posted by JimK at 2:55 PM
It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits. It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation.According to YouGov BrandIndex, a leading marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace (called “Buzz”), Papa John’s had good reason for concern as the pizza chain’s brand identity has plummeted from a high of 32 on election day, to a remarkably low score of 4 among adults who have eaten at causal dining restaurants during the past month.Ouch.Papa John is not alone in his anti-Obamacare misery.Fast food server, Applebee’s, possessed a healthy Buzz score of 35 before Zane Terkel, CEO of one of the company’s largest franchisees, appeared on television to complain about the law and to announce that he would not be building more restaurants or hiring any more workers in response to his objections to Obamacare.Applebee’s “pre-Terkel” Buzz score of 35 now sits at a pathetic 5.I don’t imagine Mr. Terkel will be getting many Christmas cards this year from other Applebee’s franchise owners.While these corporate complainers have sought to explain away the hit they are experiencing at the hands of the public’s perception, one such company is facing the music straight on. Darden Restaurants, Inc.— owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse—has lowered its profit projections for the quarter ending November 25th, acknowledging that its bad numbers are the result of poorly performing promotions, Superstorm Sandy and…wait for it…the poor publicity it engendered by its decision to test out a plan to cut back on healthcare costs by putting more workers on part-time schedules.
this is a good site for anyone trying to figure out the hit.http://calculator.taxpolicycenter.org/caseresult_run_model.cfm
Here is the correct link for the Tax Policy Center's tax calculator: http://calculator.taxpolicycenter.org
oops"Sometimes you just gotta laugh ..."or play the fiddle while our freedoms burnJim, I can't see the image for some reason so that may be an inappropriate commentslet's see, the Republicans would like to take a number of actions to soak the rich but the Dems are interested in nothing but raising ratesRepubs would close 800 billion in tax deductions and exemptions to the wealthyRepubs would means-test Social Security and Medicare, making the wealthy ineligible and saving these programs for those who really need themand yet, Dems resist and insist on rate increases insteadwhy?Dems are obviously interested in advancing toward complete socialism and reject the idea that anyone should be self-sufficient and not have their personal lives supervised by the governmentobviously
Man, you are two steps behind one of your fallen almost leaders!Socialism is not what you should fear, it's COMMUNISM!< Cue the spooky music >Sarah Palin: Obama Policies Mark Path to Communism
Meanwhile, in the real worldhttp://exxonhatesyourchildren.com/Exxon isn't the only huge corporation more concerned with profits and corporate welfare than with the welfare of all of our children.
you're dodging the questionRepubs have offered to deductions,exemptions and exclusions and have offered to take entitlements away from the wealthyand Dems insist that the only way they will allow the deficit tobe reduced is raising tax rateswhy?
During ABC "This Week," conservative panelist George Will weighed in on what he called the "growing consensus" of public opinion regarding same-sex marriage. On Friday, the Supreme Court decided to take up two big cases. The court will hear one case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, and a case on Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. Will wondered how election results would impact the Supreme Court's decisions. After Maine, Maryland and Washington passed ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage in November, Will said the court may decide "it's not necessary for us to go here." "They don't want to do what they did with abortion," Will said. "The country was having a constructive accommodation on abortion, liberalizing abortion laws. The court yanked the subject out of democratic discourse and embittered the argument. They may say we don't want to do that, we can just let the democracy take care of this."He continued, "On the other hand, they could say it's now safe to look at this because there is something like an emerging consensus. Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It's old people."
Having accepted the cases, doesn't the court now have to take a stand? Didn't the lower courts rule against DOMA and Prop 8?
“Dems … reject the idea that anyone should be self-sufficient and not have their personal lives supervised by the governmentobviously”--Obviously.
A new round of polls has confirmed the conventional wisdom that President Obama and the Democrats hold significant leverage over congressional Republicans in the ongoing “fiscal cliff” negotiations.A new Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll finds that 60 percent of respondents favor raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000, while just 38 percent oppose the Democratic plan. Furthermore, 58 percent do not believe that such a tax increase would have a negative impact on the economy, while only 38 percent believe the Republican argument.Among independents, 59 percent support raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000, compared to 38 percent who do not — a massive 21-point split.On the flip side, just 34 percent favor raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits, compared with 64 percent who oppose the plan; 51 percent support reducing Medicare benefits for seniors with high incomes, while 46 percent oppose it. According to this poll, Americans clearly side with the Democrats on the key issues behind the fiscal cliff negotiations.A new Pulse Opinion Research poll for The Hill comes to a similar conclusion. According to The Hill, 53 percent of likely voters either somewhat or strongly oppose raising the age of eligibility for Medicare benefits — one of the key Republican proposals in budget negotiations.Furthermore, the poll shows that 50 percent of voters believe that President Obama and the Democrats are being “more reasonable” in the negotiations than House Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans, compared to 38 percent who believe that Boehner and the GOP are being more reasonable. This echoes the findings of a Pew poll from last week, which showed that voters would blame Republicans by a nearly two-to-one margin if no deal is reached.According to The Hill‘s poll, voters see that as the likely outcome; 58 percent have little or no confidence that that a deal will be reached, while 39 percent believe that we will avoid going over the cliff.
