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cleduc

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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 499

Journal Archives

Forbes Can't Make Sense of Romney's Tax Plan either

http://www.forbes.com/sites/leonardburman/2012/10/04/about-mitt-romneys-5-trillion-tax-cut/
Now we know that Gov. Romney’s tax plan does not call for a $5 trillion tax cut. Which means that we now officially know nothing at all about Mitt Romney’s tax plan.
....
(he walks through the various events and numbers)
...
So the deduction threshold is not necessarily $17,000. It is “make up a number.” That’s helpful.

The bottom line is that we have no idea how Gov. Romney will make up the revenue lost due to the tax cuts he has specified in some detail. Obviously, Gov. Romney doesn’t either. The odd thing is that he seems to think that this is irrelevant.

It sounds like some sort of confidence game.

Romney to typical millionaire: ”Hey there. Have I got a deal for you! How would you like to save a quarter million bucks in 2015? Sounds good, doesn’t it?”

Millionaire: ”Uh, sure. What do I have to do to get the quarter million bucks?”

Romney: ”Hey, don’t worry about that. Those are just details. Sign here.”

My guess is that the Romney behind Bain Capital would never have fallen for that scam. Why does he think the voters should?


Not a shock for rational folks to feel that way but nice to see someone at Forbes call Mitt out.

A comment on Romney's lie about Green jobs & $90 Billion

(if the amount of text is overhwhemming, page down to the bolded comment to get a key point)
FactCheck: Romney's '$90 Billion' green energy tax break whoppers
http://digitaljournal.com/article/334229

Conclusion:

Bottom line for voters: Romney said a lot about the $90 billion in stimulus spending on clean energy — and very little of it was accurate, FactCheck.org said.

The New York Times added, "Mr. Obama has a good story to tell, and perhaps in the next debate he will do so – instead of allowing Mr. Romney to roll him with misinformation.
"


Within that article, they said and I have confirmed:
As The New York Times puts it, the bottom line, so far, is that only three of the 33 companies that received loans have failed — representing less than 2 percent of money budgeted.


https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=45
DOE link above says 34.5 billion was budgeted to loan money to 33 companies for greeen projects and lists the companies

Of those, 3 went into bankruptcy and one of those companies is being sold.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/white-house-budget-analysts-thought-saving-solyndra-could-be-expensive-move/2012/08/01/gJQAf2QGQX_story.html
Solyndra’s final liquidation plan estimated that the government will recover just $24 million of the $527 million that taxpayers lent to the company.


http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20962742/colorado-solar-panel-maker-abound-solar-file-bankruptcy
The company (Abound Solar) has used about $70 million of the loan guarantee, and after bankruptcy liquidation the loss to taxpayers is estimated to be $40 million to $60 million, Damien Lavera, a DOE spokesman, said in a statement.


http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2017448857_apusbeaconpowerbankruptcy.html
Rockland's offer for Beacon's assets, including a 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in New York, combined $5.5 million in cash with a promissory note of $25 million payable to the Department of Energy.

The Energy Department also is slated to receive about $1 million in cash from the sale, along with about $2 million in unused cash collateral that will revert from Beacon to DOE, Beacon attorney William Baldiga said after Tuesday's court hearing.

DOE spokesman Damien LaVera said the total recovery for federal taxpayers will amount to about 70 percent of their investment.

and the plant will continue to operate

Out of $34.5 billion in loans for this Recovery Act program, worst case, 1.67% has been lost in bad loans so far. DOE budged for losing 7.2% and are well under that to date.

Let's put some perspective on that:
Romney at Bain: Big Gains, Some Busts
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204331304577140850713493694.html
The Wall Street Journal, aiming for a comprehensive assessment, examined 77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bain's involvement and shortly afterward.

Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost.

Another finding was that Bain produced stellar returns for its investors—yet the bulk of these came from just a small number of its investments. Ten deals produced more than 70% of the dollar gains
.


Roughly 9% of the Recovery Act's $34.5 billion Clean Energy loan program companies have failed. When the WSJ looked at 77 Bain businesses under Romney, 30% failed or lost Bain's money (rough equivalence to DOE). The moral of that story is venture capitalism has risks - even for government. So far, I like Obama's numbers better than Mitt's when he was at Bain though Obama's numbers have not stood the same 8 year test of time and are very likely to get worse - move closer to Mitt's.

