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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
June 21, 2023

FTC Takes Action Against Amazon for Enrolling Consumers in Amazon Prime Without Consent

FTC Takes Action Against Amazon for Enrolling Consumers in Amazon Prime Without Consent and Sabotaging Their Attempts to Cancel

June 21, 2023

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against Amazon.com, Inc. for its years-long effort to enroll consumers into its Prime program without their consent while knowingly making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions to Prime.

In a complaint filed today, the FTC charges that Amazon has knowingly duped millions of consumers into unknowingly enrolling in Amazon Prime. Specifically, Amazon used manipulative, coercive, or deceptive user-interface designs known as “dark patterns” to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically-renewing Prime subscriptions.

Amazon also knowingly complicated the cancellation process for Prime subscribers who sought to end their membership. The primary purpose of its Prime cancellation process was not to enable subscribers to cancel, but to stop them. Amazon leadership slowed or rejected changes that would’ve made it easier for users to cancel Prime because those changes adversely affected Amazon’s bottom line.

“Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “These manipulative tactics harm consumers and law-abiding businesses alike. The FTC will continue to vigorously protect Americans from “dark patterns” and other unfair or deceptive practices in digital markets.”

( Lina Khan! )

June 17, 2023

Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooter guilty on all charges, could receive death penalty

BY NICK ROBERTSON - 06/16/23 11:54 AM ET

The man who killed 11 worshipers in a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 was found guilty Friday of federal hate crime charges.

A jury will now decide if Robert Bowers will receive the death penalty for committing the most deadly antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Sentencing is scheduled for June 26.

Bowers, 50, opened fire on worshipers at Tree of Life on the morning of Oct. 17, 2018; an additional two attendees and five police officers were injured in the attack. Bowers surrendered after being shot multiple times by police.

His defense has never claimed his innocence but rather sought to convince the jury to spare his life. His attorneys repeatedly offered a guilty plea on all charges in exchange for life in prison, but federal prosecutors chose to go forward with the trial.

( Sick with hate. )

June 17, 2023

The New Death Match Over EV Chargers

It’s power companies vs. ... convenience stores?


JUNE 16, 2023

The convenience store lobby is very, very interested in electric vehicle charging.

In state after state, they have clashed with utilities over who gets to install electric chargers — and who pays for it. The reason is that the convenience store industry is also the gas station industry. They sell 80 percent of America’s gas — and they want to sell power as well, if not for what they claim is unfair conduct by America’s utilities.

A group that the convenience story lobby helped found is fighting the utility Xcel Energy in Colorado over its proposal to install its own EV chargers. They have successfully campaigned against a proposed rate hike in Minnesota that would have helped fund Xcel’s plan to install around 730 EV chargers and supported legislative pushes in Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia that limited utilities’ ability to charge their customers for EV charging investments through the regulated electricity rates.

The federal government is throwing billions of dollars at the electric vehicle industry, including charging, while the regulations that surround who is able to build chargers and with what money are largely fought state-by-state.

So why is the gas station industry so interested in what utilities want to do with EV charging?


June 16, 2023

Republicans Declare Banning Universal Free School Meals a 2024 Priority

Prem Thakker

June 15, 2023/10:21 a.m. ET
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As states across the country move to make sure students are well fed, Republicans have announced their intention to fight back.

States across the country are moving to provide universal free school meals to all our children. Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to stop them from doing just that.

The Republican Study Committee (of which some three-quarters of House Republicans are members) on Wednesday released its desired 2024 budget, in which the party boldly declares its priority to eliminate the Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP, from the School Lunch Program. Why? Because “CEP allows certain schools to provide free school lunches regardless of the individual eligibility of each student.”


( This is who they are, plain and simple. )

June 15, 2023

Barbara Lee @BarbaraLeeForCA : Under the Wall Street Speculation Act


( There is not one Republican who works to look out for the people of the United States, not one. )
June 15, 2023

Dow's River On the Brazos River in Texas, one chemical company reigns supreme.


This story was cross-posted from the Texas Observer, an investigative news organization that covers Texas communities whose stories are often ignored.

One January day in 1971, Sharron Stewart stood with two friends on the banks of the Brazos River in Freeport, near where the 800-mile river empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the stretch of the Brazos where Dow, one of the world’s biggest chemical companies, releases wastewater from its massive local complex. Stewart and her friends—one a Dow electrician—looked down at the green water flowing by and threw in a log.

The group was conducting a citizen science experiment to see where Dow’s wastewater traveled after entering the Brazos. The ad hoc investigators followed their log to an inlet of Galveston Bay—a tremendously productive, biodiverse habitat of oyster reefs and marshes that provides a nursery for the Gulf’s marine life.

Dow, one of the Texas Gulf Coast’s biggest industrial water polluters according to wastewater permit data, was drawn to Freeport in 1940 by its deepwater port and abundant oyster reefs. The company used oyster shells to extract magnesium from seawater, sending the mineral to factories building airplanes for use in World War II. But by the early 1970s, the same reefs that attracted Dow were being threatened by pollution.

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