Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fat Lester Formally Endorses Newt Gingrich

The campaign of former House Speaker and current GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich received a major boost today when internet / social media extraordinaire Fat Lester officially endorsed the former Congressman from Georgia.

Fat Lester, whose real name is Peter Egan, had not previously endorsed a candidate, citing favorable views of numerous candidates early on in the GOP nominating contest, along with the fact that he personally knows more than one of the candidates originally in the race as reasons for refraining from issuing an endorsement.

Newt Gingrich Consults Southern GOP Leaders
(Newt Gingrich consults with NOLA Tea Party leaders including Fat Lester)
However, when Herman Cain announced that he was suspending his campaign in light of a series of frivolous, racially-motivated attacks by several women on the left who were allegedly paid millions combined in exchange for levying the false and defamatory charges. Needless to say, these women were acting on behalf of the Obama Administration/Campaign (they're one-in-the-same), including at least one Obama Administration employee and the next-door neighbor of Obama's speech writer, it left Gingrich as the only candidate in the race with whom Lester has spoken with at length and in person regarding the challenges facing the country and the solutions required to get the nation back on the right track.

Newt Gingrich and Fat Lester
(GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich and Right-Wing Conspirator Fat Lester)
That said, personal affiliation with a candidate was not the sole criteria upon which Lester based the decision. Lester is also a strong supporter of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and identifies with Santorum's views on most issues, in particular the one nobody likes to talk about: the "A-word".

Newt Gingrich Tea Party
(Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich introduces himself to the VRWC)
This conflict made endorsing a candidate difficult even after Cain, whom Lester had helped raise funds via a Tea Party Rally with over two thousand attendees (back before he'd even announced he was running) at which Cain was the keynote speaker; announced that his campaign was effectively over and that he (Cain) would be endorsing Gingrich. However, after three states have held their nominating contests, with Santorum's victory in Iowa failing to translate into momentum going forward, Lester decided Gingrich is the candidate most likely to defeat Obama in a 1-on-1 match-up due to his unnaturally high IQ (he must have 50 IQ points over Obama and no less than 120 over former Speaker Nancy Pelosi) as well as his superior debate skills.

Newt Gingrich speaks with CNN reporters who weren't allowed inside the meeting
(Naturally, the media was not invited to the closed-door session)
While Fat Lester had speculated back in June that Gingrich may ultimately represent the Republican Party's best shot at victory in 2012, he had withheld making an endorsement so early on in the campaign for obvious reasons, some of which are stated above.

Lester is not going to merely informally endorse the former Speaker by issuing a public announcement on one of his blogs. Rather, he will be putting his money (something he has very little of) where his mouth is, and will be making a financial contribution to both Gingrich and Santorum's respective campaigns, with Gingrich receiving roughly twice the amount that will be given to Santorum. Should the latter win any more states or do anything else that results in his building of momentum with the majority of states yet to vote, he will likely receive additional funding from Lester proportionate to any progress he makes in terms of gaining ground on Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Newt Gingrich thanks Peter Egan (aka: Fat Lester)
(Newt Gingrich thanks Fat Lester for his advice and endorsement)
Fat Lester would like to encourage anyone and everyone reading this who cares about the general welfare of the United States of America to do likewise and make a donation to the Gingrich campaign using the link below. He would like for you to do this regardless of who you are, what your party affiliation is or which candidate you're supporting. Anyone can donate, regardless of one's income.


Newt Gingrich - GOP Candidate for President
America's Next President Poses with Fat Lester's Sister
If Fat Lester can come up with $100 spread out over a few months, so can you. It's time we take our country back, and we're going to need everyone to chip in whatever they can in order to save the nation.

Peter Egan Advises Newt Gingrich
The most important people were seated closest to the candidate
Another four years of Obama holding the office of the Presidency, and the United States will look more like Cuba than the prosperous one-time superpower where anyone who was willing to work hard could achieve success not attainable in most places throughout the world.

Fat Lester believes Newt Gingrich is the candidate with the best chance to take in 57+% of the vote required to win after the millions of fraudulent votes that will be cast by democrats are accounted for. In swing states, the real number needed to win could reach as high as 63-64%. In order to win this election, we will need to get 100% of the eligible voters in this country who want to preserve the freedom, prosperity and opportunity for which America was founded and will always be remembered (in the event Obama wins and the nation is disassembled or integrated into a North American Union). In order to do that, we will need to contribute whatever we can without losing our homes or failing to put food on our respective tables.

