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BrightSource, Another DOE Scam

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BrightSource got a $1.4 billion bailout from the Department of Energy (DOE). So what, you say. That’s SOP (Standard Operating Procedure for you non-military types) for the DOE. What is of interest here is the owner of the company receiving the bailout, and how it was received. Robert Kennedy, Jr., nephew of President John F. Kennedy, got a $1.4 billion bailout for his company, BrightSource, via a loan guarantee from the DOE. Further, the loan guarantee was issued by Sanjay Wagle, a former Kennedy employee at BrightSource. Sanjay Wagle was one of the main BrightSource employees who raised money for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is now a DOE official advising energy company grants. Coincidence?

The first question is, why does a Kennedy (any Kennedy) need a bailout loan? The second question is, if alternative energy source technology is so great, why does BrightSource need a bailout?  But I get off the subject.

BrightSource says that its Ivanpah project is a green jobs creator. Yet as its own website reveals, the thermal solar plant will only create 1,400 construction jobs and 86 permanent jobs. Even using the construction jobs figure of 1,400, that is a cost to taxpayers of $1 million per job created. (Go to the Ivanpah website, hover over the number 1,400 in the center of the page to get employment figures.)

“Investing” taxpayer money in BrightSource is risky. In 2010, BrightSource, whose largest shareholder is Kennedy’s VantagePoint Partners, had debt obligations of $1.8 billion. BrightSource lost $71.6 million in 2010 on $13.5 million of revenue. My research has not uncovered any evidence that BrightSource is doing any better in 2011.

BrightSource advertises the Coalinga project, which it calls a demonstration facility, on its website.  BrightSource says Coalinga was intended to be a proving ground, and it had estimated losses of $10.5 million at that time. But, as of June 30, 2011, BrightSource says its loss has been $58.6 million, “or $48.1 million greater than the initial loss estimate as recognized in December 2008.” These cost overruns are causing worry because BrightSource is currently building a much larger 392 MW farm, the Ivanpah project. Are we beginning to connect the dots here?  This information was not featured, or even mentioned, on 60 Minutes. This revelation is by investigative journalist and Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer in his new book, Throw Them All Out. And, as Ronald Reagan said, “Facts are stubborn things.”

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  • Tom Roe

    How does the meaty story about Bobby, Wagel, and a billion well-timed dollars churn into this drivel. Lets not lose sight of the scam taking place here. We want emails and a full Congressional investigation into these “Chicago values” deals. Lets do some good.

  • barry

    just kill these bastards. every single damn one of them. they’re nothing but worthless parasites living without accountability off the rest of us.

    Just kill every single one of them.

  • It looks like Bobby Kennedy Jr got bailed out by the DOE and Warren got bailed out of his argument by our lengthy sidetracking into the question of online identities.


    “If I could I’d divorce myself! And I’d take me for everything I could get!!”
    – the late Freddie Prinze

  • Suing yourself for wrongful dismissal must have been interesting.

  • troll

    …you think you’ve got problems Dreadful?

    I’m self-employed and when I discovered that I was posting comments as ‘troll’ I had to fire myself

  • I’ve no idea why the wives of Doc D or Glenn C don’t want them to use their real names online but doubt it is anything other than mistrust or even paranoia.

    The employment angle is something of more substantive potential concern of course.

    There are many crazy employers (or clients as we freelancers get to refer to them) out there, particularly in the USA which is peculiarly prone to excessive political correctness, and I’ve had more than my fair share of them.

    Fortunately there are also loads of really sane and professional people out there too.

    Just as an employer wouldn’t want to hire a psychopath, an employee possibly doesn’t want to be employed by a company where those in power consider one’s entirely reasonable dislike of the cheesefest that is Glee a reason not for hiring you.

    In the Doc’s case, I would have thought that anyone reading the almost always excellent comments he makes, combined with his obvious good judgement in how he carries out his role here, would consider that as making him more employable than his achievements as a runner.

    As to starting one’s own business or becoming self-employed, that really is something that literally anybody except the most simple minded of people can do.

    I’ve been in that happy if occasionally precarious position for many years and my wife joined me in that lifestyle choice over ten years ago.

    After knowing nothing but having jobs before, she was a little scared about the seeming uncertainty of the independent lifestyle but now would not go back into employment for anything but in the most desperate of situations.

    As to not using one’s real names on Facebook, that is surely just daft. The only people that don’t do that are the criminal and the paranoid!


    @ costello;
    Oh, yeah, I notified the site’s editors and the cops know what he did. And this is an individual that espouses “family values.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Thank you, Doc, for putting it in a more understandable way.

