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Beckwith

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White House and Obama warned not to visit Solyndra

Karl Gotthardt reports the Energy Department and the White House have come under fire for providing a $535 million loan guarantee for a failing green company.  E mails received and released by the minority Democrats of the House Commerce and Energy Committee indicate that the White House was warned that President Obama should not visit Solyndra.

 

One of the e-mails came from Obama fundraiser Steve Westly,  who is a California investor.  His e-mail to Valerie Jarrett indicated that his group was concerned that Obama would visit Solyndra and that the company’s cost structure would make it difficult for the company to survive long term.

"A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra.  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," the e-mail said.
 
The debate  on the viability of Solyndra also included communications between Valerie Jarrett, a close confidant of Obama and Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff of Vice President Biden.  Klain advised in one e-mail that the company could go belly-up, along with other clean-technology energy ventures, by election day 2012, but that the visit looked ok.
 
"Some risk factors here, but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit. It looks like it is OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know."
 
The Bush Administration had rejected the idea of a loan guarantee for the fledgling company, yet the Obama Administration pushed ahead with it.  While Democrats espouse that these e-mail prove that the loan guarantee were not political favoritism, it raises the question,  why the White House would go against the advice of investors and the Office of Budget Management.
 
Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said that the e-mail raise significant concern.
 
"People closest to the president "had direct involvement in the Solyndra mess.   "The administration was fully aware of numerous red flags about Solyndra’s viability, but pressed ahead anyway in an effort to secure a policy or political victory."
 
Obama’s attitude also  highlighted during an interview on ABC.  In the interview Obama defended the program.
 
"Now there are going to be some failures.  Hindsight is always 20/20. It went through the normal review process and people thought this was a good bet."
 
Based on the released e-mails, one has to ask why Obama thinks people thought it was a good bet.  $567 Million have been spend on the program and there are revelations on similar green energy waste daily.  The red flag that should be raised for the people is that the loan guarantee was put on ice by the Bush Administration, just to be cranked up shortly after Obama took office.  This was either political pay back or the actions of a President who is stuck on ideology.  You be the judge.


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                This isn't going to go away! and according to the Wall Street Insider, this and others like it, might be what takes down the whole democratic party.  2 things to note today:
1. Since (according to the LA Times) we paid Solyndra’s legal bill to Wilson Sonsini of $2.4 million, I would like to know what was done…wouldn’t you?  I can tell you from my experience as a lawyer, that is a BIG tax bill and we should review it. What did we get?  What was billed?  And why are WE paying Solyndra’s legal bills?  That is absurd that we paid their legal bill to get $535 million out of us…that is like sending the fox out to guard the chicken coop!
http://blogs.ajc.com/jamie-dupree-washington-insider/2011/10/12/fast-and-furious-subpoenas/

2. It is my personal understanding – and this is the talk of others in positions of some influence, that Solyndra – what Solyndra could ultimately reveal, could prove far more damaging to the entire political system…and certainly to the Democratic Party.  –Name withheld- has spent their adult life protecting that party, promoting that party, and they have made a fine living for themselves doing so.  That kind of loyalty, while admirable, can prove somewhat debilitating when it comes to the kind of… absolution necessary to right these kinds of wrongs.  I will say this – I cannot recall when so many who are so powerful have been so afraid as there are at this time.  –Name withheld- still believes the Democratic Party can be saved.  I don’t agree.  Their attempt to salvage what is left of the party may lead them to promote one Obama scandal over another one at the expense of the greater truth.  I would simply ask that you maintain equal vigilance.

http://theulstermanreport.com/2011/10/09/wall-street-insider-obama-2012-re-election-not-an-option/


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“I thought the White House might want to take advantage of this event to highlight a highly successful public/private partnership.”

-- Obama adviser David Prend in an email to a White House aide encouraging the president to publicly embrace Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer that Prend’s investment firm partly owned.

The latest figure to emerge in Soylndra green-jobs scandal is David Prend, a co-founder of the Boston-based venture capital firm Rockport Capital, who used his role as a green energy adviser to the Obama administration to push for a half-billion-dollar subsidized loan for Solyndra even though his company was a major investor in the solar-panel manufacturer.

                       

Emails obtained by congressional investigators show that Prend was perhaps the first to push for Solyndra inside the administration, touting the company in a February 2009 meeting with Carol Browner, President Obama’s former global warming and energy czar. At the time, Prend’s firm held a 7.5 percent stake in Solyndra.

