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06/21/2010 - 18:23

Pelosi and Clyburn photoHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has signified that she’s open to reigning in the power of an independent congressional ethics board, even though she urged the creation of the board in 2008, reported The Hill.

Two years ago, House Speaker Pelosi strongly backed the establishment of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), a bipartisan board made up of private citizens, saying that it would “bring an additional measure of transparency to the ethics enforcement process.” But at a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus – a group which wants to "reform" the OCE – Pelosi and House Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), in photo, reportedly indicated that they were willing to reconsider changing some of the OCE’s rules.

2,753 reads
06/21/2010 - 14:38

Today I discussed whether BP can ever get it right in the wake of Tony Hayward's yacht outing with John Kilduff of Round Earth Capital and CNBC hosts Trish Regan, Melissa Francis and Larry Kudlow. Here's a transcript:

2,900 reads
06/19/2010 - 16:35

Floyd Flake photoRev. Floyd Flake, a former member of Congress, is a political force in Queens where he is the pastor of a 23,000-member church.  His protégés include U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and state Senator Malcolm Smith, both under a grand jury investigation apparently triggered by NLPC’s expose of a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation, and Meeks’ sweetheart deal on a home.

According to a story by Russ Buettner in yesterday’s New York Times, Flake and his partners ended up as owners of two eight-story apartment buildings that were “built and subsidized with public money.” In addition, the 300 units were “well maintained by one of the church’s charities.”

6,036 reads
06/17/2010 - 21:11

Tonight on The Kudlow Report, I discussed the appearance of BP CEO Tony Hayward before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management and psychologist Dr. Tim Irwin. Here's a transcript:

2,882 reads
06/17/2010 - 11:15

Shorebank logoCongressman Spencer Bachus of Alabama must feel like he’s experiencing déjà vu all over again.

The Ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee last month asked the Obama Administration to explain its role in the bailout of Chicago-based ShoreBank, a lending institution favored by the community organizing and green job creating crowds. Hundreds of similar-sized others were allowed to fail, but several “too big to fail” banks (who survived thanks to TARP money) were reportedly pressured into a joint effort to rescue ShoreBank. Bachus sent the president a letter, then issued a press release:

6,425 reads
06/16/2010 - 11:41

Instead of trying to hijack BP’s capital or to use the disaster to advance Cap and Trade, Obama should be trying to stop the leak.

Since the April 20 disaster, I have made separate trips to West Texas and Tulsa. Oil men in both places were full of ideas about how to deal with this crisis. Obama should have put together a commission of technical experts so that the decisions of BP can be critically evaluated. Right now, Obama claims that the U.S. government is in charge of the operation, but it is really at the mercy of BP’s decision making at the well site.

2,497 reads
06/15/2010 - 15:44

This afternoon, I debated Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense on Obama's plan to establish a $20 billion escrow fund for BP oil disaster victims, along with CNBC hosts are Mandy Drury, Sue Herera and Tyler Mathison. Here's a transcript:

2,164 reads
06/11/2010 - 21:16

On tonight’s Kudlow Report, I discussed the BP oil spill in the Gulf with CNBC host Larry Kudlow; Bruce Lanni of Nollenberger Capital Partners; and energy analyst John Kilduff.  Our exchange begins at about 5:25 of the segment. Here is a transcript:

3,046 reads
06/11/2010 - 12:45

Mexican farmerIf black farmers claiming racial discrimination can walk off with a large bundle of money - and with a promise of more to come - Hispanic farmers possessed of similar grievances don't see why they can't enjoy the same benefits. It appears as if they've guessed correctly. On May 26, the Justice Department offered up to $1.33 billion to settle a class-action suit filed by a group of Hispanic farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging ethnic discrimination in various programs. The settlement figure incorporates a sum sought in a separate suit by female farmers. As with the black-farmer actions, the claims are at best specious. Yet the lead plaintiffs' attorney is denouncing the offer as a pittance.

4,797 reads
06/09/2010 - 13:08

OCE door photoMembers of the Congressional Black Caucus have asked the House to curtail the power of a congressional ethics board, after multiple members of the caucus have come under investigation by the board over the past year.

Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) introduced legislation at the end of May, which was co-sponsored by 19 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The bill would restrict the Office of Congressional Ethics -- which is a bipartisan board staffed solely with private citizens -- from releasing the results of its investigations in cases that the House Ethics Committee decides have no merit. The OCE would also be barred from initiating investigations of its own, and would instead have to wait for a complaint to be filed by a citizen with intimate knowledge of the alleged malfeasance.

5,158 reads
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