Beginning in 2009, the Department of Education -- mightily aided by Senator Tom Harkin's HELP Committee and a coterie of Wall Street short sellers -- laid siege to the for-profit college sector in a knock-down, drag-out battle to the finish. Their strategic objective was to seriously hobble the profitability of career schools that had devised a competitive, career pathway for predominantly at-risk, low-income, non-traditional and minority students. On June 2, in the infamous Battle of the Beltway, the Department issued its (you should excuse the expression) 'Gainful Employment' rule, which was heralded as a major blow to career schools, whose recruitment rates have since dropped precipitously.
The Democratic National Convention early next September will be held in Charlotte. It's a city without a single union hotel. And it's located in Right to Work North Carolina. Union officials and partisans don't like this. The party's choice of convention site, then, can be seen as a symbol of a growing rift between the party and the unions. Union leaders, for all practical purposes, have nowhere else to go. And most rank and file still vote reliably Democratic. A schism is almost out of the question.
Allegations that we first made in February about White House political favors for a company called LightSquared are starting to get the attention they deserve.
LightSquared is owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund, headed by billionaire investor Phil Falcone. He visited the White House and made large donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Soon after, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted LightSquared a highly unusual waiver that allows the company to build out a national 4G wireless network on the cheap.
The story of bankrupt solar company, Solyndra, has turned into a major scandal for the Obama Administration as questions arise about the government's free spending of taxpayer money on failing so-called green initiatives. A $535 million federal loan was initially rushed through for the company as Obama touted Solyndra as being a prime example of how the bold new green-energy driven economy would create jobs while saving the environment. Now the results bring into question how dangerous the green economy strategy may be.
It seemed the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy into the nation’s largest (by several measures) utility would sail through by the end of this year, but several activists in North Carolina have intervened at the last minute. The moves by environmental groups to extract funds for their pet projects out of the deal would make shakedown artists proud. Among the organizations – who have myriad methods of wringing dollars from taxpayers through lawsuits and corporate campaign-type pressure tactics – are Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, and Southern Environmental Law Center.
The weakness of General Motor's management team regarding one of the most basic concepts of car sales has surfaced as the company tries to learn how to effectively market its vehicles. An article on thespec.com points out that GM's "Chevy Runs Deep" ad campaign has not resonated well with consumers. No big surprise there. Management, led by an Obama appointed non-car guy, CEO Dan Akerson, continues to try and sell cars through the use of ineffective ads that focus on patriotism and politically driven themes as opposed to focusing on specific product offerings.
It's been more than 50 years since Congress passed a major piece of legislation to curb union privileges. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah (see photo), thinks that's far too long. On August 2, Sen. Hatch, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, along with freshman Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced a far-reaching reform bill, the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2810, S. 1507), to align labor law with emerging workplace realities of a market economy. The bill would shield individual workers from the arbitrary power of union leaders, long accustomed to equating their own interests with those of American workers as a whole. Hatch admitted that passage won't be easy. "I fully expect the unions and their supporters to come out against to Employee Rights Act, and characterize it as a radical, anti-union bill."
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has unexpectedly and retroactively granted tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation following our formal Complaint that the Foundation was soliciting tax-deductible contributions without such status.
The Foundation is headed by Abon'go Malik Obama, President Obama's half-brother, and named for their common father. It came under scrutiny earlier this year when NLPC raised questions about its tax status and what has happened to the money it has raised.
President Obama will not use the word "stimulus" in apparent recognition that his previous policies have failed. Instead, he will use the word "investment," which is a complete misnomer. An expenditure can only be called an investment if there exists the possibility of a profit.
Infrastructure spending by the federal government promotes corruption because the work goes to the most politically well-connected contractors. At the state level where the money is spent, it is often "pay to play."
It seems that what is new is old again at General Motors. New GM has rehired Old GM executive, Bob Lutz, to advise New GM executives on how to run a car company. Certainly, the new executives could use the help as GM share price has fallen about 40% year to date. While there are some negative aspects of having one of the leaders of a failed company giving advice on how to run the business, Mr. Lutz (unlike current GM leadership) at least knows the auto industry.