    And like you, my wife’s wishes are the first and foremost reason I won’t use my real name online – we don’t even use our real names on Facebook.

  • Not sure how Kurtz found out what Glenn’s real name is but he’s also published mine. In the latter case it was easy enough for him to find, since I’ve communicated with him via email in my capacity as a BC editor in the past. Since no-one other than morbidly curious BCers visits his miserable site anyway there probably hasn’t been much damage done.

    That said, he’s not exactly infallible when it comes to “unmasking” BC commenters. Among others, his “identifications” of STM and of Dan’s predecessor as BC’s resident white supremacist, Richard Brodie, were wildly wrong and are probably going to get him into trouble if they haven’t already.

    I personally have two main reasons for not using my real name online. The first is that my wife doesn’t want me to. The second is that anyone looking for a job, as I currently am, knows that one of the first things a prospective employer does when they’re considering hiring you is to Google you or look for you on Facebook, MyDoesAnyoneActuallyUseItAnyMoreSpace, Twitter etc. In the current economic climate, with 52,000,074,000,009 people applying for every job, any excuse, however trivial, to eliminate you from the running will be seized upon. Even an innocuous tweet about how much you didn’t like last night’s episode of Glee can apparently persuade a hirer that you’re an unstable maniac who’ll embezzle the pension fund and burn the office down the first chance he gets.

    I realize that Chris, who tends to regard the state of not being self-employed as only a little better than being a Manchester City fan, doesn’t have much of a stake in this reality but instead probably has a number of interesting suggestions as to what companies who would be that petty can do with their precious vacancy. But for some of us it’s a real concern.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Glenn, check the tags on Kurtz’s article. Trust me, he knows.

  • Costello

    Wow, remf. That’s terrible you had to deal with such an awful person. I hope you contacted the authorities

  • Igor

    What most people don’t realize is that the original internet (which was designed, after all, for the benefit and convenience of grad students, not Master Criminals) included SMTP which has NO return or reply information. All email was anonymous unless the sender voluntarily included self-identifiers.

  • Igor

    Simple security thresholds such as doorlocks and internet pseudonyms are useful to keep out vandals but (usually) not determined thieves.

    I lock the house when I’ll be gone for hours so that small children can’t wander in and pilfer the refrigerator, and I use net aliases to avoid political idiots filling my mailbox with mail bombs.

    In the good ol’ internet days of usenet and email and BBSes I always recommended NO monikers, and that each post should stand on it’s own. WWW has made idiots of us all.

  • As per Glenn’s request, comments 32 and 33 have been edited in order to preserve his attempt to maintain his net anonymity.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jordan –

    I see my last name nowhere in Alan Kurtz’ article. He only used ‘Contrarian’.

    And to all, a good night, sleep tight, don’t let your collective conscience bite.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Troll –

    Thanks – I appreciate the heads-up. I won’t forget it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Thanks for the offer – please remove the appropriate comments. I know you disagree with me, and we’ll simply have to agree to disagree on this matter.

  • troll


    you guys know who I am???!!!

    …ahh – but you do realize that “Mark Eden” is just another pseudo (based on my fetish…”it’s not a cream…not an ointment”) right?

    …you’ll never catch me alive

  • By Glenn’s logic, the increased security services introduced into the USA haven’t turned it into an overly controlled and controlling police state at all.

    Let’s go further and introduce even more security measures to spy on the population. How about secret police and informants too? After all, that will make the country safer, won’t it?

    Glenn, your responses are pointless, irrelevant and ever so slightly hysterical. The issue under debate here is whether using a pseudonym gives you any protection against anyone who might seek to do you harm versus refusing to give in to fear.

    You insist on clinging to the view that so doing protects you, even though it has been clearly demonstrated in this very thread that it doesn’t.

    troll, I’ll remove 32 & 33 as a courtesy if Glenn asks me to, although my personal view is that it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to his safety if someone was out to get him. Just as you calling yourself “troll” in no way protects you, not that I think that is why you call yourself that, but we regular BC participants all know who and where you really are.

    As to me, I oppose most current trends in government and law enforcement, the organised churches and many other things as well, whilst supporting advanced technologies that are going to radically change the world over the next few years.

    That possibly makes me some kind of target for many potential extremists, people with an interest in maintaining the current status quo and assorted nutters but, if I am to be victimised for my views, I will deal with it to the best of my abilities.

    I’m not going to hide who I am though, I’m going to live my life and mildly proudly stand up for what I believe in.

  • Hey, something’s wrong here. If Glenn is truly “blowhard of the month,” then Kurtz’s site ain’t all that dumb.

