August 21, 2011

Maxine Waters: ‘The Tea Party Can Go Straight to Hell’

MaxineWaters0811Well, the extent to which this one gets nationally noticed should be interesting.

Yesterday, at a high school gym in Inglewwood, California,  at what was billed as a “Kitchen Table Summit,” as seen in a video currently showing at both MRC-TV and Breitbart, Congresswoman Maxine Waters said, “As far as I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell.” The crowd, reportedly “more than 2,000 people,” cheered her statement.

We’re already through one overnight news cycle at the Associated Press, and I found nothing relating to this outburst at its home page in a search on the congresswoman’s name. The one item listed is a day older, and even that one is sanitized. Referring to Waters’s appearance at a Congressional Black Caucus summit in Detroit last week, the AP’s Ken Thomas, with assistance from AP Deputy Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta, only reported that Waters told those in attendance that, “Our people are hurting. The unemployment level is unconscionable.” Many of those who follow New Media know the real news was Waters virtually begging her audience, and by inference African-Americans in general, to “unleash us” (the Caucus) to complain about President Obama’s failure to address the economic needs of the black community. (Don’t worry, Maxine, he’s an equal opportunity ignorer).

A Google News search on ["Maxine Waters" "go straight to hell"] (typed exactly as incidated between brackets) covering the past two days returned all of five items at the following mostly nonestablishment locations: Huffington Post, Daily Caller, ABC7 in Los Angeles, Contra Costa Times, and an LA Times blog. That’s far from impressive.

As to the media getting cold feet and avoiding the H-word, spare me the sudden prudery. Google News Archive searches on [Republicans "go straight to hell"] and [Democrats "go straight to hell"] returned 104 and 68 results, respectively.

If this one doesn’t get wide establishment press coverage, it will be because they will have seen the perceived negative risk of average people finding out the left’s true mindset as too high.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Bankrupt Evergreen Solar’s U.S. Govt. Benefits Mostly Unreported, Probably Impossible to Track

RecoverygovSmall0811On August 15, the Boston Herald, the Boston Globe, and the Associated Press all reported that Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Oddly enough (no, not really), The New York Times, which published a 1,600-word report in January on the company’s competitive difficulties, did not take note of Evergreen’s filing.

Each of the three reports cited gave readers the impression that Bay State agencies were the only ones which had provided the company any form of financial assistance during the past several years during which, according to its latest 10-K annual report (large HTML file), it was losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually (about $950 million in the past three calendar years):

(from the Boston Herald’s full report)

Evergreen Solar Inc., the Massachusetts clean-energy company that received millions in state subsidies from the Patrick administration for an ill-fated Bay State factory, has filed for bankruptcy, listing $485.6 million in debt.

… The Massachusetts Republican Party called the Patrick administration’s $58 million financial aid package, which supported Evergreen’s $450 million factory, a “waste” of money.

… In January, after Evergreen announced it would close the Devens factory, Patrick told the Herald he was disappointed in the job losses but did not regret making the investment.

(Boston Globe — Note: A terse, four-paragraph report)

Evergreen Solar Inc., the once promising alternative energy company that received millions in state subsidies, revealed today that that it has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

(Associated Press — Note: Another terse, four-paragraph report)

A solar energy company that received millions of dollars in grants and tax incentives from Massachusetts before closing one of its facilities in the state has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief.

It took David Mastio at the Washington Times to visit the White House’s web site and note that Evergreen was identified in April 2009 as a beneficiary of federal ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), or “stimulus,” funds. Here is portion of the White House’s statement:

To: Interested Parties

Fr: White House Communications

Da: April 22, 2009

Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Massachusetts families

Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action — proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

… here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Massachusetts in the first three months of his administration.

Because of the Stimulus Bill and New Contracts, Green Energy Companies Are Looking to Hire Many New Employees.

… Evergreen Solar, the Marlborough-based maker of solar panels, also is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people at a manufacturing plant in Devens, said Gary Pollard, vice president of human resources.

… Evergreen Solar Was Hoping to Hire 90 to 100 People for Its Manufacturing Plant. “Evergreen Solar, the Marlborough-based maker of solar panels, also is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people at a manufacturing plant in Devens, said Gary Pollard, vice president of human resources. The plant, which opened last summer, is expected to employ more than 800 when it reaches full capacity.” [Boston Globe, 3/6/09]

It’s clear that at least the Globe knew that Evergreen was a beneficiary of significant federal government largesse, and chose to ignore that fact. The introduction to Its March 6, 2009 article (full article is behind the Globe’s pay wall) reads as follows (bolds are mine throughout the rest of this post):

Renewable job market

Even as economy worsens, state’s green companies are hiring

According to a spokesman for congressman Ed Markey, the Malden Democrat who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Massachusetts is set to get $125 million in stimulus funds for weatherization projects and $55 million in state energy block grants to be used mainly for energy-efficiency programs. According to a recently released report from his firm, the legislation contains about $83 billion for “clean-tech spending and tax plans” and positions the industry as a “key driver of economic stabilization and job growth.”

