Last Friday produced one of the darkest hours of the Obama administration’s 33 months in Washington. A day that saw the top two executives of a bankrupt $528 million government-funded solar company take the Fifth Amendment twenty separate times while “testifying” before a House Energy Oversight Committee.
The frightening reality of all this is Solyndra is only one of twelve solar panel manufacturers that have been given guaranteed government loans through the stimulus bill of 2009.
As no less than four federal investigations have begun, including the FBI and Treasury Department, these men who had only recently been seen glad-handing Washington politicians, were now blank-faced at the witness table pleading the Fifth.
But they weren’t laid out bare-in-the-sun, so to speak. They had their share of Democratic apologists to provide remarkable excuses for corporate ineptness and possible criminal activity. Here are a few of those whoppers laid out for the committee’s amusement:
Whooper #1 – The damn Chinese caused this mess. How can you compete with a country where the government subsidizes their rapidly growing solar industry? This was bound to happen. Forget about that pesky $528 million in taxpayer money. Accidents will happen.
Whooper #2 – This was a “scientific experiment” by the administration. That was Rep. Henry Waxman’s, D-Los Angeles, reasoning last Friday at the hearings. With a straight face, he decried that “We need to face reality and stop denying science.” Really?
Whooper #3 – You can’t blame the Energy Department and the White House for pushing this taxpayer-funded boondoggle. Tech start-ups are traditionally risky. Shouldn’t the investors, er, taxpayers know that?
Whooper #4 – It was the Bush Administration that caused all this. They “supported Solyndra’s loan guarantee application.” At least that was one of Obama’s loyal soldier’s explanation. For the record, this incredibly false statement was made by, virtually unknown outside of her district, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Colo.
Whooper #5 – What’s the problem here? Private investors sank more money than the government into Solyndra. It was something like $1 billion from a few investment con artists as opposed to just over $500 million spread over a a nation of 300 million people. Big deal!
Of course these idiotic partisan remarks were dismissed with smirks and sighs throughout the hearing. The incredible chain of events that occurred following the mega-government Solyndra loan was nothing less than arrogance gone wild.
It began with a spanking new mega-millions factory that included a space-age conference gave the company that legimate look. Once this all was completed, “Larry and Moe” (the CEO and CFO that pleaded the Fifth 20 times) returned to the Energy Department (“Curly”) requesting an additional $400 million. That couldn’t be rubber-stamped fast enough since Solyndra went bust before a “kangaroo pow wow” could give these guys more taxpayer bucks.
All the while, the company had been running up bills for paid lobbyists hustling Congress to the tune of $550,000 through last year. The ongoing FBI investigation will determine how much since then.
Rep. Diana DeGette’s assertion that this was all the Bush administration’s fault, although the common Democrat excuse for any failure in the Obama White House, was a blatant lie. The Bush Energy Department flat out voted against such a loan prior to their departure in January, 2009.
That is a well-known and documented fact that either Rep. DeGette already knew and said anyway, or a purposeful lie to sidetrack her colleagues on the committee. Whatever the reason, she is either ill-prepared and stupid or out and out deceitful. Take your pick.
Even after the Obama people grabbed a fistful of this mess, the Office of Management and Budget called the loan a “deal not ready for prime time.” A company that had never come close to turning a profit suddenly became the darling of the president, vice-president and the energy secretary (“Curly”), whose wife just happened to part of Solyndra’s legal counsel. Just a coincidence for sure.
The administration agreed to a sweetheart deal for Solyndra desperate for cash. In the event of default, the private investors, including a big Obama campaign contributor, would get priority over the taxpayers – a clear violation of federal law. Nevertheless a decision that kept the company on life support, prolonged Obama’s “green initiative” ploy and appeased the liberal environmentalist vote.
This will all play out over the next few months. Meanwhile, the president is not talking and out campaigning for another $450 million for “jobs” through trillions in new taxes from “rich” Americans during a recession.
Maybe he can make Rep. DeGette his speechwriter. We all know how well she has done with science fiction. Meanwhile, the FBI and other federal agencies continue to dig deeper by the day.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll to the top of this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It’s FREE. Thank you for your patronage.