This blog is mainly about the spectacular train wreck at The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, the McClatchy Company. But I also post about current events, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, politics, anything else that grabs my attention. Take a look around this blog, hope you enjoy it.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday November 12 -- Got news or an update?
If you have news or an update, leave it in comments. . . .
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State to fund loan to save ailing newspaper (Nashua (NH) Telegraph)
Claremont – The state of New Hampshire last week agreed to guarantee 75 percent of a $250,000 loan from an Upper Valley bank to the new owner of the Eagle Times, an unusual deal because it involves a daily newspaper and the government it covers.
The Executive Council on Wednesday unanimously approved without debate the “working capital loan guarantee,” which would be administered by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority.
Under the deal, the BFA and the state would be liable to pay up to $187,500 to Connecticut River Bank if Eagle Printing & Publishing LLC defaulted on the $250,000 line of credit it would receive from the bank.
Eagle Printing is the entity created by a small Pennsylvania-based newspaper chain which bought the Eagle and a handful of weekly papers out of bankruptcy in September.
The loan from the Charlestown-based bank, which has had ties to the Eagle’s previous owner and publisher, has not yet been finalized but is expected to close this week, according to Mike Donahue, a senior credit officer at the BFA.
Pelosi Says Obamacare Will Be Our "Christmas Present"
Obama, Reid Will Use Nuclear Option to Pass Healthcare
It has not been reported yet, but look for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to follow President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lead and go to any length – even to alter Senate rules – to pass the healthcare reform bill with the public option included.
This will happen because the Democrats – led by Obama – feel they absolutely must pass this bill with the public option included.
They believe that a failure to pass it will mean a failed, one–term presidency and the loss of Congress.
Unholy Union Why is the SEIU boss the White House’s most frequent visitor? (national review online)
The Friday before Halloween, in response to requests from the public, the White House released records of the visitors it had received between January and July.
George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Serena Williams were among the famous names on the list.
But the man who appeared most frequently is less well-known. His name is Andrew Stern, and during the first six months of Obama’s tenure, he visited the White House 21 times — about three times per month.
Most of these visits included an intimate meeting with the president or other senior officials. Among outsiders, Stern enjoys unrivaled access to the White House. And the more you know about him, the spookier that sounds.
Stern is president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a federation of health-care, public-sector, and custodial workers that claims approximately 2million members. Stern replaced former president John Sweeney in 1996, the year after Sweeney won a bitterly fought battle for control of the AFL-CIO.
The $787 Billion Flop (Investors.com)
Public Opinion: Americans seem to know what their leaders in Washington either don't know, don't want to know or refuse to acknowledge — that the economic stimulus they foisted on us has been one big letdown.
Fully two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed in the latest IBD/TIPP Poll said the stimulus has fallen short of their expectations in creating jobs. A little more than one in five (22%) said it has met their expectations, and only one in 15 (6%) said it has exceeded their expectations.
This is not exactly news, given how the results so far compare with the promises made in January.
That was when the president's economic advisers assured that unemployment, now at 10.2%, would level off around 8%. But it is worth noting for those in the administration and Congress who still think all the people can be fooled all the time.
Even Democrats are underwhelmed.
Bias at MSNBC, Fox is harmful, says Charles Gibson (This coming from the guy who didn’t know about ACORN.) Boston Herald
An ABC TV network news anchor said he’s troubled by what he called the biased news coverage of Fox and MSNBC.
“I worry about the lack of objectivity and the future of the news business,” Charles Gibson told a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce audience yesterday.
The host of ABC’s “World News” program said the two cable networks are playing to niche audiences - Fox to conservatives and MSNBC to liberals - to the detriment of what should be objective news gathering and reporting.
Perry: Obama 'hell-bent' on socialism (Politico)
Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of “punishing” Texas and being “hell-bent” on turning the United States into a socialist country.
Speaking at a luncheon for a Midland County Republican Women’s group, Perry said that “this is an administration hell-bent toward taking American towards a socialist country. And we all don’t need to be afraid to say that because that’s what it is.”
Is The Washington Times' Continued Operation In Jeopardy?
