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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 3:21am

Voters in Youngstown "bring their souls to the polls".

This is John Kasich and Mitt Romney's worst nightmare. The attempt to stifle early voting in Ohio has brought even more out to vote today as dozens of mostly African Americans "brought their souls to the polls" after church today.

It was on my local news today, but unfortunately the video isn't available yet. Instead there's this article:

Dozens of people were patiently waiting outside of the Mahoning County Board of Elections in Youngstown, ready to do vote early in this election.

"I tell you what, to look at this early voting I'm like wow, this is great," said NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris. "So, I'm hoping that more states would get it, I mean I'm thinking why doesn't Pennsylvania have it?"


"It's almost like the 60's you know, coming together and just being able to pray," said Pastor Dwayne Heard of the Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church on the East Side of Youngstown. "The power of our communities are our churches, there is power in the church, more than just Sunday morning power!"

Even if they'd already cast their ballots, some people came just to sing and pray, bringing their souls to the polls.

"This country should want every person to participate and so that's what we're about," Reverend Simon added. "It's not about who you vote for, it's about having the right that people fought for, suffered for, bled and died for, to vote."

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 3:25am

Neil Diamond Working the Phones for Obama

Neil Diamond ‏@NeilDiamond

Working the phones for Obama... If I call you, don't hang up. It's really me and I need you. #OFACulver
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 3:29am
Letter to a Non-Voter ...from Michael Moore

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

To my friend who is not voting on Tuesday:

I get it – and I don't blame you. You're fed up and you could care less whether Tweedledee or Tweedledumber wins on Tuesday – because on Wednesday, your life will be the same, unchanged, regardless who is president. Your mortgage will still be underwater. You will still owe $50,000 on your student loan. Your son will still be in Afghanistan. Your daughter will still be working two jobs to make ends meet. And gas will still be at $4.

Four years ago you gave in and voted – and you voted for Obama. You wanted to believe he would go after the Wall Street crooks who crashed the economy – but instead the banks that were "too big to fail" four years ago are now even bigger and more dangerous. You thought there'd be universal health care – but the new law only went so far (with most of it not taking effect until 2014). You were tired of war and homeland security measures that violated our civil liberties – but we're still in Afghanistan, we're sending in drones to Pakistan and basic constitutional rights to privacy and a fair trial have been ignored. And you thought you'd have a middle-class, good-paying job like your dad had – but you didn't know that Goldman Sachs was Obama's #1 private campaign donor in 2008, and well, he was beholden to corporate America in more ways we cared to think about. 

So, I get it why you've had it with all these politicians and elections. In the end, it doesn't really seem to be our country any more. It's run by those who can buy the most politicians to do their bidding. Our schools are made a low priority and women are still having to fight for just the basic human rights we thought they already had.

So, it's hard for me to ask you for this very personal favor. It's OK if you say "no," but I'm hoping you don't.

I cannot believe it is possible that, after a group of rich plutocrats wrecked the economy, threw people out of work and stole our future, we may actually hand the keys to our country over to...a rich Republican plutocrat who made millions by throwing people out of work! This is insane, and despite all the legitimate criticisms of Obama, he is nothing like the tsunami of hate and corporate thievery that will take place if Mitt Romney is president. As bad as it feels now, it will only get worse. I need your help to stop this.

I can't promise you that your life will get better, easier under Barack Obama. I do think he cares and I know for sure that if the other guy is sitting in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you that not only will your life not get better, it will get much, much worse. Don't take my word for it. Just ask your parents what life was like before a 30-year pillage by the Republicans of the middle class. Your parents bought a house and eventually owned it outright. They weren't in debt. College was free. They bought a new car every 3 or 4 years. They took vacations and were home for dinner by 5 or 6 PM. They had a savings account in the bank. They didn't live in fear of not knowing if they'd even have a job next year. 

That's all gone. I don't know if we can get it back, but I do know that Mr. Romney would love the chance to complete the final elimination of the middle class and the American Dream. 

He must be stopped. Take 20 minutes on Tuesday and go vote. If you don't want to do it for your country, then do it for me! It's the only favor I'll ever ask of you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know that you care, and care deeply, about your future and your kids' future. You have every right to be cynical about all this. And you hold the power to stop the bastards who plan on squeezing every last dime out of you that they can. Take a stand. And make a statement to those who are hoping against hope that you'll stay home on Tuesday. Your presence at the polls is what they fear most.

Go scare the s**t out of them! For me.

Michael Moore
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 3:32am
Obama's win probability peaked at 87% on 10/4, last day before polls reflected Denver debate. Fell to 61% on 10/12. Now fully recovered.

Obama becoming a heavier favorite, in 538's view. Now 86% to win Electoral College.
5 Nov 12

Obama unlikely to win by anything like his post-DNC margins. But Romney has no momentum, Obama's state polling is robust, and time is up.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 6:55am

Biggest campaign whoppers of 2012

 IMAGE: A Pennsylvania bakery sold Obama and Romney cookies.
Getty Images: Jeff Swensen. IMAGE: A Pennsylvania bakery sold Obama and Romney cookies.
FactCheck By Lori Robertson of revisits the biggest falsehoods spread by both the Obama and Romney campaigns.

With only days to go until Election Day 2012, we look here at the most egregiously false and misleading claims from the entire presidential campaign. Some examples:
  • President Barack Obama claimed Mitt Romney is planning to raise taxes by $2,000 on middle-income taxpayers and/or cut taxes by $5 trillion. Neither is true.
  • Romney claimed Obama plans to raise taxes by $4,000 on middle-income taxpayers. That's not true, either.
  • It's also not true that Obama plans "to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements," as Romney claimed.
  • Equally untrue is the Obama campaign's repeated claim that Romney backed a law that would outlaw "all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest."

So many false and twisted claims were made in the early months that we issued an "early edition" of our annual wrap-up of political whoppers in July. We noted then that the campaign had been nasty, brutish and long.

