“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hostess to not answer the Ding Dong and throws in the Twinkie

BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- Twinkie maker Hostess Brands is threatening to liquidate the company if striking bakers do not return to work by the end of Thursday, according to CNN Money. "We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike," Hostess Chief Executive Officer Greg Rayburn said in a statement cited by CNN. The bakers union, which represents about 5,000 of the bankrupt company's 18,000 workers, is on strike to protest a new contract imposed by the bankruptcy court that calls for an immediate 8% salary cut, along with reductions in pension obligations and company contributions to employee health-care plans. In exchange, the Wonder Bread maker would begin to bump up salaries after one year and give workers a 25% equity stake in the company. Hostess filed for bankruptcy protection in January.


  1. NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Hostess Brands Inc. said Friday it filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets after a strike by its workers. "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders," the Irving, Texas, maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread said. Hostess said one of its largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, initiated a nationwide strike that "crippled the company's ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities."

  2. Why the interest here?

    Could we have reached the point where the difference in working or receiving governmental benefits has reached a crossover point? Throw in a little “under the table” and the economic analysis favors food stamps, two years of unemployment benefits, and maybe you will hit the lottery with long term disability and medicaid.

    Is this where we have landed?

  3. I pulled the rug out from under Q on the previous thread by turning a comment into a new thread.

    QuirkFri Nov 16, 07:25:00 AM EST

    And there are those who call this progress.

    Someone cynically mocked cold fusion here recently. The Twinkie's shelf-life is the clearest evidence we have of transcendence.



    QuirkFri Nov 16, 07:28:00 AM EST

    Thanks, Deuce.

    My comment above doesn't really make much sense now that you have removed your comment about Hostess dropping the Twinkie.



  4. I smell a Coke Classic move in the works.

  5. The Twinkie's shelf-life is the clearest evidence we have of transcendence.

    Absolutely correct. And did you know, that even at half life, they still have plenty of life as bear bait? Yes, it is true, as one time my wife and I stopped by the local used bakery store I guess you'd call it, where The Twinkies have one last chance before the dumpster, after the grocery store shelves. There was this bearded guy buying up the whole place. What you gonna do with all those, I ask. Bear bait, put 'em in a barrel add some old syrup, still 'em up, put the barrel in the woods, works ever time.

    Damn the unions.

    I am heading to Wal-Mart this day.

  6. Headline is up on Drudge now:


    Damn them!

  7. Looks like pot legalization came just a bit too late.

  8. The Twinkie ain't dead. Hostess will sell the Brands, and products in liquidation.

    1. now you are sounding like Romney...

    2. That's just the way it works. Those are valuable "names," and recipes. They will be sold. Probably to a non-union company, I'd imagine.

    3. Twinkie is too big to fail. I demand Stimulus Money for Twinkie. Obama is never around when the going gets tough.

  9. Big Twinkie episode in GhostBusters -

  10. Deuce wrote two threads back:

    "Since that time and experience I have become convinced that we don’t know enough about the Middle East to be there and if we ever did learn enough, we would learn that we should not be there."

    Which I applaud but why would you consider Turkey "ass-stabbers"? That is clearly a reference to their refusal to allow US troops to launch attacks from their territory in the Iraq war is it not? It is that apparent hypocrisy that I was commenting on. Turkey is "in" the region, "we" are not yet you seethe with anger at their decisions. Let them sort it out.

    1. :) - ah Ash.....always searching for hypocrisy in others....

    2. Well, contradicting oneself does not make a good argument.

    3. Ass stabbing in Turkey?

      Billy Hayes: To the Turks, everything is "shurla burla", which means "like this, like that". You never know what will happen. All foreigners are "ayip", they're considered dirty. So is homosexuality, it's a big crime here, but most of them do it every chance they get. There are about thousand things that are "ayip", for instance, you can stab or shoot somebody below the waist but not above because that's intent to kill. So everyone runs around stabbing everyone else in the ass. That's what they call Turkish revenge. I know it must all sound crazy to you, but this place is crazy.

    4. ahhhh, good one! I guess my reference to the Iraq war was wrong then.

      Midnight Express - good movie.

    5. …the hypocrisy is with the Turks and it is about their overtures to involve NATO in the phony war between Turkey and Syria. They view the NATO “attack on one as an attack on all” as arbitrary, against it when they disagree and as a legal and moral imperative when it suits their chicanery.

