Well, at least the Obama administration has abandoned its pathetic, deceitful blame Bush gambit on this one. Even the MSM isn't buying that canard this time. But if it isn't Bush's fault, who's to blame for fast-tracking $535 million in taxpayer-funded, wildly risky loan guarantees to a company that was destined to fail? Team Obama's answer: Nobody. If you're just joining this already-in-progress scandal, read my recap from yesterday, then bounce back to this post and watch the latest update from ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross. This clip features (a) more damning excerpts from internal administration emails, (b) a cringeworthy appearance from Joe Biden, (c) another infuriating development about the timeline of this mess, and (d) an explanation of how the White House dropped a big, fat political favor into the lap of major Obama donor (and top Solyndra financier) George Kaiser under false pretenses:
Let's review points (c) and (d) from my introductory paragraph. After the loan guarantees were muscled through for obviously political reasons (hence the frustrated "due diligence" email from an OMB staffer, highlighted in Ross' report), analysts continued to raise financial soundness concerns about Solyndra, even as the irresponsible loans themselves were being made. Those warning bells were ignored. Then, this past July -- knowing full well that Solyndra was going bankrupt -- the White House and company executives knowingly misled members of Congress by assuring them that everything was just fine. Was there any chance the White House didn't know how dire the company's financial picture was? No. Administration officials had been sitting in on Solyndra board meetings for months.
Which brings us to the most recent twist to this scandal. The White House and Solyndra were putting on happy faces in order to help facilitate a major restrucuring of the disastrous loan arrangement without raising even more red flags from nosy Congressmen. What did this refinancing do? Back to Ross:
"It was also revealed today that even though administration officials knew the company was facing bankruptcy, they agreed to restructure the loans so that in case the company did fail, the first $75 million recovered would go not to taxpayers, but to the private investors."
Private investors like...major Obama donor George Kaiser. What a remarkable coincidence! Kaiser visited the White House four separate times during the week preceeding the initial loan approval, and the place was crawling with Solyndra executives in the intervening months. This was all totally innocent, the apparently guilty all insist. None of these visits had anything to do with the green-lighting of the initial loan, the favorable refinancing of the agreement once things really went south, or the remarkably coordinated-seeming damage control campaign. That's literally what they want us to believe. That's what two administration officials said under oath yesterday. This stinks to high heaven. As I predicted yesterday, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. Also, I again want to give props to Brian Ross' team and ABC News, who led with this story on last night's World News Tonight.
UPDATE - Via Hot Air, Mark Levin interviewed a former low-level Solyndra employee who explains why "everyone knew" the company wouldn't survive. This is just outrageous.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography