Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama's $5 million dollar jobs; The facts on our $535 million loan to Solyndra; A General was asked to change his testimony for Obama; Obama donors and LightSquared; GE's Immelt is Obama's Jobs Czar; Obama now a punchline; Obama claims Republicans will make US like a third world country; Taxpayer grants go to ACORN entities; Department of Health and Human Services grants money for abortions; American Journalism failed to be watchdog on Obama; UAW gets raises and bonuses; New book about Obama; Geithner mocked by Europeans; Cutting payroll taxes decreases funds for SS

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, "...and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."


American Thinker reports: According to Energy Department figures, the administration has spent $17.2 billion in loan guarantees to create 3,545 jobs, a cost of nearly $5 million per job.   

In fact, hundreds of new regulations continue to be published each week in regard to health care, financial services, energy, and other areas. [Congress has itself to blame for these new regulations which are not voted upon by Congress.]



Powerline writes: The facts are very bad. Solyndra was a money-loser from beginning to end. Its business model was untenable. The Bush administration turned it down for funding. Its owners wanted to do a public offering; for that purpose, they had to have their books audited and a report written by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The report was more or less an obituary for the company:
[O]utside auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) found that condition to be dire. “The company has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception, and has a net stockholders’ deficit,” the PWC accountants concluded. Even with the gigantic Obama loan, Solyndra was such a basket case that PWC found “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”
Given that harsh assessment, the IPO failed for lack of new investors willing to pour their money down the rathole. 
So your money was poured down the rathole instead. Incredibly, the Obama administration bailed out (at least in part) Solyndra’s investors by putting them ahead of the taxpayers in the company’s inevitable liquidation. There was no conceivable business justification for this action, so it can only be ascribed to the substantial amounts of money Solyndra’s founders raised for the Obama campaign, and to their dozens of lobbying visits to the White House. McCarthy concludes:
As the IPO failed and the company inevitably sank in a sea of red ink, Solyndra’s panicked backers pleaded with the administration to restructure the loan terms — to insulate them from their poor business judgment, allowing them to recoup some of their investment while the public took the fall.
Sweetness and Light comments on taxpayer dollars going to LightSquared:  "In this time of record debt, I question whether the government is qualified to act as a venture capitalist, picking winner and loser in speculative ventures and shelling out billions of taxpayer dollars to keep them afloat," said GOP Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
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.
The episode —confirmed by The Daily Beast in interviews with administration officials and the chairman of a congressional oversight committee —is the latest in a string of incidents that have given Republicans sudden fodder for questions about whether the Obama administration is politically interfering in routine government matters that affect donors or fundraisers…
Now the Pentagon has been raising concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared, whose majority owner is an investment fund run by Democratic donor Philip Falcone.
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.
“There was an attempt to influence the text of the testimony and to engage LightSquared in the process in order to bias his testimony,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) said in an interview.
The Center for Public Integrity reports: Wireless firm LightSquared pressed its case for government approval of a new national broadband network in numerous contacts with presidential aides, at times citing its fundraising for Democratic causes and President Obama, White House emails show.
On the day that LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja made a $30,400 contribution to the Democratic Party, two of his deputies appealed to the White House for meetings with top technology advisers to Obama, according to emails obtained by iWatch News .
Washington Examiner opines: [GE (whose CEO was appointed as President Obama's Jobs Czar) said]: "Last year, only 4 percent of our revenue came from sales to the U.S. government."
This is really off target. The dig at GE is not that it makes all its money selling to the U.S. government. It's that it finds all sorts of ways to profit off of big government, including subsidies and regulations.
Off the top of my head, here are a few ways:
  • GE is a top beneficiary of Export-Import Bank subsidies.
  • GE launched an embryonic stem-cell business just after President Obama announced the government would start subsidizing them.
  • GE owns half of Greenhouse Gas Services, a business that generates and trades in greenhouse-gas credits -- something that only has value if government constrains GHG emissions.
  • GE is a leading manufacturer of wind turbines, which receive all sorts of federal and state subsidies.
  • GE lobbied for and benefits from the light-bulb efficiency regulations that drive consumers to more expensive light bulbs.
  • On the state level, GE gets generous "incentives" (subsidies) from governments. Consider this Virginia case.
  • GE got $140 billion bailout from the FDIC in 2008.
I would like GE to explain why this isn't corporatism or crony capitalism.
Commentary Magazine opines: Gone are the days when all Obama had to do to charm the news media was don a pair of blue jeans. Now the Solyndra scandal has become a Jon Stewart punchline, news outlets are joining the mockery of the the AttackWatch campaign site, and even James Carville is advising the White House to panic.
David Axelrod, clearly longing for the good old days, is now blaming the media for hyping Obama’s bad month (in a memo he released to the media):
More than anything, the memo is a sign the media culture is beginning to change. Obama still gets far better coverage than a Republican politician would. But the rise of right-leaning media outlets and the competition for web traffic has made it much harder for mainstream outlets to ignore legitimate stories that reflect poorly on Democrats. That’s not to say the coverage of Obama’s campaign will be as fair and balanced as it should be, but he’s not going to get as much of a free pass as he did in 2008.
In a Washington Times editorial titled “Obama’s Third World America,” this statement caught my attention: “On a campaign fundraising trip to Chicago, Mr. Obama quipped that under the proposed Republican budget plan, ‘we would be a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places that we thought — that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure.’ He failed to elaborate on which developing countries he thinks should be models for the United States, but his policies have secured America’s status as part of the declining world.”
Patriot Update reports: Section 261 of the bill provides $15 billion for “Project Rebuild.” Grants would be given to “qualified nonprofit organizations, businesses or consortia of eligible entities for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed-upon properties and for the stabilization of affected neighborhoods.” Radical groups like ACORN won’t get the whole $15 billion, though, because they will have to compete with state and local governments for the money.
In March of this year, Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave a $79,819 grant to the Miami branch of the massive conglomerate known as ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC). AHC filed papers in 2010 legally changing its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). The nonprofit corporation owed $162,813 in back taxes to the IRS, states, and cities as of this past July.
Despite the new name, AHCOA is the same old corrupt organization. It even uses AHC’s federal Employer Identification Number (72-1048321).
World Net Daily reports: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Planned Parenthood of New Hampshire $1 million after the state legislature voted to cut off the stream of taxpayer money to the largest operator in the nation's abortion industry.
It's just one of a number of states where local managers and officials have decided against providing tax money to Planned Parenthood, only to see their work overturned through what one critic calls government by fiat.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser says the New Hampshire dispute is just another example of the Obama administration's abuse of states' rights.
The National Post opines: As the bad economic news continues to emanate from the United States — with a double-dip recession now all but certain — a reckoning is overdue. American journalism will have to look back at the period starting with Barrack Obama’s rise, his assumption of the presidency and his conduct in it to the present, and ask itself how it came to cast aside so many of its vital functions. In the main, the establishment American media abandoned its critical faculties during the Obama campaign — and it hasn’t reclaimed them since.
Much of the Obama coverage was orchestrated sychophancy. They glided past his pretensions — when did a presidential candidate before “address the world” from the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin? They ignored his arrogance — “You’re likeable enough, Hillary.” And they averted their eyes from his every gaffe — such as the admission that he didn’t speak “Austrian.” 
The media walked right past the decades-long association of Obama with the weird and racist pastor Jermiah Wright. In the midst of the brief stormlet over the issue, one CNN host — inexplicably — decided that CNN was going to be a “Wright-free zone.” He could have hung out a sign: “No bad news about Obama here.”
To the degree the press neglected its function as watchdog and turned cupbearer to a styrofoam demigod, it is a partner in the flaws and failures of what is turning out to be one of the most miserable performances in the modern history of the American presidency. 
The Sun Times reports:The United Auto Workers union [who now own 17% of GM] won $5,000 signing bonuses  and the possibility of sweeter profit-sharing checks as part of a new four-year contract with General Motors Co., two people briefed on the talks said Saturday. [Perhaps they should be paying we the taxpayers the $14 billion they still owe us.]  The deal reached late Friday also includes a $2 to $3 an hour pay raise for entry-level workers over the life of the contract and guarantees more union jobs, the people said.