And it's only gotten longer, not more truthful.

For example, Romney just claimed that the bailed-out Chrysler Corp. is thinking of moving all Jeep production to China. Chrysler quickly denounced that as a falsehood. Romney's latest whopper is perhaps his payback for Obama's earlier accusation that Romney personally "shipped jobs to China" at a time when, in reality, Romney was running the 2002 Winter Olympics, not Bain Capital. Thus one whopper begets another.

It's been that sort of campaign, filled from beginning to end with deceptive attacks and counterattacks, and dubious claims. For a generous sampling of the worst of a bad lot, please read on to our Analysis section.


When we issued our "early edition" of this annual wrap-up, we complained that "neither candidate speaks candidly of what he would actually do if elected." We also expressed a hope that "the candidates will become less personal, more substantive, and more forthcoming about their plans." But instead of a candid discussion of how to address pressing issues, including trillion-dollar annual deficits, rising health care costs and the needs of an aging population, we've seen even more exaggerations, distortions and falsehoods, on both sides.

We offer them here in no particular order, and with no attempt to judge which candidate strays furthest — or most often — from the facts. Readers may judge that for themselves. And we make no claim that this list is comprehensive. Rather, it represents a summary and sampling of our findings issued over the course of a long and not very illuminating campaign.

Obama: Romney raises/cuts taxes

Obama has claimed at various times that Romney has proposed "a $5 trillion tax cut," or that he wants to raise taxes by $2,000 on the middle class. Neither claim is accurate.

Obama, Oct 3: Governor Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut — on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Obama, Sept. 17: I am not going to ask middle-class families with kids to pay over $2,000 more so that millionaires and billionaires get to pay less.

Romney's plan is not a $5 trillion tax cut. He has always said he'd offset his rate cuts by eliminating deductions and taxing a wider base of income, producing no net loss of revenue.

Romney proposed cutting income tax rates by 20 percent, eliminating the estate tax, and eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains and dividends for those earning under $200,000 a year. That would indeed cost about $480 billion in 2015, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, or roughly $5 trillion if projected over a full decade.

But that's not all Romney's plan entailed. He has always said he'd pay for his tax cuts by reducing tax deductions and preferences — taxing more income — so no revenue is lost. If he delivers on that promise — a big "if" to be sure — it would be a $0 tax cut.

Romney's plan doesn't call for raising taxes by $2,000 on middle-income taxpayers, either. He has been most emphatic about that in recent debates. In the second debate at Hofstra University on Oct. 16, he said: "Middle-income people are going to get a tax break."

The president bases his claim on a twisted reading of the Tax Policy Center's study, which found that it was mathematically impossible for Romney to cut rates and hold revenue constant without also shifting the tax burden onto the shoulders of families, with children, making under $200,000 a year. TPC's director, Donald Marron, disputed Obama's interpretation of the study, saying, "I view it as showing that [Romney's] plan can't accomplish all his stated objectives."

Dubious Denver Debate Declarations, Oct. 4

Obama's Stump Speech, Sept. 19

FactChecking Obama and Biden, Sept. 7

Romney: 'Six studies' support tax plan

Romney, on the other hand, is wrong when he claims that "six studies" show he can do what he promises on taxes.

Romney, Oct. 3: There are six other studies that looked at the [Tax Policy Center] study you describe and say it's completely wrong.

Only one of the six items (some of which are blog posts and one of which is a campaign white paper) was done by someone not advising Romney. The Princeton professor who wrote that study was on President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, and he uses an aggressive assumption for economic growth, assuming an extra 3 percent economic growth from Romney's tax rate cuts. The average total year-to-year growth under President Bush, including any boost from his large tax cuts, was just over 2 percent.

Since we issued our findings (cited below) two new analyses have come out. A paper by Gerald Prante of the pro-business Tax Foundation concluded that what Romney proposes is possible, without raising taxes on middle-income taxpayers — if it produced at least an extra 1 percent annual growth in economic output.

Leaving aside whether that's a likely outcome of a revenue-neutral tax shift, it wouldn't stack up against Romney's statement at the Hofstra debate, when he said: "I'm not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people. I am looking to cut taxes for middle-income people." The Tax Foundation analysis found that assuming an extra 1 percent economic growth, those making over $1 million would get a cut of $113,792, while middle-income households making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year would see an average cut of $36.

An even more recent analysis by economist Michael R. Strain of the pro-business American Enterprise Institute, published in The Atlantic magazine, said flatly that Romney's plan "doesn't add up." Strain wrote: "[T]he underlying analysis in the TPC study is sound, and it should be taken seriously. … f you take Mr. Romney's three promises literally then something has to give." Nevertheless, Strain sees merit in Romney's general approach — broadening the tax base while bringing down rates. He suggests that Romney would cut rates less than the promised 20 percent to keep revenues constant while holding middle-income taxpayers harmless.

Dubious Denver Debate Declarations, Oct. 4

Romney's Impossible Tax Promise, Aug. 3

Romney: Obama's $4,000 tax hike

Romney also has claimed that Obama "will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000," but that's bogus. The figure is an estimate of how much it would cost to service the debt incurred in Obama's term — and in later years as well — if taxes were increased across the board. Obama isn't proposing to do that any more than Romney is.

Romney campaign ad, October: [Obama] will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000.

Romney, Oct. 16: The middle class will see $4,000 per year in higher taxes …

The figure is based on a study by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, which looked at servicing the debt incurred since Obama took office, plus future debt projected under Obama's most recent budget. One set of figures assumed all federal taxes would be increased across the board, preserving the progressivity of the overall federal tax code (that is, with different income groups bearing the same share of the total burden as they do now).

Based on that, an AEI blogger wrote an Oct. 2 post with the headline: "Obama's big budget deficits could mean a $4,000 a year middle-class tax hike." That was an average figure over the next 10 years, including the cost of servicing both the debt run up since Obama took office and debt to be run up in the next four years under the president's budget projections.

