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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,218

Journal Archives

No Apology - No Mistake in Raising Bain Issues

Romney wanted to cake walk into the White House on the strength of being "a successful businessman." He wanted to campaign on one liners like "I created 100,000 jobs". Romney wanted to win simply by not being Barack Obama; by blaming a sluggish economy on the incumbent and being the alternative. Unfortunately Romney doesn't have either the right or the power to insert his preferred narrative into the national debate unchallenged.

It is only mid July. Barack Obama has ample time to remind voters of his own strengths later in the campaign. What voters needed to be reminded of now is how the economy got so bad in the first place, and under which party's watch the ship of state was seized by pirates and corporate raiders.

Most Americans credit FDR with helping pull the United States out of a deep Depression. They also know that doing so fully took over 8 years and World War Two to accomplish. Republicans wrecked our economy. They handed the keys over to a business elite with its own narrow and self serving agenda, an elite with more than a few people in it quite similar to Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney chose to run on his record at Bain Capital - but he preferred to keep Bain out of it. Romney wanted to run as a successful businessman without the details of his business being subject to public scrutiny. No deal. Romney could have run on his record as Massachusetts Governor instead, where he can take full credit for Romneycare, but he pushed that part into the shadows also.

America doesn't elect shadowy Presidents. We don't contract for a President C.O.D. The Obama team has been brilliant in both content and timing so far in this campaign. Americans knew a lot about Barack Obama but much less about Mitt Romney, who wanted voters kept in the dark both about the details of his past and his plans for our future.

Team Obama refused to play along with Mitt Romney's chosen game, and more power to them for that. Going so called "negative" might make a few voters think a tad less kindly toward Obama in the short run, but it was worth it, both for Obama and for our nation. This election won't be won by one guy being more warm and fuzzy than the other. Obama will win hands down among any voters who rank personality as a deciding factor, no matter what he does during this campaign.

This election will come down to the economy, and the questions: "whose fault is it that it cratered and still remains sluggish?" and "which candidate is fighting for my economic interests?" Every "attack ad" the Obama team has run raised questions about Romney's business record. What is the alternative, NOT raising questions about Romeny's business record? Seriously? It is the only thing Romney is willing to run on. It is why he thinks America should elect him President.

Obama raised the questions that needed to be asked about Mitt Romney at EXACTLY the appropriate time. The nation is better off for it as we now move forward seeking answers about both mens vision for America. Don't listen to the corporate apologizers no matter which Party they come from. Most corporations actually have little to apologize for, so the truth is not a threat to their business. Bain not only is fair game, it is essential that Americans study that business record for evidence on the priorities of a man who now seeks to lead all of us, not just a private equity firm. Thanks to team Obama, it is now all on the table.

Harry Reid often doesn't get much credit around here

But I've been thinking of late that he's been doing pretty damn well under all of the circumstances. I don't consider Reid weak or spineless. He isn't loud or flashy, but Reid is willing to stand his ground and forcefully speak his mind, soft spoken as he might be. There is never real talk about disgruntled Senators from any wing of the Democratic Party plotting how to potentially unseat him. I believe Harry has won all of their respect, and that in itself is a pretty impressive accomplishment.

Who will ask Romney these questions this summer?

Do you believe that Climate Change is real and that it can have a serious long term adverse impact on the United States? If you do believe that Climate Change is real, do you believe that man made changes in carbon emissions are a significant contributer to current Climate Change? If you are undecided on either the first or second question, as a man seeking the U.S. Presidency, how many more years spent researching this matter further do you advise America wait before you can decide whether significant actions are needed to mitigate against this "potential" threat?

I think it is a no win proposition for Romney to be confronted with these questions now. His hardest core base would be angry with him if he acknowledges that actions are needed to mitigate the changing climate. But even some of them (at the grass roots level) must be starting to worry about it more given weather patterns this year. Meanwhile everyone else is primed to hear what our leaders have to say on this, and the heat waves and drought are driving home the environmental message.

The Creed of the One Percent

You pay high taxes - so we don't have to.

You enlist in the military to protect our far flung investments - so we don't need to.

