While New York is Struggling With Unemployment, Kirsten Gillibrand is Hosting Book Clubs

August 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm (Book Club, Conservative, Department of Labor, Kirsten Gillibrand, Liberal, New York, Off the Sidelines, Unemployment, Wendy Long)

… But not for the reasons you’d expect.

The New York State Republican Committee is hopping mad over an apparent lack of focus toward matters of import by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

The U.S. Department of Labor reported yesterday that unemployment rates were lower in June than a year earlier in 328 of the 372 metropolitan areas across America, with only 32 metro areas registering higher unemployment. 

Shockingly, each and every one of New York’s 13 metropolitan areas registered higher unemployment year-over-year with the state rate at 9.1% and a New York City rate at 10.3%.  New York State accounted for more than one-third of all the areas nationwide that reported higher unemployment rates. 

Senator Gillibrand’s answer? 

Pass a budget?  No!  

Cut taxes and cut spending to allow job growth?  No! 

Get cosponsors for her own phony “jobs bills” and get them to the Senate floor? No! 

Stand up for New York’s interests in Washington?  No! 

Gillibrand’s answer:  Book Club!

Indeed, Gillibrand will be hosting a second online book club chat this evening for the web site “OffTheSidelines.org”, claiming the effort is about “bringing women’s voices to the forefront” and “focus(ing) on the issues and stories that are important to us”.

Wendy Long, candidate for U.S. Senate, responded to the out of touch event:

“Whether it’s Main Street or Wall Street, upstate or downstate, New Yorkers’ interests are being sold out, our future mortgaged, and our earning power taxed by a flip-flopping Senator who is a puppet of national special interests in Washington, instead of taking the initiative to help the economy and jobs for New Yorkers,” said U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long.   

Long added, “Kirsten Gillibrand says she’s ‘fine’ that Obamacare is a tax, she supports raising income taxes on small business owners and suburban and downstate voters, she opposes economic growth through her opposition to the development of shale gas, and she is crippling middle and entry-level financial sector jobs and consumer lending through her support of Dodd-Frank.  As Senator, I will work to reverse each and every one of her job killing policies and implement pro-growth, pro-freedom policies instead.  She is running from debates and holding book clubs because she can’t defend her record of failure to New Yorkers.”

There is however, a method to Gillibrand’s madness.  The Off the Sidelines book club isn’t totally about books, or women’s issues for that matter.

It’s about campaign contributions.

Via Buffalo News:

Then there’s the “contribute” button — where every dollar women contribute goes not to any independent organization called OffTheSidelines.org, but to Gillibrand’s 2012 re-election campaign.

That last fact leaves advocates of good government thinking that Gillibrand has taken what her supporters call a noble and necessary cause — women’s rights — and converted it into yet another political fundraising opportunity.

“It’s not actually noble,” said Melanie Sloan, founder and executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a nonpartisan good-government group based in Washington.

“I think it’s totally misleading,” Sloan said of OffTheSidelines.org, which never explicitly says dollars donated there go to the Gillibrand re-election campaign. “I think it’s technically legal, but I don’t think it’s OK.”

Perhaps New Yorkers would be better served reading the policies and platforms espoused by Kirsten Gillibrand, and contrast those advocated by Wendy Long.  In the end they may just find Long’s common sense conservatism to be a better way to get women ‘off the sidelines’ than any stereotypical book club ever could.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Solyndra Exec (2009): "The Bank of Washington Continues to Help Us!"

August 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm (Bank of Washington, Bankrupt, CH2M Hill, Green Energy, Green Jobs, Matthew Chiller, President Obama, Solar, Solyndra, Stimulus, Waste)

The Republican National Committee today released an e-mail from Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet from 2009, labeling the Obama administration as “The Bank of Washington” and boasting of several ways in which the company could exploit federal programs and tax breaks in order to keep the soon-to-be-doomed company afloat.

The opening of the e-mail reads:

Hi Steve,

Attached FYI.

The Bank of Washington continues to help us!

The rest of the e-mail (seen below) suggests ways to gather money from federal and state governments, and sounds eerily similar to a presentation given by Washington lobbyist Matthew Chiller.  Chiller was employed by a company named CH2M Hill, and gave their employees a PowerPoint presentation on how to secure state and federal funding.  The presentation provided employees with advice on congressional earmarks, and gave pointers on how to “work the earmark politically.”

What is the significance of the Solyndra/CH2M Hill relationship?  My report last year outlined how CH2M Hill received nearly $10 million in stimulus funding to design Solyndra’s Fremont, California plant – a plant that exceeded $733 million just to build, and featured such amenities as Disney tune-whistling robots and elaborate spa showers for employees.  Here is an excerpt from that report:

Within the $535 million loan to Solyndra were a number of sub-awards to other vendors, 40 payments of which were greater than $25,000 each. The largest sub-award went to CH2M HILL, to the tune of $9.6 million for their construction engineering services. CH2M used the nearly $10 million sub-award to design Solyndra’s solar manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.

John Corsi, the company’s Vice President of Media and Public Relations explains, “CH2M HILL performed some design services and helped with a technical engineering report.”

When asked about the price tag, Corsi stated that, “Our rates were consistent with market rates for similar work.”

He added, “This work was secured through an open, competitive, and transparent procurement process,” a contradiction to the aforementioned Washington Post report which stated that consulting firms had essentially shaped and awarded themselves pieces of the stimulus.

With millions of dollars having been secured, CH2M clearly outdid themselves on the Solyndra project, building a facility the likes that had never been seen before in the heart of Silicon Valley.  The facility covers 300,000 square feet, ran a price tag of $733 million, and was equated by some to the Taj Mahal. Bloomberg News reported on some of the extravagant amenities—amenities which might surprise for a company using taxpayer funds to maintain operations.

“It wasn’t just any factory. When it was completed at an estimated cost of $733 million, including proceeds from a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, it covered 300,000 square feet, the equivalent of five football fields. It had robots that whistled Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid-crystal displays of the water temperature, and glass-walled conference rooms.”

All on your dime.

While the company deflected any specific questions about building design, Corsi did state that, “The client (Solyndra) made all decisions regarding the final design specs.”

He added, “Any vetting of the relative merits of the project are the responsibility of the government.”

Another company that assisted CH2M Hill in the design of the Solyndra facility also declined comment. Erik Sueberkrop, of Studios Architecture, was on the design team for the manufacturing and office facility in Fremont, California. He stated only, “As I am not at liberty to discuss, there is no comment at this time.” The Studios website meanwhile, has scrubbed detailed links to the facility’s architecture, interior, and planning links.

While the building remained a feat of engineering, neither company saw fit to take credit now that the Solyndra scandal has broken. Each declined comment when asked to provide images or blueprints of the facility, and ignored a request to provide expense reports for the use of their stimulus money on the Solyndra project.

It would appear that both Solyndra and CH2M Hill executives did indeed work the earmark politically, and the “Bank of Washington” was more than willing to oblige.

In the wake of several Energy Department scandals it is important to analyze how taxpayer funded projects have developed, and what mistakes were made along the way. It is not a time to rush infrastructure funding in the hopes that temporary jobs will be created in an election year; it is a time to analyze where the funding is going, who is responsible for spending it, and how they will be held accountable for their actions. It is not a time to blindly grant multi-million dollar loans to companies that administration officials know will fail; it is a time to scrutinize the potential use of every dollar so they are not wasted. It is not a time for crony capitalism, but rather a time for competent capitalism.

Perhaps the case of Solyndra will serve to remind our government of a commitment to be responsible and restrained with the American people’s money.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Flags Flying at Half-Staff For Pvt. 1st Class Theodore M. Glende

August 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm (Afghanistan, Governor Choking, Hero, Heroes, Italy, New York, Rochester, Theodore Glende)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Thursday, August 2, 2012 in honor of a Rochester soldier who died in Afghanistan on July 27.

Pvt. 1st Class Theodore M. Glende died in Logar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

“I join with all New Yorkers in mourning the loss of Private Glende, and I send my deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and fellow soldiers,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will honor the service of this young soldier and we will be forever grateful for his dedication to our nation.”

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state’s service and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Shocking Video Shows Chick-Fil-A Refusing to Serve Gay American

August 2, 2012 at 10:16 am (Ben Howe, Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, Discrimination, Gay, Gay Marriage, Lesbian, LGBT)

Finally – Incontrovertible proof that Chick-Fil-A does indeed discriminate against gay customers.

From the brilliant minds of Ben Howe and Bruce Carrol…

This.  Changes.  Everything.

Heh…  The only thing missing was sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Liberals Respond to Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day the Only Way They Know How – Bomb Threats and Bullying

August 2, 2012 at 7:00 am (Bomb Threat, Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, Dan Cathy, Free Speech, Gay Marriage, Liberals, Record Setting, Rick Warren, West Virginia, World Record)

When the pictures of long lines and traffic jams started pouring in at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the nation, you could feel something big happening.

Apparently, it was record-setting big.

And of course, liberals could only respond in the most basic way they know how.  
First, there was this loser as spotted by Liberty News:

This is really a typical liberal.

First, he’s sooooooo self-righteous.

Second, he wants something for nothing.

Third, adds nothing to the debate except a string of personal attacks.

The comments on the YouTube site are fantastic – even the most ardent Chick-Fil-A protesters are identifying this man as a tool.  Trying to bully the company is what set off this record setting sales day in the first place.  And I’m not sure how much money you cost the company by *snicker* ripping them for a free cup of water, though I’m sure it’s been more than offset by the free advertising provided by the circulation of your little video.
And why for the love of America’s first gay president, did the man feel a need to clarify that he’s straight?
 … Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
From the diabolical mind that brings you free water theft, to the ultimate liberal bully…

Police and fire crews closed down the Chick-fil-A on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg for nearly three hours following a bomb threat that was called in just before 1 p.m. today.

The caller mentioned that a “device” had been placed within the restaurant. The building was evacuated, but was deemed safe at about 3:45 p.m. after no bomb or any other type of device was discovered.

According to a release from police, the location of the call was traced and the investigation is following up on leads about the male caller.

The fast-food chain has come under fire recently for comments made by its president, Dan Cathy, to the Baptist Press. According to an Associated Press report, today has been declared “National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” by supporters of traditional marriage. However, it is unknown at this time if the threat against the local restaurant is related.

If they can’t shut down your right to free speech and the right to express an opposing view point through boycotts, the left will always turn to more menacing threats.  Harassment or bomb threats.

So tolerant.  So progressive.

Update:  Reader RalphyBoy pointed out that the ‘free water’ freedom fighter in the video above pulled his clip from YouTube.  Fortunately, others had grabbed it before he could erase it from the internet.  The clip can still be viewed above.

Permalink Leave a Comment