One problem with this view is that debt will continue to rise for years no matter who wins the presidency. By the same logic employed by Romney, we calculated that the House budget proposed by his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, would "raise taxes" on the middle class by $2,732 — even assuming Ryan's aggressive spending cuts could be accomplished.

The AEI study makes a valid point. Debts being run up today and in the future will require future taxpayers to cover very large interest payments for years into the future, especially when today's low interest rates return to historically higher levels, as expected. But that will be true no matter who's president, and neither candidate is proposing an across-the-board personal income-tax increase to cover those payments.

Romney's $4,000 Tax Tale, Oct. 10

FactChecking the Hofstra Debate, Oct. 17

Obama: Romney would ban all abortion

The Obama campaign pushed a bogus claim in a TV ad that said "Romney backed a law that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest."

There was no such law — at all. Instead, the ad referred to a hypothetical question from an audience member during a 2007 debate. The audience member asked, "If hypothetically Roe versus Wade was overturned, and the Congress passed a federal ban on all abortion, and it came to your desk, would you sign it? Yes or no?"

Romney said, "I'd be delighted to sign that bill," but added that a consensus for something like that didn't exist in the country now. "That's not where America is today."

During that exchange there was no mention or discussion of rape, incest or the usual exceptions to abortion bans. And the fact is, Romney has been clear — both before and after that 2007 debate — that he supports exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. He has opposed abortion with those exceptions since 2005.

The Obama campaign also falsely claimed that the Republican Party's platform called for banning abortions even in cases of rape or incest. But the 2012 platform is silent on exceptions, just as it was in 2008 and in previous election years.

The Obama camp made the claim on its website, saying that Romney "also supports the Republican Party platform, which includes a Human Life Amendment that bans abortion without those exceptions." That's baloney. The plain fact is, the only human life amendment that ever came to a vote in either house of Congress allowed exceptions.

James Bopp, one of the authors of the GOP abortion plank, confirmed our own reading of its plain language. Bopp said it "does not take a position on which version of a Human Life Amendment should eventually be adopted. We leave that decision to Congress and the people of the United States at that time."

Twisting Romney's Abortion Stance, July 9

Another Abortion Falsehood from Obama's 'Truth Team,' Aug. 23

Romney: Obama dropping work requirements

The Romney campaign made false claims about an Obama administration move to give states flexibility regarding welfare work requirements.

Romney TV ad, Aug.: President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.

There's no such plan, and work requirements aren't being "dropped." The Obama administration announced in July that states may apply for a waiver to revise or eliminate certain requirements in order to increase job placement. As of Sept. 6, only eight states had expressed interest in such waivers, and none had applied.

The claim that "you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job" is also misleading. There was never a requirement for all welfare recipients to work. In fact, only 29 percent met the work requirement when Obama took office.

Romney's claim that the plan would "gut welfare reform" is "very misleading," said Ron Haskins, a former Republican House committee aide who was instrumental in the 1996 welfare law. "I do not think it ends welfare reform or strongly undermines welfare reform," he told

The Romney campaign continued to run this ad, despite several fact-checking organizations, including ours, finding it to be false. The dust-up over the ad led to Romney pollster Neil Newhouse saying: "We're not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

In an interview with CNN, Romney also made a misleading claim that Obama had caused a doubling of able-bodied persons on food stamps by taking "work out of the food stamps requirement." Obama's 2009 stimulus law did grant a temporary suspension of a work requirement for single, working-age adults without dependents, but the Bush administration had already granted such waivers covering all or some residents of 46 states and the District of Columbia. More waiver requests were pending, too, as the economy faltered. These working-age adults without kids still make up less than one in 10 on food stamps.

Does Obama's Plan 'Gut Welfare Reform'? Aug. 9

Romney's Food Stamp Stretch, Sept. 27

Romney: Obama robbed Medicare

We've seen our share of "senior scare" in political campaigns, and this one has been chock full of it. The truth is that both campaigns want to cut Medicare spending — a necessary step to prolong the life of the program — and neither proposes major changes that would impact current seniors.

The Romney campaign claimed that Obama was "robbing" the Medicare "piggy bank," and that the "money you paid" for Medicare was being used for the Affordable Care Act. But the law doesn't take money out of the existing trust fund — and it can't take Medicare's trust fund money in the future, either.

Romney, Aug. "60 Minutes" interview: There's only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.

Romney TV ad, Aug.: Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. … So now the money that you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that's not for you.

Paul Ryan, Aug. 21: What they will not tell you is that they turned Medicare into a piggy bank to fund Obamacare. They took $716 billion from Medicare to pay for their Obamacare program.

Obama's Affordable Care Act cuts an estimated $716 billion over 10 years in the future growth in spending, primarily by reducing the future growth of payments to hospitals. Spending less money than was otherwise expected is a good thing for Medicare's finances — as it is for most people on a budget. By reducing the growth of spending, the health care law stretches out the budget for Medicare Part A, which pays hospitals and is funded by payroll taxes.

Romney's claim about Obama taking "money you paid" is wrong because taxes paid in the past don't come close to paying for projected costs in the future. "It's misleading to tell Medicare beneficiaries that they've already paid for Medicare, because in the future, that's going to be less and less true," says Alice Rivlin, founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and now an economist with the Brookings Institution. Seniors "will be getting more benefits than they paid for."

And Medicare doesn't have a "piggy bank" that can be robbed or raided. Payroll money that goes into the trust fund is Medicare's money. The program gets a trust fund bond for whatever money it doesn't need right away, and Treasury has to honor that bond, whenever Medicare needs to cash it in.

Medicare's 'Piggy Bank,' Aug. 24

A Campaign Full of Mediscare, Aug. 22

Obama: Ryan plan would raise seniors' costs $6,400

But the Obama campaign was in on "Mediscare," too, misleading seniors into thinking they'd pay $6,400 more under Romney and Ryan's plan to have private insurers compete for seniors' business. That figure came from an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of an old plan from Ryan that has now been discarded. His latest plan, which Romney has adopted, is more generous in how subsidies, or "premium-support payments," for seniors grow.

Obama, Aug. 15: It was estimated that Governor Romney's running mate, his original plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year.

Obama campaign TV ad: Experts say Ryan's voucher plan could raise future retirees' costs more than $6,000.

The Romney/Ryan plan wouldn't change anything for those age 55 and older. For future beneficiaries, they'd have their pick of private plans, or traditional Medicare. They'd buy them with the help of a subsidy that would be tied to the cost of the second-cheapest plan, and that plan can't rise faster than GDP plus 0.5 percent. The CBO said that under the new plan, "beneficiaries might face higher costs," but it didn't analyze how much.

A Campaign Full of Mediscare, Aug. 22

'Tragic' misquoting

The Obama campaign has claimed that Romney called ending the war in Iraq "tragic." Not true. Romney called the pace of withdrawal "tragic," not the ending of the war in general.

Obama, Sept. 6: My opponent said it was "tragic" to end the war in Iraq.

Obama campaign website: Mitt Romney criticized the end of the Iraq war as "tragic" …

The real quote from Romney, made during a veterans roundtable in South Carolina on Nov. 11, 2011, clearly shows that he was criticizing the pace at which Obama withdrew the troops. Here's the full quote, as reported by the New York Times:

Romney, Nov. 11, 2011: It is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops from Iraq by the end of this year is an enormous mistake, and failing by the Obama administration. The precipitous withdrawal is unfortunate — it's more than unfortunate, I think it's tragic. It puts at risk many of the victories that were hard won by the men and women who served there.

Vice President Joe Biden also misrepresented Romney's words at the convention — and at the vice presidential debate — when he claimed that Romney said of Osama bin Laden, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person." That's taking his words out of context.

Romney made the comment back in 2007, when bin Laden was alive, and he went on to say he favored a broader strategy against "global, violent Jihad."

Here's the transcript of Romney's 2007 interview with the Associated Press. The conservative website Townhall obtained the transcript from the Romney campaign:

[AP reporter] Liz Sidoti: Why haven't we caught bin Laden in your opinion?

Romney: I think, I wouldn't want to over-concentrate on Bin Laden. He's one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He's by no means the only leader. It's a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent Jihad and I have a plan for doing that.

FactChecking Obama and Biden, Sept. 7

Obama's Inflated Jobs Claim, Oct. 23

Veep Debate Violations, Oct. 12

Romney: Jeep production to China

Romney falsely told voters in the key swing state of Ohio on Oct. 25 that Chrysler's Jeep division "is thinking of moving all production to China." Not true. Chrysler says it may add new production sites in China to meet rising demand in that market, and states: "U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation."

But despite Chrysler's admonition, Romney made a similar claim in a new TV ad that said, "Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China." That's a lot of misinformation in a single sentence.

Romney has struggled to undercut the success of Obama's bailout of GM and Chrysler, especially in key auto-making states in the Midwest that account for crucial votes in the Electoral College.

Romney's running mate, Ryan, made one such attempt in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention. Ryan cited the closing of a General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., as evidence of Obama failing to live up to his campaign promises. But the car plant closed before Obama became president.

Ryan, Aug. 29: A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: "I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years." That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year.

The plant didn't last. But it essentially closed on Dec. 23, 2008, according to the Business Journal in Milwaukee, a month before Obama was sworn in. The Associated Press reported that about 100 workers were kept on into 2009 to help shut down the plant and finish a truck order. GM's website states that the main production line ceased operations in December 2008, and the last remaining line closed April 23, 2009, barely three months after Obama took office.

Romney Distorts Facts on Jeep, Auto Bailout, Oct. 29

Ryan's VP Spin, Aug. 30

Baffling Benghazi claims

The deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, spawned some baffling claims by both candidates.

Immediately after the attack in September on U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt, Romney wrongly claimed that the Obama administration had issued an "apology for American values" after the attacks. Romney referred to a statement issued in response to an anti-Muslim video and before mobs attacked either embassy, and the statement doesn't contain the word "sorry" or "apology." Instead, the U.S. embassy in Cairo put out a statement several hours before the attack. It said that the embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. … Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." That was a reference to an anti-Islamic movie that was garnering attention in the Middle East.

For its part, the Obama administration initially rejected and then played down the notion that it was a premeditated terrorist attack. Instead, it focused on the anti-Muslim video as the root cause, claiming extremists took advantage of a spontaneous protest to the film in Benghazi to attack the consulate. Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf said on Sept. 16 — five days after the attack — that the idea that the Benghazi attack was a "spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous." Yet, Obama and others continued to describe the incident in exactly those terms — including during the president's Sept. 18 appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman." The next day, Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, called it "a terrorist attack" at a congressional hearing — becoming the first administration official to do so. On Oct. 9, nearly a month after the attack, the State Department disclosed that there weren't any protesters in Benghazi before the terrorist attack.

Romney Gets It Backward, Sept. 12

Benghazi Timeline, Oct. 26

Obama: Romney shipped jobs overseas

The Obama campaign launched various attacks on Romney for how he became wealthy at the venture-capital firm Bain Capital. Television ads claimed that Romney was a "corporate raider" who "shipped jobs to China and Mexico."

Obama campaign TV ad, June: [A]s a corporate raider, [Romney] shipped jobs to China and Mexico.

Obama campaign TV ad, June: Romney's never stood up to China. All he's ever done is send them our jobs.

Bain Capital did invest in companies that outsourced work to others, both overseas and here in the U.S, and in companies that manufactured goods abroad. But the Obama campaign has failed to show that Romney was in charge of Bain when outsourcing decisions were made. The Obama camp's examples pertain to companies in which Bain invested after Romney left the company in February 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics. Official filings and contemporary news accounts show Romney was in charge in name only and never returned to Bain while he negotiated the financial terms of his severance.

