The Ayatollah Khomeini was praised by the New York Times as a saint 30 years ago. That’s when Iran’s nightmare began.

Do the Democrats want to see Syria look like Iran? Women should be barefoot and in Burkas like they now do in Iran?

 

Flashback to 30 years ago to the fall of the Shah of Iran and his pro-Western government. France and America’s Democrat party let him go.

Ayatollah Khomeini was sending daily broadcasts to his Islamic followers while “in exile in Paris.” The French gave him free international phone services so he could continue his campaign to take over Iran. Soon after, movie theaters were burned down by the scores. They were “sinners”  according to Khomeini’s Islamic teachings.

In one horror, Islamic followers, locked the doors of a theater and burned over 500 Iranians alive. There were also killings of Christians and Jews by the Khomeini mobs.

A strange call from Washington DC came in for the Shah.  It was to be A CALL FROM SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY the leading liberal from the US, calling about human rights. It turned out to be some kind of elaborate hoax. When the Shah picked up the phone a quiet voice kept repeating “Mohammad abdicate, Mohammad, abdicate.”

Did Carter’s new CIA pull the prank?

Today. The Iranian people are fighting for their freedom and life and getting no support from the mainstream liberal media: the New York Times, Washington Post, SF Chronicle, LA Times, CNN, CBS, NBC, and America’s dominant political party, the Democrats. As they did 30 years ago the “elite liberal media”  are not reporting the crisis in Iran.

The are back on the same playbook  that  Jimmy Carter and the Democrats used in 1978 when they sainted the Ayatollah.

In fact, the NY Times described Khomeini as tolerant and “his entourage of close advisers is uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals.” The editorials went on to say Khomeini would provide “a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third-world country. Andrew Young went even further saying Khomeini would be hailed as a saint. Jimmy Carter let the former friend of the West, the Shah fall. Soon after, their were mass murders of the Shah’s government and Americans on assignment in IT and in the oil fields. One afternoon, George Link, an Exxon general manager working in Iran was being driven back to work after lunch when his driver stopped the car and got out to open a gate, an assailant leaped from the side of the road and tossed a bomb in the car. Link threw open his door and jumped out. A moment later the car exploded. Evacuations of Americans started soon after, but not soon enough.

Tensions wer running high and Paul Grimm, on loan from Texaco to try and get the Iranian oil companies back up was driving to work one morning when a shot was fired from a car following his. He died instantly.

After more bloodshed the Shah’s kingdom decided to evacuate all it’s Western employees. The expatriates assumed that their exit was only temporarty because the media was not reporting the violence. They would never return.

Within a month, Khomeini was on a chartered Air France 747, the extra seats on the flight were sold to the New York Times, Washington Post, the BBC and other European journalists to pay for the flight. 

Khomeini was resting in the first class cabin about to become the new ruler after  the Persepolis monarchy that had ruled since 330 BC.

Soon after Khomeini returned he set up his candidate to lead the new Iran. A puppet named Bazargan.

There were still 20 or so oilfield managers left, among the group was Jeremy Gilbert, an Irish mathematician who became a petroleum engineer  for BP. They remained only a few days before they realized this country was a nightmare. Gilbert was the last BP man left because he was in a hospital with a case of hepatitis. He was nearly killed there when nurses started chanting “Death to Americans” and a fellow patient beat him nearly to death.

The old regime of 2000 years in Iran was gone. Ironically, Iranians are not Arabs. Now they were ruled by an Islamic sect of Arab tyrants.

The Ayatollah now had millions of fanatical puppets killing off the middle class Iranians and ready and willing to die for their mullahs. Some of the stories were told, of the 50 American hostages captured by “students,” beaten and tortured as crowds chanted their favorite new “prayer” “Death to Americans!”

What the media didn’t tell you about was the “Death to Iranians” that carried on well into the ’80s.

The next two years brought untold terror to the world. Iraq, watching the internal blood bath and purge in Iran took advantage of the chaos and attacked their refineries and oil production cities. With the Shah dying of cancer, Jimmy Carter finally let him visit the US for medical treatment, but not stay beyond that. Some friend?

Egypt let the Shah spend his last months alive on their soil.

Meanwhile, Hussein ordered an all out war against Iran with legions of armies amassed on their shared border.

