Catfish New Orleans

June 16, 2011

No, this is not a great new bayou dish.  I’m just making my grand introduction to LIVE from New Orleans, Louisiana at the Republican Leadership Conference.  I’m Catfish and this is my take through the first general session of the conference.

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The road to 2012 begins here in New Orleans.  As a Black Conservative, I’m not disturbed at the mood and enthusiasm present at the opening of this conference for getting anyone of the Republican candidates in office as they are “better than the alternative”  as stated by Erick Erickson of  I couldn’t agree more, but I can already hear the ludicrous accusations that this is all about getting the Black President out of office.  This is about getting our country secure and prosperous again, period.  There are some of us that disagree with the ideology of the President that undermines our security and prosperity and want an alternative.

On the drive to New Orleans with my writing colleagues, we had a good discussion of fiscal and social issues in politics as it relates to Black Conservatives.  Thank you Mike Huckabee for giving me a fresh take on this at the RLC.  He said he “knows no social conservative who is not also fiscally conservative”.  I used to say that most black people are lock step with the left because of fiscal issues despite being staunchly social conservatives.  As I reflected on that thought, I realized he is absolutely right!  As a former teacher of urban school in both Louisiana and New York, I know that the mentality of many black students is very self-reliant, entrepreneurial, willing to work for what they want – although sometimes in undesired sectors of illegal enterprise – and totally resistant to any overbearing authority.  It is the entitlement culture of dependence on government perpetuated by the left that needs a loyal base that is unwitting of their underlying agenda which has brain washed the true fiscal conservatism of black people out and replaced it with a racial disdain of the right.  But, news flash…there are racists on both sides of the aisle, and they are people who see only green on both sides of the aisle, and there are good-hearts on both sides of the aisle.

You know, I really wish more black people can sit here and really listen to the whole, unedited by left leaning media speech of a conservative like Huckabee.  And I triple dog dare them for a fresh throwback and original J’s to tell me that they don’t as a black person identify with nearly every word coming out of his mouth.  Now, you may disagree with a certain plan of how to accomplish certain things to keep our country secure and people working, but you cannot disagree with the core values from which those plans are derived.

I’m sitting here, a newbie to the media section as a blogger willing to openly praise and criticize, agree and disagree just the same for any speaker who steps up to that mic, regardless of my conservative views.  I was amazed however just before the first session began by two members of the “real” AP media who entered the media waiting room.  I’m sure they figured that the only other person in the room with them is a black man typing away on his laptop who only looked up to casually greet them as they entered the room but not giving any formal introduction, so its safe to “talk”.  They actually talked about their goal to find a few “sound bites” and who they thought would “give [them] something to run with”.  So for the black people who actually tune into that news source, and then the rest of us who get the word of mouth version  of that spin at the barber shop or salon, we never get the true message of conservatism as I just heard in this conference.

Now of course, you have to sit through the standard conservative platform speeches by Republican candidates such as US Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson,  Ted Cruz for the Texas US Senate seat or current officials such as Congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan.  It can begin to seem like the same old conservative reiterations of an ideology and values on the issues that you are either already for or against.  Then you get the humorous take on President Obama’s motto that “yes we can” retire him from the White House by Cruz, or the informal job interview by Johnson that can keep you engaged and really inspire you to support them.  But you have to be open to fully hearing all of what a person, political party, or whatever is about in order to develop a fully informed opinion.

That is why I am a black conservative.  After being an independent all my life because I refused to be a democrat just because I’m black, and I was skeptical yet uniformed of the republican party, I have fully identified as a conservative because  I have listened fully to both sides.  I even had the experience of living in the great states of Texas and New York, each for two years.  I began to identify with no-nonsense folks like Huckabee who today compared Nancy Pelosi saying “we’ll figure out what is the health care bill after we pass it” to telling a person that “we will know what we had for lunch after we’ve passed it”.  You have to be leery of any politicians who would want you to go against that kind of common sense logic and just vote for them because they say the other side is just racist.  Even Johnson had some no-nonsense points as a candidate for President that you can’t deny the logic in.  Former athlete to former athlete, I get his stance that competition between “50 laboratories of innovation and best practices”  to figure out what works best is better that trusting all your chips on one bet that “Washington knows best” regarding health care and education.  Now, some of Johnson’s other stances have yet to grow on me like legalizing marijuana, but black people can identify with his cost effective rationale to save court and jail cost of which 50% are drug related as we know about having to make the dollars stretch (Again, the cost saving…not the stereotype of drugs and jail).

