Chipotle, But For Cheeseburgers? Shake Shack IPO Sets Expectations High

The “fine casual” burger chain will hold its initial public offering Friday, with the buzz swelling to the point of cultish fanfare. But how much will Shake Shack have to grow to live up to the hype?

Keith Bedford / Reuters

It’s easy to see why the buzz around the initial public offering of Shake Shack, the New York-based upscale burger chain, is reaching the point of frenzy. Burgers have remained the most popular item ordered across all classes of restaurant in the United States, and in the booming fast-casual dining space where Chipotle is king, Shake Shack is the first to hit the public markets.

“It seems to be that our desire for and our love affair with burgers doesn’t end,” said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst at consultancy NPD Group. “We’re ordering burgers at all types of restaurants for different reasons.”

What’s more, Shake Shack burgers are good. Really good. Just ask the analysts and prospective early investors who, according to sources, salivated over celebrated Manhattan chef Danny Meyer’s masterpieces when Shake Shack served them on its road show to drum up potential interest in the IPO.

The strategy appears to have worked in charming the financial forces controlling investment in the earliest available shares of Shake Shack, those up for grabs before the company even begins its first public trade on the New York Stock Exchange Friday. The expected price range for the IPO has already increased by 50% from $14 to $16 per share to a price of $21 per share Thursday evening.

“This is going to be an extraordinarily well-attended IPO,” said John Gordon, a restaurant industry analyst and founder of the Pacific Management Consulting Group. “Five Guys and Smash Brothers did not get an IPO done, so they beat the other burger chains. Shake Shack is the first real fast-casual burger operation to come to market.”

Shake Shack’s Manhattan beginnings have also worked in its favor, both to attract early investors, many of whom are familiar with its storied product, and to command a high average ticket per customer.

“They’re based in New York City, and sales numbers per store are extremely large in Manhattan,” Gordon said. “But there’s only one Manhattan, and as you get further out, there’s no way you can hit those numbers. Stores in other parts of the country aren’t going to hit those sales numbers.”

Kathleen Smith, an IPO expert and principal at ETF manager Renaissance Capital, agrees, adding that Shake Shack may not be able to cultivate the kind of following it has from New York investment industry types outside of the city.

“When Fairway went public, a lot of New Yorkers were familiar with it and it reached great heights, then it came back down to earth,” Smith said. “They have high margins in their New York locations; the question is how do you hold up those margins, because it’s a different kind of economy. New Yorkers will pay for it. [Another] question is, when do you add stores and what do the stores look like that you’re adding?”

Shake Shack is already considering the answer to this question, and its filings surrounding the IPO, the company said it plans to have 450 locations across the U.S. in the long term. There are currently just 30 Shake Shacks in America.

According to Smith, the 450 figure doesn’t seem too extravagant.

“We didn’t question that number,” she told BuzzFeed News. “It passed our sanity test.”

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

But in Gordon’s estimation, the average Shake Shack ticket is roughly $15 per person, higher than the $10 per person figure the company has ascribed to the average check. This, he said, will potentially make it difficult to find enough locations for Shake Shack to be able to scale its business and an IPO valuation of around $745 million.

“Generally what happens is every restaurant that IPOs says they can get to a certain number of units,” Gordon said. “Whether restaurants work or not, it’s a very complex situation of finding enough people, pricing appropriately, and finding the right locations, which has been difficult for a decade. The average ticket is about $15 per person, that is going to mean that it’s not going to work for everyone everywhere. It will have to be in densely populated urban areas with a higher income bracket.”

Another potential hurdle for Shake Shack is the issue of the fast-casual bubble. Call it the Chipotle effect: Fast-casual chains like Noodles & Company, The Habit, Potbelly, and others have boomed in recent years, experiencing huge pops on IPO day and then slowly but surely coming back down to earth in the following weeks and months as interest dies down.

“These IPOs have really gotten kind of out of hand,” Gordon said. “There almost needs to be an asterisk that the first years, the price to earnings multiple is always high, because investors continue to chase the next Chipotle. Everyone wants to get in on the next Chipotle, but the world has changed a lot.”

Gordon adds that there remains a general shortage of publicly traded restaurants, as many were delisted or bought out by private equity from 2008 to 2011, and the industry is struggling to recover.

“So there is demand and interest for restaurant IPOs,” Gordon said, “but historically they IPO and then they cool off.”

Smith remembers this very theory manifesting itself in the form of Potbelly and Noodles & Company, shares of which are currently down 37% and 27% from their respective IPOs in the last two years. She believes Shake Shack could be setting investors up for a similar disappointing return once the IPO hysteria dies down.

