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Ebola Czar Ron Klain and Solyndra

By: Andrew McCarthy (National Review)

Ron Klain is a sharp-elbowed Democratic political operative with no medical expertise. Tapping him as “Ebola czar” may not be the president’s best move when, as it is, no one can believe a word the Obama administration says. And that’s not just because Mr. Klain is yet another lobbyist recruited despite Mr. Obama’s vow that his administration would shun lobbyists.

Klain was also a central player in the president’s Solyndra fraud, which soaked taxpayers for over half a billion dollars for the benefit of Obama cronies.

At the time, Ron Klain was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden. Hot to become the face of Obama-administration green initiatives, Biden planned to announce the Solyndra loan during a much-publicized September 2009 energy speech. Officials at DOE and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had major qualms: They realized that the company was hemorrhaging money; even with the loan, Solyndra would lack the necessary working capital to turn that equation around. Yet the loan was approved in time for Biden’s speech.

For an initial public offering of stock, SEC rules require the disclosure of a company’s financial condition.

In Solyndra’s case, outside auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) found that condition to be dire. “The company has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception, and has a net stockholders’ deficit,” the PWC accountants concluded. Even with the gigantic loan, Solyndra was such a basket case that PWC found “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

The administration was not only aware; it was worried. 

Klain, in turn, consulted with DOE before downplaying Solyndra’s problems in reporting back to Jarrett:

Sounds like there are some risk factors here — but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit. It looks OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.

Jarrett said she would rely on Klain’s assessment, notwithstanding that it conceded the very real possibility, if not likelihood, of catastrophe. As Klain elaborated in a follow-up e-mail to Jarrett:

The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few would be belly-up by election day 2012 — but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting edge, new economy industries.

I can hear him now: Ebola? There may be some risk factors, but hey, we’ll be promoting cutting-edge treatments . . . 

Read the full column at National Review Online

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