Publicado: 11-19-2011 12:45 PM
Analysis: Energy Secretary Chu likely to survive Solyndra
(Even after stealing billions from taxpayers)
Attribution: Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Energy Secretary Steven Chu is taking the heat for government decisions on Solyndra, but he is unlikely to take the fall for taxpayer losses on a $535 million loan guarantee to the failed solar company.
Chu will likely keep his job, unless damning new details come to light in several parallel investigations into Solyndra.
Chu faced about five hours of grilling on Thursday from Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee about Solyndra. By most accounts, he held his own.
Chu took responsibility for Solyndra but stood firm that his staff did their homework on the loan. He said falling prices for solar panels drove the company into bankruptcy and were to blame for taxpayer losses.
He unequivocally said he was not influenced by Solyndra investor George Kaiser, a donor to President Barack Obama's campaign.
Some lawmakers, who described the loan as rushed and poorly monitored, have questioned whether Chu should step down.
But quitting now would hand Republicans a political victory before the 2012 presidential elections while doing little to end the controversy over Solyndra, once held up by Obama as a model for creating jobs through green energy.
"I don't think there was any kind of 'smoking-gun' type question-and-answer that came out of the session," said Salo Zelermyer, who was a senior counsel at the Energy Department during President George W. Bush's administration.
Chu's testimony does not end the scrutiny. If new information emerges that casts a poor light on Energy Department decisions it could create a political scenario where he could be asked to fall on his sword, said Zelermyer.
The Energy Department's Inspector General -- an internal but independent watchdog -- is investigating Solyndra in tandem with the FBI, which raided the company in September.
The timing of that review is unknown, but if it holds the Energy Department responsible for poor decisions, that could add to pressure on Chu to depart, said Zelermyer, now with Bracewell & Giuliani, a lobbying and law firm.
The White House commissioned an independent report from Herb Allison, a former investment banker, on the department's entire loan portfolio of $35.9 billion, due in late December.
Publicado: 11-19-2011 12:46 PM
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.~Jeremiah 5:21
A negative report also could weigh on Chu.
Republican lawmakers eager to keep an Obama embarrassment in the headlines have also promised to continue their probe.
"I don't know if anyone's job should be at risk over Solyndra, but in this political environment that's always an issue," said Dan Kammen, an energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Solyndra is a regular feature in "blast" e-mails sent to reporters covering the 2012 presidential campaign. Republicans are using it to criticize Obama's energy and jobs politics, and highlight it as a waste of taxpayer money.
If Chu leaves now, it could feed that criticism.
"I don't think Secretary Chu will be leaving. Doing so would not stop Solyndra from being a part of the election," said Andrew Holland, an energy policy analyst at the American Security Project, a Washington think-tank.
Caving to Republican criticism over green energy would not play well with environmentalist Democrat voters, who have already turned up the heat on Obama on a decision to postpone new smog rules for coal plants, and a pending decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for crude oil from the Canadian oilsands.
Obama and Chu have so far given no quarter to their critics. Chu toured a Colorado solar plant owned by General Electric -- a plant that was not a recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee.
"The public and private sectors can, and should, work together to make sure clean energy technologies are invented in America, made in America and sold around the world," Chu said.
"Secretary Chu has the President's full confidence and we are all proud of his tenure as Secretary of Energy," White House Spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.
Fans of Chu, a Nobel laureate, say he has added scientific heft to Washington politics.
"It brings credibility to an agency that is first and foremost a science agency," said Elgie Holstein, an Energy Department official during the Clinton administration.
"He's a compelling spokesman for the energy revolution that's needed," said David Victor, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego.
If Chu survives scrutiny about the Solyndra loan, he may still step down if Obama wins a second term in 2012.
It is not unusual for energy secretaries to stay for only one term. Some observers say Chu lacks the political and financial acumen needed to advance Obama's clean energy agenda, particularly the use of renewable energy, which has been hurt by the Solyndra fallout.
"Secretary Chu is a wonderful and brilliant man, but he is not perfect for the other critical DOE mission: deploying existing technologies at scale and creating jobs," said Dan Carol, a former Democratic campaign adviser, whose private concerns became public last week in an e-mail the White House released to Republican investigators.