“It’s going to be a hot deal on day one,” Smith said of Shake Shack. “It’s a bit of a cult stock. You could get a 50 times earnings multiple, which is a stress on the name. It’s starting to defy fundamental logic. They have some things working in their favor, like a high ticket value, [but] what they’re targeting is a huge jump from their current base.”

Still, other industry experts believe as long as Shake Shack is serving burgers — the kind that are so good they’re unlike anything else in this burger-loving nation — then it should be able to thrive.

“What fascinates me about Shake Shack is that when I started doing this 37 years ago, the most popular thing people ordered in a restaurant was a hamburger,” said Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst and vice president at NPD Group. “And the most popular item people ordered yesterday was a hamburger. It can’t lose! As a consumer, we all have this desire to try new things we already know. In this case, I don’t have to go far to find people saying I’ll try a new hamburger.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mariahsummers/shack-attack


As Denny’s franchisee preps Obamacare surcharge, liberals promise boycott

http://twitter.com/#!/tracilaw/status/268876879086362626

If you’re in Florida and planning to join in on the Papa John’s “buycott” scheduled for this Friday, you might want to save some room for dessert and hit Denny’s afterward. A West Palm Beach restaurant owner is the latest target of a boycott campaign after floating the idea of adding a 5 percent “Obamacare surcharge” to customer checks starting in 2014.

You wanted Obamacare? You got it -> Denny’s And Hurricane Grill & Wings Imposes Surcharge For Obamacare huff.to/SNtUBK

— Jessica (@Miami_Jess) November 15, 2012

Franchisor John Metz told the Huffington Post that “although it may sound terrible that I’m doing this, it’s the only alternative. I’ve got to pass the cost on to the consumer.” In August, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter was among the first to come under fire for suggesting that implementing Obamacare would entail costs that would have to be passed on to customers.

Applebee’s has also been targeted for a boycott, although the company was quick to point out via a Twitter post that comments about a possible hiring freeze were made by an independent franchisee. Do little details like that matter, though, when Obamacare is insulted? Is Denny’s in for a boycott nationwide?

“@huffingtonpost: Denny’s franchisee to add Obamacare surcharge to customer checks huff.to/ZvZRnB#boycott these naysayers!

— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) November 15, 2012

Obamacare “naysayers”? Are they the new “climate change deniers”?

@donnabrazile These links that you’re posting are truly eye-opening. Boycott is not even strong enough of a word to describe what comes next

— ROS (@SuperstarDJROS) November 15, 2012

Okey dokey…Another one to BOYCOTT RT @huffpostpolDenny’s franchisee to add Obamacare surcharge to customer checks huff.to/RDENrf

— Cos2mwiz2 (@Cos2mwiz2) November 14, 2012

A Denny’s franchisee is adding a Obamacare surcharge to customers, even though the law is proven to saveemployers $. huff.to/RDENrf

— Nate FromUsa (@NatefromUSA) November 14, 2012

Do you hear that? Obamacare have been proved to save employers money. False alarm, business owners nationwide.

They are TRIPPIN’! RT @huffingtonpost: Denny’s franchisee to add Obamacare surcharge to customer checks huff.to/ZvZRnB

— Freedom (@FreedomReeves) November 15, 2012

Wow!I won’t be eating there! “@huffingtonpost: Denny’s franchisee to add Obamacare surcharge to customer checks huff.to/ZvZRnB

— Ricky Appleseed (@RickyAppleseed) November 15, 2012

RT @huffingtonpost “Denny’s franchisee to add Obamacare surcharge to customer checks huff.to/ZvZRnB” Complete and utter douchebag.

— Chris J. Shadrick (@shadrackmang) November 15, 2012

Boycott Dennys! This dickhead is charging you more or he’ll take it out of servers tips, because Obama won. po.st/FrCl5l

— eeksta1 (@eeksta1) November 15, 2012

Glitch closing, Macy’s defending Trump, Denny’s instituting an “Obamacare surcharge”…what’s wrong with everything today?!

— Ancalime (@ancalime) November 15, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/11/14/as-dennys-franchisee-preps-obamacare-surcharge-liberals-promise-another-boycott/


But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

Read more: https://imgflip.com/i/bqjer


‘Mitt Happens': The classy billboard Kenneth Cole planned to post if Obama lost

http://twitter.com/#!/KennethCole/status/266544645859835905

Yesterday, Kenneth Cole had a billboard put up in New York City to congratulate President Obama for the whopping “two jobs saved” by his reelection. (That would be Obama’s job and Big Bird’s.)

