McClatchy about to be kicked off the New York Stock Exchange as stock falls below $1 dollar.

The elegant McClatchy stock certificates for Class A stock are worth more than the stock itself. *

 

This report is directly from a McClatchy press release. The McClatchy Company today (Feb. 5) reported a net loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2008 of $20.4 million, or 25 cents per share.

McClatchy also announced that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange  that it is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards. The NYSE’s notice dated February 4, 2009 indicated that on February 2, 2009, the company’s average share price over the previous 30 trading days was $0.98, which is below the NYSE’s quantitative listing standards.

The NYSE listed companies must maintain an average closing price of any listed security above $1 per share for any consecutive thirty trading-day period. McClatchy plans to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure this deficiency and has six months from the date of the NYSE notice to cure the non-compliance. The company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NYSE during this interim period, subject to compliance with other NYSE listing requirements and the NYSE’s right to reevaluate continued listing standards. In reality, the stock is now considered a “penny stock” and things had better shape up in the next six months. 

There was no report on what McClatchy was doing about its carbon footprint and efforts to slow climate change. 

Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 were $470.9 million, down 17.9% from revenues from continuing operations of $573.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Advertising revenues were $388.3 million, down 20.7% from 2007, and circulation revenues were $67.0 million, up 1.4%. Online advertising revenues grew 10.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and were 10.9% of total advertising revenues compared to 7.8% of total advertising revenues in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Using cash from operations and proceeds from asset sales, the company repaid $30 million of debt in the quarter and $433 million for all of 2008. Debt at the end of the fiscal year was $2.038 billion, down from $2.471 billion at the end of 2007.

Restructuring plan to calm banks and other investors

McClatchy noted in a press release that the duration and depth of the economic recession have taken a severe toll on its advertising revenues. Given the unprecedented deterioration in revenues and with no visibility of an improving economy, the company is continuing to reduce expenses. McClatchy announced that it is developing a plan to reduce costs by an additional $100 million to $110 million, or approximately seven percent of 2008 cash expenses, over the next 12 months beginning later in the first quarter of 2009.

Details of the plan have not yet been finalized. In addition, the company will freeze its pension plans and temporarily suspend the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31, 2009. The company will extend a salary freeze for senior executives in 2009 that was implemented in 2007. The company previously announced that it had implemented a company-wide salary freeze from September 2008 through September 2009. Gary Pruitt, McClatchy’s chairman and chief executive officer, also has declined any bonus for 2008 and 2009. In addition, other senior executives will not receive bonuses for 2008.

 

The loss from continuing operations for the entire year of 2007 was $2.73 billion, or $33.26 per share, including the effect of the non-cash impairment charges taken in 2007. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations(1) were $110.9 million, or $1.35 per share, in fiscal 2007 after considering the non-cash impairment charges and adjustments for certain discrete tax items. The company’s total net loss, including the results of discontinued operations, was $2.74 billion, or $33.37 per share.

 

Management’s Comments

Commenting on McClatchy’s results, Pruitt said, “2008 was a difficult and disappointing year. We faced troubled economic times and structural changes in our business.

 

“But the economy remains mired in recession and our industry is still in a period of transition. The advertising environment continues to be weak and we expect print advertising revenues to continue to be down. While we do not have final advertising revenue results for January, we know that the month was slower than the fourth quarter. We don’t have any better sense than other market observers as to how long the current recession will last and we do not yet have visibility of revenue trends.

“We must respond with both continued rigor in driving our revenue results as well as permanently reducing our cost structure. At McClatchy we are quickly becoming a hybrid print and online news and information company.

“Evidence of our cost reduction efforts can be found in our results. Excluding severance and other benefit charges related to our previously announced restructuring plans, cash expenses were down 14.4% in the fourth quarter and were down 11.5% in all of 2008.

“This necessary transition to a more efficient company is especially painful in a horrible economy and we have had to make some very difficult decisions to keep the company safe,” Pruitt said. “Even so, we are determined to treat our employees well and secure their retirement as best we can. So while we have announced that we are freezing our pension plans and will temporarily suspend 401(k) matching contributions as of March 31, we will continue to offer competitive benefits for our employees. We expect to offer a new 401(k) plan later this year that will include both a matching contribution (once reinstated), plus a supplemental contribution that is tied to cash flow performance. I recognize the sacrifices our employees are making to help us get though this difficult time and I appreciate their loyalty to McClatchy. I am confident that the McClatchy team is up to this challenge and we will see brighter days when the economy finally turns.”

Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s chief financial officer, said, “Our new cost initiatives, combined with our 2008 efforts, are designed to save approximately $300 million annually before severance costs. Approximately $60 million of savings has been realized in 2008, and $44.7 million of severance costs associated with these programs has been expensed in 2008 and largely paid.”

“Despite the downturn in advertising revenues, we still continue to generate significant cash and are using it to repay debt,” Talamantes said. “Our debt at year end is $2.038 billion, down $433 million from the end of 2007. Based on our trailing 12 months of cash flow, our leverage ratio is currently 5.1 times cash flow and our interest coverage ratio is 2.8 times cash flow as defined by our bank agreement — well within the allowable covenant thresholds. We have $159 million in availability under our bank credit lines, and have no significant debt maturities until June 2011. We believe that we can work through this difficult environment, and we expect to make further progress in paying down debt in 2009.”

Other Matters

McClatchy also announced that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) that it is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards. The NYSE’s notice dated February 4, 2009 indicated that on February 2, 2009, the company’s average share price over the previous 30 trading days was $0.98, which is below the NYSE’s quantitative listing standards. Such standards require NYSE listed companies to maintain an average closing price of any listed security above $1.00 per share for any consecutive thirty trading-day period. McClatchy plans to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure this deficiency and has six months from the date of the NYSE notice to cure the non-compliance. The company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NYSE during this interim period, subject to compliance with other NYSE listing requirements and the NYSE’s right to reevaluate continued listing standards.

Consistent with the growing industry practice, McClatchy will discontinue issuing monthly revenue and statistical reports after this release. McClatchy is among the last newspaper companies to report advertising results monthly, and without comparable industry information, management does not believe monthly revenues are as useful to investors. The company will continue to provide revenue trends and other statistical information on a quarterly basis with its earnings releases.

*Class B stock is the stock held by the family, so that has voting rights and much more value when the assets are finally sold. It’s the same model used by the New York Times.

The real Nancy Pelosi — multi-millionaire, resort, dining and winery baroness who profits from non-union and illegal labor. Now she pushes more taxes on U.S. oil companies — not OPEC oil producers.

UPDATE
By Mick Gregory

UPDATE: Sept. 21, 2008; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry and more than 50 other members of Congress, Bloomberg reports.

Pelosi, in her most recent financial disclosure form, reported that her husband owned between $250,000 and $500,000 of stock in AIG, which ceded majority control to the U.S. government this week in exchange for $85 billion of loans.

Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, disclosed that his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had more than $2 million of AIG stock at the end of 2007, when shares were worth $58.30. AIG has fallen 85 percent this week to close yesterday at $2.69. The lawmakers’ aides didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.

Did you know that the Obama family had their own private chef for years? Journalists didn’t bother to report that at any time during the past two years. Do you wonder why?

Sam Kass, who cooked for the Obamas in Chicago will now move onto the government payroll as a White House chef. (Ever wary of annoying the feminist base, the Obamas are not firing the very first woman to hold the Chief Chef job, chosen by Laura Bush. They’re just pushing her out of the way.)

Who knew? I believed all that stuff about how Michelle was an overburdened modern working mother, rushing from school dropoff to her high-paying, demanding work at the hospital, to dress fittings, to whatever it was she needed to do to support her husband’s political aspirations, back home to take care of her daughters. Call me naive, but that model usually includes making dinner. And squeezing in a weekly grocery shopping trip. Especially for those fresh, whole foods that don’t keep so long. Now I have to wonder who did the laundry, and the vaccuuming. Sure, granny helped—but I doubt she was the maid. Who was?

In fact, I don’t actually care who did the cooking (or cleaning) in the Obama household. And Chef Sam is fine with me. The orchestrated deception—the pretense that this family did it all themselves, living a low-key life just like most upper middle class Americans, working hard and taking care of the necessary, sometimes tedious requirements of home life as well as they seemed to have done—is a little more troubling. To be sure, a University of Chicago-educated private chef seems a little more indulgent than a nanny who broils the chicken or chops up the broccoli. But that’s their call.  

