Are Obama’s NLRB Appointments Constitutional?

nlrb-logoRepublican objections to President Obama’s temporary appointments last week to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) haven’t been unexpected. The board, by custom, must consist of three members of one major party and two of the other. And so long as he remains in the White House, Democrats will enjoy an automatic majority. But at least two appointments may also be unconstitutional, say critics. That’s because the president’s referrals to the Senate of the two Democratic nominees, Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, were made during a period in which senators were not on official recess. Block, Griffin and the Republican nominee, Terence Flynn, were sworn in last Monday. But the controversy surrounding the appointments is no dead letter. Indeed, a number of groups already have joined forces to file a complaint in federal court.

The Obama administration’s filling of vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board has to rank … Read More ➡

As Goes GM, So Goes Obama Reelection

Last week the Detroit News reported that NHTSA claimed that the White House had nothing to do with the agency’s delay in disclosing its Chevy Volt fires to the public. Supposedly, NHTSA contacted the White House three months after the Volt fires and waited another two months before releasing the information to the public. Whether or not the Obama Administration is being honest about its involvement in NHTSA’s Chevy Volt investigation, it is clear that we are in an unprecedented situation with the President of the US having his reelection chances largely tied to the success of General Motors, which was once an icon of American industry but now epitomizes taxpayer bailouts, crony capitalism and political theater.

President Obama has been campaigning on a platform that touts the Administrations’ intrusion into the American auto industry as a bold success that saved millions of jobs. GM takes center stage as the … Read More ➡

Energy Dept. Makes More Bad Bets with Taxpayer Money

Chu photoAs the U.S. government Venture Capitalist-in-Chief (and President) Barack Obama and his Department of Energy investment guru (and Energy Secretary) Steven Chu pour other peoples’ money into their favorite “clean” technology schemes, private backers appear to be following them off the cliff, “as publicly traded battery makers watched their stocks tank and their businesses stumble,” according to a Dow Jones report late last month.

According to a Dow Jones-owned industry tracker called VentureSource, private investors put $372.7 million into 14 battery deals over the first three quarters of 2011. Whether they would have transferred so much cash into the otherwise shaky enterprises, without the government leading the way, is doubtful at best. But since the Obama administration wants to create “Green jobs” with a new energy economy, the fools have rushed in, ignoring the fact that government manipulation of industry only creates bubbles that eventually burst.

“Building a whole new … Read More ➡

Democratic National Committee Taps Crony Corporations

Obama InvescoAs Democrats struggle to raise funds to coronate President Obama as nominee in Charlotte, N.C. this September, the role of two crony corporations increases daily.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the president’s re-election organization will consider moving his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention to Bank of America Stadium.

Three unidentified Democrats “involved in the fundraising” told the news service the goal would be to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors, apparently because fewer are available at Time Warner Cable Arena where the convention is presently scheduled.

“The almost 74,000-seat home of the Carolina Panthers professional football team would also have room for the convention to sell more floor passes close to the stage,” Bloomberg reported. “Planners for the event are struggling to meet a $36.6 million fundraising goal, according to the Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.”

Back in … Read More ➡

GM Wrestles With Chevy Volt ‘Political Controversy’

It seems that General Motors is sticking to its guns as they continue to blame lack of supply for low sales of the Chevy Volt. A story by the Detroit Free Press quotes GM Vice Chairman, Steve Girsky, as saying that market demand for the Volt will not be known until around June as “…there are still dealer orders that are getting filled and there are customers that are still getting out there.”

GM’s president of North American operations, Mark Reuss, addressed criticism of the Volt by adding, “The worst thing we could do would be to back off of that technology in the wake of political controversy.” Funny how GM was sensitive to having its Chevy Volt hype considered politically driven, but now that demand for the vehicle is not living up to the hype anyone who dares criticize the taxpayer subsidization of the Volt must have a political … Read More ➡

NLPC Asks Feds to Investigate Meeks’ House Sale

Meeks photoNLPC has asked federal prosecutors to investigate the sale of a home by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), alleging that it was sold at an inflated price and that the purported buyers could not have qualified for a mortgage. The 2006 transaction was handled by an attorney named Alexander Kaplan, who was subsequently convicted of 18 counts of mortgage fraud and is currently serving a 46-month prison sentence.

