The explosion and spill from a BP deepwater drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico has generated justifiable anger across the nation and especially in the affected coastal region. It's also generated popular backlash, one manifestation of which is an increasingly loud call for confiscating company assets. The front line of this campaign is an ad hoc group, "Seize BP," which organized anti-BP rallies in cities across America last week. The group's mission is as simple as its name: Persuade the Obama administration to seize assets of the British-based oil company and use the proceeds for compensating victims and family members for loss of life, health, and property values. Such action, however, far from delivering justice, would make a bad situation worse.
Former Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 18 months to five years in prison two weeks ago for violating probation. Kilpatrick was on probation for lying under oath in 2008 about a text messages to and from his then Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, with whom he was having an extramarital affair.
His mother, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick (D-MI), has been luckier. She was cleared by the House Ethics Committee in February after taking part in a Caribbean junket, the same 2008 trip for which Charles Rangel was admonished, costing him his chairmanship of the Ways and Means committee.
On Friday afternoon, I discussed Wal-Mart's support for ObamaCare and Cap and Trade with guest host Connell McShane on Your World With Neil Cavuto on Fox News Channel. That morning, I spoke in favor of our shareholder proposal asking for a report on Wal-Mart's lobbying priorities at the company's annual meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Here's a transcript of the interview:
Here is a video of my remarks at the Wal-Mart annual meeting at the Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas in support of our shareholder proposal asking Wal-Mart for a report on its lobbying priorities. Here is the text of my remarks:
The Office of Congressional Ethics voted unanimously last week to ask the U.S. Justice Department to review documents in the PMA Group pay-to-play scheme.
The OCE, a bipartisan board created by congress and composed of private citizens, released a statement of May 27 saying that it would send the Justice Department "evidence [that] pertains to a factual finding by the OCE Board that certain persons and companies saw their campaign donations as affecting decisions about earmarks."
Even as Attorney General Eric Holder has defanged the Public Integrity section of the Justice Department, and snuffed out prosecutions of members of Congress, he claimed today in Paris that “combating corruption is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice.”
Ironically, Holder’s remarks were delivered in support of international efforts to combat bribery. Holder bragged:
U.S. law enforcement has pursued bribe payers of all stripes: large corporations and small companies; powerful CEOs and low-level sales agents; U.S. companies and foreign issuers; citizens and foreign nationals; direct payers and intermediaries.
It’s revealing that the “greenest” of the big international oil companies is now responsible for one of the worst ecological disasters in history. Maybe BP should have concentrated on its core mission of efficiently and safely producing oil instead of trying to make us believe that BP stands for “Beyond Petroleum.”
Most big companies zealously guard their brand names. British Petroleum seems embarrassed by theirs. Even as the Deepwater Horizon gushes into its 42nd day, the BP website proclaims:
Despite mortgage interest rates falling to near all-time lows, America's homeowners are in a state of unease not seen since the Great Depression. In 2009, nearly 4 million foreclosure notices went out to homeowners unable to keep up with their payments, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2008. Many explanations lie behind this collapse, but arguably the most crucial, and underappreciated, has been excessive federal intervention in the housing market. Recent reports and articles from American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Senior Fellow Peter Wallison and AEI Visiting Fellow Charles Calomiris strongly suggest the pileup of bad mortgage paper has the words "Made in Washington" written all over it. In other words, rogue capitalism is partly to blame, but rogue government has played a central enabling role.
“I don’t have anything to add to what I said in March,” said a tight-lipped White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs last Friday. Reporters pressed Gibbs to comment on allegations that the Obama administration offered Joe Sestak (D-PA) a “high ranking” government job if Sestak would drop out of the Senate primary race against Arlen Specter (D-PA).
Gibbs, sounding like a broken record, repeated this or some similar phrase eight times during the White House briefing.
Wind power is not economically feasible. It is only a reality because of tax breaks and government subsidies, which are often the seed corn for political favoritism and cozy dealings.
In Missouri, a company called Wind Capital Group (WCG) is more than well connected. In the photo to the right is the firm’s CEO is Tom Carnahan. His brother is Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and his sister is Robin Carnahan, the Missouri Secretary of State. His father was governor and his mother a U.S. Senator.