To the shock of the world, thousands of Iranian children with plastic keys to heaven around their necks ran ahead of the more important Iraqi tanks and soldiers, they were even dragging their coffins with them. The Ayatollah promised them heaven for their lives. They even used the young girls for finding land mines. Human mind sweepers.

Goats are more valuable to the mullahs. Mull that one over.

I wonder if the Iranians ever wonder why the Ayatollahs live to their 90s while they send 9-year-olds to death as human shields? Don’t the mullahs want to go to heaven? To their perfume gardens with all those virgins?

A lot more than sign waving has to go on to bring freedom to that poor country.

And now you see where this all started.

And you aren’t reading it in the newspapers in America. Their monopoly on rewriting history is over.

Iraq has it’s new freedom thanks to America’s other party, the Republicans.

Obama took two weeks to say anything about the Iranian protests and killings by the Islamic tyrants.

The media/Democrat party alliance is not reporting the side of the protesters. But TWITTER is. The day of citizen journalists has arrived.

Visit TWITTER. Sign up for a free account and search for #iranelections. Join the effort to free Iran.

This is a great source of citzen journalist sites: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=List_of_citizen_journalism_websites

The Washington Post to host cozy $250,000 meet and greets between lobbyists, editors and Democrats

The Washington Post’s revenue plan of facilitating expensive meetings between lobbyists, Post writers and editors, Democrat and Obama administration officials has finally been outed. There was even a slick marketing piece promoting the deal that would cost big pharmacy, trial lawyers and “green” energy lobbyists up to $250,000 to dine and meet with the elite.

Sickening. But this has been going on “informally” at the New York Times, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post for years. Only the editorial elites didn’t charge for it.

More on media bias…

Know we know that the Washington Post and Kaiser (cheap health care) org were planning a July get together at the publisher’s elegant home. Any news in your daily newspaper about this? 

Next, we find out that about 30 elite reporters went to an “off the record” party at the White House on July 4th.

US WEEKLY — I have a new name for the racist rag: PU-US Weekly or Puss Weekly. Note the magazine didn’t touch the John Edwards cheating on his dying wife scandal.

Babies lies and scandal for Sarah Palin. Love and apple pie for Michelle Obama.

With the pressure on from blogs, and falling respect for the mainstream media, the Washington Post’s Deborah Howell did a little research and admitted to the obvious. At the same time, Pew research reports falling ratings and trust in mainstream media. Only 30 percent trust CNN.

By Deborah Howell
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Democrat Barack Obama has had about a 3 to 1 advantage over Republican John McCain in Post Page 1 stories since Obama became his party’s presumptive nominee June 4. Obama has generated a lot of news by being the first African American nominee, and he is less well known than McCain — and therefore there’s more to report on. But the disparity is so wide that it doesn’t look good.

In overall political stories from June 4 to Friday, Obama dominated by 142 to 96. Obama has been featured in 35 stories on Page 1; McCain has been featured in 13, with three Page 1 references with photos to stories on inside pages. Fifteen stories featured both candidates and were about polls or issues such as terrorism, Social Security and the candidates’ agreement on what should be done in Afghanistan.

Yes, we knew. Thanks for coming forward. It’s a day late and a few dollars short.

The Media Research Center has been reporting the fall in credibility for a decade.


1. Media Credibility Plummets, Just 30% Believe ‘Most Trusted’ CNN
“Over the last 10 years,” the just-released biennial news consumption survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press determined, “virtually every news organization or program has seen its credibility marks decline” and “Democrats continue to give most news organizations much higher credibility ratings than do Republicans.” Based on past Pew polls, CNN touts itself as “the most trusted name in news,” but the percent who “believe all or most” of what CNN reports has fallen 12 points, to 30 percent, since Pew first posed the question in 1998. Yet, in a sign of how far the news media have fallen in the eyes of the public, that puts CNN at the top of the 12 television news outlets analyzed, as well as above all the newspapers and online sources. Believability for ABC News, CBS News and NBC News is down six points over the past ten years, to 24 percent for ABC and NBC, 22 percent for CBS, but that’s still better than the mere 18 percent who “believe all or most” of what they read in the New York Times. The extensive polling conducted in May also discovered that the audiences for CNN and MSNBC “which were heavily Democratic two years ago, have become even more so: fully 51 percent of CNN’s regular viewers are Democrats while only 18 percent are Republicans.” And “the regular audience for nightly network news also is now about two-to-one Democratic (45 percent vs. 22 percent Republican).”

