29 September 2012

NEW ROMNEY VIDEO: In 1985, He Said Bain Would "Harvest" Companies for Profits 27SEP12

THE new romney video from Mother Jones (Mother Jones Rocks!!!!) shows mitt robme romney explaining how bain capital was started and that the purpose of investing in a company isn't job creation it is harvesting profits from these companies. Interesting romney never mentions bain's start up investors included financiers and participants in the right-wing death squads in El Salvador (for more on that see Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Salvadoran Death Squads 8AUG12 ).

This clip shows the young CEO focusing on businesses as targets for his investors, not as job creators or community stakeholders.

Campaigning for the presidency, Mitt Romney has pointed to his stint as the founder and manager of Bain Capital, a private equity firm, as proof he can rev up the US economy and create jobs at a faster clip than President Barack Obama. Last year, while stumping in Florida, Romney declared, "You'd have a president who has spent his life in business—small business, big business—and who knows something about how jobs are created and how we compete around the world." His campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, has said that Romney's Bain days afford him more expertise than Obama to "focus on job creation and turn around our nation's faltering economy." Romney has even claimed that during his tenure at Bain, "we were able to help create over 100,000 jobs." In his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, Romney smacked Obama for having "almost no experience working in a business" and tied that to the sluggish recovery.
But at Bain, Romney's top priority wasn't to boost employment. As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, creating jobs "wasn't the aim of Bain or other private-equity firms, which measure success by returns produced for investors." And, the newspaper reported, Romney's 100,000-jobs claim is tough to evaluate.
Mother Jones has obtained a video from 1985 in which Romney, describing Bain's formation, showed how he viewed the firm's mission. He explained that its goal was to identify potential and hidden value in companies, buy significant stakes in these businesses, and then "harvest them at a significant profit" within five to eight years.
The video was included in a CD-ROM created in 1998 to mark the 25th anniversary of Bain & Company, the consulting firm that gave birth to Bain Capital. Here is the full clip, as it appeared on that CD-ROM (the editing occurred within the original): 

TRANSCRIPT: Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in startup companies and ongoing companies, then to take an active hand in managing them and hopefully, five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit…The fund was formed on September 30th of last year. It's been about 10 months then. It was formed with $37 million in invested cash. An additional $50 million or so of what I'll call a call pool, which is money that we can call upon if the deals are large enough that they require more than a $2 or $3 million dollar initial investment. Why in the world did Bain and Company get involved in this kind of a business? We're not particularly noted for having years and years of experience in financing. Three reasons. We recognized that we had the potential to develop a significant and proprietary flow of business opportunities. Secondly, we had concepts and experience which would allow us to identify potential value and hidden value in a particular investment candidate. And third, we had the consulting resources and management skills and management resources to become actively involved in the companies we invested in to help them realize their potential value.
The CD-ROM was a hip-hip-hooray for Bain & Company—in one video, an employee noted that the operating principle of the firm is "never lose sight of the fact that there is at least a 1 percent chance that you may not know the answer or the answer you have may be wrong"—and it was produced for distribution to the firm's employees and clients. The video did not note where Romney made these remarks about the origins of Bain Capital. But this short clip offers a glimpse of Romney when he was at the start of his private equity career and saw businesses as targets of opportunity that could be harvested for the benefit of his investors, not as long-term job creators or participants in a larger community. His remarks were hardly surprising, but they did encapsulate the mindset of get-in/get-out private equity deal makers.
The CD-ROM, which was given to Mother Jones by a former Bain & Company employee, also provides a look at the corporate culture of the consulting firm. Here's how Bainiacs poked fun at themselves, sketch-comedy-style:

And here's how the Bain & Company gang partied at annual meetings, where employees came together to form what was known as the "Bain Band" (note the easy transformation from "Jesus Is Just Alright" to "Working at Bain's Alright"):

The CD-ROM contained no footage of Romney singing or cutting up when he was a prominent player at the consulting shop, which was before Bill Bain, its founder, pushed Romney to leave Bain & Company to create and lead Bain Capital. There is only that one video of Romney discussing his private equity firm in its first months. In this clip, Romney mentioned that it would routinely take up to eight years to turn around a firm—though he now slams the president for failing to revive the entire US economy in half that time.

