Published: Thursday 1 November 2012
“The UAW complaint calls for Romney to reveal exactly how much he made off Delphi - and continues to make.”

For Mitt Romney, it's one scary Halloween.  The Presidential candidate has just learned that tomorrow afternoon he will be charged with violating the federal Ethics in Government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bail-out.

At a press conference in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, will announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)  have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney's so-called "blind" trust.

The union chief says, "The American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue,” “It’s time for Gov. Romney to disclose or divest.”

“While Romney was opposing the rescue of one of the nation’s most important manufacturing sectors, he was building his fortunes with his Delphi investor group, making his fortunes off the misfortunes of others,” King added.

The Romneys' gigantic windfall was hidden inside an offshore corporation inside a Limited Partnership inside a trust which both concealed the gain and reduces taxes on it.


Published: Saturday 20 October 2012
According to The Wall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season.

Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.

It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM—or Chrysler, for that matter—could have been successful without saving Delphi. So, in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi—and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it.

One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout—
$1.28 billion so far—is Elliott Management, directed by 
Paul Singer. According to The Wall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. His personal giving is matched by that of his colleagues at Elliott; collectively, they have donated $3.4 million to help elect Republicans this season, while giving only $1,650 to Democrats. And Singer is influential with the GOP presidential candidate; he’s not only an informal adviser but, according to the Journal, his support was critical in ...

Published: Sunday 7 October 2012
“Here’s the most premeditated, studied, nearly content- and personality-free campaign that money can buy imploding because Mitt’s an epic fail at retail politics, a crashing, burning, non-stop, unforced gaffe machine.”

Fans of gallows humor must delight in the mounting farce that is Mitt Romney's campaign. Could his cavalcade of confusion blunder on, even get worse? Common manners might restrain gleeful cries when derision is this easy -- but have we celebrated a more appealing, richer punching bag in years? Recall that GOP power brokers once dreaded calamity from Perry, Santorum, Bachmann or Gingrich -- yet Romney, with marvelous irony, turns out to be the rank amateur.   


Here's the most premeditated, studied, nearly content- and personality-free campaign that money can buy imploding because Mitt's an epic fail at retail politics, a crashing, burning, non-stop, unforced gaffe machine. Imagine, squandering ten years and billions of even richer folks' money only to shoot yourself in the foot, with jaw-dropping repetition. This qualifies as neither melodrama nor tragedy but high farce, and I await Mitt's latest attempt at redemption: ham-fisted debate "zingers." Besieged, this second least charming GOP politician (after Donald Trump) has decided to polish up his comic timing. Oh, lord of misrule, let it be.   


Second, inadvertent comic narrative: Mr. Obama remains the luckiest politician in our history, undeterred by his endless quest for higher office (and luckless in only one imprudent House run). This master of retail politics (however deficient in vision, leadership or governance) looks to cruise home, as if all is forgiven. So the president had awful tunnel vision about economic dilemmas; delivered neither hope nor change, nor redirected addictions to endless wars and shameless defense spending; so there's little reform (even worsening) to the civil-legal-judicial abuses inherited from neo-con, anti-constitutional overkill. Obama as Bush III is no joke, but let that bide. 


Published: Sunday 19 August 2012
So, Romney settled on a superficially controversial pick (though knee-jerk compared to Palin) because of this most uncontroversial tactic: GOP moderates go hard right with V.P.’s to lock up the (white, evangelical, older) base.

Whether you responded with shock, surprise or delight to his V.P. pick, Mitt Romney delivered no bombshell with Paul Ryan. Au contraire. The briefest survey confirms "going hard right V.P." typifies the modern era for the Gruesome Old Party. That Romney the Null and Void would pick an extreme partisan to shore up his skeptical base was inevitable: lock up the sheeple who trust super-rich Mitt even less than they did Dole, Dubya or that old guy enamored with the Palin. 


That doesn't mean Ryan is a smart, election-winning pick (still anathema to moderates), just the least compromised ideologue eager to join the wobbly Mitt ship. Plus, Ryan would be positioned to pick up the pieces for 2016. One current thesis, that the extreme right, business cartel is prepping Ryan as favorite for the incumbent-less 2016, depends on a long-shot assumption: that another four years of hard times  doesn't block Ryan primary wins, considering the failed like-minded clones this year (Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum). Aligned to the Koch Bros., Ryan won't lack for funds but more four years of gridlock may make severe Ryan austerity untenable.       


