Traditional grocers and retailers are in a state of shock over what Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods might portend for their businesses. The economist Joseph Schumpeter’s characterization of capitalism as “the perennial gale of creative destruction” seems to fit.
While this process may be thought inevitable by anyone who believes in the virtues of free markets, like I do, it is also true that the increasing economic power of big technology firms represent a new and serious threat to our civil liberties.
Constitutional government — or limited government — is still government. It still relies on the state as the ultimate authority even as it permits most economic transactions to remain between private parties.
Government’s real service is not in its regulation of economic activity, which is often counterproductive, but in its guarantee of … Read More ➡
More than 235,000 additional pro-net neutrality comments submitted in recent days to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) docket appear to be coming from non-U.S. filers from foreign countries, according to a new analysis released today by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a leading government watchdog.
A forensic analysis of comments received between May 24th and May 30th shows that the FCC was flooded with 236,999 comments from domains in France, Russia and Germany. The comments came almost exclusively from three email domains: Yahoo.fr (France), Mail.ru (Russia) and Yahoo.de (Germany). An analysis of hundreds of the comments shows that most appear to come from fake email addresses and fake physical addresses overseas.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has confirmed its belief that about 100,000 public comments that used the same language as EFF’s own pro-net neutrality campaign are counterfeit. The messages were filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the public comment process.
In an analysis released on May 31, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) found that 465,322 pro-net neutrality comments, or nearly one-fifth of the total, appear to be bogus. Of the 465,322, we found:
Over 100,000 examples of identical comments used language from an Electronic Frontier Foundation letter desk campaign in which the email addresses were generated from a fake email generator program using as many as 10 different email domains. A check of hundreds of the 100,140 comments also revealed that the submissions included fake physical addresses and possibly even fake names.
Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng take note in the Daily Beast of the current star status of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) in certain circles despite her history as one of the most corrupt members of Congress:
Rep. Maxine Waters has been reborn at the age of 78, emerging as a folk hero to the anti-Trump resistance for her repeated torching of the president.
From the glowing coverage and partisan praise, you’d barely detect that just a few years ago the veteran California congresswoman was dubbed one of the nation’s “most corrupt” elected officials by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington for her role in pushing a bailout for a bank tied to her family.
Hundreds of thousands of pro-net neutrality comments submitted in recent weeks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website appear to be fake, according to a new analysis released today by the National Legal and Policy Center, a leading government watchdog.
An initial forensic analysis of the FCC’s 2.5 million comments shows:
More than 465,322 pro-net neutrality comment submissions (close to 20% of all pro-net neutrality comments filed) were made in which either the filers’ names were being submitted with the email address of an obviously different person or in which the same email address was used to file multiple comments – in some cases thousands of times.
Over 100,000 examples of identical comments used language from an Electronic Frontier Foundation letter desk campaign in which the email addresses were generated from a fake email generator program using as many as 10 different email domains. A check of hundreds of the
Michael Gartland of the New York Post is applying more scrutiny to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the leader of the corrupt Queens, New York political machine. This time, Crowley is enriching his brother (and himself?) by successfully seeking $10 million in federal funding for a co-op for Bronx merchants. From the story:
The federal infrastructure money, which Crowley (D-Queens) and Rep. José Serrano (D-Bronx) led the effort to secure, came just months after Crowley’s brother, Sean, lobbied the House and the US Department of Transportation on behalf of the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative, records show.
The merchant co-op, which was awarded the federal funding in August 2013, has shelled out at least $827,000 to the lobbying firm Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron since 2009, federal and state records show.
Its unclear what purpose is served by a near-bankrupt federal government subsidizing particular businesses, but the arrangement serves the Crowleys … Read More ➡
As the Justice Department puts it, former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been tasked to “oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.”
No effort should be spared in getting to the bottom of what actually occurred, and whether Russia presently seeks to interfere with our political process.
No investigation will be complete or credible, however, if it does not include a review of the relationship between the Russian government and its favored business entities with former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and political and business associates of the Clintons.
Unlike the inferences that have been made about President Trump and his campaign, many of which rely on rumor, innuendo, conspiracy theories and deliberate falsehoods, the Clintons’ extensive … Read More ➡
Will Breddeman reports in the Observer that Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) maintains a nonexistent office in the same building as his taxpayer-paid district Congressional office. From the story:
In 2010, the New York Post reported that Meeks’s Build America Political Action Committee paid $350 a month for Suite 535 at 153-01 Jamaica Avenue, in Jamaica, Queens. The problem, the tabloid noted, is that 153-01 Jamaica Avenue contains no Suite 535, and is in fact only three stories tall.
What the Post neglected to mention was that Meeks has reported the same phantom space as the headquarters of his two campaign committees, Friends for Gregory Meeks and Meeks for Congress, to the Federal Election Commission since late 2006. To this day, his periodic financial filings, his fundraiser invitations and his official campaign website all list this nonexistent office as the nexus and nerve-center of his political operations.
NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm told LifeZette that people who claim that President Trump’s contacts with James Comey may constitute obstruction of justice or an impeachable offense don’t know what they are talking about.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told CNN just that on Wednesday night. From LifeZette:
Ken Boehm, who was a state prosecutor in Pennsylvania in the 1970s and now serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Legal and Policy Center, said obstruction of justice usually refers to intimidating witnesses or destroying evidence. He said it would not apply to someone asking a law enforcement officer about an investigation unless, perhaps, an overt threat accompanied it.
“Obstruction of justice is a pretty high hurdle,” he said. “Any citizen is welcome to ask any law enforcement person — federal, state, local — ‘Am I the subject of an investigation?’ … Usually, it’s
Michael Gartland reports in the New York Post today that Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) pays his brother rent from his campaign fund. From the article:
Crowley has paid at least $69,700 since 2007 to Killean Enterprises LLC, which is controlled by his brother, lobbyist John “Sean” Crowley.
As chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Joseph Crowley is the fourth-highest ranking member of his party in the House.
House rules allow the campaigns of Members to rent office space from family members under certain circumstances, but Crowley rents space outside his Congressional district. Also from the story:
“It’s not physically in his district — that would be a key point,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. “What he uses it for — it’s as old as politics — it’s called a slush fund. And what do you know? It goes to a family-connected entity.”