|USDA Export Sales; Soybean Futures Lower|
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:36
The USDA reported today that Soybean weekly export sales for the current marketing year for the period ending January 12th totaled 979,600 tonnes. Sales were up 22 percent from the four week average.
Soymeal sales for the current year totaled 269,800 tonnes. Sales were up 82 percent from the four week average. There were 48,800 tonnes sold for 2018.
|Barron Trump Missing From Events: Donald Trump Offers Generic Whereabouts [Opinion]|
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:35
Barron Trump’s whereabouts quickly became the elephant in the room last night, or rather the elephant at the Lincoln Memorial. With Barron noticeably missing from Thursday night’s events, social media was on fire with inquiries about the first son. The Trump family lined up numerous times for family photos, but Barron was missing. There was much hoopla over the Trump family entrance to the events, but as they all filed in – there was no Barron Trump. From Donald Trump right down to his young grandchildren, the Trump family pictures at the Lincoln Memorial were not complete, as they were void of Barron.
One Twitter user wrote, “Where’s my guy, Barron Trump?” Other’s speculated that he might be under the weather. Then there were those who cropped up across the social media sites with accusations that Donald Trump was hiding something about Barron Trump. Donald Trump, with Melania and his family by his side, enjoyed the concert in the chilly night air. When the concert was over the future president took to the mic and thanked everyone in a very short speech. This is when he said, “Barron is at home,” which was something he did not elaborate on.
For some of the folks in the audience, “home” meant New York City, as the Trump’s have made it very clear that Melania and Barron will be staying in their Manhattan home while Barron finishes out the school year. Apparently “home” to Donald Trump meant back at the hotel where the family is staying before taking over the White House living quarters on Friday. According to Chron, it didn’t take long for #WheresBarron to show up online.
Barron Trump did fly into Washington with his mom, Melania, on Thursday, so he was in D.C. during the events. He was just not present at the events, reports Us Magazine. They report that Barron was spotted “exiting an Air Force jet at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland earlier on Thursday,” with his mom, the future first lady of the nation. A photo of the first family exiting the plane was posted online Thursday by Ivanka. There in the picture was Barron Trump, the young boy who has captured the heart of America.
Will Barron make it to Donald Trump’s big inauguration ceremony today? While no one has said officially, either way, it is widely speculated that he will not miss this historic event. This is not only history in the making for the country, but for Barron’s family as well.
There was another child missing from a big event this week and that was Sasha Obama. She missed her father’s farewell speech to the nation, which is another historic event, not only for the nation, but for the Obama family tree. The Obama’s did offer up why their 15-year-old daughter could not make the big goodbye event. Sasha had exams in the morning, which is what Michelle Obama revealed later on in the evening.
Barron Trump became a global sensation a few months back when he was captured on camera doing his best to stay awake during his father’s speeches, both at the Republican Convention and again on election night. Barron is a tall young man and he can give the impression that he is older than his years when he is dressed in a suit and tie, but he is still only 10-years-old.
During these two occasions, he was at these events until the wee hours of the morning and he was tired. While his father captured the attention of the masses with his energy-driven speeches, this is still Barron’s dad. At 10-years-old no kid wants to hear their dad go on and on, no matter how interesting he is to the masses. So maybe at only 10, Barron was also a bit bored to boot?
Barron’s past battles with slumber was a natural occurrence for a 10-year-old kid, who was tired after a long drawn-out day around adults. By keeping Barron “home” this time around, it could be that the Trump’s wanted to spare Barron the same type of media coverage that bombarded the family after those two events. Instead of seeing a tired kid, some did their armchair diagnosing from home and insinuated what the world was seeing was a boy with autism. Despite Melania’s denial, the debate lasted in the headlines for weeks to follow.
With that said, you don’t have to dig much deeper when looking for a reason that would prompt Donald and Melania to have Barron miss Thursday’s events. Why would parents want to subject their child to this type of scrutiny again? Of course, Barron could have missed Thursday’s events for a vast array of reasons. Maybe he had a cold or maybe he just simply didn’t want to attend another long event, in this case – two long events. The bottom line is simple, Donald and Melania Trump as parents opted for Barron to stay behind for reasons that are nobody’s business but their own.
