A Partial List of Things You Need to Ignore In Order to Be Glenn Kessler

I know I am supposed to be ignoring these fact-checking clowns, but Kessler is driving me insane. He has all the facts staring him right in the face, but he just refuses to believe them. What he is doing is the equivalent of Broderistic Birtherism. Like the birthers, Glenn has all the documents in front of him, notarized and legitimate, and he just refuses to accept them at face value.

So let’s put together a list of things that Glenn Kessler has to willingly and willfully ignore to come to the conclusion that Romney was not a part of Bain from 1999-2002. If I miss anything, toss it in the comments and I will add it to the list.

***

1.) The multiple SEC filings, including this 2000 document, signed by Romney himself, in which he states that he is the sole stockholder of Bain Capital.

2.) The former SEC official who discussed the filings. That’s easy for our nonpartisan hack to ignore, as he deftly pushes her comments aside:

3.) Mitt Romney’s own testimony:

Romney has consistently insisted that he was too busy organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics to take part in Bain business between 1999 and that event. But in the testimony, which was provided to The Huffington Post, Romney noted that he regularly traveled back to Massachusetts. “[T]here were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth,” he said.

Romney’s sworn testimony was given as part of a hearing to determine whether he had sufficient residency status in Massachusetts to run for governor.

Romney testified that he “remained on the board of the Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike Corporation” at the time.

Yet in the Aug. 12, 2011, federal disclosure form filed as part of his presidential bid, he said, “Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”

***

His activities during that period also included Staples board meetings: “I returned for most of those meetings. Others I attended by telephone if I could not return.”

Bain was involved with Staples early in its life, taking the company public in 1989. Romney used his Bain position to obtain a seat on the board, which he held into 2002. He regularly cites the jobs that Staples created as reflecting positively on Bain’s record.

4.) A 2001 SEC filing in which Romney is described as “the sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain Investors VI and thus is the controlling person of Bain
Investors VI.”

5.) The inconvenient fact that he was paid a six figure salary the entire time he was allegedly not part of Bain.

6.) This unfortunate Bain Capital press release months after Romney allegedly left Bain calling him the CEO and stating he is working part-time.

I’m sure there is much more I am missing, but at this point, I’d have more respect for Kessler if, instead of another excuse-making column, he would just cover his eyes, plug his ears, and shout “I CAN’T HEAR YOU I CAN’T HEAR YOU” like a four year old.

And another thing. If Romney wasn’t the CEO for those three years, who was? Shouldn’t someone be coming forward to say they were in charge, not Mitt. Wouldn’t there be minutes from a board meeting detailing the line of succession? How about a mass email sent out to everyone at Bain congratulating the new CEO like you would get at every other company in America? These are arrogant fuckers, surely there has to be one Bain brochure with the new non-Mitt CEO standing in front of his office. Surely Bain must have an investor newsletter that would tell investors that Romney was out in 1999 and the new CEO was in charge. Where is all that stuff?






186 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    Be of good cheer, Romney is supposedly doing a good job of burying himself on TV right now. No tax returns for you, peon!

  2. 2
    Walker says:

    Dan Rather was booted for less. Why does this clown still have a career?

  3. 3
    Joseph Nobles says:

    No investor newsletter. Romney was the sole shareholder.

  4. 4
    gwangung says:

    And another thing. If Romney wasn’t the CEO for those three years, who was? Shouldn’t someone be coming forward to say they were in charge, not Mitt. Wouldn’t there be minutes from a board meeting detailing the line of succession? How about a mass email sent out to everyone at Bain congratulating the new CEO like you would get at every other company in America?

    Like the one Apple put out, saying Tim Cook was taking over for Steve Jobs during Jobs’ medical leave?

  5. 5
    Walker says:

    @beltane:

    Exactly. What is with this “X owes me an apology nonsense”? That just makes Romney come across as weak in ways that the base hates.

  6. 6
    gnomedad says:

    Kessler is literally driving me insane.

    Arrrrrgh!
    / grammar Nazi

  7. 7
    SmallAxe says:

    slightly O/T but Romney massive fail on CNN answering the questions tonight. Smiling all the way like the joker, answering “1999” after every question (not being pressed hard mind you). Goes after Obama teams methods, thinks he’s owed an apology. Will only release 2010&11 tax returns. Good luck with that. Seriously, he just repeated what he’s been saying all along I don’t see how this stops the fire.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @Walker: He’s not very good at this, is he. So far, he’s doubling down on easily disproven lies, he’s doubling down on his refusal to make his tax returns public, and he’s doubling down on the whining.

    OT, but the Condi Rice trial balloon was apparently not well taken by the wingnut base. I think Mitt is learning that you really can’t buy love.

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    According to ABC news and via LGF (sorry; on the FYiPad and can’t link), Romney is only doubling down on the I-left-Bain-in-1999-and-Obama-should-apologize bullshit on his network tour, and simply ignoring questions. I need to see more info to make a better judgment, but so far I don’t see this going well at all — it’s really giving me flashbacks to Richard Nixon now.

  10. 10
    sb says:

    If Kessler comes out and says, “My bad, Cole and others were right,” he looks foolish to everybody. If he sticks to his guns he looks foolish… to the people who are calling him a fool, which ain’t everybody.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    @Ash Can: NPR was amazingly harsh on Romney this afternoon, a sea change from just a few days ago.

  12. 12
    SmallAxe says:

    @Ash Can:
    It’s a double down no answer whine job without a doubt. Smiling like a weird joker throughout.

  13. 13
    CraigoMc says:

    Don’t forget at least six other filings he signed in connection with Bain acquisitions during the period he allegedly wasn’t involved with Bain. And that he sat on the board of at least one Bain entity.

  14. 14
    Redshift says:

    @gnomedad:

    Arrrrrgh!
    __/ grammar Nazi

    I think it’s too soon to judge — it could actually be literally true!

  15. 15
    jl says:

    I suggest Cole agitate to get the fact checkers working on the other funky fake vacation from work. I was debauched by my older hippie brethren, and my attention span is about shot on this one.

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Ghost of Leaves of Absence Past?

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Ghost of Leaves of Absence Past?
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....e_past.php

    That one will be more fun since it features AmIbuiltmyowncoffinpad.

  16. 16
    Haydnseek says:

    Just finished watching the CNN interview with Rmoney. The key questions regarding the written proof that he was still a key player at Bain post 1999 were never asked. He was, however, allowed to make a campaign speech. Fuck CNN. But you knew that.

  17. 17
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Rmoney’s media blitz appears to be extended poutrage. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to do the trick.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    I’m sure there is much more I am missing, but at this point

    You missed the seminal point. Obama lied! case closed/wingnut

  19. 19
    scav says:

    OT: There’s a very surprised distant semi-relative who sent me one of those crap sensitive e-mails about what some brain dead historian thinks and a hand-wrenching manner. There are little bits of chewed Rommbot economic character littering the intertubze between my house and hers. Sorry if I clogged the net.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Kessler seems to be hanging his hat on the idea that being CEO, president, and sole shareholder is just a nominal thing and doesn’t reflect hands-on operational control, which he thinks has to be established in order to pin blame on said CEO/pres/etc. And, to a lesser degree, that since he (Kessler) is an expert on business and finance, this kind of thing is just the way business is done, and not knowing that exposes any vocal critic to be either naive or disingenuous. And, what’s more, almost the entire pundit set has closed ranks to validate both of those notions in order to poo-poo the story. It has succeeded in demonstrating quite well what Bob Somerby, before he went all Rain Man on us, used to call “Millionaire Pundit Values.”