Quote of the Day: Romney Is Ruining Things (GASP!!!!) For All the Other Rich Guys 27SEP12

ALL these rich people must feel so betrayed!!!! 
Today's QOTD comes from Stephen Breitstone, co-head of the taxation and wealth preservation group at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone LLP, commenting on one of the tax avoidance schemes that Mitt Romney used in the $100 million trust he set up for his children and grandchildren:
It’s going to be harder to do tax planning in the future. He’s bringing attention to things that weren’t getting attention.
This comes from a Bloomberg story about Romney's use of an "I Dig It" trust, which Breitstone says is so important to the wealthy that ending its tax benefits "would put an end to much of estate planning as we know it." Here's how it works:
The person setting up the trust, like Romney, contributes assets such as an interest in a fund or shares in a company. If he makes that contribution before those assets appreciate — particularly when they are privately held and difficult to value — he can claim the gift tax obligation is low or non-existent since the declared value is low or zero.
If the trust generates any income — such as by selling stock — the eventual tax bill is the responsibility of Romney, not the trust. By paying the capital gains tax, which was 20 percent in the late 1990s and is now 15 percent, he can avoid depleting the funds in the trust — in essence making an additional donation that’s free of gift taxes....Gains in the trust for Romney’s heirs remain free of gift taxes and potential estate taxes.
Very cool, no? First, Romney undervalues the assets he puts into the trust so he owes little or no gift tax. Then, later, when the assets appreciate, he pays only the capital gains tax, which is considerably lower than the gift tax. And to make it even better, he pays the capital gains tax out of his own pocket, so the trust owes nothing. It's like making a second gift to his kids free and clear.
Bloomberg says Romney did this with some DoubleClick shares he got in 1997, back when he was CEO of Bain Capital, but that's undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg. The DoubleClick payday amounted to a piddling $674,000 out of a trust worth over $100 million. Sadly for our nation's ultra-wealthy, though, the spotlight Romney is shining on stuff like this might spur Congress to close some of these loopholes. Maybe.


FROM HuffPost,, InTrade and a link to today's analysis from Five Thirty Eight.

The current view of the 2012 presidential election.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Electoral Votes
270 to win
Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Electoral Votes
265 Strong Obama
67 Leans Obama
15 Tossup
0 Leans Romney
191 Strong Romney
Recent changes
9/28 g g Nev.
9/28 X X Mo.
9/27 O O Ind.
9/27 p p Tenn.
9/27 a a N.C.
9/27 s s Va.
Our snapshot of where the presidential race stands is based on hundreds of state-wide and national opinion polls — filtered through a poll-tracking model — and updated throughout the day.
Share on Facebook Make Your Own Map

State by State


Pollster Outlook Past results
State Electoral votes Obama Romney Margin '08 '04 '00
B Alabama 9 37% 56% Romney +19 R R R
A Alaska 3

C Arkansas 6 36% 57% Romney +21 R R R
H Delaware 3

y District of Columbia 3

K Hawaii 4

M Idaho 4

P Kansas 6

Q Kentucky 8 39% 54% Romney +15 R R R
R Louisiana 8

T Maryland 10 57% 36% Obama +21 D D D
Y Mississippi 6

j Oklahoma 7 30% 62% Romney +32 R R R
m Rhode Island 4

n South Carolina 9 42% 51% Romney +9 R R R
o South Dakota 3 42% 51% Romney +9 R R R
r Utah 6 29% 64% Romney +35 R R R
t Vermont 3 64% 29% Obama +35 D D D
x Wyoming 3

