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Things are going from bad to worse for the White House on the Solyndra collapse. It is embarrassing enough for the President that his highly touted “green jobs” stimulus success story folded like a cheap suit leaving 1100 people out of jobs and leaving the tax payers with a bill upwards of half a billion dollars. Now, the Washington Post is reporting that political officials in the White House pressured the OMB to approve the massive federal loan to Solyndra before the OMB’s due diligence was complete.
The news is coming in fast and furious on the Solyndra scandal, which is now looking like it may become one of the prime campaign issues in 2012. In addition to the revelation that the Obama administration pressured the OMB to approve the loan guarantees to Solyndra in order to preserve Vice President Biden’s photo op, more details are coming out about the Solyndra’s collapse, and it looks increasingly like this was one of the most crooked government boondoggles ever. The details are so bad, the mainstream media is now giving them extensive coverage. I’ll give you the conclusion up front: when it was obvious in February 2011 that Solyndra was going to go under and someone was going to take a financial bath, the Obama administration ensured that friends and donors of Barack Obama were protected while the American taxpayers were left out to dry.
For example, ABC news is reporting that DoE officials warned before the loan was even approved (in 2009) that Solyndra would go bankrupt in September 2011, a prediction which turned out to be 100% accurate. The Obama administration ignored this warning and pressured the OMB to approve a loan to a company founded by one of President Obama’s biggest bundlers, George Kaiser, who visited the White House 16 times in the last two years on behalf of Solyndra. In the wake of Congressional hearings today, it was revealed that it was obvious that Solyndra was going to go under and that someone was going to take a bath on the entire project. In order to delay the PR debacle, the DoE secured bridge financing in the amount of $75M. In exchange for this financing, the DoE allowed the taxpayers’ interest to be subordinated to the interests of the private investors in bankruptcy.
The Democrats have provided Republicans with a historic opportunity to go on offense against Keynesian stimulus, and apply jujitsu against the Democrat 2012 playbook – Mediscare tactics. They shouldn’t blow it.
The other night, Democrats got wiped out in two special elections; losing by 22% in Nevada CD-2 and by 8% in a New York district that hasn’t voted Republican since 1922. These victories were buoyed by Obama’s record disapproval ratings across every demographic, most notably, whites and independents.
While there have been copious pages of commentary published in an attempt to analyze the source of the GOP’s success, it is clear which tactic was unsuccessful: Mediscare (are you watching, Mitt Romney?). Both Democrat candidates attacked their opponents incessantly as proverbial killers of Medicare and Social Security. Although this pathetic line of attack is 50 years old, it was slated to serve as the impetus for Democrats’ 2012 campaign strategy. Well, their only plan to win in 2012 failed miserably, providing Republicans with a chance to launch a counterattack.
Yes, he is trying to revive the Cult of Personality and make it all about himself.
Seriously. He went there. The President tells a crowd he loves them and if they love him they will help him pass his bill.
51% of Americans do not think the President’s jobs plan will create jobs. The voters of New York just rejected Obama in NY-09. Let’s not even talk about the Nevada Special Election.
This may sound like a cheer and a pep rally. In fact, it could more accurately be described as a desperate cry for help.
Whatever happened to Bo, the dog Barack Obama named after himself? I suspect we’ll start to see more pictures of the President spending more time with his dog. Few others want him.
There is a labor dispute going on in the Midwest that has taken an ugly turn as the union involved has allegedly resorted to racial attacks against security personnel and replacement workers.
In Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, American Crystal, a cooperative that accounts for 38 percent of the nation’s sugar from beets and 15 percent of overall sugar production, locked out 1300 unionized workers over a month ago as their negotiations for a new contract fell apart.
Most Americans by now have heard via numerous press accounts that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is on the brink of default in the absence of Congressional action. Now this does not mean that the mail system is going to shut down all of a sudden. It means that the Postal Service will violate the law by not making its $5.5 billion debt payment to taxpayers for the unfunded liability of providing federal healthcare benefits to its workers. Accordingly, USPS is asking Congress to both relieve them of this payment (a bad idea and something conservatives have fought for years) and untie their hands to cut some of their costs (a good thing). Fortunately, Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee with jurisdiction, is fully engaged with trying to prevent the former and pursue the latter.
Issa deserves tons of credit. It is a thankless task to try and reform the Postal Service when its threatening to shut its doors and every local postmaster is whining to their local congressman to forestall the doom. Furthermore, nobody comes to Congress with a burning passion to take on postal reform, and very few committee chairmen are willing to spend their political capital to reform programs within their jurisdiction in a manner that ultimately lessens their power. In fact, former chairmen like Tom Davis repeatedly put forward “reform” bills that were bailouts by another name, designed to placate the labor unions and corporations that benefit from artificially cheap mail.
Thankfully, Issa has said enough. He told his colleagues there would be no more bailouts and proposed reforms to allow USPS to shed costs and compete without federal assistance. But this promises to be a major fight, and it will be interesting to see how a Republican Congress handles this difficult political football.
Mark Hemingway points out just how fast the White House caves these days.
Tuesday morning, David Axelrod went on television and declared the GOP must pass the President’s jobs plan totally. All or nothing or something like that.
By early mid-day, the White House began signaling it’d cut a deal with the GOP.
By Tuesday night David Weprin got annihilated in NY-09.
Now, Bloomberg reports Americans think the plan is crap. 53% of Independents dislike the President’s jobs performance and a majority of Americans think the President’s jobs plan will not create jobs.
It is time for the GOP to pitch a clear alternative of deregulation, tax reform, capital gains cuts, and corporate tax cuts.
It is time for the Democrats to fire up the Ed Rollins strategy. Back in 1990, Ed Rollins, who earlier this year had served as Michele Bachmann’s campaign manager, ran the National Republican Congressional Committee. This was “read my lips” time and the country really felt betrayed by President George H. W. Bush.
Rollins took a gamble. He wrote a memo to GOP candidates in which he dared put in writing the famous sentence, “Do not hesitate to distance yourself from the President.” He’d already gone to war with Bush over reading a lie on Bush’s lips in the budget deal. This escalated things.
George Bush demanded House leaders fire Rollins until it leaked out that they had asked Ed Rollins to write the memo. The GOP went on to lose only 9 seats after many of them campaigned aggressively against Bush’s betrayal.