Miss California has same views against gay marriage as President Obama, Biden and and Hillary

President Barack Obama didn’t think the media lap dogs would do this to him just 100 days into his term. But thanks to The Donald, Obama ended up in the middle of the gay/lesbian/transgender smear campaign against Miss California.  — the debate over Carrie Prejeans Christian beliefs — in opposition to gay marriage.

At a press conference addressing Carrie Prejean’s disputed title in the Miss USA competition, pageant owner Donald Trump compared Prejean’s stated views on gay marriage to Obama’s. Bloggers on Twitter have pointed this out weeks ago. 

“It’s the same answer that the president of the United States gave,” Trump said. “She gave an honorable answer. She gave an answer from her heart.”

In her own remarks moments later, Prejean echoed Trump’s statement, telling reporters: “The president of the United States, the secretary of state, and many Americans agree with me in this belief.” Let’s be clear on this media/gay smear, Miss Prejean would be Miss USA today, if not for the biased, hate-filled attacks by the gay/lesbian/transgender political arm of the Democratic party of the U.S. Perez Hilton is the one who should be in a controversy today by the major media.

Q: “Do you support gay marriage?” VP BIDEN: “No, Barack Obama nor I support redefining, from a civil side, what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically a decision to be able to be left to the faiths and people who practice their faiths to determine what you call it.”

Who is Nancy Pelosi? What does Progressive Democrat mean? Watch Obama, Hillary and Pelosi smile and talk with Ortega and Chavez, fellow socialists

OBEY OBAMA

OBEY OBAMA

You won’t see the mainstream media reporting who Nancy Pelosi is.

Citizens: Print,  clip and save this free Obey Obama poster (Void where prohibited by law).

By Mick Gregory

I know quite a bit about her, having lived and worked in her San Francisco district. You won’t see the San Francisco Chronicle or New York Times mentioning that she is a multi-millionaire from earnings on her non-union Napa Valley winerey and resort hotel. Yet, the soon-to-be-crowned Speaker, gets one of the largest shares of union campaign money.

Your 68-year-old grandmother hasn’t spent as much on her home as 68-year-old Nancy Pelosi has on facelifts.
Democrats are America’s neo-progressives, better known as socialists. I lived in Nancy Peloci’s San Francisco, where transsexuals are given special status along with all the other classes of minorities and the city is a “sactuary city” for illegals.

 

Do you think I am exagerating? Progressive Democrats are America’s Democrat/Socialists — Google it for yourself. Why doesn’t the LA Times with it’s 950-person newsroom devote an afternoon of a reporter’s time to check into this?

Socialism in America is growing. Aided by such influential Congressmen as John Conyers, Ranking Member of the House Judicial Committee, and the one who will start impeachment proceedings against George Bush in the coming months. Nancy Pelosi is one of the stars of the nearly 60 other Democrats advancing socialism in America behind the “Progressive” label.

Here are a few excerpts taken directly from the web page of the Democratic Socialists of America.

“The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA’s members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics.

“At the root of our socialism is a profound commitment to democracy, as means and end. We are activists committed not only to extending political democracy but to demanding democratic empowerment in the economy, in gender relations, and in culture. Democracy is not simply one of our political values but our means of restructuring society. Our vision is of a society in which people have a real voice in the choices and relationships that affect the entirety of our lives. We call this vision democratic socialism – a vision of a more free, democratic and humane society.

0. We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo.
0. We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.”
Here is what “Liberty” looks like to a socialist:
“A democratic commitment to a vibrant pluralist life assumes the need for a democratic, responsive, and representative government to regulate the market, protect the environment, and ensure a basic level of equality and equity for each citizen. In the 21st century, such regulation will increasingly occur through international, multilateral action. But while a democratic state can protect individuals from domination by inordinately powerful, undemocratic transnational corporations, people develop the social bonds that render life meaningful only through cooperative, voluntary relationships. Promoting such bonds is the responsibility of socialists and the government alike.
“The social welfare programs of government have been for the most part positive, if partial, responses to the genuine social needs of the great majority of Americans. The dismantling of such programs by conservative and corporate elites in the absence of any alternatives will be disastrous. Abandoning schools, health care, and housing, for example, to the control of an unregulated free market magnifies the existing harsh realities of inequality and injustice.”
The action agenda posted on the socialists’ web site very closely parallels Agenda 21, and the recommendations of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. The web site boasts the creation of the “Progressive Caucus” in Congress, as well as the coalition that is working to promote the socialist agenda in Congress.

