Examining the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Loans Golden Parachute Program

Big bonuses to execs at “clean energy” companies that got millions in taxpayer dollars only to go bankrupt? Don’t worry — Joe Biden the Stimulus Sheriff will get to the bottom of this!

Wait, he is at the bottom of this:

President Obama’s Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.

Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March 2010, the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to progress made on the $43 million energy loan, Securities and Exchange Commission records show. Last October, Beacon Power filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems, landed a $118.5 million energy grant in August 2009. About one-and-a-half years later, Vice President Joe Biden toured a company plant in Indiana and heralded its taxpayer-supported expansion as one of the “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.”

Two months after Biden’s visit, EnerDel corporate parent Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives — including $450,000 to then-CEO Charles Gassenheimer, who led Biden on the tour. This January, Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

At least two other firms that benefited from Energy Department funding — one a $500,000 grant, the other a $535 million loan guarantee — handed out hefty payouts to executives and later went bankrupt.

A Department of Energy spokesperson has the laugh of the day:

“We take our role as stewards of taxpayer dollars very seriously, and as such, we will make clear to loan recipients our view that funds should not be directed toward executive bonuses when the rest of the company is facing financial difficulty.”

The DoE’s vetting and rules process was so stringent that they didn’t make it clear to these companies at the outset that the taxpayer money they were getting was not to go straight into exec bonuses? I can’t believe I ever had a doubt about the intensity of Steven Chu’s due diligence.

Eric Holder is a Very Confused Attorney General

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Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that terror suspects — even US citizens — should not be afforded protections under the US Constitution:

In his most forceful defense yet of the Obama administration’s use of lethal force against U.S. citizens linked to terrorism, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that the Constitution does not protect U.S. suspects plotting to kill other Americans.

Holder said in a speech at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago that the government is within its rights to kill citizens who are senior leaders in al-Qaeda or affiliate groups who pose an “imminent threat” of attack against the USA and whose capture is “not feasible.”

Is this the same guy who has spent the last three years telling us that terror suspects should be tried in US civil courts?

Eric Holder, June 2011:

In a speech before a Washington gathering of liberal lawyers Thursday night, Mr. Holder spoke out in defense of civilian courts to try terrorism suspects. He said the U.S. won’t achieve security and victory over terrorism “if we adhere to a rigid ideology, adopt a narrow methodology, or abandon our most effective terror-fighting weapon — our Article Three court system.”

Holder does realize that Article Three is from the US Constitution, doesn’t he? Or does he just want to give terror suspects trials in US civil courts but not allow the defendants Constitutional protections? And if so, what would be the point in that?

We’re not in the best of hands.

Update: More Holder news: Former Taliban defender appointed to third highest position at the Justice Department

Cave-Watch: Number of Businesses Pulling Ads from Limbaugh Program Now a Dozen

It seems to me that a company that caves to the demands of people notorious for wanting everything for free isn’t really doing itself any favors in the long term. But the number of companies doing just that is growing:

The furor over Rush Limbaugh‘s controversial comments directed at Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke has lead to advertisers dropping his eponymous radio program. 12 advertisers, including Sleep Number, The Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Carbonite, ProFlowers, AOL, Bonobos, Sears, and Allstate Insurance have pulled ads from the program, and/or distanced themselves from the show, either permanently or temporarily, ThinkProgress’s Adam Peck reports.

The pro-Obama super-PAC that just got a million dollar contribution from Bill Maher, who has referred to Sarah Palin as a “c*nt” and a “dumb tw*t,” wants to lead by example, so they sent Maher’s money back. Just kidding… but you knew that.

Normally with this “ad boycott” stuff I might say “fine, this is how the free market works.” The problem is that the “free market” isn’t pulling the strings here. It’s become a talking point from President Obama to Stretch Pelosi and all the way down the DC food chain. Sandra Fluke even “encouraged everyone to go to Media Matters” during an appearance on The View (so glad taxpayers are forced to fund something that is essentially another wing of the Obama administration). The whole Fluke-flap is being orchestrated from the White House and Capitol Hill.

Amazingly, d-bags who say things like this are applauded by the same people trying to get Rush off the air for calling somebody a slut.

By the way… put me down for $20 on “most of the above companies will place buys again on Limbaugh’s show when the stink dies down.” I hope Rush tells them to get bent when they do.

Question of the day: Where was the outrage?

‘Most Transparent Administration in History’ is Possibly the Least Transparent in History

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It’s not surprising that the Obama administration will disagree with every aspect of this story. They base reality on their rhetoric instead of, well, reality:

A minute after he took office, the White House website declared his administration would become “the most open and transparent in history.” By the end of his first full day on the job, Obama had issued high-profile orders pledging “a new era” and “an unprecedented level of openness” across the massive federal government.