Publicado: 11-19-2011 12:47 PM
Top 10 Green Job Fiascoes
by Human Events
President Obama pledged he would start a clean-energy revolution that would create 5 million green jobs over 10 years. Of course, when the government tries to intrude in the marketplace, bad things happen. Such as these: the Top 10 Green Job Fiascoes.
1. Solar debacle: Solyndra Inc., which manufactured solar panels at its plant in Fremont, Calif., received $535 million in Energy Department loans, and President Obama talked glowingly about how the company was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” Instead of creating work for Americans after receiving taxpayer money, the company shipped half its manufacturing jobs to China. In August, Solyndra declared bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers.
2. Government Motors: The bailout that General Motors; received from the government came with a price: The carmaker was tasked to create the ultimate green vehicle. The result—the Chevy Volt—is a product with an exorbitant price tag that nobody wants to buy. Despite vast government subsidies, GM only sold 3,200 cars in the first eight months since the electric plug-in vehicles hit the marketplace.
3. Spanish windmills: Spain’s quixotic quest to create a green-jobs economy should have been a lesson for the United States. After Spain went crazy subsidizing windmills and solar farms, the result was higher utility bills for consumers, with a loss of 2.2 jobs in other industries for every green job created. And each green job came at a cost of $774,000 to Spanish taxpayers.
4. Solar debacle II: Evergreen Solar Inc., of Massachusetts, which received $58 million in stimulus money and other government largesse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August and closed its plant in Midland, Mich. Not being able to compete against the Chinese and their low-wage workers, the company racked up $485 million in debt and cut 800 jobs, with more cuts to come as the company restructures.
Publicado: 11-19-2011 12:47 PM
5. Weatherizing stupidity: The city of Seattle received $20 million in federal stimulus money to help homeowners make their houses more energy-efficient. Some 16 months later, 14 jobs were created and three homes were weatherized. Most of the money went to a company to train workers to weatherize buildings, but the lack of demand for the service meant those trainees had no work to do.
6. Green (union) jobs: After Obama’s stimulus package doled out billions to subsidize the weatherization of homes, the Labor Department delayed the project by seven months while it determined the prevailing-wage standards for those green jobs—a sop to the President’s union supporters. That is just one reason why the program turned into a miserable failure. In its first year, the program spent $508 million to create 600 jobs and update 9,000 homes nationwide.
7. Green-car fiasco: Green Vehicles received $500,000 from the city of Salinas, Calif., and another $187,000 from the state of California as it promised to create 70 new jobs making an innovative three-wheel electric car with a $25,000 price tag. Little wonder that company folded without making a single car.
8. Biofuel bust: Before Republicans took back the statehouse in Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell helped support the ethanol producer Bionol Clearfield with $27 million in grants and loans, and by issuing $67 million in tax-free bonds. But even a deal with Getty Oil to buy the fuel couldn’t save the venture from going belly-up two years after its founding.
9. Do-nothing government: Johnson Controls, which manufactures batteries for electric and hybrid cars at its plant in Holland, Mich., received $300 million in taxpayer help and created a grand total of 150 jobs—or $2 million per job. That must qualify as a huge success in the green-job world, as President Obama visited the facility in August, using the trip to attack Republicans and a “do-nothing government.” Yes, Mr. President, sometimes doing nothing is preferable to shoveling money into a hole.
10. Almost two jobs created in Vegas: Clark County, Nev., which happens to be the home of the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, received $490,000 in stimulus money from the U.S. Forest Service to plant trees in urban neighborhoods (more palm trees on The Strip?). The stimulus that resulted from the grant to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s home state created 1.7 jobs (one full-time employee and one part time) and 11 temporary jobs. You get a better return for your money at the slot machines.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HUMAN EVENTS is the news source President Reagan called his "favorite newspaper" and we still hold high the Reaganesque principles of free enterprise, limited government and, above all, a staunch, unwavering defense of American freedom.
Publicado: 11-19-2011 12:48 PM
OBAMA’S BIG TIME SCANDALS: Fast and Furious, Solyndra, LightSquared
Big Time Scandals by Obama Administration Too Small for Investigation by Mainstream Media? By Jerry McConnell CANADA FREE PRESS October 1, 2011 Since Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 there have been several major scandals in which his Administration has been involved, principally, Operation Fast and Furious the government sponsored sale of guns to small time gun sellers along our border with Mexico; the failed ‘Stimulus’ loan of multi-millions to Solyndra and LightSquared, two small businesses that were Obama preferred for loans. All three of these Obama Administration ventures were major failures involving scandalous behavior.
