Monday, October 31, 2011

Poll: Americans oppose gov't picking and losers in business

This afternoon a Massachussets energy firm, Beacon Power, filed for bankruptcy protection. It received a guaranteed Department of Energy loan--just as the defunct solar panel manufacturer Solyndra did.

However, before that news broke, a Tarance Group poll conducted for Heritage Action for America was released that showed Americans are against the federal government "picking winners and losers."

From Heritage Action:

Nearly three quarters of voters (72%) oppose the federal government choosing which companies within a certain industry will receive financial subsidies, with a majority (53%) strongly opposing; 65% believe that Solyndra's bankruptcy is a perfect example of why the federal government should not be in the role of picking winners and losers, no matter what industry or company it is in; 60% of respondents agree that when private investors don't want to risk losing their money then that's proof that the government should not invest in that company.
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Bankrupting America's billboards hit NYC and DC: Congress should carve spending like a Thanksgiving turkey

My good friends at have placed a some billboards at key locations in our mighty republic, including a timely Times Square placard that proclaims, "Congress should carve spending like a Thanksgiving turkey." These are the latest billboards  ads from this organization, which have included DC ads on the Metro train line and Reagan National Airport.

And there's a "turkey" billboard in our nation's capital too--on Massachusetts Avenue.

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FCC chipping away at Citizens United?

The fallout from the last year's Citizens United case continues to reverberate. From The Hill:

Ahead of 2012's election year, a federal regulatory agency is proposing a rule that could reveal more information about the groups that bankroll political ads.

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to seek public comments on rules that would require television broadcasters to put their files online, including information about political spots.

Watchdog groups hope the rules will shed light on the big money behind political ad campaigns by making the data more accessible. seems that the FCC wants to chip away at Citizens United.

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House committee prepares to seek subpoena of White House Solyndra documents

Issuing subpoena's to the White House is a serious step, but it's one that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is considering.

From a committee press releae:

Committee Prepares to Seek Subpoena of White House Documents

As Eight Month Investigation Reveals Those Closest to President Obama Were Warned about the Solyndra Loan, White House Now Refuses to Turn Over Any Internal Solyndra Communications

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today announced the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is preparing to hold a business meeting on Thursday, November 3, 2011, to consider a resolution authorizing the issuance of a subpoena for internal White House communications relating to the Solyndra loan guarantee. The authorization for the subpoena is the next investigative step in ensuring congressional access to documents that are specifically relevant to the Solyndra investigation. The meeting comes only after the White House has denied requests for internal White House documents related to Solyndra, refusing to turn over information or engage in discussions with the committee about identifying relevant documents. Recently produced documents revealed that the president’'s closest confidantes in the White House participated in decisions regarding the Solyndra loan.

Chairmen Upton and Stearns made the following statement:

Subpoenaing the White House is a serious step that, unfortunately, appears necessary in light of the Obama administration's stonewall on Solyndra. What is the White House trying to hide from the American public? It is alarming for the Obama White House to cast aside its vows of transparency and block Congress from learning more about the roles that those in the White House and other members of the administration played in the Solyndra mess.

While we of course respect Executive Privilege, the White House Counsel – in two separate letters to the Committee – has not asserted it. Moreover, we fail to see why internal White House communications about a loan guarantee to a solar panel manufacturer would implicate issues of national security or the other foundations upon which the Supreme Court has recognized the Privilege.

Since we launched the Solyndra investigation over eight months ago, the Obama administration has unfortunately fought us every step of the way, even forcing us to subpoena documents from OMB. We have conducted a thoughtful and deliberate investigation since day one, the facts have proved we are on the right trail, and it is time for the White House to cooperate fully. Communications between senior officials in the West Wing are critical to fully understanding why now-bankrupt Solyndra initially received the loan and why it was restructured in violation of the law.

American taxpayers who are now saddled with a half billion dollar I.O.U. to Uncle Sam deserve to know the truth behind Solyndra. We remain committed to uncovering the facts in an even-handed way, and maintain some hope that the White House will change course and begin to cooperate.
NOTE: Internal documents and emails produced as part of the investigation – some of them only delivered after being compelled by a subpoena – show significant interest in and monitoring of the Solyndra loan guarantee by senior West Wing staff. However, the documents produced thus far only reveal the involvement of White House staff when directly contacting outside agencies. To determine the extent of the West Wing's involvement as critical decisions were being made about whether to proceed with the loan, it is essential to consider White House staff’s communications with one another. The purpose of a possible subpoena for White House documents would be to secure access to these internal communications among White House staff discussing their knowledge of the Solyndra loan and any efforts they made to secure the guarantee. The committee hopes to work with the White House to secure relevant communications from key personnel such as former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, former National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, and Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden.

View a copy of Upton's and Stearns' October 5, 2011, letter to the White House HERE.

View a copy of the White House Counsel's refusal to cooperate HERE.

View a copy of Upton's and Stearns' October 18, 2011, follow-up letter to the White House HERE.

View a copy of the White House Counsel's second refusal to cooperate HERE.

View a timeline of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s eight-month investigation HERE.
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Occupy Chicago says Michelle Obama's former employer is part of the one percent

U of C's New Pavilion,
Cost: $446 million
The Obama administration is playing with fire as it embraces the extremist Occupy Wall Street movement. When Michelle Obama was a vice president at the University of Chicago Medical Center, she was in charge of the Urban Health Initiative, which steered emergency room patients from the prestigious hospital to other South Side health care institutions.

To avoid paying property taxes, Illinois hospitals need to fulfil a "charitable mission." The U of C Medical Center enjoys that tax exemption.

Meanwhile the Occupy Chicago folks have a Facebook post about the the First Lady's former employer today in regards to its demand that it add a trauma center:

U of C values its profits more than our people. They are the 1%. We are the 99% and we demand a trauma center.
Okay, maybe the hospital should have a trauma center.

But if the University of Chicago Medical Center is a member of the so-called one percent, so are the Obamas.

I'm aware that people choose to go to hospital emergency rooms in non-emergency situations all of the time. But was Michelle Obama--who hired David Axelrod's firm to promote the Urban Health Initiative--working in the best interest of its community?

From the Washington Post in 2008:

The hospital told state regulators it spent $10 million on charity care for the poor in fiscal 2007 -- 1.3 percent of its total hospital expenses, according to an analysis performed for the Washington Post by the bipartisan, nonprofit Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. That is below the 2.1 percent average for nonprofit hospitals in Cook County.

As a nonprofit, the University of Chicago Medical Center receives annual tax breaks worth nearly five times as much as it spends on charity care, the analysis found.
During this time Obama crony Valerie Jarrett, who is a senior advisor to President Obama, was the chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Related posts:

Video: Obama crony Penny Pritzker called out at OccupyChicago by union speaker

Ronald Reagan Trail: Chicago and the likely demolition of the Reagan apartment

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