Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Nov 27, 2012
November 27, 2012
Political Racket /Dirty Tricks:
The New York Times reports that one of the key tax deductions that could be modified in talks to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" is the write-off for interest paid on a home mortgage. That deduction regulary runs into the thousands of dollars for millions of families, but that could be changing.
For 2010, that deduction saved taxpayers an estimated $83-billion-dollars. But rather than be eliminated all together, the deduction might be capped and/or indexed for high income homeowners. (Pacelli)
If Congress eventually comes forward with any "fiscal cliff" deal that mandates even slight cuts to social programs, it appears PRESIDENT OBAMA won't be getting too much support from progressive groups for such a deal. The National Journal reports that groups such as MoveOn.org and the AFL-CIO are already balking at such a deal.
AFL-CIO spokesman JEFF HAUSER said, "Our principles are non-negotiable and if the cost for getting the speaker of the House on board is to do something like cut taxes yet again for the rich or cut benefits to the social safety net, we are opposed." (Pacelli)
Shoppers continued their holiday spending yesterday. Cyber Monday sales were up more than 28 percent.
Some retail analysts had predicted that online tax rules that went into effect this year in number of states would level the playing field for shopping malls and traditional brick-and-mortar stores but that didn't happen.
By noon yesterday online sales alone were already up 24 percent from a year ago.
The number of customers buying on Cyber Monday has risen every year since it was created seven years ago. The research firm, comScore, projected earlier this month that Cyber Monday sales would reach $1.5 billion, making it the biggest online shopping day of the year. (Maiman)
Let's go party tonight at... Applebee's?
That's right --the restaurant chain is looking at ways to increase revenue and one of them is turning Applebee's into a nightclub after hours.
The chain began test-marketing the concept in about 100 locations starting late this past summer, with about half of them in central Florida. They say it's a place for suburbanites to go party when other options aren't available. The after-hours club --open at 10 pm after the regular restaurant closes-- is called "bees," (with half the sign lit up --get it?), serves half price appetizers, plays dance music and even offers karoake until 2 am.
Applebee's has about 19-hundred locations in the U.S.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH's six-year-old daughter is now modeling for Guess. That's the same exact brand that made her late mom a modeling legend. The creative director for Guess calls DANNIELYNN BIRKHEAD "a second-generation Guess girl," a first for the brand.
Dannielynn appears in Guess Kids' spring campaign. She's seen playing on the beach near an inner tube, wearing a hat, denim skirt, a blue striped tee-shirt topped with a white vest. So she's in no way working the sexy poses that made Anna Nicole famous when she first posed for Guess jeans back in 1993.
The six-year-old, you might remember, was born only three days after her older half-brother died, and just a couple months before her mother Anna Nicole died. The kid was also the center of a long, drawn-out paternity battle.
Editor's note: Here's to hoping Dannielynn's life doesn't play out like the Shakespearean tabloid tragedy that Anna Nicole Smith's was. (Bartha)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
LARRY HAGMAN will have two, invitation-only, "Celebration for Larry" memorials this weekend --one in Dallas and one in Los Angeles. Production on the TV series, which is in the middle of the season, resumes today.
People magazine reports his wife, MAJ, is suffering from the later stages of Alzheimer's, and his son, PRESTON tells them "Right now we are going to be keeping his ashes within the family and we going to wait for my mother to pass on so they can be together."
Didja watch Lifetime's "Liz & Dick" movie with LINDSAY LOHAN? Overnight ratings, out yesterday, show the cable channel movie drew 3.5 million viewers on Sunday night.
While that's pretty good for a cable channel, with all the hype before the film, the ratings are not all THAT great, and could possibly be considered a disappointment. (The movie was on last night as well.)
Daily Variety also note that it had half the audience of Lifetime's remake of "Steel Magnolias," with QUEEN LATIFAH, which ran in October.
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