Important headlines for November 27th:

Important headlines for November 27th:   

Bottom Line: These are the stories you don't want to miss (but probably would if I didn't find them for you)...   

Excerpt: In addition to conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, 13 more of President Trump’s judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate as of last Thursday. By comparison, only eight of President Obama’s appointees had been confirmed by the end of November 2009 – when the Democrats controlled the Senate with 60 seats. 

The numbers alone speak to how tremendously effective President Trump and Leader McConnell have been. Republicans have a slim 53-vote Senate majority (including Vice President Pence’s vote). Imagine what they could get done with 60 reliable votes – a point to keep in mind going into the 2018 midterm elections 

On Friday Senator Chuck Grassley further advanced the ball for President Trump to rapidly have votes on his nominees when he revoked the "blue slip" procedure (effectively allowing Senators from the state of a judicial nominee to effectively block a vote if they chose). As is often the case, the courts are the area of greatest legacy and impact and on this important piece of the Trump administration puzzle the President and Senate leadership, including Mitch McConnell, have been highly effective. What's more is the rumor that Justice Kennedy, commonly the "swing-vote" on the US Supreme Court, is considering retirement soon. President Trump has recently added five names to his potential SCOTUS list that Neil Gorsuch was chosen from in the earliest days of the Trump administration. The names include three men and two women. The average age of the nominees...48. President Trump isn't just looking to reshape the courts with his nominees, he's also looking for young candidates that figure to have a long career ahead of them.  

Excerpt: Sears, like other companies, is failing in part because it did not understand that this is an age of visionaries, not administrators. The wildly successful companies of today, including Amazon, did not merely ride the waves of change that swamped the likes of Sears. They created them. 

The story depicts the similarities between Sears and Amazon. There are many - it's just that Sears did it decades ago and Amazon is the current monster of retail. While this story is specific to the rise and fall of Sears/Kmart and the assent of Amazon, it's instructive more generally. Whether it's retail or accounting it's important to "win somewhere". In the case of retail, the keys to success are price and convenience. They're the top two reasons why people shop where they shop regardless of socioeconomic means. That's why Amazon & Wal-Mart are dominating retail at the moment. But the Sears story, whenever/wherever it eventually ends, will have really concluded when they sold the Kenmore and Craftsman brands. They had been the last remaining place where they "won" with anything. So, what's the lesson here?  

Especially for small businesses it's critical to "win somewhere". What's your thing? What's your best opportunity to stand out above all others? It's increasingly difficult for small businesses to stand out in the pack and as I stated years ago, don't fight the Amazons of the world - have a strategy to use their platform for your benefit if applicable. As individuals it's a similar task. What's your thing? What causes you to stand out in the pack? We've got to win somewhere or risk becoming irrelevant over time. A recent study I shared with you indicated that the average job today that existed 15 years ago requires 50%+ more digital and technology application. This is an example of the importance of knowing how to turn change into a positive for you and your company rather than an adversary you fight to the death.  

I'm also grateful for a 3% growth economy, would be the first since 2005 if we can sustain it. I'm grateful for the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 17 years. I'm grateful for wage growth that's pacing the best in a decade. I'm grateful for judges that believe that their role is to rule on law rather than create it. I'm grateful for record high stocks and subsequent record high investment accounts. In other words, I'm not just grateful that Hillary Clinton isn't President - I'm actually grateful that Donald Trump is... There are two sides to every story and one side to facts. The facts regarding his progress on the economy are truly impressive. 

 

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