Tag Archives: crony capitalism

Crony Capitalism, Explained

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

A tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill to be signed today by President Barack Obama will put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business at midnight…

I had only heard of these types of operations about two months ago – a friend of mine pointed out that you can get a carton of cigarettes a lot cheaper at these places where you buy loose tobacco and cigarette papers and then “rent” the rolling machine to turn out the finished cigarettes.  As a smoker, I was thinking about trying it out.  Now I won’t be able to – something slipped in to a bill (and what does a highway bill have to do with tobacco) has killed it off.  Businesses will be shut down, people lose their jobs…why?  Well the linked article notes that Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) got the item inserted in to the bill and that Senator Baucus is a major recipient of tobacco-industry donations.

But don’t any of you out there get all “darn Democrats” about this – while Democrats do this sort of skullduggery more often than GOPers, Republicans do engage in it.  What Baucus did was a two-fold item in favor of both Big Government and Big Corporation.  Part of the reason for the cheaper price is that loose tobacco is taxed at a lower rate than tobacco in cigarettes.  The other part of the reason is that the major cigarette makers were starting to feel a pinch from the competition (and that, of course also jeopardizes the government revenues from the ill-famed tobacco lawsuit settlement).  Essentially, Big Government and Big Corporation go together and legislated out of existence the people and their small businesses because Big Government needs revenues and Big Corporation doesn’t like competition.

And this is what is wrong with America:  it is no longer governed in any way, shape or form in the interests of the people.  It is actions just like this which ensured that instead of having 50 different car makers, we only had three miserably incompetent car makers, two of which needed a taxpayer bailout.  It is actions like this which ensure that only a few behemoth banks run our financial system (and run it in to the ground, and then demand taxpayer bailouts).  It is actions like this which shut down things like the Keystone pipeline but shovel taxpayer money at Solyndra.  This is why our economy doesn’t grow; why our factories are in China, our mines are in Chile and our farms are in Mexico…because Big Government and Big Corporation like it that way; it works out best for them…they see it as maximizing government revenues and Big Corporation profits.

The reason our economy doesn’t work is because of nonsense like this – the people are hamstrung and essentially forbidden to do anything which might lessen government revenues or harm the profits of the corporations which currently rule the market (and donate to the office holders – Baucus has been in the Senate since 1978; and he’s just dancing to his master’s tune).  Do we want jobs in this country?  Do we want to restore the middle class?  Do we want an America which makes, mines and grows most of its own things?  Then we need an America where the government is prohibited from legislating out of existence legal businesses and where corporations can’t buy legislation to restrict competition.  An end to Crony Capitalism is necessary for the revival of America – and that means an end to Big Government, as well.

Another Obama Crony Capitalist

From Politico:

President Barack Obama will raise money in early October with a Missouri businessman whose company benefited from a $107 million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his state.

Tom Carnahan, a scion of Missouri’s most prominent Democratic political family, is listed on Obama’s campaign website as a host of a $25,000-per-person fundraiser to be held in St. Louis on October 4.
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His energy development firm, Wind Capital Group, was helped by a sizable credit authorized in the stimulus, for an energy project in northwest Missouri…

If the name “Carnahan” sounds familiar it is because Tom is the son of former Missouri governor Mel Carnahan and former Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan.  In other words, what we’ve got here is the scion of a massively connected, political family who is building up a personal fortune via taxpayer subsidy.  This is the sort of private enterprise our Democrats actually like…someone who is in the private sector, gets massive government aid and then turns around and boosts Democrats at election time.  If the Democrats fully had their way, the only people permitted to be in business would be people like Tom Carnahan.

The world Obama wants to build – the change you can really believe in – is to create in the United States an European-style Ruling Class in which all power in government and industry is held by those who are well-connected…not those who earn it; not those in whom public reposes their trust.  The future will be Tom Carnahan clones getting rich and Barack Obama’s running the show while the rest of us dwindle in to poverty and slowly die out as welfare and the Culture of Death sap our will to live…

Revolution is the answer…and next year we can do it.

