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By CARRIE ANTLFINGER
jumping-the-shark.jpg MILWAUKEE (AP) – The ultra-cool Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli is coming to Milwaukee – permanently. A bronze statue of the leather-jacketed biker from “Happy Days” will be erected in Milwaukee, where the TV sitcom was set, now that local groups have raised the $85,000 needed to do it.”Holy mackerel!” said actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie during the show’s run from 1974 to 1984, when he first heard about the effort to immortalize the character.

“The second thing that hit me was, ‘What a phenomenal compliment,'” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview this week from his home in California. “I mean it’s not often you have a dream when you’re 7 lying in your bed, you get to live your dream out and then someone is going to erect a life-size statue of your creation.

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Fiscon Identity Politics

images3.jpg“I would also suggest that one needs to look very carefully at exactly what the business record is,” Huckabee said.”If it’s taking companies that are in serious trouble, buying them when they are in pain, selling off their assets, then making huge profit off of it then that’s not something a lot of Americans can relate to, except those that have lost their jobs because of those kind of transactions.If that’s the turnaround then there are a lot of Americans who do not want to see their lives turned around like that.” source

Before taking a morning jog in Ft. Lauderdale, Mike Huckabee’s remarks regarding Mitt Romney’s business record drew a very sharp distinction between the vision of conservatism espoused by Wall Street Republicans and Main Street Republicans. It is a distinction drawn previously by both Huckabee and Duncan Hunter, and one that has come into increasing focus as the economy emerges as the top issue in the campaign.

Ironically, it is the success of the Bush national security policy, and the counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq that has diminished the war and national security as the primary focus of the campaign. But, if the economy is Romney’s supposed strong suit, a closer look at his record in the private equity business is warranted.

romney3.jpg …as the leader of private equity firm Bain Capital from 1984 to 1999, Romney’s record shows that while some of the firm’s investments helped companies grow, others ended in thousands of layoffs, and in some cases, bankruptcy.

Layoffs are a common result of private equity takeovers, with Bain Capital no exception….

Companies such as office supplier Staples Inc. and pizza company Domino’s were successful Bain investments under Romney.

But medical test maker Dade Behring, circuit board maker DDi, American Pad & Paper and auto parts company Cambridge Industries are among the companies that went bankrupt after Bain invested in them with Romney at the helm….

The private equity model is built on loading companies up with debt — which can ultimately prove too heavy a load for the business, as was the case with DDi.

Bain invested $46 million in DDi in October 1997 and later sold shares worth at least $93 million, according to a report by the Orange County Register newspaper. The Anaheim, California, company ultimately went bankrupt, laying off 2,100 employees. source

“It always makes sense to fight for every single good job.”

This was Mitt’s campaign rhetoric in Michigan and SC. It makes perfect sense for a candidate for President to say this.

But, if this had been his attitude as a businessman, this is certain: He would not have amassed the personal fortune that is financing his run for the Presidency, and thousands of “good jobs” at DDI, American Pad and Paper, Cambridge Industries, and others might still be around.

It does help to explain, however the club for growth’s enthusiastic support for Romney, despite his less than sterling fiscal record as governor of Massachusetts — he’s one of their own.

“his support for broad-based tax cuts in liberal Massachusetts together with his enthusiastic embrace of the Bush tax cuts on the campaign trail offers hope that Governor Romney’s previous ambivalence on tax policy is more a function of Massachusetts politics than his core beliefs.”

Ah yes. hope!

The fiscal record of Romney is somewhat similar to Huckabee. They both governed Democrat majority states as pragmatic conservatives. But Romney comports himself as a fiscon, so establishment Republicans give him a pass, and praise his record as offering hope.

He’s one of their own. More “identity politics?”

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