Thursday, September 22, 2011
What the tone deaf Stewart seems to have missed back then is that Crossfire represented the very best of the media. Every night, for 30 to 60 minutes, a liberal and a conservative duked it out on different topics without moderators and limited editing. It was straight from the horse's mouth - no media filter. Viewers got real debate, not soundbites, but Stewart's ego had done it's damage, and the show was cancelled in 2005.
I bring this up because last week Stewart went to bat for the leftist establishment once again, defending the Obama administration over the Solyndra affair, calling it a "Custom Tailored" scandal invented by the media. Stewart then proceeded to lecture us about the free market, claiming that companies fail all the time and there was nothing newsworthy about it.
True enough, but most "failed companies" don't make 20 visits to the White House, receive half a billion dollars in federal loans, then file for bankruptcy slightly over a year later amid charges of fraud and embezzlement. Most companies that fail are also not forced to testify before a Congressional committee with its board of directors claiming they will "plead the 5th." But what is Solyndra, and why is the scandal that surrounds it so serious?
In securing a loan for the failing energy company, President Obama committed fraud under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. I am not joking.
Solyndra was a green company that made unreliable solar cell panels. The company went begging for a half a billion dollar loan from the Bush Administration in 2007. Their application was rejected, based on the fact that their expenditures more than doubled their revenue, and with Chinese companies selling the same panels for a fraction of the price, Solyndra appeared to have no chance of survival, nor did they have a business plan to prove otherwise.
President Bush also rejected their application based on information that the company intended to go public. If the administration had approved the loan, it would essentially have been "vouching" for Solyndra, misleading future private investors into believing the company was sound because the government had deemed it sound enough to invest in. That would have violated the Energy Policy Act, and would have constituted fraud. No deal, said the Bush Administration. Approving the loan would have been tantamount to doing what Martha Stewart went to jail for, only on a massive scale.
But what politician would be crooked, corrupt, and frankly, arrogant enough to not only loan these guys money, but try to protect them financially afterwards? President Obama, that's who.
6 days after taking the oath of office, President Obama "renewed" their application. Solyndra officials proceeded to visit the White House 20 times, until the loan was secured. Despite the report that Solyndra could not compete with the cheaper Chinese solar panels, and that it did not have any coherent future strategy, President Obama personally vouched for the them in May of 2010, publicly praising their clean energy "green" company. This prompted the private sector to invest a billion dollars when the company went public. Solyndra's executives thanked the president by donating big bucks to his 2012 re-election bid. Sound sleazy? It's more than that. It's a crime. The President knew about the damning report of the coming collapse, but on May 26th, 2010, he told the American people that Solyndra was:
"...expect[ing] to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world.”
Plants and thousands of workers selling panels around the world? Only 9 months later, Solyndra had already shut the doors of its first plant and fired close to 1200 workers. Solyndra needed to protect themselves, and quick. The administration was getting nervous. In a quote worthy of Watergate, the OMB stated that "...questions will be asked” if unjustifiable restructuring proceeded - and proceed it did. The law states the investors are the first to get dibs on liquidated assets of a company that goes belly up. President Obama created a provision for Solyndra's executives, that they would be protected for the first $75 million in the case of bankruptcy.
On September 11th, 2011, their offices were raided by the FBI.
But where is the investigation? Lots of people are asking that very question, but it seems that Holder's justice department is asking for little more than a bankruptcy inquiry on Friday, and Solyndra's board of executives, who just a day ago were planning on pleading the fifth, are now considering not showing up at all. For anyone else living in America, this is called contempt of Congress; For President Obama's friends, it's no big deal.
So here it is: a scandal that would shake Washington to it's core under any Republican administration; A criminal act involving the nation's commander in chief; A scandal that would bring down any other President.
This should be the only thing being covered on the 24 hour news networks. We should be sick of hearing about it by now. This is not a complicated matter. The facts are clear and linear, and they are not in dispute, but Jon Stewart, a sanctimonious comedian with delusions of profundity, has declared it just another run of the mill bankruptcy, and the nation nods and shrugs while they wait for the Colbert Report.
Only in Obama's America could a joker save the king.
Posted by Joe Leger at 8:33 PM