Daily Archives: April 23, 2012

Mitt Romney, American Parasite

This is an interesting read.  It exposes the real Mitt Romney during his Bain Capital years.

The Village Voice

His years at Bain represent everything you hate about capitalism

It was the early 1990s, and the 750 men and women at Georgetown Steel were pumping out wire rods at peak performance. They had an abiding trust in management’s ability to run a smart company. That allegiance was rewarded with fat profit-sharing checks. In the basement-wage economy of Georgetown, South Carolina, Sanderson and his co-workers were blue-collar aristocracy.

“We were doing very good,” says Sanderson, president of Steelworkers Local 7898. “The plant was making money, and we had good profit-sharing checks, and everything was going well.”

What he didn’t know was that it was about to end. Hundreds of miles to the north, in Boston, a future presidential candidate was sizing up Georgetown’s books.

At the time, Mitt Romney had been runningBain Capital since 1984, minting a reputation as a prince of private investment. A future prospectus by Deutsche Bank would reveal that by the time he left in 1999, Bain had averaged a shimmering 88 percent annual return on investment. Romney would use that success to launch his political career.

His specialty was flipping companies—or what he often calls “creative destruction.” It’s the age-old theory that the new must constantly attack the old to bring efficiency to the economy, even if some companies are destroyed along the way. In other words, people like Romney are the wolves, culling the herd of the weak and infirm.

His formula was simple: Bain would purchase a firm with little money down, then begin extracting huge management fees and paying Romney and his investors enormous dividends.

The result was that previously profitable companies were now burdened with debt. But much like the Enron boys, Romney’s battery of MBAs fancied themselves the smartest guys in the room. It didn’t matter if a company manufactured bicycles or contact lenses; they were certain they could run it better than anyone else.

Bain would slash costs, jettison workers, reposition product lines, and merge its new companies with other firms. With luck, they’d be able to dump the firm in a few years for millions more than they’d paid for it.

But the beauty of Romney’s thesis was that it really didn’t matter if the company succeeded. Because he was yanking out cash early and often, he would profit even if his targets collapsed.

Which was precisely the fate awaiting Georgetown Steel.

H/t: Dennis

Continue reading here…

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Did Fox News Fabricate An Obama Quote?

Steve Doocy

Same old Fox News deception…

TPMDC

In a recent campaign-trail speech, President Obama delivered a line that was widely construed as a jab at Mitt Romney. But whether it was a direct jab at Romney was at least arguable until a Fox News host pumped it up with three additional words that Obama never said.

“Somebody gave me an education,” the President said last Wednesday in a Elyria, Ohio speech, discussing equality of opportunity. “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance — just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.”

The “silver spoon” comment in the context of the speech seemed to be a swipe against Romney, whose father George Romney was the top executive of a major car company and a former governor of Michigan. But the President was able to maintain plausible deniability until Steve Doocy of Fox News came along. While interviewing Romney on live TV Thursday, Doocy quoted Obama as saying, “Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

But Obama never prefaced his statement with the words “unlike some people,” as evident in thevideo of the speech (9:22 minute mark). The words do not appear in the official transcript either.

Regardless, the unspoken words were imputed to Obama in a Washington Post article, a New York Post editorial and conservative blogs after Doocy’s segment.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the remark had nothing to do with Romney. Nor is the phrase new: Obama used the words “silver spoon” in a similar context during a March 2009 speech about the importance of education and opportunity.

A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Allen West Ousted From NAACP Event Over Communist Remark

Allen West Communists

There is absolutely nothing that can change my opinion of this guy.  He was a creep in the military and he’s an even bigger creep in  Congress.

The really sad thing is that although he got an early discharge from the military for his tortuous acts against an Iraqi prisoner, I believe he was (s)elected by Tea Partiers because of that act.

The Huffington Post

It turns out calling Democratic lawmakers “Communists” has some consequences.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for his district chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) this past Saturday. But days before the event, the group canceled the gathering and asked West not to come back when they rescheduled. Why?

“There’s a certain statement he made about Communists,” Jerry Gore, president of the Martin County NAACP, told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. “That statement alone … we do not represent that type of atmosphere.”

The NAACP chapter is rescheduling its banquet for Sept. 15, with a new keynote speaker. Gore told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers that a spokesman for West said he “understood” why the organization didn’t want West to speak anymore.

West landed in hot water earlier this month after telling constituents at a town hall meeting that some 80 House Democrats “are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.” His remarks sparked outrage among Democrats – Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said “not even Joe McCarthy would have said anything so stupid” — but West later said he had no regrets about the ordeal.

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ALEC Hit With IRS Complaint Filed By Common Cause

More bad news for this insidious organization…

The Huffington Post

Open government advocates accused a conservative legislative group Monday of falsely claiming tax-exempt status while doing widespread lobbying.