It's also false to call Romney a "corporate raider." Bain Capital did make money while loading some companies with debt. But a corporate raider is "one who mounts an unwelcome takeover bid by buying up shares (usu. discreetly) on the stock market." Bain didn't engage in hostile takeovers under Romney. Rather, it invested in new companies or in struggling businesses that it attempted to turn around and sell at a profit, with mixed success.

Obama's 'Outsourcer' Overreach, June 29 to Obama Camp: Your Complaint is All Wet, July 2

Romney's Bain Years: New Evidence, Same Conclusion, July 12

Beyond Bain-bashing

A pro-Obama super PAC made the shocking implication that Romney is responsible for the death of a steelworker's wife, who had cancer.

The Priorities USA Action TV spot — which aired only twice on Aug. 14 but garnered plenty of media attention — features Joe Soptic, who says his wife died of cancer "a short time after" Romney closed the steel plant where he worked and left him, and his wife, without health insurance. But that's misleading. Soptic's wife, Ranae, died five years after the plant closed. She also still had her own employer-sponsored insurance through a job at a thrift store for a year or two longer after the plant shut down, Soptic told CNN.

Joe Soptic in Priorities USA ad: When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care, and my family lost their health care. And a short time after that my wife became ill. … And then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia. … And she passed away in 22 days. I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he's done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.

It's fair to argue that Romney bears some responsibility for the plant shutting down. Bain Capital did buy it and saddle it with debt while Romney was head of Bain. But Romney was running the 2002 Winter Olympics when the plant actually shut down.

Priorities USA Action claimed that it would be "overstating the point of the ad" to suggest that the steelworker was blaming Romney for his wife's death. But we disagree. Soptic says in the ad, "I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he's done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned."

Is Romney to Blame for Cancer Death? Aug. 8

Romney: Obama went on an apology tour

Romney has repeatedly claimed that Obama embarked on an "apology tour" after he became president. But we have found no evidence of that.

Romney, Oct. 22: And then the president began what I've called an apology tour of going to — to various nations in the Middle East and — and criticizing America.

Romney, Aug. 30: I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour.

We went through Obama's speeches that Romney points to in his book "No Apology," and we didn't see anything that rose to the level of an apology.

For instance, Romney points to Obama's June 4, 2009, speech in Cairo, Egypt. But there's no apology there. Instead, Obama talked about "tension" between the U.S. and the Muslim world and called for a "new beginning."

Obama, June 4, 2009: Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.

So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.

False Claims in Final Debate, Oct. 23

Romney's Sorry 'Apology' Dig, Aug. 31

Romney: Stimulus rife with cronyism and waste

The Romney campaign has claimed the stimulus program was filled with cronyism and waste, and even spent money in Finland.

Romney campaign TV ad, May: More than $16 billion have gone to companies like Solyndra that are linked to big Obama and Democrat donors. The inspector general said contracts were steered to "friends and family."

Ryan, Oct. 11: Was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on electric cars in Finland … ?

Gregory Friedman, the inspector general for the Department of Energy, did not say that contracts were "steered to 'friends and family.' " He said the office was investigating that, but no charges have been made.

And it's not true that stimulus money went for "electric cars in Finland," as Ryan said at the vice presidential debate. Fisker Automotive, which received about $500 million in government-backed loans, does build cars in Finland. But the loan money went for engineering, sales, and design and marketing in the U.S. "All of the DOE loan money that we got for the Karma project [the first line of cars] had to be spent in America," Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told us back in May.

Most of the $840 billion in stimulus funds went for tax credits to individuals (a total of $236 billion) and grants to states for Medicare, Medicaid and education. Furthermore, 80 percent of economic experts surveyed by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business agreed that the unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus, while only 4 percent disagreed.

Romney's Solar Flareout, June 1

Veep Debate Violations, Oct. 12

And there's more...

We also found whoppers on popular topics such as the federal health care law, jobs and the debt:

  • Romney has repeatedly claimed that health insurance premiums have gone up $2,500 under Obama. That's wrong. Family premiums for employer-sponsored insurance have gone up $1,975 from 2010 to 2012. That's the total paid by employer and employee, and the reports on this from the Kaiser Family Foundation said the amount paid by employees hadn't gone up much. Besides, experts told us the federal health care law was responsible for a 1 percent to 3 percent increase, due to more generous coverage requirements.
  • Obama said his policies were responsible for "about 10 percent" of the deficits "over the last four years." But two of the laws he signed, the stimulus and 2010 tax cut, account for nearly a third of the cumulative four-year deficit of $5.2 trillion. Obama was referring to a Treasury analysis covering 2002 to 2011, including all eight years of the Bush administration but excluding the 2012 fiscal year that just ended Sept. 30. He also was referring not to cumulative deficits but to the difference between the Congressional Budget Office's projected surpluses and the deficits that actually happened.
  • An ad in Florida from the conservative American Crossroads reminded us of the notorious "death panel" falsehood. The ad said Medicare benefits could be "rationed" and seniors denied treatment by the new health care law. But the law specifically forbids rationing or a cut in benefits.
  • Obama has said that he would return the top two tax rates to the "same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president." But that's not right. While Obama does want to let the Bush tax cuts expire for those earning more than $200,000 a year ($250,000 for couples) — which would put the top marginal rates back to where they were under Clinton — the Affordable Care Act put additional taxes on these earners. Next year, they'll face an additional 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax, and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income.
  • A Romney ad wrongly claimed that "your share of Obama's debt is over $50,000." That's attributing all of the $16 trillion total federal debt, most of which was accumulated under previous presidents. The total public debt was $10.6 trillion when Obama took office; plus, he inherited a deficit that was already running at $1 trillion-plus on the day he took office.
  • Obama has tried to make job growth in his term look better than it actually is by saying that "this country has created over half a million new manufacturing jobs in the last two-and-a-half years," and claiming that he has added 5.2 million new jobs. Manufacturing jobs have rebounded by 512,000 since hitting a low point a year after Obama was inaugurated. But all told, there are still 582,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than there were when Obama took office. As for the 5.2 million new jobs claim, those are private-sector jobs only, and growth only since February 2010. Total jobs — private and government jobs — are up about 325,000 since Obama's inauguration.
  • Romney, too, puffed up his record on jobs as governor of Massachusetts. A campaign ad said he "reduced unemployment to just 4.7 percent." That's true — Massachusetts' unemployment rate declined from 5.6 percent to 4.6 percent — but the state's rate was lower than the national rate when Romney took office and about the same when he left.
  • Romney was wrong when he said 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes and are "dependent on the government." The true figure is 46.4 percent. More important, most of those Americans work, but don't make much money. Twenty-two percent are seniors, 15.2 percent receive tax credits for children, and the working poor that bring their income tax liability to zero.

