May 22, 2011

Guess Which Five States Have Had the Highest Percentage Employment Growth So Far This Year?

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:57 pm

Before I reveal the answers, a few points and cautions:

  • It’s only four months, and April is still subject to revision.
  • The comparisons had to be done on seasonally adjusted figures, because seasonal factors differ between states. Seasonally adjusted figures have been known to be quirky, especially as volatile as employment figures have been, mostly in the wrong direction, the past few years.
  • Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are relatively small states.
  • Number 5 isn’t Texas.
  • Did I remember to say it’s only four months?

The complete list of employment growth by state is after the jump if you’re on the home page:
(more…)

Filling the Holes in the AP’s Description of Herman Cain’s Business Career

As noted very early this morning, the Associated Press, in its coverage of Herman Cain’s announcement that he is a presidential candidate, ignored most of the stellar elements of Cain’s business resume by limiting its description to the following sentence:

He worked at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King before taking the helm of the failing Godfather’s Pizza franchise, which he rescued by shuttering hundreds of restaurants.

In doing so, AP:

  • Limited its description of Cain’s as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza into one sentence about cost-cutting, when (as shown last night) the chain also resumed its growth and did so using innovative means.
  • Ignoring Cain’s time served as board member and Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Failed to mention his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association.

In addition, the one sentence the AP did use vastly understates Cain’s influence at Burger King, where he turned a money-losing region into the chain’s leading performer.

So let’s fill in the holes and demonstrate how easy it would have been for AP (besides visiting Cain’s web site, which would have been even easier) to get info about Cain’s time at the Fed and Restaurant Association.

Here is a picture followed by a lineup identification of the KC Fed’s Board from its Annual Report (link here):

CainInPicWithKCfedBoard1995

CainOnListOfKCfedDirsAsPrez1995

One will also find Mr. Cain pictured as KC Fed Chairman on Page 14 of the 1996 Annual Report (go to the same link to find that report).

As to the National Restaurant Association, an October 20, 1993 item in the New York Times on blacks in the restaurant industry noted that “The first black president of the restaurant association, Herman Cain, takes office next year. He is also the chief executive of the Godfather’s Pizza chain.”

Cain was still involved in Godfather’s AND President of the National Restaurant Association when he had his famous encounter with Bill Clinton over the consequences of statist health care in 1994.

Total elapsed time of related searches (obviously, more time was involved in documentation): maybe 10 minutes.

A question for AP: Was it laziness, or do you want to make Cain look like a guy who “just” ran some restaurants (which in your smug ignorance you might somehow see as “easy”), when it’s clear that the man is a high-powered, very accomplished guy in a variety of venues?

Positivity: Marine Corps foundation honors heroic Vietnam War priest

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:57 am

From Triangle, Virginia:

May 20, 2011 / 02:35 am (CNA).- Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno, a chaplain who was killed in action while protecting U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, was honored with a permanent tribute at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

“The Marines who served with Chaplain Capodanno remember him as the Chaplain who went wherever his Marines needed his comfort and guidance, no matter the personal danger,” said Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas, president of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

“From the foxholes to the front lines, Chaplain Capodanno was there.”

The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation dedicated the “Sacrifice Window” in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on May 11 to honor the late priest. Each window in the chapel is titled with a word that describes the ethos of the Marine Corps.

The private ceremony in Triangle, Virginia remembered Chaplain Capodanno for his support of Marines in combat and his recognition as the only chaplain to receive the Medal of Honor for service in the corps.

Foundation members said they established the permanent tribute in Chaplain Capodanno’s name in “recognition of his dedicated service to Marines and the ultimate sacrifice he made in Vietnam, in an effort to save a Marine’s life.”

Fr. Capodanno was born on Staten Island in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. In 1957 he was ordained a Catholic priest by Cardinal Francis Spellman, then vicar of the U.S. Military Ordinariate.

He entered the Maryknoll religious order and served as a missionary in Taiwan and Hong Kong from 1958 to 1965. Having successfully petitioned his Maryknoll superiors to release him to serve as a U.S. Navy chaplain, he arrived in Vietnam during Holy Week of 1966.

Holding the rank of Lieutenant, Fr. Capodanno participated in seven combat operations. He became known for putting the well-being of Marines above his personal safety, moving among those wounded and dying on the battlefield in order to provide medical aid, comfort, and Last Rites.

… Fred Smith, head of FedEx Corporation, who served with Fr. Capodanno, recalled during the May 11 ceremony how the chaplain nearly lost his hand to shrapnel as he tended to the wounded, but refused care so that medical supplies could go to his injured Marines.

… As he sought to administer aid to one particular marine, he placed his own body between the wounded man and an enemy machine gunner and was killed.

In 2006, the Catholic Church declared Fr. Capodanno a Servant of God, which is the first step towards being officially recognized as a saint.

Go here for the entire story.

