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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Friday, July 28, 2017

How Wells Fargo Can Pay for HQ in San Francisco

Now we know how Wells Fargo was able to afford their headquarters in San Francisco. Like all good Democrats, they stick it to the poor and make them think they care.

Link: Wells Fargo Signed Customers Up For Products They Didn’t Want, Again

Scandal-plagued Wells Fargo is back in hot water for signing customers up for products that they didn’t need or want. This time it’s auto insurance, and the bank says it may have cost about 20,000 people their cars.


The New York Times reported that as many as 800,000 customers may have been affected, of which 274,000 fell into default because they could not afford the premiums and monthly payment and 25,000 of them may have had their vehicles repossessed.


“The constant drip drop of fraudulent activities coming out of Wells Fargo is absolutely outrageous,” said Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called for the Federal Reserve to remove Wells’ board of directors.



Just so you know, when I’m on the same side of any issue as Maxine Waters, I get real concerned.

If the stage coach bank has to play by the same rules as their competitors, perhaps they need to exit California for new digs with less overhead.

Hey X, does Buffett own stock in this bank? Fits his M.O.

Posted by william on 07/28 at 03:02 PM
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Eric Cantor Admits Republicans Lied About Obamacare

If you needed proof that I’m really right then here you go.

Eric Cantor served in the House for 13 years. He was succeeded as the Republican House majority leader by Kevin McCarthy.

Remember the summer of 2013, when the “Defund Obamacare Tour” drove the news cycle all through Congress’s August recess? The town halls organized by the political arm of the Heritage Foundation enlivened the base and furthered what had been the GOP’s core message since 2010—that Obamacare was bad and, if Americans helped Republicans hold both chambers, it could be repealed.

Cantor helped create that perception. Earlier that summer—after many failed attempts over the years to shred the law piecemeal—Cantor promised colleagues that the House would vote on a “full repeal.” But even after it did, the measure was dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate…After seven years of pledging they could dismantle Obamacare, if only they had control of Congress and the White House, Republicans—at last in charge of both—have faced deep divisions over a replacement.

Asked if he feels partly responsible for their current predicament, Cantor is unequivocal. “Oh,” he says, “100 percent.”

He goes further: “To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office . . . .” His voice trails off and he shakes his head. “I never believed it.”



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Yeah, here’s the proverbial “smoking gun.” Republicans never believed they could win on Obamacare. They just wanted the issue for votes. They also didn’t believe Trump could win the White House. Republicans controlling the levers of power is the Establishment’s worst nightmare.

It’s a stunning admission from a former member of the party leadership—that the linchpin of GOP electoral strategy for the better part of a decade was a fantasy…

Oh, lastly is Cantor’s advice for the current leadership is do nothing!

All it takes, Cantor will tell you, is for party leadership to do what it’s been doing—to keep quiet, hold its breath, and watch the party return from the anger detour.

The author of the story then asks the question that logically follows:

But what if he’s wrong?

“God help us,” Cantor says. “Because how does it end?”


Link: Eric Cantor: “If You’ve Got That Anger Working for You, You’re Gonna Let It Be”

Posted by william on 07/27 at 06:23 AM
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

McCain’s Big Week in the Spotlight

OK, I know the senior Senator from Arizona has brain cancer. My grandfather died from some flavor of brain cancer many years ago so I’m sensitive to the subject; however, to say John McCain has been erratic lately is nothing new. His behavior has been inexplicable for his entire public career. McCain has been a thorn in the side of Republicans for decades. Ironically, former Senator Barry Goldwater—the so-called arch conservative (also from Arizona)—turned out to be just as hostile to Conservatives as McCain. The only difference is Goldwater didn’t begin saying so publically until he was out of office while McCain has been at war with the Right flank of his party since at least the 1990’s.

Yeah, I just called Barry Goldwater and John McCain hostile to Conservatives—especially the religious ones. McCain has a track record of attacking his own party on a national basis with the same zeal as Charles Munger Jr. does here in California.

