Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday found himself having to explain why his company’s search engine retrieves photos of President Donald Trump when a user enters in a search for the word “idiot.” . . .

“We provide search today for any time you type in a keyword… we have gone out and stored copies of billions of pages in our index, and we take the keyword and match it against the pages and rank them based on over 200 signals,” Pichai replied. “Things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, you know, at any given time, we try to find the best results for that query.”

(Read more from “Watch: Google Ceo Forced to Explain Why Trump’s Photo Appears When You Search for ‘Idiot'” HERE)


Google Must Sway Congress on Regulations or Tech Will Face ‘Direct Threat,’ Says Cybersecurity Expert

By CNBC. Google could run into problems with privacy policies if Congress is more receptive to consumer advocates than to the company’s views on regulations, former Facebook privacy and public policy advisor Dipayan Ghosh told CNBC on Tuesday.

“If things do go in that direction, then I think the business model underlying Google, and companies like Google, will be under a more direct threat,” he said on “Closing Bell.”

The comments came after Google CEO Sundar Pichai appeared before a congressional committee, the first time Google parent Alphabet has sent an official to Capitol Hill for a hearing since skipping a Senate hearing on foreign interference in elections earlier this year.

Pichai testified before the House Judiciary Committee, whose members pressed him on a variety of concerns including data privacy, transparency and Google’s development of a censored search engine in China.

Shares of Alphabet had a relatively uneventful day, falling 1.5 percent before climbing to close up nearly 1 percent at $1,061.65. (Read more from “Google Must Sway Congress on Regulations or Tech Will Face ‘Direct Threat,’ Says Cybersecurity Expert” HERE)

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Members of Unofficial Chinese Church Vow to Defy Crackdown and Keep Meeting

More than 100 Protestant Christians from the Early Rain Covenant Church – one of China’s few openly operating unofficial house churches – were snatched from their homes and streets across Chengdu, Sichuan province, in a crackdown that began on Sunday night. Among those detained were church pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, church leaders, members and seminary students.

The round-up in Chengdu is part a broader crackdown on unofficial or underground churches that Beijing launched early this year, bolstered by amendments to the Religious Affairs Regulation that gave grass-roots officials more power to act against churches and impose tougher penalties for “unauthorised religious gatherings”. . .

[The jailed pastor of the church] also called on church members to keep worshipping and meet outdoors if venues could not be rented, adding that the group would never give up on practising its faith publicly. . .

[The church] has about 500 followers but its weekly gatherings spread across more than a dozen meeting points around Chengdu, attracting more than 800 church-goers each week, according to church leaders. It also has about 100 seminary students and a primary school catering to about 40 children.

Another major house church, the Living Stone Church in Guiyang, Guizhou province, was also banned three years ago. Li Guozhi, one of the church’s two pastors, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for releasing a document outlining an official plan to destroy the church. (Read more from “Members of Unofficial Chinese Church Vow to Defy Crackdown and Keep Meeting” HERE)

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Watch: Jim Jordan Grills Google CEO Over Efforts to Turn out Latino Vote ‘in Key States’

On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, grilled Google CEO Sundar Pichai over emails from a Google employee discussing an effort by the tech giant to encourage Latinos to vote in the 2016 election.

Jordan read email excerpts from Google’s multicultural marketing head, Eliana Murillo, describing how Google had bolstered efforts to turn out the Latino vote and was “surprised” to find that President Donald Trump won 29 percent of the Latino vote.

Pichai said an internal review found there was no evidence to support the claim that Google had engaged in partisan political activities.

An incredulous Jordan hammered Pichai for denying what the emails indicate in plain English.


(For more from the author of “Watch: Jim Jordan Grills Google CEO Over Efforts to Turn out Latino Vote ‘in Key States’” please click HERE)

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Public School Continues to Allow Bullying, Harassment of Jewish Students

In response to several anti-Semitic incidents, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (where I work) launched an extensive investigation into anti-Semitic bullying and harassment of Jewish, pro-Israel students by radical left-wing history teachers at Newton North High School in Massachusetts. The investigation is ongoing, with thousands of internal emails and other documents already obtained and examined under the Massachusetts Public Records Law. Thousands more are on their way. . .

Two years ago, a Jewish student at Newton North — we’ll call her Becky — was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer with a 60-70 percent survival rate, just before she was to start her junior year. Her parents moved her to Israel for a year of treatment by its amazing doctors. Becky wanted to attend a U.S.-accredited international school in Israel, because she wanted to graduate with her friends back in Newton after she got better and returned home.

In response to this plan, and to Becky’s desire to take an AP class, Jonathan Bassett, the chair of the Newton North history department, stated: “This is, of course, somewhat ridiculous.” He then wrote: “I’m not going to entertain requests … to take [a course] pass/fail, or any other modification.” He finished with, “I’m not going to have them play the cancer card on me if it doesn’t go well.”

At Newton South, Newton’s other high school, a more sympathetic attitude appears to prevail. An Israeli student was given the choice to take an entire semester of classes pass/fail simply because a visa issue forced him to miss a few days of school.

