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Back from a 2-week break, Jon Stewart started off last night strong with an awesome takedown of Mitt Romney's claim of a "retroactive retirement" from Bain Capital, as well as his blind trust excuse.

One small problem with Romney's explanation.

Between 1999 and 2002, Bain's SEC filing stated that Romney was the "Chief Executive Officer, President and Managing Director" of the firm, and paid Romney at least $100,000 a year.  Mitt?

MITT ROMNEY (7/13/2012): The documents show that there's a difference between ownership, which is that I owned shares in Bain, but I did not manage Bain ... and when you leave an enterprise, and when you have other people managing the enterprise, who take responsibility for all the investment decisions, who decide who's going to get hired and fired, who decide compensation decisions, they're the managers, they're the people running the business.
"I was just the guy with the smokescreen-ish yet still legal title of CEO and Managing Director who was paid at least $100,000 a year to do what, according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing!  And that's the kind of common sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House."

(wild audience cheering and applause)

....

ED GILLESPIE (7/15/2012): He took a leave of absence, and in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.
(Jon kisses his fingers in amazement)

Wow!  Retired retroactively.

"See, in 2012, I realize the company I was legally CEO of in 1999 did things that would hurt my presidential run in the present.  So I retroactively wasn't there."

I'm not saying that if you have a time machine, you necessarily have to kill Hitler, but this retroactive retirement is the worst use of a time machine I have ever seen!

....

Now look, if all this shit seems shady, Romney, as always, has an airtight line of defense.

MITT ROMNEY (1/23/2012): I pay all the taxes that are legally required, and not a dollar more.

MITT ROMNEY (1/18/2012): And if there's an opportunity to save taxes, we, like anybody else in this country, will follow that opportunity.

MITT ROMNEY (7/13/2012): We've complied with the law.  The law requires us to put out a full financial disclosure, and that I've done.

And that really is the point of this campaign.  If you're a so-called job creator in this country, even if the jobs you create are in India or China, you are legally entitled to wonderful things like offshore tax havens, and carried interest tax rates that are less than half the rate for normal income.  Or $77,000 in business deductions for dressage horse competition expenses.  Yeah, $77,000 tax break to send your horse to the fucking prom!

(audience applause)

Here's what he doesn't get.  Here's what Romney doesn't understand.  Nobody cares that Mitt Romney is rich. It's Romney's inability to understand the institutional advantage that he gains from the government's tax code largesse.  That's a little offensive to people, especially considering Romney's view on anyone else who looks to the government for things like, I don't know, food and medicine.

ALI VELSHI (7/12/2012): Romney says the following: "You remind them of this.  If they want more stuff from the government tell them to vote for the other guy -- more free stuff.  But don't forget, nothing is really free.  It has to be paid for by people in the private sector."
And horse prom is black tie, motherfucker.
Video and full transcript below the fold.

In what can only be called a bit of divine intervention, the hot political story of the moment is Mitt Romney's old venture capital company, which happens to bear the same name as the most frightening and current Batman villain.  It's the subject of tonight's Democalypse 2012: Thank You Jesus edition.

Bain!  Not since Ayds diet candy...

(shocked audience laughter)

suffered through their somewhat ill-timed 1980s "lose weight with Ayds" sales campaign, has a brand faced this type of challenge.  Bain!!

VICTIM: What are you?

BANE: Corporations are people, my friend.

Now, Romney's Bain, seen here with what looks like an ad for an oddly lucrative all-clothed male strip revue -- they called him Magic Mitt.

See, Mitt Romney's whole campaign is based on the idea that he's run a business, so he knows how to create jobs.  One problem.

WYATT ANDREWS, CBS (7/13/2012): When Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain Capital in the '90s, Bain invested in a series of companies, including call centers and manufacturers that expanded overseas, sometimes at the expense of American workers.
He never said he knew where he was going to create those jobs!  That doesn't look good for Mitt Romney.  Luckily, he's got a bit of an excuse.
WYATT ANDREWS, CBS (7/13/2012): Romney says he took a leave of absence from Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Salt Lake Olympics, which means he never had control of the companies doing the outsourcing.
Ahhhhhh!!  He had nothing to do with the outsourcing, because at the time he was too busy bringing foreigners to America to take our gold!!

One small problem with Romney's explanation.

Between 1999 and 2002, Bain's SEC filing stated that Romney was the "Chief Executive Officer, President and Managing Director" of the firm, and paid Romney at least $100,000 a year.  Mitt?

