News and Opinion Based on Facts

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Study Shatters Milk Myth For Strong Bones, Kids Need Exercise, Sunshine And A Dairy-Free Diet WASHINGTON -- In a new scientific review scheduled to appear in the March issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Pediatrics, Cornell-trained nutritionist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., and co-authors show that dairy products do not promote bone health in children and young adults. Physical activity does have a positive impact on bone health, while evidence linking bone health with dairy product consumption is weak, at best."Under scientific scrutiny, the support for the milk myth crumbles. This analysis of 58 published studies shows that the evidence on which U.S. dairy intake recommendations are based is scant," says Dr. Lanou, lead author of the study. "A clear majority of the studies we examined for this review found no relationship between dairy or dietary calcium intake and measures of bone health. In the remaining reports, the evidence was sketchy. In some, the effects on bone health were small, and in others, the results were confounded by vitamin D intake from milk fortified with vitamin D. To build strong bones and healthy bodies, children need exercise, sunshine, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that helps them maintain a healthy body weight."The level of dairy product consumption in the United States is among the highest in the world, and yet osteoporosis and fracture rates are also among the highest. This "calcium paradox" was an impetus for the current investigation. "We found no evidence to support the notion that milk is a preferred source of calcium," the authors conclude. Dr. Lanou is nutrition director for the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and her co-authors are Susan E. Berkow, Ph.D., C.N.S., and Neal D. Barnard, M.D.- Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.Copyright © 1999-2004, Simoni Creative.

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Hey, kids, don't forget your guns

by Daniel Akst,
December 28th 2012
Here we go again. After the tragic school killings in Newtown, Conn., the leader of the National Rifle Assn. offers a perfectly sensible proposal to put cops with guns in every school — and people jump all over him.
"A paranoid, dystopian vision," said New York's anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg. "The most revolting, tone-deaf statement I've ever seen," said Sen.-elect Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat.
But the only problem I can see with the NRA's proposal is that it doesn't go far enough. For some reason nobody in this country is willing to admit the obvious, which is that the poor helpless kids in that school could have helped themselves, if only we'd let them.
The time has come to get over our squeamishness and arm the children. If those kids in Connecticut had been allowed to bring firearms to school, it's doubtful anyone would ever have attempted the kind of assault that so tragically victimized them. If anyone did, the combined firepower of 20 or more armed elementary school pupils in a single classroom would put a stop to it, and far more effectively than a single dozing constable summoned from the opposite end of campus.
Of course, you can't just give a bunch of kindergartners firearms. They will need training, and the Newtown killings make plain just how deficient our schools are on this score. In most of America you can't graduate without meeting certain requirements in math, physical education or even a foreign language. But every year, our schools turn loose literally millions of kids lacking the faintest clue about how to engage in armed self-defense. Without these skills, so fundamental to the sustenance of democracy, our young people are defective citizens.
We make vaccinations mandatory for most children; why not firearm training? To be admitted to kindergarten, a child would have to demonstrate basic proficiency with a pistol. After that, no child should be able to advance a grade without meeting certain weapons milestones. And any parent who sends a child to school unarmed should have to explain that action to the child welfare authorities. When I was a boy, our teachers checked to see that we'd brought a handkerchief to class. Why not check for handguns? Think of the possibilities for show and tell!
A few selfish families — pacifists and their ilk — will no doubt be exempted. They won't mind that their children thus become free riders, sheltering under the protection provided by other kids who pack heat every day in their lunch boxes.
Not to worry; I'm convinced that enough red-blooded Americans will show up armed every day to stop any future madmen dead in their tracks. Arming the children would pay a special dividend too: an end to bullying, since even the smallest, most socially awkward child can put a bullet between the eyes of his or her tormentor if properly armed.
And then, of course, there are the teachers. It's simply unconscionable that these government-salaried educrats should ever enter a school building unarmed. As one writer observed in the online forum Washington Times Communities, "How different this could have been if, instead of discouraging guns on school property, we welcomed them heartily, accompanied, of course, by strict and proper licensing. How different if the report of the gunman on campus had stirred several teachers or staff members to whip out their own weapons and fire before the masked killer had his way with them."
Arming teachers could have pedagogical benefits as well, working wonders for school discipline.
Surely even the most demented advocates of gun control must see that, with nearly 300 million privately owned firearms already in circulation, no anti-gun legislation can protect the nation's schoolchildren from them. Just as the answer to offensive speech is more speech, the answer to a firearm is another firearm — or a couple dozen, which is about how many should be in the average classroom.
As an American, I'm not troubled by the ban on school prayer nearly as much as I am by our refusal to give our children a prayer of defending themselves. Many states already allow concealed firearms on college campuses. Let's act swiftly to give our precious babies the same chance at life that armed collegians enjoy. If we fail to do so, the blood of future unarmed victims will be on our hands.
Daniel Akst, a former columnist for The Times, is a writer in New York's Hudson Valley.
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

U.S. civilian adviser killed by Afghan policewoman

U.S. civilian adviser killed by Afghan policewoman

by Sayed Salahuddi,
December 24th 2012 6:11 PM

KABUL — An American civilian adviser was killed Monday by a female Afghan police officer at the police headquarters in Kabul, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. The incident appears to be the first " insider attack " since October and the first carried out by a woman.

The adviser, Joseph Griffin, 49, of Mansfield, Ga., was shot as he was looking at a case full of decorative medals in the sprawling police compound, according to Afghan police officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the news media. "He was shot in his heart and died very quickly afterwards in the hospital," one official said.

The assailant was arrested soon after the attack, which was confirmed by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

"A civilian police adviser was shot and killed this morning by a suspected member of Afghan uniformed police outside the Kabul police headquarters," said Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesman for ISAF. "The shooter is in custody."

Stadtlander confirmed that the assailant was a woman.

According to an Afghan police official, the shooter's name is Nargis, and she is one of 1,850 female police officers trained in the country since 2002.

Griffin was an employee of Falls Church-based DynCorp International. He had "worked in support of several of the company's global training and mentoring programs since November 2000," according to a company news release.

"The loss of any team member is tragic but to have this happen over the holidays makes it seem all the more unfair. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe's family, loved ones and colleagues during this difficult time," said Steve Gaffney, chairman and chief executive of DynCorp International.