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    According to Josh, Romney would not take a position on the uniforms made in China. I’m going to watch NBC.

  23. 23

    If he is going to get away with just releasing two years tax returns then there is no sanity in this world. This needs to be hammered home every damn day. He is hiding something, we know it, and he knows it.

  24. 24
    jonas says:

    And another thing. If Romney wasn’t the CEO for those three years, who was?

    That’s what I’m wondering. What kind of big-time private equity firm remains ghost-run for three years? You’re telling investors/clients/the SEC that X is running the company, but in reality he actually bailed a couple years earlier and has no hands-on involvement anymore? What company does that kind of thing? Anyone with more experience in the corporate world ever come across this kind of boardroom shell game before?

  25. 25
    jl says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Ah… I predicted pissy, did I not?

    A comment earlier today from Tonal Crow indicated it might be time to break out the Lear.

    He went to run with some with some fibs, he did,
    With some fibs he went to run:
    With spite of all his friends could say,
    On a summer’s morn, on a slow news day,
    With some fibs he went to run!
    And when the fibs turned round and round,
    And every one cried, ‘You’ll soon be drowned!’
    He called aloud, ‘My fibs ain’t big,
    Voters won’t care a button! News won’t care a fig!
    With some fibs I’ll go to run!’
    poor and hard, poor and hard,
    Are the lives that old Romney’s shun;
    his eyes are blank, and his word’s not frank,
    And he went to run with some fibs.

  26. 26
    Redshift says:

    And there’s this about how Romney lied about being on a “leave of absence” to avoid responsibility for the brutal downsizing at Ampad when he was running for Senate.

    (h/t jl)

  27. 27
    JGabriel says:

    Romney will speak from Laconia, New Hampshire with reporters for CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN Friday afternoon, with each segment possibly airing as soon as that night’s broadcast, the Romney campaign confirmed to TPM.

    Excerpt from CNN/Romney Interview Transcript, 7/13/2012:

    Anderson Cooper: Governor Romney, in Bain’s SEC filings from 1999 to 2002, you are listed as Bain’s CEO. But your FEC filings say you had no material interaction with Bain after 1999. Both sets of documents are under pain of perjury, and some have claimed that the contradiction between the two leaves you open to federal felony charges. How do you respond?
    __
    Mitt Romney: Anderson, there’s no crime here. Yes, I was pro forma CEO of Bain until 2002, and received a token salary for the use of my name on the letterhead until Bain completed its search for a new CEO, but that’s it. I had no real interactions with them, I was just a temporary figurehead.
    __
    The money I earned from Bain in those three years was a pittance. If you divide it by all the poor people I intend to help as president … DIVISION BY ZERO ERROR CRASH CRASH AIEEEEEE [the room fills with an ungodly screech, the sound of two billion transistors suddenly halting, Governor Romney’s head pops off, tears across the room like a bowling ball-sized champagne cork, body spasticallly flails, white viscous fluid spews forth from the gaping hole between his shoulders where wires and twitching polymers poke through].
    __
    Anderson Cooper: [hands over ears, screams] My god, he’s a fucking android! Someone stop that hideous sound!
    __
    [Cut to placard.]
    __
    Placard: CNN is currently experiencing technical difficulties. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    (Reposted from earlier open thread, where it was buried down in the 200s, to here, where it’s more on-topic)

    .

  28. 28
    Trentrunner says:

    This is Romney’s Reverend Wright.

    In a few days Romney’s going to give a moving, unifying speech on American’s history with private equity, how we’ve clashed and had some rough patches, but now American and private equity are one.

    “America IS private equity, my friends.” [applause, tears]

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @SmallAxe: Who interviewed him? I bet it was John King.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    It appears the President has made a comment..This is from politicalwire..

    Said Obama: “Well, here’s what I know, we were just talking about responsibility and as president of the United States, it’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you.”………………..
    “Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.”

    link

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @jonas: There were some asides in the TPM posts today that said no one was delegated to take Mitt’s responsibilities. But that is all I have seen about it.

    If there were some acting something or others, I assume Romney will name them soon. Like, right now would be a nice time, maybe?

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @beltane: I’m telling you, the MSM is smelling blood in the water and scandal. A scandal is much better for ratings than this anemic horse race they’ve got at the moment. If the scandal means convention chaos, so much the better.

    They’re going to follow this story now. They’re just getting started. The fact that Mitt is doubling down and full of weak sauce is only going to make them dig further.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    NBC is doing a good job so far..
    How can you claim jobs but not losses
    How can you give McCain twenty three years but only one so far
    Obama’s reaction
    Now David Gregory.. The President doesn’t want to talk about jobs.. yadda yadda yadda

    edit..not a steno person.. jobs gained but not lost
    mccain..tax returns
    david gregory ..asshole

  34. 34
    Narcissus says:

    wow, the NBC Report was worthless.

    They didn’t ask about the contradiction at all.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    @jl: That’s it, you owe Mr. Romney an apology right now!

  36. 36
    Jim says:

    Nothing will ever deter the serious media from taking any stance other than “some say…others say, so there’s no way to know”.

    I think the best way forward is to push for reporters to start asking Mitt why he was making six figures plus for doing nothing year after year. And, asking if Bain still has that policy in place. I for one haven’t done dick for them since 1999, and would love to have my $1.3 million they hence owe me for services not rendered.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @Narcissus: I didn’t think it was bad until David Gregory came on..
    They raised important issues..

  38. 38
    SmallAxe says:

    @Yutsano:
    It was some other guy on Wolf’s show, not sure of his name, rarely seen him. It was a pretaped interview from earlier it looked like.

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Narcissus: Agreed. That NBC report was pathetic. But this is precisely what the MSM is trying to do, and it will succeed. As I said a couple of days ago, by the end of July this will be a complete non-story.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:

    So, let me get this straight. Mitt Romney’s defense is “vote for me, I spent three years being an absentee president”?

    That’s his *defense*?

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Redshift: thanks. But you outed me for repeat comment whoring. I hang my head in shame. But will recover in time to watch Mitt’s next ENI

    Fine day for Mitt when the new scandals start brewing in the hang time between the preceding blow up and him running to the ENI for that one.

    BTW, ENI is campaign trauma specialist talk for ‘Emergency News Interview’. Thought I’d clue you in on that, since there might be a few more. You are welcome.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Jim: The media is slow. They’re still invested in the horse race, not to mention they’re corporations and are friends with Romney’s friends and so forth. But they live on ratings and if a scandal can deliver them, they’ll be on that. Things are only getting started.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @Narcissus: From my reading at TPM..that was the only one that left unanswered question..