Emails from senior Energy Department advisers Matt Rogers and Rod O’Connor from May of 2010 make it clear that as the company was starting to go down, the last hope was for the Democratically dominated Congress to finally push through a global warming bill that would make traditional energy sources more expensive and drive up demand for less efficient but less polluting solar cells.

Whatever the flaws in the Solyndra business model, the president likely saw only upside in siding with his donors and key advisers on Solyndra. Remember that in February 2009, no one in Washington would have doubted that Obama would succeed in imposing his plan to require businesses to purchase transferable credits for the right to emit carbon dioxide, or at least something that would have made energy more expensive.


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Obama's Blackberry Off Limits

Congress isn't getting a glimpse of what's on President Barack Obama's Blackberry - or any more internal White House communications related to the bankrupt solar company Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government.

House Republicans investigating the loan controversy had requested all internal White House documents about the issue. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee chair Rep. Cliff Stearns said that includes emails on the President's Blackberry.

On Friday the White House Counsel sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee explaining they won't comply with the request because it "implicates longstanding and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/14/source-white-house-will-not-turn-over-all-solyndra-documents/




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Solyndra and the IRS

The government gave the solar company individualized tax breaks.

In November of 2009, in the midst of Solyndra’s downward financial spiral, the Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling that granted special tax favors to the firm and its customers.

The “private letter” ruling involving Solyndra, though widely discussed among tax lawyers, commented upon within the solar-power community, and even flaunted by Solyndra itself, has received little attention in the mainstream media. A former IRS official told National Review that the ruling raises a red flag about political interference in the tax system. The source, who was not directly involved in the case, says that politicians have increased their lobbying for private-letter rulings on behalf of individual taxpayers ever since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007. Congressional investigators of the Solyndra scandal say they are aware of the tax angle, but have not had time to delve into it, as they are too busy unsnarling the specifics of the controversial $535 million loan to the company, as well as billions in similar loans to other companies.

More details here... http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/280565/solyndra-and-irs-lou-dolinar


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Surprise!  No you can't talk to her!

 

On Oct. 18, the DOE informed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is leading the investigation into the Solyndra scandal, that it would not allow the committee to perform depositions of DOE officials, including Susan Richardson, chief counsel of the DOE Loan Programs Office.

Richardson authored the memo justifying the decision to restructure the $535 million DOE loan to solar company Solyndra, ensuring that private investors would be paid back before taxpayers in the event of bankruptcy.




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Solyndra to auction assets, but taxpayers won’t see a dime

Lachlan Markay is reporting that as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, defunct solar company Solyndra will auction off thousands of items from its California production facility on Nov. 2 and 3. But taxpayers won’t see a dime of the proceeds, due to the Energy Department’s decision to subordinate taxpayers to Solyndra’s private financiers in repayment of their investments.
 
As I explained in a Friday column in the Washington Examiner, DOE has developed an unprecedented interpretation of the law to allow Solyndra’s private investors to recoup $75 million of their investment before taxpayers are repaid.
 
Heritage Global Partners, which is conducting the auction, told Scribe that the money raised “will not be anywhere near” $75 million, meaning the proceeds will go entirely towards repaying Solyndra’s private investors (though later asset sales may exceed that threshold).
 
DOE’s legal position is without precedent in the history of its loan guarantee program, as I explain in the Examiner:

Two Treasury Department officials who testified before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last week said they had never before seen taxpayers subordinated to private investors in the repayment of a government loan.
 
Until Solyndra, that is. In February 2011, the Energy Department helped refinance the struggling solar company’s loan in a way that gave private lenders priority in repayment of their loans.
 
Under the restructuring agreement, the first $75 million of private investment would be repaid before taxpayers saw a dime. Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its investigative subcommittee, respectively, said the restructuring agreement “violated the plain letter of the law.”

The upcoming asset sale includes thousands of pieces of office equipment, computers, power tools, assembly line machinery, and even solar panels. But because the expected returns from the auction do not exceed $75 million, the government won’t recoup any of the taxpayer money used (unsuccessfully) to prop up the company.

UPDATE: Contacted about these revelations, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee, called the news “a sobering reminder that taxpayers are on the hook for a half billion dollars because of DOE’s misdeeds.”


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Solyndra-linked campaign bundler still a big boon to Obama’s campaign

The president is so convinced that outrage about the government’s $535-million loan to failed solar company Solyndra is just “partisan politics” that he assumes it will hurt him not a bit if he continues to allow folks with Solyndra ties to significantly contribute to his campaign.

