In January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sponsored a conference called PrivacyCon, reports Sam Biddle of the The Intercept, where most of the presenters had financial ties to Google. This is yet more evidence of our observation in March that top FTC officials, led by FTC Chair Edith Ramirez, act like Google employees. According to Biddle:
Google’s ties to PrivacyCon are pervasive enough to warrant interrogation. As a case study in how pervasive and well-concealed this type of influence has become, PrivacyCon is hard to beat.
Authors of a whopping 13 out of 19 papers presented at the conference and 23 out of 41 speakers have financial ties to Google. Only two papers included disclosure of an ongoing or past financial connection to Google.
Back in March, we called the FTC/Google relationship the most extreme example of “regulatory capture” that we had seen in Washington in recent years. … Read More ➡
Al Sharpton’s heart is still in New York City. But these past several years his head has been in Washington, retooling his nonprofit National Action Network into a congressional lobbying powerhouse. The group is trying to secure passage of wide-ranging legislation, part of which is a Senate bill to make far more difficult for white police to question or arrest black criminal suspects without inviting legal repercussions upon themselves and their departments. The likely result would be even more of the rapidly escalating violence in the nation’s streets. NAN and the youthful demagogues known as Black Lives Matter have been catalysts in this public safety disaster. Yet to the participants on NAN panels last Tuesday at the Rayburn House Office Building, the main focus was “white racism.”
As National Legal and Policy Center noted at length last July in the wake of the previous “Legislative & Policy Conference,” Reverend Al … Read More ➡
It began at the fringes. And almost at warp speed, the campaign for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage has taken center stage. The Democratic Party has made it part of its platform. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports it. Her intraparty rival, Bernie Sanders, has sponsored a bill to achieve it. Cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C., plus the states of California and New York, have passed laws to phase it in. Heavily promoted by organized labor, supporters insist a $15 an hour minimum is way overdue. The current $7.25 an hour, they say, has not kept pace with the cost of living, driving many Americans into poverty. This claim is way off-base. And their legislation, if fully realized, would leave a trail of frustrated job seekers and shuttered businesses. In some places, this already has begun to happen.
National Legal and Policy Center described at … Read More ➡
Elon Musk’s quarterly earnings reports for Tesla Motors always offer a little razzle, a little dazzle, soon-to-be-unfulfilled promises, and rationalized failures.
This go-round was no exception, and after yet another shortfall of financial and vehicle delivery expectations, perhaps the biggest surprise was the revelation that $1.3 billion in subsidies from Nevada taxpayers won’t be enough to get the hyped Gigafactory completed.
Spending and construction have only just begun on what is supposed to be Tesla’s battery-making monster. According to its 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, $431 million was spent on the Gigafactory through June of this year, and $520 million is expected to be spent by the end of 2016. Tesla’s partner in the project, Panasonic, said last month it would raise $3.86 billion, with most of it targeted for the Gigafactory. Another $1.7 billion came in via yet another equity sale. Alas, it apparently … Read More ➡
The ambush murders of five Dallas police officers on July 7, followed ten days later by the murders of three Baton Rouge cops, outraged the nation. To the social media network of provocateurs called Black Lives Matter (BLM), however, these massacres were equivalent to recent white police “murders” of blacks. Though evidence negates such equivalence, many journalists are insisting that we see these events through the group’s lens. Rather than objectively pursue truth, they selectively use facts and manipulate language to propagate the view that blacks are being targeted for death and are justified in taking matters into their own hands. Case in point: Last December, as part of its annual Person of the Year issue, Time magazine praised BLM as having “weaponized protest.”
Since the start of this year, National Legal and Policy Center has published more than a half-dozen highly critical stories of Black Lives Matter and its … Read More ➡
Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller reports that the emails and other Democratic National Committee (DNC) documents made public by Wikileaks show evidence that the DNC sought to reward big political donors with appointments to federal boards and commissions. From the article:
The documents, which were circulated among top DNC officials in April, could raise legal questions for the party, says Ken Boehm, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.
“The disclosed DNC emails sure look like the potential Clinton Administration has intertwined the appointments to federal government boards and commissions with the political and fund raising operations of the Democratic Party,” Boehm told The Daily Caller.
“That is unethical, if not illegal.”
… Read More ➡
Alana Goodman in the Washington Free Beacon today reports that Bill Clinton gave some thirty speeches for fees totaling $7 million, but that the actual identities of the sponsors is a “mystery.” The speaking fees were apparently routed through speakers bureaus and other entities, which the Clintons reported on Hillary’s disclosure forms as the source, obscuring the actual payer of the fees. From the article:
Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, said the way the Clintons have handled these paid speaking engagements “suggests secrecy and non-transparency.”
“While those paying the exorbitant fees have included special interests with lobbying efforts to influence federal policy, even more troubling is the fact that the true financial sponsors are sometimes hidden through cut-out middlemen or anonymous donors,” said Boehm. “The tens of millions in speaking fees going directly to the Clintons should be completely transparent. Anything
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In the wake of the murder of three police officers in Baton Rouge, we are today asking Eric Schmidt of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter to end their personal and corporate support for Black Lives Matter (BLM). The letters read in part:
Billionaires don’t have to worry about their personal security, but working people and the poor do.
Your support for Black Lives Matter is helping to fray the social fabric in cities all over the country, cities in which you do not live. The American people — both liberal and conservative — are increasingly concerned about corporate executives who put their own interests above those of our country.
BLM deliberately and recklessly seeks to poison the relationship between the police and ordinary citizens.
The most successful police forces practice community-based policing, which relies on mutual trust and respect. That is why it has been … Read More ➡
The sniper-style murders of five Dallas police officers last Thursday night should provoke universal outrage. Yet many observers are justifying them. While not defending the killings, they are assuming moral equivalence between the massacre and earlier deaths of criminal suspects in police custody. They claim the murderer, a black ex-Army reservist, Micah X. Johnson, killed by police during a standoff, was a “lone wolf,” not one of the peaceful protestors. This is nonsense. The tactics differ; the goals are the same. Dallas Police Chief David Brown, also black, admits Johnson was driven by a hatred of whites. And that’s what drives Black Lives Matter, the social network behind protests in Dallas and other cities that enables this attitude.
National Legal and Policy Center several times this year has put Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its enablers under the spotlight for poisoning debate on race. More than once, its members have … Read More ➡
Come July 1 is D-Day. On that date, Puerto Rico is set to default on nearly $2 billion in bonds, about $800 million of which is of the general obligation type. In response, Congress is wrapping up legislation that would allow the island to declare bankruptcy on $18 billion of over $70 billion in outstanding debt. On June 9, the House passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, by 297-127. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also vows action. A seven-member board will exercise oversight. Supporters say the bill is a mere restructuring, not a bailout. Don’t believe them. Not only is it a bailout, it is a bailout unavailable to all 50 states. Bondholders will pay. To its credit, the Supreme Court ruled 5-2 last Monday, June 13, that a Puerto Rican law inspiring the House bill violated the U.S. bankruptcy code.
National Legal and Policy … Read More ➡