Congressmen Got Countrywide Loans But Where is Ethics Committee?

Towns photoNLPC Chairman Ken Boehm reacted yesterday to the release of a report detailing how members of Congress and their staffs received discounted mortgage loans from Countrywide Financial. Boehm told the Washington Examiner:

“It certainly doesn’t look good when reports come out based on legitimate investigations that show all kinds of special treatment, and not only is there no action, the Ethics Committee doesn’t even take it up,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. “What part of unethical don’t they understand?”

The report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), cited loans to Reps.  Edolphus Towns (D-NY), in photo, Buck McKeon (R-CA), Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA).

The Countrywide case is the latest instance of inaction by the House Ethics Committee, which is already dragging its feet on investigations of Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) … Read More ➡

GM’s Government Fleet Sales and Truck Inventory Rise

It looks like General Motors will be throwing everything in but the kitchen sink to help fluff its second quarter earnings numbers. Taxpayers continue to help with the cause as President Obama campaigns on the “success” of GM following the manipulated bankruptcy process that cost taxpayers $50 billion and another $45 billion of tax credits gifted to GM to help protect powerful UAW interests. We now learn that government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June, year over year.

The discovery of the pick-up in government fleet purchases at the taxpayers’ expense comes just weeks before GM announces its second quarter earnings. Overall fleet sales (which are typically less profitable than retail sales) at Government Motors rose a full 36% for the month, helping to drive decent sales improvements year over year.

GM claimed that sales increases did not rely on incentive spending, which appeared to remain … Read More ➡

EPA’s Regional Administrators Love Activism, Litigation

armendarizThe suspicions of Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe were correct: Rather than sitting before the House Energy and Commerce Committee three weeks ago to explain the ways he “crucified” oil and natural gas companies, instead Al Armendariz – who cancelled his appearance at the last minute – met with the Sierra Club for a job interview.

This time the recently resigned EPA’s Region 6 administrator will eagerly attack another fossil fuel, joining the litigious environmental group as part of its “Beyond Coal” campaign. If there was any question that Armendariz unfairly regulated the gas and oil businesses under his authority in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and other neighboring states, the Sierra Club announcement left no doubt.

“I know how important it is to transition to cleaner sources of energy that don’t pollute the air that our children breathe,” he said, “and I’m proud to be working on a campaign with … Read More ➡

Yet Another DOE Green Failure as Abound Solar Goes Bankrupt

Abound logoThe next time a green energy company announces it is intentionally slowing down for a transition phase, or that a technology breakthrough is just around the corner, or that all that’s needed for future success is just a little more taxpayer “investment” – don’t believe it. It’s likely a lie.

The latest example is Loveland, Colo.-based Abound Solar, which only four months ago laid off 70 percent of its employees in what it said was a plan to upgrade its plant to manufacture more efficient solar panels, with plans to restore production levels and rehire most employees within six to nine months. Yesterday – hidden under the news that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare – the company released a statement that said it would end operations next week, liquidate, and make unemployed its remaining 125 workers.

The Department of Energy had awarded Abound a $400 million loan guarantee, $70 … Read More ➡

General Motors Over-Hyped Pension Move Doesn’t Help Liability Problem

It’s time, once again, to clarify a major misrepresentation by General Motors and the media. That is the implication that the recently announced move to modify a portion of non-union pensions will result in an improvement of $26 billion to GM’s pension shortfall. GM shares are down about 5% since the announcement, bringing into question the accuracy of the rosy projections.

A Bloomberg Businessweek report notes Moody’s Senior Vice President Bruce Clark’s opinion that “When all is said and done, the company’s total underfunded pension liability will be reduced by only $1 billion.” Also noted is that GM will pump about $4 billion into the pension fund to achieve this reduction. Government Motors’ underfunded obligations will go to about $24 billion but is still headed in the wrong direction. The shortfall was less than $21 billion a year ago.

Another important fact overlooked by the “journalists” that cover GM is … Read More ➡

Nissan: Taxpayer Money Needed for Expensive Electric Cars

Ghosn photoHighlighting that electric vehicles are no more than a scheme to extract money from taxpayers rather than sell a viable product, the producer of a dismal-(but still highest) selling all-electric car in the U.S. confirmed they wouldn’t exist at all without government.