*In 2008, Nebraska's electoral votes were split. McCain took four of the state's five electoral votes and Obama took one.
Around the Web: Presidential Election Map 2012 - The Washington Post
Presidential Race Ratings and Swing States - Election 2012 -
2012 Election: Electoral Vote Tracker -
Electoral Map - Election Center 2012 - Elections & Politics from
The Road To 270: Predict The 2012 Presidential Race : NPR
RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - Battle for White House
2012 Political Map Center | PBS NewsHour President, Senate, House Updated Daily
Obama 347
image description
Romney 191
image description
Dem 49
image description
Ties 4
GOP 47
image description
Senate Downloadable
polling data
  • Strongly Dem (199)
  • Likely Dem (76)
  • Barely Dem (72)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (0)
  • Likely GOP (33)
  • Strongly GOP (158)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: ME MI NH NM PA VA
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN
PW logo Is Obama Headed for an Electoral College Blowout? Latest Swing State Polls
What if America Had Compulsory Voting? Many GOP Operatives Conceding Ohio
In the Shadow of Lincoln Ryan Reassures Conservatives

News from the Votemaster

How Does the Presidential Race Compare to Previous Ones?

One way to measure the presidential race is to compare the national Gallup poll now with national Gallup polls taken on or close to this date in previous years to see their predictive value. Talking Points Memo has collected the data and here it is. The notation D+6 means the Democrat was ahead by 6 points, etc. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk.
Year Democrat Republican Gallup Final
2012 Obama* Romney D+6 ?
2008 Obama McCain D+5 D+7
2004 Kerry Bush* tied R+2
2000 Gore Bush tied D+1
1996 Clinton* Dole D+21 D+9
1992 Clinton Bush* D+16 D+6
1988 Dukakis Bush R+5 R+8
1984 Mondale Reagan* R+16 R+18
1980 Carter* Reagan D+4 R+10

In the previous eight elections, Gallup had a clear leader six times. Of those, it picked the correct winner in every year except 1980, when Reagan upset Carter. The two years, 2000 and 2004, where Gallup had it tied were in fact very close. Looking at the numbers, 2012 looks a lot like 2008. The ball is now in Mitt Romney's court and he needs to do something powerful with it. Merely to continue pointing out that unemployment is 8% is probably not going to change much since people already know that. A potential game changer would be for him to crush Obama in the first debate on Oct. 3. Failing that, he could finally lay out a detailed plan of how he is going to fix the economy and what is going to do to the Internal Revenue Code. If he does nothing new, probably nothing will change. Einstein once defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Romney Campaigns Half-Heartedly in Pennsylvania

Mitt Romney campaigned in Warren, PA, yesterday and declared the state a battleground he was going to win. The strange thing about that is that the previous time he visited Pennsylvania was more than 2 months ago. Furthermore, neither his campaign nor his allied superPACs have advertised in the state since August. Either it is a battleground state or it isn't. If it is, why isn't Romney advertising there? If it is hopeless, why bother spending a critical day before Wednesday's debate there? It is an odd mixed message. Our current average, based on five recent polls, puts Obama ahead there 52% to 41%. Unless Romney's internal polls are telling him something completely different, he is wasting precious time he should be spending in Central Florida, where his fate may well be decided. If Romney loses the election, the postmortems are going to feature blunders like this--wasting time in places where he should have known he was doomed instead of fighting hard in states where more campaigning could have made a difference.

GOP Donors Might Desert Romney

Political guru Charlie Cook sees the presidential race looking more and more like 1996, when Bob Dole's challenge to the incumbent Bill Clinton began to falter in September. As the forecasts got worse, the money dried up and the forecasts got even worse as it all went downhill. Cook believes that unless Romney can turn things around quickly, the donors, RNC, NRSC, and NRCC may de facto adopt as their slogan: "Give us money so we can control Congress and block Obama during his second term." It's not a message Romney wants to hear. It could also backfire if enough discouraged Republicans don't feel like standing in line to vote for someone they expect to lose. As an aside, Dole still retains his famous sense of humor after his loss and move from elections to erections. For evidence, see this piece he wrote yesterday about his life since 1996.

