As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
Big-box wholesaler Costco pulled Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” just after the nationwide release of the companion movie, but Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told WND the decision was not motivated by political considerations.
Galanti confirmed to WND the “pull order” was in effect and that D’Souza’s book is in the process of being removed from Costco stores this week, with the goal to have all copies of D’Souza’s book out of Costco stores nationwide and shipped back to the vendor no later than July 15.
He said the decision to pull D’Souza’s book was not political but was based solely on sales, arguing Costco’s national goal is to market books that show up on the New York Times bestseller list.
The book will make the New York Times list July 13.
Galanti could not explain why Costco book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello decided to pull the book just as D’Souza’s movie was being released and the national marketing campaign on the book and movie switched into high gear.
The movie “America,” which has been given a rare “A+” CinemaScore by audiences, opened in 1,105 theaters nationwide to roughly $4 million over the five-day July 4 holiday weekend.
WND first reported Monday that the retail giant had issued the unusual pull order for a new book that is rising on the bestsellers lists. It is currently ranked No. 1 at Amazon.
The book, in this midterm election year, is a strong rebuttal of the progressive ideology behind President Obama’s policies, which have been supported by Costco co-founder and director Jim Sinegal, a major Democrat donor and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated the president. A Washington Post political reporter has noted Obama’s “romance” with the nation’s second-largest retailer.
Costco has sold more than 3,600 copies of “America” nationwide, with about 700 copies sold last week as D’Souza’s film by the same name opened at more than 1,000 movie theaters nationwide.
But Costco’s book department issued the “pull order,” requiring all Costco stores nationwide to remove the book, confirmed Scott Losse, an inventory control specialist in the book department at the Costco Wholesale corporate office in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.
Contacted for a reaction, D’Souza was surprised to learn of the Costco decision.
“If true, this would be very odd,” D’Souza said. “We’re in the process of finding out what’s happening. I look forward to getting to the bottom of this and continuing the strong relationship my publisher and I have always had with Costco and their millions of shoppers.”
Most Costco stores WND contacted Monday had already pulled “America” from the shelves, with others scheduled to remove it with their regularly scheduled inventory changes Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
A few Costco stores told inquirers Monday they were “in luck,” because a handful of books were still available and a few copies remained in the warehouse waiting to be returned. Staffers offered to put aside a book so it could be purchased before all copies were shipped back to the vendor.
WND contacted by telephone and email Costco’s national book-buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello, at Costco’s headquarters, but received no response to WND’s questions regarding why D’Souza’s book was being pulled from the shelves just as the companion movie was opening in theaters.
The Washington Examiner reported June 20 that the book sold 4,915 in the first week and 5,592 in the second week but mysteriously was kept off the New York Times bestseller list, where it would have ranked No. 8 and then No. 11 on the June 29 list.
D’Souza told the Examiner: “It’s their newspaper, and they have a right to rig their list anyway they want, but if they are doing it, people should know.”
He said the New York Times list is important to boosting sales.
“It matters to be on it,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to the Hollywood Reporter, lawyers representing D’Souza’s film have demanded that Google correct problems that they say are hampering the ability of consumers to find out where “America” is playing. Google, which has strong Democratic Party ties, is “misdirecting many users who mistakenly believed the film was not playing in theaters,” the lawyers charge in a letter.
‘Major Obama groupie’
Commenting on WND’s story, radio giant Rush Limbaugh called Costco co-founder and director Jim Sinegal “a major, major Obama groupie.”
“He pulled the book. And they’re saying this is not censorship, this is not book-burning. This is just a liberal protecting the man he loves in the White House. That’s all it is. Don’t read anything more into this than there is.
“Here’s the thing about these people,” Limbaugh added. “They are scared to death of any opposition. They simply don’t want to deal with it. They call themselves tolerant. They call themselves open-minded and all this stuff. They’re the most closed-minded, bigoted people you can find and they’re scared to death of anything that’s contrary to what they believe.”
