Desperate to control the narrative, Romney and the GOP don’t want to talk about the economy, if that means talking about Bain and ‘vulture capitalism’. They don’t want to talk about foreign policy. They got nothing, or at least nothing new. Let’s talk about the economy! They don’t want to put pen to paper on immigration. They got nothing. Let’s talk about the economy. Okay, so let’s talk about the economy. Now they don’t want to talk about it.
“Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things…every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.” — Matt Santos, The West Wing
Kansas City’s GST Steel had been making steel rods for 105 years when Romney and his partners took control in 1993. They cut corners and extracted profit from the business at every turn, placing it deeply in debt. When the company eventually declared bankruptcy, workers not only lost their jobs but were denied their full pensions and health insurance, and the government was forced to step in and provide a bailout. [BarackObamadotcom/14 May 2012]
• Even with the bankruptcy and subsequent bailout, Mitt Romney and his partners made millions on the GST Steel deal. They played by their own set of rules, and profited even as workers lost their jobs and the local community suffered. It’s this same experience that Mitt Romney now cites as his qualification to be president, and the same economic philosophy he would bring to the entire country.
• Mitt Romney wasn’t trying to build companies for the long term. His plan was to maximize short-term profits, and then resell all or part of the business before the debts came due.
• With Dade Behring, Mitt Romney and his investors took over a healthy company and loaded it with debt. Rather than sell the company, they then had Dade take out even more loans to buy out their shares, driving the company into bankruptcy. Nearly 3,000 workers lost their jobs, while Romney and his partners made more than $250 million in profit. [romneyeconomics]
For nearly 20 years, Mitt Romney and his partners lived by the guiding principle that as long as they walked away with millions, it didn’t matter if companies went bankrupt and Americans lost their jobs. For GST Steel—a Kansas City company that had been in business for 103 years—Romney’s model led to the company’s bankruptcy and to 750 workers losing their jobs.
Now that he’s running for the presidency, Romney is trying to deny that he had anything to do with the consequences of his decisions.
Romney can’t wash his hands of the decisions his firm made while he was CEO. Even while running the Salt Lake City Olympics, he still owned and profited from Bain Capital’s corporate buyouts, including GST Steel. Here are the facts:
- Romney was head of Bain Capital when the firm took control of the Kansas City plant in 1993.
- Romney “remained CEO and held his financial interest in the company through August 2001,” which includes the period “when the Kansas-based GST Steel plant was shut down and workers laid off” in February of 2001. [Source: Boston Globe]
- Romney claims to have severed ties with his firm in 1999, but, as the Washington Post notes, he maintained full sole ownership until 2001.
- Romney was listed on multiple Bain filings in 2001 and 2002, still functioning as a general partner in several of the firm’s funds.
- Romney continues to get a share of the firm’s profit now, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars each year. As the New York Times notes, “when it came to his considerable personal wealth, Mr. Romney never really left Bain.”
In its effort to sell Mitt Romney as someone who understands the economy and knows how to create jobs, one of his campaign’s early talking points was that he helped create 100,000 jobs during his tenure at Bain Capital. The campaign repeated the claim throughout the primary, despite a glaring lack of evidence to support it (even Sarah Palin doubted it).
Romney eventually stopped repeating the talking point, which advisers had difficulty defending under pressure, and now it seems Boston has completely Etch A Sketched the number and severely lowered the number of jobs Romney is supposed to have created at Bain.
…Meanwhile, even the “thousands of jobs” figure should be suspect, as the evidence the campaign offers to support it is an editorial from the right-wing Washington Examiner endorsing Romney. Could the Romney campaign not find a single better piece of evidence — a news article, government data, or economist’s estimate, for instance — than an unsubstantiated opinion article from a paper that is simultaneously declaring that it favors Romney’s election?
And his assertion on his record as governor also fails to include the context that his state was 47th out of 50 on job creation.
[thinkprogress/Alex Seitz-Wald/14 May 2012]
Whatever “achievement” a Republican politician brags about, you can be pretty sure there’s more to the story. The Daily Beast has been following Romney’s track record of being brought in to clean up a bribery scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and has found some things that indicate his own ethics leave something to be desired. [susiemadrak/15 May 2012]
• Republicans say they’re eager for the presidential campaign to turn away from “distractions” and focus instead on the economy. Someone should warn them that if they’re not careful, they might get their wish.