MITT ROMNEY (7/13/2012): The documents show that there's a difference between ownership, which is that I owned shares in Bain, but I did not manage Bain ... and when you leave an enterprise, and when you have other people managing the enterprise, who take responsibility for all the investment decisions, who decide who's going to get hired and fired, who decide compensation decisions, they're the managers, they're the people running the business.
"I was just the guy with the smokescreen-ish yet still legal title of CEO and Managing Director who was paid at least $100,000 a year to do what, according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing!  And that's the kind of common sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House."

(wild audience cheering and applause)

What?!

Can a brother get a surrogate up in this bitch?

ED GILLESPIE (7/15/2012): He took a leave of absence, and in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.
(Jon kisses his fingers in amazement)

Wow!  Retired retroactively.

"See, in 2012, I realize the company I was legally CEO of in 1999 did things that would hurt my presidential run in the present.  So I retroactively wasn't there."

I'm not saying that if you have a time machine, you necessarily have to kill Hitler, but this retroactive retirement is the worst use of a time machine I have ever seen!

But Romney's week wasn't only about why no one seemed to know when to throw his Bain retirement party.  It was also the issue of his offshore investments and tax havens.  Explain that.

MITT ROMNEY (7/13/2012): I don't manage the money that I have.  In order to make sure that I didn't have a conflict of interest while I was Governor, or while I was considering a run for national office, I had a blind trust established.
Oh.  So avoiding conflicts of interest matters so much to Mitt Romney, he actually blinded the man running his money.  That's... "I'd like you to manage my money.  Oh, and one more thing, boop!"  (eye-poking motion)

All right, so Romney's money was in a blind trust.  I guess that's a pretty good excuse.  Unless a blind trust is just a ruse.

MITT ROMNEY (10/18/1994): The blind trust is an age-old ruse, if you will, which is to say you can always tell the blind trust what it can and cannot do.  You can give a blind trust rules.
(wild audience cheering and applause)

Wait, wait!  Wait!  To the time machine!  To retroactively retire that soundbite.

So Mitt Romney is running on his business and finance acumen, but is not responsible for the management of either his business or finances!  You know how we can just clear a lot of this confusion up, a quick look at Romney's tax returns from the last 10 or 12 years.

MITT ROMNEY (7/13/2012): I've already put out one year of tax returns, we'll put out the next year of tax returns as soon as the accountants have that ready. ... Those are the two years that people are going to have, and that's all that's necessary for people to understand something about my finances.
Yes.  Something.  About just the two years when you knew you were running for President!  Nobody gives a shit about those two years!  It'd be like if the Keith Richards autobiography was called "My Years as a Movie Pirate".  

(audience applause)

Nobody cares!  Now look, if all this shit seems shady, Romney, as always, has an airtight line of defense.

MITT ROMNEY (1/23/2012): I pay all the taxes that are legally required, and not a dollar more.

MITT ROMNEY (1/18/2012): And if there's an opportunity to save taxes, we, like anybody else in this country, will follow that opportunity.

MITT ROMNEY (7/13/2012): We've complied with the law.  The law requires us to put out a full financial disclosure, and that I've done.

And that really is the point of this campaign.  If you're a so-called job creator in this country, even if the jobs you create are in India or China, you are legally entitled to wonderful things like offshore tax havens, and carried interest tax rates that are less than half the rate for normal income.  Or $77,000 in business deductions for dressage horse competition expenses.  Yeah, $77,000 tax break to send your horse to the fucking prom!

(audience applause)

Here's what he doesn't get.  Here's what Romney doesn't understand.  Nobody cares that Mitt Romney is rich. It's Romney's inability to understand the institutional advantage that he gains from the government's tax code largesse.  That's a little offensive to people, especially considering Romney's view on anyone else who looks to the government for things like, I don't know, food and medicine.

ALI VELSHI (7/12/2012): Romney says the following: "You remind them of this.  If they want more stuff from the government tell them to vote for the other guy -- more free stuff.  But don't forget, nothing is really free.  It has to be paid for by people in the private sector."
And horse prom is black tie, motherfucker.
Jon then covered the Viacom/DirecTV feud.
Meanwhile, Stephen, after being shocked that Anderson Cooper is gay, also looked at Mitt's retroactive retirement from Bain Capital.  He then had a Thought for Food segment.
Jon talked with comedian Louis C.K., and Stephen talked with Anne-Marie Slaughter, who wrote that incredibly talked about piece for The Atlantic about women and their work choices.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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