Friday, July 20, 2012


  I was sent this simple explanation in an email. I have no idea who the original creator is.

Helga is the proprietor of a bar.  She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar.  To solve this problem she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.
Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers' loans).
Word gets around about Helga's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town.
By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer - the most consumed beverages.
Consequently, Helga's gross sales volumes and paper profits increase massively.  A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga's borrowing limit.  He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.
He is rewarded with a six figure bonus.
At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS. These "securities"  are then bundled and traded on international securities markets.
Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as "AA Secured Bonds" are really debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.
The traders all receive a six figure bonus.
One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga's bar. He so informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Helga cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga's 11 employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank's liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
The suppliers of Helga's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the BOND securities.  They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.   Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations; her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.
They all receive six a figure bonus.
The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who've never been in Helga's bar.
Now that explains it quite well, don't you think?

Friday Funnies:Obama and Romney Edition

Jimmy Fallon: "A new poll found that 54 percent of Florida voters think the country is on the wrong track under President Obama. While the rest of Florida’s voters still think Teddy Roosevelt is president."

"President Obama said 1992’s dream team was better than this year’s Olympic basketball team. Which is interesting because a lot of people think 1992’s president is better than this year’s president."

"During last night's USA-Brazil basketball game, President Obama gave Michelle a kiss when they were shown on the kiss cam. That's cute. It explains why everyone was like, 'quick, put him on the fix the economy cam!'"

Jon Stewart, Mitt Romney's "retroactive retirement" from Bain: "In 2012 I realized the company I was CEO of in 1999 did things that would hurt my presidential run in the present, so I retroactively wasn't there."

"Nobody cares that Mitt Romney is rich. It's Romney’s inability to understand the institutional advantage that he gains from the government’s tax code largesse, that’s a little offensive to people, especially considering Romney's view on anyone else who looks to the government for things like, I don't know, food and medicine."

Jay Leno: "Well, President Obama and first lady Michelle went to see the U.S. Olympic basketball team play Brazil the other day. And during the game, they were put on the kiss cam. At first, they didn't kiss and the crowd booed them. Then the camera went back to them. And they finally did kiss. Isn't that amazing? A politician in Washington caught on camera kissing a woman he's actually married to?"

"The Obama administration has reportedly told Syrian rebels they can't help them until after the election. So at least they're consistent. That's the same thing they're telling us. 'Can't help you until after the election."

"Every American athlete who wears the Chinese made uniforms will get a free bootleg copy of the new Batman movie."

"During a fundraiser a country club in Mississippi, Mitt Romney said the GOP is a party focused on helping the poor. See, his wife Ann is right, he is funny. He can makes jokes."

The Titans and Mitt Romney

There really ought to have been more incredulity that, four years after an economic meltdown caused primarily by the financial titans of the great Wall Street casino, we would be presented with a nominee for president that hailed from the very same industry, and made his money in some of the very same ways. That on the heels of yet another loosening of the rules attempting to keep money from thoroughly overwhelming the political process, the richest man in the race would win his primary easily, hands down, while benefiting from expensive ad campaigns targeted at picking off each of his opponents in turn. That those ad campaigns would be, in turn, financed by some of the very hedge fund managers and other financial gurus whose industry wrecked things so efficiently that they are still wrecked, even now. And that the primary policy battles of this election would be, indeed, whether or not our tax structures were sufficiently kowtowing to those financial titans.

It has only been four years or so. That really isn't much time. Unemployment is still rampant—yes, rampant, four years ago the current level of unemployment was considered the worse case scenario, four years later it is considered the new normal, hardly even mentioned. The bank scandals have continued unabated, this time with the new suggestion that the titans of finance had been rigging the whole game from the outset. Two competing populist movements have sprung up: the tea partiers to object to taxing the rich, and the Occupy movement to demand accountability from them.

All of that has happened, and here we are. One of the two candidates for the presidency of the United States is a fabulously wealthy Wall Street financier, from a company whose success was based in large part on financial scheming at the expense of endangered companies, and on offshoring jobs, wildly supported by other Wall Street financiers, and is demanding, one, less regulation of financial institutions, and two, tax cuts for the rich that make the previous tax cuts for the rich look like chicken feed.

