Posts Tagged ‘Solyndra’

Obama and His Crony Connections Run Wild

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

All The President's Friends

We’re all familiar with the story of Solyndra, and a number of the other firms connected to the Obama administration and the “Green Jobs” programs that have been little more than a slush fund for Obama’s donors. Now enter Siga Technologies, with controlling stock held by Ronald O. Perelmaan, longtime Democrat Party donor and Obama supporter. The Los Angeles Times is now reporting that Siga was given a no-bid contract worth nearly one-half billion dollars by the Obama administration, and that the circumstances of how that happened seem to be less than above-board.  While vaguely reminiscent of the Perry-Gardasil scandal, this is much larger and has even more far-reaching potential consequences.   The real scandal lies in the method by which the contract was secured.   The administration replaced its own lead negotiator in order to push this contract through.   From the LA Times article:

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

This is a clear sign of serious corruption, and along with other cases involving Barack Obama, it puts the lie to the meme that this administration pushed that it would be “the most open and ethical administration in history.”  Perhaps most stunning about this case, the drug in question hasn’t even been tested, meaning the tax-payers could be footing the bill for something that is completely worthless:

Siga’s drug, an antiviral pill called ST-246, would be used to treat people who were diagnosed with smallpox too late for the vaccine to help. Yet the new drug cannot be tested for effectiveness in people because of ethical constraints — and no one knows whether animal testing could prove it would work in humans.

What we have here is another Solyndra-like instance of tax-payer funds going to purposes of questionable or even seriously flawed merit, conveniently to companies closely tied to this administration.  When Sarah Palin raised the alarm about crony-capitalism, few outside the cesspool of Washington DC had any idea just how bad and how commonplace these sorts of tax-payer rip-offs had become.  Apparently, it’s much worse than all but the most wary observers might have guessed.

Meanwhile, ABC News is reporting that the administration knew they would face blow-back over Solyndra and other Energy Department loan guarantees and contracts.  CBS News’ 60 Minutes is supposed to be devoting its show on Sunday evening to the entire question of Crony Capitalism.  Given CBS’ tendency to be in the tank for Democrats, I expect them to downplay the matter, or at least spin it in some way favorable to Democrats and President Obama.

It’s what they do.

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Obama Administration Rejects Congressional Subpoena

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Obama Cover-up?

The Washington Examiner is reporting on the Obama administration’s rejection of a House Energy and Commerce Committee Subpoena for additional documents related to the Solyndra scandal.  Apparently, this president is above the rule of law.  Congress is carrying out its duty to investigate why tax-payers were effectively robbed of a half-billion dollars under the auspices of a “green energy” initiative.  The Obama administration is keen on hiding this entire fiasco, and now that the committee has looked at all the documents from other federal agencies, they need to look at documents related to the case from the White House, but as the administration’s response makes clear, there will be no further cooperation.  Clearly, his lawyers don’t believe they must respond to legitimate subpoenas for documents pursuant to the oversight role of Congress.  The lawyer is claiming executive privilege on behalf of Obama because the committee vote was along partisan lines, there is no need to answer it:

“I can only conclude that your decision to issue a subpoena, authorized by a party-line vote, was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation,” Obama’s counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, wrote in a letter to the top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee.

(read complete response here)

I want my fellow Americans to remember this.  Essentially, what you should understand is that you don’t need to worry about Obamacare, because it was passed by a party-line vote.  You needn’t sweat it. Just ignore it.  When the federal revenuers come to collect money from you pursuant to Obamacare, you just go ahead and tell them “Hey, I’m sorry, but that was passed by a party-line vote, so no thanks.”  See what that gets you.  Enjoy your jail cell.

The most important claim made by the Obama’s attorney, Kathryn Ruemmler, is that the committee’s subpoena was “overbroad” and thus interferes with the confidentiality interests of the executive branch.  This, from an administration that continues to make claims about its transparency. The problem is that this letter suggests that the party-line nature of the vote is what makes the subpoena invalid, but my question is:  Would the intrusions on the executive privileges of the Obama administration be less if this subpoena had been issued by a unanimous vote of the committee?  No. They’d still make the same claim.  Don’t be fooled by this partisan-ship claim of the president’s attorney.  This is all about hiding the truth.

For his part, Committee Chairman Fred Upton responded to this rejection in scathing language:

“We have been reasonable every step of the way in this investigation, and it is a shame that the Obama Administration and House Democrats continue to put up partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers. Solyndra was a jobs program gone bad, and we must learn the lessons of Solyndra as we work to turn our economy around and put folks back to work. Our judicious and methodical work over the last eight months has garnered tens of thousands of pages of documents from DOE and OMB that have proven we are on the right track. Now, we need to know the White House’s role in the Solyndra debacle in order to learn the full truth about why taxpayers now find themselves a half billion dollars in the hole. The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate. That would have been the route we preferred, and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out. Our request for documents is reasonable – we are not demanding the President’s blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out.”