A picture of some of the successes with the Recovery Act they've had can be read about here in this Jan 2012 report:
http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/RecoveryActSuccess_Jan2012final.pdf
A few hightlights:
- weatherization program has helped more than 650,000 low-income families save an average of $437 a year
- supporting between 40,000-50,000 direct jobs each quarter since Summer 2010.
- projected to reduce 100 mile battery cost by ~70%
- funded over 20,000 renewable energy projects nationwide
- on-track to deploy 15.5 million total smart Grid meters
- reduce the nation’s total nuclear waste footprint by 69%
- there's more in the report

NOTE: I looked for information on government grants/tax credits because there have been some bankruptcies there. I haven't found a good list by company name & dollar amount yet. As the report states, some of these projects were "funding high-risk, high payoff, game-changing research and development projects to meet the nation’s long-term energy challenges." and so the failure rate of those, even for a venture capitalist, is going to be even higher and was to be expected. If I can find more on that that helps, I'll pass it along.

The big thing that bugged me what how hypocritical Romney was being as he knew first hand from his years at Bain how this investment/loan/grant stuff plays out with companies - particularly those embarking on new frontiers.

Criminal probes into other GOP voter registration frauds underway

GOP Firm Now Said to be Facing Criminal Probe in CO as Well, While Repub Sec. of State Ignores Allegations, Rants About Imaginary 'Voter Fraud'
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9622
(great blog on this by Brad)

The above link has other updates on Florida and other voting issues in CO

One very key thing Brad noted that I had also seen in the pattern of GOP hiring ads:
We also uncovered evidence that the same scheme is being carried out by GOP voter registration workers in Oregon, though Sproul has insisted to The BRAD BLOG that none of his companies are doing registration work in the state. If true, that would suggest that the insidious and dishonest scheme to misrepresent GOP voter registration workers as pollsters, instead, to potential registrants, in hopes of screening out Obama supporters, may, in fact, be a coordinated national Republican strategy going beyond just that of Sproul's firms.


In a report Brad doesn't mention, the same GOP firm has been accused of voter registration fraud in NC (I believe again based upon a news report I linked last week)
http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2012/10/firm-linked-to-nc-accused-of-voter-fraud
So far, the state board has identified about six questionable forms in N.C. from the firm — but many forms have not yet been processed.


This is also a good site for tracking voting news in various states probably with many things I haven't included above (beyond google news searches) for those interested
http://thevotingnews.com/

I found some more:

Similarly worded In Colorado:
http://pueblo.craigslist.org/lab/3293934367.html

And a differently worded ad in Nevada that describes the polling scam like we saw in the CO video:
http://regionalhelpwanted.com/Search/detail.cfm?SN=39&ID=74653346
Description:
We have a mid-day-swing shift surveying position available. It starts as soon as possible. It will be 20 hours a week to start, paying $11.00 an hour. If you do well, you can have more hours!

It is for a conservative organization whose goal is to get Mitt Romney elected, but you would also be signing up all parties (democratic, republican, independent, etc.) who are interested in voting.

The job requirements are that you go to designated locations such as supermarkets and public places and stand out front and approach the public as they come near to ask if they would like to participate in a short survey!


I found a lot of hits using google for the text within those two ads that link to jobs finding sites.

I linked this thread to Rachel Maddows blog to see if it would interest them

I'd say the ads makes it pretty clear

Orlando Ad quote:
http://orlando.craigslist.org/csr/3282769733.html
"Are you a passionate Republican looking to make an impact this election?

We are currently hiring multiple Voter Outreach Representatives in Florida (Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Hillsborough, Lakeland, Orlando, Palm Beach, Panama City, Pensacola, Pinellas, Tallahassee, Winter Park). Qualified applicants will be working in the public, often outdoors reaching out to the community to encourage and assist individuals to vote for a Republican candidate in November's election."

Crossroads didn't give Romney much this week ...

http://www.nationaljournal.com/hotline/ad-spending-in-presidential-battleground-states-20120620

It may have already started.

If Romney blows the debate on Wednesday, I think think there will be a mass exodus of money to down the ticket.

I've been looking at indicators for the jobs report on Friday and it looks like it will be another moderate month of jobs growth - but better than August.
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-30/jobs-outlook-seen-weak-as-u-dot-s-dot-companies-see-need-for-cost-cuts
Payrolls, after slowing in five of the first eight months this year, rose 115,000 in September following a less-than- forecast 96,000 gain in August, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of a Labor Department report due Oct. 5. Private employers added 130,000 workers, they predicted, and the jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in August.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/small-business-employment-grew-slowly-in-sept-2012-10-01
The Small Business Employment Index shows that employment rose by 0.2% in September, or an annualized growth rate of 2.5%. The growth equates to about 40,000 new jobs created in September.


http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/9/prweb9932873.htm
However, the numbers of holiday season hires are going to be significantly higher than in last year and add at least 40,000 more jobs
...
the situation is significantly better than that in 2011, when there were only 1.9% growth in seasonal jobs
...
The projections made in the Challengers Annual Holiday Hiring Outlook fully agree with the job trends data observed at America’s top job board, EmploymentCrossing. EmploymentCrossing, America’s leading job site, also reported an increase in the number of part-time, temporary, and seasonal jobs in recent weeks. In fact, in just the last seven days, the job board listed over 550,000 jobs in the private sector, a positive indication of jobs growth

Harrison Barnes, CEO of EmploymentCrossing was enthusiastic over the jobs trend in all sectors and felt that “this year seasonal employment is going to be significantly better than in 2011”.


