Its own CEO was put in the Twitter gulag since Twitter didn’t know Jack.
Read all about it here.
participation in this year’s Black Friday looks like it may be the worst in history: according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,639 adults showed 63%, or nearly two-thirds, did not plan to shop on Black Friday this year. Some 32% said they plan to finish about half of their holiday shopping on that day. While selling tactics are certainly a factor, one wonders how much of decline in spending is due to lack of disposable income for the tapped out US consumer?
“The holiday season is expanding, and Black Friday is no longer the kickoff for the season,” said Natalie Kotlyar, who heads retail and consumer products at business advisory firm BDO Consumer, adding many start holiday shopping at Halloween, Labor Day or even Amazon’s Prime Day on July 12.
Still, retailers are not only not giving up but, as Reuters reports, are on the verge of panic, and have not only redoubled efforts this year to boost sales with familiar tactics but greater intensity, all of which assure even lower margins, but are rolling out the heavy artillery to draw in those consumers who will go out on Friday.
I’ve never understood Black Friday.
Some of it is cultural: I grew up around people who were not shoppers. The women purchased their Christmas items when they were not at work, the men waited until the very last minute, and I don’t recall stores in Puerto Rico doing Black Friday promotions. I’m not certain, but I don’t think stores in Latin America did then, either.
Another reason is that I have been shopping on line for years since, no matter where I live, I always have friends and relatives in other areas. Before the Internet, I shopped at stores that shipped.
The third reason is that, while I certainly like purchasing things, I hate shopping in stores, especially during Christmas season with the sensory overload of music-decorations-parking messes. When I shop in stores, my “inner guy” takes over: I decide ahead of time what it is I’ll get, go directly to find that item, pay, and leave.
And lastly, my gift wrapping skills are woefully non-existent. Thank goodness for colored tissue and decorative little bags.
And now for the pitch: If you may want to shop through my Amazon links and my advertisers, you will help support this blog, which I truly appreciate,
The Yes California group has been around for more than two years, Evans said. It is based around California taxpayers paying more money to the federal government than the state receives in spending, that Californians are culturally different from the rest of the country, and that national media and organizations routinely criticize Californians for being out of step with the rest of the U.S.
Yeah, the best way to prove they’re not “out of step with the rest of the U.S.” is secession – that’ll do the trick! / sarc
On the bright side:
The rest of the country won’t have to stay up late on election night.
On the down side:
For a state to secede, the 49 other states must approve an amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
Changes, not withdrawal?
Rather than kill Nafta, Donald Trump and his advisers appear set to push for substantial changes to the treaty governing U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada, an effort that could prove difficult to negotiate and perilous to the regional economy.
Mr. Trump hasn’t released a blueprint for his new vision of Nafta, but his comments and those of his advisers suggest they want big changes. Among the likeliest would be special tariffs or other barriers to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and new taxes that would hit U.S. firms that moved production there, according to Trump advisers. His team says it may also seek to remove a Nafta provision that allows Mexican and Canadian companies to challenge U.S. regulations outside the court system.
For their part,
Mexican officials say they are willing to update the 22-year-old treaty, including adding new chapters on e-commerce and other aspects that didn’t exist in the mid-1990s.
But Mexican officials are wary of revisiting tariffs and export quotas.
Rather than panic, it appears to me that there is room for negotiation, even when both parties are coming from apparently opposite ends, especially if both countries focus on keeping jobs in our hemisphere rather than outsourced to China, as has been the case.
As I write this post, the Dow Industrials Top 19000 in Early Trading, a Day After Hitting Record Alongside S&P, Nasdaq
Ed Morrissey brought to my attention an article that claims that Donald Trump pressed Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri about a stalled building project,
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) November 21, 2016
According to a report in the Argentine paper La Nacion, when President Mauricio Macri called Trump to congratulate him on winning the election, Trump used the opportunity to urge him to clear the way for a stalled office building development.
Talking Points Memo translated the story, which included comments from well-respected local journalist Jorge Lanata.
“Macri called him. This still hasn’t emerged but Trump asked for them to authorize a building he’s constructing in Buenos Aires, it wasn’t just a geopolitical chat,” said Lanata.
Long-time readers of my blog remember that I have posted Lanata’s reports, especially on the Nisman assassination and on the Kirchner money trail.
Since Lanata’s allegation was made during last night’s TV show, I watched the full show on YouTube, here,
Lanata got a lot of mileage out of the story: during his opening monologue (see above), during the cartoon, and during his reporters’ panel. I’ll skip to the panel.
At 54 minutes into the video, Lanata said that his reporter Maxi Montenegro had heard the alleged Macri-Trump conversation. Montenegro, however, not only did not affirm either way, but talked about income tax reform, a totally unrelated subject.
At 1:03 into the video Romina Manguel described the upcoming Trump Tower US$150 million, 35-story office building, in Buenos Aires as “one of Trump’s most important investments”.
