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Current location: New Orleans, LA
Member since: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 1,780
Current location: New Orleans, LA
Member since: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 1,780
How Mitt Romney’s Bain “harvested” Sealy mattress company - Sealy was America's No. 1 mattress brand -- until Bain Capital got its hands on it; By Josh Kosman, Salon.com
At Wednesday night’s presidential debate Mitt Romney will no doubt brag about how, as head of Bain Capital, he built businesses.
On his website, Romney says, “In addition to Staples, Bain Capital went on to help launch or acquire Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, and The Sports Authority.”
However, as of last week he’d be unwise to cite Sealy, once America’s biggest mattress brand.
Relative upstart Tempur-Pedic agreed to buy Sealy this week for $2.20 a share, paying less than $250 million for its stock and assuming its $750 million debt.
Sealy executives told me this week that Tempur-Pedic, with its “memory foam” beds, is like the Starbucks of the bedding industry, and there was no stopping its rise. But that’s not the full story.
Mitt Romney’s Bain led a $791 million buyout of Sealy in 1997, putting $140 million down and, in typical private-equity fashion, having Sealy borrow the remaining $651 million to finance the deal and assume responsibility for paying it back.
Companies like Bain Capital call themselves private equity firms, but as I explained in my book “The Buyout of America” they really provide no equity. They make money by putting businesses at risk. They say they turn struggling businesses around. But Sealy was not a turnaround — it was the market leader in its sector.
Romney first tried to boost Sealy’s profits, so it could pay its debt, by acquiring one of Sealy’s biggest retail customers, Mattress Discounters. But MD expanded too quickly and went bankrupt.
Bain then pushed Sealy to design the no-flip, or one-sided, bed. To cut costs they eliminated the bottom cover, making the bottom simply a foundation. With two-sided beds, consumers can flip their mattress, like they rotate a tire, for longer wear, so getting rid of the bottom would shorten the life of the mattress.
But Bain was more interested in cutting costs and boost short-term profits than in providing value to consumers. For a while, it didn’t seem to matter. Bain and co-investors sold — “harvested,” if you like — Sealy in 2004 to fellow private equity firm KKR for $1.5 billion, pocketing $741 million for its $140 million investment
more at: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/02/how_mitt_romneys_bain_harvested_sealy_mattress_company/
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:48 PM (9 replies)
MSNBC host questions Romney's mental health, By Ken Shepherd, FoxNews.com, October 02, 2012,
"Distorting an interview Ann Romney gave to a Nevada media outlet last week, MSNBC daytime anchor (and onetime co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline) Martin Bashir tried to impugn the mental health of GOP candidate Mitt Romney on his Monday program.
Bashir was seizing on comments Mrs. Romney made to Reno’s KTVN on Thursday in which she said her chief concern, if her husband was elected, would be his “mental well-being,” even as she praised her husband’s capabilities: “I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness and his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy, in his understanding of what's missing right now in the economy – you know, pieces that are missing to get this jumpstarted. So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it.”
While Mrs. Romney demonstrated her support for her spouse and an understanding of the rigors of the presidency in the interview, to Bashir, it was a golden opportunity to run a segment strongly suggesting that Gov. Romney may not be mentally fit for duty as president.
Bashir called the segment "Being Willard Romney." He directed his first question to liberal pundit and Guardian columnist Ana Marie Cox. The MSNBC host first asked: “Mrs. Romney has expressed concerns about her husband's mental well-being, but do you get the feeling that perhaps there's more to this than she's saying?”
Cox seemed a bit taken aback by Bashir's query: “Well, Martin, I actually think this is sort of one area where I'm hesitant to mock too much. I think that the relationship between Mitt and Ann…”
Interrupting Cox, Bashir shot back that he was dead serious:
“I'm not asking you to mock, Ana Marie, I'm asking you a serious question. No, I'm not asking you to mock. His wife has said, and volunteered, that her number one concern for her husband is his mental health and mental well-being. I'm asking you do you think that she knows things about him that provoke that kind of concern?”
