Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Romney’

The Oracle at Delphi: Mitt Romney’s direct tie to increased unemployment in North Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 20, 2012

The average reader may not be aware that there was once a huge Delphi plant in Limestone county, Alabama, which facility was located directly across from Calhoun Community College.

American Industry... closed. - M1510 h712

Mitt Romney owned a significant interest in a firm that profited by laying off workers, dumping their pensions, moving to China, and then profiting rapaciously from the TARP bailout. That large plant – one among many, with the largest one being in Alabama – was the Delphi Steering Gear facility in Tanner, near Decatur, in Limestone County.

It was one of North Alabama‘s LARGEST employers – with emphasis on “was.”

The men & women who made careers there, whose labors enabled their children to attend college, provided their families’ clothing, groceries, housing & healthcare, and provided for their own retirement, and which was a union shop, was shuttered several years ago.

Most of what news I recall about it centered around how corporate traders, not unions, were wanting even more & more profit when they were already profitable. Time and time again, the workers took cuts in benefits & pay to keep their jobs for as long as they could… all to no avail.

Like a gazelle savaged on the plains of the Kalahari Desert in Africa, that once prosperous plant has been laid to waste, and there are only industrial skeletal remains. Even the human buzzards, scavenging metal for recycling from the industrial carcass, have left. For many years now, the hollow exterior hulk, instead of employees, materials & labor, has been drawing cobwebs, dust & rust. And soon, like all things left unattended, it too will crumble.

There are no taxes paid to Limestone county, or to nearby Decatur, Athens or Huntsville, or to Alabama for roads, schools, police & fire protection. But there is an even greater issue, one which is exceedingly more weighty and sorrowful. As a result of it all, there is no hope, there are no jobs, and there is no future.

Here’s the even more disturbing part: Mitt Romney had his hand in that pie.

And yet the saddest and most perplexing part is, that most Alabamians will vote for the GOP nominee/candidate.

Following the economic investigative report are historical local news reports that show the progression about the issue (which validate the economic investigative report by Greg Palast), from the:
Decatur Daily,
Huntsville Times,
• Associated Press,
• Athens-Limestone News Courier,
• Saginaw News (via MLive.com), and
• Wall Street Journal,
dating 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.

For the benefit of the reader, Greg Palast is an economist and financial investigator turned journalist whose series on vulture funds appeared on BBC Television’s Newsnight. He is the author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Penguin) and, most recently, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories). For additional information about him, his website is: http://www.gregpalast.com.

Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza

Greg Palast, October 17, 2012   |    This article appeared in the November 5, 2012 edition of The Nation.

This investigation was supported by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute and by the Puffin Foundation. Elements of it appear in Palast’s new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories). Research assistance by Zach D. Roberts, Ari Paul, Nader Atassi and Eric Wuestewald.

Mitt Romney

2012 GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.

It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM—or Chrysler, for that matter—could have been successful without saving Delphi. So, in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi—and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it.

One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout—
$1.28 billion so far—is Elliott Management, directed by 
Paul Singer. According to TheWall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. His personal giving is matched by that of his colleagues at Elliott; collectively, they have donated $3.4 million to help elect Republicans this season, while giving only $1,650 to Democrats. And Singer is influential with the GOP presidential candidate; he’s not only an informal adviser but, according to theJournal, his support was critical in helping push Representative Paul Ryan onto the ticket.

Singer, whom Fortune magazine calls a “passionate defender of the 1%,” has carved out a specialty investing in distressed firms and distressed nations, which he does by buying up their debt for pennies on the dollar and then demanding payment in full. This so-called “vulture investor” received $58 million on Peruvian debt that he snapped up for $11.4 million, and $90 million on Congolese debt that he bought for a mere $20 million. In the process, he’s built one of the largest private equity firms in the nation, and over decades he’s racked up an unusually high average return on investments of 14 percent.

Other GOP presidential hopefuls chased Singer’s endorsement, but Mitt chased Singer with his own checkbook, investing at least $1 million with Elliott through Ann Romney’s blind trust (it could be far more, but the Romneys have declined to disclose exactly how much). Along the way, Singer gained a reputation, according to Fortune, “for strong-arming his way to profit.” That is certainly what happened at Delphi.

* * *

Delphi, once the Delco unit of General Motors, was spun off into a separate company in 1999. Read the rest of this entry »

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Michelle Obama fires up America with Keynote Speech to Democratic faithful in Charlotte

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not only was her speech more well received than Republican Ann Romney‘s, but that one night of the DNC was more enthusiastic – i.e., FIRED UP – than was the entire RNC event in Tampa.

