Hostess Brands, the makers of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, has closed it's doors forever today, the victims of a bad economy and a labor stoppage that was extremely shortsighted. How shortsighted, you ask? So shortsighted that even the TEAMSTERS thought that the striking union was wrong.
Bakery union leaders are “putting Teamster members in a horrible position -- asking them to support a strike that will put them out of a job when they haven’t even asked all their members to go on strike,” the Teamsters said.
Hostess Brands had filed for Chapter 11 re-organization and part of that re-organization called for renegotiation of union contracts. The Teamsters sent in their own independent auditing firm and the auditing firm concluded that Hostess Brands would not survive without a cut in salary and benefits that the Teamsters accepted. The Bakers Union leadership did not share the Teamsters grasp of reality.
Well now that President Obama has been re-elected, let's take a look at just how well that economic rebound, that he was talking about on the campaign trail, is doing....
The day and the day following the election....lay-off announcements....
November 6 , 2012
Bristol-Myers - 480 Sales Related Jobs in NJ
Update: the Lower Bucks Hospital - 30
Oce North America, Inc. CT - 135
Updated: Corning in Erwin NY - 100
United Blood Services Gulf region - 10% of Workforce
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation ( International )- 16
November 7 , 2012
Boeing - 30% of Executives at Defense Unit
CVPH Medical Center - 17 Pink Slips
U.S. Cellular - 980
Commerzbank ( German ) - up to 6,000 Layoffs Poss.
Spanish airline Iberia - up to 7,000 Possible
Momentive Performance Materials - 150 Temp, Layoffs
Brake Parts LLC - 75
Gameforge Berlin - 20
Vestas Wind Systems - 3,000 More Job Cuts
Husqvarna AB - 600
ING - 2,350
Ericsson ( Sweden) - 1,550
SRA International Inc - 222 in Arlington Va.
PerkinElmer - 66 Layoffs During 3rd Quarter
Majestic Star Casino and Hotel - About 80
Center for Hospice / Palliative Care NY - 40 Temp. Layoffs
The Star Tribune released a poll last night that, if accurate, is going to spell the end of Blue Dog Democrat Jim Matheson's Congressional career.
For 12 years, Jim Matheson has been a political escape artist, managing to wiggle free from every trap the Utah Republicans have thrown his way.
But after six successful elections, his charmed political run may be coming to an end.
Matheson trails Republican challenger Mia Love 52 percent to 40 percent in a new poll conducted for The Salt Lake Tribune, a large margin in a race where, even a few days ago, both campaigns were predicting a tight finish.
Rep. Matheson, being the good Democrat that he is, has a slightly different take on reality.
Matheson said lots of polls will have lots of different numbers, and put out a memo from his own polling firm, also completed this week, which shows him with a 2-point lead over Love.
Past polls have shown Mayor Love slowly gaining and finally passing Matheson in the final weeks of the campaign.
President Obama and his surrogates have manufactured a ginned up GOP "war on women" as a campaign tactic. Their idea of a "war on women" is having to pay for their own birth control. Their ginned up faux-rage pales, though, in light of a real war on women that is happening every day in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the Middle East.
Meet Malala Yousufzai. She looks like your typical teenager - but she's not. You see, Malala was shot in the head and left for dead by the Taliban. Her crime.....wanting education and taking on the Taliban...
"Shooting attacks happen every day in Pakistan," as NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad.
But the shooting of a teenaged girl who became nationally known after she documented the Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan's Swat Valley has caused particular shock in that country, he tells our Newscast Desk.
The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."
(Note at 7 a.m. ET, Oct 10: Earlier, we wrote that Malala is 14. That is what The Associated Press, Reuters and other news outlets are reporting. Phil, though, has checked with Malala's school and been told she was born on July 12, 1997 — making her 15. He also spoke with her in August 2009. Malala said then that she was 12.)
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper says it has been told by a spokesman for the Taliban that the girl was targeted for spreading "anti-Taliban and 'secular' thoughts among the youth of the area." Malala, Dawn says, was "hit by couple of bullets to her neck and head." While hospitalized, she is said to be "out of danger." She may, though, need to be sent overseas for treatment.
The Taliban reportedly say they'll target her again.
The Taliban's threat was so real, that Malala was moved to a hospital in the UK where she would be safe. She is well on the road to recovery, thanks to the military doctors who are helping her.
If you watched Tuesday nights debate, you would have heard President Obama (in response to a question about equal pay) tout his record saying that the signed the Lily Ledbetter act into law, therefore he is all about equal pay for women. However, the truth of the matter.....
Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.
According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).
But that's not all. Apparently the White House could be constituted as a "hostile work environment" under the law.