Things seem to be going from bad to worse at the Washington Times. And the continued operation of the newspaper, which is owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, seems to be in serious doubt.
There's already been plenty of speculation that the paper might fold or go online-only. Sources at the Times said they fear major changes and that the Moon family feud that's driving the paper's turmoil could lead to the Times shutting down in the coming months -- with some suggesting that Preston Moon, the reverend's son who serves as chairman of News World Communications, the parent company of the Washington Times, came close to that decision last weekend.
(Milwaukee Democrat) Supervisor is subject of secret criminal investigation (Obama inauguration trip?) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Supervisor Toni Clark is subject of secret criminal investigation
Milwaukee County Supervisor Toni Clark is the subject of a secret criminal investigation into possible campaign finance abuses, the Journal Sentinel has learned.
Clark declined Tuesday to answer questions about the matter. Last month, she filed three amended campaign reports with the county Board of Election Commissioners.
In those reports, Clark admitted she took in and spent money from her campaign fund in the past three years after she earlier swore that her campaign was inactive during those times, according to public records filed with the board.
Obama Grants FOXNEWS Interview
Obama Grants FOXNEWS Interview -- Day After Anita Dunn Steps Down... MORE... DRUDGE has learned, Major Garrett will conduct interview in China next week...
(Either Obama is either getting desperate, or Fox News has agreed to pre-conditions to get this interview. Looks like Obama figured out that FoxNews is the only news channel with an actual audience.)
W.H. denies Drudge report (No FNC/Major Garrett interview w/Obama)Politico.com
In another sign of detente between Fox and the White House, Major Garrett has landed an interview with President Obama, according to the Drudge Report. It will take place next week in China.
UPDATE: A White House official tells POLITICO that the report is "not accurate." "We've not committed to doing any presidential interviews during the trip to Asia with any outlets at this point," the official said.
So let me get this straight, Sarah Palin just sat down with the biggest Obama ass kisser on the planet(Oprah) sat down with her for a whole hour and answered every one of her questions, yet Barack Obama, the President of the United States, is scared to death of sitting down with anyone from Fox News, but would have no issue sitting down with the Iranian Tyrant, without preconditions..makes ya wonder doesn’t it
Anita Dunn and the Obama White House: Outfoxed (Fox News)
The White House just lost its chief media strategist and Fox News just lost its best P.R. tool.
Anita Dunn, the outspoken and controversial communications aide to President Obama has announced today that she'll be leaving her post; her deputy, Dan Pfeiffer is to replace her.
Though Dunn's title was communications director, at times, "Fox News Basher" seemed more appropriate as she seemingly and bizarrely began to publicly wage war on the network roughly a month ago.
Fox is "opinion journalism masquerading as news," Dunn snapped, which ignited the White House attacks on Fox News' journalism.
When asked further to elaborate, Dunn expanded:
"If you were a Fox News viewer in the fall election, what you would have seen would have been that the biggest story, the biggest threats facing America were a guy named Bill Ayers and something called ACORN, when the reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."
It was comments like these that had many Democrats gripping their foreheads. They saw the move as misguided and questioned the administration's decision to launch an ideological crusade against a thriving cable news channel.
Dunn later drew even more ire when she praised the Chinese dictator Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers:
"Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices. You're going to challenge. You're going to say, 'Why not?"
So that's what Mao was thinking when he killed 50 to 70 million of his own people in political purges?? Why not?!
Typically, White House politicos quote the words of our forefathers from Lincoln to Washington, not communist murderers.
AARP Executives, employees backed Obama, Dems by 14-to-1 ratio
When the American Association of Retired Persons – one of the wealthiest advocacy groups in the U.S. – began backing the $1.2 trillion House health bill despite concerns about Medicare cuts, death panels and assisted suicide, many members shredded their membership cards, saying the organization no longer represents their interests – but AARP's history of left-leaning activism on a host of issues may surprise its constituents.
AARP's Nov. 5 health bill endorsement left many seniors wondering why the powerful group that claims to represent their interests would call for an estimated $500 billion in cuts to Medicare, a system many seniors have indicated that they would like to preserve.
Columbia Prof Smacks Female Colleague in Face During “White Privelege” Debate (GatewayPundit)
Time for another beer summit?