Bassett has been intensely hostile to community members concerned about anti-Israel bias in his school, telling teachers to “ignore the noise” and, in the words of a former school committee member, “wax[ing] poetic about this garbage,” referring to the community members’ concerns. Two years ago, Bassett dismissed a Jewish parent’s concerns about anti-Israel and pro-Islam history lessons in class, telling the principal, “She has some mental health issues and is visibly unwell.” . . .

Earlier this year, a Newton North history teacher had someone who apparently turned out to be a visiting former student reported to the Newton Police Department, because the former student came into the history office looking for a couple of teachers and happened to be wearing a sweatshirt with an Israel Defense Forces logo. The teacher felt that the former student represented a threat to the school. (Read more from “Public School Continues to Allow Bullying, Harassment of Jewish Students” HERE)

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Radio Station Lifts Ban on Popular Christmas Song

Sometimes the crowd is full of stupid. But sometimes the crowd is full of wisdom. A Bay Area radio station’s decision to lift the ban on the popular Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” due to an audience poll is an example of the latter.

According to CBS News, San Francisco’s KOIT radio station will be returning the allegedly controversial “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to the airwaves this season after audiences overwhelmingly expressed disapproval of the ban.

The ban occurred last week when KOIT Program Director Brian Figula announced the station would be shelving the song while asking listeners for feedback. In the end, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” won the day. . .

“After hearing from thousands of Bay Area listeners via polling, phone calls, emails and social media, KOIT has concluded that the vast majority consider the song to be a valuable part of their holiday tradition, and they still want to hear it on the radio,” Figula said in a statement on Monday. . .

“KOIT’s listeners have spoken, and the overwhelming message is they do want to hear ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ on our station, as they have throughout the years,” he said. “More than seven out of every ten listeners who responded said although some lyrics of the song may reflect a different era and a different sensibility than today, still they love the tradition and history of the song, and want to hear it as part of their holiday season.” (Read more from “Radio Station Lifts Ban on Popular Christmas Song” HERE)

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Here’s the Outcome of the Stormy Daniels Lawsuit

It’s a win for Trump. The defamation lawsuit filed against Donald Trump by Michael Avenatti on behalf of Stormy Daniels has been tossed—and a judge is ordering her to pay nearly the president’s $294,000 legal tab. Daniels recently toldthe Daily Beast that the defamation suit filed by Avenatti was done against her wishes. The suit claimed that Trump has defamed the adult entertainment actress on his Twitter account. Well, regardless of the circumstances, it’s time to pay up, Stormy (via CNBC):

A federal judge in California has ordered porn star Stormy Daniels to pay President Donald Trump more than $292,000 in his attorneys’ fees and another $1,000 in sanctions in connection with her dismissed defamation suit against Trump.

Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder said that the fees that Daniels was ordered to pay amount to 75 percent of Trump’s legal feels in the case. And he said the sanctions are for Daniels having filed a “meritless” defamation action against Trump. . .

“They received less than one half what they asked for because the request was gross and excessive,” Avenatti said. “Stormy will never have to pay a dime because they owe her over $1 million in attorney’s fees and costs from the main NDA case, especially in light of Cohen’s guilty plea to a felony.

(Read more from “Here’s the Outcome of the Stormy Daniels Lawsuit” HERE)

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Is Team Trump Ready for Pelosi’s ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’?

By Washington Examiner. The Trump administration is preparing for House Democrats to be a constant thorn in its side for the for the next two years, launching investigations into the president, his family, and members of his administration. . .

Armed with congressional subpoena power, House Democrats are expected to investigate everything from the president’s real-estate holdings and unreleased tax returns to his hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to his termination of former FBI Director James Comey to any potential ties between himself, his associates and Russia. . .

As the administration remains outwardly confident, expressing willingness to work across the aisle, former administration officials and sources close to the White House who spoke to the Washington Examiner paint a different picture. They argue that White House officials underestimate the ability of Democratic inquiries to derail a presidential agenda.

Facing congressional subpoenas, document requests and requests for administration officials to appear before committees, House Democrats are guaranteed to make it difficult for the White House to control the message and promote the president’s “America First” policies. The concern is that even if the administration scores a policy win, like infrastructure, having an official appear before a committee to give sworn testimony will get the media coverage and “suck all the oxygen out of the room.”

“I think they are certainly not prepared for the death by a thousand cuts that is almost undoubtedly coming from Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats,” one source close to the administration told the Washington Examiner. “They are going to take every little thing they can take and use it against the president and the administration. Where it will have the biggest effect is it will derail their ability to communicate their policies or get coverage on their policies.” (Read more from “Is Team Trump Ready for Pelosi’s ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’?” HERE)


Pelosi, rebels discuss limiting her time as speaker to 4 years

By Politico. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a group of House Democratic rebels are discussing a proposal to cap her time as speaker to four years, a move that could clear the way for the California Democrat to clinch the gavel in the coming days.

The idea is part of a broader deal being floated that would limit the time all House Democratic leaders can serve, including Pelosi’s two longtime lieutenants, Reps. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and James Clyburn of South Carolina.

The plan would be a dramatic shift for Pelosi, who has refused to put an end date on her tenure as she works to reclaim the speakership.

