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bucolic_frolic's Journal
bucolic_frolic's Journal
July 21, 2017

Billionaire Florida donor rails against Trump

Source: Politico

TALLAHASSEE — Billionaire health care mogul and former GOP megadonor Mike Fernandez has harsh words for Republicans who don't stand up to President Donald Trump.

“All the Republicans who hide behind the flag and hide behind the church, they don’t have the f------ balls to do what it takes,” Fernandez told POLITICO Florida in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Fernandez, a Miami-area resident, has long been a political rainmaker and donor, spending $3.5 million in ads against Trump in 2016 alone. He has, however, grown disenchanted with the direction of political leaders at both the state and federal level. He left the GOP due to Trump.

“I am out of the political process. Too disgusted, too expensive, too supportive of ego maniacs whose words have the value of quicksand,” he wrote in an email to a Republican fundraiser seeking political contributions.

Read more: Billionaire Florida donor rails against Trump

More at the site. Fernandez supported Jeb and then HRC.
July 19, 2017

Reckitt cuts the mustard with $4.2 billion food business sale

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. spices maker McCormick & Co Inc (MKC.N) has agreed to buy Reckitt Benckiser Group's (RB.L) food business for a higher-than-expected $4.2 billion to give it a wider variety of seasonings and sauces.


At $4.2 billion, the price represents a multiple of more than 7 times the annual sales from the business and 20 times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

That is much higher than the long-term average of major deals in the sector, which Bernstein analysts say is 3.3 times sales and 16.2 times EBITDA.

Sources had previously estimated that the business, which attracted interest from several other U.S. players, would fetch more than $3 billion.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-reckitt-food-mccormick-idUSKBN1A32GQ

Anyone notice how spices and vitamins, the latter of which is not part of this deal, have skyrocketed over
the last 15 or 25 years?

15 years ago, or during the recession, discount stores were loaded with off-brand spices at 99 cents. In the
1990s mail-order vitamin catalogs practically begged consumers to purchase with discounts, free shipping.
Now consolidation has concentrated ownership in fewer companies, sometimes private equity, and not only
are prices up, but the product is shrinking. 99 cents, if you can find them, is 1.5 to 2 ounces now. I can
recall 6 or even 8 ounces of dill, mustard, cinnamon, turmeric at those prices.

We are so cooked. In this deal we have more concentration of product lines. I'm sure it's not a monopoly, but
what major spice brands are there? McCormick, Durkee ... ?
July 13, 2017

Promising discovery in 1830s deaths of Irish rail workers on the Main Line

In 2002, twin brothers William and Frank Watson discovered documents kept by their late grandfather, who had been the executive assistant to the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The file came with instructions that the information be kept private.

The documents contradicted the story released during the cholera epidemic. They revealed that instead of eight deaths, 57 people had lost their lives. But untreated cholera has a mortality rate of only 50 percent. Something didn’t add up. Why did everyone die? The Watsons embarked on 15 years of research.


William Watson said he believes a vigilante group murdered the immigrants out of a fear of cholera and prejudice against the Irish, who were often blamed for the epidemic. The Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad then covered up a massacre.

“What happened at Duffy’s Cut is kind of an epitome of the fear of cholera, of the fear of the foreigner,” said the Rev. Frank Watson, president of the Lutheran Archive Center in Mount Airy. “It certainly speaks to some of the worries and concerns people have today and the craziness that we see perpetrated in different communities around the world.”


July 12, 2017

Trump to postpone London visit until 2018

Source: ABC News

President Donald Trump will no longer be visiting London in his first year as president, a senior White House official confirmed to ABC News today.

The official cited a "scheduling conflict" as the reason behind the change, and said the White House has gotten in touch with the British government to iron out plans for a visit in 2018.

Downing Street did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

During the president's bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the G-20 summit on Saturday, Trump said he still planned to move forward with the visit but dodged on providing any details about timing.

Read more: http://6abc.com/news/trump-to-postpone-london-visit-until-2018/2207012/

Official reasons, or toxic? Now or never?

Five and a half month scheduling conflict! Incredible obstacle.
July 7, 2017

Slow internet and Firefox problems

Started around July 1. I still think it is summer network maintenance. But for 2 weeks?

eTrade Pro got very slow. Then eTrade itself would hang in Firefox tabs. For hours.

eTrade IT ran a traceroute that showed the connection was slow and truncated west
of Philadelphia. Told me to call Verizon.

Verizon told me my bandwidth was too slow and I should pay more, and did 2 hours
of tweaking to my PC. Now after all that I (I didn't upgrade the speed), it runs the same, with
eTrade problems in Firefox. He upped the strength of my router, but I think no one can hear
me when I use the telephone.

In Opera however, eTrade and eTrade Pro work very fast, no problems. When I boot eTradePro it launches
a tab in Firefox. That tab hangs, just loads with a blank page. Forever. In Opera though, the eTrade tabs
are fine with Pro running.

Other websites sporadically hang in Firefox too, even late at night.

Is this my Vista machine reaching obsolescence with Firefox?

I'm thinking run a lot of maintenance ... remove and reinstall FF if I can get a clean download which
is proving difficult as well. Are FF browsers under attack? For awhile I thought it was related to using
DU, but the problem is ongoing everywhere.

============== Update=============
I spent 8 hours on this today. I restored the system to last week, installed a new browser, Safari, and Firemin, a memory
clearing program. Now that it's 6 pm things are running well. I still say they're doing regional installs or maintenance. Verizon
guy would not validate the traceroute malfunction. Seems strange. I may go with Safari and Opera next week and see what happens. Tonight they are running well, and Firefox has only had a couple of hung tabs.

============== Update 2=============
Today, Saturday, the internet is fast and crisp as could be. No problems, hangs, slowdowns at all.
They just try to distract you from the problem and blame you: if you paid more you would have
fast service. Totally ignore any network maintenance that's underway. I've lost days over this.
Do I get credited for lousy service? No.

It's on my agenda to downsize my online activities and use public computers. This is a fleecing.

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