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.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Wednesday November 4 -- Got news or an update?
If you have news or an update, leave it in comments. . . .
N&O cartoonist retiring
TIME Inc., Newspaper Guild meet to talk layoffs (Daily Finance)
The guillotine has begun its descent at Time Inc. Sources at the publishing company (which is part of the same conglomerate as DailyFinance parent AOL) say executives have asked for an emergency meeting with representatives of the Newspaper Guild to discuss job eliminations.
A Time Inc. spokeswoman declined to comment, but John Shostrom, chairman of the company's Guild unit, said the meeting will take place "soon." He said it was Time Inc. that called the meeting.
"They act, and we react," said Shostrom. "The Guild doesn't lay people off. We just fight back when they make proposals to lay people off."
It's been expected for some time that the publisher, whose titles include People, Sports Illustrated and Time, would implement cost-cutting measures, including a workforce reduction, in the fourth quarter.
The New York Times says the company is aiming to reduce its overhead by a further $100 million after slimming its payroll by 600 jobs last year. As of Friday, a Guild representative told the Times he had yet to be notified of planned layoffs.
A Time Inc. insider says managing editors of the various company magazines met with human resources officials yesterday to talk about the planned downsizing. Tomorrow, memos will go out asking for volunteers to accept severance packages.
Time Warner, Time Inc.'s parent, will announce its third-quarter earnings tomorrow.
Warren Buffett: 'Newspapers Have Got a Terrible Future' (Newsbusters)
Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the world and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A), doesn't have much faith in the future of print media.
In an interview on CNBC's Nov. 3 "Squawk Box," following the announcement of his purchase of Burlington Northern (NYSE:BNI), Buffett was asked to comment on the future of news media, in particular newspapers and business news by "Squawk Box" co-host Becky Quick.
Buffett is optimistic on the future of business news.
"Our system has just gotten started," Buffett said.
"I mean, we've had a couple of hundred years of progress, but we have not exhausted our potential in this country. America's about business and business in America, you know have gone to greatness hand and hand.
So, you do not need to worry about CNBC 10 or 20 or 30 years from now. Business will always be important to the American public."
CNBC: New York Times Potential Acquisition Target for Google
Want more evidence print media is giving way to digital formats? According to CNBC "Squawk on the Street" Nov. 3, Internet behemoth Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) could have its sights set on The New York Times (NYSE:NYT).
Brian Shactman, a general assignment reporter for CNBC noted an article in the Nov. 2 Wall Street Journal that indicated a lot of big companies are hoarding cash and short term investments and it pointed out the information technology sector had nearly $280 billion to invest.
Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch Trashes FOX News (GatewayPundit)
Even children’s shows are not safe from the far left. Oscar the Grouch trashed FOX News this week:
Big Hollywood reported:
Last week, in a re-broadcast of an episode that originally aired two years ago, Oscar starts his own news network, GNN (Grouchy News Network). An irate viewer calls in to berate him that the news is not grouchy enough:
“I am changing the channel. From now on I am watching ‘Pox’ News. Now there is a trashy news show.”
The Biggest Loser (Patterico)
ABC’s Jake Tapper reveals the White House unintentionally hit on the perfect metaphor for tonight’s election results:
“It’s unclear which White House staffer thought it would be a good idea to have an NBC show called “The Biggest Loser” visit the White House in an episode that aired on what was shaping up to be a tough election night for President Obama and the Democratic party, but the contestants stopped by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday night as election returns came in.”
The show is about people trying to lose weight but, at least for tonight, the White House may be the biggest loser.
ObamaCare may slip to January 2010
The push to overhaul the American medical system may not move forward until after the New Year, Politico reports, which opens a whole new set of questions about the Obama agenda for the 111th Congress.
Nancy Pelosi’s new bill and its mushrooming cost will almost certainly get addressed this month, but the real problem is in the Senate — and not just for Senators:
45% for Obama, 49% Against – If Election Were Held Right Now (Rasmussen)
Americans are a little less enthusiastic about the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama this time around.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of adults say they would be at least somewhat likely to vote for Obama if he was up for reelection right now. Forty-nine percent (49%) say they would be unlikely to vote for the president’s reelection.
Thirty-four percent (34%) would be very likely to support Obama, while 40% say they would be not at all likely to do so.
