Investment guru Warren Buffett’s outlook on newspapers is dismal

In fact, Warren Buffett has said don’t buy newspaper stock at any price. The days of the monopoly newspapers huge readership and advertising revenue are long gone.

What happened? Take a look at this modest blog’s stats: The 7-day traffic average is now passing hundreds of thousands of hits.  The majority are college graduates and in their peek buying years ages 25-55.
I predict the Boston Globe will go online with just a Friday/Sunday printed and delivered paper. 
Advertisements

California dream turning into a nightmare for middle class

California has turned into a high-tax, socialist state where the working middle class has to support millions of illegals and highly paid government employees. The state income tax has now broke the 10 percent barrier. The number of people leaving has for the first time in 70 years outpaced the incoming number, (including illegals).

Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida had the nation’s top foreclosure rates. In Nevada, one in every 70 homes received a foreclosure filing, while the number was one every 147 in Arizona. Rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.

Among metro areas, Las Vegas was first, with one in every 60 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. It was followed by the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area in Florida and five California metropolitan areas: Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Riverside-San Bernardino and Bakersfield.

The Scobleizer has written a good blog post on the subject. Scoble is an IT and social media guru in Silicon Valley who often visits Texas. He interviewed the Texas governor, Rick Perry and they Twitter each other. Even after the real estate bubble burst in 2005-06, and homes fell in price by 20 percent each of the last three years, homes are still overpriced and only 10 percent of California  households can afford median-priced homes. Nationally, 50 percent can afford the median-priced home.

The state of California has lost it’s glamorous image. I think of it now as a congested, welfare state with the highest taxes in the United States and the largest “public” workforce to support. Did you know that most of the government employees retire at full pay after 20 years of service?

http://scobleizer.com/2009/03/24/is-california-is-setup-for-a-brain-drain/comment-page-2/#comment-2008731

Joel Kotkin of the SF Chronicle wrote this piece in 2007.

California has been losing ground in the new millennium. In 2004-05, it fell to 17th, behind not only fast-growing Arizona and Nevada but also Oregon, Washington and rival “nation-state” Texas.

Job creation has been even less impressive. In the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it can only be considered mediocre or worse. If not for the strong performance of the interior counties of the state — what Bill Frey and I call the “Third California” — the state already would be rightly considered a laggard when it comes to creating employment.

More disturbing, as California’s population has grown — largely from immigration — per-capita income growth has weakened. From the 1930s to as late as the 1980s, Californians generally got richer faster than other Americans. In 1946, Gunther reported, Californians enjoyed the highest living standards and the third-highest per-capita income in the country.

Today, California ranks 12th in per-capita income. And it’s losing ground: Between 1999 and 2004, California’s per-capita income growth ranked a miserable 40th among the states.

This slow growth reflects a gradually widening chasm between social classes. Although the rest of the country has also experienced this trend, the gap between rich and poor has expanded more rapidly in California than in the rest of the country.

Today, notes a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California, California has the 15th-highest rate of poverty of all American states. When cost of living adjustments are made, only New York and the District of Columbia fare worse. Tragically, many of California’s poor are working. Somehow, this does not seem the best road to the governor’s dream of a “harmonious” society.

How did this happen to our golden state? There are many causes.

Certainly poverty has been greatly exacerbated by huge waves of immigration, particularly from Mexico and other developing countries. But other states — including Texas and Arizona — have also absorbed many immigrants, as well as people from the rest of this country, and have not experienced similarly strong jumps in their poverty rates.

Changes in the economy are clearly suspect. From the 1930s to the 1980s, California created a broad spectrum of opportunities for white- and blue-collar workers alike. Even the 1990s expansion, suggests Debbie Reed of the policy institute, helped reduce poverty by expanding a wide range of employment opportunities.

Today, economic growth in California — like that in much of the Northeast — seems tilted largely toward elites. Once a state known for its relative social democracy, the Golden State is becoming what Citigroup strategist Ajay Kapur has dubbed a plutonomy, dominated largely by a small wealthy class and their spending.

For example, despite all the hype about the renewed Internet boom in Silicon Valley, there has been only modest expansion of employment, even in the past year. Undoubtedly lavish takings by a relative handful of engineers, managers and investors are boosting high-end restaurateurs in San Francisco and revving up BMW sales, but benefits don’t seem to accrue as much to assemblers, midlevel managers and other high-tech workers.

Similarly, the governor’s entertainment industry friends, as well as art and developer elites close to Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom, may feel these are the best of times. But Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with Monterey, now suffer a poverty rate of more than 20 percent, among the highest level in the country.

