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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chick-Fil-A is the Anita Bryant of the 21st Century

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Chick-Fil-A posted the link at the bottom of this posting to Facebook on September 20, 2012 at approximately 5:30 PM.  It will not allow comments from anyone it considers its opposition, even on Facebook.  It is a Press Release by Chick-Fil-A, once again trying to back peddle its abhorrent bigoted behavior.  Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A's CEO, was wallowing in satisfaction when the company got one day's worth of business from all of the easily manipulated and frightened, right-wing, homophobic, Galactically Ignorant, low information knuckle draggers.

Chick-Fil-A's fifteen minutes of fame has resulted in corporate suicide second only to Anita Bryant’s career.  The organization is obviously facing some serious consequences, which its CEO never even considered when he attempted to capitalize upon hate and bigotry to increase revenues.  Considering consequences is the very essence of a CEO's job.  Look up Anita Bryant on Wikipedia to learn of her self-destruction resulting from her homophobic crusade.  Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A are on the exact same path.

Dan Cathy is desperately trying to kiss and make up with the LGBT community.  Why?  Well, based upon my business experience, I can guarantee that all of the banks affiliated with Chick-Fil-A are very paranoid about lending money either to Chick-Fil-A, to anyone looking at buying and financing a franchise, or anyone who currently owns and operates a franchise.  In fact, I would bet that lending for new franchise sales has completely evaporated right now.

You can also be sure that all of the insurance underwriters for Chick-Fil-A and its franchisee's got a real pucker from the dumbass stunt pulled by its CEO. 

Chubb generally underwrites Employee Practices Insurance.  I would not be surprised if Chick-Fil-A lost a good portion of its insurance coverage.  Dan Cathy's stunt opened Chick-Fil-A up to some very ugly employee and franchise lawsuits.  He basically made Chick-Fil-A a plaintiff attorney's wet-dream.

Anyone looking at buying a franchise is receiving stern advice from their attorneys, insurance carrier, and from their banks to by a Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, or McDonalds - ANYTHING but a Chick-Fil-A.  Aside from that, who would want to pour their life savings into a franchise that is financially and contractually beholden to a loose cannon cowboy?

Banks do not like taking risks that cannot be calculated within the guidelines of customary business operation risks, and for those unforeseen risks, the bank wants to see insurance.  Insurance companies do not want to write insurance for someone who is waiving a banner, "Please sue me."  Finally, you can't buy insurance for having a CEO who is an ass nozzle. 

I suspect that Chick-Fil-A lost a great deal more business than it gained from its one-day escapade of catering to the all of the aforementioned right-wing, homophobic, low information knuckle draggers.  However, what is far more impacted is its business model, and how it has tainted itself with its lenders, insurance underwriters, franchisees, prospective franchisees, vendors and everyone who has actually evolved beyond the 17th Century. 

I was in my early twenties while Anita Bryant self-destructed.  Anita Bryant is still the best thing that ever happened to the LGBT community - indeed Anita Bryant was the catalyst that created the organized LGBT community.

Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A consciously decided to viciously attack innocent people on the basis of what we now see is a totally phony theology.  If Mr. Cathy were really devoted to his theology, he wouldn't be trying to backpedal.  Mr. Cathy's theology is practiced only for the convenience of the moment or the situation.  Cathy’s theology is a total veneer that he is willing to abandon because his business is in very serious trouble, as it certainly should be.

Some people would suggest that the LGBT community accept Mr. Cathy's disingenuous olive branch and forgive him.  I personally say use him and Chick-Fil-A as the sacrificial goat to show the rest of the country that there are consequences with what amounts to corporate sponsorship of hate and bigotry.  Mr. Cathy made himself and his organization the sacrificial goat - not the LGBT community.

I believe that this is the biggest opportunity to advance equality since Anita Bryant.  Just because Chick-fil-A is floating a balloon that it won't give donations (that anyone can find) to anti gay organizations doesn't suddenly cure Dan Cathy of his numerous malfunctions, including being a repugnant bigot.  My personal vote would be to continue the boycott until Dan Cathy is in Chapter 7 and Chick-Fil-A is in Chapter 11.

http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Pressroom/Press-Releases#?release=who-we-are

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The GOP leads its Flock off the Cliff

I find it almost amusing, but actually sad how the GOP has convinced its flock of sheep to believe that they are certified economists, and that they actually understand the erroneous information that they are being fed, which they dutifully regurgitate with zero comprehension of macro-economics, and without the slightest concern for accuracy.  The vast majority of these people couldn’t read a balance sheet.

