Ready Or Not, Here Comes Winter
Hey there! I hope you’re ready for some white stuff falling from the sky today. The jet stream has dipped and not only are we going to see snow across most the Northern states, the temperatures over the next few days are going to get dangerously low. Those of you who have pets will want to be especially careful to limit the amount of time they spend outside. Be sure to check paws and get them nice and dry when they come in.
This is one of those days where we’re waiting to see how things develop before getting too involved in stories such as who might possibly be the next Secretary of State and just how serious the Russian hacking scandal is. We don’t want to get involved in speculation and end up delivering wrong information. We do have 5 things we’re sure about, though, so let’s take a look at those.
1. One Step Closer
This painfully long election cycle came one step closer to being over yesterday as the whole vote recount situation came to an end in all three states.1 While the numbers in Wisconsin shifted ever so slightly, the outcome remains unchanged. Efforts in Pennsylvania and Michigan were effectively blocked by federal court judges, clearing the way now for the final step of the electoral college vote next week.
Yes, there have been some rumors of rogue electors possibly changing their vote, but don’t expect much from that hullabaloo, either. First of all, it is illegal in most states for electors to change their vote. Secondly, it would require a massive defection of more than 70 electors to align the electoral college vote with the popular vote. That’s never happened in our country’s history and I’m not seeing anyone with any authority suggesting it can happen now.
The bottom line is we’re tired of this whole election process and whether we like the outcome or not we all want it to be over. The electoral college votes on Monday and that should end this election for good.
2. Death Comes Quickly
Republican members of Congress campaigned long and hard that they would overturn and replace the Affordable Care Act as quickly as they could under the new administration. That issue alone has had a number of low-income families worried about the status of their health care going into the new year. I tried making an appointment with my own doctor yesterday and was told they’re full until mid-March except for emergencies. Everyone is trying to get care in before they lose whatever coverage they may have.
Initially, Republican leadership said they would replace the ACA as they dismantle it. However, comments yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicate that the replacement might not come as quickly as initially promised2. Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, is expressing some concern that the system could collapse if a replacement doesn’t accompany any repeal. He told NPR: “I don’t think the Republicans have come to grips yet that it’s going to be their responsibility to keep the wheels on Obamacare.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans — the trade group that represents health insurance companies— seems to agree. Last week they circulated a statement saying, “Making sudden, significant changes now, or mid-year, will jeopardize the coverage [those insured] depend on.”
Any move Congress makes could potentially leave upwards of 20 million Americans uninsured. Let’s hope they use the upcoming winter break to think through this matter a bit more.
3. Bickering In The Fashion World
We typically don’t get a lot of serious fashion news this time of year because everyone is focused on getting the most out of holiday sales as possible and ending the year on a high note. However, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reported yesterday that there seems to be a kerfluffle between Italian powerhouse Dolce & Gabbana and German designer Philipp Plein3. Plein posted a copy of a letter he received from Dolce & Gabbana’s attornies to his Instagram account on Sunday. In the letter, D&G accuses Plein of trying to “steal” at least ten Dolce & Gabbana sales associates from the label’s flagship store in Milan.
Timing is part of the issue here. Phillip Plein is opening his own new store in Milan before the end of the year. Understandably, he would want sales associates who are well connected with luxury buyers in the city. Plein already has two former D&G employees working for him and the accusation is that they have approached their former colleagues about jumping ship.
Plein said on his Instagram post: “This is a free country and everybody can choose by themselves who they want to work for!!” To a large extent, we expect he’s correct. Unless Plein’s employees are trying to solicit Dolce & Gabbana employees inside the D&G store, there’s not a lot D&G can do to stop the employees from leaving unless there is already a non-compete claus in their employment contracts.
Nothing like a little drama to end the year.
4. Golden Globe Nominations Are Out
Nominees for the diverse Golden Globe awards were announced in Beverly Hills yesterday4 and, unsurprisingly, Hollywood is all abuzz with talk about who’s in and who’s out. Best actor in a drama nods went to Casey Affleck, Joel Edgerton, Andrew Garfield, Viggo Mortensen, and Denzel Washington. Meanwhile, Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga, and Natalie Portman took the nominations on the women’s side.
Of course, with every list of nominations comes the talk about who didn’t make it5. This time, it’s Hollywood legends Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and Warren Beatty who get to sit this one out. There was, apparently, expectations that all three would get nominations for their directing efforts this year, but they didn’t and that makes all their fans very sad.
What we need to remember is that the Golden Globes are “feel good” awards. Many of their categories are divided between drama and musical/comedy so that the two disparate forms don’t have to compete with each other. The list of awards and nominees is long and while some pundits like to claim these awards might be an indicator of who gets the Oscar nods early next year, there’s no real evidence to support that theory. The Oscars have their own idiosyncracies that no one actually understands.
Still, the nominations remind us that there were some really fantastic films released this year and I didn’t see most of them. Let’s hope they make it to Netflix quickly.
5. And Finally …
Speaking of largely useless lists, AdWeek has released their list of the top 10 ads for 20166. Again, this has been a good year for some very creative ad work. I’ve been very impressed with the social messages that many companies have put into their ads. Not only are the ads encouraging us to buy a product, but they’re also forcing us, in many cases, to stop and think about what we’re buying and why.
While there is plenty of reason to comment on all the ads in the list, it’s Under Amour’s ad featuring Michael Phelps that takes the top honors. The quality of the filmography plays a lot into the decision and it’s difficult to argue against such a powerful 90 seconds. The ad ran frequently throughout the Olympics and well represents the struggle, the pain, and the training athletes go through to be the best. Here’s a look at the winning ad [Note: due to player limitations, the video may not play well on some mobile devices]:
You can take a look at all ten of the winning ads on AdWeek’s website.
That’s all we’ve got for today. If you must go out, please bundle up and be extremely cautious. Don’t forget to subscribe to our posts and the videos on YouTube. Take care. We hope the rest of your day is enjoyable.