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Morning Examiner: Obama isn't a failure, per se

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

It’s not easy defending President Obama’s record on energy policy. On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama explicitly said his energy plan would raise energy prices. That same year, his Energy Secretary explicitly said he wanted to raise gas prices. And since he has become president, many of the alternative energy firms he has given tax payer dollars to have gone bankrupt. Even Obama’s strongest defenders have noticed, leading to this exchange yesterday on NPR:

Kai Ryssdal: “Are you doing your ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy right if that’s what we have to show for it — Solyndra?”

Obama: “Obviously we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand, this was not our program, per se.”

Obama’s attempt to shift blame for wasting taxpayer dollars on Solyndra is comically pathetic. Solyndra was not funded through the same Energy Department loan program that President Bush created in 2005. The company’s $500 million in fast-tracked loan guarantees came from an entirely new section of the program created by Obama’s stimulus. It is exactly the type of wasteful Keynesian government spending conservatives warned about.

And when Obama first visited the company back in 2010, he showed no interest in sharing credit for the program then: “Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans.”

That factory is now empty. Those workers are now unemployed. And America’s taxpayer dollars have been wasted. Hard to see how that is not a failure, per se.

Campaign 2012
Romney: Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., all but endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday telling CNN he was ‘excited’ about the possibility of Mitt Romney becoming the GOP presidential nominee. In a USA Today op-ed, Mitt Romney explains why he would repeal Oamacare: “President Obama’s program is an unfolding disaster for the American economy, a budget-busting entitlement, and a dramatic new federal intrusion into our lives.” And at NRO, Romney praises the Ryan budget, “We’re very much inclined in the same direction. We spoke together about my plans on Medicare, for instance, and ultimately the Wyden-Ryan bill is very similar, if not identical, to what I proposed some time ago. We all have ideas about what should be done with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — and we’re on the same page on those issues.”

Santorum: Rick Santorum said, yesterday, he wold rather see Obama reelected than Romney win the White House. “If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-A-Sketch candidate of the future,” Santorum said in San Antonio, referring to a Romney aide's description of his boss as an Etch-A-Sketch.

Around the Bigs
Bloomberg, Obama’s Speedy Keystone Review Won’t Accelerate Cushing Pipeline: President Barack Obama’s promise to expedite the review of the southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline won’t speed up the project, which already is slated to start construction as soon as June.

The Washington Post, Senate passes scaled-down version of bill to ban insider trading by officials: The Senate passed the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK Act) last night, formally banning lawmakers and all senior federal workers from making financial trades based on information gleaned from their oversight work.

The New York Times, Senate Passes Start-Ups Bill, With Amendments: The Senate passed the Jump-start Our Business Start-ups (JOBS Act) last night, which creates a new category of “emerging growth” companies that could conduct initial public offerings of stock while being exempt from certain financial disclosure and governance requirements.

Righty Playbook
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis explains why Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t hurt the poor.

RedState‘s Erick Erickson defends Santorum’s statement on preferring Obama’s reelection to President Romney.

The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost details the the importance of “Post Office” Republicans.

Lefty Playbook
At The Atlantic, E. Donald Elliott makes the case for trimming the EPA.

Talking Points Memo‘s Tom Kludt says the culture war is driving an Obama surge in Virginia.

Firedoglake‘s David Dayen says we might see highway transportation construction shut down this month unless the House passes the Senate transportation bill.

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