Griffin formerly worked at the Afghan Interior Ministry, which controls the nation's police. The attacker also worked at the ministry, but in the department of gender rights, according to another Afghan official.

The motive behind the shooting was unclear; the attacker was still being questioned Monday.

More than 50 Western troops have been killed this year in insider or "green on blue" attacks, carried out by assailants who are members of the Afghan security forces. A recent Pentagon report to Congress said that many of the attacks stem from personal motives, rather than enemy infiltration of the Afghan police or military ranks.

If officially confirmed, Monday's incident would be the first insider attack carried out by an Afghan woman.

Earlier this year, two American advisers were killed in their heavily secured office at the Interior Ministry by a police officer who is still at large.

Foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military briefly suspended the training of some Afghan forces a few months ago in the face of rising insider attacks.

Kevin Sieff contributed to this report.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas time, so, love everyone you can,along with the loyal viewers of this blog, Merry Christmas to Mary Kate, Michelle, Evelyn, Mikey, Ricky, Dylan, Patrick, Mary Anne, Linda, Donna, Edna, Maria, Esther, my brothers and sisters and cousins,Shannon and Kate, my great Grandson Camdon, my grandson Logan, my beautiful grandaughter Ashley and everyone in this world!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Richard Engel Freed

NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his four-man team, who were held captive by an unknown militia group shortly after slipping into Syria on Thursday, have been freed unharmed following a firefight between their captors and a Syrian rebel group at a checkpoint.

"It's good to be here." Engel said.

Two of the captors have been killed and the remainder have escaped. There have been no claims of responsibility and no requests for ransom.

Engel said, however, that they endured "lots of psychological torture," including being subjected to mock executions.

NBC said on its website and in an emailed statement that the 39-year-old war correspondent and his team --NBC producer Ghazi Balkiz and cameraman John Kooistra -- were abducted, blindfolded and thrown into the back of a truck Thursday morning shortly after entering Syria.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Does Asperger's Lead To Violence?

Not according to most experts. An official said the shooter in Newtown had Aperger's syndrome, but there is no known connection between the disorder and violence. Asperger's is a mild form of autism characterized by social awkwardness. Not much is known about Adam Lanza, identified by the police as the shooter at the Newtown Elementary School. He fatally shot his mother before going to the school and killing 20 children, six adults and himself. High school classmates have described him as bright but socially awkward and painfully shy. Reseach suggests that people with autism do have a higher rate of aggressive behavior than the general population, but not the type of planned and intentional violence seen in Newtown.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

UN Set to Declare Terrorist State

The UN today is threatening to declare a Palestininian State which would be ruled by Fatah and Hamas criminals..
Israel and the US and other countries will be voting against the proposal.
The vote is occurring 8 days awfter Israel retaliated againgst Hamas gangsters who were firing barrages of missles against civilian targets in Israel.
Hillary Clinton said the path to a solution which pits the entire Arab world against the tiny state of Israel is through "Jerusalem" not New York.
The US has threatened to withold aid to the criminals in Ramallah if the gang's efforts are successful.

Does the world really need another Rogue Arab state?


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Iran Re-Arming Criminals in Gaza

Isaeli intelligence satellites have spied the loading of rockets and other material in Iran believed to be destined for the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday, November 25. According to a report in the U.K.-based Sunday Times, Iran began preparing the weapons shipment around the same time Israel and Hamas negotiated a ceasefire late last week. The shipment is said to include Iranian-made Fajr-5 medium-range rockets, the same model that was fired toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ryan Plan Would Use Medicare Cuts To Pay for Tax Reduction for the Rich

In posts about the Ryan pick, I’ve argued that if we in the commentariat and the media get this right, the American electorate could have a salutary debate on the role of government. But, I stressed, that’s a big “if.”
We particularly need an eagle-eyed media to cut through the inaccurate and misleading stances that show up with increasing frequency around this time.
A classic, for example, is the one I talked about with Rachel Maddow last night: the claim that President Obama is “destroying Medicare” by reducing its growth rate to the tune of $700 billion in the Affordable Care Act.
Rep Ryan has precisely the same cut in his budget. The difference is what they do with the savings. As I noted on Rachel, the ACA uses those savings to cover the uninsured, along with these other services, noted by Jon Cohn:
Obamacare puts the money back into the pockets of people who need help with their medical bills. A portion of the money is earmarked for children and non-elderly Americans, who, starting in 2014, will become eligible for Medicaid or receive tax credits to offset the cost of private insurance. A smaller, but still significant, portion of the money is for seniors. It helps them pay for prescription drugs, by filling the “donut hole” in Medicare Par D coverage. It also eliminates out-of-pocket costs for annual wellness visits, some cancer screenings, and other preventative services. Those benefits have actually started already: In the first six months of this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 16 million seniors took advantage of the free preventative care provision.
I also found this piece to be an excellent review of the issue, stressing a very important dimension of the ACA’s Medicare savings:
None of these reductions were financed by cuts to Medicare enrollees’ eligibility or benefits; benefits were improved in the ACA. Cuts were focused on hospitals, health insurers, home health, and other providers. Except for insurers, all the affected groups publicly supported the reductions to help finance the ACA’s expansion in health insurance to about 32 million uninsured Americans.
This is in stark contrast to the Ryan proposed cuts, supported by House Republicans, which are largely used to lower taxes on the most affluent.
Finally, remember that these and other measures in the ACA actually extend the life of the Medicare HI trust fund and reduce its budget shortfall by a factor of five (see the last section of Paul’s piece here, the part on Medicare not going bankrupt).
What we have here is stark proof that it’s going to take real vigilance to have the discussion we need to have in this country about the role of government in our lives—in this case, in the lives of retirees who depend on guaranteed benefits under Medicare.
On the Economy / By Jared Bernstein

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan, What a Bold Pick!

