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September 20, 2011

And Here. We. Go!: Solyndra Executives Will Take The Fifth In Congressional Inquiry

What is the Fifth Amendment again? What is the actual situation in which you're permitted to invoke it?

Ah yes: You invoke your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when an official inquiry would compel you to yield evidence against yourself, which could be used against you in a criminal trial.

Lately no one says that anymore; they invoke it vaguely, speaking of their rights to keep silent "based on any part of the Constitution which might be relevant," or whatever, avoiding naming the Amendment whose protections are sought.

In the letters sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, attorneys for Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W. G. Stover said they advised their clients not to provide testimony during the hearings.

I think @johnny_shop's most excellent scandal timeline needs a fresh entry at the end.

@karolnyc, meanwhile, notes that Solyndra was a terrible thing even before the bankruptcy and loss of $535 million of taxpayer dollars.

The major problem with Solyndra is not all the ways that the government failed to prop up a company, or all the bad reasons why the Obama administration chose Solyndra to receive such an obscene amount of money. Pointing out that the Obama administration is inept and using Solyndra as an example is valid but it only focuses on a part of the bigger problem.

That bigger problem, of course, is that the government gave out half a billion dollars to a company employing 1100 people, and that this was considered a success (before it wasn't). That's around half a million dollars an employee.

We're at the point where giving away half a million dollars per employee is considered a good use of the tax dollars the government collects and now the government wants to collect even more.

Why not just give each potential employee $250k, which might actually stimulate the economy while saving a quarter of a billion dollars.

President Obama is playing his class warfare game by insisting "the rich" aren't paying their fair share. He wants to collect more money from those who have been successful in their businesses in a way that he clearly hasn't.

This is a president who has never run anything and never had to succeed in making a profit. Being a community organizer isn't inherently a bad thing, it just doesn't prepare someone from the realities of balancing budgets and making smart investments.

Solyndra wasn't making a consumer product, or a business product; it was making a political product, and of course it found eager buyers in Obama's regime of Keynesian Kops.

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posted by Ace at 04:50 PM

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