It was EXCITING to know that the Average American does NOT want to return to the “Bad Old Days” of bad policy as they experienced under the Bush II administration, which was responsible for the bail-out called TARP, starting wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, outsourcing American jobs, increasing the size of government, cutting taxes on the wealthy, the so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription program (written by BIG PHARMA), and a whole lotta’ other genuinely bad things.

It was EXCITING to know that personal freedom – religious, private, healthcare – is an instrumental part of the Democratic Platform, as opposed to the RNC which supports… going back via the legislative time machine to the 1800’s, when child labor was common, women couldn’t vote, any non-white person was a second-class non-citizen & couldn’t vote, etc.

Transcript: Michelle Obama’s Democratic Convention Speech

September 4, 2012

Below is the full transcript, as prepared for delivery, of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.

Thank you so much, Elaine…we are so grateful for your family‘s service and sacrifice…and we will always have your back.

Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country. And everywhere I’ve gone, in the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit.

I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.

I’ve seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay.

I’ve seen it in people who become heroes at a moment’s notice, diving into harm’s way to save others…flying across the country to put out a fire…driving for hours to bail out a flooded town.

And I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families…in wounded warriors who tell me they’re not just going to walk again, they’re going to run, and they’re going to run marathons…in the young man blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan who said, simply, “…I’d give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do.”

Every day, the people I meet inspire me…every day, they make me proud…every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.

Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege…but back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we’d begun.

While I believed deeply in my husband’s vision for this country…and I was certain he would make an extraordinary President…like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance.

How would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight?

How would they Read the rest of this entry »

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Zzzz… Day 2 of the GOP Convention. Yawn.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No matter how many hackneyed, tired old phrases the speakers threw out – including Ann Romney‘s “lovey-dovey” message, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s attempt to whip up the delegates – there was no getting them fired up.

None.

Poor Governor Christie even had to TELL the delegates to STAND UP.

Good grief.

How the Republicans Built It

August 28, 2012

It was a day late, but the Republicans’ parade of truth-twisting, distortions and plain falsehoods arrived on the podium of their national convention on Tuesday. Following in the footsteps of Mitt Romney’s campaign, rarely have so many convention speeches been based on such shaky foundations.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, in the keynote speech, Read the rest of this entry »

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Does Ann Romney have horse problems? Super Hit, her old dressage horse wonders. So do we.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ann Romney on Super Hit _6ACRES5-0415_cTerriMiller

Ann Romney with her horse, Super Hit, in a 2006 photo. (Terri Miller/Handout)

Super Hit.

Who or what’s that?

Oh… just another dressage horse the Romney’s once owned – and tried to sell.

Selling horses is not illegal, immoral, or unethical.

However, to attempt to sell a horse that is so doped up in an effort to masquerade, conceal or hide a defective, sick, injured or wounded condition… well, now, that’s a horse of a different color.

Ann Romney was named as a defendant in such a case.

Here’s what Dr. Stephen Soule, DVM – an expert in equine podiatry – said of the horse Mrs. Romney was trying to sell:

“In my 38 years of practice, I have never come across a drug screen such as this where the horse has been administered so many different medications at the same time.”

This was not some long-ago issue, for the complaint was filed February 10, 2010 in California Superior Court, Ventura County, is case number 56-2010-00372707-CU-FR-SIM, and was set for trial September 12, 2011.

Here’s the nut of the case:

In 2010, a San Diego woman – Catherine Norris – sued Mrs. Romney, dressage trainer Jan Ebeling and his wife Amy for fraud, claiming that the severity of a foot defect in Super Hit, a dressage horse she purchased from Mrs. Romney for $125,000, was concealed.

The expert equine veterinarian, Dr. Stephen Soule, stated in the record that, “In my professional opinion, based on 38 years of experience in equine veterinary medicine and in conducting nearly 2000 pre-purchase examinations during this time, the HA-VETALOG injections to the left front coffin joint coupled with Super Hit’s inconsistent show record, decline in test scores, consistency in the remarks of different show judges on score sheets that Super Hit was “tense,” had “tension” and “tight” and “stiff,” and the fact that he was not shown for nearly 2½ years prior to the sale in February 2008, Super Hit was more likely than not chronically lame prior to Catherine Norris’ purchase in February 2008.”

