Mitt Romney's Life Story: Lying, Stealing, Destroying Jobs

Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way—out of inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market fostering a new product, service, or process of production. Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale—the faster the better. - Former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman

David Stockman was the former Reagan budget director. He went to a life of LBO "artist." He first becme well known for telling the truth about Reagan's voodoo economics and was 'taken to the woodshed' for his frankness.

In this article, Stockman puts together Mitt Romney's 'great' business career with the polices that allowed for it and which he wants to double down on. Stockman wrote:

[W]e have a rigged system—a regime of crony capitalism—where the tax code heavily favors debt and capital gains, and the central bank purposefully enables rampant speculation by propping up the price of financial assets and battering down the cost of leveraged finance. [...][T]he vast outpouring of LBOs in recent decades has been the consequence of bad policy, not the product of capitalist enterprise.

Stockman then demonstrates how Mitt Romney did it:

The startling fact is that four of the 10 Bain Capital home runs ended up in bankruptcy, and for an obvious reason: Bain got its money out at the top of the Greenspan boom in the late 1990s and then these companies hit the wall during the 2000-02 downturn, weighed down by the massive load of debt Bain had bequeathed them. In fact, nearly $600 million, or one third of the profits earned by the home-run companies, had been extracted from the hide of these four eventual debt zombies.

Mitt was a a scammer. Consider the C.R. Anthony deal:

the “transformative” C.R. Anthony deal was a bull-market scam. Almost immediately, results headed south. After growing 4 percent during the year of Bain’s quick 1997 exit, same-store sales turned to a negative 3 percent in 1998 and negative 7 percent in 1999, and were still falling when Stage Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter. The company hemorrhaged $150 million of negative cash flow during 1998-99—that is, during the two years after Bain and Goldman got out of Dodge City.

Bain Capital subsequently claimed the company was “a growing, successful and consistently profitable company during the nine years we owned it” but then immediately ran into “operating problems.” That was a doozy by any other name but typical of the standard private-equity narrative that confuses speculators’ timing with real value creation on the free market. The fact is, the bad inventory and vastly overstated assets that took the company down did not suddenly materialize out of the blue during the 24 months after Bain’s exit: they were actually the result of financial-engineering games from the very beginning.

This was Mitt Romney's business - the bust out, Good Fellas style. Great for him and his partners. Bad for America. A Mitt Romney presidency would be the same writ large.

< Townhall | Macho Macho Man >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    With reports of polls tightening in some (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:24:04 PM EST
    states, and Romney pulling ahead in some swing states (no link - just heard on NBC), Obama'd better treat tomorrow night's debate like Game 7 of the World Series - and he's got to both throw strikes across Romney's plate, and go yard on the hanging sliders Romney's going to be throwing at him.

    There just is no room for error.  

    But the bigger question is, does he want this, or doesn't he?  Will he fight for it, or stay above the fray?

    I have no idea.

    I suspect that no matter which Obama shows up tomorrow night, Romney and his surrogates are going to be ready for him - they're watching game tape and coming up with a plan.  Is Obama at all comfortable coming out of his shell and connecting with people, of damning Romney with faint praise?  

    I guess we'll see.

    In among all this speculation and the desire for Obama to kick ass and take names is the reality that Campaigning Obama is not the same dude as Governing Obama; somewhat better on some things than the GOP, but too similar in too many areas for my taste.

    There are so many ways in which Obama could rip the mask off Romney, but I'm not sure he's able to get far enough out of his comfort zone to play the kind of hardball it's going to take to do it.

    I (none / 0) (#22)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:37:03 PM EST
    hate to say it, but if he ripped the mask off Romney, he might find himself looking at himself.

    Then please don't say it. (4.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:54:27 PM EST
    As Jeralyn has repeatedly noted, hers is a Democratic-oriented blog that endorses President Obama's re-election. Further, BTD's post is about Stockman's essay on Mitt Romney, and he's not trashing Obama.

    I'd really have no issue with your comments, were we organizing a circular firing squad. But since we're not, let's just say that I don't much appreciate them -- especially since they are essentially nothing more than recycled variations of your "Obama's a bum!" and "A pox on both houses!" memes, and we're at the climax of a very consequential election cycle.

