English: CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Commi...

English: CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee Mitt Romney offering remarks before a curling event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AUGUST 29, 2012 7:00 AM ET

Mitt Romney likes to say he won’t “apologize” for his success in business. But what he never says is “thank you” – to the American people – for the federal bailout of Bain & Company that made so much of his outsize wealth possible.

According to the candidate’s mythology, Romney took leave of his duties at the private equity firm Bain Capital in 1990 and rode in on a white horse to lead a swift restructuring of Bain & Company, preventing the collapse of the consulting firm where his career began. When The Boston Globe reported on the rescue at the time of his Senate run against Ted Kennedy, campaign aides spun Romney as the wizard behind a “long-shot miracle,” bragging that he had “saved bank depositors all over the country $30 million when he saved Bain & Company.”

In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

 

 

With his selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney has made fiscal stewardship the centerpiece of his campaign. A banner at MittRomney.com declared, “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.” Romney also opposed the federal bailout for Detroit automakers, famously arguing that the industry should be forced into bankruptcy. Government bailouts, he insists, are “the wrong way to go.”

More: Romney Is Lying. Again.

But the FDIC documents on the Bain deal – which were heavily redacted by the firm prior to release – show that as a wealthy businessman, Romney was willing to go to extremes to secure a federal bailout to serve his own interests. He had a lot at stake, both financially and politically. Had Bain & Company collapsed, insiders say, it would have dealt a grave setback to Bain Capital, where Romney went on to build a personal fortune valued at as much as $250 million. It would also have short-circuited his political career before it began, tagging Romney as a failed businessman unable to rescue his own firm.

“None of us wanted to see Bain be the laughingstock of the business world,” recalls a longtime Romney lieutenant who asked not to be identified. “But Mitt’s reputation was on the line.”

Mitt Romney’s Federal Bailout: The Documents

The trouble began in 1984, when Bain & Company spun off Bain Capital to engage in leveraged buyouts and put Romney in charge of the new operation. To free up money to invest in the new business, founder Bill Bain and his partners cashed out much of their stock in the consulting firm – leaving it saddled with about $200 million in debt. (Romney, though not a founder, reportedly profited from the deal.) “People will tell you that Bill raped the place clean, was greedy, didn’t know when to stop,” a former Bain consultant later conceded. “Did they take too much out of the firm? You bet.”

The FDIC documents make clear what happened next: “Soon after the founders sold their equity,” analysts reported, “business began to drop off.” First came scandal: In the late 1980s, a Bain consultant became a key figure in an illegal stock manipulation scheme in London. The firm’s reputation took a hit, and it fired 10 percent of its consulting force. By the time the 1989 recession began, Bain & Company found itself going broke fast. Cash flows weren’t enough to service the debt imposed by the founders, and the firm could barely make payroll. In a panic, Bill Bain tapped Romney, his longtime protégé, to take the reins.

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Book Banning In Arizona…Conservative Christians Silence Others, Claiming They’re Victims

Just The Messenger

Yes, Virginia, They Still Ban Books in Tucson, Arizona…

by Jeff Biggers
September 28, 2012

“When the national  Banned Books Week kicks off on September 30, I plan to read an excerpt from Tucson-based author Leslie Silko’s acclaimed  Ceremony novel, in the  Rethinking Columbus  anthology.

Recipient of a Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, Silko’s masterpiece is not only one of the great American literary treasures. It has profoundly influenced a generation of readers, writers and especially students across the nation.

And yes, Virginia, as part of the  Rethinking Columbus collection, which has been taught in hundreds of schools from Alaska to Maine, Silko’s  Ceremony  excerpt in that anthology was unabashedly  banished from the curriculum of teachers in the outlawed Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) last year.”  MORE

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Bank Of America’s $2.43 Billion Merrill Settlement

24/7 Wall St.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) received one more hit in a long line of bad publicity. Its reputation was damaged once again. Again, its image as the worst of America’s large banks was bolstered. And, its balance sheet took yet another blow.

In a terse statement put out yesterday:

Bank of America today announced it, and certain of its current and former officers and directors, have agreed, subject to court approval, to settle a class action lawsuit brought in 2009 on behalf of investors who purchased or held Bank of America securities at the time the company announced plans to acquire Merrill Lynch.

Under terms of the proposed settlement, Bank of America would pay a total of $2.43 billion and institute certain corporate governance policies. Plaintiffs had alleged, among other claims, that Bank of America and certain of its officers made false or misleading statements about the…

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Bounded Set Thinking vs. Centered Set Thinking

Identifying leaders from each of the domains to work on each problem highlights the fact that no one segment of the population can solve all of America’s problems. In fact, one of my favorite sayings is, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”A perfect example of someone who lived and breathed this philosophy was William Wilberforce, who helped stop slavery in England. It took twenty years. He traveled the country on horseback and got to know key leaders from all of the different domains. He didn’t care what they believed politically, religiously, or economically—all he asked the leaders was whether they agreed with him that slavery was wrong.� If they agreed, he would help them determine how they could influence important people within different segments of society and get them on the “stop slavery” bandwagon. This led to a number of people from diverse backgrounds coming together to put an end to slave trading and ultimately abolish slavery in their country altogether.This is the type of process our government leaders need to put into action to deal with today’s pressing issues. Right now, Washington seems to be dominated by the bounded-set philosophy, where “you have to believe what I believe” to even begin to work together on a problem, let alone agree on a solution. So you have one big bounded-set group, the Democrats, at odds with another big bounded-set group, the Republicans.The only way to get anywhere is through compromise. What makes this third secret for fixing Washington so powerful is that it focuses on sustained collective action by all segments of society.Next time I’ll bring it all together with the fourth secret for fixing Washington, which involves a practice that’s near and dear to my heart:� servant leadership.

via Bounded Set Thinking vs. Centered Set Thinking.

via Bounded Set Thinking vs. Centered Set Thinking.

Obama Stands with Israel…Not

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE ARE STILL FIGHTING TO ” LOVE YOUR BROTHER NO MATTER THE COLOR” AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF? 200 YEARS OF TRYING TO IS ENOUGH!! JUST SO IT ALREADY…

the Common Constitutionalist

Absolutely Uncertain

A new, 18-minute mini-documentary follows the journey of Irina, a 23-year-old liberal, Jewish New Yorker who voted for Obama in 2008.  Yet as her connection to Israel has grown, and she has learned more about the President’s policies across the Middle East and towards Israel in particular, Irina has come to realize that “when the chips are down,” the President may not “have Israel’s back” as he says.

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My Take: ‘I’m spiritual but not religious’ is a cop-out

Add your thouTHIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE ARE STILL FIGHTING TO ” LOVE YOUR BROTHER NO MATTER THE COLOR” AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF? 200 YEARS OF TRYING TO IS ENOUGH!! JUST SO IT ALREADY…ghts here… (optional)

CNN Belief Blog

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Alan Miller is Director of The New York Salon and Co-Founder of London’s Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London’s Barbican in October.

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

The increasingly common refrain that “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” represents some of the most retrogressive aspects of contemporary society. The spiritual but not religious “movement” — an inappropriate term as that would suggest some collective, organizational aspect — highlights the implosion of belief that has struck at the heart of Western society.

Spiritual but not religious people are especially prevalent in the younger population in the United States, although a recent study has argued that it is not so much that people have stopped believing in God, but rather have drifted from formal institutions.

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