Please donate to Newt's campaign. If you support Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, donate to them as well. Fat Lester will be donating $120, $80 to the Gingrich campaign and $40 to the Santorum campaign. Please make one sacrifice on an item you can live without (as long as it's not something you're considering buying from Fat Lester or his affiliated businesses ;-), and instead use that money to help defeat the great American Saboteur-in-Chief.

On a totally separate note, it appears Mitt Romney's got some problems on the horizon:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Small Business Directory Inadvertently Opens Door for Competition

LOS ANGELES, CA - Like most everyone else throwing their two cents into the discussion over the 2012 edition of Merchant Circle versus the community we'd all grown to know and love, I'd like to personally take this opportunity to state on record my opposition to MerchantCircle's 2012 overhaul of the site design and functionality.

Merchants who contribute content should be rewarded for their efforts, and before January of 2012 they were. Now, our blog posts aren't even featured on our company homepage, nor are our products, photos or coupons. The fact that MC has shifted focus away from those creating content and towards those paying for placement is a move that will undoubtedly upset a number of business owners in addition to myself, opening the proverbial door of opportunity for competitors to move in on the space the old MC had occupied.

Merchant Circle's 2012 overhaul has angered users, opening the door for competitors to move in.

Instead of the 2011 profiles, which largely featured a merchant's contributions on his or her own small business' homepage on the site, those pages now have more ads to competitors' pages and websites, with only reviews displayed beneath the company bio on company homepages. The category links that once appeared on my Merchant Circle company homepage are now gone, as is the Google +1 button (although it remains on some of the pages that haven't yet adopted the new design).

Many formerly free features now cost far more than fair market value based on pricing for similar services at those few companies who do charge for them.

Rather than labor for the benefit of companies with the resources to pay to be prominently featured on my Merchant Circle company homepage that doesn't even link to my recent blog posts, photos, coupons or deals, I will instead most likely be spending more time on similar sites --- alternatives to Merchant Circle --- preferably sites that won't use bait-and-switch tactics to trick users to generate loads of free content, only to see the commercial benefit of said content be taken away from them.

One such site is called StoreBoard. At StoreBoard, you have a company profile, such as the one I have already created for
Egan Medical. Like Merchant Circle, companies get their own blog, and can add coupons, list products in the marketplace, post images, classifieds and even links to their company's respective site-within-a-site.

The company blogs are superior to those at MC as the option to add photographs to posts actually functions properly, meaning the photo actually appears, and all text and HTML show beneath the photo also appears on the page for each respective post. As most users of Merchant Circle who've tried to add photos to blog posts without completely coding the entire page from scratch, the photos usually don't appear, and all text/HTML appearing beneath the photo does not appear either. I once lost more than an hour's work because I forgot to independently save a copy of my MC blog post on my own computer, and lost it when I attempted to include a photo in the post, only to find that all photos and everything appearing beneath them just gets deleted on MC blogs. StoreBoard blogs also give the user superior formatting options compared to those offered by MC.

Here is an example post by Egan Medical Equipment about a new line of products (maternity supports, to be specific) which now are available for purchase through the company's online store:
Egan Medical Unveils New Line of Maternity Supports.

Obviously, the site is newer and not as powerful, so the benefit of your activity there won't have the immediate and meaningful impact being featured prominently at Merchant Circle once had.

In fact, each company gets its own links page, and as long as the links don't violate the company's terms of service, users can pretty much post anything they think their customers will appreciate, be it links to products, articles, news stories or whatever else might be useful.

Like Merchant Circle, all that is displayed on a given company's homepage is their bio and contact info (including website link). However, I haven't seen any ads for competitors either while logged in or out, so if they exist they're minimal and out-of-the-way, and you won't see your hard work serve to benefit a larger competitor with a bigger advertising budget.

