The Growing Solyndra Scandal
September 14, 2011
RUSH: Let's talk about this Solyndra business. Remember when it first blew up, the first of all we heard -- well, the first thing was Obama going out to Solyndra and touting it as being everything this country needed to do for the future: Renewable energy, solar energy, new jobs, green jobs, clean energy, blah, blah, blah, magical stuff. Then we read that the place is filing bankruptcy and shutting down; 1100 employees getting laid off. Then we learn that the outfit got $523 million in loan guarantees -- half a billion dollars -- and I said, "Folks, there's no business there. Meaning this isn't a viable business. Solar energy, there isn't a viable business there," meaning they didn't have any income. They weren't selling anything.
Remember the excuse was, "Well, we can't compete with the ChiComs." You can't compete with the ChiComs even with 523 million federal dollars in loan guarantees? Well, there's a tweet here from a guy named Greg Pollowitz. He says, "The next thing to watch in the Solyndra story is an examination of company's announced sales. I would guess the contracts were all fluff, nothing real, no income." Well, this is of course my point, and of course there wasn't any income. Then we have a USA Today editorial: "In March 2010, the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers issued a standard but stern warning about Solyndra... The company wasn't making money and never had, which raised 'substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.'"
Well, that would make sense. If it had never made any money, it would raise "'substantial doubt about its ability to continue.' Yet when President Obama visited Solyndra's plant in Fremont two months later, he gave a rousing pep talk and declared that 'the future is here.' Alas," says USA Today, "it wasn't. "Solyndra continued to struggle, canceled a planned public stock offering and filed for bankruptcy this month -- leaving the U.S. government as its biggest creditor and raising new questions about whether Uncle Sam should be playing venture capitalist. Despite initial misgivings about the company's viability, an Energy Department program aimed at boosting 'clean energy' projects had guaranteed a $535 million loan to Solyndra, which produced an innovative but expensive solar panel.
"Taxpayers are now on the hook for some or most of that money, depending on whether someone buys the assets." There aren't any. "Whether Solyndra is just an expensive embarrassment, or a full-fledged scandal, remains to be seen. Shortly after the bankruptcy filing, the FBI raided Solyndra's headquarters and the homes of its executives in connection with the loan. And today, a House oversight panel holds a hearing to probe how the company ... got the money, and whether the administration properly vetted the application." Well, now the regime in the form of a guy named Silver is blaming Bush. "As the Congressional hearing on the failed solar energy manufacturer Solyndra gets under way, it’s already clear that the Obama [regime] is prepared to fall back on a tried and tested strategy: blaming Bush.
"In prepared testimony released ahead of the hearing before the House Energy and Commerce committee, the director of the Department of Energy's loans office, Jonathan Silver, emphasizes that the program that eventually granted a $535 million loan guarantee to the troubled firm was created during the Bush administration. Not only that, Silver says, 'Solyndra submitted its initial application in 2006, and much of the extensive due diligence on the transaction was conducted between 2006 and the end of 2008.' He says that 'by the time the Obama administration took office in late January 2009, the loan programs' staff had already established a goal of, and timeline for, issuing the company a conditional loan guarantee commitment in March 2009.'" So Obama blaming Bush for this, which is not going to help him. It wasn't Bush that went out there and touted this. It wasn't Bush that went out there and said this is the future. It isn't Bush who's making additional loans to other solar energy companies.
Now, Jim Geraghty at National Review Online has put together a little sample of news. He's compiled here some of the ways this has been treated, and there's an interesting thing here. I'm not gonna read the stories to you. What this illustrates, Obama and his people are completely clueless when it comes to business, but, folks, I honestly think that they are also clueless yet filled with rage, resentment and envy over people who have money. Now, the Obama people have no experience in business. There's nobody in his administration that's ever worked in the private sector on his economic team, for example. They only know politics and theory in the faculty lounge.
They have no understanding how a business gets its money, because I think they look at the acquisition of all money as somehow corrupt, and their view is, if we just had the money instead of Enron, or Exxon, if we had the money instead of Big Drug, if we had the money, then we, because we are more moral and we are good liberals and we have good intentions, we will do better things with it, because we are not corrupt. But they haven't the slightest clue how it's earned. They don't think it's earned. They think that somehow people who have money have stolen it or cheated somebody out of it or something and so this is get even time. "Okay, now we're in control of the purse strings and we're gonna give ourselves the money, and then we're gonna tax these people who have unfairly gotten the money in the past and we're gonna make 'em pay for it."
