Retail Facts - Fourth Quarter - 2010
Retail Shopping & Distribution - A Must Watch...

Sunday Morning Coffee - November 7, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee is our weekly editorial look at the impact storiesCoffee Cu ps  of the week.  There's some business news, political news, gossip and the "scattered thoughts of a cluttered mind".  It's sort of like sitting down with friends over...coffee.  Have a cup?

WHO screwed up the clock?  Welcome to "Whatever Time it is on the Sunday that Puts Me Off Kilter for a Week".  I may have to move to Arizona....

What the hell was that?  $4 billion was spent in the 2010 Mid-Term Elections up $1.7 billion from 2006. 

In a year that voters, across the country, turned out to oust incumbents...all of Iowa's congressional candidates were re-elected.  Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey...re-elected.  Treasurer, Michael Fitzgerald...re-elected.  Political hack and State Auditor David Vaudt, re-elected.  Meanwhile, Governor Chet Man scratching head Culver who led Iowa through tough economic times, several natural disasters and who was seen, from outside of Iowa, to be a leader with a progressive vision for the future was...fired.  And Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro, a guy who didn't use the office for a stepping stone but went to work every day to do his job (and it looks like he will land a gig with Governor-Elect Branstad) was...fired.

It gets...weirder.

But nothing was more shocking than the politicizing of the Iowa Supreme Court and the ousting of three judges who made the call that banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional.   Thousands of dollars from forward, progressive thinking states like Mississippi poured into Iowa in the "defense of marriage".  (I don't know about you but my marriage was never in jeopardy.)  Goes to show you, Iowa is not as progressive as we thought.  

You know, if Iowans really want to protect marriage we should ban no-fault divorce, gambling, liquor by the drink and make weekly attendence at a "preferred" house of worship mandatory.  Oh...and allow the burning of witches.  (Did somebody mention Chistine O'Donnell?)

 

Then there is always the Saturday Night Live parody that is worth a view.

Don't get me started...too late.

Meanwhile the folks over at MSNBC are not "Leaning Forward" enough?  Idiot-in-Chief Phil Griffin suspends Keith Olberman for makingOlbermann_10-5  legal campaign contributions?  When, in fact it's not counter to NBC policy.  Nope, I'm not making this up, here is the 2007 NBC Policy:

"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee."  (My emphasis.)

OK...Olberman is NOT an impartial journalist he is a liberal news commentator.  Seen his show?  And then there is the uncomfortable fact that Joe Scarborough, a conservative commentator, has ALSO given political contributions.  And what about that 2009 check for $1,000 from CNBC's Larry Kudlow to former GOP congressman Chris Shays?  But...he's still workin'.  Here are updates from the Washington Post. It's "open season" for progressives...

My head is spinning...

Trader Joe's Opened in West Des Moines last week.  (I'm feeling better already.)

Armistice-day At the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

...  That was the time the armistice was signed ending "The Great War".  The Great War, for those of you educated in private schools, was to have been "The war to end all wars" when in reality it was the pre-courser to the "Second World War".  Here is a great read on the subject. The combined horror, and a desire to honor those who have served our country, led to Veterans Day.  Hope you'll take as much time remembering and thanking a Vet as you do driving to the big box store for the sales.

 

Did you hear that Lindsay Lohan took some time out of re-hab to go...shopping.  What would you do without me?

I was to have been in Dallas at the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Fall Meeting but due to scheduling issues I didn't make it.  Hope you folks had an excellent event and if somebody would clue me in to the "mood" of the industry.  That would be great!Santa Secrets 2

Holiday Season Sales are set to bounce up by 2.1% over 2009.  The average spend, per person, is projected at $688.87.  I did an entire show on what the numbers mean and what folks in retail need to do to increase their chances of getting "more than their share".  From Insight on Business with Michael Libbie...have a look.

I have not stepped foot in a Wal-Mart store for over six years...and I going to have to re-think my position?  No, it wasn't because of their "politics" or my "pro-small business" mind set.  It was because of the HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. And the realization that I was NOT their prime customer.  Who, seven years ago, according to their marketing chief who spoke at a Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association event, was/is:  "Female, 18 - 35, un-married, three children with an income of lest than $25,000 a year."  

Now comes the news that Wal-Mart is going to attempt to impact the "Farm to Table" cycle with....sustainable agriculture preferences.  GULP!  They say the will, by 2015, be the source for high quality, organic foods, locally grown foods that will be a major step in improving the environment!   I'd heard about this earlier in the year but put it off as a PR move.  However, this article in the Des Moines Register has me wondering if they are serious.  What do you think?   IF it's solid...

Monster Bush Aug 2010 We've been working "non-stop" on our house.

  Honest.  When we moved in this summer it was a constant effort just to keep it together.  It had been empty (well not exactly "empty" but nobody had lived here) for over four years and it was being used as "storage" but nobody would come and get anything.  Gutters with five years of silt, sump-pumps that had not been working, carpet sitting in rolls, no A/C (somebody 'forgot' to put it in), Monster Bushes from Hell, stuff EVERYWHERE...happyGeorgie Office Nov 2010  rodents/spiders and flies.  We've made HUGE progress and we're grateful...that we still speak to each other.  Georgie's office is the latest effort...not yet done...but getting close.  Today should be "move in". (Speaking of "off kilter"...is that desk going 'down hill'?)

Next week my brother Yoni and his wife Anita come over and...he cooks!  We're excited.  He is a fantastic foodie and we've invited several eclectic folks to come and enjoy the experience.  I'll share next Sunday.

Tomorrow we've got an interesting show lined up.  It's Metro Monday with Insight on Business and our focus is going to be on a major health study called The National Children's Health Study.  Polk County is one of 105 locations, nationwide, chosen for this look at kids from birth to twenty-one.  Our guest is Riswan Z. Shah, MD, a national leader in children's health issues.  We're excited...can you tell!!  Dr. Shah and children's health tomorrow at Noon Central on Webcast One LIVE.  (Noon Central..what time is that REALLY?)..

Have a great Sunday...and we'll catch you tomorrow.  Thanks for reading, watching, listening and connecting:  We can keep the conversation going on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie (personal & business) or @InsightADV (business baby...business).

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Big UPS to our son, Aaron Libbie...he dropped everything the other day to come over and help me move some furniture.  He is amazing...a wonderful husband, father and son.

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