What Obama Has to Do in the First Debate

A lot has been written about what Romney has to do in the first debate. It all comes down to somehow change the game. For Obama the situation is different. The Christian Science Monitor gives him this advice. First, be the President and act it. Take responsibility for your actions and don't blame George Bush or anyone else for anything. Remember Harry Truman's little sign: "The buck stops here." Second, be humble. Nobody likes an arrogant candidate or leader. Don't put Romney down. Convince people that you are working your tail off for them day and night. Third, channel Bill Clinton. Try to explain complicated things--like the economy--in ways everyone can grasp without talking down to them. In other words, act like an Arkansas pol rather than a professor of constitutional law. Finally, don't make any mistakes. For an incumbent President leading in the polls, a tie is good enough. For the challenger, it is not good enough. Keep that in mind.

DSCC Buys Ad Time in Maine

The DSCC is in something of a bind in Maine. Chairwoman Patty Murray probably doesn't want to openly support former governor Angus King, who is running as an independent against both Democrat Cynthia Dill and Republican Charlie Summers for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). On the other hand, King is dropping in the polls and Dill has no chance to win, only to be a spoiler by splitting the Democratic vote two ways. So Murray's $400,000 ad buy for Oct 2-12 is probably for an ad attacking the Republican rather than supporting King. It would be easier for Murray to explain to her donors why she is attacking the Republican than why she is not supporting the Democrat.
In contrast to past years, control of the Senate could hinge on battles in New England. In addition to the Maine race, in Massachusetts, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is fighting for his life in a contest with consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren. If either party wins both of these, it is likely to control the new Senate.

Republicans Drop Voter Registration Company that May Have Committed Fraud

In 2008, an organization called ACORN registered a million low-income voters, some of were nonexistent. The Republicans screamed about this even though none of the nonexistent voters actually voted. The problem was the minimum-wage workers who were paid per voter they registered, so some of them made up false names.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. The Republican Party hired a Virginia firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, to do voter registration in four swing states (Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and North Carolina), and now it is being accused of precisely the same thing as ACORN was: fraudulent voter registration. The scandal was uncovered by the Palm Beach, FL, County Elections Supervisor who flagged 106 questionable registration applications bearing similar signatures and incorrect addresses.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Maine 52% 40%   Sep 25 Sep 25 Rasmussen
Michigan 51% 42%   Sep 17 Sep 19 PPP
New Hampshire 50% 45%   Sep 25 Sep 27 ARG
New Mexico 52% 43%   Sep 17 Sep 20 PPP
Pennsylvania 49% 42%   Sep 22 Sep 26 Muhlenberg Coll.
Pennsylvania 52% 40%   Sep 17 Sep 19 PPP
Virginia 49% 43%   Sep 17 Sep 19 PPP
Virginia 49% 47%   Sep 24 Sep 27 ARG

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Montana Jon Tester* 44% Denny Rehberg 42%     Sep 23 Sep 25 Global Strategy
Pennsylvania Bob Casey* 44% Tom Smith 36%     Sep 22 Sep 26 Muhlenberg Coll.

* Denotes incumbent

---The Votemaster

Updated September 29, 2012

The map below is based on data from the Intrade prediction market, where individuals place wagers on the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in each state. The states remaining dark gray have no betting data currently available. The darker the shade of blue or red, the more likely that the Democrat or Republican will carry the state. Wagering is on party victory, but the presumptive nominees are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Hover over any state for details.


OBAMA 332 ✓



Sept. 28: A Circular Relationship Between Political and Economic Views

Although Friday’s polls were a bit more equivocal than on some recent days, the shift mainly came because of a decline in the FiveThirtyEight economic index, which continues to have some influence on the forecast.
A government report on Friday showed a decline in real personal income in August, one of the economic data series that the forecast model uses. Furthermore, the July personal income figures, which had initially looked quite positive, were revised downward to show slower income growth.
Real personal income is up 2 percent from one year ago, a below-average number, but one that roughly matches other economic figures. However, it had been flat to negative for much of 2011, and it has increased only at about the growth rate of the population over the whole course of Mr. Obama’s term.
Another economic data series that the model uses, personal consumption expenditures, was also published on Friday and showed sluggish growth in consumer spending after adjusting for inflation.
Numbers from the manufacturing sector have also been poorer lately, and this month’s monthly jobs report was mediocre. Read more