Treasury Has Sold Its Last Shares of AIG (and Turned a Profit, Too)WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department said Tuesday that it has sold all of its remaining shares of American International Group (AIG), moving to wrap up the government's biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.Treasury said it received $32.50 per share for its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16 percent ownership stake in the giant insurance company.With this sale, Treasury said the government has received $22.7 billion more than the $182 billion bailout it provided to support AIG during the height of the financial crisis.It was the largest government bailout package, including both loans and federal guarantees.AIG, which is based in New York City, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.AIG became a symbol for excessive risk on Wall Street and a touchstone of public anger. It was criticized by some members of Congress for spending $440,000 on spa treatments for executives only days after it was bailed out and for millions of dollars in bonuses it provided executives.AIG stock closed at $33.36 on Monday, down 77 cents from Friday's close. Its shares rose 35 cents, or 1 percent, to $33.71 in premarket trading two hours before the market opening on Tuesday. Its stock has traded between a low of $22.19 and a high of $37.67 over the past 52 weeks.The proceeds from the final stock sale are expected to total approximately $7.6 billion.Treasury said with the stock sale it had realized a positive return of $5 billion while the Federal Reserve had received a positive return of $17.7 billion.Treasury conducted six public offerings of AIG stock over the last 19 months selling a total of 1.66 billion shares of the company. At the start of the sales, Treasury had owned 92 percent of AIG's outstanding common stock.Since the financial crisis, AIG has undergone a significant restructuring which has cut the size of the company nearly in half aimed at focusing on its core insurance operations.The AIG stock sale was the latest step in an ongoing effort by the government to wind down the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.With the AIG stock sales, the government has gotten back $380 billion, or more than 90 percent of the $418 billion in funds it disbursed through TARP.
WASHINGTON -- House Republican leaders have already been under pressure to pass an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act in the lame-duck Congress, but now that pressure is coming from within their own party.On Tuesday, 10 House Republicans signed a letter authored by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and other Democrats urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to take up and pass a VAWA bill that covers all victims of domestic violence -- much like the bill that passed the Senate -- before Congress gavels out for the year."We write today asking you to move quickly on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by bringing a bill inclusive of protections for all victims of domestic violence, similar to that which has already passed the Senate, to the House floor for a vote during these final weeks of the 112th Congress," reads the letter, which is also addressed to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). "We must send the President a strong, bipartisan bill that protects all those vulnerable to domestic violence."Republicans on the letter include Reps. Judy Biggert (Ill.), Ted Poe (Texas), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Joe Heck (Nev.), Patrick Meehan (Pa.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Jon Runyon (N.J.), David Reichert (Wash.) and Michael Fitzpatrick (Pa.). In total, 120 House lawmakers signed the letter.The House and the Senate have each already passed their own bills to reauthorize VAWA, but they differ in one major way: The bipartisan Senate bill includes new protections for members of the LGBT community, undocumented immigrants and Native Americans, and the House bill, which passed with only Republican votes, does not. So far, House Republican leaders have refused to accept the Senate additions, calling them politically driven. In the meantime, the issue has stalled and VAWA was left to expire, for the first time in its 18-year history, in September 2011.The fact that some House Republicans are now publicly calling on their party leaders to get behind a more inclusive bill is notable, given their relative silence on the matter in the months since passing their pared-down bill. Meanwhile, some Senate Republicans who voted against the Senate bill have recently had a change of heart and now want the House to pass it.Moore said there are other House Republicans who didn't sign Tuesday's letter but who are quietly trying to get their party leaders to support the provision relating to tribal jurisdictional matters and back the Senate bill. Without naming names, she said there are Republican women who are "prominent in the caucus" pushing their leaders to support the broader bill.
