The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten

Next February, we will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). You know, President Obama's trillion-dollar spending spree that was sold to the American people as a means to save our economy from the brink of disaster and create American jobs. 

As the former-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in 2010, when she and her left-wing minions were forcing the Affordable Care Act on the American people, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

Quite the pathetic statement, however, it is eerily true for us American citizens, because we are either kept in the dark, lied to, or manipulated as to what our government is up to. And once any large piece of legislation is passed, time is what enables us to grasp its impact –– good or bad, corrupt or mismanaged –– and calculate the cost to us hard-working American taxpayers. History has already proven that our government has grown too large, too intrusive, and too expensive.  

To better understand this piece of the "green energy" scandal, let me remind my fellow Americans that President Obama promised to have, and claims to be, the most transparent administration in history. Yet here we are over fours yeas later with David Sanger, the New York Times reporter who has spent two decades reporting in Washington, slamming this theory by proclaiming that the Obama administration is the "most closed, control-freak administration" he's ever covered, reported POLITICO this month.
As if many of us didn't have that sentiment already, especially in the midst of a series of serious scandals that hit the White House this year. More so, when we learned that political appointees within the Obama administration, across several agencies, including the Energy Department, and recently the IRS, have been using secret or personal email accounts to conduct official government business. But secrecy is not the only thug tactic operating inside this administration: they have been known to intimidate inspector generals, as told by Gerald Walpin. "But I learned, through being fired by the Obama administration, that performing one’s responsibilities as one should, and potentially adversely affecting the administration’s image, is not the way to keep one’s job," Walpin wrote this past June.

This brings me to today's Green Corruption File, "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten," which is the underbelly of this scandal. First is the deception: other than the overall "save the planet" manipulation, Americans were misled as to the real purpose of the stimulus package. Secondly, the Obama administration's "RAT maneuver" (and those behind it) leaves us with speculation (some will say proof) of premeditation and intention in regards to potential shenanigans with the stimulus funds. Last but not least, the "ten green stimulus authors" (yet there could be more) that I have uncovered and will expand upon in the third section of this post, were allowed to ensure that their "green" interests were represented in the stimulus bill, thus cashing in at the tune of tens of billions of tax dollars.

The RAT in the Recovery


What most don't know, not even the majority of Congress, is that there was a RAT hidden deep inside the 1,073-page stimulus bill, which was drafted by the Obama transition team and congressional aides.

Entitled the Obama-Biden Transition Project, it employed approximately 400 people and it was comprised of Obama bundlers and campaign contributors as well as lobbyist and those that operate inside Washington’s egregious revolving door. In the mix was a squadron of Center for American Progress (CAP) experts, the billionaire George Soros-funded liberal think tank. Within this transition group, we also find many that eventually operated inside this clean-energy scheme, of which I'll highlight later.

"From the first debates over the stimulus bill, the White House has promised unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability," noted U.S. News in 2009, even appointing Vice President Joe Biden as the nation’s stimulus spending cop, Stimulus Sheriff Joe, who ultimately went MIA.


Quite the contrary, and it all started when Team Obama starting planning their trillion-dollar spending spree, because “deep inside” the 2009 Recovery Act was a RAT, an attempt to suppress potential investigations, and only a few news outlets caught it in February of 2009: the Washington Post and the Washington Examiner.
As legislation was moving at rapid speed, and Congress continually failed to read the bills, the Obama administration had placed a “far-reaching and potentially dangerous provision." The creation of the RAT Board (Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board) was supposed to be “an oversight panel headed by a White House nominee.” 

The controversial provision emerged in a January 2009 draft of the bill prepared by Obama's transition team officials and members of the House Appropriations Committee, of which at that time it was labeled by the White House as “critical to prevent waste and corruption.” This RAT board gave them the authority to ask, “That an inspector general conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.”
 
Did you get that? An Obama appointee could dictate what to investigate and what investigations they wanted to squash. 

According to The Examiner...
When Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, a longtime champion of inspectors general, read the words “conduct or refrain from conducting,” alarm bells went off. The language means that the board — whose chairman will be appointed by the president — can reach deep inside a federal agency and tell an inspector general to lay off some particularly sensitive subject. Or, conversely, it can tell the inspector general to go after a tempting political target. …”
Senator Grassley (Republican from Iowa), also warned, "This is a dangerous provision that will hamper oversight, restrict transparency, and damage the independence of inspectors general."

Subsequent concerns arose, with Senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat from Missouri), who was alarmed by the sentence that allowed "the panel to order an inspector general to stop an investigation." As reported by The Post in February 2009...
The group representing federal inspectors general recommended that the entire disputed provision be deleted from the legislation, according to David R. Gray, counsel to Phyllis K. Fong, chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. 
Senate negotiators changed the board composition. While the president would appoint the head of the panel, the rest of the members would be inspectors general. 
House and Senate negotiators also added a line proposed by McCaskill saying that the final decision on whether to proceed is up to the inspector general. "The language sends a very clear message that the IG is in the driver's seat," she said.

As you can see, eventually lawmakers revised the original bill, and allowed “the watchdog agencies to reject the panel's decisions.” But only after they were BUSTED, leaving many wondering why another layer of bureaucracy? Worse, why would a panel be given that kind or power in the first place, power that was not entirely stripped away.

At that time, they named the former Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney, who helped uncover the Jack Abramoff scandal, as the head. Yep, we got a Stimulus Czar, and more taxpayer money going out the door: "The bill allotted about $350 million in oversight measures, including $84 million for the creation of an oversight board," as documented by U.S. News. Mr. Devaney has since retired, and in December 2011, President Obama appointed Kathleen S. TIghe Chair of the Board, with eleven Inspectors General from various federal agencies that serve with her. 

