Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in October, 2012

This is a cross-post from DailyKos but the news is so good I wanted to share.  Check out the numbers in both the national and batlleground states.  Let’s all just do our part by getting to the polls  and enjoy Obama’s Crazy Good Polling Day.

Thanks to Progress Missouri for the graphic.

I had the pleasure of watching what desperation looks like yesterday as Dave Spence had a photo-op press conference at the old Chrysler site and tried to blame the plant closure on Gov. Nixon.  The event was covered by Channel’s 2 and 5 in addition to Jo Mannies of the Beacon Online.  The Beacon story notes my rebuttal to Dave Spence’s many falsehoods which reminded me of a Romney style willingness to overlook the facts in pursuit of personal gain.

The fact that Spence would even try to sell this meme is an insult to everyone in this area that was affected by this tragedy. No wonder there were no former Chrysler or supplier workers standing behind him.  The fact that he would try it in the face of all the facts speaks to his desperation.  It was also an embarrassing welcome to Franklin County for State Representative Tim Jones, who now represents the Pacific area.  Pacific lost the largest employer in the county and several other businesses as a result of the Chrysler closure.  Many other businesses have seen dramatic losses of revenue. Many of our friends and neighbors are still struggling or have moved away. Yet Tim Jones is evidently as willing to ignore the facts of this case as he is the birth certificate of Barack Obama.  I am hoping his tenure as Speaker of the Missouri House is marked by more attention to detail and less to partisan pandering.

One last note on yesterday’s events.  Desperate Dave listed Right-to-Work for less as one of his prescriptions for unemployment in Missouri.  Once again those nasty facts undermined his solutions.  Just a few stories down on this blog is a post entitled Unemployment Dips in 41 States.  Please scroll down and look at the map with each states unemployment rate.  You will notice, something Dave could have if he cared about real solutions.  The proud RTW for less states of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and more all have higher unemployment rates than Missouri.

Desperate Dave Spence please meet reality and solutions that work in the real world not just the resorts and think tanks of your right-wing friends.

It’s no wonder newspapers from every section of the state are endorsing Jay Nixon for Governor.

 

Looks like Mitt Romney isn’t being honest.  Or forthcoming.  One of the best investigative reporters in the country, Greg Palast, has revealed how Mitt Romney made millions while outsourcing thousands of American jobs to China.  His report, Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza, published in the Nation describes in detail how it happened and the extent of Romney’s deceptions to hide his involvement.

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.

What was the price to society and family supporting jobs in exhange for Romney’s millions?

Romney has slammed the bailout as a payoff to the auto workers union. But that certainly wasn’t true for the bailout of Delphi. Once the hedge funders, including Singer—a deep-pocketed right-wing donor and activist who serves as chair of the conservative, anti-union Manhattan Institute—took control of the firm, they rid Delphi of every single one of its 25,200 unionized workers.

How many millions and will we ever know?

That leaves one final question: Exactly how much did the Romneys make off the auto bailout? Queries to the campaign and the Romneys’ trustee have gone unanswered. And Romney has yet to disclose the crucial year of his tax returns, 2009. But whatever the tally, it was one sweet deal. The Romneys were invested with Elliott Management by the end of 2010, before Delphi was publicly traded. So, in effect, they got Delphi stock at Singer’s initial dirt-cheap price. When Delphi’s owners took the company public in November 2011, the Romneys were in—and they hit the jackpot.

In their 2011 and 2012 Federal Financial Disclosure filing, Ann Romney’s trust lists “more than $1 million” invested with Elliott. This is the description for all of her big investments—the minimal disclosure required by law. (Had Romney kept the holding in his own name, he would have had to reveal if his investment with Singer had made more than $50 million.)

It is reasonable to assume that Singer treated the Romneys the same as his other investors, with a third of their portfolio invested in Delphi by the time of the 2011 initial public offering. This means that with an investment of at least $1 million, their smallest possible gain when Delphi went public would have been $10.2 million, plus another $10.2 million for each million handed to Singer—all gains made possible by the auto bailout.

But that’s just the beginning. Since the November 2011 IPO, Delphi’s stock has roared upward, boosting the Romneys’ Delphi windfall from $10.2 million to $15.3 million for each million they invested with Singer.

But what if the Romneys invested a bit more with Singer: let’s say a mere 3 percent of their reported net worth, or ?$7.5 million? (After all, ABC News reported—and Romney didn’t deny—that he invested “a huge chunk of his vast wealth” with Singer.) Then their take from the auto bailout so far would reach a stunning $115 million.

The Romneys’ exact gain, however, remains nearly ?invisible—and untaxed—because Singer cashed out only a fragment of the windfall in 2011. And the Singer-led hedge funds have been able to keep almost all of Delphi’s profits untaxed ?by moving Delphi’s incorporation from Troy, Michigan, to the Isle of Jersey, a tax haven off the coast of France.

What a coincidence.  The millions in wealth, the low tax rate paid by the Romney’s, the outsourcing of American jobs, the foreign bank accounts, all tied together by and brought to life by the still undisclosed and secret tax returns.  No wonder Ann Romney said ” We’ve given you people all you need to know.”

I disagree.  The American people deserve to know the truth and nothing but the whole truth about a man that wants to be President.  Thanks to Greg Palast and a few minutes reading we know a lot more.

 

 

For Halloween

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Beware the Zomneys:

Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Ouch, this article literally destroys Mitt Romney’s claims to be a “job creator.”  David Stockman, Budget Director for Ronald Reagan dissects Romney’s career at Bain deal-by-deal and shows how they made money for Romney while hurting investors, workers, and other small  businesses.