Paul Ryan, what a bold pick!
Just when Romney was being labeled as a wimp, he boldly chose Paul Ryan as his running mate.
This was bold on many levels.
Paul Ryan has vowed to end Medicare for seniors.
So Romney has boldly alienated the one group of people he still had some popularity with, that is, old white men.
Ryan said that his main political influence was atheist Ayn Rand.
Here Romney alienated the religious voters who weren't already alienated by his being a religious cult member.
You’ve heard them on television and read them on POLITICO — cheerful, defiant statements from Republican political professionals about Mitt Romney’s bold masterstroke in tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, and turning the 2012 presidential race into a serious, far-reaching debate about budgets and the nation’s future.Don’t buy it.
Paul Ryan has zero foreign policy or national security experience. Romney also has no experience in that area. This is the least qualified foreign policy/national security ticket in the modern era. Neither has ever specialized in these concerns nor has either one ever served in the military. Nothing here. Nada. There is no comparison to any other ticket in the last 60 years. You probably have to go back to Stevenson/Sparkman in 1952 in terms of qualifications and even Stevenson had more experience than these two.
Paul Ryan has zero administrative or business experience. He has served seven terms as a US Rep. and has never run anything larger than a congressional office. He has not even run a think tank or something. Nor has he ever worked in the private sector.
This would not be a huge problem (see Obama, Barack) if his ticket mate had not spent the last several years claiming that a president or potential president must have that experience and arguing at times that any president should have worked at least 3 years in the private sector. That line of argument is no longer available to Romney.
Paul Ryan is particularly horrible with women's issues. He opposes abortion in all circumstances, making no exception for rape and/or incest. He supports the Sanctity of Life Amendment, which draws the line so early as to outlaw some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization. He opposed the Lily Ledbetter Act on fair pay for women and, needless to say, supports every effort that would shove lesbians back into every closet. Single women, a huge problem for Republicans, are likely to run screaming from this ticket.
 Paul Ryan is a consummate Washington insider. He is a member of the most despised Congress in history and he is the favorite Republican for a certain, small class of centrist Beltway pundits. He has only made a living as a congressional aide, as a "consultant" for his family firm, or as a Congressman. Rhetorically, his selection means that Romney can no longer run as the outsider (if he ever could) or, at least, against Washington. This ticket is the least popular part of Washington.
Yes, this was a bold pick, but stupid.
President Obama said, “I'm glad he’s in the race, I welcome him.”
I don't doubt that.
I think every Democratic Party member welcomes Ryan into the race.
Wasn't Darth Vader available?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Koch-funded climate change skeptic reverses course

Richard Muller
Former climate change skeptic Richard A. Muller, in a New York Times op-ed, stepped back from his earlier dismissal of global warming. (Los Angeles Times / March 30, 2011)

WASHINGTON – The verdict is in: Global warming is occurring and emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity are the main cause.

This, according to Richard A. Muller, professor of physics at UC Berkeley, MacArthur Fellow and co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Never mind that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of other climatologists around the world came to such conclusions years ago. The difference now is the source: Muller is a long-standing, colorful critic of prevailing climate science, and the Berkeley project was heavily funded by the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, which, along with its libertarian petrochemical billionaire founder Charles G. Koch, has a considerable history of backing groups that deny climate change.

In an opinion piece in Saturday’s New York Times titled “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic,” Muller writes: “Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”

The Berkeley project’s research has shown, Muller says, “that the average temperature of the Earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

He calls his stance now “a total turnaround.”

[Updated, 4:17 p.m., July 29: Tonya Mullins, a spokeswoman for the Koch Foundation, said the support her foundation provided, along with others, had no bearing on the results of the research. "Our grants are designed to promote independent research; as such, recipients hold full control over their findings," Mullins said in an email. "In this support, we strive to benefit society by promoting discovery and informing public policy."]

Some leading climate scientists welcomed Muller’s comments, proof, they argued, that the science is so strong that even those inclined to reject it cannot once they examine it carefully.  Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said that Muller’s conversion might help shape the thinking of the “reasonable middle” of the population “who are genuinely confused and have been honestly taken in” by attacks on climate science.

On his Facebook page, Mann wrote: “There is a certain ironic satisfaction in seeing a study funded by the Koch Brothers – the greatest funders of climate change denial and disinformation on the planet – demonstrate what scientists have known with some degree of confidence for nearly two decades: that the globe is indeed warming, and that this warming can only be explained by human-caused increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. I applaud Muller and his colleagues for acting as any good scientists would, following where their analyses led them, without regard for the possible political repercussions.”

Muller’s conclusions, however, failed to sway the most ardent climate contrarians, like Marc Morano, a former top producer for Rush Limbaugh and communications director for the Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who now runs the website  “Muller will be remembered as a befuddled professor who has yet to figure out how to separate climate science from his media antics. His latest claims provide no new insight into the climate science debate,” Morano said in an email.

Muller’s New York Times commentary follows research he did last year that confirmed the work of scientists who found the Earth’s temperature was rising. In the past, Muller had criticized which global temperatures were used in such research, contending that some monitoring stations provided inaccurate data.  Now, Berkeley’s research has weighed in on the causes of the temperature rise, testing arguments climate contrarians have used.

“What has caused the gradual but systematic rise of two and a half degrees?” Muller writes. “We tried fitting the shape to simple math functions (exponentials, polynomials), to solar activity and even to rising functions like world population. By far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.”

Muller asserted that his findings were ‘stronger’ than those of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental  panel. Yet,  neither Berkeley’s research from last year or the new findings on causality have been published in peer-reviewed journals, which has raised criticism and concerns among climatologists and contrarians alike.

Benjamin D. Santer, a climate researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a lead author of the 1995 U.N. climate report, said he welcomed the involvement of another research group into “detection and attribution” of climate change and its causes. But he also said he found it troubling that Muller claimed such definitive results without his work undergoing peer-review.

“If you go into the public arena and claim to have generated evidence that is stronger than the IPCC, where is the detailed, scientific evidence? Has he used fundamental new data sets?” Santer said. “Publish the science and report on it after it’s done.”

He added: “I think you can do great harm to the broader debate. Imagine this scenario: that he makes these great claims and the papers aren't published? This (op-ed) is in the spirit of publicity, not the spirit of science.”

Elizabeth Muller, co-founder and executive director of the Berkeley project and Richard Muller’s daughter, said the papers had been peer-reviewed, but not yet published. But because of the long lead-up to publication, the Berkeley team decided to place its papers online, in part to solicit comment from other scientists. She said all the papers, including the latest, would be on the website by Sunday evening.