Is that what our country’s communications are becoming; a non-existent, undependable, one-sided bunch of slugs who won’t get off their duffs to report thoroughly and clearly on major government scandals? Is the entire communications arm of our country becoming beholden to Obama and his scandal ridden administration peopled by socialist, communists who break our laws with impunity and without fear of prosecution in our mainstream media or courts? Where will that take us if allowed to continue?
To cite a statistic on how seriously flawed this Obama-led government is becoming, the Heritage Foundation on September 25, 2011 reported that except for “some recent reports from CBS News and the Los Angeles Times, and earlier reporting by ABC News, the mainstream media has largely ignored the stories.” That is an extreme negative attitude for the media and unprecedented for our country’s information sources.
Obama, the Pied Piper, and His News Media
The Heritage also reported that “the White House press corps has not bothered to ask the President or press secretary Jay Carney about the scandal since July 5 - that’s 78 days, and over 40 press briefings, without one single related question.” (Emphasis added.) Does that sound like the major media has the interests of the people of the United States at heart or the continuing efforts of covering up for Obama? You decide.
Publicado: 11-19-2011 12:50 PM
The gun-handling fiasco known as Operation Fast and Furious, saw that well over one thousand of the guns went missing and ultimately wound up in Mexico where one of our border patrol agents was shot and killed, later investigation of which proved the weapon used was one of the guns that was part of the failed government gun deal.
Around 1,500 of the guns went unaccounted for, about two-thirds of those guns ended up in Mexico, with which our border patrol agent was shot and killed and 57 Fast and Furious weapons have been connected to at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S. In Mexico an unconfirmed toll of at least 200 people have been killed or wounded with other weapons linked to the botched effort, Heritage reports.
The other Obama Administration scandals involve his efforts to provide “stimulus” spending to create more jobs in 2009 with an $800 billion upwards to $1 trillion tax dollars spent. Well, the money was spent but the jobs didn’t materialize due to the possibly illegal handling of the money to sources for purposes other than jobs creation such as political “payback” gifts to corrupt union leader bosses.
Solyndra is a company that did get money, a $535 million loan guarantee to create ‘green’ jobs; today it is bankrupt and plans on the layoffs of over 1,000 employees. The FBI is conducting an investigation of that company. Then, as Heritage continues, “there’s the story of LightSquared, a wireless start-up company backed by billionaire Democratic donor Philip Falcone. The Daily Beast reports that military officials fear that the company’s technology could interfere with GPS signals-and that two U.S. officials allege the White House tried to influence their [congressional] testimony to rush key testing, to LightSquare’s benefit.”
Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that his committee plans to investigate government loans to private companies made by the Obama Administration, according to The Hill. Now, Solyndra’s chief executive and chief financial officer have invoked their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions at the hearings.
Also in the Heritage Foundation report it was stated that “A cross-border gun-running scandal, deaths in the United States and Mexico, staff removals and resignations, secret audio recordings, complaints from foreign officials, hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, bankruptcy, an FBI raid, campaign donors, and allegations of inappropriate White House influence in congressional testimony; and the just reported suicide of ATF agent Jeff Ryan of the LA Field Division. There are serious questions coming out of Washington. It’s time for the media to start demanding answers.”
The mainstream media was very quick to investigate and demand the resignation of a GOP politician for simply sending emails to an underage Congressional Page with no evidence of any contact whatsoever; but a full-fledged taxpayer rip-off scandal by a liberal Democrat president’s administration doesn’t even rate a second thought for investigative purposes. Double standards anyone?
The end of this Administration can’t come soon enough.
Publicado: 11-19-2011 07:37 PM
Smallpox: Obama's Latest Crony Sweetheart Deal
By Katie Pavlich
No, I'm not talking about a dirty bomb here, I'm talking about the latest sweetheart deal given to a drug company from the Obama Administation that just so happens to be headed by a big Democratic donor. The donor also made direct monetary contributions to Obama's inaguration.
