The Polls, Sandy, and Election Prognostications

 

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.


It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels



Update :


Hurricane Sandy causes widespread destruction, hitting the Northeast and creating an historic storm-surge in Lower Manhattan, Northern New Jersey, and along Long Island Sound. Like so many in New York City, Amy Goodman's crew is without power. The election heads towards its final countdown. Democracynow.org


The clean-up is estimated to cost as much as $45B. A state by state update provided daily at NY Times


For media execs, so long as their servers are up and running, it means the holidays start early. Superstorm shoves nearly all else aside, including frenetic coverage of campaign 2012. But it pulls in housebound audiences eager for the souped-up weather reports and disaster recovery updates. Provided they have the juice to view them. 


As always, the harmful effects of nature's wrath are experienced in inverse proportion to one's annual income. NY Times

Writer Mike Tidwell says we are all New Orleans, offering a view of coastal living in the near future. Hint : get used to fortified levees. Tidwell refers to New York the “great Sleeping Giant of Hurricane disasters,” now awake. thenation


Reporters David Chen and Mireay Navarro review other, specific remedies for NYC, given the prospect of more giant storms emanating from warmer global waters. NY Times



Election 2012, The Race to the Finish :


Mini-Glossary :


Debate 2, Citizen Romney vs. Pres. Obama = D2

Debate 3, Citizen Romney vs. Pres. Obama =D3


We have started an alarming trend. The genie's out of the bottle, we can't put it back. Since many readers of this space are themselves writers, it's grown beyond our control.


We're referring to our tendency to apply sporting metaphors to Presidential Politics. Particularly those of the pugilistic variety. We knew it was getting bad when we heard Al Sharpton Post-D3 inform that the challenger “mostly hugged and clinched.” Or when Tagg Romney gets so worked up that he threatens to bum rush the stage – BYU frat party style. Which would be treason, technically. Examiner


It becomes contagious and emerges in new, post-Superstorm politics. Submerged Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford thus threatens to confront human wind-bag and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie “mano a mano” to discuss competing evacuation narratives. huffpost


It leaves us longing for our standard yachting coverage, especially the intense build-up leading up to the 2013 America's Cup.



Must every comment be a punch? Every retort a counter-punch? A successful debate a knock-out? We register here our formal dismay for the very out of control trend we started. Could we not rather discuss an accidental jibe? Mention a candidate who can't make way? Or instead of a punch...why not a monkey fist?


To these ears, it's nearly as distasteful as the Prez continuously bringing up the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. During D3 he states brazenly “I said would take that shot” (a Navy SEAL actually took the shot, the Prez gave the order, likely violating international law). Not to mention bragging about his escalated Drone Wars , to pump his own campaign, demonstrate decisiveness, and above all else,“look presidential.”


The defining moment of the 2012 campaign comes during D2, when the Prez takes umbrage at Citizen Romney's quibbling over time lines regarding the Death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens for political gain. The moment of truth comes at 6:17 (below), when the Prez channels his rage over the death of Stevens and those who tried to protect him, right back at the Citizen, whose determined to hit his talking points. New Yorker


But the Citizen clams up in D3, in which both candidates are content to articulate the bi-partisan consensus on US Foreign Policy that has existed for decades. Huffpost


Somewhere, BiBi sits smiling, as both candidates fall over themselves pledging allegiance to the flag - the Israeli one, that is. It's the third rail of American foreign policy, analagous to gun control on the domestic front. Both parties make clear their support of Israeli force, consequences be damned.


(When the United States and Israel inflict casualties – it is always said to be in retaliation, whereas those who inflict violence on us always act pre-emptively. It's said a pirate captured by Alexander the Great understood this distinction.)


The Citizen presents a more moderate face in D3. On Drones, he offers the radical view that “we can't kill our way out of every situation.” Like many of his seemingly contradictory utterances, it's based on micro targeting of the electorate, as advisers strategize over electoral maps – and comb through your Facebook friends. NY Times


Readers puzzling over new words like “sequestration,” needn't beat themselves up. The Citizen himself likely learned the term just days before, in order to win Virginia's 13 electoral votes.


To try to close out the election, the Citizen abides by a new, second-half playbook. In which he promises that his entire professional and political career have zero bearing on what he would do as President.