“I believe the findings in our papers are too important to wait for the year or longer that it could take to complete the journal review process,” Elizabeth Muller wrote in an email. “We believe in traditional peer review; we welcome feedback [from] the public and any scientists who are interested in taking the time to make thoughtful comments. Our papers have received scrutiny by dozens of top scientists, not just the two or three that typically are called upon by journalists.”

Friday, August 3, 2012

Romney “I Want MORE”!

Posted by michaelblackburnsr on August 3, 2012
Today Romney said that since he was, as he put it, a pioneer in outsourcing American jobs, he knows how to get jobs to come back to America.  He didn’t say how, or what his plan was, other than to cut taxes for people like himself. According to independent, non partisan sources,  Romney’s tax plan will cut taxes for the top 2 percent of the wealthy, but will cost the average taxpayer, i.e., the middle class, 2000 dollars.  He continues to refuse to release his tax returns, saying, “I paid taxes. Lots of taxes.” But we just have his word for that.  The Koch Bros have pledged half a billion dollars to defeat the President. They don’t do this because they love our country, they don’t. They have done this because they expect to make many more times that amount under a Romney administration. Remember, the super rich are NOT the job creators. Jobs in America are created by consumer spending.                                                                                                                                                 

In the 1930′s there was a gangster, played by Edward G.Robinson, who was asked, “What do you want, Rico?”He responded, “More. That’s it, I want more.” That should be Romney’s message as well, since that is what his program consists of, more for people like himself.

Op-Ed: MEDIA MATTERS: Media Bias Against Israel

Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012 10:30 PM
An expert talks about how Israel is damaged in the media. Everyone is responsible.

Through the years, the media has had repeated continual bias against Israel. As one who works closely with the media owning a leading PR Firm, there are many who criticize the media, from inside and outside the Jewish world.
This media coverage is biased, and does so much damage to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide:
-An adviser to Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, said a few years ago, "You can't brainwash people for four years that Israel is an illegitimate country and that Israelis are like the Nazis and that Israelis are monsters and expect that nothing will happen to Jews." He is right – words and actions have grave consequences.
-“The discrepancy between what actually happened and the version of what happened provided by sources is an enormous gray area.” Jay Epstein.
-Prime Minister Netanyahu was recorded in an interview as saying the two main enemies of Israel are the New York Times and Haaretz. He commented, ‘They set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world. Journalists read them every morning and base their news stories … on what they read in the New York Times and Haaretz.’”
-“The quack, the charlatan, the jingo, and the terrorist can flourish only where the public is deprived of independent access to information. But where all news comes at second-hand, where all testimony is uncertain, men cease to respond to truths and respond simply to opinions. The environment in which they act is not realities themselves but the pseudo-environment of reports, rumors, and guesses. The whole reference of thought comes to be what somebody asserts and not what actually is.” Walter Lippman, Liberty and the News

-“We are still fighting, not just against terrorism, but for fair treatment in the media. Given the overwhelming influence of the media on public perception, this is a battle we must win.” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
-“If newspapers are useful in overthrowing tyrants, it is only to establish a tyranny of their own.” James Fenimore Cooper.
-“WHEREAS the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and her Arab neighbors has occupied much of the attention of American journalism, in all of its forms, since the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948, making Israel a daily staple of print, audio and video news outlets; and WHEREAS news reporting is a subjective art, where facts, events, visual images and opinions are selected by the reporter in order to construct a narrative of a news story that is of interest, and that the personal bias of the reporter always governs the subjective process of selection; and WHEREAS numerous examples abound of gross violations of accuracy, imbalanced reporting and distortions of the truth in reporting about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians…THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon Jews everywhere to pay special attention to the way Israel is portrayed in the media and the conflict in the Middle East is reported. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that when a violation of accuracy or media bias against Israel occurs, that letters, emails and phone calls of protest be directed towards those media outlets and their sponsors.” Rabbinical Assembly of America
-“Is it not obvious that society cannot continue indefinitely to get its news by this wasteful method? One large section of the community organized to circulate lies, and another large section of the community organized to refute the lies! We might as well send a million men out into the desert to dig holes, and then send another million to fill up the holes.” Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

-“A lot of this hatred and intolerance comes from ignorance. People don’t know the facts…Israel can do no right in the UK press. Israel always is wrong and everything has a very negative slant. It has become very black and white, where the Palestinians are right, and Israel is wrong… It is helping poison people towards Israel because they are not being told the truth of the conflict. I think there is a case of if you tell a lie enough times, people accept it as being true.” Kasim Hafeez, Muslim Zionist
-“Some people in the press, I think, are just lazy as hell. There are times when I pitch a story and they do it word for word. That’s just embarrassing. They’re adjusting to a time that demands less quality and more quantity. And it works to my advantage most of the time, because I think most reporters have liked me packaging things for them. Most people will opt for what’s easier, so they can move on to the next thing. “ Kurt Bardella, former press secretary for republican congressman Darrell Issa.
So many of us read the media regularly and yell at the TV, or throw the newspaper down in disgust. Wrongly disgraced former United States secretary of Labor Ray Donovan asked the court when he was acquitted of false charges that ruined his career: “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”
Israel needs to visit that same place.

One of the reasons I who grew up in the Betar youth movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky chose to work in public relations was to influence the words of the media. In 1932, Jabotinsky said:
Who were the first to teach us to always interfere in matters that are not ours, to judge people and nations, even though we were never chosen for the position of judge? The work of the publicist is a legacy from the Prophets of Israel…Our passion is to speak, to proclaim—“Shouting” is what the same audience calls it, ‘we have no need for words, give us actions.’ One thing that audience forgets is that speech is also an action – Perhaps the most authentic of all other actions. Cities have been destroyed, and more will fall, but what was shouted in the wilderness thousands of years ago is alive and still relevant. The world was created by the Word. The world will be mended by the Article.”

Media bias harms Israel – and anyone who knows right from wrong has the obligation to speak out. In today’s world, we found out about the killing of Gadhafi or Bin Laden – and so much other relevant news from people sharing media themselves.
With the rise of digital media, and other tools, everybody today is a journalist, and everybody today is in media. Everybody has access to making a statement, to saying something, and that’s good and exciting, but also scary.

