Democrats Risk Being ‘Burnt’ by Lev Parnas

Fred Lucas of the Daily Signal has a piece titled “4 Things to Know About Lev Parnas, the Left’s New Hero.” Parnas is the Ukrainian under indictment for campaign finance law violations who was arrested while trying to leave the United States in October. From the article:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group based in Falls Church, Virginia, looked into some of the information Parnas promoted and determined that he was “disreputable,” said Tom Anderson, director of the center’s Government Integrity Project.

Well before his airport arrest, Anderson said, he warned other reporters to ignore information from Parnas.

“If the Democrats take anything from him, they will end up getting burnt,” Anderson told The Daily Signal. “We’ve never used any information from him. I’m surprised Democrats are going anywhere near him.”

 … Read More ➡

Left Turns Against Facebook; Demands Censorship of Trump

Donald Trump/PHOTO: Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons

If there was any doubt about why the political Left has suddenly turned against Facebook, it has become clear: It is because they think the social media behemoth is helping President Donald Trump.

Revelations last week by top executive Andrew Bosworth, a vice president who was in charge of advertising during the 2016 election season, won’t disabuse liberals of that. Bosworth, however, did not give Facebook credit for the Trump campaign’s success in 2016 – rather, he attributed it to where it belonged.

“He ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period,” Bosworth wrote in a private Facebook post that he later made public after the New York Times published a story about it.

“[Digital Director Brad] Parscale and Trump just did unbelievable work,” added Bosworth, a self-proclaimed liberal who is reportedly close to CEO … Read More ➡

Why Won’t Apple Give Up Password for Pensacola Navy Base Shooter?

William Barr/IMAGE: YouTube

In announcing yesterday that Saudi shooter Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani – an aviation trainee who killed three U.S. service members and wounded eight at the Pensacola (Fla.) Naval Air Station in a mass shooting last month characterized as “jihad” – Attorney General William Barr said Apple Inc. has provided no “substantive” help in unlocking the late assailant’s two iPhones.

Apple disputes that claim.

The disagreement boils down to whether Apple is providing any useful information from Alshamrani’s data for the Justice Department investigation, or not.

“Within one day of the shooting, the FBI sought and received court authorization based on probable cause to search both phones in an effort to run down all leads and figure out with whom the shooter was communicating,” Barr explained, adding that the shooter damage both phones, one of them by shooting a round into it.

“Our experts at the FBI crime lab … Read More ➡

Washington Post Looks at Maya Rockeymoore Cummings’s Charity

This article by Steve Thompson today appeared in the Washington Post:

For years, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings ran a charity so closely intertwined with her for-profit consulting firm that they shared the same employees, the same office space and the same director — her.

The private firm carried out the charity’s mission of promoting public health and addressing racial and economic inequity under a cost-sharing agreement that gave the firm a 5 percent management fee. Rockeymoore Cummings signed a contract on behalf of both parties to set up the unusual relationship.

She disclosed the arrangement to the Internal Revenue Service initially, but in subsequent years she checked “no” on 990 tax forms asking whether the charity did business with any entities owned by its director. A “yes” answer would have required her to provide more financial details. Lawyers who specialize in nonprofits say that’s to allow scrutiny by both the … Read More ➡

Is Facebook’s Zuckerberg a Free-Speech Convert or Just Staving Off Regulation?

Mark Zuckerberg

So has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suddenly become a free speech devotee?

If you observe how the political Left is reacting and obsessing over his decision last month to not police political advertisements, you’d think he might have.

His announcement was juxtaposed against the polar opposite move of social media rival Twitter, and its CEO Jack Dorsey, who in early November said his platform would completely ban political ads. The contrast between the two near-simultaneous declarations likely heightened the blowback against Facebook.

The policy means that Facebook won’t subject political ads placed by candidates or advocacy groups to the site’s fact-checking review, as it does with news articles. Nor will ads accused of being false be removed.

