Tag Archives: romney

U.S. Job Losses & Store Closings 04 – 05 June 2014: “I don’t know if we can overcome this” Mormon security company in big trouble! Is Vivint connected to the NSA? More proof working hard gets you laid off! Yes Virginia, more healthcare cuts!

Incomplete list of publicly announced layoffs & shutdowns:

Radio Shack CEO Joseph Magnacca stated to shareholders “I don’t know if we can overcome this impasse…”, implying that the economy is so bad they might need to shutdown even more stores.  He also ignored questions about bankruptcy.

California: What housing market recovery and who said internet businesses are killing brick-n-mortar operations?  In San Francisco, internet based real estate search site Trulia laid off 85 employees.  Apparently four executives got demoted as well.  Company officials said they are trying to eliminate redundant jobs.  What automotive industry recovery?   Car dealer California Superstores announced they’re shutting down three locations across the Golden State, 203 jobs lost by August!  In San Diego, Midway Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram announced they’re shutting down in August, 96 jobs lost.   In Thousand Oaks, legal drugs pusher Amgen announced more job losses, this time 59 in August.   In Sunnyvale, semiconductor maker Supertex announced plans to layoff 19 people in August.  In Davis, the Davis Healthcare Center shutdown after a fire caused massive damage, 142 jobs lost!  In Long Beach, Bags Inc laying off 60 employees in August.  In Concord, Too Big to Jail Bank of America continues to kill jobs, this time seven people will become unemployed in August.  In Bonsall, San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course shutting down by August, 47 jobs lost.  In Santa Anna, newspaper publisher Freedom Communications announced the bad economy is forcing them to consolidate several newspapers, which will mean 100 people being laid off!  The city of La Puente laid off the city clerk and the entire code enforcement division!  Code enforcement will be contracted with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Florida: In Fort Myers, after only six years the trendy Elephant Bar Restaurant shutdown.  Company officials blamed lack of customers on the bad economy.

Hawaii: The Hilo Medical Center warned of Obama Care layoffs.  The state run hospital says increased cost of operations plus decreased funding due to Obama Care is pushing them into the red by $48-million USD!  In Maui, after 47 years Buzz’s Wharf restaurant shutdown.  The owner blamed the bad economy.

Idaho:  In Twin Falls, after only two years of production at the World’s largest yogurt factory Chobani laid off an undisclosed number of employees.  Officials say the layoffs are because production quotas were reached (in other words the former employees did their jobs well)!  But wait, more layoffs could be in the planning!  Chobani officials told local news media that the factory was still using hundreds more employees than they really need.  The new factory was designed for 400 employees, but state employment officials estimate there are between 500 and 1-thousand people working the successful operation.

Illinois:  In Springfield, AT&T shutting down a call center, 200 jobs lost!

Kansas: In Pittsburg, book, music and video store Hastings announced they’re shutting down in July, 35 jobs lost.

Kentucky: In Lexington, taxsucker Lockheed Martin revealed they’ve laid off 110 people back in May!   But wait, doesn’t that violate the tax deal they made with the state?  In 2013 Lockheed Martin got $10.8-million in tax incentives in exchange for employing 391 people at least until 2015!   In Princeton, Pennyroyal Center laid off 15 employees and could be closing its mental health clinic.

Massachusetts: In Wellesley, after ten years women’s boutique Essentia shutdown.

Michigan: In Saginaw, after 34 years Mr. Van’s Shoe Repair shutdown.  The Flint Community Schools announced 250 job cuts for the upcoming school year!

Missouri: In Saint Louis, food processor ConAgra killing 130 jobs!  It’s blamed on its takeover of Ralcorp.

Nebraska: In Omaha, food processor ConAgra killing 100 jobs! It’s blamed on its takeover of Ralcorp.  Company officials claim that in the long run they’ll create more jobs.

New Jersey: GE Healthcare Life Sciences warned of hundreds of layoffs by 2015: “GE Healthcare can confirm that in the Spring of 2015, the GE Healthcare Life Sciences business will begin to consolidate some of its northeastern operations into a greater Boston-area site. As a result of this consolidation, GE Healthcare Life Sciences will begin to transition away from Princeton and Piscataway, New Jersey, and some roles may be affected, although it is too early in the process to say how many.”-Benjamin Fox, GE spokesman

New York: Pet Supplies Plus announced their statewide operations will shut down by the end of the month, 86 jobs lost.  The pet supply franchise has been sold off.   In Flushing, Professional Billing Associates announced they will shut down in September, 38 jobs lost.

North Dakota: What oil boom?  In Fargo, after 34 years Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream shutdown.  The owner blamed health problems and the bad economy saying his business was no longer “cutting it”.

Ohio: In Youngstown, Mitt Romney connected Toys R Us shutting down their 23 years old distribution center.  At least 70 jobs lost.  In Toledo, Community Development Institute-Head Start killing 280 jobs in July! The 2014-15 Head Start contract went to another contractor.

