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Gasp! “A Taco Truck on Every Corner!”

Last I checked, one of the things folks brag about in this country is entrepreneurship. The country was built on people’s desire and pure moxie to start businesses in good times and bad, and while the majority of those businesses failed – some didn’t. Whether that business was a Mom and Pop store on the corner – or became a multi-billion dollar enterprise the point is that folks worked and scraped and saved and sometimes overcame tremendous challenges. They employ 6 out of every 10 people in this country as small businesses.

Now we have a Trumpazoid who wants to claim that starting a business is bad…Simply because the person starting it s brown.

Last time I checked, it takes quite an investment to start a Food Truck business. The low end on starting that business is about $50,000. Fancy, high end trucks with refrigeration and generators can reach over $200,000. To claim that someone is willing to come over our border illegally, invest $50 or $100,000 in an American Made Truck (likely used), American made stoves, refrigeration, and generator…Pay the business taxes and license fees to an American city or town, submit to health inspections (all generating American jobs)…And then risk it all on business in a roadside location doesn’t sound to me like a losing proposition for America.

Indeed we would be better off encouraging these folks to come here…

And deport the welfare sucking, meth/heroin addicted, white trash trump scum who do nothing for this country….and their jinete de césped.

 

 
 

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Businesses Voting With Their Feet to Leave Republican States

The only thing worse than Republican Stone Age fundamentalist social hate…Is the failed Republican economic beliefs trashing their states and forever leaving them on the tail end of economic development.

Unable to locally hire educated and qualified staff, unable to get qualified people who want to move there, and burdened by hateful conservative social laws and tax cuts for the rich destroying everything from the quality of life through the ability for children to get an education companies are increasingly fleeing the red states.

‘Resign in shame’: Fed-up Kansas CEO flees GOP governor’s disastrous reign

A Tech CEO blamed Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his ultra-conservative policies for his decision to move his company — and its jobs — to another state.

“It’s not so much that I’m moving the company to Missouri as I’m moving it away from Kansas,” said Jeff Blackwood, CEO of Pathfinder Health Innovations.

Blackwood, whose privately held company provides software to autism therapy centers, wrote a blistering attack of Brownback and the Republican-dominated legislature — which he said had destroyed the state’s economy with failed conservative policies.

“Kansas has become a test center of ‘trickle down’ economics, espoused by economist Arthur Laffer during the Reagan years,” Blackwood wrote in a personal post on the company’s blog. “Nowhere has there been as thorough an implementation of Laffer’s policy recommendations — and nowhere has there been as dramatic a failure of government.”

The CEO blasted an unprecedented tax cut enacted in 2012, which Brownback promised would be a “shot of adrenaline” to the state’s economy, but instead has cost Kansas jobs, revenue and its bond rating.

Kansas has faced budget shortfalls in 11 of the past 12 months, and its economy shrank in three of four quarters last year.

Blackwood ripped the governor for placing the burden for his mistakes on children and the developmentally disabled with cuts to education and social services.

“You’ll hear claims from Kansas officials that funding to education is at an all time high, but it’s just an accounting trick – they chose to shuffle money for special education and retirement funds through the schools so it could appear as an increase on the books,” Blackwood said.

The Republican legislature had instead focused on freezing teacher salaries, pursuing funding cuts later ruled unconstitutional and laws calling for teachers to be imprisoned for introducing “offensive” content, Blackwood said.

He accused Brownback and his GOP “cronies” of intentionally undermining public education and diverting taxpayer funds — and students — to private and religious schools.

“In the end, I believe the goals of the Brownback administration are going exactly to plan — starve the state of resources to the point where it just makes sense to turn over critical government functions to for-profit entities,” Blackwood said.

The CEO accused Brownback of turning the state’s Medicaid program, KanCare, into a cash cow for three insurance companies — which he said forced pregnant women to wait months for care and kept health care providers from being paid for their service.

Blackwood blamed the governor’s policies for the murder of a 61-year-old man by a patient improperly released from an underfunded mental health care facility and the rape of a worker at another hospital.

“I can’t, in good conscience, continue to give our tax money to a government that actively works against the needs of its citizens; a state that is systematically targeting the citizens in most need, denying them critical care and reducing their cost of life as if they’re simply a tax burden that should be ignored,” Blackwood said.

Blackwood said his decision to move Pathfinder Health Innovations, which is adding new jobs, to Kansas City, Missouri, was a matter of conscience — and a decision he hoped other business leaders would emulate.

