Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
I spent the better part of a decade commuting to work in an executive recruiting firm in Manhattan. We focused on senior management assignments, including in the finance industry. In ten years I had lived the corporate suite vicariously and any yearnings I might have had to play the executive role were well sated. After I left I spent fifteen years in artistic and teaching pursuits and then founded a small manufacturing services business which today keeps me off the streets.
One seldom hears about the really fine executives. But somewhere along the line the top tier began to be confused with actors and are essentially loudmouths---encompassing three prototypes: The flamboyant; the super hero; and those who are simply boorish and full of themselves. Trump, Dimon and Romney.
Actually there is a fourth type, the seedy. In my former lifetime we once introduced an uptown candidate with a public persona of squeaky clean, upstanding family man. Nice guy, really. But he wasn't right, either for L.A. (his wife would never have moved) or for a job in Hollywood. The Chairman who interviewed him was a cigar chomping, crude individual (think casino magnate). When our candidate asked about benefits the Chairman's face screwed up and he chewed half way through his cigar. "The benefits are a pension program, health plan and all the show girls you can eat." Seedy doesn't quite nail it, does it? [Read more]
One of the advantages of a business guy like Willard Romney running for President is that despite the rude public dissection of his career, an ordinary member of the rank and file such as myself can learn business methods which would normally be kept in secret files. If Romney loses the election, and because he no longer has any active involvement in any of his businesses, he will most likely write a book and advertise it on Bloomberg---something like, "Business is a Fiscal Cliff---How to walk right up to the edge without going to Jail!". I'm not waiting for Romney's chapter on Retirement. I retroactively retired over the weekend.
I emailed my stock broker to retroactively withdraw the sale order for a thousand shares of Apple Computer I gave him in March, 2002, when Apple shares dropped from $25 to $23 in one day. I expect that my broker will change his records appropriately, will so inform the registrars of Apple common shares, and I look forward to seeing that $600,000 appear on my July statement. I can't wait to show the wife that statement because if she's said it once, she's said it a hundred times, "...if you just hadn't sold that Apple stock when you did, we could be retired by now." Well, now we are retired and maybe she'll shut up about Apple. [Read more]
The story about Romney's investment in the Chinese firm—Global-Tech Appliances—IN 1998 has so many legs it might become the nexus-centipede of Bain, Romney, Outsourcing, China, Telling Lies, and the flawed Republican presidential campaign of 2012.
Heretofore Romney has been able to muddy the record on his direct involvement in outsourcing because some previous outsourcing claims were fudged by the question of whether Romney was still at Bain Capital during the period 1999-2002. The "story" that Romney was not involved in Bain during that period is unraveling by virtue of SEC filings in which he claimed to be Sole Owner, Chairman and CEO of Bain, and also by testimony to the Massachusetts Ballot Commission that his full intention was to return to Bain—the latter rationale he absolutely needed to qualify for a run at the Governorship. Despite facts to the contrary, the story of "how" involved he was can be one of those never ending run-abouts. But the story about Global-Tech is much more damning to Romney than a debate about how connected to Bain he was in the 1999-2002 time period. [Read more]
I wrote a sarcastic bad piece about Romney's NAACP appearance and deleted it when I realized that to stoop to Romney's level of disingenuousness in such an article is to mimic what I hate, thereby indirectly partaking of it and glorifying it.
Then I wrote what I thought was a much better piece with what I thought was a balanced perspective. In attempting to preview it, I managed to delete it. I take all of this as a sign. Stop trying to write about this subject. Suffice it to say that Romney's appearance was disgusting---in concept, premeditation, delivery, hokiness, and disingenuousness. In short, Romney's performance yesterday makes me embarrassed to be an old white man.  [Read more]
For the life of me I can't see Willard Romney as the leader of a Republican Party which in body, mind and spirit embraces teavangelicals masquerading as colonial rebels. Romney is oh, so much more like a Redcoat than a Lexington, Massachusetts militiaman. And Obama---even though he in many ways is an elitist for whom the teavangelicals have as much visceral hatred as the real colonial rebels had for their British overseers---Obama seems much more of an everyday American to me than Romney ever will.  [Read more]
The Texas Republican Party is backtracking from the Party platform plank, "Knowledge-Based Education", (that's one for the family archives) which opposes critical thinking skills and has already been approved by a state convention. A party spokesman said the language made it into the platform by mistake, adding that "...the plank should not have included "critical thinking skills" after "values clarification". I'm guessing Texas Republicans will not spend much time thinking about that correction.
Having spent a great deal of time in Texas and doing business in the state, the overall Platform seems well out of step with the many moderates in the state and perhaps even with the more religious and conservative wing of the Republican party.  [Read more]
"My opponent, Mr. Romney, said I wasted my presidency on healthcare. That's right, I wasted my presidency trying to bring health care to 30 million people, people in the middle class or trying to get into the middle class. In other words, if you help the middle class, you're wasting your time.
Mr. Romney won't waste time on the middle class.
That's essentially what he said, isn't it? Kind of reveals more about him than me.  [Read more]
Andrew Sorkin had a piece in the NYT yesterday suggesting questions to be asked Jamie Dimon in his upcoming testimony on Capitol Hill.
For example, "...when you called speculation about outsize risks in your investment office 'a tempest in a tea pot', what, if any, analysis had you personally conducted before making that statement?" [Read more]
There is a predatory notice
in the limbic eyes of an auction-goer:
Strike now! Take a chance with the drill-press-thing---
or is it a riveter or veneer slicer---
the attached shop light alone is worth the price.
The auction boss sets the stage---
smashed up pipe clamps, dried-glue glaze on them, [Read more]