Apparently, the federal government has $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine stock piled, enough for every American, just in case there is a terrorist attack involving smallpox. Because the government already has substantial stockpiles of the vaccine, eyebrows were raised when people learned the administration approved a loan worth nearly $500 million for the company Siga to manufacture....more smallpox pill vaccines.
The Obama White House has immersed itself in a new scandal with a major Democratic donor. A deal worth half-a-billion dollars has raised questions about the relationship between Washington and the makers of an experimental drug. The Los Angeles Times reports that for the past year, the Obama administration has urged approval of a $433-million plan to give Siga Technologies Inc. of New York the lone rights to manufacturing a smallpox pill for the US government to keep in stockpiles in case of a biological war outbreak — despite officials agreeing that the disease has been eradicated for nearly 40 years. Citing a 2004 George W Bush administration doctrine that says a smallpox threat could reemerge, the Obama White House is hoping to have Siga provide 1.7 million doses of the drug to be kept on the shelves at a cost far above what officials agreed to. In observance with FDA regulations, the drug has not — and most likely won’t — be tested on humans, calling to question whether the supposed effectiveness of the pill is even existent— at a price tag of nearly half a billion dollars. As it happens, Ronald O. Perelman, the controlling shareholder of the pharmaceutical manufacturer, donated over $300,000 through a Siga affiliate to the Democratic cause during the 2008 and 2010 campaigns. Additionally, Perelman himself forked over around $50,000 towards Obama’s inauguration. Coincidentally, the Obama administration guaranteed Siga rights to provide the pill for the government without seeking competition from any other companies, a move which caused the Small Business Administration to cry foul. The Times reports that the initial federal contract guaranteed the deal to go to a company with fewer than 500 employees, which would exclude Siga from the bidding. In response, the government withdrew its first call-for-proposals and penned a new submission form — one that was delivered to solely Siga.
Okay, so what's so bad about making sure we have plenty of smallpox vaccination on hand? There are no plans for the drug to be approved by the FDA and the drug made by Siga, can't be tested on humans.
The deal between the White House and Siga has aroused suspicious given that the government currently has around $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccinations on the ready — which The Times reports would be enough to inoculate the entire population of the country. Aside from trace samples of the disease kept in storage in the US and Russia, the rest of the world is believed to be free of the germ, which has around a one-in-three chance of destroying the infected. America’s current antidote has a shelf-life of decades and is proven to be effective — but only in the first four days of infection. ST-246, the antiviral pill in development from Siga, would be able to thwart outbreaks for those infected after that span — but FDA regulations bars the company from conducting test on humans. As a result, ST-246 will most likely never face approval from the FDA, let alone have its effectiveness proven. Regardless, the Obama administration has spent the last year attempting to ensure that Siga delivers the disease-killer to the American government at a price of $255 per dose — which would expire and lose potency in a matter of three-year’s time.
I wonder if the vaccine is covered in ObamaCare.
Publicado: 11-25-2011 03:19 PM
The Broken President
By John Ransom
Being president was always easy for Barack Obama.
That is, it was easy up until the time he actually was elected president. Then things got a little tougher.
In part, Obama’s troubles stem from the rigidity of his broken ideas. They admit of no compromise. Consequently, he has subsumed his whole personality into an unworkable ideology that was dead outside of academia- and news rooms- until he resurrected it.
It’s the idea that a benign government of technocrats and academics can engineer near perfect justice at the trivial cost of liberty to most.
His life and presidency can only be understood by recognizing this Obama idée fixe goes beyond merely his ideology and merges into that of his personality. Because only when one realizes that he personally identifies with his ideology in the same way that he identifies himself as a father or husband, can one finally understand how tightly he clings to it.
It’s an ideology that he clings to, like some do guns and religion, despite a century of abject failure when implemented- as his own disastrous record as president shows on a fairly small scale.
Unlike guns and religion, however, which both have long records of reliability, his ideology depends upon the unreliable magic trick of redefining of words to mean the opposite of what any plain speaking person in the USA would understand them to mean.
For example, if you redefine liberty to mean that most everyone outside of the ruling elite has the same amount of “things,” then Obama’s materialist ideology ensures “some liberty for most.” Therefore, it is only when you have a static majority, a majority that can neither rise nor fall, that “good, kind-hearted, fat, benevolent people,” as Twain describes them, can assure honest poverty for the rest of us.
