This is the company that famously moves into communities, displaces small businesses with their pricing model and then treats their employees like chattel. I have boycotted Walmart for years, but their profit margins suggest that I don’t have a great deal of company. How about you?

Two years ago, when she started working at the deli counter of a Walmart in Illinois, Lisa hoped that her job would amount to the beginning of a career, one that would pay enough to cover her bills and enable her to stay current on her student loan debt.

But despite one raise since, Lisa, who asked that only her first name be used, now earns just $9.10 an hour, or about $13,000 a year on part-time hours. Seven months pregnant, she recently filed for bankruptcy. With no alternatives at hand, Walmart now seems like a dead-end to poverty, she says.

“I don’t have underwear without holes in them,” she said. “Everyone at work wears T-shirts that are threadbare. I have just enough to eat and get gas to make it to work for the next two weeks.”

Lisa’s experience sheds light on why a group claiming to represent tens of thousands of Walmart workers nationwide is planning strikes and other labor actions at as many as 1,000 stores next week on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. The actions are intended to protest what the group says are meager wages.

The company website declares that “a job at Walmart opens the door to a better life” and “the chance to grow and build a career.” But interviews with 31 hourly workers and one former store manager reveal lives beset by paychecks too small to handle the bills, difficult to manage part-time schedules with hours subject to constant change, and little reason to hope for career advancement. Citing fear of losing their jobs, most spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The testimonials of these workers are confirmed by Walmart’s official compensation policy, an internal company document obtained by The Huffington Post, titled the “Field Non-Exempt Associate Pay Plan Fiscal Year 2013.” The plan details a rigid pay structure for hourly employees that makes it difficult for most to rise much beyond poverty-level wages.

Low-level workers typically start near minimum wage, and have the potential to earn raises of 20 to 40 cents an hour through incremental promotions. Flawless performance merits a 60 cent raise per year under the policy, regardless of how much time an employee has worked for the company. (to read the rest of the article click this link):

submitted ByBK


Today, Senator McCain stated that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, was “not very bright”.  I offer you two excerpts from Wikipedia articles.


“Rice attended Stanford University, where she received a Truman Scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1986. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, Rice attended New College, Oxford, where she earned a M.Phil. in 1988 and D.Phil. in 1990. The Chatham House-British International Studies Association honored her dissertation titled “Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-1980: Implication for International Peacekeeping” as the UK’s most distinguished in international relations.”


“McCain came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel, and he did not always obey the rules, which contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899)”

You need not take my word for it.  Here are the links.  If you take the time to read both articles you can judge for yourself who might be “bright” and who might be “not very bright”.




Karma is a bitch! This is the guy who talks about raising prices on his pizza due to Obamacare…while simultaneously doing a two million dollar pizza giveaway as part of a promotion.

Papa John’s Class-Action Lawsuit Puts More Heat on the Pizza Chain

It’s not just the ovens heating up at Papa John’s (PZZA) these days.

The pizza chain has a few battles on its hands. First, a viral campaign is building against founder and CEO John Schnatter among liberal-leaning pizza lovers after comments he made about the impact that President Obama’s health-care reforms will have on his chain’s hiring practices next year.

Then on Tuesday another battle started heating up the when plaintiffs initiated a $250 million class-action lawsuit over unsolicited promotional text messages that the pizza chain sent out in early 2010.

Republicans Better Love “Better Pizza”

Schnatter turned heads this summer when he told shareholders that the Affordable Care Act — you know, Obamacare — would result in as much as a $0.14 increase for customers buying a pizza.

He then made headlines again last week by suggesting that Obamacare regulations that kick in next year may possibly result in employees having their work weeks cut below the 30 hours required to qualify for employer-funded health insurance.

The Internet has blown up in response.

A photo of his house — supposedly a 40,000-square foot castle complete with a 22-car garage, a golf course, and a drawbridge — went viral on Facebook, pitting the wealth with the petty complaint about the cost of a pizza going up $0.14.

It’s class warfare at its finest, but it’s also missing the mark. Forget the Castle

Schnatter’s comments weren’t really about what he would do or what his company would do. A whopping 2,513 — or 80% — of the 3,156 Papa John’s locations in North America are franchised. They’re owned by local entrepreneurs who don’t live in castles with drawbridges. They’re competing against smaller independent pizza joints that aren’t big enough fall under the Affordable Care Act stipulations.

