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Waterloo....perhaps?

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Balladeer
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0 posted 10-16-2011 09:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

http://news.yahoo.com/solyndra-loan-figure-raises-500k-obama-222716169.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/solyndra-obama-and-rahm-emanuel-pushed-to-spotlight-energy-company/2011/10/07/gIQACDqSTL_story.html
http://news.yahoo.com/solyndra-loan-figure-raises-500k-obama-222716169.html
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/solyndra-obama-connection
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/solyndra-blame-bush-obama-officials/story?id=14513389
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/03/democratic-donor-warned-white-house-on-solyndra-trip-in-2010-email-shows/#ixzz1ayPo0xIg
http://www.chron.com/news/article/Obama-admin-reworked-Solyndra-loan-to-favor-donor-2173604.php
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-09-18/news/ct-met-kass-0918-20110918_1_solyndra-loan-guarantee-obama-fundraisers-obama-white-house
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/solyndra_obamas_marble_boat.html
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/09/obama-lied-solyndra-died.php


Balladeer
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1 posted 10-16-2011 09:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So, to condense it, here is what we have...

KEY  PLAYER....Steve Spinner. Former energy department advisor actively involved in the 528 million dollar loan for Solyndra, His wife's law firm represented Solyndra. He pledged to recluse himself sue to that association but e-mails verify he didn't. Spinner raised more than $500,000.00 for Obama's re-election campaign.

KEY PLAYER....George Kaiser, Oklahoma oil  billionaire. Argonaut Ventures holds almost 39% of  Solyndra's parent  company, 360 Degree Holding, Inc. The George Kaiser Family Foundation made the investment to buy the Solyndra shares through Argonaut. This means that George Kaiser's foundation was the source of the money that got Solyndra going. George Kaiser claims that he is not an investor in Solyndra. The inference would be that the foundation he runs invested 300 million intoSolyndra and he knew nothing about it.

In February, Solyndra and it's lenders re-organized the company debts, putting the U.S. loan behind 69.3 million owed to other lenders, which included an affiliate of Solyndra's biggest shareholder, Argonaut Ventures. What this means is that the Kaiser family got preference over the right of repayment from Solyndra, ahead of the IOU of the federal government and the American taxpayer.  Also, the Obama administration restructured the half-billion dollar loan in such a way that private investors (including a fund-raiser for Obama!!!!) moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of default.  Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's 2008 campaign, federal election records show. Kaiser has made at least 16 visits to the president's aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs.

WARNINGS..

(1)....Energy Department officials were warned that their plan to help a failing solar company by restructuring its $535 million federal loan could violate the law and should be cleared with the Justice Department, according to newly obtained e-mails from within the Obama administration.

The e-mails show that Energy Department officials moved ahead anyway with a new deal that would repay company investors before taxpayers if the company defaulted. The e-mails, which were reviewed by The Washington Post, show for the first time concerns within the administration about the legality of the Energy Department’s extraordinary efforts to help Solyndra, the California solar company that went bankrupt Aug. 31.

The records provided Friday by a government source also show that an Energy Department stimulus adviser, Steve Spinner, pushed for Solyndra’s loan despite having recused himself because his wife’s law firm did work for the company. Spinner, who left the agency in September 2010, did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

The e-mails show that Mary Miller, an assistant Treasury secretary, wrote to Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy OMB director, expressing concern. She said that the deal could violate federal law because it put investors’ interests ahead of taxpayers’ and that she had advised that it should be reviewed by the Justice Department. “To our knowledge that never happened,” Miller wrote in a Aug. 17, 2011, memo to the OMB. In February, the restructuring was approved by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

(2)....."Documents gathered during the committee's investigation reveal those closest to the president in the West Wing ... had direct involvement in the Solyndra mess, and that 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," he said. "The Democrats deny that any political influence was involved, yet in their own memo they highlight the role of Obama fundraiser Steve Westly in the discussions

(3)....Industry analysts and government auditors fault the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the business proposals or take note of troubling signs already evident in the solar energy marketplace.
    "It was alarming," said Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, which found that Energy Department preliminary loan approvals -- including the one for Solyndra -- were granted at times before officials had completed mandatory evaluations of the financial and engineering viability of the projects. "They can't really evaluate the risks without following the rules."