Today the classless designer flaunted his ignorance by sharing the billboard he would have posted had the election gone the other way.

Condolences to Big Bird and family? “Sesame Street” generated $200 million in revenue from product sales between 2003 and 2006. How would the Sesame gang possibly have survived on those meager crumbs?

Obama’s reelection is already forcing small business owners to kill off much-needed jobs. Evidently the “Romney wants to kill Big Bird” meme is one of the few things that just won’t die.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/11/08/mitt-happens-the-classy-billboard-kenneth-cole-planned-to-post-if-obama-lost/


Grand Canyon to reopen tomorrow, Gov. Jan Brewer announces

http://twitter.com/#!/GovBrewer/status/388808415390081024

It looks like the feds can take that giant tarp off of the Grand Canyon.  Gov. Jan Brewer, who had proposed using state funds to keep the site open during the government shutdown, is announcing tonight that the Grand Canyon will be open tomorrow. That follows similar announcements by the governors of Utah and South Dakota.

http://twitter.com/#!/bjackrose/status/388813422168514560
http://twitter.com/#!/AzScenicTours/status/388813595938545664

Arizona Central reports that the state will pony up $651,000 to keep park open for one week.

The money will come from a mix of state and “other” dollars, Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said, including funds contributed by Tusayan businesses.

The announcement came after an afternoon conference call to iron out the details, and after the Interior Department had reached similar re-opening agreements with Utah and Colorado.

Related:

‘Closed for King Obama’: Grand Canyon business owners protest shutdown

‘It’s a free day’: Zion National Park reopens with Utah state aid

Mount Rushmore to reopen Monday thanks to donated funds

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/10/11/grand-canyon-to-reopen-tomorrow-gov-jan-brewer-announces/


Will we survive the horrors of the sequester? A look at the details

http://twitter.com/#!/CuffyMeh/status/307679208962924545

Unable to perfect the art of the “Jedi mind meld,” President Obama signed the order that ushered in Sequesterpocalygeddon on Friday. With one signature, an estimated 170 gajillion jobs disappeared and Capitol janitors readied themselves for a life of cannibalism.

What were the final maimed / killed / eaten counts for Sequester Day 1? #GrimMilestone

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) March 2, 2013

It’s strange, but we’re having trouble locating any reports of rivers running red with the blood of innocents. Were the prophecies wrong?

Follow @jamiedupree for an actual line by line of what is being cut.Some cuts are not good. But many make me wonder why we do that anyway.

— Matthew Cox (@matthewrcox) March 2, 2013

.@jamiedupree currently detailing specifics of sequester cuts. I think we may just survive this thing.

— AG (@AG_Conservative) March 2, 2013

Reporter Jamie Dupree read the 83-page report from White House Office of Management and Budget so you don’t have to. Here’s his complete rundown on the sequester cuts. Read his tweets, then check out Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider.

Defense accounts will see a reduction of 7.8%; non-defense accounts are at 5% according to the OMB

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

OMB memo on sequester from Jeffrey Zients now available at 1.usa.gov/ZKjwzd

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

OMB says defense spending “must be reduced by $42.667 billion” – that is less than $45b estimated by the Pentagon

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The sequester report orders a $1 million sequester for the National Drug Intelligence Center (doesn’t exist?)

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The 83 page sequestration report starts with US Senate salaries & ends with the “Vietnam Debt Repayment Fund”

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Found 82 different cases where money was sequestered from “unobligated” balances (unspent) in the Pentagon

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

For example, the Air Force has 290 million in unspent money for Family Housing Construction; Navy – $245 million

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

This is not money that was approved for this year; unobligated balances are left over from prior budget bills

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Another example – the military has $670 million in unobligated money for “procurement”

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The Marine Corps has $1.12 billion in unobligated money for procurement; Navy – $2.9 billion

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

So, large chunks of money are being sequestered from leftover military funds that have been sitting unused

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

My quick count shows $4.6 billion sequestered from unspent money in the Pentagon – that’s over 10% of their cuts

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

So if $4.6 billion is just under 8% of the total unobligated money in the Pentagon right now….

