Costco backs down on decision to pull book

Thousands of Costco members threatened the warehouse retailer by way of their Facebook page on the heels of the wholesaler’s decision to pull copies of a recently-published book by anti-Obama author Dinesh D’Souza.

The company insisted the decision to pull “America: Imagine a World Without Her” was financial, not political. In interviews Wednesday, Costco’s CEO, Craig Jelinek said the controversy was overblown. He said the book was selling poorly. After beginning sales in 249 locations in early June, by early July, the title had only sold 3,753 copies — or less than 15 copies per store, according to The Seattle Times. Jelinek went on to say the book was being brought back to Costco’s shelves after the outcry over the removal has shot sales into orbit.

According to Newsmax.com, the book had sold some 700 copies in Costco locations over the past week.

This is not the first time that Costco’s book sales efforts have resulted in controversy. Last year, the chain mistakenly included The Bible in the fiction section at one of its warehouse locations.

In a statement, Jelinek said the uproar was “completely unwarranted,” insisting that “Costco is not a bookstore.” He says the chain cannot carry every title members want to read.

Many of Costco’s executives are open backers of Democratic candidates. Conversely, Republican darling and possible presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is a member of Costco’s board.

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Even Mr. Stamper likes the Falcons

Actor Michael Kelly, best known to fans of the Netflix hit series House of Cards as Frank Underwood’s right hand man Harry Stamper, is a die-hard Atlanta Falcons fan, which many of the Falcon faithful found out with a new profile on the Falcons’ website this week.

Kelly is a Philadelphia native, but despite his birth home being “up there,” he claims Atlanta as his home. His family moved to Lawrenceville when he was a youngster, and he spent a number of his years here before moving to Houston for a brief stint. When his family returned to Atlanta in his pre-teen years, his Atlanta fandom began to grow. Though the popular actor has lived in New York for 20 years now, he spends much of his free time deep in Falcons news. More details on AtlantaFalcons.com.

As if America wasn’t fat enough…

Guests can choose one appetizer from a list of the the chain’s most popular starters and receive unlimited refills for only $10.    (TGI Fridays/USA Today)

TGI Friday’s is announcing that they are selling UNLIMITED appetizers. $10, and you get all the apps you can eat.

TGI Fridays, whose signature item is arguably its appetizer line, today launches a high-profile but risky “Endless Appetizers” summer promotion that offers all-you-can-eat appetizers for $10 per person. Guests can choose one appetizer from a list of the the chain’s most popular starters — including loaded potato skins, boneless buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks — and receive unlimited refills. And while sharing is discouraged, that rule will not be enforced by servers, says Brian Gies, chief marketing officer at Fridays.

“At the end of the day, our servers aren’t policemen,” says Gies of the promo, which runs through Aug. 24. “We’re not going to slap someone’s hand if they reach over and share someone else’s mozzarella sticks.”

I guess business is running a bit light these days. Anything to get folks into the door…

The sleeper begins to stir…

This month is a milestone month for me. 20 years ago next week I left the friendly confines of Gary, Indiana for a new, mysterious life in Atlanta, Georgia. Nine years ago come September, I stopped regular blogging as I became a mainstream journalist with WXIA-TV. 

After much water under the bridge, I figure it’s time to stretch my muscles once again. After this much time, I may not have the same vim and vigor as I once did, but I am still aware and interested in many things.

Life is a journey and a marathon, not a sprint.  Join me. I’ll be right here.

Get off my lawn!

IMO, the Republican Party shot itself in the foot. They NEEDED a positive spotlight this week, and on the few occasions they had the opportunity to take it, they squandered it. They already had to share the post-Olympic spotlight with Hurricane Isaac, which meant they needed that positive spotlight THAT MUCH MORE, given the collective American attention was on the storm as opposed to the business of showcasing the GOP.

They even had a chance at redemption when Clint Eastwood got to speak, and mind you, everyone — at least at first — thought it would be a sight better than if Sarah Palin or GW Bush had spoken, but in the end, even Dirty Harry couldn't make their day. Eastwood was more like the "get off my lawn" type of guy from "Gran Torino" than he was Harry Callahan.

In addition to diverting attention from Romney's speech, the most Eastwood did was to create easy cannon fodder for the late-night circuit. Hell, by the end of Eastwood's speech, I found myself waiting for him to haul out a .44 to give us a modern version of Charlton Heston's "from my cold, dead hands" speech.  

It probably wouldn't have been the worst thing he could do. It certainly would have been better than yammering at an empty chair. I got the metaphor, but it fell flat.

Romney took the high road in his speech. I was very pleased that he did; I wish (and hope) the GOP in general and Romney in particular would remain above the mudslinging through the fall campaign. I want this to be about who can best run the country, not who can sling the most mud. Then again, that's one of the reasons I never got into politics.