She stated that “a long time ago” a group of investors purchased a three-story parking garage in the Nueve de Julio avenue in downtown Buenos Aires. In 2007 those owners could not get a building permit, and YY Development Group, partners with Trump in a Punta Del Este, Uruguay, hotel, approached them with plans to build a Trump Tower at that site. (As you can see from the link, the Punta del Este building is residential, not a hotel.)
According to Manguel, the Buenos Aires Trump office building was granted the necessary permits early this year “before anyone thought Trump would be elected President,” and was scheduled to start construction in July next year, but following Trump’s win, the city legislature said the permits “may need renewing”.
Mangel and the other panelists clarified that in the US it is considered inappropriate for a President-elect to bring up the building approval subject, while it’s not in Argentina.
As much as I respect Lanata’s work, this story strikes me as based on hearsay.
First, there’s no actual evidence of what transpired during the actual conversation.
Second, the main source of the information conveyed to La Nación is Felipe Yaryura, a partner of YY Development Group (the other partner is Moisés Yellati, hence YY).
Yaryura claims to have been “at Trump’s bunker” at the NY Hilton during election night, and asserts that he’s the one who talked Donald Trump into running for POTUS “a little over a year ago.”
The Buenos Aires Trump office building appears to be one of the many licensing arrangements the Trump organization has made over the years.
So, to summarize:
1. Could the subject have come up during the Macri-Trump call?
Yes, it is possible. I just could not find solid evidence either way from the material I could locate as of the writing of this post.
2. Does Yaryura have much to gain by claiming the issue was brought up, and could he see it as a means of pressuring the city legislators into allowing the construction to go ahead as previously approved?
3, Should Trump place his assets into a blind trust and stay away from any of his businesses from now on until the end of his terms(s)?
4. Is Trump “cashing BIGLY in Argentina”?
Late Update 2:32 PM: Both President Macri and President-Elect Trump have denied that they discussed Trump’s building project during their post-election phone conversation.
Later Update: 2:48 PM: We received this statement from the Trump campaign: “Any reports alleging a discussion about personal business interests between President-elect Trump and President Macri are completely untrue. The Argentine President and his office have also refuted these baseless claims.”
Even Later Update 2:53 PM: And now a full statement from the Embassy of Argentina: “That issue was not part of the conversation between president Mauricio Macri and president-elect Donald Trump. The subject both leaders talked about was the institutional relationship, and they briefly mentioned the personal relationship they have had for years”.
Trending on Bad Blue.
Mary O’Grady writes about Mexico’s Options in a Trump Trade War. The country could impose retaliatory duties and look for new trade partners. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo
told Reuters on Nov. 10 that his government is “ready to talk so we can explain the strategic importance of Nafta for the region. Here we’re not talking about . . . renegotiating it, we’re simply talking about dialogue.”
He also said Mexico will look for new markets, adding to more than 40 existing free-trade agreements. It had hoped for expanded opportunities via the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation accord that includes the U.S. and much of Asia. But President Obama wasn’t able to get TPP through Congress and Mr. Trump has promised to kill it. Mr. Guajardo said that Mexico will pursue the possibility of completing a smaller TPP with the countries that are expected to have ratified it by the end of 2016. He named Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. Australia would probably be eager to replace the U.S. as Mexico’s chief food supplier.
I’m more of a wait-and-see person. Trump famously starts negotiations with outrageous demands, and Peña Nieto had also mentioned he wanted NAFTA renegotiated.
The Mexican authorities allege Mansur is part of a complex network of more than 30 companies and proxies set up by Duarte, who disappeared on October 15 after being accused of embezzling some $26 million during his tenure as the ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) governor of Veracruz, where he left a public debt of $837 million.
The nephews of Nicolás Maduro’s wife Cilia, Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 30 years old, and “Franqui” Francisco Flores de Freitas, 31 years old, were found guilty of guilty of trying to ship 800 kilograms of cocaine to the U.S. by a federal grand jury last Friday.
After less than two weeks of testimony, the jury of seven women and five men deliberated for approximately six hours to reach the guilty verdict.
Prosecutors say the nephews were planning to send planes loaded with cocaine from Venezuela to Honduras, with the U.S. as the ultimate destination, in hopes of receiving tens of millions of dollars in profit. They were arrested last year by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Haiti, a few days before the first shipment was due to take place.
Interestingly, the defense team was led by
white-shoe law firms Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP and Sidley Austin LLP
Commenter Gringo reminds us
Michelle and Barack Obama met each other while working at Sidley Austin. Bernadine Dohrn, Weatherperson and the wife of Bill Ayers, also worked at Sidley Austin.
Boies Schiller charges $1,000+/hour to criminals with very deep pockets. The nephews’ jury took only six hours to reach a verdict. They now face a maximum of life in prison.