At the same time you have Little Caesar, Domino’s (DPZ), and Yum! Brands’ (YUM) Pizza Hut fighting with promotions offering carry-out pizzas for less than $6.

This isn’t class warfare. There will be real business decisions made next year based on the changing circumstances of running a large company.

You can keep hating Schnatter’s drawbridge if you want to, but the point is moot, not moat.

Text Education

The latest setback for Papa John’s is this week’s $250 million lawsuit.

It was some franchisees — and not Papa John’s itself — that worked with a text message marketer on a campaign that reportedly sent out 500,000 unsolicited messages two years ago.

That would violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which bars unwanted text message advertisements. It remains to be seen if there’s a case to be made against Papa John’s, the franchisees, or the marketing company behind the ill-advised campaign.

Deep Dish, but Not Deep Value

This all comes at a time when shares of Papa John’s aren’t exactly cheap. It’s trading at a lofty valuation — 19 times this year’s earnings — despite the competitive nature of a dining specialty that’s mired in a price war. That’s also 16 times next year’s projected profitability — even though the company’s revenue is growing in the single digits.

It seems as if the chain can’t catch a break these days, even though it’s the one manning the pizza cutter.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Papa John’s International.

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz, The Motley Fool

Posted 9:03PM 11/14/12 | AOL Original
Posted under: Company News, Food & Drink

submitted ByBK

This tickles me to no end….in Florida no less…with West

Florida sends auditors to investigate voting irregularities as Rep. West holds out hope
Nov 14, 2012

Florida has sent state election auditors into the state’s 18th Congressional District to investigate early-voting irregularities that have resulted in disputed results in race between Republican Rep. Allen West and Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.

The unofficial tally shows Murphy winning the race by 1,907 votes, outside the margin that would trigger an automatic recount of all ballots.

Three state officials were ordered to St. Lucie County by Secretary of State Ken Detzner a defendant in the court case West filed Tuesday.

“We applaud your decision to exercise your authority to send auditors to St. Lucie County to examine election returns and the ballot-counting process,” attorneys at the Washington-area firm Hotlzman Vogel Josefiak told Detzner in a letter.

The 18th District race was among the most hard-hitting and expensive races this election cycle. The two sides raised at least $21 million, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, and Super PACs poured about $6.6 million more into the race.

West, a first-term Republican congressman, is a Tea Party favorite known for his strong criticism of President Obama and other Democrats.

St. Lucie County officials recounted three days of early voting from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 following the discovery that machines doubled counted some ballots.

West reportedly gained 132 votes and Murphy lost 667 in the recount Sunday of 16,275 votes, though the West campaign claims the vote count dropped by roughly 1,000 ballots.

Murphy’s margin of victory is still above the threshold to trigger a full recount. But the West campaign argues the full eight days should be recounted, considering the pattern that unfolded during the partial recount.

The suit seeks a temporary injunction to get a full recount of all early voting in St. Lucie and asks the state to postpone certifying the district-wide tally until the process in complete. Martin and Palm Beach counties also are part of the newly-redrawn district.

The disputed outcome made for some awkwardness on Capitol Hill this week, because West has returned for the lame duck session while Murphy is attending freshman orientation.

submitted ByBK

Secession talk…really? How many of these states would want to secede if they couldn’t take all the cheap labor that voted against their party platform with them? Nothing happens in a vacuum

Secession petitions filed on White House Web site
Posted by Rachel Weiner on November 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

From states across the country, Americans have filed petitions on the White House Web site seeking to secede from the union and form new state governments.
While most of the petitions come from states that supported Mitt Romney in last week’s election, a few swing states and even the deep blue Northeast are represented.
Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government,” reads the Alabama petition. The following text is the same in most of the 20 filed so far:
As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”
Most of the petitions have a few thousand signatures; many signers appear to be from other states. Under the “We the People” program, launched last year, the White House will respond to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days. Anyone over the age of 13 can create a petition. Previous popular petitions demanded the White House beer recipe (success) and marijuana legalization (no success).
The petitions from Louisiana and Texas, however, are approaching the threshold for a response. They were the first two states represented, followed by Alabama. Petitioners only have to put a first name and last initial on the site.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) raised the idea of secession back in 2009, but he has since made clear that he has no interest in it. Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp (R) suggested in 2010 that some states might have to “consider separation from this government” should the leadership in Washington not change. ”I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government,” he said.