Now you know that the third person in line for the Presidency is a socialist.

Secret Service, please make sure that President Bush and Dick Chaney are not ever again with in a mile of each other for the next two years.

Imagine this, the Democrats impeach George Bush for invading Iraq, Dick Cheney becomes president, he dies of a heart attack within weeks because of his spike in blood pressure. Nancy Pelosi becomes the first women President of the United States, and another first of much more import, America’s first Progressive Democrat president.

Sources: http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html,
http://www.sovereignty.net/center/socialists.htm

It’s time to stop the global warming propaganda machine while we still have freedom of speech

A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.

Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens ‘assassinated’ by Democrat Party prosecutors and media alliance

A political assassination took place last year, and America’s “journalists” failed to report it.

Did you read about any of this in your major daily newspaper?

At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

The straw that apparently broke Holder’s back was the discovery of more prosecutorial notes that were not turned over to the Stevens defense team as required by law. The notes were discovered by the new prosecution team, which was appointed in February.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.

 

 

In a move first reported by National Public Radio, NPR, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has decided to drop the case against Alaska’s former U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, Republican, rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

“After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial,” Holder said in a statement Wednesday. “In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.”

In a separate statement, Stevens’ lawyers praised Holder’s decision and said it was “justified by the extraordinary evidence of government corruption in the prosecution of Senator Stevens.”

The lawyers, Brendan Sullivan and Robert Cary, called the case “a sad story and a warning to everyone. Any citizen can be convicted if prosecutors are hell-bent on ignoring the Constitution and willing to present false evidence.”

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he has called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

 

Statement From Ted Stevens

“I am grateful that the new team of responsible prosecutors at the Department of Justice has acknowledged that I did not receive a fair trial and has dismissed all the charges against me. I am also grateful that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan made rulings that facilitated the exposure of the government’s misconduct during the last two years. I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come.
 
“It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair. It was my great honor to serve the State of Alaska in the United States Senate for 40 years.
 
“I thank my wife Catherine, as well as my family, friends, and colleagues in the United States Senate who stood by me during this difficult period. I also want to thank the great number of Alaskans who offered their prayers and support.”

Newspaper journalists and most broadcast news departments are not the government watchdogs they promote themselves as. In fact, they are fascilitators and  often public relations agents for the Democrat Party.

This is why online Webs, blogs and social communications sites have become so popular.

New York Times burried Obama ACORN major donor story before the election

‘New York Times’ Spiked Obama Donor Story

The New York Times building is shown in New York on June 2008. The Times pulled a story about Barack Obama’s campaign ties to ACORN. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN

Constitutional crisis.
This story was published in the Philadelphia Bulletin. Did you see this in your local favorite newspaper?
By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin
Monday, March 30, 2009

 

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.” 

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”’

Ms. Moncrief made her first overture to Ms. Heidelbaugh after The New York Times allegedly spiked the story — on Oct. 21, 2008. Last fall, she testified under oath about what she had learned about ACORN from her years in its Washington, D.C. office. Although she was present at the congressional hearing, she did not testify.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and “ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws.”  

He also voiced criticism of The New York Times.

“If true, The New York Times is showing once again that it is a not an impartial observer of the political scene,” he said. “If they want to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, they should put Barack Obama approves of this in their newspaper.”

Academicians and journalism experts expressed similar criticism of the Times.

When newspapers start reporting the news, and both sides to an issue, letting us make up my own mind, rather than having it influenced by the unionist/socialist agenda, we will start reading again…until then, God save the Internet.

New York ABC radio newsman George Weber was a gay pedophile, killed by his boy date. Sanchez, the gay pedophile train engineer was texting teenage boys seconds before he crashed and killed 25 people in LA

The mainstream news has been filtering the news and making everything nice and PC for the dumbed down readers. They only report what fits the “progressive” agenda. 

With the rise of blogs, the truth can now be reported. Did you know that the longtime New York radio newsman was paying teenage runaways for gay sex? George Weber was found stabbed to death in his Brooklyn apartment Sunday morning, cops said. Now we find he was accidently killed by a troubled teen, paid to have rough gay sex with the radio newsman. 

