As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

White House White Wash? The Solyndra “Probe”

The White House announced Friday that President Obama has appointed someone to look into this whole Solyndra matter. But don’t be too impressed.

Solyndra of course is the solar panel maker that took half a billion in federally guaranteed loans and proceeded to go belly up anyway, prompting a Congressional investigation into the incompetence of the loan steering process and whether Obama fundraisers who were involved had conflicts of interest.

"You're going to love our independent review."
Photo by Keith Koffler

First, let’s take the opening line of the Washington Post article about the new investigation: “The White House has authorized an independent review . . .”

Authorized an independent review? What does that mean?

Second, Obama has chosen one of the inmates to investigate the asylum. While Herbert Allison Jr. appears to be widely respected and has worked for both Republicans and Democrats, he’s not exactly an independent outsider, having recently served as Obama’s Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Financial Stability, overseeing the financial system rescue effort.

He’s an insider. Not an outsider.

And third, the “investigation” is tailored to assess the clean energy program itself – to gauge the health of the companies that have received funds and to find ways to spot problems in the future – not to probe the actions and conflicts of interest of those who divvied up the loan money.

The White House has been clear that, while broadcasting to the public that it is conducting some kind of internal investigation, it will continue to stonewall congressional investigators trying to find out who did what and why.

White House officials told the Washington Post and the New York Times Friday that they will continue to oppose congressional effort to obtain more documents, parroting the line that they have “already handed over 70,000 documents.”

Which sounds impressive, unless damning information is contained in document No. 70,001.

Republican Energy Committee leaders threatened in a statement Friday to subpoena the information:

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.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post – at the end of an article this morning, like, as an afterthought – lists several more major loan recipients that appear to be in dismal straights.

Fisker, an electric-car maker that received a $529 million loan guarantee through the program, has missed its early manufacturing goals and pushed back plans for U.S. manufacturing. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, this week asked the Energy Department to explain a $730 million loan guarantee made to the Michigan subsidiary of a steel and mining company owned by a Russian billionaire.

Other loan recipients, too, are confronting recent financial difficulties.

Beacon Power Corp., an energy storage company that received $43 million in federal support from the program, may be delisted from the Nasdaq because its shares have dropped below $1 and it has warned it may not be a “going concern.”

The firm, which makes flywheels that control the flow of energy through the electrical grid, was next in line to receive a loan after Solyndra and counts the Navy among its customers.

Beacon received good news last week when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a regulation that will allow electricity storage companies such as Beacon to receive incentive payments. But two flywheels at the company’s Stephentown, N.Y., plant have failed in the past two months, prompting some analysts to downgrade its stock.

60 Responses to White House White Wash? The Solyndra “Probe”

  1. Just another put-up job–like testing anthrax on kids or telling people there is no record when they ask for a record. Blah blah–who can trust any of this. Why am I getting a Stack Overflow on this site all the time now…Probably a character defect on my part.

    • I have chosen not to discuss…Very awkward…One friend told me, “This will never be a discussion I am having with you.” My three best friends and sister and one brother are in this camp. Clearly they think I am unhinged now since I no longer vote Dem or won’t while this admin is at issue. It leaves gaps…but I can’t change their mind any more than they could change mine. So…we toddle on.

      • It’s not the argument issue for me, there are some who I will not discuss with cause they resort to name calling. It’s the fact they can’t see what is so horribly wrong with the resident and his commie/marxist/prog administration. The whole non-transparency and constitution be damned thinking. They rail against wall street, yet can’t see the collusion of the crony capitalism. You would think the take over of companies would be a red flag for them, but no!

        • Nope, it’s not. Also my friends don’t really follow this stuff as closely–OK, fanatically–as I do. Yet they claim to know what’s right and what’s not. That gets irritating. I just tell myself to detach.

            • I’m right there with you, Star and Mrs. C. My sister refuses to see anything wrong with this “administration”. Huge cataracts in her eyes!!!!. So sick of all of this mess and the ones who refuse to see what is right in front of them.

