Thumbs up to local retailers adapting to e-commerce. Some high-profile closings over the past year--Boston Store, Sears and Toys 'R' Us--maybe created the impression local retail spending is declining. On the contrary, retail spending in the first quarter jumped by 14 percent over the same period last year, according to the state Department of Revenue. Local retailers are adapting to shifts in customers' buying habits by offering more online services, ultimately putting themselves into a better position to compete against Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth. Some people said the rash of store closings last year marked the demise of brick-and-mortar stores. But more likely, the closings marked the demise of brick-and-mortar stores without dynamic e-commerce strategies.
Thumbs down to creepy behavior by Evansville school official. Yuck. That's our first thought about the actions of an Evansville School District administrator, Scott Everson, who is accused of making a gross breastfeeding comment to a teacher during a trivia event at an Evansville restaurant. We won't repeat what he actually said, except to say it was like a scene out of "The Office." The other creepy part of this story is that Everson reportedly tried opening the teacher's locked classroom door while she was using a breast pump inside the classroom. He said it was a coincidence, that he was trying to drop off a candy cane, but... yuck. Does Everson think he's Michael Scott? But this guy isn't selling paper for Dunder Mifflin. He's in public education and around kids every day. Here's one more: Yuck.
Thumbs up to GOP critique of its missteps. An honest reckoning is needed to understand how the Republican Party managed to lose every statewide race in November, and, to that end, Republicans have admitted to mistakes. Without those admissions, the GOP could be doomed to repeat its failures come 2020. A reliance on consultants and lack of grassroot connections appear to have been the GOP's failings in the last election cycle. In particular, the GOP lost support among independents. How it reclaims independents' support is an important question, and the answer might involve the GOP's handling of President Trump, whose tariffs are hurting this state's farmers and manufacturers.
Thumbs down to immigration plan without an E-Verify mandate. President Trump unveiled an immigration plan last week that managed to dissatisfy both sides of the aisle. While speaking about the plan, Trump said nothing about enacting a mandate for all employers to use the federal database known as E-Verify to confirm the legal status of job applicants. The plan aims to set up a merit-based immigration system, but it would do little to deter illegal immigration. As we noted in a previous editorial, a handful of states have E-Verify requirements and have reduced their illegal immigration populations. What's stopping Trump from calling for all 50 states to use E-Verify?