House conservatives complained loudly about the Export-Import Bank during last year’s midterm campaign. The hope was, with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, that conservatives could find the will to kill the program -- which, by the way, should be relatively easy. If Congress does nothing, the Ex-Im’s charter will expire.
So, how is it going?Read more
Well, this was predictable. House Republicans last week acceded to an extension of the Export-Import Bank for at least the next nine months. The Export-Import Bank is far from the worst example of government-business cronyism. I just completed a history of American political corruption and actually had to leave Ex-Im on the cutting room floor. Its cronies are pikers compared with the corporate moguls that take advantage of tax preferences like the G.E. and Apple loopholes.Read more
This year’s turbulent primary season, which hit a crescendo this month with David Brat’s upset victory over House majority leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, is an opportunity for conservatives to reflect. Why have our political leaders struggled so much to capture the enthusiasm of the conservative grassroots? Why did Republicans fail to win power in the last national election, despite wide distaste for the president’s signature legislation? Is the Tea Party’s agenda the solution to that failure or the problem?Read more
Republican senator Mike Lee has an op-ed decrying cronyism. But first, he says, the Republicans must purge the unseemly activity from within its "own ranks."Read more
Two car companies – Toyota and GM – some of whose vehicles are having engineering problems serious enough to be a safety risk and require massive recalls. One is investigated by Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while the other is not … until very recently, that is. Toyota, the company that did face government investigation and sanctions is, of course, not even an “American” corporation. GM is. And was, for a time, a ward of the state.Read more
It seems that not all outsourcing is equal ... or something like that. Take, for instance, the building of an automobile known as the Fisker. This is the car that teen-throb Justin Bieber was driving when busted for speeding not so long ago. The Fisker is a set of wheels that appeals to socially conscious one-percenters. An electric sports car that tops out at well over 100 mph, the speed at which a cop said Bieber was traveling, even though the citation read a mere 80 mph. The car retails for over $100k but buyers get a $7,500 tax rebate, which certainly must have incentivized Bieber to buy his Fisker. Also Leonardo DiCaprio, another Fisker owner.Read more
At a campaign event in Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that "Liberal policies don't make good jobs," before critiquing Obamacare, overbearing regulations, slow job growth, and a slew of other Obama policies. Romney also focused on crony capitalism in the Obama administration and said he's "ashamed" of this practice.Read more
Mitt Romney's latest web ad targets President Obama's inability to create jobs, the failures of the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program, and "contracts steered to ‘friends & family.'" Watch here:
Here's the script:
New York Times: "Peter Gleick Admits to Deception in Obtaining Heartland Climate Files"
Texas Tribune: "Poll: Santorum Crushing GOP Hopefuls in Texas"Read more
Washington Post: "Supercommittee members face rising pressure from all sides"
Gene Healy: "Newt Gingrich is no conservative"Read more
The crony capitalism represented by the failed “green energy” firm Solyndra has gotten a lot of media attention lately, but much lower on the public’s radar is a much bigger example of corporate pork over at the national space agency—and it’s bipartisan. Let’s call it Shuttlyndra.
Here’s how it works.
A little over a year ago, Congress approved a NASA authorization bill that mandated the agency to spend billions in taxpayer dollars over the next few years on a congressionally specified giant rocket with no defined mission and no budgets with which to build payloads for it.Read more
Associated Press: "Obama donor discussed solar loan with White House"
Associated Press: "Penn State trustees oust football coach Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier"Read more
Ross Douthat: "Our Reckless Meritocracy"
Glenn Reynolds: "Occupy Wall Street gets the ink, Tea Party gets the voters"Read more
Earlier this week it was reported that the White House considered a last-minute taxpayer bailout of Solyndra, the failed solar panel maker that received a $529 million loan guarantee. One of the more interesting aspects of that deal—which would have had taxpayers purchasing as much as 40 percent of the company—was that it was allegedly recommended by Wall Street firm Lazard Ltd. According to the Associated Press:Read more
Democratic leaders have been quick to embrace Occupy Wall Street. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been fundraising off the protesters. Nancy Pelosi believes that God should bless the movement. And many other Democrats seem to have simply embraced Occupy Wall Street by expressing sympathy.Read more
Will it turn out worse than Solyndra?:
As failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra rides through the investigative ringer in Congress, revelations of another politically-connected company that received what appears to be a less-than-virtuous $1.2 billion loan guarantee are surfacing.
The company, SunPower, received its $1.2 billion loan guarantee in September, immediately before the program’s deadline.
The Los Angeles Times opened up a new front in the Solyndra scandal on Friday (and there are too many fronts to count at this point), reporting that Steve Spinner, another prominent Obama donor, served as a top official in the Energy Department program that made the half-billion dollar loan to the now bankrupt solar panel maker. In Spinner's defense, he did recuse himself from the decision to grant the loan—because his wife works at a law firm that represented Solyndra.Read more
Two big stories are out tonight on the blossoming scandal involving failed solar panel company and stimulus funds recipient Solyndra. First, the Washington Post reports that the White House pressured the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to speed up the approval process for Solyndra's $535 million loan:Read more
If the president’s Labor Day speech at a General Motors plant in Detroit is any indication, Barack Obama may be hoping to use his administration’s cozy relationship with Big Auto as a boon to his reelection campaign, especially since his efforts to boost the economy and cut unemployment have fallen flat. Here’s what Obama had to say on Monday:Read more
I’m not a movie critic and I read Atlas Shrugged decades ago when I was in the Army. So it wasn’t exactly fresh in my mind when I attended a special screening in Washington this week of the film version of the novel by Ayn Rand. I had low expectations. But it turns out to be a terrific movie.Read more
Uh oh. First, Russ Feingold came out swinging at General Electric for not paying any taxes and now The Daily Show tears into NBC for not covering the scandal involving their parent country. It seems that Obama's favorite CEO is officially in hot water on the left:
Russ Feingold speaks truth to power. He calls out one aspect of the Obama administration’s crony-capitalist, big-government-corporatist, welfare-state liberalism—the relationship between the Obama White House and its favorite pet CEO, GE’s Jeffrey Immelt. Russ has a petition—see below—calling on Immelt to resign from, or for Obama to fire Immelt from, his position as chair of Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Sign the petition. And why not go further? Get rid of the Council, period. Surely Russ and his fellow progressives would agree on that too.Read more
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