The Watering Hole, Monday, November 24th, 2014: “Black Friday”

We didn’t have “Black Friday” when we were kids–hell, when I was a kid, we didn’t even have a mall in our area until I was in high school. Personally, I hate shopping on any day, let alone on a day when I would have to push my way through crowds of (shudder) “people.”

Although this article is from 2011, it’s got some interesting historical information and some tips if you’re one of the crazies folks who like going Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Here’s a few excerpts from “5 Black Friday Myths the Media Wants You to Believe”:

Actually, Black Friday wasn’t the biggest shopping day of the year until the advent of online shopping. Before that, it was rarely even in the top five…So why was the media paying so much attention to the fifth-biggest shopping day of the year? Well, partially because it’s a slow news day.”

“Black Friday finally did become the top revenue earner in 2003 by giving people who would rather stay home with their family a way to get at the deals…So the story that the media had been reporting for years that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year finally came true, and suddenly they want to complicate it with a bunch of other days when you have to remember to wear riot gear to the mall.”

Myth #3, “Black Friday is the Day After Thanksgiving”, isn’t, as the author admits, really a “myth”, but in a sideways manner allows the author to elaborate on the history of Thanksgiving Day:

“Thanksgiving originally didn’t have a set date. George Washington proclaimed the first one on November 26, 1789, but the dates and even months changed for almost a century. Abraham Lincoln gave it a regular berth in 1863 as the last Thursday of November. It never occurred to Honest Abe that November sometimes has five Thursdays, and that this would create a problem down the road.

One of those Novembers with five Thursdays happened in 1939, when the United States was recovering from the Great Depression. At that time, waiting until after Thanksgiving to start the holiday shopping season was seen as almost holy, but Thanksgiving fell on the very last day of the month. A short number of Christmas shopping days, starting on December 1, could hurt the recovering economy. That’s why President Franklin Roosevelt had to put Turkey Day in its place.

A presidential proclamation was issued moving Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of November. Thirty-two states went along with FDR and issued the same proclamation, while the other 16 states said “fuck that.” For two years, a third of the U.S. celebrated Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, while the other two-thirds of the country celebrated it on the second-to-last Thursday. For family members living in opposing states, this was a very short, lethargic version of the Civil War.”

Enjoy reading the rest of the article, particularly the captions under the photos. Heh.

This is our daily open thread, so go ahead and talk about anything.

67 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, November 24th, 2014: “Black Friday”

  1. How many “Black” days of the week are there? There’s Black Friday (four days from now), Black Tuesday (the day of the 1929 Stock Market crash, and (according to my racist Teabagger cousin) Black Monday, or MLKing Day in January. Is there such a thing as Black Sunday, e.g.? Any other Black days worthy of celebration or the opposite? Just curious.

  2. Hagel Said to Be Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises.

    The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.

  3. Well, one way to get Republicans to distance themselves from Cheney and send him to the woodshed forever would be for Obama to nominate him for Secretary of Defense…

    Erick Erickson @EWErickson
    Dick Cheney for SecDef!”

  4. Proof that stupid knows no bounds:

    Man Flies Nazi Flag In Front Of House Because He’s Mad At Obama

    A man in the town of Ghent, just outside Norfolk, Virginia, hung a Nazi flag in front of his home because he was upset with President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

    He said, “I am not a Nazi. I am half-Jewish. I hung the flag after watching President Obama last night. Obama usurped his Oath of Office. I wanted people to be shocked because I am offended.”

  5. Bigger Than Immigration
    by Charles M. Blow

    Don’t let yourself get lost in the weeds. Don’t allow yourself to believe that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.

    This hostility and animosity toward this president is, in fact, larger than this president. This is about systems of power and the power of symbols. Particularly, it is about preserving traditional power and destroying emerging symbols that threaten that power. This president is simply the embodiment of the threat, as far as his detractors are concerned, whether they are willing or able to articulate it as such.

    A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week found that the public “wants immigration policy along the lines of what President Barack Obama seeks but is skeptical of the executive action.” When The Journal looked at some of the people who “say they want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants — which is beyond what Mr. Obama’s executive order would do — but say they disapprove of presidential executive action,” it found that the group was “overwhelmingly white and more likely to be Republican than not” and some said that they simply “don’t like anything associated with the president.”