“I believe that it is the responsibility of business owners and people with some voice in society should speak up against these destructive policies,” Blackwood said. “And I believe it is far past the time that Sam Brownback and his cronies admit the damage they’ve caused to the people of Kansas and resign in the shame they deserve.”

 

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How Republicans Have Derailed the New South’s Emergence

North Carolina’s Research Triangle and the Charlotte/Cary area are hotspots for tech an other development. The US Government supplies over $1.5 billion a year in research grants to the state’s public universities, money that has helped drive the growth of the Universities in the state from decidedly mediocre to competitive powerhouses. This has spurred massive growth, as the combination of a realistic cost of living, easy access to recreational activities in the mountains and shore, as well a good school systems have individualized both corporations and employees to flock to the state.

Unfortunately, like Virginia, the back woods redneck religious bigots haven’t quite dissipated yet, and with the election of a Republican majority in the state house – pushing extremist social conservatism which is an anathema to the high-tech and banking industries.That growth roll may be in for a screeching halt.

You want to keep that growing Gov McCrory, you need to cut the “Culture War” bullshit fast.

The fact is, major corporations don’t give a shit about Republican tax breaks, they do about being able to attract the best and brightest as employees, and having a stable government  which isn’t going to do something stupid to hurt their business. They need good schools, which are producing students in the fields that relate to their businesses, who are willing to stay in-state after they graduate. (As an example, the collapse of what was once referred to as “Silicon Valley East” here in northern Virginia, was in good part due to the major University in the area being taken over by conservative donors. The school produces Economists and right wing Federalist Lawyers – but not STEM Graduates needed by the local industries to grow, or to establish the sort of incubators which create the next Google. Instead we have the Antonin Scalia Law School, which is fornicating useless, both as the symbol of higher education in the fields in demand, as well as in attracting students that want to be in a top program in the Sciences, Engineering, or technology.)

They want to be able to attract experienced workers and executives. To get those people, the potential employees need to feel comfortable moving their families into the State. The sort of “Culture Wars” and racism being promulgated by the right, destroys that.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

Back during the South Carolina confederate flag imbroglio, one of my clients was a foreign auto company looking to put a plant there. Took one of the Senior Staff folks down there behind the proverbial woodshed, and explained to him that foreign companies, unlike their US counterparts are not willing to go into an environment where discrimination and harassment lawsuits chew up 10-15% of their profits. And as such, were looking for a place which supported a harmonious workforce, over cheap rent. The differential between labor costs between Detroit and Charleston disappears really fast paying lawyers at $500/hr over racial bullshit. They got that message apparently from more than one prospective company. American companies have finally started to get a clue about this as well.

Too bad the white winger Tea Baggers haven’t.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS AND THE END OF THE NEW SOUTH

Monday, two North Carolinians squared off over the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom matching their “biological sex” in public schools and government buildings and invalidates local laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. Both Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina, and Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, grew up partly in Greensboro, a site of anti-segregation sit-ins in 1960, and Lynch recalled that history by comparing H.B. 2 to Jim Crow laws. “Let us reflect on the obvious but often neglected lesson that state-sanctioned discrimination never looks good in hindsight,” she said, as she announced that the Department of Justice is suing North Carolina, claiming that H.B. 2 violates federal laws forbidding sex discrimination.

Earlier that day, McCrory’s office had filed its own federal lawsuit, which attempted to protect the state from federal anti-discrimination action against H.B. 2. “North Carolina does not treat transgender employees differently,” according to the lawsuit. “All state employees are required to use the bathroom and changing facilities assigned to persons of their same biological sex, regardless of gender identity, or transgendered status.” Such bland assertions of neutrality have an infamous place in the law. Before the Supreme Court established a right to same-sex marriage, in 2015, North Carolina forbade gay and straight alike to wed members of the same sex. Before the Court invalidated laws against racial intermarriage, in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, the state forbade both black and white people to marry someone of the other race. All these laws were defended on the grounds that they treated everyone alike. So, for that matter, were the original Jim Crow segregation laws. In 1896, upholding separate-but-equal accommodations, the Supreme Court held that, if “the enforced separation of the races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority,” this was “solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction on it.”

