White House Hides Obama’s Involvement And/Or Ties To Bankrupt Solyndra Company – $535 Million Loan From Feds

October 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Congress isn’t getting a glimpse of what’s on President Barack Obama’s Blackberry – or any more internal White House communications related to the bankrupt solar company Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government.

House Republicans investigating the loan controversy had requested all internal White House documents about the issue. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee chair Rep. Cliff Stearns said that includes emails on the President’s Blackberry.

On Friday the White House Counsel sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee explaining they won’t comply with the request because it “implicates longstanding and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

The response is hardly a surprise given past administrations’ refusal to comply with similar congressional requests. The difference here? President Obama is the first Chief Executive to carry a Blackberry, so it’s the first time a White House counsel has – even indirectly – turned down an attempt to peek at his email. Neither the Blackberry nor his personal email is explicitly mentioned in the letter.

On October 5, Republican Chairmen Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns requested “all communications among White House staff and officials related to the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra” because they believed “the White House was closely involved in the monitoring of the Solyndra loan guarantee after it was issued.”

They said these documents are necessary “to better understand the involvement of the White house in the review of the Solyndra loan guarantee and the Administration’s support of this guarantee.’

In her letter Friday, White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said, “the three federal agencies most directly involved in the Solyndra loan guarantee, the Department of Energy, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Treasury, are all cooperating with the Committee’s investigation into the Solyndra loan guarantee.”

Together she says the three agencies have turned over 70,000 pages of documents and are continuing to do so “on a rolling basis.” The letter states the White House has turned over another 900 pages related to communications between the White House and Solyndra, its representatives and investors. She offers to cooperate further with the investigators.

CNN has attempted to reach the Chairs of the Energy and Commerce Committee for comment. Expect some kind of political fallout.

Solyndra is a California solar panel manufacturer that had received $535 million in federal loan guarantees before it was forced to halt operations and file for bankruptcy at the end of August, putting more than 1,000 workers out of work.

Before its failure, the company had been touted as an example of the benefits of creating green jobs by the Obama administration. But since then, it has become the center of congressional criticism and a probe by the FBI.

Brian Harrison, the CEO of Solyndra, resigned Wednesday amidst the scandal.

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Florida Turnpike Authority Illegally Detains Motorists Who Pay Tolls With Large Bills

March 5, 2011

TAMPA, FLORIDA – Meet Joel Chandler, who just paid his $1.00 toll on the Polk Parkway with a $100 bill, he is not allowed to leave unless he provides personal info to the toll taker. The toll taker tells Chandler this is what happens when they get large bills. She says this is what they have to do.

Chandler says to the toll taker, “So I’m being detained?” She says yes sir.

It is a policy the Florida Turnpike authority instituted for people who paid with $20, $50 or $100 bills. After it happened once, Chandler kept testing the system and taped his encounters as he went through the toll booths.

One time a toll taker told him, she wouldn’t give him his change unless he gave her the information. Chandler replied, “So I’m being detained.” He asked why he was being detained but never got an answer.

Chandler says this is a serious criminal offense, to detain someone without proper legal authority. He says that is exactly what the department is doing.

When Chandler called and e-mailed the Florida Department of Transportation to complain about the policy he was told there is no policy to detain people who give large bills. He says that made him more concerned, because that meant there were individual rouge toll takers detaining people.

The practice continued at toll booth after toll booth and if someone refused to provide the information they were threatened with arrest. One toll taker told Chandler’s brother Robert, “I could call FHP would you like me to do that sir.” Robert Chandler asked why she would call the Florida Highway Patrol when he was being illegally detained and the toll taker said he could come up with another form of tender.

Chandler continued to complain and on July 21st at 7:19 pm he received an email from the assistant General Counsel of FDOT saying essentially the department didn’t know what he was talking about and they don’t have sufficient information to investigate, however earlier that same day there were a flurry of e-mails going back and forth in the department saying shut the program down, temporarily suspend it and who should call Chandler and what should they say.

According to Chandler, not only was the D.O.T. not being truthful about the policy existing, but he also says they made a concerted effort to cover it up.

One reason the department might not have wanted the public to know about the program is because of whom was being detained.

Chandler says he thinks it clear from their own documents there was a lot of racial profiling going on.

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U.S. Governement Covered Up Scientists Descriptions Of Worst Case Scenario During BP Oil Spill Disaster

October 6, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The White House blocked efforts by federal scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could have been.

That finding comes from a panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the worst offshore oil spill in history.

In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission reveals that in late April or early May the White House budget office denied a request from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make public the worst-case discharge from the blown-out well.

BP estimated the worse scenario to be a leak of 2.5 million gallons per day. The government, meanwhile, was telling the public the well was releasing 210,000 gallons per day – a figure that later grew closer to BP’s figure.

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Feds And Florida Police Stop Reporter From Digging In Beach Sand Without A Permit – Can’t Dig, Even To Make A Sand Castle

September 24, 2010

FLORIDA – A federal official and a police officer told a local Florida news reporter that digging in the sand wasn’t allowed without a permit.

Reporters for the local news station WEAR ABC 3 were out on the beach shooting a story about oil found below the sand when they were accosted by a federal official and then later a police officer who told them they were barred from digging in the sand because they didn’t have the necessary permits. Even if they wanted to build a sand castle.

This is beyond ridiculous but not surprising in the least bit. From the start of the BP spill, the government and BP have colluded to suppress information every step along the way. The less we know, the better for them.

Most likely they’ll succeed in skirting any responsibility or enacting major reforms. Why? Because the government makes the rules and because people have short memories.

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