There was also encouraging news on manufacturing, orders and exports today.

Iran's currency hits all-time low as western sanctions take their toll‏
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/01/iran-currency-rial-all-time-low
Iranians are suffering their worst financial crisis since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, with the national currency hitting an all-time low and the prices of staple goods soaring.
...
The rial has lost 57% of its value in the past three months and 75% in comparison to the end of last year.
...
"The rial's fall has affected all aspects of life in Iran," said Amir, a shopkeeper in Tehran. "It's not only the prices of imported items that are increasing but domestic products have also been affected." He pointed to the price of a box of domestically made cigarettes, Bahman, which he said had doubled since last year. "You can only rely on foreign currency and gold these days in Iran."
....
The government has repeatedly attempted to bring the currency under control with no success.


So it doesn't look like Romney is going to get much new on the economy or Iran to work with from that. He'll have to do it in the debates or get crazy lucky from some other incident (Euro collapse? - something dramatic like that before the election but that he can pin on Obama).

Here's some facts the video conveniently overlooks on that trip to New York

Sep 24th 8:20 PM
Obama and Michelle Obama attend a reception for visiting Heads of State and Government

President Barack Obama talks with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan before the United Nations General Assembly reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama is pictured in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



UNGA 2012 Reception
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet The Honorable Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka during the United Nations General Assembly reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2012.



United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Guyana’s President, Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar during the United Nations General Assembly reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York


He was also seen chatting with the Brazilian PM

Obama cancelled a previously scheduled meeting with Egyptian PM so that an international flap with Israel wouldn't start up in the media. (it was a newspaper who erroneously reported Obama had declined to meet with Bibi - Bibi's office said that report was wrong)

Then, Obama gave a speech many of you wouldn't know about because the media didn't do their job:
President Obama in Ministerial Meeting on Sudan: "The Fate of Millions"
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/09/24/president-obama-ministerial-meeting-sudan-fate-millions
As described earlier, President Obama attended a meeting of heads of state, and Sudanese leaders, to address the urgent situation in Sudan as part of his long-standing personal commitment to supporting peace in Sudan and ending the genocide in Darfur.
... (he gave a speech)
"To my fellow leaders from Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia -- your presence sends an unmistakable message to the Sudanese people and to their leaders that we stand united. ...."


Then
?w=655
Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi talks to President Obama through an interpreter on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, September 25
http://www.sabanews.net/en/news282309.htm
Sep.26 (Saba)- President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi met on Tuesday at the United Nations building with the U.S. President Barack Obama, who welcomed him warmly in this visit to the U.S..

The two leaders reviewed together a number of issues and topics at the bilateral level and the latest developments experienced by Yemen in light of the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanism.

President Obama confirmed the support of the United States and its full assistance to Yemen until the success of the transitional period with the secure access to February 2014.

For his part, President Hadi expressed his appreciation to President Obama for his good feelings and his emphasis on standing by Yemen
.


and
http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/09/obama-meets-briefly-with-yemeni-president-un-chief-136637.html
Obama also had "courtesy call" meetings with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the current president of the U.N. General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic of Serbia. (Obama's visit with Ban was on a schedule released by the State Department, but was absent from Obama's public schedule released late Monday by the White House.)


And most would know:
Sept 25th:
10:10 AM
Obama delivers remarks to the UN General Assembly; Michelle Obamaalso attends.

12:10 PM
Obama delivers remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.

1:25 PM
Obama departs New York City en route Washington, D.C.

That's what Obama did two weeks after the attack in Bengazi during his less than 2 days in New York where he also stopped in for his interview on the View. He'd dealt with Bengazi long before his trip to New York.

Barack Obama faces 30 death threats a day, stretching US Secret Service

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/5967942/Barack-Obama-faces-30-death-threats-a-day-stretching-US-Secret-Service.html
Since Mr Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service.
...
"We have half the number of agents we need, but requests for more agents have fallen on deaf ears at headquarters," a Secret Service agent told Kessler. "Headquarters' mentality has always been, 'You can complete the mission with what you have. You're a U.S.S.S. agent'."
...
The Secret Service has increasingly cut corners after it was absorbed by the new Homeland Security Department under Mr Bush. Kessler said that when Mr Biden threw the first pitch at the first Baltimore Orioles game of the 2009 season, the Secret Service did not screen any of the more than 40,000 fans, stunning his agents and the local Secret Service field office.


It's a frightening situation.

A bunch of that is due to the right wing rhetoric.

