Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law gets $737M of taxpayers’ money to build solar plant

From the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

Nancy Pelosi is facing accusations of cronyism after a solar energy project, which her brother-in-law has a stake in, landed a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, despite the growing Solyndra scandal.

The massive loan agreement is raising new concerns about the use of taxpayers’ money as vast sums are invested in technology similar to that of the doomed energy project.

The investment has intensified the debate over the effectiveness of solar energy as a major power source.

The SolarReserve project is backed by an energy investment fund where the Minority Leader’s brother-in-law Ronald Pelosi is second in command.

PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East) LLC is listed as one of the investors in the project that has been given the staggering loan, which even dwarfs that given to failed company Solyndra.

Other investors include one of the major investors in Solyndra, which is run by one of the directors of Solyndra.

Steve Mitchell, who served on the board of directors at the bankrupt energy company, is also managing director of Argonaut Private Equity, which has invested in the latest project.

Since Solyndra has filed for bankruptcy has been asked to testify about the goings on at the firm by two members of the House and ‘asked to provide documents to Congress’.

[...]The project approval came as part of $1 billion in new loans to green energy companies yesterday.

Did they learn anything from Solyndra? No:

‘The administration’s flagship project Solyndra is bankrupt and being investigated by the FBI, the promised jobs never materialised, and now the Department of Energy is preparing to rush out nearly $5 billion in loans in the final 48 hours before stimulus funds expire — that’s nearly $105 million every hour that must be finalised until the deadline,’ said Florida representative Cliff Stearns, who is chairman of the investigations subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Since Nancy Pelosi took over federal spending in January 2007, the national debt has increased from $8.5 trillion to about $17.5 trillion. That’s NINE TRILLION dollars in new spending. And much of it just handed off to the people and groups who got the Democrats elected 2008 and 2012.

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Obama violates his own stimulus law by refusing to release status reports

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt:

Have you heard much about President Obama’s $787,000,000,000 economic “stimulus” (now estimated to cost $831,000,000,000) lately?  In its last report, published in 2011, the president’s own Council of Economic Advisors released an estimate showing that, for every $317,000 in “stimulus” spending that had by then gone out the door, only one job had been created or saved.  Even in Washington, that’s not considered good bang for the buck.

Moreover, that was the fifth consecutive “stimulus” report that showed this number getting progressively worse.

Alas, that was the last report we’ve seen.  Never mind that Section 1513 of the “stimulus” legislation, which Obama spearheaded and signed into law, requires the executive branch to submit a new report every three months.  It reads:

“In consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers shall submit quarterly reports to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives that detail the impact of programs funded through covered funds on employment, estimated economic growth, and other key economic indicators.”

[...]By now, [the Obama administration] was supposed to have released fourteen such reports.  It has released only eight.  The last one covered the period ending in June 2011.  That’s right — 2011.

With only 58.6 percent of Americans currently employed — down 2.4 percent from the time of Obama’s first inauguration — it’s not surprising that the Obama administration doesn’t really want to fulfill it legal responsibilities and release subsequent reports on its failed “stimulus.”  However, it hardly seems fair — to use one of Obama’s favorite words — that the rich and (extremely) powerful think that they can choose whether or not to abide by the laws they spearhead and sign, while the rest of us are forced to obey them.

I’m not surprised by this, because we all know that Democrats are the biggest tax cheats ever. It’s not surprising to me that they pass laws that they have no intention of following themselves, because they are hypocrites. The laws are meant to stop others from succeeding, but Democrats themselves always seem to be exempt. Just like the waivers that the big labor unions got from Obamacare. Poverty for thee, but not for me.\

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Abortion provider Planned Parenthood receives record amount of taxpayer funding

Dad sent this disturbing article from Fox News.

Excerpt:

Planned Parenthood reported receiving a record $542 million in taxpayer support in fiscal 2012, marking a steady increase in government funding despite Republican-led efforts at the state and federal levels to cut off that stream.

The funding figures were included in the abortion provider’s annual report released Monday. The numbers showed roughly 45 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget now comes from taxpayer dollars.

Pro-life groups quickly seized on the report to renew their calls for Congress to “defund” Planned Parenthood.

“Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation’s largest abortion business,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

Republican Tennessee Rep. Diane Black said the report “underscores the pressing need to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

The Republican-controlled House voted in the last session to strip federal funding for the organization But the measure did not advance.

Separate efforts at the state level to yank funding have been blocked by the courts. Mostly recently, a federal appeals court in October blocked Indiana from carrying out a law to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.

My other favorite Congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, has already introduced the first pro-life bill of the new session of Congress. It’s up to the Republicans to protect innocent unborn children from the ravages of selfish, irresponsible adults. The Democrats are profiting from the killing, because right after Planned Parenthood collects all that taxpayer money, they turn around and make massive donations to the Democrat party. It’s all about the money for the Democrats. My other favorite Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann recently introduced a bill to repeal Obamacare, which forces businesses to offer abortion drugs as part of their health care plans.

