F.A.S.T.: Take A Close Look At Trump’s Oreo Story? The Cookie Crumbles.


Facts Are Stupid Things  – 8.28.15

Trump says he won’t eat Oreos anymore because Mondelez International, the multi-national conglomerate that bakes those cookies, is closing it’s plant in Chicago and moving it’s 600 jobs to Mexico.

Here’s the problem with Trump’s statement:  It’s just not entirely true and ignores a number of important facts.

Full disclosure: I have happily owned a few shares of Mondelez stock for a few years now.

In short, Mondelez has two baking facilities on the South Side of Chicago  that have been there since the late 1950s.  They are upgrading equipment and cutting the number of productions lines from 9 to 4. They tried to get $42 million in concessions from Chicago to keep the bakery there, because that is what they save if they move those 4 lines to a newer facility in Salinas, Mexico.
Even if they had kept the 4 production lines at that baking facility in Chicago, the upgrade in equipment was going to cost 300 jobs anyway.
Here’s another important fact. Illinois is their international HQ and they still employ a large number of people in all kinds of jobs.  Most importantly, where Trump is concerned, the initial news reports in May indicate that Oreos are not one of the products currently made at that baking facility

So now you deserve some supporting evidence:

In this SF Examiner story, you can read all of Trump’s categorical statements in the lead two paragraphs.
And then buried at the bottom, in italics, the following correction:

*Correction – According to Laurie M. Guzzinati Senior Director, Corporate & Government Affairs North America, Mondelēz Global LLC – Nabisco recently announced a significant investment in a Salinas, Mexico baking plant. The move affects 600 jobs at a bakery near Chicago, though Nabisco says that facility would remain open.

Read it here:
Trump says no more Oreo’s as Nabisco Moves business to Mexico

A second source supporting the same facts is this Sun Times piece:
Read this one:
Mondelez to cut 600 jobs in Chicago

For confirmation of the job cuts that were going to happen anyway, here’s a good one from when the story first ran:
Mondelez seeks job cuts, wants to vacate one of two South Side bakery buildings

And here is a piece from May to give even greater perspective:
Mondelez to cut Chicago jobs, send some work to Mexico

Important notes: Mondelez still employs roughly 13,000 people in the United States and more than 90, 000 more in countries all around the world.  40% of its sales originate in Europe.  Only 20% in the U.S..

So Mondelez didn’t shut down it’s entire plant and move it to Mexico as Trump said.  And according to the one report that offered details, Oreo’s aren’t even made in the baking facility that is being phased out. (That one is subject to further review)

So when it comes to the Donald Trump telling you that the people who make Oreos shut down their plant in Chicago and shipped all it’s jobs down to Mexico you now know that both “baking facilities” remain open, still providing jobs for Americans.  Furthermore, Illinois is Mondelez International’s global headquarters.

Not shutting the plant. Fact.
Not moving all jobs to Mexico. Fact.
Chicago Tribune report lists products baked at facility. Oreos not listed. Fact.
300 jobs were going to be eliminated even if second baking facility got the 4 modernized production lines.  Fact.
Mondelez is overwhelmingly a foreign based operation. Fact.
Illinois is Mondelez International global HQ. Fact.
13,000 still employed by Mondelez in U.S.  Fact.

Go FactEmToDeath.


Addendum: This just in : Don’t Worry Donald Trump, Oreo Cookies Will Still Be Made In The USA

Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy – Trump Says “We Must Treat Each Other With Respect”

Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy  8.23.15

Two days after the incident of two thugs who beat up a homeless man on the streets of Boston and gave credit to Trump being right and more than a day after his only comment was that it’s a shame but ” people who are following me are very passionate”  The President of Douche Land now says his supporters need to “treat others with respect.”

This from the same guy who declared to Megyn Kelly during the first GOP “debate” that he might no longer be nice to her because he didn’t like her question and followed up within a day by insinuating in a Tweet that she must have been on her period the day before. He’s also the guy who called Lyndsey Graham an idiot. Tweeted of Rand Paul “Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!: Said about John McCain, “I like people who aren’t captured” and invested time at a recent New Hampshire campaign stop asserting Jeb Bush is dumb, in a manner of ways.  That, my friends is leadership through example.

