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Amazon and Walmart duke it out for your money

This ain’t your grandpa’s Walmart. By Jason Del Rey@DelRey Dec 20, 2017, 12:15pm EST   Walmart’s ongoing battle with Amazon for the retail crown is expanding well beyond retail, and it’s forcing one of the largest companies in the world to reexamine its DNA. In the last six months alone, Walmart has partnered with scores of tech firms to better compete with Amazon and make progress in markets that may become pivotal years down the line. It’s also begun rethinking how it views itself: a traditional big-box retail giant that now hopes it can be nimble enough to compete with one of technology’s most powerful players. Following its purchase of Jet.com to advance its e-commerce efforts in 2016, Walmart has starting accelerating its shift from retail giant to tech-focused partner. Those deals now include a partnership with Alphabet’s Waymo for rides to and from stores; Japan’s Rakuten for Kobo e-readers; and Uber, Lyft, and Postmates for grocery delivery. Walmart is partnering with tech companies left and right In July, Walmart announced that it’s switched its entire cloud operation to Microsoft Azure and Office 365, in addition to working with the company on artificial intelligence projects in a new five-year deal. (Microsoft is Amazon’s primary competitor in the cloud computing        (to read more of this story, click here)  ... read more

Whites and welfare

New study shows white Americans love government support programs — that is, if they’re the beneficiaries Chauncey DeVega August 1, 2018 11:00am (UTC)   Donald Trump’s administration recently decided to give $12 billion to farmers hurt by the president’s trade war against the European Union, China and various other countries. These monies can be considered a form of welfare for white people in red state America who are among his most loyal supporters. Moreover, the racial disparity is made even clearer by the way that African-American and other nonwhite farmers have been victims of systemic discrimination by the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2010, the USDA and the Justice Department reached a $1.25 billion settlement with black farmers over a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in USDA farm loan programs. Welfare for white Americans is nothing new. In many ways, the United States was built on white welfare. During the 18th and 19th centuries, free land was given to European settlers as the intended result of genocide and ethnic cleansing against Native Americans. As part of this same racist project, the stolen labor and lives of black human property is estimated to have been worth trillions of dollars. In essence, black pain and black suffering was a de facto intergenerational welfare payment to White America, one that fueled the country’s rise to global power and created income and other life opportunities for white people, both native- born and immigrants. African-Americans and other nonwhites were prohibited both by law and social convention from taking advantage of land grants and other opportunities made available by the Homestead Act and related 19th-century legislation which conservative estimates value... read more

Comcast cable business losses mount

Comcast Q2: Skinny Bundles Are Taking Their Toll On Video Business, But No Defense Of It Is In Sight Thursday, July 26, 2018, 11:33 AM ETComcast | Posted by Will Richmond Comcast reported its Q2 ’18 results this morning, with the good news being the addition of 260K broadband subscribers, the best Q2 the company has experienced in the past 10 years, along with the improvement of operating margins. The broadband surge was Exhibit A for management to point to on the earnings call as evidence its strategy of being a “connectivity” provider is paying off. However, Q2 ’18 also saw the loss of 140K video subscribers, the most in a Q2 since 2014. Video sub losses have accelerated from -4K in Q2 ’16 and -34K in Q2 ’17. On the earnings call, management put the blame squarely on virtual MVPDs or “skinny bundles,” adding that they “expect pressure to continue in the video business” as virtual MVPDs ramp up. While management clearly identified the cause of video subscriber losses, it didn’t articulate any strategy for how it intends to defend the video business. To the contrary, CEO Brian Roberts said, “we’re focused on segments we can serve profitably” and that “we’re not going to chase low-profitability video” (skinny bundles’ low to non-existent profitability has been a persistent issue since their initial launch). Rather, Comcast sees its broadband business benefiting from increased skinny bundle usage, while its NBCUniversal business will benefit from increased distribution. Though those are likely true, the question still remains: why isn’t Comcast doing more to defend its video business from the rise of skinny bundles,... read more

Why are Black girls committing suicide?

It is unthinkable, but happening. Little Black girls are killing themselves. The causes include disproportionate exposure to violence and traumatic stress, aggressive school discipline, and depression, according to researchers and mental health experts. Counselors and child advocates believe the disturbing trend can be reversed with love, commitment, and support services. According to a 2015 study of trends by the Journal of the American Medical Association, children’s suicide rates have significantly doubled for Black children in the last two decades, and decreased for White children. For Black youth (ages 10-19), the rate of male suicides (5.59 per 100,000) was three times higher than that of young Black females (1.87 per 100,000), according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “We’ve been seeing it over the last number of decades within our communities, because there was a time when it really was rare for African American youth, but unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more common,” said Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Pepperdine University. to read more of this story, click... read more

Charlotte’s Black leaders leverage power to benefit it’s Black citizens

One of Republicans’ top vote suppressors gets caught saying the quiet part out loud Former GOP governor delivers racist rant against black political leaders. Ian Millhiser May 10, 2018, 1:20 pm   Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) listens to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory during a campaign rally at Wilmington International Airport November 5, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Charlotte, North Carolina has a black mayor, a black police chief, a black fire chief, a black school board chair, a black district attorney, and it will soon have a black sheriff — and the state’s former governor is very upset about this fact. As governor, Republican Pat McCrory signed the most comprehensive voter suppression law in the nation. Indeed, this law was arguably the most aggressive attempt any state made to keep black voters away from the polls since the Jim Crow era. As a federal appeals court that struck the law down explained, state lawmakers studied racial voting patterns within the state, and then “enacted legislation restricting all — and only — practices disproportionately used by African Americans.”   Flash forward to less than two years after McCrory lost his reelection bid, and the ex-governor is now a talk radio host in Charlotte. And he’s not the least bit happy that his city will be led by black people. to read more of this story, click... read more

Republican to propose balancing budget with cuts to Social Security and Medicade

  by Erica Werner June 19 at 4:48 PM Email the author   House Republicans released a proposal Tuesday that would balance the budget in nine years — but only by making large cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare, that President Trump vowed not to touch. The House Budget Committee is aiming to pass the blueprint this week, but that may be as far as it goes this midterm election year. It is not clear that GOP leaders will put the document on the House floor for a vote, and even if it were to pass the House, the budget would have little impact on actual spending levels. Nonetheless the budget serves as an expression of Republicans’ priorities at a time of rapidly rising deficits and debt. Although the nation’s growing indebtedness has been exacerbated by the GOP’s own policy decisions — including the new tax law, which most analyses say will add at least $1 trillion to the debt — Republicans on the Budget Committee said they felt a responsibility to put the nation on a sounder fiscal trajectory. “The time is now for our Congress to step up and confront the biggest challenge to our society,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.). “There is not a bigger enemy on the domestic side than the debt and deficits.” to read more o this article,click... read more

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