Limbaugh said Sinegal, who retired as Costco CEO in January 2013, “can do what he wants.”
“He owns the store. He can have it ordered out all he wants. I just think all of you who shop at Costco ought to know the kind of people that run the joint and the kind of things that they do,” Limbaugh said.
“It’s not censored at Costco, it just isn’t there,” he said sarcastically. “People have the right to free speech, but nobody has the right to be heard.”
In January, Obama paid a visit to a Costco store in a Washington, D.C., suburb, “proving,” as Jaime Fuller of the Washington Post commented, “that his administration’s romance with the second-largest retailer in America is stronger than ever – and might just be the most successful union of a politician and a supermarket in American history.”
Sinegal spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, which nominated President Obama for a second term. Sinegal, who retired as Costco CEO in January 2013, said Obama’s re-election would be better for businesses than a country led by Mitt Romney. American companies, he said, need “a president who takes the long view and makes the tough decisions,” said Sinegal.
“That’s why I am here tonight supporting President Obama, a president making an economy built to last,” he said.
NORM ‘n’ AL Note: Sure hope Mr. Sinegal isn’t having any second thoughts about his “built to last economy” presidential choice…because Mr. O has done nothing so far except pile more trillions in debt on the American people…
In total, Costco has given $100,000 to Obama and another $100,000 to Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super PAC.
Sinegal was the author of an email blast sent out by the Obama campaign in July 2012. Obama also held a fundraiser at Sinegal’s house in Seattle, during which the incumbent president said “the story of Costco and everything that you guys have done I think is representative of what America is all about.”
At least one critic of Obama is not seeing his book pulled from Costco. Dr. Ben Carson, frequently mentioned as a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has a new bestselling book called “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future” on the shelves. However, Carson sits on Costco’s board of directors.
Many other Costco directors are clearly not in Carson’s political corner. Former Yahoo President Susan Decker contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008 and to Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2007, according to campaign-finance website Opensecrets.org.
Galanti gave money not only to Obama’s campaign in 2012, but to Bill Bradley’s in 1999.
Concerned individuals may contact Costco President and CEO W. Craig Jelinek by email or by calling (425) 313-8100 and/or Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Richard A. Galanti by email or by calling (425) 313-8100.
[by Jerome R. Corsi, writing for WND.com]
The damaging policies enacted by the Obama administration are destroying Americans’ faith in their country, according to economist Peter Morici, a professor at The University of Maryland.
“The human cost of this man’s policies is tremendous. One out of every six men between the ages of 25 and 54 doesn’t have a job. That’s kind of a small-scale Greece,” Morici told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“That’s very sad that it’s come to America, but America is losing its brand. American companies are moving their corporations to Ireland not just because of tax rates, [but] because of how brutally and unfairly they are enforced.”
“Americans abroad are disavowing their citizenship because it’s becoming too difficult to be an American working abroad. You can’t get a bank account, nobody wants to touch you.”
Morici also criticized the IRS for becoming “kind of like the Spanish Inquisition … it doesn’t throw you in the dungeon, it just takes all of your money away if you vote the wrong way, or if you just support the wrong people. Now that’s just not America. I don’t know where you live, but I’m not living in America anymore when that happens.”
Morici is outraged by the forced resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich after it was revealed the co-founder of the tech giant had contributed $1,000 to a campaign fighting California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8.
“Regardless of how you or I feel about gay marriage, he wasn’t giving money to the Ku Klux Klan and it was only $1,000,” Morici said.
“How he was treated just indicates what cowards live in Silicon Valley. My definition of a coward is a man who kisses up and kicks down and that’s what you’re seeing among these people.
“It’s really a terribly sad and despicable situation in America. It’s kind of a modern-day version of McCarthyism. I mean, pretty soon you know you’re going to be making somebody’s list.”