Advocacy group Common Cause said Monday it had filed an IRS complaint accusing ALEC of masquerading as a public charity. ALEC is formed as a nonprofit that brings together lawmakers and private sector organizations to develop legislation and policy.

ALEC says its work is not lobbying.

Common Cause disagrees. “It tells the IRS in its tax returns that it does no lobbying, yet it exists to pass profit-driven legislation in statehouses all over the country that benefits its corporate members,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, in a statement. “ALEC is not entitled to abuse its charitable tax status to lobby for private corporate interests, and stick the bill to the American taxpayer.”

Common Cause wants an IRS audit of ALEC’s work, penalties and the payment of back taxes.

A spokeswoman for ALEC did not return a call seeking comment.

ALEC has been active since the 1970s and has long drawn the ire of open government groups who question the secretive development of legislation and close relationship between private sector officials and lawmakers who meet at conferences to jointly develop model legislation. Liberal activists have seized on ALEC’s support of so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws, coordinating a campaign against the group in the wake of the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman, who has been charged in Martin’s death, maintains he shot in self-defense. His attorney plans to cite the “Stand Your Ground” law, which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight.

Amid the backlash, several companies who have previously supported ALEC financially, including Coca-Cola Co. and McDonald’s Corp., said they are no longer members. And ALEC said it was disbanding its public safety task force that helped export the Florida law to other states.

Those task forces consume much of ALEC’s spending, and Common Cause believes they are simply forums for lobbying. Common Cause said its complaint was based on more than 4,000 pages of ALEC records, including talking points that ALEC workers provided to lawmakers in order to better argue on behalf of the legislation the group develops.

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Mitt Romney’s Sleazy Support of Ted Nugent Reveals His True Moral Character

There’s an old saying: If you lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas…  

Politicus USA

Character is the aggregate of traits that form the individual nature of a person that includes their morals, honesty, reputation, integrity and ethical quality. When a person is secretive and dishonest, it may be necessary to judge their character by their associates and past statements to discern their true nature. The presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Willard Romney, portrays himself as a man of high moral character and a regular American even though his wealthy elitism and proclivity as a pathological liar tell a different story. Putting Willard’s penchant for lying and hoarding wealth aside, his association with washed-up rocker Ted Nugent informs his low moral character for pandering to the lowest element of American society.

Romney’s identity crisis has motivated him to gravitate from religious sycophant and wealthy elitist to what he thinks Americans consider normal to garner support from the hard-right whose concept of a good American is defined by the number and bibles and firearms they own. Aligning himself with un-American Ted Nugent was a calculated move to engender support from racists and subset of Republicans whose sheer hatred of America’s first African American President has resulted in fallacious accusations and lies that define Willard Romney’s low morals and highlight his acute character flaws. Willard may not overtly use hateful, inflammatory and violent rhetoric on the campaign trail, but he is exploiting pathetic anti-American sentiment to garner support for his presidential bid.

Continue reading here…

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George Zimmerman apologizes: 5 takeaways from his bail hearing

The Week"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," George Zimmerman told Trayvon Martin's parents at his bail hearing. "I did not know how old he was... I did not know if he was armed or not."

In a dramatic day in court, Trayvon Martin’s killer says he’s sorry — and is granted a $150,000 bail

Nearly two months after he admittedly shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman unexpectedly apologized to Martin’s parents at a bail hearing in Sanford, Fla. on Friday. “I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son,” Zimmerman, 28, said in a “meek” voice. “I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.” (Watch the video below.) Zimmerman faces a charge of second-degree murder, but claims that he acted in self-defense. Judge Kenneth Lester granted him a $150,000 bail, though Zimmerman is still not expected to leave jail for several days. Here, five takeaways from the day’s events:

1. Martin’s parents are outraged
Martin’s parents are quite angry that Zimmerman would “give a self-serving apology to help him get a bond,” said Ben Crump, the Martin family attorney. Hold on, says Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara. Zimmerman wanted to apologize, and while “it should have been done in a private setting… that [opportunity] wasn’t afforded to him.” (On Thursday, Martin’s parents rejected Zimmerman’s request for a meeting.)

2. Zimmerman will be tracked
The judge granted bail on the condition that Zimmerman would wear a monitoring bracelet on his ankle. Zimmerman was ordered not to contact Martin’s family, and to abide by a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew each night. Lester is still weighing whether to allow Zimmerman to leave Florida. Zimmerman’s lawyers say he’s not safe in the Sunshine State, having reportedly received multiple death threats. Zimmerman is still in jail, and his lawyer says it could take some days for his family to come up with the money to post the $150,000 bond.

