Friday, February 10, 2017 at 8:51 AM

Nordstrom Rejects Trump Brand. Court Overrules His Muslim Ban

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Donald Trump spent most of his post-election transition making corporate America fear that a simple tweet from him could cost any corporation billions if it failed to do as he decreed.

Even worse, corporations like Carrier and Ford began kissing his … brass ring – as if they were Catholic bishops and he, the pope. In fact, some have taken their idol worship in this context to such extremes that we’re being treated to cowering spectacles like this:

This week Intel’s CEO used a meeting with Donald Trump to announce it would invest $7bn in building a factory in Arizona, creating about 3,000 jobs. …

Trump was happy to take credit, thanking Krzanich and calling the Fab 42 plant – which will make state-of-the-art chips – a great investment in jobs and innovation.

However, the semiconductor company had already announced the same factory back in 2011 when Barack Obama was in power.

(London Guardian, February 9, 2017)

Well, here’s to this Nordstrom precedent for exposing Trump as the proverbial emperor with no clothes (a.k.a. a paper tiger):

Nordstrom Inc., which was lambasted by President Donald Trump on Twitter Wednesday, didn’t pay a price with investors.

Shares of the department-store chain gained as much as 8.4 percent in the two days since the president tweeted about the company, marking the biggest advance since November. He slammed Nordstrom for dropping daughter Ivanka’s brand, using his favorite social-media forum for calling out businesses.

(Bloomberg, February 8, 2017)

Only time will tell if this gives corporations the balls to start acting more like good corporate citizens and less like stooges for Trump’s job-creation schtick. Naturally, the former would include, among other things, repatriating profits to invest in new manufacturing plants here in America, to say nothing of finally paying their fair share of taxes.

But I’m wary because it’s not as if Nordstrom dropped Ivanka’s brand to defy her Daddy’s bullying. The fact is that so many women were boycotting her Trump brand, it just made more business sense to defy Donald than to carry Ivanka. And that is directly related to this:

As President Donald Trump’s actions continue to inspire protests across the country, his daughter Ivanka has become a popular target of activists encouraging people to boycott retailers selling her products.

A handful of companies including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, [Uber, Macy’s, Home Shopping Network, Belk, Wayfair, Jet] and have dropped Ivanka Trump’s fashion line [and cut ties with the Trump organization] since the anti-Trump boycott movement #GrabYourWallet launched on social media in October.

(Business Insider, February 8, 2017)

The media are crediting a heretofore-obscure marketing specialist named Shannon Coulter with launching this boycott. With all due respect to her, however, I would like to think the Trumps’ reversal of fortune has more to do with the following from ‘I Can’t Hear, or See, or Say that Name [TRUMP] Without Spitting,” March 14, 2016, which I published months before Coulter posted her hashtag boycott.


Obviously, the racism, xenophobia, and outright violence Trump incites are bad enough. But all of that is compounded by the failure of so many Americans, especially his rich celebrity friends, to not only repudiate him but make a show of shunning him — to hit him where it hurts.

All Americans should appreciate the categorical imperative of treating anything branded ‘Trump’ — from hotels to neckties and vodka — as if it were branded “KKK.” It only hints at his cynicism and hucksterism that he makes such a public show of touting his Made in China products to “Make America Great Again.”

But the legacy of his publicity stunt masquerading as a presidential campaign should be a Trump brand so tarnished that the only people willing to patronize his businesses are the fools who voted for him.

Given that the vast majority of them are poor and uneducated, by his own estimation, it would only be a matter of time before he’s forced into the mother of all his bankruptcies (i.e., for failing to make payments on the debt he brags about using to finance his businesses). And trust me, this Croesus-envying narcissist would rather go bankrupt than depend on the rabble-rousing suckers who attend his rallies to keep his real-estate empire afloat. Which is just as well given that most of them can barely afford a night at a budget hotel.


Meanwhile, many of you have asked if I intend to comment on the political chaos and legal wrangling surrounding Trump’s ill-conceived travel ban. Honestly, I couldn’t be less interested in joining the gam of sharks bloviating on this topic. Not least because it was clear from the outset that it amounted to nothing more than fodder for lawyers to engage in sound and fury, signifying nothing to do with keeping America safe.

President Donald Trump’s travel ban will remain blocked, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel means that citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries will continue to be able to travel to the US, despite Trump’s executive order last month.

It is a significant political setback to Trump’s new administration and raises questions about how the courts will view his apparent vision for an expansive use of executive power from the Oval Office on which he is anchoring the early weeks of his presidency.

(CNN, February 10, 2017)

Of course Trump has been the bloviator-in-chief in this regard. And, with trademark bluster, he is threatening to take court rulings against his ban all the way to the Supreme Court. But I suspect he’ll just have his lawyers redraft the executive order to have no practical impact on immigration whatsoever.

After all, any redraft would necessarily end up merely restating provisions of the “extreme vetting” the Obama administration put in place years ago. Arguably, this explains why, despite all of Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric, no terrorist has been able to use the refugee stream to perpetrate an attack in the United States on Obama’s watch.

Incidentally, apropos of Trump as paper tiger, news is breaking now that President Xi Jinping just got him to cave on his threat to renegotiate the One China policy. That policy obliges all countries conducting diplomatic relations or bilateral trade with China to recognize that Taiwan is just a renegade province of its mainland.

In any event, Trump being Trump, with each humiliating defeat, this loser will simply declare victory and move on to his next carnival-barking stunt.

Related commentaries:
I can’t … without spitting…”

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