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.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday November 23 -- Got news or an update?
If you have news or an update, leave it in comments. . . .
Newspaper circulation may be worse than it looks (Breitbart)
While U.S. newspapers are losing subscribers at a staggering rate, a few dailies stand out because their circulation is rising. But they aren't necessarily selling more copies.
Since April 1, new auditing rules have made it easier for newspapers to count a reader as a paying customer.
These looser standards are especially helpful to a newspaper if it sells an "electronic edition." That can include a subscriber-only Web site, such as what The Wall Street Journal has, or it can be a digital replica of a newspaper's printed product.
Several dozen publications, including USA Today, sell access to these daily "e-editions" that show how the news was laid out in print.
Could this be the McClatchy’s newspaper equivalent of Global Warming?
If the numbers ain’t coming out like you want, just make it up.
Newspapers have no one to blame but themselves.
First, they have a credibility problem. They not only distort the news, but they invent the news.
Journalism is dead.
Finally, they refused to adopt to the new technology. They are late coming to the party.
I learn more from the U.K. and Pravda electronic news sites than I do from the American MSM.
If it were not for the Internet and radio, I would not have a clue as to what is actually happening in the United States.
Deep Into Saturday Night's Health Care Vote (Townhall.com)
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's vote in favor of Obamacare was purchased for $300 million on Saturday, giving Democrats the 60-vote supermajority that will, barring a miracle, pass health care reform that will possibly include a public option and abortion coverage.
The $300 million comes from a 2-page earmark inserted into the bill specifically for Louisiana, though the wording of the earmark didn't specifically name Louisiana as the recipient.
It simply designated victims of national disasters within the last 7 years as eligible for certain federal funds — and the only citizens who that applies to are Katrina victims in Louisiana.
It's something Landrieu says they're entitled to.
"Our state is as poor as it was if not poorer, and I am not going to be defensive about asking for help in this situation," she said on the Senate floor.
Landrieu went as far as loudly correcting lower estimates on how much the special earmark would bring her state.
Early on Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office said brought her $100 million, but in fact, it was three times that.
“I’m proud to have asked for it and I’m proud to have fought for it and I will continue to.
That is not the reason I am moving the debate," Landrieu said on the Senate floor. In the same breath, she insisted that the earmark was not why she was voting for the bill.
"That is not the reason I am moving to debate," she said.
Dem Landrieu Will Hold Fundraiser For Harry Reid After Receiving $300Million For Obamacare Vote (GatewayPundit)
This week Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was paid $300 million for her vote for Obamacare by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
To show her gratitude Senator Landrieu will hold a fundraiser for Harry Reid next month.
Old People Should Just Die Already (Silver Planet )
Think how much money we could save!
In his June 13 New York Times op-ed, Tyler Cowen wrote, “Medicare expenditures threaten to crush the federal budget.” The title of the article was “Something’s Got to Give in Medicare Spending.”
Old people cost too much money to keep alive—and you younger disabled people on Medicare, you’re not helping either.
So, what’s Mr. Cowen’s solution?
Let’s limit health care benefits to old and disabled people.
Boggles the mind.
One of the proposals coming out of the Obama administration is to limit end-of-life care. What exactly does that mean?
In 1974, then–Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, an outspoken advocate of physician-assisted suicide explained his support for the measure this way.
He said, "We've got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life."
You first, Mr. Lamm..
So, what’s Mr. Cowen’s solution? Let’s limit health care benefits to old and disabled people.
Oh. Sort of like a death panel, then, you mean.
Times Shills for Second Stimulus, Ignores Widespread Fraud in First (NewsBusters)
A "new consensus" has emerged on the success of the economic stimulus package, according to a New York Times headline.
In touting the supposed success of the legislation, and hinting at support for another round of spending, the Times neglected to mention the widespread fraud that characterizes the administration's attempt at shoring up the economy.