    I refuse to watch Crawford because she was probably served sprinkles on her donuts before the interview.

  44. 44
    cbear says:

    Kesslering: the ability to lavishly lick the balls of the rich and powerful while simultaneously typing.

  45. 45
    RaflW says:

    Just watched CBS and NBC, mostly NBC, at the top of their nightly news broadcasts. It may take a few days to get my IQ up after that hit.

    It seems Mitt is mad. “My goodness, it’s beneath the office of President to make such accusations!” Mitt was nearly snarling while rictus-smiling on CBS.

    Oh, and US olympic uniforms were made in China. Yes, that’s the pivot after about 90 seconds of Mitt.

    We really live in a useless news culture. Totally, utterly vacuous and insulting.

  46. 46
    SmallAxe says:

    @Violet:
    I agree Violet this is just the tip of the iceberg and regardless of the fact that they didn’t press hard he didn’t answer the questions with anything new. This does not put out the fire. They will stretch this out for sure…

  47. 47
    Narcissus says:

    @JPL: I was expecting at least some follow up questions though. Maybe I was too optimistic.

  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: No they didn’t. Mitt said “I wasn’t involved after Feb 1999” and the reporter said “oh, OK.” No follow up at all. My dog could have done better.

  49. 49
    brent says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Bain Capital is an investment firm. I suspect Cole wasn’t talking about shareholders in Bain Capital (at the time, Romney was the only shareholder) but about the investors they work for.

  50. 50
    jonas says:

    @jl: Nobody’s asking the obvious questions. A lot of times when a prominent CEO retires, he/she will announce that they’re stepping down by such-and-such a date, signalling that the company will be searching for a replacement and transitioning during that time, etc. I’ve never heard of an executive essentially “secretly” retiring, claiming on SEC filings to be the CEO, and then — for clearly cynical political reasons — later claiming that he was actually out the entire time.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    Ralph Lauren will make further Olympic uniforms in the USA..

  52. 52
    dmsilev says:

    Also, too, a new Obama ad :

    Mitt Romney doesn’t deny he invested in companies that outsourced jobs to Mexico and China.
    __
    Doesn’t deny that he made a fortune when it happened.
    __
    Romney only says that there’s “no evidence” that he was in charge at that point.
    __
    But newly disclosed documents show that Romney was ‘sole stockholder, CEO and Chairman’ when jobs were shipped overseas.
    __
    Here’s the evidence, Mr. Romney.
    __
    Your turn to explain.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @JPL: So basically, the Buck doesn’t stop at him, he’s only releasing the 2 years of tax buck info and then there are all his undisclosed location overseas foreign bucks that are none of anyone’s beezwax. (deer deer, it’s almost as though his hart isn’t in this campaigning thing, scusi.) That’s our Buckaroo Bonanza although I somehow don’t think the rodeo is over, OBambi should keep sticking quarters in.

  54. 54
    Redshift says:

    @jl: I don’t think it’s comment whoring when you’re responding to a request in the post.

    “ENI”. In circumstances like these, I love learning new vocabulary.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That NBC report was pathetic. But this is precisely what the MSM is trying to do,

    Why are they trying to do that? What benefit is it to them to cover up Romney’s stuff? The horse race? A scandal provides better ratings.

    Someone will be the first to be brave enough to connect the dots and insist on asking him questions. The others will then follow.

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Your are right.. There is already proof that is not true and it makes a great ad. I’m just moving forward on the next attack.. sorry

    haha..just saw the comment at 52

  57. 57
    hhex65 says:

    @JGabriel: that’s literally how it should go down

  58. 58
    Valdivia says:

    So the media blitz was to repeat again and again the same line they have taken all along and then whine about an apology? And also–horrid optics with him in some house looking all tan and plutocratic. Like, why do I have to bother?

    I also thought the ‘Obama has to get these people under control’ line was very ugly. And as always–projection. Because he always called out his asshole supporters when they called Obama a Kenyan right? (not that Obama has done anything like that or his team has)

  59. 59
    atlasfugged says:

    Delong and Cole are referencing Kessler’s insistence on Twitter that the Globe should have been forthcoming about the party affiliation and political donations of Roberta Karmel, the former SEC commissioner the Globe quoted in its article on Romney’s tenure at Bain.

    In his post today, Kessler also consulted “securities law experts, with many years of experience”. Yet nowhere in his post did Kessler bother to disclose the party affiliation of or political donations made by the “securities law experts” he consulted. Someone should ask him why his standard of disclosure applies to the “securities law experts” that the Boston Globe consults, but not to the “securities law experts” that he consults. I guess once one declares himself “fact-checker” he is absolved of any and all charges of hypocrisy.

  60. 60
    Trentrunner says:

    OMG Josh Marshall just reminded us that soon, very soon, someone, somewhere will be creating a Romney Downfall mashup.

    That will make my fucking week.

    Get on it, Internet!

  61. 61
    RSA says:

    @dmsilev:

    So, let me get this straight. Mitt Romney’s defense is “vote for me, I spent three years being an absentee president”?

    I put it this way: Has anyone told Mitt Romney that if he’s elected President, he can’t stick around and get paid for three years after he leaves office?

  62. 62
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @jonas:

    I’ve never heard of an executive essentially “secretly” retiring, claiming on SEC filings to be the CEO, and then—for clearly cynical political reasons—later claiming that he was actually out the entire time.

    And backdating his retirement three years. Don’t forget that.

    Clearly, even if he was absentee boss (with fiducial responsibility) there was value in keeping his name at the top of the corporate pyramid — more like corporate obelisk, because Bain Capital was Mittens and Mittens was Bain Capital. But again, we go back to the point about leadership: either you’re in charge or you’re not.

  63. 63
    SmallAxe says:

    At the very least even if it goes no further (which I don’t think will be the case) this throws his Job record out the window especially the Staples story he harps on all the time.

  64. 64
    SatanicPanic says:

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire!

  65. 65
    MikeJ says:

    @JPL:

    According to Josh, Romney would not take a position on the uniforms made in China

    His Olympics sold 9/11 pins made in China, and he knows that it’s already out there.

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    @Valdivia: I haven’t seen any of the interviews. How does he look? What’s the setting? The same for each interview? Does he seem nervous? Any tells?

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Trentrunner: wow.. I didn’t think Crawford would go there and she did..
    The buck doesn’t stop with Mitt.

    I think his wife gets sick while at the Olympics.. family duty and all that.
    I think Jeb steps forward.

  68. 68
    jl says:

    @Redshift: I more or less repeated that comment in this thread. I was making fun of myself.

    Because I am giddy!

    Bwahahhha. Reports have come in from the ever reliable BJ flying squad that Romney pissed and hectored on national TV, about the unfairness of asking an important CEO to account for his fibs.

    I solemnly vow to observe every future Friday the 13 in July as a lucky day.

  69. 69
    Redshift says:

    @JPL: Great statement from Obama. The Romney campaign is trying a classic bullshit defense — “we can make stuff up with less effort than it takes you to debunk it.”

