Friday, July 28, 2006

Ring Theory

Part of the argument made by Mayor Daley and other opponents of Chicago's Big Box Ordinance is that WalMart and Target will simply ring Chicago with stores.

I call it the "Ring Theory," and I'm not buying it.

What the politicians and pundits advancing this theory tend to forget is that in the real world (the world that exists beyond the doors of the Chicago City Council floor), these two companies are fierce competitors. One of them wants to be the dominant super-retailer in Chicago, and that guy would love to creep right into this market as soon as the other makes a commitment to never enter.

WalMart has the deeper pockets, and WalMart would love to sucker Target into boycotting Chicago. WalMart has much more at stake here, because a victory against WalMart in Chicago would embolden WalMart opponents across the country. But as long as WalMart can continue to hide behind Target, this debate won't be about what a nasty corporate citizen WalMart is, how crappy its products are, and why would we ever want a WalMart in our neighborhoods in the first place?

Speaking of which, the biggest patsies in all of this have to be all of the other dues-paying members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. Don't you guys realize that when WalMart opens, your doors will soon be closed? Talk about acting against your own self-interest.

Here's my advice to Target: after Mayor Daley refuses to veto the measure, go ahead and file your frivilous lawsuit. Declare that you're certain you'll win in court; so certain in fact, that you're going to move forward with your plans to open new stores here.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Don't be a Hater

Ran across these on one of the Conservative GOP blogs.

These images comparing Barack Obama to Osama Bin Laden are an insult to the men and women risking their lives in the War on Terror in Afghanistan, and its this kind of stuff that gives Republicans a bad name.

I have two obvious follow-up questions for the Republicans who think this is so darn funny: how long before our Republican president captures Public Enemy #1, and how many vacation days has he taken since Sept. 11th, 2001? Because if I were President, there would be no vacation days until Bin Laden were captured.