I can’t say I’m shocked to learn that Penn State coach Joe Paterno and other university officials knew about Jerry Sandusky’s little “problem” for 14 years and chose to overlook it. Men, especially powerful men, have gotten passes for sexual predation since the dawn of time.
But there was a time when even powerful men were held accountable for losing money. The AP reports that JP Morgan Chase has now admitted losing $4.4 billion on one little trading “oopsie,” yet CEO Jamie Dimon still has his job. It seems that “too big to fail” applies to big-shot executives, too.
And then there’s this:
Mitt Romney testified to Massachusetts officials in 2002 that he maintained business ties during his Olympics work, undermining his argument that he had no connection to Bain Capital or related companies after 1999. Notably, his campaign has refused to deny whether or not he ever held meetings with Bain during his time in Salt Lake City.
Romney, who at the time was trying to convince the state Ballot Law Commission that he should be allowed to run for office in Massachusetts despite living in Utah the last three years, did not directly address his work with Bain Capital. But, in testimony obtained by the Huffington Post, Romney said that he returned home for â€œa number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.â€
Romney noted that he remained an active member of the board at Staples, where Bain was an early investor and a company Romney frequently cites on the trail, and LifeLike, a toy company where Bain was heavily invested at the time.
If you go back to what Mittens was saying while he was an Olympics honcho, 1999-2002, it appears that he turned day-to-day operation of Bain over to others but was kept in the loop about what the company was up to and probably weighed in on major decisions. He retained his title and salary until 2002. It also appears he fully intended to come back to full-time management of Bain until late in 2001, when he decided to run for Massachusetts governor against acting governor Jane Swift. Steve Kornacki:
It was only in late 2001, when Swiftâ€™s governorship began to implode, that running in 2002 became a serious option for Romney. And it was only in 2002 that Romney actually struck a severance agreement with Bain. Before Swiftâ€™s demise, Romneyâ€™s only other possible post-Olympic political opportunity had involved Utahâ€™s governorship, which was possibly going to open up in 2004. In the summer of â€™01, Romney took some tentative steps to put his name in the mix for that race, but it was still several years away and there were real questions about how viable heâ€™d be if he ran.
And, you know, this makes sense, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Except that Mittens wants to be inoculated from certain actions taken by Bain during that 1999-2002 period.
Romney didnâ€™t start pushing the idea that heâ€™d severed all ties with Bain in â€™99 until late in the â€™02 campaign, when Democrats played up Bainâ€™s closure of a Kansas City steel plant, a move that cost 700 workers their jobs. Confronted with this potentially damaging attack, Romney pleaded ignorance, insisting he couldnâ€™t have had anything to do with the closure because it came two years after heâ€™d left. Thatâ€™s the story heâ€™s stuck with ever since â€“ and especially this year, as national Democrats have taken up the GST story.
Now, it may be that he had no direct input into the GST closing. But in the long run, would it not have been better if he had come up with some plausible reason why closing the plant was a good decision? He could have said something like “I wasn’t in on that management decision but I defend the actions of my company because blah blah blah,” and tossed out some numbers and business-speak that no one really understands, and it might have shut everyone up about it. Instead, he told a disprovable lie.
If youâ€™re planning on running for president, here are a few quick things you should probably do:
Make sure your tax returns and finances are in order
Make sure youâ€™re not blatantly lying about some major portion of your biography.
Mitt Romney seems to have decided to do neither, I guess because he thought no one would check?
Romney seems to be trying to bluff it out. He is thumping his chest and demanding an apology for things the Obama campaign said about him. If the things being said are demonstrably true, however … well, he is cordially invited to hold his breath until he gets that apology.
The list of disprovable lies Mittens has told about President Obama is ponderously long, and I don’t know if they’ve all been compiled in one place. Here is a list of lies from just one speech. But we all know Republicans have been allowed to get away with lying for some time. Maybe Mittens went a lie too far.