(From the UK Times) Obama suffers poll blow a year after taking office
Republican Bob McDonnell easily won the Virginia governor’s race last night just a year after the state went overwhelmingly for President Obama and the Democrats.
Unofficial results showed the former state attorney general defeated his Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds. The state had a Republican governor for the past eight years.
The Virginia race and the contest for governor of New Jersey are viewed as the first referendum on Mr Obama and the Democratic Congress before the 2010 mid-term elections.
A year ago, Mr Obama became the first Democrat in 44 years to carry Virginia in a presidential race. This time voters expressed concern about major Obama initiatives such as health care, energy and stimulus spending.
Mr Obama’s political influence was on the line in two state gubernatorial elections that could serve as warning signs for Democrats about America’s mood heading into the 2010 congressional elections.
Interviews with voters leaving polling stations in Virginia showed that independents broke heavily for the Republican contestant.
Maine Voters Repeal Law Allowing Gay Marriage (NY Slimes)
In a stinging setback for the national gay-rights movement, Maine voters narrowly decided to repeal the state’s new law allowing same-sex marriage.
With 87 percent of precincts reporting early this morning, 53 percent of voters had approved the repeal, ending an expensive and emotional fight that was closely watched around the country as a referendum on the national gay-marriage movement. Polls had suggested a much closer race.
With the repeal, Maine became the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage at the ballot box. Five other states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont - have legalized same-sex marriage, but only through court rulings and legislative action.
As Virginia goes ...(WASHINGTON TIMES)
We knew it was going to be a bad election night for the Democrats when former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe announced on NBC's "Today" program that "the results of these elections tend to be overread."
Certainly that was not the prevailing opinion in Democratic circles in 2008, when giddiness over Barack Obama's election reached manic proportions.
Virginia, which voted Democratic for president for the first time since 1964, was singled out as an indication of the shape of things to come.
In 2008, Mr. Plouffe bragged that only Mr. Obama could make Virginia competitive, and when he won the state, it was hailed as a bellwether, an indicant of the emerging "permanent Democratic majority."
iTunes May Offer Pay-TV Service (Media Daily News)
With the noise level rising over consumers possibly paying a fee for TV shows online, now comes a report that iTunes is considering an all-you-can eat $30-a-month TV service.
A new subscription service would turn iTunes into a pseudo cable and satellite TV operator -- a company that charges monthly fees for traditional TV/cable networks. The difference is that iTunes service would be sans advertising.
Shows would not be distributed via linear networks -- but, as iTunes does now, by program. The story was first reported in AllThingsD.com.
Apple's iTunes Stores is the original digital video Internet service, launching with Disney-ABC television shows back in October 2005 as a fee-based, ad-free service. Right now, it sells subscription season-long passes for some TV shows. Currently, TV shows are priced at $2.99 an episode.
Pay walls never may come at some papers (Newsosaur)
The resolve to charge for most interactive content is dissolving at some newspapers, potentially thwarting the plans of other publishers who still hope to erect pay walls on their sites.
Despite determined statements by several publishers earlier this year that they intended to make consumers pay for the valuable content newspapers have given away for more than a decade, the managers of some newspapers have come to realize that they can’t afford to lose the traffic that pay walls almost certainly would turn away.
So, the executives are scrapping plans to charge for most, if any, of their content. The latest thinking – which, of course, is far from unanimous across the industry – is illustrated in two fresh data points:
Goli Sheikholeslami, the general manager of WashingtonPost.Com, told a conference at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard last week that “not enough people are willing to pay” to make the sale of online content a viable business. “If could get 5 million people to pay me to visit my site each month, I would be done,” she said. But Sheikholeslami said she has no hope of doing so.
Although Hearst Corp. attracted headlines in February when its top newspaper executive said he aimed to start charging for content, Mark Adkins, the president of the San Francisco Chronicle, told me last week that “we believe in being a free website” but plan to develop supplementary “premium content we will charge for.”
The Chronicle plan sounds a lot like the decision of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to continue to run a free site while charging $12.95 a year for access to premium coverage of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Viking package emulates the long-running Packer Insider at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which grosses more than $1 million a year.