In that case, why wouldn’t good, kind-hearted, fat Warren Buffett pay a tax to ensure he and his fellows maintain an ascendancy that can’t be compromised by the majority? Why wouldn’t donor good, kind-hearted, fat George Kaiser go knocking on the door of the White House for a subsidized loan for his failing private venture? The first rule of capital is to preserve it in the same way that politicians first preserve power.
Publicado: 11-25-2011 03:19 PM
And thus, in Obama’s world, everyone is happy.
It was so much easier for Obama to be president when all he had to do was come up with sunshine words and rosy promises, as opposed to, say, executing unworkable legislation, controlling a suspicious congress, creating policy that gave to the rich in order to ssecire “some liberty for most;” or following a budget that isn’t even written down on a napkin.
Talk is cheap- as is writing- but when you claim the mantle of leadership you actually have to do something. And in doing something Obama has revealed to Americans the underside, unspoken ideology that belongs to the spirit of the Bastille, rather than that of the Boston Tea Party.
It’s the spirit that talks about immigration reform, but ignores immigration law -or not- depending on how the spirits move him. It’s the spirit that plays the part of constitutional law professor, while ignoring the duty to defend the constitution. It’s the spirit that tells banks to lend money to poor people, but punishes banks through extra-legal means- because they loaned money to poor people.
And those spirits create misgivings in most Americans; and those misgivings are strongly confirmed by the economic failures they have engendered.
When you measure those failures against the expectations that the liberal left pinned on Obama via speeches and skin color, and subtract out the deepening number of Americans who think the country is on the wrong track, we can quantify how cheapened the presidency has become. All you have to do is subtract the Obama expectations from the Obama result.
What you are left with is a remainder that confirms that this president is broken.
Utterly, 100 percent, non-fixable broken.
It is interesting to note that the essential defect of this president was pegged by Sarah Palin early on.
“But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform,” said Palin at the 2008 Republican convention while she was accepting the spot as vice president on the McCain ticket.
Obama still hasn’t authored anything much but speeches; speeches which contain nothing new; “not one” new idea, say his friends.
Even his signature healthcare bill wasn’t his own creation but rather a compilation of ideas from lobbyists and Senators.
Because if Obama authored legislation, on say, immigration, or the debt ceiling or his own version of healthcare- if he told us what he really thought of the Main Street American bank or those who truly occupy Main Street - Americans would understand how bankrupt the man is.
All you have to do is subtract his words from our reality to see the result: broken.
Publicado: 12-01-2011 07:46 PM
THings About Obama That Didn’t Matter To the MSM
I Own The World.com ^ | 11-29-11 | Staff
Adapted from an un-attributed viral e-mail
WHEN he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan, Mummar Kadaffi and Hugo Chavez, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN it was pointed out that he was a total newcomer and had absolutely no experience at anything except community organizing, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he chose friends and acquaintances such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN his voting record in the Illinois Senate and in the U.S. Senate indicated an absentee senator, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he refused to wear a flag lapel pin and did so only after a public outcry, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he stood with his hands over his groin area for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he surrounded himself in the White House with advisors who were pro-gun control, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage and wanting to curtail freedom of speech to silence the opposition, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN his czars favored SX education in kindergarten, including homosexual indoctrination, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN his personal background was either scrubbed or hidden and nothing could be found about him, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he had an association in Chicago with Tony Rezko–a man of questionable character and who is now in prison and had helped Obama to a sweet deal on the purchase of his home– it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN it became known that George Soros, a multi-billionaire Marxist, spent a ton of money to get him elected, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he stood before the the American people and said that his intentions were to “fundamentally transform this Nation” it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN it became known that he had trained ACORN workers in Chicago and served as an attorney for ACORN, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he appointed cabinet members and several advisors who were tax cheats it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he appointed a Science Czar, John Holdren, who believes in forced abortions, mass sterilizations and seizing babies from teen mothers, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he appointed Cass Sunstein as Regulatory Czar who believes in “Explicit Consent,” harvesting human organs without family consent, and allowing animals to be represented in court, while banning all hunting, it didn’t seem to matter.