While we're on the topic of new competitors to the Small Business Online Directory business, one not-so-new player is making a new and significant push to add features that might lure users away from competitors such as MC. Well known, established directory site Manta has added a number of features that will definitely appeal to merchants, and which are superior to the comparable features offered by MC.
Take for example this product page, which is more like a general category page about maternity supports (basically an orthopedic support for women during pregnancy) than a singular product page. The maternity supports page was recently created for a small business profile at Manta. Observe the large photo of the product, the ability to list either a singular price for a specific item or a price range for a class or group of items. Also, observe the length of the product description, which far outpaces the amount of space given by MC for product pages, and even then there were no links to the actual product page on the merchant's website. Manta has all that and more. While I'm no profit, it would seem a logical conclusion that Manta may be soon offering merchants the opportunity to blog directly from their Manta profile, which would get Manta up-to-par in terms of everyone else in the business with regard to the amount and extent of features available to merchants willing to spend their time creating content for the site for free in exchange for a small but sometimes meaningful bit of a promotional opportunity and benefit.

Unless and until Manta and StoreBoard "pull a MerchantCircle" and revokes the most appealing features of its site for the benefit of a handful of each industry's largest and richest players, I will likely be spending as much if not more time developing Egan Medical's presence within the StoreBoard community as I will continue to spend here on Merchant Circle.

I'll also stop paying for a certain Merchant Circle paid upgrade if said upgrade (they know to which one I am referring) fails to reappear on my company profile within the next 7 days.

Anyway, I hope someone at Merchant Circle is eventually made aware of all the displeasure among business owners and their respective employees about the recent overhaul of Merchant Circle's design and functionality, and I sincerely hope the big MC can get it together and make real improvements rather than changes that prey upon small business owners as much as they help them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Drug Shortages in the U.S. Completely Unacceptable

There is absolutely no excuse for an absence of anesthesia drugs in a hospital in the United States of America preventing a surgery to be performed on schedule or as planned. I am not interested in hearing the various excuses being made by the responsible parties.

It absolutely incredible to me that criminals on the street have no problem whatsoever obtaining high-end pain relief drugs yet major hospitals in the U.S. have to issue their patients Tylenol because of these so-called "shortages".

It's not just hospitals that are finding themselves unable to obtain sufficient quantities of medicine to meet patient demand. Retail and infusion pharmacies are also finding themselves on the short end of the stick, unable to obtain the medicines their patients (customers) need.

Can pharmacies sue drug manufacturers for failing to fulfill demand?

It might be time to begin exploring the possibility of instituting fines for pharmaceutical companies that fail to meet demand. Another option would be to coerce them into entering binding contracts which would hold them liable for compensatory damages in the event their supply fails to meet demand.

Whatever the solution, this entire fiasco is reminiscent of paragraph in George Orwell's 1984 about razor shortages and shortages in general, and for this to be happening in the United States is surreal in addition to being completely and totally unacceptable.

This is America, and if the existing pharmaceutical firms aren't able to get the job done, then it's time for a new competitor to emerge who isn't afraid to create enough of a supply to meet an ever-increasing demand.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Regarding Senator Vitter's Proposal to Drug Test Welfare Recipients


My favorite U.S. Senator, David Vitter, R-LA, recently published an editorial at arguing in favor of random drug testing of federal welfare recipients. While I do not necessarily disagree with the Senator's premise or logic, I do believe that the proposal outlined in the column does not do enough to sufficiently address the monumental waste of taxpayer funds as it pertains to drug addiction.

I most definitely believe that Senator Vitter's heart and mind are in the right place with this proposal. I certainly do not want my tax dollars being used by welfare recipients to purchase illegal drugs.

However, I would like to know what the relative cost would be to put welfare-recipients who are addicted to drugs through treatment versus simply continuing to support their lifestyle? I would be willing to be that the latter actually costs less to the taxpayers.

I believe that any such program should include a provision mandating that anyone arrested for possession of illegal narcotics be sentenced to drug treatment rehabilitation instead of serving time in jail/prison.

The cost of incarcerating non-violent drug offenders far outweighs the cost of their monthly welfare check. If we're serious about reducing wasteful expenditures of tax dollars, let's invest the money currently being used to incarcerate drug addicts into inpatient detox and rehabilitation. This will (by my estimation) more than quadruple the savings as individuals currently incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses could become taxpaying citizens themselves rather than having their entire lives destroyed permanently on the taxpayers' dime.

I'm all for the testing of welfare recipients, but I will reiterate that if the proposal's real intent is to reduce wasteful government spending at both the state and federal level, any such legislation should also seek to reform the criminal justice system in such a way that nonviolent drug offenders receive treatment instead of jail time.

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