    Debunking is still useful, but the way to cut through it is to say, “you can throw up all the excuses you like, but that doesn’t change the central point.” (The “were you lying then, or are you lying now?” is cleverly only implied.)

  70. 70
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Violet: A scandal may or may not provide better ratings, but it involves having to do actual work. A horse race is a story you can phone in from the beach. You’re stuck in the 1970’s. None of those talking heads could be bothered to wade through SEC filings, corporate charters, trace shell companies, all that stuff, and GE/Disney/NewsCorp certainly won’t give them the budget for that.

    Nobody gives a shit anyway. I bet three times as many people know about Tom and Katie’s divorce as have even heard the name “Bain.”

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Remember that post about apples, and how they’ve been bred for appearance rather than flavor for so long that you can barely enjoy them anymore? I think that’s been happening with reporters too.

  72. 72
    Ash Can says:

    Based on my 15 years in the institutional equities business, if any company CEO basically stated that, for a three-year period, no one, in effect, was running his company, that management would get laughed out the door — and the financial analyst suggesting coverage of the company would get his ass thrown out the door immediately afterward. Kessler is embarrassing himself in front of everyone who has the least bit of knowledge regarding how businesses operate.

    Also too, as I’ve said before, Romney is doing himself no favors bitching about “Chicago-style politics” when, according to his own admission, he’s the ghost employee on the payroll, pocketing a paycheck for nothing.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    Mitt’s “Obama Isn’t Working” slogan sure takes on a new meaning with all this Bain stuff. Talk about projection.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RSA: Isn’t that basically what he did in Massachusetts? Get elected, get bored, twiddle his thumbs for 2 or 3 years only nominally in charge of the state?

  75. 75
    Turgidson says:

    Cream puff interviews that don’t actually explore the substance of the scandal and allow Romney to lie about his lies, huh. Shocking! Never coulda predicted that one.

    They’re trying to flush it down the memory hole. Here’s hoping it gets clogged by the sheer volume of these fucking bullshit lies and they have to keep covering this whether they want to or not.

    TPM, Sully, Benen, etc., keep it up guys. Keep this going. Looking at the Plum Line, Sargent isn’t gonna help us much. He’s probably under orders not to throw his colleague Kessler under the bus.

  76. 76
    Redshift says:

    @RaflW:

    It seems Mitt is mad. “My goodness, it’s beneath the office of President to make such accusations!” Mitt was nearly snarling while rictus-smiling on CBS.

    This is a repeated trope of Mitt’s, and I have to presume that it’s him and not his campaign media people who are responsible, because I just can’t imagine any professional believing that “how dare you?” is an effective response.

  77. 77
    Violet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Lots of people are going to hear the name Bain in the new Batman movie. Not a good look for Romney.

    As for doing actual work, the MSM doesn’t have to. Blogs will do it for them, the media can just piggyback and read it on TV. Job done.

  78. 78
    maya says:

    @jl:When no one is delegated to take over the responsibility for running the Bain hamster wheel, it automatically devolves to the senior mail room clerk. You know, like the MR clerk at Halliburton who set up the phoney off-shore subsidiary so Halliburton could skirt US law and do bidness with Iraq and Iran.

    It’s always a mail room clerk who’s at fault.

  79. 79
    SmallAxe says:

    @Violet:
    I thought he looked terrible, fake joker smile throughout, sweaty, snarky, overly tanned. Smiled wide everytime a tough question came up.

  80. 80
    Valdivia says:

    @Violet:
    I walked by the TV and heard his voice and turned it down. But I saw him, he looked angry but sneering a smile. And that retired very-white-man-tan you see on rich men who spend their time cavorting in St Lucia, just screams entitlement to my mind.

  81. 81

    A recent tweet

    ‏@drgrist Romney’s decided the hits he’ll take over secrecy are easier than explaining what’s in his tax returns. Dems should make that hurt.

  82. 82
    Jebediah says:

    @gnomedad:
    I understand your arrrrgh, but are you willing to bet the rent that a naked-mopping man who works for a big floofy cat has not literally been driven insane?

    ETA: And now I see I was literally beaten to the punch…

  83. 83
    beltane says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: He needs to be followed by hecklers carrying “Where are the tax returns?” signs. It beats honking horns at him.

  84. 84
    Haydnseek says:

    @JGabriel: Thank you for that. Rmoney lies the way the rest of us breathe…constantly, without conscious thought.

  85. 85
    TG Chicago says:

    1.) The multiple SEC filings, including this 2000 document, signed by Romney himself, in which he states…

    Stop right there. It doesn’t even matter what the document states. He signed the document. That alone proves that he had an active role.

    Granted, signing a document isn’t much in the way of physical activity, but A) it’s more than nothing and — more importantly — B) it’s very important from a legal standpoint. Signing a document is one of the most legally significant things you can do. He was assuming legal responsibility for the contents of the document.

    Clearly that belies his statement that he had no active role in Bain post 1999. He made the active choice to assume legal responsibility for the contents of the document.

    There is no way to possibly argue otherwise.

  86. 86
    hueyplong says:

    If you were in Romney’s spot, you’d have to at least consider the strategy of having someone step forward and say, “I was the acting CEO and President while Mr. Romney was on his leave of absence.”

    It seems from the posts as if Romney went on TV to act butch. Reviews here indicate he wasn’t too convincing. I wonder what they’re saying in RightWingLand about his performance.

    Kessler’s a whore. I’ve worked in the securities litigation world longer than he has, and the extent to which he’s full of it is difficult to articulate. The idea that you need to “interpret” a factual statement in a filing is ludicrous.

  87. 87
    David Koch says:

    ♫♫

    Tonight, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999

  88. 88
    scottinnj says:

    @JGabriel:

    In what world is $100,000 a ‘Token” Salary? I’d like a token salary, too!

  89. 89
    MikeJ says:

    @maya: :

    When no one is delegated to take over the responsibility for running the Bain hamster wheel, it automatically devolves to the senior mail room clerk

    You know, for kids!

  90. 90
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Violet: Nobody gives a shit but us junkies. This story is on life support already.

    No matter how cynical I get, I just can’t keep up.

  91. 91
    Larryb says:

    “I was pro forma CEO of Bain until 2002, and received a token salary for the use of my name on the letterhead

    Am I the only one who’s gob-smacked that Mitt had the nerve to call $100k a “token” salary? This guy is totally clueless.

  92. 92
    freelancer says:

    @JPL:

    That was an easy response to predict but damn.

    Here’s commenter Cris (without an H)’s expected tactic from the Romney Camp yesterday:

    I expect Mitt to treat this subject with condescension. “If you had ever worked in the private sector, mister President, you would know that a good CEO is a good delegator. My job was to trust my subordinates to handle their responsibilities, not to micromanage and babysit every decision…” blah blah blah

    This is pretty much what Romney is doing. Here’s how I said the Obama Campaign should respond:

    “Governor Romney surrounds himself with an All-Star team of former Bush Administration officials. As President, what would you delegate and trust to those under you? A war with Iran? Making sure that banks don’t get us into trouble like they did in 2008 and that we’re still recovering from? Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk that said “The Buck Stops Here.” Now that may not be true for CEOs of investment firms, but it is true of the President of the United States”.

