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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
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?