Weekend Digest: The No Vacancy, Dak for MVP, TrumpWorld edition

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 84 views 

On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.:

The election returns are in and it’s a shocker. Donald Trump with the upset of the century in American politics. The new President-elect defeats heavy favorite Hillary Clinton in a campaign for the ages.

How did it happen? How will he govern? What will the fallout for Republicans, Democrats, the American public and the future of politics? Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin joins us for a conversation. Also, John Brummett with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette offers his analysis.

In Arkansas, voters approve medical marijuana, which will create a new business industry in the Natural State. Republicans make bigger gains in the legislature. And Democrats are left in disarray after landslide victories for the state GOP. We’ll discuss.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics in Central Arkansas on KATV Channel 7, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.

Coming in January 2017, Talk Business & Politics will air in Northwest Arkansas on KFSM Channel 5 at 10:30 a.m. following “Face the Nation.”

The consumer-friendly, hand-held cameras invented by GoPro revolutionized adventurous video sharing and led to some amazing footage that astonished the world. But GoPro has been struggling lately, reports Marketplace.org.

It says a lack of corporate discipline and complicated new products have compounded the company’s early success.

Over the same period of time, consumers have shown a marked preference for simplicity and instant gratification — in basically every single industry, but especially with cameras. You know what’s performing great this year, according to just-released numbers from NPD? Premium point-and-shoot cameras, and instant print cameras.

Over the past two years, at any point, GoPro could have edged slightly in either of those directions without significantly sacrificing its brand. And of course, it could have tried to release its drone sooner.

Is GoPro suffering from Founder’s Syndrome? Find out more here.

A familiar piece of roadside Americana is falling by the wayside.

You’ve been driving for a good chunk of the day, you’re pulling into an unfamiliar town, and you need a place to stay for the night. Happily, there’s a comforting sight just ahead—a motel with an illuminated “Vacancy” sign, the “No” thankfully darkened.

The “(No) Vacancy” sign, a beacon of hospitality and/or disappointment, has greeted road-weary American travelers for generations. But just as paper maps and toll booth clerks increasingly seem quaint relics of the analog age, the classic “(No) Vacancy” sign may soon become another victim of shifting travel habits and market forces.

What factors have contributed to the disappearance of the sign and how have businesses changed resulting in the No Vacancy sign extinction? Read more from Bloomberg here.

Amazon’s Echo device has been a huge success in the artificial intelligence (AI) space. The voice-controlled personal assistant can perform a multitude of tasks, but it wasn’t always that way.

The number of “skills” that Alexa possesses—tasks that it can perform, such as setting a thermostat or summoning an Uber—has grown from 135 in January to 1,000 in June to 4,000 today, thanks to the tools that the company has given developers to integrate their services and devices into Alexa. By the time proprietors of other voice services have caught up with that figure, Alexa may have sprinted even further ahead.

How did Echo evolve and where do the people in charge of Amazon’s AI device see it going? Read this deep-dive from Fast Company for more.

Dissatisfaction and anxiety over the recent election poses a threat to business leaders who may have employees with differing political opinions. The civic and personal unrest expressing itself post-election highlights the division in this country that isn’t going away.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to employees this week to address concerns. Fortune explains why Cook’s letter resonated as well as why it was crucial for him to send it.

The formerly angry faction, Trump supporters, are now optimistic, and the former sunny optimists, Clinton supporters, are now angry, but net contentiousness seems about the same. That’s a problem for business leaders because for employees the stress of this environment is exhausting, and deep political tension at work can warp the culture, freeze collaboration, and wreck productivity.

Read more from his memo and Fortune’s take on how the language of the letter was pitch-perfect for a diverse workforce.

Pundits, Clinton supporters and soul-searching journalists are pointing the finger at the media for the rise and success of Donald Trump’s improbable victory on Election Night.

The media built him up with air time. They didn’t do enough to highlight the contrasts with Hillary Clinton. They covered her scandals more than his. There is certainly room for improvement all around, but the volume of content generated in this election left no voter uninformed about their choices, argues Jack Shafer with Politico.