Pennsylvania:  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette laid off 136 people!  After 59 years car/home custom audio/video company HiFi House shutdown without notice.

Tennessee: In Nashville, Brazil based aircraft maker/servicer Embraer laid off 83 employees.  They blamed declining business on the bad economy.

Texas: In Houston, one of three upscale Brio Tuscan Grille restaurants shutdown without notice.  The Saint Genevieve bar was shutdown without notice.  They’re reports that many eateries are being shutdown for property re-development.

Virginia: In Stauton, after 77 years Jimmy Anderson’s Food Mart shutdown.  In South Boston, Comcast cable shutting down their service center by the end of the month.

Washington: In Seattle, Eagle Marine Services announced they will layoff 94 employees in July.  No reason was given.  Student travel company Ambassadors Group laying off at least 40 employees.  It’s blamed on crashing revenues from its People to People Student Ambassadors Program.  The company is also selling off its HQ building in Spokane.  Utah based and privately held Mormon home security company, Vivint, shutting down their Liberty Lake call center by the end of the month.  It’s estimated that hundreds of people will lose their jobs, but local news reports said Vivint officials refused to say why they’re shutting down, or exactly how many people will become unemployed.  It should be noted that Vivint is facing sanctions by 11 states, as well as a class action lawsuit, for fraudulent and deceptive practices!  Apparently the company’s current president used to work for Mitt Romney.  It should also be noted that Utah is the base camp for the federal government’s domestic data spying operations!  Is there a connection between the ‘home security’  company and the NSA?

Wisconsin: In Little Chute, wireless company Airadigm Communications laid off 55 employees.  In La Crosse, the Mayo Clinic  announced it will kill 51 medical transcription jobs in September.  In Milwaukee, train maker Talgo shutdown and moved its last two passenger trains out of state.  Company officials blame state officials.  The Milwaukee YMCA now chapter 11 bankrupt busted.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) doesn’t count the hundreds of layoffs involving less than 50 people each, in its mass layoff reports. It also doesn’t count all the little ‘mom & pop’ businesses that shut down.

“Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security…..That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional.”-Barack Obama, 10 September 2013

Corporate Evil: More evidence the demise of Sears & Kmart is all part of Romney/Bain style vulture capitalist scheme to intentionaly run the business into the ground!

“You make Sears sound like a liquidation play, not a retail recovery.”-from Fortune magazine

“The retail recovery is a potential upside. Regardless, you’ll see gigantic cash flows from the closing of locations, the pulling-out of the cash from inventory, work in process, and distribution centers. They’re not idiots when it comes to real estate. They understand that today’s standalone store can be tomorrow’s multi-use hotel/residential-retail center. I think Eddie Lampert [chairman of Sears Holdings] will end up being one of a few unbelievable case studies on what it means to be a long-term investor.”-answer from Bruce Berkowitz, a major stockholder in Sears Holdings

Fortune published a recent interview with Bruce Berkowitz, in which he basically said Sears and Kmart could make more profits for investors by being closed down and selling off their inventories and real estate.  I warned of this last year.

An InvestorPlace contributor, Will Ashworth, explained how the Romneyesque scheme is actually working.

For real estate, Ashworth says Berkowitz values the land property owned or leased by Sears Holdings to be about $17 billion USD.  Then there’s inventory.  Berkowitz estimates that a net profit of $2.5 billion could be made by selling off inventory. Ashworth himself is more conservative, thinking it be about a $1 billion net gain for investors.

Of course you can only sell off land and inventory by closing down the stores: “Many see Lampert using Sears as the next Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B), taking the proceeds of assets sales and reinvesting them elsewhere until Sears, the retailer, ceases to exist. It might take awhile, but Berkowitz is willing to patiently wait because deep down he knows Sears is worth far more dead than alive.-Will Ashworth, InvestorPlace

 

Class Warfare! Average Californian justified in voting for higher taxes for wealthy. Golden State has highest number of poor AND highest number of rich! Just ask the Chinese

“They will keep struggling until the economy levels off. This is just a reflection of the bad economic situation we’re living in with high unemployment and lower income.”-Maria Pia Chaparro, UCLA researcher

20 November 2012, according to reports from Rhodium Group, and Asia Society, California is now the top U.S. state for investments from Chinese investors, accounting for at least 25% of all Chinese investments (more than New York, Texas, Illinois and North Carolina combined).