    The Energy Department's senior staff has acknowledged in interviews the intense pressure from top Obama administration officials to rush stimulus spending out the door...
    "There was just too much misplaced zeal at the Department of Energy for this company," Mr. Mehta said.

(4)...Jim McTague of Barron’s noted over the weekend that, two months before Obama’s glowing speech, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a fear-filled note in its audit of the company, which has accumulated losses of $558 million in its five-year lifetime. The firm noted that Solyndra “has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”
Freddoso drily observed: “Obama seemed almost unaware of this when he spoke.” How could the smartest president of all time have missed that?

(5)....Two days before Mr. Obama’s tour of Solyndra, Steve Westly, a California venture capitalist, emailed Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, saying the company was risky for Mr. Obama and visiting it could “haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc.” He also made a mention

PASS THE BUCK TO BUSH.....

As the bubble was bursting, top administration officials testified before congress that the loan was actually Bush's idea. The Energy Department's top lending officer told congress that the loan application was filed during Bush's term and surged toward completion before Obama took office.  Republicans produced Energy department e-mails indicating that the panel evaluating the loan made the unanimous decision to shelve SOlyndra's application for a  loan two weeks before Obama took office. In other words, the Bush administration listened to the evaluater's recommendation that it was a bad deal and tossed it, while Obama ignored the reports of his panels saying the same thing and went ahead with it.

WHAT DOES OBAMA SAY....?

President Obama said Monday he does not regret the loan, saying officials always knew a clean energy loan program would not back winners 100 percent of the time.
"There are going to be some failures, and Solyndra's an example," Obama said in an ABC News interview. Asked whether his administration had ignored warnings about Solyndra, he said: "Well, hindsight is always 20-20." He also made amention on a tv interview that sometimes you "just have to take a gamble".  (It's always easy to gamble with someone else's money.)


MY CONCLUSION....

Obama has tried to pull a fast one. He channeled a huge amount of money as a favor to big political donators and fund-raisers. At best he was just paying off debts to supporters. At worst he is "laundering" money which will find  it's way back to him. He ignored all warnings that the loan was a bad idea and pushed for it, anyway, citing the "urgency" of spending the stimulus money. Obama using the "urgency" routine is nothing new. When the company fell apart he made sure that the principals (his big investors) woud get t heir money back before the treasury (or taxpayers) will.

This whole affair shows clearly that Obama has no concern for the  welfare of the country  at all. I sincerely hope  the truth comes out on this and Obama is shown for what he really is and the tactics he uses.
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2 posted 10-18-2011 12:59 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Corporate greed
Bush did it
Case closed


.
Balladeer
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3 posted 10-18-2011 02:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hopefully, John, the case will not be closed so easily. It's not getting much publicity now, which is no surprise since the network media  does  what they can to protect him, but Watergate didn't get that much, either, at the beginning. Hopefully the sordid truth will come out on this one.
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4 posted 10-18-2011 03:50 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm going to continue here instead of the other thread:

quote:

Does the mistreatment of Chrysler's secured creditors constitute an unconstitutional taking of property?


Richard Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer who has been criticized for contesting the terms of the Chrysler bailout, notes that "no critic has ever challenged us on the points of law." Indiana's pension funds for retired teachers and state police officers were among Chrysler's secured creditors. It has been settled law that secured creditors, as compensation for lending money at rates lower than the borrowing company's condition might justify, are first in line to be paid in the event of bankruptcy. Indiana's funds and other secured creditors received less per dollar than did an unsecured creditor, the United Auto Workers, which also got 55 percent ownership of Chrysler. So the government is simultaneously subsidizing Italians and injuring retired Hoosiers.

--George Will
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061202755.html




So, you see, back then, conservatives were complaining that the precedent secured creditors were moved to the back of the bus.  Now, with Solyndra, you're complaining they weren't.  Can't have it both ways.

Do I think it was in the best interest of the country?  Generally a good idea to invest in new technologies, particularly when it involves a component of national security, like energy independence.  The government makes or backs loans to business all the time, on all levels, Federal, State, and Local..... you know how many plants I built for companies that were funded through municipal and/or state bonds?  loans? land grants ?  