Steven Spinner is the former Energy Department official who pushed for a prompt decision on the loan to Solyndra at the same time that his wife’s law firm represented the company. He’s also a major Obama fundraiser. In 2008, he raised at least half a million dollars for Obama’s campaign — and he’s at it again this cycle. The latest quarterly fundraising report from the Obama campaign showed Spinner remains a bundler at the $500,000-plus level. He also helped to plan a fundraising event the president plans to attend tomorrow in San Francisco. Spinner was on at least one conference call to brainstorm ideas for the $5,000-a-person luncheon.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/10/24/solyndra-linked-campaign-bundler-still-a-big-boon-to-obamas-campaign/

He just doesn't care as long as the money keeps coming in.

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a few updates...

Solyndra warned W.H. in Oct. '10 of layoffs

Solyndra executives collected hefty bonuses in months before Fremont company filed for bankruptcy (of course they needed the $ to donate back to the Obama campaign)

Obama administration considered bailout for Solyndra days before bankruptcy

Energy Secretary Steven Chu's Solyndra testimony set for Nov 17th.


Just now A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee today voted along party lines 14 to 9 to subpoena the White House for documents. 


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Beckwith

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Obama's green giveaway
  

 


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Friday News Dump (at least the 1st one).

White House Fires Back at 'Overbroad' Subpoena on Solyndra Documents

The White House on Friday all but refused to turn over the documents House Republicans have subpoenaed on bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, firing off a letter saying the request would put an "unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties." 

The feisty response appears to set up a clash between congressional investigators and the White House over the sprawling probe into Solyndra’s finances and the administration’s involvement in the decision to provide the struggling company a $528 million loan with taxpayer money.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, in her letter, scolded GOP lawmakers for demanding more documents, noting the Obama administration has already turned over 85,000 pages of documents in the course of their investigation. Without explicitly refusing to comply with the subpoena, Ruemmler repeatedly described the order as “overbroad.”

“The Committee’s extremely broad request for documents — now a subpoena — is a significant intrusion on Executive Branch interests,” she wrote, saying she can only conclude the subpoena was “driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation.”

Constitutional duties?????  and rumors today is there's a lot more coming. The House has info already but want to verify it with the docs from the WH or catch someone(s) in a lie or cover-up.


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Biden almost had an orgasm over Solyndra!

Emails among George Kaiser, head of the George Kaiser Family Foundation; Ken Levit, the executive director of the Foundation; and Steve Mitchell, who manages Argonaut Private Equity and was a member of Solyndra's board; show that Vice President Joe Biden's office were very gung-ho.

"They about had an orgasm in Biden's office when we mentioned Solyndra," reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell. A follow-up email from Mitchell to Levit later that day responds with: "That's awesome! Get us a (Department of Energy) loan." 

According to exchanges obtained by Fox News, in an email from Mitchell to Kaiser on March 5, 2010, Mitchell writes that "it appears things are headed in the right direction and (Energy Secretary Steven) Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra's application and continues to talk up the company as a success story."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/09/solyndra-emails-claim-bidens-staff-about-had-orgasm-about-energy-loans-to-firm/#ixzz1dFIDP2JG

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New emails show Obama donor Kaiser pushing White House for Solyndra dollars




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SCANDAL DEEPENS: Energy Department Pushed Solyndra To Wait To Announce Layoffs Until After Midterm Elections

“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”

Harrison went on to state that he would “like to go forward with the internal communication [to employees regarding layoffs] on Thursday, October 28.”

Harrison’s e-mail was forwarded to program director, Jonathan Silver, who then alerted White House climate change czar Carol Browner and Vice President Biden’s point person on stimulus, Ron Klain. Browner asked for more information about the announcement, and Chu’s chief of staff explained he had left a voicemail message on her cellphone.

On Nov. 3, 2010, Solyndra announced it would lay off 40 workers and 150 contractors and shut down its Fab 1 factory. The department agreed to continue giving Solyndra installments of its federal loan despite the company’s failure to meet key terms of the loan, and in February restructured its loan to give investors a chance to recover $75 million in new money they put into the company before taxpayers would be repaid.

Silver resigned from the agency last month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/solyndra-department-of-energy-pushed-hard-for-company-not-to-announce-layoffs-until-after-2010-mid-term-elections/2011/11/15/gIQA2AriON_story.html



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Reply with quote  #40 
We're STILL paying for this failure, $13k for each employee to retrain them.
That's $14.3 million on top of the $528 million already flushed down the drain.


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Solyndra saw staff "mutiny" before Obama visit

In the weeks leading up to a visit by President Barack Obama to Solyndra on May 25, 2010, the California solar-panel maker was in crisis.