A prominent Columbia black prof smacked a female colleague in the face during a “white privilege” discussion.
The New York Post reported, via Jammie Wearing Fool:
A prominent Columbia architecture professor punched a female university employee in the face at a Harlem bar during a heated argument about race relations, cops said yesterday.
Police busted Lionel McIntyre, 59, for assault yesterday after his bruised victim, Camille Davis, filed charges.
McIntyre and Davis, who works as a production manager in the school’s theater department, are both regulars at Toast, a popular university bar on Broadway and 125th Street, sources said.
The professor, who is black, had been engaged in a fiery discussion about “white privilege” with Davis, who is white, and another male regular, who is also white, Friday night at 10:30 when fists started flying, patrons said.
Wow. Just Wow. What An Ass.
Guess who is now concerned with cost? Yup. Ofumble.
You know, sending more troops to Afghanistan to help win, and hence, end the war so that we minimize the loss of life, and hence, the cost of the war....well it costs money. And we don't want to spend too much money
Al Gore's Current TV To Cut 80 Jobs
Nobel Laureate Al Gore's cable news channel Current TV announced Wednesday it's reducing its staffing by 80 people.
The company said in a press release that these layoffs weren't about cutting costs, but instead a reshifting of priorities.
The website Gawker exposed  the foolishness of such a claim:
Which means everything is totally awesome and on track, according to a Current press release:
This re-organization was not the result of a need to cut costs.
Current Media will have its most profitable year. This financial stability will allow the company to re-allocate resources in order to put further emphasis on areas of the business believed to best position Current Media for continued long-term growth.
Financial stability leads to sad job layoffs glorious resource re-allocation, gotcha.
Exactly. I mean, when a company cuts 80 employees from a total staff of 380, it's pretty absurd to claim this 21 percent payroll decrease isn't about reducing costs, especially after the network cut 60 jobs a year ago.
On the other hand, maybe Gore's accountants use the same precarious mathematics employed by those advising the Global Warmingist-in-Chief on the connection between carbon dioxide and rising temperatures.
Newsweek Notes Al Gore's Favorite New Quote, But Omits It Came From a Marxist (NewsBusters)
Permit a late word or two on Newsweek’s thoroughly in-the-tank cover story for Al Gore. Sharon Begley oozed about Gore’s favorite quote in his book – but never seems to note that Gore’s "philosopher" expert is a Marxist.
It comes near the very end of the piece:
His favorite quote in [his new book] Our Choice is from the philosopher Theodor Adorno (1903–1969): "The conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power … has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false."
Adorno, and his colleagues in what is called the "Frankfurt School," are Marxists. Al Gore and his liberal admirers in the press (see this Seattle Times dispatch) aspire to make it through Adorno's impenetrable prose.
British journalist Alastair McKay brightly reported that in Scotland in 2006, Gore lauded the entire school of Marxists:
Amazing how enriching government can solve global warming.
BigGovernment Exclusive: ACORN Audio Claims Jerry Brown will Whitewash Investigation (BigGovernment.com)
On October 15th, local ACORN spokesman David Lagstein was the special guest of the East County Democrat Club in El Cajon, CA.
Lagstein is ACORN’s chief organizer in the San Diego area. The meeting was held at Coco’s Restaurant, a very public venue.
Because of ACORN’s close ties to the Democrat party, Mr. Lagstein clearly felt he was among friends.
State Worker Beat Up At SEIU Meeting (Walked in with camera)
A state worker is recovering after a bloody brawl at a union hall. He says members of the local SEIU 1000beat him up and sent him to the hospital all because he wanted to expose alleged corruption within the union.
These posts are so dull.
ST. LOUIS – So long as Budweiser, the King of Beers, was enthroned in this pleasant and nobly resilient middle American city, the blows of corporate condescension from the other giants who abandoned the Gateway Arch could be endured.
But then, last year, came a kidney punch that still hurts: Anheuser-Busch, which had survived Prohibition and the micro-brew craze, was sold to a Belgian brewer. Bud was now Euro-beer. Next they’ll tell us Huck Finn had a taste for éclairs as he floated down the Mississippi.
