Monday, October 3, 2011

DOE's cozy relationship with Obama fundraisers.

It now appears that the Energy Department was something of a haven for Obama fundraisers who wanted to affect policy after the election.

ABC News is reporting that several Obama fundraisers found themselves helping out around the place. Some of them had ties to green energy projects that DOE ended up supporting.

Well known already is DOE’s precipitous and calamitous decision to fund Solyndra, which was backed by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser.

Also known is that another Obama fundraiser, Stephen Spinner, was involved in advising on the Energy Department’s loan program. His wife’s law firm represented Solyndra, but the firm claims she had recused herself from work with the company.

DOE is trying to minimize Stephen Spinner’s role, while Spinner tried to maximize it, ABC reports.

Too late

Administration officials and outside advisers warned that President Obama should consider dropping plans to visit a solar startup company in 2010 because its mounting financial problems might ultimately embarrass the White House.

“A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” California investor and Obama fundraiser Steve Westly wrote to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010. “Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term. . . . I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press.”

Wall Street protesters: we're not sure what we are protesting, but we have a lot of time on our hands.

I found the protesters I met to be friendly, welcoming and earnest -- though totally misguided. Within minutes of arriving, a young woman encouraged me to join along in the fun and pointed me toward the free food (there's a section of canned food and other groceries that have been donated to the protesters who are living in the park). "I'm going to give you a blessing," the woman told me, then began waving a smoking piece of sage around my face and body. She handed me a pamphlet about the agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that urges state legislatures to pass conservative policies. "Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue," the handout read.

From what I saw, the protesters have an outsized sense of their own importance -- many think that they are getting on the ground floor of a movement that is genuinely going to sweep the nation. The crowd I saw was a lot different than the crowds I'd see in the early days of the Tea Party movement.

Politically incorrect remarks makes ESPN drop Hank Williams Jr.

The Hank Williams Jr. song that has opened Monday Night Football for 20 years will not be part of the opening of this week's Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game after Williams made controversial comments about President Barack Obama.

Greek version of Hopey-Changey not working either

Drowning in red ink, Greece has nowhere to turn to revive the economic growth that might put its debt on a sustainable trajectory, reassure angry foreign creditors and offer hope to its recession-weary citizens.

Instead, the country finds itself in a vicious circle—a death spiral, some would say—in which it is borrowing ever more to keep up on its existing debts, crushing growth in the process and thereby worsening its all-important ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product.

Springing the debt trap would not be a miracle cure either: a manageable level of borrowing is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for Greece to start restoring competitiveness and resume growth after three years of economic contraction.

Hopey-changey ain't cutting it

The rout that erased $2.9 trillion from U.S. equities has pushed valuations in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index 25 percent below the average level from the last nine recessions, even as profit estimates fall.

“green” is the new refuge of scoundrels

Victor Davis Hanson:

"Solyndra and Van Jones are the metaphors of these times, reminding us of the corruption of the very notion of “green.” In the age of Al Gore, it has eroded from a once noble ideal of conservation to a tawdry profit- and job-scam for assorted hucksters and snake-oil salesmen. Without the lofty hype and shake-down, most otherwise would have had to find productive jobs. Tragically, “green” is the new refuge of scoundrels."

Day by day


What the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is about

John Minchillo/AP

The purpose and future of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is as vast as the thousands who have gathered there. After 700 arrests Saturday on the Brooklyn Bridge, Sunday was quiet as protesters planned their next big march Wednesday.

Results of ruling on Alabama's tight immigration law

Hispanics leave school in face of Alabama's tough immigration law

Alabama's new immigration law requires public schools to document the legal status of children upon enrollment. As a result, many immigrant families are withdrawing their children from school.

Apparently George could not 'let it be'

He had a way with the ladies ... harrison 640

And the likelihood of this taking place would be ...?

Court Fights Over Bid to Give Reagan Shooter Leave

Prosecutors say hospital's proposal to let John Hinckley live full-time at mother's home is 'ill conceived'

Very interesting question

Is America Becoming A Third World Country?


NASA photo shows a different view of the sun

Stunning: These x-ray and ultraviolet images help scientists understand how the sun works

Just like he let the passengers 'die in peace'?

'Let me die in peace', begs Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi from his bed at home in Tripoli after finally being tracked down

Frail: Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi said he wanted to die in peace as he talked to reporters from his sick bed at his home in Tripoli

Appeal verdict could come as early as later today

'I did not rape, I did not kill. I'm NOT a pervert': Amanda Knox breaks down in court as she makes last plea for freedom

Amanda Knox at final appeal hearing

The smart and the dumb.

The smart is Harold Hamm, the founder and CEO of Continental Resources and one of America’s richest men. Hamm is one of the primary developers of the Bakken oil fields; he estimates that they contain 24 billion barrels of oil. The dumb is Barack Obama. The Wall Street Journal describes Hamm’s meeting with Obama:

When it was Mr. Hamm’s turn to talk briefly with President Obama, “I told him of the revolution in the oil and gas industry and how we have the capacity to produce enough oil to enable America to replace OPEC. I wanted to make sure he knew about this.”

The president’s reaction? “He turned to me and said, ‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.’” Mr. Hamm holds his head in his hands and says, “Even if you believed that, why would you want to stop oil and gas development? It was pretty disappointing.”