Didn’t the women at Slate, among others, complain that there was something offensive about Sarah Palin’s apparent ability to raise 5 children, run the state of Alaska, run marathons, and cook those mooseburgers—because it set the bar too high for ordinary women? But they were willing to believe that Michelle could do it all, and keep it all organic and healthy at that—because she has a law degree from Harvard?

This is one of the great gifts that comes with being a Democrat who is so beloved of the media. Instead of the inevitable carping and cries of hypocrisy and elitism, the New York Times food writer just gushes at what a master stroke this appointment is—bringing sustainable food to the White House and inevitable gardens to the grounds.

When you run for president as a community organizer, and a writer, or even a professor of constitutional law, perhaps it’s politic to hide a few salient details about your actual lifestyle that might mess up the “savior of the downtrodden” narrative. It’s important to keep up the fiction that only spoiled, indifferent, wealthy Republicans have personal servants. — Lisa Schiffren

Did you know? CNN’s Democrat cheerleader Anderson Cooper is the son of billionaire heiress Gloria Vanderbilt.

This new tax on oil is not unlike Chavez taking over control of private industries. Even liberal Californians voted down an identical energy tax just last November. So what does Pelosi do? She pushes through a more expensive energy tax in the first 100 hours without debate. This is similar to Hugo Chavez’s progressive politics. You think? What’s the difference?
The millions of dollars that Democrat supporters spent to pass Proposition 87 to promote an increase in the extraction tax on crude pumped from California oil wells wasn’t enough to win over the state’s voters last November.

The hotly contested ballot measure, which proposed to impose a new tax on oil production to fund a range of alternative energy programs, was backed by 45% of the voters, while 55% opposed it, according official returns.

Opponents of the initiative campaigned heavily, arguing the tax would be borne by consumers, who would end up paying even more at the pump.

The proposed Clean Alternative Energy Act sought to raise $4 billion over 10 years through an oil-extraction tax. The funds would be used to sponsor research and projects in alternative energy, including ethanol, solar and wind power.
The initiative, which sought to cut the use of petroleum by 25% over the next decade, drew a massive response from the oil industry and pulled in endorsements from political heavyweights such as former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

Both sides spent millions of dollars on their campaigns.
Hollywood producer Stephen Bing provided major funding in favor of the measure by pledging about $49 million to the campaign. Other backers include Google Inc. (GOOG

Energy companies calculated the impact of the potential new tax would range from 1.5% to 6%, depending on the price of oil. During its third-quarter earnings conference call, Chevron Chief Financial Officer Steve Crowe said the company could take a $200 million pretax hit on its annual earnings from the proposition.

Facelift? Nancy Pelosi‘s socialist political views are exactly what have kept her elected in San Francisco, along with the flow of union campaign money. The staunch “union supporter” Pelosi has even received the Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farm Workers Union. But her $25 million Napa vineyards and winery, she and her husband own are non-union shops. The extra profit she earns is more than she gets from labor unions. But I don’t think she wants the rank and file to know this. Do you?

The hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. Pelosi has received more money from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees unions than any other member of Congress in recent election cycles.

The multi-millionaire investors own a large stake in an exclusive resort hotel in Wine Country, the Napa Valley Auberge Du Soleil Resort. It has more than 250 employees. But none of them are in a union, according to Peter Schweizer, author of “Do As I Say, (Not As I Do) – The Hypocrisy of Democrats” and a regular contributor to the New York Times.

Pelosi is also partners in a restaurant chain called Piatti, which has 900 employees. The chain is – you might have guessed — a non-union shop. It is a very high-end restaurant group with locations in Carmel, Sonoma and Danville to name just the locations I dined at. Hardwood-fired ovens, exhibition kitchens, Napa wines, a very nice experience. I did notice some Hispanic kitchen help and busboys. I’m wondering if they are illegal alliens? No, the Speaker of the House wouldn’t hire illegals, would she?

