Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Call For More Meat

Rejoice, plebeian food-eaters .  Now you have one more way you can torture your digestive tract, because 'MURICA.  Behold, our latest superhero, Ten Dollar Meat Mountain!

His humble origins:

Arby’s faced a key problem as it moved to attract customers: People thought the restaurant served mainly roast beef. To change that, the company made this poster showing a tall stack of every meat on the menu, from bacon to brisket.

And then something unexpected happened. 
“People started coming in and asking, ‘Can I have that?’” said Christopher Fuller, the company’s vice president of brand and corporate communications. So Arby’s began granting their wish.

America is truly great, because meat.

The “Meat Mountain,” as it’s called, will not be listed on the menu, but store associates will make it for customers who ask. The price is $10. For that, you get a bun and, from the bottom up:
  • 2 chicken tenders
  • 1.5 oz. of roast turkey
  • 1.5 oz. of ham
  • 1 slice of Swiss cheese
  • 1.5 oz. of corned beef
  • 1.5 oz. brisket
  • 1.5 oz. of Angus steak
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1.5 oz. roast beef
  • 3 half-strips of bacon
Arby’s says the Meat Mountain is so tall that it won’t fit into the traditional clamshell packaging. So if you dare to scale the Mountain, it will come wrapped in paper.

Nearly a pound of meat for $10.  Go for it, America!  Hell, you've got Obamacare, right?

Timmy King's, or Burger Hoho's?

The latest US company playing the tax inversion game (which is apparently what all the cool corporate kids are trying to do by merging with a non-US company and then moving the corporate HQ overseas to avoid US taxes) is, of all companies, Burger King.  The Home of the Whopper is apparently trying to join the Home of the Timbit, Canadian coffee and donut chain Tim Horton's.

Burger King (BKW.N) is in talks to acquire Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc (THI.TO) in a deal that would create a fast food powerhouse with a market capitalization of roughly $18 billion. 
Burger King and Tim Hortons, comparable in size by market value, confirmed their merger discussions late on Sunday, saying the new company would be the world's third-largest quick service restaurant. It would be based in Canada, which has lower overall corporate taxes than the United States, especially for entities that have large amounts of earnings from overseas. 
The proposed deal would be structured as a so-called tax inversion transaction to move Burger King's domicile out of the United States, and could come as soon as in the next few days, according to sources familiar with the discussions
Recent attempts by companies for tax inversion deals, which are done to avoid higher U.S. taxes and save money on foreign earnings and cash held outside the United States, have drawn the attention of President Barack Obama, who criticized a "herd mentality" by companies seeking such deals. 
Tax inversions have become popular in recent months as low interest rates are making it cheaper for companies to make acquisitions, KeyBanc analyst Christopher O'Cull wrote in a note to clients about the potential deal.

Tim Hortons, on a forward earnings basis, is trading at a discount to Burger King, noted O'Cull. This factor likely makes an acquisition of the only slightly less valued Canadian chain more viable.

So what kind of fallout will this deal entail?  President Obama has said, and rightfully so, that tax inversion plays like his hurt American workers and the tax base.  But Burger King joining Tim Horton's and moving to Canada isn't exactly an "offshore tax haven scheme" either.  On the other hand, it would be by far the most visible tax inversion move to date, ever since the one for Walgreen's was scotched last month.

On the gripping hand, Burger King would finally get some good coffee and donuts, and Timmy Hoho's would get some good burgers in the deal.  Chicken Fries with poutine, anyone?

Still, corporate tax avoidance is corporate tax avoidance.  We'll see what the Obama administration's response is.

Run Rand Run

Sen. Rand Paul freely admits in this latest pile of crap from Politico that he can pull the millennial Snowbro vote from Hillary (which says volumes about Snowbros) but he seems to think that's going to be enough for him to win in 2016 and that Dems are scared of him running.

No Rand, we're not.  Go for it.

Sen. Rand Paul says Democrats are afraid his stance on war and foreign policy would attract independents and "even some Democrats" if he were to run against Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. 
“I think the American public is coming more and more to where I am and that those people, like Hillary Clinton, who — she fought her own war, 'Hillary’s war,' you know?" Paul said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." 
"And I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most — is that in a general election, were I to run, there’s going to be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, ‘You know what? We are tired of war. We’re worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war because she’s so gung-ho.’"

So they'll vote for the conservative Republican who hates civil rights, hates women's bodies, and thinks zygotes are people.  Plus, Rand Paul will totally resist the GOP perpetual war machine.  Sure he will. Worked for all those years that Ron Paul was President, right?


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