    Look, I'm not on board with a number of the Obama administration's policies, particularly when it comes to internal security and the respective "wars" on drugs and terror. But I'm not about to throw the baby out with the bath water, especially when the alternative to the incumbent administration that's presently being offered by the GOP is far, far worse.

    When one considers the real and proposed policies of the two major parties, there's clearly a world of very discernable differences between Barack Obama and the Democrats on one hand, and Mitt Romney and the Republicans on the other. And if you think otherwise, then either you are simply conning yourself, or you can't see the forest for the trees.



    OT Anne? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:42:50 PM EST
    Sudden Death (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 06:55:36 PM EST
    Speaking to what Obama has to do to (none / 0) (#28)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 06:55:45 PM EST
    drive home and expose Romney for who and what he really is - and whether he's up to it.

    That's off-topic?  

    I mean, there's no way Obama doesn't know what Romney is, and yet, his approach seems to end up giving credibility to what Mitt says he is; he's allowing Mitt to define himself instead of being the one to define Mitt.  Not exactly an astute - or successful - political move.

    As I see it, this may be Obama's last, good chance to tell America who Mitt Romney is, and why he'd be just terrible for this country; I want him to do that, and I want him to do it well.

    And I would like, for once, not to be disappointed.


    I think was BTD meant by "OT" (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:02:34 PM EST
    was -- responding to your extended metaphor -- to ask whether you agreed that O has to play like the game has gone into overtime. Not that you were "off topic."

    Oh...mixed up my acronyms, lol... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:10:23 PM EST
    I don't know, though, if we're in overtime territory yet - more like a 2-minute drill and 80 yards to the end zone, with a TD needed to put the game away.

    Or something.

    It really shouldn't be this close, should it?


    Thanks (none / 0) (#31)
    by sj on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:10:38 PM EST
    I read it as off topic, also.

    Confusing. Anne was using (none / 0) (#32)
    by brodie on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:30:38 PM EST
    a baseball metaphor, a sport that is played w/o a clock and so is timeless.  So technically there can be no "overtime".

    Did BTD mean to suggest Extra Innings (EI), a more appropriate term for the occasion?

    Or perhaps, being more a football guy, his OT reference was a way to encourage Obama to run the ball off tackle, and not just safely and predictably up the middle as in the first game.

    Btw, Anne, you forgot to rec Obama throw a brushback pitch or two past Romney's chin -- that gets him off the plate and allows O to then throw strikes over the plate with impunity.  Does Obama have it in him to play rough like that?


    True, and of course I could be wrong (none / 0) (#33)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:34:48 PM EST
    about that OT thing.  Only Armando can say.

    Obama has been honest for the most part (none / 0) (#41)
    by Rojas on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:12:37 PM EST
    You have simply not paid attention. Stockman refered to it as the Great Deformation... putting the bottom rail on top.

    Bain Capital is the work product of the clinton/greenspan colaboration.


    Heh - obsessed much? (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:09:17 AM EST
    Watching you play an unending version of the Clinton-word-association game is funny stuff ...

    this is all true, mr. stockman is (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:15:26 PM EST
    absolutely correct. having had the "pleasure" of auditing many of these companies, i can testify to the massive debt-service these LBO's created, destroying cash flow (which is what actually pays the bills). that said, one factor not touched on, which is equally important in this narrative: the banks who willingly lent billions of dollars, enabling these LBO's to begin with. no bank loans, no LBO's.

    the major wall street investment banks made their money upfront, just like the raiders did, with huge fees, paid for by the leveraged entities, then sold those loans as investment grade assets. sound at all familiar? it should, it was the pre-curser of the high rate, high risk sub-prime home mortagage market.

    let's not forget the major accounting firms either, who, for a fat fee, happily provided inflated "fair market" balance sheets for the target entities. i remember one that valued 20 year-old construction equipment at amounts higher than what it cost new. that was some damn impressive equipment!

    the bottom line: everyone on wall street was in on the game, and making scads of money, not just the venture capitalists.