    6. yep! Good reason to push back on any request for NATO support if their battles with Syria should continue to escalate.

  11. Former CIA Director David Petraeus was expected to tell lawmakers in a pair of closed-door hearings Friday morning that he believed the Libya attack was terrorism within the first 24 hours and suspected a regional Al Qaeda affiliate and the militant Ansar al-Sharia were behind it, a source close to Petraeus told Fox News.

    Petraeus arrived to meet with House lawmakers early Friday morning. His account would be sure to raise more questions from lawmakers, considering the conflicting narratives that have emerged from the intelligence community and other agencies about the attack. Petraeus himself gave a briefing three days after the attack, according to sources, in which he described it as a protest over an anti-Islam film that spun out of control.

    It was similar to the account given on five Sunday shows on Sept. 16 by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice -- and Rice's defenders have since insisted she was merely basing her statements on the intelligence at the time.

    Yet Petraeus, Fox News was told, on Friday was planning to bring with him the original "talking points" prepared by the CIA.

    The source said Petraeus "has no idea what was provided" to Rice or who was the author of the talking points she used.

    "He had no idea she was going on talk shows" until the White House announced it one or two days before.

    Petraeus' testimony before the House and Senate intelligence committees Friday morning could fuel, rather than dampen, the ongoing conflict in the administration over why officials initially stressed the anti-Islam film. Fox News has learned that his testimony will be under oath; he has already started to meet with lawmakers on the House committee.

  12. According to CNN,

    According to the official, Petraeus says the stream of intelligence from multiple sources, including video at the scene, indicated the group was behind the attack.

    But a separate stream of intelligence also emerged at the same time indicating the violence at the consulate was inspired by protests in Egypt over an ostensibly anti-Islam film that was privately produced in the United States. The movie, "Innocence of Muslims," portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizing buffoon.

    There were 20 intelligence reports that indicated that anger of the film may be to blame, the official said.

    The CIA eventually disproved those reports, but not before Petraeus' initial briefing to Congress the day after the attack where he discussed who might be behind the attack and what prompted it. During that briefing he raised Ansar al Sharia's possible connection as well as outrage over the film, the official said.

    Petraeus' aim in testifying, according to the official, is to clear up "a lot of misrepresentations of what he told Congress initially."

    The former CIA director also is expected to tell the congressional committees that he did develop unclassified talking points in the days after the attack but had had no direct involvement in developing the ones used by Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.


    1. Rufus, it really doesn't matter. There was an attack. There was no response. It did not matter to the Ambassador and the others whether they were being killed by a mob or an organized assault.

    2. What they wanted was some help.

    3. And boobie is willing to exploit it for whatever political gain is possible.

    4. Odd way of putting it, to want to see the truth come out.

      Go pick your nose somewhere.

    5. Yes, Ash, I'd like to know if those people were sacrificed.

    6. The CIA requested evacuation, and that is exactly what they got.

    7. .

      Since these hearings are classified, we will likely not hear much of substance other than leaks before they are concluded. Any leaks will probably be partisan in nature. The quotes listed above were obviously written before Petraeus' testimony today.

      The only comments I have heard after the hearing came from Rep. Peter King. He indicated that Petraeus stated that there were a number of intelligence streams provided to the White House and other organizations within the administration (one assumes he's talking State, DOD, the National Security Council, etc.). The streams included those promoting the case that Benghazi was strictly a terrorist attack as well as those stating that the video was the cause.

      Petraeus indicated that he personally was convinced the day after the attack that it was a terrorist attack and the video played no part in it. He further indicated that after providing the information they had, he had no part in determining what information was put out to the public.

      Five days after the attack, UN Ambassador Rice publically stated (numerous times) that the attack was caused by a spontaneous protest over the Muhammad video.

      Democratic Rep. Schiff of CA (I think) stated after yesterdays closed hearings with the now-acting Director of the CIA that Rice was merely using the initial information she was given by the CIA to make the claim about the video. He indicated it was the best information that was available. As I said, it depends on who is telling the tale.

      However, what do we know.

      As highlighted by Ruf above, there were about 20 pieces of intel talking about the video being the precipitating cause of the attack. However, since there were hundreds of pieces of intel associated with the incident that could mean very little.

      Rice indicated that the video story was based on the information that was available. In my view, that would qualify as a sin of omission. Her statement was merely a cherry-picked version of the information provided. She did not mention that there was plenty of additional intel indicating a different version of events.