Parallel to these developments, California is losing its once broad middle class, the traditional source of its political balance and much of its entrepreneurial genius. Outmigration from the state is growing and, contrary to the notions of some sophisticates, it’s not just the rubes and roughhouses who are leaving.

Indeed, an analysis of the most recent migration numbers shows a disturbing trend: an increasing out-migration of educated people from California’s largest metropolitan areas. Back in the 1990s, this was mostly a Los Angeles phenomena, but since 2000, the Bay Area appears to be suffering a high per-capita outflow of educated people.

This middle class flight is likely driven by two things: greater opportunities outside the state and the cost of housing in-state. Over the past 50 years, housing prices in coastal California in particular have grown much faster than elsewhere; the Bay Area’s rate of housing inflation over the past 50 years has been twice the national average.

Given the shrinking per-capita income advantage for being in California, moving elsewhere increasingly makes sense, particularly for those who do not already own homes and don’t have wealthy parents. In some parts of the state, barely 10 percent of households can now afford a median-price home; in the rest of the country that number is roughly 50 percent.

These trends suggest that California could be devolving toward an unappealing model of class stratification. As educated white-collar and skilled blue-collar workers leave, businesses in the state will be forced to truncate their operations — perhaps having an elite research lab, design office or marketing arm in California but shunting most midlevel jobs elsewhere.

Rush Limbaugh and Jim Cramer on Obama’s enemies list – Jon Stewart (real name is Leibowitz) is Obama’s throne sniffer

Updated March 13, 2009:

President Obama’s enemies now includes Jim Cramer of Mad Money. The list grows as the public finds life savings destroyed by BO’s socialist, wealth eroding Marxist ideals. 

Obama fan (voted for him)

Cramer, a former supporter of Obama, criticized the president yesterday on the Today Show, saying that his budget has “basically put a level of fear in this country that I have not seen ever in my life.”

“This is the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president,” Cramer added.

 

Cramer has a lot of business smarts. He left the newspaper business more than 10 years ago for TheStreet.com and later Mad Money on CNBC. 

 

 

 

Obama White House’s chief spokesman Robert Gibbs on Friday said he enjoyed watching “The Daily Show” talking head John Sewart tear CNBC’s Jim Cramer (a former Hearst staffer) a new one.  It was a week of payback from Cramer’s opinion that Obama has been the worst president when it comes to economis in modern history. Cramer’s Thursday appearance on Stewart’s (his real surname is Leibowitz) Comedy Central program created buzz throughout the MSM. The Stewart attacks started last Monday.

This is a gaudy scene of Obama’s power in the media. But that is fading as his popularity numbers fall. 

Press secretary Gibbs said he had spoken with President Barack Obama on Thursday about watching the Stewart-Cramer showdown.

 

From Jim Cramer — “Now some, including Rush Limbaugh, would say I am on Obmama’s enemies list: that of the White House. Limbaugh says there are only a handful of us on it, and if I am on it for defending all of the shareholders out there, then I am in good company. Limbaugh — whom I do not know personally, but having been in radio myself, know professionally as a genius of the medium — says, ‘They’re going to shut Cramer up pretty soon, too, but he’ll go down with a fight.'”

Carlson, reached Friday, described Stewart as “a partisan demagogue.”

“Jim Cramer may be sweaty and pathetic—he certainly was last night—but he’s not responsible for the current recession,” Carlson told POLITICO. “His real sin was attacking Obama’s economic policies. If he hadn’t done that, Stewart never would have gone after him. Stewart’s doing Obama’s bidding. It’s that simple.” — Tucker Carlson on Jon Stewart’s hatchet job. 

 

JON Stewart, the leftist who continues to support only Democrat/Socialist causes and has proven to be a big supporter of Obama, may have had a secret weapon in his corner to help him prep for his grudge match with “Mad Money” host, Jim Cramer – his older brother.

As the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, Stewart’s brother, Larry Leibowitz, is head of US Markets & Global Technology at NYSE Euronext. (Stewart’s given surname is also “Leibowitz,” but he famously told “60 Minutes” that he changed it to “Stewart” because Leibowitz “sounded too Hollywood” Why? Is he ashamed to be a Jew?) Larry has also held high positions at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

A Page Six spy who recently shared an elevator ride at the NYSE with Leibowitz and Big Board CEO Duncan Niederauersays, “They both got off on the sixth floor, after Leibowitz had practically been doing everything but shine his shoes for the short ride up. What a routine they have. One brother pretends to kick Wall Street’s butt by crucifying Cramer on his show, while the other brother is down on Wall Street kissing it.”

