Retail’s Winter Of Death Has Claimed Thousands Of Stores

In the clothing and accessories business alone, eight big-name bankruptcies and closures have hit the retail industry the last two months, shutting more than 1,000 stores. The closed doors are symptoms of a bigger problem: America simply has too many stores.

BuzzFeed News

American retailers selling clothing and accessories have been through a grim winter death march of bankruptcies in the past two months: Wet Seal, Delia’s, DEB Shops, C. Wonder, Gap’s Piperlime, Kate Spade Saturday, Jones New York, and Caché.

If that feels like a lot of big-name bankruptcies, it’s because it is. In clothing and accessories alone, more than 1,000 stores have either ceased to exist or are in their final throes, and thousands of retail employees have lost their jobs. While each of these brands fell for different reasons — and some of their competitors have thrived — the closures are symptomatic of an underlying problem: America simply has too many stores. The current round of shuttered doors and bankruptcies is just the start.

“We have way too much retail space … we are way above any country in the world,” Hana Ben-Shabat, a partner in the retail practice of consultancy A.T. Kearney, told BuzzFeed News. “It was a matter of time after the recession. Everybody said: ‘We need to reduce the space.'”

Indeed, America has a staggering amount of real estate devoted to selling things, even when compared to the rest of the world’s most heavily retailed nations.

The New Rules of Retail – Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace / Via Palgrave Macmillan / Robin Lewis and Michael Dart / ICSC calculation from Cushman & Wakefield, KSA and other sources

There was 7.5 billion square feet of shopping-center space in the U.S. in 2013, up from 3.3 billion square feet in 1980, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s 20 square feet for every person in the United States; the U.K., with the second biggest amount of retail space, has just 3 square feet per person. And that calculation only includes gross leasable space and excludes freestanding retailers; the actual amount of all retail space is much higher.

Caché, best known for selling dresses for proms and other special occasions, said in a bankruptcy filing that one of its major missteps in recent years was expanding to 306 stores, saddling itself with money-losing locations and then struggling to downsize. C. Wonder, a “revenge retail” project out of Tory Burch’s ex-husband Chris Burch, also flailed after rapidly expanding to 32 stores, many in pricey locations.

And while RadioShack had been struggling for years leading up to its bankruptcy filing on Feb. 5, the fact that it had more than 4,000 stores was a giant problem. Its lenders wouldn’t let the chain shutter more than 200 per fiscal year, though the company sought to close many more than that, knowing it was saddled with hundreds upon hundreds of expensive and unproductive stores. Filing for bankruptcy enabled RadioShack to close up to 2,100 locations.

The past quarter “saw a higher level of bankruptcy activity than we’ve seen in many years,” CBL & Associates, a large mall developer and owner, said on a Feb. 4 earnings call. It’s spurred the company’s leasing division to form special teams focused on reducing the impact from 2015 bankruptcies “as much as possible,” CEO Stephen Lebovitz said on the call.

It’s not the cold weather that led to a spate of winter bankruptcies: Retailers tend to report closures and bankruptcies in their fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in January, to take advantage of the busiest shopping season. It could help them get in the black, or provide extra traffic for liquidation sales.

It’s also worth pointing out that claims of the death of the shopping mall, or of brick-and-mortar retail in general, are largely overblown. People are still making trips to top-tier malls, outlets, Wal-Marts, and off-pricers like T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. But the bar for survival for specialty stores has gotten higher in recent years, and those who can’t keep up with customer demands have been decimated.

“We’re adding very limited new space into the market, so when these stores close, there is still demand for that space, because there isn’t a lot of new space being pumped in, which is different from pre-recession,” ICSC spokesperson Jesse Tron said.

Teen retailers have been hit the hardest, pressured by the rise of fast-fashion companies like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara, where runway imitations are instantly available at $20 a shirt. Chains like Abercrombie and Aeropostale have been shuttering stores and adjusting their manufacturing schedules to keep up, while those like Delia’s, DEB and Wet Seal were simply unable to compete.

“They’re old business models compared to the way H&M, Zara, or Forever 21 do business,” said Allan Ellinger, co-founder and senior managing partner of MMG Advisors, an investment bank that focuses on the retail and fashion industries. “Those are quick response, quick turnover, quick to market retail models that are much more exciting for when a teenager walks into a store and sees something new every month, or in some cases, every week. They’re able to buy disposable-wear.”