Clearly, when this clown declares it time to “treat others with respect” the rank and file are sure to fall right in line.

Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny

Donald Trump denounces violence after two supporters allegedly beat Mexican homeless man in Boston

All this from the rich guy who with all the conveniences money can buy, still can not carve out any time for either Political Correctness or to not be a total douche.

Say it with me gang: Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy.  Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy.  Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy

F.A.S.T. Defunct Iranian Parchin Facility Inspection Will Be Verified By IAEA

Facts Are Stupid Things  8.22.15

The Debate: An unconfirmed A.P. story told of an early draft of the nuclear agreement between Six Nations and Iran that according to the report would allow the Iranians to “self inspect” this facility.


The Skinny: Based on this unconfirmed report, the media-sphere is full of attacks asking how on earth we would make an agreement that allowed the Iranians to police their own nuclear facilities? The answer, according the the director of the IAEA is that no such condition exists.  It is also important to note that Parchin burned to the ground in 2014.  The exact circumstances surrounding it’s destruction are subject to debate. It is also important ot note that Parchin is not an currently active nuclear research site.



So What Happened?

Well, according to the IAEA big boss:

“I am disturbed by statements suggesting that the IAEA has given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Such statements misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work,” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said in an unusually strongly worded statement on Thursday.

Full Text Here: IAEA says report Iran to inspect own military site is ‘misrepresentation’

While Iranians would be involved, as with other agreements the IAEA operates under, that agency would have means of verification. For more on that read here:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/1U.S. acknowledges likely Iranian role in nuclear site inspections

For a more in depth look at this issue, read this Max Fisher piece on Vox.com:

The AP’s controversial and badly flawed Iran inspections story, explained

In Short:
When it comes to the allegation that the six nation nuclear agreement allows the Iranians to self inspect their active nuclear research facilities, the stupid facts are: They do not.

On Iranian self inspection: you can now FactEmToDeath.

Annoy The Media: Maybe It’s Not Hillary’s Email We Should Be Talking About Right Now?

Annoy The Media  08.21.15


Does anyone think this country’s security will be determined by Hillary Clinton’s dishing on the British Prime Minister in 2010 email to her former Chief Of Staff?
I’d be a bit more concerned about stuff like this:

Hackers penetrated Pentagon email

Maybe the Pentagon should look into a secure private server?

Annoy The Media.
Think For Yourself.


F. A. S. T.: Barack Obama Never Promised “Anytime, Anywhere” inspections of suspected sites.

Facts Are Stupid Things   8.17.15

The debate:

Why did Barack Obama promise the final deal with Iran would assure “anytime, anywhere” inspections when it gives the Iranians 24 days before we can go in?

The Skinny:

While the hypothesis is cleverly phrased, the facts indicate that neither Barack Obama, John Kerry or any other member of their administration promised “anytime, anywhere” access to all of Iran.

So what did happen?

Back in April, a man named Ben Rhodes, the national security adviser for strategic communications, did an interview on Israeli TV, as later reported by the Times Of Israel, in which he made the case that the deal they were closing in on was the best that could be hoped for; that the administration is not blind to who the Iranians are and how they operate; and that without the agreement, Iran could have nuclear weapons without doubt, in less than a year.  Specifically, Rhodes, in explaining the deal  said there would be “anytime, anywhere” access to nuclear sites.  Those are the known sites where weapons grade development is presently under way.

Read the interview here.

Rhodes  then went further, stating there would also be a process for obtaining access to suspected sights through unprecedented IAEA and UN involvement.  Suspected sites can be inspected using an IAEA/UN protocol that could take up to 24 days.

You can find more on IAEA involvement here:

The Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz was greatly involved in the negotiations and has consistently said that –no matter how good the Iranians have become at covering  up suspected sites in the past — the residual radioactivity could not possibly be erased in that short amount of time.  Secretary Moniz is also a nuclear physicist associated with MIT.

You can read comments from Moniz and John Kerry here:

Summary: The premise of the accusation is false. The words were those of Ben Rhodes, not Barack Obama or John Kerry. What was promised and delivered is unfettered access to known nuclear development sites. What was also stated at the time was that the agreement would include a process for gaining access to suspected sites. Both components are included in the agreement and the Secretary of Energy, himself a nuclear physicist says that is not enough time to hide traces of radioactivity.