A pre-purchase drug screen/toxicology study performed February 13, 2008 by Center for Tox Services, Inc. – an Arizona lab – on 6 blood collection tubes drawn from the horse Super Hit found Butorphanol (a synthetic opioid pain killer), Detomadine (a α2-adrenergic agonist, used as a sedative in horses), romifidine (another sedative mainly used on large animals such as horses), and xylazine (a medication used in horses for sedation, anesthesia, muscle relaxation, and pain relief) in the horse’s system.

Also named in the suit was Dr. Doug Herthen, DVM, the veterinarian who treated Super Hit, and who purposely failed to disclose the nature of his relationship with Ann Romney and Super Hit to the purchaser, Mrs. Norris. In his testimony, Dr. Soule wrote that, “The professional ethics standard in veterinary medicine is to disclose any implied, apparent, or actual conflicts of interest before agreeing to conduct the pre-purchase examination. In other words, there is no such thing as dual representation without disclosure. In my professional opinion, the failure of Doug Herthel to disclose to Catherine Norris his existing and/or prior professional relationship with the defendants Amy and Jan Eberling, prior to the pre-purchase examination, was a breach of his professional duties and ethics.”

For very nearly a decade, Mrs. Romney has held a financial and ownership stake in The Acres, a horse training ranch about 45 miles northwest of Los Angeles, which is also owned by Jan & Amy Eberling. Mr. Eberling is a dressage trainer from Germany. With the Romneys, the Eberlings own Rob Rom Enterprises LLC, a foreign corporation registered in Delaware, which buys and trains dressage horses.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous is nothing new for the Romneys, because in a 1994 interview with the Boston Globe while Mitt was campaigning for Massachusetts governor, Ann described their years as “struggling students,” saying that “neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock [from his father] that we could sell off a little at a time.

Yeah. That’s gotta’ be a struggle.

Of course, it goes without saying – but here it is, anyway – that, in an interview with Neal Cavuto of Fox News in March 2012, Ann Romney said, “I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing.” Many people would probably find that interesting, too – particularly given that Mitt’s estimated wealth is in excess of $250 Million. Perhaps $100,000 horses are but chump change to that crowd.

The New York Times covered the issue with the following story, which also mentions the $77,000 tax deduction the Romneys took in 2010 for Rafalca, another of the Romneys’ expensive dressage horses.

Other newspapers covering the story included the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Because of the location of the case Read the rest of this entry »

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Stay-at-home-mom Ann Romney’s tax deductions for her dressage horse exceeded the average American Median Income

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Ann Romney's horse deductions

Is this not a prime example of how “We the People…” should require higher tax rates of the über wealthy?

I mean, really… they get a deduction of $77,000 for their f*ing horse?!

C’mon, people!

What’s wrong with this picture!?!

Out of touch with reality, or out of touch with reality?

Hey!

I know!

Mitt says “job one is creating jobs in America.”

Since Mitt & Ann get those rich-folk tax breaks, that makes him a “job creator.”

So maybe you can work in one of Mitt’s horse barns!

You plebian slob.

Romney Horse Wins Spot on Olympic Dressage Team

June 16, 2012
By

GLADSTONE, N.J. — Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, who plan to attend the opening of the Olympic Games in London this summer, now have a personal rooting interest in the event.

Jan Ebeling, Mrs. Romney’s longtime riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, co-owned by Mrs. Romney, Read the rest of this entry »

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Ann Romney: If you unzip him, Mitt is not stiff.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ann, that’s just “marvelous,” and too much information.

Go back to one of your six homes and several Cadillacs.

Maybe you could stiffen him up.

Ann Romney Says Campaign Will ‘Unzip’ the Real Mitt

Apr 2, 2012 12:17pm

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Ann Romney defended her husband’s sense of humor today during a radio interview, explaining that if people think the candidate seems too stiff at times as the host suggested, she thinks “we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out.”

Ann Romney’s remarks came during an interview with Baltimore radio station WBAL, during which the host asked her, “And one of the things, Ann Romney, that folks talk about with your husband, Mitt Romney, and I’ve seen him in casual conversation-He comes off very smooth and okay. But sometimes he comes off stiff. Do you have to fight back some criticism, like ‘My husband isn’t stiff, OK?’”

Laughing, Ann Romney responded, “Well, you know, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!”

“You know, it is so funny to me that that is the perception out there. Because he is Read the rest of this entry »

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