The latest earnings report from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, demonstrates that the company is still a cash cow, but it does nothing to allay fears about the intrusive role “big data” plays in our lives. Nor does it provide respite from serious credibility problems facing the company’s leadership.
For instance, Google CEO Sundar Pichai may have lied to Congress. Pichai testified in December before the House Judiciary Committee, where members grilled him about transparency, data collection, and how Google filters search results. Moreover, several Republican congressmen wanted answers about political and ideological bias.
The plaintive Pichai was unequivocal. “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result,” he claimed, because of the massive scale of trillions of searches each year. “It is not possible for an individual employee or groups of employees to manipulate our search results.”
However, according to an internal discussion thread leaked by an anonymous company … Read More ➡
Rep. Maxine Waters took the helm of the Financial Services Committee this month after easily winning re-election as part of the Democrats’ House takeover. But according to the California Democrat’s post-election filing – which has prompted fresh calls for a full audit – her campaign may have some financial issues of its own to sort out.
The Citizens for Waters report to the Federal Election Commission from Dec. 11 lists $183,022 in debt to her daughter Karen Waters, who is in charge of distributing “slate mailers.”
The mailers have faced scrutiny since 2010 because the campaign, beginning in 2004, has paid Waters’ daughter or her public relations firm Progressive Connections to produce, print and mail the sample ballots. Watchdog groups have raised questions about the propriety of campaign funds financially supporting a family member, as well as Waters raising contributions in excess of federal limits through an unusual process. Since … Read More ➡
The dramatic, predawn arrest of Roger Stone demonstrates how Robert Mueller’s investigation has devolved into political theater. Helmets and flak vests, really, were they afraid Roger would hurl martini glasses at them? Or maybe Roger would come out blazing with his tennis racket? This show of force — with CNN’s camera’s conveniently present — was meant to suggest that Stone was some kind of dangerous criminal.
But the indictment itself is proof positive that Mueller probe has come up empty. Finding Stone’s role in the release of DNC emails by WikiLeaks was always Mueller’s Plan B. If he could not directly implicate Trump in Russian campaign interference, he could at least link a prominent Trump supporter to the email release, but he hasn’t even been able to do that. Mueller poured an enormous amount of time and resources into the pursuit of Stone, but it turned out to be a … Read More ➡
As of today, the U.S. Court of Appeals has not ruled on the constitutional challenge to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The case was argued on November 8 before a three-judge panel consisting of Judges Judith W. Rogers, Karen Henderson and Sri Srinivasan.
That hearing, which lasted well over an hour, took place against the backdrop of the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Judge Henderson opened the session by saying, “We have caucused on this. Argue this case as if it was being argued yesterday morning.”
The Sessions resignation proved to be anti-climatic as it pertained to this litigation. The Court asked for supplemental briefs on how it impacted this case. In response, both sides asserted that it should have none.
The plaintiff in the case is Andrew Miller of St. Louis, Missouri, who has been subpoenaed as a witness in Mueller’s Russia probe. Miller worked as an aide to … Read More ➡
In response to General Motors’ intention to close American assembly plants and effectively move manufacturing offshore, President Trump should seek repayment of costs associated with the auto bailout. The direct loss to taxpayers when the Treasury sold the last of its GM shares in 2013 was approximately $10 billion.
There is precedent for requiring direct bailout costs to be paid back. In January 2010, President Obama proposed a new fee on the banks that took TARP funds, even though TARP funds were already in the process of being paid back, and with interest. Obama said, “We want out money back. We want our money back, and we are going to get it.”
In 2013, the National Legal and Policy Center asked then-GM CEO Dan Akerson to repay the $10 billion, prompting his widely publicized refusal during a speech at the National Press Club.
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has submitted a shareholder proposal to Alphabet, the parent company of Google, addressing the issue of sexual harassment. Last week, Google announced that it would end its policy of requiring mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims. The move apparently prompted similar actions by Facebook, eBay and Airbnb.
The Alphabet annual meeting is expected to take place in June. We hope that the company will embrace our resolution to demonstrate its commitment to dealing with this problem. If the company does not support it, we call upon fellow shareholders to act.
NLPC sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project. Here is the text of the resolution and supporting statement:
WHEREAS, Company executives have aggressively allied themselves with a variety of progressive social and political causes at the same time sexual harassment is alleged to be a serious problem within the Company by many of the Company’s own … Read More ➡
This article by Joe Schoffstall appears on the The Free Beacon website:
The daughter of Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) will collect more than $200,000 from her mother’s campaign after its debts are paid off for leading a lucrative slate mailer operation, Federal Election Commission filings show.
Karen Waters has pulled in hefty payments from the campaign to run a slate mailer operation after the FEC issued an advisory opinion in October 2004 allowing Waters to run the operation from the Citizens for Waters, her mother’s campaign committee. Prior to 2006, Karen ran the arrangement through LA Vote, a state committee in California.
Karen is in charge of slate mailers, or endorsement mailers, in which candidates pay Rep. Waters’s campaign to appear on mailers that are sent to more than 200,000 residents in the South Central Los Angeles area, where Waters holds a good amount of clout. The mailers contain … Read More ➡
On Thursday, November 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals will hear In Re: Grand Jury Investigation, No. 18-3052, Andrew Miller v. Robert Mueller. The 1pm hearing will take place at the United States Courthouse in the fifth floor courtroom at 333 Constitution Avenue, NW in Washington, DC.
Miller is represented by constitutional and appellate attorney Paul Kamenar, who will advance three principal arguments:
1) Congress did not authorize the appointment of a Special Counsel as an officer of the United States.
2) Mueller is a principal officer and should have been appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate like all U.S. Attorneys.
3) If Mueller is an inferior officer as he claims, the Appointments Clause requires that he be appointed by the “head of the department,” which is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, not Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Kamenar’s representation of Miller, which is on … Read More ➡
Darren Samuelsohn of Politico today reports, according to a source, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has delivered to President Trump written questions related to his Russia collusion probe. From the article:
Peter Flaherty, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, warned on Thursday against Trump’s submitting written responses “in any way” given the legal consequences.
“Mueller has come up so empty on collusion that this may be a final stab at a perjury trap,” said Flaherty, who runs a conservative nonprofit that is funding a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the special counsel’s appointment.
On October 9, 2018, constitutional and appellate attorney Paul Kamenar filed his reply to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s brief in the case of Andrew Miller v. United States of America before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Kamenar represents Andrew Miller, a witness in Mueller’s investigation, who has declined to appear before the Grand Jury convened by Mueller on the basis that Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional. Miller lost at the District Court level, a decision he is appealing. Oral arguments are scheduled for November 8, two days after the midterm elections. Kamenar’s representation of Miller is made possible by the National Legal and Policy Center and its supporters around the country.
The brief argues, among other things, that Mueller is a “principal officer” under the Constitution and has been granted “wide discretion” by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Mueller claims in his brief that … Read More ➡