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-   -   6NOV: The Apocolypse Cometh (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18221)

dteowner October 4th, 2012 17:51

6NOV: The Apocolypse Cometh
Regardless of who wins, roughly half the nation will be wailing about the end of days being nigh.

We needed a thread for election chatter. And I smiled broadly and spoketh, "Let there be thread!".

For our first entry, I have a nicely snarky article about last night's debate. I was far more interested in DDO last night, to be honest, so I'll have to trust impressions of the lamestream media. Anyhoo, enjoy:



In a nation as symmetrically divided by its internal politics as ours, the modern presidential debate is intended to do three things: Own the chattering-class media narrative for the next week or two, inflame the passion of partisans, and finally (not to mention most crucially) sway the opinion of those Americans who haven’t bothered to rub the sticks together inside their minds that will allow them to figure out who they want to vote for.

It was probably at this point that my interest in following politics went from sincere interest to something far more craven and black-hearted. I think most politically engaged people have undergone a similarly soul-shriveling realization. You’re not following politics, not anymore; you’re learning the black art of subtly inflicted mnemonics. So you stop listening to what our politicians say and instead start calculating the moron-response factor: How will this play on Main Street? This is the polite, Candy Crowley way of admitting that citizens who can’t be bothered to figure out their own core convictions are now in the socially calamitous position of determining our great nation’s fate.
In all seriousness, I think his "3 questions" is actually remarkably insightful and accurate.

edit- I tested the link just for giggles and it puked. Don't see the difference, but this link appears to work:

dteowner October 4th, 2012 22:21

The Euros are deeply disappointed by the debate. Looks like I should have watched it after all. ;)



Political commentators in France and Germany registered surprise at Obama's underwhelming performance, saying the election could be much tighter as a result.
"Obama showed a lack of desire to be president, which could put him on shaky ground as a presidential candidate," said liberal German news magazine Der Spiegel.
"It's now clear that to get back into the White House the U.S. president needs running shoes, not flip-flops."

That is something Obama has sought to exploit in the past. In the run-up to a G8 meeting at Camp David in May, White House officials firmly pressed their European counterparts to rally behind Obama's policy initiatives, according to those involved.
"It was like all of the G8 apart from Russia and Japan were expected to be part of the Obama re-election campaign," the chief of staff of one European leader told Reuters at the time.

Thrasher October 4th, 2012 22:33

Haha on the flip flops comment. :)

I watched most of the debate, and got tired of it at the end. Mitt contradicted himself more than I've ever I seen in a campaign before, and Obama never called him out on it except for cutting taxes by $5M. The thing is if someone keeps changing their positions and say different things to different people, the campaign becomes nothing of substance, and just about appearance. Color me sickened (i.e. green)…

redman5427 October 5th, 2012 00:09

Thrasher, I guess you will overlook your man's "green" investments that Romney referred to. I think the facts speak for themselves. Most of this money went right back to people who contributed to Obama's campaign. Shameful.


List Of Failed Green Energy Jobs & Companies – By Obama

Update: 7/19/12: The Amonix Solar: FAIL! – manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants given by Obama Administration, has closed its 214,000 square foot facility a year after it opened.

Solar Trust of America: FAIL! - Filed Bankruptcy in Oakland, CA, April 3, 2012 – On April 2, 2012

Bright Source: FAIL! - Bright Source warned Obama’s Energy Department officials in March 2011 that delays in approving a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the White House and force the solar-energy company to close. Lost Billions of dollars but Getting More Money To Keep Trying. Can you say, “This isnt working?”

Solyndra: FAIL! - Obama gave Solyndra $500,000,000 in taxpayer money and Solyndra shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in August 2011 After Billions in Losses due to failure to make a solar product that works!

LSP Energy: FAIL! - LSPEnergy LP filed bankruptcy protection and a sale of its assets in Feb 2012

Energy Conversion Devices: FAIL! – On February 14, 2012 Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy

Abound Solar: FAIL! - Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from Barack Obama announced in June, 2012 that it would file for bankruptcy

SunPower: FAIL! - SunPower stopped producing solar cells last year at near bankruptcy restructured only with help of, get this, oil giant TOTAL who owns 60% stake. Irony! Still struggling…

Beacon Power: FAIL! – Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy Oct 2011 just a year after Obama approved $43 million loan Government loan guarantee

Ecotality: FAIL! - ECOtality, a San Francisco green-tech company that never earned any money on the verge of bankruptcy after receiving roughly $115 million in two loan guarantees from Obama

A123 Solar: FAIL! -A123 received $279 million from taxpayers thanks to President Obama’sDepartment of Energy loan guarantees and after Solyndra bankruptcy is getting another $500M from Obama and it has lost $400M

UniSolar: FAIL! - Uni-Solar filed for Ch 11 bankruptcy in June 20 this year laid off hundreds got more Obama money still failing but still in business

Azure Dynamics: FAIL! - Azure Dynamics files for bankruptcy in June wasting millions in Obama “Stimulus” and tax credits. Azure Dynamics LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the US. Azure laid off 120 of its 160 employees in Oak Park; Boston; Vancouver, British Columbia; and the UK.

Evergreen Solar: FAIL! - Evergreen Solar received $527 Million in Taxpayer money from Obama filed bankruptcy

Ener1: FAIL! received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration filed for bankruptcy January 2012

Obama is lucky most people aren't even addressing all this mess.

Drithius October 5th, 2012 00:37

I watched maybe 15 minutes of the debate. I truly loathe both of them. If only Ron Paul had had the speaking ability of either of these hucksters.

Thrasher October 5th, 2012 00:38


Where did you get that data. From a completely unbiased source, I presume?

What I read from others, it's only a few companies of the many that were funded that have failed. What's the truth?

I certainly won't trust lists like this unless I verify them myself.

dteowner October 5th, 2012 00:58


Originally Posted by Thrasher (Post 1061164148)

Where did you get that data. From a completely unbiased source, I presume?

What I read from others, it's only a few companies of the many that were funded that have failed. What's the truth?

I certainly won't trust lists like this unless I verify them myself.

Since you're unlikely to trust anything that doesn't agree with your worldview, it's probably best to do your own research. Shouldn't be overly difficult to google the various companies by name and see what comes up. Then you can pick links that satisfy your "sniff test" and see what they say.

Thrasher October 5th, 2012 01:08

I certainty won't believe anything coming out of the Romney campaign nor the RNC nor Faux news. All have poor records on the truth. That's why I want the source quoted above.

redman5427 October 5th, 2012 04:57

Thrasher, its easy. Type FAILED GREEN ENERGY VENTURES FUNDED BY OBAMA into your browsers amd click.

You won't find anything on liberal sites though. It's like none of it exists, unreal.

Obama has been helping rich people get richer. Hypocrisy abounds.

One "green company" that managed to survive did so by closing their plant in the US (after taking all that free money)while still keeping the other one overseas running. Half a billion dollars to Fisker.

dteowner October 5th, 2012 05:14



The nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste counts nearly 20 energy companies that have gotten federal loan guarantees or grants that have run into financial trouble ranging from layoffs to losses to bankruptcies. An outside consultant hired by the White House said the Energy Department's loan pool includes $2.7 billion in potentially risky loans and suggests the agency hire a "chief risk officer" to help minimize problems.

Thrasher October 5th, 2012 07:34

Fact-check: Half of fed-funded green companies bankrupt?

Republican candidate Mitt Romney claimed that half of the green-tech companies funded by Obama’s stimulus package had gone bankrupt.

First of all, this is the kind of estimate that’s inherently hard — if not impossible — to pin down, due to the large number of companies involved. That $90 billion, for example, included $4 billion for smart grid projects, such as installing smart meters. So do you count all the big utilities that received money to install meters? (By the way, that doesn’t include Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which funded its $2.2 billion SmartMeter program through utility bills.) How about the companies that make the meters? We’re talking about a lot of businesses that benefited from clean-energy spending under the stimulus, and the chances that half of them went belly-up in the last three years are minimal, to put it mildly.

There are 33 projects. By my count, three of the companies behind those projects have gone bankrupt — Abound Solar, Beacon Power, and Solyndra.
Below is the official list of "primary" funded companies. These of course as said above can contract to other companies. I'd like to see the full list including subcontracted companies.

The Financing Force Behind America’s Clean Energy Economy

jhwisner October 5th, 2012 09:25

The whole Solyndra debacle (and the 38 studios one) do well to illustrate in which situations government investment in economic development is wholly unhelpful and perhaps rather unwise.

The short of it is that this sort of economic development put way too much towards the wrong kinds of ventures and was made with far too little insight. They're two of the absolute worst kinds of products to second guess the market and investors on, the potential secondary benefits that could justify such government spending were few compared to other possibilities, and the individual costs compared to other comparable projects in terms of economic development/job creation were very high.

Long ass bit


Both Solyndra and 38 Studios are excellent examples of the kinds of things the government should be the least interested in spending money on. In terms of economic development they represented high risks and large single expenditures compared to other comparably stimulative investments. In terms of secondary benefits that the market is not well equipped to evaluate, they represented clearly inferior choices to projects such as fundamental research and infrastructure.

I would hope examples like this highlight the need for independent oversight as well as strict rules governing conflict of interest and elligibility for any of these economic development programs. I would rather that second lesson learned from this is not that the government can't do things for the economy but instead that the government shouldn't second guess the kinds of determinations the market is especially good at making and recognize its roll in those things the market is particularly ill equipped to value. There's a reason that the government handles things like law enforcement while the market usually does a good job regulating the production levels of commodities. The principles that make the roles of each in those situations obvious should not be entirely ignored in other questions of governance and market economics.

Zloth October 6th, 2012 02:31

Prediction: Obama wins even though Romney gets more votes (thanks to some red states that are VERY red). Congress divides even more because of this and goes right over the "fiscal cliff". Apocalypse comes.

