Vail Valley Voices: Going wrong way
Ryan Summerlin November 3, 2011
Incompetence, stupidity, cronyism or corruption? Maybe all.
Here is a list:
1. Abbas is requesting a Palestinian state resolution from the United Nations, resulting in a diplomatic failure and embarrassment to the U.S.
2. Gen. William Shelton revealing that he was pressured by the White House to revise his congressional testimony.
3. Obama gives a $535 billon loan guarantee to Solyndra, a green company, before it filled bankruptcy.
4. “Fast and Furious,” the gun-running scheme of the attorney general’s office, exposed.
5. Waivers from Obamacare go predominately to unions and other administration supporters.
6. Obama recycles his smoke-and-mirrors “class warfare” agenda with tax increases and few real cuts in spending.
What are today’s facts?
1. The Palestinian leader Abbas said: “The American president sounds more like a Palestinian than the Palestinians.” Abbas knows the U.S. may be embarrassed in the Middle East and must veto the request at the U.N. Security Council. The administration has created a potential diplomatic failure by insulting Israel and making ridiculous requests, such as starting negotiations at the 1967 Israeli borders after praising and then ignoring the Palestinians for two years.
2. Gen. Sheldon claims he was pressured not to mention the military’s concern that the LightSquared wireless grid threatens the national GPS system. President Obama invested $90,000 in a company called Sky Terr, which was bought by LightSquared. He may have sold his stock.
Megyn Kelly interviewed the founder of LightSquared, Phil Falcone, a registered Republican billionaire, who says he does not know Obama nor has he talked to him. The CEO of LightSquared is suspected of contacting the White House. Emails have been discovered by Eye-Watch News, which raises further questions. Falcone said that the FCC license waivers are irrelevant because they were issued before he became the company’s major investor. He further claims the threat to GPS can be cured with filters. If true, who pressured the general so far is unknown.
3. The $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra was considered and rejected by the Bush administration as unsound. President Obama, with his green agenda, revived and fast-tracked the approval of Solyndra’s guarantee, even though warned that the company was “not ready for prime time.” (Solyndra got more money than 35 states got for highway improvement).
The primary investor was a “bundler” of Obama donations – a conflict of interest? Company officials spent $2 million lobbying the White House and received access more than once, prior to the loan.
Shortly after, the company revised its structure, putting private investors’ risk ahead of the taxpayer bonds. (The opposite of the government’s Chrysler bailedout, in which the unions were moved ahead of the private bond holders). After an extravagant spending spree, the company was predicted to run out of money in September 2011. It did and filed for bankruptcy, and its officials took the Fifth.
We, the taxpayers, lost $535 million, even though the company’s board included members of the Department of Energy. Out of $38.6 billion set aside for green research, $19 billon has been spent. There are many green startups with hands out for the remaining amount, and those Solyndra employees who lost jobs may get preference and go to the front of the benefits and retraining line (source: Sen. Oran Hatch). Will Obama rush to judgment again to protect his agenda?
4. “Fast and Furious,” the illegal gun sale, failed and may have cost the life of at least one border agent. Even the gun dealers questioned the process, and there were complaints by its own ATF agents, but the Justice Department ignored the requests and actually promoted the originators to higher jobs. This stupidity has been traced back to the Justice Department with connections to the White House. Where does the buck stop, Mr. President?
5. There have been several waivers granted to organizations petitioning to opt out of Obamacare. Most of the waivers have been given to unions and Obama supporters. Unions, for example, represent only 7 percent of the population; however, they have received more than 50 percent of the waivers. The AARP, supporters of Obama and Obamacare, has received an opt-out waiver.
6. The president has recycled his class warfare and wealth redistribution agenda in his political campaign speech designed to save only one job: his. Even General Electric’s president, the chairman of Obama’s Economic Jobs Commission, is creating more jobs in China than in the U.S. The president should fire Jeff Immelt, G.E.’s CEO.
Even worse, the proposed spending cuts are smoke and mirrors. More than $1 trillion in money “saved” is by our military quitting Afghanistan and Iraq, plus Obama includes the deal already negotiated during the congressional agreement. Double counting and other dodges, leaving only about $500 billon of actual cuts, account for the remainder.
By the way, if Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes, let him write a check to the Treasury. He should first settle with the IRS over a huge tax levy on Berkshire Hathaway before criticizing others.
The “it’s only fair” argument rings hollow and is an excuse to raise taxes. More B.S.! Obama should instead put constraints on the National Labor Relations Board (Obama appointees), stopping the loss of a thousand jobs from its attempts to close the new Boeing plant in South Carolina, again to placate the unions.
Dick Gustafson, of Vail, is a former Eagle County commissioner.