We all must help improve Israel’s public image and help Israel however we can.
Public Relations.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, and author of crisis PR book “For Immediate Release”

When did the Queen of England become a Jewish grandmother?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bubbe Elizabeth the Second

Queen Elizabeth II speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
 Most 86-year-old women, whatever their ethnic persuasion, do not arrive at important events via helicopter parachute, escorted by a hot piece like Daniel Craig; many of them can’t even stand up in the shower anymore. But everything else, from the ongepotchket peach lace dress to the passive-aggressive “oy, mein back” shuffle to the seats to that face, seemingly caught constantly in mid-kvetch, saying “For this you made me come out in the middle of the night, sitting outside in the rain like a dog?” Not a trace of her former impersonal friendliness, of smiling Gentile stoicism, remained. At the Olympic opening ceremony, somewhere in between the coal miners performing a Dickensian rendition of the “Stool Boom” number from Waiting for Guffman and the interpretive dance salute to the National Health Service, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, became the whole world’s bitchy Jewish bubbe. I half expected her to take an ancient sucking candy from that famous purse of hers and unwrap it loudly during the moment of silence “for everyone” that the IOC creepily rammed into the ceremony at the last minute.
Was she like this all along? The question of any stray Jewish heritage within the British Royal Family has been explored mainly by the British Israelite movement—for the most part a cheerful and benign group of loonies who since the time of Queen Victoria have held that the Ten Lost Tribes somehow found their way to the sceptered isles, where they became the progenitors of the British people, making the Windsors direct-line descendants of King David—and the usual bunch of anti-Semitic Internet crazies who believe that everyone in a position of power today is somehow a secret Rothschild taking part in a crypto-Zionist Judeo-Bolshevist conspiracy to control the world.
Whether it’s the Jewish question of her own family, or indeed, in any other capacity, the queen’s personal views on the Chosen People are, as on all other matters, a mystery. The princess royal “regrets to say that she has never been to Israel”—as it was written to me in the letter I received from her male secretary (early feminist click moment, there) when I wrote to her for a school project at my Jewish Day School in approximately 1988 in a manner so politely chagrined I was ashamed I had asked. Prince Philip has been to the Jewish state, albeit in an unofficial capacity, when his mother Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark was honored as one of the Righteous of Nations, and of all the many, many, many groups, ethnic or otherwise, upon which he has aired, shall we say, impolitic remarks over his equally numerous years in the public eye, Jews have, almost shockingly, not been among them.
On the other hand, well, let’s just say it’s not missing any fingers. Prince Harry’s youthful swastika-wearing may have been a genuinely innocent, and well-atoned-for, joke gone wrong, but the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s habitual Heil Hitler’s certainly were not. And even the cuddly Queen Mother, the Lots O’ Huggin’ Bear of the British aristocracy, had, typically of her time and class, plenty of not-so-nice things to say about the Jews behind closed doors. More recently, the late Princess Margaret became so discombobulated at a dinner party by comedian and U.K. national treasure Stephen Fry’s admission of matrilineal descent that she allegedly started screaming: “He’s a Jew! He’s a Jew!” to the assembled guests. Although, to be fair, the issue was a touchy subject for Margaret; the most memorable note of several her vengeful ex-husband Lord Snowdon apparently left around the house for her to find in the waning days of their marriage read: “You look like a Jewish manicurist and I hate you.”
It’s an observation not totally out of left field. When you look at pictures of the aged Princess Margaret, sans tiara and imperial sash, she does look not unlike your mother’s cousin Frieda who started doing nails after her divorce from that schmuck with the dry cleaner. Similarly, if there’s a more classic example of the archetypal nebbish than the young Prince Charles, I have yet to see him. Of course, one could argue that rather than Jewish, they just look German, perhaps lending some credence to Kafka’s famous assertion that these two groups are far more inextricably linked than either is entirely comfortable with, but that’s a whole rabbit-hole of head-measuring pseudo-science I don’t even want to get into.
The point is the queen, and her increasing forays into Judaic grumpiness of late: the shpilkes at the opening ceremony, the hissy fit with Annie Leibowitz, the open disapproval for the “creepiness” of the headless mannequin wearing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress that someone put right in the middle of her living room. Has she been hanging out with Camilla’s friend Joan Rivers lately? Or is she just really, really old? Which itself begs the question: Do Jews act like old people or do old people all act like Jews? Are we just born without the self-censoring part of the brain that takes other people eight decades and/or a massive stroke to attain, or is there something in the pool water at the indoor aquatic aerobics classes? Which came first, the suffering or the refusal to do it in silence?
As for Her Madge, if at the closing ceremony she starts complaining about the angle of the chair back and would it kill them to get her a cold glass of water, but not too cold, because oy, it bothers her dentures, I guess we’ll see if the Bubbification of the Sovereign is complete. In the meantime, pass the sucking candy and G-d save the Queen.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

ALL of Romney's Lies in One Place! UPDATED YET AGAIN!

Sun May 06, 2012 at 07:07 PM PDT
Mitt Romney was attacking Obama about our failing education system. He has a point. We are graduating millions of people in this country who are so lacking in basic analytical skills, they are considering voting for Mitt Romney." –Bill Maherl
What an evil little man is Mittens Robbedme.
He denied running Bain capital from 1992 to 2002 since he knew that the tactics of the now infamous vulture capitalist corporation, which cost thousands of American jobs, and destroyed numerous thriving businesses., would not look good to readers.
Diligent reporting has recvealed documents which prove he was in fact was the managing director of Bain during those years, and sole owner, as well.
here is our annual list of Romney's  lies:

