Earlier this month, Mitt Romney released a television ad asking, “Where did all the Obama stimulus money go? Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups. … Solyndra. $500 million tax payer dollars. Bankrupt.”

The Obama campaign then responded, telling The Detroit News, “In fact, both Republican and Democratic administrations advanced Solyndra’s application, and the company was widely praised as successful and innovative both before and after receiving the Department of Energy loan guarantee.” Obama Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said very much the same thing almost one year ago: “The project that we supported succeeded. The facility was producing the product it said it would produce, and consumers were buying the product.”

But now internal emails released this week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee reveal that all of Obama’s talk of Solyndra as a “success” was just spin. When Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, then White House Deputy Senior Advisor, was informed by White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer that Solyndra was going bankrupt, Cutter wrote back, “Ugh.”

Indeed, Cutter’s email is one of just thousands released by the House showing what a total disaster Obama’s investment in Solyndra really was. One Solyndra investor, Brad Jones, even told then-White House United States National Economic Council Director Larry Summers:

One of our solar companies with revenues of less than $100 million (and not yet profitable) received a government loan of $580 million; while that is good for us, I can’t imagine it’s a good way for the government to use taxpayer money (I’d prefer my opinion about that specific company to be between us). Every administration seems to feel it knows better than the private markets how to allocate capital, and I’ve just never seen that be true.

Jones is right. Whatever role government has in building roads and bridges, administering the rule of law, and investing in basic scientific research, it should not be gambling taxpayers’ money by investing in specific companies. It’s bad enough that Obama had to learn this at our expense. It’s even worse that he doesn’t seem to have learned it at all.

Campaign 2012
Obama: Obama will make remarks about today’s jobs report and middle class taxes at 11:45 a.m. from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Romney: Flanked by 10 Republican governors, Mitt Romney unveiled a presidential score card and presented a plan for a “stronger middle class” in Colorado yesterday.

Congress: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) retracted statements alleging that billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson authorized prostitution in one of his overseas casinos yesterday.

In Other News
Gallup, U.S. Unadjusted Unemployment Rate Increases in July: U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 8.2% in July, up slightly from 8.0% in June, but better than the 8.8% from a year ago.

Associated Press, June jobless ranks rose in Indy and 90 pct of US cities: Unemployment rates rose in Indianapolis and nearly 90 percent of large U.S. cities in June, partly because many young people graduated from school with no firm job prospects.
The New York Times, House Passes Short-Term Relief Bill: An effort to provide emergency aid for American ranchers and farmers reeling from a year of drought, frost and other calamities collapsed on Thursday as members of Congress departed for their five-week August recess, leaving behind a pile of unfinished legislation as they go home to campaign for re-election.

The Washington Post, Drought intensifies in most-parched areas of U.S.: The historic drought of 2012 is intensifying in the most parched areas of the American heartland, roasting much of the corn and soybean crop, scorching the grasslands and pastures essential for cattle grazing, and threatening to send food prices surging in the United States and abroad.

The Wall Street Journal, Fraud Fears Put a Chill in Fuel Program: A government program designed in part to foster innovative new producers of alternative diesel fuels is now endangered by fears of burgeoning fraud.

Righty Playbook
National Review‘s Jim Geraghty notes that the ‘independent’ organization attacking Romney’s tax plan has given $14,000 to Obama and none to Romney.

The Mercatus Center‘s Matt Mitchell argues that the best way to get money out of politics is to get government to stop making economic decisions.

AEI‘s James Pethokoukis suggests Romney should adopt the Simpson-Bowles tax plan.

Lefty Playbook
The New York Times
Paul Krugman says Romney’s tax plan robs from the poor to give to the rich.

The American Prospect‘s Jamelle Bouie says Obama has outflanked Romney on taxes.

Atrios celebrates the second anniversary of Tim Geithner’s “Welcome to the Recovery” op-ed.