    I've been wondering about that... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by unitron on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:03:57 PM EST
    ...as to who would lend Bain money with which to buy a company or lend lots of money to a company Bain just bought, knowing that Bain was going to vampire most of it out and leave the lender to pick up the worthless bankrupt pieces.

    Apparently the lender was going to make the loan using someone else's money, and do so in a way that they kept a big chunk and stuck the "someone else" with the loss.

    Just another way to privatize the gains and socialize the losses.


    How would you advise Pres. Obama (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:22:56 PM EST
    to boil this down for the debate-viewer of average intelligence?

    The first blockquote (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:27:02 PM EST
    is a start

    "Leveraged" and "LBO" won't (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:29:37 PM EST

    Take the first sentence (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:33:35 PM EST
    "Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses."

    LBO - load a company with debt, destroy jobs and pay out Bain. There is a phrase for that - the "Bust out."


    I (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:54:49 PM EST
    can see it now.

    Obama turns to Romney and says, "You know... You're not a businessman. You're a financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped and stripped businesses".

    That would be interesting.


    It (3.67 / 3) (#9)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:52:01 PM EST
    is sad indeed that this man, our president, needs guidance on how to conduct a Q & A session with a moderator and a fool.

    He was billed as the rock star, the great orator, the new Lincoln, the new Kennedy, the new FDR.

    But he is the new Kerry.


    Obama isn't smart enough to do that (none / 0) (#3)
    by Slado on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    Romney will throw Solyndra right back in his face.

    Obama was "smart enough" to (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:32:05 PM EST
    win the nomination and Presidency.  That's ain't the problem.

    So was GW (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Slado on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:56:20 PM EST
    What's your point?

    Uh, no. Dubya was only smart enough to have (none / 0) (#13)
    by Angel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:04:03 PM EST
    devious people on his team so they could steal the election.  Yes, he got a second term but that never would have happened if the first election wasn't stolen.  

    Not just the stolen votes (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by shoephone on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:07:28 PM EST
    but the corruption of the SCOTUS. The 2000 election was a crime all the way around.

    But (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:07:01 PM EST
    he would never have had a second term if the Democrats had put someone of substance against him.

    In 2004, Ohio's Republican Sec of State (none / 0) (#38)
    by sallywally on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:51:25 PM EST
    stole the election for W. It was just like 2000: the exit polls were utterly different than the "real results" - but just in Ohio and a couple of other states. This discrepancy is obviously created by election officials. Exit polls have been correct forever and in every other state even during the 2000 and 2004 elections.

    Kenneth Blackwell put too few voting machines in urban Democratic districts - universities, working class, Black neighborhoods, etc., and then cooked the results for good measure. So I personally think Kerry won Ohio.

    One thing I have to say for Keith Olbermann - he was the only person who kept talking about this for quite a while after it happened.

    In 2008, Ohio had a Democratic Secretary of State. There was a fair election.

    Ohio's Repub Sec of State has been trying to suppress the vote, and still hasn't given up on it with his appeal to the Supremes. I have no doubt he will mess with the allotment of voting machines and hack them after the voting has ended.


    All (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:08:47 PM EST
    that may indeed be true.

    But it should have been a landslide for Kerry.
    It should have been a landslide for Donald Duck - were he to have been the nominee against a lying thieving murderous felon.

    But no. We must be polite.
    Forget Patrick Henry and those guys. We need to live on the plantation and hope that the boss will let us eat his food when he's done with it.

    Kerry never really challenged Bush during his confrontations with him. He never referred to the horrifying display that Bush put out there at the dinner for the media --- in which he did a comic turn over not being able to find the WMDs. He looked under his podium, nope... not there... to the roars of laughter of the sick press.

    Kerry never asked him how he could do comedy over something that was at that moment killing and maiming thousands of young Americans.

    But he was tepid and polite.
    Insulated from feeling.

    And now Barack is insulated from feeling.
    Romney spews out a bunch of bu--sh@t. And Bar sits there.

    I think these guys are basically all in the same club.
    We are electing a president of a club to which we cannot belong.