              • I write for a local rag, primarily the same sorts. I got sick of the paper always publishing the same liberal feel good well intentioned bull crap, and I starte dgiving the conservative view. I am always polite, but very firm. When I write, I keep in mind that they are dead wrong, and it helps me remember to help them. They get nasty in return, or try to – but I figure I have to say it. It’s my job. “Grandma, what did you do when the country was flipping over to socialism?” I want to tell those who will be rebelling against 66% taxation, that I wrote, I spoke up, I kept my humor and I did not falter or step one foot away from conservatism. And I prayed hard for my country, every day.

                Don’t give up hope, girls. A word here, a word there. Plant seeds. “Like dainty morsels, the words of the whisperer go down into the innermost parts of the belly” (Proverbs, KJV). That is not only the truth of evil, but the truth of righeousness. Fight on, fellow warriors.

                • the Bible says that in the last days people will seek to merely have their ears tickled… more & more we are seeing the great apostasy before our eyes… todays politicians are no different than the false teachers of today..
                  they mix lies with truth and their followers cling to every word… woe to them

  2. More smoke and mirrors from this White House. When they don’t want the attention they throw out something like this to get the reporters to back off. This seems to work for most of WH press (not you Keith). They have apparently a lot to hide on this, not to mention what’s going on the DEA-ATF fiasco…

  3. When I read this. a senior flashback came to me and I thought the POTUS was R.Nixon and MrHalderman was claiming that WhiteHouse had no knowlege of what happened at the Watergate.

  4. Great article Keith. You are right about the attempted white wash, but it’s pretty hard to put the genie back in the bottle once you let it out. The October Limbaugh Letter had an article “Obama’s Big Green Money-Laundering Scheme”, with an extensive list of government supported “green” companies that have gone belly up during the Obama administration…
    Solyndra, Inc., Fremont, CA – got $535 million from taxpayers, and spent $1.9 million lobbying DC politicians from 2008-2011.
    Evergreen Solar, Inc., Marlboro, MA – $58 million in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks, and stimulus cash to build solar panels.
    Green Vehicles, Salinas, CA – $540K in city subsidies without ever creating one electric vehicle.
    EPV Solar, Inc., Robbinsville, NJ – $500K interest free loan from NJ taxpayers to build solar panels.
    Clean Burn Fuels, LLC., Raeford, NC – Ethanol plant that collected $3 million from the county in incentives and $35 million in loan guarantees from the Ag Dept.
    Fisher Coachworks, LLC., Oak Park, MI – $6 million DOE loan (July 2008) and $1.6million from Michigan taxpayers to build electric buses.
    SpectraWatt, Hopewell Junction, NY – $500K in stimulus and $6 million from NY taxpayers in economic inducements for the solar cell manufacturer’s move from Oregon.
    Then there are the ripoffs like the stimulus-funded weatherization projects in Cook County ($91 million), Seattle ($20 million), California ($186 million), and Las Vegas got $490K to plant trees.
    The “green initiative” is a nothing more than a scam to pilfer from the American taxpayer. I doubt criminal charges will result from the Solyndra investigation while Obama is in office, but expect the rats will start scurrying once their puppet is back home in Chicago…

  5. This is just another example of the rampant cronyism and corruption in our government.

    Consider also what just happened in a Texas federal court described at http://www.LawInjustice.com. A Dallas business owner was involved in a civil dispute and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawyers, and when he objected to additional excessive fees after the case settled, they had a “friendly” judge seize all of his possessions, without any notice or hearing, and essentially ordered him to be an involuntary servant to the lawyers under “house arrest”. The business owner has been under this “servant” order for 10 months and is prohibited from owning any possessions, freely traveling, prohibited from working, etc…

    …and some quotes from the judge:

    THE COURT: “I’m telling you don’t scr-w with me. You are a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool to scr-w with a federal judge, and if you don’t understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army, Marines and Navy behind me.”