If Hunter S. Thompson was alive today, I do believe he would be going off the deep end right about now.

The current political riff over whether or not Barack Obama does or does not loathe businessmen and wish to do them harm is yet another in a long line of examples in which the narrative is, in variation after variation, centered on the titans of finance and what we can do for them. If the economy is suffering, it is because we have not appeased the titans properly. If there are no jobs to be had, it is because the titans are still too unsure of our intentions towards them. If there are still crooks on Wall Street, it is because entirely too many things have been declared to be illegal. Whether or not people have money to buy the things the titans are selling never comes up; it is implicit, in every debate, that the titans will decide whether we will buy things or not. When the economy crashed and things needed propping up, it was Wall Street that got propped up first. When the economy recovered, it was Wall Street that gained the largest share of the profits. According to current narrative, the entire world economy can be neatly encapsulated by the considering the desires and requirements of the top one percent of the top one percent; everyone else on the planet is a footnote.

The central banks all express alarm at unemployment; the central banks all do not a damn thing to combat it. The governments all express alarm at the behavior of the titans; the governments all do hardly a thing to forcibly reform them. And, in politics, we are trapped. The titans finance the elections, the titans underwrite the people who write the rules, the government looks to the ranks of the titans when seeking officials to lead the economic decision-making process. All of this four years after their recession. Their crash. Their failures. All of it just the same as during the four years before the collapse, or worse.

So now the current challenger for the presidency is a Wall Street financier, one who made his money by closing factories and shipping the jobs to cheaper places, or by taking control of companies, loading them with debt in order to pay his own company handsomely from that debt, and departing again—the kind of money-making that the titans think of as the most clever of all, because it extracts money from nothingness, but the kind that nearly everyone else points to as economic parasitism of the highest order. Gordon Gekko has come back to town, and by God and the titans, he's been heralded as a diplomat, and a patriot, and a generally fine fellow.

Holy hell.

Hunter for Daily Kos on Wed Jul 18, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Romney, Bain, The Olympics, and Mattel

SEC filings, press releases, and other contemporaneous documents released between 1997 and 1999 indicate that Mitt Romney may have parlayed a $23m investment and seat on the board of troubled software firm The Learning Company (TLC) into an ownership stake in Mattel, Inc. worth as much as $100,000,000 as of June, 1999.

On September 25 of that year, Romney, in his role as CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee, stood before the world to announce that the SLOC had signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Mattel for the production of stuffed-animal representations of the Olympic mascots.

Romney made no mention of his personal ownership interest in Mattel.   Less than two weeks later, Mattel made a bombshell announcement.

On October 4 Mattel disclosed that The Learning Company had incurred millions in product returns and bad debt write-offs and that the TLC division of Mattel would incur a $50-$100 million loss rather than the large profit that had been forecast previously. 

Mattel, whose stock had traded as high as $27.23 when the TLC merger was completed, at $24.14 on June 25 (the date upon which Romney's ownership is documented and worth estimated), closed at $11.69 on October 4.

CNBC would later label the Mattel/TLC merger as 'one of the five worst of all time.'

The market had discovered, and Mattel had admitted, that The Learning Company was essentially a worthless shell.

Mitt Romney, by virtue of his control of a seat on the TLC board, would have most certainly known this to be true.

Thus, and by virtue of his statement of 25 September, 1999, Mitt Romney exposes himself to the potential for very serious allegations of fraud, namely:

That he used his position as CEO of the SLOC to influence the choice of Olympic sponsors and licensees to his own personal benefit.

That he used his position as CEO of the SLOC to make public statements about the health of Mattel which he knew or should have known, to be materially false.

That he used his position as CEO of the SLOC to influence the investment decisions of shareholders or potential shareholders of Mattel, or to influence the price of Mattel's stock, while failing to disclose his own material interest in Mattel.

That he failed to disclose to the SLOC, to the USOC, and to the IOC, a clear conflict of interest with respect to his ownership status in Mattel.