As reported by P.J. Gladnick on Saturday, the Times made sure to attribute its claims to "dispassionate analysts," and asserted that the stimulus is "helping an economy in free fall a year ago to grow again and shed fewer jobs than it otherwise would." Gladnick thoroughly debunked this claim, and others, in his NB post.
In a further show of bias, the Times article makes no mention of the 76,779 jobs that were not actually "saved or created" by the package, but were added to the number touted by the administration (interactive map embedded below the fold - h/t Examiner's Freddoso, Spiering, and Hemingway).
Given that this number is roughly 12 percent of the 640,000 jobs the administration claims to have "saved or created," it might merit a mention in the Times's story.
Chris Matthews Wants to Know Why Socialism is a Bad Word in America
(David Horowitz NewsReal)
When my family lived in West Berlin, some of the simple personal freedoms Germans enjoyed —freedoms that we here in the US don’t have — amazed me.
They were small things, really – like no speed limit on the autobahn (highway), and no legal restrictions on the drinking age.
Such restrictions have become so commonplace for us, that we can scarcely imagine life without them.
I told a German friend of mine that I found it odd that her fellow countrymen had so many more personal freedoms than we do in America.
She shrugged her shoulders and said, with a sly smile, “We know first hand what socialism is, and constantly fight it. You don’t know it when you see it.”
Until recently, I didn’t realize the depth of the truth that statement held. Throughout the 2008presidential campaign, John McCain refused to label Barack Obama a socialist, probably because he didn’t want to be accused of mud-slinging.
On Friday, Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC, brought the S-word out into the open for just few brief moments.
'SNL' scorches Obama policies (Hey, fact check this)
"Saturday Night Live" opened its show last night with a comedy sketch that scorched President Obama over his economic policies including health care, "Cash for Clunkers" and borrowing billions of dollars from China.
The NBC program featured comic Fred Armisen portraying the commander in chief at a news conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, played by Will Forte, who spoke through an interpreter, comic Nasim Pedrad.
Jintao began by asking Obama about the success of his economic stimulus.
"I'm curious. How many jobs has it created?" asked the Chinese leader.
"None," answered Obama. "But our health-care reform plan, we're confident, is going to lead to enormous savings."
Learn Obama's strategy for destroying America as we've known it. Read "The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama's War on American Values"
"How exactly is extending health-care coverage to 30 million people going to save you money?" Jintao asked.
"I don't know," admitted Obama.
The foreign leader also ridiculed Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" car-incentive program, and issued a warning about the money the U.S. owes to China:
"Just so there is no misunderstanding, you are not allowed to pay us back in clunkers."
"I assure you. You're going to get your money," stressed Obama.
Sensing he was being lied to, Jintao through his interpreter asked a similar question three times, including: "Do I look like Mrs. Obama?
Then why are you trying to do sex to me like I was Mrs. Obama? Just do it. Get it over with."
If Obama's lost Saturday Night Live, He's lost (Powerline)
...I dunno, maybe Jon Stewart comes next. I don't accept the proposition that liberal comedians who aren't funny are somehow arbiters of popular culture, let alone public policy.
Still, the fact that Obama's actual policies (not his failure to be a liberal messiah) were lampooned in this vulgar, sometimes-funny skit on SNL last night does seem significant:
US couple plead guilty to spying for Cuba over 30 years (Telegraph (U.K.)
An elderly US couple charged with spying for Cuba for almost 30 years have pleaded guilty, with the husband agreeing to serve a life sentence, the US Justice Department said.
Walter Myers, 72, a former State Department official with top-secret security clearance, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and two counts of wire fraud, according to the department.
His wife, Gwendolyn Myers, 71, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to gather and transmit national defence information to Washington's Cold War enemy Havana, and will serve between six and 7.5 years behind bars.
The pair also agreed to forfeit $1,735,054 – the total salary Myers earned from the US government between 1983 and 2007, when he made repeated false statements to investigators about his security status.
"For the past 30 years, this couple betrayed America's trust by covertly providing classified national defence information to the Cuban government. Today, they are being held accountable for their actions," David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.
