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Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 04:50 AM PDT
USA Today Op-Ed: Romney & Partners Ran Extortion Racket
"Mitt Romney and his partners made a killing on the GM bankruptcy by gaining control of bankrupt parts supplier Delphi, then threatening to withhold components critical to the production of GM vehicles... This is the real Romney" - UAW President Bob King
On Thursday, a highly popular Daily Kos post (see for additional coverage) concerned the United Auto Workers Union's filing of ethics charges alleging that Mitt Romney and his business partners improperly profiteered from the 2009 auto industry bailout.
One day earlier, on Wednesday, in a searing op-ed that ran in USA Today, President of the United Auto Workers Bob King directly accused presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and his business partners, of extorting windfall profits during the 2008-2009 economic crisis through their control of the key General Motors parts supplier, Delphi.
Whether or not this meets, for fine print reasons, the legal definition of "extortion" -- which if carried out by individuals rather than heavily-lawyered corporations can constitute a federal crime -- that is in effect what Bob King, head of the the UAW, has accused Mitt Romney and his business partners of, in his USA Today op-ed:
"Mitt Romney and his partners made a killing on the GM bankruptcy by gaining control of bankrupt parts supplier Delphi, then threatening to withhold components critical to the production of GM vehicles. Romney's business partners were willing to force GM into liquidation and cause a national economic calamity unless they got more money. In the end, the Romney investor group got what it wanted and earned a profit of more than 3,000 percent on its initial investment.
This is the real Romney, a man who objected to the rescue of the domestic auto industry, then made astronomical profits after his business partners threatened the survival of GM. A man who lies about Chrysler moving jobs to China, when his history at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, shows that he has invested in Chinese factories where workers are grossly exploited. Romney won't even act to stop the Sensata factory in Illinois, in which he is an investor, from closing the doors and moving to China the day before the election.
Mitt Romney won't come clean on Chrysler, won't come clean on his Chinese investments and threatened the restructuring of GM for his own profit. That is the picture of a me-first hedge-fund investor, not someone who has the judgment or character to be President of the United States."
Regardless of which candidate prevails in the upcoming election, I suspect this will go down in history as a pivotal moment for American labor unions.
Posted by FourScore | Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:46 AM (5 replies)
The latest military simulation: Teal is tropical force; green is cat 2 hurricane.
Posted by FourScore | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 04:21 PM (40 replies)
A brutal political cartoon by Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Pretty much sums it up.
Posted by FourScore | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 12:47 PM (15 replies)
Who is H.I.G.?
Two of H.I.G.’s managing directors, Douglas F. Berman and Brian D. Schwartz, were present at the $50,000 per plate fundraiser where Mitt Romney made his notorious ”47%” comments.
H.I.G. was founded by Tony Tamer, a former Bain employee and bundler for Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Of H.I.G.’s 22 American directors, 21 donated to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. One person made no political donations at all; one person donated to both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama; the remaining 20 directors donated exclusively to Mitt Romney in 2012...
...Out of 49 partners and directors, 48 are men, and 47 are white. Eleven of these men, including H.I.G. Founder Tony Tamer, were formerly employed at Bain and Company, and two of those men, John P. Bolduc and Douglas Berman are Romney bundlers along with former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.
Additionally, four of these men were formerly employed at Booz Allen Hamilton. Bush family friendly Carlyle group is an owner of Booz Allen which also made voting machines for the United States military. Booz Allen was also the key subcontractor for the controversial PioneerGroundbreaker program, an NSA data mining operation that gathered information on American citizens until it was shut down and replaced with even more invasive successor programs like MATRIX and Total Information Awareness.
H.I.G. Capital employees have given $338,000 to Mitt Romney's campaign. That amounts to over $1500 per employee. Bain Capital, Mitt's former company, by comparison, only gave him $268,000. H.I.G. is the 11th largest donor to the Romney Campaign...
...How is Tagg Romney & Solamere related to H.I.G. Capital??
Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital.
