Well, at least someone in the media notices the Obama scandals. Of course, not the American media.
Rick Perry’s brain freeze and Herman Cain’s alleged penchant for blondes have fixated the American media in recent days. Liberals, sensing there might yet be hope for President Barack Obama, are engaging in a fresh round of condescending chortling about the idiocy of the Grand Old Party.
Certainly, recent Republican shenanigans have provided ample fodder for late-night comedians. Talk to many ordinary Americans beyond Washington’s Beltway, however, and you tend to hear about other concerns.
Yes, they are preoccupied with the prospect of a double-dip recession and unemployment. But two topics that were raised again and again by people I met in Michigan this week were the brewing scandals surrounding Republican-led investigations into Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious.
Solyndra is the solar energy company trumpeted by Obama as part of the “green jobs” future and given $535 million loan guarantees from federal government stimulus funds. In September it filed for bankruptcy and its premises were raided by the FBI.
Operation Fast and Furious was a botched sting operation run by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency (ATF) in which at least 2,000 weapons were allowed to be sold to suppliers linked to Mexican drug cartels.
Some 1,600 of the weapons have never been recovered. They disappeared into Mexico and have been linked to numerous crimes, including two of them to the murder of Brian Terry, a US Border Patrol agent. His parents found out about the provenance of the murder weapons from the media.
In the past week, it has emerged that George Kaiser, a billionaire donor to the Obama campaign whose family foundation was Solyndra’s main investor, had raised the subject of the company inside the White House, something the Obama administration had denied. The suspicion of cosy inside deals is hard to escape.
Other emails released by investigators from the House of Representatives indicated that the foundation’s associates had closely tracked the White House’s interest in promoting Solyndra as, in Mr Kaiser’s words, one of “their prime poster children” for renewable energy.