The bloody body of Weber, a passionate liberal fan of the city who spent a decade doing local news on WABC morning radio, was found just after 9 a.m. when he didn’t show up for work. It can now be told that Weber, an outspoken Democrat, was a gay pedophile. He was a chicken hawk who paid teenage boys, often runaways money for sex. A boy who just turned 16 accidently killed Weber during a session of “rough” gay sex.

Weber, 47, was freelancing at ABC’s national radio network after being laid off last year.

 

What kind of books or DVDs did Mr. Sanchez have in his home? Doesn’t the media look into these things? Oh, wait, Sanchez was a gay pedophile Democrat, not a Christian Republican.

The first results of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation are in. Surprising no one, it’s now confirmed that train driver Robert Sanchez was sending text messages moments before crashing a train full of people into an oncoming freight train, killing 25 people. His last text message was sent 22 seconds before the two trains collided. Sanchez was an outspoken Democrat and Obama reporter with a keen interest in teenage boys.

While we’ll likely will never be able to definitively say one way or the other due to the lack of eyewitnesses, those 58 seconds between received message and sent message are likely the reason why Sanchez missed the “red lights” on the track as the freight train approached. Shouldn’t we know what Sanchez was texting? What if it was something like “the brakes don’t work well?”

The cellular network clock and the train’s onboard computer clock are almost certainly set slightly differently, so the final, incoming text message may have arrived somewhat earlier or later than 22 seconds before the crash. If the timestamps are reconciled exactly, the NTSB could then use information about the speed and location of the train to determine exactly where Sanchez’s train was when he took his eyes off the track ahead and whether that is what likely caused him to miss the signals. The content of the message is important, also. If it was a urgent warning, rather than just a friendly “HOW R U?” Sanchez shouldn’t have had to rush back with an answer. Was he having text sex games with the teenage boy?

Why didn’t you read about this in the LA Times or San Francisco Chronicle? How about this?

There is a dark side to the tragedy

Sanchez’s “partner,” Daniel Burton, allegedly hanged himself in the garage of the home they shared in Crestline, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

Burton’s sister, Carolann Peschell, said she suspected foul play and never believed her 39-year-old brother, who was HIV-positive, would have killed himself. He had found a job at a gourmet restaurant and sounded well when she spoke to him two weeks before his unusual death.

“He was doing fine; he was happy, no signs of depression,” Peschell said. “We didn’t feel my brother was capable of doing this to himself.” He was a gentle man and hanging is a brutal way to kill yourself.

Peschell, who described Sanchez as “very odd, very strange, and obese” said her suspicions were not investigated throughly by San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators.

A coroner’s report said the two men had argued the night before Burton’s body was found; Sanchez had told Burton they should break up. That would draw attention by a professional CSI team.

Peschell kept her brother’s purported suicide note, which read: “Rob, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you. Please take care of yourself and Ignatia. I love you both very much.” Ignatia was their dog.

From KFI radio, the John and Ken Show, Los Angeles

Newsman Eric Leonard reported on KFI radio (3:15 PT today) that the driver in the LA Metrolink crash last week, Robert M. Sanchez, is suspected of having killed his male lover 5 years ago. Leonard reports that the that the family of the lover, Daniel Charles Burton, has always believed that Sanchez killed Burton. The Burtons tried to get the police to investigate their son’s death as a murder to no avail. The death appeared to be a suicide, but the family has handwriting experts who say that the handwriting on the suicide note was not Burton’s. The family also told the police that Burton was HIV positive and that he and Sanchez had a fight right before the “suicide.” More recently, the Burtons called Metrolink to warn them that Sanchez was unstable.

Eric Leonard also reports that “it looks clear from [Metrolink’s] review of the [train] controls, that Sanchez did actually apply some speed controls within seconds of the crash but never braked.”

Would Sanchez have lost his home? That could be a motive. Was Sanchez a chicken hawk preoccupied with teen texting? He was arrested and plead guilty to theft of expensive electronic gaming equipment. And on Sept. 2 his train killed a pedestrian. Was Sanchez texting then too?

Major city newspapers will go nonprofit to keep influence

Major cities such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., LA, Chicago, New York, Houston and Philadelphia may convert the serviving newspapers into nonprofits to keep their political and philanthropic status. 

The San Francisco Chronicle will be the first to test the entity. 

San Francisco investment banker Warren Hellman and other prominent SF  lawyers and investors made an informal proposal  last week to Hearst, owners of the San Francisco Chronicle about helping the troubled daily paper become a nonprofit, San Francisco attorney Bill Coblentz told the SF Business Times.