  • Do post please, troll — because I’ve got nothing better to do than look “Glenn” up, wherever the fuck he is.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Meh, even Alan Kurtz figured out Glenn’s real name when he dubbed him “Blowhard of the Month” for April 2011 over at his dumb site.

    Not exactly a secret.

  • troll

    hey comments editor – how bout deleting 32 and 33…I didn’t intend to leave clues but rather to warn Glenn

  • Jordan Richardson

    Like REMF, I learned the lesson that pseudonyms don’t always protect. My identity, when I was using a pseudonym, was discovered years ago on a web forum.

    I wasn’t heavily harassed or anything, but the sheer idea that it could be discovered with relative ease gave me pause as to the reliability of pseudonyms.

    Again, if someone wants to find you, they will. All one really has to do to locate your church and subsequently your identity is to plug in the right search terms. It’s not hard.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jordan –

    Then you and I will have to agree to disagree, for you and I have obviously learned different lessons.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    [Personal identity info deleted]

    In all honesty, this is the opposite of the argument I use against gun ownership. Gun owners want to keep a gun ‘just in case’, whereas I know that if someone really wants to kill someone else, there’s no stopping it.

  • troll

    [Personal identity info deleted]

    personally I’m with Chris’ #9)

  • Jordan Richardson


    Choosing to do or not do one thing does not necessarily mean that all associated things are impacted by the same principles.

    If that were the case, I could just as easily ask you if you always pay for goods and services in cash or if you take every possible precaution to protect your identity and the identity of your family when you go out in public. I bet I can find countless instances where you don’t.

    What if we all used pseudonyms online, Glenn? What would that do to accountability in general? What if everyone was anonymous at every single web forum and website you went to? While it may work for 4chan, it’s not a very effective model if you’re trying to foster values like openness and accountability.

    The point is that there are odds, yes. That’s what I’ve been saying. Right in #26, I stated that I didn’t think pseudonyms were “useless,” yet you proceeded to rant away anyway as though I imagine seatbelt wearing and PIN codes are stupid.

    I think the usefulness of certain protections is extremely limited, Glenn, and it causes me to wonder what we’re giving up in exchange for a layer of security that is debatable at best.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    REMF –

    Ah. Thanks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jordan and Chris –

    Once I read something by an English teacher in China who – when she asked where the lock was for the door – was asked why she would want to lock the door. Did she have something to hide?

    On the other hand, tell anyone who’s spent two decades in the military (several years of it sleeping in the same spot as a couple hundred or more of his fellows) that you don’t need to lock your stuff away, and he’ll ask you if you were born stupid or did you have to work at it…because almost every FNG goes through the same routine: “It was on my bunk and everyone around me are my friends and buddies and they would never steal from me!” Go ahead and ask ANY guy who’s spent a few years in the military if he’s heard that line before!

    If leaving your places unlocked is fine with you, that’s your choice. The way I see it, by choosing to not lock your doors as a matter of principle is refusing to take the least amount of time for the safety of you and yours against the idiots of the world.

    Using your logic, then:

    – seat belts and airbags in cars are unnecessary since one can get hit by a semi and you’d die anyway.

    – passwords on your computer and online accounts are useless because somebody might use a keylogger to get all your passwords.

    – PINs for your ATM cards are useless because there’s card-skimmers that people use to steal card numbers and PINs.

    – having a police force is useless because some cops are corrupt.

    – installing smoke alarms is useless because they won’t save you from a natural gas leak.

    Get the picture? There’s NO guarantees…but there ARE odds! If all one can do is to roll the dice and hope for the best, that’s one thing. But when it comes to my safety and especially the safety of my wife and sons, it would be the height of irresponsibility if I did not skew the odds in our favor as much as possible! Stuff happens, true – but stuff happens a lot less often to those who take just a little time to engage in rational caution.

    YES, there are places in this world where one can go where it is culturally feasible to leave your doors unlocked, to trust your identity to all and sundry. But are either of you really willing to gamble the safety of your respective families that standing on principle is more important than taking a second to lock the door?


    Glenn –
    I was using a psuedonym at that time, as well. I’ll just let it alone how he learned my identity. MCH are initials with a special meaning for me.

  • I don’t always lock my doors and I have a friend that never locks his even when the house is empty and he, his wife and their kids are out for hours at a time. Way to go on your irrational presumption as to behaviour though.

    The fact of the matter here is that you have persuaded yourself of something and aren’t going to let go of that belief easily. Based on extensive exposure to your comments that is characteristic behaviour for you, despite your much repeated, although inaccurate, claims that you readily admit your errors…

  • Jordan Richardson

    I actually don’t lock the door to my house, Glenn.