It is curious to me that the people who put the country in its current mess believe that they are qualified to critique the administration that is successfully cleaning up that mess.  The battle cry of the GOP seems to be; “We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”

Let’s take a closer look at just how deep was that mess made by George W. Bush during his eight-year reckless, cowboy administration. 

Among the most putrid piles of pure unadulterated manure is the GOP’s completely fabricated statement that George W. Bush kept us safe.  Really?  Historical records and documents clearly establish that Bush had substantial warning of an imminent terrorist attack during the spring and summer of 2001, including;

“Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US” was the President's Daily Brief prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and given to U.S. President George W. Bush on August 6, 2001. The brief warned of terrorism threats from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda 36 days before the September 11, 2001 attacks...

Bush did nothing.  Then came September 11, 2001 and some 3,000 people were killed on U.S. soil.  As far as keeping us safe, Bush is the worse president in the history of the country.  President Bush had clear warning of an imminent threat and he dropped the ball - period.

Bush started two unnecessary wars, and he completely gave up on the primary military focus and objective post 9/11, stating; “I really just don’t spend that much time on [bin Laden]…”  “I don't know where he is, nor do I…” (really care?) …but catches himself in mid-sentence. 

President Obama took the initiative to make capturing or killing the number one enemy of the United States a priority.  Osama bim Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces under Order of President Obama on May 2, 2011.

Bush launched a full-scale war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, despite the clear evidence that it could not be won.  There were plenty of very qualified world advisors who told Bush that invading Afghanistan was a poor choice, given that the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan lasted nine years and resulted in the Soviets withdrawing without gain of any kind. 

The economic cost to the United States for the Afghanistan war has been crushing.  All of this debt and deficit that is being blamed on President Obama is in part because of the wars started by Bush’s poor judgment.

Another part of the country’s mounting debt and deficit dilemma was the Bush administration’s push for deregulation of the banking system, which allowed the banking institutions to act with reckless disregard since it could privatize its profits, but socialize its losses - world-record losses. 

Many GOP’ers mention that the Democrats controlled one or both houses of Congress (circa 2007 - 2010) as a lame effort to suggest that the Democrats were somehow complicit.  However, a cursory examination of fact reveals that the stripping of the regulations, including Glass–Steagall was the result of the proven corruption by Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, et al.   Please, enlighten me and cite one thing that the Democratic Congress did or did not do during the 110th and 111th Congress as the GOP suggests that made its Democratic members complicit to the recession of 2008 - 2009.

Circling back, then Bush started another war by invading a sovereign nation (Iraq) and thereby changing geopolitics forever - a very expensive change to U.S. relations worldwide. 

As we all know now from credible historical documents, the rational for invading Iraq was a poorly contrived package of patent lies to the United States Congress and the citizens of the United States.  

The Iraq war was another episode of the cowboy recklessness from Bush that created the current economic mess in the United States.  When very credible people pointed out the Bush administration lies, the Bush administration responded with “outing” a CIA operative and thereby placing hundreds of lives in danger. 

The outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson was the core of the case against Scooter Libby - the “fall-guy” for Bush and Cheney.   Libby was convicted in U.S. District Court on March 6, 2007.

Today, there are even GOP’ers who think the Libby case is just manufactured propaganda to help democrats, which suggests that the judiciary was conspiring to help Obama during 2007.   It should be noted that District Judge Reggie Walton who presided over the Libby case was an appointee of George W. Bush.  If anyone wants to believe in conspiracy theories, maybe we can turn down the lights and whisper about Area 51, the Roswell UFO Incident and the Kennedy assassination.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, et al are wanted in numerous countries for war crimes, including such peace loving nations as Switzerland.  

Indeed, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were convicted in absentia of War Crimes on May 11, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

George Bush is in fact a war criminal, which is why you see very little of him and his gang, and you do not see him leaving the United States.  If I have any criticism of President Obama, it is this.  The United States is harboring convicted war criminals.

