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Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Crony Communist at Commerce

Think of irony like this.  It is Monday and the snooze alarm malfunctioned, leaving no time for coffee, much less breakfast.  The hair dryer is dead, but hair will dry driving to the office.  After donning the only passably clean outfit available, a search of the closet reveals that the dog has chewed the one pair of acceptable shoes.  Brown shoes clash with navy.  Only a few minutes late; the day is salvageable, but the car has a flat.  Your response is "Great!"  What you mean is "#&!!@?}" the "%*!?$[!" bad luck!  The sentiments driving the statement are opposite its actual meaning.

President O-buma’s choice of John Bryson to head the federal Commerce Department is also ironic.  To say the least, radical environmentalists and industry are mostly incompatible.  So, how can one reconcile Bryson’s founding of the National Resources Defense Council with this recommendation?  Investor’s Business Daily describes NRDC as perhaps the most anti-energy, anti-growth progressive group on the planet.  Bryson, an environmental lawyer, has had his fingers in many pies.

The nominee has invested in and sits on the board of directors of Coda Automotive.  Coda has offices in California, but its cars and the batteries that power them—this reveals the true nature of O-buma’s sentiments toward US businesses—are manufactured by slave labor in China.  O-buma’s ideal choice of a Commerce Secretary is outsourcing desperately needed jobs to China.  This fact alone should disqualify him from being Commerce Secretary, but there is more.

Coda says that it wants to build cars in America.  However, PJM reports that Coda’s new CEO is Phil Murtaugh, former head of GM Shanghai and Shanghai Automotive Industries Corps: if Coda intends mainly to manufacture cars in the United States, analysts ask, why pick a new CEO whose experience is in car production in Asia?  It is inconsistent, since Coda has arranged for Chinese automaker Hafei Automotive to build the cars, and for Tianjin-based Lishen Battery to manufacture their batteries.  American jobs are an unlikely outcome.  

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bryson has served recently as chairman of BrightSource Energy, a startup specializing in solar-thermal power, a company [that] has posted a string of net losses, totaling $177 million.  Not to worry, BrightSource has a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, one of the largest solar guarantees on record…federal provisions providing solar projects with a 30% investment tax credit through 2016, as well as accelerated depreciations of capital costs for solar entities, among other goodies.  This nomination smells like a quid pro quo exchange of government subsidies in return for partisan political activities later.

The Washington Examiner observes that President Obama's choice to lead the Commerce Department is a revolving-door former regulator who has spent his private-sector career earning millions from government-granted monopolies that depend on subsidies for their profits.  Perhaps GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt was unavailable when O-buma chose Bryson.

His ironic statement was this: In this new role, John [Bryson] will be able to draw on decades of business experience across a range of industries," Mr. Obama said.  "That's the expertise that will help us create new jobs and make America more competitive in the global economy."  What the President meant is that he wants to outsource jobs to China and India, redistribute American wealth to South America and Africa, to nationalize our industries through regulation and taxation, to bloat government bureaucracies and welfare rolls, and to turn the US into the new Greece.  That is irony.

May your gods be with you.          

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