Archive for May 10, 2012
The Romney camp and the so-called “liberal media” are framing the story about Mitt Romney and his band of teenaged private high school brats holding down a “presumed” gay man — John Lauber — and cutting his hair off as
a prank “bullying.”
Of course they’re going to minimize what happened, but we shouldn’t let them.
My Tweets of the Day:
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Exactly. We’re not talking bullying here. We’re talking a physical assault.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on financial stuff — far from it — but I know alarm when I see it and people are alarmed about a conference call held by J.P. Morgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon today:
JPMorgan Chase, in a surprise announcement, said Thursday that it has suffered trading losses of $2 billion since the start of April.
The group that suffered the losses is part of the bank’s so-called corporate unit, and had been making trades designed to hedge against risk.
Net losses, after factoring in other securities gains, could exceed $800 million by the end of the second quarter.
The unit had been expected to post a net gain of $200 million. Shares of JPMorgan (JPM, Fortune 500) fell sharply in trading after the market close, with losses approaching 7%.
CEO Jamie Dimon, speaking to analysts and reporters on a conference call, said the losses were caused by “errors,” “sloppiness” and “bad judgment.”
Yo, Jamie, the buck stops at your desk, right? You “received a $23 million pay package for fiscal year 2011, more than any other bank CEO in the United States, the highest paid CEO in the country,” so why weren’t you on top of this:
“This was a unique thing we did,” Dimon said. “Obviously it had a lot of problems. It was a bad strategy. It became more complex, it was poorly managed.”
For more on what this ahem, “bank,” is all about, read the always fantastic Matt Taibbi’s: J.P. Morgan Chase’s Ugly Family Secrets Revealed. Not a pretty picture.
And then there’s this:
After Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, there was speculation that Dimon would serve in the Obama Administration as Secretary of the Treasury. Obama eventually named the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner, to the position.
Following the acquisition of Washington Mutual by JPMorgan Chase, Obama commented on Dimon’s handling of the real-estate crash, credit crisis, and the banking collapse affecting corporations nationwide, including major financial institutions like Bank Of America, Citibank, and Wachovia:You know, keep in mind, though there are a lot of banks that are actually pretty well managed, JPMorgan being a good example, Jamie Dimon, the CEO there, I don’t think should be punished for doing a pretty good job managing an enormous portfolio.
Guess I’ll be watching CNBC a bit tomorrow. They won’t tell the whole story (their “journalists” are like best friends with the people on Wall Street they’re supposed to be objectively covering) but the tone will be informative.
Imagine the scenario of J.P.Morgan Chase wanting a bailout this election year. I don’t think We the People would stand for it but then what?
Anyway, again, heads up.
OK folks, it’s break time and today we have a cool house to look at:
“Respect nature and the rest will follow” was the design philosophy behind the conch-shaped Casey Guest House in Florida. A small structure overlooking Sarasota Bayand a small oak forest, the guest house is constructed out of wood and sits very lightly among the surrounding mangrove trees.
For a slide show and more info, go here.
Voters in Colorado will vote this fall on legalizing marijuana (or not) via Amendment 64. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has released the first ad in support of that effort.. (Voters legalized medical marijuana here (in Colorado) in 2000.) I think this new law will pass as well.)
Pretty low key but hey, it’s early.
The Romney campaign has sent out a plea for Mitt’s high school buddies to come forward and tell the world what a great guy he was back then so they can counter this morning’s news that Romney organized a mob to hold a fellow student down, who they “presumed” was gay, so he could cut off his hair. (In this day and age I think that would be called assault.)
Judging by the response thus far, I don’t think this is going to end well for the ol’ Mittster. Bullies make impressions on people that don’t fade all that much with time:
Romney Friend Stu White Says Campaign Wants Him to Counter Prank Accusations
One of Mitt Romney’s closest friends and a high school classmate has been asked by the Romney campaign to come out and offer “supporting remarks” in defense of the candidate following a Washington Post article that described pranks at the Cranbrook School in the 1960s that focused on a student who was “presumed” to be gay. Romney has denied that the pranks were targeted.
Romney’s older brother Scott called White, asking him to act as a surrogate for Romney on their high school years.
White, in an interview with ABC News, said that he is “still debating” whether he will help the campaign, remarking, “It’s been a long time since we’ve been pals.” While the Post reports White as having “long been bothered” by the haircutting incident,” he told ABC News he was not present for the prank, in which Romney is said to have forcefully cut a student’s long hair and was not aware of it until this year when he was contacted by the Washington Post.
According to White, he knows of several other classmates that have also been approached by the campaign to counter the article. White declined to name the fellow classmates.
Romney often mentions White on the campaign trail as the friend who threw the party where Romney met his wife Ann, whom he has now been married to for more than 43 years.
One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be identified by name – said there are “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “evil” and “like Lord of the Flies.”
The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember it.
“It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said.
No, I don’t think this is going to end well at all.
OMG, the Romney campaign is having a terrible day, and it’s only noon. How this crowd of stooges made it through the primary is beyond me:
This morning the Washington Post published an article titled, “Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents,” detailing how a high school aged Mitt Romney organized an attack on a fellow student while he was at Cranbrook Academy, a private boarding school just outside Detroit. Romney was apparently irritated that the student had “bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.”
A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another.
“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”
Included in the article is this denial from Romney’s campaign:
His campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, said in a statement that “anyone who knows Mitt Romney knows that he doesn’t have a mean-spirited bone in his body. The stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents.” Campaign officials denied a request for an interview with Romney.
Now, just a matter of hours later, Romney suddenly remembers the incident and apologizes (in his cold-hearted way):
“I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school and some might have gone too far and for that, I apologize.”
“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney told Kilmeade, chuckling. “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”
Listen to the audio here.
Holy cow. Again, I wonder how this crowd made it through the primary given how discombobulated it is. Not only that, they’re teaching people not to believe a word they say.