Coke caves in face of Democratic boycott threat

Let’s put Coke’s feet to the fire, let’s now boycott them, let Coke agonize over which side has the most and biggest voices.  Time for Coke to pick a side and stand their ground.

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Democratic officials Wednesday launched a two-pronged attack on states with new laws requiring identification before voting, the highlight being a call to boycott Coke, Walmart and others that back a leading organization pushing for voter ID laws.

Coke was quick to react to the boycott threat, pulling support from the targeted group just five hours after it was called.

In caving into the economic threat by liberals against a pro-voter ID law group, Coke issue this statement Wednesday afternoon: “The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business.  We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.”

“We are organizing. We are not agonizing,” said Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., who is leading a parallel Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s effort to get government identification into the hands of the estimated 2-3 million Democrats who don’t have one. “We have staffed up,” he said.

Officials from another party-backed group, Color of Change, kicked off a boycott of Coke and other financial backers of the American Legislative Exchange Council which supports new voter ID laws. Other supporters include Walmart and Koch Industries. The boycott call started with a tweet (@CocaCola is helping undermine voting rights. Tell them to stop) and a webpage. The group also has tied the Council to the Trayvon Martin shooting case.

Walmart responded late Wednesday afternoon with the following statement: “Our membership in any organization does not affirm our agreement with each policy created by the broader group. Walmart has a long history of supporting voter rights, and we continue to be a strong proponent of this issue. In fact, Walmart was an active supporter in 2006 of the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (see 2006 article below). We believe every American should exercise their right to vote, and we have developed nonpartisan websites that provided thousands of our associates and customers with the tools they need to register to vote. One of Walmart’s basic beliefs is respect for the individual, and Walmart will continue to stand with all Americans in ensuring our right to vote.”

Those efforts came on the heels of a new report released Wednesday by the Center for American Progress condemning new voter identification laws in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas and Wisconsin.

The group complained that some states want to limit the time allotted for early voting, bar ex-felons from voting and require government identification to vote. Polls show that most Americans back the laws. But Clyburn compared them to segregation era “Jim Crow” laws and he said that he is “very, very anxious” that the conservative Supreme Court “as it is presently constituted” will support the new anti-voter fraud laws.

Despite the complaints, several states attorneys claim that voter fraud is a growing concern, adding that requiring voters to show identification is not overly burdensome.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/04/coke-caves-face-democratic-boycott-threat/444346

Chocolate lovers unite, don’t let Obama regulate your chocolate fix

Our dangerous dependence on foreign chocolate

By Published April 02, 2012

America is addicted to chocolate. Foreign chocolate.

A majority of us consume chocolate each day. Although the U.S. produces only 6% of the world’s cocoa, we consume more than 20%. 

The threat is obvious. It’s time for government to step in and promote alternatives.

Any day now, President Obama will be barnstorming the country to tell us, “If we really want chocolate security and chocolate independence, we’ve got to start looking at how we use less cocoa and use sources that we can renew and that we can control, so we are not subject to the whims of what’s happening in other countries.”

Today, we are at the mercy of Africa, which produces over 75% of the world’s cocoa. That’s an unstable source, which means our chocolate dependency undermines national security.

Each of us probably began with that first innocent M&M but now it’s an unsustainable $13 billion-a-year habit. The average American eats 11 pounds of chocolate per year. We gain weight from chocolate. Pimples get blamed on chocolate.

Fortunately, alternatives exist. With proper federal loans and subsidies these can relieve our cravings and wean us from our addiction to chocolate.

Every member of Congress should be ready to spend on a Spree. (And it’s a lot easier to pronounce than Solyndra.) The economy would be stimulated by the outpouring of government-subsidized alternatives to chocolate.

Subsidizing LifeSavers is another way to demonstrate our commitment to health care.

We can reaffirm our commitment to children if we provide Dots for tots.

Others would pull for taffy. The Agricultural sector might prefer Jolly Ranchers. And why not switch over our ethanol subsidies to candy corn?

Some chocolate alternatives are no-no’s, however. Promoting Sweet Tarts could risk offending the National Organization for Women. And no self-respecting Democrat would mimic Ronald Reagan by providing Jelly Bellies.

