Speaking of Has-Beens


I guess I’m looking for a little cheap amusement on a Friday. (via James Fallows)

72 replies
  1. 1
    Walker says:

    Is he honestly trying to make a distinction between his company bankruptcies and personal bankruptcy?

  2. 2
    Elie says:

    I am just testing the ability to comment again. Yesterday, I was unable to post any comments and got weird error messages all day. I knew John was upgrading the site so hoped it would resolve quickly.. so far so good..

  3. 3
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yep. All praise to the guy who managed to run a company into the ground yet stay rich. What business acumen he must have shown to do that. I mean our laws are set up clearly to make that difficult.

  4. 4
    zzyzx says:

    Remember how all of the Libertarians and Firebaggers told us that Obama was going to crack down on WA and CO? Huh, who could have known that they were wrong again?


  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    @Walker: Yes. Corporations exist for the sole purpose of allowing one to escape responsibility for one’s actions. Trump has been remarkably successful at that.

  6. 6
    Ben Grimm says:

    Isn’t he more of a never-was?

  7. 7
    magurakurin says:

    @zzyzx: Wow. The Firebaggers really are wrong about everything.

    The nice thing is that this election proved that they aren’t needed to win elections at all.

    Fuck em.

  8. 8
    Suffern ACE says:

    Personal bankruptcy-bah. That’s for losers who thought their health insurance actually insured things and got too sick and couldn’t afford a cure.

  9. 9
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Test post on an altered nym. I need to be a little less out, if possible.

  10. 10
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Of course he didn’t personally go bankrupt. His corporations took the fall for his screwups. That’s what they’re for.

  11. 11
    Davis X. Machina says:

    There are no second acts in American lives.

    There are, however, direct-to-DVD releases.

  12. 12
    arguingwithsignposts says:


    Corporations exist for the sole purpose of allowing one to escape responsibility for one’s actions.

    Well, corporations exist to shield people from losing all they own in a personal bankruptcy should the business go under. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, although like everything, it’s subject to abuse.

  13. 13
    Cassidy says:

    @zzyzx: Unfortunately, kitchen implement and mclaren and that other asshat I’ve never seen before will pretend like this hasn’t happenned and move on to the next fauxtrage “Obama is worse than Hitler and Bush doing an Eiffel Tower with Palin” du jour.

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    While we’re mentioning has-beens, TPM brings us the latest Mitt Romney sighting.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    quannlace says:

    There are no second acts in American lives.
    There are, however, direct-to-DVD releases.

    And appearing in a Macy’s Christmas commercial. Gah! Why won’t this man get off my tv screen?

  17. 17
    weaselone says:

    It’s nice work if you can get it. Unfortunately, if most of us tried to establish a corporation based on a destined-to-fail business model that just happened pay us an overly generous salary and provide excessive perks to us as CEO we would never get financing. If somehow we did convince banks and some elderly people to fork over a few million, we would likely be facing jail time for fraud.

  18. 18
    danimal says:

    Remember, kids, to boycott Macy’s. And never watch Trump’s dumb-ass show again.

    No rewards for bad behavior.

  19. 19
    Alex S. says:


    I have decided that I want Hillary to run for president only to see how hillaryis44 and the other firebaggers are going to spin that.

  20. 20
    jibeaux says:

    @danimal: You know where you can go instead of Macy’s? JC Penney’s. If you haven’t been lately, it’s a nicer place than it was.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @zzyzx: Bah, he is just waiting until after he takes our guns, cuts SS and Medicare, and wins the War on X-mas. Priorities, you know?

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    When calling your republican tea party congressman, be sure to mention that the Ryan Plan doesn’t balance the budget for sixty years.. (the office said thirty) Be sure to mention that you aren’t concerned about the President’s plan, you want to know what your representative’s plan is and be prepared to have them hang up on you. The staff member I spoke to did not know that the CBO had reissued their findings on taxation on the rich.
    Now I have to go scream..

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:


  24. 24
    General Stuck says:

    From the believe it or not files

    President Obama told ABC News that the federal government has better things to do than prosecute marijuana users in Colorado and Washington where voters chose to legalized in the last election.