Whatever advice the elder Leibowitz gave the talk-show host before last week’s showdown, it worked: The typically loudmouthed Cramer was uncharacteristically silent in the face of Stewart’s attacks and even seemed repentant at times.

Meanwhile, the hit to Cramer’s credibility has been followed by a hit to his ratings. While a CNBC rep says that March numbers for “Mad Money” are up overall compared to February, the show suffered a 2 percent decline in viewership in the days following Cramer’s appearance on Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and 6 percent in the 25-54 demographic. — The NY Daily News

 

 

Back to Rush

After the CPAC speech Rush Limbaugh gave — going  for  1.5 hours, the White House spokesman, Mr. Gibbs keeps up the attacks on Mr. Limbaugh to marginalize him.

This is Soviet-style politics. The Democratic/Socialists are targeting Rush Limbaugh because they know the “blame Bush” propaganda has lost its political currency with the masses. 

 

Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.

The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.

Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s. — Politico.com

Rush Limbaugh has single-handedly solidified opposition to the Obama administration’s “Socio-Economic Stimulus Plan.”  Rush authored a “shot over the bow” opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday and it got some attention. 

Barack Obama warned congressional Republicans not to side with Rush Limbaugh. Next, George Soros, the multi-billionaire socialist, (who made his money in hedge funds and betting against UK and US currency)  helps fund the Democrat Party socialist organization Moveon.org and the new Obama administration with ad mad money. 

Limbaugh has said he hopes Obama’s liberalism fails. Rush’s huge national voice (20 million adults 18-65) is a serious problem for socialists. He is the leader of free enterprise and the enemy of Big Brother government.

The Obama White House has endorsed an ad attacking Limbaugh to try and isolate and muzzle him. They started airing immediately following the WSJ opinion piece. 

But wait, there are more attacks from the White House as financial analysts point out Obama’s lack of economics training. Jim Cramer stated on his popular cable show that Obama has destroyed more wealth than any other president. 

There is chatter on the Internet about plans at high levels to silence Limbaugh and later Michael Savage a Top 3 national radio host. They have had death threats before. But the online chatter seems to be at an all time high. 

The plans could go something like this: pick from a handful of  mentally handicapped, Islamic fanatics  and set a few up as the patsies in an  assassination of Rush. The blame will be deflected from the Democrats (who benefit). About two or three months later, Michael Savage will appear to have “committed  suicide.” 

Or just pave the way for the “Fairness Doctrine” by smearing Savage as a “Hate Monger.”  This will scare off advertisers and have stations dropping Savage thus ending his career.

Rush and Savage are very powerful free thinkers and targets. They are America’s last speed bumps on the Democrat machine’s highway to socialism. 

If these rumors come to fruition, it’s over. Welcome to the USSA.

…in my opinion.

There are a number of “legit” left-wing Web sites with subtle and sometimes bold campaigns trying to put Rush and Savage out of business, reminds me of the Nazi’s Kristol Nacht.

CAIR’s list of companies boycotting Savage show includes some that have never advertised on it or any other talk show. It’s apparently a phony list to try and defame Savage. 

CAIR —  the Council on American Islamic Relations, has been organizing a  boycott of Michael Savage’s show.

“AutoZone: CAIR wrong about Michael Savage ads,” from WorldNetDaily (thanks to D. C. Watson):

The Council on American-Islamic Relations claims a raft of companies have stopped advertising on Michael Savage’s top-rated radio talk show in response to a CAIR-instigated boycott campaign, but several of the cited companies say they don’t know what the Islamic lobby group is talking about.In a recent announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts “drops ‘Savage Nation’ ads,” CAIR stated:

“Advertisers that have already stopped airing, or refuse to air commercials on ‘Savage Nation’ include AutoZone, Citrix, JCPenney and Citgo.”

 

Most of these companies have not been advertising on any talk radio shows, including Air America. 

But we know that Media Matters, a leftist/socialist DC Web site staffed by college students, many working for free for the cause, has tried to have Rush’s show taken off Armed Services Radio.

We request that  talk radio host Rush Limbaugh from the American Forces Radio and Television Service (formerly known as Armed Forces Radio). 

The request never gained support in the Bush administration, what will we see happen with the new Obama/Democrat one party government? 

Limbaugh has had his share of death threats. He has also had his quota of criticism from the media, or the liberal media, as he tends to call it. He hates interviews and has rarely given any –The London Telegraph

 

 

Buyouts, layoffs, big declines in readership and ads — it is a bleak Christmas for newspapers

The decline of the newspaper media monopoly never slows. If you have any stock in newspaper-heavy media, it’s too late to get out. As of the end of 2008, 30 daily newspapers are for sale. Buyouts were the good old days. Now there are brutal Christmans-time layoffs. Google the Gannett Blog and find a running count by an ex-Gannetter. 