As many of you are being reminded right now as you watch the Obamacare farce of “repeal and replace,” often both Republicans and Democrats believe in big government ; they only differ on which areas should be the largest. McCain believes firmly in one rule for himself and a different one for the rest of us.  If he had the same healthcare that he wants the rest of us to be forced to have, he would be in hospice or worse yet a military cemetery.

Yesterday John McCain is marched out as the savior of the Senate as he gives Republicans enough votes—along with the tie breaking vote by the Vice-President—to allow the Senate to debate Obamacare. A few short hours later, the first amendment offered to the bill is shot-down as the motion fails 43 to 57.


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Senator John McCain’s triumphant return to the Senate Chambers

This exercise in symbolism over substance taking place in the US Senate is not intended to result in any significant changes to Obama’s hallmark legislation but to paint a target on the House of Representatives as being the obstructionists in the legislative bottleneck.  This political jujitsu is just a game being played-out to pass the buck (or in this case blame) to someone else. That way the Senate can enter their delayed summer recess having done their best rendition of Pontius Pilot washing his hands of this unpleasant business before him.

This is how big government really works…pass the buck to others, keep the issue to campaign on in the next cycle, and most important, don’t really fix anything. This is the real definition of legislative gridlock.

Look for Senators to give us a lot of smoke and mirrors over the next week or so and then adjourn for summer recess. The only truly bipartisan thing coming out of their chamber is a campaign to blame the House of Representatives saying that they did their job and the fate of Obamacare is in the hands of those other guys.

Posted by william on 07/26 at 08:54 AM
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Monday, July 24, 2017

I Spell William R-E-A-L-L-Y R-I-G-H-T

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By X

I’ve been a loyal reader and blogger in this space for about 10 months, but who’s counting, except maybe the CRA.  I want to just re-hash a few things William has been really right about and clear up some questions about who I really am.  First and foremost, William nailed it on healthcare. He has been saying this since late last year folks; do not kid yourself he is no Johnny come lately.  He has been pounding the table about Lyin’ Ted having never submitted any piece of legislation let alone an attempt at drafting legislation, during his brief DC tenure.  The GOP created a CRA-esque lie about all the legislation that would occur the minute they had control of all levers of DC.  This is due in part to the in depth knowledge prior to the 2016 election that the Republicans would keep the House and Senate, and in all likely hood lose the Presidency.  Then Donald J Trump won, and the congressional GOP went on full tilt.  William and I are willing to wager better than 50% of the GOP members of congress voted for Hillary or 3rd party to keep the “repeal and replace someday” slogan alive.

William also nailed it on CA GOP being relegated to third party also ran status in this state.  Truth be told, I have a feeling most of the California GOP has moved to Texas, Arizona, or Nevada already.  I look forward to the day when William makes his move and relocates closer to X.

Before I close I want to say this, it has come to my attention that 2 members of a CRA unit in south Sacramento County have been saying my columns are incorrect or full of lies.  I say this to both of them, if my analysis or anything is wrong I will happily retract and delete the fallacies.  Unfortunately there will be none, because I haven’t shared anything not true.  Aaron Park was supposed to be in jail, remember or was I wrong about that?  People who the CRA endorsed?  Was that incorrect?  These two are suffering from a term called Trumpaphobia, a term I’m coining because this is what happens when you wanted Ted Cruz to be nominated, then when that failed voted for Hillary to preserve status quo.

But here I will tell you who I really am; I am a former CRA vice-chair.  I am a former unit president.  I no longer live in the state of California. I’m not in Jefferson either for the CRA folks who read this.  Don’t even get me started on that movement.

Til next time,

X

Posted by william on 07/24 at 06:15 AM
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Why Repeal and Replace Will Not Happen

Here are some quick reasons why Trump and Republican’s promise is not being kept to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Medicare
Medicare was effectively abolished and rolled into Obamacare. The pyramid scheme ran out of steam. Instead of fixing it, they created a new scheme to kick the problem down the road by adding millions of young and health people into the program, thus subsidizing others. In short, Obamacare is a massive wealth transfer from those who have to those who need.