McCrory’s suit looks more like political theatre than a serious attempt to preserve H.B. 2. On April 19th, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes North Carolina, adopted the Obama Administration’s interpretation of federal sex-discrimination law to invalidate a local school-board policy that assigned students to bathrooms by “biological genders.” The court accepted the federal government’s argument that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and that “biological” bathroom assignments are just this sort of discrimination. (The Fourth Circuit reported that, in public hearings on school-bathroom assignments, the plaintiff in the case, a transgender boy, had been called a “freak” and “compared to a person who thinks he is a ‘dog’ and wants to urinate on fire hydrants.”)

That McCrory would seek out this wrong-side-of-history position reveals a lot about the fractured and desperate state of the Republican Party. The governor took office in 2013 as the consummate country-club Republican. He had spent fourteen years as the mayor of Charlotte, a banking capital, where he presided over robust growth and—unusual in the South—the construction of a light-rail system. He was a candidate in the “New South” tradition, a political manner that is also a development strategy. In the sixties, as other parts of the white South dug in against desegregation, North Carolina’s politicians found a different formula: accept the national consensus on civil rights and attract employers with low wages, weak unions, and business-friendly laws. The state’s population more than doubled between 1960 and 2010, as a formerly rural, agricultural state developed national centers of technology and finance. The previous New South governors were Democrats, but many saw McCrory as their natural successor in a state that narrowly supported Barack Obama in 2008 but in 2010 handed control of the legislature to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction.

Since taking office, McCrory has mostly been back on his heels as a Tea Party legislature, installed with decisive support from the activist donor Art Pope (whom Jane Mayer wrote about in 2011), has set the state’s agenda. McCrory has signed laws restricting abortion access, cutting back on early voting and requiring voter identification, slashing unemployment benefits, and repealing the state’s Racial Justice Act, which commuted the death penalty for people sentenced in racially inequitable jurisdictions. North Carolina is one of nineteen states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (and the fourth-largest, after Texas, Florida, and Georgia). The advocacy group Families USA estimates that 593,000 North Carolina residents lack health insurance because of the state’s refusal.

The Tea Party has shared McCrory’s deregulatory, tax-cutting economic agenda, but it has led with culture-war issues. The year McCrory won the governorship, the legislature put forward a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which passed with sixty per cent of the vote. This blend of tactics defined most state-level Republican parties in the Obama years, when the Republicans took power in statehouses across the country, and McCrory seems to have made his peace with it. Polls showed him lagging in a tight reëlection race when he called North Carolina’s part-time legislature into emergency session in late March. Both houses passed H.B. 2 on March 23rd, and McCrory signed it that night. The only local anti-discrimination statute that it overrode was one passed a month before in Charlotte, where McCrory had served seven terms as mayor.

Now the New South elements of McCrory’s governing style are falling to pieces. H.B. 2 may have seemed an ordinary measure of culture-war politics when the governor signed it, but the consensus position on L.G.B.T.Q. rights has changed so fast that it may secure his place as the Orval Faubus of public bathrooms. McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, who has announced that his office will not defend H.B. 2 against legal challenge, has led McCrory in every poll since the law was passed. Since H.B. 2 became law, PayPal and Deutsche Bank have scrapped expansion plans for North Carolina, the N.B.A. and N.C.A.A. have suggested that they may not hold future events in the state, and a caravan of entertainers have cancelled shows, including Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil. New South governors measure themselves by the investments they attract. When the cultural divisiveness of Tea Party politics drives out business and entertainment, it becomes New South kryptonite….More Here
 

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With Trump…Even the Wine is Fake

At the Infomercial which passed for a victory speech Tuesday Night after winning in Michigan, Trump hawked his supposed “successes” in business.

A group of products which largely already failed, including “Trump Steaks” which went out of business, “Trump Magazine” which published only 8 issues before folding, Trump Vodka – which failed in 2007, and “Trump Water” which has never been sold commercially.

Lastly was Trump Wine – an overpriced mediocre vintage, which in terms of acreage is one of the larger Vineyards in Virginia…But in sales, doesn’t scratch the Top 5, although it does in volume produced. That means a lot of overpriced, bad wine siting on shelves. The wine has never scored above the low 80’s in any of the industry ratings like Wine Spectator, which puts it at $20-40 a bottle in the category of expensive cooking wine. To those unaware, Virginia has a long and storied history in wine production, and now, after some fits and false starts early on in re-establishing the industry in the state – now produces high quality wines competitive with those from California and Washington. Trump Vineyards best vintage, their bubbly Rose wines don’t carry Trumps name at all, but that of the founder, Patricia Kluge.

I mean…Can you imagine the President of the United States giving a speech to the United Nations…And hawking Trump Blenders in the middle of the speech to the collected world leaders?

