Monday Reads

Good Morning!

The news has gone to the dogs and the dogs don’t want it!  I’d suggest Ed Gillespie retire.  This has to be the most stupid talking point that I’ve ever heard.  Twitter was abuzz with #retroactive all day yesterday.  How will Romney get away with all these dives, dodges, and distractions?  Show us your taxes Mitt Shady!!!!

Democrats have raised questions about when exactly Romney left Bain. Romney has said he left in 1999 to oversee preparations for the Salt Lake City Olympics, but SEC documents show him listed as Bain’s CEO beyond that time.

Gillespie on Sunday sought to clarify the matter, saying that Romney initially thought he would be leaving Bain on a temporary basis, but the challenges of the Olympics led him to “retire retroactively.”

“There may have been a thought at the time that it could be part time, but it was not part time,” Gillespie said.

“He took a leave of absence and in fact he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to 1999 as a result,” he added. “He left a life he loved to go to Salt Lake City and help a country he loves more, and somehow Chicago… is trying to make it something sinister.”

Even pundit/right wing wanker Bill Kristol thinks Romney is ‘crazy’ not to release the taxes.

Bill Kristol and the Obama campaign agree on something: Mitt Romney should immediately release his tax returns.

“He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It’s crazy,” Kristol said on “Fox News Sunday.” “You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two.”

The conservative commentator said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee then should give a speech on Thursday calling for a “serious” debate with President Barack Obama on capitalism, allowing the campaign to turn the page and put the focus back on the president’s record.

Andrew Sullivan calls it Romney’s Deeper and Deeper Hole.

So either Ed Gillespie and Romney are lying now, or Romney and his lawyer were lying then. Which is it? They were and are obviously trying to have it every which way to suit whatever purpose at the moment. But legally, CEOs are responsible for their companies, whether they are managing them full time, part time or even retroactively retiring while managing them. Period. The buck stops with the CEO, just as much as it stops with a president. As a Bain partner at the time said today:

“Mitt’s names were on the documents as the chief executive and sole owner of the company,” Ed Conard, who served as a partner at Bain Capital from 1993 to 2007, said in an exclusive interview with Up w/ Chris Hayes. Asked again if Romney was chief executive officer of Bain Capital from 1999 to 2002, Conard said, “Legally, on documents, I suppose, yes.”

Despite Romney’s statements that he left in 1999, Conard’s new remarks suggest that, in fact, Romney’s continued ownership of the firm enabled him to negotiate a better exit deal. “We had to negotiate with Mitt because he was an owner of the firm,” Conard said.

Romney, in other words, doesn’t have a leg to stand on. He has been running a campaign against the “Obama economy” insisting that the president own every single month he has been in office in order to condemn his economic management all the more – despite at least a first year in which Obama cannot really be held responsible for the fallout of an economic collapse he inherited. So Romney insists on maximal responsibility for Obama and the economy.

But responsibility for Bain? Think about it.

Okay … sit down and drink plenty of coffee before you read this one.  Dubya is releasing a book on what to do to improve the economy.  For humanity’s sake, hasn’t the man done enough damage??

For the first time since leaving office three and a half years ago, Mr. Bush is advancing a variety of ideas about how to jump-start economic growth by restructuring taxes, expanding trade, encouraging innovation, fixing immigration and overhauling Social Security. He wrote the foreword for the book, a collection of essays from an array of economists, including five Nobel Prize winners, and he proposes a national goal of expanding the economy by 4 percent a year on a sustained basis.

“The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs,” to be unveiled by the former president in Dallas on Tuesday and published by Crown Business, is neither campaign template nor partisan screed. It is a wonky paean to free enterprise.

It is also the next step in a gradual return to the public stage by a president who has largely remained out of the limelight since turning over the White House to President Obama.

Robert Reich continues his roll.  He believes we’ve got the perfect storm and that our democracy is being sold. I love the title of his new book:  “Beyond Outrage”.

It’s a perfect storm:

The greatest concentration of wealth in more than a century — courtesy “trickle-down” economics, Reagan and Bush tax cuts, and the demise of organized labor.

Combined with…

Unlimited political contributions — courtesy of Republican-appointed Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy, in one of the dumbest decisions in Supreme Court history, “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission,” along with lower-court rulings that have expanded it.

Combined with…

Complete secrecy about who’s contributing how much to whom — courtesy of a loophole in the tax laws that allows so-called non-profit “social welfare” organizations to accept the unlimited contributions for hard-hitting political ads.

Put them all together and our democracy is being sold down the drain.

Want some alternative Journalism?  Here’s a conversation with Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks on Journeyman TV on the Arab Spring.

Then, you can listen to AlterNetRadio:  The GOP’s Slow-Motion Coup; America’s Workplace Bondage; Did Mitt Bait NAACP?

First up is The Atlantic‘s James Fallows, who tells Joshua Holland that even when they stick to the rules, Republicans pay no heed to the long-standing norms that once made the institutions of our democracy function. The veteran reporter also takes political reporters to task for obscuring this reality by writing generically about Washington’s “dysfunction.”

Then AlterNet’s own Lynn Parramore joins us to discuss her recent piece, “Fifty Shades of Capitalism: Pain and Bondage in the American Workplace.” It’s a provocative discussion.

Finally, did you hear about Mitt Romney going to the NAACP convention this week? It didn’t go well! Imani Gandy, better known as the Angry Black Lady, surveys the wreckage.

Back to  Mitt Shady; here’s some more interesting tidbits from his former partner at Bain.

Yet because he retained technical control of Bain Capital’s management and because his wealth remained heavily tied up with the firm, Mr. Romney’s name or signature appears on dozens of documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission between February 1999 and August 2001, when he finalized a retirement deal with the active Bain partners and transferred to them his shares of Bain’s management entity.

“Mitt’s name were on the documents as the chief executive and sole owner of the company,” Edward W. Conard, a Bain partner at the time, said during an appearance on MSNBC on Sunday. “And it took several years for us to sort out how to put the management team in place.”

All told, Mr. Romney’s name appears on at least 142 such forms, some of which have been the subject of news coverage in recent days, fueling questions about whether Mr. Romney ever really left. One such form, posted last week by Talking Points Memo, lists Mr. Romney’s “principal occupation” as “managing director” of Bain Capital Investors VI Inc., a private equity fund.

 Yes.  He can run.  But, he cannot hide.  Show us your taxes Mitt Shady!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?