Board members, those solid citizens of St. Louis, made a pile in the merger that created the world’s largest brewer. But everyone else lost, including more than a 1,000 longtime employees given pink slips.
I heard the Bud buyout mentioned in the same soured breaths that exhaled expletives regarding the upcoming bonuses that will be passed around this holiday season by Wall Street firms saved by taxpayers — $30 billion in bonuses to the top three investment banks.
It takes quite a bit for Americans to say that the social contract is broken, or look upon concentrated wealth as anything except a virtue.
But we may have reached that breach. Our politics are not simply left and right, conservative and liberal. Never have been. Every once in a while, the great middle of independents are stirred to one side. My guess is, if the drift caused by recent actions continues, the United States will be consumed in the coming year by the politics of betrayal, and the winner will be ahead of the rage.
Right now, a time when only 20 percent of Americans call themselves Republicans and Democrats are shrinking as well, the independents are disgusted with both parties. In large part, it’s because neither one seems to be on their side.
The early warning shots came on Nov. 3, against an ineffective former Wall Street executive, ousted New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, and the billionaire mayor who barely bought himself a third term, Michael Bloomberg of New York. Both felt the back hand of an electorate that feels as if the system is rigged against them.
History, as always, is a guide for these American moments.
There was once a political party that came out against concentration of wealth. They called for regulation of food, drugs, and big corporations. Called for “square deal” for the average American. And their robust spokesman, the leader of their party, said this of his countrymen:
“There is not in the world a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensitive to every duty, regardless of principle, bent only on amassing a fortune.”
That party was the Republicans, a bit more than century ago, led by Teddy Roosevelt.
The next governing majority will be guided by independents, and include liberals, conservatives and people whose great-grandparents left the Republican Party a century ago. It will also include a whole lot of Budweiser drinkers, wondering how the world changed so quickly, without them.
The New York Times
These posts are so dull.
Not nearly so dull as what passes for news at McClatchy.
Worth a look: Why is SEIU boss the most frequent visitor at the White House?
5:24... I have to agree with Timothy Egan of the New York Times. Too often money amassed by greedy individuals and passed down to less than competent children creates a gigantic rift between rich and poor.
Arthur Ochs (Pinch) Sulzberger, Jr
Free to Lose
Consider, for a moment, a tale of two countries. Both have suffered a severe recession and lost jobs as a result — but not on the same scale. In Country A, employment has fallen more than 5 percent, and the unemployment rate has more than doubled. In Country B, employment has fallen only half a percent, and unemployment is only slightly higher than it was before the crisis.
Don’t you think Country A might have something to learn from Country B?
This story isn’t hypothetical. Country A is the United States, where stocks are up, G.D.P. is rising, but the terrible employment situation just keeps getting worse. Country B is Germany, which took a hit to its G.D.P. when world trade collapsed, but has been remarkably successful at avoiding mass job losses. Germany’s jobs miracle hasn’t received much attention in this country — but it’s real, it’s striking, and it raises serious questions about whether the U.S. government is doing the right things to fight unemployment.
Here in America, the philosophy behind jobs policy can be summarized as “if you grow it, they will come.” That is, we don’t really have a jobs policy: we have a G.D.P. policy. The theory is that by stimulating overall spending we can make G.D.P. grow faster, and this will induce companies to stop firing and resume hiring.
The alternative would be policies that address the job issue more directly. We could, for example, have New-Deal-style employment programs. Perhaps such a thing is politically impossible now — Glenn Beck would describe anything like the Works Progress Administration as a plan to recruit pro-Obama brownshirts — but we should note, for the record, that at their peak, the W.P.A. and the Civilian Conservation Corps employed millions of Americans, at relatively low cost to the budget.
Alternatively, or in addition, we could have policies that support private-sector employment. Such policies could range from labor rules that discourage firing to financial incentives for companies that either add workers or reduce hours to avoid layoffs.
And that’s what the Germans have done. Germany came into the Great Recession with strong employment protection legislation. This has been supplemented with a “short-time work scheme,” which provides subsidies to employers who reduce workers’ hours rather than laying them off. These measures didn’t prevent a nasty recession, but Germany got through the recession with remarkably few job losses.
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