Trump Swill…Turns out the Winery claims no relationship whatsoever to Donald Trump other than name.

Trump Wine Is Built on Acres of Lies

While Donald Trump may be famous for his litany of ridiculous boasts and exaggerations, his latest claim to be a top winery owner—made during his speech after the Detroit and Mississippi primaries—may be one of his most laughable.

It’s certainly a perfect example of how The Donald seamlessly mixes truth with fiction to form a narrative that manages to sound plausible when delivered in 30-second sound bites.

Despite begging the assembled media to fact check his statement about the financials of Trump Winery (what else would he call it?), Trump still made a few major mistakes in his description of the establishment.

For one, he claimed the vineyard was “close to 2,000 acres,” while in fact Trump Winery’s own website states that it’s a 1,300- acre estate. And, no, the establishment is not located next to the “Thomas Jefferson Memorial.”

We will assume Trump was talking about Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home (not the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.), which is actually several miles from his winery.

His most grandiose claim was that Trump Winery was the “largest winery on the East Coast.”

His 200 planted acres certainly make the winery sizable and the largest one in Virginia by property size. But when discussing the size of a wine or spirits brand, the yardstick is typically case sales, not acreage. (Would you measure an automaker’s size by the square footage of its plant or how many cars it sells?)

One reason for this is the size of the vineyard may not matter given that many wineries buy grapes instead of growing them. “The largest vineyard in Virginia? Maybe. The largest producer? No,” says Jerald O’Kennard the director of the Beverage Testing Institute, which reviews wines and runs wine competitions. “It’s just semantics.”

According to the Virginia Wine Board, Trump Winery is in fact not even the state’s top producer by volume—it falls in the top five. The state’s largest producers are Williamsburg Winery and Chateau Morrisette, which readily admits to buying grapes from a network of Virginia growers.

Trump also failed to give an accurate history of the vineyard. During the press conference he said that media mogul John Kluge, “built one of the great vineyards of all time.”

As it turns out, it was really Kluge’s ex-wife, Patricia, who started the vineyard. You might excuse the mistake except that Patricia stayed on to make the wine after Trump bought the property.

It’s also hard to imagine why Trump would bring up his winery as an example of his business acumen given how well his eponymous vodka worked out.

In 2006, to great fanfare, he introduced Trump Vodka (what else would he call it?) in a statuesque bottle with a garish gold label designed by famed graphic designed Milton Glaser.

The launch party, according to New York Magazine, was emceed by rapper Busta Rhymes and, as you can imagine, featured a mix of hired models and “a bunch of middle-aged, slightly overweight white guys.”

Trump was characteristically optimistic about the brand, forecasting that his version of the classic vodka tonic, the Trump & tonic would be a huge hit. The closure of the brand in 2011 was quite a bit less glamorous, with the vodka quietly disappearing from store and bar shelves.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Millionaire or Felon – The Cannabis Industry vs Carceral State

Interesting video on the ONLY Black legal Marijuana entrepreneur in Colorado…

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Story of Terri Upshaw, and a Family Who Would Not Accept

This one is getting some press in DC due to the imminent opening of a new Tadich Grill in Washington, DC. To be honest, I’ve never heard of the Tadich Grill in San Francisco – but have visited the city and area well enough to have frequented French Laundry (you may have to sell your firstborn for the price of a meal…But it is that good), Saison, and Quince…and have never seen the joint on any Michelin or Zagat lists. Got my eye on Restaurant at Meadowood for my next visit to the area. Perhaps it is the DC equivalent of “Old Ebbit Grill” est 1856, or the more plebian “Ben’s Chili Bowl” est 1958, which have fueled everybody from the Presidents to street sweepers in the city for generations – but are not highbrow enough to make the connoisseur lists…

Terri Upshaw was the wife of departed NFL great, and NFL Player Union head Gene Upshaw – who was probably on the top 10 list of the most respected people in sports. Her family owned the Tadich… And apparently disowned her after her marriage to Gene. The impact of that disownment, and refusal to even meet as a family with Terri and Gene’s kids is raising a few eyebrows in DC, and doesn’t bode well for their new venture. And the competition is tough.

 

Terri and husband, Gene Upshaw

Lonnae O’Neal: Terri Upshaw says she had to choose between family and love

Sometimes emotion gets the better of Terri Upshaw, and she appears softer, more vulnerable, younger than her 55 years. Then she regains her composure and continues, in spare, straightforward language, to tell the kind of story we think doesn’t happen anymore in modern America. A dark family story that syncs with a national racial history we like to tell ourselves we’re well beyond.