    • . . . people who “say they want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants” . . . “disapprove of presidential executive action” . . . [because they] “don’t like anything associated with the president.”

      I’m thinking that anyone who might be looking for the quintessential example of human behavior which would enable the precise definition of “Teh Stupid” and/or “Functional Idiot” need look no further than those who are “overwhelmingly white and more likely to be Republican than not”.


  6. Uh-oh, I’m fearful of what may come out of this:

    “Although a parallel federal civil rights investigation of the shooting is continuing, federal investigators have all but concluded they don’t have a case against Wilson, law enforcement officials have said.”

    • Hey, how could they have a case against Wilson anyway. I mean, Wilson was white, he was a cop, he felt threatened by an unarmed black dude 148 ft ‘over there’ so he shot and killed the guy. No worries. Clearly justifiable all the way.

      I mean I know, y’ know, because I lived in St Louis County for two whole years.

    • I fear the fix was in from the start. The entire response from the authorities seemed calculated to make the victim the perpetrator and make the perpetrator impossible to prosecute. Governors don’t declare a preemptive state of emergency when they expect justice will be done.

      • Like I said, I lived in St. Louis County. For two years, more than enough time to figure out how their bigotry works. You nailed it — Wilson was NEVER going to be charged with anything because you know . . .

  7. Michele Angelique Flournoy, the new Sec. of Defense? She’s got my approval:

    “Tall, gracious and soft-spoken, Flournoy has the reputation of being nice — but determined. She comes across as extremely self-disciplined and on-message. And in internal administration debates about policy, she quietly gets her way. “She will cut your head off and you’ll walk away with your head under your arm not quite sure what happened,” said John Nagl, an unabashed admirer.”

    • Nice won’t cut it. She’s got to be ruthless and an amoral sociopath.

      Other qualifications, courtesy of Corruption Inc at DU:

      Lying to Congress on a regular basis.
      Promoting war via any propaganda handed to you.
      Bigoted views that all Muslims are evil and gays and women don’t belong in the military.
      Willingness to support torture and all other war crimes.
      Feeling comfortable will mass killing of civilians, aka “collateral damage”.
      Regular use of sloganeering such as “we’re at war”, “protecting our freedoms”.
      Working to use all methods of surveillance on America citizens.
      A conservative ideology that promotes predatory capitalism.

      My best nominee was Rep. Peter King.

  8. Donald Trump’s magnificent Churchillian-styled intrepidly bodacious and unflinchingly pithy verbal assassination of President Obama. Makes chills run up and down my back over, under, around and through his squirrel pelt.

    He’s very aloof and he doesn’t deal with people, he’s a bad leader, and he can’t get people into the room and, you know, twist their wrists as the expression goes, and get him to make a deal, like a Lyndon Johnson used to do, like so many people used to do, like Reagan used to do with O’Neill, and others, and you get them in the room and you make a deal… but certainly he has not been able to do that, now he has to use Executive Action, this should be over-written easily by the Supreme Court, but you have a Justice Roberts who, frankly, what he did with Obammer Care turned out to be wrong because the tax the tax, and all of those, that came out loud and clear with GRUBER’s statement, so Justice Roberts was absolutely wrong, but so you have a ya know, a wild card, appointed by President Bush, Roberts which was another disaster given by President Bush, this was a total catastrophe, Obamacare should have been over so, we’re looking now at a situation that would not pass muster in terms of constitutionality, but it depends what these Justices do.

  9. Family of Michael Brown says it is requesting 4-and-a-half-minute period of silence in Ferguson before protests.

    So, ready-set-go then?

    • The Grand Jury guy is yammering on and on and on about how thorough and complete….
      sounds as if he’s already giving the reasoning for not having indicted the white guy – he hasn’t revealed the decision, yet is going on and on why the media is evil (no he didn’t use that word); that what has been reported really wasn’t what happened..

  10. I have to wonder what would have been the difference if Michael Brown had been lynched — hung from a stout branch on an old tree . . . or beaten to death . . . or dragged through the dirt while chained to a pickup truck . . . or shot while unarmed by a white cop because . . . ummm . . . well, because.

    Reminds me of this. Emmett Till

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