But three years into his presidency, critics say Obama’s administration has failed to deliver the refreshing blast of transparency that the president promised.

“Obama is the sixth administration that’s been in office since I’ve been doing Freedom of Information Act work. … It’s kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There’s just no question about it,” said Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer who’s been filing FOIA cases since 1978. “This administration is raising one barrier after another. … It’s gotten to the point where I’m stunned — I’m really stunned.”

David Sobel, senior counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that “despite the positive rhetoric that has come from the White House and the attorney general, that guidance has not been translated into real world results in actual cases. … Basically, the reviews are terrible.”

It’s almost as if Sheriff Joe Biden knew the above story was going to be published, because the Veep’s schedule today chimed in right on cue:

“At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will attend a meeting of the Government Accountability and Transparency Board in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. At 2:30 PM, the Vice President will meet with representatives of the National Sheriffs’ Association in the Roosevelt Room. These meetings are closed press.

This calls for the administration to be be given yet another transparency award… behind closed doors.

FLOTUS: You’ll Be Sick of Us After a While

What does she mean “after a while”?

First lady Michelle Obama joked that the first family will be campaigning so much in North Carolina that the state will become tired of them before the campaign is over.

“So it’s going to be fun,” she told about 450 people Friday night at a fund raiser at the Ballantyne hotel in Charlotte. “ We are looking forward to it. It’s going to be exciting. You will be sick of us after a while.’

“No” responded the audience.

Replied the First lady: “Well, wait until the traffic starts. (laughter) Wait until you got the President’s motorcade, First Lady’s motorcade, First Children’s motorcade — (laughter.) You’ve got grandma here, the Vice President — you’ll be like, ‘Is it over yet?”

I couldn’t agree more with that last part.

And this:

She was introduced on the stage to Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own.”

Homeless brother-in-law unavailable for comment.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

John Edwards Asks Judge Not to Destroy Sex Tape

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Uh oh, somebody forgot to make a copy for himself:

Ahead of his federal trial involving alleged campaign finance violations, John Edwards is asking a judge to keep a sex tape involving him and his mistress from being destroyed.

In a request filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro, Edwards asks that the court issue a stay in a settlement last week about the video involving Rielle Hunter and his former aide, Andrew Young.

Hunter sued Young and his wife in 2010 over the tape and other personal items the couple claimed she abandoned in a box of trash. Hunter lived with the Youngs in 2007, while she was pregnant with Edwards’ baby.

The Youngs agreed to give up their claim on the property, which has been in a courthouse vault. A Superior Court judge ordered that it be destroyed within 30 days of the settlement.

The sex tape lawsuit was settled about ten days ago,

Those who have seen the video say it begins with a close-up of the notorious vixen wearing a pink silk bathrobe and running fingers through flowing, full-bodied hair while soft, feminine eyes offer a “come hither” stare. Then the camera pans to Hunter.

Sandra Fluke Gets a Phone Call from the President, America Temporarily Distracted From Gas Prices, Unemployment, Debt, Obamacare & Failed Stimulus; Update: Rush Apologizes to Fluke

Seriously, can a “Slut Summit” at the White House be far behind?

On Friday, Sandra Fluke got a phone call from the president, and surprisingly enough that president was not Bill Clinton.

These people are so theatrical that it’s hard to believe the Obama presidency wasn’t scripted by Andrew Lloyd Webber:

President Barack Obama on Friday phoned the Georgetown University law student who was called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh to find out if she is OK.

“He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women,” Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student said. “And what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud. And that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. So I just appreciated that very much.”

Amazing what Obama thinks parents should be “proud” of, isn’t it? Call me crazy, but if my daughter was in college and appeared before Congress to say that it’s everybody’s responsibility except hers to pay so she can have promiscuous sex without being punished with a baby, “proud” isn’t the word that comes to mind.

This Fluke woman is going to be a constant source of attempted distraction for Team Obama right up until the election as The One will remain desperate to talk about anything except, well, the results of his presidency. As for Limbaugh, I’m sure he’ll appreciate the extra listeners, because it will make more people tune in. If the left really wants to disappoint Rush, they should stop caring about what he says.

Remember that when Team Obama calls Fluke a “college coed,” they’re referring to a 30 year old women’s rights activist who apparently can’t afford $9 a month for birth control. Of course, this flap has nothing to do with birth control in the preventative conceptional sense.

So when does Sarah Palin get a call from Obama because Bill Maher called her a “dumb tw*t”? Wait, Maher’s a million dollar Obama supporter — nevermind.

Update: Mark Levin puts Obama in perspective: The President calls to console Sandra Fluke, but did he ever call the parents of Brian Terry?