A NewsBusters Post I Won’t Allow Here at BizzyBlog

Go here if you’re interested in learning about an offensive CNNMoney.com headline which has been up since shortly after noon on Saturday, if not longer, which uses a word I’ve never allowed at this blog in the form employed or in other variations (except in a few very rare instances when directly quoting other people).

_____________________________________________

UPDATE, May 22, 5 p.m.: As seen in an update at NB, the comments at a cached CNN Political Ticker tease for the story go back to May 20 at 4:21 p.m., over 48 hours ago.

AP’s Full Description of Herman Cain as Godfather’s CEO: ‘Rescued by Shuttering Hundreds of Restaurants’

herman-cain_052111In their coverage of Herman Cain’s official announcement that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, Associated Press reporters Shannon McCaffrey and Greg Bluestein limited their description of Cain’s tenure as chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza to the following:

He worked at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King before taking the helm of the failing Godfather’s Pizza franchise, which he rescued by shuttering hundreds of restaurants.

That’s all he did, eh? Guys, if that’s all you could cobble together about Cain’s time at Godfather’s, you should have ended the excerpted sentence after “franchise” (for which a better word would have been “chain”).

The AP pair also omitted a couple of key elements of Cain’s resume, specifically his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association and his involvement as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where he ultimately was elected chairman.

Here is a description of Cain’s tenure at Godfather’s found at a site called PizzaDominoes.com:

… in 1986, several franchises of Godfathers Pizza plummeted. And the pizza chain struggled to beat its competitors. So, Pillsbury selected Herman Cain to be the new president of Godfather’s. Cain had previously rescued some Burger King chains from bankruptcy; thereby earning him a remarkable reputation. And with his leading abilities, he managed to settle some lawsuits, eliminated non-profitable units, introduced more products, and arranged for delivery services. As a result, the pizza chain gradually went back to its feet. Plus, newer pizzas attracted more customers. The mouthwatering bacon cheeseburger pizza and fruit-filled cherry and apple dessert pizzas were introduced.

Moreover, Godfather’s Pizza focused on a one-number delivery system to compete with other pizza chains’ home delivery systems. Fortunately, this system had worked and Godfather’s eventually expanded. Furthermore, several humorous commercials were aired. This was the pizza chain’s attempt to increase public awareness of its products and add a fun concept. Godfathers Pizza also introduced products to pubic schools. It developed fun games that were related to pizzas. So, teachers used these games to encourage young students to master mathematical basics. And the students who performed well were given rewards.

So you see, Ms. McCaffrey and Mr. Bluestein, Cain’s success at Godfather’s wasn’t just about shutting down restaurants and (wink, wink) sending people to the unemployment line. It was about growth and innovation.

Here’s what Cain’s web site says about his Godfather’s experience and the two significant resume items the AP reporters ignored, plus the 1994 encounter with Bill Clinton that first brought him to the nation’s attention (and which the AP did mention):

I could have been content with my executive role with one of America’s biggest corporations. Instead, after consulting with my wife, we decided to take one of the biggest risks of our marriage: picking up our young family, relocating yet again and accepting the call to become CEO and President of Godfather’s Pizza, a company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

In 14 months, we turned the company around and returned it to profitability, and I ultimately led my management team to a buyout of Godfather’s Pizza. The company never went bankrupt, and today, there are still hundreds of locations across the U.S.

My success at turning around Godfather’s got the attention of fellow restaurateurs around the nation who invited me to join the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association and later elected me its chairman. In 1996, they retained me as the full-time President and the CEO of the National Restaurant Association, working on behalf of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

… In 1994, as chairman of the National Restaurant Association, I had the opportunity to speak with President Clinton during a nationally televised town hall meeting. Here, I challenged the President regarding the impact on businesses if his health care overhaul proposal were passed.

President Clinton attempted to assure me and the millions of viewers watching at home that his legislation would not harm American business owners and their employees.

I was skeptical. “Quite honestly Mr. President, your calculations are incorrect,” I said. “In the competitive marketplace, it simply doesn’t work that way.”

Through these and other appearances on behalf of the National Restaurant Association, I began working with business leaders across all sectors of the American economy. This led to my acceptance of a position on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and I was subsequently elected their chairman.

Cain’s official announcement speech is at his campaign’s home page.

Back in January, the Politico’s Ben Smith characterized Cain’s candidacy as “quixotic.” In the same item, here’s how he described the Godfather’s chain: “Godfather’s still exists, mostly attached to convenience stores.” Uh, Ben, the chain has 620 stores, and “still exists” as the eighth-largest in the country (as of 2009). Though there aren’t any Godfather’s locations in Ohio, where yours truly resides, I tend to doubt that most of the chain’s location are “attached to convenience stores.” And even if they are, being Number 8 hardly qualifies as “still exists.”

One gets the sense that Smith’s description of Herman Cain’s prospects is as inaccurate as his breezy putdown of Cain’s former company.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.