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The military has $970 million in unobligated money for “Foreign Currency Fluctuations” – sitting unused

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

There is $290 million in unused money in the DOD “Acquisition Workforce Development Fund”

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Even if the Pentagon says that these extra balances are needed – it shows how much $$ they have on the shelf

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

THere is $2.5 billion in unobligated money for Military Construction

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

There is still $601 million for the 2005 military base closure account

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

This is not money from Fiscal Year 2013 – this is money from previous budgets that has not been spent

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

So, the military takes a double hit – the amount for this year is chopped, as is the money on the shelf

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Library of Congress loses 21 million for salaries and expenses; the GAO would lose $26 million

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Supreme Court sequester is $4 million for salaries and expenses

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The National Agricultural Statistics Service would lose $4 million to the sequester

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Department of Education loses $65 million for Impact Aid; officials say that could result in immediate layoffs

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The Office of Innovation and Improvement at the Dept of Education has $77 million sequestered

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The Office of English Language Acquisition has $37 million sequestered

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

White House has $3 million sequestered, $1 million for White House operating expenses

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Office of Management and Budget – which put out this report – has $5 million sequestered

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The Denali Commission loses $1 million to the sequester

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The Electric Reliability Organization has $5 million sequestered

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

National Endowment for the Arts has $7 million chopped, same for National Endowment for the Humanities

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$14 million from the National Labor Relations Board

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$20 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$1 million from the “Standard Setting Body” – I truly have no idea what that is – someone Google it

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Tennessee Valley Authority to have $23 million sequestered

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Interesting that how the sequester hits NOAA – no specific line for the National Weather Service in this

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

NOAA loses $1 million for the Limited Access System Administration Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The Bureau of the Census has $13 million sequestered – next census in 2020

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

international Trade Administration loses $23 million; Bureau of Industry and Security loses $3 million

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$74 million cut from Food for Peace Title II grants

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$2 million is cut from the Rural Electrification and Telecommunications Loans Program Account

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

FEMA loses $928 million in disaster relief money & $6 million for Emergency Food and Shelter

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

immigration and Customs Enforcement loses $294 million

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

FLETC – Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is docked $12 million for salaries

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

At Homeland Security, the Office of the Chief Information Officer has $16 million sequestered

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$175 million will be cut out of Low Income Home Energy Assistance funds (LIHEAP)

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Indian Health Services would lose $198 million, plus $22 million for Indian Health facilities

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

OMB says because the cuts are over a 7 month period, the effective reductions are almost 13% defense/9% domestic

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Centers for Disease Control loses $289 million

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Read the 83 page sequestration report at 1.usa.gov/YI6em3

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The $85 billion in sequester cuts for Uncle Sam are finally spelled out in detail bit.ly/14bsaaF

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Dupree picked up again on Saturday morning with a line-by-line detailing of the automatic cuts.

If you missed it last night, the sequester is now in effect bit.ly/ZMd2zU

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The sequester chopped $1 million from the Office of the Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The sequester took $2 million from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$3 million was cut from the Milk Market Orders Assessment Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$4 million was cut from the Rural Business Program Account at USDA

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$5 million was cut from the Economic and Statistical Analysis unit at the Department of Commerce

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$6 million was cut from the budget for Gallaudet University

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$7 million was cut from the Electricity Deliverty and Energy Reliability program at the Dept of Energy

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$8 million was cut from the Orderly Liquidation Fund at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$9 million was cut at the Clean Technology Fund in International Assistance Programs

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$10 million was cut from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$11 million was cut from Research, Development, Acquisition & Operations in Science and Tech at Homeland Security

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$12 million was cut from the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$13 million was cut from the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program Contingency Fund at HHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$14 million was cut from the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program at DHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$15 million was cut from FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Direct Loan Program Account

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$16 milion was cut from the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Department of Homeland Security

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$17 million was cut from the Diversion Control Fee Account at the Drug Enforcement Administration

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$18 million was cut from the Legal Services Corporation

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$19 million was cut from the operating expenses of the National Archives and Records Administration

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$20 million was cut from the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$21 million was cut from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program at the Interior Department

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$22 million was cut from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$23 million was cut from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$24 million was cut from the Business Loans Program Account at the Small Business Administration

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$25 million was cut from the National Infrastructure Investments fund at the Department of Transportation

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$26 million was cut from the TAA Community College and Career Training Grant Fund at the Dept of Labor

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$27 million was cut from the State Grants and Demonstrations fund at HHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$30 million was cut from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund at the Department of Treasury

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$31 million was cut from Salaries and Expenses for department offices at the Interior Department

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$32 million was cut from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$33 million was cut in money for Native American Housing Block Grants

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$34 million was cut for Family Housing Operation and Maintenance in the Air Force

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$36 million was cut from Research and Education Activities at the Department of Agriculture

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$37 million was cut from the military’s Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$38 million was cut from Wildland Fire Management at the Interior Department

