#Occupy the Department of Energy! Or, loans for Russian billionaires?

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**Posted by Phineas

I must’ve missed the memo announcing the rebirth of the Friends of Angelo program under the aegis of the Department of Energy. Under the leadership of Secretary Chu (Like his boss, a Nobel Prize winner. Be impressed.), the DoE has fast-tracked and awarded loans with preferential terms (1) to a failing “Green” energy company, Solyndra; a “Green” car company, Fisker, which plans to make its cars in Finland, when they get around to actually making the cars; and another “Green” automaker, Tesla, which builds Gaea-friendly cars for the elite one-percent. And on which Tesla loses money.

All these loans, totaling about $1.5 billion taxpayer dollars, were doled out to companies with connections to big donors to the Democrats and Obama. (See also.)

But this one has to be the cake-topper — $730 million to a Russian billionaire:

Another controversial U.S. Department of Energy “green” loan is coming under scrutiny.

Last July the Obama administration issued a $730 million low interest “green” loan to Russia’s second largest steel company, whose chief executive is a Russian tycoon personally worth $18 billion and who has close ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

An influential House oversight chairman is now questioning why taxpayer funds from the Department of Energy are being used to assist the highly capitalized foreign-based steel company.

The DOE renewable energy loan was awarded this summer to Severstal North America to produce high strength steel at its Dearborn, Michigan facility. Steel is not in short supply in the United States and current U.S. steel plants are operating under capacity.

The DOE loan is part of a controversial $40 billion renewable energy loan program organized under its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program called ATVM. The program is supposed to help financially starved companies in the green auto manufacturing field by providing taxpayer-supported low interest loans.

As PJM’s Richard Pollock points out, the billionaire, Alexei Mordashov, is the 29th richest man in the world. Mordashov’s company, Severstal, recently made $1.2 billion from the sale of several steel mills in Ohio and other states. He could finance Dearborn plant out of his own pocket and still have enough left over to buy his own miniature giraffe. (2)

And then there’s the question of why Severstal, a fully-capitalized company that’s neither in the auto or “Green industries,” qualifies for loans meant to help “green auto manufacturing.”

Why, if I were a cynic, I might suspect some sort of a payoff here.

Nah. I must just be a RAAAAACIST!! and a hater. Or something.

Footnote:
(1) Read: “They get the gold mine, the taxpayer gets the shaft.”
(2) I love that commercial.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Troubling: #OWS kitchen staff no longer wants to share the wealth #OccupyCLT

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I’m literally laughing out loud.  Thanks, NY Post (hat tip):

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

My question: How can they tell the difference?

Continuing: 

The Assembly officially approved the three-day menu crackdown announced earlier in the day — insisting everybody would be fed something during that period.

Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse.

Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day.

“We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.

A security volunteer added that the cooks felt “overworked and underappreciated.”

Many of those being fed “are professional homeless people. They know what they’re doing,” said the guard at the food-storage area.

Today, a limited menu of sandwiches, chips and some hot food will be doled out — so legitimate protesters will have a day to make arrangements for more upscale weekend meals.

Protesters got their first taste of the revolt within the revolt yesterday when the kitchen staff served only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips after their staff meeting.

Organizers took other steps to police the squatters, who they said were lured in from other parks with the promise of free meals.

A team of 10 security volunteers moved in to the trouble-prone southwest section of Zuccotti Park in a show of force to confront them. 

“We’re not going to let some members of this community destroy the whole movement,” a volunteer said.

Some arguments broke out as the security team searched tents — but no violence erupted.

Were tents searched without warrants?  WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!?!?

Oh, I so hope a majority of Americans are paying attention to what’s happening at the Ground Zero of Occupy movements at Occupy Wall Street.  What a bunch of absolute flaming hypocrites these people are.

Meanwhile at Occupy Charlotte, “Occupiers” are pushing for the community to donate gloves, coats, and other winter items so they can prepare themselves and their tents for the long winter haul.  I made sure to note once again last night on Twitter that it was absolutely shameless for these *voluntarily* “homeless” people who really aren’t “needy” to be pleading for the type of assistance that the truly homeless and poor desperately need in this city, especially at this time of year around the holidays.  It’s almost like the Occupy movements (Charlotte is far from the only one doing this) are saying to the actual needy: Hey, we know you guys normally need food/water/clothing more than we do, but our “needs” are more important and immediate right now … because we’re doing this FOR YOU.

Despicable.