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Google CEO for Commerce Secretary? How About Madoff for SEC?

The strong buzz in Washington, DC is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is President Obama’s top choice for Commerce Secretary and an appointment is coming soon. The CEO who made billions collecting our personal information online and serving us up to advertisers, the guy who created online privacy problems, would head the federal agency responsible for developing and executing the Administration’s online privacy policies. How about just appointing Bernie Madoff to head the SEC? Part of me wants to see Schmidt nominated because he would finally have to testify before Congress. Here’s a guy who presided over the largest wiretapping scandal in American history, when Google Street View cars took data presumably from tens of millions of wi-fi networks across the world, and he has not even had to testify before Congress. Now that’s a guy who is wired. Connected all the way to the Oval Office apparently. (Consumer Watchdog made a very funny video about what Schmidt’s faux testimony would look like.) Apparently no one in the West Wing has been able to talk practically with the President, who really wants Schmidt. It’s hard to imagine how a guy who owns roughly $5.41 billion worth of Google stock could avoid a conflict of interest. There’s only one way: Schmidt will have to sell all his stock, and his part ownership of the company. You cannot place that much wealth in a blind trust when everyone knows where the wealth springs from. That’s a seeing-eye trust. The very type that exploded the career of one time Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Then there’s Schmidt’s crazy mistress/girlfriend, stuff that’s too rich for the GOP family values crowd in the Senate not to come after on the character/family values issue. Since this is business, not personal, I’ll let the online tabloids talk: Eric Schmidt’s ex-girlfriend sets her sights on Facebook Google’s CEO Demanded His Mistress Take Down Her Blog Is Google CEO¹s Other Girlfriend Getting Indiscreet, Too? Google CEO Deters Mistress Tattle Tales Getting Cozy with Google CEO’s Mistress And His Money The Google CEO and His Mistress: The Tell-All Blog How Google CEO’s Ex Girlfriend Keeps Tabs on Him Google CEO Has Money for ‘Dear Friend’ of His Sometime Girlfriend There are strong policy reasons not to make America’s policy on commerce Google’s brand of business. Consumer Watchdog enumerated them in a letter to President Obama weeks ago, but we have not received a letter back, not even a G-mail. In a nut shell, Google’s brand of business is to ignore ethical mores, social customs, and the rule of law — as a federal judge ruled last week to uphold copyright laws against Google’s digital assault on them in its Digi-Book-Mart deal. The judge sided with Consumer Watchdog and other consumer groups when claiming the deal would give Google a “de facto monopoly.” Obama has shown some remarkably bad judgment at pivotal moments of his presidency. Right before the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama agreed to include offshore drilling in his energy bill. Just after the tsunami struck Japan, his Administration reiterated its support for nuclear energy. Now, on the verge of an online privacy revolution, Obama is about to appoint a CEO who is The Anti-Privacy to his chief privacy post. 90% of the public wants more online privacy. Hmmm, do you think Americans will be happy with Mr. Schmidt and the President in the end? Part of me is looking forward to this nomination since, deal or no deal with Senate leaders on the confirmation, Schmidt will be a big, bright pinyata for privacy advocates when he gets to take the oath at the confirmation hearings. I’m betting there are some senators who will ask the tough questions, and finally we’ll get some answers about Google’s scandals. Google stock might even suffer the consequences. This could be one confirmation hearing where Mr. Schmidt, whose known for his verbal gaffes, could cost himself hundreds of millions of dollars with the wrong word choice. (Remember, “Google’s policy is get right up to the Creepy Line?”) If Google’s stock falls $50 or so from its $575 heights based on those hearings, Schmidt’s wealth, based on 9,372,741 shares of stock, goes down by about about a half billion dollars. Now that’s one expensive confirmation process! Read the original article on The Huffington Post.
raisinghell Jamie Court is the author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell.


Will Patients Beat Blue Shield Again… This Time With the First Online Ballot Petition for Rate Regulation

Shouldn’t the CEOs of health insurance companies like Blue Shield have to sign under penalty of perjury that their rate hikes are justified? If the first online signature gathering for a ballot petition is successful, Californians will vote on that proposition in November, and are almost sure to approve. One year ago I stood at […] Read More..

California Democratic Lawmakers Revive Schwarzenegger Scam To Sell Off Historic State Properties in Order to Save Their Pay

California’s Democratic state lawmakers announced a budget plan to keep their paychecks coming that included one of the worst ideas Arnold Schwarzenegger had since impregnating his kids’ nanny. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget today, they lose their pay tomorrow. So Assembly Democrats have included in their hastily-assembled budget plan Schwarzenegger’s political love child, selling […] Read More..

Do-Not-Track-Online Goes On National Map With Rockefeller Bill

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller did the American people a great favor today by introducing the Do-Not-Track-Online Act of 2011. iPhone and Android users should not have to worry about being spied on by their smart phones. We should be able to say no to Google and Facebook when they violate our privacy daily by tracking […] Read More..

Will the President Gridlock West LA as Prelude to Earth Day? He Should Read the Gas Station Signs

The email warnings are flying in West Los Angeles about how the President’s motorcade will once again gridlock afternoon rush hour. The cause: two mistimed, ill-placed Hollywood fundraisers on opposite sides of the traffic jam known as West LA. There’s probably no major city as pro-Obama as Los Angeles, or state so solidly in his […] Read More..

Breaking News: We Stopped Google In Court

It’s not every day that you beat one of America’s biggest companies in court. Today a federal judge agreed with Consumer Watchdog’s strong anti-trust arguments and prevented Google from gaining a monopoly over digitized online books. Consumer Watchdog was of the one first to call for the US Justice Department to block the Google Books […] Read More..