More if we learn more.....
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5 posted 10-18-2011 04:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

you know how many plants I built for companies that were funded through municipal and/or state bonds?  loans? land grants ?  

I'm wondering how many of those municipalities or states who gave you funds to build those plants did so with their economic advisors telling them not to do so, that it was a bad idea and the existing company was likely to go belly-up in a year?

That's the issue here. There's nothing wrong with investing in companies. What's wrong is investing in companies while the entire economic staff is advising against it. They are the professionals that know...and born out by the fact that the company went bankrupt, even to the very day they predicted it would. Even Bush, who initiated the loan, shelved it when his team advised him it was a bad idea. Does that make Bush so much smarter than Obama?

Combine that with the fact that the winners either way just happen to be two of Obama's largest contributors and you have a situation that stinks to high heaven....and I think you know it. This was political cronyism as it's worst with the country being the loser.
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6 posted 10-18-2011 04:56 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Nope,

I agree the cash flow analysis showed the company was going to run out of cash nearly exactly when it did - which is why the financial package should have been larger, or tied to an outside investor like the Fiat fiat...

The stability of s company is all about cash flow.  Even profitable ventures will get into trouble if they cant make cash flow.  Underfunding a company is assured failure.

Fox News lost 90mil a year for the first five years?  Does that mean it was unstable?  Or was it merely the case that Murdoch was cognizant of the fact that he was going to have to sink a lot if cash into the branding and distribution?

They just didn't put enough money into this thing, which probably indicates they didn't really have the right management team, but, I know you conservative types were just real supportive when the admin required a change at GM.....
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7 posted 10-18-2011 07:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

.The stability of s company is all about cash flow.  Even profitable ventures will get into trouble if they cant make cash flow.  Underfunding a company is assured failure.

I'm curious as to why they had trouble with cash flow. If I were a multi-billionaire with a constant stream of money coming in and making millions just on the interest of my investments, and I owned almost 40% of a company that needed a cash infusion to keep going toward more profitable times, I think I would take a few hundred million out of petty cash to do so. Kaiser didn't even have to do that. He called in his blue chip donations to Obama to get the government to throw in half a billion....and even  that wasn't enough. So he bailed out and, thanks to Obama, got his onvestment back. Nice work if you can get it.

Fox News lost 90mil a year for the first five years?  Does that mean it was unstable?  Or was it merely the case that Murdoch was cognizant of the fact that he was going to have to sink a lot if cash into the branding and distribution?

I would guess(and it is a guess) that Murdoch knew he had a winner and invested his own money into it  to keep a positive cash flow going, something Kaiser   was not prepared to do.


It was not only the negative cash flow. As I listed earlier in this thread....
.


Industry analysts and government auditors fault the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the business proposals or take note of troubling signs already evident in the solar energy marketplace.
The Energy Department's senior staff has acknowledged in interviews the intense pressure from top Obama administration officials to rush stimulus spending out the door...
    "There was just too much misplaced zeal at the Department of Energy for this company," Mr. Mehta said.

Jim McTague of Barron’s noted over the weekend that, two months before Obama’s glowing speech, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a fear-filled note in its audit of the company, which has accumulated losses of $558 million in its five-year lifetime. The firm noted that Solyndra “has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

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8 posted 10-18-2011 07:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

According to a Feb. 17 letter signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican, to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Fremont, Calif.-based solar panel manufacturer should never have received a $535 million loan guarantee from the stimulus.*

A closer look at the company shows it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.


Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/22/panel-green-jobs-company-endorsed-by-obama-and-biden-squandered-535-million-in-stimulus-money/#ixzz1bB0u0264
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9 posted 10-18-2011 07:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A 2009 report by the Energy Department's inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks.

In July 2010, the Government Accountability Office said the Energy Department had bypassed required steps for funding awards to five of 10 applicants that received conditional loan guarantees.

The report did not publicly identify the companies that were not properly vetted, but congressional investigators say one of them was Solyndra. The company was the first to receive a loan guarantee after the program was expanded under the 2009 stimulus law.

In March, DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman again faulted the loan program for poor record keeping. A report by Friedman said the program "could not always readily demonstrate, through systematically organized records ... how it resolved or mitigated relevant risks prior to granting loan guarantees." According to the report, the department kept limited or no electronic data on 15 of 18 loan guarantees examined.

Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Energy Department, said all reviews were completed before any taxpayer money was obligated.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44548368/ns/politics-white_house/t/white-house-wary-solyndra-re-election-effects/#.Tp4HQnKvfZc

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10 posted 10-18-2011 07:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It even gets better. Turns out Solyndra is only  the tip of the iceberg...

A Daily Caller investigation has found that in addition to the failed company Solyndra, at least four other solar panel manufacturing companies receiving in excess of $500 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of money to Democratic campaigns.

And as questions swirl around possible connections between political donations and these preferential financing arrangements, the Obama White House suddenly began deflecting The Daily Caller’s questions on Wednesday to the Democratic National Committee.

Asked Wednesday to comment on the connection between large Democratic donors and Obama administration loan guarantees to the companies they represent, the White House responded to TheDC with a single sentence: “We refer your question to the Democratic National Committee.”

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.

Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/29/more-solar-companies-led-by-democratic-donors-received-federal-loan-guarantees/#ixzz1bB2EHVla


Isn't it interesting that all of these companies have members who employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of money to Democratic campaigns? What a coincidence!!! What does the white house say about it? They dodge the question.

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11 posted 10-18-2011 07:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A  closer look at SunPower....

How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project—three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project.

The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt, an amount $20 million greater than its market capitalization.  If SunPower was a bank, the feds would shut it down.  Instead, it received a lifeline twice the size of the money sent down the Solyndra drain.

In his Sept. 26 column for SeekingAlpha.com, Stoyan Elitzen lists SunPower as the ninth-most-shorted solar stock in either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ markets.  Short sellers are betting that a stock price will go down, as opposed to those who buy long, who expect a stock price to up.

According the Elitzen, the size of SunPower's short position is equal to 15 days of its average daily volume of 725,000 shares per day.  By any measure, such pessimism is a banshee screaming in the night for a company's stock price that has already lost 94% of value from its 2007 apex.

In addition to all its other challenges, the company and its officers are defendants in a federal shareholder lawsuit, whose plaintiffs include, the Austin (Texas) Police Retirement System, the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System and a number of institutional investors for an alleged scheme to deceive the investing public by making false statements contrary to nonpublic information known to the insiders.

The allegations cover the period between April 17, 2008, to Nov. 16, 2009, the day the company announced that it had discovered unsubstantiated accounting entries to its operations in the Philippines, which led to the significant restating of the company's financials.

There are a number of lawsuits filed in California courts relating to the same period alleging gross mismanagement, breach of fiduciary responsibility, unjust enrichment and abuse of control.

The first of the lawsuits was filed Nov. 18, 2009, and they have yet to be resolved.

It is a fair question to ask how a company with such serious charges lodged against its management team could receive a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the taxpayers, so it could built a new manufacturing plant in Mexico to build the solar panels it will install at a photovoltaic ranch that will create a total of 15 permanent jobs.
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46761


I don't see how anyone could look at these facts and not believe that Obama is engaging in nothing more  than cronyism to the nth degree with regards to the money he is  passing out to companies that will fail and are run by democratic donors and supporters.
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12 posted 10-19-2011 07:19 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Facts are important to understand.  It is a fact that 100% of all people who eat peanuts also die.  This indicates a positive correlation between peanut consumption and death.  Carter may have had something to do with this!

Solyndra had a special technology that made solar panels without any refined silicon which was pricey at the time, about $300/kilogram.  The bottom fell out of that commodity - down to around $50/kilogram--making it cheaper to use than Solyndra's process, and, China flooded the market with cheap solar panels.  (Funny how those communists are so inneficient eh?)

This made it rather difficult for Solyndra to make cash flow.  Still, its just a small part of the DOE backed loan program that clocks in at about 40 billion Mike.

Now, I wonder why there would be any positive correlation between people who are interested in investing in alternative energy and being Democratic supporters.

I also wonder why there is a positive correlation between Democratic officials and people interested in alternative energy?

Its just a great big mystery
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13 posted 10-19-2011 08:38 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I  see. So you are attempting to infer that it would be logical for all alternative energy companies blessed with Obama support to be democratic supporters and donors because only democrats are interested in alternative energy?