There appears to be two Solamere entities, Solamere Group or Capital and Solamere Advisors. The Advisors seems to be the group that invested in H.I.G. Capital and might be assumed to be an attempt to shield Mitt Romney from being directly connected. Mitt invested $10 million into Tagg's Solamere Capitial venture.
However, according to SEC filings, Solamere Group owns a large stake in Solamere Advisors (referred in documents as CAMG Solamere).
And from the DailyDolt -- http://www.thedailydolt.com/2012/10/10/former-bain-employees-own-voting-machine-company-used-in-swing-states/
Links to H.I.G.’s American directors:
Tony Tamer – Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Sami Mnaymneh – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign as well as Barack Obama’s campaign
Douglas Berman – Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
John Bolduc – Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Rick Rosen – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Brian Schwartz – bundler for the Romney campaign; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Timothy Armstrong – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
John Black – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Dave Blechman – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Peter Cornetta – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Marc Kramer – No known donations to presidential campaigns
Chris Laitala – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Elliot Maluth – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
William Nolan – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Michael Phillips – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Matt Sanford – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Lewis Schoenwetter – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Richard Stokes – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Neil Tuch – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Bret Wiener – donated exclusively to Mitt Romney’s campaign for 2012; donated initially to Mitt Romney and then to Barack Obama during the 2008 election
Rob Wolfson – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Jeff Zanarini – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign
Posted by FourScore | Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:59 AM (1 replies)
Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 03:55 AM PDT
Just Another Friday in Beirut
At 3:05 p.m. Friday my roommate told me the pants I'd just put on to wear to work were too big for me, and I should change into jeans.
At about the same time, less than a kilometer away a bomb went off in the middle of the Acrafieh neighborhood in Beirut.
At 3:15, I scarfed down a Roadster quesadilla, and decided that tonight was going to be a cheerful day. I changed my pants, put on a bright yellow belt and slipped on my black Sketchers with the florescent yellow shoelaces. Tonight was definitely going to be cheerful. I got a snappy haircut yesterday, was wearing my favorite belt today, ready for whatever Friday brought. Just a short shift at the newspaper, then a wild night of drinking and partying.
At 3:45 I walked into newspaper's office building, listening to the Scissor Sister's "Don't feel like Dancing," an ironically danceable song, on my iPhone. Everyone was standing around the television smoking. I slipped the earbuds out, and gave my editor a quizzical look. She tells me that a bomb has gone off. I roll my eyes and shake my head. This is Beirut after all. Then she says it was at Sassine. My heart drops. My head races. At 3:00 p.m., Thursday, just 24 hours before, I was sitting in a salon, one block off Sassine, getting that snappy haircut.
Once I get to my desk, I mindlessly scan the twitter feed and the early reports on the attack. It's impossible for me to recognize the TV footage, and it's all in Arabic, so I'm not sure exactly where the blast was yet. Finally it shows up, on our own website. Outside the BEMO bank building at Sassine. I know the building. I ate a Krispy Kreme doughnut yesterday, after my haircut, as I walked past the BEMO building. There's a small green space out front, something you notice in Beirut, which is so lacking in greenery.
I lived in Cairo during the revolution, and watched the battles in Tahrir from the safety of my apartment in Heliopolis, only venturing down to the midan on days when there was a lull in activity. I dutifully documented the burnt out buses with my cheap canon, the rocks stock-piled for the next battle, the artist/medical station in front of the KFC.
I landed once in Istanbul a day after a bombing near Taksim, and of course stopped to view the carnage that night.
Since moving to Beirut a year and a half ago, I've toured bombed out historical sites, seen the camps and bullet-ridden testaments to the endless wars that have devastated this city. Last summer I sat on my balcony listening for machine gun fire and watching army jeeps fly up the coastal highway towards a gunfight, safe in the knowledge that it wasn't in Acrafieh, it was somewhere I'd never been – that even if that was only a few kilometers from my house it wasn't in my neighborhood. Every time I've had something I could tell myself, why I shouldn't be scared.
This was in my neighborhood. This happened where I go, on a regular basis. Two blocks from the movie theater I go to. A block from the veterinarian who treats my cat. I was there. Yesterday. Why did it happen today, and not yesterday? How can I go back there next week? Why did it happen there, and not on my street? They say the Kataeb party headquarters was 200 meters away. Kataeb has "headquarters" all throughout the city, including an office one street over from me. If it was targeting them, why that office and not the one that would have torn my street apart?
