Toldja: Not a Good Idea to Pursue Solyndra Crime Angle

The reviews of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s House testimony are still rolling in, and it’s looking like consensus is being manufactured: Not since Ollie North won America's hearts with his ramrod testimony on some Iran-Contra stuff that nobody cared about has a presidential henchman turned bilge water into such toothsome eau de toilette

Reuters says Chu is “unlikely to take the fall for taxpayer losses on a $535 million loan guarantee to the failed solar company [Solyndra].” 

Talking Points Memo is more effusive about Chu’s testimony on Solyndra, a maker of novelty solar panels heavily promoted and partially owned by cronies of President Obama. “In a spectacular case of instant karma,” writes TPM tech reporter Carl Franzen, “House Republicans’ plan to roast Chu….appears to have backfired. Chu seems reinvigorated in his effort to make the U.S. into global clean energy leader….while Republicans seem at odds with their own message.” 

With prose like that you can see why Franzen’s novel The Corrections was a bestseller and critical favorite. But if you hung around (as I did) past the second hour, you know Chu’s performance only “shines” in comparison to those of other Solyndra witnesses: Jonathan Silver, administrator of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, left to pursue other interests. Deputy assistant Treasury Secretary for fiscal operations Gary Grippo and Federal Financing Bank CFO Gary Burner looked like Mutt and Jeff while spilling details on the still-unexplained 2011 restructuring of Solyndra’s loan. Solyndra executives Brian Harrison and W.G. “Bill” Stover invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination

In that context, Chu’s testimony was a success. House Republicans did not trip him up on anything overtly criminal, though they still have plenty of open questions. And Chu did not tell an immediately provable lie until after he was dismissed by Congress, in response to a question from the Examiner’s Phil Klein. 

I reiterate that Solyndra is primarily a bureaucratic rather than a criminal scandal. There may have been crimes committed, but the most fruitful line of inquiry has consistently been standard congressional oversight of executive branch management that can most charitably described as incompetent

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  • Gojira||

    I want to get a federal loan for my clean-energy program. It's called "Sandusky Power" and it uses the motion of the hips, along with electrostatic discharge generated by constant friction, to generate pollution-free electricity.

  • Sand Banana||

    It's only completely pollution free when they swallow

  • ||

    That's 535,000,000 United States dollar that I, or you, or our neighbors, or the local homeless shelter, or the local grocery store lost, and that's 535,000,000 United States dollars our grand, enormous functionally retarded colossus of a government has wasted on rabbit shit. 535,000,000. It's a bureaucratic scandal without a shadow of a doubt, but it's also a heinous act of theft.

    In a just world, whoever the fuck it was that was responsible would be sitting behind bars right now.

  • ||

    Well, they should be behind bars for the initial theft, not the idiotic "business" or "investment" decision. People make idiotic business decisions all the time, this is not a crime. Theft is the crime.

  • ||

    Absolutely

  • Copernicus||

    bureaucrat : dog

    idiotic business decision : licking own balls

    because he can

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    House Republicans’ plan to roast Chu...appears to have backfired.

    I'd say his apparently flawless testimony may have backfired on the Administration, as well. They need a sacrificial lamb, and one of sufficient rank. If it's not Chu, who could it be?

    And I don't know if I would dismiss the criminal aspect of this so easily. Funneling taxpayer money to Obama fundraisers in such an overt fashion has to have at least the appearance of negative consequences.

  • ||

    "And I don't know if I would dismiss the criminal aspect of this so easily. Funneling taxpayer money to Obama fundraisers in such an overt fashion has to have at least the appearance of negative consequences."

    When members of the peasantry do it, it's called theft -- or am I just a racist Tea-Bagger for thinking double standards blow?

  • sevo||

    The question that hasn't and won't be asked is simple:
    WIH is the government doing using taxpayer money to support a private company?
    It isn't asked because hardly any of the congress-critters want to endanger their ability to funnel money to their supporters.
    It won't be asked since they can rely on COMMERCE CLAUSE to justify the corruption.

