Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Romney’s Overseas Shenanigans

A recent report on Mitt Romneys machinations:

There are two aspects to this:

(1)  The outsourcing of American jobs, via Romney’s wholly-owned company, Bain.
(2)  The squirreling-away of ill-gotten gains  in offshore accounts, e.g. Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

Now -- for the record -- I actually doubt that Romney is technically guilty of any felony, as some Democrats have suggested.   The reason being -- as someone once observed -- “The scandal is not the illegal financial activity going on --  the scandal is what is actually legal.”   Dumb guys simply rob a bank;  smart guys, like Romney, found one, and siphon the funds.

A word to our beloved Republican buddies:
Wouldn’t you like to peek under the hood, before shelling out for this rattletrap?  If your candidate is a crook, wouldn’t you prefer that this matter be handled before the miscreant is actually nominated?  Do you really desire another Watergate ??

Today’s speculations about what he’s hiding:

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

[Update]  As more voices join the chorus:  Come clean!

[Flash update!]  Mitt -- All is forgiven!  Thank U for saving the orphaned baby penguins !!

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A thoughtful though admonishing Comment (see below) deserves an equally thoughtful reply.

Dear Mormonchess:

You make several valid points, in particular the one about shunning, which illustrates the great value to public morality  of belonging to a faith community such as LDS.  The curious workplace where I currently find myself (owing to certain notorious September events) has put me in intimate proximity with a fair number of patriotic Mormons, and I have come greatly to value their service over the years.  Moreover,  in the matter of the importance of traditional family values, the Church’s position  and my position  are two peas in a pod. So, this-all is not about that.
Nor do I suggest that Mr. Romney personally has been more culpable in his business practices than the general run of Titans of Finance:  but that is just the point.  The general run is increasingly cynical, high-rolling, and dismissive of labor -- and actively hostile to the trade unions;  no worker today in America should be voting for a Titan of Finance.   The beguiling phrase “whatever legal means is necessary to keep the State out of his wallet” conceals a gaping paralogism :  for it is the fat cats who write the tax laws.   You do know that the marginal tax rate on the rich was much higher under Reagan and Eisenhower  than it is now under Obama;  and even that understates what the wealthy are getting away with, since they have set up so many shelters and loopholes for themselves. Once again, the true scandal is not illegal behavior by the very rich;  the scandal is what-all is legal.

As for your suggestion that I abstain from political commentary:  it may come as a surprise, but devoutly do I as well so wish!  This blog was founded upon the subject of Theologia Mathematica, with its twin pillars of theism and Platonic Realism.   At my stage of life, the passing spectacle here below is a mere distraction; to dwell upon the ephemera of our inane political campaigns, excrutiating.  Yet at the prospect that the party which brought us into Iraq on the back of a lie, and then left it open to plunder by the likes of Halliburton and Blackstone, might be poised to recapture the White House and Congress -- No, no, the very stones cry out.  We saw what they did with it under Dubya and Cheney and Tom DeLay and the rest, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

[Update 19 July]  And now this:
“We’ve given all you people need to know,” said Ann Romney on “Good Morning America” Thursday, asked about the Romney tax returns.

You there, my good man -- See to it that my dressage horse is properly stabled.

It just keeps getting better and better.

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More about the crooks in the world of high finance:

You really want these clowns running the economy?

Oh -- and now this as well:
Mitt Romney's firm raised more than a third of its first investment fund from wealthy foreigners — who mostly used companies in Panama, then known for tax advantages and banking secrecy.
You open the closet door, and see what-all comes tumbling out.


[Update 20 VII 12]  And this:


[Update 21VII 12]  And now, domestic shenanigans re overseas events.

Flinging fairy-dust in the voters’ eyes, Romney now attempts to disparage our President’s watchful, forceful and measured response to the Syrian crisis.  Since passions on this side of the Atlantic are too enflamed to permit objective comment from either side, let us quote some intelligent and measured responses from readers in France:

Pourquoi est-ce que l'échec diplomatique de Barack Obama en Syrie serait pire que celui de l'Organisation des Nations Unies?
Si Barack Obama n'avait rien tenté, il aurait été critiqué. Il a tenté mais échoué, il est critiqué. Si il avait réussi sa tentative diplomatique, il aurait également été l'objet de critiques: ingérence dans les affaires d'autrui, manoeuvre à but électoral, que sais-je? J'ai un souvenir de François Hollande critiquant l'engagement de Nicolas Sarkozy en Libye, amenuisant la libération du peuple libyen. La mauvaise foi n'est pas une exclusivité Socialiste française.
Enfin, la critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile: les critiques de ceux qui ne font rien ne devraient pas entraver la marche de ceux qui essayent d'agir.

Est-ce que Obama est péesident du monde ? Est-ce que Obama est président de la Ligue Arabe ou est-ce que son pays fait partie des voisins de la Syrie ? Est-ce que Obama est le chef des Nations Unies ?
Pourquoi demande t-on et attend t-on des USA ce que nous n'attendons pas des TOUS les autres pays du monde réunis ou de la Ligue Arabe ou de Organisations de pays islamiques ou de l'Union Européen ?
Être un pays démocratique comme les USA ne dit que ce pays et son président sont plus humains que les autres sur terre. Être le pays le plus riche ne dit pas les autres ne peuvent pas faire mieux en s'ils mettaient toutes leurs ressources ensemble. Alors pourquoi ne le font-ils pas ? (Attendent ils les naïfs Américains?)
L'Amérique a bon dos. Juste pour donner bonne conscience aux autres qui ne veulent rien faire de décisives.
Après avoir demandé aux USA de ne pas se mêler des affaires intérieurs des autres nations, on les blâme maintenant de ne pas intervenir plus agressivement.
On doit les prendre pour des c...ns

That last word, which in its full form rhymes with bons,  refers to Romney’s assessment -- possibly accurate, alas -- of the average American voter.

Note:   Unless you have some cognizance of the Syrian situation, the flippancy and opportunism of Romney’s interventions will not be apparent.  The fact is, there is no ‘Syrian opposition’, in the sense of an entity, of a side that one could back.  It’s not like North and South Vietnam.  As has been widely reported in the press, there are myriad scattered groupuscules, lacking prior familiarity with one another, and chary of building mutual relations owing to the immense and practiced Syrian security apparatus.  So, which faction does Romney back?  Jabhat-al-Nusrah, perhaps?  (Note to cognoscenti:  That would be a big oops.)

[Update 24 juillet 2012]   Over twenty… trillion dollars are hiding out in overseas/offshore/off-the-books accounts:

“Entre 21.000 et 32.000 milliards de dollars, soit 17.000 à 25.500 milliards d'euros, continueraient à être dissimulés dans ces zones défiscalisées.”

[Update 25 July] An unusually thoughtful piece from Maureen Dowd:


  1. Dr. Justice,

    I really wish you could constrain yourself to keep to linguistic matters.

    For the record, I wish that everyone could have low tax rates. I applaud Mr. Romney for using whatever legal means is necessary to keep the State out of his wallet.

    By the way, did you know that the Obamas own stock in companies that outsource?

    Also, Mormons place a VERY high premium on ethics and honesty. If Romney were guilty of serious wrong doing, he would make the approximately 6 million Mormons in the US very unhappy and we would shun him.

  2. I appreciate very much the sum and substance of your rejoinder.

    I also understand your extreme reluctance to have the GOP in control again. It seems that neither party, however, truly has America's best interests at heart. Especially when one considers that the Democratic Party's single piano key note seems to be that we can just tax and spend our way out of any problem, bury the head in the sand and pretend that Social Security and Medicare will be forever solvent, and that "Greece" will "never" happen to "us". Vive la Helicopter Ben! Raise the debt ceiling ad infinitum -- that's leadership! No need for real budgets! (Thank you, Senator Reid -- a Mormon by the way!).

    So, we have the war party and the eternal unlimited entitlement party.

    I truly bemoan the state of our nation. I believe that our civilization is in peril.

  3. UK - Same issue, different people, and a high profile politician calling a senior and respected politician a f****** liar. Do you see much of that in the US?


    Plus la place, plus c'est la meme chose. (Is that allowed in French?)

    If you'd really like to fulminate a little, try looking at how Barclays senior staff have been manipulating international lending rates for their own profit.