Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time for Some Sunshine on Obama's Solar Agenda

The Obama administration just 'invested' another $5 Billion dollars of taxpayer money in the manufacture of solar energy just as the month end dead line approached.   Is green energy and the related technology in it's current state truly a viable option?  Or is the "green" in green energy refer to money?  The Daily Caller investigates what other motives may drive this push:

"A Daily Caller investigation has found that in addition to the failed company Solyndra, at least four other solar panel manufacturing companies receiving in excess of $500 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of money to Democratic campaigns.
And as questions swirl around possible connections between political donations and these preferential financing arrangements, the Obama White House suddenly began deflecting The Daily Caller’s questions on Wednesday to the Democratic National Committee."

“It is becoming more clear with each revelation that warning signs were ignored in the Solyndra case,” Texas Congressman Barton (R). “Yet in the next 48 hours — because of a deadline that can still be changed — the Department of Energy is going to hand out another $5 billion in loans.”

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.
Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees."

The report provides the dirty details of the financial transactions and support between those who benefit from the loans and those in the current administration who control who gets the advantage of building their business with taxpayer money.

Why would the White House defer questions on the tactical actions under by their current policy to the Democratic National Committee???  Perhaps they don't want these questions being brought up during the daily briefing, which could force Obama's friends in the media to start asking questions the White House doesn't want to answer.   Awkward questions that could follow Obama through the election process.   

Could it be that the White House doesn't want to deal with question on why First Solar founder and Chairman Michael Ahearn, who donated $123,650 to Democrat election campaigns and whose company just received $2.1 BILLION in taxpayer money, cashed in $68.9 Million of company stock ?   If the founder and Chairman is betting against his company by dumping nearly $70 Million of stock, why are taxpayers being asked to provide life support to another green energy company that can not otherwise compete in the market?   I'm guessing the White House is attempting to push this investigation as far away from them as possible, knowing that their friends in the mainstream media will not pick up this story until the public forces them to.

More from The Washington Post:  

"The U.S. Department of Energy learned in December that Solyndra was violating its federal loan deal, but the agency changed the loan terms to allow the solar company to continue receiving taxpayer funds, federal officials confirmed Wednesday.
Executives at Solyndra, which had been awarded a $535 million government-backed loan to spur its solar-panel production, confided to the Energy Department late last fall that the Fremont, Calif., company was running out of money and at risk of liquidating.
Congressional investigators have questioned why the Obama administration agreed to help the company in late 2010 when it was warned that the firm was at risk of collapse. Internal e-mails show federal reviewers initially estimated they could save the taxpayers as much as $168 million by letting the company go under in December 2010, rather than resuscitating it and allowing it to draw down more federal money.
Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera confirmed Wednesday that the agency knew Solyndra had violated the loan terms but agreed to change the requirement to help Solyndra. The agency originally required that Solyndra make six installments of $5 million each, starting in December, to create a $30 million cash cushion for problems."
The Weekly Standard is not just following this story, they are running this headline:

"Crony Capitalism: $737 Million Green Jobs Loan Given to Nancy Pelosi's Brother-In-Law"

Click the headline to jump to the link to their story.

And now it turns out the IRS was modifying tax policies that would specifically benefit Solyndra:

"WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just weeks before Solyndra received approval for a $535 million taxpayer-funded loan, the Fremont, Calif.-based solar panel manufacturing company received a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, giving its customers a significant tax break.
The U.S. tax code has long allowed buyers of solar panels to deduct a portion of the installation cost from their taxes. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that credit was boosted from 10 percent to 30 percent through 2016.
But in August 2009, the IRS also determined that companies buying Solyndra products would qualify for another 30 percent tax credit – as long as they were installed on roofs painted white to reflect the sun. At the time, only Solyndra was selling products that would work on so-called "cool roofs."

It's time to shine some sunlight on the Obama administration's investments in green energy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

German Finance Minister: No Thanks to Obama "Stupid Idea"

 From The Telegraph:

"German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble said it would be a folly to boost the EU's bail-out machinery (EFSF) beyond its €440bn lending limit by deploying leverage to up to €2 trillion, perhaps by raising funds from the European Central Bank.
"I don't understand how anyone in the European Commission can have such a stupid idea. The result would be to endanger the AAA sovereign debt ratings of other member states. It makes no sense," he said. Mr Schauble told Washington to mind its own businesss after President Barack Obama rebuked EU leaders for failing to recapitalise banks and allowing the debt crisis to escalate to the point where it is "scaring the world"."

I can't imagine why the Germans wouldn't want to jump all over Obama's economic theories and ideas.  After all, look at what a great job he's been doing for us.

Obama Warned Green Jobs Possible "Colossal Failure"

The one time that our Treasury chief was right about something and President Obama chooses not to listen.

From the LA Times, hardly a beacon for conservative thinking:

"Treasury chief Timothy F. Geithner and others were worried that the selection process for federal loan guarantees fell short and raised the risk that funds could be going to the wrong firms.

Long before the politically connected California solar firm Solyndra went bankrupt, President Obama was warned by his top economic advisors about the financial and political risks of the Energy Department loan guarantee program that boosted the company's rapid ascent.