    Obama has more tact than I am, and is about a billion times smarter too; but if I can figure out how he was going to react to this, that means Romney is in WAAAAYYYY over his head.

  93. 93
    Hill Dweller says:

    It’s a Friday night interview, which no one will see. From all accounts, Willard just doubled-down on the same silly nonsense, meaning the story won’t end, and the media will keep digging.

    So Romney, in a panic move, scheduled his first network interviews to do what exactly? He didn’t resolve anything, and his pathetic demands for an apology are laughable. What did he think these interviews would accomplish?

    For the 6000th time, Willard is an awful candidate running an inept campaign.

  94. 94
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    … I’d have more respect for Kessler if, instead of another excuse-making column, he would just cover his eyes, plug his ears, and shout “I CAN’T HEAR YOU I CAN’T HEAR YOU” like a four year old.

    Eventually Kessler will have to admit there’s a problem here, but, like an Iraq War dead-ender, he will insist that he believed the wrong thing for the right reasons while all of us dirty hippies believed the right thing for the wrong reasons.

    .

  95. 95
    Turgidson says:

    @Redshift:

    And it also tees up another Obama-channeling Truman zinger, not that I expect him to say it (though Axelrod might): “The minute you stop lying about me, I’ll stop telling the truth about you.”

    I hope we get some version of that.

  96. 96
    jonas says:

    @FlipYrWhig: At least he didn’t just up and resign halfway through to live off the royalties of a ghostwritten book. Gotta give him that.

  97. 97
    dww44 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: LOL! So very true. Unlike the previous thread your analogy to tasteless apples bred for looks is so very apt.

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: If the story were on life support, Romney wouldn’t have gone on five networks to talk about it.

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    @freelancer: I am shocked reading Josh’s updates because he never said the buck stops with me. That was with Crawford.

  100. 100
    David Koch says:

    Ooooooooof.

    No pause — Black Abe Lincoln Mitty Hunter continues the carpet bombing.

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo......th-you.php

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....XVpTa_Y6Ho

  101. 101
    SmallAxe says:

    CNN Interview is up, sorry for the Mediaite link:

  102. 102
    SFAW says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m not sure “get bored” fits. He got elected, started planning his Presidential run immediately (actually, probably started a long time before), and he couldn’t let his Governor duties take priority, because he was running for President, for Pete’s sake!

  103. 103
    runt says:

    I wish Bain would pay me $100,000 a year to not be involved with them in any way. Alternatively, I’d take some of that sweet Kaplan money for being a non-fact-checking fact-checker. I could be great at that job.

  104. 104
    Richard says:

    Part of the idiocy of Kessler is that we are supposed to ignore the FACTUAL statements provided by the SEC filings because they were brought up by a Democrat who is thus “biased”, meanwhile we are supposed to take the presumably “unbiased” Romney’s word for everything despite his having presented NO FACTS at all to support his current line.

    An Orwellian moron.

  105. 105
    jl says:

    Romney said he was ‘pro forma’ CEO?

    Does that even mean anything, legally or in business?

    Seriously. Is that just bafflegab, or is there such a thing?

    And he wants Obama to apologize. that a fat slow pitch to throw to… certain sometimes flippant and self assured working class wiseacres been seen hanging around the WH?

  106. 106
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Would be nice if BJ would compile all the “responses” that Romneybot 2.0 gives during the multiple interviews he gives tonight. Just saw a glimpse of him with his uncomfortable, fake, tight smile saying that he had no managerial role in Bain after 1999.

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Violet: And the going on five networks was the pulling of the plug on the respirator. Now the suits at the networks say “Hey, he showed up, he addressed the question, done, move on.” None of those networks have the stomach to have Willard mad at them, and the more team O plays it up, the more they can play the Broder card.

    I thought this would be dead by the end of July, now I doubt it lives to next Friday.

  108. 108
    Valdivia says:

    Like the 10K bet the ‘nominal’ or however he called salary of 100K should leave a mark. Who says that is just a little salary when most americans don’t get to three figure salaries?

  109. 109
    Beth in VA says:

    John, correction: Romney was at least a six-figure salary. The record states “over $100,000”. He may have been paid a seven-figure salary (or more??) we just don’t know.

    Why don’t we know? Something about tax records…

  110. 110
    Violet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Well, we’ll see. I think it raises more questions than it answers and the pressure for Romney to release his tax returns, plus address the discrepancy between the SEC and FEC legal documents, will increase. And we don’t know what other juicy info the Obama campaign has. They’ve been releasing it slowly and they may have more.

  111. 111
    Walker says:

    It is very clear that Romney is a thin-skinned bedwetter. And that scares me, because you do not want someone like that anywhere near launch codes.

  112. 112
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    RSA:

    Has anyone told Mitt Romney that if he’s elected President, he can’t stick around and get paid for three years after he leaves office?

    Why not? Bush was on vacation for most of his two terms.

    .

  113. 113
  114. 114
    darkmatter says:

    @cbear:

    Kesslering: the ability to lavishly lick the balls of the rich and powerful while simultaneously typing.

    New entry for the lexicon.

  115. 115
    FuriousPhil says:

    SEC filings aren’t partisan.

    Also, I stole this from tweet of the day at Kos, but

    “I love how Romney now bases his sales pitch on having been a do-nothing president. Um, dude?”

    Oh, and a thought I had: I’m the officer of a tiny LLC. We have recorded meetings at the kitchen table once a month because the law in my state requires it. If Romney was CEO (an officer) was he required to attend meetings by law? That could be argued very convincingly as an active role.

    Also, just wondering if Bain statements were up on EDGAR, why is this just breaking now? Anybody could have put this together.

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    who said it?

    who said that folks were feeding the Boston Globe and folks like David Corn tips?

    Corn just admitted as much on Tweety’s show.

    ” I’m being sent all sorts of tips.”

    BWA HA HA H AH AH HA HA HA H

  117. 117
    MikeJ says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: He don’t look wise.

  118. 118
    chuckles says:

    But it’s even worse than all of that. He’s not making a judgment that he doesn’t believe Romney was part of Bain; he’s making a judgment that it’s *lying* to suggest that he *made money* off Bain in that timeframe.
    So he 1) thinks the *only* relevant question is whether Romney was personally directing the executive decision-making process — profiting as “sole shareholder” isn’t enough, and 2) doesn’t think it’s arguable that Romney might bear meaningful responsibility for a company that he was, on paper, considered the CEO of. The paperwork (which cannot be so error-ridden as to be meaningless or it’s a felony) isn’t even enough evidence to merit a finding of “reasonable people can disagree”. If you take this sworn (and all-but-sworn) evidence at face value, you’re a liar.

  119. 119
    Mino says:

    @FuriousPhil: Yes, that you “if you want free stuff” becomes rather Freudian, doesn’t it.

  120. 120
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Larryb:

    Am I the only one who’s gob-smacked that Mitt had the nerve to call $100k a “token” salary?

    jl:

    Romney said he was ‘pro forma’ CEO?