Hellman and Coblentz discussed the idea, then Coblentz conveyed it to former San Francisco Examiner editor and publisher William R. Hearst III, who is a Hearst Corp. director and an affiliated partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. William is one of the working Hearsts who lives in the Bay Area and keeps touch with The Chronicle on a daily basis. It’s unofficially the Hearst flagship, though in money making ability, their Houston Chronicle is by far the financial headquarters. 

“What happened after that, I don’t know,” said Coblentz, who is out of town.

The proposal would be for a nonprofit corporation “to take over the Chronicle,” with Hearst Corp. continuing to provide some philanthropic support, Coblentz said. Details remain sketchy. It’s unclear if the proposal is being seriously considered.

 

Editorial-wise they are already PBS in print, aren’t they? 

 

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

 

 

Time is up for Obama to blame Bush. The stock market crash is all Obama’s

As 2009 began, three weeks before Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9034 on January 2, its highest level since the autumn panic. On March 2, the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The alarming message here is that President Obama’s policies have become part of the economy’s problem. Investors with “skin in the game” aren’t falling for the socialist trillion dollar spending plans from the Democrat Party in full power in Washington D.C. They have it all for two years minimum. 

After five weeks in office, it has become apparent that Obama’s Big Brother spending policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal cycle of economic recovery. From punishing business and eliminating legal deductions to wasting scarce national treasury, Obama is creating more anxiety and less confidence in the economy — and is helping prolong what may have been a minor recession.

In fact, by historic standards, two successive quarters of negative GNP will have not been reached until the end of March. And early numbers point to growth in January.

The “blame Bush” game is over and has been since the election last November. In fact Congress has been ruled by the Democrat Party the past two years. Bush and Cheney were lame ducks. Had there been a vice president groomed for the presidency, there may have been more blame to pin to Bush. 

Former President Bush warned of the financial problems eight times the past two years and was downplayed by the Democrats in power, aided by the mass media. Barney Frank in fact, was as guilty as Ken Lay of Enron for “happy talk” about Fanny and Freddie bad loan policies.

 

 

 

The Democrats who now run Washington don’t want to hear this, because they benefit from blaming all bad economic news on President Bush. And Mr. Obama has inherited an unusual recession deepened by credit problems, both of which will take time to climb out of. But it’s also true that the economy has fallen far enough, and long enough, that much of the excess that led to recession is being worked off. Already 15 months old, the current recession will soon match the average length — and average job loss — of the last three postwar downturns. What goes down will come up — unless destructive policies interfere with the sources of potential recovery.
— Wall Street Journal

 

 

Another 50 thrown under the bus at the Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch is reducing the size of its newsroom, laying off more than 45 people effective on April 3, management of the newspaper announced today. No foolin’. 

“These are challenging times for many industries, including the newspaper industry,” said John F. Wolfe, publisher and CEO, who explained the changes to the staff. He’s the one who owns five suits. 

“We avoided staff reductions as long as possible long after many other news organizations took such action.”

While the newspaper readership remains strong and stable, Wolfe said the economy and market forces have pushed advertising revenue steadily downward. And advertising revenue provides the majority of funds needed to pay salaries and buy paper and ink.

Editor Benjamin J. Marrison said the newsroom staff reductions will hasten a restructuring of the newsroom to put a sharper focus on local news, local sports, enterprise reporting, and building a more robust online presence at Dispatch.com. Haven’t we heard that before? 

He said the reductions will result in some changes in the news pages in the coming months, which he will explain to readers in his “Inside Story” column as plans for those changes are mapped out.

“We will have a smaller but no less dedicated staff working each day to bring our readers the news of central Ohio,” Marrison said. “Our mission remains the same: to provide compelling, relevant, timely and accurate reports about this community. We’ll be working even harder now to make that happen.”

Maybe there is time for “senior editors” with two suits to get hired on at the Obama comunications/propaganda center for “Fairness.” 

Journalists can feel better knowing that soon, the Dispatch won’t be contributing to global warming. 

Maybe it can be called a hate crime to layoff reporters? 

On another front–the biggest losers in the media game–McClatchy News can’t even get pennies on the dollar for some of the papers they spun off from their horrible investment in Knight-Ridder.

A McClatchy spokesman said the company may not be able to recover $5.3 million owed by newspapers it had sold to companies that have recently filed for Chapter 11. That’s putting it mildly. 