    Said Obama: “We’ve got bigger fish to fry. It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”

  25. 25
    J. says:

    @Walker: Apparently so. Though when the company that bears your name declares bankruptcy four times in 18 years, and if corporations are people….

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    Remember the panic over Obama’s supposed impending present tense/future tense crackdown on pot users in Washington and Colorado?

    “We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said of marijuana smokers in Colorado and Washington, the two states where recreational use is now legal.

    “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal,” he said.

  27. 27
    Culture of Truth says:

    ach, zzyzx got there first

  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    @General Stuck:
    And if you apply NRA logic to this statement — OMG, he’s coming after your pot stash!

  29. 29
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @General Stuck:
    @Culture of Truth:

    Yep, too slow.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    @Amir Khalid: An obvious fake. Mitt Romney would never rob a bank by sticking up a couple of tellers; he’d rob the bank by staging a leveraged buyout using funds borrowed against the bank’s pension plans and other underperforming assets and then gutting the bank by charging it multimillion dollar “management fees”.

  31. 31
    Flying Fox says:

    How ’bout this:
    When Forbes published there top 15 richest fictional characters last year, my dad wrote to the editor, “You forgot Donald Trump. But wherever you put him, he’d insist he should be higher.”
    The editor wrote back, “Too true. I was working on his Fortune 400 File back in 1994. Trump had just filed for chapter 11 but insisted he was a billionaire.”

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    @General Stuck:

    Said Obama: “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

    OMIGOD! Obama is coming after our fish!

    (no, I don’t know what that means either. Still, I give it a 50-50 shot of being the lead headline on Fox Nation by noon)

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:


    OMIGOD! Obama is coming after our fish!

    Here in Washington we *are* known for our smoked salmon.

    It’s just hard to keep the fuckers lit.

  34. 34
    General Stuck says:


    Time for the nutters to dust off the dope pushin’ pimp meme. I think it’s it’s turn.

    Then I want to be Secretary of Grammar.

  35. 35
    chopper says:


    he’s coming after our friday fish fry-ups! where’s bill donohue when we need him?!

  36. 36
    Schlemizel says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    There is a very real issue with legal pot in CO & WA which has nothing in particular to do with the Prez and nobody has commented on for the government as far as I know.

    Selling pot is still illegal, profits made from the sale of pot would be considered dirty money & putting it into the bank would require the bank to report it or face being cite for money laundering.

    So there are actually several branches of the gov that could put a crimp in the flow.

  37. 37

    If Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Grover Norquist and about a million other scions aren’t a convincing enough argument for a 75% inheritance tax, I don’t know what is.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    WTF is wrong with this site? Not just those stupid script errors on Baba Wawa, but I just got the weirdest ultra-wide format. Now it’s back to normal.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @Elie: I had commenting problems yesterday too. Now the tab on Firefox for the whole site shows as the title of the top post, not “Balloon-Juice”.

  40. 40
    kindness says:

    Any one else annoyed that more and more web sites are ginning their advertising clicks by having multiple ads you have to click through till you get the article you want? I don’t mind one click but more than one is bullshit. I’m finding that sometimes over at Esquire when I’m reading Charles Pierce that when I click a ‘read more’ extension that it takes me to another ad and then when I try to return back (if I just hit the back button and not pull down my full history) I have gotten a never ending loop of ads.

    OK, I’ll stop griping.

  41. 41
    Chris says:

    According to “CNN Breaking News,” shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Our well regulated militia continues to perform its constitutionally mandated duties.

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    OT.. Shooting at an elementary school in CT according to NBC news.. I found this at the Hartford Courant
    State police are responding to a report of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive, school officials said. Police are reporting a number of injured parties. The nature of their injuries is not clear. There are unconfirmed reports of two shooters — one dead, one still at large.

  43. 43
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: Whenever someone wants to say “they earned it” Donald Trump is a great response. For that reason, I’m glad that asshat exists.

  44. 44
    MattR says:

    @zzyzx: A decent start, but also a pretty meaningless statement for a couple reasons. First, he focuses on recreational use when the real issue is how the government will treat growers and distributors (which I believe is who the DOJ has primarily been going after in California). And that brings up the second point, I think most people would agree that Obama has backtracked on similar comments made about California during/after the 2008 election.