I'm missing two key pieces of information, however.   The first is a primary citation of the June 22, 1999 Bear Stearns report timestamping Lee, Bain, and Centre's Mattel ownership on that date.   That document either does, or does not exist.  If it exists, I need it.

The second is harder:    Between June 22 1999, through September 25, and into October 4, what happened with Romney/Bain's (estimated) 4.1 million shares of Mattel?   Did they sit on them, dump them, what?   Is it possible to know?   How much does it matter if the June 22 date can be validated?

Either this is some serious stuff, or I've managed to foolishly convince myself that it is.  I've been looking at it since I started researching my previous diary:  Mattel Toys, troubled firm partly owned by Bain, signs on as Olympics Sponsor, 9/25/1999.   At the time, it looked like there could be some evidence of petty graft with respect to the stuffed animals.  This could be magnitudes worse.

Right now I need your help.   Please read it. Try to follow my argument, try to tear it apart or show me where its holes are.   Let me know where you need clarification or are confused.

Thank you.

I:  Romney and Bain to acquire stake in The Learning Company


Learning Co., the troubled software company, said it will retire $150 million in debt by issuing preferred stock to financiers Thomas H. Lee Co., Bain Capital Inc. and Centre Partners Management LLC... The financiers will pay about $123 million for the notes, then surrender them to Learning Co. for preferred stock.

Lee's contribution is $75m, Romney/Bain's is $28m and Centre's is $20m.

Romney/Bain's $28m is equivalent to 22.7%, which will be used below to determine their post-merger position in Mattel.

SEC Filing, Bain, and Centre Purchares will acquire common and preferred stock and seats on the TLC board of directors.

II.   Mattel/The Learning Company Merger
MAT:  $21.42 (down almost $8.00 on announcement)
Press Release

Toy maker Mattel today said it will acquire educational software maker the Learning Company for $3.8 billion in stock.

CNBC will later list this as one of the 5 Worst Mergers of All Time

This SEC 13D filing documents the acquisition of beneficial interest in Mattel by Lee, Bain, and Centre, notes their voting their shares in favor of the merger, and requiring them to maintain ownership of their shares until completion of the merger.

General statement of acquisition of beneficial ownershipAcc-no: 0000898430-98-004512 Size: 46 KB
(3)...the Lee and Bain Stockholders have agreed to vote the 572,315 shares of TLC Preferred Stock (convertible into 11,446,300 shares of TLC Common Stock) over which they have voting power in favor of the Merger Agreement

(4)  ...the Lee and Bain Stockholders may not dispose of the [shares] that are directly held by them until the consummation of the Merger or the termination of the Merger Agreement.

MAT:  $25.67
Mitt Romney is announced as CEO of the 2002 SLOC Olympic

Romney will have to sever ties with any companies that do business with the games. Bain Capital has ownership stakes in many companies and Romney serves on various boards of directors.Kristin Moulton, AP

MAT:  $27.59
Mattel/TLC Joint Prospectus

Mattel/TLC Merger is completed.
MAT:  $27.33

Mattel, Inc today announced that it has completed its merger with The Learning Company, and that The Learning Company is now a division of Mattel.

MAT:  $24.14
This date brackets Bain ownership in Mattel as a 'key financial investor.'  My source is secondary as linked in the blockquote.   The uncited reference to the primary source is quote "On 6/22/99, Bear Stearns issued a report "Initiating Coverage" on Mattel by Jacobson."

Finally we also like that key financial investors in TLC, Thomas H. Lee Company, Bain Capital and Centre Partners, have 18 million Mattel shares and show no indication of wanting to sell.

I think I now have enough information to estimate Romney/Bain's stake in Mattel based upon three factors:  

the 18 million shares held by Lee/Bain/Centre above

Bains fractional ownership relative to Lee and Centre pre-perger = 22.7%(Lee:9,146,340;Bain:3,414,640;Centre:2,439,020;Total=15,000,000exact;)

Mattel closes at $24.14 on June 22, 1999

18,000,000 * 22.7% * $24.14 =

$98.6 Million


Another way to arrive at an estimate of Romney/Bain's position is as follows.  SEC filings state that

approximately 126 million Mattel common shares were issued in exchange for all
shares of Learning Company common stock outstanding as of the merger date.