How Democracy Corps Got It Right"If you followed the punditocracy’s conventional wisdom in 2012, you were likely surprised by President Obama’s popular vote margin -- which is now 3.7 points and climbing. Despite the fact that President Obama consistently led Mitt Romney– and by significant margins in the battleground states where a close race would likely be decided—pollsters and pundits presupposed a very tight race. Joe Scarborough pronounced, “…Anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a tossup right now… should be kept away from typewriters, computers, laptops and microphones for the next 10 days.” The Wall Street Journal proclaimed “Obama and Romney deadlocked.” The Economist asserted the race was “about as close as it could be.” Most other media and pundits thought so, too. Except us.Our final Democracy Corps poll (completed two days before Election Day) showed the race 49 to 45 percent –an unrounded margin of 3.8 points. With other public polls still showing the race tied or Romney ahead, our poll was an outlier.We were so confident in our results, we put our reputations on the line in the waning days of the campaign. We were confident we had it right because we believed that the national poll tracking averages were likely underrepresenting Obama’s vote. The main issue was cell phones and the changing demographics that most other pollsters miscalculated. Those pollsters did not reach the new America. Plain and simple.Our accuracy in this election reflected years of intense study and a series of careful decisions about demographic and turnout trends among pivotal voting groups, notably Latinos. And our accuracy also reflected our intense focus on the methodological changes necessary to accurately sample the full American electorate – such as insisting on a higher proportion of cell phone interviews, despite the higher costs.This matters for many reasons. It is great to be right. It is even greater to be the rightest. But most of the time, we do not produce polls to predict imminent election outcomes. Most of the time, as now with the fiscal cliff, we poll the American people on major policy issues, on their own pocketbook experiences, and on the messages that speak to the positions and issues most critical to their lives. That we got it right not only undergirds our ability to speak authoritatively on these policy issues in the halls of power, but also allows us to fulfill our mandate to tell powerful people what real people think. After all, we cannot accurately represent American voters if we are not producing representative polls.At this moment, when a very few leaders in Washington are making decisions that will effect our economy now and in the years to come, more than anyone else, Democracy Corps has the authority to tell leaders what voters sent them to Washington to do. It was not, as it turns out, to keep taxes low for the wealthiest while bargaining away middle class tax deductions. Nor was it to slash the Medicare and Social Security benefits on which this and future generations so deeply depend. Nor was it to defund local governments, preventing them from making investments in education and infrastructure.Instead, this election was about the middle class—how to sustain, secure, and grow the middle class in this generation and the next. The people spoke clearly on this topic… and we were happy to represent them."
"A group of more than 140 prominent conservatives signed an open letter to House and Senate Republicans on Wednesday urging them not to “deal” with Democrats in “fiscal cliff" negotiations, and warning them of the consequences if they do.“If Republicans cave in now, when it really counts, next time you will be weaker, because your conservative base will be outraged,” the letter reads in part. “Many who worked hard to elect you in the past will never lift a finger for you again.”The letter is signed by Red State editor Erick Erickson; Citizens United president David N. Bossie; influential conservative donor Foster Friess; American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas; Personhood USA president Keith Mason; Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clearance Thomas; and many others. There are two outcomes that the signers warned GOP lawmakers against. The first is a scenario in which “just enough Republicans” cross the aisle to “pass what Obama, Pelosi and Reid want passed,” and the second is one in which Republican leadership would “negotiate a ‘deal’ with Democrats and take most Republican Representatives and Senators with them.”The letter doesn’t outline what scenario would be acceptable in reaching a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff," but it sends a clear warning if either of the above outcomes were to materialize.“If such deals are made, conservative organizations and conservative and liberty-loving voters would see that the current leadership is not an acceptable alternative to the left,” the letter says. “Let us also remind you that a great many potent conservative organizations and millions of conservative and liberty-loving voters do not believe in the divine right of incumbents to be re-nominated. Conservatives know how to recruit and support candidates.”“Suppose just enough Republicans cross the aisle to provide Democrats a majority in vitally important legislative battles now upon us,” it continues. “They will find themselves, come election time, the targets of both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, which isn't likely to be healthy for their political careers. Suppose, on the other hand, that the congressional Republican leadership negotiates a "deal," a "compromise," with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. The historic record of such deals shows that the Democrats usually clean the Republicans' clocks.”The conservative leaders argue that, despite Democratic control of the White House and Senate, as well as polling that shows Democrats in a position of strength, that it’s Republicans who have the mandate to control the “fiscal cliff” negotiations."LONG MAY THEY LIVE INSIDE THEIR BUBBLE!
Lie of the Year: the Romney campaign's ad on Jeeps made in ChinaBy Angie Drobnic HolanPublished on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.Ruling: Pants on FireIt was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign -- that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep's parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.PolitiFact has selected Romney's claim that Barack Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.It is the fourth year PolitiFact has looked back over a year’s worth of political mendacity and selected the most significant falsehood. Last year, it was the claim that Republicans voted to end Medicare. In 2010, it was the claim that the federal health care law was a government takeover of health care. In 2009, it was the claim that the same health law included "death panels."This marks the first year that the Lie of the Year is not about health care -- a reflection of the importance of the economy in the 2012 election."
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