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
The level of employment in the United States has been declining since the year 2000. There have been moments when things have appeared to be getting better for a short period of time, and then the decline resumed. Thanks to the offshoring of millions of jobs, the replacement of millions of workers with technology and the overall weakness of the U.S. economy, the percentage of Americans that are actually working is significantly lower than it was when this century began. And even though things have stabilized at a reduced level over the past few years, it is only a matter of time until the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes and the employment level goes even lower. And the truth is that more good jobs are being lost every single day in America. For example, as you will read about below, Warren Buffett is shutting down a Fruit of the Loom factory in Kentucky and moving it to Honduras just so that he can make a little more money. We see this kind of betrayal over and over again, and it is absolutely ripping the middle class of America to shreds.
Below I have posted a chart that you never hear any of our politicians talk about. It is a chart that shows how the percentage of working age Americans with a job has steadily declined since the turn of the century. Just before the last recession, we were sitting at about 63 percent, but now we have been below 59 percent since the end of 2009…
We should be thankful that things have stabilized at this lower level for the past few years.
At least things have not been getting worse.
But anyone that believes that “things have returned to normal” is just being delusional.
And nothing is being done about the long-term trends that are absolutely crippling our economy. One of those trends is the offshoring of middle class jobs. As I mentioned above, Fruit of the Loom (which is essentially owned by Warren Buffett) has made the decision to close their factory in Jamestown, Kentucky and lay off all the workers at that factory by the end of 2014…
Clothing company Fruit of the Loom announced Thursday that it will permanently close its plant in Jamestown and lay off all 600 employees by the end of the year.
The Jamestown plant is the last Fruit of the Loom plant in a state where the company had once been a manufacturing titan second only to General Electric.
This isn’t being done because Fruit of the Loom is going out of business. They are still going to be making t-shirts and underwear. They are just going to be making them in Honduras from now on…
The company, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway but headquartered in Bowling Green, said the move is “part of the company’s ongoing efforts to align its global supply chain” and will allow the company to better use its existing investments to provide products cheaper and faster.
The company said it is moving the plant’s textile operations to Honduras to save money.
So what are those workers supposed to do?
Go on welfare?
The number of Americans that are dependent on the government is already at an all-time record high.
And doesn’t Warren Buffett already have enough money?
In business school, they teach you that the sole responsibility of a corporation is to maximize wealth for the shareholders.
And so when business students get out into “the real world”, that is how they behave.
But the truth is that corporations have a responsibility to treat their workers, their customers and the communities in which they operate well. This responsibility exists whether corporate executives want to admit it or not.
And we all have a responsibility to our fellow citizens. When we stand aside and do nothing as millions of good paying American jobs are shipped overseas so that the “one world economic agenda” can be advanced and so that men like Warren Buffett can stuff their pockets just a little bit more, we are failing our fellow countrymen.
Because so many of us have fallen for the lie that “globalism is good”, we have allowed our once great manufacturing cities to crumble and die. Just consider what is happening to Detroit. It was once the greatest manufacturing city in the history of the planet, but now foreign newspapers publish stories about what a horror show that it has become…
Khalil Ligon couldn’t tell if the robbers were in her house. She had just returned home to find her front window smashed and a brick lying among shattered glass on the floor. Ligon, an urban planner who lives alone on Detroit’s east side, stepped out and called the police.
It wasn’t the first time Ligon’s home had been broken into, she told me. And when Detroit police officers finally arrived the next day, surveying an area marred by abandoned structures and overgrown vegetation, they asked Ligon a question she often ponders herself: why is she still in Detroit?
Of course this kind of thing is not just happening to Detroit. The truth is that it is happening all over the nation. For example, this articlecontains an incredible graphic which shows how the middle class of Chicago has steadily disappeared over the past several decades.
Once again, even though we have never had a “recovery,” it is a good thing that things have at least stabilized at a lower level for the past few years.