Specifically, Zuckerberg said, “In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for public companies to censor policies or the news.” He downplayed the speculation that he was allowing the ads … Read More ➡

American Corporations Push Paris Climate Accord as China Pushes Coal

Apple CEO Tim Cook

As member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change take their 25thstab at an international agreement to limit so-called greenhouse gas emissions, some American corporations are trying to make up for the absence of the United States as part of the deal.

President Donald Trump famously announced in June 2017 the U.S. withdrawal from the nonbinding Paris Climate Agreement, which was previously negotiated in 2015 with the willful participation of then-President Barack Obama. Even though the U.S. Senate never ratified the treaty, as is required, the U.S. acted as though it was legal and pretended to adhere to the accord. But then last month Trump gave formal notification to the U.N. of America’s departure from the pact, effective the day after Election Day, in 2020.

There has been predictable outrage on the environmental left, from their allies in the media, … Read More ➡

Adam Schiff Setting ‘Terrible Precedents’ on Release of Private Phone Records

From the Daily Signal by Fred Lucas:

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., faces ethics and legal hurdles for obtaining and exposing phone records of political enemies, knowledgeable observers say.

Schiff may have violated the same rule he used to threaten House Republicans, said Tom Anderson, director of the Government Integrity Project at the National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group.

Schiff warned Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence not to reveal the name of the whistleblower who first filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s now-famous July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Schiff warned Republicans members if they did anything to publicize the whistleblower, it would be a violation of House ethics rules,” Anderson told The Daily Signal.

“He didn’t want other members to expose private information of the whistleblower,” Anderson said of Schiff, “but he is doing the same thing to … Read More ➡

Google Co-Founders Go Deeper in Hiding as 2020 Approaches

Larry Page & Sergey Brin/IMAGE: YouTube

Expect nothing substantive to change at Google and parent company Alphabet, following Tuesday’s announced departures of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin from their roles as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet.

The moves made big headlines, but the pair is mostly invisible anyway, leaving Google CEO Sundar Pichai – who will now hold that title for Alphabet also – to take the frequent slings and arrows that are now regularly thrown at the companies, as he mostly already has in recent years. But in reality Page and Brin will still call the shots, thanks to their ownership of special classes of “super-voting” stock that gives them majority control.

The announcement of their moves admitted as much.

“We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders,” Page and Brin wrote. … Read More ➡

UAW Chieftain Gary Jones Resigns as GM Department Scandal Widens

Gary Jones’ tenure as head of the United Auto Workers was brief. But he and the union are preparing for what may be a long ordeal. On November 20, Jones, beset by a slew of federal corruption charges involving extensive illegal payoffs exacted from vendors by ex-officials of the UAW’s General Motors Department, abruptly resigned as president. Nine days later, he ended his union membership. The actions occurred shortly after the UAW executive board filed paperwork to expel him and a regional director, Vance Pearson. While Jones has not been accused of anything (yet), his home was one of several sites raided in August by federal agents. In a related event, GM last month filed a racketeering suit against Fiat Chrysler on grounds that the latter misused the collective bargaining process to facilitate a merger.

If these were normal times, the 400,000-member, Detroit-based United Auto Workers might be … Read More ➡

Will Alphabet/Google Be Transparent in Its Sexual Harassment Investigation?

Following the introduction and eventual rejection of a shareholder resolution sponsored by National Legal and Policy Center at the annual meeting of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, board members are now investigating sexual harassment claims against some of its executives.

The resolution, announced a year ago by NLPC president Peter Flaherty, followed the height of the #MeToo movement in which women who had been sexually harassed – or even assaulted – came forward to expose what happened to them in the workplace. The proposal sought accountability and transparency in how Alphabet/Google has handled various claims of such misconduct, and also called for more ideological balance on the heavily left-leaning board of directors. The annual meeting was held in June.

The current investigation by a select committee of Alphabet’s board, along with the hiring of a law firm to aid the probe, was revealed this month in a reportRead More ➡