The write-off pushes McClatchy’s fourth-quarter loss to $27 million, or 33 cents per share, up from the $21.7 million loss the company reported in February, according to a regulatory filing late Monday.

The company declined to say which papers still owed it money, but three former McClatchy properties filed for bankruptcy protection this year: The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, owned by Brian Tierney’s Philadelphia Media Holdings, and the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, controlled by the private-equity firm Avista Capital Partners.

The McClatchy stock teeters on the prospect of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange. You can smell death in the boardroom. 

Obama Creating the United Socialist States of Amerika — trillions spent on Big Government programs

Back in the USSA. We don’t know how lucky we are, eh! Back in the USSA! 

 


                  
    
WE GOT YOUR  MONEY 
   
GONNA SPEND YOUR  MONEY
  GONNA PRINT SOME MORE  MONEY 

 
  
 
 

 

 

Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Gibbs was trying to create a distraction by responding to Limbaugh.

“What we are seeing is a desperate attempt by Democrats to distract attention away from a multi-trillion dollar spending spree taking place in Washington,” Ferrier said. “Creating a boogeyman to change the subject does nothing to alter the fact that there are 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, that the economic stimulus bill contained no Republican input or that their budget would increase taxes on all Americans.”

Mick Gregory

The EU is on the verge of crumbling as Obama and Gordy Brown use the banking crisis to nationalize and build more power for central government.

Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, and a time when one chapter ended and another began.

The scale and the speed of the global banking crisis has at times been almost overwhelming, and I know that in countries everywhere people who rely on their banks for savings have been feeling powerless and afraid. But it is when times become harder and challenges greater that across the world countries must show vision, leadership and courage – and, while we can do a great deal nationally, we can do even more working together internationally. — Gordy Brown, UK Prime Minister

Anyone who took Economics 101 remembers the root cause of inflation — the central government prints massive amounts of currency. Change is coming. Inflation is coming my friends. From near zero under Bush (the evil one) to what may rival Zimbabwa in about a year or two. 

What will happen to the Democrat/Socialist Party’s plan to tax “only the rich?” We will all be the rich. Any two income household making over $210,000 will be taxed at the super high rates of Jimmy Carter, LBJ and FDR. 

That is coming. Bet on it. We will be wards of the state with more than 50 percent of our wealth taxed by the Democrats. The home mortgage deduction has been taken away from those like Joe the Plumber. Welcome to the USSA. We don’t know how lucky we are, eh! 

 

 

 

Back on Uncle Sam’s plantation 
Star Parker – Syndicated Columnist – 2/9/2009 8:00:00 AM

cid:6DC2CCCC-45E7-4311-BE61-E0A517E9F275@local

 

Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam’s Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside thewelfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas — a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on 
capitalism. 
 
I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s, that were going to lift the nation’s poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from “How do I take care of myself?” to “What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?”

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems — the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broke n black families.

Through God’s grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican Congress and signed 50 percent.

I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producingAmerican capitalism.

But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, “Thank you, Suh.”

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday ofAbraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.

“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America ‘s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and education.”

Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place “with unprecedented transparency and accountability.”

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.

Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 — The War on Poverty — which President Johnson said “…does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births.

It’s not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama‘s invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

 

More Layoffs at the Denver Post

Updated Feb 26:

Note to “journalists:”  Your socialist views promoted Obama and the Democrat Party take over of Colorado. Businesses small and large are the enemy of Democrats. They were your advertisers. Does Big Brother spend advertising in your newspaper?

The Denver Post announced the layoffs of six newsroom managers Wednesday as part of a cost-cutting effort. Big deal, you think? After hundreds have been “let go” over the past two years? Yes. It is big for them.

Dismissed, effective Friday, were Gary Clark, managing editor of news; Mark Cardwell, managing editor of online news; Erik Strom, assistant managing editor of technology; Ingrid Muller, creative director; Cynthia Pasquale, assistant city editor; and Stephen Keating, online special- projects editor. Keating will continue to work on a project for Post owner MediaNews Group.

The layoffs come as dozens of newspapers across the country are cutting staffs and budgets to deal with steep declines in advertising and circulation.

“These departures were forced by budget cuts I have to make,” Post editor Greg Moore said in a memo to staffers. “I think you all know the financial challenges facing this industry and this newspaper.”

