Canal Street, New Orleans,1890s – The Moral Corruption of Conservative Republicans Seems To Have No Limits

Canal Street from the Clay Monument, New Orleans, 1890s

The street cars towards the center back were pulled by mule as the city was not yet capable
of supporting electric street cars. Electrification would occur around 1894. The long dark dresses of the women on the street must have been a challenge by way of keeping up appearances. While they’re difficult to see in the thumb-nail, there are plenty of road apples in the street. And can you imagine how the women and men – with long sleeve shirts, vests and jacket felt in the summer heat of New Orleans.

I bookmarked this and forgot about it. Since Romney and his apologists keep trying to paint a picture of Romney as a “successful” “capitalist” it is still current, Mitt Romney Is A Capitalist The Way A Bank Robber Is A Champion Of The Free Market

The phrase “private equity” conjures up images of venture capitalists pooling their funds and backing promising new ventures or contributing new equity and new management to companies in need of restructuring. But that is not how the game really works most of the time. Typically, private-equity companies borrow a ton of money, sometimes in collusion with incumbent management and sometimes in opposition to it, and take a company private. That is, the company’s shares are no longer publicly traded.

This maneuver has several advantages to the new owners. First, despite the picture of investors putting in equity, most of the money is usually borrowed. That produces a huge tax break, since the interest is tax-deductible. Second, the new owners can pay themselves large management fees as well as “special dividends.” Typically, they take out far more than they put in, by incurring debts carried on the books of the operating company.

For instance, when Bain masterminded a private-equity deal for HCA, one of America’s largest for-profit hospital chains (which has gone from private to public twice and which paid a multibillion-dollar fine for defrauding Medicare), Bain paid itself a management fee of $58 million, even though it had only put up 6.3 percent of the buyout fund.

Many Americans, I hope still a majority, think of capitalism as working hard and getting ahead based on merit. In the real world of the American workplace there are inequities – office poetics, favoritism and various forms of discrimination. Even with that in mind most of us like to think that it is a fair system that at most, could use a few tweaks. Romney and Bain always had part of their ventures underwritten by the American people. Romney, Fox News and various assclowns want us all to believe that people like Romney create profits solely through their own ingenuity, their own hard work without the help of anyone else. Based on the tax incentives and write-offs alone that is far from an accurate picture. Romney and the rest of the elite take risks? Putting up 6.3 % of the money, most of that borrowed is hardly the risk the average family takes when it makes a decision about what job to take or whether to move to another state to seek another job.

Then, there are three possible ways to cash in.  If the company turns out to be a success, like Staples (one of Bain’s big winners), the private-equity owners can take their legitimate share of the reward. But that turns out to be the exception. If the company, newly loaded up with debt, starts to falter, it can be broken up, with massive layoffs and cuts in health and pension benefits, and resold, usually at a profit for the private-equity owners.

Or the company can simply declare bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and shed its debts. Normally, shareholders think twice about incurring risks that could result in  bankruptcy, because one of the consequences is that the stock becomes worthless. But private-equity owners typically have already made their bundle on management fees and special dividend payouts, so even if the operating company goes bankrupt, they are still in the money.

Mitt Romney captain of capitalism or wealthy exploiter of the system. Fox News and columnists at the WSJ have taken to calling Romney and the top 1% producers and everyone else, takers. A more accurate picture would be weaselly con artists at the top make tons of unearned wealth, while the rest of America works for every penny.

Among the tales Kosman tells: Thomas H. Lee Partners buys Warner Music, the world’s fourth-biggest music company, and loads up the company with debt to finance the buyout and to pay itself $1.2 billion in dividends. One-third of the workforce is fired. CD&R, The Carlyle Group, and Merrill Lynch buy Hertz, the nation’s largest auto-rental company, putting up just $2.3 billion in cash out of a $15 billion deal. The private-equity owners quickly recoup more than half of their down payment by loading up the company with even more debt. Funds for rental operations are cut by 39 percent, and Hertz’s market share falls. In another example, Bain Capital, the company that made Mitt Romney rich, invests just $18.5 million in KB Toys, extracts $85 million in dividends, then takes the company into bankruptcy, stiffing employees, investors, and creditors.

Romney flunkies can jump up and down throwing a temper tantrum, yelling this is legal all day. That does not mean it is moral or reflects well on the character of someone who claims his character and job creation record are two of his biggest qualifications for president.

Speaking of character issues. There may have been a tendency for moderate minded Americans to think that Bush 43 and his Congressional pushed such a radical right-wing agenda that our fellow citizens would say never again. Yet the tea smokers ran to the right of Bush in 2010 and took control of the House of Representatives. I don’t know what the internet trolls, who insist there is no daylight between Democrats and Republicans, smoke but they need to stop. The conservative movement’s moral corruption seems to be bottomless. Romney To Release Misleadingly Edited Obama Video As An Ad, this link goes into better detail, CNN Facilitates Romney’s Deceptive Highly Edited Video Attack Ad Against Obama

In a July 19 article headlined, “Romney drives a truck through Obama’s ‘build that’ remark,” reported on a new ad from the Mitt Romney campaign that attacked President Obama over his recent remarks about small businesses, without pointing out that the ad dishonestly edited Obama’s comments to portray him as anti-business.