She talks about being raised in the upper-middle-class Buich family, who owned San Francisco’s famed Tadich Grill. She calls her upbringing strict, loving and marked by expressed disdain for people who weren’t white or Christian. A fellow might be “a great guy” if he came into the restaurant, but you knew never to bring one home, she says. “I didn’t understand it, but I didn’t question it,” Upshaw says. “I lived in a house where you didn’t question.”

As a young woman working as a hotel catering manager, she met an older football player. An African American. They hit it off and became friends. Then more. He retired, accepted a job in Washington and asked her to move with him. They’d dated for eight months without her family knowing, and she had to make a decision.

“I was scared,” Upshaw recalls on a recent afternoon near her home in Northern Virginia. She says she broke the news to her brother and sister first. “They said, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this.’ They said our parents would be livid, upset, disappointed, embarrassed, ashamed.”

Tadich Grill in Washington, DC

Word got back to her father. She remembers how much she sobbed in that final family meeting with her parents and siblings. She was 23 and pleading for love — both theirs and her own. She thinks her mother and siblings were crying, but it has been so long. Only the final message was clear.

When she told her father that she had decided to follow the black man she loved to Washington, she says, “he told me that’s it — you’re out of the family. Change your last name, and don’t ever call us again.”

It was 1983. They married in 1986.

The black man was the legendary Gene Upshaw, whose 15-year career as a guard for the Oakland Raiders landed him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During 25 years in his equally famous second act as the controversial head of the National Football League Players’ Association, he helped usher in free agency, which led to an explosion in player salaries. Upshaw died in 2008, days after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The union headquarters in Northwest Washington is named Upshaw Place in his honor.

Terri Upshaw says she has not heard from her family in decades, true to their final message. While visiting San Francisco a few years ago, she saw a news report that Tadich Grill would open a D.C. location, and last month it did, to great fanfare. Guests included prominent members of Congress and a Supreme Court justice.

Her parents, now in their early 80s, and siblings have never met Upshaw’s sons, 28 and 25. She says they didn’t reach out when her husband died. She says that she has tried over the years to make contact with her family — that they ignored her at her grandmother’s funeral. When her oldest son was 3 months old, she says, she took him to her parents’ house and was ordered to leave.

There is surely another side to this, because there are always sides and layers to all of our stories. There is perhaps a heartache, a wish for a daughter’s well-being that was not properly expressed, but it is difficult to know because numerous calls, voice mails, text messages and messages left for the Buich family and sent through Tadich Grill executives explaining Upshaw’s contention and requesting comment were not returned. Her sister, reached by phone, declined to comment.

Tadich Grill, DC

Upshaw, who had never spoken publicly about the rift, says she is telling this story now, in response to a reporter’s query, because with the new restaurant, she is talking more to friends and “it sounds archaic,” she says.

It sounds like the kind of extreme racial story we don’t want to think happens anymore, although what’s closer to the truth is that both extreme and casual racism are all around us, even in some of our most solid American success stories….Read the rest here

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in The Definition of Racism, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Go Girl! Black Women Fastest Growing Entrepreneurial Segment

Don’t like not being recognized for your contribution at big company?

Start your own.

Black women increasingly are doing just that, despite obstacles in terms of venture or bank financing.

Black Women-Owned Businesses Skyrocket By 322 Percent In Less Than 20 Years

 

African-American women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America, a new study reveals.

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report released this week found that the number of women-owned businesses grew by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015. That’s 1.5 times the national average of business growth to be exact.

Meanwhile, the growth in the number of businesses specifically owned by black women is outpacing that of all women-owned firms, the report says. The number of black women-owned businesses has grown by a whopping 322 percent since 1997. Today, black women own roughly 14 percent of all businesses in the country owned by women, which tallies to around 1.3 million businesses, according to the report.

“While nationally African American women comprise 14% of all women-owned firms, African American women comprise a greater than average share of all women-owned firms in Georgia (35%), Maryland (33%), and Illinois (22%),” the report says.

Statistics show that throughout these 1.3 million companies, nearly 300,000 workers are employed and the businesses generate an estimated $52.6 billion in revenue. When digging into the number of black-owned businesses overall, 49 percent are owned by women.

Businesses owned by black women also top the charts in revenue growth when compared to other minority women-owned firms proving that their economic clout is ever-growing.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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