a schoolmate whose long hair Romney felt wasn't right,
while he cut Lauber's bleached hair. Classmates described the act as
"senseless", "stupid" and "vicious" but not "forgettable". Yet while others involved who were contacted
apologized or expressed remorse, Romney claims not to remember. He apologized
vaguely for pranks "that might have gone too far" (perhaps also drowning out a
presumably gay classmate with "atta girl" and leading a visually impaired
teacher into a door). An MIT balloon
inflating in the Harvard-Yale game is a crowd-pleasing prank, an assault that
traumatized an individual is a crime that
, if not the police,
rather than boosting the his social status.
Romney rails against President Obama's budget, even choosing as his vice
president Paul Ryan, to show he'll tackle what he's called our "prairie fire of
debt". Ironically his Bain career, once touted as his major White House
qualification, involved saddling companies with unnecessary debt. He's been tight lipped about Bain deals and
. "Rolling Stone's"
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."
purchase Ampad (American Pad & Paper) in 1992 using $5 million of its money
then imposed, within three years, $60 million in annual debt payments and $7
million in management fees. When Bain took Ampad public it charged them $7
million more for IPO-related services and management fees and cashed out $50
million in stock for the private equity firm and its investors. Ampad went
bankrupt and hundreds of workers lost their jobs but Bain and their investors
made over $100 million on a $5 million initial investment.
Bain put only $18 million of their money into industry up-and-comer KB Toys.
Again they levered it up and power-sucked out money earning Bain at least a
370-percent return. The once promising toy firm soon went bankrupt. Taibbi
concludes from this and other deals:
rich made a lot of] money in ever-shorter campaigns of economic conquest,
sending the proceeds offshore, and shrugging as the great towns and factories
their parents and grandparents built were shuttered and boarded up, crushed by a
true prairie fire of debt."
-- What used to be Romney's
signature policy accomplishment since entered the witness protection program of
his memory where it hides with Cranbrook "hi-jinks". The
Massachusetts mandate-based program that passed six years ago was, according to
Romney in June 2010,
a good model for the national health care reform
, then not so a few months
later. The Affordable Care Act needed a total repeal per Romney, then had parts
that should be retained. Had this double back flip happened on an Olympic
springboard, it would have been a good conversation
started with those difficult Londoners
no better on birth control and abortion. During the 1994 Massachusetts Senate
race he said:
believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe since Roe
v. Wade has been law for 20 years we should sustain and support it. I sustain
and support the law and the right of a woman to make that
his position is that abortion should be legal only in the case of rape and
incest. And he's put on the ticket a leader in the assault on reproductive
freedom. Ryan partnered with Todd Akin, a Congressman who gained national
notoriety last month for saying victims of "legitimate" rape rarely get
pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing
Earlier the two cosponsored
of a bill
(which later passed the House of Representatives) to prevent
Medicaid funds from going to anyone but victims of the tautologically- and
insidiously-named "forcible rape".
Though not defined, those that appear ineligible for federal funds
include victims of statutory rape, women slipped a "date rape" drug, girls
incapacitated by alcohol, and females of limited mental capacity.
that bill is only the "the
second most sweeping attack
on reproductive freedom" of the Akin-Ryan team.
The two also cosponsored a national bill on the personhood amendment that would
have made having an abortion or using of some forms of birth control equivalent
to homicide. Passed earlier, this could have landed at least another 1.3 million
women in jail annually. Maybe their disenfranchisement would have prevented that
widening women voter gap?
4. Chris Stevens
use of the deaths of four Americans was offensive on many levels. To start with,
those of us who knew Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens are pretty sure he wouldn't
have voted for Romney. For others, consider his identity: Californian, double
University of Berkeley graduate, Peace Corps volunteer, foreign
doesn't mean he and other American diplomats can't be used to create Romney
foreign policy credentials. On the night of Sept. 11, Romney released comments
criticizing the Egyptian Embassy's
statement but got it wrong: a) suggesting
it was from the Obama administration, b) that it was made after, not before, the
embassies were attacked, c) that the Obama administration did not condemn the
attacks (Secretary of State Clinton already had), and d) that it was not a
sensible response from an American presence in a region increasingly inflamed by
a hateful movie. The morning brought a smiling
(?!) Romney who doubled down on his earlier comments. However several days
later, as the spotlight shifted away from the event, he essentially agreed
the Egyptian Embassy's statement was fine
Lies and more lies
-- Romney said
last week that he will be challenged in the upcoming debate because President
Obama will say things that aren't true (a comment not surprisingly lost in the
shuffle between the evil embassy and the irresponsible poor.) Let's check the
Romney ads misrepresenting President Obama's record on welfare have been
. Romney ads and statements slamming Obama for removing
$716 billion from Medicare are pure hypocrisy; Romney, too, would remove that
money. But while Medicare's outlook
with Obama's health care reform, seniors would have paid thousands
more under Ryan's famous proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system.