Francois Bancon, Nissan’s global general manager of product strategy and planning, could not have been more clear in a discussion with the media at the Australia launch of the all-electric Leaf. In the U.S., taxpayers are backing a $1.4 billion loan guarantee for Nissan to retrofit a Tennessee manufacturing plant to produce the Leaf.

“Yeah, [government support] is the key,” Bancon said in an interview reported by Web site Car Advice. “This technology is expensive; the car is expensive.

“Where we sell the best is where the governments offer their support…which is not only the incentive for the direct purchase, but also they are investing … Read More ➡

Fisker’s Capital Fundraiser Loses $4.5 Million Case, Is Reportedly Removed

Fisker logo

The top private equity raiser for troubled electric automaker Fisker Automotive, which has been the subject of investigations by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities and Exchange Commission, has reportedly removed its co-founder and CEO. 

Crain’s Chicago Business, citing “a company insider,” reported Friday that Advanced Equities Inc. has reached an agreement with Dwight Badger for him to leave the investment firm. The separation follows a demand by a FINRA arbitration panel for Advanced Equities to pay $4.5 million to one of its former brokers, John Galinsky, over breach of contract claims. Galinsky brought his complaint against the firm, Badger, and his co-founding partner, Keith Daubenspeck.

“The panel finds that Respondents exhibited a reckless disregard for the warrant rights of the broker and breached their fiduciary duties to the broker,” the FINRA dispute resolution said.

Advanced Equities raised the financing for Fisker, which has boasted that … Read More ➡

EPA in a Bind Over Hazardous Experiments on Humans

Lisa Jackson

After experiments on humans were conducted that exposed them to airborne particulates considered to be lethal, a sound-science advocate has accused physician researchers working for the Environmental Protection Agency of misconduct and violations of the Hippocratic Oath.

Steve Milloy, publisher of and author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, filed a complaint with the North Carolina Medical Board last week that accused three doctors in the state – two employed by EPA (Dr. Andrew Ghio and Dr. Wayne Cascio) and one by the University of North Carolina (Dr. Eugene Chung) – of intentionally exposing test subjects to inhalable pollutants that the agency considers both cancer- and death-causing.

“During these experiments, the study subjects were intentionally exposed to airborne fine particulate matter (“PM2.5”) at levels ranging from 41.54 micrograms per cubic meter to 750.83 micrograms … Read More ➡

Non-Union Retirees Join “Hosed by GM Club”

The president of the GM Retirees Association, Jim Shepherd, sent a scathing letter last week to GM CEO, Dan Akerson. The letter was in response to General Motors’ decision to modify pension plans for non-union retirees. Mr. Shepherd stated that the non-union retirees wanted to express their “absolute consternation and disgust” and described the move by GM as not being only unfair but, “it is sheer irresponsibility and greed.”

So, on behalf of its many members, I now welcome the GM non-union retirees to the “Hosed by Government Motors Club.” As I mentioned when I welcomed Canadian taxpayers to the club, members of the club include former GM shareholders and bondholders, widows and other accident and asbestos litigants, owners of “Old” GM vehicles who did not have their vehicles’ problems covered by “New” GM, Indian tribes and others who have had their lands polluted by Old GM, Delphi Read More ➡

Why Some Americans Will Never Buy a GM Vehicle

I recently wrote about a boycott of General Motors’ products that was contributing to the company losing market share. The Heritage Foundation now has come out with a report that analyzes the wealth redistribution which occurred during the Obama Administration orchestrated GM bankruptcy process. This redistribution saw money taken from US taxpayers and GM bondholders and given to the politically powerful UAW. The unethical behavior at Government Motors, which has been occurring both during and since the bankruptcy process, gives reason enough to those paying attention to eliminate GM vehicles from the many quality choices offered to new car shoppers.

The Heritage Foundation report confirms what I have long expressed, which is that UAW members sacrificed little compared to other, less politically-favored groups. Even the allegedly corrupt and seldom honest ex-car czar, Steve Rattner, is quoted as stating, “We asked all the stakeholders to make very significant sacrifices. We should … Read More ➡

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