HAT TIPHot Air

Lightsquared Scandal: More Attempts to Influence Testimony

From the Daily Beast:

LightSquared, a wireless network backed by billionaire Democratic donor Philip Falcone, could beam broadband Internet everywhere—but some military officials fear it could interfere with critical GPS signals. Now, as The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake exclusively reports, two U.S. officials allege the White House tried to influence their testimony to rush key testing, to LightSquare’s benefit..

…On Monday, a second witness, Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, told The Daily Beast that he too was asked by the OMB to insert the 90-day timeframe into his testimony before the House Science Committee, but he refused. The hearing originally was scheduled for Aug. 3, then rescheduled for Sept. 8.

“They gave that to me and presumably the other witnesses,” he said. “There is one sentence I disagreed with, which said that I thought the testing could be resolved in 90 days. So I took it out.”…

Are you grasping all that, liberals?  In service of a billionaire who is a Democrat and a donor to the party, the Obama Administration tried to smooth things along even though the US military and other agencies had grave questions about the risks of the new wireless project.  Do you begin to understand?  Does it start to dawn on you that all your liberalism is merely a cover for the Ruling Class to gain power and wealth?  They’ll throw  you a bone of “gay rights” or affirmative action, but the real program is just power and wealth…

I doubt you’ll get it.  For ages you have been propagandized that it is we Republicans who do that…and, to be sure, you can find the odd Republican here and there willing to sell out to corporate interests.  But not like this – not in a systemic fashion where everything is for sale.  And the base of the GOP is firmly against this “crony capitalism” and wishes for a restored, genuine free market in which well-connected corporate bosses aren’t able to suppress competitors and gain government privileges.

More and more it looks as though the Obama Administration – in pure, Chicago-style politics – as put a “for sale” sign on the United States.  While Pelosi and Reid ran Congress, there was no oversight at all…and that is why it is only now, 8 months after the GOP took the House, that it is all coming to light.  We all expected Obama’s liberalism and we feared the Chicago Way…but even I didn’t suspect that Obama and his cohorts would be so crude and grasping in these matters…that they would act no better than a Chicago ward boss.

Now more than ever it is vital that Obama be defeated next year…this is already bad enough, but imagine what it will be like if Obama is re-elected and never has to fear the voters again?  It will become a corrupt free-for-all and our national inheritance will go to the highest bidder.

UPDATE:  Rep. Issa to hold hearings on these screwball loans and the general Obama Administration practice of trying to pick free market winners.

Solyndra Scandal Update

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work…

Which is a rather stupid defense – because now we’ve got the 1,000 people out of work, plus an additional half billion dollar burden on the American taxpayer.  When you start making stupid defenses of your actions, it means you know you’ve really screwed up and are just hoping that it doesn’t entirely blow up in your face.

This scandal, though, is starting to show signs of getting legs – legs which will keep it walking through American politics for quite a while.  And legs which just might lead us to ever more scandals just like this.  It is clear from Solyndra that at least some in the Obama Administration were happy to make deals which were bad for the taxpayers and good for Obama donors…the only thing we don’t know is the “Watergate” question:  what did the President know, and when did he know it?

In a lot of ways, Obama had better hope he loses next year – the rising tide of scandal bodes ill for an Obama second term, and after the 2012 elections, even if Obama does win, he is likely to be faced with a Congress entirely controlled by the GOP…no friendly Reid holding back the Senate half of government oversight.  A re-elected Obama might be forced to do nothing but defend himself against scandal after scandal flowing out of his complete control of government 2009-11.

UPDATE:  More information emerging in the “LightSquared” scandal – seems that President Obama was an early investor in the company.  To remind, there is evidence that Administration officials pressed an Air Force general to change his testimony to be more favorable to LightSquared.  This is getting to be the sort of run-of-the-mill corruption we see out of Chicago…has Obama really been playing that particular game while in DC?  Only an investigation will settle the matter…

Solyndra II?

