State Department Spends $70,000 on Obama Books (Taxpayers Foot the Bill)

October 27, 2011

The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama, sending out copies as Christmas gratuities and stocking “key libraries” around the world with “Dreams From My Father” more than a decade after its release.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling 1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records show.

About the same time, halfway around the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than $6,000 for copies of “Dreams From My Father.”

One month later, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, spent more than $3,800 for hardcover copies of the Indonesian version of Mr. Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” records show.

A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

The purchases of Mr. Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr. Obama captured the White House.

President Barack Obama arrives at Los Angeles International Airport to board Air Force One in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, to head to a fundraiser in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group, said if the federal government is looking to cut costs, eliminating purchases of Mr. Obama’s books is a good place to start.

“It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer dollars to be spent on this,” she said. “This sounds like propaganda.”










Obama, and the Solyndra Scandal in a Nutshell

October 26, 2011

A man named Steven Spinner, who bundled together over $500,000 in donations for Barack Obama in 2008 and was rewarded with a cushy Energy Department gig…

…has been exposed for lobbying the White House on behalf of Solyndra despite the fact that his wife was working for the law firm representing the now-defunct company!

The White House was eager to approve an ill-advised loan to the solar energy company, in part due to Spinner’s prodding.

And after the Obama administration has so richly provided for him and his wife, campaign finance documents show Steven Spinner is again bundling over $500,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign!

This corrupt you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours attitude is what turned Washington into the cesspool it is, and it’s exactly the kind of corruption that Barack Obama ran against in 2008.

In addition to Spinner’s pay-for-play shenanigans at the expense of taxpayers, the executives of Solyndra TOOK THE FIFTH AMENDMENT WHEN TESTIFYING TO CONGRESS!


Thanks, Obama! A Half Billion Dollars In “Stimulus” Money Ends Up Creating Jobs In…Finland!

October 21, 2011

With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs.

But two years after the loan was announced, the company’s manufacturing jobs are still limited to the assembly of the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car in Finland.

“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”

The loan to Fisker is part of a $1 billion bet the Energy Department has made in two politically connected California-based electric carmakers producing sporty — and pricey — cutting-edge autos.

Fisker Automotive, backed by a powerhouse venture capital firm whose partners include former Vice President Al Gore, predicts it will eventually be churning out tens of thousands of electric sports sedans at the shuttered GM factory it bought in Delaware.

And Tesla Motors, whose prime backers include PayPal mogul Elon Musk and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, says it will do the same in a massive facility tooling up in Silicon Valley.

 An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News that will air on “Good Morning America” found that the DOE’s bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded.

Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured and only two delivered to customers’ driveways, including one to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio.

Tesla’s SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.

There is intense scrutiny of the decisions made by the Department of Energy as it invests billions of taxpayer dollars in alternative energy. The questions come in the wake of the administration’s failed $535 million investment in solar panel maker Solyndra.

The company’s collapse, bankruptcy and raid by FBI agents generated a litany of questions about how the Energy Department doles out billions in highly sought after green energy seed money.

A key question, experts and investigators say, is whether another Solyndra is in the offing.


Obama Job Approval Average Slides to New Low

October 21, 2011

President Barack Obama’s 11th quarter in office was the worst of his administration, based on his quarterly average job approval ratings.

His 41% approval average is down six percentage points from his 10th quarter in office, and is nearly four points below his previous low of 45% during his seventh quarter.

Only one elected president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, had a lower 11th quarter average than Obama. Carter averaged 31% during his 11th quarter, which was marked by a poor economy and high energy prices.





Thanks, Obama! Misery Index At Highest Point Since 1983…

October 20, 2011

An unofficial gauge of human misery in the United States rose last month to a 28-year high as Americans struggled with rising inflation and high unemployment.

The misery index — which is simply the sum of the country’s inflation and unemployment rates — rose to 13.0, pushed up by higher price data the government reported on Wednesday.

The data underscores the extent that Americans continue to suffer even two years after a deep recession ended, with a weak economic recovery imperiling President Barack Obama’s hopes of winning reelection next year.

Inez Stallworth, an underwriting assistant for a financial services company, recently gave up her car, in part because of rising costs for gasoline and groceries.

“I can’t fit it in,” said the 27-year-old Chicago resident, who said most of her extended family was getting by “paycheck-to-paycheck.” Consumer prices rose 3.9 percent in the 12 months through September, the fastest pace in three years.

With gasoline prices high, consumers have less to spend on other things.

Moreover, a rise in overall prices saps economic growth, which is typically measured in inflation-adjusted terms.

The last time the misery index was at current levels was in 1983.

Harold Archie, a bus driver with the Chicago Transit Authority, knows well the toll that unemployment is taking on Americans.

Higher food and gasoline prices have compounded the strain on his finances since his son lost his job.

Archie, 57, has been helping him financially.

Archie said his son might have a shot at getting his job back, but with a pay cut: “And he was only making $13 an hour to start with.”


Thanks, Obama! Bad Economy Falls Disproportionately on Generation O Voters

October 20, 2011

Yet another resumé arrived in my email box this week, from a young man who graduated with a BA in economics and a minor in math last May, and has yet to find a job. He’s a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, with summer job experience as an engineering technician at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Unable to find a job in an economy with persistently high unemployment because of weak job growth, Anthony Lewis is now looking for an unpaid internship. As a new entrant to the labor force he doesn’t get unemployment insurance. He’s just looking for a job.

Anthony is not alone. The unemployment rate in 2010 for newly graduated men and women with bachelor degrees was 9.2 percent, far higher than the 5.1 percent rate such adults experienced in 2005.

This is Generation O: the age cohort that contributed, registered, volunteered and voted for Barack Obama with greater intensity than we have seen since at least the 1960 presidential election.

Since then, the effect of President Obama’s failed economic policies has fallen most disproportionately on them.

The unemployment rates among Generation O not only suggest personal disappointment, but also large and lasting implications for them and for society.



Thanks, Obama! An Unprecedented 26 Million Americans Are Now Underemployed

October 20, 2011

While the number of unemployed workers has held steady at around 14 million in recent months, another telling measure of frustration in the labor market—the number of underemployed individuals—rose for a third consecutive month in September, by almost a half of a million people.

Almost 9.3 million Americans are considered underemployed, defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as working part-time for economic reasons, such as unfavorable business conditions or seasonal declines in demand.

That’s up from just over 8 million in July, but down from a peak of about 9.5 million in September 2010.

In addition, about 2.5 million individuals are considered “marginally attached to the labor force,” meaning they were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. (They are not counted as unemployed because they had not looked for a job in the past four weeks prior to the survey.)

Put together, almost 26 million Americans are either unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force, or involuntarily working part-time—a number experts say is unprecedented.