The layoffs and firings that started this week at newspapers owned by Gannett, including at the flagship USA Today, have been especially ruthless,  in addition to being timed just weeks before Christmas, they number in the thousdands.  But why not? These are mainly socialists and athiests who mock families and call moms breeders. 

It’s bloody news for newspaper journalists. Even the sill profitable Gannett newspapers (many still have profit margins at 20 percent) are shedding employees at a breathtaking rate. 

This week  a Gannett spokesperson said the cuts are being managed locally, at each newspaper, which is why as a company they’ve not released figures on specific jobs other than to say it’s a 10 percent cut companywide. While early figures compiled paper-by-paper totaled 1,700 Gannett jobs cut, it looks like that number may well pass 2,000 by next week.

In just the past week several thousand newspaper employees in America have lost their jobs, Cox Newspapers announced the closing of their Washington, DC, bureau, and the Tribune Co. will lay off more people at their flagship paper in Chicago.

In Chicago the credit analyst Fitch Ratings predicted that the continued decline in advertising revenues will cause some newspapers to default on their debt in 2009, and rated the debt of two huge newspaper companies – The McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co. – ask “junk.” Fitch also predicted that several cities could find themselves without daily print newspapers by 2010.

As many as 1,700 Gannett jobs were cut this week, from assistant managing editors on down, including reductions of up to 31 percent of the staff at one newspaper, The Salinas Californian, according to a reader tally on a blog published by a former Gannett worker, Jim Hopkins.

 

The most recent E&P (an online Web site on newspapers that ironically ended its print edtions a decade ago) reports that recruitment advertising declined in May. The Newspaper Conference Board, which measures job ads in 51 print newspapers across the country, said its Help-Wanted Advertising Index is 33. It was 38 one year ago.

“This is certainly a more negative picture going into the second half of the year, compared to the beginning of the year,” Ken Goldstein, a labor economist at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising fell in all nine U.S. regions.

 


The Dallas Morning News (a monopoly) said today it’s going to offer buyouts to the newsroom. That means waving a modest proposal of a few extra weeks of severance pay in front of the noses of older employees. Reality check: the UAW buyouts give auto workers 90 percent of their pay and free health care for life.

 

I was walking my dog this morning at 5:30 a.m. and watched a newspaper carrier in a junk car speeding around my neighborhood to drop a paper at every 20th house or so. Just a few years ago, 40 percent of the homes subscribed to the paper. 

Imagine the carbon footprint of that old smokestack medium. 


Obama — what do you know about ACORN and the garden to nowhere?

Inside the Chicago Democrat machine

Updated: 10/11/08

By Mick Gregory

Watch John McCain roll up his sleeves and bring up ACORN, the Citi Bank intimidation lawsuit, the Annenberg $100 million to nowhere and Tony Rezco.

Jailed political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who helped launch Barack Obama on his political career, is whispering secrets to federal prosecutors about corruption in Illinois and the political fallout could be explosive.

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration faces multiple federal investigations over how it handed out jobs and money with advice from Rezko, is considered the most vulnerable but second is non other than Barack Obama.

Rezko also was very friendly with Obama – offering him a job when he finished law school, funding his earliest political campaigns and purchasing a lot next to his house.

Rezko showed Obama around to the king makers and linked him up with Bill Ayers. The rest as they say is history.

Here is another story that  appears to be felony fraud, but you didn’t read it in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle or Washington Post. The tabloid Chicago Sun-Times reported a $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan — a Democrat who is supporting Obama’spresidential bid — is investigating “whether this charitable organization properly used its charitable assets, including the state funds it received,” Cara Smith, Madigan’s deputy chief of staff, said Wednesday.

In addition to the 2001 grant that Obama directed to the housing association as a “member initiative,” the not-for-profit group got a separate $20,000 state grant in 2006.

Madigan’s office has notified Obama’s presidential campaign of the probe, which was launched this week. But Obama’sactions in awarding the money are not a focus of the investigation, Smith said.

Questions about the grant, though, come as spending on local pet projects has become an issue in Obama’s campaign against John McCain.

Obama andKenny Smith announced the “Englewood Botanic Garden Project” at a January 2000 news conference at Englewood High School. Obama was in the midst of a failed bid to oust South Side Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush for a seat in Congress. The garden — planned near and under L tracks between 59th Place and 62nd Place — fell outside of Obama’s Illinois Senate district but within the congressional district’s borders.

