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07/23/2010 - 15:00

Google logoThe effort by House Republicans to investigate email practices at the White House hit a wall yesterday, when a motion to subpoena the White House deputy chief technology officer was blocked by Democrats during a House Oversight subcommittee hearing.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) demanded a recorded vote on a motion to subpoena White House technology officer Beth Noveck, after saying that the absence of a White House witness “undermines the purposes of the hearing and prevents us from doing our job of conducting oversight of this issue.”

3,547 reads
07/23/2010 - 14:34

LSC logoMisuse of Legal Services Corporation funds is nothing new. The most publicized cases typically involve lawsuits by affiliated nonprofit legal groups that run contrary to the LSC charter. Recent months, however, have witnessed a different kind of problem: use of public money for private pleasure. New reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the LSC Office of Inspector General, plus a lengthy summary article by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity, highlight acts of theft or excessive spending at recipient organizations of LSC funds and a lack of internal controls by top LSC officials. As the Legal Services Corp. budget is currently $420 million, taxpayers have every reason to be concerned.

5,261 reads
07/22/2010 - 19:30

I was interviewed by David Asman on the Fox Business Network on Wednesday, July 21. The topic is the racial mandates contained in the Dodd-Frank financial services regulatory overhaul. Here's a transcript:

3,100 reads
07/22/2010 - 17:10

Rangel photoThe House Ethics Committee announced today that its subcommittee investigating allegations against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has “transmitted a Statement of Alleged Violation” to the Committee Chair and Ranking Republican, and formed an “adjudicatory subcommittee” to consider them. In other words, they have alleged that Rangel violated House rules, and now another subcommittee will try Rangel and determine guilt and the penalty, if any.

NLPC is the source of the most damaging allegations against Rangel, particularly his failure to disclose or pay taxes on rental income from his beach house in the Dominican Republic. Rangel has admitted that he did not report or disclose $75,000 but we have alleged in Complaints to the IRS and U.S. Attorney for D.C. that the total is likely much higher. NLPC is also the source of the information on which the Committee admonished Rangel earlier this year for accepting corporate-funded Caribbean junkets. Following his admonishment, Rangel resigned from his Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee.

2,907 reads
07/22/2010 - 16:38

General Motors will acquire auto-finance company AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion. I discuss the deal with Rebecca Lindland of IHS Automotive, and CNBC hosts Melissa Francis, Larry Kudlow and Amanda Drury. Here's a transcript:

4,108 reads
Ken Boehm
07/22/2010 - 15:44

McLaughlin photoRecent email communication between White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin (in photo), who is Google’s former head of Global Public Policy, and multiple outside individuals raise new questions about the official’s alleged circumvention of federal ethics and recordkeeping rules.

McLaughlin’s communications with Google officials and others about issues that directly benefit the company appears to be more extensive than indicated by a May White House report, which resulted in an official reprimand of Mr. McLaughlin. Click here for a 12-page pdf of the McLaughlin emails.

17,768 reads
07/21/2010 - 12:58

Meeks photoEdul Ahmad, the Guyanese-born businessman who made an unsecured $40,000 loan to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), is today scrutinized by the New York Times and New York Post. Reporters started digging on Meeks after NLPC raised questions about the Queens congressman’s finances, beginning in January.

According to the New York Times piece by Danny Hakim:

3,870 reads
07/21/2010 - 11:39

Blagojevichs photoTo win a conviction in a criminal case requires establishing opportunity, means and motive. Recent testimony in the ongoing corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reveals more than a few clues as to the motive part. Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, as it turns out, had about $200,000 in outstanding consumer debt at the time of his December 2008 arrest. Anxiety, if not desperation, over how to pay the money back was likely a major explanation for the ex-governor's eagerness to peddle President-Elect Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. Worse, Mrs. Blagojevich's real estate firm during 2002-04 apparently received roughly $150,000 or more in suspect "consulting" and other fees from a company co-owned by Obama's original paymaster, now-jailed (and awaiting sentencing) real estate developer/political kingmaker Tony Rezko. The revelations reinforce the popular image of the couple as willing to do anything for money.

4,361 reads
07/21/2010 - 09:25

Soros photoFive-and-a-half years after being convicted of providing material support for terrorism, terror lawyer Lynne Stewart finally received a sentence commensurate with her crime. She was resentenced last week to ten years. But if George Soros had his way, she would be free today.

Stewart made a career out of defending street criminals and terrorists, including Sammy "The Bull" Gravano (pleaded guilty), Weather Underground terrorist David J. Gilbert (convicted), and Larry Davis (acquitted of wounding six policemen and killing several others in 1986, only to be convicted of a later murder and killed in prison). It should have come as no surprise that Stewart, who worked "less than a mile from where the World Trade Center once stood," represented "the Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman.

5,635 reads
07/19/2010 - 10:47

Meeks photoAt the same time that Guyanese-born businessman Edul Ahmad gave Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) an unsecured $40,000 personal loan, he was pleading poverty to state authorities who had suspended his real estate license, according to Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein in yesterday’s New York Post.

Meeks failed to report the 2007 loan on his annual financial disclosure report, that all member of Congress are required to file, until June of this year after the FBI reportedly started asking questions about the loan. Meeks has repeatedly referred to Ahmad as his “friend,” but when asked by the New York Post last month what his relationship was with Meeks, Ahmad said, “I have none.”

3,027 reads
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