[Featured Image by David J. Phillip/AP Images]
|Ellen DeGeneres On Obama: ‘I Am A Legally Married Woman Because Of Him’|
Source: The Daily Caller
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:34
Whether you believe in gay marriage or not, one thing’s for sure: There’s nothing more important than the narrative. Not facts, not evidence, not… well, not even time. Megan McCluskey, Time: To commemorate President Barack Obama’s final day in office, Ellen DeGeneres spent a few minutes of Thursday’s episode of The Ellen Show saying goodbye […]
|Trump Gets Secret Service-Approved Phone For Twitter|
Source: The Daily Caller
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:34
He tweets to get around 'dishonesty' of the press
|Winning the election was the beginning of Donald Trump's story, not the end of it|
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:34
Making America great again will require very different skills than Trump has shown thus far.
George W. Bush won the 2004 election. He won it by more than the pundits expected. He won it by enough to keep Republicans in control of the House and the Senate. He won it by enough to say, with real reason, “I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” He began his second term with a 57 percent approval rating.
Two years later Republicans lost the House and Senate. Four years later, they lost the presidency. Bush left office with a 34 percent approval rating. The aftershocks of his administration would rip through the Republican Party and lead, in different ways, to both Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Winning an election is the beginning of the story, not the end of it.
Bush did not become a worse politician between 2004 and 2008. He did not lose his folksy charisma or fire the architects of his political operation. He was done in, rather, by the results of his policies — the Iraq War, the financial crisis, the broad rejection of Social Security privatization. Even the most talented politician can’t out-communicate reality.
This is a lesson both Trump and congressional Republicans would be wise to heed.
In conversations in recent weeks, I’ve found that both Democrats and Republicans believe Donald Trump has suspended the rules of politics. He wasn’t supposed to win, and he did win, so who’s to say what hurts him and what doesn’t?
There’s something to be said for that view. Trump’s political successes have certainly defied my expectations. But the idea of Teflon-Trump is belied by the evidence. Trump is a historically unpopular figure who received fewer votes than his opponent. He takes office with the lowest approval ratings of any president-elect on record. The surprise of his victory has overwhelmed the strangeness of its circumstances and the weak foundation upon which it rests.
And Trump’s job is about to get much harder. His great advantage as a candidate was that he had no real record in politics. He had no votes to defend or results to explain away. In that environment, you might expect Trump’s comments to be taken more seriously, but the opposite happened. Trump’s evident ignorance of policy topics, and his tendency to frequently contradict himself, raised questions about whether he believed, or even understood, what he was saying. As Vox’s Dave Roberts once wrote, evaluating Trump’s policy comments could seem a category error, like “critiquing the color choices of someone who is colorblind.”
The results were voters, like the ones Vox’s Sarah Kliff met in Kentucky, who heard what Trump was saying and simply didn’t believe it. “I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see,” said Kathy Oller, an Obamacare enrollment counselor who voted for Trump, and felt comfortable dismissing his promise to repeal the law.
But that ends now. The presidency is a job of specifics. Specific legislation that you either sign or veto. Specific executive orders that lay out their intentions in clear language. Specific nominees whose backgrounds and actions reflect back on their boss. And specific results that voters hold you accountable for.
Trump begins a nearly impossible job in a historically weak position. He is about to develop a record that he cannot escape, and cannot deny. It matters greatly whether he and congressional Republicans do a good job. And it is not obvious, at least to me, that they realize it.
A Cabinet at war with itself
On Thursday, the day before Trump’s inauguration, Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy and Resources. Perry was there to win confirmation as Trump’s first secretary of energy, and he came with an agenda in mind.
“I'm a big believer that we have role to play in applied R&D and technology commercialization,” Perry said. He touted the government’s history helping to develop the technology that kicked off the hydraulic fracking boom. He said he wanted to increase research into advanced supercomputing. He boasted of his own work in Texas investing in solar energy research.
But shortly before Perry’s hearing began, The Hill reported that Trump’s transition team was prepping the administration’s first budget — and including massive cuts to the Department of Energy. It quickly became clear that no one had briefed Perry on the administration’s plans. What happened next, as Vox’s Brad Plumer recounts, was excruciating:
Two days before Perry’s embarrassing hearing, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, appeared before the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The hearing was a fiasco.
