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.
Free-market minded grassroots activist group FreedomWorks has set up an online petition that calls upon Duke Energy's board of directors to fire CEO Jim Rogers:
Due to ethical and business issues that have damaged the reputation of Duke Energy and put shareholders and ratepayers at risk, we urge you to exercise your fiduciary responsibility as board members and dismiss Jim Rogers from his position as chief operating officer (Rogers is actually CEO).
Today I sent this letter to House Speaker John Boehner:
Republican members of Congress have asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the non-profit tax status of AARP in light of the group's massive lobbying operation and its significant commercial activities. We strongly support this request. In addition, Reps. Wally Herger and Dave Reichert have put out a report titled Behind the Veil: The AARP America Doesn't Know, which we welcome.
At the same time, AARP's tax status is determined by the IRS, not Congress. We ask Congress to take an action that is within its own authority - ending the federal subsidy for AARP.
Politicoreported yesterday that "it's not easy being green anymore," allegedly because of environmental groups' failure to score political victories even when news events are in their favor, such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the Japan nuclear reactor drama. And initiatives such as cap-and-trade failed despite the environoiacs' having a Democrat-dominated Congress and executive branch in 2009 and 2010. From the news story:
It doesn't matter when and what Sokol told Warren Buffet. Sokol was working for Berkshire Hathaway at the time he was interacting with Lubrizol and trading its shares. Sokol's defense that he did not have ultimate control on approving the acquisition deal is about as lame as it gets. And we are supposed to believe that his resignation is unconnected to these events?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has notified Wal-Mart that it will not allow the company to exclude from consideration our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the business risks of climate change. Our supporting statement criticizes the company's support for unpopular measures like Cap & Trade, and for forcing its controversial political positions on its suppliers.
Today, I asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the activities of short sellers, including Steven Eisman, who profited from the collapse of share prices of companies that are in the for-profit education field. Evidence continues to emerge that officials of the Education Department cooperated in the shorts' campaign. The same request was previously made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and other ethics advocates. My letter reads, in part:
The Detroit News was recently involved in a controversy surrounding a negative Chrysler 200 review by auto critic, Scott Burgess. Jalopnik.com reported that after receiving a complaint by an advertiser identified as a Chrysler dealership, the Detroit News softened the criticism on an online version of the review. Mr. Burgess displayed journalistic integrity by resigning over the incident. Since that time, the Detroit News has apologized and Burgess has returned to his position. This affair may just be a small scale indicator of a much wider flaw in the quality of journalists' coverage of the auto industry, particularly regarding General Motors.
Last night, NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm appeared on Fox Business Network to describe political favoritism by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that benefited Harbinger Capital, a hedge fund headed by billionaire Phil Falcone.