Friday, December 15, 2017

Catching Up On the News: Playing Trump, English Corn, Christmas Lights, Mall Stores

Not sure how many of you read the business pages of your newspaper but there’s a lesson to be gleaned from an article in Tuesday’s New York Times Business Day section: It pays to look beyond the public announcements and hoopla for the real reason why companies take action and the resulting impact.

Case in point, according to The Times, is the intriguing reason Broadcom, a semiconductor maker, announced last month it would move its headquarters from Singapore back to the United States. Donald Trump hailed it as another example of his ability to lure companies to return to America, thereby increasing domestic jobs. 

But after looking behind the PR wall, The Times reported Broadcom’s real reason for the move was to remove an obstacle it might have faced as a foreign-based company in its hostile pursuit of Qualcomm, a major chip manufacturer. Moreover, if the takeover were successful, it would be likely that the net U.S. employment level of the combined companies would be lower than current figures by perhaps as many as 5,400 workers. 

One wonders if Trump has any idea of how he is being played by savvier business executives.

Ears of Corn: As a former editor I like nothing more than finding inconsistencies (okay, mistakes) in texts or film/TV show dialogues. So I immediately stopped my viewing of the first episode of the new season of Vikings when I heard Bishop Heahmund of England pray for vengeance against the invading Norsemen that included “slaughter them in battle, cut them down like ears of corn at harvest.” 

That last sentiment would have been a neat feat considering that the time period portrayed in the show was the fourth decade of the ninth century—corn was not known in Europe until after the New World was discovered more than 650 years later!

Christmas lights:  Does anyone else see the irony of the inept New York City Times Square subway bomber using Christmas lights to detonate his pipe bomb? 

You would think a devout Muslim would not risk the success of his venture on infidel-inspired holiday lights. Or perhaps he was hoping the lights would be a reversal of the peace on earth message extolled by Christmas. 

At any rate, one would think a lesson learned is not to trust the quality of Made in China products.

Souie: When I read Trump’s tweet about Senator Kirsten Gillibrand I immediately thought, “What a pig Trump is.” 

In case you didn’t see it, you might appreciate the response from USA Today which begins with the following statement:

“A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.” Click on the link for the full editorial:

Mall Stores Ban Moore: Among comments to The Times article on the selection of Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore as Alabama’s U.S. Senate replacement for Jeff Sessions was one Gilda noted for me from nilootero: “Evidently, black lives, and black votes, really do matter.”

In voting for Jones, Alabamans rejected his opponent whose resume includes the fact he was banned from a mall. Take a moment to view Seth Meyers’ mall store sendup of Moore’s failed candidacy (it begins around 46 seconds into the accompanying clip: