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Schiff on Whether Peter Strzok Should Still Work at the FBI: ‘I Don’t Know,’ His Behavior Was ‘Completely Inappropriate’

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) said Sunday that he does not know whether FBI agent Peter Strzok should still work at the bureau, but called his behavior "completely inappropriate." "Do you think Peter Strzok should still be with the FBI at this point?" NBC host Chuck Todd asked Schiff on "Meet the Press." "I don't know," Schiff responded. "I imagine that the Office of Professional Responsibility will have to make that decision." "Certainly these text messages are troubling," the congressman continued. "The fact that they were on a work email, the fact that they were co-mingled with emails discussing business, all that's problematic. Again, you know, the IG [Inspector General] concluded that none of this affected decision-making, but, nonetheless, that was completely inappropriate." Schiff was referring to a report that the Justice Department's inspector general released this week on the FBI's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. The report discussed controversial text messages between FBI investigator Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. In one text message, Strzok said "we'll stop" Donald Trump from becoming president and called Trump's supporters "retarded." The IG report concluded, however, that there was no evidence "to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions." Trump called the text messages "vicious" and wondered how Strzok still has a job at the FBI. "I don't know how Peter Strzok is working there anymore," Trump said. The IG report also concluded that former FBI Director Jame Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation damaged the bureau's image of being impartial and not motivated by politics. This conclusion is similar to a memo that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in which he outlined how Comey's actions damaged the bureau. Trump has cited Comey's actions during the investigation as one of the reasons why he fired the former director. The post Schiff on Whether Peter Strzok Should Still Work at the FBI: ‘I Don’t Know,’ His Behavior Was ‘Completely Inappropriate’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Former CNN Host Blasts Network President Jeff Zucker for Unpaid Wages

Former CNN host Reza Aslan blasted Jeff Zucker, the network's president, on Saturday, the one year anniversary of the cancellation of his CNN show "Believer." Mediaite flagged Aslan's tweets against Zucker, where he said Zucker made a fortune "creating Donald Trump at NBC," getting Trump elected, and pretending to oppose Trump at CNN. Aslan wrote Zucker canceled his show and refused to pay him or his staff as a result of Aslan's tweet that Trump was a "piece of shit" for using a London terror attack to push his Muslim ban. He said that his opinion of Trump and Zucker has not changed since then. "1 year ago today Jeff Zucker @CNN canceled my show Believer during its second season-refusing to pay me or my staff their due wages-because I tweeted that Trump was a piece of shit for using London terror attack to push his Muslim ban. I haven’t changed my opinion of either man," Aslan tweeted. 1 year ago today Jeff Zucker @CNN canceled my show Believer during its second season-refusing to pay me or my staff their due wages-because I tweeted that Trump was a piece of shit for using London terror attack to push his Muslim ban. I haven’t changed my opinion of either man. — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 "Let me be clear about this," Aslan continued. "Jeff Zucker made a fortune creating Donald Trump at NBC; he made a fortune getting Trump elected with a billion dollars in free airtime; and he’s now making a fortune pretending to oppose Trump at CNN." Let’s be clear about this: Jeff Zucker made a fortune creating Donald Trump at NBC; he made a fortune getting Trump elected with a billion dollars in free airtime; and he’s now making a fortune pretending to oppose Trump at CNN. https://t.co/YOIbhYgNkb — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 A few hours later, Aslan continued his criticism of Zucker. "For those of you asking, Zucker refused to pay me citing the morality clause in my contract," he said. For those of you asking, Zucker refused to pay me by citing the morality clause in my contract. Yup, you read that correctly. https://t.co/avXzVsKMsu — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 He then criticized Zucker for scrubbing his show from the CNN archives. Did I mention that the day Zucker canceled Believer he scrubbed all of @CNN archives of the show so that no one could watch it again? You can see pretty much every CNN show ever produced on the CNN app… except Believer. https://t.co/kKnLwSNebL — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 He then retweeted a tweet from Judd Apatow that Aslan's opinion of Trump was, if anything, actually too generous. I think history will show your opinion of Trump was way too generous and his hostility towards you will be an embarrassing moment he should regret. Your word hurt no one while Trump actually destroys families, truth and our institutions. He defended an actual traitor. https://t.co/t3iAPub73H — Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) June 16, 2018 The post Former CNN Host Blasts Network President Jeff Zucker for Unpaid Wages appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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CNN Contributor Defends Outburst Against Huckabee Sanders: ‘As a Reporter My Job Is to Comfort the Afflicted’