Prices for solar panels were in free-fall and the company's chief executive officer was bickering with customers unhappy with the amount of electricity produced by the cylindrical panels he invented, according to new e-mails released by Republicans investigating the now-bankrupt company.

An initial public offering was on the skids, and finally, there was a "mutiny" by the company's entire executive team, who flagged the crisis to the company's board of directors.

The e-mails between senior advisers to George Kaiser, a major investor in the company, provide the best view yet into how problems took root early at Solyndra.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/01/us-usa-solyndra-mutiny-idUSTRE7B02DQ20111201


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Solyndra fire sale

                                                                               
Firm made dubious sales on the brink of bankruptcy last summer
                                                               

The Washington Times reports that Solyndra, the failed solar panel company on the receiving end of a $535 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan, made a series of suspicious inventory sales just month before filing for bankruptcy, in an effort to stay afloat:

Fast running out of money, solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC last summer sold off nearly $60 million worth of inventory for less than $20 million in cash to a newly formed corporate entity closely tied to the company’s biggest investors, records show.

Backed by $535 million in federal loan guarantees but burning through the little cash it had left, Solyndra made its first sale in late July to a corporate entity that had been formed just a day earlier. Three more transactions followed over the next few weeks with the same buyer, Solyndra Solar II.

By the time the last sale took place on Aug. 29 — two days before the company announced plans to file for bankruptcy — Solyndra had sold off a total of $58.1 million worth of inventory for $17.5 million, according to documents Solyndra attorneys filed last month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Todd Zywicki, a bankruptcy professor at the George Mason University School of Law, told the Times such sales are typical of troubled firms, but the sheer size of the transactions made them unusual.

“The test under the bankruptcy code is whether the sale was for reasonably equivalent value and selling inventory at such a huge discount raises real concerns,” he said. “If Solyndra Solar II is owned or controlled by any insiders or anything like that, then it becomes even more suspicious.”




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Reply with quote  #43 

those BASTARDS...... crooked and corrupt, they ought to ALL BE JAILED....

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Yep, wonder how much of that money will make it right back to Obama?  He's really good at the money laundering with tax payers money.

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Friday Night Doc Dump: Did WH economic advisers raise red flags on Solyndra as early as March 2010?

White House emails released Friday added further evidence that concerns about the Energy Department loan guarantee program that benefited Solyndra had reached as high as President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers, by early 2010.

References to Summers’s concerns turn up in a March 4, 2010, email exchange in which White House officials were second-guessing whether Obama should trumpet Solyndra’s exports to Australia during a planned visit later that month to the country.

“Isn’t this the company Larry asked questions about?” Michael Froman, a top economic adviser to Obama, said in an email to Joseph Aldy, another White House aide. “What is your view about highlighting their exports in Australia?”

Meanwhile, other revelations in the newly released documents include Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser flagging concerns over the company’s poor finances while preparing for a briefing with reporters a day before Obama’s May 26, 2010, visit to Solyndra’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.

In the May 25 email exchange, Jared Bernstein wrote to Herbert Ziskend, one of Biden’s domestic policy advisers, “But do you have a leverage # for Solyndra — how much pvt cap [private capital] they raised off of the loan guarantee?”

Elizabeth Oxhorn, a press aide in Biden’s office, replied with the figure: “Solyndra raised $198m in private capital between selection in March 2009 and the loan closing in September 2009.”

Bernstein responded that the figure was not one he wanted to talk about with the press. “Weird — so leverage is like 2/5 ($198 m leverage against loan guarantee of $535m)… best not to go there,” he wrote.

There’s another key quote from Summers in the Politico piece on a more general point about government intervention, too, although it came from an earlier release.  In December 2009, Summers gave his opinion of programs like the one that benefited Solyndra to one of its investors:

Summers’s concerns about the DOE program have come across in other internal White House documents that have surfaced during the investigation into Solyndra’s financial meltdown. The most notable — a December 2009 email exchange between Summers and an investor with ties to Solyndra — ended with Summers declaring: “I relate well to your view that gov is a crappy vc [venture capitalist] and if u were closer to it you’d feel more strongly.”

In that, Summers has been proven correct by this administration — repeatedly.  In the meantime, Congress needs to start issuing subpoenas to find out who knew what and when about Solyndra, and how much politics played a role in overruling the administration’s leading economic advisers and the DoE’s auditors while gambling — and losing — $535 million on a venture that would have benefited Obama’s contributors.