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$39 million was cut from Family Housing Operation and Maintenance in the Army

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$40 million was cut in Science and Technology at the Environmental Protection Agency

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$41 million was cut in Salaries and Expenses in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$42 million was cut from Conservation Operations in the Natural Resources Conservation Service

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$43 million was cut from the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$44 million was cut from the Affordable Insurance Exchange Grants program at HHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$45 million was cut in Refugee and Entrant Assistance programs under HHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$46 million was cut from the Rental Assistance Program at the Rural Housing Service

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$47 million was cut from the military’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Fund

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$48 million was cut from Capital and Debt Service Grants to Amtrak

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$49 million was cut from International Disaster Assistance at the Agency for International Development

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$50 million was cut from the Home Investment Partnership Program at HUD

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$51 million was cut from the Prevention and Public Health Fund at HHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$52 million was cut from “Defender Services” at the Justice Department

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$53 million was cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$54 million was cut from Surveys, Investigations & Research at the US Geological Survey

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$55 million was cut from “Water and Related Resources” at the Department of Interior

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$56 million was cut from State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grants at the Justice Department

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$57 million was cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Account at HHS

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$58 million was cut in salaries and expenses at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$59 million was cut from salaries and expenses at the US Marshals Service

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$60 million was cut in salaries and expenses at the Farm Service Agency at USDA

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

A reminder for everyone – all of these numbers are cuts from this year’s budget; this is not future funding

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The discretionary budget only went from $1.043 trillion to $1.047 trillion – so most, if not all are real cuts

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$61 million was cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at the Environmental Protection Agency

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$62 million was cut in Salaries and Expenses at the US House of Representatives

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$63 million was cut from Military Construction funds for the Army National Guard

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$64 million was cut from Resource Management at the US Fish and Wildlife Service

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$65 million was cut from Impact Aid at the Department of Education

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$66 million was cut from Environmental and Other Defense Activities at the Dept of Energy

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$68 million was cut from Operating Expenses for the Agency for International Development

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$69 million was cut from Procurement of Ammunition for the Navy and Marine Corps

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$70 million was cut from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund at USDA

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

$71 million was cut from administration at the Office of Federal Student Aid

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

The sequester will now take discretionary spending from $1.047 trillion to $974 billion this year (that’s a cut)

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Discretionary budget was $1.043 trillion in 2012, $1.047 trillion in 2013 – now cut to $974 billion w/sequester

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

And for those who tell me “we don’t have a budget” – you can read it here 1.usa.gov/ViMkA2

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Read more & comment on the sequester cuts at bit.ly/ZMd2zU – see the whole list at 1.usa.gov/YI6em3

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 2, 2013

Are you wearing your panicked face?

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/03/02/will-we-survive-the-horrors-of-the-sequester-reporter-jamie-dupree-breaks-down-the-numbers/


We Use Google Every Day, But Do You Remember What It Used To Look Like?

Can you remember a time before Google was the search engine that dominated the Internet? Not many of us can. Google as we know it today came to be back in 1998 as the brain child of Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Originally Google was going to be called BackRub. Thankfully Larry and Sergey changed the name, and never looked back. Thanks the power of The Way Back Machine, which archives websites, we can take can take a look at Google during those early years.

Warning. Examples of painfully bad examples 1990’s and early 2000’s web design are ahead.

This is what the Google homepage looked like in 1997. Pretty sparse right?

Clicking the top link would take you here.

And clicking the bottom one would take you here.

By December 1999 the Google Beta was the homepage. Here’s what the about page looked like.

Going back in time using the Google logo. Can’t believe they almost called it BackRub. That would have been weird.

In 1998 this was the first Google logo doodle. It’s a picture of the Man at Burning Man. Larry and Sergey created it to let visitors to the site know where they were for a week.

A snap shot from mid-1999. Looking more like the Google we know and love today.

Google finally emerged from beta in October 1999. Ain’t she a beauty?

Hurrah! We’ve reached the end of 2000, and Google is looking more normal. Also note the appearance of Google AdWords.

At this point Google was available in 25 languages. Today, that number is 80.

Tabs were added to search for different things in 2001.

The blue boxes were taken away in 2004.

The menu options at the top appear.

In 2010 Google finally ditched the weird shading on its logo.

The black box at the top was added in 2011.

Another slight logo change in 2013.

This is what Google looks like now. Super elegant, and amazingly beautiful.

BONUS!

Check out what a few of your other favorite websites used to look like back in the early days of the Internet.

Microsoft’s old website is painful hilarious.

Nytimes.com from 1996.