Pre-Sandy, Establishment media are dialed in 100 percent, featuring politicos, corporate-sponsored pie charts, endless high-def 3D electoral maps, and lots of well-paying ads, Business is brisk for congolms  leading up to Tuesday's election night. It's even brisker when deadly storms blast through America. It helps execs like Jeff Bewkes, himself a solid member of the one percent, sleep better at night. Hollywood Reporter


No such luck at midtown for establishment bell weather NY Times, whose digital playbook produces a growing subscriber base amidst an overall revenues decline. The company decides to remove its traditional pay wall - in place since Spring 2011 - to help get Sandy recovery updates out. NY Times


It doesn't help that their new CEO keeps revising his story in an expanding sex-abuse scandal that takes on international proportions. Reuters


The Concerns of the One Percent :


In the name of balance, this space covers not just the basic needs of 99% of Americans, but also the out-sized concerns of the one percent, whose wealth, far from restricting the army of human concerns, exaggerates them.


Or, in the words of the Mahatma : “Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plan living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man's happiness really lies in contentment.”


What he said!



As such, we devote equal space to international yachting, equestrian pursuits (both racing and dressage), and burgeoning investment opportunities for those with extra cash to spread around. We for one are not timid about growing our portfolios; why mess with measly civil service pensions when there are serious Benjamins to be made. The Prez claims he never even looks at his, to which we can only say...jealous much??


Settling for such modest returns has no place in this space. We embrace that fundamental and most American conceit : that we too can be rich. And, to paraphrase Citizen Romney, gosh darn it we will!

True, we lack intuitive knowledge of capital markets and creating fully optimized rates of return, demonstrated by the wealthiest investors. Still, sour expressions of regret are not for these pages. We stand in awe of this most financially savvy of Presidential candidates, who has easily trumps the quaint financial principles and politics practiced by his father, the late George Romney. Redding.com


For our part, we resolve to practice stern fiscal discipline, placing our pennies aside 'til our coffee tin runneth over.



And have we no quibble with First Lady wannabe Ann Romney, who slams the Dems – and the 47% who mostly vote for them - for having less style in 'their whole deal” than Rafalca has in her hoof



Ann, you're right. How we look reflects how we feel about ourselves on the inside. No doubt about it, the one percent are stylin' ...but with a tight Presidential race what is this guy feeling on the inside?

 



Still more than anything, they know how to make bank. And destroy them, too.


Jobs Creation and other sh-t


A key business principle is to swim in waters not teeming with sharks, or more clinically, avoiding over saturated markets. It's the kind of business strategy that prompted the Lords of Finance to seek higher returns in the previously untapped sub-prime personal credit and mortgage markets. After every American home had been re-financed and reverse-mortgaged to kingdom come.


Financial beginners though we are, we sense potential for astronomical returns in industries traditionally handled by the public sector. Who knew, all this time, the vast unlocked earnings potential we Americans were sitting on. Not too mention the jobs that will be created.


Public services, such as education, municipal policing, military contracting, and the burgeoning industry of citizen surveillance all look enticing. Add to these the massive damage caused by “natural disasters” such as the recent Superstorm, which hints at other, previously hidden investor goldmines in disaster management. NY Times


Generating such lucrative investment returns, however, creates the inevitable problem of where to stash the wealth. It's a primary concern of the one percent. To which we advise : f—k it! Leave it to the egghead accountants and lawyers! huffpost


In approaching these markets, discerning investors are encouraged to set up large, opaque corporate entities, capable of sheltering their returns. Certain costs may be strategically defrayed by  leveraging US government subsidies. Very rarely do public services go private all at once; they usually get helped along by government money. When the government picks up the costs, it helps your balance sheet immensely.


Citizen Romney and Veep Pick talk a lot about job creation, dangling a range of promised new job numbers anywhere from 4 to 12 million. They say this confidently because in the pyramidization of the American Economy, every American will need at least two of them to replicate their previous gig's wages.


Continual American wage decline creates big-time problems for your area's bar, club, and restaurant owners, as well as anyone else that depends on your disposable income. With the new shitty wage structure, ordinary Americans' fun budgets are chronically short-changed.