Romney/Bain at 22.7% of 18 million shares would hold about 4.1 million.   Those 4.1 million represent about 3% of the 126 million shares noted above.  The stock merger was noted to be valued at about $3.8 billion.   3% of 3.8 billion is about 110 million, placing this estimate well within range of the $98.6 million tallied above.

MAT:  $23.41
Mattel Press Release (as cited in SEC Filing)

"Our U.S. business was up 5 percent in the quarter, driven by
increases in Fisher-Price(R), American Girl(R), Mattel Media and The
Learning Company
," Barad said.
"And, as we expected, The Learning Company is producing above average
growth in both revenue and margin, which was one of the reasons this
merger made so much sense for Mattel.

MAT:  $22.18
Mattel releases report for the 2nd Quarter of 1999
(SEC Filing)

MAT:  $23.19
This will be the last high before the stock starts to decline.

MAT:  $21.41 (9/24)
The Salt Lake Olympic Committee and Mitt Romney announce that Mattel Toys has signed a contract as an official licensee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

September 25, 1999
By Jerry Springer
Desert News Staff Writer

Mattel To Bring Mascots to Life
Toymaker signs on as Licensee for 2002 Games

On Friday the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, announced that Mattel, the renowned maker of such toys as Barbie, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Chatty Kathy, and Hot Wheels, has signed on as a Games Licensee.  The deal guarantees SLOC more than $1 million in advance payments from sales royalties.

"There is no better company than Mattel to help us bring the Olympic Mascots to life for children of all ages." Said SLOC President Mitt Romney.

Romney said SLOC was immediately drawn to Mattel because of the company's worldwide reputation and an existing distribution network rivaled by no other toymaker.  "To have a toymaker of Mattel's stature is a great benefit" Romney said.  "They are a premier manufacturer."

MAT:  $11.69
Mattel Press Release (via SEC filing)

LOS ANGELES, October 4 -- Mattel, Inc. said today that its
Learning Company division will have a significant third quarter
revenue shortfall resulting primarily from a decision not to
go forward with a planned licensing arrangement, as well as
higher than expected product returns.  The lower revenues,
together with the write-off of bad debts, increased customer
benefits and the termination of certain distributors, will result
in a third quarter, after-tax loss at The Learning Company of
between $50 million and $100 million, compared with an expected
$50 million, after-tax profit for this division.  Consequently,
Mattel third quarter earnings per share will be approximately
$.30 to $.40, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent decline in

Jill E. Barad resigns as CEO of Mattel Toys

There is nothing I can say to gloss over how devastating the Learning
Company’s results have been to Mattel’s overall performance.
there must be accountability, I and the board agree that I must resign today
as chairman and chief executive and from the board.” – Jill E. Barad,
Former Mattel CEO, Conference call with analysts on February 3, 2000

Mattel to Ditch The Learning Company

Call it a learning experience. Mattel said today that it is looking to sell its interactive software unit, The Learning Company, which the toy maker had characterized as a distraction and blamed for disappointing 1999 earnings, less than a year after buying it.


Mattel Inc. will close its last United States manufacturing plant and lay off 980 workers to cut costs, the company said yesterday.
Production will be moved to Mexico.

Originally posted to Shuksan Tahoma on Wed Jul 18, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mitt Romney


Another Study Shows Obamacare Isn’t Largest Tax Increase Ever

By  Joan McCarter  on Tue Jul 17, 2012

The screeching over the Affordable Care Act as the biggest middle-class tax hike ever from Republicans has quieted down some this week, as the Republican House realizes they've got yet another vacation coming up and a whole heckuva lot of legislating they haven't bothered to deal with yet still out there waiting for them. But it will be the focus of Republican outrage all summer long, and we're going to see a redux of August '10 with astroturfed town meetings featuring frothing teabaggers screaming about gubmint keeping its paws off their Medicare.

So, in preparation for that, here's yet one more analysis, this one from USA Today, showing that very few in the middle class will end up having to pay more in taxes as a result of the law. This, they say, is what might happen.

•About 7 million people could pay more because the law makes it more difficult to deduct medical expenses. People with lower incomes are less likely to itemize deductions.

