Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Churchgoers, strippers protest one another in Coshocton County

Posted by Greg on August 9, 2010

Churchgoers, strippers protest one another in Coshocton County.

There’s a Mastercard commercial in here somewhere.  Makes me smile.

Posted in Business, Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

No clue how bad it’s going to get

Posted by Greg on May 5, 2010

A sad but enlightening piece at HuffPo that sheds some light on the BP disaster, and highlights that optimistic rhetoric coming forth from government and industry officials notwithstanding, the harsh reality is we have no clue when, if ever, the spill will be plugged, and therefore no clue how bad the environmental damage will be.  This has potential to be a catastrophic event with impact worldwide.

The Ixtoc disaster, however, is spit in the ocean compared to the British Petroleum apocalypse. Estimates are the current blowout is putting 200,000 gallons or 5000 barrels of crude per day into the waters of the Gulf. Ixtoc’s blowout was not capped until two relief wells were drilled and completed at the end of those nine months, and regardless of optimistic scenarios from the federal government or BP, relieving the pressure on the current flow is probably the only way to stop the polluting release of oil. The only way to relieve that pressure is with additional wells. No one is going to honestly say how much time is needed to drill such wells but consider the scope of environmental damage we are confronting if it requires at least as long as Ixtoc. Nine months of 5000 barrels of crude per day ought to turn the Gulf of Mexico into a lifeless spill pond and set toxins on currents that will carry them to deadly business around the globe.

NOAA apparently believes the situation is on the verge of getting worse. A leaked memo suggests that the tangle of pipes on the ocean floor are covering and constraining two other release points. Pressure is likely to blow those loose and, according to NOAA, the gusher will increase by “orders of magnitude.” In most interpretations, that phrase means a ten-fold rise in the flow, which will replicate the Ixtoc disaster in three days.

It’s not really been discussed enough, but this deep sea drilling is bleeding edge stuff, not the slam dunk that has been sold to the public, and the US regulatory apparatus simply isn’t up to the task of providing adequate oversight and demanding adequate safeguards.

Mr. Obama, can we PLEASE start moving on a sane, defensible, forward thinking energy policy?

Posted in Business, Energy, Environment | Leave a Comment »

Relief for air travelers

Posted by Greg on December 22, 2009

The Obama Administration has announced guidelines for airlines on the treatment of passengers trapped on planes, with stiff new penalties for violations.  It’s welcome news.

The federal government will impose stiff penalties starting this spring on airlines that keep passengers waiting too long on the tarmac without feeding them or letting them off the plane — a remedy that will relieve many travelers but mean longer delays for a few.

The Obama administration took the strict new approach in response to several highly publicized events in recent years, and in the face of likely Congressional action if airline regulators did not respond to the consumer outcry that ensued. […]

Under the rule, airlines that do not provide food and water after two hours or a chance to disembark after three hours will face penalties of $27,500 a passenger, the secretary of transportation announced on Monday.

Steve Benen asks:

This isn’t my area of expertise, but I can’t help but wonder — given all of the years of awful incidents, why didn’t previous administrations do something similar sooner?

Hm…  Perhaps they didn’t think they could do anything without Congress acting first?

Does this mean the Obama administration is about to start taking civil rights seriously?  Don’t hold your breath.  It’s too easy to throw gays, women, etc. under the bus for perceived political advantage.

Posted in Business, Obama Administration | Leave a Comment »

As if the food wasn’t enough reason to avoid Burger King

Posted by Greg on June 24, 2009

As they would say at Shakesville, what an assvertisement.


TMV also chimes in.

Posted in Business | Leave a Comment »

Too big to exist?

Posted by Greg on March 11, 2009

It has to be asked.

Posted in Business | Leave a Comment »

CNBC still hasn’t learned

Posted by Greg on March 11, 2009

They should know better than to come unarmed to a battle of wits.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Posted in Business, Media | Leave a Comment »

When will they learn?

Posted by Greg on March 10, 2009

CNBC should learn to stop messing with TDS.

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Posted in Business, Media | Leave a Comment »

Getting screwed for doing the right thing

Posted by Greg on February 23, 2009

Imagine having your workman’s comp claim denied for getting shot while stopping an assault on the employer’s premise.


I’m afraid the bad PR from this will cost McDonald’s far more than the medical bills.  And it should.