President Obama can lead the way by explaining how we should not rely on foreign chocolate anymore than we should rely on foreign oil. Of course, we’ll hope he doesn’t mess up his chocolate numbers as he does when he claims we have “only 2%” of global oil reserves. But he’s using the most restrictive definition possible. Obama’s own Department of Energy reports that, “Proved reserves are a small subset of recoverable resources….”

As noted by Investors Business Daily, America’s actual oil reserves are 60 times higher than the president’s carefully-chosen number: “The figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the USA is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all our country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.”

Mr. Obama is using flimsy and misleading numbers to justify his anti-oil and gas energy policy, and his mega-billion dollar subsidies for “green energy” and “green jobs.”

So perhaps it’s time for him to pivot to another basic necessity, like chocolate. If that goes well, he could move on to coffee, because we consume 16% of the world’s coffee but grow less than 1%.

And we manufacture less than 1% of the world’s TV sets, yet use 17% of them.

Then there’s olive oil: We produce a tenth of one percent but use 8% of the world’s supply. There are plenty of other examples of how we are dependent on trading with other nations, just as they are dependent on trading with us.

But we have an over-abundance of politicians who are addicted to government subsidies and regulation but allergic to free markets. After all, the free market could not have produced the $50 light bulb.

It took government to come up with that bright idea.

When the Trucks Stop, America Will Stop

Most Americans take for granted the intricate systems that make it possible for us to engage in seemingly mundane day to day tasks like filling up our gas tanks, loading up our shopping carts at the local grocery store, obtaining necessary medications, and even pouring ourselves a clean glass of water. When we wake up each morning we just expect that all of these things will work today the same way they worked yesterday.*Very few have considered the complexity involved in the underlying infrastructure that keeps goods, services and commerce in America flowing. Fewer still have ever spent the time to contemplate the fragility of these systems or the consequences on food, water, health care, the financial system, and the economy if they are*interrupted.

A report prepared for legislators and business leaders by the American Trucking Associations highlights just how critical our just-in-time inventory and delivery systems are, and assesses the impact on the general population in the event of an emergency or incident of national significance that disrupts the truck transportation systems which are responsible for carrying some ten billion tons of commodities and supplies across the United States each year.

A shut down of truck operations as a result of elevated threat levels, terrorist attacks, or pandemics would, according to the report, have “a swift and devastating impact on the food, healthcare, transportation,*waste removal, retail, manufacturing, and financial sectors.”

So too would events*such as an EMP attack*or a coordinated cyber-attack that could shut down global positioning systems and the computers responsible for inventory control. Another potential scenario that is*more likely now than ever before is liquidity problems within the financial system stemming from currency crisis or hyperinflation. All of our just-in-time delivery systems are built upon the unhindered transfer of money and credit, but when credit flow becomes restricted or money becomes worthless, no one will be able to pay for their goods. Likewise, no one will trust the credit worthiness of anyone else. This is exactly the scenario playing out in Greece right now and the consequences on the health care industry in that country have left many without life saving drugs. When there’s no money, no one will be transporting anything.

The effects of a transportation shutdown for any reason would be immediate (in some cases, within hours) and absolutely catastrophic.

Excerpted from the American Truckers Associations report

Food

Significant shortages will occur in as little as three days, especially for perishable items following a national emergency and a ban on truck traffic.
Consumer fear and panic will exacerbate shortages.*News of a*truck stoppage—whether on the local level, state or regional level, or nationwide—will spur hoarding and drastic increases in consumer purchases of essential goods.*Shortages will materialize quickly and could lead to civil unrest. (We’re seeing this in the UK right now)
Water

Supplies of clean drinking water will run dry in two to four weeks.*For safety and security reasons, most water supply*plants maintain a larger inventory of supplies than the typical business. However, the*amount of chemical storage varies significantly and is site specific. According to the*Chlorine Institute, most water treatment facilities receive chlorine in cylinders that are delivered by motor carriers. On average, trucks*deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days. Without*these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking.
Health Care

