Nobody to blame in green jobs fiasco
Here's a record Mr. Obama can run on. A year ago his administration gave a grant to Seattle for $20 million, a grant with "heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods." Mayor Mike McGinn flew to Washington to have Vice President Biden announce the grant at the White House on the eve of Earth Day. This was a program with "promise to boost the economy, reduce consumer bills and lower greenhouse gas emissions," a "triple win" as Joe Biden modestly characterized it.
How's it going one year in? Flaming success: 3 homes done, 14 employees (mostly administrators). "Yes, we're not seeing as many completed retrofits as we wanted to," said Joshua Curtis, the city's manager for Community Power Works. "While everyone would like to see more upgrades, I think we're feeling cautiously optimistic."
Love the understatement: 3 homes compared to 2,000. I guess that's not quite "as many," but from here there's no where to go but up, Mr. Curtis? Just what are you "cautiously optimistic" about? That you can hire more Democrat bureaucrats and get another 3 or 4 houses done before the $20 million is all gone?
Mr. Curtis added that "there were factors outside the city's control, such as the economy." Imagine that: stimulus funds did not work because the economy was bad. Yes, I'm baffled too.
Like his president, Mr. Curtis is glib is assigning faults everywhere but to himself. "He said there was a normal summertime lull in work and that he expected things to pick up in the fall. He was confident that the city's marketing campaign and loan partner held promise." So summer is not the time to weatherize a house, but don't worry, a slick marketing campaign will work miracles.
Wait, what's this? The Seattle Athletic Club was weatherized under the program. Whaaat? To benefit millionaires and billionaires? No wonder Maxine Waters is disappointed with her president: "We don't know why on this trip that he's in the United States now, he's not in any black communities. We don't know that." Ms. Waters' eloquence escapes me. I think she's saying that her president has no business doing a campaign tour unless he goes to black communities. Remember the Pledge of Allegiance, Ms. Waters? "One nation, indivisible"?
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.