So when it's their turn, like Solyndra had a CEO and they had businesspeople, and they were clueless. It's either that or they were corrupt and they just got this $523 million and who knows where it went, building their house, who knows. This is what everybody's trying to find out. But it's clear that they had no clue or no intention of how to run a business, that this was just probably a scam to get $523 million under the guise of some new, all-healing, all-clean, fixing new energy that was supposed to be magical and all this rotgut, all of this fantasy. So some people would look at this and say, "Okay, obviously, Rush, this is just like your money laundering theory," you know, Obama and public sector union employees and so forth, and it could well end up being that.
It could also be a bunch of incompetent, arrogant, know-nothing Ivy Leaguers sitting around smoking their doobies and theorizing how much better they would do things if they were in charge 'cause they've got all the answers, and they memorized everything in the MBA textbook, thinking everybody else in the business world is corrupt and they are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow. Sort of like if they're in charge, if they have the money, then all will work out, everything will be fine. So it translates further into liberals believing that anybody who does have money has not earned it, they just came by it unfairly, and that creates the resentment for it and then the desire to redistribute it and take away from them via taxes. Or their ideology is simply government power, take all wealth you can, put as much of it in the government to distribute to your buddies and cronies.
It's a combination of all of this. But we cannot dismiss the fact that they're clueless as well. They are arrogant, condescending, clueless, know-nothing people who think that they're the smartest people in the room. They haven't the slightest understanding. Obama does not know the first thing about turning a profit. He doesn't know the first thing about a balance and loss sheet. Doesn't care, doesn't know. None of these people do. And they have resentment for people who do understand it, and their explanation is, those people are corrupt. Nobody can legitimately get that much money fairly and honestly, not possible.
RUSH: Now, it's a very neat trick for the regime to try to blame Bush for Solyndra. But where did Solyndra get its money? Solyndra got stimulus money, folks, stimulus money. The first stimulus is where this $523 million came from, and it's gone. Somebody got and used that money, and there was not a business here, there was no income in this business, but somebody got that money. These execs were living in nice houses and driving nice cars. Somebody got the money, and that was not Bush. These executives from Solyndra met with Obama officials at the White House, not with Bush. They coulda canceled it. The regime coulda canceled it. This Mr. Silver guy who prepared a statement today, they coulda canceled it if they didn't like it, but they didn't cancel it, did they? They pushed Solyndra. They micromanaged Solyndra. They funded it with stimulus money, and they exploited it for political purposes. They went out there, they sent Obama out there to say, "This is the future."
You want to hear something funny? The Obama American Jobs Act has still not been filed, so Louie Gohmert, Republican, Texas, did. Louie Gohmert wrote his own bill. He put together a jobs bill that takes the corporate tax rate to zero, for example, he dropped the bill there today, he called it the American Jobs Act, he took Obama's title and put it on his own bill because the Democrats have not put that bill into play in the House. So Obama has apparently lost the title of his bill.
RUSH: Now, this Solyndra business, Obama and the Democrats are now claiming that they were misled, that they were duped on the half billion-dollar Solyndra loan. They were duped. The Solyndra executives refused to appear before Congress today. Republicans let them stay home since they're so busy working their bankruptcy. Can you imagine the Democrats letting executives from a Republican company off the hook? But the Republicans say, okay, if you don't want to show up, don't show up. Meanwhile, Obama and the Democrats are saying they got duped on the half billion-dollar Solyndra loan.
Now, aren't these the same damn people, Obama and the Democrats, aren't these the same people who want us to squander billions of taxpayer dollars on combating manmade global warming? If this bunch of clowns from Solyndra could dupe them, who the hell else has been duping them? Vice President Bite Me was supposed to be in charge of vetting the Porkulus money. He was a player in the Solyndra announcement. Remember, nobody messes with Joe. Obama's a classic illustration, folks, of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and he is therefore the most dangerous man in every room he walks into, in addition to being the least qualified.
I don't care who's in the room, he is the least qualified and now he's the least knowledgeable and that means he's the most dangerous. (imitating Obama) "They duped me, they duped me, they lied to me." Well, do you think maybe some of the other crap you believe you've been duped on, Mr. President? Like how to create jobs? Do you think maybe Jeremiah Wright or Frank Marshall Davis or your dad or some of your professors at Harvard might have duped you? Really, that's a hell of a thing to admit. "We got duped by Solyndra." They didn't get duped. They exploited this. They tried to use this for big time political advantage.