But, I make no argument at all against your core premise that ideology and party affilliation results in warped perceptions of reality.

I can see why you made that statement. You have just proven it beyond the shadow of a doubt.
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14 posted 10-19-2011 08:46 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm not only attempting Mike!  I'm obviously succeeding!

Except it's your ideological bias that led you to the word 'only'.  I would use the word 'particularly'.  As opposed to the drill baby drll, dribble.
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15 posted 10-19-2011 10:45 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You are only succeeding in showing your attempt. There is nothing valid or convincing in that attempt, except to show your extreme prejudice.

No matter. You can ignore the facts all you want.  We will see where it goes. Obama is milking his cash cow, the treasury, for all it's worth to pay off his cronies and, if that doesn't bother you, then so be it.
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16 posted 10-19-2011 12:44 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

So, then I didn't actually make the inference?  But, if you understood the inference doesn't that mean I succeeded?

Wasn't everyone at Solyndra either a supporter of McCain or Obama?  Are there no Republicans at Solyndra?  Like, say, the CEO?  Is there any company anywhere that will be 100% free of Obama supporters?  

This is the part where you look into the camera and say,

'Aye hates RABBITS!'

sup doc?
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17 posted 10-19-2011 01:21 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

George Kaiser, Oklahoma oil  billionaire. Argonaut Ventures holds almost 39% of  Solyndra's parent  company, 360 Degree Holding, Inc. The George Kaiser Family Foundation made the investment to buy the Solyndra shares through Argonaut. This means that George Kaiser's foundation was the source of the money that got Solyndra going. George Kaiser claims that he is not an investor in Solyndra. The inference would be that the foundation he runs invested 300 million intoSolyndra and he knew nothing about it.Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's 2008 campaign, federal election records show. He is often referred to as a “Bundler”. In this case that means he encouraged/pushed others to put up money for the big O’s campaign.Kaiser has made at least 16 visits to the president's aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs.

Steve Spinner. Former energy department advisor actively involved in the 528 million dollar loan for Solyndra, His wife's law firm represented Solyndra. He pledged to recluse himself sue to that association but e-mails verify he didn't. Spinner raised more than $500,000.00 for Obama's re-election campaign.

The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that the Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve has secured a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for a Nevada solar project.
That company has ties to George Kaiser, the Oklahoma billionaire who raised $53,500 for President Obama’s campaign in 2008. Through his Argonaut Private Equity firm, Kaiser holds a majority stake in Solyndra. Argonaut has a voting stake on SolarReserve’s board of directors in the person of Steve Mitchell, who also serves on Solyndra’s board of directors.


Yep, just your average Obama supporters....
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18 posted 10-19-2011 04:37 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


You forgot to mention the other major financial contributor to Solyndra Mike - Madrone Capital Partners, owned by the Walton family.

.
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19 posted 10-19-2011 05:09 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

The US Department of Energy (DOE) exercised proper oversight and due diligence in approving a $535 million loan guarantee to solar panel maker Solyndra, said a former senior official in the agency during the Clinton and Bush administrations who helped create its now-embattled loan guarantee program.

“If you look at DOE, best I can determine they have done nothing illegal, wrong, incorrect,” said Walter Streight Howes, the first director of the DOE loan guarantee program under President George W. Bush. “I think they actually put a huge amount of time and due diligence here.” Howes made his comments Sunday on Platts Energy Week, the all-energy news and talk television program.

Howes is currently a managing partner of Verdigris Capital who works closely with companies applying for loan guarantees. He said he was not directly involved in reviewing now-bankrupt Solyndra’s application when it was first filed with DOE in 2006.

As for the controversial March restructuring of Solyndra’s financing that Republicans have said may have violated the law, Howes said he probably would have done the same thing given what he knows.

“I am glad I was not in that chair to get that call, because from what I know of the facts right now, I probably would have made the same decision,” he said.

The Obama administration has come under fire from Republicans for approving a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009 to Solyndra, which last month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and shut down operations.

The company used the loan guarantee to build a state-of-the-art factory in California to make its unique cylindrical solar panels.