This article can also be read at is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.

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One of Mitt's secret Big smile

This investigation was supported by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute and by the Puffin Foundation. Elements of it appear in Palast’s new book,
Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories). Research assistance by Zach D. Roberts, Ari Paul, Nader Atassi and Eric Wuestewald.

Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.

It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM—or Chrysler, for that matter—could have been successful without saving Delphi. So, in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi—and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it.

One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout—
$1.28 billion so far—is Elliott Management, directed by 
Paul Singer. According to The Wall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. His personal giving is matched by that of his colleagues at Elliott; collectively, they have donated $3.4 million to help elect Republicans this season, while giving only $1,650 to Democrats. And Singer is influential with the GOP presidential candidate; he’s not only an informal adviser but, according to the Journal, his support was critical in helping push Representative Paul Ryan onto the ticket.

Other GOP presidential hopefuls chased Singer’s endorsement, but Mitt chased Singer with his own checkbook, investing at least $1 million with Elliott through Ann Romney’s blind trust (it could be far more, but the Romneys have declined to disclose exactly how much). Along the way, Singer gained a reputation, according to Fortune, “for strong-arming his way to profit.” That is certainly what happened at Delphi.

Delphi, once the Delco unit of General Motors, was spun off into a separate company in 1999. Alone, Delphi foundered, declaring bankruptcy in 2005, after which vulture hedge funds, led by Silver Point Capital, began to buy up the company’s old debt. Later, as the nation’s financial crisis accelerated, Singer’s Elliott bought Delphi debt, as did John Paulson & Co. John Paulson, like Singer, is a $1 million donor to Romney. Also investing was Third Point, run by Daniel Loeb, who was once an Obama supporter but who this summer hosted a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser for Romney and personally donated about $500,000 to the GOP.

As Delphi was in bankruptcy, making few payments, the bonds were junk, considered toxic by the banks holding them. The hedge funds were able to pick up the securities for a song; most of Elliott’s purchases cost just 20 cents on the dollar of their face value.

By the end of June 2009, with the bailout negotiations in full swing, the hedge funds, under Singer’s lead, used their bonds to buy up a controlling interest in Delphi’s stock. According to SEC filings, they paid, on average, an equivalent of only 67 cents per share.

Just two years later, in November 2011, the Singer syndicate took Delphi public at $22 a share, turning an eye-popping profit of more than 3,000 percent. Singer’s fund investors scored a gain of $904 million, all courtesy of the US taxpayer. But that’s not all. In the year since Delphi began trading publicly, its stock has soared 45 percent. Loeb’s gains so far for Third Point: $390 million. The gains for Silver Point, headed by two Goldman Sachs alums: $894 million. John Paulson’s fund, which has already sold half its holdings, has a $2.6 billion gain. And Singer’s funds and partners, combining what they’ve sold and what they hold, have $1.29 billion in profits, about forty-four times their original investment.

Yet without taking billions in taxpayer bailout funds—and slashing worker pensions—the hedge funds’ investment in Delphi would not have been worth a single dollar, according to calculations by GM and the US Treasury.

* * *

One of President Obama’s first acts in office, in February 2009, was to form the Auto Task Force with the goal of saving GM, Chrysler, their suppliers and, most important, auto industry jobs. Crucial to the plan was saving Delphi, which then employed more than 25,000 union workers.

Obama hired Steven Rattner, himself a millionaire hedge fund manager, to head the task force that would negotiate with the troubled firms and their creditors to avoid the collapse of the entire industry. In Rattner’s memoir of the affair, Overhaul, he describes a closed-door meeting held in March 2009 to resolve Delphi’s fate. He writes that Delphi, now in the possession of its hedge fund creditors, told the Treasury and GM to hand over $350 million immediately, “because if you don’t, we’ll shut you down.” His explanation was corroborated by Delphi’s chief financial officer, John Sheehan, who said in a sworn deposition in July 2009 that the hedge fund debt holders backed up their threat with “an analysis of the cost to GM if Delphi were unwilling or unable to provide supply to GM,” forcing a “shutdown.” It would take “years and tens of billions” for GM to replace Delphi’s parts. At that bleak moment, GM had neither. The automaker had left the inventory of its steering column and other key components in Delphi’s hands. If Delphi laid siege to GM’s parts supply, the bailout would fail and GM would have to be liquidated or sold off—as would another Delphi dependent, Chrysler.

Rattner could not believe that Delphi’s management—now effectively under the hedge funders’ control—would “want to be perceived as holding GM hostage at such a precarious economic moment.” One Wall Street Journal analyst suggested that Singer was treating Delphi “like a third world country.” Rattner likened the subsidies demanded by Delphi’s debt holders to “extortion demands by the Barbary pirates.”

Romney has slammed the bailout as a payoff to the auto workers union. But that certainly wasn’t true for the bailout of Delphi. Once the hedge funders, including Singer—a deep-pocketed right-wing donor and activist who serves as chair of the conservative, anti-union Manhattan Institute—took control of the firm, they rid Delphi of every single one of its 25,200 unionized workers.