Software
Medical providers are highly dependent on billing services to both government and insurance companies. Obamacare scrapped the previous system and replaced it with a new one. My sources tell me that software vendors are writing code two years into the future so any change today would take at least two years to roll-out. Also, previous technology is obsolete so we literally can’t go back to the old ways.

Politicians Like It
Obamacare is so far reaching that the political class can’t agree on what to keep or scrap. The only thing that they agree on is that Obamacare is crap and they will keep their insurance no matter what they mandate for the rest of us.

Unions Exempt
Democrat’s biggest donors—except for the illegal overseas contributors—are unions. All unions are exempted from Obamacare thus much of the donor base is insulated from any direct financial impact. Since most unions are either government workers or receive subsidies from government directly or via corporate welfare, rank and file don’t have to pay their fair share when compared to private sector workers.

Republicans
Republicans have been lying for years that they don’t like Obamacare. Remember when Ted Cruz and company were saying during the last campaign that they would get rid of it? Truth is that there was no legislation that they believed in. It is proven by their actions now that it was all for show. The only good news is Ted at least has a bill this time. (Took him a failed presidential campaign to introduce any legislation even if it’s just symbolic.) If Republicans really had a bill they believed in like—maybe the one they kept passing when Obama was president and he kept vetoing—then we wouldn’t be in this mess today. Oh wait, those feckless guys never sent a bill to Obama to veto. Truth is they wanted the issue to campaign on but never believed they would really have the chance to fix it. Do you think for a millisecond that McCain and company thought Trump had a chance in hell against Hillary?

So what now? Look for Trump to look harder at bipartisan solutions. Trump has more reason to campaign to replace incumbent Republicans in the next election. Meanwhile, he may find working with Democrats will get him part of what he wants which is more than Republicans can deliver which is nothing. Behind the scenes Trump will be doing much that will result in meaningful change incrementally instead of in big and very public changes.

Posted by william on 07/19 at 07:29 AM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Friday, July 14, 2017

ABC News Labels Freedom Defenders Hate Group

According to ABC News and a host of Liberal illiterates if you believe in liberty, freedom of religion, freedom, of speech, private property, hiring the best qualified people for employment, or having a choice in where and how your children are educated then you are officially a member of a hate group.

Ironically, when I was a kid people holding such beliefs were called Americans and patriots.

But no longer is that true according to Disney owned news conglomerate ABC News.  On Wednesday, two days after I posted about the crazy lady that owns “The Crystal Ship” (she holds similar views); Disney’s ABC News labeled the Alliance Defending Freedom a hate group. This group defends conservative folks from governmental tyranny. ABC is angry that our new Attorney General spoke privately to the group.


Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks

ABC leads with this:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech to an alleged hate group at an event closed to reporters on Tuesday night, but the Department of Justice is refusing to reveal what he said.

Short thereafter, the article quotes US Senator Tammy Baldwin

“This sends a very troubling message that our Attorney General, America’s top law enforcement official, is not committed to standing up to anti-LGBT hate.”

The ABC reporter goes no to write:

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy group founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1994 that “specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally.”

The group is representing Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who is challenging the state’s nondiscrimination protections after he was found in violation of the law for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case in June 2017.

Do you see what the Left is saying? To state that “homosexuality is wrong” or “marriage is between a man and woman” is a hate crime. Hate crime means fines, imprisonment, and the full weight of the State falling on your little head; or so they hope.

So when Liberals take away my freedom, attack my God, my marriage, and my family and I dare to defend myself within the law, then I’m a hatemonger  and should be banned from the public square. That’s the clear message of this news story. In addition, many Liberals believe I should forfeit my job, my children, and my freedom because I disagree with them. Such beliefs are being implemented now in California. I’m warning you here and now (once again) that these beliefs will shortly be enacted into law here in California. Folks we aren’t far behind Canada.