Submitted ByBK

Arizona has 600,000 ballots to count. Election was over 5 days ago……………

Lily Canedo, center, and others took petitions bearing 20,000 signatures on Friday to the county recorder’s office in Phoenix to protest uncounted votes. Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Published: November 9, 2012

PHOENIX — Three days after the election, the outcome of several races remained a mystery in Arizona as officials struggle to count a record number of early and provisional ballots, many of them cast by voters who believed they had registered but whose names were not on the voter rolls at the polling place.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Ken Bennett revealed the magnitude of the situation: 631,274 votes remained uncounted, he said, more than in any presidential election in memory and enough to anger voting- and immigrant-rights advocates, who have called on the Justice Department to investigate. (By Friday, there were 524,633 uncounted ballots. There are 3.1 million registered voters in the state.)

The advocates, who have been staging nearly continuous protests outside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center, where most of the votes are being tallied, have raised accusations of disenfranchisement, saying the same Latino voters they worked so diligently to register may have been disproportionately affected. Based on accounts they have been collecting since before the polls closed, among the 115,000 voters who cast provisional ballots in Maricopa County on Tuesday were many first-time minority voters who signed up to get their ballots by mail, but never did.

“We’re concerned that some of the barriers we’re seeing fell heavily on Latino and African-American voters,” said Monica Sandschafer, acting coordinator for One Arizona, a coalition of nonprofit groups working to increase voter participation among working families.

Volunteers took to the phones on Friday at the offices of Unite Here, which represents hospitality workers, calling Latinos on the early-voting registry to find out if they got their ballots in time to vote by mail. Meanwhile, the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to the county recorder, Helen Purcell, saying the “public confidence in the voting process” was at stake.

The uncertainty has also unsettled candidates and campaign staffs, prompting at least one of them — Mark Napier, the Republican candidate for sheriff in Pima County, which had 80,735 uncounted votes on Wednesday — to rescind his concession.

“I was down by 7,400 votes on election night,” Mr. Napier said. “I assumed it was over, but this election could change.”

Three Congressional races remained too close to call on Friday, and there were also some misgivings about the outcome of several other races. One of them was the United States Senate race, where, as of Friday, Jeff Flake, a Republican congressman, was ahead of his Democratic challenger, Richard H. Carmona, by 78,775 votes, according to unofficial results posted by the secretary of state.

Mr. Carmona conceded on Tuesday; on Friday, in a message to supporters, he wrote, “We will take every necessary step to make sure all of our supporters’ ballots are counted.”

Activists say that they believe, based on what they have heard from people in the field, that provisional ballots tended to be used most often in Hispanic and black neighborhoods. But that cannot be verified until all the ballots are counted, and officials in each of Arizona’s 15 counties have until next Friday to do that.

Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Mr. Bennett, said that all valid votes would be counted. Advocates and elected officials are worried, though, that voters who had to cast conditional provisional ballots because they forgot to bring identification to the polls, as state law requires, may not know they have to present their ID at the county elections office by Wednesday for their vote to count.

“You should do it not just for the Democrats or the Republicans, or for the Hispanic voters and the black voters. You should do it because it’s the right thing to do,” State Representative Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, said at a protest on Friday.

Deborah Curtis, a poll observer at Xavier College Preparatory in Central Phoenix attending the same protest, said she saw a black voter being told she could drop off her early ballot only in her neighborhood precinct, although early ballots can be left at any polling place.

“I wondered how many other people were told the same thing,” Ms. Curtis said.

On Thursday night, more than a hundred people — activists, high school students who are too young to vote but worked for months to register voters, and voters who said they were forced to use provisional ballots at the polls — joined hands in a human chain and prayed outside the election center, a squat brick building on a desolate stretch of downtown, next to the train tracks and across the street from a jail.

Friday morning, they marched five blocks along Third Avenue to the county recorder’s office, where they delivered a petition with at least 20,000 signatures, demanding answers. Outside, on small pieces of paper, they left messages taped to a wooden board. One of them read, “We have rights.” Another read, “Justice.”




Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too.


Mitt Romney is already slithering into the mists of history, or at least La Jolla, gone and soon to be forgotten. A weightless figure unloved and distrusted by even his own supporters, he was always destined, win or lose, to be a transitory front man for a radical-right GOP intent on barreling full-speed down the Randian path laid out by its true 2012 standard-bearer, Paul Ryan. But as was said of another unsuccessful salesman who worked the New England territory, attention must be paid to Mitt as the door slams behind him in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s brilliant victory. Though Romney has no political heirs in his own party or elsewhere, he does leave behind a cultural legacy of sorts. He raised Truthiness to a level of chutzpah beyond Stephen Colbert’s fertile imagination, and on the grandest scale. That a presidential hopeful so cavalierly mendacious could get so close to the White House, winning some 48 percent of the popular vote, is no small accomplishment. The American weakness that Romney both apotheosized and exploited in achieving this feat—our post-fact syndrome where anyone on the public stage can make up anything and usually get away with it—won’t disappear with him. A slicker liar could have won, and still might.

Aall politicians lie, and some of them, as Bob Kerrey famously said of Bill Clinton in 1996, are “unusually good” at it. Every campaign (certainly including Obama’s) puts up ads that stretch or obliterate the truth. But Romney’s record was exceptional by any standard. The blogger Steve Benen, who meticulously curated and documented Mitt’s false statements during 2012, clocked a total of 917 as Election Day arrived. Those lies, which reached a crescendo with the last-ditch adsaccusing a bailed-out Chrysler of planning to ship American jobs to China, are not to be confused with the Romney flip-flops. The Etch-A-Sketches were a phenomenon of their own; if the left and right agreed about anything this year, it was that trying to pin down where Mitt “really” stood on any subject was a fool’s errand. His biography was no less Jell-O-like: There were the still-opaque dealings at Bain, and those Olympics, and a single (disowned) term in public service, and his churchgoing—and what else had he been up to for 65 years? We never did see those tax returns. We never did learn the numbers that might validate the Romney-Ryan budget. Given that Romney had about as much of a human touch with voters as an ATM, it sometimes seemed as if a hologram were running for president. Yet some 57 million Americans took him seriously enough to drag themselves to the polls and vote for a duplicitous cipher. Not all of this can be attributed to the unhinged Obama hatred typified by Mary Matalin’s postelection characterization of the president as “a political narcissistic sociopath.”

As GOP politicians and pundits pile on Romney in defeat, they often argue that he was done in by not being severely conservative enough; if only he’d let Ryan be Ryan, voters would have been won over by right-wing orthodoxy offering a clear-cut alternative to Obama’s alleged socialism. In truth, Romney was a perfect embodiment of the current GOP. As much as the Republican Party is a radical party, and a nearly all-white party, it has also become the Fantasyland Party. It’s an isolated and gated community impervious to any intrusions of reality from the “real America” it solipsistically claims to represent. This year’s instantly famous declaration by the Romney pollster Neil Newhouse that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” crystallized the mantra of the entire GOP. The Republican faithful at strata both low and high, from Rush’s dittoheads to the think-tank-affiliated intellectuals, have long since stopped acknowledging any empirical evidence that disputes their insular worldview, no matter how grounded that evidence might be in (God forbid) science or any other verifiable reality, like, say, Census reports or elementary mathematics. No wonder Romney shunned the word Harvard, which awarded him two degrees, even more assiduously than he did Mormon.

At the policy level, this is the GOP that denies climate change, that rejects Keynesian economics, and that identifies voter fraud where there is none. At the loony-tunes level, this is the GOP that has given us the birthers, websites purporting that Obama was lying about Osama bin Laden’s death, and not one but two (failed) senatorial candidates who redefined rape in defiance of medical science and simple common sense. It’s the GOP that demands the rewriting of history (and history textbooks), still denying that Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” transformed the party of Lincoln into a haven for racists. Such is the conservative version of history that when the website Right Wing News surveyed 43 popular conservative bloggers to determine the “worst figures in American history” two years ago, Jimmy Carter, Obama, and FDR led the tally, all well ahead of Benedict Arnold, Timothy McVeigh, and John Wilkes Booth.

(click the link above to read the full story