Ever notice that every time the Republicans get the country neck-deep in shit, it's the Democrats who dig us out?   This scenario has become pervasive - a real pattern. 

Herbert Hoover (Republican) gave us the Great Depression - Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) dug us out.  Dwight D. Eisenhower (and Richard Nixon) (Republicans) gave us the Vietnam Conflict.  Richard Nixon finally decided to end it by folding up his tent and going home - in shame.  North Vietnam took over the south after the American troops left putting an end to the Vietnam Conflict.  So in this case, it was a republican that started the problem, and a republican that ended it by making it worse.  The Vietnam Conflict caused roughly 58,000 American fatalities and over 300,000 wounded, and only since the Obama Administration have these Vets started to receive the benefits they deserve. 

The Vietnam Conflict certainly did support that “Military Industrial Complex” that was first coined by none other than the president who started the conflict - president Eisenhower, in his farewell speech that he delivered in an attempt to veneer over this little blemish for want of his legacy. 

George H.W. Bush (Republican) gave us a deepening recession - Bill Clinton (Democrat) dug us out, and created a budget surplus. 

George W. Bush (Republican) was within a month of giving us the Greatest Depression in World history - Barrack Obama (Democrat) saved us and is digging us out.  If George W. Bush had been in office for a few more months, the United States would be unrecognizable as an economy. 

It takes time and a lot of resources to stop a mountain in free-fall.  President Obama stopped the slide and reversed its course.

The GOP does not have a coherent solution to anything.  I’m a businessman and just saying, “we need to reduce spending” is only effective if you include a well developed plan - or I guess in the case of the GOP, maybe a dash of magic…

The GOP does not have a qualified presidential candidate.  If money is the barometer to measure success, then I’m successful too.  The difference between Mr. Romney and me however, is that I was taught that a man’s success is measured not by what he accumulates from all of his toil, but rather, by what he becomes through the process.  Mitt Romney was taught that money is everything and the ends justify the means.  Romney’s father told him to become wealthy and then run for president.  The methods used to become wealthy were not important.  Money is probably the worse barometer to measure success.  I have known a lot of very wealthy ignorant people during my life.

How Romney made his money is central to his character.

Romney and Bain Capital bought or otherwise gained control of companies, which Romney and Bain then forced to borrow money from banks, which was used to pay extraordinary amounts to Bain. 

This kind of activity really reeks of boarder-line bank fraud.  If Romney and Bain had only done it once, there might be a defense.  However, this was a pattern of activity whereby Romney controlled companies that were under his control and functionally acted as a money laundering operation to knowingly “borrow” money with the intent of never paying it back. 

Indeed, Bain Capital was functioning as a money laundering operation every time it controlled a company that borrowed money, and proximate to the time it was borrowed Bain siphoned the money into its own pockets.  This pattern of activity arguably borders on violating some of the bankruptcy laws as well. 

Whether or not Bain and Romney successfully threaded the needle through the loopholes of what is legal and illegal leaves some open questions.  However, from an ethical standpoint, many people believe that this kind of business practice strains credibility.

Although Romney publicly claims to believe in the theology of the Mormon Church, such a belief is diametrically opposed to Mr. Romney’s business activities.   Raiding the life pensions of thousands of individual people for his own personal financial gain, and leaving those people destitute would clearly be grounds for an individual under the Mormon faith to be cast into Hell.  Certainly Mr. Romney, if he was truly a believer would not have practiced such repugnant disregard for other people if he believed in the faith.  His stated belief does not square with his record, and one might be left with the clear suspicion that Mr. Romney is arguably an Atheist.

I will say that the GOP has done a magnificent job of corralling the right-wing, galactically ignorant, low information knuckle draggers who make their decisions based upon those wedge issues that have absolutely nothing to do with governance. 

The GOP machine feeds these undereducated individuals some completely erroneous and unverified talking points, feeds the fear of the flock over some utterly irreverent fear issue and sends them off into the pasture.  What none of them realize is that the policies proposed by the Romney - Ryan ticket will functionally cut the throats of the sheep that are following them today.  And that my friend is the epitome of galactically ignorant.

The party that put the country in this mess is hardly qualified to make any critique of the party that is cleaning up their mess.