    That dialogue was not meant to be a factual statement — which I would have thought was clear from the exploding head.

    I was writing a parody, originally posted hours before the actual interview. All of the dialogue is fictional.

    (Doesn’t mean Romney didn’t say that. I don’t know. I’m flattered that you guys thought it was a realistic portrayal of Romney excuse-making though.)

    .

  121. 121
    daverave says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    End of July? I’ve got end of next week……

  122. 122
    jl says:

    @JGabriel:

    ” That dialogue was not meant to be a factual statement ”

    So, Romney DID say it?

    I’m still confused.

    BTW, I’m joking, thanks for heads up on that.

  123. 123
    Violet says:

    Latest from Sully, who has two more posts on the subject:

    A false SEC filing is a potentially criminal offense; to say so is not absurd. It is true. I’m getting the feeling that Romney thinks he is above the level of accountability required in a presidential candidate or even in an ethical businessman. He is offended to be directly challenged with facts – which he still won’t address in detail. So he simply huffs and puffs and uses words like “disgusting.”

  124. 124
    chuckles says:

    Also:
    Mother Jones, Boston Globe, TPM, everybody:

    Dan Elway made a fortune off the Broncos in 2011 while losing in the playoffs

    Glen Kessler:

    We’ve already been through this! Dan Elway was NOT the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the 2011 season. He hadn’t been quarterback for over a decade!

  125. 125
    JPL says:

    @daverave: There is no way Romney quits to take care of his sick wife until after the Olympics…

  126. 126
    rikyrah says:

    the President pulled the Harry Truman card.

    BWA HA H AHA HA HA HA H HA H HA

    ………………….

    President Obama said Friday that Mitt Romney deserves to be held accountable for his work at Bain Capital during a leave of absence, and that issues surrounding the timing of his exit raise “legitimate questions.”

    “It’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you,” Obama said in an interview with TV station WJLA.

    Obama noted that Romney, despite insisting he had no input into Bain’s operations after 1999 while on leave to run the Olympics, was listed in numerous SEC filings as the firm’s top officer.

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo......hp?ref=fpa

  127. 127
    scav says:

    Somebody scrawl Pro-Forma President on a button, play him a quick mpg of hail to the chief and lock him into a vaguely oval-shaped room.room. Should shut him up for a bit.

    JHC, it’s only July and there’s a lot of straw still to be loaded onto the camel. This is a fun one and it seems ridiculous to expect each and every strand to be the one that brings him down. This was a solid flinch.

  128. 128
    kerFuFFler says:

    @jonas: I’ve never heard of an executive essentially “secretly” retiring, claiming on SEC filings to be the CEO, and then—for clearly cynical political reasons—later claiming that he was actually out the entire time.”

    Just look further back in Romney’s past to find Romney himself employing the same weaselly dodge. When he ran for Senator in the 90’s he distanced himself from another company’s policies the EXACT same way. It sure makes it seem more like a planned dodge mapped out in advance than some bureaucratic oversight about filing forms reporting a change of CEO.

  129. 129
    JGabriel says:

    CBSNews:

    Asked by Crawford whether he believes Mr. Obama owes him an apology for Cutter’s remarks, Romney said, “Absolutely – my goodness! What kind of president would have a campaign that says something like that about the nominee of another party?” Romney said. “This is reckless and absurd on his part, and it’s something that’s beneath his dignity.”

    Shorter Romney: No fair! Obama’s attacking my strengths!

    I thought, as a Mormon, that Shitty Mitty wasn’t supposed to indulge in whine.

    .

  130. 130
    JPL says:

    Kessler is having a sad losing folks he happens to admire like Sully. wahwahwah..

  131. 131
    slag says:

    Like the birthers, Glenn has all the documents in front of him, notarized and legitimate, and he just refuses to accept them at face value.

    Maybe–like so many other prey animals–his eyes are more on the sides of his head, and rather than being adept at seeing what’s in front of him, he has a much better view of what’s stalking him from over there in the bushes?

  132. 132
    Seth Owen says:

    Dead? This baby just got spanked, it’s so newborn. Romney’s got a problem.

  133. 133
    rikyrah says:

    Bill Burton ✔@billburton716

    Shorter Romney: Anderson! Anderson! Stephanie Cutter is being mean to me.

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  134. 134
    Turgidson says:

    Sullivan fileted the interviews nicely. I hope he doesn’t get distracted by a shiny object or dog with a puffy tail and keeps going with this. He can be useful when he’s obsessed with something.

  135. 135
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @daverave: Yeah, I revised and extended my remarks.

  136. 136
    dogwood says:

    @daverave:

    End of July? I’ve got end of next week……

    I think the national media would like the story to die, and perhaps they will ignore it for the most part from here on out, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have legs in local markets in battleground states. The media, Republicans and many Democrats were saying the White House should lay off Romney and Bain and the WH ignored them. The campaign isn’t going to shut up about this. so the story will never be put to rest completely. A presidential candidate who won’t release his tax returns is a questionable character.

  137. 137

    @gnomedad: Well isn’t it at least possible that as we speak (write), Kessler is serving as John Cole’s chauffeur and is doing donuts in the Walmart parking lot while repeatedly flashing his lights, honking his horn and singing “Fish Heads” at the top of his lungs? Given Kessler’s tweets, I can’t rule it out.

  138. 138
    Fluke bucket says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Too fatalistic my friend. The trick is to make it more interesting than Tom and Katie to the hoi polloi and if there is one thing Obama knows better than the back of his own hand it is the hoi polloi. He and his team are a joy to watch in campaign mode. Can you imagine how they are going to be kicking ass after the upcoming Convention debacle? Mitt is wading in shit up to his waist and it is rising. We shall soon see who is in over their head.

  139. 139
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Wingnuts are saying that this officially debunks the Bain stuff.

    I imagine it must be a pretty fun life to be that gullible.

  140. 140
    Trentrunner says:

    If Mitt’s SEC filings end up in Sarah Palin’s uterus, Sully will journalistically jizz all over Provincetown.

  141. 141
    Turgidson says:

    @dogwood:

    A presidential candidate who won’t release his tax returns is a questionable character.

    Personally I don’t even really care about how many returns he releases now. If he does release more, he’ll studiously avoid releasing the worst ones anyway.

    What I’m interested in is that he’s finally been completely fucking nailed to the wall as the goddamn degenerate liar he is. The corporate bootlickers in the media are trying to ignore it. The O team is trying their best not to let them and they need to keep at it, along with the less-mainstream outlets who broke and are covering the story.

    This is much the same media that did an appallingly effective job sweeping the whole “oh shit, the Bush administration totally fucking lied about why we went to Iraq and now there’s all this smoking gun evidence of it” thing under the rug. So they’re capable of burying it. Yesterday morning I thought this could sink Romney’s candidacy as it should. Now it’s looking more like a bump in the road for him, but we’ll see.

  142. 142
    Chris says:

    But you’re forgetting the evidence on the other side:

    Romney says he wasn’t part of Bain.