Not satisfied with having thrown hundreds of millions away on Solyndra, the Obama Administration is now going to throw billions – from a Department of Energy press release:

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the Energy Department finalized a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to Mojave Solar LLC for the development of the Mojave Solar Project (MSP).  When complete, the 250MW solar generation project located in San Bernardino County, California will increase the nation’s currently installed concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity by approximately 50 percent.  Abengoa Solar Inc., the project sponsor, estimates it will fund more than 900 construction and permanent operations jobs…

Sounds great, huh?  But we’ve heard this before from DoE:

Vice President Joe Biden, appearing via satellite from Washington D.C., today announced the Department of Energy has finalized a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, Inc., which manufactures innovative cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels that provide clean, renewable energy. The funding will finance construction of the first phase of the company’s new manufacturing facility. Annual production of solar panels from the first phase is expected to provide energy equivalent to powering 24,000 homes a year or over half a million homes over the project’s lifetime.  Solyndra estimates the new plant will initially create 3,000 construction jobs, and lead to as many as 1,000 jobs once the facility opens.  Hundreds more will install Solyndra’s solar panels on rooftops around the country…

Will the new loan guarantee prove better than the last, or is this good money after bad?  Also, did the people running Mojave Solar LLC donate to President Obama?  Other Democrats?  How often have they been to visit the White House?  Is this a hard-nosed, business decision or just another political pay off?

HAT TIPZero Hedge

Team Obama: Utterly Clueless

From the Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama will present his “jobs plan” on Wednesday at a company which is shipping jobs overseas.

Obama is scheduled to present his “jobs plan” in Apex, N.C., on Wednesday at the headquarters of WestStar Precision.

WestStar is a high-end, specialty manufacturer that just opened a new facility in San Jose, Costa Rica — creating many new jobs there, but not in the United States…

You have to wonder – are they really this stupid?  Obama has a massive staff of people dedicated to his well being and re-election…did no one check to see just what this photo-op backdrop was up to?  Couldn’t they find one company out there which actually expanded its American facilities of late?  Which didn’t just ship a bunch of jobs overseas?  Making this even more bizarre is the fact that the company owner is a Democrat who has donated to Obama’s campaign.

If we on the GOP side were allowed to write the script for Democrat implosion in 2012, we couldn’t have done better than this.  One thing I’d like to know – you liberals out there who are convinced that Obama is on the side of the little guy…here he’s going to an event to tout his job program at a company which ships US jobs overseas  rather than endure all the laws and regulations you liberals have imposed…and the owner of the company is not some GOP “millionaire and billionaire” fighting tenaciously for his corporate jet tax break…he’s a liberal Democrat.

Explain that, if you can.

White House Pressured OMB on Solyndra Loan

From the Washington Post:

The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.

The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to develop clean energy technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of Management and Budget…

Hey, gotta rush it through – Biden needed a photo-op and Obama donors didn’t want to wait around for a payoff on their investment!  I mean, my goodness, its not like it was real money – it was taxpayer money!  You can do anything you want with that!  As long, that is, it goes to line the pockets of liberal crony-capitalists…

Investigate all loans by the US government to all entities – for profit or not for profit; any time the US government guaranteed a loan, we need to find out just how and why it was done.  Who got paid?  Once we know that, we’ll be able to really unravel the corruption.

Crony Capitalism

From Bloomberg:

…Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress…

Describing it as an effort to stave off depression is being overly generous…though, giving the benefit of the doubt, Bernanke, himself, might have thought that is what he was doing.  The reality is that a bunch of well-connected banks gambled, lost and then were bailed out by the taxpayers.  The whole effort, in reality, was to ensure that those at the top of the financial industry heap didn’t pay the price of their folly…and they managed to get all that money because, as I’ve said, Big Government and Big Corporation are two sides of the same coin…they are run by the same people and have the same basic worldview:  the people are lunch.

We have to ensure that in the future no one ever falls for “too big to fail”.  If a corporation has screwed up, then let it fail.  In this, there is a gigantic issue we Republicans can run on because, right now, Obama and his Democrats are hip deep in this nonsense.  There was no fundamental difference between the bail out of GM and the bail out of Morgan Stanley…both were run by idiots who deserved to lose and both were bailed out because of excellent political connections.

We can tie the whole nauseating mess in to a neat, little package and explain to the American people that the “Bigs” have to go, because both of them are bad.  Thing is – do we have the courage to do it?