3. Prosecutors say he has a history of violence
In seeking to deny him bail, prosecutors grilled Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman, about her husband’s past arrest for assaulting an undercover police officer, and another incident in which an injunction was filed against him by a former girlfriend who claimed Zimmerman had hit her. Shellie Zimmerman, testifying by telephone, insisted that Zimmerman had merely acted in self-defense. “He’s absolutely not a violent person or a threat to the community,” she testified.

4. Lawyers are previewing their trial strategies
O’Mara went after Dale Gilbreath, an investigator for the state attorney’s office, when he took his turn on the stand. O’Mara aggressively questioned Gilbreath about an affidavit he had drawn up, in which he said Zimmerman “confronted” Martin. Gilbreath conceded that he did not know who started the fight. Also, when prosecutors asked Gilbreath if there was any evidence to suggest that Zimmerman had made untrue statements to the police, Gilbreath replied, “Yes.”

5. Meanwhile, a new photo of a bloodied Zimmerman emerges
ABC News published a photograph showing the back of Zimmerman’s head covered in blood mere minutes after Trayvon died. “The photo could give credence to Zimmerman’s claim that Martin had bashed his head against the concrete as Zimmerman fought for his life,” says ABC. Investigators had already seen the photo, and Crump said it proved nothing. “How bad could it have been if they didn’t take him to the hospital [and] didn’t stitch him up,” he said. “The special prosecutor has seen all the evidence and still believes George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin.”

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Olbermann On ABC’s ‘This Week’…

Former Current TV host Keith Olbermann. Screenshot via ABC.

Olbermann: ‘Almost deliberate’ gas price hikes are to hurt Obama

Liberal commentator Keith Olbermann on Sunday suggested that the price of gas had been artificially manipulated since President Barack Obama took office to hurt his chances at re-election. In an appearance on ABC, Olbermann noted he had become suspicious after gas prices increased from $1.61 a gallon when Obama took…

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Olbermann: Was the GOP ‘pro-dog meat eating’ before reading Obama’s book?

Former Current TV host Keith Olbermann appeared on ABC’s This Week for the first time Sunday morning, discussing the Republican Party’s strategy in recent years to accuse the Democrats of the same problem they face in a specific news cycle. Olbermann was among This Week‘s roundtable guests, which discussed Republicans…

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Tennessee Conservative Backed Bill Could Criminalize Natural Miscarriages

The misguided puritanical positions of Hard Right Conservatives will be their downfall in national and state-wide elections in 2012…

Addicting Info 

The Republican controlled Tennessee House has passed a bill that would criminalize harming an embryo, which is a group of cells that eventually forms into a fetus. Republicans say House Bill 3517 is meant to clarify an existing law that allows the prosecution of those who harm any fetus. But opponents of the bill claim that it could criminalize women who lose a pregnancy via natural miscarriage.

The Tennessean reports that Democratic Rep. Jeanne Richardson predicted that the bill could lead to the criminal prosecution of women who naturally miscarry, which according to the National Institutes of Health, around 50% of all fertilized eggs terminate naturally before reaching full term, and during the embryonic stage the rate of natural termination is higher.

‘Fetus’ is a term most often used after eight weeks of pregnancy. Before that, the term ‘embryo’ is used. By passing this bill, Republicans are trying to mandate that embryos can be victims of crime, which would basically define embryos as persons from the moment of conception. It’s a sneaky way to pass a personhood law. And since abortion is the unnatural termination of an embryo or fetus, the legislation could be used to prosecute women and doctors for murder. This bill IS an anti-abortion law that could scare women from getting an abortion and scare doctors from performing an abortion, even if an abortion is medically necessary. Women who are raped could also face prosecution for getting an abortion. But ultimately, this bill could give any law enforcement official the power to pursue criminal charges against women who naturally miscarry. And considering that many Republicans think miscarriage is murder, it’s not that far-fetched. Last February, Georgia Republican Bobby Franklin introduced a bill that would require investigations of natural miscarriages. If a miscarriage was found to be unnatural, a women could get the death penalty. That’s the direction Tennessee may be heading. So, if you are a woman who has a miscarriage and your nosy anti-abortion neighbor finds out and tells authorities, a conservative prosecutor who wants to score political points could invade your privacy and put you through a rigorous investigation to see if the miscarriage was indeed natural or not and could even have you arrested on the charge of murder because of the ambiguous nature of the bill’s language.

Tennessee Republicans have already tried to mandate that the names and information of doctors who provide abortions be publicized. That law would have outed not only the doctors, but the women they serve as well. Clearly, Tennessee Republicans are seeking to be the most anti-abortion conservative state in the nation. This is yet another shot fired by Republicans in their war against women.

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Seen On The Internet – Sunday, April 22, 2012

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