The first session has ended with a documentary film on the legacy of Ronald Reagan.  As I was born in 1979, I don’t really connect to the awe behind Reagan and I won’t jump on the bandwagon just because most other conservative revere him.  However, as I learn more of him and his legacy, you have to appreciate his courage and leadership during the time he took office.  And as much as I would love to see nothing more than the first Black President of these United State leave office with that type of legacy and reverence, I won’t give it to him just because he’s black.  I refuse to put LeBron anywhere near Jordan in my mind until he wins several rings just the same.  The same for Barak Obama.  He has yet to steer this country out of our trouble as Reagan did, regardless of who got us in the mess.

All in all, this was a great introduction for me to my first Republican Leadership Conference, and I hope you have equally enjoyed my first post as a blogger for



WWD August 18, 2006 Byline: Sharon Edelson NEW YORK – Nordstrom Inc. on Thursday reported net income rose 20 percent to $178.8 million in the second quarter ended July 31 on a 7.8 percent rise in sales to $2.3 billion.

Earnings per share rose 26 percent to 67 cents, compared with 53 cents in the same period last year, and were ahead of expectations. The results compare with net income of $148.9 million last year on sales of $2.1 billion in the second quarter of 2005. Same-store sales for the period gained 5.7 percent.

Unlike most retailers, Nordstrom’s second-quarter sales are an important contributor to the company’s annual results, roughly equaling 90 to 95 percent of its fourth-quarter volume.

In June, Nordstrom’s experiences clearance activity, as most retailers do. Its anniversary sale in July produces the highest sales volume days of the entire year. Mike Koppel, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts that the June clearances and anniversary sale delivered positive same-store sales increases, while regular-priced business showed strength in the quarter. website nordstrom promotion code

The anniversary sale is significant because it offers insight into how customers will respond to fall merchandise; the sale is a preview of the season.

The strongest regional performance for full-line stores was in the Northwest, where merchandise categories ahead of plan included men’s apparel, cosmetics, accessories and intimate apparel. Nordstrom’s Rack division extended its streak of double-digit same-store sales increases to 24 months. Gross profit margin increased 26 basis points for the quarter over last year and merchandise margin was above plan and beat last year’s results.

“We’re beginning to see some traction from our cohesive approach in women’s apparel,” Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising, said on the call. “As we move into the fall season, we have a lot of work ahead of us.” While the anniversary event produced only a 2.1 percent sales increase in stores, when combined with the online business, the increase was 4.1 percent. website nordstrom promotion code

“We’ve had some challenges over the last quarter or two in Brass Plum [teen fashion], women’s and juniors,” Nordstrom said. “That’s a big part of our business, particularly during the anniversary sale. So when that isn’t particularly healthy in an event like that, it drags the total down.” Nordstrom is trying to offer more luxury brands throughout the store. “If we’re able to bring in the coveted brands…they sell,” Nordstrom said. “Price doesn’t really seem to be a barrier as much as the desirability and the fashion of it. Yes, there are lines that we either don’t get or don’t get as much of and that’s just an ongoing pursuit for us and I think always will be.” Alluding to Federated Department Store’s sale of Lord & Taylor and other consolidations in the retail industry that allowed Nordstrom to acquire real estate in certain shopping centers, Pete Nordstrom said: “As the retail landscape continues to transform, we are positioned to benefit. The number of attractive opportunities keeps growing and we look forward to sharing any developments as they unfold.” The company in October will be relocating its Nordstrom Topanga store in Canoga Park, Calif., he said.

Nordstrom has tried to offer online a wider selection of merchandise that can be found in stores. The strategy has paid off. Online sales are exceeding industry average and the direct business is expected to reach $1 billion in sales in the next four to six years. “It’s become a source of substantial growth potential,” Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Inc., said. “Success will be measured over a course of years for our multichannel offering.” The company is installing a new technology platform that will bring the direct and full-line store inventory systems together to create a more seamless shopping experience.

During the quarter, Nordstrom repurchased 9.7 million shares of stock for a total of $350 million. For the third quarter, the retailer anticipates low single-digit same-store sales increases and earnings per share in the range of 40 cents to 45 cents versus 39 cents in the third quarter last year.

Updated earnings outlook for the year is $2.31 to $2.39 per share, up from $2.24 to $2.32 per share.

Nordstrom shares on Thursday closed at $36.49, down 1 cent on the New York Stock Exchange.

Caption(s): Nordstrom is focused on expanding its luxury offerings.


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