DeVos — who has made her name in conservative politics as a billionaire donor, not a policy expert or successful public official — has few qualifications for the role, and evinced little knowledge of key debates in education. Asked an obvious question by Sen. Al Franken about whether she thought schools should be measured on the progress their students made or the absolute amount they knew, she appeared completely unfamiliar with the debate, and wasn’t able even to parse the question. At another point, she suggested guns might be needed in schools to defend against bears.
Senate Republicans seemed forewarned that DeVos was unprepared for the hearing. They scheduled the discussion, unusually, for 5 pm, and limited each senator to a single question. This perhaps protected DeVos from further embarrassment, but as Matt Yglesias wrote, it is hard to see how that actually helps the Trump administration:
Over the weekend, Trump gave an interview to two of Europe’s biggest newspapers in which he called NATO “obsolete,” predicted the European Union would fall apart and said the United States would be perfectly happy to see it happen, and threatened a trade war with Germany over BMW locating a plant in Mexico. Meanwhile, he struck a conciliatory note on Russia, suggesting he’d be happy to lift sanctions “if we can strike a few good deals with Russia.”
As Zack Beauchamp wrote, “Trump’s stated policy ideas, if implemented, would have the effect of accomplishing much of what Putin has dreamed of but that the Russian leader may have never have thought possible.”
This is, to put it lightly, not the foreign policy that Trump’s various Cabinet nominees have outlined. His Defense Secretary, Gen. James Mattis, aced his hearing by throwing Trump under the bus.
“The most important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we deal with Mr. Putin, and we recognize that he is trying to break the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” Mattis said. He went on to call NATO “the most successful alliance in modern history, and maybe ever.” He contradicted Trump on the Iran nuclear deal, which he supports leaving in place, and on moving Israel’s capital to Jerusalem.
The story was similar with other nominees. Nikki Haley, Trump’s proposed UN secretary, took a hard line on Russia, and criticized Trump for his attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump’s candidate for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, tried to sidestep the whole situation by claiming he and Trump had never even talked about Russia.
And this is only counting the parts of Trump’s administration that are being staffed. The New York Times notes that Trump has named only 29 of the 660 executive branch appointment he needs to make, “a pace far slower than recent predecessors.”
It’s healthy and appropriate for administrations to contain differing opinions. But the Trump administration looks, at its inception, like an administration at war with itself, and with its boss. It doesn’t appear to be properly vetting its candidates for senior posts, preparing them for hearings, or briefing them on key plans. It is moving slowly to identify candidates, and will take office badly understaffed given the scale of Trump’s ambitions. No one knows who Trump will listen to, what he will tweet, or even what he really believes. This is a recipe for paralysis at best and disaster at worst.
A president who believes what he wants to believe
Most of Donald Trump’s tweets deserve much less attention than they get. But there was one he sent out this week that should have been taken much more seriously than it was.
It came in response to Trump’s poll numbers, which are miserable, and getting even worse. Gallup finds Trump will take office with a 40 percent approval rating. Quinnipiac pegs it at 37 percent. At this point in their pre-presidencies, Obama’s approval rating was 78 percent, Bush’s approval rating was 62 percent, and Clinton’s approval rating was 66 percent. The numbers are stark enough that Trump felt compelled to respond.
“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls,” he tweeted. “They are rigged just like before.”
There is so much Trump has claimed to be rigged — the media, the election, the Emmys, the Electoral College, chemistry tests — that it’s easy to ignore this kind of rhetoric. But there is little reason to doubt Trump believes it. If you had just won the election in defiance of all polls, wouldn’t you?
There is little reason to believe the polls are wrong, however. First, the national polls were not far off in the election — they predicted Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote, and she did, albeit by a few percentage points less than projected. But more to the point, what threw off the election polls was an incorrect model of who would actually turn out to vote — those polls, after all, have to distinguish people who will cast a ballot from those who won’t. Favorability polls don’t. They just ask anyone who is an adult, or anyone who is a registered voter, what they think.
