If you’ve noticed that #Sensata is trending on Twitter today, it’s certainly not because the media is all over it. The mainstream, corporate media, that is.  Shows and alternative media (like mine) are talking about the Bain-run company that’s moving its Freeport, IL factory to China and forcing its soon-to-be-former employees to train their replacements.

My friend Dave Johnson has written about it extensively at the Campaign for America’s Future, but here’s an excerpt:

If you are hearing about a company named Sensata, here is the story. Right now this company is moving equipment out of a factory in Freeport, Il. and shipping it to China. They are making the workers there train their Chinese replacements. And the end of the year they are laying off the American workers. The workers have set up a camp across from the factory and have named it Bainport. (please click!) Supporters are trying to block the trucks, and some have been arrested. This is all happening right now, even as Mitt Romney says he wants to “get tough on China.” So the workers have Romney to come to Freeport and help them.

“The week before they came they took the American flag down outside the plant. The week after they left they put it back up.”

See Wendi Kent’s moving photos of the Bainport camp, where workers are asking Romney to help them:

Bainport, Illinois Pt.1

Bainport, Illinois Pt.2- Profits Over People

What’s Going On?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney started the “private equity” firm Bain Capital. Bain Capital makes its money by purchasing companies using “leveraged buyouts” that borrow huge sums using the purchased company’s own assets as collateral. They often use part of the borrowed money to immediately pay itself. Bain then cuts costs by doing things like sending jobs to China, cutting wages and manipulating tax rules to cut taxes owed, along with standard big-business practices like consolidating business units, taking advantage of economies of scale not available to smaller competitors, squeezing distribution channels for price cuts, and other practices that bring competitive advantages. (Please see So DID Mitt Romney Really “Create Jobs” At Staples? for a look at how this works.) Then, after reorganizing the purchased companies Bain “harvests” them for profit. (“Harvest” is Romney’s word, watch the linked video.)

Bain Capital purchased a sensor manufacturer that makes key components for our automobile supply chain, and named it Sensata. They immediately announced they closing a factory in Freeport, Ill., and sending the manufacturing and jobs to China to save money. (This is significant because China is engaged in efforts to dominate American auto supplies. SeeChina Cheating Costs 400K Auto Parts Jobs and Why The Latest Trade Complaint Against China Matters. )

Bain/Sensata brought in Chinese workers and made the Freeport workers train them. Bain/Sensata is moving the equipment out of the Freeport factory and shipping it to China right now. The Freeport employees have set up a camp outside the factory that they call Bainport and are trying to stop the Bain trucks that are moving the equipment out for shipment to China. Supporters were arrested this week, trying to stop those trucks.

The Sensata employees have asked Romney to come to Freeport/Bainport and help them. Read on to learn about Romney’s response to the Sensata workers, and how Romney is actually making big money right now from shipping their jobs to China.

Read the whole article here!

We’ll be talking more about this tomorrow morning. Stay tuned…

The world has been worrying about the fate of  Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year old Pakistani woman who was hunted down and shot in the head by the Taliban because she has been an advocate for educating women and critic of the terrorist group.  This morning, she was moved to a hospital in the UK, transported on an air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates and accompanied by a full medical team.

I reached out to Pakistani independent journalist Kaswar Klasra, who told us that some people believe Western forces were behind the shooting, hoping to turn the people of Pakistan against the Taliban(!).  We also had a fascinating discussion about the US drone strikes in which I learned that there are some over there who are happy the US is targeting extremists and terrorists, and understand that sometimes accidents happen.  Find Kawar on Facebook here.

By the way, I just got a note from Kaswar that read:

Just received a threatening call from ( believeably Taliban) for my views against them. It was a call in our national language. caller asked me to get ready for a treatment for my views against Talibans.

He said it was due to his speaking in favor of drones.  What a frightening world this is… I hope he stays safe!

In our never-ending effort to get more progressives into Congress, I had a nice chat with Alan Lownethal.  He’s running for Congress from California’s 47th Congressional District.  Check him out!

In hour two, as we do every Monday morning, I was joined by Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars for our “Fools on the Hill” segment…  Today, she brought us these gems:

Welcome to another edition of “The media is not your friend”.

For example, look at the fantastic advice her CNN colleagues give Candy Crowley for her moderating duties this Tuesday. Good to see how seriously they take their responsibility to inform the public.

Speaking of the debate, Bay Buchanan, in her capacity as a Romney campaigner (so you know she’s completely unbiased), insisted that she hasn’t spoken to a single woman who didn’t think Joe Biden was just “awful and obnoxious”.

Or how Dr. Keith Ablow (who retains his psychiatry license I don’t know how) delivers another diagnosis by video (remember how well that worked the last time?) to tell the Fox & Friends Sunday crew that he’s pretty sure that Biden’s behavior at the debate indicated some sort of dementia.

Or how “elder statesman” Tom Brokaw parrots Republican memes by insisting that President Obama will have to answer for the $1.1 Trillion deficit. Really? Congress has no part in that?

Or Romney spokesperson Ed Gillespie who insists (without pushback from Candy Crowley, mind you) that Mitt has been “completely consistent” on abortion. Whu-what?

And if we have time, Stephen Colbert has introduced a new phrase that I think all progressives should adopt: the Politico-Industrial Complex.