Monthly Archives: August 2012

Attacks on Bain That Come From Within the Republican Party

The Rachel Maddow Show has a segment they headline Bain attacks from within the GOP.  This segment nicely encapsulates all that is wrong with Mitt Romney’s business experience.

This segment makes it obvious that Republicans from Newt Gingrich to Rick Perry know what is wrong with the way Mitt Romney stole his fortune. What has changed about the last few decades of Mitt Romney’s history from the time they were running against him to now when they tell us what a wonderful business person he is?

Were they lying then, or are they lying now?

If these Republicans know so much about what is wrong with how Mitt Romney stole his money, then why are they so anxious to promote the rules, regulations, and tax structure that encourages people to do what Romney has done?

Do bald faced lies matter anymore in politics?

Does the electorate still possess the capacity to ask themselves these simple questions?

Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches

The New York Times comments on the Republican acceptance speeches in Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches.

Representative Paul D. Ryan used his convention speech on Wednesday to fault President Obama for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he himself had helped kill. He chided Democrats for seeking $716 billion in Medicare cuts that he too had sought. And he lamented the nation’s credit rating — which was downgraded after a debt-ceiling standoff that he and other House Republicans helped instigate.

And Mitt Romney, in his acceptance speech on Thursday night, asserted that President Obama’s policies had “not helped create jobs” and that Mr. Obama had gone on an “apology tour” for America. He also warned that the president’s Medicare cuts would “hurt today’s seniors,” claims that have already been labeled false or misleading.

The two speeches — peppered with statements that were incorrect or incomplete — seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of presidential campaign, one in which concerns about fact-checking have been largely set aside.

If The New York Times had a reputation for honesty, this might mean more. Sadly, once you throw your credibility away, you cannot use it to cast aspersions on others.  This is one reason why President Obama should not follow the Romney/Ryan campaign down the same dishonest path.

Lyin’ Ryan: All The Media Pushback

I received an email from The Daily Kos saying “Click here to see 25 journalists and pundits call out Paul Ryan for lying, and please share the list with friends over Facebook, Twitter or other social networks you belong to.”

I figured it was easier to pass this link on to you than it would have been to make 25 separate blog posts.

I haven’t followed any of the links in The Daily Kos article yet.  I figure I can pretend to be Faux Noise for a day and report first and verify later.  If I  find any of the links to be misleading in themselves, then I will be sure not to bother to report back here.

I have mixed feeling about clicking on the following link from the article:

Fox News contributor, Sally Kohn:
“Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”
Read more:…

I have barely begun to read the Faux Noise article and it already beats the part quoted by The Daily Kos. To all your friends that insist that Faux Noise never lies, I beg of you to send them a link to this Faux Noise item. However, stand back, because the cognitive dissonance may explode from their heads.

On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.

Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney’s Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill has the Democracy Now interview Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney’s Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill.

A new article by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone sheds new light on the origin of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s fortune, revealing how Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Taibbi writes: “What most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.”

Matt Taibi talks about a number of concrete examples of the hypothetical situation I used in the previous post Vulture Capitalism Explained. If you have trouble getting a grasp on what Taibi is talking about, reading my previous post may help. Also, if my previous post was too hypothetical, then Taibi adds the real examples to what I was explaining.

Mitt Romney is up in arms about the federal government’s long term debt which is less than our gross national product. In Romney’s business life in one example in the above video, he invested $18 million to get hold of a company that then borrowed over $300 million to pay him huge profits. After creating this fictitious wealth, he walked off with the cash, put the company in bankruptcy, and left the lenders with close to nothing for their $300 Million in loans.

No wonder Bain has been able to have an 88% annual return for its investors for twenty years. You use the money to invest in what is essentially a heist. The difference with this and other criminal types is that you get the government to write loopholes into law so that what you are doing is technically legal.

But as we liberals, progressives, and Democrats have been saying since Reagan came to office ,”There oughta be a law.” And there could be a law if we got the government out of the hands of the corporate Republicans (and some corporate Democrats.)

Romney and the European Authoritarian Right

The Real News Network has the video interview Romney and the European Authoritarian Right with John Weeks.

John Weeks: European right-wing governments prefer Obama for pragmatic reasons, but are closer to Romney in ideology
The U.S. Federal Reserve has put a lot of money into the various bailout funds for the euro. Okay. I think that the European governments believe that—the right-wing governments believe that Romney would be less likely to do that. So even though they may prefer Romney in terms of his social and economic policies, they’re interested in continued support from the Federal Reserve system. And after all, the sad part of it is Obama has not been that progressive. So he’s not that far from some of these governments. I mean, that is the—that’s what’s fundamentally under attack by the right wing in the United States and Europe, the idea that people can come together to solve a problem.

This interview explains to me why it is that Europe is turning rightward. I was fooled by the post World War II history into thinking that the United States was leading Europe away from Europe’s social democratic tendency.

The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney

Rolling Stone magazine has the article The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney. Thanks to ToddS for recommending this article.

In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

Sort of calls to mind the book by Bill Black – The Best Way To Rob a Bank is to Own One.  Mitt seems to have come up with a way to rob a bank that Bill Black didn’t even think about.

The Rolling Stone article concludes with

Even as consumers took a loss, however, a small group of investors wound up getting a good deal in the bailout. Bain Capital – the very firm that had triggered the crisis in the first place – walked away with $4 million. That was the fee it charged Bain & Company for loaning the consulting firm the services of its chief executive – one Willard Mitt Romney.

I guess the title of another book could be, “The Best Way To Get Rich Is To Steal Money.”  Maybe “Mitt, you didn’t build it, you stole it” would be a better title.


Court rejects Florida GOP voter-registration restrictions

Rachel Maddow has blogged about Court rejects Florida GOP voter-registration restrictions.

Republican efforts to restrict voting rights come in a variety of forms. Some of the most notable efforts involve onerous voter-ID laws and closing early-voting windows.

But in Florida, GOP officials have also placed sweeping restrictions on voter-registration drives. As Laura explained overnight, new Republican-imposed rules have made it almost impossible for progressive groups to register new Democratic voters. This isn’t an accident.

I hate to think that this election is already moot because the Republicans have already suppressed enough Democratic voters to cause President Obama to lose this election.