    THE COURT: “You realize that order is an order of the Court. So any failure to comply with that order is contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death”

  6. So what is Obama up to today? Nursing the hangover from the Friday night party? Wonder if he heard about the suicide bombing in Kabul? A suicide bomber rammed an armored bus and took the life of 17 NATO troops, 13 of which were Americans. Lazy, worthless human being that he is, he’ll probably call in a statement from the royal bathroom…

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AFGHANISTAN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-10-29-09-22-40

    • He’s in the royal bathroom pouting because it snowed in D.C. today (in October!!!!!) and he couldn’t golf. Is someone trying to tell him something?

  7. “Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Financial Stability,”
    Come on now,
    This position is a waste of Taxpayer’s money!
    Keith, this has got to be included in your book as Chapter 13, Tax Cheat Timmy Goes to Jail.

  8. Here is some information on the Stack Overflow 115 message everyone is receiving. It happens on http://apps.facebook.com/whitehouselive/ and this site. …. both having to do with White House discussions. …. go figure. There is s cliet attempting to PUSH something too large onto your data stack of memory whenever you open these sites.

    A stack is a data structure which accepts items (like numbers or strings) in sequence, and returns them in reverse order.

    A stack is initially empty; clients can PUSH items onto the stack, and can query the stack to see whether it is empty. Clients can also POP items off the top of the stack to retrieve whatever was mostly recently PUSHed. It is an error to attempt to POP an item from an empty stack. Often a stack will be of less than infinite size, and will raise an error if attempts are made to PUSH more than some maximum number of items without enough POPs to relieve the memory pressure.

    • Thank you for explaining teh mysteries of the computer. I am not very savvy in this arena though — are you saying that an outside entity is attempting to introduce a large element into the WH Dossier website for some reason and the attempt is showing up on our home computers because the element is so large that it causes the stack to overflow?

      Does this mean that someone, advertiser or political entity or whatever, is trying to mess with the website?

  9. “The White House announced Friday that the so-called “President” Obama has appointed someone to bury this whole Solyndra matter before it become an election issue.”
    There, I’ve fixed the opening sentence of your article for you…you’re welcome

  10. This wolf in sheeps clothing is certifiable. These scandals circling him like bees are hopefully his undoing!! He’s a liar, he stokes the flames of hate, envy, and fear in the country,. Who in their right mind wants more of this crap???
    This socialist agitator in chief has RIPPED

  11. Dear Keith,
    Please become the first journalist to recognize that the taxpayers’ cost of the Solyndra debacle is well over $1.0 billion.
    Reportage so far has focused only on the one item– $535 mill loan guarantee.
    But there are several other simple elements that add another half billion:

    1) Solyndra private investors received a $330million tax payer plum– a “limited time” 30% investment credit for building the facility.
    2) Solyndra’s sudden layoff of 1100 workers is obligating taxpayers to pay a hundred million during the next 99 weeks in federal unemployment benefits
    3) California taxpayer losses easily exceed $100 million more.

    Why don’t you become the first unlazy journalist to expose the true size of this single sleazoid debacle?
    Thanks from all of us.

  12. Let me get this right: the FOOLS in the WH who could NOT read an income statement or balance sheet or, apparently, understand DON”T DO IT from Coopers are going to investigate. Great. Just (you know the word)ING great

  13. Thanks for trying to keep Obama and his appointees accountable to us the American people. There needs to be more of you and less Obama supporting and protecting so called journalists.

  14. In the WH eyes it’s better publicity for them to appear to be investigating Solyndra than for them to be stonewalling on Fast and Furious. This way they can look as if they are actively interested in seeking out corruption within Solyndra while stonewalling away on a scandal that might bring some high-end WH resignations.

  15. Keith, it’s “straits,” not “straights,” in this case.

    This administration makes me want to ex or implode from frustration. They have no morals, no ethical values, just a desire to win and be in control. They are not American in their character, only modern.