This morning I wrote about the Daily Mail's coverage of science - this evening it's Libya. The State Department has begun to covers it's and Secretary Clinton's collective hides in the fall out of the bungling of Benghazi.
The State Department has said that it never believed the September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the result of a protest over an anti-Islam movie - directly contracting the rest of the Obama administration.
By trying to distance her department from the inept and deceptive handling of the Benghazi attack, which left U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials dead, Hillary Clinton could help herself politically for a 2016 presidential run.
Because of course, when electoral politics is at stake, it's every man (or woman) for himself.
All snark aside, President Obama's attempt at throwing Sec. Clinton under the bus may finally be the one thing that gets Pat Smith some answers on how her son Sean died that fateful day...but I digress...
Stories like this are exactly the reason why my daily news reading includes several European or Asia/Pacific news sources. They report things that you would NEVER see in a US media outlet.
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.
The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.
Emphasis mine....gee you mean it's still being DEBATED? So much for settled eh? But maybe this is an anomaly?
This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.
Andrew Sullivan is not pleased with the results of the latest Pew Poll....and with good reason.
The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 - 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 - 45 lead. That's a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama's performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.
Emphasis in the original.
Romney's favorables are above Obama's now. Yes, you read that right. Romney's favorables are higher than Obama's right now. That gender gap that was Obama's firewall? Over in one night...
...Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That's terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion. He still has some personal advantages over Romney - even though they are all much diminished. Obama still has an edge on Medicare, scores much higher on relating to ordinary people, is ahead on foreign policy, and on being moderate, consistent and honest (only 14 percent of swing voters believe Romney is honest). But on the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Romney is now kicking the president's ass...
It does not get any better as it goes on. Sully is positively despondent over the results.
That was the advertising slogan for Virgina Slims cigarettes (a brand that was marketed just to women) back in the day. The commercial, peppered with a healthy dose of women's liberation and feminism, targeted young, urban, professional women. It became a rallying cry for the movement for a short time....until smoking became taboo.
That phrase came to mind yesterday when I saw this picture from the Obama Campaign's Tumblr site:
We have come so far, that we have come full circle. No longer are women thought of as competent individuals with brains and something to contribute to the world, we are back to being thought of as simply sexual objects. Bravo to the genius that came up with this. Because they have shown the Democrats to be the patriarchal misogynists that they truly are.
A friend on Facebook put it best. I am using my lady-parts...MY BRAIN...to vote Obama out! That sums it up nicely.
Michael Barone (who has forgotten more about politics than most people know) has one of the more definitive pieces up on the state of political polling that has ever been written.
As a recovering pollster (I worked for Democratic pollster Peter Hart from 1974 to 1981), let me weigh in on the controversy over whether the polls are accurate. Many conservatives are claiming that multiple polls have overly Democratic samples, and some charge that media pollsters are trying to discourage Republican voters.
First, some points about the limits of polls. Random-sample polling is an imprecise instrument. There's an error margin of 3 or 4 percent and polling theory tells us that one out of 20 polls is wrong, with results outside the margin of error. Sometimes it's easy to spot such an outlier; sometimes not.
In addition, it's getting much harder for pollsters to get people to respond to interviews. The Pew Research Center reports that it's getting only 9 percent of the people it contacts to respond to its questions. That's compared with 36 percent in 1997.
Emphasis mine. Any entry level statistics class (which is where I learned about the fallibility of polling) will tell you that.
Barone brings up some very valid points. First.....
Are those 9 percent representative of the larger population? As that percentage declines, it seems increasingly possible that the sample is unrepresentative of the much larger voting public. One thing a poll can't tell us is the opinion of people who refuse to be polled.
Second (and possibly an eye into why the oversampling?).....
But today the percentage of households without land-line phones is increasing. Under federal law, cellphone numbers have to be hand-dialed rather than dialed by computer, as land-line numbers are now even when live interviewers ask the questions.
Cellphone-only individuals tend to be younger and more Democratic than land-line owners. Most pollsters are conducting a set number of interviews with cellphone-only households.
But they can only guess at what percentage of the electorate they'll constitute. Oversample them and you'll get overly Democratic results.
One of the memes from the left regarding Mitt Romney is that he just doesn't understand the middle class. Now we don't if that is indeed the case but we do know one thing (if Politico's polling is to be believed).....the Middle Class understands President Obama and prefers Mitt Romney.
We took a special look at middle-class voters, and middle-class families in particular, in this latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll and found that not to be the case. In fact, on every measure it is Romney who is winning the battle for the support of middle-class families.
Overall, Obama leads Romney by just 3 points on the ballot (50 percent to 47 percent) – which before we rounded up, is actually a 2.6 point lead and only up a half-a-percentage point from the 2.1 point lead for Obama in our last Battleground poll in early August. In our latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll with middle-class families, which comprise about 54 percent of the total American electorate and usually split in their vote behavior between Republicans and Democrats, Romney holds a 14-point advantage (55 percent to 41 percent).