•About 4 million workers could pay more because of a new $2,500 limit on flexible spending accounts, which can be used to shield medical expenses from taxation.

•The tax that rendered the law constitutional, to be assessed on those who fail to buy mandated health insurance, could hit about 4 million people across all income brackets.

All in all, the paper says, less than 10 percent of the nation's 140 million taxpayers could see a tax increase. That same 10 percent (unless they refuse to purchase insurance at all) will also get the benefits of not having copays for any preventive care, not being denied coverage for a serious illness that arises because of some specious "pre-existing condition," and the security of knowing that they'll always be able to be insured. For that small sliver of the population, that's a pretty decent tradeoff.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 17, 2012

How Romney Spent All Day Calling Obama A Foreigner

By Igor Volsky on Jul 17, 2012     From ThinkProgress

Mitt Romney’s campaign is hoping to distract voters from the growing drum beat of conservatives calling on the former Bain Capital executive to release his tax returns by smearing President Obama as a foreigner, in a not-so-subtle effort to revive the right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding his birthplace.

Indeed, the Romney team, and even Romney himself, spent all of Tuesday painting the president as not a “real” American. Here is a timeline of the campaign’s orchestrated smear:

11:00 AM — OBAMA IS ‘SMOKING SOMETHING,’ GREW UP IN INDONESIA: Obama “has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.” [Co-chair John Sununu, Fox News]

11:30 AM — OBAMA HAS TO ‘LEARN HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN’: “The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American. [Co-chair John Sununu, Romney campaign conference call]

lsky on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Mitt Romney’s campaign is hoping to distract voters from the growing drum beat of conservatives calling on the former Bain Capital executive to release his tax returns by smearing President Obama as a foreigner, in a not-so-subtle effort to revive the right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding his birthplace.

Indeed, the Romney team, and even Romney himself, spent all of Tuesday painting the president as not a “real” American. Here is a timeline of the campaign’s orchestrated smear:

11:00 AM — OBAMA IS ‘SMOKING SOMETHING,’ GREW UP IN INDONESIA: Obama “has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.” [Co-chair John Sununu, Fox News]

11:30 AM — OBAMA HAS TO ‘LEARN HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN’: “The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American. [Co-chair John Sununu, Romney campaign conference call]

11:30 AM — OBAMA’S AMERICA IS ‘SOCIALISM’: “It seems to me that the Obama America, there’s no risk but there’s plenty of reward. That’s called socialism to me. In the small business America, there’s a lot of risk, and a chance of reward, and that’s called capitalism, and that’s what made the United States the greatest nation on the face of the earth.” [Businessman Kyle Koehler, Romney campaign conference call]

1:35 PM — ROMNEY SAYS OBAMA’S POLICIES ARE ‘EXTRAORDINARILY FOREIGN’: “Celebrating success instead of attacking it and denigrating making America strong. That’s the right course for the country. His course is extraordinarily foreign.” [Mitt Romney, Pennsylvania]

© 2005-2012 Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Conservatives Selectively Edit Obama’s Speech To Claim He Hates Small Businesses

By Aviva Shen on Jul 16, 2012 @ ThinkPogress

Attempting to change the subject from the latest scandal over Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, conservatives have seized on new fodder for the narrative that Obama is secretly out to destroy small businesses. Fox and Friends on Monday morning aired a clip from an Obama campaign speech in Roanoke, Virginia, in which he says, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else did that.”

The sound bite soon reverberated throughout conservative media outlets. Fox News later ran the headline, “Obama Insults Small Business Owners,” and House Speaker John Boehner scoffed, “He said that because he has no idea what it takes to build or run a small business.”

The quote also prompted talk show host Rush Limbaugh to declare that President Obama “hates this country.”

Of course, Obama’s supposedly insulting comment is somewhat different in context. The full text of his speech, rather than denigrate small business, challenged the idea that wealthy and successful individuals have never benefited from government programs:

I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

Without the context, Obama’s point that individual effort is bolstered by community systems is completely lost. The idea is nothing new; Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made very similar comments that went viral in September of last year. Indeed, far from denigrating small business owners, Obama has cut taxes on small businesses 17 times.