This is setting the stage for a conflict between House Republicans and the Obama administration on an unprecedented scale.  As usual, the Obama administration is obfuscating, obstructing, and otherwise attempting to thwart this investigation into the scandal arising from their approval of loan guarantees to the now bankrupt Solyndra, because this would likely reveal the depths of the crony capitalism inherent in the green energy  initiative.

So what will Congress do if the Obama administration ultimately tells them to pound sand, as it now seems certain to be the case?  I suspect with Speaker Boehner’s tepid leadership, nothing will happen, which is why the Obama administration is responding in this manner.  They know that Boehner simply won’t call for an impeachment, in part because Boehner will consider it pointless since the Senate will never take action on it, and in part because Boehner is afraid of controversy, and instead simply wishes to get along.

Enough is enough.  It’s time that Congress demands the President and his administration comply with the subpoena.  As usual, the response to the subpoena came late Friday after most Americans check out on news.  The Obama administration is betting that the House of Representatives is a toothless paper tiger.  Sadly, with leaders like Boehner and Cantor, they’re likely to have been right in that assessment.  Meanwhile, the American people are taking a beating at the hands of this administration, and its corrupt crony capitalism, which hands out favors to friends and big-money donors while stiffing the American people with the bill.

You’re Being Robbed

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Stealing The Future Uncovered

The crony-capitalism running rampant in the “green energy” initiatives of the Obama administration continue to escalate.  Today, it’s being reported in several media outlets that another three-quarter billion dollars in loans are being guaranteed by the federal government. Worse, some of the same people are involved including Steve Mitchell who was on the board of directors of Solyndra.  He also serves as a “board participant” for Solar Reserve, the parent company of Tonopah Solar.  The US Department of Energy provided another $737 million in guarantees to Tonopah Solar for a new project in Nevada.  As it turns out, Nancy Pelosi’s fingerprints are all over this too.

As we have suspected all along, the Democrats who had been in uncontested control of Congress and the White House until January 2011 have been looting the country. In short, you’re being robbed.  It’s not that anybody is surprised about it, but that the confirmation is just one more reason that Americans are to the point of complete frustration with their government.  Over the last few days, Democrats elites in Washington and around the country have clearly taught us the following lessons:

  • They think we have “too much democracy.”
  • That elections should be suspended to permit them to rule without consequence.
  • That our money is theirs to expropriate, steal, reward friends and relatives, and use as they see fit.

These politicians have always claimed that what they do, they do only for our best interests.  We should have begun to recognize that they hold our interests as irrelevant to their plans, and that any claims they make to the contrary are simple camouflage for the theft in which they’re engaged.  Who among us views the extravagant vacations of the whole Obama family as anything other than looting done under the cover of their position?  Let’s not pretend that they have any intention apart from a malevolent desire to cash in at our expense.

One of the most frightening aspects of what these incidents of crony capitalism and insider trading reveal are that this has all become quite routine in Washington DC.  Our elected federal leaders have no problem squeezing us dry, and ultimately discarding us when we’re used-up.  This can be the only real meaning of the voluminous bills that move from the House to the Senate and finally to the President’s desk for signature:  They are using every opportunity to steal from us.  Even if we imagine that we need some form of healthcare reform, even a grandiose vision like Obamacare, a notion I discard, is it truly necessary to engineer a piece of legislation that is thousands of pages long if it is only honest governance?  No.  As has been demonstrated since its passage, since we weren’t permitted to see it beforehand,  the law is laden with all sorts of set-asides, boondoggles, and instances of crony capitalism for which we will pay with our wallets and our lives.

Other pieces of legislation match this same description.  It cannot be that it takes thousands of pages to craft such laws, and yet the laws and the continuing resolutions and stimulus plans are packed with page after page of hand-outs to this company and that group and these individuals and the other state or locality.  As I’ve explained at length before, even the borrowing constitutes a theft as our currency declines in value in response to the wholesale printing.

Most rational Americans are frustrated to the point of exhaustion.  We must have reform, and it can only come at the ballot box, but this can only happen with the staunch and unflinching devotion of an American people moved to a house-cleaning frenzy.  We must rid ourselves of the old and intractable Senators who wield our dollars like a club over our heads.  We must remove this President who sees no problem with spending money on frivolous things while the country languishes in economic hardship to which he is a primary component.  Perhaps more importantly, however, we must confront another part of the government that few of us ever notice, because we focus on the elected officials.  In Congress, there is an army of staffers who use the laws that they author on behalf of their bosses in part to enrich themselves, generally with a wink and a nod from the elected members.