The break out numbers are stunning.
The Salt Lake County political scene has been buzzing of late of news out of the County Mayor's race. It all started earlier this week, when St. George (UT) State Senator Steve Urquhart openly endorsed Salt Lake City State Senator Ben McAdams (a Democrat) in the County Mayors race on his personal blog. His reasoning matches what a lot of Salt Lake County residents have already seen. Two days later, Senator Urquhart posts the following.
When I wrote that Ben McAdams is the better choice for Salt Lake County Mayor, I just wanted to state my piece on Ben and let it be. I didn’t want to say anything at all about Mark Crockett—and I didn’t. No big deal. But then Crockett had his campaign manager call to harass and threaten me for endorsing Ben. So, I’ll go ahead and share an aspect of my thinking, which Crockett and his campaign clearly ratified with the nutty, unhinged phone call.
I do think Ben McAdams is outstanding. That stands alone. On the other side of the ticket, I simply don’t think that Mark Crockett is stable enough to be county mayor. He can’t handle disagreement in a mature way.
My interest in Salt Lake politics started with Rocky Anderson. I thought Rocky hurt the capital city and the State, by being unnecessarily polarizing, hostile and emotionally immature. Salt Lake County (and the State of Utah) doesn’t need a Rocky from the right, and yesterday’s unbridled call has me further convinced that would be the case with Crockett.
Now taken on it's own, it's a he said/he said situation, unless you follow either Sen Urquhart or Crockett's campaign manager, Randy O'Hara, on Twitter where you saw additional back and forth between the two men.
Mother Jones is at it again. This week they are running the breathless headline "GOP Rising Star Mia Love: "Anchor Baby"?"
When she spoke at the Republican National Convention last month, Mia Love, a GOP rising star who's vying to become the first black Republican woman elected to the House, wowed delegates with her parents' up-by-their-bootstraps tale. She said their story of coming to America from Haiti with $10 in their pockets formed the basis for her own belief in self-reliance and her staunch opposition to government handouts.
Love—mayor of the small town of Saratoga Springs, Utah—has been widely spotlighted as a pol who's going places in the GOP, and she's linked herself closely to GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. Recently, she served as an official surrogate for Romney on a campaign swing through Nevada, and she MC'd a fundraiser for him in Utah last Tuesday. Though a child of immigrants, Love has embraced much of her party's tough stance on immigration. She has implied that she would back deporting the US-born children of illegal immigrants so as not to reward "bad behavior." Yet by Love's own account, she is what Republicans derisively call an "anchor baby"— someone born to immigrant parents specifically to game the immigration system and secure legal status for family members.
Love doesn't talk about this aspect of her family's immigration story now that she's running for Congress, but she once said in a little-noticed interview that her birth on US soil helped bring her siblings to America. In January 2011, Love told the Deseret News that her parents, Jean Maxime and Marie Bourdeau, came to New York in the 1970s, fleeing poverty and looking for a better life. Love said that her parents immigrated legally, but were forced to leave their two young children behind in Haiti because their visa didn't allow them to bring the kids.
Another article that I have had saved to write on is this one by Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.
Julian Castro is no Barack Obama. And for that, Democrats have themselves to blame.
The focus of this week's Democratic convention was President Obama. Lost in the adulation was the diminished state to which he has brought his broader party. Today's Democrats are a shadow of 2008—struggling for re-election, isolated to a handful of states, lacking reform ideas, bereft of a future political bench. It has been a stunning slide....
...Democrats in 2006 also claimed the Senate, with savvy victories in states like Montana and Virginia. The party thumped Republicans in gubernatorial races, winning in the South (Arkansas), the Mountain West (Colorado), and in Ohio (for the first time since 1991). A vibrant candidate Obama further boosted Democratic ranks in 2008.
By 2009, President Obama presided over what could fairly be called a big-tent coalition. The Blue Dog caucus had swelled to 51 members, representing plenty of conservative America. Democrats held the majority of governorships. Mr. Obama had won historic victories in Virginia and North Carolina. The prediction of liberal demographers John Judis and Ruy Teixeira's 2004 book, "The Emerging Democratic Majority"—lasting progressive dominance via a coalition of minorities, women, suburbanites and professionals—attracted greater attention among political analysts.
It took Mr. Obama two years to destroy this potential, with an agenda that forced his party to field vote after debilitating vote—stimulus, ObamaCare, spending, climate change. The public backlash, combined with the president's mismanagement of the economy, has reversed Democrats' electoral gains and left a party smaller than at any time since the mid-1990s.
