but he likes it

Mitt Romney Can’t Explain What He Learned from Firing People

The business of America is ... some stuff?I like to learn a fun fact every day, and today I learned TWO fun facts! One is that people still actually read Time, and two is that Romneybot 6000 doesn’t have a scripted response to questions about what he learned from Bain or how Bain in any way qualifies him to be the president of the Greatest Country on Earth. He does, however, know that he has two of the most important qualifications there are: he was born in the United States, and he knows exactly how many people you have to fire to make a businesses grow. From that commie liberal rag the New York Times:

“I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution,” he recalled [some guy] saying, “that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.”

Mr. Romney did not endorse the idea, but he seemed to like it.

He liked it because “working in business,” unlike, presumably, the kind of work that OTHER PEOPLE DO (*cough*Ann Romney*cough*) helps you understand exactly how you have to screw over workers in order to pursue an inflated bottom line for the suits at the top.

“You see, then he or she would understand that the policies they’re putting in place have to encourage small business, make it easier for business to grow.”

Also, he or she would know how to read a balance sheet, which is also essential to running the country. Via Time:

Mark Halperin: …what specific skills or policies did you learn at Bain that would help you create an environment where jobs would be created?

Romney: Well that’s a bit of a question like saying, what have you learned in life that would help you lead? … Twenty five years in business, including business with other nations, competing with companies across the world, has given me an understanding of what it is that makes America a good place to grow and add jobs, and why jobs leave America – why businesses decide to locate here, and why they decide to locate somewhere else. What outsourcing causes – what it’s caused by, rather. I understand, for instance, how to read a balance sheet….

See, Mitt  understands, for instance, how to read a balance sheet, which Obama could never understand primarily because balance sheets don’t come with their own teleprompters. The finely-tuned skill of balance-sheet-reading totally qualifies him to be president, particularly since he learned how to read a balance sheet after working in the private sector for 25 years. How many of you can say both things — that you know how to read a balance sheet and that you worked in the private sector for 25 years?

Halperin: …There are a lot of people in America who know how to do that. What would make you qualify to be President – again, specific things you’ve learned, things you know, policies that grow out of your experience at Bain Capital that would lead toward job creation.

Romney: … Let’s take energy, for instance. I understand that in some industries, the input cost of energy is a major factor in whether an industry is going to locate in the United States or go elsewhere. So, when at Bain Capital, we started a new steel company called Steel Dynamics in Indiana, the cost of energy was a very important factor to the success of that enterprise… My policy on energy is to take advantage of coal, oil, natural gas, as well as our renewables, and nuclear – make America the largest energy producer in the world. I think we can get there, in 10 or 15 years. That will bring back manufacturing of certain high energy intensive industries. It’ll bring back jobs. It’ll create a surprising economic revitalization of this country.

H-E-double-Hockey-Sticks, looks like Mitt and I finally agree on something! I will definitely be surprised in the event that he presides over an economic revitalization of this country, particularly if he’s using Steel Dynamics in Indiana to illustrate this point. Let the record show, however that Mitt welcomes, WELCOMES, scrutiny of his business record:

Halperin: But you welcome scrutiny of your business record, is that right?

Romney: Mark, what I can tell you is this… The President’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer. Both of those are fine areas of endeavor, but right now we have an economy in trouble, and someone who spent their career in the economy is more suited to help fix the economy than someone who spent his life in politics and as a community organizer.

Obviously you’re only “in the economy” if you are presiding over layoffs and bankruptcies and reading balance sheets. The rest of us — community organizers in particular, really — are operating “outside the economy,” which only exists in the private sector. And the organization of communities that have been adversely affected by layoffs and bankruptcies and other private-sector activities can’t help you understand how to fix the economy; you can only understand THAT if you’re helping to destroy it and then reading balance sheets about how much money you made off it, and only THEN if you’ve done that for exactly three years. [NYT/Time]

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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  1. Barb

    Meh, this guy can't get control of Donald Trump. There's no way he could deal with Putin.
    Epic fail.

    And poor Ann Romney, it's probably harder to be a stay-at-home mom when you have so many homes. She haz a confused.

    1. iburl

      The only thing that keeps her sane is spending quality dressage time with her Austrian Warmblood (Arnold) and Missouri Fox Trotter (Rush).

    2. TribecaMike

      But the look on President Willard's face when he's making his first visit to the Kremlin and is introduced by Putin to the Russian Minister of Energy Sarah Palin will be priceless.

    3. Lascauxcaveman

      End of phone conversation between Mitt and Anne:

      "Okay, honey. I guess I'll see you at home about sixish."

      "I'm going to need more specific information than that, Mitt."

    4. Boojum

      The "real" Mitt Romney died in a car accident in France. From the Wikipedia:

      "Trapped between the steering wheel and door, the unconscious and seriously injured Romney had to be pried from the car; a French police officer . . . wrote Il est mort in his passport."

      The cyborg substitution was carried out immediately:

      "Romney . . . had suffered broken ribs, a fractured arm, a concussion, and facial injuries, but recovered quickly without needing surgery. The French police say that they have no records of the incident . . ."


  2. Harry_S_Truman

    Halprin: Okay, now that I've appeared to ask you difficult questions, may I blow you.

  3. M. Bouffant

    That will bring back manufacturing of certain high energy intensive industries.