These people constitute the palace guard and the fox in the hen-house simultaneously.  They peddle influence and they use knowledge of the dark reaches of bills on page 2,214, Section 23x, where you will find the most outlandish things.  Just like the officials for whom they allegedly work, they’re a mixed lot.  Some are very decent and conscientious, but you could in no way consider that to be a majority of them.  The White House is full of similar people, and indeed the entire executive branch is overwhelmed with them, and the executive levels of the various departments and agencies are stuffed full of people who are there because they knew somebody or contributed something to somebody important.  This is the ugly back-side of Washington DC most never see, but it is there and quite prosperous nevertheless.  Did you wonder why it is that only Washington DC’s housing prices seem to continue upwards while the housing market at large has been in free-fall?  It’s much easier to afford nicer housing in better neighborhoods when the tax-payer is footing the bill.

In 2012, voters will face an awful set of choices.  If the country is going to survive, this gravy train must be derailed.  The DC insiders love to lament how the spending is unsustainable while they vote to continue it, but the truth is that as long as we leave them in place, it will be the American people who will bear the worst of this growing catastrophe. It’s no longer enough to simply change teams.  We must change the character of at least one of those teams, and we must clean up the supporting cast of characters too.  This will not be accomplished all in one wave, but we can make a great first installment next year.  For a change, we will all need to leave our comfort zones.  This must be a sharp reversal.  Time is nearly up.

Obama’s Giant Green Crony-Capitalism Machine

Monday, September 12th, 2011

How Much Cash Can You Hide In One Of These?

Some things politicians do should result in prison terms and this may well be one of them.  When you lift up the carpet to find what’s been swept under the rug, the growing scandal with Solyndra and other “Green Energy” companies begins to look less and less like energy initiatives  than political pay-offs from corporate connections.   Crony capitalism is reaching its pinnacle under the leadership of Barack Obama, and while there have been other practitioners, it’s clear that this President is engaged in a vast scheme to redistribute wealth from tax-payers to corporate pals who may well be paying a form of commission right back to his campaign coffers.  The fact that any president would do this is scandalous, but Obama campaigned as the champion of the down-trodden, and this disgusting debacle that warrants a serious investigation.  With other instances in which cronies seem to have paid not to play(Obamacare Waivers,) it also appears we now have a case of pure pay-to-play.  Congress must investigate this scandal.

Let’s be honest enough to admit that there have been politicians in both parties guilty of these sorts of things.  The sad political demise of Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) was the result of ridiculous defense contractor kick-backs, and it’s no surprise that our system has dealt with him as it ought, but when you see an instance like this Solyndra scandal, and begin to look at how many billions of tax-payer dollars went to support the “green jobs” lie, it’s small wonder that unemployment is still over 9%.  President Obama’s handouts to cronies for the sake of the contributions to be had, coming back as campaign cash from these large donors is a clear symptom of a system overwhelmed by corruption.

For those of you who don’t understand what’s been going on, let’s try to clear up the mechanism of the corruption.  First, the government, acting under the auspices of the “Green Jobs Initiative,”  part of the 2009 “Stimulus bill,” guarantees huge loans on behalf of the company in question, or provides direct financing in the form of loans and grants.  In the case of Solyndra, it will put the tax-payer on the hook for over a half-billion dollars.

For those of you who might be thinking that these sorts of things are done all the time, and some of them fail, you’d be correct, but this fails to understand the true scope of the scandal.  Solyndra officials visited the White House at least 20 times that we’re aware, and one can only guess how many times before the White House visitor logs were ordered released by a federal judge.  What then generally happens in these sorts of scandals is that after the money’s been given in one form or another to the company in question, or sometimes before it is given, there is an avalanche of bundling campaign dollars by company executives to politicians.  In the Solyndra case, as in many other instances, this appears to have happened.

Oh sure, it will all appear strictly legal.  Few are so mind-warped to do such things without the of cover of law, but this is what the legislative process has become:  It is a way to dispense money to corporate and union cronies in exchange for some paid back to the politicians who enacted the law.  Obama said “shovel ready,” and it was, because he shoveled it out the door to his cronies just as fast as he could.  Of course, even here, they will hide it behind the actions of some low-level staffer or political operative, but the facts always show up in the end.  The bucks started flowing at the President’s desk, and he had a responsibility to stop them.

While I don’t wish to sound too conspiratorial, I also wish to sound a note of caution to all those who think that because the FBI is now involved, we’ll inevitably get to the bottom of this.  What one must remember is that with Holder heading the DoJ, there’s some chance the FBI wasn’t visiting the home of Solyndra’s CEO to uncover incriminating information, but instead to bury it.

Sarah Palin is right:  We can’t restore or repair our republic until we’ve cleaned up the crony capitalists and corporatists in our nation’s capital.   We mustn’t pretend that our economy can be recovered by more dubious “green jobs” or anything else proposed by this administration.  President Obama simply isn’t capable of acting as an honest broker any longer.  Instead, he’s become just one more symbol of the corruption that rules Washington DC, with we tax-payers and our children as the perpetual suckers.