The White House predicated much of its economic recovery plan on the idea of "green jobs." The idea is built on the fantasy that there is some sort of available technology - solar, wind, biomass, whatever - that can be cheaper and more effective than our current energy sources.
That fact is that if such technology existed and could be properly harnessed, the private sector would be doing it. But liberals love to believe the fantasy that we can all slap a solar panel on our roof and a windmill in our backyard and fulfill all our energy needs without any byproducts.
It's a pipe dream, but it's a harmless one - until they start spending your money trying to fulfill it.
Which is where Solyndra comes in. Solyndra was a California start-up company whose founders claimed they could create thousands of jobs manufacturing solar panels, if only they could get a little help from the government.
And help they got. The company applied for a $535 million loan guarantee through a Dept. of Energy program. The application was being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which had a number of concerns about the project, and one OMB staffer even said that according to the business model, the company would "run out of money by September, 2011." That warning turned out to be prescient.
But the White House was undeterred. E-mails released this week by congressional investigators show an unrelenting pressure from the Obama administration to approve the loan guarantees. OMB finally bowed to that pressure, allowing the president to travel to California (see the NBC clip below) to boast about all of the "green jobs" he was producing.
Except, of course, it was just another liberal pipe dream. Solyndra burned through half a billion dollars, then filed for bankruptcy and laid off all 1,100 workers. The FBI has raided the business, and the Treasury Department has launched a fraud investigation.
So why would Obama push so hard for this project? Well, as Deep Throat said in "All The President's Men," "follow the money."
It turns out that a foundation belonging to billionaire George Kaiser was a big investor in Solyndra. Who is George Kaiser? He's an Oklahoma business man who:
-- Personally donated more than $53,000 to Obama's 2008 campaign
-- Raised and "bundled" between $50,000 and $100,000 for that campaign
-- Encouraged Solyndra executives and board members to donate another $87,050 to that campaign
-- Was a visitor to the White House on 16 occasions
The House held two days of hearings this week on the scandal, which is explained well in the NBC report below. You'll be hearing a LOT more about this story in the coming weeks.