    What the hell does that mean? Entire (certain) industries will be manufactured? How does one "manufacture an industry," exactly? And once the (certain) industry is manufactured, what happens? Do they ship the industry overseas?

    I suppose it could stimulate the manufacture of anti-pollutant face-masks, when we're all breathing fracking fumes in the brave new energy world.

    1. Buckminster

      Seriously, these weasels think we breathe carbon dioxide and live on methane. Idiotic. We need a serious, voluntary genetics program in this country. Not that I don't know who else suggested that, but his solution involved poison gas and ovens, not self-control and smart people.

    2. bagofmice

      Romney is an aspie. Aspergers syndrome through and through. People are stupid and unpredictable, but math works. The thing is that with the divorcation of self to people further down the graph, like 2 or 3 hops, ancillary impacts are irrelevant. Impacts like people being fired. Offshored to china, India, etc. the numbers work, the people don't.
      Without making the cognitive leap that employees are customers, you make short term decisions that cripple everything.

    3. ChapterUndVerse

      Well, we already manufacture consent, lie with statistics, and live in a post-fact society where anything can be true "enough." How much harder can manufacturing an industry be?

    4. Generation[redacted]

      Enron manufactured entire industries. Bandwidth futures trading, for example.

  4. Arken

    Of course people read Time. How else would we know whether or not Jesus was a real historical person every year?

  5. Chichikovovich

    The "three years working in business" rule would have excluded Reagan, so it has its positive aspects.

    [Would have excluded Eisenhower and for that matter any career military person too, so it has its anti-military aspects. Romney hates the troops!]

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      So let's see. If the Rmoney rule had been in place which presidential and vice-presidential candidates would have been ineligible for the last 100 years? I'm not counting being a lawyer as working in business, if it were my rule I also wouldn't count working at a bucket shop like Bain as working in business either. Mitt Romney is not a Steve Jobs, a Jeff Bezos, a Bill Gates, a William T. Boeing, a Warren Buffett or even a Ross Perot. He's basically a highly paid fund manager.

      2012 – Barack Obama and Joe Biden – (D)
      2012 – Every Republican candidate save Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Donald Trump and Herman Cain and of course Mitt Rmoney. Rick Perry doesn't count because he was a Texas cotton farmer before he got into government. In any other state Texas cotton farmers are called "welfare queens".
      2008 – John McCain and Sarah Palin – (R)
      2008 – Barack Obama and Joe Biden – (D)
      2004 – John Kerry and John Edwards – (D)
      2000 – Al Gore and Joe Lieberman – (D)
      1996 – Bob Dole and Jack Kemp – (R)
      1996 – Bill Clinton and Al Gore – (D)
      1992 – Bill Clinton and Al Gore (D)
      1988 – Mike Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen – (D)
      1984 – Ronald Reagan (no, acting is not a business, plus Reagan was a union leader) – (R)
      1980 – Ronald Reagan – (R)
      1976 – Gerald Ford – (R)
      1972 – George McGovern and Sargent Shriver – (D)
      1972 – Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew – (R) – (Nixon's "private sector experience" was working as a lawyer during the 1960s. Sorry Dick but being a lawyer is not the same as running a business.
      1968 – Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew – (R)
      1968 – Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie – (D)
      1968 – George Wallace and Curtis LeMay – (KKK)
      1964 – Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey – (D)
      1960 – John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson – (D)
      1960 – Richard Nixon – (R) (Nixon had even less private sector experience in 1960 than he did in 1968)
      1956 – Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon – (R)
      1956 – Adlai Stevenson and Estes C. Kefauver – (D)
      1952 – Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon – (R)
      1952 – Adlai Stevenson and John C. Sparkman – (D)
      1948 – Thomas Dewey and Earl Warren – (R)
      1948 – Strom Thurmond and Fielding L. Wright (KKK)
      1944 – Franklin D. Roosevelt – (D) (Harry S. Truman had worked as a haberdasher in Kansas City in the 1920s)
      1944 – Thomas Dewey and John W. Bricker – (R)
      1940 – Frankin D. Roosevelt – (D) (Interestingly enough Roosevelt's VP in 1940, Henry Wallace, founded a successful agribusiness in the 1920s that later became Pioneer Hi-Bred)
      1940 – Wendell Willkie and Charles L. McNary – (R)
      1936 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner – (D)
      1932 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner – (D)
      1928 – Al Smith and Joseph T. Robinson – (D)
      1924 – Calvin Coolidge – (R)
      1924 – John W. Davis and Charles W. Bryan – (D)
      1924 – Robert M. LaFollette Sr. and Burton K. Wheeler (Progressive)
      1920 – Interestingly enough both Warren G. Harding and Frank Cox had extensive business experience, however their vice presidential candidates, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't.
      1916 – Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall – (D)
      1916 – Charles Evan Hughes and Charles W. Fairbanks – (R)
      1912 – None of the candidates who ran in 1912 had any significant business experience.

      OK, so in 30 minutes of research on Wikipedia I've basically determined that the Rmoney rule is incredibly fucking stupid because it wouldn't have prevented the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the disastrously corrupt presidency of Warren G. Harding (The George W. Bush of 1920) and the failed presidency of Herbert Hoover. It wouldn't have prevented Truman from being president, but would have prevented Eisenhower from being president. Why is it then that I don't have a job in journalism? Oh yeah, it's because I would actually challenge Rmoney if he spewed bullshit like this, and you can't have that.

      1. glamourdammerung

        I think it is more appropriate to refer to Reagan's union leadership position as "community organizing for unions".

      2. George Skullfry

        Damn, you're more OCD than I am. Since you already checked, what was Poppy Bush's business experience?

        1. glamourdammerung

          He worked in the oil industry and even if he got the job because of dad, he apparently was at least competent.

      3. ChuckieJesus

        1948 – Strom Thurmond and Fielding L. Wright (KKK)

        I spat my coffee when my monocle popped out. Good show!

  6. memzilla

    Say, you know who else liked to brag about how his filling up "balance sheets" was saving the country … ?

    1. littlebigdaddy

      What about turning tricks at the truck stop? That seems the be the main type of employment available where I live.

      1. NellCote71

        And constructing meth labs, although in my redneck of the woods, even that is being outsourced to Mexico.

        1. glamourdammerung

          I am starting to think meth labs are the sole manufacturing left in a good chunk of the Rust Belt. Job creators!

    2. Callyson

      Lloyd Blankfein?

      Jamie Dimon?

      Tony Hayward?

      Oh hell, easiest to go with the ubiquitous AOTK…

    1. Veritas78

      Neither careers are considered viable in Belmont, Lake Winnipesaukee, Park City, or La Jolla. Homes too far apart, limousine windows too rolled up.

    2. Generation[redacted]

      It's better if you take over the neighbors' lemonade stand using a leveraged buyout, pile it with debt, and sell off the assets.

  7. memzilla

    Mitt Rmoney has a point about how a Preznit should have business expertise. GW Shrub had an MBA and business experience, and look how well that turned out!

    1. George Skullfry

      Fuck, Donald Trump has business experience. Mostly in filing bankruptcy, but hey, it's experience.

  8. ProgressiveInga

    Mittens: "My policy on energy is to take advantage of coal, oil, natural gas, as well as our renewables, and nuclear".

    I hope he gets served the Fukushima Tuna Sushimi tonight in Vegas.

  9. TribecaMike

    The five to ten seconds it takes to synch my iPod Classic is infinitely more interesting than anything this character has ever had to say, though "We should double Guantanamo" was pretty funny.

  10. Chichikovovich

    and why jobs leave America…

    The people at Bain tried their heck-darndest to keep those jobs in the USA, but those rascal jobs just kept up and leaving by themselves.

  11. glamourdammerung

    This guy could not beat John McCain. Let that sink in, as this guy is literally less competent than George W. Bush.

    The fact he gets pushed around by Limbaugh, Trump, etc. and is ashamed of the only government experience he has is just "bonus".

    1. ProgressiveInga

      And don't forget, 'this guy' comes to the election table with close to 200 electoral votes already in the bag. So, which is scarier, the face-eating man in Florida or the thought of President Willard Mitt Romney?

      Good night.

      1. glamourdammerung

        But who's a crappier businessman?

        When most of the businesses they both were involved in tended to crash and burn, it is really hard to tell. I would have to go with Romney there though, if only because he was deliberately trying to destroy the companies he was involved with.

        1. Generation[redacted]

          Yeah but when Dubya's bidness crashed, he had to start over. When Mittens crashed a business, he still walked away with hefty management fees.

  12. iburl

    I know a lot of people who "Work in business" that I would never vote for as dog catcher, so that does not compute. Time to do a clean-install of OS-Ecch, Mittbot.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Seems to me the fuckups on Wall St. who blew up the economy all "worked in business". And knew how to read a balance sheet.

  13. Veritas78

    At this point in his life, Mitt has spent twice as much time trying to land a gummint job (largely unsuccessfully) than he has spent actually working at any job whatsoever.

    Timeclock Willard, he ain't.

      1. Veritas78

        Huh! You're right. (Grabs tape measure.)
        I would be really upset about this, except now I get to bust a 100 all over again! Kinda like vaginoplasty, I guess.

  14. LastGasp

    "I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution,” he recalled [some guy] saying, “that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution… "

    Still playing to the Birthers, eh? For shame.

    1. SorosBot

      And he's lying when he does so too; the Constitution says nothing about birthplace.

      1. Pseudonymously_Joe

        If it did, he wouldn't have been trounced by McCain last time around (at the time of McCain's birth, the Canal Zone was not considered US soil for the purposes of citizenship, though a later law retroactively provided for this. It was, of course, completely moot, because McCain's parents were US Citizens, even though he was born quasi-overseas)

        1. MosesInvests

          Juan McCain was actually born in Panama proper, not in the Canal Zone where his father was stationed.

          1. glamourdammerung

            The whole Canal treaty was a scam pulled off by a con artist. This is why Congress pass a law to give naturalized citizenship to the children born in the Canal Zone. The whole history of the construction of the Canal is hilarious.

          2. Pseudonymously_Joe

            That hilarity is exactly why it's important to also note that that law gave retroactive citizenship to children born in the Zone, several prior to the law's passage, just to be extra-confusing.

          3. George Skullfry

            Especially because of the "no ex post facto law" thingy in the ol' Constitution.

  15. elfgoldsackring

    How did Mittens gain experience in running a small business? His Daddy bought him a big business and waited a year. Boom-tish!

        1. flamingpdog

          It's late and I'm old Fare – that took me a few seconds. But I'm saving it for future use.