But now there are all sorts of indications that we are rapidly heading toward yet another economic downturn. The tsunami of retail store closings that is now upon us is just one sign of this. The following is a partial list of retail store closings from a recent article by Daniel Jennings…
And the following are some more signs of trouble for the retail industry from one of my recent articles entitled “20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind“…
#1 As you read this article, approximately a billion square feet of retail space is sitting vacant in the United States.
#2 Last week, Radio Shack announced that it was going to close more than a thousand stores.
#3 Last week, Staples announced that it was going to close 225 stores.
#4 Same-store sales at Office Depot have declinedfor 13 quarters in a row.
#5 J.C. Penney has been dying for years, and it recently announced plans to close 33 more stores.
#6 J.C. Penney lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.
#8 Overall, sales numbers have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row.
#9 Target has announced that it is going to eliminate475 jobs and not fill 700 positions that are currently empty.
#10 It is being projected that Aéropostale will close about 175 stores over the next couple of years.
#11 Macy’s has announced that it is going to be closing five stores and eliminating 2,500 jobs.
#12 The Children’s Place has announced that it will be closing down 125 of its “weakest” stores by 2016.
But it isn’t just the retail industry that is deeply troubled.
All over America we are seeing economic weakness.
In this economic environment, it doesn’t matter how smart, how educated or how experienced you are. If you are out of work, it can be extremely difficult to find a new job. Just consider the case of Abe Gorelick…
Abe Gorelick has decades of marketing experience, an extensive contact list, an Ivy League undergraduate degree, a master’s in business from the University of Chicago, ideas about how to reach consumers young and old, experience working with businesses from start-ups to huge financial firms and an upbeat, effervescent way about him. What he does not have — and has not had for the last year — is a full-time job.
Five years since the recession ended, it is a story still shared by millions. Mr. Gorelick, 57, lost his position at a large marketing firm last March. As he searched, taking on freelance and consulting work, his family’s finances slowly frayed. He is now working three jobs, driving a cab and picking up shifts at Lord & Taylor and Whole Foods.
So what does Abe need in order to find a decent job?
No, what he needs is an economy that produces good jobs.
Sadly, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that the U.S. economy will never produce enough jobs for everyone ever again.
The way that America used to work is long gone, and it has been replaced by a cold, heartless environment where the company that you work for could rip your job away from you at a moment’s notice if they decide that it will put a few extra pennies into the pockets of the shareholders.
You may have worked incredibly hard for 30 years and been super loyal to your company.
It doesn’t matter anymore.
All that matters is the bottom line, and in the process the middle class is being destroyed. But by destroying the middle class, those corporations are destroying the consumer base that their corporate empires were built upon in the first place.
[by Michael Snyder, writing for THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE blog]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
How long can America continue to burn up wealth? How long can this nation continue to consume far more wealth than it produces?
The trade deficit is one of the biggest reasons for the steady decline of the U.S. economy, but many Americans don’t even understand what it is. Basically, we are buying far more stuff from the rest of the world than they are buying from us. That means that far more money is constantly leaving the country than is coming into the country. In order to keep the game going, we have to go to the people that we bought all of that stuff from and ask them to lend our money back to us. Or lately, we just have the Federal Reserve create new money out of thin air. This is called “quantitative easing”. Our current debt-fueled lifestyle is dependent on this cycle continuing. In order to live like we do, we must consume far more wealth than we produce. If someday we are forced to only live on the wealth that we create, it will require a massive adjustment in our standard of living. We have become great at consuming wealth but not so great at creating it. But as a result of running gigantic trade deficits year after year, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions upon millions of jobs, and America is being deindustrialized at a staggering pace.
Most Americans won’t even notice, but the latest monthly trade deficit increased to 42.3 billion dollars…
The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for American exports fell while imports increased slightly.
The deficit increased to $42.3 billion, which was 7.7% above the January imbalance of $39.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
When the trade deficit increases, it means that even more wealth, even more jobs and even more businesses have left the United States.