    And I don’t think it’s useless; I just don’t think it offers the level of protection you think it does.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    REMF –

    Is that why you’re using a pseudonym now?

    And btw – I understand “REMF”, but what’s “MCH”?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jordan –

    So I’ll ask you the same question I asked Chris – why do you lock the door to your house? You know very well that if a thief really wants to break in, then he’s going to do it and no lock will stop him.

    Do you really think it’s so useless to force would-be-wrongdoers to go to the extra effort?


    When it happened to me here a couple years ago – posting my name and face off site, hacking into my computer, etc. – it didn’t really get creepy until he actually called me at home and mentioned my wife and step-son by name. That’s when I invited up to visit my state for a good old-fashioned personal welcome.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Yes, if anyone who peruses this site really wants, they can track me down…but it would take time and effort.

    Tell me, Chris, you do of course realize that it doesn’t matter if you lock your door, right? You know very well that if a thief really wants to steal your stuff, no lock is going to stop him – so WHY are you locking your door and living in irrational fear?

    Because locking the door is rational caution, since any cop will tell you that MOST thieves will give up if they have to take more than a minute or so of effort. Thieves don’t like putting forth a lot of effort – that’s why they’re thieves and not working at a regular job!

    And I know that you DO understand all that.

    So it goes with using a pseudonym – it’s like locking the door to your house in that it won’t stop the few who are determined, but it will stop the very many who don’t like to go to a lot of effort. You might reply that a lock on a door stops the casual thief/robber/murderer who picks your place at random…

    …and I would reply with using Dan the Racist as an example. Dan doesn’t like most of us…so why should I make it easy for him to find me? If he wants to find me, he has to go to the effort…and most would-be-wrongdoers don’t like to go to a lot of effort!

    So if you call it ‘irrational fear’ for me to use a pseudonym that forces others to go to actual effort to find me, then you must also call it ‘irrational fear’ to lock the door to your house or apartment in order to force would-be-wrongdoers to go to an actual effort to break in.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Glenn, you state that writers have used pseudonyms for ages and that’s true, but I’d argue that most writers don’t.

    If you consider some of today’s most “dangerous” commentators, writers and pundits, few of them use pseudonyms.

    As far as “opening yourself up” to hundreds of millions of people through a Google search, what makes you think “hundreds of millions of people” even care? What makes you think even “tens of thousands” care?

    It really does come down to the most determined “idiot” to actually USE information that they find on you, Glenn. And, as Chris has stated over and over again, anyone that determined isn’t going to be deterred by the fact that you use a pseudonym.

    I’m not against pseudonyms or anything, but in this day and age the protection they offer is minimal at best.

  • Any time you leave your home, you might get run over, robbed or murdered. Does that mean it would be rational caution never to go out? Of course not…

  • I – and anyone who cares to read your comments on this site – knows a vast amount about your military service, your religion, your wife and family, your work and where you live.

    You have erroneously persuaded yourself that you are exercising rational caution, although you aren’t particularly known for your rationality.

    You talk about things that might happen if people know who you are, which sounds like the epitome of irrational fear to me.

    You are deluding yourself if you think using a pseudonym is protecting you, but by all means keep clinging on to that fictional safety blanket if it makes you feel better.

    It is easy for anyone to be found, whether their name is unique or not, so it just sounds like your ego is getting the better of you, not for the first time.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Jordan –

    It’s not the ones who are determined to find me that I worry about, because ANY idiot who can use Google (or almost any other search engine) – which now comprises a significant portion of Earth’s population – can find me, because I am the first and only one with my name who pops up on Google.

    So while there may be tens of thousands of people who can find me whether or not I use a pseudonym, there are hundreds of millions of idiots out there who can use Google.

    So WHY should I open myself up to hundreds of millions of people just because there are tens of thousands who can find me? Do you see the logic?

    Again, this isn’t irrational fear – it’s rational caution.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jordan –

    As I pointed out to Chris, there’s a big difference between irrational fear and rational caution…

    …and neither of you have unique names. I do…and perhaps if you experienced how easy it is for someone with a unique name to be found, you might see things differently.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    No, they canNOT find you if they don’t know who you are.

    Now you’re right that if they’re willing to fork over enough cash to people to track you down, sure, they can do that. BUT the ones with the determination and the financial wherewithal to do it are not so common.