But this fits Trump’s tendency to believe what he wants to believe — a characteristic which often leads him into stranger territory than doubting opinion polls. Trump is an enthusiastic conspiracy theorist who will believe almost anything so long as it flatters his view of the world. Obama was born in Kenya. Muslims in New Jersey cheered the fall of the Twin Towers. Climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. Vaccines cause autism. The Clintons perhaps murdered Vince Foster. Obama is a secret Muslim. Antoni Scalia was assassinated. And on, and on, and on.
One of the dangers of the presidency is that it's easy for anyone who controls nuclear weapons to insulate himself from hard truths and unpleasant critiques. But good decisions require good information. Presidents often have to hear things they don't want to hear — that an idea isn't good, that a plan has become unworkable, that a policy doesn't add up, that a trusted subordinate is underperforming, that a strategy won't survive public or judicial scrutiny. Trump, by contrast, hears what he wants to hear.
This is why Trump’s disregard of polling is so unnerving. Republicans control the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and most governorships. The only real check on Trump’s behavior is public opinion. But if he adopts the viewpoint that polls showing him unpopular must, by definition, be wrong, it’s hard to see how he’ll be able to check his own instincts. As Dylan Matthews wrote:
Successful presidencies are not built atop self-delusion. Successful policies are not designed by ignoring inconvenient facts. And if nothing else, Trump will learn it is hard to hold Congress in line once you’ve become politically toxic.
The difference between Trump and Reagan
The optimistic view of Trump is that he is the second coming of Ronald Reagan — another politician derided as a celebrity ideologue, but who remade American politics for a generation.
But Reagan was the two-term governor of California when he was elected president. He had spent years marinating in conservative ideas and learning how to put them into practice. He understood the institutions he needed to work through, and the politicians he needed to partner with. He was a voracious reader who took what he read seriously, and routinely compromised with reality. He entered office with a 58 percent approval rating, and cultivated an optimistic, friendly political tone meant to allay fears of his presidency.
This is not to whitewash Reagan’s record, or even to dismiss the difficulty of the job he undertook. Two years after being elected, Reagan’s approval rating has dipped into the low-40s and Democrats saw massive wins in the midterm elections. The late Washington Post columnist David Broder declared Reaganism “a one-year phenomenon” and complimented the men “working together to fill the vacuum of leadership that Reagan's phaseout has left.” Two years after that, Reagan was reelected in a landslide.
Elections are the beginning of stories, not the end of them. The hope and change Barack Obama’s supporters felt in 2008 was much diminished by 2012, and had curdled into something grimmer and more ironic by 2016. The uncertainty George W. Bush’s backers felt after the 2000 election had become elation by 2004 and devastation by 2008.
What drives the story, once a new president takes office, is reality. What changed for Reagan between 1982 and 1984 was the state of the economy. What changed for Bush between 2004 and 2006 was the grinding disaster of the Iraq War. What changed for Obama between 2008 and 2010 was that the high hopes of his election gave way to the reality of 10 percent unemployment and bitter polarization, and what changed between 2010 and 2012 was the beginning of economic recovery.
In a way few appreciated, Trump had the right experience for the job of presidential candidate. He was a reality television star at a time when cable networks and social media had turned elections into a reality television show. He knew how to hold the cameras, play the media, and thrill the crowd. He understood how to make people laugh and how to make them hate. He realized it was better to have some people love you than a lot of people merely like you.
But the job of president is different than the job of candidate — and, in some ways, it is the opposite of the way Trump ran his candidacy. Trump ran on grand promises. Toward the end of the campaign, he took to telling rallies that voting for him was their last chance to “to make every dream you ever dreamed for your country come true.” Now Trump needs to deliver.
This next chapter is going to ask much more of Trump. It is going to require him to run a smooth, scandal-free administration, to choose wisely between the different policy and political options he’s offered, to win over politicians and voters deeply skeptical of his intentions, to keep a fractious Cabinet from collapsing into leaks and infighting, to respond to foreign crises with calm and consideration, to prioritize issues and tasks he finds unrewarding.
In 2016, Trump ran for president promising to make America great again. In 2020, he will need to persuade the country he succeeded.
