Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If you’ve got a lemon, make lemonade!

Turns out that John Sinunu’s claim that President Obama couldn’t run a lemonade stand is absolutely correct and I’ll be damned.
by Charlie Leck

I’m out here on a run toward New York City. The sun is newly up and I was on the very early list for breakfast in the dining car. I took along a small log-book and began making notes about something that has been roiling in me for a week. It’s what that two-bit, political draft-horse, punk of a guy, John Sinunu, said about the President.

Sinunu said that President Obama couldn’t even run a lemonade stand. Wow! Couldn’t he have gone somewhere else? Almost anywhere else?

I guess Sinunu had some good information. I’ve got some solid, inside (and anonymous, of course) information that does indeed indicate the President did have a number of problems with a lemonade stand back in Chicago when he lived there. The Obamas had a lovely home in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago’s Southside. When the girls got to that certain stage all little kids get to, they wanted to set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk in front of their house. Of course, as any dad would, Mr. Obama offered to help them. Well, he wasn’t the senior operations guy on this project, but we have certain and undeniable word that the lemonade stand took some pretty hefty losses (for those days) in the neighborhood of twenty or thirty bucks.

Damn! That Sinunu has more going for him than just that alliterative name. He’s got someone on the inside providing solid information about the President’s business acumen. Now Mitt Romney would have worked it differently and you can bet on it. The former chief-executive-officer and sole stock holder of Bain Capital from uh, uh, uh – well, from back then in, let’s see, in about 1984 – would have made that lemonade stand a huge success. The President allowed his girls to use home-grown, American lemons that were also organic. Far too costly were these lemons to ever hope for a return. The sugar the girls used was also organic and purchased from American owned companies. Finally, the water was first-class, filtered water that was also a bit too costly. It’s difficult to make money when the President insisted the girls hold the price to somewhere around a dime for a glass of lemonade. It was one of those deals, much like my wife’s lamb business – the more the girls sold, the more money they lost, though the lamb is spectacularly good and so was the lemonade.

Now you can see what I’m getting at and why I’m so damned angry about this attack on my wife – er, I mean on the Obama children. Sinunu has no right to go off on these girls that way.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney can’t seem to clearly explain just when he stopped being the go-to guy at Bain Capital [Read Dana Milbank’s wonderful column in the Washington Post: Romney and His Time Machine]. From the founding of the company, Romney was its CEO and only stockholder. Romney, it seems, took a leave from Bain in 1999 in order to save the Olympics that were to be held out in Utah. Seems that some guy, who couldn’t run a lemonade stand, had tried to manage the Olympics and got everything all screwed up. Romney saved the day and nobody will deny that or argue the point.

The question is, rather, when did Mr. Romney step down from running the Bain operation? Seems Bain out-sourced a lot of jobs after 1999 and that wouldn’t seem good for Romney if he was the company’s CEO. Yet, it seems that Mr. Romney’s name was still listed on legal filings as the CEO and only stockholder during the period that the out-sourcing took place. A spokesman for Romney now says that the retirement was “retroactive” to February of 1999. Retroactive?

“Retroactive? Retroactive? What the hell do you mean, retroactive?”

Dana Milbank describes this as something akin to time-travel. Strange!

“Retroactive retirement! It was a brilliant formulation, perhaps the greatest addition to the political lexicon since “no controlling legal authority.” And it raised tantalizing possibilities: If Romney can do it, perhaps others can go back in time to rearrange events.
“George W. Bush could retroactively end his presidency on Sept. 1, 2008, before the financial collapse. Donald Rumsfeld could retroactively pull out of Iraq before the insurgency. President Obama could retroactively deny government funding for Solyndra.”  [Dana Milbank]

Brilliant! Brilliant! No wonder Romney is such a good business man. Maybe he could take us back to a time period before a Republican president lied to us about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Or certainly before a time when we foolishly expanded our mission in Afghanistan – back to a time before we spent 3 or 4 trillion dollars on foolish wars.

I’ll bet, if Mr. Obama, could time travel, he would take us retroactively back to a time before he set the price for the girls on their lemonade sales and he would then allow them to charge a quarter for a glass of delicious, organic and pure lemonade – and, they could advertise that they were the daughters of a future U.S. President! Can you imagine the sales?

I don’t know! Train travel does something to me.

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