Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How "Obamacare" Killed Twinkie Appreciation Day

No matter if you’re Republican or Democrat, there is a common thread of thought, there always has to be a villain. Not just a group, but a person, as it’s easier to lay blame on one or many then to look deeper into the issue.

I purposely took the last 2 weeks off from blogging to decompress from the vile, hate and finger pointing of politics, yet I gave in briefly from time to time to Social Media conversation of the topic of the day and sure enough, people will fight for what they see is right, regardless of fact placed before them.

We live in an “I’m right, you’re wrong so suck it” society, where no matter how misinformed one is, they are righteous in their thought and the other is dead-fast wrong.

For instance, many have been fighting over the shutdown of Hostess Corp and how many have chosen the “correct” side and discredited any other thought to fact. If so many people loved Hostess so much, why did it go bankrupt 2 times in 25 years?

The immediate answer of course is the Union(s).

Now, the other person could bring up the fact that in the 25 year time-frame, Hostess was mismanaged and gave large bonuses to their CEO’s while taking concessions from the Union(s).

So which side of opinion is correct? Both sides are correct, but this is America and how dare anyone believe two sides could be slapped with destruction of a company.

As for all those that petitioned the White House and asked for Government intervention to save an Iconic name like Hostess, well, just hang out at the 7-Eleven a little bit longer because Hostess in one form or another will return.

But when people start to bring “Obamacare” into the argument, it just shows the ignorance of people needing more to blame, as “Obamacare” never was in play in the fight over Ding Dongs and Twinkies.

Before I go further, I have never been a fan of Unions nor “Obamacare,” yet I also believe that they are not the complete ill of today’s American business practice either.

Over the past year, business has repeatedly stated they would suspend hiring and/or lay off employees if “Obamacare” still stood on Election Day 2012 and shortly after midnight on Nov 6, sure enough, business by the handful started updating their press releases of upcoming layoffs.

Even though many of the press releases struck the same chord, much of the public only read the first two paragraphs of the proposed number of layoffs, yet hidden in many of the press releases were the words “global layoffs.”

A good example is that of Dana Holding Corp. DHC had already laid off some staff prior to the Nov 6 election, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional US health care expenses.” Yet towards the bottom of the release it additionally stated that “to cover that six year cost, more cuts will come from their worldwide workforce of 25K.”

It should be noted that DHC board member, Mark Gallogly, was one of Obama’s biggest campaign bundlers and DHC holds a supplier contract with Tesla Motors, who also received a Dept of Energy loan worth $465 million under the Recovery Act.

A list of upcoming layoff press releases that has gotten much circulation on the Interweb comes from FreedomWorks.

If you haven’t heard of FreedomWorks by now here’s a quick review; FreedomWorks is a 2 part “grassroots” tax exempt PAC group run by former GOP House Majority leader Dick Armey. There’s FreedomWorks, Inc., that calls itself a “social welfare” organization and then there’s FreedomWorks Foundation, the charitable offshoot. Even though they are “separate” they share all expenses from staff to office address.

I do find it funny that a tax exempt PAC group like Freedomworks that attacks the government machine is chaired by an ousted former politician that profited during his time in government.

But the list provided by FreedomWorks is misleading as my own employer is listed as pushing layoffs due to “Obamacare” but that’s not the case. My employer’s layoffs were “global,” much coming from our European market in part of selling a section of the company.

But it’s easy to make the story sound larger when just adding any BillyBob’s or TechniMart company that has a press release announcing layoffs.

Yet, there are some companies taking advantage of “Obamacare” to pad profits and get easy Media coverage as well.

Applebee’s and Denny’s have scolded franchisee groups for stating they were cutting employment or adding a “Obamacare” surcharge to the final receipt due to “Obamacare” costs, as their words have hurt business for the main company.

Now it seems Papa John’s Pizza has become a rallying point for many, so much that people have called for a “Papa John’s Appreciation Day” in hopes it equals that of “Chic-Fil-A Day” of months past.

The two do not equate in their purpose.

Chic-Fil-A was about a man’s belief in his Religion while Papa John’s Pizza is about man’s belief in his profit margin.

Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter had stated back in August 2012, he would have to raise the cost of his product some 15cents to cover the cost of “Obamacare” for his employees. And after the November election, a press release by Schnatter stated he will begin placing his employees on part-time status so they don’t qualify for “Obamacare” and still raise his prices to cover “Obamacare.”