Even though Wet Seal tried to play on price, with a well known five for $20 basics deal, it confused customers by jumping between targeting middle school students and college-age girls, and couldn’t produce stylish fashions at the pace of a company built to do that.

“Turning an existing or an older legacy business model into a new quick-response model is almost an impossible undertaking,” Ellinger added. “They don’t have the traction online, the culture, nor do they have the expertise in house.”

A chain like Delia’s, on the other hand, struggled to attract attention online, even listing its clothing on Amazon toward the end. Plus, its $40 dresses and almost $50 jeggings seemed almost absurdly expensive given the new normal of low prices created by the fast-fashion giants.

Gap’s Piperlime and Kate Spade Saturday suffered a different fate of serving as distractions for their large corporate owners, which are looking to double-down on their core businesses. That’s driven, in part, by investor impatience in a less-than-rosy retail environment, and pressure on executives to devote their attention to what they’re good at.

“All of these retailers got overstored, and many of them didn’t really have anything very special,” says Liz Dunn, founder and CEO of retail consulting firm Talmage Advisors. Kate Spade Saturday and Piperlime’s closures “show companies focusing and eliminating distractions, but it also speaks to an investor unwillingness to see huge investment spending on some of these initiatives and a real focus on profitability right now,” she said.

Underscoring such impatience, private-equity firm Sycamore Partners decided last month to shutter Jones New York’s wholesale operation and the label’s 127 outlet stores less than a year after purchasing it.

“Investor tolerance for losses and investment spending is lower than perhaps it would be in a really robust environment for retailers,” Dunn said.

Of course, the story of chains shutting down wouldn’t be complete without mention of the internet. While the web accounts for only somewhere around 15% of women’s clothing sales, it is forcing retailers to reconsider how much space they need to successfully operate their business.

“It’s having a major impact on what’s happening in brick-and-mortar,” MMG’s Ellinger said.

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But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

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19 Super Cozy Things To Do Tonight

It “feels like -18,” so your friends will be on board.

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hand making toast with alcohol

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Weed Businesses Can’t Put Their Money In Banks, So They Put It In Bongs

Shut out of legitimate financial institutions, marijuana entrepreneurs are finding unusual ways to park their cash.

Past the sports cars in the driveway, down the stairs of what was once Shirley Temple’s mansion in Beverly Hills, in a vault originally designed to be a wine cellar, there is a collection of bongs worth half a million dollars.

Kenny Kemp Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed News

The proud owner, 21-year-old Kenny Kemp, is sole heir to hundreds of millions of dollars and a passionate stoner whose support of the functional glass art industry provides a needed infusion of legally acquired money. On a warm evening in the middle of January, Kemp handed out bottles of water and offered his guests the opportunity of a lifetime: to take hit after hit of hash oil off of one-of-a-kind glass pipes worth tens of thousands of dollars each.

The skyrocketing value of glass pipes isn’t simply a result of smokers and dealers’ red-eyed awe at their growing complexity and beauty. Selling marijuana is easier than it used to be, but it’s still pretty hard. Even if you manage to coax the dankest resin out of your female plants, grease the palms of whoever is controlling your state’s cannabis licenses, and build up a loyal customer base, you can’t legally do much with your rapidly accumulating stacks of cash. Not in Colorado, not in Washington, not anywhere. As long as the federal government considers the drug illegal, most banks don’t want to go anywhere near legal pot profits, because even state and community banks in places where the drug is recreationally or medically legal are licensed and overseen by federal institutions.

More than simply works of art, status-affirming trophies, or ways to get high, custom glass pipes have become ways for marijuana entrepreneurs shut out of legitimate financial institutions to invest their otherwise untouchable cash.

Most transactions involving bongs and rigs, which look like bongs but are used for vaporizing concentrates, happen off the books, among friends, at trade shows, or between connoisseurs who meet online. Then, anyone who paid five figures for a pipe using drug money, including dealers in states where weed is very illegal and businessmen in states with medical or recreational cannabis laws, can resell the same pipe with all of the appropriate receipts, paperwork, and taxes. Presto, change-o: Now the money is clean.

“You can use [glass] to launder money,” said one California businessman who deals in marijuana concentrates, showing BuzzFeed News his collection. “You go to a gallery, see something for thirty thousand bucks, make a deal, and then sell it off and just make a stipulation that whoever pays you pays with a check. I could trade half of these pipes within a day or two, if I wanted to.”