Marketplace Has Spoken on Open Borders Newspaper: E. Valley Trib v. Joe Arpaio – Guess Who Lost? (Debbie Schlussel)
Earlier this year, I told you about the politically-charged Pulitzer Prize awarded to The East Valley Tribune for a series of biased articles against Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
East Valley Tribune v. Joe Arpaio Enforcing Immigration Laws:Guess
The gist of these stories: that Arpaio’s arrests of illegal aliens “endangered” investigation of other crimes. That thesis was preposterous, especially given that Maricopa County Prosecutor Andrew Thomas has provided statistics time and again, showing that a huge increase in crime is caused by the many illegal aliens who commit it.
Well, the marketplace has spoken. And even a Pulitzer Prize can’t negate the results.
The East Valley Tribune–once the home of great journalism (cited on our site) about the crimes and problems caused by illegal aliens, including those of the Muslim persuasion–has paid the ultimate financial price for its undue assault on those who fight to secure our borders (like Arpaio).
The paper, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, announced it will close for good on December 31st.
Yes, the marketplace has spoken on the East Valley Tribune’s open borders turn. And a Pulitzer Prize won’t save it. You endorse a laissez-faire attitude on illegal aliens, in suburban Phoenix, the marketplace endorses a laissez-faire attitude toward buying your paper.
Now, it’s time to do the same to the open borders Arizona Republic.
Tribune Co. papers rewiring for experimental week without AP (ChicagoTribune)
The Chicago Tribune and other Tribune Co. newspapers plan to utilize as little content from the Associated Press as practical during the week of Nov. 8.
The goal, as the papers review costs and needs, is to see whether severing ties with the news cooperative next fall is a viable option, the Chicago-based media company confirmed Monday.
The trial is scheduled to be conducted almost 13 months after Tribune Co. gave the AP a required two-year warning that it might drop the news service, effective Oct. 15, 2010. Tribune Co. said at the time that it was keeping its options open while weighing what role, if any, the AP would play in its future.
MediaNews To Launch Partial Pay Walls At Two Newspaper Sites (Editor and Publisher)
NEW YORK MediaNews Group plans to put up pay walls at two of its newspapers in early 2010, but with only some content requiring a fee.
The changes will take place at the Enterprise-Record in Chico, Ca., and the York (Pa.) Daily Record, and may later occur at other company sites.
"We don't think putting everything behind a pay wall works, but we think putting some things behind a pay wall works," said William Dean Singleton, MediaNews Group CEO and vice-chair. "We have to condition readers that everything is not free."
The move followed an April meeting of MediaNews executives at Singleton's Colorado ranch in which different Internet issues were discussed. That sparked the creation of several task forces to study the feasibility of Internet changes, including pay walls.
Last month the decision was made to test partial pay walls at the Chico and York sites. "We wanted to get sites that were not metro sites for the same reason that you don't open on Broadway," said Howard Saltz, vice president for content development. "But not a site that has Web traffic so small that the change would not affect anything."
Saltz said the exact dates had not been decided, but estimated both sites would launch the pay requirement in the first quarter of 2010. He also said the decision about what would stay free and what would require a payment has also not been made.
Obama's poll numbers dropping (Boston Globe)
President Obama's overall approval rating is still at a healthy 54 percent, but a new poll suggests some weakness on major issues.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released this morning shows his approval rating down from 58 percent in the same poll in mid-September.
More worrisome for the White House, the poll numbers have flipped from majority approval to majority disapproval on the economy (54 percent disapproval now, 54 percent approval in September), health care policy (57 percent disapproval now, 51 percent approval then), and the war in Afghanistan (56 percent disapproval now, 49 percent approval in August.)
Dems Admit Paying For Daggett Robocalls In NJ (Daggett lies)
New Jersey Democrats have admitted that a series of robocalls on behalf of third party candidate for governor Chris Daggett were paid for by the Democratic State Committee - final proof that Daggett has been a spoiler for Republican Chris Christie all along.
Matt Friedman of Politiker New Jersey writes: A Democratic spokeswoman says the party's chairman, Joe Cryan, was not aware of the robocalls when he denied that the state committee had anything to do with them yesterday afternoon. Cryan, who told PolitickerNJ.com yesterday afternoon that the Democratic State Committee had "absolutely" nothing to do with the call, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The call angered Republicans and further fueled conspiracy theories that Daggett is in cahoots with the Corzine camp. A disclaimer at the end says it was paid for by Victory '09, "a project of the NJDSC" (Democratic State Committee), and gave the committee's Trenton address.