“His (Markey’s) firm”? I do hope the Globe really meant “his committee.”

As the White House announcement noted, Evergreen’s hiring plans as a result of ARRA appear later in the Globe report.

The fact that the Globe failed to report what it knew of Evergreen’s stimulus involvement made it easy for the Associated Press, whose report closely mirrors the Globe’s, to ignore it as well.

So how much stimulus money, or indirect benefit, did Evergreen receive? Good luck getting your arms around that.

As far as stimulus reporting requirements are concerned, all that apparently had to be reported about who benefitted from the $55 million block grant noted above (which is in the state’s stimulus report) was its gross amount and the fact that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources originally got the money, as seen below (part of full ARRA report as of September 30, 2010; numbers reformatted to get rid of cents and to include commas):

MAblockGranEnergyStimulus4Q10

It may be in the Bay State’s Recovery Act web site somewhere, but I could not find any breakdown of who might have received those funds.

There are anecdotal items which contain some detail, such as this one from a Massachusetts paper which was linked from the Bay State’s ARRA website:

Renewable energy companies from Holliston and Marlborough will play key roles in what is likely the largest-ever project to install solar panels on state-owned facilities.

Renewable Sales of Holliston, a wholesale distributor, said it will supply 11,000 photovoltaic panels manufactured by Marlborough-based Evergreen Solar for the initiative.

The $9.8 million plan includes $5.3 million in federal stimulus cash.

The solar equipment will go up on 11 state colleges and universities – including Framingham State – a recycling facility in Springfield and an education center at Chickatawbut Hill in Milton.

“It’s the largest project we’ve ever landed,” said Kevin Price, president of Renewable Sales. “What we were excited about was not just winning the project for us, but keeping the money in the commonwealth.”

Here’s another:

The Berkshire Community College project illustrates how the Patrick-Murray Administration’s push for renewable energy is putting Massachusetts companies to work. Financed with $984,400 in federal funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and $758,388 in federal low-interest Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, the rooftop systems comprise inverters made by Solectria of Lawrence and panels from Evergreen Solar of Devens, which are being installed by Ostrow Electric of Worcester. Once complete later this fall, the system is expected to produce 440,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity – enough to supply over 20 percent of the school’s demand.

So who was the actual recipient of the stimulus cash, i.e., who got check(s) to take to the bank? Renewable Sales? Evergreen? Some general contractor who actually installed the panels? I can’t tell, but there is little doubt that Evergreen benefitted at the very least to the tune of millions of dollars by being able to sell panels, possibly at inflated prices, which it otherwise would not have sold. As far as I could tell from reviewing its financial statements, Evergreen treats its entire business as one reportable segment for financial reporting purposes, meaning that there is no breakdown of residential, commercial, and government sales.

One thing is for certain: The deliberately selective (in the case of the Globe) and incomplete (in regards to the others) reporting of which governmental entities gave aid to Evergreen Solar conveniently covers up what has to be seen as yet another in a long, long list of examples where federal government stimulus funds were ultimately largely wasted.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Offers pour in for NM man who thwarted abduction

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:59 am

From Albuquerque, New Mexico:

Posted at: 08/18/2011 2:35 AM

A man whose gutsy and quick action saved a family from its worst nightmare is winning praise and offers of help from people across the country.

Antonio Diaz Chacon, 24, used his truck to chase a man after he allegedly snatched a 6-year-old girl and fled with her in his van, rescuing the child when the vehicle crashed.

Now, police and reporters have received calls from people requesting an address to send gift cards, money and even donations for a college savings fund for his two children.

“We’re just overwhelmed with all of this. We’re trying to take it all in,” his wife, Martha, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She has been sharing his story, relaying from Spanish to English details of that eventful afternoon that turned the mechanic and father of two into a hero.

Diaz Chacon had no idea his quick reaction would result in such an outpouring of appreciation and an online flood of high-fives for his heroic actions.

Shelly Hornback, of Buckeye, Ariz., said in a telephone interview she was happy to learn the little girl was saved and she felt she had to do something to recognize Diaz Chacon’s efforts.

“It was like he restored our faith in humanity that people are good, and clearly to act so quickly for the common good made such a big difference. A lot of people would just not be so brave,” she said.

“Here, he jumped in like Superman and saved that girl and made us all remember that there are good people out there who care.”

Diaz Chacon was not even supposed to be home Monday afternoon. He left work early to spend time with his family. Nor was he supposed to be at his mother-in-law’s home about a block away, where the couple had gone to do laundry after their washing machine had broken.

He was in the right place at the right time to see what could have been a family tragedy.

“He just says, `You know what, it was something I had to do,’” Martha Diaz said of her husband’s gut reaction. “We didn’t expect this outcome.”

The phone was constantly ringing at the family’s home Wednesday, but Martha Diaz didn’t mind answering the calls from well-wishers and those asking how they could help.

“This was never our intention, but I didn’t know there were still so many good people out there,” she said.

The funny thing is many others feel the same way about her husband. …

Go here for the full story.