(Due to the quasi-legal nature of their businesses and financial practices, almost all of the marijuana merchants interviewed for this story asked to be anonymous.)

Unlike flashy cars or mansions, pipes are subtle, keeping nosy neighbors unaware of your growing wealth. Plus, the value of glass can fluctuate dramatically, making it easier to conceal what’s really happening. Some pieces worth $2,000 just a few years ago are now worth $10,000.

“A lot of people like to buy up glass companies because it’s really hard for the government to see, to understand it,” said Phil Martin, one of the partners who runs Moxie 710, an L.A.-based seeds and extracts company. “They don’t understand that you can buy glass really cheap and then sell it for a high price — they just don’t understand it — so it’s a lot easier for people to put their money in there, launder it, and get it legally back out of the glass company. And that happens a lot.”

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed News

Kemp has an extensive, legally paid for collection of pipes, pendants, marbles, and tubes featuring psychedelic swirls, fantastical creatures, skulls, and nostalgic references to Nintendo characters. When you’re hanging out in his mother’s basement, you can smoke out of a black Glock, a bear shaped like a honey container, or a monkey in a suit smoking a cigarette and holding a banana like a gun.

But Kemp acknowledges that he’s not the typical customer when it comes to five-figure pipes, in that he doesn’t work in the weed industry.

“The demographic that does buy [glass] usually has money that’s not the cleanest,” he said. “How are you not gonna spend a lot of money on [glass], when you have so much [cash]? Like how are you going to wash it out?”

Just as in cannabis itself, the market for pipes has changed considerably in the past few years alone. Back in 2011, a top glassblower named Scott Deppe told the makers of the pipe-art documentary Degenerate Art that the most expensive piece he’d ever sold had been $18,000. A few months ago, Deppe posted on his Instagram feed a green skull pipe covered in gold-encrusted pot leaves priced at $100,000.

“If you did that five years ago, people would think you were fucking crazy,” said Jordan Moezinia, who owns the Honeydrop Glass Gallery in Los Angeles. “Now, somebody will buy it.”

Not every marijuana dealer thinks spending tens of thousands of dollars on an ornate pipe is a worthy investment. One California dispensary owner had never heard of the practice of collecting glass as assets, and rolled his eyes when he heard about it.

“I try to invest excess money back into my business,” he said. “Don’t the rigs lose value when they start getting used? Is there insurance for these things?”

He described a few friends who were laundering their money through legitimate small businesses, including a sandwich chain and a winery, and then shook his head again at the thought of putting so much cash into a smoking device, adding that some people in the marijuana industry simply have “spending problems.”

In addition to widespread legalization of medical and recreational pot, a few recent developments helped inflate the value and popularity of bespoke smoking devices. First, Instagram and social media made it possible for prominent glass artists to build hype around their products beyond the tight-knit circle of established cannabis growers and dispensary owners.

The growing popularity of hash oil and other concentrated forms of marijuana, which required new tools and equipment, also stimulated demand and innovation in the glass market. Some of the extraction artists who produce hash oil on the West Coast told BuzzFeed News that by 2012, they were pulling in tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Soon, an informal underground pipe economy had sprung up adjacent to the cannabis market.

“There’s some people that [buy glass] to make money,” one Miami-based extraction artist said. “[I have] friends who bought a piece for $15,000 and walked out the door and had an offer for $35,000. Some people smoke out of it for two months and then sell it and make double their money.”

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so the fate of state-level experiments with legalization is still in question. The feds are letting legalization go forward for now, but the current truce between the feds and the states might not last. President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, has already declared that she doesn’t support legalization. Depending on who wins the White House in 2016, many bankers believe the current, relatively permissive environment toward legal weed could quickly come to an end.

So in the meantime, high-end glassblowers find themselves in an oddly crucial position, manufacturing a form of gold bullion for the cannabis industry.

Cannabis banking consultant Paula Givens said that “capital expenditures” like these are one of several necessary but legal workarounds for marijuana businesses facing a lack of banking options.

“[These are] the extremes that cannabis business owners have to go through in order to utilize their legitimate revenue,” Givens said. “Convincing the banks of their ability to service cannabis consistent with their BSA/AML (Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering) obligations has been far more difficult than getting a buy-in from the cannabis industry.”

Although several Colorado and Washington marijuana dispensaries will accept credit card charges from customers, they are only able to do so by miscoding the transactions. Other pot shops are processing debit card purchases through something called cashless ATMs, which can avoid federal detection by classifying the money spent on cannabis as an ATM withdrawal. Which makes a six-figure bong a safer investment than it sounds, especially since the feds don’t seem to care about pot paraphernalia like they used to.