  16. SorosBot

    Well I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at most zero years working in business before he could become president of the United States, because a business background makes someone less qualified to work in politics, not more as this moron just asserts without evidence.

    1. Negropolis

      If anything, "being in business" qualifies you better for a job as a dictator than a democratically elected president, somaybe R-Money should be running for president of Syria or some shit.

  17. Chichikovovich

    The President’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer.

    Um, Mitt – the President's experience in the last 3+ years has been in being President. Which is really good preparation for being President.

    [Much better than spending 8 or so years doing nothing but running for President, for example.]

  18. SorosBot

    And of course he's trotting out the dog-whistles too; while being a community organizer is something to be proud of, the right-wing bigots keep using the position derisively, because they're just using it as a substitute for the N-word.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Yes. "Community organizer and politics" is Obama's experience? That leaves out the 11 years working as an attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, not to mention the many terms teaching at the University of Chicago law school.

      1. SorosBot

        And they're both the private sector! But I guess they don't count as "business" in Romneyworld because Obama didn't fire anybody.

      2. Pseudonymously_Joe

        Honestly, if anything, it'd be nice if more of our presidents could spend a few years teaching before taking office. In particular, primary education, since dealing with Congress is a lot like trying to manage a gaggle of children.

        1. flamingpdog

          I'd suggest experience in special education, too, also, for handling the Rethuglican side of the aisle.

      3. BerkeleyBear

        Yeah, but he was a civil rights attorney and a Constitutional law teacher, which both have nothing to do with the economy in Romney's definition (corporate leveraging for short term profits – nothing else counts).

  19. WhatTheHeck

    I would like to alter the Constitution of the United States to say that from henceforth only corporations will be eligible to donate to presidential candidates and furthermore, only CEO’s of said corporations will be allowed to introduce new bills to Congress.

    Oh wait. I was distracted momentarily and didn’t notice this was already in place. Carry on.

  20. Chill_Bill

    No, Mittard, It doesn't work that way. Just because you made yourself and your buddies rich while working Bain, it doesn't mean that you are an expert in the Economy. It means that you found a way to make the Economy work for you at the expense of others. You are not more qualified to be President than a manager at a Chuch E Cheese; the difference is that you think you are entitled to it.

  21. Fare la Volpe

    What would the Mittbott 3000 know about energy?

    Its batteries run on pure smug.

  22. nounverb911

    "The President’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer. "
    And killing bin Laden. So suck it Mitt.

      1. flamingpdog

        No, no, no, I saw on the intertubes where Mitt said he saved Detroit by recommending the big car companies be allowed to go bankrupt. And everybody knows, if you read it on the Mitternet, it must be true.

  23. CthuNHu

    I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.

    General Eisenhower would like a word with you, Governor Romney.


    Oh, sorry, did I say "would like a word with"? I meant to say "has a large mud-encrusted boot with 'MITT' scratched into the toe for." My bad. Let me get you some Bactine…

    1. BerkeleyBear

      According to Mitt's apparent definition of business, I don't think anyone but Harding and Coolidge would qualify. Even Hoover was mainly a government drone.

      Grant might make it, but only if you include the years when he left the army pre-Civil War and bombed out as a dry goods merchant.

        1. BerkeleyBear

          Do we get to include failed tailor's apprentice Andy Johnson too, or do we just ignore him like everyone else?

          1. imissopus

            Andy Johnson later botched Reconstruction so badly that he created many jobs in the garment manufacturing industry for white hoods and sheets. So he might indirectly qualify under this new Romney Rule.

      1. George Skullfry

        Peanut Farmer Jimmy had more contact with actual "business" than Financier Willard.

  24. starfanglednut

    "What outsourcing causes – what it’s caused by, rather."

    Mittens, you fuckwit. That is EXACTLY the point. You can find all sorts of causes/justifications of outsourcing, but have NO IDEA, what it causes, and how it affects the little people.

  25. HempDogbane

    I have spent my entire career in the economy and I can fold my own sheets. I just haven't got a big head about it.

  26. starfanglednut

    OT, but here, in pieces (per advice of Biels), is an email created for purpose of arranging wonkette meet ups, and any other purposes that may arise:


  27. C_R_Eature

    "I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.”

    By Mitt's rationale, Sydney Biddle Barrows would be a perfect candidate for the Presidency. She ran a very successful business for more than 3 years, fired very few people and had a whole lot more satisfied customers than Mitt ever did.
    Plus, the type of business background she had would make her an especially apt fundraiser.

    1. pinkocommi

      Not to mention her extensive experience making sure people are fucked…. Sounds like the ideal Republitard politician.

      1. C_R_Eature

        Barrows: "You're fucked, baby!" (in Pink Slip)

        Mittens: "You're Fucked, baby!" (hands out Pink Slip)

        It's all in the delivery.

  28. TribecaMike

    It's more than obvious that Romney has been running for president all these years only because he's hoping to be cast as Ernst Blofield in a future James Bond movie. Mitt, baby, hit the casting coach like everyone else! Besides, the whole super-rich meglomaniac attempting to corner the world's supply of [fill in the blank] plot has already been done a gazillion times.