    So you can see why Kessler’s conclusion was inevitable.

  143. 143
    Tonal Crow says:

    @jl: Good one! Truly this turn of affairs calls for satirical verse, so I’ll offer this, with apologies to Robert Plant:

    ————————————————

    There’s a Romney who’s sure,
    That the lies that he’s told,
    Are enough to ascend to the White House.

    That he’ll get there he knows,
    ‘Cuz the media blows,
    And the “checkers” are all on his payroll.

    Ooo-ooo-oooooo, ooooooooo-oo-ooo-ooo-ooo,
    And he’s buying the door to the White House.

    There’s a sign on the wall:
    David Brooks he must call,
    ‘Cuz you know, sometimes facts need obscuring.

    “I’ll not win, by the book!
    “So by hook and by crook,
    “I shall lie, from the morn ’til the eve’ning!”

    Ooooo, it makes me wonder.
    Ooooo, it makes me wonderrrrrrrrrrr.

    There’s a feeling he gets,
    That Obama is best,
    But his ego is crying for power.

    In his thoughts he has seen,
    Rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of peasants with pitchforks.

    Ooooo, it makes me wonder.
    Ooooo, reallly makes me wonder.

    And it’s whispered that soon,
    If the GOP calls the tune,
    Then the Randites will lead us to Galt-land.

    And a new day will dawn,
    For the rich, not the pawn,
    And the proles, they will slave on, forever.

    If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow,
    Don’t be alarmed now.
    It’s just a libtard with some filings.

    Yes there are two paths you can go by,
    But in the long run,
    There’s still time to change the road you’re on.

    And it makes we wonder.

    Your head is humming and it won’t go,
    In case you don’t know.
    The piper’s callin’ you to pay him.

    Dear liar can you hear the wind blow,
    And did you know,
    Your power lies on the whisp’ring wind.

  144. 144
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Trentrunner:

    OMG Josh Marshall just reminded us that soon, very soon, someone, somewhere will be creating a Romney Downfall mashup.

    Oh my FSM is that thought hilarious!

  145. 145
    joes527 says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: I don’t even get how that refutes anything. Even if you accept it at face value, it says he wasn’t a principle manager of the fund.

    The claim was that he was managing the company that was managing the funds.

    If we could unearth the janitorial signoff sheets from the Bain restrooms 1999-2001, I’d be serious money that we won’t find Mitt’s signature _anywhere_ on any of them.

    Does that make him not the CEO?

    What am I missing?

  146. 146
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Trentrunner: There’s a whole set of images I didn’t need in my head.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Tonal Crow: Love. it.

  148. 148
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @joes527: Romney’s whole defense, such as it is, is that he may have been listed on official paperwork as the boss, but he wasn’t the one making active decisions about where the firm invested and such. Still, it’s quite a screwy defense, because even if it stood to clear him of the charge that he himself signed off on outsourcing or whatnot, it would still open him up to a different charge that he must have been doing fuck-all in the meantime. And when his defense is that he was a president in name only, that puts a serious crack in his image as strong hand on the tiller, or, really, as someone prepared to be… President.

  149. 149

    @hueyplong:

    If you were in Romney’s spot, you’d have to at least consider the strategy of having someone step forward and say, “I was the acting CEO and President while Mr. Romney was on his leave of absence.”

    Unpossible. That would require Mitt admitting there was a time when he wasn’t the biggest swinging dick in the room. He’ll eat broken glass before admitting that.

  150. 150
    patrick II says:

    @JGabriel:

    Calling for an apology just a day after the Romney campaign came out with an ad calling Obama untruthful — for telling the truth — is ludicrous. But I am not sure he doesn’t really mean it.

  151. 151
    Tonal Crow says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Still, it’s quite a screwy defense, because even if it stood to clear him of the charge that he himself signed off on outsourcing or whatnot, it would still open him up to a different charge that he must have been doing fuck-all in the meantime.

    Which means that his certification that he was CEO was a material misrepresentation on a matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency, and thus a violation of 18 USC 1001, which is a felony. Not to mention that it’s also probably securities fraud. As someone pointed out earlier, a share of Apple is worth more if it’s being run by Steve Jobs than if he’s a figurehead and it’s being run by the janitor in building 782A. Which means that someone who bought shares in any Bain-related entity under the impression that Mitt was running it paid a higher price than she would have had she known that he was a figurehead. That is recoverable damages.

  152. 152
    Brian R. says:

    Per the title, this is only a partial list of the things you need to ignore in order to be Glenn Kessler, right?

    Because I don’t see common sense, a frontal lobe and the difference between one’s own ass and a fucking hole in the ground.

  153. 153
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: The Fortune article is weak sauce. They dug up some post-1999 offering memos where Romney wasn’t identified as an investment professional. But he wouldn’t necessarily be in those memos. He’s not a fund manager. He’s the CEO. (Note that no one is waving around pre-1999 marketing materials for comparison purposes.) Moreover, just because he wasn’t in some of the marketing materials doesn’t mean that Bain wasn’t holding him out as CEO. They clearly were.

    And how do any of these “explanations” account for his showy “resignation” in August 2001? He didn’t say, “I resigned in February 1999.” He said, “I am resigning.”

  154. 154

    @rikyrah:

    “It’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you,” Obama said in an interview with TV station WJLA.

    Mitt misunderstood. He thought it was “The bucks stop here”.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: If what is out now is the sum total of the story you are right. I am guessing that there is more there and the Obama campaign will keep letting it drip out until it reaches critical mass.

  156. 156
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Yeah, that whole line of inquiry seems particularly dumb. It’d be like George Steinbrenner saying he wasn’t the owner of the Yankees because he didn’t have a baseball card.

  157. 157
    freelancer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Actually the sign on Truman’s desk did say “The buck stops here.”

  158. 158
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @joes527:

    What am I missing?

    The stench of desperation and flop sweat that is visibly emanating from the wingnuts who actually believe that piddling crap somehow puts ol’ Mitt in the clear. But, in sympathy to them, what else do they have to grasp onto here?

  159. 159
    RareSanity says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m with you, I think this is just the appetizer.

    There will be additional “tips” to keep the story going all the way up to the GOP Convention, that’s when they drop the coup de grâce. Willard will be forced to spend his entire coronation week answering why he lies so much.

    I mean, everyone is in agreement that the Obama campaign is coordinating this, right?

    No one thinks that all of this is just happenstance, right?

    How many days has it been since Obamacare was a top story on any news outlet?

    Where some may see coincidence, I see coordination.

  160. 160
    chuckles says:

    @chuckles: Or, you know, John Elway. Whichever one’s a real person.

  161. 161

    @freelancer:

    Actually the sign on Truman’s desk did say “The buck stops here.”

    And Romney thought it was “The bucks stop here”.

  162. 162
    Elizabelle says:

    Catching up on the thread.

    NBC did mention Romney is at his New Hampshire estate. Points there.

    Some NYTimes readers on threads have mentioned Romney might have claimed to be CEO from 1999-2002 to ensure preferential tax treatment. Something about “passive returns.”

    Anybody up on that?