You work hard to increase your work productivity - so we can employ fewer of you

You think sports stars deserve up to-8 figure salaries - so our compensation packages seem warranted and fairly normal.

You want to become filthy rich someday too - which leaves us nothing to apologize for.

You worry that the poor get too many handouts for their own good - so we have a common cause.

You rarely question if the U.S. system is really always best - so we don't have to prove that it is when it isn't.

You think that the candidates that we buy are still your own - so we frequently win by default.

You are willing to blame people weaker than yourself for your problems - so we gladly point them out to you

You feel powerless to change things - and we are pleased to have you feel that way.

Ultimately it doesn't matter if he lied, if he broke the law, or if it just looks ugly

Mitt Romney refuses to release more tax returns because he knows Americans will vote against him for President if he does. What does that say about Mitt Romney's faith in the American people, the very people he thinks he deserves to lead? If Romney lets American voters know what he was forced by law to let the IRS know, he thinks he will lose this election. Romney would rather the public NOT be informed by facts. He believes Americans do NOT have the right to know how he ran the fiscal enterprise that he claims merits our votes.

That says almost as much about Mitt Romney as his tax returns probably would.

Glass House, Meet Stone.

It could be the notion that heís entitled to have big parts of his life kept private while running for President (like his tax returns before 2010) that keeps Mitt Romney from getting it. A presidential campaign is time spent within a glass house. And people who live in glass houses, you know, should think twice before throwing stones. None the less Team Romney just heaved a media buy brick at Barack Obama, on the topic of ďCrony CapitalismĒ. Thatís right Mitt Romney, Mr. Bain Capital himself, is now lecturing Barack Obama about the sin of money influencing policy. Like a movie teen who wanders off alone during a party at a dark haunted house, Romney could have exercised some caution, but no, he really went there. And guess who is lurking in the hall closet?

Well, there are legions of entities in that closet actually, but it only takes one to bite. Consider a guy stuffed there who is even richer than Romney; a billionaire by the mane of Harold Hamm, and thatís not even a stage name. You can look up Harold Hamm right on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.Youíll find him at number thirty six. Harold Hamm is CEO of Continental Resources Inc. (CLR). Thatís an oil company in case you were wondering, and Hammís stake in Continental Resources is worth 11.2 billion dollars. One could safely call Harold Hamm a capitalist, but is he also a Romney crony?

As.a matter of fact he is. Mitt Romney thinks so highly of Harold Hamm that he asked Mr. Hamm to head up a crucial policy advisory group for him: as in people who advise Mitt Romney on what he should do after he gets elected President. The particular policy group that Harold Hamm now leads might not be hard to guess. You got it, itís about energy and the policies a Romney Administration should embrace to guide our nationís energy future. No conflict of interest there since Mr. Hamm is after all ďan expertĒ.

That's not the only thing Harold Hamm is though. Hamm is also a large donor to a Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney, large to the tune of $985,000. But before anyone goes off accusing Mitt Romney of appointing a major donor to head one of his advisory groups you need to get your facts straight Ė and the facts refute that conclusion. Hamm forked over his high six figures donation (that canít be called a million) toward the effort to elect Romney president a few weeks AFTER Romney made him a key policy adviser, keeping everything clean as a whistle. Cleaner than a whistle actually because the Super PAC Hamm donated to, Restore Our Future, is fully INDEPENDENT of the official Romney campaign. What could possibly be wrong with that? Itís not like thereís money to be made through influencing Romneyís policies.

Harold Hamm wonít be alone in advising Mitt Romney on energy issues, there are others on the task force also; except we canít name any of them. Mitt Romney is keeping those names secret, kind of like his tax returns prior to 2010. Romney thinks revealing Harold Hammís name alone is enough information for the public to have about who Romney has planning our energy future, and how he conducts the publicís business. This time he could be right. The sound youíre about to hear is a glass house shattering.

We should have seen this coming. Etch-a-Sketches are soooo Retro

C'mon DU, it's time to rewrite that Elton John classic. Here are the original Bernie Taupin lyrics to Rocket Man:

"She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It's lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it's cold as hell
And there's no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don't understand
It's just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man

And I think it's gonna be a long long time..."

