The Rundown-Mon 11/27/17: Black Friday recap; Dirty deeds in Congress

Hey everyone, it's great to be back with you after a week off...I imagine many of you had a week off as well. My family went away for most of the week, to a nice hotel between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and would you believe we went to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner?

I actually went to a few stores on Black Friday in the small town of Bernalillo, NM, near the hotel...and they were basically empty. I don't assume that the rest of the country was that way although news stories suggest that much of it was.

Still, just because Black Friday in-store shopping might be a bit less than it used to be doesn't mean at all that "Black Friday is dead". And if you think the billions spent on Black Friday were big, wait until you see the numbers for Cyber Monday.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/black-friday-has-lost-its-bang-hallelujah/2017/11/24/d5527e8e-d156-11e7-81bc-c55a220c8cbe_story.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-11-24/black-friday-is-far-from-dead

https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-wal-mart-vs-amazon-battle-over-black-friday-1511733478

Meanwhile, what do you think was one of the most in-demand items this Black Friday? Read this and tell me whether it makes you feel safer or less safe:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/11/26/guns-were-black-friday-must-haves-going-by-the-fbis-record-203086-background-check-requests/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/gun-background-checks-hit-new-record-black-friday-article-1.3658516

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John Conyers (D-MI), the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives (52 years and counting) has giving him his position as chairman of the Judiciary Committee after it was reported that he paid $27,000 out of his House office budget in a sexual harassment settlement and has also been accused of unwanted and inappropriate behavior (though not anything close to sexual assault) by another woman. Democrats are in a tough situation with this one. Nancy Pelosi said she assumes Conyers will "do the right thing."

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/26/conyers-stepping-down-from-post-as-ranking-democrat-on-judiciary-panel-259970

The only Democrat who might be slightly happy about the news is Al Franken because it takes the spotlight off of him even as more women make claims about him, basically being "handsy" when taking pictures with him. Franken says he will not resign.

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I don't own, and never have owned, any Bitcoin (unfortunately). People have asked me if it's in a bubble. My answer has always been, and remains: Maybe, but bubbles always go much further and last much longer than people think, so trying to pick the top is likely to end up somewhere between a failure and a disaster. On Sunday, the value of Bitcoin went up more than $1000 in a single day:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-26/bitcoin-surges-past-9-000-as-euphoria-reaches-a-fever-pitch

https://www.coindesk.com/300-billion-bitcoin-price-boosts-crypto-market-value-record-high/

This guy wants to fly himself a couple of thousand feet into the air so he can see, and prove to us, that the Earth is flat. Not only is he crazy, but he really looks crazy, don't you think? Reminds me of Dr. Brown from Back to the Future! 

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