Playboy White House correspondent and CNN contributor Brian Karem defended his Thursday outburst against Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders while on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday. In that outburst, Karem asked Sanders if she had any empathy for children and accused the Trump administration of throwing them "in cages." "You're a parent! Don't you have any empathy? Come on, Sarah, you're a parent!" he said. "Don't you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously. Seriously." Sanders told Karem to "settle down," and said "Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that's not what this is about." "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter asked Karem if he regretted losing his cool. "Brian, I have an apology to make," Karem started. "I apologize to every human being who's had to suffer who has less than I do and I did not come to the table sooner. I'm sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper." "I'm extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me, continues to lie to me," he said. Karem said he had forgotten that the job of reporters is to "comfort the afflicted." "I'm sorry as a reporter that for so long I thought the idea was to, I was struggling so hard to do my job I forgot my job is to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, and ask questions for those who have no voice," he said. Stelter said he respected what Karem was said he came off as a caricature to people who think journalists are trying to make it all about themselves. The Playboy reporter said that argument was not legitimate. "We've been playing by the old rules for so long that we forgot where we are with this administration," he said. The post CNN Contributor Defends Outburst Against Huckabee Sanders: ‘As a Reporter My Job Is to Comfort the Afflicted’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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CNN Contributor Defends Outburst Against Sarah Huckabee Sanders: ‘As a Reporter My Job Is to Comfort the Afflicted’

Playboy White House correspondent and CNN contributor Brian Karem defended his Thursday outburst against Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders while on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday. In that outburst, Karem asked Sanders if she had any empathy for children and accused the Trump administration of throwing them "in cages." "You're a parent! Don't you have any empathy? Come on, Sarah, you're a parent!" he said. "Don't you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously. Seriously." Sanders told Karem to "settle down," and said "Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that's not what this is about." "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter asked Karem if he regretted losing his cool. "Brian, I have an apology to make," Karem started. "I apologize to every human being who's had to suffer who has less than I do and I did not come to the table sooner. I'm sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper." "I'm extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me, continues to lie to me," he said. Karem said he had forgotten that the job of reporters is to "comfort the afflicted." "I'm sorry as a reporter that for so long I thought the idea was to, I was struggling so hard to do my job I forgot my job is to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, and ask questions for those who have no voice," he said. Stelter said he respected what Karem was said he came off as a caricature to people who think journalists are trying to make it all about themselves. The Playboy reporter said that argument was not legitimate. "We've been playing by the old rules for so long that we forgot where we are with this administration," he said. The post CNN Contributor Defends Outburst Against Sarah Huckabee Sanders: ‘As a Reporter My Job Is to Comfort the Afflicted’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Former CNN Host Blasts CNN President Jeff Zucker for Unpaid Wages

Former CNN host Reza Aslan blasted CNN President Jeff Zucker Saturday on the one year anniversary of the cancellation of his CNN show "Believer." Mediaite flagged Aslan's tweets against Zucker, where he said Zucker made a fortune "creating Donald Trump at NBC," getting Trump elected, and pretending to oppose Trump at CNN. Aslan wrote Zucker canceled his show and refused to pay him or his staff as a result of Aslan's tweet that Trump was a "piece of shit" for using a London terror attack to push his Muslim ban. He said that his opinion of Trump and Zucker has not changed since then. "1 year ago today Jeff Zucker @CNN canceled my show Believer during its second season-refusing to pay me or my staff their due wages-because I tweeted that Trump was a piece of shit for using London terror attack to push his Muslim ban. I haven’t changed my opinion of either man," Aslan tweeted. 1 year ago today Jeff Zucker @CNN canceled my show Believer during its second season-refusing to pay me or my staff their due wages-because I tweeted that Trump was a piece of shit for using London terror attack to push his Muslim ban. I haven’t changed my opinion of either man. — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 "Let me be clear about this," Aslan continued. "Jeff Zucker made a fortune creating Donald Trump at NBC; he made a fortune getting Trump elected with a billion dollars in free airtime; and he’s now making a fortune pretending to oppose Trump at CNN." Let’s be clear about this: Jeff Zucker made a fortune creating Donald Trump at NBC; he made a fortune getting Trump elected with a billion dollars in free airtime; and he’s now making a fortune pretending to oppose Trump at CNN. https://t.co/YOIbhYgNkb — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 A few hours later, Aslan continued his criticism of Zucker. "For those of you asking, Zucker refused to pay me citing the morality clause in my contract," he said. For those of you asking, Zucker refused to pay me by citing the morality clause in my contract. Yup, you read that correctly. https://t.co/avXzVsKMsu — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 He then criticized Zucker for scrubbing his show from the CNN archives. Did I mention that the day Zucker canceled Believer he scrubbed all of @CNN archives of the show so that no one could watch it again? You can see pretty much every CNN show ever produced on the CNN app… except Believer. https://t.co/kKnLwSNebL — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 16, 2018 He then retweeted a tweet from Judd Apatow that Aslan's opinion of Trump was, if anything, actually too generous. I think history will show your opinion of Trump was way too generous and his hostility towards you will be an embarrassing moment he should regret. Your word hurt no one while Trump actually destroys families, truth and our institutions. He defended an actual traitor. https://t.co/t3iAPub73H — Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) June 16, 2018 The post Former CNN Host Blasts CNN President Jeff Zucker for Unpaid Wages appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Trump: Washington Post Employees Going on Strike Is a ‘Great Idea’

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he thinks Washington Post employees going on strike is a "great idea." "Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?" Trump tweeted. Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2018 More than 400 Washington Post employees signed a petition which calls on CEO Amazon and Washington Post owner, Jeff Bezos, to pay fair wages, benefits for retirement and other employee benefits. The employees argue since the company doubled the number digital subscribers, employees should benefit from their success. "All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company’s success: fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security," the petition reads. The specific demands in the petition are the following: • Offering $10 a week in pay increases – or about 0.6 percent of the median salary and less than half the current rate of inflation – is unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness. • Refusing to improve retirement benefits is unfair, particularly since you froze the traditional pension. The current retirement plans, including a 1 percent match on our 401(k), suggest that you place little value in your employees’ future financial security. • Pushing for the right to indiscriminately lay off anyone is unfair – and a recipe for future discrimination against older employees and minorities. • Further cutting severance for people who face layoffs or whose job has been outsourced is unfair, particularly since management has already won the right to drastically cut severance for people who are let go for cause. • Demanding that laid-off employees waive their legal rights to receive severance payments is an extreme demand and an ominous one – particularly in light of the Post’s mixed record on fair treatment for women, racial minorities and older employees. Included in the petition, is a video of several Post employees trying to persuade Bezos the reasons why they should receive an increase in benefits and wages. "What we've found instead is a profound unwillingness by the Post's top management to meet us halfway on a lot of the issues that are important to us," Metro reporter and co-chair of the Guild at the Washington Post Freddy Kunkle said. "We've been met with unyielding resistance on almost every other issue important to us, and we've only basically managed to keep the worst things from happening." Trump encouraging the employees to strike is another part of the long standing feud between the president and the richest man in the world. The post Trump: Washington Post Employees Going on Strike Is a ‘Great Idea’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Trump, DHS Officials Punt Family-Separation Immigration Policy to Congress

President Trump and Department of Homeland Security officials on Friday defended their policy of separating children from parents who enter the country illegally and called on Congress to make changes to the law to address the public outrage the issue has ignited. Speaking to reporters during an impromptu press conference at the White House Friday, President Trump said he did not like enforcing the part of the country's immigration laws and rules that separate children from parents who enter the country illegally. "No, I hate it," Trump said. "I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. … We can change it tonight." "The children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and immediately. The Democrats forced that law upon our nation," he added. When a reporter interjected that Republicans control both chambers of Congress, the president said that such a change would require at least 60 votes in the Senate and not enough Democrats would support a GOP immigration package. Trump also blamed Democrats for "forcing the breakup of families at the border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda," in a tweet that also included demands that any immigration bill Congress considers "MUST HAVE funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain migration, and go to Merit Based Immigration." The last list of immigration changes, most if not all of which Trump called for during his presidential campaign, are poison pills for nearly all Democrats on Capitol Hill and would have a tough time passing the Senate. House GOP leaders on Friday paused attempts to craft a compromise immigration bill after statements from Trump suggesting he would refuse to sign it. House Republicans had planned to bring two immigration bills to the floor next week: a compromise measure backed by House leaders and a more conservative version that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) sponsored. In the same freewheeling press conference Friday morning, Trump said he was taking a look at both bills but he "most certainly won't sign the more moderate one." White House spokesman Raj Shah late Friday clarified that the president "fully supports" both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership compromise bill, which includes a plan to shield so-called Dreamers from deportation and funds to build a border wall. Shah said Trump’s earlier comments saying he opposed the more moderate bill was a reference to a bill written by centrist Republicans and Democrats. House GOP leaders welcomed the revised White House position, which boosts their hopes of passing immigration in the coming days. The compromise measure would still face high hurdles in the Senate. The back and forth over the viability of the House immigration measures comes amid an escalating war of words over the Trump administration's policy of separating parents and children who enter the country illegally. The White House on Friday lambasted MSNBC's Morning Joe anchor Joe Scarborough for appearing to compare immigration officials to Nazis during a rant taking issue with the practice of immigration officials separating children from parents. "It is appalling that Joe Scarborough would compare sworn federal law enforcement officers—who put their lives on the line every day to keep American people safe—to Nazis," White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. "This is the type of inflammatory and unacceptable rhetoric that puts a target on the backs of our great law enforcement." "It is also horribly insulting to the memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust," she continued. "Not only is Scarborough's rhetoric shameful, but his facts are categorically false." Immigration rights activists for months have decried the family-separation policy. Three hundred Catholic bishops from across the United States issued a strongly worded statement against several of Trump's immigration policies on Thursday. The bishops argued that the U.S. government has discretion in the law to "ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma." "Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together," the bishops said. DHS officials on Friday held a conference call with reporters aimed at defending their policy as it relates to family separation and clarifying some reporting they argue is exaggerated or just plain false. The officials say border agents are following immigration laws and policies that prevent the jailing of children with their parents once the parents are charged with illegally entering the country. "We are following a 100 percent prosecution policy," a DHS official said. "We are left with a choice of whether to enforce the law at the border or allow people who bring children to go free and not face any consequences for their actions." There are several changes to the law they would like Congress to enact, DHS officials said. "These are difficult issues, we would like to see [congressional] changes, and we've provided technical assistance for the changes," the official said. "We do not want to have to make decisions like this." A DHS spokesman confirmed that during a six-week period, from April 19 through May 31, 1,995 minors have been taken into custody and separated from the 1,940 adults accompanying them. One CNN report, which quoted an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, claimed that federal officials separated an undocumented immigrant from Honduras from her daughter while she was breastfeeding. DHS officials said they looked into that report and believe it is false. "We do not separate breast-feeding children from their parents—that is not a policy, not something DHS does," one DHS official told reporters. The official could not say at what age border agents do separate young children from their parents. Border agents generally do not separate families from their children if the immigrants are claiming asylum at border entry points. Different laws apply if the immigrants are voluntarily taking themselves to the U.S. officials at the border and claiming asylum. Border agents would only separate the children from the adults accompanying them in asylum cases if they believe the children are being smuggled or their lives were in some other type of danger, or if they do not believe the children have a parental relationship with the adults accompanying them, the DHS officials said. The post Trump, DHS Officials Punt Family-Separation Immigration Policy to Congress appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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After Three Decades Couple Prevails over Union  

When David and Shirley Pirlott filed a federal labor complaint against Teamsters Local 75 on Nov. 8, 1987, the day before the Berlin Wall fell, they did not imagine they would have to wait 30 years to resolve the dispute. The Pirlotts were finally vindicated in March 2018 when the Wisconsin-based Teamsters local mailed them separate checks of about $3,000 for failing to allow them to opt out of union dues. The case spanned five presidencies, dozens of National Labor Relations Board members, and numerous appearances before the D.C. Court of Appeals. In the time it took for the NLRB to issue its decision, the Pirlotts welcomed six grandchildren and four great grandchildren to the world, and Local 75 no longer existed having merged into Local 662. The Pirlotts are a patient couple. Shirley, 73, was a union steward when she met David, 63, at Schreiber Foods. She soured on the union, and after the Supreme Court established "Beck rights" in 1988 (Communications Workers of America v. Beck), which allowed union members to contribute only to representative activities while opting out of political activities, the couple attempted to withdraw from the union. Over the past 30 years numerous courts and federal agencies have adapted to the post-Beck world, but in 1989 unions had little practice in explaining to their members how dues money was spent. Local 75 sent over a one-page notice with few details and zero justifications about how agency fees were broken down. The Pirlotts filed a complaint about the lack of transparency. "I was a steward and was sitting in on meetings and saw how badly they lied to the people about the company," said Shirley. "That's when I soured on the union." Neither Local 75 officials nor Local 662 returned request for comment. The Pirlotts sought out a lawyer locally to defend their right to withdraw but could not find one to take the case. That's when they turned to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to fight the union's handling of the withdrawal petition. The foundation handed the case to Glenn Taubman, who was just six years removed from law school. "It was one of the first Beck enforcement cases, which shows just how much of a political hot potato the board viewed these cases at the time," Taubman said. The Beck precedent is now settled law. Unions must provide detailed expense sheets to prove that agency fees are only being used for employee-related activities, such as contract negotiation and grievance cases. Agency fee payers have become commonplace among the workforce represented by labor organizations, but this was not common when the Pirlotts brought their case before the NLRB. The union treated the couple as pariahs. Mrs. Pirlott said her co-workers began turning their backs on her at the cafeteria. She paid them no mind until the threats began coming in at home and at the workplace. "One of the people on my crew who I thought was my best friend threatened to break my kneecaps," she said. "I did start carrying a gun in my glove compartment … a little Ruger pistol, 9 millimeter." The gun was only meant for parking lot altercations. She felt safe as long as she was with David. "He was a scrapper," she told the Washington Free Beacon. "Only a little bit," he said. The ill feelings subsided quickly, which Shirley attributed to her indifference to the threats—her friends and colleagues went back to being her friends and colleagues with the help of her pistol and husband's reputation for protecting his wife. "It didn't take long before they saw it didn't intimidate us, so they stopped trying," she said. "I had known some of these guys for 20 years before the union told them not to be friends with us anymore." Their day-to-day ordeal subsided quickly, but their case wended through federal bureaucracy for three decades. The Pirlotts' attorneys twice had to petition the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to force the NLRB to pick the case back up after lengthy delays. Taxpayers footed the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to make up for the years-long inattention to the complaint. The NLRB declined to comment on the case, nor did it answer questions about its handling of the case. Taubman admires the Pirlotts for their patience in the intervening years. He has represented workers in hundreds of Beck rights cases before the NLRB in the intervening years and is at a loss as to why it took until the Trump administration to deliver a final judgment. "It became lethargy on everyone's part," Taubman said. "No one wanted to deal with it, so they just kicked it over to someone else." The NLRB officially closed the case on May 30, bringing an end to America's longest unfair labor practice case. The Pirlotts have had 30 years to figure out what to do with the money they lost to dues. "We'll donate some back to Right to Work [Foundation] because they were so good about helping us and the rest is going to go back to the savings account," said Shirley."It wasn't ever about the money—it was about beating the union. The win is the best part." The post After Three Decades Couple Prevails over Union appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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A Bloody Fraud

In 2015, CBS This Morning anchor Norah O'Donnell interviewed young Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes for a glowing segment about her biotech startup taking Silicon Valley by storm. Amidst gushing questions about being a billionaire at 31 and what it was like to change the world with technology claiming to perform hundreds of blood tests from one drop, O'Donnell did ask a good one. "It sounds genius. What about those who say, that's not enough blood to do all the tests that need to be done, especially if someone's very sick and you're trying to figure out what it is?" O'Donnell asked. Holmes, without blinking and speaking in her hypnotically deep voice, responded with a ridiculous non-answer that gets to the heart of all that went wrong in the ethical and financial disaster that was Theranos. "Every time you create something new, there should be questions, and to me, that's a sign that you've actually done something that's transformative," Holmes said. What? Simultaneously self-glorifying and vague, triumphant and defensive, Holmes was in the middle of tricking another journalist into thinking she was Steve Jobs when she was really Bernie Madoff. Theranos was once valued at $9 billion and saw that number go to zero as its revolutionary blood-testing machinery was revealed to be fairy dust. That happened because Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou took a tip and uncovered what the Securities and Exchange Commission would call a "massive fraud" perpetrated by Theranos. The company's horrifying rise and precipitous fall are laid out in his outstanding book, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. "Theranos is putting people in harm's way." Those words, spoken by the health tech's laboratory director, sums up the cruel irony at the heart of Theranos and its CEO. It purported to save lives, but it really put countless people at risk. Holmes is the fascinating and terrible star of Bad Blood, and although she's somewhat unknowable on a personal level—she unsurprisingly did not agree to be interviewed for the book—we still get the story of a budding sociopath. Holmes dropped out of Stanford and founded Theranos at age 19. She sold venture capitalists, big-name investors, and major companies on her vision of a small machine that could run hundreds of complex blood tests from a single drop from your finger. She envisioned placing her machines in drugstores and people's homes, creating a cheaper and less painful way to perform blood tests. Wonderful. Groundbreaking. And impractical, for many reasons, chief among them the complexity of the tests requiring a greater blood sample than one drop. Another reason was the Theranos machinery was simply amateur. One of the fascinating subplots at work in Bad Blood is how many smart, successful people had strong reason to question Holmes and had their concerns simply explained away by her. While reading Bad Blood, I softly whistled and muttered "wow" to myself more times than I could count. Carreyrou's book works as both a heroic story of great journalism and a creepy, paranoid thriller about a narcissist—Holmes called her technology "the most important thing humanity has ever built"—who saw herself as so similar to Jobs, she even aped his attire of black turtlenecks. Yuck. In assured, well-sourced prose, Carreyrou outlines how Holmes and her No. 2, chief henchman and much older boyfriend Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, ran Theranos like a criminal organization. They lied to investors. They fooled lab inspectors. They falsified test results. They made outrageous financial projections. They snooped on employees' computers. They had employees followed. They fired people who asked too many questions. They scammed Walgreens and Safeway. They charmed such figures as George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, and James Mattis. They created a fake lab to fool Vice President Joe Biden. They bullied a scientist who ultimately committed suicide. In the chilling prologue, Holmes fired her CFO after he confronted her upon finding out Theranos used phony lab results to mask their blood testing machine's deficiencies in front of a European pharmaceutical company. Most galling of all, they put their lemon machines out to market on unsuspecting patients. The story, of course, isn't just about Holmes, but about the whistle-blowers within her company who braved an army of Theranos lawyers and intimidation tactics. Some were probably silent for too long, but they had their reasons to fear for their livelihood and even their safety. One of them was George Shultz's grandson Tyler, who became disillusioned when he discovered the "Edison"—the insufferably pretentious name for the Theranos miniature blood analyzer—didn't work. In the final third of the story, Carreyrou discusses how he ultimately broke the story and withstood Holmes's brazen attempts, such as appealing directly to major investor Rupert Murdoch, to quash its publication. The posturing and self-aggrandizement employed by Theranos attorneys—one lawyer compared the company's trade secrets to the recipe for Coca-Cola—make for a