It's the trickle down effect from the proliferation of dead-end low-wage jobs. Like a reverse multiplier, if we remember Econ 101 correctly. Then again, economics is the only science in which the prevailing theory has been proven wrong 100 % of the time. Right!


This study from 1949 basically reiterates : The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Those investors choosing not to flip their newly acquired companies stock (financed with someone else's money, preferably the government's), will find dealing with their workers is an ongoing challenge.


For one thing, they have their own opinions about things. More critically, they reduce the overall profit margins of the target company to be harvested. And, an investor double-whammy : organized workers always earn more per hour than their non-organized counter-parts. To deal with such concerns, the Citizen and his handlers present the tar more specific 9 point plan for workers, highlighted by writer Jeremy Gantz. Inthesetimes


It's one of the subtler meanings of the Citizen’s infamous Let Detroit Go Bankrupt piece that the Prez either ignores or doesn't fully grasp .With unorganized workers nearly anything is possible.


The less dependent a company - and by company, we mean the investors who hold its fate captive - is on its workers, the human beings who manage inventory, input data, staff shops, and sell products, the stronger that company will be.


Strength however, is a relative term. The late George Romney explained in his last public speech that “biggest isn't always strongest.” As head of American Motors, Romney used ingenuity and innovation to “get everyone rowing in the same direction,” by building good cars and creating paying jobs that enabled his workers – and the citizens of Detroit – to prosper for awhile.


To the one percent these days, that all sounds like a lot of work and unwanted headaches. For Citizen Romney, company strength has very a different meaning. It recalls the insatiable Space Monster in Riddley Scott's epic Alien. Huffpost


New York Binghamton historian and scholar James Petras enumerates the primary income-earning activities of the one percent which create their inordinate wealth, noting that it mostly derives from “ speculation on equity markets, real estate and commodity trading, rather than from technical innovations, investments in job-creating industries or social services."


But unlike some misanthropes, we give the one percent their due. They have cool hobbies and devise exciting ways to spend their money. Which is another one of their real challenges, since there is quite a lot of it to spend. So much that they could not go broke even if they spent the rest of their lives trying. The days are just not long enough.


Readers are encouraged to think hard about those mornings when they woke up after a night on the town and discovered with horror they had spent a hundred bucks the night before on, well...nothing! If you happened to do that spending at a casino – there's more and more of them these days, thanks to that guy pictured above-your horror may have grown when you realized you spent maybe $200 or $300 the night before. A bachelor party? Could have been more, $500-$600.


In fact, just think of the most money you have ever spent in a single day in your life. Was it when you bought your first car? Or maybe brought your down payment to your house closing? Whatever it was, it likely felt traumatic. You may have been temporarily broke.


But to empty their savings, the six members of the Walton Family, with estimated collective net worth hovering around the $100 Billion mark, would have to spend $2.8 million dollars every day - for the next 100 years. And that's if they never made another dime. Hence the need to park their money with a trusted adviser and just, you know, not think about it. Which usually works, unless you're stumping for electoral votes in Ohio, and you've personally profited from sending Ohio jobs overseas. That kind of stuff happens when your financial sponsor and campaign adviser is Paul Singer. thinkprogress


When voters discover this, it makes life tough for you. It gets tougher when those workers and their employer sue your adviser. Though, when you have a quarter of a billion dollars in the bank, “tough” is relative.


Closer to planet earth, the average American makes $40,000/year. For these earners, their income goes primarily to housing, transportation, and the basic necessities of supporting a family – barely enough to avoid qualifying as working poor, or part of the 47%, or Veep Pick's infamous 'moocher” label. Cnn money


The great task for the Citizen is to convince America's working stiffs that he has their interests at heart. And he tries mightily, using the latter stages of the campaign to invoke vague generalities - sounding a lot like hope and change - while having the temerity to bring up “take home pay.”

For the one percent, maybe. Though their pay  is rarely, if ever,taken home. Normally it's parked in accounts far off-shore.


As always, don't take our word for it. Instead, visit any one of the Citizen's many business success stories, such as Staples, or Sports Authority, or the Outback Steakhouse, cozy up to the workers a little and inquire about the lifestyle afforded by a job at one of the Citizen's companies.