Under the terms of the deal, Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn would be able to serve three terms with an option for a fourth term if they can win the support of two-thirds of the caucus, according to multiple Democratic sources. The effect would be retroactive, meaning the two terms the trio ruled in the majority from 2007 to 2011 would count against their tenure. (Read more from “Pelosi, rebels discuss limiting her time as speaker to 4 years” HERE)

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What Does Mueller Have? Memo Hints at Damaging Russia Info from Cohen

A sentencing memo written by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team is sparking interest with hints about what President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen may have told prosecutors investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. . .

“Cohen provided the [special counsel’s office] with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with Company executives during the campaign,” Mueller wrote in his memo.

Cohen has admitted lying to Congress about how long he worked on the Trump Tower Moscow project and repeating the falsehoods to the media. But Mueller’s team doesn’t just consider this self-protection. It was a “deliberate effort” to publicly present a “false narrative” in the hopes of limiting the scope of the various Russia investigations, Mueller’s team wrote in the memo.

While the memo does not go into great details, it does provide new information about one of the earliest known contacts between Russia and a Trump campaign associate. In fall 2015, Cohen was months into his work on a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow when an unidentified Russian national proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This person, prosecutors say, claimed to be a “trusted person” in Russia who could offer the Trump campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”

This person sought to connect the Trump business project with the campaign, saying the meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact on the proposed tower in Moscow. There is “no bigger warranty in any project than the consent of” Putin, the person told Cohen. (Read more from “What Does Mueller Have? Memo Hints at Damaging Russia Info from Cohen” HERE)

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DOJ Wants to Keep Justification for Raiding Reported Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Secret

By The Daily Caller. The Department of Justice is requesting that the justification of an FBI raid on a reportedly recognized whistleblower’s home remain secret, according to a letter from U.S. Attorney Robert Robert Hur.

The letter was sent to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on Dec. 7 in response to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Nov. 30 request to unseal court documents that would show the FBI’s rationale for the raid.

The documents could potentially reveal whether the bureau and the magistrate who signed the court order allowing the raid, Stephanie A. Gallagher, knew that the subject was, according to his lawyer, a recognized whistleblower. . .

The documents Cain possessed reportedly showed that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the Russian company that purchased Uranium One.

Cain gave the documents to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who had a senior official from his office hand-deliver them to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, according to Cain’s layer, Michael Socarras. (Read more from “DOJ Wants to Keep Justification for Raiding Reported Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Secret” HERE)


Ned Ryun: Why Are There No Consequences for Clinton Foundation Abuses?

By Fox News. Last week news broke that whistleblowers on the Clinton Foundation had come forward over a year ago regarding potential abuses, including “quid pro quo” behavior, “conflicts of interest” and the paying of personal business with Foundation funds. Some former federal investigators have even said there is strong evidence of potential criminality.

There have always been questions about the Clinton Foundation’s actual purpose and behavior over the years. Of course we can’t forget the Uranium One situation during the Obama years in which, while Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) board approved giving Russia the rights to 20 percent of our uranium and then magically, $145 million shows up in the Clinton Foundation from interests with ties to Uranium One.

What is not as well known is that there were other concerning business transactions while Hillary was Secretary of State: between 2010 and 2012, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to nearly two dozen foreign countries, whose governments had conveniently given anywhere from $54 to $141 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Now, commercial arms sales to foreign countries happen all the time. What’s unusual about the size of the sales Hillary approved in that two year period is that they represented nearly “double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.” (Read more from “Ned Ryun: Why Are There No Consequences for Clinton Foundation Abuses?” HERE)

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Trump’s Possible New Chief of Staff

President Trump is looking for a new chief of staff to replace John Kelly, and there’s a good chance he might pick hard-line conservative Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

Meadows would like the job; he said in a statement, according to Politico, “Serving as Chief of Staff would be an incredible honor. The President has a long list of qualified candidates and I know he’ll make the best selection for his administration and for the country.” Politico notes that Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), his closest friend in Congress, have championed Trump’s cause by initiating counter-investigations of the FBI and how the bureau has conducted the Russia investigation. Jordan said of Meadows, “I think he’d be great. Mark understands how Capitol Hill works. He’s a smart guy. This decision is between the president and Mark, but I think he’d do an outstanding job.”

One White House official told Politico, “He’d have a keen sense of what to do, what groups to engage with, what events to hold, going into a hyperpolitical time. He also knows oversight better than most. Going into a Democratic House takeover, he would know tools Republicans have at their disposal to push back on Democrats better than anyone.”

Meadows has his supporters in Congress, among them, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who stated, “Meadows understands the oversight process, the media and how to pick fights we can win,” adding he’s doing “all I can to encourage the president to pick him … I lobbied the president the best way I know how. I made the Meadows case on Fox News.” Gaetz said on Fox News, “It’s one of the reasons I think President Trump needs to pick Mark Meadows to be his chief of staff, because Mark fully understands the facts and the timeline and will make sure the White House is prepared to go toe-to-toe with a far more politically engaged James Comey,” (Read more from “Trump’s Possible New Chief of Staff” HERE)

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