Here's a chorus suggestion for:


And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till the convention comes and they find
I'm not the Candidate they thought they had
Oh no no no I'm a retro man
etch a sketching all my past away

More ideas?

The Bold Bain Sub Text

Lost in all the sound and fury is this. The Obama team is forcing Romney to run as far and as fast as he can from his association with Bain Capital. Sure the fine print says Romney only wants to disassociate himself from Bain AFTER 1999, Romney is proud of his association with Bain Capital BEFORE 1999, but how many voters really read the fine print?

The big picture is Mitt Romney twisting his legal filings into pretzels trying to convince people that you can't blame him for anything Bain did AFTER 1999 - automatically calling into question what Bain might have been up to prior to 1999. Romney's evasion is dubious on its face, but it doesn't matter if he ultimately convinces the pundits and the media that his hair splitting holds up. Romney could win that battle but he already lost the Bain wars. Bain will never again be something Romney can easily point to with pride, and Bain had been virtually the only thing Romney would admit to being proud of. He clearly hasn't oozed pride over his record as Massachusetts Governor.

I guess you might say Romney also took pride in his role heading up the Utah Olympics, but that too now is completely tangled up in the Bain story and whether he was or was not still with Bain while he worked for the Olympics. Bain is now a problem child for Romney and his own actions underscore that. He is left having to make excuses for his signature achievements both as Massachusetts Governor, Romneycare ("the liberals made me do it) AND for his tenure at Bain (I wasn't really the CEO Chairman and sole shareholder at Bain for three years even though my SEC filing signatures say I was).

Romney is running away from Bain and that will hurt him running for President. He has now distanced himself from his own record in government and from the business that he formed. Why again should people vote for Romney; because he knows how to legally avoid paying taxes and he is among the 300+ million Americans who are not named Barack Obama?

McCain got 23 years of Romney tax returns but the American public gets 2011 and one estimate?

Square that one with the voters Mitt. Go ahead, try. Of course you could point out that McCain hasn't seen all your recent returns either, he last checked in 2008. With the exception of 2010 no one has seen those. You could reassure folks with that observation. Yeah, try that. Besides why would voters need to know as much about your finances as a former Party leader? You may be running for President but Chief Executive Officers aren't really accountable for things that happen during their legal tenure. We've been through all this with Bain, voters understand. No biggie.

Not your father's political millionaire

There is a long tradition of super wealthy leaders in American politics. Think FDR and JFK. Think Nelson Rockefeller and Michael Blomberg. All are/were seen as men who no longer cared about increasing their own personal fortune. If anything they were seen as men who entered politics liberated from self serving impulses, because of their rarefied position in life. They were believed to have no further need or desire to game any system to gain more wealth. Agree or disagree with their politics, they were/are accepted as legitimate public servants. Now think about Mitt Romney.

His legacy is irrevocably tarnished by greed. Romney is now defined by the tax loopholes he ceaselessly exploits. Ultimately it won't matter whether he did or did not literally break any laws in the pursuit of wealth. What will stick is Romney's crass use of every wrinkle in the law to pad his personal accounts, both at home and abroad. At the very moment when Mitt Romney was preparing to enter politics in Massachusetts, he was consciously gaming the system; claiming his legal residence remained in the state he planned to seek office in while enjoying $48,000 in tax savings by declaring Utah as his primary residence. Romney had to be worth over a hundred million at the time. Even if it was legal, was it really necessary?

Americans traditionally have a soft spot for the super wealthy who decide that life and their nation have treated them well, and it is now time to devote their days to giving something back. Mitt Romney expected to be grandfathered into that select group of multi-millionaires turned public servants, even while he aggressively pursued his own personal vested interests. Now the public ponders whether he is simply another self centered multi-millionaire, or could he be crooked also?

Mitt Romney is a man who could not bear to turn his fortune over to a "blind" blind trust, who could not resist using off shore tax havens even while seeking to govern his fellow Americans. Romney may be a shrewd businessman, but he is not your father's millionaire. He is not the sort of rich man who working class Americans once enthusiastically voted for. Mitt Romney's wealth is now a warning label, and it will remain so through November.
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