AOL.com from 1998.

Yahoo.com from 1997.

MTV.com from 1997.

IMDB.com from 2000.

Apple.com from 2000.

FoxNews.com from 2001.

CNN.com from 2000.

Microsoft.com from 1999.

(H/T: Business Insider)

The Way Back Machine is a pretty cool way to see what websites used to look like. Show your friends how terrible their favorite websites used to look by clicking below to share this story on Facebook. 

Read more: http://viralnova.com/what-google-used-to-look-like/


The Sheriff Who Sold Amnesty

How did a tough-on-immigrants sheriff wind up convicted for conspiring to harbor illegal aliens? Jimmy Metts, the longest-serving sheriff in South Carolina, exploited the contradictions between anti-immigrant sentiment and the need for cheap, undocumented labor.

In 1970, three years before James “Jimmy” Metts became sheriff of Lexington County, there were exactly 107 Mexican-born people living in the entire state of South Carolina.

Forty years later, when Sheriff Metts stepped down in disgrace, that number was close to 75,000. During the first decade of the 21st century, South Carolina had the fastest-growing Hispanic population of any state in the country, reaching a total of more than 250,000 in 2013, most of them Mexican immigrants and their families.

Metts recognized that there were federal dollars and political points to be scored in dealing harshly with “illegals,” as they were so often called in Lexington County. In 2010, he implemented a federal program that empowered his agency to begin deportations against undocumented immigrants it arrested. Close to a thousand people were deported as a result of the program.

Metts was the state’s longest-serving sheriff, and one of the longest-serving in the country. He ran unopposed in election after election. The Lexington County Council gave him carte blanche with the budget, and the law enforcement building complex bore his name. Metts seemed untouchable.

So it came as a surprise to many when this tough-on-immigrants sheriff was indicted after taking cash payments from a local business whose undocumented workers had been arrested — in exchange for not turning those immigrants over to the feds for deportation. In late December, Metts pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens.

In many states, law enforcement has become the principal institution for reacting to the explosive growth of an immigrant population that had previously been virtually nonexistent. All the while, major industries have grown accustomed to undocumented labor. The voters in Lexington County wanted Metts to crack down on immigrants. The business owners responsible for the economic lifeblood of Lexington County wanted Metts to ease up on their undocumented workers.

It was a combination of circumstances that, as sheriff, Metts was perfectly positioned to exploit.

When Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” during a 2009 address by President Obama on health care reform, he was responding to the president’s assertion that undocumented immigrants would not be eligible for benefits under Obamacare. Wilson’s frustration with the president over immigration reflected that of many of the constituents in his congressional district, which includes his home base of Lexington, South Carolina.

By then, Sheriff Metts was an influential politician and lawman with a sterling reputation among Republicans in deeply conservative Lexington County.

“Jimmy Metts has always been recognized in our county as just a complete and total straight shooter,” said Jahue Moore, an attorney in Lexington County and Joe Wilson’s former law partner. “He never did anything other than honest, honorable, first-class law enforcement.”

Metts, now a barrel-chested man with wide, ruddy cheeks, was elected sheriff in 1973, when he was only 25 years old. For the next two decades, he set about modernizing and expanding the Sheriff’s Department. (Through his attorney, Metts declined to comment for this story.)

“This was a backwater with a kind of Dukes of Hazzard feel to it when Jimmy took over back in the ’70s,” said Rich Bolen, former chair of the Lexington County Republican Party. “And it’s a world-class law enforcement agency now. Probably the best sheriff’s department in our state, in all due modesty.”

He was the first sheriff in South Carolina to do a number of things that later became standard, like hiring women as deputies, instituting drug tests and psychological exams for new hires, and posting police officers in public schools. Lawyers and politicians in South Carolina see Metts as a pioneer in the national trend toward professionalizing local law enforcement.

In an article he wrote for The Futurist magazine in 1985, Metts accurately predicted that these developments would become commonplace, and even foresaw the change that would become his undoing: “Police officers of the future will have to deal with an increasingly diverse population, including more legal and illegal immigrants, and greater numbers of non-English-speaking citizens.”

In the essay, Metts also indulged his obsession with technology, fantasizing about what a day in the life of a police officer might look like in 2001. “The ‘supercops’ of the future will be highly trained caretakers who may not carry guns,” Metts wrote. Instead of patrol cars, they will fly around in “space buckets” and “jet packs,” which will allow them “to soar above and around congestion or to hover a few feet above the scene of a fire, accident, or disaster.”