In the past 12 years China has invested $1.2 billion USD into California.  According to Rhodium Group, that’s expected to rise as high as $60 billion in the next eight years! Yet, for all the money China is throwing at the Golden State, the U.S. Census Bureau (The Research SUPPLEMENTAL POVERTY MEASURE: 2011) says California now has the highest rate of poverty in the United States; 23.5%, or one in four Californians in poverty!  (Florida is second worst with 19.5%)

“We’re seeing a very slow recovery, with increases in poverty among workers due to more new jobs which are low wage…..California is struggling more because it’s relatively harder there to qualify for food stamps and other benefits.”-Timothy Smeeding, University of Wisconsin-Madison economist

The Census Bureau is using new poverty measures which finally take into account the cost of living (even including the taxes you pay), and California’s outrageous cost of living/taxation is the prime reason for the huge jump in official federal government poverty ratings.  (I used to live there, and between the cost of living/taxation and overwhelming number of ludicrous laws I am amazed the people haven’t held a full blown revolution. No problem going on the rampage after the Rodney King verdict, but when it comes to the economy and their livelihoods I guess they like being raped by the Man)

But other reports say that while more and more working class Californians are hitting the skids, the rich elites are not only still making money, they’re making more and more money!  Evidence of that is how much money rich Californians gave to political campaigns: “It’s very hard to pass an initiative, but it’s not that hard to defeat an initiative if you have money on your side.”-Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation

According to MapLight rich Californians gave an estimated $350 million to support, or fight, the 11 propositions Californians just voted on.  And that’s got to be lowballed, because, according to the Associated Press, just two rich Californians spent nearly $100 million trying to influence the voters on such things as higher taxes on out of state companies and making it easier for insurance companies to change their rates.

But while rich Californians are willing to spend money on elections, they don’t seem willing to spend money on bettering the economy. Back to the Chinese investors.

According to Chinese media reports, continued Chinese investing hinges on the U.S. Congress’s recent extension of the EB-5 visa program: “Under EB-5, an applicant is given permanent U.S. residency if his investment of at least $1 million leads to 10 full-time jobs within two years. The threshold is just $500,000 if the jobs created are in a rural or high unemployment area of the U.S.”-China Daily

This means that Chinese investing also involves people from China being able to move to the United States, as one California mayor admitted: “This can guarantee a steady rate of return for stimulating purchases of bonds (for publicly funded development projects), and people are able to immigrate because of EB-5, so you’ll see more of this in California.”-Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland

The Oakland mayor said that Chinese middle and upper income earners want to take advantage of the EB-5 program, as did Oakland businessman, Tom Henderson, who said his Chinese clients want to move to California through the EB-5 program which will help create new jobs:  “We are bringing in $100 million to Oakland alone. Over the next 18 months, we’ll create 2,000 jobs in Oakland through the EB-5 program.”

The fact that California’s officials are putting so much of their hopes on China to save them economically, and that the U.S. rich have money but are spending it on things that do not stimulate the economy (California is considered the billionaire capitol of the world!), is proof that the elitist rich in the United States are unAmerican and a threat to U.S. National Security.

Economic Recovery or Civil War? Gun sales in the U.S. expected to skyrocket

07 November 2012, the day after the main stream U.S. media prematurely declared Barack Obama the new President (the Shadow Voters, aka Electoral College, vote to elect the President on 17 December 2012), investors are driving up stock prices for gun makers and those chain stores that sell guns.

Investment analysts say it because investors expect a run on guns, because many supporters of the Second Amendment think a re-elected Obama will result in more gun control laws.

That might be, but there could be another reason: Civil War.

Back in August a Texas judge warned that if Obama was re-elected there would be civil war:   “…he’s going to try to give the sovereignty of the United States away to the United Nations. What do you think the public is going to do when that happens? We are talking civil unrest, civil disobedience, possibly, possibly civil war, OK? Now what happens? What happens? Now I’m not talking just talking riots here and there. I’m talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms, get rid of the dictator. OK, what do you think he is going to do when that happens? He is going to call in the UN troops, personnel carriers, tanks and weapons.”-Tom Head, Lubbock County judge and Emergency Management Coordinator

Seemingly in response, on 06 November several so called Liberals stated on Twitter things like “Vote for Mitt Romney… It’ll better our chances to start a civil war”, “If Romney win second civil war”, “Lady in the polling line say if romney win its gone b a civil war”, “Goin buy a gun tommorow Cus if Romney win I ain’t goin out without a fight”, “If Mitt Romney win get ya gun game up” etc.

Note the pro-gun statements by so called liberals.  Here in Idaho, Democrats are just as supportive of the Second Amendment as their Republican neighbors, and the same can be said of most Idahoans who don’t claim a political party preference.   Maybe that’s why the main stream anti-gun rights north-eastern based & focused U.S. media assume all Idahoans are Republicans?

 

 

FEMA suggests Presidential elections be canceled! Nuclear plants threatened. Who’s in charge when the President declares a disaster area?

On 29 October 2012, Federal Emergency Management Agency boss, Craig Fugate, suggested that Presidential elections be postponed, or even canceled, because of the mess caused by hurricane Sandy: “It [elections] needs to be safe and secure. This will be led by states and their election commission supervisors.”

This is because of the flooding and electrical shortages, which are also affecting several nuclear power plants: Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s 630MW Nine Mile Point 1 nuclear reactor, in upstate New York, shut down.  Investigation ongoing as to why.  Power reductions at Exelon’s Limerick nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, and at Dominion’s Millstone plant in Connecticut. New Jersey’s Exelon’s Oyster Creek remains on alert because of flooding: “Oyster Creek is still in an alert but may be getting out of it as long as water levels continue to drop.”-Neil Sheehan, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

The NRC reporting that half a dozen nuclear plants were shut down, or have reduced power output because of the hurricane.