    There’s more to this story.

  163. 163
    amk says:

    @cbear: so tweeting that.

  164. 164
    NonyNony says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If what is out now is the sum total of the story you are right. I am guessing that there is more there and the Obama campaign will keep letting it drip out until it reaches critical mass.

    THIS.

    The thing going through my head right now is that if this is what they’re willing to dribble out BEFORE the convention (when the GOP still has the option of ditching Romney), what are they holding back for after the convention?

    If this actually has been coordinated via tips from the Obama team (which I would believe), I have to expect that the material they have to lay out the week of the GOP convention will be priceless.

  165. 165
    gelfling545 says:

    @Hill Dweller: As Mr. Pierce said at Esquire – like a pack of shi-tzus trying to win the Iditarod.

  166. 166

    If Romney could be induced to withdraw his candidacy before the convention, it would be good news for President Obama, to say the least, and would also make for really spectacular TV.

    The first actually contested Repub convention since…when, 1976?

    Why bother with a horse race when you can broadcast gladiatorial games?

    So please, journos, if you have more dirt, please roll it out now.

  167. 167
    coredump says:

    Long time lurker here. Had to de-lurk.

    So – let’s get this straight – being vice president is so important that he has to release 23 years worth of tax returns – being president not so much – just deserves 2 years worth of tax returns? Really?

  168. 168
    kindness says:

    The rich truly are different.

    We’ve all heard this at one point or another and we all know some rich folk that are eccentric in their own way. But the rich have a hierarchy and I’ll bet most the rich we might know are hand servants to Romney’s level rich.

    Romney’s level rich really doesn’t think it should have to talk to ‘regular’ people. They shouldn’t have to explain. It’s insulting and beneath them. This whole episode of asking Romney for his tax returns and whether or not SEC documents filed are fraudulent is an outrage. They really feel that way. You can see it in Romney’s eyes.

    Now Rove & the other talking heads see the problem and are furiously trying to detour the whole conversation saying ‘This conversation is a distraction’. They know this won’t play well even to their own teahaddist surfs (middle class to you and me). So Rove & the MSM is trying to pull the train back on the tracks. Those efforts are only working with their pliant media types (about 80% of the MSM).

    We live in interesting times. If only the consequences weren’t so serious, this might all be entertaining, but it is serious and so this can’t be entertainment. We’ll see how well they bury this whole line of questioning between now and the Republican convention.

    @John M. Burt:

    If Romney could be induced to withdraw his candidacy before the convention, it would be good news for President Obama

    If Romney withdrew before the convention this MSM would say that would be horrible news for President Obama. Bet on that.

  169. 169
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    The thing going through my head right now is that if this is what they’re willing to dribble out BEFORE the convention (when the GOP still has the option of ditching Romney), what are they holding back for after the convention?

    Oh, they have that option?

    I mean, think of what happens if Romney drops out over (say) an SEC investigation into felony misrepresentation (heh heh). What exactly can the Republicans do? Throw back one of the other losers into the ring after they were spanked out? Seriously?

    Oh wait – I believe Ron Paul hasn’t resigned yet…

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: This is one of the reasons people suspend their campaigns instead of ending them.

  171. 171
    catclub says:

    Simple question for Mitt: Who took over for you in 1999?

    I bet a journalist would ask it.

  172. 172
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub: Where does one find a journalist?

  173. 173
    cmorenc says:

    @SmallAxe:

    Romney massive fail on CNN answering the questions tonight. Smiling all the way like the joker, answering “1999” after every question (not being pressed hard mind you). Goes after Obama teams methods, thinks he’s owed an apology. Will only release 2010&11 tax returns. Good luck with that. Seriously, he just repeated what he’s been saying all along I don’t see how this stops the fire.

    The entire CNN news staff seems to be trying their best to help Romney put out the fire. David Gergen last night, and Gloria Borger tonight, stating that there seems to be very little substance there to the Bain allegations.

  174. 174
    CW in LA says:

    @Walker: It’s also okay if you’re covering for a Republican.

  175. 175
    sylvainsylvain says:

    Unless I missed something, everyone’s seems to be missing the point…Stericycle. It won’t matter to the base whether or not he was pro forma in charge or not. If he, or Bain, were profiting from recycling aborted fetuses (sp?), then all bets are off, it won’t matter what Karl Rove’s money machine says.

    Someone like Focus on the Family, or that radio preacher guy that got Rmoney’s gay foreign policy adviser canned, just can’t let that slide. And the uproar over this will reach unto the heavens…

    Unless I missed something in this sh!tstorm and the Stericycle thing’s been debunked. Or “found to be debunked.”

  176. 176
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sylvainsylvain: No, you are right. We were looking at the forest, but, damn, that is one big ass tree.

  177. 177
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cmorenc: And Tom Foreman comparing the whole thing to Swift Boats because, you see, both involved taking aim at your opponent’s strengths by launching attacks for which there is, and I quote, “little or no evidence.” My TV is lucky I was wearing slippers.

  178. 178
    moops says:

    @sylvainsylvain:

    Stericycle was only an issue if it came up in the primaries.

    For the general it won’t matter. when it comes to any abortion issue IOKOYAR. The base thinks the apocalypse will descend if we elect the Kenyan socialist again. The base are in the can, no matter what comes out about Romney.

    The only people at play here are the soft-headed middle, who don’t believe in anything and barely pay attention to anything unless it is everywhere. They are somewhat leery or a plutocrat, but they’re also somewhat racist when you get down to it.

  179. 179
    dcgaffer says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Interesting speculation: probably true. Relates most likely to “carried interest” being treated as capital gains as opposed to regular income.

    As to whether he was in “control”, amongst the myriad SEC Rules that may apply, do the google on 10b-5(b). That’s the catch-all.

  180. 180
    sylvainsylvain says:

    @moops:

    First of all, I should preface this by saying I live in OK, and I may think it’s a big deal cause I’m surrounded w. people that a) hate Obama, and b) hate abortion even more.

    Even if it doesn’t stick, according to Rush/Beck or Murdoch, it’s gonnin matter to the Xian base.

    If played right, this could be a classic wedge issue…”Which moral code is more important to you? Unfettered capitalism, which says that making a buck is the ONLY thing that matters? Or an innocent unborn child?”

    Maybe I’m just being hopeful.

  181. 181

    @sylvainsylvain:
    that would be an outside type of attack

  182. 182
    moops says:

    @sylvainsylvain:

    I’m not hopeful that there is anything heavy here. It might dampen turnout from hard-core abortion zealots, but if they were able to look past his cult and actually vote for the Mormon against the Christian candidate, they can look past this.

  183. 183
    slightly_peeved says:

    @sylvainsylvain:

    There’s a while before the election. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are waiting until Romney’s finished digging this hole before starting on the Stericycle stuff.

    Since this one does involve the possible commission of felonies, and it takes out Romney’s biggest strength among independents, it’s a pretty big deal.

  184. 184
    Jebediah says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No, you are right. We were looking at the forest, but, damn, that is one big ass tree.

    Yup. It’s just the right height.

  185. 185

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