Not only have we never had a presidential candidate with a Swiss bank account, I don’t think we’ve ever had one who was once a registered lobbyist:
“Romney wasn’t just the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Romney was also a registered lobbyist for the organization, Utah state records show. [...] Romney last worked as a lobbyist on Dec. 31, 2000, according to a spokesman for the state lieutenant governor, who oversees the registry.
“”Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Mitt Romney and his top lieutenants have suddenly canceled their state lobbyist licenses,” the newspaper reported in January 2002. “The withdrawal of lobbying registrations for six SLOC officials was requested in late December, just weeks before the opening of the Utah Legislature and at the same time rumors abound of lawmakers being offered free Olympic event tickets. State law says businesses with registered lobbyists must report gifts to lawmakers, while it is unclear about other organizations that donate freebies to legislators.”
“During Romney’s campaign for Massachusetts governor following the games, he boasted of his lobbying abilities. “I’m in favor of getting more money from the federal government. … We need to do a better job getting money from Washington,” he said. “And I’m going to go after the transportation department and get more money there if at all possible. I was successful in doing that in organizing the Olympics — got record funds from the federal government. I’ll do that here.”"
What we know so far:
The NY Daily News reports that Mitt Romney is his usual flip-floppy, backpedaling self over in London. When he arrived in London, Mitt was asked if they were ready for the Olympics:
“You know, it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging.” — Mitt Romney, after arriving Wednesday night in London.
WHOOPS! Reprogam! Disc read error! Mitt’s comments were splashed all around jolly old England and not many were impressed (welcome to OUR nightmare). And despite his shared Anglo Saxon heritage with the people there, the Romneybot handlers were forced to do a system restart Thursday morning:
“My experience with regards to the Olympics is it is impossible for absolutely no mistakes to occur. Of course there will be errors from time to time, but those are all overshadowed by the extraordinary demonstrations of courage, character and determination by the athletes. And as soon as the sporting events begin, we all forget the organizers and focus on the athletes.” — Mitt Romney, BACKPEDALING HARD, Thursday morning during a joint appearance at Parliament with Labor leader Ed Miliband.
That’s so Romney! Fair warning London: by tomorrow he’ll deny having ever criticized you in the first place.
“Obama could have spoken for an hour about how every American is a beautiful and unique snowflake … and he still would have been hammered for suggesting for even a split second during that hour that those snowflakes benefit in any way from living in a society with other people, from paying taxes, and from massive public projects undertaken by the government.” — kohenari on Andrew Sullivan on Obama’s Biggest Blunder Yet (via: apoplecticskeptic)
From the Commission on Presidential Debates:
The debates will each be 90-minutes. There will be one Vice Presidential debate:
“All debates will be moderated by a single individual and will take place from 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be no opening statements and two-minute closing statements in all the debates. In all the debates except town meeting, the CPD recommends that the candidates be seated at a table with the moderator. Moderators will be selected and announced in August.
“In addition, the CPD is undertaking an innovative internet-based voter education program that will encourage citizens to become familiar with the issues to be discussed in the debates, and to share their input with the debate moderators in advance of the debates. The program, which will be announced later this month, will be led by a coalition of internet leaders.”
“The Greenland ice sheet melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, with virtually the entire ice sheet showing signs of thaw. The rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change. In a statement posted on Nasa’s website on Tuesday, scientists admitted the satellite data was so striking they thought at first there had to be a mistake. [...] It was the second unusual event in Greenland in a matter of days, after an iceberg the size of Manhattan broke off from the Petermann Glacier. But the rapid melt was viewed as more serious.”
Meanwhile in the U.S., via Political Wire:
The New York Times reports that “The drought that has settled over more than half of the continental United States this summer is the most widespread in more than half a century. And it is likely to grow worse.”
“The government has declared one-third of the nation’s counties — 1,297 of them across 29 states — federal disaster areas as a result of the drought, which will allow farmers to apply for low-interest loans to get them through the disappointing growing season… Fifty-five percent of the continental United States — from California to Arkansas, Texas to North Dakota — is under moderate to extreme drought, according to the government, the largest such area since December 1956. An analysis released on Thursday by the United States Drought Monitor showed that 88 percent of corn and 87 percent of soybean crops in the country were in drought-stricken regions, a 10 percent jump from a week before.”
“The withering corn has increased feed prices and depleted available feeding land, putting stress on cattle farmers. A record 54 percent of pasture and rangeland — where cattle feed or where hay is harvested for feeding — was in poor or very poor condition, according to the Department of Agriculture. Many farmers have been forced to sell their animals. Because feed can account for nearly half of a cattle farmer’s costs, consumers could see a rise in the price of meat and dairy products, experts said. The high sustained heat has led the key components in milk, like fat and protein, to plummet more than usual”
Here’s something to think about:
“WE’RE now in the midst of the nation’s most widespread drought in 60 years, stretching across 29 states and threatening farmers, their crops and livestock. But there is another risk as water becomes more scarce. Power plants may be forced to shut down, and oil and gas production may be threatened. Our energy system depends on water. About half of the nation’s water withdrawals every day are just for cooling power plants. In addition, the oil and gas industries use tens of millions of gallons a day, injecting water into aging oil fields to improve production, and to free natural gas in shale formations through hydraulic fracturing. Those numbers are not large from a national perspective, but they can be significant locally.”
“As Romney chastises the president for pointing out that successful business ventures benefit from a larger social compact and accuses critics of pining for “free stuff,” Romney is simultaneously touting an Olympic effort that, more than any other in American history, succeeded thanks to public investment—some of it sunk into questionable projects of marginal value to the Salt Lake games. “The $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring into Utah is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined,” Donald Barlett and James Steele reported for Sports Illustrated in 2001. Those numbers were adjusted for inflation.”
And on top of all that, all the records were destroyed. Just let that sink in.
Déjà vu! More records destroyed under Mitt Romney’s leadership and another embarrassing situation where Romney now claims he was long gone before the questionable stuff happened.
This time it’s when he’d “promised “complete transparency” when he took charge of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics, a pledge that included access to his own correspondence and plans for an extensive public archive of documents related to the Games,” as reported by Boston.com:
“Archivists now say most key records about the Games’ internal workings were destroyed under the supervision of a staff member shortly after the flame was extinguished at Olympic Cauldron Park, after Romney had returned to Massachusetts.
““Transparency? There was none with [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] when he was there,” said Kenneth Bullock, a committee member who represented the Utah League of Cities and Towns. “Their transparency became a black hole. It was nonexistent.”
“According to Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul, “Mitt Romney resigned from SLOC in early 2002 to run for governor of Massachusetts and was not involved in the decision-making regarding the final disposition of records.”
“Romney and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee had no legal obligation to preserve their records or make them public, even though the state paid $59 million, and the federal government spent $342 million on the Games and contributed roughly $1 billion more in indirect aid for transportation projects and other capital improvements in the Salt Lake region.
“Like other Olympics, the 2002 Winter Games were managed not by a public entity but by a private, nonprofit corporation that was exempt from public records laws.
“Earlier Olympic organizing committees, too, had destroyed internal documents. Organizers of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, burned records of their bid to host the Olympics — a move widely believed to have covered up bribery.”
This is clearly a feature, and not a bug, of how Romney does business: as the president of Bain Capital, as governor of Massachusetts, and as chief executive of the Olympics! And then there’s his tax returns…
How can the GOP / Teaparty even consider a candidate for president who conducts himself like this?
(original image: absolutelymadness)