Results matching “solyndra”

President Obama yesterday named DC lawyer Ron Klain as the Ebola "czar."  I know Mr. Klain only very slightly, from when I was moving out of the White House at the end of the GHWB administration and he was helping the Clinton administration move in.  I found him intelligent, thoroughly pleasant and a gentleman.  Our contacts were slight and fleeting, and I haven't seen him in more than 20 years. 

The WSJ has an editorial today about the Klain appointment.  Its title is, "Ebola Political Contagion," and it begins:

President Obama bowed to the growing Ebola political furor on Friday and named a so-called Ebola czar, though maybe the better label is apparatchik. His man isn't a military general, despite the troops in West Africa, or even someone with so much as nominal expertise in disasters or infectious disease. He's the political operative Ron Klain.

Solyndra and Other Forms of Cluelessness

Solyndra pushed its way into the news primarily as an example of how the "enlightened" push for "green energy" could prove to be a taxpayer-financed disaster, not to mention a brewing scandal, as it turned out that millions were being shoveled into what was widely known to be a failing project, but one that was near and dear the the heart of one of Mr. Obama's billionaire campaign bundlers.  Someone must have forgotten that when the government picks business winners and losers, political considerations are never far behind  --  and, thus, neither is the smell, and often the fact, of corruption.

The story is here, but I bring it up mainly for its wonderful first paragraph:

Perhaps the greatest example of cluelessness in the pages of the New York Times was their bafflement a few years ago over the fact that the prison population was still rising even though the crime rate was falling, apparently unable to discern a possible link between the two. ("Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling" was the impossible-to-lampoon, Onion-worthy headline.) Or as one wit put it: we started lowering the crime rate when we finally acknowledged that the "root cause" of crime is criminals, and treated them accordingly.


Crime Threatens to Bring Down the Presidency

No, it's not Solyndra.  It's not Fast and Furious.

We all know that one of President Obama's strong suits is his ability to talk to the people.  Kinda the "Great Communicator," Part II.

Only now it's all under threat.  Will our President survive?  Read the shocking story.

The Aroma Gets Stronger

I wrote here about the potential scandal involving President Obama, the green energy company Solyndra, and Solyndra's biggest investor, George Kaiser.  Notwithstanding the FBI's apparently extensive interest in the company and its principals, I said I didn't know whether a crime had been committed.  I still don't, and the President and his aides are entitled to the presumption of innocence at this stage.

The presumption of innocence does not mean, however, that this matter cannot be viewed through the lens of common sense and experience.  Thus I found this AP story somewhat disquieting.  Its title is, Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor.  It begins:

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....[T]he implosion of the company and revelations that the administration hurried Office of Management and Budget officials to finish their review of the loan in time for the September 2009 groundbreaking has become an embarrassment for Obama...

Embarrassment is one thing, but this in particular is what caught my eye:

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.

Stay tuned.


Solyndra and That Familiar Aroma

A few days ago, Kent noted that President Obama's favorite "green energy" company, an outfit called Solyndra, went belly up after gobbling down half a billion or so in government-backed loans, a/k/a your tax dollars. 

Now going bankrupt is not exactly news in this Administation, nor is it ordinarily a topic for C&C.  On the other hand, it's not every bankrupt company that has the FBI carting out its documents, or visiting the homes of its executives and investors to cart out theirs. 

The most curious thing about all this is the combination of (1) Mr. Obama's preternatural enthusiasm for this company, including a well-publicized personal visit, and (2) the fact that its main investor, George Kaiser, was a billionaire bundler for Obama's 2008 campaign.  It would be impolite, and not really accurate, to say that a "bundler" is a bag man.  It's fair, however, to say that he's a fat cat who recruits other fat cats.

The news today is that White House e-mails have come out showing dozens of contacts with the Department of Energy pushing for hasty approval of the Solyndra loans.  The responsible official at Energy says he "can't recall" the identity of the White House officials who met with him.  For his part, Mr. Kaiser has no comment.

Is there a crime here?  I don't know, not yet.  But there's one heck of an aroma

Solar search warrants

Last week it was big news (at least here in NorCal), that Solyndra had filed for bankruptcy.  This is a solar energy firm touted as an example of "green jobs," visited by President Obama, and funded with a half-gigabuck of your money.  We didn't mention it here at C&C because it isn't a criminal matter.

Or maybe it is.  Today AP reports, "Agents executed multiple search warrants at the company's headquarters in Fremont as part of an investigation with the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, according to FBI spokesman Peter Lee. Lee said he could not provide details about the investigation."

What's up?  Was there fraud involved?  Dunno.  Stay tuned.

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