    Anyway, if you want the part that badly, Mitt, just buy MGM (if you haven't already). I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

  29. chascates

    I'd like to be able to fire politicians. More than just the parliamentarian motion of no confidence to force a new administration. The ability for a majority of people in a congressional district to vote out their representative of either House or Senate. Of course constituents are easily misled, misinformed, and liable to make snap decisions. That's the beauty of it. The elected must stay close to the wishes of his/her electors or pay the price.

    That and total and ONLY public financing of elections even if it takes an Constitutional amendment.

    1. flamingpdog

      I'd settle for just being able to give them a giant jolt of electricity every time they do something stoopid or corrupt.

  30. Dr. Nick Riviera

    Mitt Romney: "I will be a superior president like George W. Bush instead of an inferior president like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike, FDR, Kennedy and Washington."

  31. Chow Yun Flat

    Screw him. I know how to read a Balance Sheet–plus an Income Statement, Shareholders Equity and Cash Flows–but I am not stupid enough to think that makes me a viable candidate for President. Romney is that stupid.

  32. Veritas78

    He does seem supremely pleased with himself, doesn't he?

    "I'm obviously overqualified for this job. Now if the pesky public would just realize that and we could get on with things… wait, why does the public have a say in this?"

    The guy's not far from saying what he thinks.

    1. glamourdammerung

      I think he is going to out-tantrum McCain during any debates (if he bothers to do them).

  33. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

    So the President must have business experience to do Presidenting. Should the President also have experience in the military, or speak another language (foreign relations yo), or experience interacting with drunky orange people, or have minted his own currency, or have personally drilled for oil, or run a national park?

    Oh wait … that's what advisors are for. Business is different, of course, because nobody can understand The Economy Of The Homeland without having asset-stripped businesses. Gotcha, Willard. Makes sense.

  34. rocktonsam

    hopefully Mittenz saves the really stupid answers until after Labor Day.

    Shame on you Texas, also.

  35. TribecaMike

    If Romney is saying the presidency is a nothing job, why is he bothering to run for it?

    Retired rich people say and do the darndest things.

    1. TribecaMike

      Mitt's work on the whatnot has never been fully appreciated by his fellow conservativeatrons, maybe because it was done with immigrant labor.

  36. Buckminster

    :Good Lord. I have worked in the blessed "Private Sector" for 35+ years, both as an employee and as a business owner. This guy knows less than my cat about the concerns of business….at least small business. He says things that just make business people cringe.

    1. unclejeems

      I have two cats. Who'd have thought that there's twice as much business acumen running around the house and crapping in a litter box–than it takes to be a Republican presidential candidate. Food goes in one end, generates business acumen, crap goes out the other end. Who can explain it.

  37. NYNYNYjr

    'The President’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer.'

    He also edited Harvard Law Review (not actually a job true) and taught constitutional law at a not-as-nice-as-Liberty-University but pretty good school…and worked as a lawyer (like all politicians) and wrote books (like all politicians)

    1. TribecaMike

      Maybe your level of snark is over my head, but editing the Harvard Law Review isn't a "true" job? I was the assistant editor of a lowly land grant college newspaper, and not only thought of that as being a "real" gig, but learned a great deal from it, all the while having to keep up with my regular studies and work study. As for the president's books, they're much better written and thought through, especially his first one, "Dreams from My Father," than any others I've ever read by lawyers, politicians, and presidents, and I've read 'em all.

        1. TribecaMike

          We NYers know that after Columbia, Mr. Obama worked here in town. As a very long-time legal word processor, I've sometimes wondered if I worked with Mr. Obama during a closing at some temp gig.

  38. Buckminster

    And, of course, in Montana we have such a stellar record of cleanup of mining waste, both from 100 + years ago in Butte and with the coal mining in the eastern part of the state. Oh, and the irresponsible oil-boom fracking, which is sure to be another nightmare waiting to happen. Idiots.

  39. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

    OT: Everyone's favourite Wisconsin weasel-impersonator has raised $31M, since he's not bound by election limits of donations, whilst his opponent is limited.

    Republican Gov. Scott Walker has raised about $31 million since he took office 17 months ago, including a remarkable $5.9 million in the last five weeks reported to Wisconsin regulators Tuesday.

    Barrett, who was bound to fundraising limits of no more than $10,000 from any one donor, reported an impressive $3.4 million over the past five weeks. He raised about $4.2 million since joining the race at the end of March and had $1.5 million cash on hand.

    How does that work exactly? The incumbent union-busting shitheel, even in the midst of a recall election, gets to raise however much he wants but the challenger doesn't?

    Free-est country in the world my hairy arse.

    1. George Skullfry

      Loophole in Sconnie election law that predates scottweasel. There are a lot of laws, everywhere, that contain surprises when they deal with events that aren't actually expected to happen.

      Maybe this one came because the folks who wrote the law wanted to make recall hard to do (a sentiment I share as a current Californian), or maybe they just didn't envision a future filled with the fucking Koch brothers.

      It's still down to turnout.

    2. MilwaukeeKent

      I might be wrong, but I think limits applied for Walker once Barrett won the primary, but previous to that there were no limits. 31 million might not buy a vote, or damn few of them anyway. With 4% undecided might as well say that's 4% who will sit out the election, meanwhile the Dems have a huge GOTV effort going on in the poorest areas of Milwaukee, the lowest turn-out areas, the least likely to vote. They're getting people to the polls. There it's people who should vote but usually don't, because politics seem like the farthest thing from their day-to-day lives. The edge the GOP has had here is in the outer ring of Milwaukee suburbs, 7-14k votes. I think it's been amply countered. June 5th is the tell.