Of the 21 Blue Dogs elected since 2006, five remain in office. The caucus is on the verge of extinction, as members have retired, been defeated in primaries waged by liberal activists, or face impossible re-elections. The GOP is set to take Senate seats in North Dakota and Nebraska, and maybe to overturn Democratic toeholds in states from Montana to Virginia. There is today a GOP senator in Massachusetts. Republicans claim 29 governorships and may gain two to four more this year.
It's even worse than that, as today's Susquehanna Poll indicates.
Two percentage points separate President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in a state poll conducted for the Tribune-Review, even though the campaigns largely are ignoring Pennsylvania and concentrating on other battlegrounds.
Obama polled 47 percent to Romney's 45 percent among likely Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent of voters undecided and 44 days until Election Day, according to the survey by Susquehanna Polling & Research. The survey of 800 voters, conducted Sept. 18-20, has a margin of error of 3.46 percentage points.
Obama's EPA policies are on the verge of doing something that Mitt Romney's campaign so far has not been able to do on it's own - put Blue Pennsylvania in play along with coal rich purple Ohio and Virginia!
The announcement that 1,200 coal-mining jobs have been eliminated across central Appalachia has sparked renewed cries that Obama administration policies are crippling domestic-energy production and jobs -- and is already factoring into the 2012 presidential race.
Alpha Natural Resources announced Tuesday its plan to cut the positions and scale back coal production by 16 million tons annually -- which would result in eight mine closings in Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Four-hundred workers will be laid off immediately, though the company reportedly may try to re-hire some of the 1,200.
Coal is HUGE in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania (where the Logical Husband's family is from), Virginia and eastern Ohio. These areas are also very conservative Democrat enclaves. The President has worked very hard (as Ms Strassel noted above) to alienate these conservative Democrats. While they have long sided with Democrats on many social issues, when their (and their families) jobs are on the line, they are pragmatic and if they see that the Democrats are lining up against King Coal (as they are currently) they have no problems voting for those who will protect their jobs.
The Democrats "big tent" of 2006 has shrunk under the Obama Administration. It is incumbent on Team Romney to do all that they can to woo these disenfranchised Democrats. If they do, they will reap a very big Electoral College reward. The magic number is 38. Let's see if Team Romney can capitalize on it.
Mort Zuckerman dissected the latest jobless numbers and found a lot of trouble for Team Obama.
Don't be fooled by the headline unemployment number of 8.1% announced on Friday. The reason the number dropped to 8.1% from 8.3% in July was not because more jobs were created, but because more people quit looking for work.
The number for August reflects only people who have actively applied for a job in the past four weeks, either by interview or by filling an application form. But when the average period of unemployment is nearly 40 weeks, it is unrealistic to expect everyone who needs a job to keep seeking work consistently for months on end. You don't have to be lazy to recoil from the heartbreaking futility of knocking, week after week, on closed doors.
How many people are out of work but not counted as unemployed because they hadn't sought work in the past four weeks? Eight million. This is the sort of distressing number that turns up when you look beyond the headline number.
Here's another one: 96,000—that's how many new jobs were added last month, well short of the anemic 125,000 predicted by analysts, and dramatically less than the (still paltry) 139,000 the economy had been averaging in 2012.
The alarming numbers proliferate the deeper you look: 40.7% of the people counted as unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more—that's 5.2 million "long-term" unemployed. Fewer Americans are at work today than in April 2000, even though the population since then has grown by 31 million.
A lot of pundits on the right are pointing to this election as a repeat of 1979 - especially after the foreign relations disaster that was the last two weeks of the Obama Administrations reactions to the events in the Middle East. However, these jobs numbers coupled with the Administrations "We've done such a great job on the economy" attitude brings to mind a more recent election. The election of 1992 saw a challenger whose campaign ran on one simple phrase...."It's the economy, stupid.". James Carville turned that simple phrase into campaign gold for Bill Clinton.
So life has kept me too busy to post the last couple of weeks - which is a pity. It is a target rich environment. But I simply had to make time for some of the things that have happened in light of the attacks on the US Embassies around the Arab world.
President Obama, in remarks made after the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya had this to say.
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
He said this about a video, made by a private citizen, that his State Department claimed was the reason for the attacks. But if that is the case Mr. President why have you not spoken out against the following people:
- Don't Invite Government In
- Zero Tolerance for Common Sense
- Who You Calling Extreme?
- Swiftboating Romney
- For The Children
- Rewriting History
- Biden Needs To Apologize Says...
- Shooting From The Lip
- Health Care "Reform" Update
- Battling The Obama Lies
- Just Who Do You Think You Are?
- A Foreshadowing?
- Bloody Murder
- How Low?
- Pants On Fire Harry Reid