ALL of Romney's Lies in One Place! UPDATED YET AGAIN!
Huzzah! Following in the footsteps of Avenging Angel, who has done yeoman's work in exposing the stinking pile of mendacious horse manure that is Mitt Romney, I have been working to gather all of Willard's grotesque falsehoods into one central blog. I don't carry advertising on it, and I have not "monetized" it in any way. It's strictly a labor of love/hate. It can be found here. You see, I loathe and despise liars. I'm  60. I've been following politics since I was 12 (yes, a misspent youth).  I vividly remember such world-class prevaricators as Richard Nixon. But for the life of me, I have never seen a more brazen liar than Romney running for president in my entire life. By God, I won't stand for it, not without a fight. Hey, I'm just one little person. But just as a few hundred thousand small fires can make a conflagration, a few hundred thousand dedicated truth-tellers can out Mitt Romney for the lying, unprincipled, morally bankrupt sociopath that he is. So, with this conviction in mind, here are Romney's lies all exposed:
Here is Romney lying about his own first name:
Here is Romney lying about defense spending and falsely claiming Obama has made "huge" cuts in the defense budget:
Here is Romney's staff gloating about his TV ad lying about Obama and the economy:
Here is Romney's outrageous lie that Obama has increased the national debt more than all other presidents combined:
Here is Romney's lie about his plans to give huge tax cuts to people like himself:
Here is Romney's infuriating lie about President Obama's so-called "Apology Tour":
Here is Romney's lie about his father and Martin Luther King:
Here is Romney's astonishing, brazen lie that President Obama is responsible for ALL the job losses in the recession:
Here is Romney caught lying by Rachel Maddow about his "Obama made the recession worse" remarks:
Here is Romney lying about the activities of his SuperPac in Iowa:
Here is Romney's shockingly brazen lie that President Obama's objective is "equal outcomes" for all people:
Here's Romney in full, lying sociopath mode after his win in New Hampshire:
Here is Romney lying about his record on gay rights:
Here is Romney lying about the President's healthcare law:
Here is Romney's lie about the President's so-called policy of "appeasement":
Here is how Romney's lies fit into a general pattern of sociopathy:
Here is Romney lying right to David Corn's face about something Romney said that Corn heard PERSONALLY:
Here is Romney lying about President Obama's trade policies:
Here is Romney lying about the "savings" that would come from repealing the healthcare law:
Here is a CONSERVATIVE commentator talking about the tissue of pathetic lies that is Mitt Romney's stump speech:
Here is Romney AGAIN lying about Obama's defense policy:
Here is Romney lying about his "regular guy" status, including his AMAZING lie that he has feared getting a "pink slip" notice himself:
Here is Romney claiming that anyone who questions his business tactics is "attacking the free enterprise system":
Here is Jon Stewart nailing Romney's lies and deceptions about the tax code:
Here is Romney's lie about President Obama having "raised" the corporate tax rate:
Here is Romney claiming he pays a 50%(!!) tax rate:
Here is Romney's lie about President Obama and rocket attacks against Israel:
Here are Romney's lies about his "job creator" record:
Here is Romney's BLATANT lie that Gingrich "outspent him" in South Carolina:
Here is Romney's lie about President Obama's record on regulations, a lie of ASTONISHING magnitude:
Here is Romney lying about social programs that aid the poor:
Here is Romney lying about his "blind trust":
Here is Romney attempting to take credit for an auto bailout he OPPOSED:
Here is Romney lying about his intentions for Social Security and Medicare:
Here's Romney lying about the birth control ruling:
Here's an item about the vicious, lying, right-wing hitman that Romney has hired to spread lies about Willard's opponents:
Here's Romney CONTINUING to tell the lie that "Obama made the recession worse":
Here's Romney calling himself "moderate" and "progressive" in 2002:
Here's Romney lying about his position on climate change:
Here's Romney lying about his "Mexican" background and his jobs record:
Here's Romney lying about Medicare:
Here's Romney trying to rewrite the history of the auto bailout AGAIN:
Here's Romney lying about defense policy in general and the Navy in particular:
Here is Romney's lying claim that he has never changed his position on immigration:
Here is Romney's incredibly vicious lie that President Obama has "fought against religion":
Here is Romney lying about sanctions on Iran:
Here is Romney's fictional account of his time as governor of Massachusetts:
Here are Romney's INCREDIBLE lies about his record on abortion rights:
Here's Romney lying about his own "memories":
Here's Romney caught lying, on videotape:
Here's Romney's lie about President Obama being a "crony capitalist":
Here's Romney lying about Obama and Iran--AGAIN:
Here's Romney's utterly dishonest taxation and budgetary proposals:
Here's Romney lying about Obama and Medicare AGAIN:
Here's Romney lying about the minimum wage:
Here's Romney's absurd lie that President Obama "wants" higher gas prices:
Here's Romney's Etch-a-Sketch moment:
Here's Rachel Maddow's epic takedown of Romney the Liar:
Here's Romney the Liar trying to be evasive about his tax and budget plans:
Here's Romney's attempt to bury his contribution to an anti-gay hate group:
Here's Team Obama holding Romney accountable for his lies:
Here's Romney being nailed for his incessant flip-flops:
Here's Romney lying about Medicare AGAIN:
Here's Romney being caught lying on tape (again):
Here's Romney being skewered by SNL:
Here's Romney's lie about Obama and Harvard:
Here's Romney lying about unemployment among women:
Here is Romney being ridiculed in a very catchy song:
Here is Romney lying about Obama's record on guns:
Here's Romney on video, spewing one lie after another:
Here's an account of just how many lies Willard can pack into a single speech:
Here's a trio of Willard lies, one about Obama, one about his family, and one about his own freaking life:
Here's Romney lying (AGAIN!) about the healthcare law, an item based on Jed Lewison's reporting on DKos:
Here's Romney being caught in a series of lies about foreign policy:
Here's Willard's INCREDIBLE lie that Bush had nothing to do with the economic meltdown:
Here's Romney's campaign AGAIN trying to take credit for an auto company bailout that Romney opposed:
Here's Romney lying about his intentions to take out bin Laden:
Here's the Romney campaign's absurd claim that Al Qaeda has grown stronger in the wake of bin Laden's death:
Here's Gingrich telling the truth for once: that Romney is a liar:
Here's Steve Benen's OUTSTANDING work in exposing Romney's lies, with five examples:
And here's Robert Reich explaining why Romney's so-called "business expertise" is just another pathetic lie:
(And don't miss the excellent diary by plf515 called "All Mitt's Flips". It's right here)
I simply have gathered Romney's lies together, for the most part. (Sometimes I find news items myself and highlight them.) Steve Benen, Andrew Sullivan, a lot of you good folks here on DKos (especially Jed), the good folks at Balloon Juice, and many others have rooted them out.  I wanted to give you a ready resource for making these things go viral, as widely as possible.
I hope this helps.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why Obama Campaign Should Keep Attacking Romney Over Bain Capital

The Bain attacks could help Obama hold down losses among blue-collar whites, a group with which he has always struggled, says Peter Beinart.