Of the twenty-nine Delphi plants operating in the United States when the hedge funders began buying up control, only four remain, with not a single union production worker. Romney’s “job creators” did create jobs—in China, where Delphi now produces the parts used by GM and other major automakers here and abroad. Delphi is now incorporated overseas, leaving the company with 5,000 employees in the United States (versus almost 100,000 abroad).

Third Point’s Daniel Loeb, whose net worth of $1.3 billion owes much to his share in the Delphi windfall, told his fund’s backers this past July that Delphi remains an excellent investment because it has “virtually no North American unionized labor” and, thanks to US taxpayers, “significantly smaller pension liabilities than almost all of its peers.”

* * *

Another outcome may have been possible. In June 2009, the Treasury and GM announced a bailout deal they’d crafted over months with the cooperation of the United Auto Workers. GM would take back control of Delphi via a joint venture with Platinum Equity, a buyout firm led by billionaire Tom Gores, a self-described “Michigan man” who grew up in the shadow of Delphi’s Flint plant.

The final Platinum plan, according to Delphi’s official statement posted on Marketwire in June 2009, lists plants in fourteen locations slated for closing, which would have left several of Delphi’s plants still in business, still unionized

The hedge funders stunned Delphi by refusing to accept the Platinum plan. Harshly criticizing it as a “sweetheart deal,” they demanded 45 cents on the dollar for the debt bonds they had bought on the cheap—more than double what the Treasury-brokered Platinum deal would pay.

Then the Singer-led debt holders swooped in. After the Platinum deal was announced, Elliott Management quietly tripled its holdings of Delphi bonds, purchased at just one-fifth of their face value. By joining forces with Silver Point, Paulson and Loeb, Singer now controlled Delphi’s fate.

Gores, Delphi and UAW officials declined to respond to queries about the deal on the record, but the sworn deposition by Delphi CFO Sheehan (confidential then, but later posted on lets us in on the tense negotiations culminating in a twenty-hour showdown between Delphi, GM, the UAW, the Auto Task Force and the US pension agency, on the one hand, and Singer’s hedge fund group, on the other. Delphi said it would dump the Platinum deal if the hedge funds would agree to terms that would take care of all stakeholders, including the following stipulation: “Agree on plan structure to maximize job preservation.”

The hedge funders said no, since they had a billion-dollar ace up their sleeve. According to Sheehan, Singer and company’s controlling interest allowed them to force the bankruptcy judge to hold an auction for all of Delphi’s stock. The debt holders outbid the Michigan Man’s team, offering $3.5 billion. But it wasn’t $3.5 billion in cash: under the rules of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, debtors-in-possession may bid the face value of their bonds rather than their current market value, which at the time was significantly lower. Under the Platinum deal, Delphi would have had much more in real money for operations: $250 million in cash from Gores, another $250 million in credit, and $3.1 billion in “exit financing” from GM, all of it backed up by TARP. Still, under Chapter 11 rules, the Platinum bid was technically lower. And that’s how Singer’s funds—which included the Romneys’ investment—came to buy Delphi for the equivalent of only 67 cents a share.

Rattner and GM, embarrassingly outmaneuvered, tried to put a good face on it. As Rattner wrote in his memoir, “In truth we didn’t care who got Delphi as long as GM could extricate itself from the continual drain on its finances and assure itself of a reliable supply of parts.”

* * *

Even before the hedge funds won their bid for Delphi’s stock, they were already squeezing the parts supplier and its workforce. In February 2009, Delphi, claiming a cash shortage, unilaterally terminated health insurance for its nonunion pensioners. But according to Rattner, the Treasury’s Task Force uncovered foggy accounting hiding the fact that the debt holders had deliberately withheld millions of dollars in cash sitting in Delphi accounts. Even after this discovery, the creditors still refused to release the funds.

The savings to the hedge fund billionaires of dropping retiree insurance was peanuts—$70 million a year—compared with the profits they later extracted from Delphi. But the harm to Delphi retirees was severe. Bruce Naylor of Kokomo, Indiana, had been forced into retirement at the age of 54 in 2006, when Delphi began to move its plants overseas. Naylor’s promised pension was slashed 40 percent, and his health insurance and life insurance were canceled. Though he had thirty-six years of experience under his belt as an engineer with GM and Delphi, he couldn’t find another job as an engineer—and he doesn’t know a single former co-worker who has found new employment in his or her field, either. Naylor ended up getting work at a local grocery store. That job gone, he now sells cars online for commission, bringing in one-fifth of what he earned before he was laid off from 

After the hedge fund takeover of Delphi, the squeeze on workers intensified through attacks on their pensions. During its years of economic trouble, Delphi had been chronically shorting payments to its pension funds—and by July 2009, they were underfunded by $7 billion. That month, Singer’s hedge fund group won the bid for control of Delphi’s stock and made clear they would neither make up the shortfall nor pay any more US worker pensions. Checkmated by the hedge funders, the government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation agreed to take over Delphi’s pension payments. The PBGC would eat the shortfall.

With Delphi’s new owners relieved of its healthcare and pension obligations, its debts to GM and its union contracts—
and now loaded with subsidies from GM funded by TARP—the company’s market value rose from zero to approximately 
$10.5 billion today.

* * *

But there was still a bit of unfinished business: President Obama needed to be blamed for the pension disaster. In a television ad airing in swing states since September, one retired Delphi manager says, “The Obama administration decided to terminate my pension, and I took a 40 percent reduction in my pension.”

Another retiree, Mary Miller, says, “I really struggle to pay for the basics…. I would ask President Obama why I had no rights, and he had all the rights to take my pension away—and never ever look back and say, ‘Not only did I take it from Mary Miller, I took it from 20,000 other people.’”