So yeah, I agree with DTE. ;)

jhwisner October 6th, 2012 05:54

I hate how even when we have clear factual examples of mistakes with definite numbers attached to them that a politician could cite against their opponent, they still can't even do that honestly. Solyndra was a mistake and a pretty stupid one - as I imagine the other 2 bankrupt companies who received loans under these programs may also prove to be. Those failures are pretty damning without having to conflate the ammount spent on loan gaurantees to companies such as solyndra with the total for the far broader energy spending section of the stimulus. Nor is it nescessary to misrepresent loan guarantees as tax breaks.

Of the 90 billion in energy spending erroneously referred to as tax breaks for green energy and alternatively to money for green jobs, it actually broke down as follows:

$29 billion for energy efficiency, including $5 billion for the weatherization of
low-income homes;
$10 billion to modernize the nation’s electric grid;
$6 billion for domestic manufacturing of advanced batteries and other components
of alternative vehicles and fuel technology;
$18 billion for transit projects, including high-speed rail;
$3 billion for researching and developing clean-coal technology;
$3 billion for job training;
$2 billion in manufacturing tax credits.
$26 billion in loan guarantees securing private loans

The loan guarantees (this is co-signing a loan not a direct loan from the government) were granted to 28 companies if we include loans approved from all 3 loan programs by the Obama administration. Of those 26 companies, 3 have failed - Solyndra, Beacon, and Abound Solar; the total loans they actually took out under government backing totalled $648 million. That is a loss of 4% of the total loans backed and an 11% failure rate for companies receiving backing.

It is important to understand that this $648 million is also the total cost incurred thusfar by the loan program. These are gaurantees of private loans, not direct expenditures. Therefore this does not equate to 26 billion that could have been spent elsewhere - but rather a total stake of $26 for which at least some of it could have been risked far more wisely. The default rate is not anywhere near 50%, the ammount spent in this way is not nearly half of the $90 billion energy program with which the loans were conflated, the total was not spent on "green jobs," nor is much of this cost in the form of tax breaks.

The wisdom in choosing how to spread this risk and best use those gaurantees is certainly questionable. I disagree with many of the loans made particularly since the total number of permanent jobs created by some of them are extremely small and the construction jobs are fewer than what supporting many smaller loans could have produced. Additionally I would expect the bankruptcy rate to climb as some of the remaining projects face similar challenges as Solyndra had - that they are manufacturing a commodity item without the benefit of near-slave labor enjoyed by some overseas manufacturers. The honest and accurate criticisms that could have been made in this matter are more complicated and sound less impressive than the ones made with conflated or outright dishonest figures.


I've got an example of one of these arguments for Obama from the debate; that is an example where an honest criticism could have been argued but a sensationalized and fundamentally dishonest one was used. I'll throw that one in after I have some coffee.

Zloth October 7th, 2012 04:55


I hate how even when we have clear factual examples of mistakes with definite numbers attached to them that a politician could cite against their opponent, they still can't even do that honestly.
Why would they? This isn't a court where the jurors are forced to sit, watch, take notes, then discuss what they saw with other people who saw the same thing. This is a campaign where you're lucky to get people paying attention to you for two hours - and those two hours are spread over 4 months of time! I mean, come on, half the time we seem to be talking about issues that are mostly in the realm of the legislative branch, not the executive branch.

I wish it weren't that way. I wish people would sit down and spend the hours to really look into what each candidate is saying. Frankly, I think a lot of the candidates would like that, too. Who wants their career ended because their tie clashed with their coat in a "debate"?? It would sure help our government to no end.

Zloth October 7th, 2012 22:16

Now here's a shot from Republicans that I didn't expect: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/10/06/ga…e-republicans/

Referenced website is here: http://www.colleensworld.com/

So I guess we're all a bunch of loonies stuck in our fantasy worlds. Thanks a lot GOP. Well, at least they aren't accusing us of holding satanic rituals while we play anymore.

Thrasher October 7th, 2012 22:26

Wow, I guess none of us should run for a public office then. Right….

Alrik Fassbauer October 8th, 2012 00:54

Every time I read this thread's title, something in my mind desperately wants to read "VON6" … ;)

redman5427 October 8th, 2012 04:28

Just what I suspected all along. The Horde are a bunch of liberals!

Actually after reading her posts she sounds like a lot of people I played with in MMO's-"I used to be normal and go to work every day"


dteowner October 18th, 2012 17:26


Senator issues report on government waste, lists Congress itself. Gotta love it.

The very people looking into government waste find they themselves are wasteful. Coburn's report estimates $132 million of taxpayers' money was wasted on "the most unproductive and unpopular Congress in modern history."

Millions of dollars have also been spent on questionable items, like $325,000 on a squirrel robot, realistic enough to fool a rattlesnake, and developed with a National Science Foundation grant; $40,000 to produce a video game where players can virtually enjoy a pond in Massachusetts; and $516,000 to create a video game called "Prom Week," which simulates the interaction of teenagers surrounding the biggest social night in high school.
I include it in this thread because of the (incumbent) senator's conclusion:

"What was once a great country has been mortgaged and bankrupted by the egos and ethics of career politicians," says Coburn, who adds the only way to change the system is to vote out all the incumbents.

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