Grapevine: Obama's Wookie mistake

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Cloudy with a Chance of Bankruptcy

In September, we told you about SoloPower, an alternative energy company given a $200 million Energy Department loan, just as another taxpayer-funded company, Solyndra, was shutting down.

At the time, we quoted an insider, saying the risk was high that SoloPower would not succeed.

Yesterday, SoloPower announced it is undergoing restructuring that will result in layoffs. Media reports say several top executives have already left the company.

Forbes reports several solar firms are also in trouble largely due to a glut of solar panels. Since 2009, the federal government has provided at least $6 billion in assistance to the solar industry.

Workshop Weekend

This weekend is Workshop Weekend in Oakland, California. Residents there can sign up for a host of classes organized by the city -- such as Cheese-making, Origami Photo Albums, and Introduction to Lock Picking.

The mayor has received lots of angry e-mails about that last class especially considering burglaries are up 40 percent this year in Oakland.

The mayor has apologized for promoting that last class in her newsletter. We checked -- tomorrow's lock picking class is sold out.


And finally, President Obama's hybrid "Star Wars", "Star Trek" reference while answering a question about why he can't work out a sequester deal with Congress has taken on a life of its own on Twitter.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right.


Within minutes, "Star Wars", "Star Trek", "Vulcan", and "Jedi mind meld" were all trending on Twitter.

Here are some of our favorites:

Quote -- "Obama concludes press conference -- 'Live long, prosper, and may the force be with you.'"

Quote -- "So now Obama is pitting 'Star Wars' geeks vs. 'Star' Trek geeks with his 'Jedi mind meld' comment? When will he stop dividing this country?"

For those of you less familiar with science fiction, the president appears to have confused "Star Wars'" Jedis with "Star Trek's" Vulcans.

And the president is said to be a "Star Trek" fan.

He flashed the "Vulcan salute" at the White House Correspondents dinner in 2009.

And when the actress who played Lieutenant Uhura visited the White House in 2012.
She later tweeted -- quote -- "the president is definitely a Trekker."

Grapevine previously referenced fans as Trekkies, but we defer to the lieutenant.

Late this afternoon, the White House got on board by tweeting — quote -- "These aren't the cuts Americans are looking for. To deny the facts would be illogical."