These people are real. But it’s clear that these former workers, now struggling to scrape by, were hardly in the position to put together $7 million in ad buys to publicize their plight. The ads were paid for by Let Freedom Ring, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization partially funded by Jack Templeton Jr., a billionaire evangelical whose foundation has sponsored lectures at the Manhattan Institute (the anti-union think tank whose board of directors includes not only Singer but Loeb). The ads also conveniently leave out the fact that the law sets specific ceilings on what the PBGC is allowed to pay retirees—regardless of what they were originally owed.

In June 2011, Charles and David Koch hosted a group of multimillionaires at a retreat in Vail, Colorado. In secret recordings obtained by investigator Brad Friedman, the host, Charles Koch, thanks Singer and Templeton, among others, for each donating more than $1 million to the Koch brothers’ 2012 anti-Obama election war chest.

Of course, it wasn’t Obama who refused to pay the Delphi pensions; it was Paul Singer and the other hedge funds controlling Delphi. The salaried workers’ pensions were, after all, an obligation of Delphi’s owners, not the government. Delphi’s stockholders—the Romneys included—had one easy way to rectify the harm to these pensioners, much as GM did for its workers: just pay up.

Making good on the full pensions for salaried workers would cost Delphi a one-time charge of less than $1 billion. This year, Delphi was flush with $1.4 billion in cash—
meaning its owners could have made the pensioners whole 
and still cleared a profit. Instead, in May, Delphi chose to use most of those funds to take over auto parts plants in Asia at 
a cost of $972 million—purchased from Bain Capital.

* * *

That leaves one final question: Exactly how much did the Romneys make off the auto bailout? Queries to the campaign and the Romneys’ trustee have gone unanswered. And Romney has yet to disclose the crucial year of his tax returns, 2009. But whatever the tally, it was one sweet deal. The Romneys were invested with Elliott Management by the end of 2010, before Delphi was publicly traded. So, in effect, they got Delphi stock at Singer’s initial dirt-cheap price. When Delphi’s owners took the company public in November 2011, the Romneys were in—and they hit the jackpot.

In their 2011 and 2012 Federal Financial Disclosure filing, Ann Romney’s trust lists “more than $1 million” invested with Elliott. This is the description for all of her big investments—the minimal disclosure required by law. (Had Romney kept the holding in his own name, he would have had to reveal if his investment with Singer had made more than $50 million.)

It is reasonable to assume that Singer treated the Romneys the same as his other investors, with a third of their portfolio invested in Delphi by the time of the 2011 initial public offering. This means that with an investment of at least $1 million, their smallest possible gain when Delphi went public would have been $10.2 million, plus another $10.2 million for each million handed to Singer—all gains made possible by the auto bailout.

But that’s just the beginning. Since the November 2011 IPO, Delphi’s stock has roared upward, boosting the Romneys’ Delphi windfall from $10.2 million to $15.3 million for each million they invested with Singer.

But what if the Romneys invested a bit more with Singer: let’s say a mere 3 percent of their reported net worth, or 
$7.5 million? (After all, ABC News reported—and Romney didn’t deny—that he invested “a huge chunk of his vast wealth” with Singer.) Then their take from the auto bailout so far would reach a stunning $115 million.

The Romneys’ exact gain, however, remains nearly 
invisible—and untaxed—because Singer cashed out only a fragment of the windfall in 2011. And the Singer-led hedge funds have been able to keep almost all of Delphi’s profits untaxed 
by moving Delphi’s incorporation from Troy, Michigan, to the Isle of Jersey, a tax haven off the coast of France.

The Romneys might insist that the funds were given to Singer, Mitt’s key donor, only through Ann’s blind trust. But as Mitt Romney said some years ago of Ted Kennedy, “The blind trust is an age-old ruse, if you will. Which is to say, you can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do.” Romney, who reminds us often that he was CEO of a hedge fund, can certainly read Elliott Management’s SEC statements, and he knows Ann’s trust is invested heavily in a fund whose No. 1 stake is with Delphi.

Nevertheless, even if the Romneys were blind to their initial investment in Elliott, they would have known by the beginning of 2010 that they had a massive position in Delphi and would make a fortune from the bailout and TARP funds. Delphi is not a minor investment for Singer; it is his main holding. To invest in Elliott is essentially a “Delphi play”: that is, investing with Singer means buying a piece of the auto bailout.

Mitt Romney may indeed have wanted to let Detroit die. But if the auto industry was going to be bailed out after all, the Romneys apparently couldn’t resist getting in on a piece of 
the action.


Edited by Claudie - Nov 05 2012 at 7:13am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 7:42am
I will def be voting yes in 37. I hate when I walk ask someone if their stuff is non gmo and they don't even know..
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 8:01am
Vote tomorrow!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 8:04am
There's a Romney blimp floating around in downtown columbus today...pulling out all the stops
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2012 at 8:12am

Project ORCA: Mitt Romney Campaign Plans Massive, State-Of-The-Art Poll Monitoring Effort

  • November 1, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 3.57.12 PM

Source: Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has been quietly assembling a massive, technologically sophisticated poll monitoring program that staffers believe will be their secret weapon in defeating President Barack Obama.

Project ORCA will rely on 34,000 volunteers in swing states on Election Day, in an effort to keep track of who is voting at key polling places. Romney staffers will use the data to help them target their get-out-the-vote efforts before the polls close, in hopes of gaining an edge over Obama’s grassroots operation.

Volunteers will have the Project ORCA web-based app on their smartphone. Once they log in, they will see the names and ages of every eligible voter in that precinct. When someone votes, the volunteer will simply be able to slide a bar and note it. Individuals without smartphones will be able to print a list of voters — provided by the Romney campaign — and check off individuals who come to the polling place, and then call that information into headquarters periodically.

If volunteers run into any problems — such as an incorrect voting list, broken voting machines, fraud or illegal activity — they can press a yellow button on their phone to instantly report them to the Romney campaign legal team, and staffers will be assigned to help volunteers around the country. Volunteers will also be able to send instant messages — similar to a Twitter feed or discussion board — with anecdotes about what they are seeing.

To read this article in its entirety visit The Huffington Post.

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