Bain Capital & the Supply-Side Faith

The Republicans don’t really realize how much of a problem they have on their hands with Mitt Romney, income inequality, the rise of the superwealthy at the expense of the middle class, and other consequences of its Reaganite trickle-down, supply-side voodoo economic religion.

This article detailing Bain Capital’s business dealings under Mitt Romney makes for interesting reading, and goes to the heart of how Bain gamed the system for its own gain in an arguably unethical manner.

One of the most fascinating things about the Bush v. Gore decision was that the conservatives on the Supreme Court aren’t known to be big fans of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, but in that particular case, they were. Similarly, this New York Times editorial explains that the Republicans are most interested in citing “One nation, under God” when the socio-economic cleave being exploited is one of income inequality and class. When it comes to race, religion, and when the poor are the class being demonized, they are massively in favor of division and disharmony.

And yet if Democrats dare to point out that the income gains of the top 1 percent have dwarfed everyone else’s in the last few decades, they are accused of whipping up class envy. Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, noted in a speech on Thursday that the median income in the United States had actually declined since 1999, shrinking the middle class while the income of the top 1 percent soared. Such inequality is corrosive. And pointing it out has nothing to do with envy and everything to do with pressing for policies to help America’s struggling middle class.

Anyone who criticizes Mr. Romney’s business practices now faces the absurd charge of putting free-market capitalism on trial.

Yet capitalism isn’t supposed to just further enrich the wealthy. It’s also supposed to lift everyone up – the middle class and also the poor. But that’s not what the Republican supply-side faith has done.

What they don’t realize is that Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital was not just a corporate raider that cost many people their jobs, but it is the very embodiment of the Republican ideal, where money and profit are more important than a strong economy and society. It’s why they can’t say “middle class”, it’s why they continue to demonize the poor, it’s why they throw out “socialist” and “class warfare” when they’re the biggest class warriors of them all.

Bain Capital & the Supply-Side Faith

The Republicans don’t really realize how much of a problem they have on their hands with Mitt Romney, income inequality, the rise of the superwealthy at the expense of the middle class, and other consequences of its Reaganite trickle-down, supply-side voodoo economic religion.

This article detailing Bain Capital’s business dealings under Mitt Romney makes for interesting reading, and goes to the heart of how Bain gamed the system for its own gain in an arguably unethical manner.

One of the most fascinating things about the Bush v. Gore decision was that the conservatives on the Supreme Court aren’t known to be big fans of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, but in that particular case, they were. Similarly, this New York Times editorial explains that the Republicans are most interested in citing “One nation, under God” when the socio-economic cleave being exploited is one of income inequality and class. When it comes to race, religion, and when the poor are the class being demonized, they are massively in favor of division and disharmony.

And yet if Democrats dare to point out that the income gains of the top 1 percent have dwarfed everyone else’s in the last few decades, they are accused of whipping up class envy. Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, noted in a speech on Thursday that the median income in the United States had actually declined since 1999, shrinking the middle class while the income of the top 1 percent soared. Such inequality is corrosive. And pointing it out has nothing to do with envy and everything to do with pressing for policies to help America’s struggling middle class.

Anyone who criticizes Mr. Romney’s business practices now faces the absurd charge of putting free-market capitalism on trial.

Yet capitalism isn’t supposed to just further enrich the wealthy. It’s also supposed to lift everyone up – the middle class and also the poor. But that’s not what the Republican supply-side faith has done.

What they don’t realize is that Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital was not just a corporate raider that cost many people their jobs, but it is the very embodiment of the Republican ideal, where money and profit are more important than a strong economy and society. It’s why they can’t say “middle class”, it’s why they continue to demonize the poor, it’s why they throw out “socialist” and “class warfare” when they’re the biggest class warriors of them all.

Rom-nomi-nee

After yesterday’s New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney is all but guaranteed to be the Republican presidential nominee.

The parallels to 1996 here are hard to ignore; a somewhat weakened chief executive, reeling from bad poll numbers and movement conservatives in the ascendency, a deeply flawed Republican nominee, and a short Texan with a loud, unconventional, populist platform running a likely third party bid, siphoning off conservative votes.

It looks good for President Obama, who has his own problems with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. (Yes, this puts the lie to the whole notion of Obama’s “radical socialism” – a charge none of the Republican candidates would dare repeat to his face).

Gingrich and Santorum went nowhere in New Hampshire, for various reasons. Gingrich is too broken a human, and Santorum is out in left field on social issues. Huntsman’s best chance was in New Hampshire, and he blew it – he’s done. Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum’s last chance is South Carolina; if they can’t convince Bible-belt social conservatives to come out for them over Paul or Romney, it’s over. The analysis from Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight was, as always, most informative.

In his second out of 50 likely victory speeches, Romney assailed President Obama for “apologizing” for America. This is, of course, patently false, and a lie that will come back to haunt Romney. Was Obama apologizing for America when he ordered that Osama bin Laden be shot through the head? Was he apologizing for America when he refused to aid North Africa’s dictators against popular uprising? Was he apologizing for America when he passed the Affordable Care Act, with the promise of affordable health insurance for all? Here’s a list of Obama’s accomplishments, wherein he apologized for no one.

The “apologizing for America” crack is popular with ignorants and cretins, and is code for “socialist“, “Kenyan/Indonesian”, “where’s the birth certificate”, and “black guy”. Romney, whose religious views are sometimes fodder for mocking and dismissal, especially from the evangelicals he so needs, is treading on thin ice. Criticizing Obama for his policies is one thing, but this “apologizing” crack is a racist, xenophobic dog whistle.

Romney also made the choice quite clear – do you vote for the President who wants to create jobs, or the candidate who likes to fire people?