I have to finish my shift at work. People here are taking it pretty well. The Lebanese have seen much worse. I've checked with everyone I can think of. Everyone is okay. Except Bob. He works at ABC mall, a few blocks from the blast site. He's not answered my SMS yet. He's a young Lebanese guy (Bob is what Ibrahims almost always go by among westerners), and has his phone glued to his face most of the time. I'm sure he's fine. I hope he's fine. I keep glancing at my feet and wishing I hadn't worn yellow shoe laces today. After two years living in the Middle East, today the violence hit a little too close to home. And I'm worried that my trademark yellow accessories will forever remind me of how scared I was today. Don't feel like dancing now.
I wrote this yesterday, around 4:30 or 5 o'clock. It was written before the death of General Hasan came to light, and while details were pretty sketchy. I didn't want to go back and change it this morning with what I know now, because the details aren't the point, the state of mind is what I was trying to convey. I've since talked to my friend Bob, he's fine, though was only 100 meters away when it happened. Another friend's manager was caught in the blast, but survived. A friend of a friend use to work on the street, and he former co-workers are injured. But I don't know any of the 8 who died. The city is eerily quiet, last night and this morning. My dreams weren't quiet. But this is Beirut, the shock will wear off in a day or two, and we'll all go back about our business, or so they tell me.
Give your father/mother/child/brother/sister/husband/wife/partner a hug and a kiss today, and be thankful for life. I know I am.
Posted by FourScore | Sat Oct 20, 2012, 12:15 PM (0 replies)
Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 06:59 AM PDT
Rachel Maddow is TICKED OFF
by Exurban Mom
I waited for someone else to diary this, but haven't seen it in the last 12 hours, so here I go...
Rachel Maddow is angry. One doesn't often catch Ms. Maddow in a moment of anger; she is calm, deliberate, and thoughtful at all times, even when an asshole like Alex Castellano treats her like crap. But last night, as she closed out her show, she delivered an almost Olbermann-like rant against the right wing closed bubble of disinformation. ..
...The last segment on her program Wednesday evening was called "Can You Say That A Little Louder, Candy?". In the segment, Rachel discusses the closed loop of right wing media and how the disinformation feedback loop can lead a candidate like Romney astray. When you are only trying to appeal to the base, who is also trapped in the bubble, you end up making mistakes like Romney did on the Libya question. After replaying that moment from the debate, Rachel begins her closing.
This is my transcript; errors are mine. Video here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#49456831
...Mitt Romney, repeating a story told about this subject on the Right, in a way that is very satisfying to conservatives. The way this story is told on the Right is a story that tells conservatives exactly what they want to hear and what they want to believe about that bad bad President Obama, a comforting story about how this bad president never used that word "terror" in talking about these attacks until TWO WEEKS after they happened. This awful guy! I mean, that story must feel great if you are a conservative, if you're against this president.
If you only experience reality as mediated through the conservative media, you might think that is really what happened.
That is not what happened.
"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act, and make no mistake, justice will be done."
RACHEL: You can count down "3, 2, 1..." until the Right starts saying that that tape has been 'doctored,' that that transcript has been 'forged from a fax machine in Hawaii.'
RACHEL: Mitt Romney, getting it wrong last night because he apparently consumes the Right Wing version of reality, instead of the real reality outside of the Right Wing conserviative media bubble. That was the story of the night last night when he just face planted on that story...just a shocking stylistic and substantive face plant! By an excitable candidate who decided to take a leaping roundhouse punch, while his opponent was standing there at his most presidential. And the guy taking the punch not only missed his target, he punched himself out in the process. Splat!
That was THE story of last night, but the story of today, was that the Right decided that was too painful. The Right decided that what happened to Mr. Romney there felt too bad, that they were going to make themselves feel better by telling themselves that that did not actually happen. Telling themselves that Mr. Romney actually DID land that punch. That he was right and he looked great for it!