President Obama declared New Jersey, and New York, major disaster areas (most of the north east has been declared emergency areas).

FEMA is now in charge of the declared disaster/emergency areas. Since FEMA director, Craig Fugate, wants Presidential elections delayed or suspended, then he could probably get his wish.

Under U.S. State of Emergency laws, Congress is not needed to make such decisions.  The National Emergency Act allows such declarations to remain in effect for two years, and can be extended by Presidential decree.

In fact, the United States has been in various states of emergency since Bill Clinton’s first term as President.  Bush Jr and Obama have only expanded on those emergencies (in the name of fighting terrorism).

Now we have Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc across the most populous part of the United States (home to a crap load of nuclear power plants), and reports that even Mitt Romney will kowtow to FEMA and Obama’s emergency declarations (some reports say Romney will reverse his anti-FEMA stance).  Sounds like the perfect political storm.

What Economic Recovery? Updated list as more Kmart and Sears closings announced! $45,000 in Jewelry stolen! Parts & repair centers to be closed! Canadians love Sears! Business is good for Kmart, in Australia!

30 October 2012, since my last posting (on 21 October 2012) about the ongoing Sears Holdings shut downs, there have been more store closings announced.

Also, Sears Holdings just announced they will be closing two parts and repair centers, both located in The Woodlands, Texas.  At least 117 Texans will lose their jobs by 23 January 2013.

In Washington, on 23 October 2012 Bellingham Sears employees were notified that they will lose their jobs in January, however, the store management has known for months about the closing: “We’ve known since March of this year.”-Noelle Jorgensen, store manager

The latest announcements will mean 654 jobs will be added to the thousands already lost due to the Sears/Kmart closings.

In Canada, the newspaper, Calgary Herald, announced the winner of their 2012/13 Readers’ Choice Awards: Department Store, Appliance Store, Carpet Cleaners and Floor Coverings contest.  According to the newspaper Canadians picked Sears!

This despite the fact that Sears stores are being closed in Canada as well.  On 07 October one of the largest Sears stores in British Columbia was closed. 300 people lost their jobs (at it’s height of operation it once employed 800 people)!

Also in Canada, Sears Holdings announced it will reduce its 95.5% stake in Sears Canada, by selling its stocks to common stockholders.  Sears Holdings wants to reduce its stake in Sears Canada to 51%.

Kmart has reported a 3.1% increase in sales, in Australia and New Zealand: “This is the 11th period in succession of solid comparable growth in transactions and units for Kmart as customers respond positively to its market leading pricing strategy and improved merchandise offer.”-Richard Goyder, Wesfarmers

Don’t you Yankees get your hopes up, Aussie and Kiwi Kmarts are not owned by Sears Holdings.  They’re owned by an Australian company called Wesfarmers.

Here’s an updated list of Sears/Kmart closings:

Alabama: Gadsden Kmart, Mobile Sears Grand/Essentials, Auburn Kmart.

California:   El Monte Sears Grand/Essentials, two San Diego Sears Grand/Essentials, Pleasant Hill Kmart.

Colorado:  Broomfield Kmart, Glenwood Springs Kmart, Lone Tree Sears Great Indoors, Longmont Sears, Pueblos’ South Side Kmart.

Georgia: Macon Sears, Buford Kmart, Douglasville Kmart, Atlanta Kmart, Columbus Kmart, Jonesboro Kmart, Cartersville Kmart.

Florida: Fernandina Beach Kmart, Callaway Kmart, Orange City Kmart,  Deland Sears Grand/Essentials, Stuart Sears Grand/Essentials, West Palm Beach Sears Grand/Essentials, Port St. Lucie Sears Grand/Essentials, Crystal River Sears, New Smyrna Beach Kmart, St. Augustine Kmart, Pompano Beach Kmart,  Pensacola Kmart on Airport Boulevard closed in 2011,  Jacksonville Kmart on 5751 Beach Boulevard and recently revealed second Kmart in Jacksonville on 4645 Blanding Boulevard (83 jobs lost), and the Ocoee Sears (102 jobs lost), Pensacola Kmart to be closed by 03 February 2013 (69 jobs lost).

Idaho: Lewiston Sears.

sears chubbuck
Floundering Sears at the GGP owned
Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck, Idaho.
Kmart Pocatello
Floundering Big Kmart in Pocatello, Idaho.
Are they next to go in Idaho?

Indiana:  Anderson Sears Full Line, Saint John Kmart, Indianapolis Kmart.

Illinois:  Melrose Park Sears parts and repair center, Fairview Heights Kmart, Freeport Kmart, Pontiac Kmart.

Iowa:  Cedar Rapids Kmart, Davenport Kmart, Burlington Kmart.