Let's debunk other momentary flashes: Ryan is less about transient polling or Romney desperation (too early), nor is this some weird, double-reversal because "power brokers" favor Obama (for Romney, winning is everything, until the dire end). Nor is Romney keen for "big, bold ideas" and many predict his ticket sticks doggedly to vacuous, bromide-coated blarney (until that flops). Finally, Ryan's leverage to overcome Obama's Wisconsin lead looks dubious, at best. 


Drive the base turnout


So, Romney settled on a superficially controversial pick (though ...

Published: Tuesday 3 July 2012
5 ways Romney is avoiding taxes and other financial expenditures.


After significant pressure, Mitt Romney released two years of his tax returns, which showed, among other things, that he pays a lower tax rate than many middle-class families and has employed a Swiss bank account to hold his investments. Today, Vanity Fair ran an expose on Romney’s investments, providing some new details regarding funds that he keeps in the Cayman Islands, how his retirement fund grew so large, and how he manages to avoid paying his fair share of taxes.

“Romney, like the superhero who whirls and backflips unscathed through a web of laser beams while everyone
else gets zapped, is certainly a remarkable financial acrobat. But careful analysis of his financial and business affairs also reveals a man who, like some other Wall Street titans, seems comfortable striding into some fuzzy gray zones,” wrote Vanity Fair’s Nicholas Shaxson. Here are five ways Romney is engaging in such financial shenanigans:

Published: Wednesday 18 April 2012
“As an apologetic Rosen tried to explain, Ann Romney’s lot differed dramatically from that of women raising kids and clearing tables at Arby’s. Point taken.”

To quote "Adelaide's Lament" from "Guys and Dolls," "You can feed her all day with the vitamin A and the bromofizz/ But the medicine never gets anywhere near where the trouble is." That's the sense one gets from the recent tone-challenged courting of women voters.

On the Sunday talk shows, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called "ridiculous" Republican Mitt Romney's assertion that most of the jobs lost during the Obama years were women's. The statement may have been true, but it ignored the bloodletting of mostly male-held jobs in the gruesome last months of George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, Democrats were finishing the week trying to recover from an offensive remark by a high-profile adviser. Hilary Rosen said that Mitt's wife, Ann Romney, "never worked a day in her life." Ann raised five boys. Of course, her husband's fortune bought many a domestic service, freeing untold hours of housekeeping. But anyone who has actively overseen the care, education, and social development of children knows it's about much more than mopping the kitchen floor. Many stay-at-home wives are up to their triceps-bathing children when their "Mad Men" providers are on their second cocktails.

As an apologetic Rosen tried to explain, Ann Romney's lot differed dramatically from that of women raising kids and clearing tables at Arby's. Point taken. How most single mothers do it is beyond me. They have no time for civic participation, for normal cooking or doing their nails. At the end of the day, they collapse in front of a TV show exalting a surgically altered celebrity.

But Rosen is herself a top-paid lobbyist and can also hire others. For all the ...

Published: Wednesday 29 February 2012
“Santorum’s brand of anti-elitism seems particularly personal: throbbing with resentment and directed squarely at Obama.”

Rick Santorum is engaging in class warfare.

Santorum accuses President Obama and Mitt Romney of that supposed transgression. Yet class warfare was at the heart of his “what a snob” attack on Obama for urging students to attend college, part of an angry broadside against “the elite in society who think that they can manage your life better than you can.”

Against an elite that believes in “climate science,” Santorum said, holding his fingers in ironic quotation marks and pronouncing “science” with a marked sneer.

Against an elite that dictates what health care you should have — the “ultimate top-down, I know better than you do” approach of Obama’s health reform — and, oh by the way, of Romney’s too.

Against an elite that looks down on you for not going to some fancy college. “There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to [the] test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them,” Santorum told an Americans for Prosperity forum Saturday in Troy, Mich.

And then, ominously and weirdly, against Obama and his elitist plot to educate more Americans: “Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image,” Santorum said. ...

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