Moreover, “Per the Recovery Act, the Board's Recovery activities were supposed to end on September 30, 2013. However, in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 to assist states and individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Congress stipulated the Board provide oversight of the funding through 2015.”

The irony here is that the RAT Board's stated goals are “to provide transparency of Recovery-related funds and “to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and mismanagement.” While I can't speak for the entire stimulus bill, I know that tucked inside was $100 billion that Team Obama carved out for their big clean-energy push (save the planet funds). Money that I have been following since 2010, which has not only led to plenty of fraud, waste, and mismanagement, but also abuse, cronyism, corruption, and failure.

Most critically is that this “RAT” maneuver only leaves speculation of premeditation and intention in regards to potential shenanigans (an understatement) with the stimulus funds, and the daunting question, what has the RAT Board done about the massive pile of clean-energy dirt? 

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 
& Its $100 billion renewable energy earmark 

Shortly after President Obama began his reign as our 44th president, in February 2009, he signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This was a massive economic stimulus bill –– among the biggest in history –– that was sold to the American people as a means save our economy from the brink of disaster and create American jobs.  

By the beginning of 2012, revelations revealed the real intent behind Obama's trillion-dollar spending spree ("walking around money"): it was “a key tool for advancing the Obama administration’s clean-energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.” In fact, the 2009-Stimulus package was jammed-packed full of clean-energy provisions, of which about 10 percent of the monies were earmarked for renewable energy. 

It's important to point out that the $100 billion in stimulus funds is not the only money being used to fuel the Obama administration's efforts to save the planet using other people's money.  I'd say it's closer to $150 billion to date, and counting, because they continue to dish out more. In short, other departments handing out "green" include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program, and we even find that there is a "Green War" being waged: "the Department of Defense has launched more green energy initiatives than any other federal agency and many are duplicative and wasteful," as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Another means where huge corporations and Obama's "green" pals get taxpayer money is through the taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), who "has a Congressional mandate to support renewable energy and has been directed that 10% of its authorizations should be dedicated to renewable energy and environmentally beneficial transactions."

Additionally, the president's new Climate Action Plan, announced in July of this year, calls for releasing "$8 billion in loan guarantees for advanced fossil fuel and efficiency projects, and strengthen the Better Building Challenge to increase building efficiency 20 percent by 2020." Meanwhile, the "Obama administration is ready to restart the controversial automotive loan program designed to kick-start the development of alternative vehicles." This is the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program that holds authority to award up to $25 billion in direct loans. 
Last fall, I chronicled how there were over 100 applicants for this section of the DOE's loan program, yet only the "FAVORED FIVE" were granted ATVM loans totaling $8.4 billion. Three of the five loans are directly tied to President Obama and the other two, both Ford Motor Co. and Nissan, were heavily engaged in negotiations with the administration over fuel economy standards for model years 2012- 2016 at the time DOE was considering their applications."
The ATVM is part of the Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program (DOE LGP) which has been a main focus throughout my work since April 2012. This is a program that consists of three separate entities: Section 1703Section 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM), and has thus far guaranteed $34.7 billion of taxpayer money. Both Section 1703 and the ATVM programs were established during the Bush administration, and Section 1705 was created by the 2009-Recovery Act.

This is the same Energy Department program which the Green Corruption Files has exposed over and over how at least 90 percent of the winners have meaningful politically connections (bundlers, top donors, fundraisers, etc) to the president and other high-ranking Democrats –– in many cases, to both. It also brought you big alternative energy losers such as Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Vehicle Production Group, SoloPower, Nevada Geothermal, and Fisker Automotive, flushing billions of tax dollars down the toilet. Yet there are billions more still at risk, and we're keeping an eye on these DOE projects: AREVA and its $2 billion, Georgia Power Company and its $8.33 billion, NRG Energy, Inc. (BrightSource) and its $1.6 billion, First Solar and its $3 billion, and others.

Still, the Energy Department's loan program is not the only place where we find taxpayer-funded clean-energy losers. At the end of 2012, I calculated that "as many as 50 Obama-backed green energy companies were bankrupt or troubled." In May I revisited this area, with my new numbers reflecting that 25 are bankrupt, and there are four about to go under. Then, if we keep those that were having issues the same (at 29), the latest taxpayer-funded clean-energy failure list is about 60 –– with almost half bankrupt. Stay tuned for a new investigative report on this topic in the near future. 
Continue reading "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten" at The Green Corruption Files...

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Gohmert: Dems Will Drag Out Impeachment — Try To Get ‘Best Socialist’ Nominated For President

During an appearance on Huntsville, AL radio’s WVNN on Thursday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) offered his best assessment of what House Democrats were trying to accomplish with their impeachment efforts.

Gohmert told WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” impeachment could tie up the Democratic Party’s presidential campaign efforts but predicted Democrats would use the occasion to nominate “the best socialist” they can.

“They would lose in the Senate,” Gohmert said on impeachment. “And besides that, the entire time it was on trial in the Senate, the Democrats who are running for president wouldn’t be allowed to campaign. That’s in the Constitution. They wouldn’t be able to campaign. I just can’t imagine them wanting to do that because if they send it to the Senate, they have now perfectly set up the scenario of 1996, where they will reassure Donald Trump is reelected as president. They don’t want to do that. They’re probably going to drag this thing out as long as they possibly can … through Iowa, through primaries — try to get the best socialist they can to be nominated.”

“Then just end up and say, ‘Now we’re close enough to the general election. We’ve thrown mud at the president through the House,’” he continued. “What they’re really doing — they’re using taxpayer funds to campaign against Trump. That’s all this is — a campaign fund that taxpayers are paying for in order to try to throw mud at the president. I’ll be surprised if they have that vote, but I can’t imagine they want to set up this president for reelection by having a trial in the Senate where they lose.”

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