Republicans have said the administration rushed through the company’s loan guarantee application without proper oversight, and they have also said that DOE’s restructuring of Solyndra’s loan guarantee in March may have been illegal, by putting taxpayers subordinate to two large private investors in case of a default.

But Howes backed administration claims that the restructuring gave the company a fighting chance at staving off bankruptcy, and he noted that the restructuring was done without DOE giving the company any more taxpayer-backed financing.

“It was probably a good gamble and it didn't put the government at a diminished position,” he said.

He said restructuring Solyndra’s debt allowed the company, which was burning cash trying to compete against cheaper Chinese-made solar panels, to complete its new manufacturing facility, giving it a solid asset that could recover some money in a bankruptcy auction, which a federal bankruptcy judge has set for October 27.

“Rule No. 1 of project finance and restructuring is, if you are going to restructure, it takes something of value, and they hadn’t finished the facility,” Howes said. “So now they at least have a facility that is up and running, so in the [bankruptcy reorganization], they have a facility they may be able to use.”

Howes said that despite what difficulties the loan guarantee program may have had this past year in navigating the politics of Capitol Hill and in underwriting challenging loans, it is worth preserving.

He noted that the loan guarantee program got significantly ramped up under the Obama administration after the Bush administration had essentially put it on ice for ideological reasons. While that rush may have opened up the Obama administration to criticism, Howes said the US needs to keep up with rivals, like China, that are significantly investing in clean energy technology.

“The Obama administration said, ‘Whoops we've inherited this bad economy,’ so they partnered the loan guarantee program with the ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] stimulus act, put it on steroids, if you will,” Howes said. “I think it is vital that we continue this type of a program. Look at our competitors; they are doing this in spades. We have to evolve from industrial-age fuels to the next era. It is vitally important we do this.”
http://platts.com/PressReleases/2011/100311b/No


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cylindrical-solar-cells-give-new-meaning-to-sunroof
Balladeer
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20 posted 10-19-2011 05:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Madrone Capital, Uncas?  No problem....

A lot has been said about the ties of George Kaiser, a campaign contribution bundler for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, to the Solyndra bankruptcy scandal that likely has cost taxpayers $535 million thanks to a Department of Energy loan guarantee. Kaiser’s investment firm, Argonaut Venture Capital, held over 35 percent of the failed solar company’s stock – more than anyone else.

But next in line (with 11 percent) behind Argonaut in the Solyndra stakes is Madrone Capital Partners, which is managed by a trio whom the political Left has attempted to tie to support for Republicans. Of course, “they did it too” is not a legitimate defense, but in this case, it’s not a portrayal of the entire picture either.

Walmart can no longer be portrayed as a "conservative" or "Republican" company. Beginning under former CEO Lee Scott, and accelerating under present CEO Mike Duke, Walmart has become a powerful backer of a host of left-wing causes. This shift is detailed in an NLPC Special Report titled Wal-Mart Embraces Controversial Causes: Bid to Appease Liberal Interest Groups Will Likely Fail, Hurt Business.

So Madrone, and therefore the Waltons, had a healthy stake in Solyndra – second only to Kaiser. But like most wise investment firms, their interests are diversified to reduce risk and spread the opportunity for success. For example, Madrone is also invested in MicroSeismic, Inc., which provides services for the natural gas and oil shale hydraulic fracturing industries. Similarly Kaiser, the Obama campaign bundler, is an oilman and banker, but also apparently had a desire to bring Solyndra jobs to his hometown of Tulsa, Okla. He has visited the White House 16 times since 2009, Businessweek reports.

And tying the Waltons, and Madrone Capital, exclusively to the back pockets of Republicans would be incorrect also. After all, they brought liberal former Al Gore aide Leslie Dach into a key executive role with Walmart, and he’s often out front on the company’s sustainability initiatives. And while GOP candidates have enjoyed support from some Waltons and Madrone partners, more recently their money has been thrown Democrats’ way also.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Madrone’s Greg Penner and his wife Carrie – the daughter of Walmart chairman of the board Rob Walton – most recently gave $7,200 to the successful U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat Michael Bennet, from Colorado. Mrs. Penner also donated $2,300 to President Obama’s 2008 campaign, and Greg Penner gave $500 to U.S. Rep. Joe Baca, also a Democrat. The Penners also contributed $3,600 to Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss’s 2008 Senate campaign, and Mrs. Penner gave $2,400 to the unsuccessful Senate candidacy of California Republican Tom Campbell. As for Madrone’s other partners, McJunkin has no records of political donations, and Thomas Patterson has made five contributions totaling $8,900 to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., who apparently is a buddy from their days together on the Harvard University lightweight crew team.