For different view than Disney’s see:
Link: ABC—Christians Who Defend Religious Liberty Hate Group

 

Posted by william on 07/14 at 01:54 PM
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What the Hell, CRA!!!!!

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By X

I must admit I am beginning to lose what little faith I had left in the CRA, and that’s probably a good thing.  From the same group that brought you an endorsement of Ted Cruz long after Donald J Trump had wrapped up the nomination process for President, they have recruited a second Republican to run for Governor.  Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-who cares) has been talked into running, thus assuring a run off between two Democrats for the top job in California. 

If you are related to Aaron Park, registered to vote at Wal-Mart, or been living under a rock; you might have missed the enactment of the law many years ago that gave California a “top two” election system where the two highest vote getters—regardless of party—advance to a general election run-off in November.  (This law was funded and passed by the current majority shareholder of the California GOP, Charlie Munger.) Think the 2016 Senate Election which pitted Comrade Loretta Sanchez against Socialist/Black Lives Matter Kamala Harris—notice no Republican in that group. 

My point is this; we already have a Republican running for Governor, John Cox. Cox is very wealthy and has showing a willingness to spend quite a bit of his own money.  I don’t know much about Mr. Allen or his finances, except that he is very far to the right of center, and that’s fine but not viable in the Peoples Republic of California.

Several questions need to be raised about this.  Why doesn’t Allen run for one of the other statewide offices in California?  Like I don’t know any of them since none currently have a Republican seeking the office?  Does the CRA believe Gavin Newsome vs Antonio Villaraigosa really offers us the best choices?  What the hell, the CRA!

(Editor’s Note: many Republicans in California would rather have an all Democrat gubernatorial race next time because they don’t believe a Republican can win. Many have voiced tentative support for Democrat and former State Treasurer John Chiang.)

Posted by william on 07/11 at 03:45 PM
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Monday, July 10, 2017

Firefighter Runs Aground for Comments About The Crystal Ship

A Placerville business put a rainbow flag above their store. A person that saw it prominently displayed over the fourth of July weekend was offended—as we supposedly can be under the first Amendment—and posted his feeling on Facebook—also something that we supposedly have the right to do.

The owner of the post has the power to delete the comment and probably block the person—depending on their settings—but instead she goes ballistic and it ends up being a news story.

Per shop owner, Jessica Martin, “He said to, ‘Take down that gay ass flag and it should be replaced with an American flag or a confederate flag.’”

Political action evokes political speech, happens every day in real life.

The store owner’s reaction is puzzling to me.

We are talking about discrimination, racism, we are talking about so many horrible atrocities of man in this country,” said Jessica Martin who owns The Crystal Ship.

Let’s pull this grammatically rocky quote apart.

Discrimination
• Why is discrimination bad? We all do it every day hundreds of times.
• Do I have a donut or cereal for breakfast?
• Should I eat salad or pizza for dinner?
• Should I park on the street or in the lot?
• Should I buy a green shirt or the blue one?
These are the types of discrimination we use in everyday decisions.

• Likewise, should I shop at the store with the rainbow flag or the one without?

In America, we used to call such reasoning “freedom of choice.”

Racism
Even Martin Luther King’s daughter says that homosexual claims of equivalence with race are BS. Since Dr. King has an acknowledged track record endorsed by Liberals, who am I to argue?

I don’t know about Jessica, but I sure can’t tell who someone sleeps with just by looking at them. Is thinking you can discriminatory?

Horrible Atrocities
• Like maybe voting for Donald Trump?
• Going to church?
• Believing that marriage should be between one man and one woman?
• Believing the Bible is true?
• Believing that homosexual behavior is sinful?
• Believing that Jessica and people like her are under God’s judgment for rejecting the clear teaching of His Word?

Man
• Isn’t it discriminatory to point-out that the author of the Facebook quote is a man?
• Why does gender matter?

Volunteer Firefighter
• Who cares what this guy does for a living or that he is a volunteer firefighter?
• Was he claiming to represent the department? (NO)
• If Jessica’s store caught on fire would the guy show-up to extinguish the fire? Yes, so who cares?