Without truck transportation, patient care within the truck stoppage zone will be*immediately jeopardized. According to Cook, many hospitals have moved to a just-in-time inventory system. In fact, some work from a low-unit-of-measure system. *This means that essential basic supplies, such as syringes and catheters, are not ordered until the supplies are depleted. These systems depend on trucks to deliver needed supplies within hours of order placement. Internal redistribution of supplies in*hospitals could forestall a crisis for a short time; however, in a matter of hours,*hospitals would be unable to supply critical patient care.
If an incident of national significance produces mass injuries, truck transportation is the key to delivering urgently needed medical supplies necessary to save lives.
Hospitals and nursing homes will exhaust food supplies in as little as 24 hours
Pharmacy stocks of prescription drugs will be depleted quickly.*According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, most of*the nation’s 55,000 drug stores receive daily merchandise deliveries by truck.
Transportation

Service station fuel supplies will start to run out in just one to two days.*An average service station requires a*delivery every 2.4 days. Based on these statistics, the busiest service stations could*run out of fuel within hours of a truck stoppage, with the remaining stations following*within one to two days
Air, rail and maritime transportation will be disrupted.
A fuel shortage will create secondary effects.*Without access to automobile travel,*people will be unable to get to work causing labor shortages and increased economic*damage. Without cars, many people cannot access grocery stores, banks, doctors, and*other daily needs. Public bus systems will cease to operate as well, preventing many*disabled and elderly people from accessing these necessities. Without fuel, police,*fire, rescue and other public service vehicles will be paralyzed, further jeopardizing*public safety.
Waste Removal

Within days of a truck stoppage, Americans will be literally buried in *garbage with serious health and environmental consequences. Further, without fuel deliveries, many waste processing facilities will be unable to operate equipment such as backhoes and incinerators.
Uncollected and deteriorating waste products create rich breeding grounds*for microorganisms, insects, and other vermin. Hazardous materials and medical waste will introduce toxins as well as infectious diseases into living environments. Urban areas will, of course, be significantly impacted within just a couple of days.
Retail / Manufacturing / Economy

Replenishment of goods will be disrupted. Many of the nation’s leading retailers*rely on just-in-time delivery to keep inventory levels as low as possible. Similar to*the low-unit-of-measure hospital inventory system, these stores rely on frequent*deliveries to replenish basic goods. Often, delivery of a shipment is not triggered*until the current inventory is nearly depleted. Without truck deliveries, retailers will*be unable to restock goods, including consumer basics such as bottled water, canned*goods, and paper products.
Consumer behavior during emergencies triples the rate of inventory turn-over.Since many large retail outlets typically keep inventories as lean as possible, problems*often arise quickly during truck transportation slowdowns that occur from crises such*as hurricanes.
Just-in-time manufacturers will shut down assembly lines within hours. Major*American manufacturers, ranging from computer manufacturers such as Dell and*Compaq to major automakers such as GM and Ford, rely on just-in-time*manufacturing. Without truck deliveries, component shortages and manufacturing delays will develop within hours
Financial Sector

ATM and branch bank cash resources will be exhausted quicky. In today’s fastpaced, high-technology economy, consumers access cash 24/7 from 370,000 ATMs nationwide. JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s second largest consumer bank, replenishes its 6,600 ATMs via armored truck delivery every two to three days.*Given the increase in ATM activity that occurs before and after any type of crisis,*ATMs would run out of cash much sooner.
Small and medium-size businesses will lose access to cash.
Regular bank functions will cease.
While an event that disrupts truck transportation systems may be unlikely, recent history suggests it is fully plausible and the blowback can be devastating. A day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, panicked government officials stopped all transportation flow into the region, forcing hundreds of trucks loaded with emergency supplies like food and water to wait for permission before they could enter the area. As a result, thousands of residents of the city were left without items essential for survival. It took days before truck routes were re-opened and supplies were allowed to flow. Government officials acting on limited information, lack of knowledge and personal politics were responsible for restricting the flow of goods into New Orleans, potentially killing hundreds of people in the process.

What this incident demonstrated *is that when the trucks in America stop, all commerce and delivery stops with it.

Now consider what may happen if the emergency is more widespread, affecting not just a city, but the population of an entire region or the United States in its entirety.

http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-pr…ences_04022012