    Democracy in shambles.


    funny, you conveniently leave out the role (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:00:09 PM EST
    of the MSM in all this, that lent credence to the "swiftboating" narrative, by reporting it as though it were a legitimate issue, as opposed to the lies it proved to be, even during the campaign. they gave credence to the bush administration WMD lies, reporting on them as though, again, they were legitimate, the facts be damned. of course, you won't hear that from the MSM, because they were complicit in all things bush/cheney. this is why a soledad o'brian, doing what a journalist is normally expected to do, is suddenly a hot topic: because for the past 20 years, the MSM has acted as the PR wing of the republican party.

    funny how that hasn't been mentioned.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:20:55 AM EST
    agree with you completely - although I did allude to them in describing those idiots response to Bush's act at the dinner.

    But the MSM is not just the PR wing of the republicans.
    They are the war party. Their reaction to Johnson's bogus Gulf of Tonkin (a democrat) was the playbook for their reaction to Bush and his wmds.

    They drift toward the wealthy and the powerful. They hunger to be around them. To be high on the hog.

    But in my post above, I wanted to concentrate on the god-awful performance on display by Kerry. If he had challenged Bush, acted like a man, the press - or at least some faction of it - would have smelled blood and started to circle. Why shouldn't they stick with Bush when Kerry had nothing to offer?

    My focus was on Kerry, because Obama reminded me of him.

    Kerry was facing one of the most transparent liars, hypocrites and evil persons ever to slink around the White House. And he couldn't rise to the occasion. He couldn't call Bush out for his crimes. Because - it's not polite to insult another member of the club.

    Forget us.


    World perspective (none / 0) (#65)
    by christinep on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:14:58 AM EST
    Reading your comment and is occlusion about Democracy being "in shambles," I began to reflect on all other Democracies and/or Republics...especially those that have large, diverse populations.  And, I also began to wonder how you would evaluate them across the board?  Do they--and we in the world--all fail?  If not, why not?

    I guess my point here is:  Expectations & Adaptability.  People differ in that regard...whether about what we expect & how we adapt in friendships, in marriage, at work, with our neighbors and relatives, in our community, and even as to our government.


    It's (none / 0) (#66)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:36:08 PM EST
    just that we, our "leaders", keep putting out there that we are the beacon of democracy. Of the people, by the people, for the people.

    T'aint so is my point.


    Either (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:05:02 PM EST
    he was smart enough, or lucky to be chosen by the master manipulators behind the curtain. That ain't the problem.

    The problem is the reality of the man and the fact that his admirers won't see it.

    During the last campaign he said that his religious upbringing and social convention led him to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman. Didn't mean anything to the gay community.

    He supported Lieberman - praised his "keen mind" and "big heart".
    Didn't mean anything to the progressives. Chose Biden as his running mate. That was a little tough to swallow for some, but a few beers later, what the heck. Threw Rick Warren at us during his inauguration. Ugh. But it was just something to shudder about. Wait until he starts governing.

    Then there's indefinite detention without charge or trial. Lobbying for the renewal of the patriot act. Sellout of the public option. Stupak amendment. Press conferences so spread out - when was the last one? March or something? Mr. Transparency?

    Nobody cares.




    ok, i'll bite for "concern troll" #1. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:07:47 PM EST
    let me guess, you expect perfection in all candidates, and if you don't get it, why, they just aren't good enough for you!

    yeah, and your point would be? that we might as well elect romney, because he and obama are simply reflections of each other? um, no, they aren't. we should vote for romney because obama isn't really the true, hardcore progressive you demand in a democrat? newsflash bunky!: no one is.

    last time i checked, obama and the democrats weren't trying to check out my wife and daughter's vaginas and uteri(?), to see what they'd been up to. they weren't trying to bankrupt the country, by giving it all away to the 1%. they weren't attempting to make "objectivism" the new economic national policy. i could go on, but the point is made.


    i LOL'd (none / 0) (#25)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 06:43:02 PM EST
    "...lucky to be chosen by the master manipulators behind the curtain"
    Ah, this must be the liberal alternative to the conservative argument that all of Obama's accomplishments are due to affirmative action.
    Certainly has less veiled racism to it, which is a plus, but definitely requires a much (MUCH) larger tin-foil hat.

