Friday, March 2, 2012

Rallying the Troops on the Eastern Front

Big Guy returned to the Eastern Front yesterday to speak to the troops:

manchester nh boNeither rain nor snow nor dark of night will keep BO from his appointed rounds…

snow…or his Obots from theirs

Before dropping in to rally the New York bundlers at 4 (four! in one day!) WTF fund raisers (current count:103. “We’re #1! We’re #1!”), Big Guy did a stop-over in New Hampshire first to inspire the troops and encourage them to continue the good fight against our common enemy: Big Oil.

[Oil] companies are making record profits right now -- tens of billions of dollars a year. Every time you go to the gas tank or fill up your gas tank, they’re making money.  Every time. Now, does anyone really think that Congress should give them another $4 billion this year? Of course not. It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. And I am asking Congress -- eliminate this oil industry giveaway right away. I want them to vote on this in the next few weeks

Big Guy would prefer to spend that $4 billion Big Oil subsidy on alternative energy companies. The only problem: so far his green energy company lotto picks have issued more pink slips than green jobs.

Since so many of the losers innovators we’ve backed are going bankrupt and/or laying off most of their employees, (Ener1, A123 Systems, Fisker Automotive, Tesla Motors, Solyndra, Beacon Power, Amonix, National Renewable Energy Lab and Spectrawatt, to name a few.) we might have to consider a new method for awarding those Department of Energy grants. Maybe a lottery.

Bo's big garbage truckBO’s New Big Green Lottery Machine

Maybe that will improve the odds of success. So far we’re a little behind the 8-ball: our picks have racked up losses of at least $2.7 billion. (Which is why we need that $4 billion back from the Big Oil companies – to spread the wealth around.)

800px-Vegas_slotsDr. Chu’s Department of Energy Grant and Loan Center: losses backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (that’s you and me, baby!)

The latest of Dr. Chu’s lottery winners to squander their prize is Abound Solar. We were really expecting big things from them back in 2010 when they won the Big Alternate Energy Wheel of Fortune:

Touting his push for a clean energy economy, Obama said Abound would "manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs" at plants in Indiana and Colorado. July 3, 2010

obama_solar"The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force." h/t Darth Vader

Now that Abound has run out of other people’s money though, it looks like they’re on the same glide path as Solyndra, laying off 70% of their employees ahead of the inevitable crash and burn. Butt here’s some good news: we’ve finally found something that we can give the Do-nothing Congress credit for!

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney highlighted the role of Congress in the loan program when asked about the Abound Solar layoffs yesterday. "I would refer you to the Department of Energy for specifics about any particular loan," Carney told ABC's Jake Tapper during the press briefing. "I would say broadly that it is inherent within these kinds of investments that there is risk, and Congress recognized that risk, which is why they put aside $10 billion in loan lost reserves when they created the program."  March 1, 2012

The good news is that now that Abound’s essentially shutting down, investor (and Big Guy bundler) Pat Stryker can get back out on the fund raising trail and raise some more money for WTF.

Anyhoo, getting back to Big Guy’s populist class warfront against Big Oil: He just wants everyone to play by the same rules in order to give everyone a fair shot at paying their fair share.

5_dollar_gas_is_good_for_america_and_hybrid_cars-700359Your fair share is going up

I’m just not sure how “taxing the Big Oil companies more” is going to achieve his objectives. I don’t know where Big Guy went to Business School (oh that’s right, he didn’t) butt where I went to business school they taught that there’s really no such thing as a “corporate” tax: they all get passed on to consumers. How’s that going to lower prices at the gas tank? (Oh! I forgot: that’s not really our objective.)

I guess our real objective is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. By not drilling in America. Or something. Whatever, it appears to be working as Big Guy demonstrated with visual aides at yesterday’s New Hampshire luv-in and troop morale booster:


Here - in case you can’t see that from the back row of the audience:

hero_foreign_oilSomething else we can blame on Bush?

Butt since we all know that drilling today won’t do anything about gas prices at the pump tomorrow, is it possible that we can blame this decline in dependence on foreign oil on Bush? Or is it just that the economy is so sluggish and we’re using so much less oil that our domestic supply is able to provide a larger share of our requirements?

Never mind about that last part. I see that I’ve lost Big Guy too.

still got a headache bo “I was told there would be no math.”

Apparently you don’t need much math in law school. Even at Harvard.