“It’s a lot better than having $12,000 in cash,” one California ganjapreneur told BuzzFeed News, when showing off one of his favorite pieces.

In the 12 years since actor Tommy Chong was arrested as part of Operation Pipe Dreams, a raid on 55 bong traffickers, the glassblowers who dominate the cannabis paraphernalia industry have sunk to a very low priority for the Department of Justice.

“I don’t think marijuana paraphernalia is taken nearly as seriously by law enforcement as it was at once time,” said D.C.-based lawyer Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. “It used to be the advice all of us lawyers were told we should give our clients was, ‘If you’re going to sell pipes and papers then you have to have a sign out front that prominently says, ‘To be used only for tobacco or legal products,’…but it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those calls.”

It helps that, according to Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Matt Barden, weed businesses operating in states where medical or recreational marijuana has been legalized are under far less scrutiny than they used to be. Barden said he hadn’t heard anything about money being laundered through bongs.

“If an entity within the state of Washington, for example, is abiding by the rules, I wouldn’t say they’re off our radar — you always have to make sure they continue to do the things they’re supposed to do — but [we won’t] have a full investigation launched against them,” he said.

Plus, because the most expensive pipes are unique, and the cannabis industry is a very small world, glass can’t easily be stolen and resold. There are only so many interested buyers and venues to sell through, and someone will undoubtedly recognize a custom piece, so the size of the community serves as a sort of insurance on your investment. (The same quality could also be incriminating, so most marijuana industry collectors asked BuzzFeed News to avoid describing the details of their best pipes.)

Of course, most canna-businesses would prefer not to keep their wealth in the form of glass, but even the semi-legitimate banking options that have emerged in the past year or two have proven unstable at best and illegal at worst.

Anticipating legalization in the next decade, a handful of services and consultants like Givens have popped up in the past year attempting to parse the Treasury Department’s 2014 memo on how marijuana businesses can comply with federal regulations.

Givens, a former trial attorney from St. Louis, developed a risk management program to help banks and marijuana businesses work together to follow the new rules. She said many ganjapreneurs would like to comply but are not willing to put forth the effort necessary to do so, especially when it comes to keeping meticulous records.

Most financial institutions remain rightfully wary. According to Amanda Averch of the Colorado Bankers Association, the Treasury Department’s guidance actually made it more difficult for banks to accept cannabis money, and most Colorado banks that have done so have been forced to close those accounts.

“We see this as a very concerning public safety issue. It’s not if there’s going to be an incident but when,” Averch said. “It could be a robbery, who knows? There’s a lot of money in these businesses, and we don’t know how these people are safely storing it.”

Photograph by Macey Foronda for BuzzFeed News

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‘Unbelievable!’ White House says no Ebola-related travel restrictions

The first ever case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States was a man who flew to the country from Liberia. So you might be wondering…

Just spitballing here, but shouldn't travel restrictions be in place right now for people coming from Ebola afflicted countries?

— RB (@RBPundit) October 1, 2014

In response to similar questions, Josh Earnest said today that there would be no travel bans from countries with Ebola epidemics:

Good freaking grief "White House: No Ebola travel restrictions"

— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) October 1, 2014

Earnest said the chances of an epidemic in the U.S. are “incredibly low.”

President Obama said previously that the possibility someone with Ebola would reach U.S. shores was “unlikely.” And yet it happened.

@HeyTammyBruce Unbelievable!!!

— mary christie (@peaceischrist) October 1, 2014

@HeyTammyBruce sounding a little like a Virus-Phobic anti science racist war on germs RW talk show host.

— Jesse Paxton (@JesseJPaxton) October 1, 2014

So I guess the Obama administration is ok with a little Ebola outbreak in this country as opposed to travel bans.

— DrewMTips (@DrewMTips) October 1, 2014

If your business requires people you better wake up your government fast. Allowing people to travel to USA from Ebola nations is deadly.

— FloridaJayhawk (@HouseCracka) October 1, 2014

@madlaw1071: WTF is wrong w/ these people? White House: No Ebola travel restrictions | TheHill"" —it's "Let them eat cake" brother.

— Kevin Concerned (@HensleywkAo) October 1, 2014

@HeyTammyBruce But it's not airborne! Oh wait.

