Women — Read This. Oh. My. God.

This is the Oh. My. God. Republican anti-women piece of the day! Like a Boss – National Review Online,

What do women want? The conventional biological wisdom is that men select mates for fertility, while women select for status — thus the commonness of younger women’s pairing with well-established older men but the rarity of the converse. The Demi Moore–Ashton Kutcher model is an exception — the only 40-year-old woman Jack Nicholson has ever seen naked is Kathy Bates in that horrific hot-tub scene. Age is cruel to women, and subordination is cruel to men. Ellen Kullman is a very pretty woman, but at 56 years of age she probably would not turn a lot of heads in a college bar, and the fact that she is the chairman and CEO of Dupont isn’t going to change that.

Jeeze, just go read the rest yourself. Jeeze.
One more:

Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.
From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama’s vote.

MAC vs PC

Apple 15″ Macbook Pro, made by slaves. Base configuration w 4gb, $1,799, comes with 500gb 5400 RPM hard drive, $150 to get 7200 rpm drive — 750gb only option.
HP Pavilion $854 base configuration with i7, 6gb and graphics card. Upgrade from 500gb 5400rpm drive to 750gb 7200rpm drive is $20
Apple charges $150 for the exact same drive upgrade as HP charges $20.
I guess both are made by slaves.

Afraid Repubicans Would Say Bad Things About Him

Obama Lags on Filling Seats in the Judiciary,

…Mr. Obama moved more slowly and sought relatively moderate jurists who he hoped would not provoke culture wars that distracted attention from his ambitious legislative agenda.
… Mr. Obama has also largely shied away from nominating assertive liberals who might stand as ideological counterpoints to some of the assertive conservatives Mr. Bush named. …
…“Obama didn’t assertively put forward progressive candidates who would be the ideological counterweights to some Republican appointees, and yet his choices have been met with relentless obstructionism anyway,” said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice. “All of this has left Obama with a significantly smaller judicial footprint than he is entitled to.”

This last line is the elitist mistake. It is not OBAMA and his legacy that is harmed by this, it is US! I don’t care about Obama’s legacy, I care about having a counterweight to the corporate right!!!! THAT is why I voted for Obama, and why so many people might choose not to vote at all this time.

Early Bain-Ization – How A Few Got Rich Illegally Suppressing Unions

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A look at one of Bain Capital’s first deals shows a get-rich-quick-at-everyone-else’s-expense pattern forming: borrow heavily, gut assets, cut wages, cut safety, crush unions, restructure for tax avoidance and sell with a sweetheart, insider deal. That pattern foreshadowed what happened to our jobs, communities, industries, economy and country since the early 1980s. An already-wealthy few got fantastically rich(er) and the rest of us paid the price.

A Financial Times Investigation

In FT investigation: Romney’s take-off the Financial Times (FT) investigated the $5 million buyout of Key Airlines, a “formative” deal from Mitt Romney’s company Bain Capital’s early years.
At the time Mitt Romney was at the consultant firm Bain & Company, and heard that Key Airlines was looking to be bought. Key Airlines had a $10 million per year government contract to shuttle pilots and support workers between Las Vegas and “Area 52,” where they were working on the then-secret F-117A stealth fighter. Romney formed Bain Capital in part to buy the airline. T. Coleman Andrews III, a former White House official recruited to Bain by Romney led the buyout for Bain and chaired its board of directors.
The Financial Times investigation showed how the purchase of Key Airlines helped establish the company’s method of doing business. They bought the company by borrowing all the money needed, 100% debt-financed, meaning Romney and Bain put up no money — and very little risk — of their own. They “restructured” the company; according to FT, “Bain also reshaped Key Airlines, turning it from a profitable, taxpaying company with a $13m balance sheet and its own aircraft, into an operating company with a $2m balance sheet and a holding company from which it sold assets separately.”
When the pilots tried to start a union, the company unlawfully suppressed the effort with what a federal judge called “blatant, grievous, wilful, deliberate and repeated violations.”