Punditry is a strange business. On the one hand, many television pundits—especially those who also work as reporters—are supposed to be objective. On the other hand, they’re supposed to offer their opinions.

“Objective” pundits are like referees terrified of alienating either side. Their lives get easier when members of one team admit that the call should go the other way. That’s what Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, and now Bill Clinton have done with their critiques of the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital. Now that pundits have cover to critique Obama’s strategy too, the conventional wisdom has quickly congealed: attacking Bain was stupid.

I disagree. Obama has to attack Romney hard: the economy simply isn’t good enough for him to mount a 1984-style “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” campaign. Romney’s central narrative is that he’s a businessman who knows how to fix the economy. Yes, the Obama campaign can attack him as a flip-flopper; they can attack his record as governor of Massachusetts; they can call him a right-wing extremist (although attacks Nos. 1 and 3 contradict each other).

But since none of these attacks challenges Romney’s core claim, their value is limited. It’s possible, for example, to imagine a situation in which the Obama campaign effectively uses issues like abortion, gay marriage, and health care to convince Americans that Romney lacks core convictions (many probably believe that already), but that belief doesn’t cripple Romney, because voters actually like the idea of a nonideological problem solver willing to do whatever it takes to end the economic pain. It’s worth remembering that while the Bush campaign did weaken John Kerry with its flip-flop attacks in 2004, those attacks alone would never have been enough had the Swift-Boaters not cast doubt upon Kerry’s core message: that because of his Vietnam heroism, he could be trusted on national security in a post–Sept. 11 world.

There was also good reason to believe the Bain attacks might work. No matter what conservatives say, presidential campaigns often appeal to class resentment. The right has been particularly effective at it. Think about the Bush campaign’s ad showing Kerry windsurfing. Or Karl Rove’s showing Obama surrounded by celebrities. Asked how he would have run against his own candidate in 1988, George H.W. Bush’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater, said he would have shown ads featuring Bush on his private tennis court alongside images of his waterfront mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine, before having the narrator intone: “No wonder he wants to cut capital gains taxes on the wealthy.”

There’s a reason Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum went after Bain: because Romney’s super-rich, out-of-touch image was hurting him among white, working-class voters. And as The New Republic’s Alex MacGillis has shown, Ted Kennedy’s campaign used Bain’s layoffs to devastating effect in his Senate victory over Romney in 1994. The Kennedy folks even flew workers laid off by companies Bain had invested in to Massachusetts to campaign.

The Bain attacks were never likely to be terribly popular with the media, which given their upper-middle-class orientation, skew left on cultural issues like gay marriage, but right on economic ones like free trade. But Obama can’t win reelection simply with the votes of young, single, and minority voters. He needs to hold down his losses among blue-collar whites, a group with which he has always struggled. Using Romney’s stewardship at Bain to drive a wedge between him and the culturally conservative working-class whites whose turnout he desperately needs made a lot of sense, especially if the Obama campaign had tied Romney’s record at Bain to his support for unpopular Republican budgetary proposals.

But all that is now theoretical. The Booker, Patrick, and Clinton attacks virtually guarantee that the media will greet any additional anti-Bain attacks with scorn. The biggest flaw in Obama’s strategy, it appears, is not that swing voters can’t stomach his populist attacks, but that his fellow Democratic politicians can’t. Desperate for campaign cash, the Democratic Party has since the 1980s become deeply enmeshed with the finance industry.

I don’t think Booker, Patrick, and Clinton are throwing Obama overboard to fatten their campaign coffers. (Clinton isn’t running for anything, and Booker’s comments have probably done him more harm than good since he’s now seem as something of a turncoat by Democratic partisans.) It’s more subtle than that. Politicians, like all of us, are creatures of our experience. I suspect that spending so much time in the company of Wall Street has truly influenced the way many Democratic politicians see the world.

If Obama abandons his attacks on private equity, conservatives will say it proves that ordinary Americans admire places like Bain. But there’s not much evidence for that. What the last couple of weeks really illustrate is how difficult it is to run against the financial industry in a political system where it wields so much influence. Like it or not, those are the rules of the game that Obama must win this fall.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Help Win Justice for Lal Bibi

18 year-old Lal Bibi was kidnapped, raped, tortured and chained to a wall for five days by a gang of powerful Afghan police officers. But she stood up to do what women in Afghanistan are told not to -- she is fighting back, and together we can help her and all Afghan women win justice.
According to deep cultural mandates, as a raped woman, Lal Bibi has been "dishonoured" and will kill herself -- and she publicly says she must, unless her rapists are brought to justice to restore her honour and dignity. Afghanistan's justice system routinely fails to pursue these cases and so far the chief suspects in Lal Bibi's case have not been prosecuted, likely in the hopes that international attention will die down. Every day that passes without an arrest pushes Lal Bibi closer to suicide -- but there is hope.
This weekend, the US, UK, Japan and other major donors are expected to pledge 4 billion dollars to Afghanistan -- money that will pay for the very police forces responsible for Lal Bibi’s rape. But an international outcry can shame donor countries into action, conditioning their aid on real action to fight rape and protect women. We don't have much time left -- click below for change that could save Lal Bibi’s life and our petition will be delivered right into the donor conference in Tokyo:
Local custom in some parts of Afghanistan dictates that women are shamed by rape and must kill themselves to restore their family's honour for generations to come. Amazingly, Lal Bibi and her family courageously are seeking to save her life by insisting on the prosecution of her torturers and shifting the blame to the perpetrators, in society's eyes.
The Afghan police force responsible for the rape depends heavily on foreign funding that will be pledged this weekend, when all of Afghanistan’s major donors gather in Tokyo. Donor countries can and should require that funds are not spent to grow a police force that acts with appalling impunity and that police officers work to protect women, not attack them!
There are hundreds of women and girls all across Afghanistan who are subject to the “tribal justice” meted out to Lal Bibi. Thousands more are watching carefully to see how the Afghan government and the world will respond to the girl who is fighting back and refuses to die quietly. Let's stand with her -- sign the petition below and tell everyone:
The global war on women is relentless. But time and time again our community joins together to win. We helped stop the illegal stoning of Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran, and fought for justice for rape survivors in Libya, Morocco and Honduras. Let’s show the global power of our community to help win justice for Lal Bibi and millions of women in Afghanistan.
With hope and determination,
Dalia, Emma, Alaphia, Ricken, Laura, Antonia and the rest of the Avaaz team

