Twinkies, Fruitcakes and Dumb… Open Thread

Vacation vintage ad by JC Leyendecker

Vacation by JC Leyendecker

Good Afternoon

Well, I’m going to post a few quick reads for you now. This first one makes me scratch my head and wonder why? Dak can you enlighten us?

Gallup released the results of its states with least stress polls and I am surprised to see Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana on the top five.

Hawaii Remains State With Least Stress

Hawaii residents remained the least likely in the U.S. to say they felt stressed on any given day in 2012, at 32.1%. West Virginia residents, on average, were the most likely to report feeling stress, at 47.1%.

Five Least Stressed StatesFive Most Stressed States

These statelevel data are based on daily surveys conducted from January through December 2012 and encompass more than 350,000 interviews as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Nationwide, 40.6% of Americans reported feeling stressed “yesterday” in 2012, similar to past years.

Hmmm…and Mississippi is third on that list?

My question is who did Gallup ask in their polling research?

Lowest Stress States Report Most Enjoyment

Two of the five states with the lowest stress levels, Hawaii and Wyoming, also boasted the highest levels of enjoyment in 2012. In Hawaii, 89.7% of residents said they experienced enjoyment the day before the survey and 88.8% said so in Wyoming.

Five States with Most EnjoymentFive States With Least Enjoyment

You can click here to see where all the 50 states stack up: 2012 Stress Levels for all States

So, yesterday in the tweet universe, from one fruitcake to another:

Matt Drudge Tweets Kind Words For Alex Jones: ‘One Hell Of A Broadcast In Such Homogenized Media’ | Mediaite

I need a clean up on aisle ten. Ugh…these people make me sick.

Now for some good news!

Praise the Gawds above and the Basturds below: Twinkies are back: Hostess plant in Columbus, Ga., will reopen in July

Standing in front of a big “Welcome Back” banner, an executive for Hostess Brands said Tuesday the new company will hire up to 300 employees and reopen its Columbus plant to make Twinkies and other sweet treats.

The facility at 1969 Victory Drive, known as the Dolly Madison Bakery, is scheduled to be up and running again by July, Hostess Brands LLC Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Cramer said during a press conference at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

“Safely, you should be able to buy Twinkies by the end of July,” Cramer said. “I think we will be cranking them out here and a couple of other places around the country.”

The Columbus plant will initially employ 200 people but could create more than 300 jobs eventually, he said. The snack-cake factory had about 420 on its payroll when it closed last November. It was then that Dallas, Texas-based Hostess Brands Inc. shuttered its entire U.S. production and distribution network following a lengthy impasse with worker unions and a couple of rounds in Chapter 11 bankruptcy court.

In April, Hostess Brands Inc. sold the Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other brands to private investment firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. for $410 million.

“This is a huge deal that we were able to land it,” said Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. “(Cramer) was just really glowing about the fact that Columbus came after them and got it.”

The mayor said returning employees to an empty plant that has been in Columbus for many years also was emotional.

“I think it’s a huge morale boost,” said the mayor who loves Zingers. “There’s something, obviously, iconic about the Hostess brand. We have a decades-long relationship with them. So the smiles were a little brighter than at most of our job announcements.”

This is one of only four factories that will reopen to make the beloved icing stuffed cake treat. I guess the Obama endorsed Georgia Slave Labor Employment program had something to do with it.

The state’s Quick Start program will help the company with workforce training. It will also get assistance from Georgia Department of Economic Development, Columbus Technical College, the Consolidated Government, Development Authority and other agencies.

Cramer is hoping the new company can make an impact with children going back to school. “Well into July we hope every lunch bucket will have Twinkies in them when they return to school in the fall,” he said.

Cramer couldn’t state what the hourly salaries would be for the new company but said they would be competitive.

“We are putting together a company that doesn’t exist and isn’t selling anything right now,” he said. “We will put together a pretty good package of pay and benefits.”

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, the company will partner with the Georgia Department of Labor to hold a job fair to fill positions in production, sanitation, distribution, maintenance engineering and management. Lines are expected to be long at the 700 Veterans Parkway office. Applicants are encouraged to bring an updated resume and be prepared to wait.

Cramer is hopeful the new company will be in Columbus for a long time. “We have to make sure that when we get on the shelves, a product is made by people who will take pride in their work,” he said. “We will have a long history here in Columbus.”

The Columbus plant opened in 1971 and employed as many as 1,200 people about a decade ago. But staffing had fallen to around 420 by last fall. The local bakery was well-known for the sweet aromatic smell it emits to passers-by while making Twinkies, Zingers, Ding Dongs, fruit pies, doughnuts and other cake products.

Well, I hope these people at least get a “living wage” but since Georgia is a right to work state, they get what they get and that is all they get.

But, it is still jobs, right? And hell, at least Twinkies will be back in grocery stores.

Have a great evening.

This is an open thread.