Obama vowed to “work tirelessly” to raise $1.1 million to help Smith’s organization turn the City of Chicago-owned lot into an oasis of trees and paths. But Obama lost the congressional race, no more money was raised, and today the garden site is a mess of weeds, chunks of concrete and garbage. The only noticeable improvement is a gazebo. The only tree was sawed down and removed.

The “garden to nowhere” ended up in the pockets of Obama’s campaign staff and maybe Obama himself.

In a previous interview, Smith said the state grant money was legitimately spent, mostly on underground site preparation. Underground? You mean out of sight.

But no one ever took out construction permits required for such work, city records show. And a contractor who Smith said did most of the work told a reporter all he did was cut down trees and grade the site with a Bobcat.

Citing the garden’s failure to take root, NeighborSpace — an umbrella group for dozens of community gardens citywide — moved Sept. 9 to return the site to the city. Its action followed a July 11 Sun-Times report on the grant.

Obama spokesman Michael Ortiz said Wednesday the senator’s staff in Washington will monitor the Madigan probe and an additional review under way by Gov. Blagojevich’s administration to make sure “the taxpayer funds allocated for the construction of the garden are recuperated from CBHA if the agencies determine that the funds were not properly spent.” Obama’s goal is to ensure the site “be used in a way that benefits the community and that any taxpayer dollars allocated are spent wisely,” Ortiz said.

The relationship between Smith and Obama dates to at least 1997, when Obama wrote a letter that Smith used to help the housing association win city funding for an affordable-housing development near the garden site. Plans called for more than 50 homes; a dozen ultimately were built.

Smith also has donated $550 to Obama campaign funds.

The Sun-Times learned about Karen Smith’s involvement in the project through an Aug. 12 Freedom of Information Act response from a lawyer for Blagojevich¹s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The department, according to the lawyer, had ³discovered² 52 pages of ³additional documents² omitted from an initial response in May to a Sun-Times¹ Freedom of Information Act request about the grant.

Neither Smith nor his wife has been accused of any wrongdoing. Smith and his lawyer did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

In an interview in July, Smith said he was never able to raise the money needed for the garden. But the state grant awarded by Obamawas spent properly, he said, on the undergroundwork, withmost of the work done by a contractor whose name Smith got wrong.

The Sun-Times tracked down the contractor, Rodolfo Marin, in Austin, Texas, where he now lives.

“What I was hired for was: Clean up the area and cut the trees — that’s all,” Marin said. He said he rented a Bobcat — a sort of small bulldozer — for the project. “If he spent about $3,000 with me, that was too much.”

Visit this link for more details: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2008/09/07/barack-obamas-1-1-million-botanical-garden-er-100-000-gazebo

McCain showed true leadership by stopping his campaign and asking Obama, the Jr. Senator from Chicago Illinois, to help organize a financial bailout loan. What did he get for it? He was insulted by the Democrat leadership.

So why did the Democrats earmark millions to ACORN?

This is what Lindsey Graham said on the Greta Van Susteren show: “And this deal that’s on the table now is not a very good deal. Twenty percent of the money that should go to retire debt that will be created to solve this problem winds up in a housing organization called ACORN that is an absolute ill-run enterprise, and I can’t believe we would take money away from debt retirement to put it in a housing program that doesn’t work.”

Note: ACORN is a front group for Democrat/Socialists convicted of massive voter fraud. Google it yourself.

Gary Pruitt to get the boot from the Titanic of newspaper failures. McClatchy is a case study in ignorance

CEO Gary Pruitt of the McClatchy News Inc. (mainly newspapers) has made it on Jim Cramer’s Wall of Shame, and Cramer cited MNI’s disastrous acquisition of Knight-Ridder which brought the stock down 82% as the reason for this special honor. The newspaper had been a well-run operation, but Cramer said the acquisition was among the worst he has ever seen. In addition, advertising revenue dropped 16% after subsequent declines. McClatchy has a history of making losing acquisitions, including the Minneapolis Star in 1998. Not only did Cramer give Pruitt a special place on the Wall of Shame, he gave him the middle name “Schemp” after the inept sidekick of the Three Stooges.

Pruitt may be looking for a job on the Obama campaign. The McClatchy family unanimously voted him off the board of directors on Tuesday.

McClatchy stock has crashed to less than a gallon of gas, about $3.20. There is no more wiggle room for stock offers. The stock smells like an old fish wrapped in the Sacramento Bee.

Continue reading