Rather than attack Bashir for taking Romney out of context or for hitting below-the-belt with a nakedly-partisan cheap shot, Cox then gave a diplomatic response where she noted that Romney seems to handle campaign stress pretty well and that he certainly handled well the incredible stress of the world of private equity finance. Cox held out that Romney "seems like the kind of guy who's really hard on himself, so, maybe she is concerned for him."
Bashir then moved on to his other guest, Washington Post editorial writer and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart, asking another version of the same question: “Jonathan, as this campaign has progressed, I've noticed that Mr. Romney has become increasingly impatient and testy, particularly when asked polite questions by the media. Is it therefore fair to assume that Mr. Romney does have difficulties when the pressure on him increases, ’cause we've heard David Axelrod describe presidential campaign as an MRI for the soul.”
"I don't fault him for being testy," the liberal Post writer answered, chalking up Romney's demeanor to troublesome polling data."
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:02 PM (8 replies)
and boy, did I have fun with it! Most of the questions are total bullshit . . .
"How important is it to voters in your state to expose Obama's radical left-wing policies?" . . . The only possible answers are "very important", "somewhat important" or "not important". So I changed the question on the form to "How important is it to support Obama?"
I pretty much re-wrote the entire form and provided my own answers to illustrate total support for the POTUS.
On the return envelope, they actually had the gall to ask respondents to use their own first-class stamp to 'save much needed funds'. Not only did I not provide a stamp, I stuffed the envelope with a bunch of printed 8 1/2" x 11" anti-MittWit cartoons and Facebook memes.
What balls, sending a bullshit questionnaire to a registered Democrat !!!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 2, 2012, 10:18 AM (4 replies)
I AM SO SICK OF THE LIES BEING CIRCULATED BY THE REPUKES AND I'VE HAD ENOUGH . . . I AM NO LONGER WILLING TO IGNORE THEM.
I received this email from my mother this morning:
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Home Sales Tax becomes effective Jan. 1, 2013
"The National Association of Realtors is not pleased with this new tax and hopes this information is forwarded to every voter prior to the election in November. It doesn't matter which side of the political fence you sit on - it will affect ALL of us.
When does your home become part of your health care? After 2012! Your vote counts big time in 2012, make sure you and all your friends and family know about this!
HOME SALES TAX I thought you might find this interesting, -- maybe even SICKENING! The National Association of Realtors is all over this and working to get it repealed, --before it takes effect. But, I am very pleased we aren't the only ones who know about this ploy to steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners. How many realtors do you think will vote Democratic in 2012? Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc. When did this happen? It's in the health care bill, -- and it goes into effect in 2013. Why 2013? Could it be so that it doesn't come to light until after the 2012 elections? So, this is change you can believe in? Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax. If you sell a $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax. This bill is set to screw the retiring generation, -- who often downsize their homes. Does this make your November, 2012 vote more important? Oh, you weren't aware that this was in the Obama Health Care bill? Guess what; you aren't alone! There are more than a few members of Congress that weren't aware of it either. You can check this out for yourself at: http://www.gop.gov/blog/10/04/08/obamacare-flatlines-obamacare-taxes-home
VOTERS NEED TO KNOW.................... and VOTE!!!"
This was my reply to my mother and all the people she forwarded this dumb email to:
"Good morning Mother. The email Lydia forwarded to you contains inaccurate information and some half-truths in it and was written with the intention of scaring homeowners. I went directly to Section 1402 of the Affordable Care Act posted online and read it for myself. Here is a summary of what the so called ‘Medicare tax’ provision entails:
• The Medicare tax is not a tax on all new home sales; it only applies to the profit that certain high income Americans make from the sale of their home. The groups that may be affected by this provision are individuals with annual incomes over $200,000 and married couples with a joint income of over $250,000.
• The only home sellers who will be affected by this provision are those who fit the above description, and who sell their home for a profit of more than $250,000. The tax will not apply to the first $250,000 in profits for the individual selling his or her home or to the first $500,000 in profits for a married couple.
And by the way, while some home sales will see a tax increase under this provision, the tax will affect only a small percentage of home sales. A report released by the Tax Foundation on April 15, 2010 predicts that the new tax on investment income (including real estate) will affect only the top-earning 2 percent of American families."