In essence, we have gotten poorer as a nation.
Have you ever wondered how China has gotten so wealthy?
Just a few decades ago, they were basically a joke economically.
So how in the world did they get so powerful?
Well, one of the primary ways that they did it was by selling us far more stuff than we sold to them. If we had refused to do business with communist China, they never would have become what they have become today. It was our decisions that allowed China to become an economic powerhouse.
Last year, we sold 122 billion dollars of stuff to China.
That sounds like a lot until you learn that China sold 440 billion dollars of stuff to us.
We fill up our shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic trinkets that are “made in China” and they pile up gigantic mountains of our money which we beg them to lend back to us so that we can pay our bills.
Who is winning and who is losing that game?
Below we have posted yearly US trade deficits with China since 1990. Let’s see if you can spot the trend…
1990: 10 billion dollars
1991: 12 billion dollars
1992: 18 billion dollars
1993: 22 billion dollars
1994: 29 billion dollars
1995: 33 billion dollars
1996: 39 billion dollars
1997: 49 billion dollars
1998: 56 billion dollars
1999: 68 billion dollars
2000: 83 billion dollars
2001: 83 billion dollars
2002: 103 billion dollars
2003: 124 billion dollars
2004: 162 billion dollars
2005: 202 billion dollars
2006: 234 billion dollars
2007: 258 billion dollars
2008: 268 billion dollars
2009: 226 billion dollars
2010: 273 billion dollars
2011: 295 billion dollars
2012: 315 billion dollars
2013: 318 billion dollars
It has been estimated that the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas, and according to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing about half a million jobs to China every single year.
Considering the high level of unemployment that we now have in this country, can we really afford to be doing that?
Overall, the United States has accumulated a total trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars since 1975.
As a result, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and our economic infrastructure has been absolutely gutted.
Just look at what has happened to manufacturing jobs in America. Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
And we have fewer Americans working in manufacturing today than we did in 1950 even though our population has more than doubled since then…
Many people find this statistic hard to believe, but the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
Millions of good paying jobs have been lost.
As a result, the middle class is shriveling up, and at this point 9 out of the top 10 occupations in America pay less than $35,000 a year.
For a long time, U.S. consumers attempted to keep up their middle class lifestyles by going into constantly increasing amounts of debt, but now it is becoming increasingly apparent that middle class consumers are tapped out.
In response, major retailers are closing thousands of stores in poor and middle class neighborhoods all over the country. You can see some amazing photos of America’s abandoned shopping malls right here.
If we could start reducing the size of our trade deficit, that would go a long way toward getting the United States back on the right economic path.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama has been negotiating a treaty in secret which is going to send the deindustrialization of America into overdrive. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being called the “NAFTA of the Pacific”, and it is going to result in millions more good jobs being sent to the other side of the planet where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.
According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.
So what will this country look like when we lose tens of millions more jobs than we already have?
U.S. workers are being merged into a giant global labor pool where they must compete directly for jobs with people making less than a dollar an hour with no benefits.
Obama tells us that globalization is good for us and that Americans need to be ready to adjust to a “level playing field”.
The quality of our jobs has already been declining for decades, and if we continue down this path the quality of our jobs is going to get a whole lot worse and our economic infrastructure will continue to be absolutely gutted.
At one time, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city on the entire planet and it had the highest per capita income in the United States. But today, it is a rotting, decaying hellhole that the rest of the world laughs at.
In the end, the rest of the nation is going to suffer the same fate as Detroit unless Americans are willing to stand up and fight for their economy while they still can. In the meantime, Mr. Obama will continue to send US jobs overseas in his effort to “level the playing field.” It is already so level that we have a deficit that threatens to completely crater our economy, but we should always trust that government knows best, shouldn’t we? At least that’s what Obama wants us to believe…
[from THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE blog]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis