Perry talks about his faith, forsaking talk of jobs for a day

Perry talks about his faith, forsaking talk of jobs for
a day

By ,
Wednesday, September 14, 9:34 AM

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a man of faith, and one of the big
questions about him has been whether he will seek the presidency more as an
evangelist or as a job creator.

On the debate stage, Perry has done the latter. But he demonstrated Wednesday
that he will not shy away from cloaking his candidacy in his Christianity,
delivering an address here at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University that
presented his life in deeply spiritual terms and cast his political aspirations
as destiny.

In perhaps his most reflective and personal remarks as a Republican
presidential candidate, Perry never once said the word he utters just about
everywhere else: “jobs.” His 20-minute speech was shorn of policy prescriptions
and denouncements of President Obama.

Instead, the evangelical Christian governor spoke the language of the
movement with ease. He talked about the many nights in his 20s he spent
pondering his purpose, “wondering what to do with this one life among the
billions that were on the planet,” but knowing that God’s answers would be
revealed to him in due time.

Perry mused about his personal failings: not realizing his dream of becoming
a veterinarian because he flunked organic chemistry, being ordered to do
push-ups as a college cadet when his superiors in morning inspections discovered
insufficiently shined shoes, straying from his faith and being “lost” as a young
Air Force pilot overseas.

“He who knows the number of drops in the ocean, he counts the sands in the
desert, he knows you by name. . . . He doesn’t require perfect
people to execute his perfect plan,” Perry said before an estimated 13,000
students and faculty members who filled the basketball arena here for their
thrice-weekly convocation.

Then, invoking Moses and David of Scripture, he added: “God uses broken
people to reach a broken world. The mistakes of yesterday say nothing about the
possibilities of tomorrow.”

Recent past presidents spoke comfortably about their faith, including George
W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Bush shared a narrative
of his religious conversion — that he went on a walk with the Rev. Billy Graham,
joined a Bible study group and overcame his alcoholism.

“Rick Perry’s a more overt, less subtle guy than George W. Bush, and he is
going to be more overt in his policy statements and his statements about his
faith,” said Richard Land, a longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention
who has spoken with Perry about his faith. “He talks about his faith in terms
that evangelicals will find completely identifiable.”

Before he began his campaign in August, Perry drew 30,000 people to a revival
prayer session at a Houston stadium. Behind the scenes, he has been courting
evangelical leaders
, including at a recent retreat on a remote Texas ranch.
But it remained unclear how directly he would discuss his evangelism in
public.

He answered that question on Wednesday.

“This is one of his early attempts to say: ‘This is who I am,’ ” said Michael
Cromartie, director of the Evangelicals in Civic Life program at the Ethics and
Public Policy Center.

“It’s like he had somebody like Rick Warren helping him write,” he added.
Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life,” Cromartie said, “is
about how there’s a plan for everybody. That’s what Perry’s trying to say, that
God has a plan for him, and it’s a really big one — to be the next president of
the United States.”

A lifelong Methodist, Perry regularly attends Lake Hills Church, a relatively
new and modern evangelical megachurch in Austin, where the Rev. Mac Richard
incorporates live music, movies and drama in his services.

Perry’s advisers say he neither wears his faith on his sleeve nor covers it
up. He usually prays before meals and, as governor, has spoken at prayer
services and has issued executive orders to pray for rain.

“You wouldn’t necessarily notice it on a daily basis, but he is not at all
self-conscious or shy about talking about faith or displaying it when he feels
like it’s called for,” said Ray Sullivan, Perry’s communications director. “It
is just who he is.”

William Martin, a professor at Rice University who studies religious
conservatives, has questioned the compassion of Perry’s health-care and
socioeconomic record.

“I looked at his policies, and they didn’t seem to be something that would
flow from a heart full of Christian love, so I was thinking he had found
religion conveniently,” Martin said. “But as best I can tell, it seems to be a
long-standing conviction of his.”

Several other Republican presidential candidates also speak openly about how
their faith guides their public service, including Rep. Michele Bachmann
(Minn.), who is scheduled to speak at Liberty University later this month. Jerry
Falwell Jr., the college’s chancellor, said she would be the fifth of the eight
top GOP hopefuls to visit the campus.

Falwell said he would not endorse a candidate in the race, but he gave Perry
a particularly enthusiastic introduction, calling him “one of the most pro-life
governors in American history” and likening him to Reagan.

Absent from the list of those who’ve made a pilgrimage here is Perry’s top
rival for the nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has
rarely, if ever, publicly discussed his Mormon faith during his current
campaign.

With his speech here, Perry drew one of his sharpest contrasts with Romney,
as well as former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. The contrast was not only over
religion — Huntsman, too, is Mormon — but also over their backgrounds. Romney
and Huntsman grew up in privileged families, but Perry spoke at length about his
more humble origins.

Perry said the only world he knew while growing up was “that little place
called Paint Creek.” The closest post office to his home was 16 miles away, he
said, and there were only two places of worship nearby: “a Methodist church and
a Baptist church — your choice.”

The only exposure he had to someplace else, he said, came in 1964, when he
traveled to the East Coast for the National Boy Scout Jamboree.

“For me, indoor plumbing was a bit of a luxury until I was about 5 years
old,” Perry said. “And I didn’t worry about the latest fashions; my mother sewed
most of my clothes. I didn’t know that we weren’t wealthy in a material sense. I
knew that we were rich in a lot of things that really mattered — in a spiritual
way.”

Perry said he turned to God not because he wanted to but because “I had
nowhere else to turn. I was 27. I had been an officer in the United States Air
Force, commanding a fairly substantial piece of sophisticated equipment, telling
men and women what to do, but I was lost — spiritually and emotionally. And I
didn’t know how to fix it.”

When Community Organizers Attack

When Community Organizers Attack

Betsy M.
Galliher

First an organizer; always an
organizer.

The thin-skinned Obama campaign is at it again — on
the attack against the usual enemies who refuse to acquiesce to the fundamental
transformation — Limbaugh, Beck, Perry, the Tea Party, Trump, Rove, Palin, and
pretty much any other conservative already condemned to hell by the Left for
daring to exercise his right to free speech.  Is there even anyone left on the
Right to throw under the bus of Obama’s failure?

Introducing, Attack Watch — www.attackwatch.com — a
new, and quite uncivil, low for a sitting President and his campaign, even an
Alinskyite who is apparently without the honest reflection of a
mirror.

The watchdogs at the new Attack Watch — fighting the
smears, getting the facts — come from the usual laundry list of progressive
fronts; Politifact, Media Matters, Think Progress.  In fact, the site is eerily
similar to other progressive sites that strive to spin progressivism; the rather
sinister photographs of enemies, and large checkmarks supposedly denoting fact.
The Annenberg/Soros pet, factcheck.org, provides a nice
cross-reference.

Most curious, the donation link at Attack Watch —
where “folks like you” can donate to support the truth, or volunteer to share
the facts — redirects supporters to the barackobama.com site where, speaking of
fact, contributions go directly to the Obama campaign.

Good Lord, this is just embarrassing.  Junior High
embarrassing.  Like your mom coming on to the field when you’re down with a
groin injury embarrassing.  It reeks of juvenile insecurity and utter
desperation — just stop picking on me!  Far worse, it is behavior endorsed and
propagated by the sitting President of the United States.  It’s a disgrace to
the office.  It’s a disgrace to bully pulpits, for heaven’s
sake.

And yet, in rather glaring irony, the site does
nothing more than embarrass.  It accurately portrays Obama as an ideologue
grasping at the last desperate illusion he tries to sell others.  This nation
gets it.  The gig is up.  We’ve seen fundamental transformation, and we’re not
falling for it, no matter the messenger.  It’s the last gasp of a man calling
for the destruction of the only real producers left who can be bilked into
funding his progressive utopia.  And we know it.  Obama is a man who knows
nothing about creating jobs other than stimulating unions with other people’s
money.  A man who read a dry and uninspired message to an aching nation he will
never understand or defend — while the predecessor whom he has heaped nearly
every one of his failures upon, stood taller and more inspiring in every word;
every humble posture.  And everyone knows it — even the Left.

The Obama Attack Czar cometh — again.  Only the
“attacker” (target) is the attacked (freeze it).  Blah, blah, blah.  Same
community organizer, new beer summit.

Attack Watch, new Obama campaign site to ‘fight smears,’ becomes laughing stock of conservatives

Attack Watch, new Obama campaign site to ‘fight smears,’ becomes laughing stock of conservatives

Obama jobsGALLERY: Click to view images of Obama’s jobs promises.

As the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, President Obama’s campaign team has set up a new Web site, AttackWatch.com, to challenge negative statements about the president made by Republican presidential candidates and conservatives.

Obama for America national field director Jeremy Bird told ABC News that the site’s goal is to offer “resources to fight back” against attacks. Mostly, that means fact checking statements from the likes of GOP presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and conservative commentator Glenn Beck and offering evidence to the contrary. The site is designed in bold red and black colors, and uses statements like “support the truth” and “fight the smears.”

The response to the site has been less than stellar.


(Image via Twitter) On Twitter, where the Web site has an account to help Obama supporters submit evidence of “attacks” on the president using the hashtag #attackwatch, nearly every tweet about the site — mostly from conservatives — has ridiculed it.

“There’s a new Twitter account making President Obama look like a creepy, authoritarian nutjob,” an Arizonan tweeted.  “In less than 24 hours, Attack Watch has become the biggest campaign joke in modern history,” a contributor to conservative blog The Right Spherewrote. The contributor linked to the following parody commercial for Attack Watch:

Tommy Christopher of Mediaite noted sarcastically of the site, “Great. Sounds like a terrific content-generating resource for right-wing bloggers, too. Everybody wins!”

While the initiative is reminiscent of a similar online effort launched during the 2008 campaign, called Fight the Smears, the intimidating design and language of the new site seems to be what’s causing a bigger ruckus.

Fight the Smears looked and felt far less scary, quoting Obama at the top of its page in a classic hope-change statement: “What you won’t hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon — that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge but enemies to demonize.”

Attack Watch, on the other hand, uses the shorter tag­line, “Get the Truth. Fight the Smears.”

It’s safe to say that in its 24 hours of existence, Attack Watch has already backfired, becoming a tool for conservatives to use against Obama 2012. A tweet by conservative author Brad Thor summed up the critics’s argument: “Wow, not only are Obama & Co. incredibly thin-skinned, they’re paranoid.”

Another Obama First:Poverty Reaches a New High

Hope Yen,Yahoo News

Everything old is new again.

The ranks of
America’s poor
swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year,reaching a new high
as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.
The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million,the biggest in more than two
decades.

The Census Bureau’s annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the
economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010,when joblessness
hovered above 9 percent
for a second year. It comes at a politically
sensitive time for President Barack Obama,who has acknowledged in the midst of a
re-election fight that the unemployment rate could
persist at high levels through next year
.

The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent,or 46.2 million,up from 14.3
percent in 2009. The official poverty level is an annual income of $22,314 for a
family of four.

Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession,the U.S. poverty rate from
2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early
1980s,when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to
inflation,spiraling interest rates and unemployment.

Measured by total numbers,the 46 million now living in poverty is the largest
on record dating back to when the census began tracking poverty in 1959. Based
on percentages,it tied the poverty level in 1993 and was the highest since
1983.

Broken down by state….

Read more.

Solyndra loan: White House pressed on review of solar company now under investigation

Solyndra loan: White House pressed on review of solar
company now under investigation

By
and Carol D. Leonnig, Published: September 13

EXCLUSIVE | The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a
decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer
Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009
groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.

The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to
develop clean energy technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by
the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of
Management and Budget.

The August 2009 e-mails, released exclusively to The Washington Post,
show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be
able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which
they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern
that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate
time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to information provided by
Republican congressional investigators.

Solyndra collapsed
two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.

One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under
to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”

“We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a
couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week),”
one official wrote. That Aug. 31, 2009, message, written by a senior OMB staffer
and sent to Terrell P. McSweeny, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, concluded, “We
would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.”

White House officials said Tuesday that no one in the administration tried to
influence the OMB decision on the loan. They stressed that the e-mails show only
that the administration had a “quite active interest” in the timing of OMB’s
decision.

“There was interest in when a decision would be made because of its impact on
whether an event involving the vice president could be scheduled for a
particular date or not, but the loan guarantee decision was merit-based and made
by career staffers at DOE,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Solyndra spokesman David Miller said he was unaware of any direct involvement
of the White House in securing or accelerating the loan.

The e-mail exchanges could intensify questions about whether the
administration was playing favorites and made costly errors while choosing the
first recipient of a loan guarantee under its stimulus program. Solyndra’s
biggest investors were funds operated on behalf of the family foundation of
Tulsa billionaire and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser. Although he has been a
frequent White House visitor, Kaiser has said he did not use political influence
to win approval of the loan.

The White House has previously said that it had no involvement in the
Solyndra loan application and that all decisions were made by career officials
based on the merits of the company.

It is not clear from the e-mails whether the White House
influenced a final decision to approve the loan guarantee.

The Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking event went ahead as scheduled, with Energy
Secretary Steven Chu in attendance and Biden speaking to the gathering by
satellite feed.

Republican investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which
is holding a hearing about Solyndra on Wednesday, concluded that the White House
set a closing date for the OMB approval even before the OMB review had begun.

The White House pressure may have had a “tangible impact” on the OMB’s risk
assessment of the loan, the congressional investigators concluded.

In one e-mail, an OMB staff member questioned whether the review team was
using the best model for determining the financial risk to taxpayers in
evaluating the Solyndra deal.

“Given the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra, we don’t have
time to change the model,” the staffer wrote.

Solyndra was a favorite of the administration until two weeks ago, when the
company abruptly shuttered its factory and filed for bankruptcy court
protection, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers on the hook for the
loans. Last week, FBI agents searched the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters
in a raid
that Miller said appeared linked to the loan guarantee.

In one e-mail, an assistant to Rahm Emanuel, then White House chief of staff,
wrote on Aug. 31, 2009, to OMB about the upcoming Biden announcement on Solyndra
and asked whether “there is anything we can help speed along on OMB side.”

An OMB staff member responded: “I would prefer that this announcement be
postponed. . . . This is the first loan guarantee and we should
have full review with all hands on deck to make sure we get it right.”

In another message, a White House staff member wrote that officials were
“walking a fine line with Solyndra needing to begin notifying investors to fly
in” for the groundbreaking. It stressed that “this OMB piece” of the review was
not final and pointed out that if word of the groundbreaking leaked to the
public prematurely, that would “leave us in an awkward place.”

The e-mails also raise questions about whether the administration should have
foreseen financial trouble. In August 2009, e-mail exchanges between Energy
Department staff members pointed out that a credit-rating agency predicted that
the project would run out of cash in September 2011. Solyndra shut its doors on
the final day of August.

The House committee has been investigating Solyndra’s dealings with the
Energy Department for six months. In July , subcommittee members subpoenaed
White House documents related to the guarantee.

Questions about the selection process were first raised in a July 2010 audit
by the Government Accountability Office. It concluded that the Energy Department
“lacked appropriate tools for assessing the progress” of the loan program and
that the department treated applicants inconsistently, “favoring some applicants
and disadvantaging others.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep.
Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of that panel’s oversight and investigations
subcommittee, said last week that the FBI raid confirmed their belief that the
“darling” of Obama’s green-jobs program was a “bad bet” from the beginning.

“Solyndra was the hallmark of the President’s green jobs program and widely
promoted by the administration as a stimulus success story, right up until its
bankruptcy and FBI raid,” Upton and Stearns said in a
statement
on Tuesday. “Let’s learn the lessons of Solyndra before another
dollar goes out the door.”

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) — Democrats on
the committee who had once defended the choice of Solyndra — last week also
questioned whether they had been misled. In a letter,
they wrote
that Solyndra chief executive Brian Harrison “did not convey to
us the perilous condition of the company, and the Committee should know why. ”

President’s appointees told to account for vanishing half-billion


THE OBAMA STASH

 

President’s appointees told to account for vanishing  half-billion

 

‘I want to find out what happened to this money and who is responsible for  putting these dollars at risk’


Posted: September 13, 2011
8:27 pm Eastern

By Bob  Unruh
© 2011 WND

 

There are a few in the federal government yet for whom half a billion dollars  or more is not something to be ignored.

That’s why Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., is demanding answers from some of the officials in Barack Obama’s  administration about how some $535 million in loan guarantees were given to a company that now  has declared bankruptcy.

And specifically, why was the promise of those guarantees renegotiated  earlier this year to give private investors including some Obama supporters in the California-based Solyndra, a maker of  solar heat system components, a priority over taxpayers should the company  collapse, as it has.

See  the nation’s new state of affairs, in “Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the  New Washington Thugocracy.

“Although numerous red flags indicated that Solyndra was financially troubled  and unviable in the global market, the administration went ahead and  committed over half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer funds to this company that  went bankrupt,” Stearns, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s  subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said today.

“Furthermore, in restructuring the loan, the administration allowed the  private investors to have the ‘first out’ in case of  Solyndra’s collapse. Then there is the FBI raid raising the likelihood of  criminal activity,” he said. “I want to find out what happened to this money and  who is responsible for putting these dollars at risk.”

He has called a hearing tomorrow at the Rayburn House Office Building where  senior officials from the Department of Energy and the Office of Management and  Budget who were involved in the loan effort “will testify.”

(Story continues below)

 

On the witness list are Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the OMB, as well  as Jonathan Silver, the executive director of the loans programs office in the  U.S. Department of Energy.

Other testimony is expected to come later from company officials, and perhaps  others as well.

A spokesman in Stearns’ office explained the congressman wants to start by  finding out just exactly how much taxpayer money went to the company – and into  whose bank accounts it was put when the company spent  it.

He called it a “pretty high burn rate” of churning through loans of $535  million in a period of just two years, if that is in fact what happened.

The company, which made “innovative cylindrical solar systems for commercial  rooftops,” announced at the end of August that it was suspending operations and  firing 1,100 fulltime and temporary employees.

It explained, “Despite strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction  in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops,  Solyndra could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in  the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers. This  competitive challenge was exacerbated by a global oversupply of solar panels and  a severe compression of prices that in part resulted from uncertainty in  governmental incentive programs in Europe and the decline in credit markets that  finance solar systems.”

CEO Brian Harrison was quoted in the company announcement at the time saying,  “We are incredibly proud of our employees, and we would like to thank our  investors, channel partners, customers and suppliers, for the years of support  that allowed us to bring our innovative technology to market. Distributed  rooftop solar power makes sense, and our customers clearly  recognize the advantages of Solyndra systems.”

However, the half a billion lost by taxpayers wasn’t mentioned. Stearns’  spokesman said that’s where the investigation has to begin, with just exactly  what was paid to or on behalf of the company, by whom, and for what purpose,  officials said.

According  to a report in The Hill, company officials also are expected to testify  before House Republicans next week.

The report also said Stearns has indicated while some documentation about the  loss has been provided by the Obama administration, Republicans might consider  using subpoena power to obtain needed documents from the White House.

A  commentary from Bruce Krasting at Business Insider said it was of special  interest that no witnesses so far have been scheduled for the main owner of the  company, Argonaut Ventures, a family investment vehicle for George Kaiser, a major  Obama supporter.

“George Kaiser could step up in a bankruptcy court and offer to put $300  [million] into S. The proceeds would be used to substantially pay down the  government IOU. The balance of the debt would be converted into common stock. If  S were around in 5-7 years, the government might get the rest of its money  back,” he suggested. “That’s my challenge to George Kaiser. Step up and fix this  problem.”

A commentary  that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune noted that when Obama was promoting  renewable energy projects, and working to grant money for the work, he visited  the California company and stated, “The future is here.”

But the commentary noted that by now, FBI agents have visited the company’s  offices, and have taken what they want. They also have visited officials’ homes  for related reasons.

“Obviously, everyone should reserve judgment as to whether there has been any  wrongdoing, criminal or otherwise. But it’s not too early to draw some policy  lessons from Solyndra’s ignominious downfall,” the commentary said. “The first  is that government is no better than the private sector at picking industrial  winners – and usually worse. Solyndra’s novel solar-panel design was supposed to  produce electricity more efficiently than more traditional panels, offsetting  its higher production costs. Many private analysts questioned that business  model, especially given modest global demand for solar power and competition  from China’s heavily subsidized producers. But the Energy Department swiftly  approved Solyndra’s loan guarantee anyway. The department has also placed large financial bets on electric vehicles and related  battery technology, despite private forecasts that the market for that  technology is not ripe.”

In response to a request from from  the Wall Street Journal, FBI spokeswoman Julianne H. Sohn declined to  comment on much of what is going on.

But the report said two of the company’s founders were taken off the payroll  just last year because the company “was burning through cash and had to rein in  costs.”

A blog column at Think Progress blamed the project on President Bush,  explaining that the loan guarantee program was begun at the company in 2007.

“Because one of the Solyndra investors, Argonaut Venture Capital, is funded  by George Kaiser, a man who donated money to the Obama campaign – the loan  guarantee has been attacked as being political in nature,” the commentary said.

But it said some of the original investors also made major contributions to  GOP candidates.

However, the timeline did reveal that a conditional commitment setting terms  was approved under the Obama administration in March 2009. Then in February  2011, the company agreement was restructured. Another company request to  restructure last month was refused.

The result was the closure.

One commenter on the site said, “Really, Obama’s team just signed the papers  and took credit for the whole thing.”

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