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:13 AM (0 replies)
from The Nation, by Greg Mitchell, September 27, 2012:
"As you may be aware, GOPers have been charging for the past week that all national (and presumably state) polls showing a deep plunge in the fortunes of Romney-Ryan are wrong--for one reason or another but mainly because they are "skewed" and "over sample" Democrats. I've pointed to the fallacies in this in recent days, with GOPers relying on outdated numbers for the percentage of self-identified Republicans in the U.S. Many who once called themselves GOPers now tell pollsters they are Democrats or Independents since they are disgusted with the Republican brand and plan to vote for Obama, and maybe other Dems, this time.
In the fantasy land of the right, however, these polls are all "skewed" because they "under-sample" proud Republicans.
But the conservatives chief defense? The good old Rasmussen Poll, long "skewing" to the right and a favorite of Fox News and Red Staters, and now, reliably, the only poll showing an edge to Romney. This morning's daily tracker finds an even split BUT a 2% edge for Mitt when the "leaners" are added. That's been the case in recent days.
Now, it's true, that Rasmussen's final poll in 2008 came closer to the final tally than nearly anyone else's. But the differences were not great and none had called the race for McCain. The problem for Rasmussen today appears two-fold: It continues to "weigh" the tally based on GOP registration figures--not the current mood of GOP voters--and unlike many polls does not reach those who only use cell phones.
Now, we all know polls can be "wrong" or at least somewhat off. That could even be the case now even without obvious "skewing." But the Rasmussen Poll not only flies in the face of Gallup and Bloomberg (which now find a 6% Obama lead) but other major polls that find an even wider gap--and dozens of state polls which seem to reveal Obama opening up not just leads but big leads in major states such as Ohio, Florida, even Virginia."
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Sep 27, 2012, 10:50 AM (1 replies)
Source: CNN Money.com
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A rally on Wall Street gained momentum Thursday afternoon, sending stocks to fresh multi-year highs, as investors welcomed the Federal Reserve's new bond-buying plan. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 207 points, or 1.6%, while the Nasdaq rose 1.3% and the S&P 500 gained 1.6%. Prior to the Fed's announcement, all three major indexes had been just 0.2% higher. The day's gains pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to their highest closing levels since December 2007, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished at its highest level since November 2000.
Financial stocks led the broad rally, with the KBW Bank index (BKX) climbing 2.8% to its highest level since May 2011. Bank of America's (BAC, Fortune 500) nearly 4.8% advance led the Dow higher, while JPMorgan's (JPM, Fortune 500) 3.7% rise helped the stock fully recover the losses it suffered following the 'London whale' disclosure.
As investors moved into risky assets, oil prices spiked 1.3% to $98.31 a barrel. Priced had already been higher amid "concern that protests in the Middle East may threaten supplies," said Wells Fargo Advisors analysts. Gold, which is used as a hedge against inflation, jumped 2% to hit a nearly 7-month high. And Treasuries, which had had been gaining ground earlier, sold-off sharply, which pushed 10-year yield above 1.8% from 1.72% before the Fed's announcement. The yield settled around 1.74%.
The Fed said it will buy $40 billion of mortage-backed bonds each month for however long it deems necessary. In the past, the Fed has concentrated its purchases in Treasuries. The Fed also said it plans to keep interest rates at "exceptionally low levels" until mid-2015. Previously, the central bank had forecast rates would remain low until late 2014.
Housing stocks gained on the news. Shares of homebuilder Hovnanian (HOV) and Pulte Group (PHM) rose more than 3%. Lennar (LEN) and Toll Brothers (TOL) gained almost 2%.
Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/13/investing/stocks-markets/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Sep 13, 2012, 04:44 PM (5 replies)
Source: NBC News.com
Libyan authorities have made four arrests in the investigation into the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador and three embassy staff were killed, the deputy interior minister said on Thursday.
"Four men are in custody and we are interrogating them because they are suspected of helping instigate the events at the U.S. Consulate," Wanis Sharif told Reuters.
He gave no more details.
The United States and Libya has agreed to cooperate to find out who was responsible for the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which the ambassador to the North African state and three other Americans died.