Kansas: Lawrence Sears Full Line.

Kentucky: Middlesboro Sears Hard lines, Winchester Kmart, Hazard Kmart.

Maine: Lewiston Sears.

Maryland: Ellicott Sears Grand/Essentials.

Michigan: Brighton Sears Grand/Essentials,  Harper Woods Sears Full line, Monroe Sears Full line, Adrian Sears Full line, Washington Township Kmart, Chesterfield Kmart, Woodhaven Kmart.

Minnesota: Willmar Kmart, Duluth Kmart, New Hope Kmart, White Bear Lake Kmart.

Mississippi: Jackson Sears Full line, McComb Sears Full line, Columbus Sears Full line.

Missouri: Lee’s Summit Sears Grand/Essentials, Saint Louis Sears Full line.

Montana: Missoula Kmart.

New Hampshire: Nashau Sears Grand/Essentials, Keene Sears Grand/Essentials.

North Carolina: High Point Sears Full line, Moorehead Sears Full line, Rocky Mount Sears Full line, Statesville Sears Full line.

New Jersey:  Lawnside Kmart.

Ohio: Chagrin Falls Kmart, Springfield Kmart, two Toledo Kmarts, Medina Kmart, Columbus Kmart and recently revealed Zanesville Sears (67 jobs lost). Also, Van Wert Sears franchise bought out by Kirk Berryman, owner of Computer & Networking Technologies (CNT), who plans on moving the store to a new location.

Oregon: Roseburg Sears Full line.

Pennsylvania: Upper Darby Sears Full line, Pottstown Sears Full line, Pittsburgh Kmart, Wilkins Sears.

South Carolina: Sumter Sears and recently revealed Orangeburg Sears (approximately 50 jobs lost).

Tennessee: Antioch Sears Full line, Cleveland Sears Full line, Oak Ridge Sears Full line, Hendersonville Kmart, Morristown Sears Full line.

Texas: Two recently revealed Sears parts and repair centers closing in The Woodlands north of Houston (117 jobs lost).  Update; I forgot to mention the ‘rebuild’ center in Garland northeast of Dallas (58 jobs lost).

Virginia: Norfolk Sears Full line,  Midlothian Kmart, Richmond Kmart and recently revealed Lynchburg Sears (84 jobs lost).

Washington: Walla Walla Sears Full line, Lacey Kmart, Kelso Sears, and recently revealed Lakewood Kmart (59 jobs lost) and Bellingham Sears (92 jobs lost).

Wisconsin: West Baraboo Sears Grand/Essentials, Rice Lake Kmart.

On top of that, Sears Holdings sold stores to General Growth Properties, of which it has been reported that those stores will be closed.

It was recently announced that the Provo, Utah, store will continue operating as a Sears.  Sears Holdings announced that GGP made a lease deal they couldn’t refuse, so they will continue running the GGP owned store.

Here’s the list of 11 Sears stores now owned by GGP:

Iowa: Coral Ridge Mall, and Mall of the Bluffs

Texas: The Woodlands Mall

Florida: West Oaks Mall

Utah: Fashion Place, and Provo Towne Centre (note the evil British empire way of spelling town & center)

Oklahoma: Quail Springs Mall

Hawaii: Ala Moana Center

Washington: Bellis Fair Mall

Minnesota: Apache Mall

Illinois: Market Place Shopping Center

In a side note, the Sears in Yuma, Arizona, was robbed of $45,000 USD of jewelry on 26 October 2012.  According to Yuma Police, the early morning burglars also caused approximately $70,000 in damage breaking into the Sears.

Also on 26 October, a Detroit, Michigan, Kmart store reported thousands of dollars worth of jewelry as stolen.  Police say it was a theft, not a burglary (in other words no body broke into the store).

In Greeley, Colorado, a man stole a car and smashed it into a Sears, then stole automotive tools. It was one part of the man’s larger smash and grab burglary spree.

Sears holdings is also suing a former executive for $700,000.  They claim she breached her contract.

Media Incompetence & What Economic Recovery? Sears & Kmart not ‘closing’ stores, just not gonna renew their leases. Misleads lazy media, dozens more stores being shut down before Xmas, due to expired leases!

02 October 2012, the local media in the state of Maine reported that “Unlike last winter’s mass closings……Lewiston’s Sears is the only one closing now.”-Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine

That’s a big FAIL Sun Journal!!!  There’s at least a handful of Sears and Kmart store being shut down for the same reason as the Lewiston, Maine, store: Sears Holdings is not renewing leases!

The people of Morristown, Tennessee, were shocked to learn their local Sears is not renewing their lease, and as many as 72 employees will be laid off!  Sears Holdings hopes to have the store shut down by January 2013.