So to beat paying “Obamacare,” Schnatter will slash employee hours, yet still use the rise in pricing to add to profits. Then again, I prefer the local pizzeria menu then that of cookie-cutter menus.

What will be interesting will be how the Media reports the next two quarterly earnings reports from these companies as well as many others after the layoffs, adjusted pricing, and so forth to come.

I bet many will see an upward spike in earnings.

That’s it, Slap the Tap and pour me some Cockeyed Cooper while I check out the latest Ebay Hostess Twinkie sale.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 Election Recap: The people have spoken- the bastards!

“The people have spoken- the bastards!*”
-Dick Tuck

Well it’s finally over, no more debates, political commercials and political strategists. But what does America do the day after a Presidential election they’ve dedicated 4 years of their life to? Well, half gloat and dance while the other half will play Monday morning quarterback as to WTF went wrong.

I admit, that going into Tuesday’s election I had no idea how it would conclude, except for notion that the Capital would remain status quo. Yet with two lackluster candidates the adage of “Why should I vote for someone I don’t want to ouster someone I don’t want?” became true around the country.

All the cards laid on the table led to the Great “O” getting his pick slip as people drooled over their favorite polling websites. But what led to the Great “O’s” re-election? Everything all Media, both Conservative and Liberal cleared a path with their insistence of “If it bleeds it leads” mentality.

Absolutely the Democrats were able to turn the conversation away from the economy but towards social issues and all Media played their part, not just the Liberal based Media.

Think about it in the final months of the campaign, Social Issues rose to the top and the GOP is not strong on Social Issues, it becomes foot-in-mouth disease for them.
Sandra Fluke, “War on Women,” Contraception, Rape, Abortion, Social Welfare programs and so on, all led in favor of the Democrats, because they can play the “heartfelt shoulder” leaving the GOP seeming cold hearted.

The biggest of Conservative mouth pieces of Limbaugh and Hannity played their part as they couldn’t turn the course back to the economy as much as they tried. Social Issues were headline news and that’s what the listeners wanted to talk about because we are of short-minded people.

The GOP hierarchy from Priebus to Boehner, hell, even to the Koch Brothers needs to stand up and face the fact that around the country they did not have the strongest of dogs in the fight.

Akin and Mourdock should’ve won, yet, foot-in-mouth on social issues led them to their eventual lose, costing the GOP two seats.

A second attempt by WWE CEO Linda McMahon to win a Congressional seat came not with victory but loss of millions out of her bank account.

For Heaven’s sake, Pennsylvania Senator challenger Tom Smith couldn’t beat sleepy Bob Casey, a man who needed to say nothing 6 years prior to beat Rick Santorum.

Yes, the Republican constituent and even the disenfranchised Democrat spent Election night screaming of “Moving to Canada” or “Obama stole the election thanks to Auto bailouts” for the re-election of the Great “O.”

Honestly, when going back to, Obama won re-election even without Ohio, as Pennsylvania, Virginia (!) and Florida fell in his name. Without Ohio, the final tally would’ve been: Obama 308 – Romney 230.

Had Romney won both Florida and Ohio the total would have been: Obama 279 – Romney 259.

The fact that Romney couldn’t carry Massachusetts and Michigan, two States where he is beloved by many tells a missed story.

Anyone remember 2004 when John Edwards couldn’t carry North Carolina for the Kerry ticket? It was his home State and he couldn’t carry it just like Paul Ryan couldn’t carry Wisconsin in 2012. The difference between the two VP candidates is that Ryan is loved in Wisconsin and Edwards wasn’t expected to win a second Senatorial term in North Carolina.

I have no doubt in my mind that Mitt Romney is the compassionate & charitable man we’ve seen through the years, yet, simply he was not the strongest candidate for the GOP, he was just the last one standing when the primaries ended.

I see Nov 7, 2012 as a time for the GOP to rewrite themselves, bury the obstructionist attitude and put forth constructive effort to show the people they can do the job. The idea that they were given the House to be just obstructionist was a hoax; they were just a better option than the Democratic option.

By doing so, they can run the 2014 mid-term election on a new “We did this” slogan with completed legislation. I’m not talking about tossing all their convictions, but compromise is what this country needs to get the machine rolling.