Donations from Walmart Stores’ Political Action Committee, since 2008, have been fairly balanced between Democrats ($1.285 million) and Republicans ($1.268 million), according to CRP records.

http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/09/28/waltons-solyndra-and-political-persuasions
Uncas
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21 posted 10-19-2011 08:07 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
Madrone Capital, Uncas? No problem....


I think you missed my point Mike. The investment companies involved weren't acting as democrats or republicans or independents, they were acting as investment companies and there was more than one of them involved. CMEA Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and U.S. Venture Partners also invested heavily. All of them were investing to make money not in the hope that they'd recover 20 cents on the dollar if the whole thing folded.

Reading the related documents, including the details of the loan guarantee restructure agreement, I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. What exactly did Obama do that was illegal or fraudulent?

.
Balladeer
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Of course they were acting as investors. SInce  the investment went bust, they seem to be getting their investments reimbursed along political lines.

What's the fuss about? Whether Obama has done anything illegal  or  fraudelent is still to be determined.  We do know, as I stated above, Energy Department officials were warned that their plan to help a failing solar company by restructuring its $535 million federal loan could violate the law and should be cleared with the Justice Department, according to newly obtained e-mails from within the Obama administration. So what did they mean  by that? What could violate the law that caused them to issue such a warning?

Then you have, as I also stated, The e-mails show that Mary Miller, an assistant Treasury secretary, wrote to Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy OMB director, expressing concern. She said that the deal could violate federal law because it put investors’ interests ahead of taxpayers’ and that she had advised that it should be reviewed by the Justice Department. “To our knowledge that never happened,” Miller wrote in a Aug. 17, 2011, memo to the OMB. In February, the restructuring was approved by Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Why  did the deputy OMB director have concern that the deal could violate federal law?

Aside from whether or not there were illegalities, let's see what else could cause a fuss...

"Documents gathered during the committee's investigation reveal those closest to the president in the West Wing ... had direct involvement in the Solyndra mess, and that 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," he said. "The Democrats deny that any political influence was involved, yet in their own memo they highlight the role of Obama fundraiser Steve Westly in the discussions.

Then we have...

Industry analysts and government auditors fault the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the business proposals or take note of troubling signs already evident in the solar energy marketplace.
    "It was alarming," said Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, which found that Energy Department preliminary loan approvals -- including the one for Solyndra -- were granted at times before officials had completed mandatory evaluations of the financial and engineering viability of the projects. "They can't really evaluate the risks without following the rules."


and then....

The Energy Department's senior staff has acknowledged in interviews the intense pressure from top Obama administration officials to rush stimulus spending out the door...
    "There was just too much misplaced zeal at the Department of Energy for this company," Mr. Mehta said.


also...

PricewaterhouseCoopers released a fear-filled note in its audit of the company, which has accumulated losses of $558 million in its five-year lifetime. The firm noted that Solyndra “has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”
Freddoso drily observed: “Obama seemed almost unaware of this when he spoke.” How could the smartest president of all time have missed that?


Then, as far as the steps taken to get the loans going....

A 2009 report by the Energy Department's inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks.

In July 2010, the Government Accountability Office said the Energy Department had bypassed required steps for funding awards to five of 10 applicants that received conditional loan guarantees.

The report did not publicly identify the companies that were not properly vetted, but congressional investigators say one of them was Solyndra. The company was the first to receive a loan guarantee after the program was expanded under the 2009 stimulus law.

In March, DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman again faulted the loan program for poor record keeping. A report by Friedman said the program "could not always readily demonstrate, through systematically organized records ... how it resolved or mitigated relevant risks prior to granting loan guarantees." According to the report, the department kept limited or no electronic data on 15 of 18 loan guarantees examined.


And finally we have this...

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.

Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.