Update II: Limbaugh apologizes to Fluke for his choice of words. The left will pop the cork to celebrate the “shock & awe” effect of their orchestrated advertiser boycott, but I think what did it was that maybe Rush realized his mockery was directed at the symptom and not the disease — a fact he seems to note in his apology.

The apology went a little like this:

(h/t Sister Toldjah)

Kathleen Sebelius: The Contraceptive Mandate Will Pay For Itself Via Reduction in Number of Human Beings

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Yet another administration official providing weak cover for something that’s going to be wildly expensive. This is more BS than you could ever see or smell at the rodeo.

From CNS News:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House panel Thursday that a reduction in the number of human beings born in the United States will compensate employers and insurers for the cost of complying with the new HHS mandate that will require all health-care plans to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions.

“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception,” Sebelius said. She went on to say the estimated cost is “down not up.”

As with everything else these people say, this makes zero sense.

The Obama administration always tells us insurance companies are greedy bastards — right? Which is to say they’re only concerned about saving money. If giving out “free” contraceptives equates to fewer human beings, and fewer human beings equates to cost savings, why aren’t health insurance companies across-the-board offering “free” contraceptives already? Or does Kathleen Sebelius believe she’s so f*#@%ing intelligent that she thought of something a million private-sector actuaries overlooked?

If this mandate is allowed to stand, there will be some serious backfire, naturally. Contraceptives are relatively cheap (or even free in many areas), and the government getting further involved via Obamacare will drive up the price. Obama’s doofy minions won’t care because “the government is paying for it,” and everybody else will be stuck with something that used to be cheap but became more expensive and is adding to the already out of control national debt. Then when Obamacare inevitably collapses under its own weight, people will be stuck having to buy their own contraceptives again, except they’ll cost more than before — a stark reminder to future generations of Team Obama’s effort to “help” humanity.

Ever notice that the left’s answer to save money is always “fewer people” — unless we’re talking about the size of government.

By the way, the Obamacare cost just rose $111 billion. Why? Because that’s a sign that health care is being made cheaper or something.

Dems Ask Boehner to Rebuke Limbaugh

Did Rush Limbaugh get elected to Congress and I missed it? Democrats seem to think so.

First the set-up:

Democratic lawmakers appealed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday for Republicans to rebuke conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after he called a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Limbaugh came under fire from Democrats on Wednesday after he attacked the student, Sandra Fluke, for her testimony in a hearing about President Obama’s contraception mandate. He stood by those comments on Thursday’s show…

Do Dems have to take Rush’s bait every time? I guess they do.

I found this part hilarious:

This kind of direct attack on a private citizen is unacceptable,” the Democrats’ letter stated. “Mr. Limbaugh is as free as any American to speak his mind about the political and social issues of our time, but using his radio show as a means for blatantly insulting a hard-working American with obscene and indecent language because he disagrees with her personal choices is an abuse of the public airwaves.”

A “direct attack on a private citizen” is unacceptable? That from the people who haul corporate executives in front of them on a regular basis in order to bash them publicly for the crime of having worked hard and made money, and have in their ranks congressional leaders who have referred to the Tea Party — hard working private citizens concerned about the country their kids will inherit — as swastika carrying Nazis and highly dangerous individuals?

Boehner’s response to these Dems should be “bite me.”

As for the “somebody else should pay for my birth control” woman, my thoughts on contraception boils down to two choices (and what good liberal isn’t pro-choice?): If a woman can’t afford it, A) Tell the guy he has to pay for it, or B) If he won’t pay for it, don’t have sex.

I know, I know… personal responsibility is sooo old fashioned.

Update: Good question, by way of Twitter:

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Update II: President Obama is focused like a laser on jobs and is in no way attempting to take advantage of the situation.

Update III: The White House, sensing this situation was in dire need of more humor, would like to remind you that Fluke’s name is pronounced “Fluck.” I kid you not.

Loss: Andrew Breitbart Dies Updated

Big Hollywood delivers the sad and stunning news that Andrew Breitbart, a courageous and relentless voice for conservatism and against out-of-control government, as well as a pro-life advocate, has passed away. He was 43.

Prayers for Andrew’s wife and four children.

Twitter is going bonkers with tributes, but the word those who knew Breitbart are using to describe him is “fearless.”

Breitbart most recently delivered a fiery speech at CPAC last month:

Update: The usual left-wing mourning process ensues.

Update II: A little more on what might have happened. Hannity says that Breitbart had some heart issues about a year ago.

Update III: Thad McCotter (R-Bron Yr Aur) memorialized Breitbart on the House floor today:


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Update IV: Breitbart’s close associate Stephen Bannon says they are still going through the tapes of Obama in college (that Breitbart mentioned in the above CPAC speech) and they’ll release them soon. I have a feeling Andrew Breitbart is going to be haunting the left for a long time to come:


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Also, Drudge has this story linked about how Breitbart spent his last hour.