P.S. Avaaz has launched Community Petitions, an exciting new platform where it's quick and easy to create a campaign on any issue you care strongly about. Start your own by clicking here:

More Information:
Rape case tests Afghan justice (Radio Free Europe)
Afghan rape case turns focus on local police (New York Times)
Afghanistan expects $4 billion in aid pledges at the July conference (CNBC)
Tokyo Declaration to push donors, Afghanistan to make better use of aid (Reuters)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mittens Romney, Job Killer

The Romney Record at Bain: Bankruptcies, Bailouts, & Mass Layoffs

Mitt Romney’s pitch is that he’s a “businessman” who understands the “real economy,” in contrast to President Obama who Romney says “doesn’t understand how the economy works.” During a presidential debate in November, Romney reminded the audience of the source of his “real economy” experience: “I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years.” That quote has now been replayed thousands of times in Romney television ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida and has been viewed more than 168,000 times on YouTube.
Here’s how the Los Angeles Times described Romney’s tenure as CEO of Bain Capital:
Romney and his team also maximized returns by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits. Sometimes Bain investors gained even when companies slid into bankruptcy.
Romney himself became wealthy at Bain. He is now worth between $190 million and $250 million, much of it derived from his time running the investment firm, his campaign staffers have said.
Bain managers said their mission was clear. “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation,” said Marc B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain who worked closely with Romney for nine years before forming his own firm. “The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.”
Here’s the rundown on Mitt Romney’s devastating record as CEO of Bain Capital, a tenure marked by bankruptcies, bailouts, and mass layoffs — all while Romney and his partners raked in billions of dollars in profits for the firm and Romney himself amassed a quarter-billion dollar fortune.
Romney’s Bain Capital Caused Mass Layoffs,  Sent Jobs Overseas
Thousands of Americans were laid off by Bain Capital at companies it purchased, managed, and, at least a quarter of the time, drove into bankruptcy.  Here’s an infographic from Americans United for Change laying out some of the carnage:

In addition to jobs lost at companies that Romney and Bain drove into bankruptcy, other jobs were sacrificed to maximize profits or simply sent overseas.
A Bailout Caused by Bain Capital
ThinkProgress’ Travis Waldron explains how one Romney target had to be bailed out by a federal agency after it went bankrupt, even as Bain walked away with a handsome profit:
Romney, whose time as CEO of Bain Capital has been a centerpiece of his campaign, as he has criticized President Obama for not having experience in the “real economy,” opposed both the 2008 bank bailouts under President George W. Bush and Obama’s rescue of the auto industry. But when Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems went belly-up less than a decade after Bain became its majority stakeholder, the company, which had been in operation since 1888, had to turn to a federal insurance agency to bailout its pension program in large part because Bain had “saddled” it with “such a heavy debt load”:
Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 (258 pounds) a month.
What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.
Romney’s Bain Capital Made Billions While Bankrupting Nearly One-Quarter Of The Companies It Invested In
According to the Wall Street Journal, Romney and company drove nearly a quarter of the firms they bought into bankruptcy, but that didn’t stop them from raking in billions of dollars in profits at the same time:
The Wall Street Journal, aiming for a comprehensive assessment, examined 77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bain’s involvement and shortly afterward.
Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost. [...]
The Journal analysis shows that in total, Bain produced about $2.5 billion in gains for its investors in the 77 deals, on about $1.1 billion invested. Overall, Bain recorded roughly 50% to 80% annual gains in this period, which experts said was among the best track records for buyout firms in that era.[...]
Mr. Mehran, a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said the rate at which Bain’s target companies ran into trouble at some stage “seems large.”
Conservatives Attack Romney For “Looting” Companies, Firing Workers
It’s not just those who were laid off by Romney’s Bain and progressives who are now calling attention to his record at Bain Capital.  In recent days, some of his 2012 rivals have stepped into the fray.  ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes has a roundup of the latest attacks from right:
JON HUNTSMAN: “What’s clear is he likes firing people, I like creating jobs.” [1/9/12]
NEWT GINGRICH: “Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe that, in fact, the whole goals of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation, would find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever, legal ways to loot out a company.” [1/8/12]
RICK PERRY: “Now, I have no doubt Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company, Bain Capital, of all the jobs that they killed. I’m sure he was worried that he would run out of pink slips.” [1/9/12]
GINGRICH: Bain Capital was a “small group of rich people manipulating the lives of thousands of people, and taking all the money.” [1/9/12]
PRO-GINGRICH SUPER PAC: “A story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck. A group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney, more ruthless than Wall Street. For tens of thousands of Americans, the suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town.” [1/9/12]
GINGRICH: “I would just say that if Gov. Romney would like to give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, that I would be glad to listen to him.” [12/12/11]
A Golden Parachute for Mitt Romney
As the New York Times reported in December, Romney may have left Bain Capital more than a decade ago but he still enjoys millions of dollars a year in profits from the firm:
In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.
The arrangement allowed Mr. Romney to pursue his career in public life while enjoying much of the financial upside of being a Bain partner as the company grew into a global investing behemoth.
And because of an unfair tax loophole that Romney both supports and personally takes advantage of, he only pays a maximum tax rate of 15 percent — a far lower rate than many middle class workers.  Since Romney still refuses to release his tax returns, we can’t say for sure just how low a rate he pays only that it is certainly lower than that paid by tens of millions of middle class Americans.
IN TWO SENTENCES: Mitt Romney has an economic agenda of, by, and for the wealthiest 1 Percent of Americans at the expense of the other 99 Percent.  He may claim to be a job creator, but Romney’s record at Bain Capital shows that he personally made hundreds of millions of dollars by bankrupting companies and laying off thousands of Americans.