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CBO: each job created by stimulus cost between $4.1 million and $540,000

Here’s the latest Congressional Budget Office report. (H/T American Enterprise Institute)

When [the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] was being considered, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that it would increase budget deficits by $787 billion between fiscal years 2009 and 2019. CBO now estimates that the total impact over the 2009–2019 period will amount to about $831 billion.

By CBO’s estimate, close to half of that impact occurred in fiscal year 2010, and more than 90 percent of ARRA’s budgetary impact was realized by the end of March 2012. CBO has estimated the law’s impact on employment and economic output using evidence about the effects of previous similar policies and drawing on various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy. …

On that basis CBO estimates that ARRA’s policies had the following effects in the first quarter of calendar year 2012 compared with what would have occurred otherwise:

– They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 0.1 percent and 1.0 percent,

– They lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.1 percentage points and 0.8 percentage points,

– They increased the number of people employed by between 0.2 million and 1.5 million,

– They increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 0.3 million to 1.9 million. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.)

We spend $831 billion taxpayer dollars to create between 200,000 to 1.5 million jobs. That works out to a cost-per-job number of between $4.1 million and $540,000.

Go socialism! Our children can afford to pay for our generation’s irresponsible wastefulness, right? I mean the ones we don’t abort, of course.

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Democrat-connected PR firm gets $20 million taxpayer dollars to promote contraception/abortion mandate

From CNS News.

Excerpt:

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $20-million contract to a Democrat-connected public relations firm, which will promote awareness of Obamacare’s “preventive services” mandate.

Under that mandate, all health-care plans must cover — without any fees or co-pays — all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions, as well as sterilizations.

The public relations firm hired to conduct the PR campaign, Porter Novelli, is a global firm whose leadership team features former Obama campaign surrogate and Democratic operative Catherine “Kiki” McLean.
http://www.porternovelli.com/about/leadership/catherine-kiki-mclean/

McLean appeared on television on behalf of the Obama campaign in 2008. She also worked as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign as well as the presidential campaigns of former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

The $20-million taxpayer-funded public relations campaign is mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an HHS official told CNSNews.com.

“Section 4004 of the Affordable Care Act required the department to conduct this effort as one way to encourage utilization of preventive benefits and services,” the official said.

“This public education campaign is part of our ongoing education efforts that will inform the American people about the steps they can take to prevent disease and illness and stay healthy.”

Section 4004 of the legislation requires HHS to conduct an “education and outreach campaign regarding preventive benefits,” using radio, television and online media in a campaign that, among other things, “explains the preventive services covered under health plans offered through [ObamaCare].”

The campaign also “promotes the use of preventive services” including those covered under the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate, HIV screenings for “at risk” youth, and diet and obesity prevention services for children.

I’m not sure if anyone remembers, but this is the same kind of scandal that brought down the Liberal Party in Canada in 2006.

Excerpt:

The sponsorship scandal“AdScam”“Sponsorship” or Sponsorgate, is a scandal that came as a result of a Canadian federal government “sponsorship program” in the province of Quebec and involving the Liberal Party of Canada, which was in power from 1993 to 2006. The program was originally established as an effort to raise awareness of the Government of Canada’s contributions to Quebec industries and other activities in order to counter the actions of the Parti Québécois government of the province that worked to promote Quebec independence.

The program ran from 1996 until 2004, when broad corruption was discovered in its operations and the program was discontinued. Illicit and even illegal activities within the administration of the program were revealed, involving misuse and misdirection of public funds intended for government advertising in Quebec. Such misdirections included sponsorship money awarded to ad firms in return for little or no work, which firms maintained Liberal organizers or fundraisers on their payrolls or donated back part of the money to the Liberal Party. The resulting investigations and scandal affected the Liberal Party of Canada and the then-government of Prime Minister Paul Martin. It was an ongoing affair for years, but rose to national prominence in early 2004 after the program was examined by Sheila Fraser, the federal auditor general. Her revelations led to the Martin government establishing the Gomery Commission to conduct a public inquiry and file a report on the matter. The official title of this inquiry was the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities. In the end the Commission concluded that $2 million was awarded in contracts without a proper bidding process, $250,000 was added to one contract price for no additional work, and $1.5 million was awarded for work that was never done, of which $1 million had to be repaid.

Keep in mind that Canada is about one-tenth as big as the USA, for things like population, budget, etc. So their scandal was about the same amount of money as ours, if you correct for that.

That was the election that brought Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper into power. The Liberals also gave taxpayer money to Liberal-connected ad firms. When the truth came out, the Liberals went from having 135 seats in 2004 to 34 seats in 2011. So this is the kind of story that can bring down an entire political party. Using taxpayer dollars to promote your political party is serious, and when you put it together with Barack Obama already campaigning in swing states at taxpayer expense, it’s even more egregious. This is America, not some banana republic.

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