When I watch Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, my eyes will be on Kamala Harris, the first woman, Black person, and South Asian elected vice-president. It's poetic that she'll be sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, using the bible of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice. I'll be cheering for my two sisters, late mother, and Grandma Anna Mae. They are the Black women who raised me. Anna Mae was born 46 years before the Voting Rights Act made it possible for her to cast a ballot. As a kid, I walked hand-in-hand with her to our local polling place in Houston’s Fifth Ward neighborhood. She explained how civil rights activists fought and died to make our vote possible. She's the reason I became an activist myself. I worked to win the freedom to marry, and now I work for other LGBTQ issues and racial justice. Grandma went to the same Black Baptist church for forty years. Every Sunday morning, she and my mom dressed my … [Read more...] about At Biden’s inauguration, my eyes will be on Kamala Harris
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Pandemic winners are losing The future path of the pandemic is uncertain, but investors may have already made up their minds about the prospects for companies that had prospered months earlier. Netflix and Peloton plunged late in the day yesterday, on signs that “stay at home” stocks, which were already under pressure , could take a turn for the worse as people begin to venture out again. Netflix reported its fourth-quarter earnings after the market closed, and warned that subscriber growth was about to slow. This sent the streaming giant’s stock down 20 percent, erasing more than $40 billion in market cap. Ed Lee , a media watcher at The Times, says the report suggests that the company is more vulnerable to competition than its investors are comfortable with: Rivals are eating into Netflix’s business. The company, which now has 222 million subscribers, forecast that it would gain only 2.5 million customers in the current quarter, far from analysts’ … [Read more...] about When Pandemic Stars’ Shines Dim
15 Curling, among the “nichiest” of niche sports in the United States, took its place in the national spotlight after the American men won the gold meda l at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018. USA Curling chief executive Jeff Plush was hired two years ago to build off the momentum and develop a program that will move the sport closer to the forefront and make appearances on the medal stand an expectation rather than a pleasant surprise. The John Shuster-skipped team that upset Sweden in 2018 will be in Beijing next month to play for another gold. Joining him are returnees Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner and newcomer Chris Plys. The women's skip is Tabitha Peterson, who plays with Nina Roth, Becca Hamilton and Tara Peterson. The U.S. women are looking for their first medal since the sport was added to the Olympic program in 1998. Plys and Vicky Persinger will compete in … [Read more...] about Keeping curling cool goal for sport’s chief in US after gold
After falling for a fourth day in a row on Friday, the stock market suffered its worst week in nearly two years, and so far in January the S&P 500 is off to its worst start since 2016. Technology stocks have been hit especially hard, with the Nasdaq Composite Index dropping more than 10 percent from its most recent high, which qualifies as a correction in Wall Street talk. That’s not all. The bond market is also in disarray, with rates rising sharply and bond prices, which move in the opposite direction, falling. Inflation is red hot, and supply chain disruptions continue. Until now, the markets looked past such issues during the pandemic, which brought big increases in the value of all kinds of assets. Yet a crucial factor has changed, which gives some market watchers reason to worry that the recent decline may be consequential. That element is the Federal Reserve. As the worst economic ravages of the pandemic appear to be waning, at least for now, the Fed is … [Read more...] about The Markets Tremble as the Fed’s Lifeline Fades
There’s been no shortage of excellent analyses on why Microsoft agreed to buy Activision Blizzard this week for a staggering $70 billion in cash. It could be a simple strategic fit in the fast-growing video games industry or an opportunistic acquisition in the midst of a sexual harassment investigation that’s dented Activision’s stock. Others surmised it filled a need for Microsoft to bulk up against other bigger competitors and, naturally, something about the metaverse, which feels like the justification for everything these days. But one reason sticks in my mind: Because Microsoft can. The software and services behemoth has the money (and more) as one of the most valuable entities on the planet — just behind Apple. Moreover, it has the technological expertise in artificial intelligence, cloud computing and devices — its Xbox journey has been an unqualified hit, unlike some of Microsoft’s other endeavors — to handle the complex operations that gaming requires. If I were the head … [Read more...] about Microsoft and the Mania for Mergers
March 1 April 1 May 1 June 1 0% First stimulus checks received Half of states in process of reopening ZIP CODE INCOME LEVEL –5% Bottom 25% Bottom middle 25% –10% Top middle 25% –15% Change in consumer spending during the pandemic Top 25% –20% –25% –30% –35% March 1 April 1 May 1 June 1 0% First stimulus checks received Half of states in process of reopening ZIP CODE INCOME LEVEL –5% Bottom 25% Bottom middle 25% –10% Top middle 25% –15% Change in consumer spending during the pandemic Top 25% –20% –25% –30% –35% March 1 April 1 May 1 June 1 0% Half of states in process of reopening ZIP CODE INCOME LEVEL –5% Bottom 25% Bottom middle 25% –10% Top middle 25% –15% Top 25% –20% Change in consumer spending during the pandemic –25% –30% –35% … [Read more...] about The Rich Cut Their Spending. That Has Hurt All the Workers Who Count on It.