Here's a story from the Washington Post: "Solyndra Loan: White House Pressed On Review of Solar Company Now Under Investigation." This is a story about the e-mails that went back and forth, and these e-mails show that the White House pushed for this loan. It wasn't Solyndra coming in and begging. The White House pushed for it, not Bush. And again, it's stimulus money that Solyndra got. Hell, these stories, Politico: "White House Pushed on Solyndra." This whole Solyndra story, it fits very nicely, folks, with Obama housing policies and the entire lack of integrity that's put us in this current financial mess. "Solyndra Execs to Skip Wednesday Hearing," skip probably the exact right word. This is also in Politico.
Can you see Pelosi or Barney Frank getting a pass? In fact, no, wasn't it Henry "Nostrilitis" Waxman who wanted all these companies who were having to change their health care laws or procedures because of Obamacare, he demanded e-mails and appearances in front of his committee until he found out they were just abiding the law, or obeying the law. Green companies, they get taxpayer money, are no different than public sector unions who have their dues deducted from their paychecks by the government and sent to union leaders which then ends up back in the Democrat Party. I don't know what this is. It's a combination of incompetence and scandal, I think. Whatever it is, people don't want any more of it.
Now, from The Daily Caller: "Despite Solyndra’s abrupt closing and bankruptcy announcement last month, the Department of Energy (DOE) is undeterred. Just this month, the agency made two more loan guarantees worth millions of dollars to alternative energy firms. And, as was the case with Solyndra, officials and investors with the two new companies have strong financial ties to President Barack Obama. On September 7, the DOE announced its plan to guarantee 80 percent -- or $275 million -- of a $344 million private loan taken out by the firm SolarCity.
"The Chairman of SolarCity, Elon Musk, is a major financial supporter of the president. On April 15 of this year, Musk donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund. He also gave an additional $5,000 to the Obama campaign. Like Solyndra officials White House visitor logs show Musk has visited the Administration at least four times since 2009. The second company is Solexel. On September 2, the solar energy company announced a $13 million award from the DOE as part of a program to make solar energy systems more affordable for homeowners.
"Solexel is financially backed by venture capitalist Steve Westly. In 2008, Westly bundled for Obama’s presidential campaign, bringing in more than $500,000. Westly also served as a California co-chair and was a member of the National Finance Committee for the Obama for American campaign. He’s at it again for the president’s 2012 re-election campaign. So far, Westly has bundled between $100,000 and $200,000. Westly’s companies have received millions in stimulus dollars from the Obama administration. The Westly Group’s portfolio includes Tesla Motors, which received a $465 million loan in 2009; and Amyris Biotechnologies, which got more than $24 million. Since Solyndra closed its doors on August 31, new revelations have had onlookers questioning whether the DOE should have made the loan guarantee in the first place."
Then there's another one. LA Times: "The U.S. Energy Department hopes that a new solar energy project will result in about 900 construction and permanent operations jobs." This story is from yesterday. "Energy Secretary Steven Chu said today that his department had finalized a $1.2-billion loan guarantee to Mojave Solar for the development of the Mojave Solar Project." So four of them here, after Solyndra goes bankrupt. "The Department has issued loans, loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling nearly $40 billion."
But there's a problem with the Mojave Desert solar plant. "The Obama administration has halted the building of two-thirds of a massive solar project in San Bernardino's Mojave Desert as a new federal assessment found that more than 600 endangered desert tortoises would die as a result of construction." So the regime has been shut down in their effort to build a solar plant in the Mojave Desert because of a turtle. "The U.S. Bureau of Land Management assessment this week disputed the estimate by BrightSource Energy, developer [blah, blah, blah] that only 38 of the reptiles would be disturbed." Looks like 600 of them would die.
So solar power would kill tortoises. But this is yet another solar company, BrightSource, they got $1.6 billion in loan guarantees. We want to start adding this up. There's five solar energy companies here with $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the regime, and many of them are continuing to be funded after Solyndra closes its doors. Now, there can be no doubt here that there's something scandalous about this in addition because you've got campaign bundlers, donors. This is Clintonesque, I can't believe it.
RUSH: Well, the regime is gonna have a little trouble here blaming Bush, folks. ABC News is reporting, quote: "Two weeks before President Bush left office, January 9th, 2009, the Energy Department's credit company made a unanimous decision not to offer a loan commitment to Solyndra." So the last thing the Bush people did was tell Solyndra "no." Yeah: Oops! Meanwhile, here, John Dingell (what is he, 130 now?) Democrat, Michigan, at the hearing on Solyndra said, "I'm still waiting to see something that makes me concerned here. I don't see anything that's really troublesome." No! Just the recycling of $535 million of taxpayer money. Stimulus money that was supposed to go to roads, bridges, schools, jobs, so forth, goes to this crony partner of Obama's?