So all the fact-checking of Trump’s lies, all the investigative journalism about his failures, even the tapes—none of it meant anything. I vehemently disagree. All that digging by the press corps meant a lot, and its message hit home.

The election of Trump, then, can’t be reduced to a “failure” of the “broken” press — to lean on two worn-out descriptions of the craft. Trump won not because the press failed but because he was selling something more valuable to voters than integrity — honesty and humanity.

Read Shafer’s full take here.

Here’s a smart piece by Jonathan Martin with The New York Times. His story notes that Trump basically ran as a third party candidate, not as the Republican nominee.

Mr. Trump ostensibly ran as a Republican, but he was effectively a third-party candidate who happened to campaign under the banner of one of the two major parties. Casting himself as an outsider, he not only savaged leaders in both parties but he made a mockery of nearly all the pieties of the American political system.

Mr. Trump was the most unconventional candidate in United States history, but he was a better fit than any of his competitors for this moment. That is because, while he may have represented a jarring change to a decorous political culture — no modern major party nominee had ever said the things he said — he reflected a coarser but authentic popular culture that many people have grown used to.

Read more analysis at this link.

Paul Waldman writes in the Plum Line blog at the Washington Post that “the greatest trick Donald Trump pulled was convincing voters he’d be “anti-establishment. Well, maybe not the greatest trick. But in a campaign full of cons, it has to rank close to the top.”

He suggests that from the first few days post-election Trump seems to be implementing a pretty establishment-oriented transition and administration.

But one thing it [Trump’s administration] will not be is a threat to the establishment, or the system, or whatever you want to call it. The wealthy and powerful will have more wealth and power when he’s done, not less. There’s a lot that Trump will upend, but if you’re a little guy who thinks Trump was going to upend things on your behalf or in order to serve your interests, guess what: you got suckered.

Read his arguments for what he believes will happen and how it won’t benefit the “little guy” at this link.

“Did Donald Trump reconstitute the old coalition that handed President Ronald Reagan two terms in office? Looking at the data, it sure looks that way,” asks Investors Business Daily.

Yes, Trump won the election, but also did something else no one predicted: His election had coattails. Amid near-unanimous predictions that Republicans would at least lose the Senate and possibly the House, both remain in Republican control and losses were far fewer than expected.

Looking at the numbers from the final IBD/TIPP Presidential Tracking Poll and from exit polls taken right after the election, just as Reagan, Trump won substantial majorities among white voters, male voters, married voters, those with less than a college education, self-described Christian voters. But he also exceeded expectations among minorities and union members.

Read more analysis here.

Leonard Cohen passed away last week at the age of 82. His biggest success came in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but he had experienced a late career resurgence. How did he get his start?

Frustrated by poor book sales, and tired of working in Montreal’s garment industry, Cohen visited New York in 1966 to investigate the city’s robust folk-rock scene. He met folk singer Judy Collins, who later that year included two of his songs, including the early hit “Suzanne,” on her album In My Life. His New York milieu included Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and, most importantly, the haunting German singer Nico, whose despondent delivery he may have emulated on his exquisite 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Cohen quickly became the songwriter’s songwriter of choice for artists like Collins, James Taylor, Willie Nelson and many others. His black-and-white album photos offered an arresting image to go with his stark yet lovely songs.

Read more on Cohen’s life from this Rolling Stone tribute.

Is Dak Prescott the NFL’s most valuable player at this juncture of the season? Jarrett Bell at USA Today thinks so.

The way I see it, no player in the NFL has been more valuable than the super-efficient Prescott, a fourth rounder from Mississippi State seemingly sent from the heavens. Others in the MVP conversation have better numbers. But imagine where the Cowboys would be without Prescott.

Read the arguments here.

There were a lot of ballot issues around the country on Election Day. Several states legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, but there were also ballot measures affecting the minimum wage, gun control, tobacco and income taxes. Read a breakdown here.