House Republicans look like they’re running out of ammunition on Solyndra.
Gone are their threats of hauling Rahm Emanuel and Carol Browner up to the Capitol to testify about how they helped the now bankrupt California solar company.
The White House hopes to soon remove the GOP's threat of a contempt of Congress vote by turning over the final scraps from thousands of pages of internal documents.
And one of the main GOP investigators, Rep. Cliff Stearns, is mired in his own political mess after questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate and over allegations he tried to bribe another Florida Republican to get out of their August primary race.
More than a year into a probe that's extended to the Energy Department loan guarantee portfolio, Republican investigators even acknowledge they've fallen short of substantiating their allegations that the administration helped political allies like Tulsa oilman George Kaiser secure hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies through a loan guarantee to Solyndra.
"Is there a criminal activity? Perhaps not," Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told POLITICO after last Tuesday’s showdown with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Is there a political influence and connections? Perhaps not. Did they bend the rules for an agenda, an agenda not covered within the statute? Absolutely.
In some respects, Republicans have accomplished their mission. Even if no one goes to jail, they've turned Solyndra into a four-letter word, vilified the Nobel laureate Chu and left a popular DOE program in shambles. They also make no bones about how they've turned Solyndra into a campaign issue.
"Ultimately, we'll stop it on Election Day, hopefully," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Environment & Energy Daily. "And bringing attention to these things helps the voters and citizens of the country make the kind of decision that I hope helps them as they evaluate who they are going to vote for in November."
I think I saw both the presidential and snoop dog's limo last night, although they were sadly not in the same motorcade. BO was doing a fundraiser at the art museum in downtown Portland ME. My street got shut down for it and I walked around to see what was up. I couldn't really see anything because all the glass windows of the museum were blacked out. I wandered through a crowd of half-Occupiers/half-drug fiends protesting and some old tottering drunk woman told me "the two biggest black guys in America are right across the street from each other!" I guess Snoop was playing at the Portland Stage right across from the way. She hoped they would meet in the middle of the street and smoke a joint but it didn't happen.
It was fun to just stand around and watch the locals because Portland's a small city and downtown is really tiny, but it's the only spot in Maine where any events like this can take place.
I started to walk home and the Obama motorcade was just leaving on the side opposite the main street, and he waved at us through the bullet-proof glass. He was looking pretty silky-smooth, presumably after having just eaten a good dinner and raising a nice bit of cash.