No-Risk Leveraged Purchase

One of the ways private-equity companies make money is by borrowing using the purchased company’s assets as collateral, and passing some or all of the borrowed money to themselves. Romney and Bain purchased Key Airlines by securing a $5 million loan with $2.5 million worth of aircraft owned by the company, and a $2 million guarantee of their own. In other words, they borrowed money to buy the company by promising the lender they would put up the company’s assets as collateral. (The company had a $10 million per year government contract.)
The bank lent the money with part of it personally guaranteed after satisfying themselves that the investors were worth enough money. In other words, they could finance a debt-only deal because they were already rich.

Restructuring To Avoid Taxes

When purchased, Key Airlines was making money and paying taxes. By borrowing, the company incurred debt servicing costs, which are deductible against taxes. The company also restructured in ways that cut taxes. According to FT, “Bain also reshaped Key Airlines, turning it from a profitable, taxpaying company with a $13m balance sheet and its own aircraft, into an operating company with a $2m balance sheet and a holding company from which it sold assets separately.”

Crushing The Union

Private equity companies cut costs. If you are not rich and have to work for a living, you are one of those “costs” that has to be cut. Your pay or your job are in the way of someone making a whole lot of money. Another “cost” to cut is the work environment. Worker safety can cost money, so it is one more thing that is in the way of someone making a whole lot of money. Providing a good, reliable product is another “cost” that is in the way of someone making a whole lot of money, and in an airline that “cost” is safe, well-maintained airplanes.
In 1985 a majority of Key’s pilots tried to form a union. According to FT, “the pilots cited safety concerns; management said that the pilots were unhappy because of their low pay.”
Bain was getting ready to sell the airline, and the worst thing that could happen to them would be a union, which could demand fair pay, worker safety and better maintenance and air safety procedures. Crushing the union — keeping pay low, and being able to ignore pleas for safer conditions for workers and passengers — would mean the Bain investors would make a lot of money. So they crushed the union.
According to FT,

There followed an unlawful attempt by Mr Andrews and Key management, in the words of District Court judge Roger Foley, “to stamp out any cockpit crew members’ union before it could come into being”.
In January 1986, Mr Andrews and Olen Rae Goodwin, interim president of the union, met in the Key Airlines trailer at Nellis. The court ruled that Mr Andrews had then “threatened [Mr] Goodwin’s job and he threatened to leave Key, and that the management team would also leave. He threatened to sell Key”.

A court later found that Key’s management had illegally suppressed the union, and awarded $500,000 in punitive damages.
Labor bosses: When asked about this recently Romney had this to say,

“President Obama continues to put the interests of labour bosses ahead of the interests of Americans looking for work. By contrast, Governor Romney has grown companies and created jobs, in the private sector and as governor of Massachusetts, and will get America working again,” said Michele Davis, a spokeswoman.

Please click through to the original Financial Times story for more.
“Blatant, grievous, wilful, deliberate and repeated violations”: Another FT story, Romney link to union suppression ruling explains further,

“The anti-union activities in this case are not merely unfair labour practices as Key argues, but blatant, grievous, wilful, deliberate and repeated violations of the Railway Labour Act,” Roger Foley, federal judge for the District of Nevada, wrote in 1992, in a case brought by two Key pilots.

That’s how a federal judge worded it. (Note how a case that started in 85 takes till 92 to get a ruling.) This is what the airline had done:

According to the court ruling, Key held coercive meetings with pilots; said management would leave and the company lose contracts; and told pilots that salaries, bonuses and benefits could be frozen. Federal labour law forbids an airline “to interfere in any way with the organisation of its employees”.

Sold For A Lot

The once-profitable company was struggling, losing money, had only $2 million in assets — down from $13 million when Bain bought it — and had just avoided (illegally suppressed) unionization. But Bain was able to sell part of it to Presidential Airways– a company in which Bain was also an investor, with Andrews on its Board — for $18 million. They sold other parts of the company for further profit. The Bain partners got rich(er).
According to FT

In the final analysis, it is hard to say whether Bain Capital was good or bad for Key Airlines.
The operating company had higher sales, was more focused, more efficient and employed more people by the time that Bain sold out.
On the other hand, it was also more fragile, with only one line of business, net losses and a weak balance sheet.