    Not even going to address (none / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:37:01 AM EST
    your delusional "man behind the curtains" stuff, but um the gay community seems to have made the right decision to ignore the   "religious upbringing and social convention led him to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman" Comments, the DOJ  doesn't defend DOMA- something happily signed into law by the last Democrat to occupy the Oval Office, DADT is dead and we have the first President in history to say that gay marriage is a good thing. But hey pointless griping rhetoric could have accomplished way, way more than all that.

    Around (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:41:10 AM EST
    the time of the election in 2008, Obama said, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

    In May of 2012 he said:  "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

    This is not exactly saying, as you wrote, that "gay marriage is a good thing".

    But it is a breakthrough for the man even though it took him four long years to arrive at the obvious.

    Incidentally, here is a quote about Rick Warren, the man Obama chose to spritz upon us at his inaugural:

    ... Warren told Beliefnet that he thinks allowing a gay couple to marry is similar to allowing "a brother and sister to be together and call that marriage." He then helpfully added that he's also "opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage." The reporter, who may have been a little surprised, asked, "Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?" "Oh, I do," Warren immediately answered. I wish the reporter had asked the next logical follow-up: If gays are like child-sex offenders, shouldn't we incarcerate them?

    Perfect for the inaugural don't you think?
    Can you imagine the stink if some Republican had a guy giving the benediction who had offered the same crappola about Jews marrying Gentiles, or whites marrying blacks? Yeah. Please.

    Yeah - 20 years later (none / 0) (#62)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:20:15 AM EST
    You mean Obama's position in 2008 ... or 2012?  He's a brave man (20 years after DADT) ...

    ... once the public opinion polls are behind him.


    BTW - BS (none / 0) (#63)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:21:49 AM EST
    we have the first President in history to say that gay marriage is a good thing.

    Link to when Obama claimed "gay marriage is a good thing".

    As much of a fairy tale as the rest of your posts.


    And smart enough to do well (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:13:28 PM EST
    at Harvard Law School, serve as President (editor-in-chief) of its Law Review (top legal scholarship journal in the U.S.), and write two elegant books.  Any accusation that Obama isn't very smart is just, well, stupid (or worse).

    Obama's smarts (none / 0) (#35)
    by diogenes on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:07:56 PM EST
    President Obama may well be smart, but his SAT's, college grades, and LSAT's are not all that public.  I suspect that if he were Caucasian that his record would not have gotten him into Harvard Law School and if he did get in he would not have been elected as a Caucasian president of the Harvard Law Review.
    Although I can stand corrected and don't always trust Google, a google search shows numerous sites stating that President Obama did not publish any articles in the Harvard Law Review when he was president.  Was that so, and is that uncommon for editors to not publish ANYTHING?  

    Diogene's evidence-free "suspicions" (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Yman on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:49:01 PM EST
    Worth what ya pay for 'em ...

    Obama was a legacy at Harvard (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Towanda on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:56:55 PM EST
    which helped, of course -- as apparently did some alumni interventions and the like -- but he still would have had to meet a minimum GPA, I think.

    It seems clear that he was not an honors student at Columbia, but he was not a slouch.  He was, it seems, a late bloomer.

    Let's hope that pattern continues in his presidency, in his second term.


    The fact that George W. Bush was (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by caseyOR on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:06:13 PM EST
    admitted to not one, but two, Ivy League colleges, has led me to conclude that the vaunted Ivy education, and its supposed rigorous admissions policies,  is not all it is cracked up to be.

    Let's not forget, the Supreme Court is filled with graduates of Ivy League law schools, and the Court is hardly what I would consider a bastion of towering intellects.

    And, no, this does not mean that I think Obama is a mediocre intellect, although he may, or may not, have been a mediocre undergrad.


    An editor would typically have published (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:47:57 PM EST
    a Note in his/her second year, as a student author -- which would not carry his/her name directly on it, and thus not be findable through Google-type searching. While President he certainly would not be expected to publish anything. What student law review editors do, strangely enough, is select and edit faculty articles for publication. The great law schools, by the way, don't admit students solely on grades and scores.  Personally, I had great scores and mediocre grades at an excellent college, plus interesting other activities, and squeaked into a top law school off the wait list ... where I did quite well.  Any suggestion that BO was not fully qualified for admission to Harvard Law is ridiculous, just as ridiculous as suggesting that Rmoney got into HLS without regard to his father being a powerful politician, and without regard to his being a Mormon from the midwest, and not just another Eastern suburban gradegrubber (with which they could fill their entering class many times over). BO, after all, transferred up to Columbia after partying through his freshman year at Occidental, while Rmoney left Stanford after one year and finished at Brigham Young. Both did well at Harvard.