  • ||

    Makes you yearn for the days when there were entire legions of men of conscience willing to sign their own death warrants in the face of global empires and instigate violent insurrection for the cause of liberty as a response... to the injustice of a fucking tax. But that was, like, 100 years ago, and written in Germano-Tamrielic or some shit. Plus there was SLAVERY IN THOSE DAYS OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    We really HAVE been passified to the point of practically wholesale conformity. What the fuck are we going to do?

  • ||

    OT: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/.....?hpt=hp_t1

    God bless you, and may God bless the Food and Drug Administration!

  • Ted S.||

    I saw a story about Avastin last night on the local news, and was amazed at how much of it was whiny breast cancer patients shrieking, "They're killing me by taking my drug away!"

    We never got that sort of commentary with other drugs taken off the market like Vioxx or Fen-Phen. There the commentary was all about how the evil drug companies were killing people by not doing their due diligence before putting these drugs on the market.

    But breast cancer patients are a politically powerful class.

  • JohnD||

    Were you born a complete asshole or did you take lessons?
    My Mother and grandmother died of breast cancer. Not only are your comments insensitive, they are offensive. You should get on you knees and thank God that I can't get my hands around your slimy neck.

  • Ben P.||

    My mother died of breast cancer, too, but I didn't find his comments offensive at all. I found them perfectly reasonable.

    Fuck you twice for playing the 'my loved one died of cancer so you're a prick' card.

  • ||

    My mother died in an internet argument, fuck you all!

  • ||

    http://us.cnn.com/video/?hpt=h.....yrics.wzzm

    Shit's hilarious -- hunting NNNGNGNNGG guns NNGNGNGNGNGNGNGN

  • ||

    Did you notice that the newsweasels searched for "chior" in the file footage?
    Why don't these local newsidiots just stick to apartment fires and squirrels on skis?

  • Matt||

    My favorite part was the "we showed the sheet music to 3 mothers". Christ anything but that...moral panic incoming.

    But then one of the mothers seemed pretty reasonable, saying that kids were exposed to lots of things and that it was the parents job to sort things out. They didn't really get that across in the report.

  • ||

    Was that the same genius-mother who complained about "the killing of animals" while sitting in a chicken restaurant?

  • Ted S.||

    Got a link to a text-based article?

  • Patrick||

    Wrong Franzen.

  • yonemoto||

    noticed it too, but was too scared to post in case tim was trolling us.

  • sounds real good||

    I think he's pickin' on Jonathan Franzen.

  • ||

  • squishua||

    I'm ambivalent, but lean towards "no."

    The bastards would just use it to make the argument that they have a Constitutional mandate to increase taxes to pay for all of their boondoggles instead of reducing spending.

  • Apatheist||

    If this was the version that excluded SS, medicare and the military then it was pointless anyways.

  • ||

    The machines progressives rose from the
    ashes of the nuclear fire.
    Their war to exterminate
    mankind had raged for
    decades, but the final
    battle would not be fought
    in the future.
    It would be fought here,
    in our present House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting room.

    Tonight Most of yesterday...

  • A fan||

    Telling Solyndra to hold off layoffs to after the election certainly must have a criminal aspect. Lying about not seeing the Bush recommendation on Solyndra is perjury. He will roast yet.

  • JohnD||

    What do you call Holder, Obama and Chu at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

  • ||

    The press won't be so adoring when Chu gets indicted for not informing the Attorney General that Solyndra defaulted on the original loan. And maybe also for restructuring the loan without an opinion from the Justice Department, which Treasury recommended he seek.

  • ||

    I reiterate that Solyndra is primarily a bureaucratic rather than a criminal scandal.

    I think this is the case. And the apologists will say, "See- it's not even criminal, so it doesn't really matter. You people are a bunch of racists just trying to make the President look bad."

  • A Serious Man||

    The comments section on that TPM article was nauseating.

  • Mike Giberson||

    Congress invented the program, gave the DOE responsibility, and voted the funds. What were members of Congress expecting to happen?

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