The local mayor said Sears gave them no warning: “It was a surprise to us. Also, it’s disappointing. Although we have a lot of good news going on in our city with new jobs, it’s disappointing to lose 72.”-Danny Thomas, Mayor of Morristown

A resident of Morristown is pissed off: “…people havin’ trouble findin’ jobs, I mean it’s gettin’ close to Christmas and stuff, what’s these people gonna do?”-Nicole Harbin

Another store closing (which could have been part of the June announcements) is the Sears at the Liberty Fair Mall, in Martinsville, Virginia.  Even if it was announced back in June, folks around Martinsville say it’s news to them.

Officially the Liberty Fair Mall Sears is being closed due to “…failing to come to terms on a new lease…”-Martinsville Bulletin, 16 September 2012

That wasn’t the reason given in the June announcement, anyway, another 75 employees out of work by Xmas!

Here’s a store closing that definitely wasn’t on the June list: Village Mall Sears in Auburb, Alabama.  “We’re expected to exit the building by the end of December. The lease is not being renewed at that store.”-Kimberly Freely, Sears Holdings

This is the second Sears Holdings store closing in Auburn.  The local Kmart was shut down back in April.  Sears had been in operation in Auburn since 1951!

At the end of 2011, Sears Holdings said they would close up to 120 U.S. stores in 2012 alone.  They even established a store closing list, which recently disappeared from their website (I checked again this morning, 02 October 2012)!

So far, since the end of 2011, Sears Holdings publicly announced at least 102 closings (on their now missing store closing list) and also announced the possible sale of 11 stores to major mall owner General Growth Properties (GGP).

What the mainstream media doesn’t tell you is that Sears Holdings has been aggressively closing down stores since 2010.  At least 174 stores closed with the result of 13,920 people losing their jobs!

Sears Holdings continues quietly closing Kmarts as well.  Recently the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry was notified that a Kmart store will be closed at the Pittsburgh Parkway Center Mall.  54 employees out of work by 06 January 2013!

In Florida, local media surprised that yet another Kmart is closing, despite the fact that it’s probably part of the June announcement.

A Jacksonville Business Journal article talks about the two Florida Kmarts mentioned in the December 2011 announcements, and seems ignorant of the 2012 announcements: “In December 2011, Sears Holdings released a list of 79 stores it was closing. But the company planned to close between 100 and 120 in total. On that list, two local stores were closed…”-Jacksonville Business Journal, 17 September 2012

I guess they weren’t paying attention to my postings in Blind Bat News!!!

Another Florida media source, Jacksonville Daily Record, does not mention the June closing list, but did say the Jacksonville (on Beach Boulevard) Sears is not mentioned on the Sears Holdings website (as I stated above, the closing lists have disappeared).

Don’t expect things to get any better, recently Sears was ranked 5th out of 12 companies with the Least Valuable Employees.  And don’t forget the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital/Carlyle group connection!

Just to help out those mainstream local media sources, and to give you an idea of the impact this is having across the United States, here’s a list of known store closings/closed stores for 2012.

Alabama: Gadsden Kmart, Mobile Sears Grand/Essentials, Auburn Kmart.

California:   El Monte Sears Grand/Essentials, two San Diego Sears Grand/Essentials.

Colorado:  Broomfield Kmart, Glenwood Springs Kmart, Lone Tree Sears Great Indoors, Longmont Sears.

Georgia: Macon Sears, Buford Kmart, Douglasville Kmart, Atlanta Kmart, Columbus Kmart, Jonesboro Kmart.

Florida: Fernandina Beach Kmart, Callaway Kmart, Orange City Kmart,  Deland Sears Grand/Essentials, Stuart Sears Grand/Essentials, West Palm Beach Sears Grand/Essentials, Port St. Lucie Sears Grand/Essentials, Crystal River Sears, New Smyrna Beach Kmart, St. Augustine Kmart, Pompano Beach Kmart, and recently revealed Jacksonville Kmart.

Idaho: Lewiston Sears.

sears chubbuck

Floundering Sears at the GGP owned Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck, Idaho.

Kmart Pocatello

Floundering Big Kmart in Pocatello, Idaho. Are they next to go in Idaho?

Indiana:  Anderson Sears Full Line, Saint John Kmart, Indianapolis Kmart.

Iowa:  Cedar Rapids Kmart, Davenport Kmart.

Kansas: Lawrence Sears Full Line.

Kentucky: Middlesboro Sears Hard lines, Winchester Kmart, Hazard Kmart.

Maine: Lewiston Sears.

Maryland: Ellicott Sears Grand/Essentials.

Michigan: Brighton Sears Grand/Essentials,  Harper Woods Sears Full line, Monroe Sears Full line, Adrian Sears Full line, Washington Township Kmart, Chesterfield Kmart.

Minnesota: Willmar Kmart, Duluth Kmart, New Hope Kmart, White Bear Lake Kmart.

Mississippi: Jackson Sears Full line, McComb Sears Full line, Columbus Sears Full line.

Missouri: Lee’s Summit Sears Grand/Essentials, Saint Louis Sears Full line.

New Hampshire: Nashau Sears Grand/Essentials, Keene Sears Grand/Essentials.