Insanity Debate

I managed to watch about 30 – 45 minutes’ worth of the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire this weekend. That was all I could stomach.

When Newt Gingrich began complaining about the “war on Christianity” being waged by the Obama administration, I tweeted this:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/155844160631484416″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/155844805086285824″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/155846063910166528″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/155846917195177985″]

…and turned on Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. I found it to be more intellectually honest and stimulating than the ignorance slapstick that ABC was airing.

Panem et Circenses

For the next ten months, we’ll be treated to ham-handed race horse coverage about primaries, caucuses, and at long last, the general election. The American people will get to choose between a wounded Obama who delivered much of what he promised, but will be tested on whether “much” was quite enough; and a Republican nominee who will have to pander to the most hateful and reactionary wing of his party in order to make it to the general.

There will be precious little coverage and discussion of actual issues – the successes and failure of health insurance reform, the end of the war in Iraq, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the crises within Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, the never-ending blood feud in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, the issue of energy, oil, and fracking, the decline domestically of our middle class and the way in which our system is now set up and designed to benefit the wealthiest Americans under the disproven and false theory of supply-side economics.

But hey, epic flip-flopper Romney defeated Christianist reactionary Schiavoist Rick Santorum by only 8 votes! Bachman came in not just last, but crazy-last! Ron Paul came in third, but his cult’ll tell you that’s as good as first, and also the fault of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.

So, here’s a reminder that British and Canadian general elections take just about a month from start to finish, and feature very detailed party platforms that spell out each side’s policies in extensive manifestos, and give minor parties a shot at influence, if not an outright majority.

Iowa Caucus Day: Irish Betting Edition

From a press release:

Irish betting company Paddy Power have made Mitt Romney the favourite for today’s Iowa caucus. The former Massachusetts governor is available at Evens with his nearest challengers’ libertarian Texas congressman Ron Paul and surprise package Rick Santorum both available at 2/1.

Further down the betting former front runners for the Republican nomination Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are at 20/1 and 33/1 while Michele Bachmann at 50/1 and Jon Huntsman at 100/1 are the underdogs for the first GOP ballot.

For the Republican nomination Mitt Romney is also the favourite at odds of 2/5 followed by Ron Paul at 7/1 and Newt Gingrich at 8/1, a surge in support over the past week has seen Rick Santorum odds cut from 20/1 to 14/1 while Rick Perry continues to slide and is now a 33/1 long shot.

Paddy Power said “The race for the Republican nomination really is hotting up, Romney is the clear favourite at the minute but with this race already having had so many twists and turns we could have a few more surprises before the end.”

Iowa Republican Caucas
Evs    Mitt Romney
2/1    Rick Santorum
2/1    Ron Paul
20/1    Newt Gingrich
33/1    Rick Perry
50/1    Michele Bachmann
100/1    Jon Huntsman

Republican Presidential Nomination
2/5    Mitt Romney
7/1    Ron Paul
8/1    Newt Gingrich
14/1    Rick Santorum
18/1    Jon Huntsman
33/1    Rick Perry
40/1    Michele Bachmann

Next President (Winning Candidate)
4/5    Barack Obama
7/4    Mitt Romney
12/1    Newt Gingrich
14/1    Ron Paul
20/1    Hillary Clinton
33/1    Jon Huntsman
50/1    Rick Santorum
50/1    Rick Perry
80/1    Michele Bachman
125/1    Joe Biden

All prices remain subject to fluctuation.

Paddy Power is Ireland’s largest bookmaker and a leading provider of gaming services in the UK, Australia and Ireland. Founded in 1988 Paddy Power is a publicly quoted company and is listed on both the Irish and London Stock Exchanges (www.paddypowerplc.com)

Ron Paul: Reductio ad Bigotum

If I published an “Alan Bedenko Liberty Newsletter” that contained anti-Semitic, conspiratorial, and racist rantings written in the first person, I’d expect people to question that.

For some reason, Iowa frontrunner Ron Paul believes that he doesn’t deserve similar scrutiny. The copyright was held by “Ron Paul & Associates, Inc.” He’s busy having hissy fits when reporters ask him legitimate questions about the writings done by him, or in his name. He can say he “never read them”, but that can’t be true. He can say he “disavows them” but he didn’t do so then, when it mattered and when he was trying to make money off them.  The press keeps asking him about it (because it’s important), and he’s getting testy about it.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2011/12/21/tsr-bts-borger-ron-paul-newsletters.cnnAs you might expect, the Paulists’ reaction to reporters asking questions has been perfectly reasonable:

I mean, she’s a woman – so, she’s a whore, AMIRITE?!

Part of believing in a free market is accepting the consequences of using one’s Constitutional liberty to think and write hateful nonsense.

The National Review has a smattering of Paul’s newsletters here, and their content speaks for itself. But every time Paul is asked about them and “disavows” them and denies having written or read them at the time, despite them bearing his name, remember that when these came up in a 1996 campaign, he disavowed no such thing, and did not deny writing or reading them. Indeed, he defended the newsletters and took ownership of them.

This whole fascination with Ron Paul (whose prognostications on the one issue he purports to be expert – monetary policy – have been all wrong) is analogous to if Lyndon LaRouche actually, finally, managed to get the Democratic nomination, or be competitive in Iowa. But LaRouche stays on the fringe of politics where he belongs, a joke and an afterthought. Ron Paul is outpolling the inconsistent Romney, the unhinged Bachmann, the gay-baiting Perry, and the corrupt Gingrich.

The only non-lunatic Republican candidate, Huntsman, may do well in New Hampshire, where he’s been focusing his efforts.

That’s some bench.


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Shorter Ron Paul

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