So when it comes to the ” Anytime, Anywhere,” you are now prepared to FactEmToDeath.

Newswire: NY Times Looks Back On Comics Who Died Young, Missed One Big Part Of The Story

Newswire  8.17.15

Jason Zinoman’s piece in today’s New York Times was a nice homage to some past and present friends and other folks, too.

NY Times Remembers Charlie Barnett and Others

Charlie Barnett

Charlie Barnett

He does a nice job of reminding us of Charlie Barnett for example, however he misses a key episode of the story which I will share again, here.

First, let me say Charlie was a guy I knew and liked.  Not only was he the king of Washington Square Park street perfomrers, but he did a ton of indoor gigs too and one of those was working with me one night way back when, at Rick Messina’s Rainy Night House in Queens.  After the gig, I gave Charlie a ride home as we were both heading to the Comic Strip, but along the way he asked me to take a detour into a neighborhood up in Washington Heights or Spanish Harlem, I honestly do not remember exactly where he led me.  When we got to where we were going, Charlie told me to parallel park and then  — and this is the part that always stuck with me — he made it very clear I should keep my hands in my pockets while he was away, so that nobody would see that I was White. Forget the obvious, that my head was a dead give away, nonetheless, that is what he told me to do.  He then disappeared for I don’t know how long, leaving me there on some street in a neighborhood he didn’t think I was quite safe in, while he went off to buy some drugs.  I know he came back, because I remember getting back to the club and walking in together and I am still around to relate the story.  But that is not the episode that Charlie is best remembered for by anyone, including me.

Back in 1981 or 82? Charlie Barnett was selected to be the newest black cast member of SNL. It was obviously an opportunity that may or may not have catapulted him into the big time but it would have certainly raised his profile, if he had been able to hold onto the gig.  The problem, as I remember the story, was that Charlie was functionally illiterate and when rehearsals began for the new season, it became painfully clear that Charlie would be unable to keep up with last minute script changes or more importantly be able to read unrehearsed lines straight from the cue cards. That is why Charlie lost his gig and was replaced by another black kid, this one from Long Island, by the name of Eddie Murphy.  Eddie himself would soon be catapulted to the forefront on a night when the show ran short and Producer Jean Doumanian needed someone to fill the last few minutes of air time with comedy.  Eddie took the stage and did some of his stand-up unrehearsed, killed… and the rest as they say is history. A history that might never have been written if Charlie Barnett was able to read the cue cards.

Beyond Charlie, the Times piece also mentions my old friend Rick Aviles, who, while definitely an accomplished street performer did have a great act as Colin is quoted as saying and did work all over the country in clubs and other venues. Not mentioned in the piece is that Rick was also an accomplished actor having played significant parts in ‘Ghost’ and ‘Water World’ among others.

Rick Aviles

Rick Aviles

The piece also mentions Ronnie Shakes, yet another great comic who died young. Ronnie had done the Tonight Show seven times before his very premature death, well deserved credits, well worth mentioning again.  One comic not mentioned by the piece who I would nominate for recognition was Dennis Wolfberg who was also did the Tonight Show, wasa killer on stage and was starting to get more character acting roles at the time of his untimely death from melanoma in the mid to late 90s.

All in all it is a great piece that also puts the spotlight on Barry Crimmins, Bob Shaw, Marsha Warfield, Elayne Boosler and San Francisco’s Steven Pearl, all still alive, well and working.  Good for them. And good on Jason Zinnoman for covering them.


Corrections: The original version of this tale said SNL uses prompters. It actually uses cue cards.  (Thank you, Wayne Federman)  The original version also credited Lorne Michaels as being the producer. Jean Doumanian was Producer in 1981, not Lorne Michaels (Thank you, Joe Rocha).

Addition: The original version of this piece speculated that Ronnie Shakes had at least one, if not more, appearances on the Tonight Show. The total was actually seven. (Thank you, Jerry Stanley)

Scampaign 2016. Trump Files For Moral Bankruptcy

Trump Politico

POLITICO:  Donald Trump: Megyn Kelly should apologize to me

Scampaign 8.10.15

So Donald Trump doesn’t have the time for “Political Correctness?”  Fine.  Can’t he at the very least spare a second or two not be an absolute douche?