Or try greatest example of pyramidization of all...Wal-Mart! By providing goods and services at the only prices the vast majority of Americans – many of whom have fallen into the ranks of working poor - can afford, the Walton Family's philanthropy is exceeded only by their strict dedication to their mission :“we save people money so they can live better." stateimpact.npr.org


Interested in exploring further the contrasts between the lifestyle choices of the Walton Family and the workers who help add to their billions on a daily basis? See the video below. in which the company's employees are shown to be worth more to Wal-Mart dead than alive.



While they invest vast sums of money to ensure a favorable outcome, elections more than anything are an ongoing nuisance for the one percent. In America 2012, where most things can be bought, voting upsets market stability and dependable investment returns. The perpetual threat of mob rule continually threatens to disrupts the orderly rule and laws of the one percent.


This is the most current pressing concern of the one percent, as they mobilize every possible dollar to place their candidate in the White House. The fact that the US Treasury has long existed as the personal playground for Lords Blankfein and Dimon and their vassals is simply not enough.


Like the House in Vegas, the one percent hedge their bets on both sides of the aisle. opensecrets


One percenter contributions thus explode, with Boss Man Rove delivering a total of $300M in through his Crossroads SuperPac. Spurred on by echo chamber coverage of the Citizen’s alleged grassroots rise in the polls, the heavy cash flows in, leading the citizen's campaign to take a surprising fund raising lead over the Prez, the once undisputed champ. It's another way to create momentum - simply spend more. politico


While the Boss Man's Super Pac inundates the airwaves in critical swing states, heavy-hitting funders the Koch Brothers use direct mail tactics. Chicagotribune.com


It is America 2012, and anything can be bought.


With the possible exception of the documents that sit in the National Archives in the nation's capital - reputed to not be for sale. A wise man once said that all of history is the attempt of ordinary people to reverse the right of Kings. The documents residing in that hallowed hall – stil represent a bastion against the attempts of the divine right of kings to re-assert itself. No matter what Boss Man Rove says or plans.


For either candidate, post-election, the favors will come due. Elections and debates are for appeasing potential voters, governance is for appeasing core constituents.



Polls, Pundit Freak -Out, and Prognostications :




A slew of polls remarkably show the Citizen – not too long ago stumbling towards political oblivion - opening up a lead on the Prez, including Gallup polls that register his lead at anywhere from 5-7 percent.


The Prez' supporters were cheered by D2-D3 alleged demonstrations of back-bone, but remain nervous about the negative slew of polls that seemingly showing a groundswell of grassroots support for the private equity near-billionaire.


Other polls chime in, underlining a seeming momentous shift in the American electorate. Establishment media embrace the outlier polls, as it helps them grab attention in the nano-second world of online publishing.


American University history professor Alan Lichtman notes “Journalists can read polls and write stories about it without leaving their beds in the morning or even picking up a phone.... pundits can expound endlessly... since they can never be proven wrong or right.”


The larger question is at what point do Americans start to question their own sanity, as in front of their eyes, allegedly due to a single debate “performance,” the Citizen stages one of the great political comebacks of the last hundred years, capturing audiences, demographics, and electoral votes previously presumed to be well out of reach.


With the establishment media crowing about one of the tightest Presidential elections in history, leave it to us to turn our noses up and walk straight in the other direction.



In spite of the polls, and the hurricane (disasters create risks for incumbents) we say it's over. Expect the Prez to carry the requisite swing states and win, if not cruise, to victory.


We suspect – can't yet prove - that enhanced “self-polling” techniques are making a fresh mark in the 21st Century, aided and abetted by new media. That is to say, when the situation looks desperate and you're losing, just conduct your own polls until the numbers come out the way you want. Then, guilt the establishment into reporting it; if they don't, they are not being balanced. The Morning Call , also : inquisitr.com


The election heralds the Death of Politics as spectator sport, as well as the Death of Independent polling. Independent polls, government statistics, history are just so 20th century. Who needs the truth when you make your own. Remember, reality is what we say it is. How very 2012. Washington Post


Pollsters are termed independent by establishment media, but have they have they done the math? Certain outlets favor certain pollsters. Particularly those eager to demonstrate that the Citizen is staging some sort of grassroots comeback, which sounds, to these ears, implausible. See : Scott Rasmussen


Those interested in the algebraic formulas producing such inconsistencies may review the math here


In truth, several critical swing states continue to trend the Prez way, leading us to doubt the veracity of both the polls, pooh-bahs, and pundits who keep calling it a close race. Let's face it, they're not exactly a disinterested party. huffpost


Of course, the Prez may win the vote and still not be re-elected (see below), given the fact that the Citizen's family appears to have purchased a stake in the private companies that control the vote count in Ohio. Always helpful when you're in a Presidential race. There's just no accounting for skullduggery, doncha know. The Hill.




Off-limits in Election 2012 :


increasing climate change (pre-Sandy)

endless warfare waged overseas (by Drones and sons and daughters of the non-elite),

non-stop surveillance of citizen dissent at home

gun control (as tragedy after tragedy occurs, mostly committed by sickos and psychos with legally purchased weapons),

the risk of nuclear war from endless posturing



Since there's agreement between the ruling parties on these topics, and others, there's no reason to debate them. And since they're not debated by America's ruling parties, establishment media won't discuss them.


Modern technology renders discussions about the rightness/wrongness of our foreign adventures moot. Killing by joystick and a professional army, not too mention the outsourcing of war to PMCs, immunizes the well-to-do from service. The consequences of war are thus far removed, and barely seen – except by the anguished families and relatives who greet the caskets.



Deciding Moments :



Former NY Giants and New England Patriots football coach Bill Parcells used to say the key to every game was “finding a way to win.” The philosophy was instilled by his own high school basket ball coach Mickey Cochran



Parcells elaborates : "Finding it is what separates some people from others. I remember a game. I was seventeen years old. And the score is tied and he calls timeout. He says to me, ‘Parcells, I’m gonna get you the ball in this location with your back to the basket with 8 seconds to go in the game. Your job is to get it in the basket.'”


Reporter Steve Coll submits that moment has already taken place, in D2 during the quibbling over time lines discussion.


Sensing an intro to one of his well-prepped talking points, The Citizen adopted a prosecutorial style– one Harvard Law guy going after another. The Prez explodes, then responds “please proceed Governor Romney.” It's the moment of D2 and is the Prez' knock out punch of the debate – maybe of the election itself. Newyorker.com


The new rhetorical laws of the 21st Century America – inspired by the cowboy Reagan-Bush years - assert the sovereign right to menace any other nation on the globe, regardless of political consequence. Anyone can threaten, and most do, confident that neither they nor their children will ever see the wrong side of the sand-bags, Beau Biden being a notable exception.


Perennial Presidential provocateur and long-time Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, offers a neat remedy for this endless posturing, which he says gets loud cheers wherever he mentions it. As Nader knows, third party candidates possess the unique ability to going from irrelevance to infamy merely by challenging the two party/ corporate money stranglehold on US politics huffpost


Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein knows all about it, gaining the distinction of being the first Presidential candidate in US History to be shackled to a chair in a warehouse for 8 hours for trying to debate the issues. She stands in front of the Hofstra gates, demanding to be admitted, reminding the cops she is on the ballot in 85%, of states.


A simultaneous video cast with 3rd party responses by Stein and others on all the questions posed in D2 and D3 is featured online, courtesy of democracynow


Serving in the nation's military is not for the sons of the Citizen, as he has noted. When asked in 2008 by a potential supporter how his sons planned to show support of their country he replies “they are helping get me elected.”


Then, the citizen noted America's professional army, “and that's how we're gonna keep it.” A total of one combat veteran of either war currently serves in either the Senate or House. Not a lot of Duncan Hunter Jr.'s out there.


The Citizen himself capitalized on a series of deferments and spent the Vietnam years talking up the war – for everyone else – while he spent two and a half years proselytizing and eating brie in France. Unlike his father, George Romney, whose ill-worded change of heart on the war led to the demise of his 1968 campaign ny times


Should the Prez come up on the short end a week from now, there will be much hand-wringing and soul-searching among Dem operatives, who will look in the mirror and realize their new politics are officially out-dated, in the span of four short years. Writer Alex Parentage previews the scenario of a Citizen Romney victory Salon


It would also represent one of the great collapses of all time, given the alleged large September lead the Prez enjoyed. The moment is reminiscent of Angelo Dundee telling Sugar Ray “you’re blowing it son.”


