Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Stroke Prevention

Posted by middlerage on September 1, 2012

Here’s how to prevent a stroke or aneurysm: Do not read the following two articles I’ve linked, below. I am literally seeing red, they are so maddening. I hope I am self-aware enough to look in the mirror and see that I am being a middle-aged male listening to the Rush Limbaugh show and getting so agitated I choke on my Super-Sized, red-meat, cholesterol bomb. Take away the info source and the political caste, and you can’t tell me and the limbaugh-ite apart. Confirmation bias and all that. Still… isn’t there some objective truth to the tales told below????

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The Daily Beast website has a cool feature on Saturdays, where they highlight recent, great articles of long form journalism.  Today’s installment includes these two articles about the super wealthy and their increasing super evilness. One of the subjects, tellingly, is Mitt Romney.

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Here is Rolling Stone contributor Matt Taibbi (who has consistently been reporting from the frontlines of the economic meltdown and its associated evil progenitors). The gist is how Bain Capital puts the lie to Romney’s claim of financial Puritanism:

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill

(via the Daily Beast)

Here is an excerpt that illustrates the divide between what Romney says and what he does:

Take a typical Bain transaction involving an Indiana-based company called American Pad and Paper. Bain bought Ampad in 1992 for just $5 million, financing the rest of the deal with borrowed cash. Within three years, Ampad was paying $60 million in annual debt payments, plus an additional $7 million in management fees. A year later, Bain led Ampad to go public, cashed out about $50 million in stock for itself and its investors, charged the firm $2 million for arranging the IPO and pocketed another $5 million in “management” fees. Ampad wound up going bankrupt, and hundreds of workers lost their jobs, but Bain and Romney weren’t crying: They’d made more than $100 million on a $5 million investment.

To recap: Romney, who has compared the devilish federal debt to a “nightmare” home mortgage that is “adjustable, no-money down and assigned to our children,” took over Ampad with essentially no money down, saddled the firm with a nightmare debt and assigned the crushing interest payments not to Bain but to the children of Ampad’s workers, who would be left holding the note long after Romney fled the scene. The mortgage analogy is so obvious, in fact, that even Romney himself has made it. He once described Bain’s debt-fueled strategy as “using the equivalent of a mortgage to leverage up our investment.”

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The second article is by a conservative (!) author in a conservative (!) magazine, and yet the objective truth of the abominable actions of the super wealthy knows no political boundary. The conservative author is as astounded by the lack of morality as the rest of us:

In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse.

Author Mike Lofgren, a former Republican staffer on Senate committees expounds on how the super wealthy are purposely seceding from our nation, using it as nothing more than territory for a slash and burn agriculture of money, and living a removed life. Again, the full thing is well worth a read – on a low salt, hi-veg diet:

Revolt of the Rich

Our financial elites are the new secessionists.

By Mike Lofgren   (again, via the Daily Beast)

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