I hope he succeeds. A failed presidency is much worse on the people it fails than on the president who retires to the speaking circuit. The way Trump has managed his transition has not filled me with optimism. But the office he is about to assume has a way of changing people. Perhaps he will rise to the occasion.
|Nike To Benefit From Opening Stores Within JCPenney Locations|
Source: Forbes Real Time
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:34
Recently, JCPenney announced that it is featuring designated Nike shops within more than 600 of its stores. These 500 square feet areas will be located within the men’s section as it looks to bolster its active wear offerings. These small stores ensure that Nike stands out in mass retailing.
|‘The Voice’ Fans Hit Back Amid Blake Shelton And Adam Levine Quitting Rumors, ‘No One Can Replace Them’|
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:33
The Voice fans are making their feelings for Blake Shelton and Adam Levine very clear as rumors continue to swirl that the veteran coaches could potentially be leaving the series after Season 12.
A slew of viewers took to social media to let The Voice executives know that they don’t want to see Shelton and Levine leave the show after the upcoming season, claiming that the coaching duo – who have appeared on every single season of the NBC series to date – “are The Voice” and can’t be replaced as rumors swirl about who could potentially head to The Voice’s infamous red spinning chairs to potentially replace Adam and Blake later this year.
“Please never let Blake go… Blake and Adam are The Voice,” Twitter user @AlmaKomi tweeted to The Voice as the quitting rumors continue to swirl around Adam and the country star, while @Sandyluongo wrote, “I sure hope Blake and Adam don’t leave!!! Going to be a great season with Alicia + Gwen! Can’t wait!!!”
“Adam and Blake are needed… They just need two other people that have good chemistry with them both,” @CindeRella added on the social media site of what the coaching panel for Season 13 of The Voice should look like when the show picks up again later this year, and @efleforte added amid The Voice shakeup rumors, “NO ONE can replace Blake and Adam, I would just not bother watching. What would be the point?”
Fan’s responses come after months of rumors suggesting that Blake and Adam could be ready to quit The Voice after 12 seasons, as Radar Online claimed that both veteran coaches could allegedly be ready to move on after what will be six years on the show.
Though Shelton and Levine are already confirmed for Season 12 of The Voice alongside Gwen Stefan and Alicia Keys, an insider close to production alleged to the site last year that the duo were supposedly highly considering leaving following their upcoming The Voice stint to pursue other interests.
“Both Adam and Blake feel that they have run their course as judges,” a source alleged of Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s supposed plans to quit The Voice at the time, though neither Adam nor Blake have officially confirmed the speculation that they could both be quitting following The Voice Season 12.
But while neither Shelton and Levine have spoken out about Radar Online’s report claiming they could be gearing up to quit The Voice after what will be six years and 12 seasons, Blake did appear to let slip in a recent interview that appearing on a coach on the series was beginning to become a little stale.
Blake made the admission in a new interview with CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown, seemingly telling host Cody Alan that he was considering leaving The Voice before learning that girlfriend Gwen Stefani would be returning as a coach in the place of Miley Cyrus for Season 12.
“Just when you think, you know, 12 seasons in it kind of is what it is, it’s not anymore with her,” Blake said of Gwen returning to The Voice earlier this week, admitting that Stefani “brings a new level of competition to the show” that was missing prior to her return.
While NBC are yet to comment on who will be forming the coaching line-up for Season 12 of The Voice and have not confirmed reports claiming Adam and Blake could be ready to quit, a number of names have already been linked to The Voice coaching gig should Adam and Blake decide not to return.
According to reports, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and Pharrell Williams have all been tapped as potential coaches for The Voice Season 13, though an official announcement from NBC about Blake and Adam’s future with the show is not expected until later this year.
What do you think of fans responses to rumors Blake Shelton and Adam Levine could be quitting The Voice?
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]
|Meet the bionic man: He's 100 percent prosthetic parts|
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:33
|Why The Market May Go Ugh Under Trump|
Source: Forbes Real Time
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:33
History looks unfavorably on stocks given the incoming President, but there is some good news. Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research explains to Forbes contributor Simon Constable.
|Donald Trump inauguration schedule of events, performers and inaugural balls|
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:32
The inauguration of President Donald Trump features a long list of official and semi-official events and celebrations, plus more than a few protests. Marie Osmond offers to perform at main event.