As you may know, the vicious recession we have now was largely driven by irresponsible corporations selling and buying bad mortgages, and big oil raising gas prices because of speculation.
The Bush administration failed to oversee the chaos and now most of us are suffering. President Obama campaigned on cleaning up corporate corruption. That was one of the changes we can believe in. But now the president has a major problem with the General Electric corporation.
On Tuesday, GE agreed to pay $50 million to settle a fraud claim lodged by the federal government. Simply put: GE misled investors by cooking its books. There are many prominent CEOs on GE's Board of Directors. How can they live with this?
Wednesday, the Free Enterprise Project called for GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to be fired, and certainly Mr. Immelt has a lot of explaining to do, because this is the same GE that has received $139 billion in government-backed low interest loans. In other words, taxpayer bailout money.
Think about that. GE defrauds the public, has to pay $50 million in fines, but could conceivably use taxpayer loans to do it. Amazing.
The situation directly touches the president because NBC News, owned by GE, has been perhaps Barack Obama's biggest supporter in the media, and Jeff Immelt was rewarded for that when the president appointed him to his economic advisory board.
And there's more. GE is now claiming to be a green company, saying it wants to clean up the environment and be paid for doing it. But that goes against General Electric's drastic pollution of the Hudson River:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX MATTHIESSEN, PRESIDENT OF RIVERKEEPER INC.: It's high time that GE clean up the Hudson River PCB contamination and all the other superfund sites that they're responsible for around the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
By the way, some analysts believe that General Electric stands to make hundreds of millions if cap-and-trade passes.
There is something very wrong about all this. A major American corporation promoting the election of Barack Obama and then seeking to profit from his policies. I mean, it's very simple. The Securities and Exchange Commission says GE is guilty of fraud, so how can its CEO be advising the president? That's insane.
It is long past time for the federal government to stop the nonsense and begin policing corrupt corporations. There is nothing the feds can do about a news organization promoting a political candidate, but to reward a corporation that does that with government contracts is flat-out corrupt.
We are going to continue watching this situation very closely. President Obama needs to distance himself from the General Electric corporation — immediately.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Larry the Cable Guy, aka Dan Whitney, is a very successful comedian, and now Larry's giving back. He's donated $1 million to the Child Advocacy Center, which helps abused kids. The cable guy is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, say hello to Vladimir Putin. For some reason he is topless riding a horse. Doing his imitation of Lady Godiva, I guess. Now I ask you: Is this fair to the horse? Who looks a bit perplexed by the way. Putin is — and always has been — a pinhead.