Deliberately editing Obama out of context is not a new tactic for conservatives. In one blatant example, a recent Romney campaign ad quoted Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose,” a quote Obama was in fact using to criticize then-candidate John McCain for his refusal to discuss the economic crisis in 2008.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Mitt Romney's $100k Job Creation Record Is AMAZING

You want to know what I think is a really great example of Mitt Romney's job creation? The $100,000 a year job where you don't have to do anything:

Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.
Friday, Mitt Romney indicated exactly what his role was at Bain from 1999 to 2002:
"I was the owner of the entity that was filing this information, but I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after 1999. I left in February of 1999."
He had no role whatsoever. But he collected a hundred grand in salary. Not profit sharing or capital gains or carried interest. SALARY.

That is some kinda job! Who wouldn't want a job where you get $100k a year to have no role whatsoever? If that's the kind of jobs Mitt Romney wants to create, sign me up! Unfortunately for America, Mitt Romney only created one job of this type...for himself.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Sun Jul 15, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Nation Anthem


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mitch McConnell Takes Your Tax Cut Hostage, Again

By  Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 12, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking on hostage-taking duty for the Republicans this week, and as always, it's in order to protect the rich and powerful from paying their fair share of taxes. On Wednesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to set up two votes on the tax extensions: the Democrats, which would just extend the cuts for the first $250,000 in earnings, and a Republican bill that would extend it for rich people, too.

On Wednesday Reid tried to set up a vote on the competing proposals, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to his unanimous consent request, saying that Republicans would not allow a vote to be set up until Obama's proposal was presented to them in paper form.
Does he want that paper presented on a silver platter, from bended knee? Perhaps he'd like a nice iced latte with that.

Of course McConnell blocked it, because if it was voted on in unanimous consent it couldn't be filibustered and McConnell is afraid, as Democratic Senate aide told Greg Sargent, that the Democrats' bill would pass. The last thing McConnell—or any Republican—wants is for this issue to be resolved. The tax bill for millions of middle-class Americans is far too valuable a hostage for him to let slip away.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 12, 2012

What Romney's Five News Interviews Reveal

Sat Jul 14, 2012

Here is something for Republicans to start worrying about with respect to their candidate:

Mitt Romney, seeking to quell a growing media storm over his basic premise for seeking the presidency, took to the air yesterday and did not settle the storm. He answered no questions directly. He continued to repeat things that are currently being debunked. He refused any further disclosure to clear things up. He didn't either deflect the matter or settle it satisfactorily. Furthermore, HE LOOKED WEAK, by repeatedly begging his opponent to stop attacking him.

This is a disaster for Republicans.

The usual things that fix problems like this, the ole Clinton sit-down interview ... the Bush "so what?" swagger ... the Obama "teachable moment" speech ... Mitt Romney deployed none of that. What this reveals is a candidate who is simply unprepared to operate at a presidential level in the modern era. Mitt Romney, probably by virtue of a lifetime spent in high finance, does not have the keen sixth sense of politics that a serious presidential contender has by either nature (Clinton, Reagan) or by practice (Obama, Bush). Mitt Romney has arrived at the presidential ring by two circumstances:

1. No heavyweight Republican wished to run.

2. A campaign with a one trick pony: negative ads.

Even with those two gifted advantages he had trouble winning.

Republicans have a good case to make as to why they should be running away with this election, considering the economic circumstances President Obama has to accept responsibility for. The caveat to that is ... who? Who will beat him? You can't beat something with nothing. They've chosen Mitt Romney, who appears not up to the task of big boy presidential campaigning. He can only win if his opponent is a lightweight and he has an overwhelming advantage in resources. That is not the case with Barack Obama. Just as it was not the case with Ted Kennedy. The polls are consistently showing a large majority expect Obama to win. That means even people who plan to vote for Romney don't expect him to win. With declining economic news and a nation that feels it is way off track, Romney still can't seem to get ahead of Obama.

Republicans need to take a good look at their candidate's performance this week and realize something: Mitt Romney is simply not up to the task of unseating an incumbent president.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Sat Jul 14, 2012