Societal abuse built into big business

I often say that the reason people don’t protest the skulduggery practiced in business and by the politically conservative right, is because the rotten things done in the name of legal profit-making and “improving society” boggle the minds of decent, hard-working people so much that those decent people cannot believe the terrible things they see done by people who are pillars of the community, some of whom are even sworn to protect the public interest, even when those things take place right in front of their eyes. Apparently, these acts are too horrible to witness. Mitt Romney is up to his eyeballs in a bilking scheme that while legal, is obviously amoral – and it also ends up causing formerly well-employed workers to become dependent on taxpayer supported program after they lose their jobs and then discover that Bain Capital’s recommendations have allowed their bankrupted employers to wipe out employee pension funds too. Bain Capital has been mentioned often in the news recently, because Mitt Romney is a former company executive.

This Huffington Post article compares the tactics used by companies like Bain Capital to the mafiosi practice called bust out and describes how this process works in the legal world of big business:

The Obama campaign has recently raised the profile of private equity by highlighting the bankruptcy of Ampad, an office supply company that was busted out by Bain Capital. The company went bankrupt, while Bain investors made roughly $100 million… (by taking) control of companies and run(ning) up their credit.

Cash from the loans and cost savings are funneled back to the investors. This looting continues until the company can’t pay its debts. When it finally collapses, the company files for bankruptcy to extinguish the debt — but private equity investors … get to keep the gains they’ve already reaped.

Romney by the way, become the unofficial Republican presidential nominee last night after winning Texas’ delegates to the GOP national convention. In a Times interview, Romney tells a reporter that Obama can’t understand how jobs are created because he doesn’t have Romney’s long years of experience in big business, but the Washington Monthly tells a different story about Romney’s relationship to jobs:

The Republican took a chance on a company and decimated it. The workers lost; the community lost; and when GST needed federal intervention, the taxpayers lost*. But Romney and his investors still took home millions… Steel worker and Army veteran Donny Box worked at (the GST mill in Kansas City) for 32 years. “We lost our jobs, they made millions,” Box says in the ad. “Mitt Romney wants to call himself a ‘job creator’? Mitt Romney doesn’t care about jobs. He cares about money.”

This is why you need to be registered to vote for President Obama on November 6, 2012. Remember, if you’ve moved since you last voted, you need to record your address change. In New Jersey that means filling out a registration form and checking the box indicating a change of address update; other states may have different rules, so check with the elections registrar of your county or parish. Voter registration form for New Jersey is here. Residents of other states can get voter registration information at

Obama deserves our trust and praise. He needs our push, too.

It’s great when someone you admire sees merit in you too. Today, I needed an injection of inspiration for finishing up the talk I’m giving next week on @jeffpulver‘s first #140Conf event on a tour bus, and got it when Reda StCyr “fanned” me on Huffington Post. StCyr is the woman who introduced me to the #p2 hashtag and through it provided me with a ready-made mechanism for interfacing on the web with the progressive community. Following links from Huffington’s fan notification took me to an important article about the poverty tour Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley undertook this summer. In it, Smiley says that when the American public pressures Washington to take action on any issue, action gets taken. He gives some examples to prove his case and suggests that we be a lot more vocal about the poor needing help.

Even though I’m a big-time Obama supporter, I recognize that in a representative democracy it’s important for citizens to tell our elected officials what’s important to us and how we want them to spend our country’s resources. This means speaking up when we’re pleased, and also speaking up when we want more. I applaud Dr. West and Mr. Smiley for taking the time and trouble to highlight – for the president and all other citizens of America – a national issue which ought to concern every American: the challenges being faced by the hungry and homeless in America. These are among our country’s most vulnerable citizens and unfortunately, a special needs group that could all too easily include you or me tomorrow, and which shouldn’t include any of us. By voicing concern, Americans will empower President Obama with the chance to champion us.

Want to see a list of Obama’s positive accomplishments?

Obama’s Positive Accomplishments

I’m an openly enthusiastic fan of Obama. If you’re one of those people thinking that our president doesn’t deserve admiration, maybe an item from the list below will change your opinion. And if you’re a fellow Obama fan, enjoy the read! (I’ll be updating this list)

“Don’t stop telling the truth”

Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s spiritual mentor, spoke about truth in his eulogy to judge R. Eugene Pincham this past Saturday. Beautiful words.

talking about Pincham’s integrity and honesty, Wright said, “You don’t change who you are because of where you are. You don’t stop telling the truth because it is not politically correct or it makes a racist uncomfortable . . .”

Jump to full Sun Times article here.

Obama told the truth. Thanks, Hillary, for pointing that out to us.

On Twitter Dave Winer mentioned that Obama was calling Pennsylvanians’ – and the nation’s – attention to the fact that it’s true that rural American people are angry and bitter as a result of patiently waiting 25 years for politicians they elect to stop selling them out and help them get their lives and their jobs back. I guess Obama became one of my heroes twice this weekend, because he told a really uncomfortable truth about American politics and refused to back off it. Then he admitted he was wrong for having made a poor choice of words when he originally made the statement.

Actually admitted he was wrong and apologized. I thought I was going to faint.

It seems like Hillary jumped as hard as she did onto the bandwagon playing the ‘Obama has made a mistake let’s crucify him’, song, because she’s made some pretty big mistakes of her own lately. What are those mistakes? Obama tells it much better than I can. Watch out for him saying at a bit after minute 4 that Hillary is making it sound like she’s Annie Oakley . . .

More in AP article and at DailyKos