      1. George Skullfry

        I grew up in Shorewood, so Imma hope that the fine folks in Milwaukee and Mad City will haul their butts to the polls and terminate this weasel. I agree that this won't be decided by eleventy-million dollars of carpet-advertising, but by GOTV, mostly in Milwaukee. Your comment gives me hope.

  40. Dashboard Buddha

    Let's take this a step farther. You can't send young Americans into harm's way unless you have served in the military.

        1. flamingpdog

          They could still be in harm's way. Soldiers were/are in harm's way just walking down the street in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women can fly planes/helicopters now, and perform tasks near the front.

          But, snark off, I don't think you have to have served in the military to appreciate the fact that you don't just send people out to be killed, mangled, and PTSDed on a megalomanical whim or to financially reimburse the company you nearly led to bankruptcy.

        2. thatsitfortheother1

          Just ground forces. Air Force has had female fighter/bomer pilots for years. Navy too, I think.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Oh, the Heinlein rule. Off of the top of my head in the last 100 years we would have been spared the presidencies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (Cheney would not be eligible to be VP since he never served in the military). Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan (serving in Hollywood doesn't count), Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, Woodrow Wilson (one of the worst presidents of the 20th century, he was the prototype for today's racist, interventionist, neoconservatives) and William Howard Taft (Chris Christie is a lot like Taft, if Taft had been stupid and corrupt as well as being fat). Oh, and every single Republican candidate except Rick Perry and Ron Paul would have been ineligible in 2012.

  41. SexySmurf

    My policy on energy is to…make America the largest energy producer in the world.

    We already are and have been for decades. But I'm sure Mittens thought of it first.

    1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      He'll take credit for it, anyway.

      I believe you're thinking about generation. When he talks about "energy producer", he probably means oil and gas drilling. It'll fly over the pointy heads of most of the electorate who will also think "generation for BUSINESS and JERBS" but it really means "rape the shit out of everything to get more oil and gas"

    1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      Sad to say I actually watched that live today.

      Wolf 'dipshit' Blitzer: You're starting to sound ridiculous

      Trump: I know you are, but what am I?

      There was another precious bit where Blitzer asked Trump to comment on George Will (a conservative) calling Trump a "bloviating ignoramus" to which Trump replied "I don't think George Will is very smart"

      Between that and Trump attempting to browbeat Blitzer about CNN's viewing figures, it makes Trump look like what he is: a bloviating ignoramus.

      1. imissopus

        I was going to give Blitzer credit for keeping a straight face through the whole thing, but then I remembered CNN should not be giving airtime to the bloviating ignoramus in the first place.

        1. Negropolis

          That's what I don't quite understand. I watched it, and my first thing was "why do they keep inviting him on the network to say something they know he won't say?" I mean, I know the answer, but I don't give Wolf any credit for his very soft reprimand. Even the reprimand was half-assed (i.e. "you're starting to sound.").

  42. pinkocommi

    I would like a constitutional amendment requiring presidential candidates to have had to raise a family on a minimum wage job with no health care benefits.

    1. Buckminster

      That would restrict the field to real people, not imaginary stuffed animals. How can you be so unfair? *turns off the snark button*

  43. TribecaMike

    If you haven't been fired or "layed off" (pardon the redundancy) at least half a dozen times by the age of forty, you're not a true, nor average, American.

    1. Buckminster

      The best thing to happen to a thinking human is to be fired and to either go to work for someone who fights with your old employer, work for yourself and take on your old employer, or, like some of us, just take their money and kick them in the azz every chance we can.

      1. TribecaMike

        Indeed and agreed, Buckminster. As Mr. Dylan wrote and sang, "there's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all."

        Though I somewhat disagree with the second half of that. You learn a whole lot more from getting your arse whooped than from getting something handed to you on a silverplated platter (like I would know anything about the latter).

  44. George Skullfry

    Unless one extended the definition of "business" to include seasonal halibut-clubbing, it would also insulate us from the possibility of a Snowbilly Presidency. And, come to think of it, would have significantly shortened the Republican debate season this year.

    I don't even want to think about how Washington or Jefferson (e.g.) would have responded to the notion that they should have spent some years "in business". Of course, we might have had President Franklin.

  45. LetUsBray

    I'd like to have a provision in the constitution than anyone running for or holding public office is presumed to be under oath when making any sort of public statement.

    That would disqualify the unholy fucking shit outta Willard, wouldn't it?

    1. CapnRadio

      At least the original movement had the decency to burn brightly, annoy massively, and get banhammered mercilessly. I'm a-skeered that Neo-Custerwolfism is entrenched policy.

    2. Mumbletypeg

      Somehow I'm finding organizational detail from my g-mail account settings strangely applicable* for unwanted interference. For the time being, anyway.

      *ETA: FFS, photobucket, cantcha let a gal include her captions with her tacky cropped art'shoppery? Sheesh.