Perhaps Romney's difficulty with facts led Romney pollster, Neil Newhouse, to
say at the Republican National Convention:
not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."
Tax shenanigans -- Death may be
certain but having presidential candidates reveal their tax history or pay what
"working" Americans do is now fantasy. Romney two years of returns contrast with
10 years he requested from some vice presidential candidates and his father's 12
years release. Ironically Romney's 800-plus-page 2011 return sent out Friday
attempted to distract the public from his description of half of Americans as
irresponsible victims, although most earn under 1/400th of his income
and many pay more in taxes.
tax return already looks problematic. Romney expected earnings, per his January
tax filings, near his adjusted 2010 gross income of $21 million but the expert
businessman came in $7 million (33 percent!) short. Then he deducted only a little over half his
charitable deduction to land at 14 percent versus 10 percent tax rate (were all
his income classified as wages and not deducted he'd be close to 35 percent),
disqualifying himself from leading the country per his comments earlier this
if I had paid more [taxes] than are legally due I don't think I'd be qualified
to become president.
charitable deductions are suspect too: 80 percent went to the Mormon Church
a shopping mall, established hunting preserves, and owns radio stations
and insurance companies
though it donated relatively little to support the
returns also raises many questions
With a maximum contribution to one's IRA of $30,000 per year, how Romney can
have filed documents that showed as much as $82 million in the account? What is
the purpose of his many offshore tax haven accounts and Swiss bank accounts?
Will he file an amended return to take advantage of the full value of his
"charitable" contributions later? And why
are we being asked to trust tax code to someone who own approach is so messed up
that if they saw the light of day he might lose?
The 47 percent
-- You thought Romney
might be mounting a takeover of those to whom he's hostile, it's now confirmed.
A video from a May fundraiser shows him
talking about those who pay no federal income tax; rely on government services
like food, health care, or housing; and vote for Obama (three
). He says he'll never convince them to take personal
responsibility for their lives and describes them as self-perceived
also the question why he would imply that you need to be hungry and homeless and
lacking health care to become truly empowered.
Presumably neither Paul Ryan's "irresponsible" Medicare-receiving mother
nor his own believed this. As Lenore Romney said:
Romney] was a refugee from Mexico. He was on relief, welfare relief for the
first years of his life. But this great country gave him
Mitt's Core -- Mitt's shown us little
in the way of his values, but it should come as no surprise. The
man so defined by his religious faith has a moral compass that's gone haywire.
Throughout his life h e's been defined by not being defined,
as drilled into him through decades in rapacious business. Top consulting firms
work employees hard on whatever the client wants, often business process
engineering to prepare for outsourcing, or slashing US jobs at highly profitable
companies. Private equity is worse. All businesses are legally required to focus
only on profitability yet most businesses -- particularly those which are small
or have strong mission statement -- pay attention to employees, product quality,
and their impact on the world. Private equity involves takeovers that top
management often fights (when not paid off) and business owners -- not to mention
employees -- don't want. The PE firm then maintains a laser-like focus on
extracting money quickly, firing employees and slashing research and development
to show huge jumps in profitability.
It's sold by soulless investment bankers who use ever-changing,
misleading asset allocation models, and sheaves of paper to bury fees and
exclude critical information on firm funds.
eight things show a campaign not big enough for the moment. Romney flits between
topics, spending a metaphorical minute on each.
It's a minute in which he'll says anything -- contradict his earlier statements, dismiss
those he seeks to govern, and use those who have dedicated their lives to true
service and sacrifice.
All this is
because Mitt Romney's trying to bring the private equity model to America, but
one of destruction that's far from creative. His past is our prologue: an
aggressive takeover, slashed costs, and an enriched very wealthy. His leadership
appears lacking because an agenda to benefit a fraction of the top 1 percent --
and not even them in the long term -- is not saleable. If he wins, he will make
cuts to taxes and debt that, during these recessionary times, will destroy what
this country built through decades of leadership and can yet regain -- an country
of smart, educated people; a good infrastructure; and ultimately opportunity for
all. But, like Bain, he will leave
behind devastation from a culture accountable to the very rich who will always
want, as billionaire John D. Rockefeller famously put it, "just one more
may appear to not stand for anything but he stands for his donors and their
agenda. It is us who, if lose our moral footing and focus, will fall for an
agenda that will eviscerate the promise this country.
decide what Romney truly is or remain mystified. But tell others about him by
talking, singing or writing, then go out there and vote.