I’m sure The Chronicle’s Herb Caen gave Piatti a big plug every so often.
The 67-68 (?) year-old Pelosi has spent more money on facelifts, cosmetic enhancements, and Armani suits than every one of her union supporters combined, don’t you think?

I heard Chris Mathews of “Hardball” say “what a knockout Pelosi is, “I can’t wait to see her sitting behind President Bush at the next State of the Union speech.”
Mathews actually worked at the The Chronicle and Examiner in San Francisco before his show “Hard Ball” on MSNBC, and before that he was a ‘gofer’ and occasional writer for the Democrat Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill.

I believe that Mathews wasn’t as kind to Kathryn Harris who is young enough to be Pelosi’s daughter and quite attractive without expensive plastic surgery. Continue reading

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. 


The Internet most trusted news source now

The Web Most Reliable Source of News according to Zogby

There is a backlash to the perceived (real or imagined) alliance between major media and the Democrat party. 

A Zogby Poll, commissioned by IFC, found 37.6% of those asked consider the Internet the most reliable source of news. 20.3% consider national TV news most reliable and 16% say radio is the most reliable source.

• 39.3% of those surveyed trust FOX News most for the issues they consider most important, followed by CNN with 16% and MSNBC with just 15%.

• 72.6% believe the news they read and see is biased.

• 88.7% Republican and 57.5% Democrat respondents describe the news media as biased.

 Theodore Roosevelt

    I Like this quote I dislike this quote“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

–Teddy Roosevelt

 

Impeccable timing for Ann Coulter’s new book, “Guilty.”

Set for release first week of January, the book exposes in documented detail, the media’s love affair with all things Democrat and Obama. Coulter presents all the details that have been covered up. It mocks  and rocks professional jounalism to its core.

“GUILTY is a much-needed reality check on a Left gone wild,” declares the book’s jacket.

“When it comes to bullying, no one outdoes the Left. Citing case after case, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the shockingly vicious, Coulter dissects so-called victims who are invariably the oppressors. For instance: While Barack Hussein Obama piously condemned attacks on candidates’ families, his media and campaign surrogates ripped open the court-sealed divorce records of his two principal opponents in his Senate race in Illinois.”

 

The leftist blogs are reporting that Ms. Coulter had her jaw wired shut. If so, she can still write best sellers. 

 

 

The age of objectivity and fair reporting in America is over — MSNBC is disgraced

Who is a Democrat PR talking head and who is a journalist on MSNBC, NBC or CNN? Why stop there? The Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle are not investigating economic issues and massive bailouts. What kind of balanced journalism do you think the media performed during the two-year election?

First the gang journalists piled on Hillary, next they covered for Obama and attacked Palin.

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

The New York TImes had a reporter rewrite an AP story on the hoax and they spun the story to blame FOX News first with the hoax.  This is called journalism?

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, “a McCain policy adviser,” had come forth and identified himself as the source of a story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy and “a contributor to FOX News.” Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. “We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes.”

Gaines told the Times that someone in the network’s newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.

The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin—not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

Eisenstadt’s “work” had been quoted and debunked before. The Huffington Post said it had cited Eisenstadt in July on a story regarding the Hilton family and McCain.

Among the other victims were political blogs for the Los Angeles Times and The New Republic, each of which referenced false material from Eisenstadt’s blog.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, MSNBC spokesman.

There are plenty of questions that are not asked.

How did Minnesota Democrat Party election officials come up with 500 more votes for the Democrat senate candidate days after the polls closed and none for the Republican candidate?

Why was there a crisis over $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s campaign clothing, but no comparison with Hillary’s warehouse of pantsuits or Obama’s Greek columns and semi-truck of suits?

Newspaper and news magazine circulation is dropping. Layoffs continue. (Wait until after January).

McCain should pick Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska for VP

This post was published on Aug 25, 2008 

There is talk that Sen. John McCain will take more air out of the Democrat Convention by announcing his VP on Thursday. Good plan. Now, make it Sarah Palin and he will get some of Hillary’s disenfranchised voters. Palin has it all, good looks right out of central casting, intelligent speaker, family values and governor of Alaska.

She has positive energy and wit. She will be able to out debate Biden and show that the Republicans trust a women for high office.

Visit http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/

Drill here, drill now!

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Obama picks Hillary! Obama picks Hillary! Not!


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Update: It’s Biden. Who said Democrats couldn’t keep a secret?

Obama didn’t want Hillary Clinton and the machine around him for the rest of his life. Can you blame him? Wouldn’t you rather shoot the breeze with Joe Biden? Sure.

By Mick Gregory

With McCain’s lopsided win in the debate held by Rev. Warren in California, the DNC leadership are in a panic. They will try and force Obama to pick Hillary as his running mate.

That’s my prediction. We’ll have to see if Hillary wants to chance it with this stalled campaign. Maybe there is so much worry, that Hillary will get the nomination in Denver. Obama has to nip it in the bud and name Hillary his VP before the revolt takes over the convention and makes Hillary the candidate and Obama has to settle for Veep.

Ralph Nader agrees with me.

“He just has to swallow hard and do what JFK did” in picking rival Lyndon Johnson in 1960, said the liberal activist and maverick presidential candidate.

According to Nader’s logic, Obama may dislike Hillary, but will conclude he has no choice but to get over it if he hopes to leave next week’s convention in Denver with a unified party and a decent shot against John McCain in the fall: “The polls show 25 percent of her supporters have not gotten on board.”

“He’s got to be very concerned by the [neck-and-neck] polls and by what happened at Saddleback,” added Nader, referring to the recent candidates forum hosted by evangelist Rick Warren. “He got beat in Saddleback—big time.”

Nader said his own sources—and, to be blunt, they sound a bit sketchy—lead him to believe that Clinton remains in serious consideration. A friend, he said, recently saw Clinton family intimate Vernon Jordan on Martha’s Vineyard and reported the “usually very effusive” Jordan to be suspiciously “tight-lipped.”

It was only in May that Sen. Barack Obama cockily proclaimed he would debate Sen. John McCain “anywhere, anytime.” But in June, Obama said no to McCain’s challenge to have 10 one-on-one town hall meetings

— ibdeditorials.com.

After what happened at Lake Forest, Calif.’s evangelical Saddleback last Saturday evening, we may have found that debating is Obama’s Achilles’ heel. Whether or not you like the idea of such events being held in religious venues, the plain-and-simple method of questioning used by Saddleback pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren revealed fundamental differences between these two men.

“It’s one of those situations where the devil is in the details,” Obama said at one point. He could have been referring to his own oratorical shortcomings when a teleprompter is unavailable. We learned a lot more about the real Obama at Saddleback than we will next week as he delivers his acceptance speech in Denver before a massive stadium crowd.

The stark differences between the two came through the most on the question of whether there is evil in the world. Obama spoke of evil within America, “in parents who have viciously abused their children.” According to the Democrat, we can’t really erase evil in the world because “that is God’s task.” And we have to “have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil.”

For McCain, with a global war on terror raging, there was no equivocating: We must “defeat” evil. If al-Qaida’s placing of suicide vests on mentally-disabled women and then blowing them up by remote control in a Baghdad market isn’t evil, he asked: “You have to tell me what is.”

Asked to name figures he would rely on for advice, Obama gave the stock answer of family members. McCain pointed to Gen. David Petraeus, Iraq’s scourge of the surge; Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who “had his skull fractured” by white racists while protesting for civil rights in the 60s; plus Internet entrepreneur Meg Whitman, the innovative former CEO of eBay.

When Warren inquired into changes of mind on big issues, Obama fretted about welfare reform; McCain unashamedly said “drilling” — for reasons of national security and economic need.

On taxes, Obama waxed political: “What I’m trying to do is create a sense of balance and fairness in our tax code.” McCain showed an understanding of what drives a free economy: “I don’t want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don’t believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth.”

To any honest observer, the differences between John McCain and Barack Obama have been evident all along. What we saw last weekend was Obama’s shallowness juxtaposed with McCain’s depth, the product of his extraordinary life experience.

It may not have been a debate, but it was one of the most lopsided political contests in memory. — iht.com

I have to agree, this was the most lopsided debate win I’ve seen in my life.

I can’t wait to see a few debates. I know there will be only two or three now. And the Democrats will have to try and put the fix in with the “right” kind of journalists asking the questions.