Indicted Senator Robert Menendez’ biggest donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, is on trial in West Palm Beach for on 76 charges of defrauding Medicare of $105 million. These charges are separate from those that Melgen bribed Menendez, on which the duo will be tried in New Jersey later in the year.
Of course, there is a connection between the two proceedings. Melgen wouldn’t have been able to shower favors on Menendez, or kick in $700,000 to a super PAC that spent most of the money to re-elect Menendez in 2012, if he wasn’t getting gobs of money from somewhere. And that somewhere was you and me, the taxpayers.
One buys stock with an understanding that the rules affecting profit and loss won’t change without warning. The U.S. Court for Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, apparently believes otherwise. On February 21, the court ruled 2-1 that investors in shares of secondary residential mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as managed by Perry Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund, have no right to realize their accrued profits. The decision continues the federal conservatorship of the two companies established in 2008. The case was triggered by the “sweep rule” issued by the Treasury Department in August 2012. That rule confiscated dividends as repayment for $187.5 billion in emergency loans even though the corporations have repaid far more than that. The case, one of many such suits, is a lesson on the perils of government bailouts.
In the Trump era, information technology moguls have become more explicit in their conviction that America is first and foremost a global sanctuary. One of them, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of the online lodging service Airbnb, is going that extra mile. The day after President Trump’s January 27 executive order temporarily barring immigration from seven terrorist Islamic-majority countries, Chesky announced his intent to provide free shelter to anyone barred from flights entering the U.S. as a result of the order. This gesture may or may not have been a violation of Trump’s action, but it almost certainly was a negation of fiduciary duty. The executive order later was overturned by a Seattle federal judge and upheld by an appeals court. It was overturned again in modified form by a Hawaii federal judge who only hours ago converted his temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction. Yet that should … Read More ➡ “Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Enables Illegal Immigration; Shuns Fiduciary Duties”
The Supreme Court has refused to dismiss criminal charges against Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who sought to have them thrown out on Constitutional grounds. Menendez was indicted, in part, on the basis of information uncovered by the National Legal and Policy Center.
Menendez seems to think that the Speech or Debate Clause is actually the Solicitation and Bribery Clause. His trial will start in the fall, two and half years after he was indicted. In this case, justice delayed really is justice denied. Although Menendez has stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he arrogantly refuses to resign from the Senate. He is even raising money for a 2018 reelection campaign.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has never lacked for persistence. But after more than seven years of trying to organize workers at the Boeing assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C., it has little choice right now but to lay low. On February 15, three-fourths of the employees at the facility, which builds the Boeing Dreamliner 787 commercial jet, voted against union representation. The vote also represents a rebuke to the National Labor Relations Board, which back in December 2011 dropped an Unfair Labor Practices complaint against the company in the wake of an IAM victory in contract talks. Significantly, the vote came one day before a visit by President Donald Trump, who has made domestic manufacturing a top priority issue.
Today I asked President Trump to seek repayment from General Motors of the $11.4 billion taxpayers lost on bailing out the company if it persists in moving its production to China, and in strengthening its relationship with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. According to President Obama, the rationale for the bailout was to help save American manufacturing jobs.
Here’s the text of my letter, which was copied to Dr. Peter Navarro, director of his National Trade Council:
During your campaign, you spoke of the importance of cutting better economic deals for Americans. In particular, you and many of your advisors have pointed out the massive trade deficit with China, produced in part by American companies that close their American factories, open up shop in China and then import their formerly American-made products into America.
Major corporations continue to spend precious time and resources in support of radical leftist pressure groups and advancing their agenda, rather than trying to maximize their revenues in ways that don’t politically divide their customer base.
The latest example is a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a transgender student in Gloucester County, Virginia, who sued her school board because they would not allow her to use the men’s restroom at her high school. “Gavin” Grimm won at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court stayed the decision until it could hear the case. Yesterday – after the Trump Justice Department reversed former President Obama’s policy guidance on the Title IX discrimination law upon which the case was based – the Supreme Court dropped Grimm’s lawsuit from its schedule, and remanded the case back to the 4th Circuit … Read More ➡ “Major Corporations Weigh In on Transgender Agenda Again”
Whether he can survive in office much longer will be determined by whether ethics enforcement mechanisms actually begin to function. It will depend on whether President Trump, and his appointees, follow through on his pledge to “drain the swamp” and whether House Republicans end their assault on the Office of Congressional Ethics, and instead get behind real reform.
To the titans of Silicon Valley, November 8, 2016 was a date that forever shall live in infamy. The election of Donald Trump as president posed an unprecedented threat to their campaign to transform America into a permanent global sanctuary. Information technology leaders have been on the warpath since President Trump’s January 27 90-day ban on immigration and refugee entry from seven terrorist-sponsoring (or terrorist-controlled) Muslim-majority nations, an executive order nixed a week later by a Seattle federal judge. That ruling triggered a quick appeal by the administration, and just as quickly, an amicus brief submitted to the appeals court by around 100 tech executives in support of the lower court ruling. Significant as the immigration angle is, another and perhaps less recognized issue looms: the willful transformation of corporations into a de facto branch of the federal government.
That trend likely won’t change after the latest controversial stance that Schultz took, utilizing the policies of the company he leads (until early April, when he steps down) to advance his political goals. But some cracks are showing with this one.