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Obama lies about Solyndra Program

Andrew Stiles is reporting that Barack denied culpability for the failure of solar firm Solyndra in a radio interview on Tuesday, instead pinning the blame on Congress and the Chinese.
 
The loans initiative used to finance Solyndra was “not our program,” he told American Public Media in response to question about Solyndra’s bankruptcy and subsequent controversy.

“Understand, this was not our program per se,” Obama said. “Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program…to help start-up companies get to scale.”

APM: With all respect, it was a gutsy move I think to come to a solar facility. Your administration has staked a lot on clean technology, green jobs – the biggest item most people know about that strategy is, of course, a company named Solyndra, which your administration gave loan guarantees to, then went bankrupt and has been the subject of many investigations. Are you doing your ‘all of the above’ strategy right if that’s what we have to show for it, Solyndra?

OBAMA: We are doing the all of the above strategy right. Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand, this was not our program per se.

Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries–it’s easy to raise money for start-ups, but if you want to take them to scale sometimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start-up companies get to scale. And the understanding is that some companies are not going to succeed, some companies are going to do very well, but the portfolio as a whole ends up supporting the kind of innovation that helps make America successful in this innovative 21st century economy. Do I wish that Solyndra had gone bankrupt? Absolutely not. And obviously it’s heartbreaking it happened for the workers who were there.

Obama has previously argued that the Department of Energy program used to finance a $535 million federal loan guarantee to Solyndra “predates” his presidency.

That’s an exaggeration of the truth, according to FactCheck.org: “Solyndra’s loan guarantee came under another program created by the president’s 2009 stimulus for companies developing ‘commercially available technologies.’”

 

Related:  Plausible deniability: Obama’s hands were all over Solyndra
  

"...an exaggeration of the truth"  -- Stiles just can't bring himself to call it what it is -- a lie.

 


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White House was all-hands-on-deck as Solyndra collapse neared

Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia are reporting that several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.

The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra -- a company Barack Obama had personally visited -- was about to go under.

A White House memo that noted the danger of "imminent bankruptcy" at the end of August 2011 says, "OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break."

Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.

The document, an update on Solyndra’s $535 million Energy Department (DOE) loan guarantee, notes that $527 million had been disbursed and that DOE believed no more funds should be alloted.

The White House document notes that the Treasury Department, OMB and other White House offices agreed that no more money should be provided because there was a "near-zero chance" that the company could survive.

Continue reading here . . .

The most illuminating statement -- "working with press" --  Team Obama is not even trying to hide the collusion between the regime and the Fourth Estate.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #48 

For sale -- Price not listed

The Weekly Standard is reporting that the 411,618 square foot Solyndra building in Fremont, California has been put on the market:

Obama: "...this was a good bet."


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Claudia

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fortunately, many things are showing up as NOT SUCH A GOOD BET and hopefully Obama will be shown to the general public as the LIAR that he truly is....by all the closings and fallling downs of everything he has touched,  in unmistakeable nakedness..... with nothing to cover him but his arrogance, and that being but a vaporous cloud that is only seeable by the minds of the misguided.

Seriously

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Solyndra Not Dealing With Toxic Waste At Milpitas Facility

The Fremont Fire Department’s Jay Swardenski oversees the cleanup. He said some materials, such as cadmium, are toxic, and hard to dispose of.

“They don’t degrade at all, so we want to make sure we don’t allow these materials to get into the environment,” he said.

It’s not just the leftover hazardous materials, but also the machinery used to apply them to the glass tubes. “Certainly those tools will need to be decontaminated, cleaned up, handled correctly as they are taken apart,” he said.

Swardenski told CBS 5 the disposal process is going smoothly in Fremont, but what about nearby Milpitas? Solyndra leased a building on California Circle for the final assembly of its solar panels. But the cleanup at the leased building in Milpitas is in limbo, because Solyndra doesn’t want to pay.

CBS 5 found the building locked up, with no one around. At the back, a hazardous storage area was found. There were discarded buckets half filled with liquids and barrels labeled “hazardous waste.”

The building’s owner, a company called iStar, claimed in court documents, “there may be serious environmental, health and safety issues” at the premises. According to the documents, they include, “numerous containers of solvents and chemicals…and processing equipment contaminated with lead.”

“Essentially it looks like they left a pretty big mess behind,” San Jose State Assistant Professor Dustin Mulvaney told CBS 5. Mulvaney has written a white paper (.pdf) on solar industry waste for the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.

more... http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/04/28/solyndra-not-dealing-with-toxic-waste-at-milpitas-facility/

So much for earth friendly "green" energy companies.


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