The core of the Citizen's candidacy is that the nation adopt wholesale the program of the one percent, in particular the Lords of Finance : to maximize return for investors. That simple. Workers, beyond the minimal functions they provide to keep front-line operations running – are irrelevant.


Push polls aside, it appears about half the country is going for it, leaving both Dems and Occupiers a bitter reality to confront – an electoral map and rigid demo graphical voting trends engraved in decades of American behavior. Americans will see Tuesday, and perhaps beyond, how it all plays out. truth-out


A further glaring campaign omission : the Prez not once mentioning the workers at Delphi and at Sensata Technologies, two seeming human economic laboratories where Bain Capital helped investors add to their billions by outsourcing US jobs to China.

At Sensata, workers are currently training their Chinese replacements. Right before they all lose their jobs Monday. They have set up a protest camp across the street from the company and have been engaged in a variety of actions. It's amazing the Prez has not mentioned it. As for establishment media...you're kidding, right? democracynow


The Prez doesn't likely bring up Delphi because he knows the Citizen will claim he gypped salaried Delphi workers on their pensions by virtue of the auto-industry bailout. A claim which has been debunked, as the pension screw-over took place  before the bail-out. The guaranteed worker pensions were part of a prior agreement. LA Times



Wholesale Deregulation : the cure is worse than the disease



Americans routinely curse government regulation– a designated election year bogey-man – forgetting what the early twentieth century looked like : great profits being made by non-regulated firms while large swaths of the population dwelled in misery. Government never created a job, candidates of all stripes crow, ignoring the history of Telecommunications, Military Spending, Civilian Aviation, and the Internet.


In the abstract it sounds great. Until the job it creates happens to be at an advanced bio-pharmaceutical firms, like the Framingham, Mass-based New England Compounding Company.


There, lowly-paid assembly-line workers tried repeatedly to alert company officials to dangerous safety lapses, to no avail. The toll from the company's malfeasance is now up to 354 cases, with 25 deaths, nation-wide, according to the CDC. medpagetoday


While the East Coast scrambles to recover from the Hurricane, the closing of a second Massachusetts pharmacy for similar life-threatening safety issues easily gets lost in the shuffle


"Upon arrival,"says Madeleine Biondolillo of the state Department of Public Health,"inspectors noted significant issues with the environment in which medications were being compounded...[calling] into question the company's compliance with nationally accepted pharmacy standards and Massachusetts regulations." Philly.com


Those still drinking the dereg kool-aid should explain the benefits to the family of Diana Reed, now in mourning after the vigorous recreational swimmer, 56, took a shot of cortisone to alleviate chronic neck pain, a decision that ended her life. NY Times


When America's ruling parties wish to dodge responsibility for specific policy outcomes, they employ a common refrain : that “it needs to be left to the states.” Therefore, the state of Tennessee is supposed to be responsible for faulty corporate practices occurring in a medical lab in Framingham, Massachusetts. It's not as if Tennessee legislators have much else to do or worry about.


According to one quality control technician, who attempted to stop the production line over mounting safety concerns, “One of their favorite phrases was ‘This line is worth more than all your lives combined, so don’t stop it.’ ” NY Times


The Citizen's drive to monetize government functions for the one percent becomes more topical – or tropical - with the Hurricane Sandy's blast of the East coast. Privatizing FEMA for profit made good sound-bites for the GOP base in June - today, not so much. NY Times


The founding fathers consider public service to be a matter of “sacrifice of private passions and gain.” Nothing in the citizen's record indicates anything other than that he would work diligently to preserve the enormous private gains that have accrued to a narrow few, at enormous public cost to the rest of America.


The Prez, through his allegiance to certain bankers such as JPMC's Dimon, risks courting a similar perception, a possible explanation for his less-energized base.


The (Financial) Games (Certain) People Play



Given the Prez' lead, the Citizen's campaign may need to leverage its investments in cutting-edge vote counting technologies.

Especially in Cincinnati, where Republican operatives are alleged to own companies that monitor and effect the “digital vote count.” Which itself is something of an oxymoron. The vote-counting has been the subject of much controversy since Election night 2004 when incumbent George W. Bush suddenly surged past John Kerry in Ohio after midnight, erasing a 4% point lead, a statistical improbability, certain authors claim. The gap happens to resemble the President's approximate lead in the state.