The sale of the home at 660 Grassmere Terrace in Far Rockaway, New York appears to have allowed Meeks to purchase his present Queens home in late 2006 that New York City classifies as a “mansion.”  In March 2010, NLPC alleged in a Complaint to the House Ethics Committee that Meeks paid $830,000 for the newly built home that was actually worth $1.2 million.

In the request to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, NLPC pointed out that Kaplan’s … Read More ➡

Russian Oligarch Tries to Cash In on Obama’s Crony Capitalism

Alexi MordashThe Department of Energy announced on Friday it would not complete a low-interest, $730 million loan to Severstal North America, after it had given the company a conditional commitment in July under its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.

DOE gave no reason for its disapproval of the loan, but it had come under scrutiny about its judgment after the collapse of solar company Solyndra, which was lent $535 million in taxpayer dollars. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa called upon Energy Secretary Stephen Chu to revisit the Severstal project – which would modernize its facility in Dearborn, Mich. to produce so-called advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) – because the company “had ample means to carry out the project” and had “apparently no need for federal financing,” among other reasons. Severstal N.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of OAO Severstal, owned by Russian tycoon Alexei Mordashov (in photo), … Read More ➡

Consumers Should Select Cars, Not Government

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica says it is time to end tax credits and subsidies for electric vehicles. He is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network on Friday, January 6. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto:  Meanwhile, a Fox Business Alert that is going to be a topical issue, drivers paying more to fill up. But it doesn’t look like they’re getting fed up with the gas guzzlers. Gasoline now at its highest price ever for the start of the year. It’s still rising. But look what else is rising. Sales of really big vehicles like the Dodge Durango, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, so much so that Chrysler is adding, adding over a thousand jobs to build them. Former GM bondholder Mark Modica says the car buyers are going for the gas guzzlers. So D.C. should stop fueling its green car agenda?  Mark, you do raise an … Read More ➡

Chevy Volt Fleet Sales Rise, Government GM Purchases Increase

General Motors reported Chevy Volt sales of 1,529 for the month of December. The still unimpressive number is an improvement over previous months, but the gains were mostly driven by fleet sales. According to GM, 992 of the Volts sold were to retail customers while 537 went to fleet purchasers.

GM says the fleet sales were to corporate buyers and not to rental companies. The number of Volts sold to townships receiving federal grants remains unknown. The corporate sales claim makes sense as crony company, General Electric, starts to make good on its promise to buy thousands of Volts. Of course, GE benefits by selling charging stations for the vehicles.

Another interesting statistic on Volt sales can be derived from the inventory figures and number of Chevy dealerships with available Volts. GM now claims that 2,600 dealerships across the nation have Volts for sale. Given the 992 figure for Volts … Read More ➡

Taxpayers Take Hit as Solar Industry Implodes

First Solar Logo

In a year where Solyndra became the face of the solar industry’s chronic failures, even the holiday season could not prevent one last flurry of layoffs in 2011.

The Mountain Enterprise (based in Frazier Park, Calif.) reported over the weekend that First Solar, Inc. – which the media sometimes identifies as the largest solar company in the world – laid off half its employees on Friday at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project. The facility has been the subject of controversy in the local community over the effects it will have on land use, wildlife, and water usage.

In a September 30 press release that announced the sale of the 230-megawatt photovoltaic “farm” to Exelon (First Solar will still build, manage and operate the project), up to 400 construction jobs and as many as 15 operations positions were supposed to result. The Department of Energy, which provided a $646 … Read More ➡

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