— Andrew J. Ferchland (@Ferchland) October 1, 2014

#Ebola: If you’re a politician who doesn’t support stopping all flights from West Africa, spare me any future “for the children” speeches

— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) October 1, 2014



This shake fist-y photo montage captures Obama’s Ebola priorities

So, some people noticed the most terrifying Ebola news … creepy CDC guy [photos]

Bombshell: Watch CDC director deny then admit that Ebola can be spread by casual contact

Rick Perry: School-age children being monitored after possible contact with Ebola patient; Updated

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Android tablet makers struggle to distinguish products from iPad

Business Insider:

Samsung dropped this chart in our inbox last night as a followup to Apple’s new iPad announcement.

It’s a spec comparison of the new iPad and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 10.1, an Android tablet that comes with a stylus like the Galaxy Note smartphone.

If you needed proof that Android tablet manufacturers are running out of ways to set themselves apart from the iPad, here it is.

Last year, they all bragged about having Flash. Then Adobe killed flash on mobile. There went that argument.

So it’s all about the stylus this year, at least for Samsung.

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But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

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For many, warm December day confirms global warming; Others say, ‘More, please’

Unseasonably warm temperatures across the eastern half of the nation today saw many record highs toppled (though not by much).

New record high temperatures set in cities across 15 states, including Chicago Midway; Fayetteville, AR; Kansas City; Reagan National.

— Jacob Wycoff (@4cast4you) December 3, 2012

Indianapolis ties record high temperature for day, likely to hit 70 degrees.

— Indianapolis Star (@indystar) December 3, 2012

The high temperature today in Philadelphia was 67 degrees. That is just one degree shy of the record of 68 set in 1950.

— cbs3 weather (@cbs3_wx) December 3, 2012

The temperature at Madison, WI reached 65 F today. This breaks the previous HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD FOR DECEMBER of 64 set on 05Dec01.

— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) December 3, 2012

RECORD ALL-TIME DECEMBER HIGH RECORDS today.Quincy, IL (74F), Rockford, IL (69F), Madison, WI (65F) #ILwx #WIwx

— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) December 4, 2012

Took this photo of the ice skaters downtown while wearing shorts and a T-shirt. #globalwarming

— Zoe Galland (@zoegalland) December 4, 2012

#Peoria’s high temperature is expected to hit 70 degrees today, just shy of 71 set in 1982. Reminder: It’s December. #ILwx

— Adam Gerik (@ofadam) December 3, 2012

In a pre-“Inconvenient Truth” age, such a day might have been good for a few years’ worth of “remember that time?” anecdotes, but now, a couple of warm days in December brings only two words to mind: global warming.

75 in December? Global warming is getting too real…

— Shanennn.(@whaddupimshanen) December 3, 2012

70 degrees in december .. not the end of the world , more like global warming 😒

— december cinco (@smileforYani) December 3, 2012

December 3rd. 61° F in NYC. No global warming to see here. Move along.

— Brian Diaz (@briankeithdiaz) December 3, 2012

High 60’s on December 3rd? And they say there isn’t global warming… #OhioProbz

— ❕Darien Smith❕ (@TW33T_SENSATION) December 3, 2012

Recent record highs make arguing against global warming more & more difficult. The high temperature tomorrow will be in the 70’s. Amazing.

— John Gately (@JohnBGately) December 4, 2012

I don’t think people realize, it’s December. It’s supposed to be freezing and filled with snow. If it’s not, it’s called Global Warming 😒

— Mariaaa (@maria_ovoxo) December 4, 2012

It’s pretty nice out considering we’re in December. Signs of global warming. New York has the most bipolar weather.

— Tahmoor Khan(@TahmoorKhan) December 3, 2012

70 degrees in Chicago and D.C.? Yep global warming def isn’t real right?

— Laurel Westbrook (@laurel_west) December 4, 2012

If you don’t think this weather is because of Global Warming, chances are you’re probably a republican

— Emily Wauer (@EmilyWauer) December 3, 2012

Twitchy readers in the South and Southwest might not appreciate the following tweets, but for the rest of the country, a day or two of “global” warming in December is a welcome development.

It’s 70 degrees and sunny. In December.Explain to me why everyone is trying to stop global warming?! This. Is. AWESOME!!!

— Morgan (@super_morgasm) December 3, 2012

It’s December 3rd and I can go outside without a coat I love global warming

— Logan Case (@logancase123) December 3, 2012

I heart global warming

— Tori Nicole(@teeharsha_) December 3, 2012

Idgaf if this is “global warming”. I love this weather and I hope its like this for a long time.