Look at the lower third on Fox News today when they were talking about this. This was on their dayside programming, which Fox says is supposedly when they are not doing any opinion at all!
RACHEL: Just straight news, fair and balanced! Lookit: DEBATE INTERRUPTION BY CANDY CROWLEY STEPS ON MAJOR MOMENT FOR GOV ROMNEY!
Oh darn that Candy Crowley, her pointless interruption ruined Mitt Romney's big moment when he was just nailing Obama for not saying the word "terror" in the Rose Garden that day.
RACHEL: In Right Wing World, President Obama never said that. Part of the reason I think this country would be better off if the website Politifact didn't exist, is because Politifact has encouraged relativism--on the subject of whether or not stuff happened--as a mainstream thing.
So like when Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt", and then he went on CBS News and defended his call to Let "Detroit Go Bankrupt," including that headline, Politifact fact checked whether or not Mitt Romney said "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt". And they found that "half true". Because basically they don't think that Mitt Romney likes to be quoted saying "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt", or something.
Even though he did. So half true?
Politifact last night looked into whether or not President Obama used the phrase "act of terror" the day after the Benghazi attack when he gave that speech in the Rose Garden.
Politifact in its assessment said "oh yes, he did say that" but it's really only half true because people on the Right say maybe he didn't mean it when he said it.
This infection is leaving the conservative media, through purportedly neutral arbiters of fact like Politifact. These baldly false conservative feel-good assertions about knowable facts that come from the Right, end up becoming...just 'the other side' of a political issue...'we're taking an objective look' And That is BULL.
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. The unemployment rate is below 8%. The day after the Benghazi attack, the President called it an 'act of terror.' Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel better, but do not confuse your ''World-Net-Daily-caliber-theraputic-conservative-alternative-reality-fantasy-babble for what actually happened.
Because stuff really does actually happen. And eventually, you really do have to deal with it.
Best part? She ended the rant by throwing her papers at the camera, perhaps a subtle homage to our friend Keith.
Thanks, Rachel, for telling the truth. Those of us living in the reality-based community appreciate you so much.
Posted by FourScore | Thu Oct 18, 2012, 10:36 AM (53 replies)
Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM PDT
Babes in Binders
Oh the fun we can have with this!!!
Romney's Binder @Romneys_Binder
I came up with my brilliant plan to put Women In Binders when Bain bought Staples.
Mike Doughty @Mike_Doughty_
And as the word "binder" left his lips, all comedians burst into tears of tender gratitude.
Romney Binders @RomneyBinders
Romney has a binder full of women and policy team full of liars #debates #BindersFullofWomen`
"How come all the applicants for this cabinet are men?" Because you're in the right wing, dude, that's why. #bindersfullofwomen #debates
#bindersfullofwomen I gotta be home to fix dinner by 5 o'clock ! I'm in a bind!
Michael Brown @MichaelBrown
I think women have been bound enough by the GOP.
Robbie Sherwood @RobbieSherwood
There are going to be #bindersfullofwomen voting for Obama on Nov.6.
Reagan Gomez @ReaganGomez
The fact that #Romney thought NOTHING of admitting 2 #bindersfullofwomen during a PresidentialDebate speaks volumes of his thoughts on woman
By the way, Polygamy is illegal, Mitt. #BindersFullOfWomen
Posted by FourScore | Wed Oct 17, 2012, 02:25 AM (3 replies)
Well, here I am, Hill 471 in Khe Sanh. I came here because I love and admire you and since I was touring Vietnam I figured what the hell, I'll head up to Khe Sanh and find Hill 471 and stand where you last stood all those years ago.
These days I have to confess that it's pretty easy to get to Khe Sanh. I'm told back then the roads were mud and a mess, now you speed right on up them. I don't know if you noticed all those years ago, during the war, but it's beautiful country Max.
You can lost watching the mountains and the streams, passing through the villages with the houses built on stilts but then you get jarred back to why you are here, where you are when you see the signs for Camp Carroll or you go by a beautiful small mountain peak and your guide tells you:
"That's Rockpile, Marines, Rockpile."