So one thin skinned Liberal gets offended by one guy making a post of Facebook, and the local television station thinks its news?

I get offended on Facebook all the time but I usually don’t let people know how I feel (I have this blog for that).

Oh, the local fire district made the guy retract his comments and apologize to Miss Jessica.

What happened to, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”


Link: Volunteer Firefighter’s Post About Gay Flag Sparks Outrage In Amador County

Posted by william on 07/10 at 11:51 AM
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Friday, July 07, 2017

California Moves Toward Test Oath for Citizens

If you want to see where California is heading in the next few years then look to The Great White North. Canada has implemented some of the most far reaching and onerous laws promoting homosexuality on the planet. Canada has erected a series of human rights commissions that are charged with enforcing these laws. Both freedom of speech and religion have been severely curtailed in the last few years. Parents are in danger of losing their children to the state and preachers are forbidden to talk about sin from the pulpit.

To see where California is heading between now and the end of Gavin Newsom’s administration (and yes I think he will be the next governor) let’s look north. In Canada, a Christian group had created a charter school a few years ago. Now that these human rights commissions and other legislation are in place, the environment has become hostile to Christianity. The school district mentioned in the article below is Battle River School Division (BRSD). The charter school is Cornerstone Christian Academy.

Christian School Defunded Over Bible Verses
But that has come to an end in a dispute over the school’s use of two biblical passages that BRSD board members contend “denigrate” and “vilify” LGBT individuals.
•Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
•Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. – Galatians 5:19-24

Please note that these verses in the Bible were written almost two thousand years ago. The Scriptures didn’t change in the nine years that the charter school has been running.

Earlier this year, Cornerstone removed the Corinthians passage from its website at the request of BRSD, but planned to include it and the Galatians passage in the student handbook.

BRSD sent the email following last month’s change in legislation adding “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and to the Criminal Code’s hate-crime section.

A BRSD spokesman said trustees believed the verses might contravene Alberta’s human-rights legislation.

BRSD chairwoman Lauri Skori called it inappropriate to share “any teachings that denigrate or vilify someone’s sexual orientation.”


Note: Colorado also has a human rights commission. In 2012, this commission was responsible for prosecuting a baker for refusing to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. (This happened two years before the Supreme Court forced “gay marriage” upon the fifty states.) This is the case scheduled to be heard this fall by the Supreme Court.


It is my belief and has been for several years that California will eventually require a test oath in order to allow access to employment, student loans, and other government benefits.  But we Americans always do things to extremes so why not include the private sector as we implement these rules?

The first sign of this oath was last year in the bill to restrict student loans to schools that affirmed the gay rights agenda of the State as a condition of giving loans to California college students. This bill was withdrawn but I fully expect it to be passed by the end of the next legislative cycle (2018).

Today in the news is the next plank of this movement.

California Bill Would Require Workplace Transgender Training

The bill would apply to every employer in California with 50 or more employees requiring training on gender harassment, as part of current sexual harassment training. And it reaffirms that transgender workers are allowed to go by their preferred names and pronouns.

If this bill doesn’t get signed by Jerry Brown it certainly will by Newsom. So how will employers prove they are complying with the law? They will have to have another poster in the breakroom and a signed form from each employee that they have been trained about the special treatment that must be given to sexually and morally deviant people. Failure of businesses to comply will eventually mean they will be forced to cease operations and failure of employees to sign will eventually cost people their jobs.

This law is not the end; it’s just the next step. These laws are to legislate morality (or in this case immorality) and to attack traditional Christianity. Remember that all law is religious. This is an establishment of religion albeit a foreign one.

We are very close to going full circle back to Rome. In ancient Rome you could have any god you wish as long as you acknowledged Caesar as Lord. Those that said Jesus is Lord were attacked not on religious grounds but as political enemies of the State. Christianity was high treason.

California is trying to criminalize Christianity—not just banish it from the public square but cleanse it from the culture.