Too bad I have to repeat these, but it's apparent you either haven't read or dismissed them when reported the first time.

SO, we have Obama, with stimulus money burning a hole in his pocket and anxious to be known as the "green" president, selecting these companies, whose stock prices all nosediving,  using a loan program that kept poor records and was not capable of resolving relevant risks, and not paying attention to the warnings of his own agencies that the companies were a bad risk, tossing in over a billions dollars into them. When Solyndra went down, he restructured the payments so that investors, the largest being a huge financial democratic supporter, getting their investments back before the government.

Gee, why the fuss indeed? Obama greeted it with a "Well, you win some and you lose some" attitude. What's a billion anyway these days? He  has unlimited funds. It's called the  Treasury. He now calls for MORE money to help fix the economy, after showing, through this spectacle, he has no idea what to do with it or how to use it wisely. How many  jobs could he  have put together with the billion he wasted? Should there be a fuss? Should someone be at least a little miffed at the way he squandered funds in such a thoughtless and irresponsible manner?

Yes.
Bob K
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23 posted 10-20-2011 12:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:

How many  jobs could he  have put together with the billion he wasted?




I think you're simply being rhetorical here.  The Opposition has done its best to block most of his attempts at create jobs or to pursue his plans for growth in the economy, and its best has been, for the most part, good enough.  While I appreciate your willingness to restate your argument, Points raised by Uncas and LR about the purpose of actually building the plant and the change in the metals market seem to be apt, and if you really want to avoid getting into a he said-he said head butting contest, a simple restatement of your prior points leaves those issues unaddressed.

     It also sounds to me that we've been way behind the curve in putting money into basic scientific research and into science education.  The partisan quarrel over climate change has stalled our ability to take the technology we need to develop seriously and has allowed the chinese, who do take it seriously, to jump ahead of us in putting this stuff into production.  They know that oil and coal are dirty and expensive and are not good long term investments for china, I think, and seem to be putting research into dealing with this.

     While we, instead of dealing with the issue, are using the fact of our set back to block the development of  the technology we need to get out of the hole we've dug ourselves by our short-sightedness in the first place.

     Minimally, in addition to blocking the potential re- election of the President, could you think of some way we might solve the question of the research and educational gap.  Hopefully, do it in some way that allows for some failures along the way, no matter which party wins the election, because the failures are part of the learning curve on this sort of thing.  And expect that some of the failures will be big ones, like we had in the space program, which will cost us money, which we lost in the space program too.

     Hopefully, the cost of solar energy will continue to come down, even if it costs us money in the process, because that means that cheaper electricity becomes more affordable to more people without the use of so many fossil fuels, right?  How long ago were you complaining that it was too expensive?  

     Even the process of it becoming cheaper has risks attached to it, and will have people to blame for those risks.  But horse-drawn transport has it draw-backs too, you know, what with the stench and all, and the things people end up tracking into the house.
Uncas
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24 posted 10-20-2011 02:07 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
Too bad I have to repeat these, but it's apparent you either haven't read or dismissed them when reported the first time.


I read them Mike, then I read the documentation regarding the original loan guarantee, the details of the private investment, the company financial records during the period, the details of the loan guarantee restructure and the actual timeline of events.

Presumably you've checked out all those things too and decided that Obama did something illegal or fraudulent. I was just curious as to how you came to a conclusion that is diametrically opposed to my conclusion based on the same factual source evidence.

You see I don't understand how you can make statements like this when the facts clearly contradict it:

quote:
When Solyndra went down, he restructured the payments so that investors, the largest being a huge financial democratic supporter, getting their investments back before the government.


The whole statement is misleading if you look at what actually happened. For a start the loan restructure was put in place before Solyndra 'went down', the truth is that they only 'went down' after the government refused to restructure the loan guarantee for a second time. Next you claim that the loan was restructured so that all the money put in by the investors would take precedent over the loan guarantee - when you read the restructuring agreement however it's clear that this is an out and out lie. The restructure only protected new investment up to a maximum of 75 million. All the previous money invested was never part of the deal - anything Kaiser and the other investors already had in the company was subordinate to the government loan guarantee.

I know that Mike because I researched the facts, I presume that you knew that too before you posted the statement. So why post something so misleading?

Just curious.
 
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