Like all good pilgrimages, as you head towards Khe Sanh from the coast, you climb higher and ever higher into the hills, headed towards Laos, past the memorial to the Ho Chi Minh trail, past the small towns and villages, the highway markers counting down to the old base, twenty klicks, then ten, then five.
And then I am here.
First we head up to the main base,to see the small museum there and also, well, my guide has been going here for twenty years and I've been searching for about six months, but neither of us are 100% sure where Hill 471 is so we need to double check on the maps that the museum has.
My guide is dutifully calling all her other guide friends and we are pretty sure we know, but hell, I don't want to come all this way and not be sure, it'd be just like me to come all this way and be one hill off.
Ironically what greets me when I walk onto the base? A chopper, looking like it could fly today. (pictures here)
In the museum,we check the map and there's Hill 471, right about where we thought it was. I wander the museum a bit and take a walk down the runway, they've planted corn on parts of it of all things. I'm sure back then it was never quiet enough to hear the wind rush up the valleys, or to feel it as it goes over the top of the hills.
I ask my guide if many Americans come here, the answer is yes. How are they when they are here? Sad, many still affected by the war.
As we get back in the car and head to Hill 471, I think of when we first met, almost ten years ago, and all those times together on JK's campaign and since. I especially remember, for some reason, a dinner we had at Legal Sea Foods a couple of years ago, I sat next to you and I know you love your lobster!
I remember cutting the pieces for you, smaller and smaller so you could eat them. When we eat, I know now to take your plate when the food arrives, and start cutting it up, without asking you, without you asking me.
Sometime between then and when I planned this trip, I decided I wanted to come here. For you. Just so you know I love you and I think the world of you, you are one of my heroes and always will be.
We cut back through town and up a small road, you'd be happy to know some kids were playing soccer and their laughter filled the air as we got near the hill.
Here it is Max, this is Hill 471 today, looks different I imagine. It was very, very green and very, very quiet. I climbed through the underbrush and right in the middle, you can't quite see in the pictures, but hell it's been a few years you know.
But when you climb up from the road, you can tell where the top of the hill was flattened for a landing pad. So I figure this is about where the chopper landed, and about where you got out.
I tried to close my eyes and imagine the sounds back then, of choppers flying and guns and of soldiers and of war, but I really couldn't. All I heard were the kids down the hill, laughing and yelling, the birds in the trees and the wind.
I felt wonderfully calm and at peace, that's the love in you Max, so much love and faith in you, coming to me over here - it made me smile.
I thought I might be sad here thinking of you and what you lost on this hill, but I wasn't, it was more of a joyous moment, for you for surviving, for the men and medics who helped you survive and for what you have given me and so many others, life lessons in the power of love and forgiveness and perseverance like no other man could.
I wish you had been here so I could have given you and gotten one of your great one-arm hugs.
I made it back through the thicket to the road and took another picture for you. About the middle of the trees is where the hill is flat for the landing pad.
As I headed to the car, my guide asked:
"Your friend, maybe he come back here one day?"
"Maybe it'd be a long way for him to travel. But maybe."
"So you like son, you come here for him, pay respects?"
God damm right I did.
Time for some more lobster, I'll come see you soon.
to see the pictures, please check out this link.
Posted by FourScore | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 09:55 AM (20 replies)
Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT
VIDEO: Entitlements of the Rich and Famous
A lot of people think that this election is about our entitlements, the entitlements of the 99% like Social Security or Medicare. What many people don't realize is that this election is really about Protecting the Entitlements of the 1%. That's why Mitt "I'm Entitled to the Absolute BEST in Government Services and you're entitled to exactly Nothing" Romney is their nominee.
We need to stop letting the right get away with using the word "entitlements" to mean the earned benefits of Social Security and others that enable us to live in a civil society. We need to redefine it to refer to the people (and corporations that are people, my friend) that benefit most from government largesse. We need to take back the word entitlements.
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 15, 2012, 10:30 AM (0 replies)
Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT
by Tom Tomorrow
Reposted from Comics by Tom Tomorrow
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 15, 2012, 10:08 AM (4 replies)