The Myers – Walter had been known as Agent 202 and Gwendolyn was Agent 123 – were arrested on June 4after an undercover FBI sting operation, having allegedly passed on secrets for decades to Washington's Cold War foe.
Shortly after the arrest, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who the couple allegedly met in 1995, dismissed the spying charges as a "ridiculous tale," saying the pair deserve "all the honours of the world" for keeping Cubans safe.
A $787 billion waste (NY Post)
So many billions out the door — and nary a clue about what Americans got in return.
That’s the tragic-but-too-true story of last February’s $787 billion federal stimulus program — the first major legislative package out of Washington after the Democrats took control of the city.
What a monumental waste.
The Obama folks claim that, as of Oct. 30, stimulus funds “created or saved” 640,329 jobs. They might as well claim 640 billion.
No one really knows if the package “created or saved” any jobs.
And that’s now crystal clear, after reporters checked out the Obama team’s claims.
New documents: White House scrambled to justify AmeriCorps firing after the fact (Washington Examiner)
Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave the lawmakers a trove of new, previously-withheld documents on the affair.
It was a twist on the now-familiar White House late-Friday release of bad news; this time, the new evidence was put out not only at the start of a weekend but also hours too late for inclusion in the report.
Publisher Suggests Fake Happy Face Response to Grim Newspaper Cutbacks (NewsBusters)
Pick out a pleasant outlook,
Stick out that noble chin;
Wipe off that "full of doubt" look,
Slap on a happy grin!
And spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face!
Put on a happy face
Put on a happy face!
It is a scene that has been played out quite a bit recently. A newspaper publisher delivers a grim announcement of yet more employee cutbacks in the newsroom.
So how should the remaining employees react when asked about the cutbacks?
According to the former publisher of the Palm Beach Post, the employees should simply put on a happy face and deliver the type of fake upbeat response that the same journalists wouldn't tolerate when investigating stories about corporate layoffs.
The Broward-Palm Beach New Times alternative newspaper sets the scene in a fascinating article about the rapid decline of the South Florida newspaper industry:
Things got even weirder last winter, when Cox sent a fresh-faced 34-year-old publisher named Alex Taylor, nephew of CEO Kennedy, to run the Post.
The new boss seemed a tad insensitive to a staff that had just been unceremoniously chopped in half.
Last July — one year after the buyouts — Taylor announced that another management shakeup and job cuts were on the way.
This time, there would be layoffs, not buyouts, meaning workers had no choice in the matter and received just one week's pay for every year of service.
Taylor chose this moment to send out an email urging staffers to brush up on their customer service skills and not act so glum about the death rattle of their industry.
"If someone says to you, 'I hear things down at the Post are tough. How are you doing?' you could say, 'Yeah it stinks, no one knows what's happening,' (not good) or you could say 'It's a fascinating time to be in the business.
Things are changing quickly and dramatically and I think it's exciting to be on the leading edge of how media is evolving,' (good, positive). Two ways of looking at the same thing, but one is just a lot more uplifting."
And how would a Palm Beach Post employee put on a happy face on this shocker:
At one point, a memo went out saying the paper would no longer provide free coffee. After mass protests, this directive was rescinded — but employees still had to buy their own creamer.
"It's a fascinating time to be drinking coffee at our newspaper and I think it is so exciting to have to pay for our own creamer."
"PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ASIA FAILURE" (BUSINESS WEEK)
Sitting here in Singapore as President Obama went through China and flew home from his 8-day trip to Asia, it is perhaps easier to see the true truth of his trip—it’s deep failure....
President Obama Didn't Impress Asia (he labeled himself "America's first Pacific president") Wall Street Journal
Barack Obama's first visit to Asia since his inauguration was one of the most disappointing trips by any U.S. president to the region in decades, especially given media-generated expectations that "Obamamania" would make it yet another triumphal progression.
It was a journey of startlingly few concrete accomplishments, demonstrable proof that neither personal popularity nor media deference really means much in the hard world of international affairs.