Posted by william on 07/07 at 08:27 AM
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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Kraft-Heinz is a disaster under Warren Buffett

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By X

By now you should know that X hates three things: The CRA, Aaron Park (and his idiot brother I’m calling Igor from now on), and Warren Buffett; it’s time to Buffet Buffett again.  I’m going to tell the story of Buffett and his Brazilian friends at 3G Capital and how they are destroying American family jobs and lifestyles.  Warren Buffett is lauded as the most successful investor ever and 3G Capital is a group famous for cutting expenses to the bone and deleting unnecessary expenses—think zero based budgeting.

(Editors note: this is not the zero based budgeting often proposed in bygone years as a solution to federal spending but taking budget line items to zero for short-term gain of shareholders.)

This particular example of Buffett malfeasance started in February 2013 when Buffett and 3G Capital announced they were buying iconic American ketchup maker Heinz for the price of 23 billion.  Like most companies who take over or buy a competitor, there are “synergies” or opportunities to cut jobs etc. to save the acquirer money.  These “synergies” started immediately with the laying off of 350 workers in the Pittsburgh headquarters.  X doesn’t like layoffs but most of these were likely duplicate jobs or as X likes to call them “so we got rid of the assistant secretary’s secretary?”  These jobs were white collar, but X figured innovation or something would save the day.  Nope. The maker of ketchup, ORE-IDA, and several other brands did nothing other than “reformulate their mustard.” 

Several manufacturing plants were closed, hundreds of workers laid off.  But Buffett/3G continued cost cutting with such innovations as:
• No more mini fridges in your office or at your desk.
• No more free products.
• Coupons would be phased out as well as deep discounting of products. 
• Copies must be in black ink only, and must print on both sides of each page. 


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Remember this is good ole, all-American, folksy Warren Buffett folks.  Yeah, the guy that causes Democrats to wet themselves with pride and envy every time they hear his proclamations.

This process of downsizing went on for about two and a half years. Through those years, efficiency increased, but layoffs increased as well. There were cuts every year, as well as plant closings.  That raise you thought you were getting?  Yeah, no. 

3G’s President Bernardo Hees—who by the way has no experience in consumer packaged goods—became president and CEO of Heinz.  Hees has experience in…..you guessed it railroading.  Hees has been quoted numerous times stating employees should have no life outside of work, and need to always work faster and harder.  So I guess you can say he no longer railroads with trains, he railroads humans now.  Buffett—for what it’s worth—basically insulates himself saying he provided the financing not the daily operations, 3G does. 

Herein lies the problem when you cut, cut, cut. Year-over-year revenue at Heinz has declined every year since they were acquired by Buffett and 3G.  The reasons?  Well there are several:
• Employee morale being bankrupt doesn’t help.
• Consumer tastes changing plays a part.
• No more couponing or discounting.
• Lack of any meaningful innovation. 

If the best you can do in 3 years is re-doing your mustard recipe, then maybe you used to run a railroad.

Given the train wreck they made out of Heinz, guess what Buffett and 3G did in 2015?  Buy Kraft Foods. Buffett/3G returns Heinz to public stock market and Kraft-Heinz was born.  Make no mistake; Buffett got his $$$ back. His vehicle of investment—Berkshire Hathaway—and 3G Capital own 51% of the shares outstanding so what they say and want goes.  In addition Buffett financed the deal and is paying himself back with a 10% interest earning note.  Again this sounds like a wonderful gig, where do I sign up?

Kraft is a maker of all kinds of iconic brands, and is in nearly every single North American household, so Buffett and 3G were smart and wouldn’t let the same mistakes foil them again right?  Nope.  First they decided to move Kraft headquarters to Chicago from Northbrook, and downsize 30% of employees.  Again the zero based budgeting started and the old company perks were gone.
Free Jello?  Gone
Mini fridge?  Gone. 