As if often the case, the tale has many twists and turns, including the usual lawsuit and mysterious deaths of primary witnesses (plane crash). One salient fact emerges however : the 2004 Ohio vote tally was done on the same servers that carried the e-mail for Karl Rove and the national Republican Party. Just a coincidence, of course.


While establishment media salivate in anticipation of a long and captivating election night 2012, the vote counting mechanisms in Ohio are once again linked to the Republican Party.


According to reporters Fitrakis and Wasserman :


Hart Intercivic, on whose machines the key votes will be cast in Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, was taken over last year by H.I.G. Capital.


Prominent partners and directors on the H.I.G. board hail from Bain Company or Bain Capital, both connected to Mitt Romney. H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney's campaign. H.I.G. Directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers, as is former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.” Details at truthout


For the Citizen to turn the tide and win Ohio in 2012 would indeed be a stunning, if not entirely implausible development, given that he personally profited from layoffs there.


Muckraker Greg Palast reports that while the government was weighing the 2009 auto bail-out, particularly its impact on the mid-West and the cost to the nation in terms of jobs, the Citizen was in line to do what he has done his entire career – turn a massive profit.


Additionally, Palast claims the money The Citizen made from the bail-out of Delphi was stashed in poor Ann's name via the oft-referenced “blind trust.” That move sheltered the money from both taxes and prying eyes who want to see where the investments are. thenation


Palast claims that the Romneys' holdings in campaign adviser Paul Singer's Elliott Management Hedge Fund were direct beneficiaries of a 2009 purchasing of depressed Delphi stock for pennies on the dollar. As we understand it, the Delphi acceptance of government bail-out funds was conditioned on on the delivery of an immediate initial cash infusion of $350M. Which the company took, promptly firing all the UAW workers and shipped the jobs overseas.


The Fund then rode a stratospheric rise in share price to $22, employing rapacious business practices that involved, effectively, threatening to not deliver auto-parts (Delphi's core business) to the troubled auto-makers before shutting the business operations down before relocating the plant to China – after eliminating over 20,000 UAW high-paying jobs.


The moves are consistent with the Citizen's long and well-documented business career, as is the rewarding of Singer with a high-level campaign position. Or, put another away, Singer is rewarding the Citizen the Republican Nomination for years of dedicated service. Excluding his years spent masquerading as a Massachusetts moderate, that is.


Footnote : The Citizen is likely telling the truth when he says the Prez put the automakers through a managed bankruptcy that he would have. However, a critical distinction has been lost. The Prez' priority was  to avoid the political consequences of putting tens of thousands – estimates at the time ranged as high as a million – of auto industry workers on the streets. Every bit the economic nuclear weapon as the bank meltdown that the Lords of Finance used to scare the living sh-t out of Washington, leading to the bi-partisan approved TARP bill. Which allegedly kept the ATMs spitting out twenties. thenation


But in his now infamous editorial, Citizen Romney, operating under the phony shield of protecting Detroit, said the best way to “re-tool” the US auto industry was to let it go bankrupt. The piece actually implied that both shareholders, managers, and workers would share the pain for the greater good.


As always, protecting workers was the last thing from the mind of Citizen Romney.


A manged bankruptcy would allow the oft-cited “creative destruction” to shake-up and radically restructure the industry. It reflects the one percent's evangelical belief in letting the market do its job of shattering old structures to make way for new. And allow the companies - and the American auto industry - to emerge more competitive.


Were such a theory to even hold water, putting aside the human trauma, the reasons for advancing it were inherently selfish.


Shedding excess costs (read : workers) meant essentially shuddering the plants,  turning them into mere shells of themselves, leading the crippled automakers to go begging for loans on Wall Street, in the private equity markets, from vultures like Citizen Romney's Bain and other one percent ilk. Which they could then recoup at the usual astronomical rates of return.


Saving jobs had little if anything to do with it.


There are clues in the original article, which appeared on November 18, 2008 in NY Times (we invite readers to browse the original text themselves).