Daggett, for his part, disavowed the call.
"Voters hate robocalls. This is just another instance of the dishonest ways Democrats and Republicans use to win campaigns and to fool voters," he said in a statement this afternoon. "It is little wonder more and more voters are rejecting these kind of desperate dirty tricks and turning to my campaign for a positive message about how to make New Jersey more affordable and competitive.''
Before the Democrats owned up to it, Daggett media advisor Bill Hillsman said the call might be a Republican trick to generate a sympathetic newspaper story.
Shoot a Cop Get a Job for the Democrat Party
Gee I bet when he told them he'd shot a policeman, the local Democratic chairman jumped right up and said, "You're our boy!"
Via Electionjournal.org: How would you like to be a New Jersey police officer and look out your window and see several known criminals, including a man you arrested several weeks ago and another who had just been released from prison for shooting a cop?
And then find out that the men were sent into the neighborhood by the Democratic Party for GOTV operations - complete with lists of voters names, addresses and phones numbers!
And you know, if you don't vote or even if you do I reckon there is a fair chance you're going to notice stuff missing in the next few weeks eh?
NJ Democrat Party Hires Gangbangers For Voter Influence Campaign - With Video (Pat Dollard)
How would you like to be a New Jersey police officer and look out your window and see several known criminals, including a man you arrested several weeks ago and another who had just been released from prison for shooting a cop?
And then find out that the men were sent into the neighborhood by the Democratic Party for GOTV operations - complete with lists of voters names, addresses and phones numbers!
That is what happened Sunday on a quiet street in Morris Township.
The officer, who’s name we are with holding, specifically heard the men discussing that he was a police officer and that they now know where he lives.
The officer confronted the men and they took off. He contacted the local police who responded and caught up with them and about a dozen other men a few blocks away.
According to the police report, the men were known criminals and when asked why they were in the neighborhood they stated they were
“campaigning for the Democratic Party.”
Shockingly, this isn’t the first time New Jersey Democrats have used gang bangers for GOTV.
According to this story on PolitickerNJ, the Bloods Street gang stole $6000 from the NJ Democratic State Committee through a check fraud scheme.
NJ Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Cryan said “that checks were copied from payments sent out for the party’s 2006 field operation.”
Gibbs downplays Election Day expectations (The Hill)
Tuesday's three big races are in no way a referendum on the president's first year or prediction of what might happen in 2010, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stressed this afternoon.
Rather, Gibbs explained, it was inaccurate and inappropriate to "draw any great insight about what is going to happen in a year" from the two gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia and the special House election in New York.
"We don't look at either of these gubernatorial races or the congressional race as something that portends a lot for our legislative efforts going forward or political prospects in 2010," Gibbs said during Tuesday's press briefing.
Democrat Congress Probes Blacks Only (Politico)
Racial disparity: All active ethics probes focus on black lawmakers
The House ethics committee is currently investigating seven African-American lawmakers — more than 15 percent of the total in the House. And an eighth black member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), would be under investigation if the Justice Department hadn’t asked the committee to stand down.
Not a single white lawmaker is currently the subject of a full-scale ethics committee probe.
The ethics committee declined to respond to questions about the racial disparity, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are wary of talking about it on the record.
But privately, some black members are outraged — and see in the numbers a worrisome trend in the actions of ethics watchdogs on and off Capitol Hill.
“Is there concern whether someone is trying to set up [Congressional Black Caucus] members? Yeah, there is,” a black House Democrat said. “It looks as if there is somebody out there who understands what the rules [are] and sends names to the ethics committee with the goal of going after the [CBC].”
African-American politicians have long complained that they’re treated unfairly when ethical issues arise. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are still fuming over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to oust then-Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) from the House Ways and Means Committee in 2006, and some have argued that race plays a role in the ongoing efforts to remove Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) from his chairmanship of that committee.
Of course it must be racism. There is just no other explanation. Besides, Congress is run from top to bottom by Democrats. And everyone knows that it is not possible for Democrats to be racists.