I guess I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt over an issue like  The NFL’s Washington “Red Slurs,” but when it comes to the accepted norms of basic human interaction , is it too much to ask the guy not be an absolute and total Dick, every time he opens his trap?

He’s like an overgrown  8 year old, spoiled  and enabled by adults who didn’t love him enough.  ‘I’ve been pretty nice to you but I won’t be now because you’re mean.  You were mean to me. Waa. Waa. Waaaaaa.’

He’s very very rich.  I know this to because he keeps telling me.  He has his own Boeing jet and penthouses all over the world.  He’s married to his third super model in less than thirty years.  He’s got chauffeurs and “people” everywhere he goes.  How is it THIS GUY can’t carve out just a few moments once in a blue fracking moon not to be a total douche bag?

I doubt very strongly that he could ever get elected President of the United States but he easily wins the race  for President of DoucheLand.

Or is that “The Doucheland?.”

Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy. Iran, Israel and Military Aide To The Ayatollah

Hyp Hyp Hypocisy 8.10.15

Former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane is sworn in on Capitol Hill before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, Dec. 8, 1986. McFarlane testifies before the committee that President Reagan gave his approval for an "indirect" shipment of arms to Iran in the summer of 1985. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane is sworn in on Capitol Hill before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, Dec. 8, 1986. McFarlane testifies before the committee that President Reagan gave his approval for an “indirect” shipment of arms to Iran in the summer of 1985. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

I got to spend some time yesterday with some dear old friends who I love and respect tremendously and was mildly surprised to find how deeply they are opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran.

In short, the threat they perceive to Israel is at the root of all this, yet it seems they, Sheldon Aldeson and the extreme right wing of the American electorate fail to recall that Israel itself has provided arms and comfort to the original Ayatollah, who was much more doctrinaire than today’s team. And they did it in concert with the Godfather of the Right, Ronald Reagan.

The very people complaining about “dealing with the Ayatollah” these days, are the direct decedents of the guy who made secret deals with the Iranians designed to A) lift his own profile while humiliating an outgoing president and then B) arm that very enemy in a twisted effort to get around Congressional bans on selling weapons to Iran and arming thug armies in Central America.

Irrefutable evidence proves Ronald Reagan, through William Casey, cozied up to the Iranians at least once and very strong evidence points to his having cozied up to them twice and under even more heinous circumstance.  Some will reflexively call the later assertion — that Casey and George H. W. Bush made a deal with Iran to continue holding 52 Americans hostage until after their administration took office, a conspiracy theory.  I see it through my own prism, which I call: “Coincidence Theory.”

Carter negotiated endlessly for the better part of a year including all night leading up to his own departure from office, and yet our most bitter enemy at the time (we can argue if the USSR was as bitter) holds onto the hostages until 20 minutes after Reagan took the oath of office.  Then the hostages get released and Israel transfers arms to the Ayatollah.  Coincidence? Of course it was.  So let it go becasue we are looking forward, not back.

And for those with absolutely no memory or knowledge of the Iran Contra scandal, let’s just restate some known history:  Oliver North and Robert McFarlane traveled secretly to Iran with a key shaped cake  (signifying  the opening of a new friendship) and a bible for the Ayatollah.  Shortly thereafter a chain of events unfolded in which Israel delivered weapons to the Ayatollah while the Ayatollah transferred small arms and other weaponry to the “Freedom Fighters” in El Salvador and Honduras.
Ronald Reagan first denied all this at a press conference and then retracted the denial to admit that indeed arms transfers had taken place. The official White House position in those days was that they “do not negotiate with terrorists” however the deals with Iran at the time helped gain the release of Americans being held hostage in Lebanon.  Hyp, Hyp, Hypocrisy!!


There have also been recent reports that Israel continues to supply military aide to Iran even as Benjamin Netanyahu campaigns to derail the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capability. Hyp Hyp Hypocrisy, squared!!


And finally, in a footnote to the Iran Contra affair,  the decedents of those right wing supported “Freedom Fighters” in Central America back in the 1980’s  now lord over the most violent and corrupt governments on earth while those they sought to defeat in Nicaragua are now governing a peaceful and prosperous nation.  …. I know. Facts Are Stupid Things.