• If this is getting “clobbered,” well then, getting “clobbered” is a lot like having a gang of shrieking malicious toddlers flick boogers at your ankles.
• “I’m glad that Marco is doing something. I think that’s significant,” Reid said. “But the problem is, right now there has not been a single word put on paper, not a word.”
• “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” Martinez snaps.
A state judge has ruled that the Oklahoma law that severely restricts “the ways in which doctors can treat women with abortion-inducing drugs” is unconstitutional. In his ruling overturning the 2011 law, Judge Donald Worthington wrote that the law violates a woman’s right to privacy and bodily integrity. And Worthington added that the law ignores medical standards, according to RH Reality Check:
Judge Worthington ruled that the bill’s restrictions on medication abortion are unconstitutional because they are “so completely at odds with the standard that governs the practice of medicine that [the bill] can serve no purpose other than to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to punish and discriminate against those women who do.” [...]
The law — which had been temporarily blocked since October — would have banned any off-label use of medications for abortion or treatment of ectopic pregnancy, while explicitly allowing off-label use of the same medication for other purposes. According to the lawsuit, the law not only jeopardizes women’s health by preventing doctors from using safe and effective methods available, but also undermines women’s ability to exercise the full range of their fundamental constitutionally protected reproductive rights.
[thinkprogress/Amanda Peterson Beadle/14 May 2012]
Well, who didn’t see this coming? Our favorite woman-hating female governor has actually signed the Arizona birth control bill into law.
…the law expands the definition of an employer covered under this particular exception
…in case you’d forgotten about the specifics of this abomination amidst all of the right wing lunacy that’s been flying around the country lately, the bill would allow employers to interrogate women about the purpose for which they are using birth control pills. If the fruit of that interrogation revealed the horrible fact that the employee was using birth control pills for—heaven forbid—birth control, she could be fired summarily. For anyone who thinks this is ridiculous and couldn’t actually happen, please go re-read Susie Madrak’s post about it.
[crooksandliars/karoli/14 May 2012]
After obstructing civil unions and other legislature, McNulty shows considerable gall, blaming others for his obstruction, and considerable ignorance, suggesting voters do not care about expanding civil rights for all Coloradans. The House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee meets later today — seemingly to kill the civil unions bill. The voters of Colorado meet in November and observers expect they will likely respond by killing his one-seat GOP House majority and ending his reign as Speaker. [thinkprogress/Josh Israel/14 May 2012]
• RNC Chair Priebus: Gay People Deserve Dignity and Respect, As Long as That Doesn’t Include Allowing Them to Get Married
• In a taped appearance on The View, the President explained that supporting “marriage” over civil unions is important because of the federal benefits that depend on the word.
• “This is a test of our character.” – Jay-Z opens up about gay marriage, politics and the economy
• Paul Cameron Suggests Obama is Gay and Demands Gays be Imprisoned before they Rape Kids
Mitt Romney says he likes being able to fire people. Mitt Romney takes a drive with a terrified family pet strapped to the roof of his car. Mitt Romney assaulted a gay student while in prep school. Mitt Romney tricked a blind teacher, apparently one he “liked,” letting the man walk into a glass door. He is a bully. Mitt Romney is also the presumed presidential nominee for a political party of unapologetic bullies. Ergo, he is a near-perfect leader for the Tea Party GOP. American politics in the age of Obama is beset by deep divides in partisanship, ideology and political values. These debates are about more than policy. They have devolved into disagreements about the very nature of empirical reality, facts and science. We’re having fights over whether global warming is real; whether tax cuts for the rich trickle down to the rest of us; whether Barack Obama is a United States citizen. According to the right-wing media echo chamber, Democrats and progressives are not just wrong on almost every major political and social issue. No, they are treasonous, deserving of death, and want to destroy the country.
[AlterNet/Chauncey DeVega/15 May 2012]
• Romney Adviser: Mitt ‘Doesn’t Want To Really Engage’ On Foreign Policy Issues Until He’s President
Get out your Purple Heart bandages, because it is once again time to remind the American people that The Troops are a bunch of lazy, cowardly, treasonous, unpatriotic, un-American, Kenyan-Socialist-Communist whiners.
