Last week, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook about his firm’s removal of VPN apps from the China app store in July. VPN stands for Virtual Private Networks, which when accessed through apps, allow Internet users in China to bypass government censorship.
NLPC raised this issue on September 19 when we asked the Newseum to rescind its 2017 “Free Expression Award “ that it made to Cook in April. The Senators’ letter also seizes on the Award and quotes Cook from that evening when he declared, “At Apple, we are just not allowing others to speak up, we are doing so ourselves.” The letter asks Cook to “Please provide copies of any statements that Apple has issued either promoting freedom of speech in China or condemning China’s censorship and surveillance mechanisms…”
The rest of the letter is equally pointed, and includes nine other … Read More ➡
In a big defeat for Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, the judge at his corruption trial Monday refused to throw out any of the charges against him in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of bribery.
The decision by U.S. District Judge William Walls was a major victory for federal prosecutors, who had warned that dismissing the charges would torpedo nearly all other bribery cases and open the door wide to graft.
Walls rejected defense lawyers’ arguments that the allegations against Menendez didn’t meet the new definition of bribery contained in the 2016 Supreme Court ruling that reversed the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Menendez and his co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, are on trial for bribery. Among other allegations, the prosecution says that Menendez pressured U.S. officials to get the Dominican Republic government to honor a long-dormant port security deal … Read More ➡
The two months that have passed since the August 17 indictment of Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi, former technology staffers for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), have yielded little except more mystery.
The mainstream media has largely ignored the story. Most of what we know has been reported by Luke Rosiak in the Daily Caller. The revelations have become a staple of conservative media, providing fuel for a social media brushfire. In apparent response, an informal hearing was held on October 10 by a handful of members of the Freedom Caucus. The lead witness was Rosiak who complained of an “extraordinary level of silence from official channels” about the scandal.
You would think that House Republican leaders would give the Awan mess a much bigger stage. This GOP disinterest is the biggest mystery of all. The media and Democrats in Congress created a frenzy over vague accusations … Read More ➡
If the NFL is truly “America’s Game,” it should not involve itself in divisive social issues. Everyone should feel welcome to attend a game or watch on TV…
I do not know to what extent Goodell consults with the owners before going out and making his political statements. I suspect that at times he does not…
On Sunday afternoons (and now Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights, I guess) we should take a time out from politics. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives should be able to sit down together and watch football. In this way, the NFL provides
On DailyMail.com today, Alana Goodman and Shekhar Bhatia provide important new information about Imran Awan, who has been indicted in the House IT scandal, along with his wife Hina Alvi. Awan relatives contradicted reports that the former House IT workers were victims of anti-Muslim discrimination as charged by their main sponsor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. From the story:
“They are not being picked up because they are Muslims. They are being picked up because they did something wrong,” said Syed Ahmed, who is related to them through their stepmother.
“There are possibilities that [Imran] or them might have been selling this information to anybody who is not authorized to have them. For the sake of money they would have done anything,” he added. ‘They were not living an honest life. They were living like they were gangsters.”
The story also describes problems with the Awans’ used car dealership, first reported … Read More ➡
This commentary was first published by the Daily Caller.
A member of my staff was in Charlottesville the day of the clash. The University of Virginia campus, where he was tasked with delivering a table to his sister’s dorm room, was mostly deserted. It was like any other slow, muggy summer afternoon. So how did a bunch of racists and so-called counter-demonstrators come to descend on the place to create the ugliest of spectacles?
Simply put, they needed each other. For some, their passion was sufficient enough that traveling hundreds of miles was no impediment to confronting each other. Both wear their alienation from mainstream American society on their sleeve. Most significantly, they make group identity the basis for their activism.
Both also promote resentment and violence, although the media regularly fails to report this persistent fact about “anti-racist” demonstrators. They have been embraced (and funded) by philanthropists like George … Read More ➡
Paul Mulshine of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger, the hometown newspaper of Senator Robert Menendez, has penned a column titled, “Will the eye doctor see his way clear to singing on the senator?”
It’s about what a judge did in Thursday in Florida. Dr. Salomon Melgen, Menendez’ co-defendant on bribery charges, was supposed to be sentenced for his conviction on separate charges of Medicare fraud. The judge agreed to delay sentencing until after the bribery trial, scheduled for September in New Jersey, suggesting that Melgen may be cooperating with prosecutors and will testify against Menendez. From the column:
There was no immediate indication that such a deal is in the offing. But one close observer of the case said that such a deal looks like the obvious option for Melgen.
“Melgen played all of his cards and he’s got one card left, one and that’s
A new analysis by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) shows that the number of fake pro-net neutrality comments posted in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) docket between July 17th and August 4th was more than 5.8 million.
The FCC continues to be flooded with comments from various fake email domains and U.S. address generator programs found online. In many cases, the same comments are submitted dozens or even hundreds of times by filers using the same name, but coming from various phony email and physical U.S. addresses.
While the data file of the 5.8 million is too large to put online, NLPC has uploaded 6 CSV files containing 1.5 million comments downloaded through the FCC’s public API between July 17 and 25. NLPC invites journalists and researchers to examine, download and manipulate the data if they would like to conduct their own analysis.
Ex.-Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) retired from Congress last year, but the deception and chicanery surrounding his finances appears to continue.
In his public filings, reviewed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), Rangel purported to make a personal loan of $100,000 to his campaign in June 2014. These funds apparently needed to pay legal bills for Rangel’s unsuccessful attempt to have his 2010 censure by the House overturned by the courts.
It appears that he may not have made this “loan” at all because it appears repayment was made to his National Leadership PAC. So-called leadership PACs are fundraising vehicles that incumbent members of Congress may maintain in addition to their regular re-election campaign committees.
The motivation for the deception may be simple. Members of Congress may use funds from their personal re-election committees for legal expenses related to their service, but not from leadership PACs.
The central figure in the burgeoning House Information Technology scandal was arrested yesterday while attempting to board a jet to his native Pakistan. Imran Awan, his wife, and two brothers were longtime employees of a score of House Democrats, collecting more than $4 million in salaries, but were seldom seen on Capitol Hill.
On July 17, NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm predicted that the IT scandal was “about to explode.”
When news first broke in February that the IT workers were under investigation by the Capitol Police for theft of House property and possibly breaching security, the Awans were fired by a score of House members who employed them as “shared employees.” The only exception was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) who kept Imran Awan employed even though he was banned from the House server network. She got around the ban by designating Awan as an … Read More ➡