— Jeannette Grande™ (@OMGitsJeannette) December 3, 2012

Quite frankly I’m cool with global warming…. Who is concerned about a polar bear? Ain’t nobody concerned about a polar bear.

— Molly Barton (@Mollz_Ballz10) December 3, 2012

I’ll trade high temperatures in December for less polar bears everyday of the week.

— Jake Stapp (@Jake_Stapp) December 3, 2012

I love global warming for giving us such warm weather :-)

— Dimitri Baik(@fastest_at_STL) December 4, 2012

Def bringing the bike out this week riding in December I love global warming #bikelife

— Trigga730 (@ThugNasty617) December 4, 2012

Hot dog party on the deck tonight brought to us by global warming

— Popgun Chaos (@popgunchaos) December 4, 2012

Other people: Omg this weather is caused by global warming blah blahMe: I can wear shorts and a t shirt outside… #winning

— Jared Wilkening (@jaredwilk53) December 4, 2012

If this is what global warming is like we should all start burning tires #warmweather

— Ethan Gerbig (@ethangerbig68) December 4, 2012

Christmas tree farms and ice cream shops are seeing a jump in business thanks to the record high temperatures.

— Columbia Missourian (@CoMissourian) December 3, 2012

Al Gore can blow me. Shorts in December is the move

— James Claps (@jimmyboyclapps) December 3, 2012

Oh yeah, that guy. So far today, Gore has not tweeted emergency instructions for how to deal with this change in climate, so we can only imagine what he’s up to.

Somewhere in Washington, D.C. right about now, Al Gore is running around screaming “I TOLD YOU I WAS RIGHT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING”

— John Haskell (@HaskellFlatts) December 3, 2012

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Greg Gutfeld on end of Rand Paul filibuster: ‘One leak the WH was grateful for’

Man, does Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld have a way with words! He offered that zinger during today’s “The Five,” in reference to the end of Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster last night. As Twitchy readers know, it ended when the senator had to, um, take care of business. The senator ended the filibuster by saying he had to break the filibuster because he needed to “pee:

Yep, giggle-worthy indeed.

The new cool and they can hold their water! Or, sip it.

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The Sinking Of The Titanic Is Famous, But Did You Know These Things? I Didn’t.

If you’ve seen the movie “Titanic,” you probably think you’re an expert on all things Titanic (and Leonardo DiCaprio). Well guess what, there is a lot that the movie doesn’t touch on. (Not only that, but let’s face it: it’s a movie.) Today, we are going to expound on those things that may have been glossed over in the movie.

The Titantic was a great ship, full of hope and promise… and families. Imagine living in the time of the Titanic when it sank. It would have been just terrible. And here’s what you didn’t know: 

1.) An emergency life boat drill was supposed to take place so that the passengers could know what to do in case of a disaster, but it was canceled. It was scheduled for the day before the ship sank.

2.) Remember that scene in the movie where the musicians continued to play as the ship was sinking? That actually happened. They continued to play for hours as the ship was going down.

3.) Milton Hershey, of Hershey chocolate fame, had tickets to be on the Titanic but canceled his reservation due to a business meeting.

4.) A Japanese survivor was deemed a coward when he returned to Japan for not dying with the rest of the passengers.

5.) The iconic 4 smokestacks on the Titanic was a ruse. Only 3 of them worked, the 4th one was just for show to make the ship look more impressive.

6.) The budget for the movie “Titanic” was actually higher than that of the actual Titanic.

7.) The iceberg that sank the Titanic began its journey somewhere around 1000 BCE.

8.) A ship, The Californian, was close to the Titanic and could have helped aid the rescue of passengers but due to a delay in communication, it was unable to aid the rescue effort.

9.) The Chief Baker on board the Titanic survived the crash and freezing cold water because he drank so much alcohol that it kept his organs fortified for 2 hours until he was rescued.

10.) The Titanic is the only ocean liner to ever be sunk by an iceberg.

11.) Most life boats on the ship that had been used weren’t filled to capacity. There were enough life boats for everyone to survive if they had been filled to capacity.

12.) The Titanic crash could have been avoided if they had gotten word about the iceberg 30 seconds before the captain did.

30 seconds. 30 seconds made the difference between a near-miss and absolute tragedy. Unbelievable.

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