At a White House meeting in late October, Lawrence H. Summers, then director of the National Economic Council, and Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, expressed concerns that the selection process for federal loan guarantees wasn't rigorous enough and raised the risk that funds could be going to the wrong companies, including ones that didn't need the help."

If I were a greedy capitalist, I'd make the argument that companies with solid business plans in a growing market don't need taxpayer support.  And unless there is some greater need such as national security and defense, companies that can only survive through infusions of massive amounts of taxpayer funds probably don't have a purpose for their existence.   

But hey, that's just me.  

It's ALMOST as if Obama had some ulterior motive for wanting to give Solyndra federal government support...

Execution for Iranian Pastor Who Refuses to Renounce Christianity

( – An Iranian pastor who refuses to renounce his Christian faith could be hanged as soon as Wednesday, after a trial court ruling this week upheld his death sentence for “apostasy.”

Nadarkhani was first arrested in October 2009, reportedly for objecting to the teaching of Islam to Christian children at Iranian schools. The indictment against him accused him of organizing evangelistic meetings, sharing his faith and inviting others to convert, running a house church and “denying Islamic values.”

Click HERE for the details of the activities of those fun loving Iranian Muslims. 

Think Deeper...

Long, but worthwhile.  It goes in a different direction then you expect.  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Piling On: More Changes of Possible Obama Corruption

New video of White House press secretary Jim Carney explaining the Solyndra scandal just when the Daily Beast levels new charges of corruption against the Obama administration...

Eli Lake at the Daily Beast breaks the story: 

"The four-star Air Force general who oversees Air Force Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said.

The White House confirmed Wednesday that its Office of Management and Budget suggested changes to the general’s testimony but insisted such reviews are routine and not influenced by politics."

To quote the legendary Bill Mayes, "But Wait, there's MORE!".   It turns out that President Obama himself was personally invested in LightSquared...From The Center for Public Integrity:

When the Federal Communications Commission granted LightSquared Inc. expedited approval to launch a new wireless Internet service, some powerful voices in Washington expressed alarm, including the Pentagon and one-third of the U.S. Senate.  

LightSquared's bloodline is particularly rich. Its ties to President Obama's supporters and the administration's policy interests run deep, explaining the company's ability to do battle with powerful entrenched interests: 

  • Several major Democratic campaign contributors and longtime Obama supporters have held investments in the company and its affiliates during its tangled decade of existence. They include Obama's good friend and political donor Donald Gips, his former White House personnel chief, who now serves as U.S. ambassador to South Africa. Records show that Gips maintained an interest, worth as much as $500,000, as the FCC was weighing LightSquared's request. 
  • Obama installed one of his biggest fundraisers, Julius Genachowski, a campaign "bundler" and broadband cheerleader, as chairman of the FCC, whose staff granted LightSquared a special waiver to operate.
  • LightSquared's current majority owner, hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, made large donations to the Democratic Party while his broadband request was pending before the FCC. He and LightSquared executives met with White House officials. Neither Falcone nor the White House would comment on what was discussed. 
  • LightSquared employs lobbying firms that wield formidable Democratic firepower: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania and onetime chair of the Democratic National Committee, as well as the firm of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt.
  • Jeffrey J. Carlisle, the company's vice president for regulatory affairs, served with Genachowski and Gips on Obama's transition team. 



    Business Truths Meets Hope and Change!

    When you piece together the timeline, showing how the Bush administration passed up the 'opportunity' to loan taxpayer money to the financial black hole now known as Solyndra, only to have the Obama administration push it through immediately upon taking office, it's almost enough to make a cynical person suspicious.

    "WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

    Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work."

    (Right, after all look at all those people in the Obama administration with a solid track record in real world business. No wait...)

    "Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees."

    (Big surprise!)

    "The loan restructuring is one element congressional investigators are focusing on as they look into the federal loan guarantee Solyndra received under the economic stimulus law.

    Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors — Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP — stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government.

    Argonaut is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House. Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's 2008 campaign, federal election records show. Kaiser has made at least 16 visits to the president's aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs."

    Taxpayer money was illegally subordinated to an investor with major ties to Obama???

    Here's the icing on the solar cake, the Bush administration didn't make the loan because they were uncomfortable with the numbers.

    "WASHINGTON -- Solyndra officials were intensely pressuring Bush administration officials in early January 2009 to approve a government loan for the solar company before the Obama administration took power, according to new emails obtained by Fox News on Friday.

    On Jan. 12, 2009, Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet sent an Energy Department official an email marked "urgent" expressing outrage that Bush officials had decided a few days earlier that while the loan application had "merit" it needed further study before officials could move forward with a taxpayer-financed loan.

    Gronet wrote just days before President Obama's inauguration that stretching the process out could have a "severe" impact on Solyndra."

    Severe impact indeed, like filing for bankruptcy because it was loosing money on every solar panel they sold. Stupid Republicans don't know beans about business compared to college professors and community organizers. Everyone knows that sales volume offsets transaction losses. I believe I read that on Guy Kawasaki's blog.

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

    I'd say the business skills of the Obama administration is as good as the German Coast Guard English...