So a look at Bain Capital’s early, “formative” years tell us a lot about what has happened to our country, and our jobs, and our economy. This was the beginning of a pattern of Bain-ization that swept through the economy. Good jobs were replaced with low-wage, insecure jobs. They used various schemes to avoid taxes. They suppressed unions. They gutted the assets of good companies. They cut costs (us) and cut costs (safety) and cut costs (product quality) and cut costs (customer support) and cut corners and cut We, the People out of the equation.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Message To Campaigns

Don’t just put me on your email list. There are 435 Congressional campaigns and how many Senate campaigns? I seem to be on every one of these campaigns’ email lists without being asked. So when I get your email I go straight to the “Unsubscribe” link. And then I am annoyed and LESS inclined to write about your campaign. Also all my time gets used up dumping all the emails and unsubscribing.
One more thing, tricky email subject lines get you banned. I might be tricked into opening the email, but I will never, ever open another one, no matter how important it is. Fool me once, etc…
If your subject line starts with “Re:” you are banned, period, no matter what. If it says, “Getting back to you” you are banned.
You have to be THE most progressive candidate EVER to make up for those things.

Black Black Black!

Drudge Report today:
‘TAKE YOUR CAMPAIGN OF DIVISION AND ANGER AND HATE BACK TO CHICAGO’…
SPIKE LEE: OBAMA WILL DO WHATEVER HE WANTS IN SECOND TERM…
New Black Panthers to RNC: Our ‘Feet Will Be On Your Motherf***ing Necks’…
In Harvard essay, young Michelle Obama argued for race-based faculty hiring…
Obama ready to sign up illegal aliens as amnesty program begins…
This, ladies and gentlemen, is your modern Republican Party… (Sorry, I’m not linking through to any of it.) Meanwhile Romney is claiming that Obama is running a “campaign of hate.”
PS Drudge Report has been called “the assignment editor for America’s news outlets.”

Paul Ryan And Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan, speaking to the Atlas Society in 2005,

I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.

But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.

(Note – in Randian language “collectivism” — community, society, recognition of the interdependence of people (“we built that”) — means democracy, or “gang rule” as Ayn Rand words it. Ayn Rand: “Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights” “Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom . . .”)

In almost every fight we are involved in here, on Capitol Hill, whether it’s an amendment vote that I’ll take later on this afternoon, or a big piece of policy we’re putting through our Ways and Means Committee, it is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict: individualism vs. collectivism.

And so when you take a look at where we are today, ah, some would say we’re on offense, some would say we’re on defense, I’d say it’s a little bit of both. And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism—that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism—you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.

(Note – here Ryan complains of “statism” another Randian cult term, as well as “collectivism” – community and democracy. Rand says “statism” – government and its laws and taxes – is “the political expression of altruism.” She says it is a “monstrously evil theory” to allow democracy, or “gang rule” to have the power – law – to make people do things or as she calls it, “the power of brute force.” This is the idea behind the right’s slogan “taxes are theft” and the general right-wing complaint that all taxes and government are forms of “socialism.”)

It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are. I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech (at Bill Taggart’s wedding) on money when I think about monetary policy. And then I go to the 64-page John Galt speech, you know, on the radio at the end, and go back to a lot of other things that she did, to try and make sure that I can check my premises so that I know that what I’m believing and doing and advancing are square with the key principles of individualism…

(Note – Francisco d’Anconia’s speech, money is the true measure of achievement, proof of nobility. “Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men.”)

Is this an easy fight? Absolutely not…But if we’re going to actually win this we need to make sure that we’re solid on premises, that our principles are well-defended, and if want to go and articulately defend these principles and what they mean to our society, what they mean for the trends that we set internationally, we have to go back to Ayn Rand. Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works.

I suspect that this right-wing complaint about “uncertainty” is a complaint about democracy. There is no corporate council completely in charge yet able to determine all policy, and democracy can still rear its ugly head and ask for minimum wages, health care, things like that, which means there is “uncertainty” about whether policies will all be completely corporate-centered, etc…