However, as suspected, they have already moved pass 2014 and onto 2016.

That’s it, Slap the Tap on the Freedom Pilsner and place an order for that Chris Christie 2016 “Fat Guys United” bumper sticker.


Come listen to a story of a man named Ted
Poor billionaire couldn’t keep his family fed
Then one day he headed to the Polls
Up popped Socialism’ bubbling stool

Socialism that is, free phones and wealth distribution for all

Well next thing you ol' Ted's a millionaire
Accountant said Ted taxes are killing you over here
He said tax shelters is the place your money outta be
So he loaded up the Porsche Cayenne and moved to Calgary
Canada that is, Hockey, Mounties, free healthcare

Well now it’s time to say goodbye to Ted and all his kin
And they would like to say fuck you for voting Obama back in
You’re all invited to kiss his riches goodbye
As your helpin of his taxes saves your ass as he sigh

Top 1% that is, set a spell, write off you are
You all can suck it, y'hear

*- Quote from preface of Kinky Friedman- You Can Lead a Politician to Water But You Can’t Make Him Think, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2012

Social Media helps breed the ignorant political mindset

Sorry if the truth hurts, however in today’s America, Social Media overload has created a swarm of stupidity that people will not accept the truth and would rather keep “sharing” misinformation.

As we know, you can’t put anything on the Internet that’s not true!

As we enter the final hours of the most partisan and despised Modern election cycle since Truman/Eisenhower, one thing is certain, Social Media is the driving force for pushing the wedge further into the partisan divide and recovery is beyond sight.

For every anti-Romney Facebook posting, there are 3 anti-Obama posting, yet the truth behind these postings are abbreviated to fit the narrative disgusted theme.

We have such an insatiable need for news, that we run with every report as fact upon its initial release and when later reports come forth, many refuse to believe any correction.

Think about the tidal wave of information that has been digested by everyone concerning the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

As we’ve learned about gas stations closing due to dry pumps, power stations not producing electricity and out-of-state power company employees from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina being turned away at the New Jersey border by Union workers wanting them to sign Union contracts to help out.

This nugget has been "shared' by many yet that's only part of the story.

In truth, the Alabama and Georgia employees were turned around by their employers that never made it past Maryland. Yes Union contracts played a role, but their employers turned them back, not a scuffle at the border.

Wouldn’t someone think that these Union employees should be working and not forming picket lines? Many lacked that common thought and felt the need to “share” the story immediately due to disgust over Unions or the lack of decency for those in need.

Here’s some more info for the nugget-size minds, call it gentlemen’s agreement between Utility companies that they help another provider when disaster strikes, as the distressed provider pays the wages of the traveling crews. It’s not done out of kindness, but out of necessity.

So rigid is Social Media, that “keyboard bravery” is overly abundant as well is complacent in the breeding today’s Internet arrogance.

I recently saw a posting (picture above) on a friend’s wall from a “shared” source that stated:

I don't care if you are offended, if you are embarrassed, or if you don't agree, even if you don't support O-dick-bag. Truth be told, I don't care AT ALL about your feelings. I take great pride in offending people. I take even more pride in offending liberals. I take even MORE pride knowing I piss them off. If you want to fall into the category with the cry baby liberals, that is YOUR problem, not mine.

I posted a message to the “shared” source simply asking “You have the right to post whatever you wish, but are you offended when someone posts the same about conservatives or Gov Romney. Just wondering, not trying to start a fight.

I received an “F*ck You” response and deletion of my post.

Yes, we are such an opinionated driven lot that it’s easier to spout political views while denouncing any disagreement that it leads to a CAPITAL LETTER, misspelling, vulgar rage and the keyboard is one’s protective shield to hide.

We can’t help ourselves as Social Networking has given us a path to mock friends and family during football season or to introduce everyone to a new addition to the family. What was once done religiously by pencil is now a mouse click away.

When we should be encouraging people to vote, we are instead misleading and misguiding many into a new form of “bread and circus” politics.

Alas, once this election is final, we will not have a moment to breathe as the masses will return to Social Media with gloating meme or vile of disgust in the result.

That’s it, slap the tap and poor a round of Yards Brewing Tavern Ale for all my “friends” in thanks to the end of the annoying political commercials in favor of the annoying Old Navy Christmas commercial.

Cheers and good voting to all.