    I am definitely happy he said this over the alternative, but I would also hold off on massive congratulatory parties and see how that policy is actually implemented.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @Chris: The Hartford Courant has a little more info.. link

    Maybe I should call my congressman’s office again and ask about gun control.

  46. 46
    Turbulence says:

    I’m not sure the Obama promise is meaningful. The DEA was never going to go after recreational users anyway: they didn’t have the manpower. So, promising not do something that you can’t do…not so helpful. What they can do is nail large farms or public stores or even state/local government officials who license the farms/stores. Those aren’t recreational users, and they’re easy to find. Obama hasn’t said anything about them, has he?

  47. 47
    magurakurin says:


    So there are actually several branches of the gov that could put a crimp in the flow.

    But by next year Washington State will have a distribution system in place for the legal sale of marijuana. So, the branches of government that want to put a crimp in the flow will have to go after the Washington State government that will be collected 25% tax on the growing and subsequent sales of pot.

    You are right that it is in no way a done deal. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. But seriously, when Colorado and Washington start cashing those sweet, sweet Mary Jane Tax Checks, you know that California will be close behind and other states as well.

    The president saying he has better things to do than fuck with WA and CO is a really good thing in my book. Even though it doesn’t really solve the sticky legal issues that you mention.

  48. 48

    The beauty of their schtick is that when they do, they’ll have worked in Obama thwarting the WA and CO marijuana laws as part of their assumptions. This is how narratives are made, with easily debunked accusations all proving each other.

  49. 49
    Chris says:


    Thanks for the link, I’m just repeating what the airport TV said.

    Call your congressman… if only. It’s illiberal and defeatist of me, but I’ve pretty much accepted that there are some issues on which the national discourse is so one sided it’s not even worth wasting the time. Israel tops the list, but gun control is next. (Drugs used to be on the list, but it may finally be changing).

  50. 50

    One shooter dead, one still at large.

  51. 51
    Cassidy says:

    @Turbulence: That’s not the point. When this conversation happenned a few days ago, there were a couple of ninnies and the usual emo-progs talking about how President Obama was going to start throwing pot smokers in jail and all kinds of other dumbassery, even after it was explained that the DEA doesn’t go after users.

  52. 52
    NonyNony says:


    The president, who smoked pot often in high school, told Walters that he does not support general legalization “at this point.” It’s the same position he’s taken throughout his political career, despite his own history.

    “There are a bunch of things I did that I regret when I was a kid,” Obama told Walters. “My attitude is, substance abuse generally is not good for our kids, not good for our society.”

    I really hate our stupid political climate, where politicians feel like they have to take positions like this, which are innately stupid.

    I’m against substance abuse too – I’ve seen what alcoholism did to my extended family. But somehow the idea of outlawing beer because my aunts and uncles needed psychological interventions to control their addictions has never really seemed like it would be a good idea.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:


    This hasn’t been one of my closely watched issues, but didn’t those states just vote into law a negative response to enforcing pot laws, in general. Not an affirmative legalization that would conflict with federal law? I don’t know how licensing farms and stuff is involved, but like I said, not a burning issue for me.

  54. 54
    Bulworth says:

    I also have proof that real donald trump was born in Asbeckistan.

  55. 55
    slag says:

    Let’s not forget Karen Handel:

    Handel, who is rumored to be considering a run for U.S. Senate in Georgia, has not dropped her fight against Planned Parenthood since a strong public backlash from Planned Parenthood supporters forced her to resign from Komen in February. She wrote a book about the incident, Planned Bullyhood, in which she calls Planned Parenthood “a bunch of schoolyard thugs,” and on Thursday, she set out to further smear the family planning provider.

    Woman’s a genius.

  56. 56
    poco says:

    @Amir Khalid: That is very, very funny!

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: One paper is reporting that a child was carried out of the building with injuries. I swear that if I hear talk radio say if only there were more guns, I might buy one for purposes they might not like…

  58. 58
    Cassidy says:

    @JPL: Just makes me feel sick to my stomach. And I want to cry. Bullshit.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    Here’s a live feed there is complete chaos with parents trying to find their children

  60. 60
    piratedan says:

    OT – but worth sharing….

    had a dream last night where Rice hadn’t removed her name and was in the hearing with Senator Grumpypants and after he asked her something else patently ridiculous she goes off politely citing her credentials and then proudly listing each and every bit of Republican douchbaggery that has taken place over the last 20 years from Iraq to Afghanistan to 9/11 to their being wrong about Muslim fundalmentalism in all its forms and then being a member of the party that voted to reduce the amount of money that keeps our foreign office staff safe in the name of petty politics and if he still thinks he’s fit to deny her the chair then so be it.