If the election were held today, Obama would win the veteran vote by as much as seven points over Romney, higher than his margin in the general population.
The fuck you say! It is almost like soldiers are expressing anger at the toll of a decade of war, questioning the legitimacy of George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion, and worrying that the surge in Afghanistan won’t make a difference in the long run! [wonkette/Rebecca Schoenkopf/14 May 2012]
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday urged international bodies operating in Kosovo to prevent the region from turning into a training ground for Syrian rebels. A delegation from the Syrian opposition visited Kosovo in April to allegedly make a deal on exchanging experience in guerilla warfare against ruling authorities. So far, the fractured Syrian opposition has been unable to form a steady front against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian ministry said in a statement that the talks covered not only the ways of organizing armed resistance against authorities but also the training of Syrian militants in Kosovo. “There are plans to use the areas [in Kosovo] that resemble the terrain in Syria. The possibility of setting up training camps at the former bases of the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] is also being discussed,” the statement said. “Transforming Kosovo into an international training ground for armed militants may become a serious destabilizing factor that could extend beyond the Balkans,” the document said. “We urge international bodies operating in Kosovo to take all necessary steps to prevent these plans.” [Global Research/RIA Novosti/15 May 2012]
Dubna, Russia – American research into hypersonic weapons, which the U.S. aims to complete by 2015, represents an especially serious threat to Russia, acting Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday.
“This breakthrough decision by the U.S. opens up for them the prospect of a transition from a demonstrator prototype to creation of a multirole hypersonic missile by 2015-2018,” Rogozin said during a visit to the Raduga “Bereznyak” state-owned missile design bureau at Dubna in the Moscow Region.
Rogozin, who has responsibility in the Russian government for the military-industrial complex, picked out American development work in the X-51, Falcon, HiFire and HyFly programs as examples of the perspective threat posed by U.S. hypersonic development work.
[RIA Novosti/15 May 2012]
Moscow – Russian businessman Victor Bout was sentenced back on April, 5th for 25 years in prison. That day his attorney Mr. Dayan set a plan to appeal the verdict. [Voice of Russia/Vasily Sushko/15 May 2012]
On Monday, the U.S. Navy will officially announce the ships for its demonstration of the “Great Green Fleet” — an entire aircraft carrier strike group powered by biofuels and other eco-friendly energy sources. If a powerful congressional panel has its way, it could be the last time the Navy ever uses biofuels to run its ships and jets.
In its report on next year’s Pentagon budget, the House Armed Services Committee banned the Defense Department from making or buying an alternative fuel that costs more than a “traditional fossil fuel.” It’s a standard that may be almost impossible to meet, energy experts believe; there’s almost no way the tiny, experimental biofuel industry can hope to compete on price with the massive, century-old fossil fuels business.
Committee Republicans, like Rep. Randy Forbes, insist this isn’t an attempt to kill off military biofuels before they have a chance to start. “Now, look, I love green energy,” he said in February. “It’s a matter of priorities.”
But if the measure becomes law, it would make it all-but-inconceivable for the Pentagon to buy the renewable fuels. It would likely scuttle one of the top priorities of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. And it might very well suffocate the gasping biofuel industry, which was looking to the Pentagon to help it survive.
[wired.com/dangerroom/Noah Shachtman/14 May 2012]
Majid Jamali Fashi, who assassinated Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in January 2011, was brought to justice under the Iranian judicial system on Tuesday. Jamali Fashi was also found guilty of receiving training from Mossad inside Israel as well as $120,000 to assassinate the Iranian scientist. The Mossad assassin had also confessed to having received forged documents in Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev Airport to travel to Tel Aviv. [presstv/15 May 2012]
Businesses have suggested it. The government has all but confirmed it. And according to one alleged member, they both might very well be right. A hacker tied to Anonymous says the loose-knit collective may be the most powerful organization on Earth.
…“You know how we got access?” asks Doyon. “We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defense who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power of the US State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the US Department of Defense in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody.”
“There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth. The entire world right now is run by information,” he adds.
[rt/14 May 2012]