Archive for April, 2012
It’s seems we’re not only flushing our “green jobs” money down the toilet, i.e. Solyndra, but we’re giving it to benefit the Russian economy. This article is from INDYSTAR.COM, written by Julie Wernau of the Chicago Tribune:
Batteries made in America for America and backed by America. That’s how politicians hailed Ener1, the company with operations in Indianapolis and Mount Comfort.
The company tapped the country’s top scientists at Argonne National Lab in Illinois, and U.S. taxpayers pledged up to $118 million in federal stimulus funds and $80 million in state and local incentives to help Ener1 produce cutting-edge battery technology for electric cars and the U.S. military.
“The question is which nation is going to seize the future. Some nation is going to grab it by the throat. One of the nations of the world is going to lead the world in green energy and technology,” Vice President Joe Biden said in January 2011 in a speech praising federal support for Ener1 at its facility in Mount Comfort.
That nation, in this case, is Russia.
A little more than a year after Biden’s visit ssian businessman with ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fact that concerns some technology experts in the U.S.
Zingarevich acquired Ener1 out of bankruptcy March 30 with an agreement to infuse $81 million in financing, giving him a sophisticated line of batteries that can power electric cars, store electricity for power grids and supply portable power for soldiers.
His plans for Ener1 aren’t known. A company spokesman declined to comment, saying Ener1 is privately held. Zingarevich couldn’t be reached for comment.
The deal for Ener1 shows how the global economy can blur the lines between private business and national interest.
While there have been instances of Russian nationals accused of using illegal means to acquire U.S. technology, U.S. governmentofficials said there is no law that bans transferring technology paid for by U.S. taxpayers to foreigners.
Wealthy Russians are major investors in the U.S., owning stakes in companies such as Facebook and Twitter, and Zingarevich was Ener1′s largest shareholder from the beginning in 2002. Yet there is a big difference between being a shareholder and gaining control of a company.
“In a company whose ownership is connected to Medvedev, you have a golden opportunity for a military technology transfer and, perhaps, civil transfer from the U.S. to Russia at no cost,” said Stephen Blank, an expert on Russia and a research professor of national security affairs for the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College.
Under Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Blank said, Russia has expanded efforts to obtain high-tech energy-related technology from the U.S. through both illicit and legal means as Russia tries to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons. Russia is second only to China in trying to gain high-tech information related to military uses, energy generation and manufacturing, according to the U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.
In the case of Ener1, neither the Department of Energy nor the Navy checked on foreign ownership before awarding the company grants and research and development contracts. The Army, which also awarded contracts, said individual employees underwent routine background checks as contractors, but scrutinizing the company’s ownership structure was not part of its purview.
The Department of Energy, in an email, said it was interested only in whether the company could successfully produce and sell its batteries. The Navy said it didn’t place restrictions on foreign access to the company’s work on unmanned aerial vehicles — a highly sought-after technology, according to the intelligence community — or to battery technology that could be used to track U.S. military personnel.
Despite the fact that the company’s Russian investment didn’t worry the DOE or Pentagon, others in the U.S. government were concerned about Russian participation for some time.
Citing national security concerns, U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, is seeking internal documents from the White House, Department of Energy, Ener1 and its EnerDel battery unit, his office confirmed.
“There is definitely a growing concern about a foreign-controlled or -owned company attempting to gain a foothold into our supply chain in the United States,” said Stearns, whose subcommittee held a hearing March 27 about such threats. “We need to make sure the federal government isn’t an unwitting accomplice to the theft of our own national secrets by providing them with multimillion-dollar government grants,” he said in a statement, referring to battery technology produced in concert with U.S. scientists.
Biden’s office declined to comment and referred questions to the Energy Department.
Ener1, based in New York City but with manufacturing operations in Indiana, began working on batteries for hybrid electric vehicles in June 2009. With the promise of creating manufacturing jobs, the company received access to Argonne scientists and DOE funding.
Theodore O’Neill, senior vice president of alternative energy for Wunderlich Securities, said it is unlikely the battery technology Ener1 developed was any more high-tech than what Russia had already acquired or developed.
Supreme Court justices seem sympathetic to parts of AZ immigration law
Questions asked this morning at the the hearing for Arizona’s S.B. 1070 seemed to indicate support for at least portions of the bill among Supreme Court justices. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli didn’t seem to be doing much better with the justices this morning than he did when he last stood in front of the court to argue for Obamacare.
And why should he?
Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
That’s pretty clear, and pretty much all the Fed has to do or say about immigration. When a state is a border state, who better to insure that folks crossing that border are legal citizens, or legal visitors? Who’s more concerned about who’s crossing the border…a resident of the state, who’s being shot at or stolen from, or some bureaucrat in D.C.?
It’s up to the state to protect itself from threats both inside and outside it’s borders, and asking someone to prove they are in the country legally is part of that effort. Not to speak of the fact that it’s ludicrous that the FED should question the authority of a state who’s only making sure it’s residents/visitors are abiding by the law of the land.
Came to me on the web:
Secret Service Buys Two New $1.1 Million Buses for a Three-Day Presidential Campaign Trip while Obama flies ahead of the buses.
U.S. President Obama walks to Obama’s bus once he arrives in Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport , Minnesota , August 15, 2011, where Obama is to begin Obama’s three-day “bus” tour in the Midwest centering on the economy.
Obama FLIES into an airport somewhere in the Midwest, hops into one of two brand new $1.1 Million buses, paid for by you and me, for a “bus” tour around the Midwest’ and, after an hour or so, gets driven back to the airport for ANOTHER FLIGHT, lands at another airport, where another $1.1 Million brand new black Canadian bus is waiting for Obama – and then, repeats all that until Obama’s Midwest “bus” tour is done!! [These buses are Canadian-built, by the way, because Obama is SO CONCERNED about American manufacturing, creating American jobs and supporting American productivity.]
Oh yes… and THEN, Obama leaves on a 10 day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard …
To REST UP from this grueling campaign “bus” tour!
And don’t forget… those brand new shiny black Canadian buses AREN’T DRIVEN to the location where they meet Obama. Oh, no…They are loaded up on one or more C-17s so they can be flown to the destination ahead of Obama who is flying in Air Force One
AND!.. Believe it or not…this process is REPEATED FOR EVERY CAMPAIGN STOP.
During this “bus” tour, Obama will lecture the ‘little people’ on how they need to live within their means while hinting of possible future government cut-backs and a need to raise revenues (aka: taxes)!
Remember, too, Obama’s “sage advice” to a family man to ‘GO BUY A HYBRID VAN’ when the man said he couldn’t afford to fill up his truck’!!!!!!
Obama’s personal ‘carbon footprint’ must be as large as most cities by now.
Unbelievably, ALL of this is on the taxpayers’ dime!
But remember, this is NOT a campaign trip – It is a “Meet With the People” trip only!
Consequently, the Democrat National Committee does NOT have to pay a cent for all of this extravagant ‘campaign’ spending.
Please forward this on to all of your taxpaying and voting friends so that they, too, can see just why the federal government needs more of our taxes for revenue!
End of web communication.
This from my research:
The Federal Government acquired two new buses that cost $1.1 Million each. The basic touring coaches were built in Canada but they were purchased from a dealer in Tennessee who specially modified them to accommodate the President or candidates under the protection of the Secret Service.
According to an August 17, 2011 article by the New York Post, President Obama is travelling in one of two Prevos VIP H3-45 buses that have been specially equipped by the U.S. Secret Service. This is the top of the line model by the Quebec based Canadian manufacturer and with the added dealer prep comes with a price tag of just cost over one million dollars each. The article said that although the basic buses were made in Canada, they were purchased from Hemphill Brothers Coach in Tennessee where custom upgrades and modifications were added to them for the President, “which accounted for about half the cost.”
The bus has been dubbed “Greyhound One” is equipped with couches and big screen televisions, high tech electronics for world wide teleconferences and communications. It is also “equipped to carry all the baggage a president needs — including the “football” that allows him to remotely control US nuclear weapons.”
The Secret Service told the NY Post that “the buses will be available to other protectees who travel by bus, which could include the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; – U. S. Constitution
However it seems it’s now okay to arrest you when your freedom of speech abridges the comfort of the president and Congress. At least per the bill Obama just signed into law. Where’s the Supreme Court on this one?
Wasn’t that exactly what the forefathers had in mind…making the president and Congress uncomfortable when they’re abridging our rights? Or is it merely okay to have freedom of whisper, just not freedom of shouting? I thought shouting was what expressing your beliefs was all about? Particularly when shouting at someone (the president and Congress) who won’t listen unless you shout.