    Then everyone has an outrage and says how can you have such disrespect for the office yada yada yada and Rice replies indicating that if I have to represent our country I have to have the ability to stand up to our nation’s enemies and if I can’t defend myself then how in the hell can I defend our nation’s best interests?

    and then heads explode…. and the balloon juice commentariat smokes a cig

  61. 61
    shortstop says:

    Every time Mitt appears in public, he should be asked if he’s maintaining his close ties to Donald Trump, Ted Nugent, John Sununu and other massive human embarrassments.

  62. 62
    Ash says:


    Just in time to find out that Michigan just passed a law that allows you to bring a concealed weapon into a daycare center!

  63. 63
    scav says:

    so, what did dylawn420 say that was so precious that got him the personalized attention instead of the bog standard form robo-tweet? INWB could stand proud beside LOL and FYWP and other boilerplate statements on a restricted diet.

  64. 64

    My latest RWNJ host on my local radio station (don’t know his name replacement for Ingraham) was saying yesterday that all those lives that were lost in the movie theater shooting could have been saved if everyone in the theater had been armed. His callers all agreed with him. Idiots.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JPL: I lived in that town while I was in middle school. Fuck. James Thurber lived there for awhile too.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s always a weird feeling. Laurie Dann shot up the public school in the same small town where I went to Catholic school.

  67. 67
    Turbulence says:

    @General Stuck: Not an affirmative legalization that would conflict with federal law? I don’t know how licensing farms and stuff is involved, but like I said, not a burning issue for me.

    I think they’ve voted to regulate the industry. There are big penalties for selling to underage folk for example, and there is a lot of explicit licensing for sellers and strict requirements for how they conduct their business.

  68. 68
    Turbulence says:

    @Cassidy: When this conversation happenned a few days ago, there were a couple of ninnies and the usual emo-progs talking about how President Obama was going to start throwing pot smokers in jail and all kinds of other dumbassery, even after it was explained that the DEA doesn’t go after users.

    Hey, I think firebaggers suck. But that doesn’t change the fact that the administration is likely to try and block the implementation of the ballot initiatives. At the very least, Obama hasn’t said anything indicating that they won’t. Now, of course they’re not going to go after recreational users: they can’t, so anyone who thought they would is an idiot.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:


    Now, of course they’re not going to go after recreational users: they can’t, so anyone who thought they would is an idiot.

    This was my only point; not trying to say anything negative to you at all. As for what the DOJ is going to do, I don’t know, but I think that a lot of it is political theater. Of course, they have to have meetings about it. Of course, they have to look at how this conflicts with federal law and their response. And of course, they can’t overtly approve states telling federal law to “fuck off” even if they personally approve. That’s a bad precedent. Hopefully, they’ll find other areas that are more important to focus on and deserving of more resources and that’s when we’ll know the real response.

  70. 70
    artem1s says:


    so I guess this means Susan Rice is going to be his Pot Czar?

  71. 71
    General Stuck says:


    In that case, then there is more at stake here than the legalization of pot via a state law referendum. The feds and Obama just can’t completely refuse to enforce current federal law, especially in the face of states rights civil disobedience. Anytime a citizen on up to a state engages in such civil disobedience, they should be prepared for the federal government to defend the constitutional foundation for supremacy of fed law over state law. As Obama said, we are going to have a conversation on the whole. concerning the criminalization of people using marijuana and affirmative legalization of the drug, with proposed state regulation. These states have decided on a legal confrontation to make their case and promote their cause, for the purpose of ultimately trying the case in the courts of public opinion. I am on their side, and hope they win in the end. But I don’t support states supplanting federal law and the federal government just looking the other way. And neither should liberals in general, imho.

  72. 72
    Joe Buck says:


    In a way, this is worse. He’s found ways to keep his own money and blow through other people’s. Those who invested with him lost their money, quite a bit of it, four separate times.

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