Saturday, September 3

Can we impeach NOW??

Suppose that back when Bush was president a company producing, oh, say Humvees for the Army had asked the government to guarantee loans to it of, oh, say half a Billion dollars.

And suppose a year or so later the company went bankrupt--leaving taxpayers on the hook for the half-billion.

Suppose further that a cursory investigation showed that the company had been making and selling its Humvees at a loss all along, so that it never realistically had any prospect of making a profit.

Finally: Suppose it turned out that White House officials had pressured the Army to guarantee the loan, vaulting the company past two dozen other companies that had applied for similar loan guarantees earlier.

Do ya think this just might possibly have been front-page news? News that would have led off all the nightly network news programs every evening for a month or more, like Abu Ghraib?

Okay, now suppose that same story happened today, with the Obama White House. Wouldn't you think that'd be as big a story as if it had happened when Bush was prez?

Apparently not.

If you're curious, the company is Solyndra, and the loan guarantee--the first such guarantee made by DOE under the woeful $787 Billion "stimulus" bill--was for $535 million. Just so we're clear, that's over half a Billion bucks. And now that the company has collapsed, the lenders are looking to us taxpayers to pay it back.

But gets better!

This loan guarantee was honcho'd by the Dept. of Energy, and when the company folded, the Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee asked the DOE to provide documents that might shed some light on the question of how the loan came to be approved, who pushed DOE to approve the guarantee, and why no one in that department seemed to have even a vague hint that the company was in financial trouble.

In fact, the DOE helped get the loan restructured just five months before the company folded. Either no one looked at the company's financials, or every DOE employee who did was incompetent. Or in on the scam.

Members of the House committee had apparently gotten tips that the company was in trouble, and committee investigators had six months ago had started questioning the company's executives, lobbyists, and investors, as well as officials at the DOE and OMB. Everyone questioned told Committee investigators the company was financially sound.

As for the demand to produce records: The DOE initially made some motions to comply, but then began missing deadlines. Finally on July 14 the committee decided it had had enough of that crap and issued a subpoena to the Office of Management and Budget, demanding that requested documents related to approving the loan guarantee be turned over by July 22nd.

You'll be shocked to hear that OMB failed to comply with the subpoena.

For most people, failing to comply with a legal subpoena is a jailable offense.

And so we're perfectly clear: every Democrat on the Oversight Subcommittee voted against issuing the subpoena.
But it passed on a straight party-line vote.

Reportedly the administration is now cooperating again. But excuse me if I'm skeptical. Plus, the agency had from March 14th--the date of the initial demand--until August to vacuum their files (if needed) and get their stories straight.

Amazing that Obama claimed he was going to have the most transparent administration ever, and then we see crap like this.

Here's hoping the Republicans stop pussyfooting around and get to the bottom of this report of White House pressure. Use your subpoena power. And if the WH stonewalls, go to the Supreme Court just like the Democrats did with Nixon.


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