humorous read. Carreyrou hasn't held back what he thinks of his subjects—he called Holmes a "pathological liar" in a recent interview and said the Theranos board's oversight of her scientific claims was "one of the most epic failures in corporate governance in the annals of American capitalism." Wisely, he does little opining in the book itself and lets his remarkable storytelling do the work for him. I didn't bring up O'Donnell at the beginning of the review to pick on her, but rather to put a face on the many journalists hoodwinked by Holmes. O'Donnell produced an informative 60 Minutes segment on "The Theranos Deception," and she made a painful admission. "Almost every media outlet, including us here at CBS, bought into the Theranos myth," she said during the report. It's a reminder that what's too good to be true often is. Seeing Holmes brought low in Bad Blood is a welcome end to this enormously satisfying but infuriating book. Your blood will boil, but at least you'll know not to send it to Theranos. The post A Bloody Fraud appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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The Stupidest NY Daily News Column of All Time (Until the Next One)

If you aren't familiar with New York Daily News columnist Linda Stasi … well first of all, I envy you. Honestly, you might want to stop reading here and revel in your blissful ignorance. For those still with us, Stasi is sort of the left-wing Ann Coulter, if Ann Coulter had no fans to speak of. She has the same "mean girl," would-be-shock-jock shtick where every week she's paid to write spiteful, hateful things about people she doesn't like. To give one example, Stasi's take in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack was to attack one of the murder victims and declare him as bad as the terrorists. The innocent man's crime? He posted conservative things on Facebook, and was "an anti-government, anti-Islam, pro-NRA, rabidly anti-Planned Parenthood kinda guy." "Now 13 innocent people are dead in unspeakable carnage," she wrote of an attack that left 14 people dead. The implication is that the man, who left behind a widow, was not an innocent and presumably deserved death. Like I said, a charming woman. But it's also worth noting that Stasi is quite unintelligent. That was on full display Tuesday in her newest column, headlined "Fox should fire reporter Kimberly Guilfoyle, who can't possibly stay neutral while dating a Trump kid." Perhaps you've already spotted the flaw in her premise. Guilfoyle is an opinion host, not a reporter, and is therefore not expected to stay neutral. She's never even been a reporter; she came to CNN and then Fox News as a prosecutor-turned-legal analyst. So right off the bat, we're not even past the headline and the entire 400-word column is wrong. "Now that Kimberly Guilfoyle is reportedly having sleepovers with Donald Trump Jr., the Fredo Corleone of the Trump boys, while she’s reporting on him," Stasi begins. Nope! Wrong! "She can’t report on the most powerful family in the country while dating one of them," she continues. Nope! Not a reporter! And so on. Does NYDN even have editors? I understand they have to give some leeway to opinion writers even if they disagree with them, but you'd figure some editor would do a Google search and be like, "this is all just wrong." If I submitted an op-ed saying it was my opinion that New York Governor George Pataki should vote for Trump's impeachment, I guess the fact-checkers would just silently fume and pull their hair out. In a particularly tone deaf moment, Stasi wrote of Guilfoyle that "when it comes to picking men, though, she’d be better off picking grapes." A common Hispanic stereotype is that they're all fruit pickers, and Guilfoyle is Puerto Rican. That line was later stealth-edited out of the piece (huh, I guess she does have editors) and Stasi insisted on social media that it was unintentional. I'm actually inclined to believe her. I also think that if a conservative made that slip-up, Stasi would memorialize his death by calling him a terrorist. But let's suppose that Guilfoyle was a reporter who was expected to maintain neutrality. The notion that she should be fired is ludicrous. There's nothing wrong with reporters having relationships with politicians or political actors, they're only expected to disclose that fact to readers and viewers if/when they report on them. If Guilfoyle should be fired, so should non-conservatives like Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, Chris Matthews, CBS News president David Rhodes and ABC News president Ben Sherwood, etc. But let's suppose that Stasi is right, and even though Guilfoyle is paid for her opinion, and even though she was blindly pro-Trump before dating one of them, this is a firing-worthy offense. What then? Well, Stasi is an opinion writer. What's more, she's married to a longtime Democratic advisor who is a personal friend of, and an attorney for, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio even officiated the wedding. yup. i got married yesterday to sid davidoff. the mayor presided at city hall and it was his first wedding. pic.twitter.com/Ud2vqJsq09 — Linda Stasi (@lindastasi) April 7, 2014 The conclusion is clear. Fire Linda Stasi. The post The Stupidest NY Daily News Column of All Time (Until the Next One) appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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