President Barack Obama and Libyan President Mohamed Magarief spoke on Wednesday evening and decided "to work closely over the course of this investigation," the White House said in a statement
Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/13/13840211-libya-arrests-four-suspected-in-deadly-us-consulate-attack-in-benghazi?lite
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Sep 13, 2012, 04:36 PM (2 replies)
I had a reply post hidden this morning because I misread the question asked in the OP.
The question put forth by justiceforall was ‘Maybe we can make #DescribeRomneyInOneWord trend too'. The TITLE of this post was about the Romney campaign. I misread the TEXT of the post and thought the OP was asking for more one-word descriptions for Romney. I replied ‘disastrous’. Yes, I screwed up, but make no mistake, I am an ardent, enthusiastic supporter of President Obama.
And I understand that there are trolls on DU, as on every other website in the world. But I contributed to DU shortly after I joined. One jurist even wrote “Wow. A donating troll. Clever”. Does that make even the least bit of sense? Why would I bother to donate if I was a troll? Be assured that I have better things to do with my time and money than troll websites.
I have served on several juries since joining DU. I only agree to serve when I have sufficient time to review the OP and the associated alert and really put some thought into it. I wouldn’t serve if I didn’t have the time to give this the attention it deserves.
I am new to DU, I am human, and I make mistakes. Perhaps it would have been more civil if the person who alerted would have simply replied to me and asked ‘WTF’.
I have never known a group of people so quick to pounce on someone else. Not just me; I have noticed that other DU members are attacked as well, with the attackers always assuming there are trolls aboard, or assuming that the poster is being callous. Aren’t we all supposed to be on the same team?
Thanks for the warm welcome!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:53 AM (21 replies)
By KEVIN ROBILLARD, Politico.com 9/12/12 3:27 PM EDT
Rush Limbaugh: Libyans didn’t aid ambassador
Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama must think Americans are “stupid” if they expect them to believe that Libyans were trying to help the U.S. ambassador killed in an attack Tuesday on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
“Then to add insult to injury, we have to listen this morning — honest to God folks — to Mrs. Clinton and Obama praise the Libyans for trying to save our ambassador,” the conservative radio host said Wednesday. “These pictures that you’ve seen with the ambassador upside-down, half naked, being carried over somebody’s shoulder? We’re told, ‘Yeah, our friends in Libya were taking him to the hospital.’ They paraded our ambassador around! Taking him to the hospital? How stupid do they think we are?”
A report from the Associated Press and a photo caption from Getty Images indicate Libyan citizens took an unconscious Ambassador Christopher Stevens to a hospital in Benghazi. A doctor who treated him told the AP he tried to revive Stevens for 90 minutes.
“When the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post,” Clinton said during an appearance Wednesday at the State Department. “Some were wounded. Libyans carried Chris’s body to the hospital, and they helped rescue and lead other Americans to safety.”
Obama said the same in a statement from the Rose Garden. “Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died,” he said.
OxyRush is such a puke!
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81125.html#ixzz26HyxRyBz
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 04:27 PM (11 replies)
CNN Poll:Who will win the Presidential Debates?
Most voters think President Barack Obama will have an advantage in the three debates, according to a new national survey. And a CNN/ORC International poll (PDF) released Tuesday also indicates Obama's approval rating at 51%, a gray area for an incumbent president running for re-election.
Fifty-nine percent of likely voters questioned in the survey say that Obama is more likely to do a better job than Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the debates, with 34% saying that Romney will beat Obama.
While only five percent of Democrats think that Romney will have the upper hand in the October showdowns, 18% of Republicans say that Obama will have the advantage.
The debates are scheduled to be held on October 3 in Denver, Colorado, October 16, in Hempstead, New York, and October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida. CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, anchor of "State of the Union," will moderate the October 16 debate. Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee, face off on October 11 in Danville, Kentucky.
The CNN poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, entirely after last week's Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the survey, 51% of adults nationwide approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with 44% saying they disapprove. The 51% approval is up three points from last week's CNN poll, which was conducted before the Democratic convention.
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 03:59 PM (12 replies)