Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has a habit of redoubling her efforts when her ideas fail. That’s especially true given that she now chairs the House Financial Services Committee. One of her top priorities is bullying banks into boosting mortgage lending to marginally qualified borrowers based on race or ethnicity. And her main vehicle for that now is a proposed subcommittee on diversity and inclusion. In a prepared statement on January 30, she declared, “I am proud to say that this will be the first Subcommittee of its kind in Congress.” One hopes it will be the last. For if she gets her way, the outcome, taken to its logical conclusion, may be a financial meltdown rivaling the one a decade ago.
Long after North Carolina and dozens of businesses and organizations resolved a conflict over a policy to allow so-called “transgenders” (regardless of their genitalia) to use the public/business restroom of their choosing, Netflix is trying to stir up trouble again.
According to Jonas Pate, the creator of a series called “OBX” who Netflix has contracted with for an initial ten episodes, the company doesn’t want his show filmed or produced in the Tar Heel State, because a law that overrode the original “transgender bathroom” law of a couple years ago wasn’t good enough.
Pate, who lives in Wilmington, NC after 25 years in Hollywood, had his hometown in mind for location shooting. “OBX” is shorthand for “Outer Banks,” the barrier islands that stretch nearly the entire coast of North Carolina.
Pate says Netflix asked him to explore sites in South Carolina, including coastal Charleston, for potential filming – but … Read More ➡
What is it about Silicon Valley corporations that make them want to pander to the sensitivities of oppressive dictatorships?
The answer, of course, is earnings, share price and the almighty dollar. But the recent example in which television-streaming service Netflix yanked a program critical of the oppressive Saudi Arabia regime is extreme cowardice, even for the most conflict-averse corporation.
The background: Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing journalist and Saudi dissident who was critical of the government’s intolerance of dissent, was murdered and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. International and U.S. intelligence assigned the responsibility for the killing on Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but the regime has denied his involvement. Many have called for the United States to alter diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia until justice is served in Khashoggi’s death and the nation enacts reforms regarding personal … Read More ➡
There are few sights these days as pitiable as a corporation acceding to the demands of radical activists on the basis of an ostensibly insensitive comment made by one of its officials or employees. As the script normally dictates, the offending individual steps down, while the company profusely apologizes for its insensitivity and vows to redouble its commitment to “diversity.” That’s what makes Fox News Channel’s refusal to fire political talk show host Tucker Carlson in the face of an activist-triggered advertiser boycott so refreshing. By resisting the speech police, the network just might have set an example for other corporations.
Tucker Carlson, now 49, host of Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, isn’t one to back down from a controversial issue. Indeed, not backing down is pretty much his main job requirement. His blunt style won him the 8 P.M.-9 P.M., Monday through Friday time slot on Fox … Read More ➡
Looking back, Nancy Adams Johnson probably doesn’t think the money was worth it. On December 18, Johnson, former chief negotiator for the United Auto Workers with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was sentenced in Detroit federal court to a year and a day in prison, and ordered to pay restitution and a $10,000 fine, for conspiring with certain UAW and Chrysler officials to receive more than $40,000 in cash payments and gifts in return for dropping certain issues during contract talks a few years ago. Johnson, who had been slapped with a five-count indictment this March, pleaded guilty in July. She is the seventh person to be sentenced in the scandal, which first came to light in July 2017. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Nancy Johnson, now 57, … Read More ➡
Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his long-awaited appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to testify, and receive a grilling, about censorship of political conservatives and a planned search engine for communist China.
As expected, like other heads of fellow technology companies such as Facebook and Twitter, Pichai denied any prejudice in its services or products.
“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions — and we have no shortage of them among our own employees.”
Google’s best-known and most important service is Internet search, to the degree that the corporate name is now a verb (“Google it”) when referring to researching terms on the Web. Pichai said … Read More ➡
In response to General Motors’ intention to close American assembly plants and effectively move manufacturing offshore, President Trump should seek repayment of costs associated with the auto bailout. The direct loss to taxpayers when the Treasury sold the last of its GM shares in 2013 was approximately $10 billion.
There is precedent for requiring direct bailout costs to be paid back. In January 2010, President Obama proposed a new fee on the banks that took TARP funds, even though TARP funds were already in the process of being paid back, and with interest. Obama said, “We want out money back. We want our money back, and we are going to get it.”
In 2013, the National Legal and Policy Center asked then-GM CEO Dan Akerson to repay the $10 billion, prompting his widely publicized refusal during a speech at the National Press Club.
The rationale for the bailout was to … Read More ➡
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has submitted a shareholder proposal to Alphabet, the parent company of Google, addressing the issue of sexual harassment. Last week, Google announced that it would end its policy of requiring mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims. The move apparently prompted similar actions by Facebook, eBay and Airbnb.
The Alphabet annual meeting is expected to take place in June. We hope that the company will embrace our resolution to demonstrate its commitment to dealing with this problem. If the company does not support it, we call upon fellow shareholders to act.
NLPC sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project. Here is the text of the resolution and supporting statement:
WHEREAS, Company executives have aggressively allied themselves with a variety of progressive social and political causes at the same time sexual harassment is alleged to be a serious problem within the Company by many of the Company’s own … Read More ➡
The fallout from the Chrysler-United Auto Workers scandal continues. On November 7, two former executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Jerome Durden and Michael Brown, along with an ex-UAW official, Keith Mickens, were sentenced in Detroit federal court for their roles in a broad scheme in which representatives of the auto manufacturer bribed union negotiators to avoid raising key issues during contract negotiations a few years ago. They are the third, fourth and fifth defendants to be sentenced in the scandal, estimated at $4.5 million, which also involved embezzlement and income tax evasion. The latest actions, said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, represent “further strides in our effort to root out corruption” at FCA and UAW.
Union Corruption Update has covered this pay-for-play scandal many times since it broke last July. The primary culprits were Chrysler Vice President Al Iacobelli, UAW Vice President General Holiefield, and Holiefield’s girlfriend and … Read More ➡
An effort to confer special rights upon individuals who want to “decide” their gender, rather than go with the biology they were born with, was greatly energized and expanded by the Obama administration.
Now the Trump administration is attempting to return that policy to normalcy, which predictably has a number of liberal technology companies steaming.
The likes of Apple and Amazon, and 50-something other companies, have joined to sign a letter opposing plans by the Department of Health and Human Services to restore definitions of sex to remove “identity” and limit it according to the genitalia an individual is born with, for the purposes of Title IX enforcement of gender discrimination in civil rights law.
The change has implications in education, health care, employment, and just about every other walk of life.