Ned Pepper's Outrages

Thursday, September 29, 2011

HP Heartbreak: Will it never end?

Yet again the HP Board of Directors, voted worst in the country by business poll after business poll, has shown why they merit that lofty achievement. Comes word that deposed jefe Leo Apotheker, on the job (so to speak) for only eleven months, has been awarded "severance" of $7.2 million, besides accelerated access to other goodies like stock options worth millions more. All this at a time when HP is frantically outsourcing jobs overseas, and carrying out a management policy, according to stressed-out employees, that resembles Stalinist terror more than anything else.
And recently they announced they were replacing Leo with Charter Member Sneering Plutocrat Meg Whitman, or, "Carly 2.0" as Ned's moles inside the company are describing her, since she was dumped by eBay, as was Fiorina by a former telecom company, carrying billions in stock options away with her, as did Fiorina from HP, along with her vewy own pwivate airplane. Moreover, Whitman has no experience running a tech company and is fresh from throwing away $160 million of "her own" money on a Quixote-like campaign for the governorship of California, where she was trounced by septegenarian former flower child Jerry Brown.
To top it all off, they had the temerity to announce that Whitman's "Base" pay was going to be $1 a year. Now, Ned can imagine what sort of "incentives" this Board of Nitwits is offering her: probably $50,000 for every day she shows up for work, and so forth.
Ned assures his friends that the HP board's position at the bottom of the heap has only been more cemented by these daring moves. And be sure to SHORT HP.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The HP Board Strikes Again!

Not content with its ranking among the worst corporate boards, according to experts (certainly not Ned), the board of floundering computer former-giant HP is reported ready to axe its CEO of 11 MONTHS, Leo Apotheker, in favor of a Charter Member of the Sneering Plutocracy, former eBay head Meg Whitman! Whitman's latest caper was to spend $160 million of her "own" money (read: money flayed from the backs of eBay employees and shareholders) in a run against wheezing geezer Jerry Brown for governor of California, a race in which she was soundly trounced. Ned can only imagine to what heights she may soar if elevated to the head of HP, but Ned advises his investor friends to continue to short the stock (free advice).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

HP Redux

Ned's friends know that he has been chronicling the rise and (mainly) fall of computer giant HP for more than a year, pointing out the laughable incompetence of a "Board of Directors," and their misadventures in hiring, first of titanic loser (except in reward of course) Carly Fiorina, then of Mark Hurd (forced to resign, and take $12 million with him, arising out of 'improprieties' in his expense accounts), and now of some European character. He would like to amend his earlier posts by pointing out that HP's stock has tanked recently, sinking into the mire of the low 20's--and well-deserved. A bigger bunch of self-aggrandized clowns cannot be imagined, but, have no fear, they will find ways to make silk purses out of sow's ears, and numerous reasons why they should all be rewarded with ever increasing amounts of filthy lucre, all flayed from the backs of hapless employees and shareholders. Let the free market rule!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Today's Brief Items

* Ned noticed that the good burghers of Llano, Texas are suffering through yet another spate of drought. It's so bad that some of them are even coloring their lawns. Ned seems to recall, however, that their Governor "Rick" Perry called for a "Day Of Prayer" not long ago to exhort the Almighty, who presumably takes a hands-on attitude to such things, to dump some rain on the Lone Star State, but, apparently the folks in neighboring Louisiana were more devout as they got the rain (and the accompanying flooding). Maybe what Texas needs is fewer days of prayer and more studies into the causes and long-term effects of climate change? Just sayin.'

* Ned has noticed that the number of Americans plugged into their portable musical generators seems to be increasing daily. Could these people be indulging in the oldest form of narcotic, music? It's certainly easier and perhaps more fun than paying attention to one's surroundings--certainly one's political surroundings.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Need For An International Psychiatric Conference

Arising out of his observations this past week, Ned today announces the need for a new International Psychiatric Conference to address the growing tendency for grotesque fat people to aggressively call attention to their condition. The situation that caused this resolution was this: Ned had occasion to have a pedicure (yes, and let his adversaries and belittlers make the most of it), and he was astonished to see the large (!) number of grotesquely fat people of all ages, that came in for pedicures and manicures, almost exclusively female. Many of these persons were repulsively fat, dressed in tight clothing, but were apparently intent on having their toes colored and their fingernails polished and manicured. Ned can only conclude that this activity made them feel attractive, and they were capable of overlooking the repulsive grotesqueness of their obesity and focus on the banal triviality of the color of their fingernails and toenails.
Ned, not being a psychiatrist or even a psychologist, has no explanation for this bizarre behavior, and so he calls upon his brothers and sisters in the medical profession to explain such aberrant behavior to him. All he can tentatively surmise is that it is easier to get a pedicure than to eat sensibly and exercise.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weaseling "out" on cleaner air

Now that our "weasel in chief" at 1600 PA Ave has caved yet again, this time on cleaner air, perhaps we citizens might take some matters into our own hands. How can we get cleaner air without inconveniencing, even slightly, the Sneering Plutocracy? Ned suggests we curtail the use of gas-powered "leaf blowers," which nowadays are used for virtually everything except blowing leaves. Ned suggests his friends tell their apartment managers, strip mall officials, etc that they really don't mind if they see a leaf on their parking lot. So much mindless activity generates a great deal of our remaining air pollution. Yesterday, Ned saw an overweight individual sitting atop a self-propelled mower, mowing a strip of dead grass, and blowing great clouds of dust into the air as a result. A word to the association management could put a stop to that, for example.
Because Obama has demonstrated that he will do nothing if the GOP knuckledraggers don't eagerly support it, and all they support is Christianist principles, and tax cuts for the Sneering Plutocracy and the Paris Hilton Crowd, the few remaining sensible people in this land may have to do something.
Ned wishes his friends a very good, dust-free day.

Climbing a wall of stupid: solving the "debt crisis"

Ned has secreted himself for the past few weeks, and has been deep in study and calculation. He is now ready to announce his solution to the "debt" crisis in this country: buy it. Buy it all. Here's how. Treasury notes, say 5-year, pay about 1% interest. Let's sell all we can, say ten trillion dollars worth. The Chinese have plenty of money, as do the Japanese. For that 10 trillion, we need to come up with $100 billion a year to pay the interest. Now we use the money to buy all the debt of the Fortune 500 companies, which pay about 5% a year. Then we buy all the muni bonds of AAA rated states like Virginia, which pay about 4%. Then we by all the dividend-paying stocks that pay over 4%, like Verizon, AT and T and Florida Power. We realize about $500 billion a year in interest on these risk-free investments. Pay the $100 billion interest to the Asians and we have 400 BILLION A YEAR PROFIT. We use this to rebuild our infrasturcture, hiring millions of people in the process, all of whom pay taxes, resulting in a flood of revenue to every state in the country, even those stupid enough to have elected knuckledragger GOP politicians. For those purists out there, we can use $100 billion a year to pay down the debt. We pay off the debt with our profits on the interest and dividends.
Now, Ned will sit quietly and humbly and await his call from that Idiot in the White House to be his Treasury Secretary, as well as his call from the Nobel Committee.