Furthermore, here’s the way CNN described the Romney ad: ” ‘These Hands’ [is] about an owner in charge of a family business who challenges Obama’s claim that his family did not build their business on their own.” Again, CNN did not inform readers that Obama made no such claim in his remarks.

In the Romney campaign ad, Obama is heard saying:

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be ’cause I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something: If you’ve got a business, that — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent noted, however, a big chunk of Obama’s words was removed from that excerpt, making it seem as if Obama said what he said there concurrently:

In the video, the speech is made to sound as if Obama continued straight from “let me tell you something” to “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” But here are the words that Obama said between those two sentences that were cut out (the missing sentences are in bold):

Let me tell you something. There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.

CNN reported none of this, instead sticking to the he said/she said style of journalism that has been so thoroughly criticized.

As others have noted this is Obama’s version of Elizabeth Warren’s view that fine, you built a business, you deserve credit and a nice chuck of the profits, but you did not create that business in a vacuum. A lot of infrastructure – fire protection, the navy, public universities, educated employes, sometimes tax write-offs, etc. were an ingredient to your success. As a matter of fact several host at Fox News used Elizabeth Warren’s argument and Obama’s, Fox Hosts Adopt Elizabeth Warren’s Argument That Rich Don’t Make It On Their Own

During a segment on wealthy Americans who renounce their citizenship to avoid paying taxes, Clayton Morris offered up this advice to such persons: “Get out of here. But the point is, you’ve made all this money on the backs of the infrastructure, taxpayers that got you there, the roads that taxpayers pay so you can drive back and forth to work to get rich on a regular basis, and now you’re going to leave so you’re not going to pay taxes.”

Alisyn Camerota added, “[A]re they just greedy? I mean, are they just — after this country allowed you the entrepreneurial spirit, the freedom to make all this money, now you’re going to leave it? I mean, that does send the message that you care more about your money than you do about your country.”

If anyone else uses Clayton or Alisyn’s argument, you’re left-wing radical out to destroy America’s entrepreneurial spirit or a raging Marxist. Yet we know that most Americans work harder for 99% less money than Romney. When Romney runs this ad, I think it has started in some markets, it will be further confirmation that Romney can surpass George W. Bush and the tea smokers in the race to the bottom of the moral gutter. If what these pin-striped thieves, stooges, miscreants, charlatans, and two-faced parasites stand for passes for morality and patriotism, this country is in for a world of hurt. They may even manage to make the Great Recession look like the good old days.

Top tea partier demands Obama prove he doesn’t smoke crack and have gay sex

The president of Tea Party Nation declared on Thursday that if Mitt Romney is to release his tax returns, President Barack Obama should release medical records to prove he’s not a drug addict who smoked crack and had gay sex with a lifelong con-man.

Judson Phillips, whose for-profit group is better known to Tennessee as the “Tea Party Nation Corporation,” explained in an essay that also went out in a mass email to his followers that the American people must know whether the president had secret financial support in college due to his status as a “foreign student” — and dredged up a long-disproved story of Obama’s alleged encounter smoking crack and having sex with a gay prostitute.

“A man named Larry Sinclair claims that in 1999 he and Barack Obama had sex and then smoked crack cocaine,” Phillips wrote. “This is 1999, nine years before Obama would run for President. Crack cocaine is very addictive. It is very destructive. Addiction specialist will tell you that a crack addiction is very tough to break.”

He added: “Is Obama an addict?  Was he an addict in the past? These are all legitimate questions to ask about a man who has his hands on the nuclear trigger.

Dear Judson Phillips, as soon as you prove you do not have sex with animals in ally ways while drinking moonshine and shooting up heroin – which are rumors that deserve to be properly vetted, your concerns will be addressed. Isn’t this a fun game. Everyone gets to dig into the darkest part of their imagination, accuse others of being guilty of what you have imagined, and they are guilty until they can prove they’re innocent. Or maybe it is a sick tiresome game indicative of the depraved minds of fake patriots like Phillips, who has more in common with Muslim conservatives in Iran than Thomas Jefferson.

Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Aurora Shootings Result Of ‘Ongoing Attacks On Judeo-Christian Beliefs’. Which is kind of strange in light of this,James Holmes: From Quiet Kid To Accused Mass Killer, “His neighbors described him as a shy, Presbyterian churchgoing teen.” Let’s think like a conservative for a minute and draw the kind of cause and effect lines between events that Republicans draw. That means Presbyterians are a cult of murderers. Republicans do not do this once in a while – which would fall into the category of human flaws, they’re called attrition errors – Republicans  do them all the time about everything. Whooping cough disappear? Must have been because I buried that potato in the back yard under full moon. Not because the cough had run its course. And conservatives resent being called stupid.