Only 1½ years ago Greenpeace cheered Apple Computer for its departure from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its disagreement on cap-and-trade and federal climate change policy. With Al Gore on the board of directors, you understand what side of the issue the company is on.
From General Motor's lavish presence at the New York International Auto Show taking place this week and next, you would think that the company is wildly profitable and that it has already paid back the $50 billion it got from taxpayers. Either that, or GM's much-ballyhooed cost cutting has failed, and that its bad old habits are very much alive.
NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica and I spent Wednesday walking the floor of the show at the massive Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York City's west side. It is impossible to know how much GM is spending on displaying its vehicles, technologies and related events, but it is more than any other car company. And it is certainly too much.
Karl Rodney, the organizer of the Caribbean junkets that were the downfall of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), has pled guilty to lying to Congress. During the Justice Department investigation, NLPC received a Grand Jury subpoena to provide photographs, audio recordings, and other materials from a November 2008 conference in St. Maarten.
I attended the event and documented the corporate sponsorship that violated House Rules, by companies like Citigroup, AT&T and Pfizer. It was this evidence on which the House Ethics Committee admonished Rangel in February 2010, prompting his resignation from the Ways and Means chairmanship.
Fans of the federal govern ment's auto bailout will push the "GM comeback" story at this week's New York International Auto Show. Good luck with that one.
Taxpayers still own about 26 percent of GM, and it looks increasingly unlikely that they'll ever get their money back: The share price would have to rise to more than $54, and it's stuck in the low thirties. Here's why:
Stephen Lerner is a hard person to admire. His specialty, after all, is economic sabotage. Yet his utility to the cause of public accountability is undeniable. Lerner, a longtime official with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) until his supposed ouster last November, was caught on March 18 and 19 on audiotape speaking before a closed-session audience at Pace University in Manhattan describing an SEIU plan to destabilize the U.S. economy. The campaign, which he heads, intends to take down the financial sector and trigger a massive redistribution of wealth and power.
The Obama Administration continues to find ways to funnel taxpayer funds to General Motors and the UAW. A hidden bailout was recently uncovered buried within the Obamacare bill. This latest giveaway goes by the name of "Early Retiree Reinsurance Program" or ERRP for short. Washingtonexaminer.com reported last week that the program was discovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
I am tempted to say that President Obama rushing up to New York City to embrace Al Sharpton during the opening days of his campaign is evidence of a weakness in his re-election prospects. But it is much worse than that.
Barack Obama is failing to demonstrate leadership on racial issues, and leadership in general, by paying such homage to Sharpton. I thought the whole point of electing a black president was to allow the nation to rise above everything that Sharpton represents.
In any industry, one thing is certain about unions: They want members - the more, the better. Railroad and airline unions are no exceptions. Right now they are gearing up for a campaign to persuade Congress to rescind a provision in the House version of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill (H.R.658), which passed last Friday. Title IX of the measure reverses last year's regulatory change by the three-member National Mediation Board - the entity that interprets the Railway Labor Act - that allows a union to win recognition without necessarily obtaining majority support.
The Associated Press today reinforces questions raised by NLPC about a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to allow a company called LightSquared to deploy a national wireless network. NLPC has alleged that political influence played a role in FCC decisions favorable to LightSquared.