North Carolina: High Point Sears Full line, Moorehead Sears Full line, Rocky Mount Sears Full line, Statesville Sears Full line.

Ohio: Chagrin Falls Kmart, Springfield Kmart, two Toledo Kmarts, Medina Kmart, Columbus Kmart.

Oregon: Roseburg Sears Full line.

Pennsylvania: Upper Darby Sears Full line, Pottstown Sears Full line, and recently revealed Pittsburgh Kmart.

South Carolina: Sumter Sears Full line.

Tennessee: Antioch Sears Full line, Cleveland Sears Full line, Oak Ridge Sears Full line, Hendersonville Kmart, and recently revealed Morristown Sears Full line.

Virginia: Norfolk Sears Full line,  Midlothian Kmart, Richmond Kmart.

Washington: Walla Walla Sears Full line, Lacey Kmart.

Wisconsin: West Baraboo Sears Grand/Essentials, Rice Lake Kmart.

Don’t forget, this is the 2012 known list of closings, there were closings in 2011 and 2010 as well, and they’ll be more for 2013.

What Economic Recovery? Mitt Romney’s Staples to close 75 stores! Downsize 30 more!

26 September 2012, Staples, considered an example of success for vulture capitalist Bain Capital (Mitt Romney sat on Staples’ board of directors for more than a decade), is in big trouble.

On 25 September, officials with Staples announced they will close down 75 stores worldwide (at least 30 in the United States with 15 of those being accelerated closings, 45 stores and delivery businesses in Europe).  Staples will also downsize/relocate another 30 stores in the U.S.

Will the Pocatello, Idaho, Staples make the new closings hit list?

Common sense tells you that means more job losses, even though company officials are claiming that won’t happen.

Sales at Staples are crashing, especially for computers.  Company officials say they are shifting to more internet based business.

For the quarter ended July 2012 Staples reported an overall 6% decrease in sales, compared to the same time in 2011: “Our second quarter results fell short of our expectations due to softer than expected sales trends in North America and ongoing weakness in Europe and Australia.”-Ron Sargent, CEO

In North America sales decreased 3%, but around the world Staples saw a 10% decrease!

Staples has also revised its future sales outlook downward, and is expecting hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in costs just to close down all those stores!

Mitt Romney, and others with Bain Capital, once called Staples their prime example of success.  Here’s just a sampling of other companies that Bain Capital is involved with: AMC Entertainment, Aspen Education Group, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel Communications, Domino’s Pizza, DoubleClick, Dunkin’ Donuts, D&M Holdings, Guitar Center, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Sealy, The Sports Authority, Toys “R” Us, Warner Music Group and The Weather Channel.

Once you start investigating all the companies that Bain Capital is involved with, or affiliated with, it becomes clear that it is unAmerican Corporate America’s vulture (venture) capitalist investment companies that are killing our economy.

And Mitt Romney says as President of the United States he’ll do for the country what he did for Corporate America!

Religious & Corporate Hypocrisy: Mormons, like Mitt Romney, say they hate government bailouts, but Mormon owned bank has yet to payback taxpayers for $1.4 billion TARP bailout!!!

“You cannot serve both God and Money.”- Jesus of Nazareth

“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”-Mitt Romney opinion piece blasting the auto industry bailout by the federal government, 18 November 2008

You might have heard how, only this year, Mitt Romney took credit for the government bailout of the auto industry, seemingly forgetting about his New York Times editorial from 2008, blasting the bailout.  I wonder what he thinks about a Mormon owned bank, Zions Bank, firstly taking a $1.4 billion USD government loan, and, secondly being the only bank that got more than one billion taxpayer dollars that has failed to pay back the taxpayers?

Zions Bank branch in Pocatello, Idaho.

“…..people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”-1 Timothy 6:5, New International Version of the Bible

Mormon (aka Latter Day Saints [LDS], but their holy book is called Book of Mormon, not Book of Latter Day Saints) Brigham Young started Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company in 1873.  It was owned directly by the LDS church until 1960, when a group of Mormon investors (Keystone Insurance and Investment) bought controlling interest in the bank.  The bank became a full fledged corporation and the name was changed to Zions Bancorporation.

“For the love of money is a root of all evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith….”-1 Timothy 6:10-12, Bible

Since then the Mormon run bank has been taking over other banks (gee kinda similar to what Mitt Romney did with Bain Capital).  It’s still run by family members of the original Mormon investors that took over in 1960.

Principal Subsidiaries: California Bank & Trust; The Commerce Bank of Washington; National Bank of Arizona; Nevada State Bank; Vectra Bank Colorado; Zions First National Bank.

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.”-Ecclesiastes 5:10, New International Version of the Bible

In 2008 (in fact it was the same month that Mitt Romney wrote his New York Times editorial) Zions Bankcorp was one of the first in line to apply for, and get, a $1.4 billion TARP (aka Too Big to Fail bank bailout) loan from the federal government, in direct contradiction to what many Mormons think about ‘hand outs’ from the government.  The latest reports say Zions Bankcorp has paid back only half of the taxpayers’ money, and that it is one of only three banks which still owe taxpayers more than half a billion dollars!