The contrast between Asia's reception for Obama and Europe's is significant. Although considered a global phenomenon, Obamamania's real center is Europe.
There, Mr. Obama reigns as a "post-American" president, a multilateralist carbon copy of a European social democrat.
Asians operate under no such illusions, notwithstanding the "Oba-Mao" T shirts briefly on sale in China. ...
What the president lacked in popular adulation, however, he more than made up for in self-adulation.
In Asia, he labeled himself "America's first Pacific president," ignoring over a century of contrary evidence.
The Pacific has been important to America since the Empress of China became the first trading ship from the newly independent country to reach the Far East in 1784.
Theodore Roosevelt created a new Pacific country (Panama) and started construction on the Panama Canal to ensure that America's navy could move rapidly from its traditional Atlantic bases to meet Pacific challenges.
William Howard Taft did not merely live on Pacific islands as a boy, like Obama, but actually governed several thousand of them as Governor-General of the Philippines in 1901-1903.
Dwight Eisenhower served in Manila from 1935 to 1939, and five other presidents wore their country's uniform in the Pacific theater during World War II—two of whom, John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush, very nearly perished in the effort.
White House: Gitmo transfers mean jobs (in Illinois) UPI Interesting stimulus program. Let’s just import all terrorists to Illinois.
Thousands of jobs would be created in Illinois if the U.S. government purchases a nearly empty prison there to house terror detainees, a study indicates.
The study, performed by the Obama White House Council of Economic Advisers and obtained by The Chicago Sun-Times, asserted that 2,290 to 2,960 jobs would be created in and around Thomson, Ill., in the first year after its conversion to house some of the prisoners now held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, the newspaper reported Sunday.
Local residents in the Illinois-Iowa border town would be "good candidates" to fill 1,240 to 1,410 of those jobs, the report indicated.
2960 jobs to help control 200 prisoners? Where do these people come up with this stuff?
Scientist: Leak of climate e-mails appalling (AP) The frauds got caught
(The leak is appalling. But the outright fraud detailed in the emails is not appalling. This is how it works on the left.)
A leading climate change scientist whose private e-mails are included in thousands of documents that were stolen by hackers and posted online said Sunday the leaks may have been aimed at undermining next month's global climate summit in Denmark.
Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Colorado, said he believes the hackers who stole a decade's worth of correspondence from a British university's computer server deliberately distributed only those documents that could help attempts by skeptics to undermine the scientific consensus on man-made climate change.
Trenberth, a well respected atmospheric scientist, said it did not appear that all the documents stolen from the university had been distributed on the Internet by the hackers.
The University of East Anglia, in eastern England, said hackers last week stole from its computer server about a decade's worth of data from its Climatic Research Unit, a leading global research center on climate change.
About 1,000 e-mails and 3,000 documents have been posted on Web sites and seized on by climate change skeptics, who claim correspondence shows collusion between scientists to overstate the case for global warming, and evidence that some have manipulated evidence.
Latinos, blacks take harder hit amid recession (Boston GLobe)
(The news is that the Dems created this mess for the very ‘minorities’ they are championing....)
Latinos and African-Americans in Massachusetts and across the country are facing high unemployment rates that could spiral to levels not seen in decades as the jobless economic recovery drags on, analysts and urban community advocates say.
At the same time, some big-city mayors and community activists complain that the $787 billion federal stimulus package that the Obama administration promised would preserve or create jobs has not put a significant dent in urban unemployment, threatening to leave blacks and Latinos behind when the economy finally turns around.
The Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights organizations are calling for a targeted aid package to put minorities back to work and stepping up pressuring on the White House ahead of its jobs summit next month where corporate CEOs, academics, labor leaders, community activists, and others have been invited to suggest any and all ideas to spur hiring.
Sea level rise could cost port cities $28 trillion (CNN still promoting the fraud)
A possible rise in sea levels by 0.5 meters by 2050 could put at risk more than $28 trillion worth of assets in the world's largest coastal cities, according to a report compiled for the insurance industry.