    At this stage of my life, I know (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:14:33 PM EST
    that "smart" takes all forms - I know people who are academically brilliant, but wholly dysfunctional in other areas of their lives.  I know people who are hugely successful in business or the arts, who tried college and either bagged on it or got through with mediocre grades.

    I've worked with lawyers for most of my professional life, and I've known - and know - some whose minds function at unbelievably complex and thoroughly incisive levels, and others who can barely write a coherent sentence. Some who went to top-tier law schools who have marginal talent and some who came up in lesser-regarded schools who are miles above the Ivy Leaguers.

    And everything in between.

    There's so much more to people than where they went to school, or what kind of grades they had - sure, they are a metric, but not the metric for whether someone is or isn't intelligent, will or won't be a success.

    I'm pretty much bored and somewhat irritated with what has become a kind of p!ssing contest over academic records and performance: neither is a measure of how someone will govern, how they will treat their fellow man, what comprises their character.  

    Life is that metric, job performance is the record we should be looking at when considering extending the contract of the incumbent or hiring someone new.


    Agree, silly argument. (none / 0) (#44)
    by brodie on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:48:20 PM EST
    And wasn't FDR a rather mediocre student at Harvard?  Yet up to the job of president.

    I would allow however that there's been some "grade inflation" in the past as to Obama's pure intelligence and political intelligence.  I've never found him "scary smart" as some of white liberal admirers have described him (in rather awkward terms), nor do I consider him remotely the political near genius these same fans seem to think he is.

    Smart, yes, overall, and mostly politically adequate to the task.  But not brilliant politically, and not in FDR's, JFK's or BC's class as a naturally gifted and effective pol.  Somewhere in the level below that.  Which isn't shabby.

    And lucky.  Very lucky in his political opponents.

    That said he still is a cut above most on most measures, and there's no question he has my support as I complete my mail in ballot.


    For all the talk about (2.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:43:29 AM EST
    Bill Clinton and JFK political abilities they accomplished relatively little in the way of actual change- most of the stuff people retroactively attribute to JFK should actually be credited to LBJ and Clinton rode the tech bubble-- he had one great budget but on the whole his economic policies of financial deregulation helped set the stage for the economic turmoil that followed his administration. Heck, people give Obama crap for the non-entity that  was the Simpson-Bowles commission without realizing its co-chair was Clinton's chief of staff, and that the "grand bargain" on medicare and social security would have happened in the late 90s (logically following on the heels of Clinton's similar "compromise" on welfare) if not for the pigheadness of Newt Gingrich.

    Quite the imagination (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:28:53 AM EST
    Do you write for The Onion?

    We don't disagree on any of that, Anne (none / 0) (#47)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:59:24 PM EST
    I didn't even use the word "smart" in the comment you appear to be responding to.  I was trying to give Diogenes a straightforward and honest answer to his question, assuming it to be sincere.

    I know, Peter - and I got what it was you were (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:19:15 AM EST
    trying to do.  I didn't respond to diogenes directly because I suspect s/he would have claimed that I was downplaying the importance of academic performance in general so that Obama would get a pass for not disclosing his transcripts and grades - or for whatever it is that diogenes thinks s/he needs to know more about.

    Both of these men are decades removed from their college and post-grad experience; their respective job experience and performance since then far outweighs whatever they did or how well they did it 30 or more years ago.

    For me, this was just more of the birther-style, straw-man, shiny-object distraction that diogenes regularly engages in and which just sucks the oxygen out of the room.


    i suspect you're not very bright. (none / 0) (#52)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:09:36 PM EST
    i have no tangible evidence to support my "suspicions", but i don't need any, my "suspicions" should be sufficient.