In reality, this obsession translated to continually buying newer and more sophisticated guns, cars, boats, and, when such things became possible, computers and DNA labs.

Eventually, the county council ceded oversight of his budget, choosing instead to give him a lump yearly sum he could spend as he pleased. Throughout his tenure as sheriff, Metts had the unwavering support of the voters and politicians of Lexington County, and could rely on a political climate that was consistently pro–law enforcement.

“Selling law and order in a place like Lexington County — that’s like selling ice water in hell,” said Duncan.

Very little changed in Lexington County during Metts’ first 20 years as sheriff. But in the mid-’90s, Southern states became the epicenter of a massive national shift in the way Mexican and Central American immigrants settled around the country. Rather than moving to existing enclaves in states like California and New York, immigrants started flowing to the South and Midwest, drawn by the low cost of living and booms in construction, agriculture, and meat processing.

Between 1990 and 2010, Lexington County’s population grew by 59%. The Latino population, meanwhile, grew by 1,015%.

In the years leading up to Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst, the rapidly growing Latino population in South Carolina had become impossible to avoid. Residents saw them picking collard greens as they drove by farm fields, or perching on the half-built roofs of the suburban subdivisions that kept cropping up along the highways. They saw them in Walmart and in hospital waiting rooms, and they saw their children in the schools alongside their own.

At the level of political rhetoric, the response was unambiguous. Bolen, the former chair of the county Republican Party, described the party’s view as “your standard conservative position: They think illegal aliens should be rounded up and deported as they’re captured, not treated as American citizens.”

Nobody involved in politics, law, or immigration advocacy in Lexington County described Metts as ideologically anti-immigrant in the manner of Joe Arpaio, the infamous sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Instead, they say that Metts had a finger constantly on the political pulse of his jurisdiction, and that the unbreakable hold he had over his office was based, in part, on his ability to align himself with the elements of the national Republican platform that most resonated in his home turf.

So, in 2010, Metts entered into an agreement with the federal government under a program known as 287(g). The program empowered Metts’ department to interrogate people they arrested about their immigration status and place immigration detainers against them, making it a matter of minutes or hours before they were caught in the gears of the system that would eventually deport them.

The 287(g) program is very attractive to jurisdictions looking to crack down on illegal immigration. Metts’ department regularly set up roadblocks in what it called high-crime areas. But Julie Smithwick, executive director of South Carolina PASOs, a public health program for immigrants, said she heard constant complaints that Metts’ deputies were targeting immigrant neighborhoods and profiling Latino drivers.

Metts made a video explaining that he implemented the program after realizing that many of the people passing through his jail were foreign-born. “Once we got the program in place, we determined that a whole lot of people in our facility were in fact born in other countries and were here illegally. … The program’s been very successful for us,” Metts said in the video, which ends with the loud sound of a jail door slamming shut.

Lexington County’s political establishment was enthusiastic about the program. Bill Banning, who was on the county council for nearly 20 years, said it amplified the effects of workplace raids carried out by the federal government nearby and around the same time. There was a large poultry processing plant in West Columbia, for example, run by a company that had another plant in Greenville, where more than 300 undocumented immigrants were deported in 2009.

“Between that company and Jimmy’s program, a lot of those illegal immigrants just left,” he said. “They scattered like rats. When you had shift change, you went over there and you saw nothing but Hispanic people coming and going. Now you don’t see that. Now you have a lot of local people getting those jobs that these illegals were getting to begin with.”

The idea of self-deportation — a policy of making life for undocumented immigrants difficult to the point that they return to their countries of origin — had grown popular in Republican politics. Dora Zavala, an immigrant from El Salvador and community organizer in Lexington County, said that many immigrants did leave the county after Metts implemented 287(g). However, she recalled that the large majority moved to other states, while only a small handful left the U.S.

The 287(g) program also meant that Metts could single-handedly decide whether or not an undocumented immigrant went into the system. It was this authority that Metts used to make money by not deporting certain workers.

In South Carolina, Metts was ahead of the curve on the question of using local police to enforce federal immigration laws. In 2011, the state passed a bill modeled on Arizona’s notorious “show me your papers” law, compelling local police to demand proof of citizenship from anybody they suspected of being in the country unlawfully.

But certain provisions in the law betrayed the extent to which key industries in South Carolina had grown dependent on undocumented labor. Those who employed farmworkers and nannies, for example, were exempted from checking their workers’ immigration status in a federal database.

Businesses that could not count on these exemptions became frequent clients of local immigration attorneys. One such lawyer, Charles Phipps, said about a third of his calls came from business owners, most of them construction contractors, who’d had a worker land in Metts’ jail.

