FROM Steve Ellis
Energy Secretary Stephen Chu Faces Congress on Solyndra Energy Secretary Steven Chu — a Nobel Prize-winning physicist — was interrogated by Republican congress members today about Solyndra. The California maker of high-tech solar panels, which had been personally endorsed by President Obama and Vice President Biden, received a half-billion dollar federally guaranteed loan from Chu's department before going bankrupt and firing all of its 1100 employees. Was Solyndra an Obama boondoggle or the kind of risk government has to take to encourage "clean energy?"
Was Solyndra a "Clean Energy" Boondoggle? As "Occupy" protesters filled streets in New York, Los Angeles and other cities, Congress was bearing down on the federally guaranteed loan to Solyndra . At a Congressional hearing , House Republicans interrogated Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, about the half-billion federal dollars spent on the solar-panel company before it collapsed. Solyndra, a California maker of high-tech solar panels, was personally endorsed by President Obama and Vice President Biden. It received a half-billion dollar federally guaranteed loan from Chu's department before going bankrupt and firing all of its 1100 employees. Did a billionaire fundraiser have undue influence with the Obama Administration? Is it a bad idea for government to pick winners? Are Republicans hypocritical to attack Solyndra when they've asked federal support for similar projects in their own Congressional districts?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.