    If I were Obama (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:13:08 PM EST
    I'd be bragging about government investments in clean energy; Solyndra or not, a 4% default rate sure is a good track-record. Much better than Romney's tenure at Bain.

    It's (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:34:45 PM EST
    not a matter of being "smart". It's a matter of having really no ideological compass. Now Mitt has this problem too w/r/t ideological compass. I mean he's not named "Multiple Choice Mitt" for nada.

    All Mitt is trying to do is win by default. So the debates are a lot easier for him and Obama is not a policy person and that is one of the reasons he sucks so bad during debates.


    Solyndra? Hardly a match for (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:43:58 AM EST
    the "vulture" capitalism of Romney and Bain.

    And that's where Obama needs to go, not into the weeds of Solyndra, which, once you actually look at the details, isn't what Romney and his ilk keep wanting to make it.

    Will Obama get "vulture capitalism" into the lexicon and irretrievably linked to Romney?  He should, and not just to put Romney in his place and exposed as the antithesis of a "job creator," but to expose the damage that kind of business model did to the economy.

    Unfortunately, Obama probably won't go there; he's a little too dependent on the Wall Street-types - you can't swing a dead cat in the WH without hitting one - and a little too anxious to have what they have to risk taking them on that way.

    But, seriously, if you're banking on Solyndra to make Romney's case for him, your account is about to be hit with an overdraft notice.


    A regime of Crony Capitalism? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    Funny using that against Romney when our current president doesn't know business any other way.


    Need I go on?  If you have friends in Washington you can do business with Obama.

    If you aren't favored by this administration, like the coal industry, this president will sick the power of the federal government against you.

    GM and Chrysler=jobs. (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:31:10 PM EST
    According to NPR, Chinese labor and materials market undercut the U.S. solar industry--after the gov't. loan.  

    China? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:58:41 PM EST
    What does that have to do with anything?

    The problem with the bailout was GM has the same problems it had before the bailout.

    Chrysler was bailed out twice.

    Wan't to bet GM won't need a second as well?


    Re China and the U.S. solar industry. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 05:11:33 PM EST
    What do I know?  Just what NPR reported.  That when Solyndra got the U.S. government-guaranteed loan, China wasn't up and running in competion.  But then it was and U.S. manufacturers of solar panels couldn't top the price of these goods mfg. in China.  

    So what? It works (none / 0) (#24)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 06:25:23 PM EST
    It is a matter of putting real people above abstract principles (here of market purity.)

    "market purity" would dictate that the (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:17:32 PM EST
    gov't not subsidize private industry, so it can then undercut the competition artificially. this is exactly what the chinese gov't did, with solar panels. when you don't have to worry about making a legitimate profit, it makes it that much easier to beat the legitimate competition. the solyndra loans (started under the bush administration), were capital loans, not meant to subsidize the actual costs of R&D and production. the only way to counter the chinese gov'ts support of their solar industry is to jack up import tarifs, something the republicans in congress are adamantly opposed to, because they are the lapdogs of domestic job outsourcing/offshoring companies. increased import tarifs negate the whole point of outsourcing/offshoring production.

    Great comment (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:43:25 PM EST
    BS (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Yman on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:58:07 PM EST
    If you aren't favored by this administration, like the coal industry, this president will sick the power of the federal government against you.

    This administration is not persecuting the coal industry.


    "like the coal industry" (none / 0) (#26)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 06:48:51 PM EST
    I think the entirety of Appalachia would disagree with you on this one (not that I am complaining).

    I can recall when (none / 0) (#34)
    by the capstan on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:06:34 PM EST
    coal was the curse of Appalachia--when mine disasters weer routine. When the coal towns of Kentucky were basically lawless because of poverty.  When coal dust  covered anyone who had to stop their car on the 'viaduct.'  When little children choked the night thru (as I did) because of 'soft coal' burning in the fireplaces and pot-bellied stoves.  When the coal czars were able to halt the first  'streamliners'  and replace them with slow coal-fired engines spewing coal dust and smoke in the south.  When unions had to fight to make the owners pay their miners 'portal to portal'--in other words, the entire time they were underground.

    I understand the viewpoint of the mining towns today--but it is a frightful way to make a (poor) living.