President Obama appeared in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America today, in which the topic of green energy alpha boondoggle Solyndra came up. You’ll be glad to know that Obama said he has no regrets about giving $535 million of your money to his top donors. It was essential to keep American crony capitalism competitive with Chinese authoritarian pseudo-communism, you see.
“Hindsight is always 20/20,” the royal presence sniffed, clearly irritated with the peasants who have been second-guessing his investment genius. “It went through the regular review process, and people felt that it was a good bet.”
Do you recall which article of the Constitution authorizes the President to make “bets” with your money? Risk becomes so much less intimidating when you can force other people to cover your losses.
Also, everyone in creation was desperately trying to tell Obama that Solyndra was not “a good bet.” Among them was at least one representative of the group he most consistently pays attention to: top dollar donors.
ABC News asked the president about the Solyndra loan as Congress released White House emails that show a top donor to Obama was in direct contact with one of the president’s closest advisers about the federal energy loan program. Steve Westly, a California venture capitalist who raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign, exchanged emails with Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisers, to warn her about political fallout that could ensue if the president visited the factory being built by Solyndra.
“Could you perhaps check with [the Energy Department] to make sure they’re comfortable with the company? I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press,” Westly said. “If it’s too late to change/postpone the meeting, the president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy.”
ABC goes on to report “vigorous debate inside the White House about the wisdom of making risky investments in clean energy with taxpayer dollars.” Some of this vigorous debate poured from a Solyndra investor, Brad Jones, who told White House economic advisor Larry Summers that giving huge piles of money to his own company was nuts:
“The allocation of spending to clean energy is haphazard,” [Jones] wrote. “The government is just not well equipped to decide which companies should get the money and how much. … One of our solar companies with revenues of less than $100 million (and not yet profitable) received a government loan of $580 million; while that is good for us, I can’t imagine it’s a good way for the government to use taxpayer money.”
(Emphasis mine.) Summers agreed that government makes “a crappy venture capitalist.” In another email, an Office of Management and Budget official cracked wise by hoping Solyndra didn’t go bankrupt before Obama had a chance to get his triumphant photo op.
Hilariously, the Energy Department is trying to push conversations like this as evidence that it handled taxpayer money with due diligence. We’re supposed to feel better about Obama cronies raiding the Treasury because support within the White House was less than unanimous.