As "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations have gone national, observers are taking note of the prominent role of labor unions in this anti-business crusade. The rote denunciations of "corporate greed" at these events could have been lifted from almost any AFL-CIO convention speech. That doesn't necessarily mean, of course, that union organizers are putting words in protestors' mouths. Yet it does strongly suggest that organized labor and street radicals recognize each other as natural allies.
Paul Pelosi, husband of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will reportedly make millions of dollars from a previously undisclosed real estate venture in Mrs. Pelosi's home state of California. Mr. Pelosi is a real estate developer and an investment banker and entered into this project with the father of the current Ambassador to Hungary, as reported by The Washington Times earlier this week. Mrs. Pelosi helped the ambassador secure her the post.
Are the anti-Wall Street protestors demonstrating against themselves? The richest and most prominent Wall Street executives overwhelmingly supported and bankrolled Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008.
And on Wall Street, little distinction is made between liberal Democrats and avowedly socialist activist groups. The big banks financed ACORN. Although ACORN has disbanded in the wake of scandal, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, formerly headed by White House Chief of Staff William Daley, continues to fund similar groups committed to undermining capitalism and debasing democracy.
The merger hearings for Duke Energy and Progress Energy before the North Carolina Utilities Commission were supposed to be the last major hurdle for the deal to be approved, but now the concerns of a small coastal city and a federal government regulatory agency have cast last-minute doubts. It turns out the demands by environmental groups for Duke to pay more money into weatherization boondoggles were minor irritants compared to the threat posed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Tim Foley is part of a long, ongoing Chicago tradition of public-sector income double-dipping. But two days ago he became a casualty of another Chicago tradition: investigative reporting. This Monday, on October 3, Foley resigned as business manager-financial secretary of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134 following weeks of allegations that he and three other local officials had violated Illinois law by simultaneously collecting lucrative pensions from the city government and the local. "Recent focus in news reports has impacted how we are perceived by the public," Foley stated in a press release. "Placing each of the 15,000 members and their families ahead of me is the easy part of my decision to resign." In his absence, Vice President Terry Allen will become interim head of the Chicago union, which represents private- as well as public-sector electricians.
General Motors continues to claim that demand will drive Chevy Volt sales and 10,000 of the vehicles will be sold in 2011, even as September sales came in at a still disappointing dismal rate of 723 units sold. GM has staked its credibility on the success of the much-hyped hybrid. The Obama Administration also risks another embarrassment if Volt sales continue to underwhelm following the Solyndra scandal that saw a similar failed green energy initiative lead to a 500 million dollar loss on its taxpayer funded gamble. Now we learn that GM has been selling the $40,000 plus vehicles for as low as $29,500 each according to the gmauthority.com site. How far will GM and the Administration go to pump sales figures to persuade the public that the Chevy Volt is a green success story that justifies the spending of billions of taxpayer dollars on such initiatives?
Today we filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Labor Department, its Wage and Hour Division, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We ask for all third-party communications related to this week's signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies and eleven state governments.
The MOU is the basis for a crackdown on employers who allegedly misclassify employees as independent contractors, but the action appears calculated to assist the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) in a campaign directed at the nation's homebuilders.
A recent article on Newsmax.com by John Berlau exposes another scheme by the Obama Administration designed to redistribute more wealth in an effort to cover taxpayer losses in the General Motors and Chrysler bailout fiasco. The plan is to have financial institutions with assets of more than $50 billion to continue to pay a "financial crisis responsibility fee" until TARP losses by firms like GM and Chrysler are recouped. Of course, cronies at GM and Chrysler are not on the hook for the losses. It seems that the old playbook used by Obama to have others pay for the costs of failure at GM and Chrysler is still being used.