Oakland Mayor Dellums could owe $239,000 in taxes (SFGate: Oakland Blog)
Ron Dellums, who earns about $184,000 as Oakland mayor on top of a congressional pension, appears to owe the Internal Revenue Service at least $66,554. A lien has been placed against his property for failing to pay taxes for 2006.
According to the East Bay Express, which broke the story, Mayor Dellums and his wife, who file jointly, may owe more than $239,000in taxes, mostly for the years he worked as a lobbyist in Washington, DC.
Former Cabell Co. Magistrate Candidate Arrested Again For Drug Possession (West Virginia Democrat)
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Former Cabell County Magistrate Candidate Amy Walker Irwin, formerly known as Amy Daugherty, was arrested Sunday night and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
According to the criminal complaint, Irwin was in her car outside a "known crack house" on 17th Street and Dalton Avenue in Huntington when officers approached the car and saw a small piece of apparent crack in plastic next to the gear shifter.
The complaint goes on to say Lt. J.T. Combs conducted a field test on the substance and it tested positive for the presence of cocaine.
Blue State Exodus: Why the middle-class are fleeing for the hills
For the past decade a large coterie of pundits, prognosticators and their media camp followers have insisted that growth in America would be concentrated in places hip and cool, largely the bluish regions of the country.
The overall migration numbers are even more revealing. As was the case for much of the past decade, the biggest gainers continue to include cities such as San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Rather than being oases for migrants, some oft-cited magnets such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago have all suffered considerable loss of population to other regions over the past year.
Obama’s Phony “Created or Saved” Numbers PATTERICO
When Obama says the stimulus “created or saved” x number of jobs, you already know that’s a bogus claim. It’s just common sense.
But now, Bill Bush at the Columbus Dispatch has the hard proof.
Marvel as he explains “the fuzzy math involved in pinpointing a saved-jobs number”:
The Obama administration announced Friday that federal stimulus money had created or saved about 7,200 education jobs in Ohio as of Sept. 30.
Although a couple of hundred of those jobs were in Columbus City Schools, the district acknowledged yesterday that many of the “saved” jobs definitely wouldn’t have been lost in the first place, and others might not have been lost at all.
How did this happen? Apparently, the Obama administration (though its proxy, the Ohio Department of Education) gave the district a choice when it came to reporting on jobs that were neither created nor saved.
School district officials could say the jobs had been “created.”
Or, they could that they were “saved”:
Of the 212.5 full-time equivalent jobs the district said were funded with part of the $64 million in stimulus it expects to receive, about 65 percent were “saved,” including 36 principals and assistant principals.
So was the district on the verge of laying off 36 school administrators?
“No,” Dannemiller said, explaining that the reporting choices were “created” and “saved.”
“They weren’t ‘created,’ obviously, so our only other choice was ’saved.’ “
So. Is Obama a liar? Or a huge liar?
Al Gore 'profiting' from climate change agenda (Telegraph U.K.)
Al Gore has been accused of profiting from the climate change agenda amid claims he is on course to become the world’s first “carbon billionaire”.
The former US vice president is in line to make a large profit from a firm producing smart meters which monitor household electricity use.
He is a partner in a Silicon Valley venture capital firm which invested £45 million in Silver Spring Networks, a small California company which has been developing technology to monitor household power use to make the electricity grid more efficient.
Last week the US Energy Department announced £2 billion in grants and a proportion of that, thought to be more than £305 million, will go to utility operators with which Silver Spring has contracts.
Since he quit mainstream politics, Mr Gore’s personal fortune has risen from £1.2 million to an estimated £60 million.
Looks Like Nancy Somehow Lost Oh about $300,000,000,000, she never claimed to be a math wiz anyway. (Hot Air)
Nancy Pelosi rolled out her 1,990 page bill to overhaul the American health-care system like a Hummer on the showroom floor (and almost as heavy).
Like any good car salesman, Pelosi told the press her version of the low low price!
..House Republicans found a few more things lost in the translation — namely, over a hundred new bureaucracies created by Pelosi’s bill:
Well 111 new bureaucracies should help Nancy keep all her supporters employed. After all public service, AKA soft cushy jobs for inefficient can't find a job any where else political supporters, on the taxpayer's dime is like the highest calling is it not?
Update: Oooops left out two zeros, so many zeros in this bill it boggles even me ;)
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