Posted in Business, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | Leave a Comment »

How GM killed Saab

Posted by Greg on February 20, 2009

From the trenches.

Posted in Business, Economics | Leave a Comment »

Because that’s what monopolies do

Posted by Greg on January 22, 2009

With the merger well underway, Sirius and XM Radio have announced price increases.

If you love your Sirius or XM satellite service, now is the time to re-up your subscription for another three years. The newly unified Sirius XM is charging $2 for additional subscriptions and adding another $2.99 fee for Internet radio.

It’s fair to note they have held the line on increased over the past few years and a nominal increase is fully reasonable.  But would it occur in a competetive market?  Probably not.

And is this really the time to be raising prices?  I’ve already let my Sirius subscription expire for a while as a cost savings measure.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  I love the service, but when belt tightening, it’s something that I can live without.

Posted in Business | 2 Comments »

Earning his keep

Posted by Greg on January 16, 2009

NBC did a good job with its coverage of the US Air plane that crash landed in the Hudson River.  Very impressive flying for a true hero: Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III

The Miracle on the Hudson could have very well been The Tragedy on the Hudson had it not been for the hero pilot known as “Sully.”

It’s popular to bash unions and yes, many pilots are well paid.  But there’s a reason for that – they have the skills.  And at times like this it’s easy to understand why they deserve every penny and more.

It’s also worth remembering that pretty much everyone involved in the heroics in every way was a union member.

Posted in Business | 1 Comment »

The devil in the details.

Posted by Greg on December 16, 2008

More news is coming to light about MAC negotiations with Delta Airlines which has taken over Northwest Airlines’ bond debt contractual obligations to the state of Minnesota as a result of the merger.

Seems to be a mixed bag, but leaning toward favorable.

After he appeared before a Minnesota House committee in November, Hirst said that Delta was willing to specify that it would locate certain business activities in the state.

MAC commissioners will receive a term sheet with those entities spelled out. Delta’s commitment to maintain a flight training center and a technology-data center in the Twin Cities will be among the activities listed.

The agreement will specify that Delta must keep those activities for at least three years regardless of business conditions. “That is an absolute guarantee,” Stanoch said. Others that fall under that provision are the Delta North headquarters, regional airline management, Compass and Mesaba Airlines headquarters, pilot and flight attendant bases, reservation centers in Chisholm and the Twin Cities and hub airport operations.

Note, even after three years, the only way they could be moved would be if the businesses were discontinued or completely outsourced.  That’s good.  They also increase the guaranteed daily flights from MSP to 400 – which frankly is already average for the airline, but it means they won’t be cutting service back.

What on earth does “north headquarters” mean, and is it in any way something meaningful to the “Minnesota brand” – the type of loss the original covenant was supposed to be protecting?

10,000 guaranteed jobs is good in this economy, until you realize that’s 40 percent below where we were sixteen years ago.  Couldn’t the new, significantly larger company match the old number?

Moving the management of regional carriers, increased local flight schedule, maintenance of data centers, contact centers, training operations, etc. all bode well.

All things considered, it’s probably better than we expected to see.

Posted in Business, Minnesota | Leave a Comment »

Kentucky – ignorant of law and reality

Posted by Greg on December 15, 2008

The governor of Kentucky has a bone to pick with that newfangled internet thing.  To bad it’s beyond his jurisdiction.

Lawyers representing online gambling interests told the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday that Gov. Steve Beshear’s effort to seize domain names is blatantly unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel is weighing Beshear’s unprecedented move to seize the domain names of 141 gambling Web sites.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate allowed the Cabinet for Justice and Public Safety to seize the domain names last month. The seizure, at this point, is meaningless because the state cannot control the content of the Web sites until a judge orders the domain names forfeited to the state.

Posted in Business, Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

Jon Stewart gets to the root of the Big 3 bailout

Posted by Greg on December 5, 2008

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Posted in Business, Humor | Leave a Comment »

On the matter of banking

Posted by Greg on November 26, 2008

From a friend:

To My Bank

  Dear Sirs,

In view of what seems to be happening internationally with banks at the
moment, I was wondering if you could advise me. If one of my checks is
returned marked “insufficient funds,” how do I know whether that refers
to me or to you?

Posted in Business, Economics, Humor | Leave a Comment »