The UK Telegraph opines: A new book about Barack Obama, whose Pulitzer-prize winning author received extensive co-operation from the White House, portrays the American president as indecisive, out of his depth and facing insubordination from advisers. 

Larry Summers, a former top economic adviser is quoted as telling Peter Orszag, then Mr Obama's budget director, at a dinner in Washington's Bombay Club: "We're home alone. There's no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes." Mr Summers was US Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton.  

Anita Dunn, a former Obama communications director, is quoted as saying that "looking back, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace ... Because it actually fits all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace for women."


The UK Daily Mail comments on the new book about Obama: Top female advisers felt left out by a boy's club in the White House where rampant infighting sabotaged the administration's economic decisions, according to a controversial new book.
Sidelined and ignored in the West Wing, some women aides reportedly complained to President Obama about their treatment in 2009.
In an excerpt obtained by the Washington Post, a female senior aide is quoted as calling the White House a hostile environment for women.
'I felt like a piece of meat,' Christina Romer, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers, said of one meeting with Summers.
Read more:
Forbes opines: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has been savaged in the United States for cheating on his taxes (you can buy a T-shirt to commemorate his tax dodging), but he’s becoming a punch line in the rest of the world for different reasons.
I wrote two years ago about Chinese students erupting in laughter after Geithner claimed the Administration believed in a strong dollar.
Now he’s getting mocked by the Europeans.
And here is a brief excerpt from the Financial Times.

…some eurozone finance ministers hit back at Mr Geithner’s comments, questioning the usefulness of his visit. “I found it peculiar that even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the eurozone, that they tell us what we should do and when we make a suggestion … that they say no straight away,” said Maria Fekter, Austria’s finance minister. Sweden’s Anders Borg said: “we need to make progress, but it’s quite clear the US has a big debt problem and the situation would be better if the US could show a sustainable way forward.”
When the dust settles, though, the fact that Secretary Geithner is getting laughed at and mocked by people in other countries is not that funny. Not because he doesn’t deserve abuse, but rather because the bad policies of the Obama Administration are resulting in genuine hardship and suffering
Expose Obama opines: Ironically,the centerpiece of President Obama’s recently announced jobs program would cut payroll taxes [and increase taxes by $1.5 trillion] – the principal funding source for the Social Security Trust Fund – without immediately making up for those lost revenues through other revenue streams. Normally,the employer and employee pay an equal share,6.2 percent of income up to $106,200. This provided $544.8 billion in funding for Social Security in 2010. Last year,President Obama persuaded Congress to pass a two percent employee payroll tax cut for 2011. Thus,there will be $112 billion less in revenues to go into paying for Social Security benefits,according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. That will require finding other funding sources to make up the difference.


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