          1. Mumbletypeg

            Greetings Capn! FYI I just got another letter from Radiotherapy. It is my 3rd from him where he is spending time in rehab as you're aware (of the rehab, perhaps you weren't aware we'd been writing — I've met him & his bride-Radioette several times & consider them friends).
            He has limited internet while thus immersed, and so wonkette is off his radar except when I brief him as with screenshots, printed of some comments I found "Winning" so he can stay entertained and appreciative of us. The screen shot I sent him of your Kenneth Burke rendition some weeks ago went to him in my last letter. His letter received today? The first enTIRE paragraph was the equivalent of what George Burns described (in Goodnight, Gracie his memoir) of buddy Jack Benny "pounding the floor." Radio carried on how brilliant it was and it so perfectly captured the wonkette mystique that it got him craving snark all over again, just when he thought he'd mastered withdrawal. (need to cut this short or intensedebate will flush it down before it even appears)~

          2. CapnRadio

            I am humbled. Truly. Please pass along my very best of wishes. Thank you for being a stalwart conduit, .mpeg.

          3. not that Radio

            Absolutely — C'mon in. Owls will be off for a few days, but I can get messages to him in the meantime. Enable email notifications in your profile, if you have not done so already.

  46. George Skullfry

    Oh, and like probably 30% of the commenters here, I worked in "private business" for well over 25 years*; and like probably 80%, I can read a balance sheet (the least informative financial document, unless you're looking for fraud), so can we all haz President naow?

    * I'm sure well over 30% have worked in "private business", but a lot of you are too fucking young to have done it for 25 years.

  47. Guppy

    With the success rate of small businesses in the US being about the same as the success rate of heterosexual marriages, how does that qualify one to deregulate the fuck out of large businesses?

    1. George Skullfry

      I might kvetch about your comment on small-biz success rate — that's why they call it "entrepreneurship". It's risky.

      More to the point, Rmoney wasn't involved in a small business, or really in what I would call "business" at all. He was a fucking vulture capitalist (or, more politely, a "financier"). I've seen no indication that he knows fuck all about actually running an enterprise (except maybe for his private equity company, which is a "business" in the same way a law firm is).

      I spent my life in middle management. I also know a few turnaround artists, who are the kind of people that something like Bain Capital would employ to actually manage the businesses they were saving and/or gutting. The ones I know are really good businesspeople. They can not only read a balance sheet, and many other accounting instruments, but they actually understand that their decisions sometimes affect some of the employees they've inherited in a bad way.

      They can even feel bad about it. They generally justify their actions to themselves by noting that the shit was gonna inevitably hit the fan, and their decisions made it happen sooner, but less widespread. Often, I agree.

      I think I'm digressing. My point is that these turnaround guys have something like a 40,000 foot view of the situation. They're not the ones actually giving the layoff notices (although they may do the plant closures), but they can see the effects, fed back through their subordinates.

      By contrast, Rmoney and his ilk have a Low Earth Orbit view. They're totally detached from any contact with individual human beings who may be affected by their machinations. It's all just numbers on a balance sheet. To them, "running a business" is just twisting some dials on a business machine.

      Aside: I'm also acquainted with a few Sand Hill Road type VCs, and I'd like to make the following distinction: It is true that for many of them, their only practical business-running experience was a single big tech hit, and for others it's just inherited money. However, the game they"re in is funding startups. Everybody in a startup knows that the deal is: we could get rich, or this can fall apart. It's better odds than the lottery. I tend to give a pass to startup investors.

      Note: That wouldn't be Bain Capital.

      EDIT: Shit, that ran on didn't it? Even I think it's tl.

      1. Guppy

        I might kvetch about your comment on small-biz success rate — that's why they call it "entrepreneurship". It's risky.

        True, but nobody ever ran on a platform of "I have a long trail of failed business ventures behind me" and won. Even Trump had the good sense to GTFO.

  48. rickmaci

    Appreciate the detailed dissection of the NYT piece, however, let's be honest with each other about this. Romoney's campaign pitch can be summed up in 3 words.

    "Not the n*****."

    That's all he offers. Which is why his campaign is so obviously morally bankrupt.

    1. George Skullfry

      Actually, I don't think the Rmoney campaign has even gotten that cohesive. It's more like a bunch of pointers to other people who are willing to say "not the n******".

  49. misanthrope

    This whole pseudemocracy is growing very boring, I say the next president should be chosen by way of a Big Brother/Survivor/Real World/Apprentice blowout live from the MGM in VEGA$ hosted by KE$HA!! Text your vote to AMERICA4U! In an ideal world Gordon Ramsey would be choosing the next White House chef in a Hell's Kitchen DC simulcast kinda scene.

  50. LionHeartSoyDog

    I think it's obvious that the Repugs are nowhere in 2012, and they know it, and are just sucking up valuable oxygen.
    The thing is, they are saboteurs, and the "opposition" is all to willing to let them have their way.

  51. TribecaMike

    Did Mitt say "firing people" or "frying people"? From what we know of his background, he seems to prefer parboiling.

  52. SayItWithWookies

    Three years — that's all? It seems particularly liberal to decide that a person is qualified to run the country if he hasn't kicked some poor malingering community organizers out of the boat, or at least helped to make sure that only the best people ever get to play the game and the worst, darkest, less well-known people get shoved off into the outer darkness where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Really, what's heaven if it doesn't have a view of hell?

    1. George Skullfry

      Regarding your last sentence, ain't that the truth? One of the things that eventually put me off religion was realizing that far more than half the attractiveness of Heaven was being able to go "neener, neener" at the poor assholes in Hell.

