Solyndra scandal only the beginning
The Washington Post is reporting that the Obama administration has made a number of huge bets with our money on more green schemes like the recently bankrupt Solyndra (that one will costs taxpayers over $500 million dollars in the form of loan guarantees the Obama team extended to the company, while ignoring government guidelines and rules meant to protect taxpayers; Solyndra's other major investor was George Kaiser, a major Obama and Democratic bundler).
Auditors are now scrambling to uncover other bad "bets" that Obama made with our money. Upwards of $38 billion dollars is at risk.
Joe Stephens and Carol Leonnig write in the Post :
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee, wrote to the White House, "We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra's application, and communicated with DOE and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials. Documents received by the Committee also show that DOE and OMB officials were aware of the White House's interest in the Solyndra loan guarantee."
Solyndra's shuttering has also raised concerns about the status of tens of billions the Obama administration has invested in other renewable-energy companies.
Frank Rusco, a Government Accountability Office director who helped lead a review of the Solyndra loan and the Energy Department's loan guarantee program, said GAO remains "greatly concerned" by its 2010 finding that the agency agreed to back five companies with loans without properly assessing their risk of failure. The companies were not identified in the report, but GAO has since acknowledged that Solyndra was one of them.
Solyndra was the first company to get a taxpayer-backed loan in the early weeks of the Obama administration, but there are more than 40 other clean-technology firms and projects the Energy Department has since backed or agreed to back with more than $38 billion in taxpayer funds.
Solar industry analyst Peter Lynch warned that other bad news might be looming in that clean-tech portfolio: "What Solyndra shows is that the administration wasn't that good at assessing risk."
As my teenage kids would respond : Duh.
But why would sending tens of billions of dollars to Green Schemes to reward his friends and gain support among his allies in the green movement bother Barack Obama? That is chump change for a man who has wasted trillions of dollars and counting. The administration was not good at assessing risk because the administration is bereft of any leaders with real world business experience. The administration was not good at assessing risk because they were playing with other people's money (OPM). That is what government does: it plays with our money. Now when a poker player plays with his own money he measures risks and best accordingly. In this case, Obama -- reputed to be a poker player -- was playing with money that was not his, so he couldn't care less what happened to it once he sent it along its merry way to support his friends and donors in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. That is the ultimate Green Scheme.
Now the Bridge to Nowhere became a national scandal that the New York Times and others in the liberal media firmament stoked in order to defame Republicans. That bridge was not built and would have cost a bit more than $200 million. That was the handiwork of one lone Senator, the late Ted Stevens. Compare that trifle with the billions that will be wasted that is the handiwork of President Obama. Where is the outrage? Heck, where is the coverage?
Perhaps Barack Obama was genuinely a true believer (after all he did say he would, a la Moses, be able to control the oceans; it is just a step away from that from believing he could corral the sun's rays). After all, he basically spent his whole working life in academia where everything is possible in theory and in politics where anything can be promised.
But it was a belief that was resistant to facts and ignored warnings from many independent parties. George Kaiser was not just a big Obama donor but a frequent visitor to the White House. Now it appears that the White House was busy running interference with the Department of Energy and other government bodies to ensure Solyndra got over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money.
How many more of these Green Schemes are going to come to light? How many have a friend in the Oval Office to grease the skids for them? The best Obama is probably hoping for is to be able to keep sending money to these ventures in order to keep them from going bankrupt before November, 2012.
Good luck with that, Mr. President.