But wait, there’s more!

In classic Mitt Romney/Bain Capital tactics (or is it now clear that it’s really Mormon tactics), the banks have been paying back their government loans with more government loans! (Mitt Romney at Bain Capital did not use his own money, but used money from investors and loans to buy up, cut up and sell off U.S. companies that were seen as competitors to his pet corporations, like Staples vs American Pen & Paper, Toys r Us vs KB Toys, and now Kmart vs Sears)

An October 2011 Wall Street Journal report showed that banks were using money meant for small business loans to pay back TARP.  This is one reason why banks cut back on issuing those small business loans to small businesses!

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that banks were also using money from different versions of TARP, to pay back their original Capital Purchase Program (CPP) version of TARP.

Under the CCP the U.S. Department of Treasury bought huge numbers of stocks in the Too Big to Fail banks.  Banks pay back the Treasury when they buy back their stocks, at a much higher price of course.  So far the Treasury (and technically the taxpayers) has been making huge profits off the bank buy backs.  Except for Zions.  The Treasury Department is getting antsy about those banks that have not bought their stocks back.

The GAO also suggested that the banks that have yet to pay off their loans, like Zions, are on the verge of going down the toilet.  The GAO suggested that these banks were on a ‘secret troubled banks list’ used by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the FDIC has denied they keep such a list).

Mitt Romney, and the Mormon owners of Zions Bank are perfect examples of “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Do we really want that kind of person as President of the United States?  Oh wait, it’s too late, we’ve had dozens (and they all claimed to be christians)!

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”- Jesus of Nazareth

 

 

Obamacare, Romneycare: More proof the Republicans and Democrats are just two sides of the same coin!

From Robert I. Field, PhD, JD, MPH www.philly.com:

Mitt Romney says his Massachusetts health reform plan is much better than Obama’s. He claims it’s different in important ways.

If there are big differences, it’s difficult to find them.

In an interview last week with a Denver TV station, Romney cited the key features that differentiate his reform approach from Obama’s.

He declared, “My healthcare plan I put in place in my state has everyone insured, but we didn’t go out and raise taxes on people and have a unelected board tell people what kind of healthcare they can have.”

Let’s do some quick fact checking.

Does Romneycare have everyone insured? Close, but not fully there. The plan cut the state’s rate of uninsurance by almost half. As of 2010, the rate was just over 6% for the nonelderly population, the lowest of any state. That’s a huge accomplishment, but there is still a ways to go before everyone has coverage.

Did Romneycare raise taxes? No, but the state didn’t need to. It covered the cost of reform with larger payments that it negotiated from the federal government for its Medicaid program. [In other words, Massachusetts' Romneycare is actually a huge burden on all taxpayers throughout the United States!]

Does Romneycare have an unelected board that tells people what kinds of healthcare they can have? It does. The Massachusetts Connector Authority serves as the state’s insurance exchange. It sets standards for the types of plans that may be sold, thereby determining the kind of access residents will have to healthcare services.

Is Obamacare any different? Not really.

 It will extend coverage to 30 million more people, which will reduce the country’s rate of uninsurance by about half to roughly 8 percent. Not too different from Romneycare.

 It does raise taxes in a number of ways, including new levies on tanning salons, medical devices, and high-end insurance policies. But, unlike Massachusetts, it doesn’t have a higher level of government to turn to for help, so it needs a new source of revenue to cover the cost.

 It does let unelected officials determine what kind of insurance people can receive by setting standards for coverage under the state exchanges that will sell it. Just like Romneycare.

 Romney’s comment about an unelected board was probably also a reference to a new board that Obamacare created called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). It recommends cost-cutting measures under Medicare. Romney, along with several fellow Republicans, has complained about the scope of its power. But Romneycare is a state-based program while Medicare is purely federal. It couldn’t have included an IPAB or any other measure concerning Medicare, even if Romney had wanted it to.

 After all is said and done, these aspects of the plans are relatively minor, anyway. In their underlying structure, Obamacare and Romneycare are almost identical.

 Both expand coverage in the same three ways. They reform the market for individual insurance by creating exchanges to sell it, subsidizing those with low incomes, and mandating that everyone maintain coverage in some form. They expand Medicaid to cover more people. And they penalize employers who don’t offer coverage to their workers.

 Romney and his fellow Republicans should be proud that Obama copied their health reform approach. Instead of drawing false distinctions between the two plans, they should boast of leading on health reform and leaving Obama and Democrats to follow.

 Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let’s not forget that Romneycare also penalizes those who can’t afford insurance, just like Obamacare does. Romneycare has also destroyed mom & pop businesses.

Watch the Need to Know report, The Massachusetts mandate, here.

Watch the PBS Newshour report, Four Years After Health Reform, an Update on Care in Massachusetts, here.

There are other similar reports, but for some reason the videos don’t work, or you get a 404 error message.