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Saturday open thread: Palin, Solyndra, and public-private partnerships

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 3, 2011 01:32 PM

Saturday quick takes:

*Sarah Palin is set to speak in Iowa shortly (estimated time – 2:15pm ET). You can watch live here on C-SPAN. She is reportedly going to tackle crony capitalism. The timing couldn’t be better.

*It’s not news to readers of this blog that green jobs are a hemorrhaging taxpayer-funded slush fund for unions and eco-elites. More than a year ago, David Freddoso spotlighted the shady Solyndra/Obama deal. He featured the corporate welfare redistribution scam in his book, Gangster Government. And as he noted, the chapter reads even better now that Solyndra is bankrupt.

GOP House investigators are now on the case. The stench of the culture of corruption is strong.

House investigators said they have uncovered evidence that White House officials became personally involved in an Energy Department review of a hot-button $535 million loan guarantee to the now-failed California solar company Solyndra.

The allegation surfaced in a letter House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) sent to the White House Thursday night, saying he planned to accelerate efforts to understand an investment deal that may have left taxpayers out half a billion dollars.

“We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra’s application and communicated with [Department of Energy] and Office of Management and Budget officials during the course of their review,” the letter says.

Thursday’s letter, which calls on the White House to turn over correspondence between administration officials, Solyndra and its investors, presents the most pointed suggestion that the White House had direct involvement in the financing.

“How did this company, without maybe the best economic plan, all of a sudden get to the head of the line?” Upton told ABC News in an interview this week. “We want to know who made this decision … and we’re not going to stop until we get those answers.”

As I have said repeatedly about “public-private partnerships” pushed by politicians in both parties and their crony pals:

While the White House pushes for a bonanza of new “public-private partnerships,” let me refresh your memories of some of the Democrats’ great ideas of “public-private partnerships”…

taxpayer-funded black hole FANNIE MAE;

Chicago’s shady Shorebank and its crony-supported successor, Urban Partnership Bank;

…the failed Chicago Olympics wealth distribution boondoggle;

…and the failed Richard Daley/Valerie Jarrett Chicago low-income housing boondoggle.

This isn’t about letting the best ideas and businesses thrive. It’s about picking winners and losers. It’s about “managing” competition and engineering political outcomes under the guise of stimulating the economy. As I noted last April when the command-and-controller-in-chief lectured businesses that “at some point you have made enough money,” we are dealing with a president who presumes to know when you have earned “enough,” who believes that only those who provide what he deems “good” products and services should “keep on making it,” and who has determined that the role of American entrepreneurs is not to pursue their own self-interest, but to fulfill their “core” responsibility as dutiful growers of the collective economy.

What’s in it for the statist businesses that go along for the ride with Obama and his team of corruptocrats?

Like they say in the Windy City: It’s all about the boodle.

In Chicago politics, there’s an old term for the publicly-subsidized pay-offs meted out to the corruptocrats’ friends and special interests: Boodle.

In the age of Obama, “reform” is all about the boodle. So it was with the stimulus. And the massive national service expansion. And the health care bill. And so it is with the financial “reform” bill…In front of the cameras, the Democrats will lambaste the greedy, Wall Street money. Behind the scenes, they’re pocketing Wall Street campaign donations and working out deals.

Goo-goo “reform” has always entailed wealth redistribution under the guise of public service (or “social justice” or “media justice” or “innovation” or whatever the euphemism of the day is). The goodies can take the form of exclusive union-only contracts or p.c. bailouts or waivers for favors.

When businesses get in the government handout line, it’s not a “public-private partnership.”

It’s corporate welfare — and it stinks as much under Democrat administrations as it does under Republican ones.

It goes without saying that American entrepreneurs should be beware of White House business-bashers bearing gifts.

But so, too, should taxpayers beware of Washington business-boosters wearing false free-market facades.

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