      The Afterlife as middle school pretty well did it for me.

  53. heathenette

    Yeah everyone running for President should know how to run a business…into the ground, so they can do the same thing and run the COUNTRY into the ground. That’s just a splendid idea, Mitt.

  54. Callyson

    Yeah, well, I'd like to add a provision to business law that says that business executives have to spend three years as a working stiff before assuming positions of responsibility over other human beings…

  55. MilwaukeeKent

    There's that old wonderful "If only government functioned more like a business", which would mean maximizing revenue (taxes, etc.) if you drill down to it. Why, the business I worked for had to rebuild three Interstate bridges just last week, wind down a couple-three foreign wars and address four catastrophic natural disasters. Why can't government be more like that? These are the kinds of issues Linda and I talk about at the kitchen table, the hurricane in the herb garden, the effect of Pakistan in the basement workroom…

  56. Wile E. Quixote

    I'd like a Constitutional amendment that says that the president can't have been a missionary in France or wear any kind of underwear except boxer shorts, panties and/or bras. This would disqualify Mittens of course, however allowing Presidential candidates to wear bras and panties would mean that Hillary Clinton, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham would still be eligible.

  57. Negropolis

    He does, however, know that he has two of the most important qualifications there are.

    Perhaps he has those two, but he only needs these two: he's white and he's a Republican. That gets you more than half-way most of the time.

  58. Negropolis

    That will bring back manufacturing of certain high energy intensive industries. It’ll bring back jobs. It’ll create a surprising economic revitalization of this country.

    Okay, this is a damned lie. I live in a state with multiple urban areas, many of which are smaller than they once were or just started shrinking, and they've got cheap energy to spare up the wazoo, and companies still have to be enticed to locate here. If it was simply about cheap energy and existing manufacturing infrastructure, my state wouldn't be dotted with the ruins of factories.

    Now, I know of a local company that said that they decided not to relocate because of our utility's cheap energy, but the truth is that this nation isn't hurting for energy production, and if anything, we shouldn't be building energy infrastructure for its own sake. If anything, we should be cutting capacity of dirty energy, which is actually kind of happening on its own.

    BTW, notice how he never answers a question directly? Fuckin' slimeball "businessman."

    1. George Skullfry

      It isn't only a damned lie, it's devoid of content. It's not even an honest lie.

      "Certain high energy intensive industries". What the fuck does that mean? Well, let's think.

      Semiconductors, biotech, IT?: these are notably NOT energy intensive.

      Services (retail, boiler rooms, medical/dental, lawyers, fast food, slightly less fast food): not very energy intensive.

      Financial services (e.g., Bain Capital): fucking haha.

      Chemical or pharmeceutical processing: mostly catalyst driven, possibly some modest energy consumption

      Transport: Undoubtedly energy-intensive, but it's not manufacturing, is it?

      This pretty much leaves us with metals (mostly steel) manufacturing as the "certain high energy intensive industries". And here we have an inadvertent example of how Rmoney couldn't manage his way out of a fucking paper bag.

      The reason the US steel industry collapsed was not the price of electricity. Partly, it was tariffs (which are political, sure, but not related to the price of energy), and partly it was the slowness of the US industry to adjust to the changing requirements of its global customers (a slowness not confined to the steel industry). But nobody ever considered the price of energy to be a major factor; hence, no change in the price of energy will change anything by itself.

      If electricity was goddam FREE, it wouldn't resurrect the US steel industry, unless the industry changed its policies to be more agile and responsive to customer needs. And if they did that, they wouldn't fucking need free electricity.

      1. Negropolis

        Well, locally, there is a large server company, here, and they use a lot of energy.

        1. George Skullfry

          I hadn't thought of that, although I doubt that's one of the "certain industries" on Mitt's mind. Good point, though. I suppose the vast majority of a server farm's expense line is depreciation and electricity. Thank you for that.

          Semi-relatedly, I should clarify one of my above remarks. Semiconductor manufacturing (where I spent my career) uses a shitload of electricity, but I still consider it non-energy-intensive because the cost of the energy is trivial compared to the cost of the capital equipment.

  59. PuglyDoRight

    What the Mittbot is trying to say is, without his destroying all those companies, organizers like Barack Obama wouldn't have jobs. See? Job creation!!!

    But I guess Barack Obama's first job out of college, working for an economics publication, doesn't count. And writing books. And teaching.

      1. C_R_Eature

        I know. Sad.
        I saw him at a Christmas concert in Baltimore years ago. He was old, blind, led onstage by his guitarist friend and just an absolutely awesome musician. Funny and relaxed. Told stories and jokes, too and everyone in the audience stood for the ovation.

  60. Beowoof

    As with many of the folks I worked with in business, he learned to be a great big asshole. A role in life at which he excels.

  61. sullivanst

    The President’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer.

    Of COURSE Mitt's lying again. Obama's resumé includes three years (yes, that number) as an associate at Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland and twelve years teaching at University of Chicago Law School (eight years as Senior Lecturer).

    Mitt naturally has to lie away these things because they remind people that Obama's not stupid like the fuckwits on the right like to dream he is. Oh yes, and because Mitt's a compulsive liar.

  62. BlueStateLibel

    Basically then we should have CPAs running the country – the most narrow-minded, uninformed, un-curious-about-how-the-world-works people I've ever met.

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