    The possible problems I listed above, however, are not expensive at all to do, and can cause you a world of trouble. So it’s not the rich or the truly tech-savvy that I’m worried about since there’s nothing I can do about them – it’s the not-so-rich and the not-so-tech-savvy that I can do something about.

    In other words, if by using a pseudonym I can avoid problems with 99% of the users out there who might do something to cause me real problems, I’ll do it. I see no reason to open myself up to problems with 99% of the possible threat out there just because I can’t do anything about the 1%.

    And this is nothing new, Chris – writers have used pseudonyms for centuries, and often for the same reason I choose to do so.

    And Chris – there’s a big difference between living in fear of crazy people, and taking a VERY simple act of caution to avoid such problems. I see it as no different from wearing a seat belt when I’m on a plane – flying is the safest way to travel…but a very simple and NON-paranoid act like buckling your seat belt can prevent one from being injured in turbulence – which is the most common form of injury in the air.

    There’s a big difference between irrational fear and rational caution…and IMO you’re abandoning the latter for spite of the former.

    But that’s up to you.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I share my name with a very attractive model and Ben Harper’s drummer.

    I’m with Chris on this one. I refuse to live in fear, especially considering the nature of my business and future aspirations. I don’t intend on hiding who I am. If people are going to discriminate against me for my (many) mistakes, that’s fine too.

    And if someone’s determined enough, they’ll get the goods on you – pseudonym or not.

  • Glenn, if someone doesn’t like you, they can find you easy enough, and there is no real protection against identity theft or any kind of crime if someone is determined to commit it.

    I’m not going to live in fear of crazy people and think that increased openness is my best protection.

    You yourself have already posted lots of personal information about yourself on this site alone, certainly enough for anyone to find you out if they wanted to. If you think your alias is protecting you then that is just another illusion you are believing in without any basis in reality.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    When someone doesn’t like you, having that kind of information tells them where they can find you, and where they can send illegal and/or dangerous stuff or sign you up for subscriptions you really don’t want.

    That, and there’s a little something called “identity theft” – you may have heard of it.

    I count myself very lucky that the ones who started posting my info didn’t take it that far…but they could have. That’s why I will never use my real name – it’s better to avoid a problem altogether than to learn the hard way.

  • Glenn, I don’t care if my name and address or even my mortgage balance (yawn) are posted on the internet.

    How does having that kind of information posted on the internet affect your safety?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And for Chris –

    I’m fairly certain your name is not unique, although you could probably be found by your connection with BC. I just hope you never have to learn the hard way the need for privacy of one’s identity.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    I can well understand why you won’t use your own name. My name is unique – so far, if I Google my first and last name in quotes, I’m the only one who shows up…

    …and when I used to openly use my name on religious forums, those who disagreed with me decided to look up my personal info and began plastering my name, my wife’s name, my home address, and even my mortgage balance all over the forum.

    So I learned the hard way that while I really don’t like using a pseudonym, it’s necessary for mine and my family’s safety.

  • Personally I’m not bothered about having my personal business plastered all over the internet.

    If somebody is going to discriminate against me based on my opinions, they can go fuck themselves as far as I am concerned!

  • More so.

    When I Google my own name the only hits that actually are me tend to be my half marathon finishing times. My main namesakes are apparently an aerobatic pilot and a guy who runs his own landscaping company.


    No. 4;
    As unusual as Warren Beatty?

  • Affixing a PhD to your name does nothing to strengthen your argument, Mr. Beatty.

  • So did no companies get loan guarantees under previous administrations and have any companies that have been received them ever paid the money back?

  • Dr Beatty (my apologies), go ahead and click on my name and look at some of my articles, then decide for yourself if I’m a partisan hack or not.

    And I do find that using a nom de clavier is a great way to not have your personal business plastered all over the Internet, particularly when your real name is as unusual as mine is.

  • Re: comment #2, Dr. Dreadful, you are quite free to make use of ANYTHING Schweizer finds and/or cites, (or anyone else for that matter) and to write your own articles. Will highlighting Republican shenanigans make you a partisan hack?

    And does citing facts make me a political hack?

    BTW, I hold a Ph.D. Dr. Dreadful. Is the title you use use real?

  • I was reading an interview with Schweizer in this week’s Newsweek. He claims that members of Congress have come to regard themselves as above the law, and routinely engage in the kind of insider deals and perks that would get the rest of us thrown in jail. He also says that everyone is at it: some notable names he mentions are John Kerry, Dennis Hastert, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner.

    So I would say Schweizer isn’t a partisan hack, unlike our Mr Beatty, who only seems interested in such shenanigans when they involve Democrats.

  • admin

    smoke and mirrors