While it is true that a managed bankruptcy came either way, the Citizen's original intent is revealed in these lines :


“New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations. “


The citizen had a very specific kind of creativity in mind. It's called Getting Rid of those Damn Labor Unions. Labor Unions unfortunately raise the wages of pesky workers and can even help them focus on preserving American Democracy against the onslaught of one percent cash.


In this case, the financial creativity involved taking the government bail-out money, firing the workers outright and relocating the jobs to China, who the Citizen talks a lot about getting tough on.


The consequences facing the workers and their families – and by extension, America were dire. However, as explained by Michael Douglas to Charlie Sheen in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, that's all beside the point.



Romney's personal take on the deal – estimated by Palast to be between $15 and $100 million, is a pittance however, compared to the winnings of $4B –by Romney's top campaign contributors and advisers.



Readers interested in a full-list of the sold off of Delphi assets may view the complete list here.


With all such economic tragedies, there is a yin and yang silver lining for those who used to work in the plant : their lungs will get a break form breathing in the asbestos and other highly toxic chemical compounds generated by the formerly operating facility. The facility had previously been ranked in a study as among the US top polluters.


At this very moment, the Delphi board remains in the throes of the Elliott Management Hedge Fund, who they are suing in US Federal Court. The fund is playing the usual Singer game : buying cheap and leveraging their pay-out with US govt taxpayer funds. bloomberg


Americans concerned about their democracy ignore such machinations at their own peril however. Dailykos


Meanwhile, establishment media call bullsh-t on the Citizen's latest ad, which amounts to a confabulation. The subjects of the Ohio-based ad, Jeep /Chrysler, respond angrily to what they call, in essence, a lie. LA Times


Readers eager to sift through the smoke need only heed Douglas' words, which could very well pass for those of the citizen : I create nothing, I own. The ownership of one percent companies typically takes place far removed from the stories of worker hardship. The entire transaction is explained in detail by Palast interviewed at democracynow


The hedge fund profits were allegedly hidden in banks located some place called the Isle of Jersey where Palast ended up tracking the accounts to. Eh, it's a lot for busy Americans, Superstorm, Election-weary Americans to keep track of. Who's to say if any of it is technically illegal. We are left to marvel at the mind-boggling rise of a candidate with Swiss bank accounts and endless teams of accountants who outsources jobs to China while insulting half the country.


For those interested in the real-life victims of these endless financial games, Amy Goodman speaks to Tom Gaulrapp, who has worked at the Sensata Technologies plant for 33 years. As workers there enter the 50th day of their protest at encampment across from their employer, called “Bainport.” 6 are arrested in an attempt to meet with manage to demand full severance pay for those who will lose their jobs. Democracynow.org



Most of these profits have been kept offshore to avoid US taxes, of course. The Romneys protest that these investments are all held in a blind trust, but the executor of their blind trust is Romney’s personal lawyer.” firedoglake


Earth to Tagg : calm down and accept that your Dad has made a career out of saying one thing and doing another. Just like the rest of America is being asked to do. As we've pointed out, being a good and decent family man has nothing to do with being qualified for high office.


Perhaps it's just best to refer to the Citizen as a “friend of a friend of the working class.”


The Rev. James Cooper of Lower Manhattan's Trinity Church has taken it on the chin from both Occupy Wall Street and his own board, accused of lavish spending and not living fully dedicated to the least among us.


Cooper lashes back however, canceling the Church's annual Halloween “fright fest” over alleged safety issues after he claims a maintenance man cleaning the area gets blasted with an air horn by the last stragglers of Occupy. Occupy the Trinity Church has continued its occupation, primarily spurred don by the church's refusal to offer sanctuary to occupiers after Bloomie's private army evicted them in November 2011. Nydailynews


Muckrakers at Truth-Out bring the goods daily, providing investigate reporting and analysis of the plight of the 99%, while chronicling the ongoing misdeeds of the one percent. (Full disclosure : Truth-out are members of the CWA-the labor affiliation of this publication)


Of particular interest to the group : obtaining FBI documents that indicate the extent of the Federal surveillance and response to Occupy. Fed up with the government's refusal to provide the info, Reporter Jason Leopold files an FOIA complaint with the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy (OIP) - so far to no avail truthout


Submitted by M-Bed
Updates for this space should be sent to UWS Press

Follow UWS Digital here