Three Major CEOs, One In A Major Reversal, Repudiate Trump, More (Probably) To Come
The most recent to resign from the President’s Manufacturing Council, Intel’s Brian Krzanich, coupling his decision with some sharp comments: “I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.”
Earlier, Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour became the second major corporate leader to resign, after Trump’s ambiguous and insufficient reaction to Charlottesville. This is something of a 180 for Plank, who was himself the subject of derision and boycotts when he publicly offered strong support for Trump during the campaign, saying Trump would be “a pro-business president” and “a real asset for the country.”
Earlier, the CEO of pharma giant Merck, Kenneth Frazier, became the first corporate leader to quit in reaction to the President’s reaction to Charlottesville:
Although somewhat symbolic, none of these moves is without risk. Under Armour supplies a lot of product to the U.S. Military. Merck is the country’s 3rd biggest pharmaceutical company. During the campaign Trump vowed to bring down high drug prices. He’s done little to follow up on that, and did not push to include it in any of the health care proposals put forth by Republicans in the House or Senate. After Frazier’s resignation, however, the threats came fast and furious: suggesting (more than once) on Twitter that the CEO would now have “more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”
But looks like the CEOs are either willing to stand by their principles, come what may, or are simply not afraid of repercussions from the President, or both. Keep in mind: Trump’s threatened many times to launch a major federal investigation into Amazon, because its CEO owns the Washington Post. But that has never materialized (at least not yet).
Tech Companies Make Moves To Finally Acknowledge The Content They Support Matters
The Neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, lost its home on the internet twice, once after GoDaddy canceled its registration and services, then again after Google did. Google cited “violations of terms of service” saying the site incites violence. GoDaddy had been criticized for months for handling the site’s domain registration, but rather than cancel it, it’d tried to distance itself from the content. The Neo-Nazi site will likely find another domain registration provider that continues to operate under the illusion (or profit motive) that hate speech and free speech are the same thing.
Google was a lightning rod even before this weekend, when it fired a software engineer who wrote a lengthy, tortured, sexist screed which criticized company policy. (He now seems to be pursuing a career as an alt-right commentator.) Google is targeted for protests this weekend in nine cities including New York and company headquarters in Mountain View, California. Organizers of the “March on Google” insist they are in no way affiliated with the hate groups that turned up in Charlottesville.
Discord (which was originally intended as a way for gamers to interact) says it shut down its altright.com server, and will take an ongoing stance against “white supremacy, nazi ideology, and all forms of hate.”
Wired has a great story with suggestions about further steps that need to be taken to fight hate speech online. It accuses major social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook of “using a simultaneously fuzzy and overly narrow set of rules.” Facebook and Twitter say they are not changing their terms of service.
Trump Reveals Lack Of Sincerity In Latest Charlottesville Remarks In Late Night Tweet
“MSM may have doubts. But meant what I said! Racism is evil. Nazis, KKK, W Supremacists: criminals and thugs. All created equal! Love!”
Because implying you made your latest statement, which finally condemns racism and calls out hate groups by name, just to “satisfy” the “Fake News Media”, tells us they were right all along: you just read off prompter and didn’t care.
Also, if you watch Trump’s latest, “stronger” statement in its entirety, you’ll find he spends the entire first minute of the five minute appearance praising himself for all the great things he’s doing on trade and jobs and taxes. Only then does he get to Charlottesville. It’s as if the President has a rule that any public appearance has to start with him boasting about a “win”. We’ve got it for you right here:
Trump slept at Trump Tower last night for the first time since moving to the White House, but his return to New York was anything but a joyous homecoming. A thousand protesters or so greeted the President outside his building, and protest groups promised to stick around as long as the President sticks around.
Dreamhost Refuses To Turn Over Online Visitor Info To Justice Department
The online service provider says it’s been working to fulfill a search warrant issued by a federal court in DC asking for information about a website for Disrupt, a group that organizes and manages protests against the Trump administration. It was unable to get any guidance on why a search warrant was issued. And when the DOJ asked for records of visitors to the site, Dreamhost declined, saying it’s a “strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority.”
FBI Foils Domestic Terrorism Attempt
The U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Oklahoma says a 23-year old man attempted to detonate what he thought was a massive bomb in front of an Oklahoma City bank. Jerry Drake Varnell was foiled because his accomplices turned out to be FBI agents.
Did North Korea Get Its Better Rocket Engines From Russia?
The New York Times reports recent tremendous upgrades to North Korean missiles, after many years of failures, all points to “powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program.” Ukraine’s government denies it was involved in any deal, and there’s no direct implication that Russia’s government was involved either. The rockets could’ve been purchased through shady dealers on the black market. Still, to accept that, we’d have to accept some pretty sizable hardware was moved around pretty stealthily. So…? Russia was a major supporter of North Korea during Communism, and is the only country besides China, with which North Korea shares a common border.
Meanwhile, North Korea said Kim Jong-un will hold off firing a missile toward Guam and “watch U.S. actions a little longer.” Kim spent time reviewing plans with his generals (and getting their photos taken doing so.)
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said if North Korea does launch a missile at Guam, the U.S. will use a missile defense system to “take it out” and more ominously would consider that an “act of war”.