In Mitt Romney, The Great Deformer, Mr. Stockman lays out in detail the policies that led to the rise of vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney and the consequences for the nation.  He also lays waste to the Romney claim that this experience qualifies him to be President of the United States.

The lesson is that LBOs are just another legal (and risky) way for speculators to make money, but they are dangerous because when they fail, they leave needless economic disruption and job losses in their wake. That’s why LBOs would be rare in an honest free market—it’s only cheap debt, interest deductions, and ludicrously low capital-gains taxes that artifically fuel them.

The larger point is that Romney’s personal experience in the nation’s financial casinos is no mark against his character or competence. I’ve made money and lost it and know what it is like to be judged. But that experience doesn’t translate into answers on the great public issues before the nation, either. The Romney campaign’s feckless narrative that private equity generates real economic efficiency and societal wealth is dead wrong.

One point that is not explicitly made but is a real consequence of Romney’s actions is the devastation visited upon the small businesses that service the firms Mitt Romney loads with debt, extracts the value to his benefit, and then leaves in the dustbin of history.  When Bain takes these firms through bankruptcy these small business vendors are often screwed out of money owed by these now defunct firms.  At  best, this is a serious blow to their accounts receivable at worst they may in turn be forced out of business due to this loss of payments for honestly provided serviccs.  Mitt Romney seems to have little concern for these small businesses or any and all workers involved.

This article is a little “wonky” as Paul Ryan would say when trying not to discuss his budget but Stockman has no such problem as this expert analysis will leave you shaking your head.

Enjoy this great clip from the Big Fat Whale

 

In case you missed Monday’s USA Today and their report Unemployment Dips in 41 States 

It may surprise some readers, especially those on the right-wing side of the political spectrum that I am a subscriber to Imprimis, a publication of conservative Hillsdale College and have been for almost a decade.  Imprimis is read by “over 2,600,000 monthly.”  I read this publication and other conservative media as a way of keeping up with that point of view.

 What amazes me is many of the authors featured in this publication are so heavily credentialed yet leave much to be desired in the quality of their writing. Facts are one thing often missing as in the latest edition which features Norman Podhoretz, a former editor of Commentary magazine, which also is factually challenged on a regular basis.  Mr  Podhoretz’s piece, Is America Exceptional, had so many problems I felt obliged to clarify with this post.

I am going to limit this post to 2 points that Mr. Podhoretz  makes in his article that are 100% false and done with an intent to mislead.  He may be entitled to his opinion but not his own facts.

1) 

Elaborating on Sowell’s analyses, the economist Mark Perry writes:

In the discussions on income inequality and wage stagnation, we frequently hear about the “top 1%” or the “top 10%” or the “bottom 99%” and the public has started to believe that those groups operate like closed private clubs that contain the exact same people or households every year. But the empirical evidence . . . tells a much different story of dynamic change in the labor market—people and households move up and down the earnings quintiles throughout their careers and lives. Many of today’s low-income households will rise to become tomorrow’s high-income households, and some will even eventually be in the “top 10%” or “top 1%.” And many of today’s “top 1%” or top income quintile members are tomorrow’s middle or lower class households, reflecting the significant upward and downward mobility in the dynamic U.S. labor market.

No such mobility can be found in any of the member countries of the European Union, or anywhere else for that matter. Even in the dismal economic state our nation has fallen into today, it is still exceptional where the degree and the distribution of prosperity are concerned. But to this, modern liberals are willfully blind.

Nice talking/writing point but easily disproved with a first page check of Google search

A new report from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) finds that social mobility between generations is dramatically lower in the U.S. than in many other developed countries.

So if you want your children to climb the socioeconomic ladder higher than you did, move to Canada.

The report finds the U.S. ranking well below Denmark, Australia, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Germany and Spain in terms of how freely citizens move up or down the social ladder. Only in Italy and Great Britain is the intensity of the relationship between individual and parental earnings even greater.

2)

A similar divide separates liberals and conservatives as to the role America has played in world affairs. Consider the many apologies President Obama has issued for the misdeeds of which he imagines Americans have been guilty in our relations with other countries in general and the Muslim world in particular.

Podheretz is trying the Myth Romney on this one, he should know better as it has been debunked by every single fact-checker that has looked at it.  This one is from the Washington Post…

“I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour.” This is one of Romney’s signature lines, but in a lengthy column last year, we tracked down every statement Obama uttered that partisans claim was an apology, and concluded that each one had been misquoted or taken out of context. His comments were not much different than his predecessor, former President George W. Bush  

Indeed, on several occasions Bush apologized to foreign governments for actions taken by U.S. soldiers, such as for the shooting of a Koran or prisoner abuse in Iraq. “I told him I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families,” Bush said at a news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Despite earning Four Pinocchios for months, Romney keeps saying this.

If right-wing intellectuals can’t/won’t use the facts they either don’t respect their readers enough to give them the truth or don’t respect them enough to give them credit for figuring out the lies.  Either way, this is how we end up with a nation unable to talk amongst ourselves and reach a consensus.

I’ve figured this much out – America is exceptional, Norman Podhoretz is not.

In These Times magazine has an interesting article on the recent Chicago Teachers Strike.  One of the most interesting  aspects of this labor dispute is the popularity of the strike in Chicago and the attacks from everywhere else.

Please take a minute and read the fantastic interview with Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union.  Her focus on membership democracy is the model for unions everywhere.

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