The value of infrastructure exposed in so-called "port mega-cities," urban conurbations with more than 10 million people, is just $3 trillion at present.
The rise in potential losses would be a result of expected greater urbanization and increased exposure of this greater population to catastrophic surge events occurring once every 100 years caused by rising sea levels and higher temperatures.
The report, released on Monday by WWF and financial services Allianz, concludes that the world's diverse regions and ecosystems are close to temperature thresholds -- or "tipping points."
Man Finds His Long-Lost Dad Is Charles Manson (Sky News) Like McClatchy types finally realizing their biased and bankrupt
A US man has spoken of his anguish after discovering his long-lost father is apparently the notorious serial killer Charles Manson. Matthew Roberts, 41, tracked down his biological mother after she put him up for adoption in 1968.
But he sank into depression after the woman revealed his dad is none other than the jailed cult leader, The Sun reported.
McClatchy announces today some of its papers are now available on Kindle, including the Sac Bee. What a shocking coincidence that today's Bee had a big feature story on Kindle. They forgot to put "Corporate Advertisement" over the story.
Just heard a local Sacramento radio station refer to the Bee as a "lefty newspaper." Bet that makes the "unbiased" Bee management feel great about their professionalism and credibility.
About Obama's Asia failure, more references to the media's bias, [media deference]; in their sick minds, it didn't occur to them their liberal bias might cost them their jobs, and profession. I don't know anyone who feels sorry for journalists.
"It was a journey of startlingly few concrete accomplishments, demonstrable proof that neither personal popularity nor [media deference] really means much in the hard world of international affairs." WSJ
7:30 Yeah, I heard Armstrong and Getty say it this morning. "Lefty newspaper."
Apropos of nothing: On another blog, I read that one poster was constantly finding any little errors by posters, and correcting them while sniping how uneducated the poster was, and that the whole opinion was worthless because of spelling and grammatical errors. The blog master came back that one of the sneaky tricks of trolls was to attack the posters and intimidate them into not posting. They also try to imply only the uneducated would read such a blog because of these minor errors. It boggles the mind to think of a poor fool reading blogs to correct a comma!
Trolls are “Sneaky Bastards” as one of our posters might say.
Referring to the Bee as a “lefty newspaper” is an understatement, IMHO. They are on par with Pravda. No, worse!
Anon 7:30, How dare they call the Bee a “lefty paper”
How dare they! They have no basis whatsoever to make such a baseless claim!
Sac Bee's news boss Melanie Sill admits blatant bias in editorial today:
"There's no dispute that The Bee has a liberal editorial page on most issues, though not all matters, and has mostly endorsed Democrats.
We won't change our editorial philosophy to placate critics."
"Trenberth, a well respected atmospheric scientist, said it did not appear that all the documents stolen from the university had been distributed on the Internet by the hackers."
It would appear that AP forgot to mention that Kevin Trenberth the so-called "well respected" atmospheric scientist is one of the named, MAIN CHARACTERS at the very heart of the fraudulent scheme.
God these people are pathetic.
Merced Sun-Star publisher Hank Vander Veen resigns
By SCOTT JASON
Merced Sun-Star Publisher Hank Vander Veen announced Monday he would resign from the newspaper's top post to pursue other opportunities.
"I'm real proud of what we've accomplished here in six years," Vander Veen told a stunned Sun-Star staff. "It's a tough decision, but one I've been thinking about for a while. I'm ready to move on and a start a new chapter."
Vander Veen, a 25-year McClatchy Co. employee, will leave Friday. He's served as the Sun-Star's publisher since 2004, when McClatchy bought the paper from Pacific-Sierra Publishing Inc.
Hank Vander Veen
Hank Vander Veen, Sun-Star publisher
The announcement was made during an employee meeting. McClatchy's Vice President of Operations Frank Whittaker came down from Sacramento for the announcement.
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