When I was a kid, I liked to read biographies about great people. After reading a lot of them, I wondered what it would be like to observe one of them while they were still alive as all the individuals I'd read about had passed except Churchill who was in his 90s and out of public view. Then I read my Dad's books on JFK and thought I was all set to watch a great man while he was still alive ... he was shot within the year. I latched onto RFK and had become an admirer of MLK's efforts and you know the story. Vietnam. Watergate. And that series of events knocked the steam out of my interest in politics. But the assassinations were by far the most painful for me.

Jimmy Carter rekindled my interest some. John Lennon's assassination had a similar effect on me. He was one of my favorite people of all time. And my interest in politics waned again.

And then after many years passed, along came Barack who really reignited and inspired me.

I've been worried about Obama since before his election. I reported three of those threats to the Secret Service on the same individual and they did a fine job.

Have you ever tried to imagine what it would be like to get up in town halls and rallies, exposed in front of thousands of people, knowing there are thousands of wacky people out there who want you dead? And knowing that although they've caught a bunch of them in the act, those who are supposed to protect you are understaffed and overwhelmed? Yet this man can shut that all out and speak beautifully and relaxed with such conviction and compassion - focused on doing the people's business and giving it his all. To me, that's a demonstration of real inner strength and courage that is rarely acknowledged.

Meanwhile, those who claim to be "real Americans" disparage this man putting his life on the line as a communist anti-American Muslim n-word- or whatever. It's sickening. And it irresponsibly increases the risk of some nut taking his life.

I wish Barack Obama the best and hope he is allowed to finish what he's started. After being disappointed with assassinations so many times before, I'd like to see one great man that appealed to me survive and complete his work.

If the polls are so wrong, why are the GOP Super PACs bailing out on Romney?

Romney had to borrow $20 mil to get through August.

Romney & Ryan have been doing a lot of fundraisers - including many in non battleground states - a bunch more than Obama. Romney-Ryan are behind and have been criticized for doing fewer campaign events than Obama-Biden ... because they're running around the country with their hands out to the 53%.

Early voting has started. We're down to the short strokes of this election.

If they're so starved for cash and need to do more campaign events, you'd think the Super Duper PACs would step up. Isn't that why we were supposed to be so afraid of them? The big ad spending that would put Obama away? Wouldn't you want to get behind your guy when he's down and push to get him back into the game?

Ad Spending in Presidential Battleground States
http://www.nationaljournal.com/hotline/ad-spending-in-presidential-battleground-states-20120620
- was updated recently today

Restore Our Future is Romney's own Super PAC that his people control and it's still contributing what it can. It's funding was falling in August and it's bank balance was down to about $7 mil at the end of August so it was running short of cash then.

Apparently, according to a Washington Post article, this week's ad spending has pretty much exhausted what the RNC can contribute to Romney.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/obama-has-more-control-of-campaign-cash-and-with-it-an-edge-in-ad-rates/2012/09/26/c85304ea-03f9-11e2-91e7-2962c74e7738_story.html
the RNC has used up nearly all of the $21.6 million it is allowed to spend under law on coordinated advertising with the Romney campaign, records show.


Here's what that leaves:

Crossroads (Rove) spent $331k in Florida and $395k in Nevada. That's it. And that's way below Karl's pace (particularly as ad spending is ramping up) and well below his $5.66 mil last week.

Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund & Concerned Women for America didn't show up last week or this week with any dough for ads.

I've been watching this closely for a couple of weeks because I felt that if the internal polls done by the GOP started to stink, Rove wouldn't be stupid and bet heavy on second place. I figured he'd do what they did to Bob Dole: bail out and place bigger bets down the GOP ticket.

Today, might be evidence of that happening. I wouldn't take it to the bank yet because these folks are not stupid or trustworthy. But there's been funny stuff going on for a few weeks with this ad spending so it's quite possible this is a further sign that they've thrown in the towel on Mitt.

I just saw the numbers so I've got some more crunching to do and I'll post back in this thread if I have anything else to add.

Obama ad spending in NC has been gradually rising the

past three weeks. They've bought ads in that state every single week since May 14.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/hotline/ad-spending-in-presidential-battleground-states-20120620
Romney campaign stopped nearly all ads for a couple of weeks including NC - which is probably why Obama ad buys slowed down during that time. Romney has resumed buying ads in NC the last couple of weeks spending more than Obama - strange for a campaign that's supposedly so far ahead, their opponent is dropping out. For evidence of that, look at Michigan where Obama hasn't spent but Romney spent $10 mil for nothing.

Obama is +1.0 in Real Clear's GOP slanted poll of polls
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/nc/north_carolina_romney_vs_obama-1784.html

In the last 30 days, Obama has had 9 campaign events in NC. Romney has had just one.

A look at barackobama.com shows about 600 phone banks, registrations, etc scheduled over today, tomorrow and Wednesday in that state.

I serious doubt their claim that Obama is pulling out of the state.
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