      Again in my view, I don't see how five days after the event anyone in the administration could believe this was anything but a terrorist attack. Therefore, if the decision was made to go with the video story for any but political reasons, I would have to conclude that this administration is filled with amateurs or incompetents.


    8. .

      Another question worth asking is why was Susan Rice sent out as the sacrificial lamb?

      Under Obama, the UN Ambassador is a cabinet-level post. However, as Obama recently stated while defending Rice, "She has nothing to do with Benghazi." Why then was she sent out to discuss it rather than someone from State, DOD, CIA, or the administration?

      And how condescending can you get? Obama, when Rice's testimony is attacked, in effect says, "You guys leave the little lady alone. If you want to pick on someone try picking on me."

      Had he a grave, John Bolton would be rolling over in it.


  13. Rep. Adam Schiff - after the Petraeus Meeting

    Ambassador Rice's comments tracked, exactly, with the CIA unclassified assessment.

  14. Hostess Brands Inc. said Friday it filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets after a strike by its workers.

    What were the union demands?

    Dollars to Twinkies they were health care related.

    Most of the union strike disputes of the last decade were about health care coverage (in fact it's been so long, it might be 20 years).

    1. The Union was faced with an 8% cutback in wages, benefits, and a give-back in pensions. Hostess has been a "troubled" company for a long time.

      Their products have been referred to as "legal poison," and their mangagement has been "suspect," and labor-unfriendly, to say the least (6 CEOs in 10 years.)

      Little Debby at their lunch.

    2. What unions always demand: More for less.

    3. But, the CEOs work for free, thank God.

    4. yes, the unions should be running the company, not those dumbass CEOs.


    5. Little Debby at[e] their lunch.

      Looks like she drank their milkshake too.

      (If I get your meaning right.)

    6. We all should stay away from 'legal poison', but I think I'll have a couple of drinks, and head down to the pharmacy for some heroin.

    7. Reference is made above to the Rufus desire to legalize heroin.

  15. An Oil Rig has exploded, and is burning in the Gulf of Mexico.

  16. The real issue is their products stink.

    1. Trick is to mix them up in a blender with a few handfuls of Doritos and couple tablespoons of hydrogenated oil. No stink.


    Petition wants Obama to save Twinkies

    By BYRON TAU |
    11/16/12 2:18 PM EST
    AP Photo

    A new White House petition wants President Obama to nationalize the "Twinkie industry," saving the popular junk food from possible extinction.

    "We the undersigned, hereby request Barack Obama to immediately Nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet creamy center," a petition on the White House "We the People" website requests.

    (PHOTOS: 7 famous food moments)

    Hostess Brands Inc. — maker of the Twinkie, the Ding Dong and Wonder Bread — is preparing to shutter operations amid a labor strike and rising costs. Unionized workers rejected a major pay and benefit cut, sparking the latest strike.

    Labor leaders say the standoff represents "Bain-style" vulture capitalism — a reference to former GOP nominee Mitt Romney's private equity firm.

    "What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price," AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a Friday statement.

    A full shutdown of the company could result in as many as 18,000 job losses – though it's possible a buyer could be found for some of its dozens of brands.

    (Also on POLITICO: Twinkie-maker Hostess to close)

    The White House petition was posted Friday. It needs 25,000 signatures to generate an official White House response.

  18. Have no fear, the homemade twinkie recipe is here
    posted at 2:49 pm on November 16, 2012 by KatiePavlich

    The bankruptcy of Hostess is effecting Twinkie lovers everywhere, but not all hope is lost. I present to you, the homemade Twinkie recipe.

    Golden “Twinkie” Cake:

    2 cup all-purpose flour
    3 tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. salt
    ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 cup whole milk

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray molds/pan with non-stick spray.

    Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

    In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Next, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Reduce the mixer speed and add flour mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and mix until the batter just comes together. Over mixing with make your cake chewy. Makes 12 cakes.

    Spray your Twinkie canoes and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until the cakes are just a light golden color and a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

    Cream Filling

    ¼ cup shortening (I prefer Crisco brand)
    ¼ cup margarine
    1 cup sifted powdered or 10x sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla

    Beat together the shortening and margarine until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in a little at a time and beat on high until peaks form. Add vanilla and beat for one minute. Place in prepared icing tubes for piping into cakes.

    To fill the cakes, insert the icing tip – preferably a large star tip – into three points along the flat-side of the cake, about 1/8 of an inch deep. Squeeze lightly until you see the filling begin to ooze out.