“The irony is pretty deep,” Phipps said. “This is a very Republican area, and Republicans who want to deport everybody are in office, and they’re voted in and given money by these business owners. But when it comes to their specific employees who get arrested, they come to me and say, ‘This person is different.’”

Banning, the former Lexington County Council member, said he never knowingly accepted contributions from businesses that employed undocumented people, and would expect the same from others on the council. “They shouldn’t be hiring illegal immigrants to work anyway,” Banning said.

In immigrant communities, the consequences of Metts’ dragnet were harsh and unmistakable. In fiscal year 2010, which ended months after Metts established the program, 34 people were deported from Lexington County through 287(g), according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The next year, that number shot up to 480.

“I have a lot of friends who were deported, who left behind their families, their children, and their wives,” said Zavala, the community organizer from El Salvador. “Seeing their children, seeing that they probably won’t be able to see their fathers again — that was difficult.”

For those who remained, Zavala said, there was mostly fear. Immigrants would beg for rides to work from acquaintances with legal status. If they couldn’t help but drive, they would go straight to work and come straight home. Something as simple as going to the grocery store became fraught with panic.

Asked how many people she knew who had been deported or had seen their family members deported, Zavala let out a long breath. “It must have been at least 50,” she said. “But those are just the ones I know about. There have been others. There have been many others.”

Sometime in 2013, the FBI started to investigate Metts in connection with a video gambling ring, according to an attorney directly involved in the case who spoke to BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity. A member of the Lexington town council named Danny Frazier had been secretly recorded speaking to someone claiming to want to open a parlor with illegal video poker machines. Frazier bragged about officials he had access to who could protect the operation, including the mayor of Columbia, two state senators, and Jimmy Metts.

When confronted with the evidence, Frazier offered the feds information about a bribery scheme he and Metts were involved in. Frazier was on the payroll of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department as a part-time “business liaison,” a job that ostensibly had him relaying the concerns of small business owners to Metts. In reality, Frazier told the FBI, he had been acting as a go-between for a series of payments made to Metts by Gregory Leon, the owner of a local chain of Mexican restaurants. Frazier and Leon both face state charges and declined to comment through their attorneys.

Early in September 2011, one of Leon’s workers was arrested in West Columbia, according to Metts’ grand jury indictment. On Leon’s behalf, Frazier called Metts to ask him not to put the worker through the system. Metts said it was too late. A deportation order was already in place. In the future, Leon needed to act faster.

In the ensuing months, Metts intervened in the arrests of three other immigrants who worked for Leon, these times successfully, in exchange for an undisclosed sum of money in cash.

Two lawyers with knowledge of a separate investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told BuzzFeed News that Leon’s restaurants may not have been the only business that entered into some kind of agreement with Metts regarding their workers.

Last June, Metts was indicted on 10 counts of bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to interfere with government function, and conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens. A month later, members of the Lexington County Council told The State, one of South Carolina’s biggest newspapers, that Metts had asked them for contributions to help pay for his legal fees. After months of negotiating with prosecutors, Metts pleaded guilty in December to the final count of his indictment: conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens.

“The funny thing is that the charge that stuck is basically what Obama did for 5 million illegals,” said Bolen, the former county Republican Party chair. “He made them not have to register and not have to be in the system as illegals, and he did it for three or four, and he got a felony conviction. But Obama is lauded as this great compassionate man of the people.”

This is not a rare sentiment among Metts’ erstwhile allies. “You don’t have to bribe somebody to let a Mexican out of jail,” said Jahue Moore, the Lexington County attorney and former law partner of Joe Wilson’s. “They let Mexicans out of jail all over the place.”

Seven years before Metts’ indictment, the Lexington County Council had voted to name the buildings housing the county jail and the sheriff’s department the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex. The vote was split. Johnny Jeffcoat, a council member who voted for the naming, said the debate centered around the wisdom of honoring a living person who is still in office. “The largest obstacle in the way of them voting for it was, let’s suppose Sheriff Metts gets in trouble,” Jeffcoat said. “Then we’re all going to be embarrassed. And unfortunately, they were right.”

On Jan. 14, the council voted unanimously to remove Metts’ name from the buildings. The same day, work crews pried Jimmy Metts’ name from the building facade, leaving a blank space in its stead.

“There won’t be anybody else’s name on there,” Jeffcoat said. “I can pretty much assure you of that.”







Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidnoriega/how-a-tough-on-immigrants-sheriff-wound-up-harboring-illegal


But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

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But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

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