Then came massive layoffs and the shutdown of 5 plants.  This process was repeated in 2016, and again in 2017. These guys are so ruthless they moved Oscar Mayer out of Madison, Wisconsin and into Chicago.  Apparently they think Oscar Mayer is a variation of the Chicago Dog (or soon plan to market Soylent Green).  However, innovation has also been slim to none and this company has north of 100 brands.  Once again, to this date layoffs at the company have reached nearly 5,000 since, nice guy, folksy Buffett took over.

Not trying to defend Buffett here but the consumer packaged goods scene is not very good right now. American tastes have evolved and they are closely reading label ingredient lists.  Also why by a Heinz picnic pack for $7.99 when you know in a week or so they will be on sale 2 for $5.  One other factor, Millennials are helping drive changes in tastes. Kraft-Heinz has ignored them, at least until now.  Recently Kraft executives have been working to revive and revitalize many of its old products, including; Oscar Mayer, Miracle Whip, mac n’ cheese, Kool-Aid (a favorite drink of the CRA I may add), Jell-O, Lunchables, Kraft Singles, Velveeta, Maxwell House Coffee, and Capri Sun.  Despite their efforts, sales still have not improved; actually they have dropped company wide.  As I address these issues one at a time, remember Kraft-Heinz owns many iconic brands. 

The biggest issue at Kraft-Heinz is perception. Most Millennials and Generation X see their products as terrible for your health; those stereotypes are hard to break. As more baby-boomers die off, it will be harder and harder to replace lost sales and revenue.  The all-important demographic females 18 to 34 are moving away from Kraft and Heinz brands.

Here’s some examples of their corporate tone-deafness:
Oscar Mayer is built on heavily processed mystery meat sold in all sorts of containers, so you removed the preservatives?  I think I will still pass. 
Miracle Whip is heavily processed egg based products similar to mayonnaise, once again, strong pass here. 
Kraft Mac N Cheese has the same issue; younger generations remembers it as dust mixed with water to create a gooey cheese sauce for the mac, never trying that again. 
Kool-Aid?  Last time I drank that was at a CRA meeting, no seriously it’s a powder that is chocked full of preservatives and other things I cannot pronounce, pass. 
Jell-O, nothing says hospital healthy more than a processed cup of….well maybe we don’t want to know, never buying that stuff. 
Lunchables are another thing of the past for X; in addition to meat that was… well, boiled or something, and the cheese that could be rolled up and bounced like a basketball… yeah not giving this to my grandchildren. 
Kraft Singles, aren’t bad on a burger that’s been grilled, but I’m not putting that processed cheese oil product on anything resembling real food. 
Velveeta is a block of cheese product you can melt down and cook in a skillet to make cheese product. In related news, shares of Tide are down due to a reduction in children having accidents related to the consumption of Velveeta cheese. 
Maxwell House and Capri Sun have the same issues, it’s an old tired product that’s very bland and many better offerings are available at the same price point.

My main goal is not to attack Buffett, but to expose him for who he really is.  Buffett says that he wants the masses to pay more taxes—especially the rich; however, he structures his compensation to be mostly dividends and returns of capital which are taxed at far lower rates than regular income taxes.  These tax dodges are not available to any but the super wealthy robber barons.

Buffett also calls himself a champion for the middle class, ha! What says middleclass more than 2 iconic American companies he is slashing and burning with thousands of middleclass folks laid off and plant closures in the name of short-term shareholder return?  Buffett profits every step of the way and benefits more as each piece of the carcass is liquidated.

Ever been laid off in a job like these factory workers before?  Livelihoods are lost, families can be broken apart. It isn’t easy to pack your family up and move from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Springdale, Arkansas.  The ones that can move to find jobs often end-up with the same fate a year or two down the line.  The ones who cannot?  Usually they find themselves taking a pretty hefty haircut in salary & benefits and find themselves working longer hours for less.  Just remember that in every step of these “synergies” people lose benefits, livelihoods and careers, but Buffett and his ilk profit at every single step. 

After reading my series on Buffett, hopefully this sheds some life on the so called “oracle of Omaha.”

I’m not through with you yet Buffett, but til next time,

X

Posted by william on 07/05 at 07:23 PM
News & PoliticsPermalink
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