MediaNews Group is negotiating with union-covered Post employees for $2 million in wage and benefit concessions.

Rocky Mountain News owner E.W. Scripps has put that newspaper up for sale, and may close it, because of mounting financial losses.

Scripps imposed companywide pay and benefit cuts Wednesday at its newspapers and television stations, although the Rocky Mountain News reported that the cuts will not apply to the News.

The reductions, announced in an e-mail from Scripps chief executive Rich Boehne, were reported in several Scripps newspapers. Scripps declined to publicly release what it described as an “internal employee memo.”

I wrote about Times Mirror pulling the plug on The Denver Post, Dallas Times-Herald, and Houston Post, some 13 years ago, next they sold the family jewels, the rest of Times Mirror to the Tribune Co., and we all know about Zell’s offer to take the company private.

This is what is in store for all the former Times Mirror papers:

Layoffs, cuts to the bone.

Memo from Denver Post editor Greg Moore

To The Staff:

On Monday, April 23, in the auditorium on the first floor, we will have two very important staff meetings. I don’t think there is any secret that our newspaper and others have been facing some challenging times.

Even though just a year ago we went through buyouts in an effort to reduce costs, the financial situation facing the paper and the Denver Newspaper Agency requires additional measures be taken. At meetings at 11 a.m. and again at 4 p.m., we will explain details of another round of buyouts in an effort to cut expenses without having to do layoffs. These buyouts will be offered to Guild and exempt employees. I really hope we are able to achieve the savings we need and every effort has been made to construct an offer that will help us get there. The meetings will give us a chance to share details of the offers with you and answer questions. I know this is tough and introduces more anxiety in already difficult times. But we will get through it.

See you then,

Greg

While the Chandlers live like royalty in California.

 

Singleton should be praised for saving the Denver Post. It very easily could have been the Post shutting down today instead of the weird, tabloid Rocky Mountain News.

Chronicle’s chronic losses lead to major cuts at the Bay Area’s largest newspaper — papers coast-to-coast cutting staff

The San Francisco Chronicle ready for some major “right sizing.”

After some more streamlining in addition to a new printing process off site, the largest newspaper in Northern California should begin to be profitable again.  

In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.

Frank J. Vega, chairman and publisher of the Chronicle, said, “It’s just a fact of life that we need to live within our means as a newspaper – and we have not for years.”

Vega said plans remain on track for the June 29 transition to new presses owned and operated by Canadian-based Transcontinental Inc., which will give the Chronicle industry-leading color reproduction. That move will save a few million annually due to the reduction of highly paid pressmen.

If the reductions can be accomplished, Vega said, “We are optimistic that we can emerge from this tough cycle with a healthy and vibrant Chronicle.”

The company did not specify the size of the staff reductions or the nature of the other cost-savings measures it has in mind. The company said it will immediately seek discussions with the Northern California Media Workers Guild, Local 39521, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853, which represent the majority of workers at the Chronicle.

“Because of the sea change newspapers everywhere are undergoing and these dire economic times, it is essential that our management and the local union leadership work together to implement the changes necessary to bring the cost of producing the Chronicle into line with available revenue,” Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Hearst vice chairman and chief executive, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers, said in a joint statement.

From the Newsosaur:

SF Chron cost-cut target equals 47% of staff

If the San Francisco Chronicle had to slash enough payroll to offset the more than $50 million operating loss threatening its future, nearly half of its 1,500 employees would be dismissed.

That’s the magnitude of the challenge facing the managers and union representatives who were tasked today by Hearst Corp. to find a way to cut the paper’s mushrooming deficit – or else.

After losing more than $1 billion without seeing a dime of profit since purchasing the paper in 2000, the Hearst Corp. today threatened to sell or close the Chronicle if sufficient savings were not identified to staunch operating losses surpassing $1 million a week. Without significant cost reductions, the losses would accelerate this year as a result of the ailing economy, said Michael Keith, a spokesman for the paper.

To wipe out a $50 million loss, let alone make a profit, the paper would have to eliminate 47% of its entire staff

Meanwhile, on the East Coast:

The latest Hartford Courant (former Times-Mirror newspaper) layoffs were announced last night – political reporter Mark Pazniokas is among those cut from the newspaper. We’ve been told these names as well – please correct us if we have anything wrong: Jesse Hamilton of the Washington bureau,  Religion Reporter Elizabeth Hamilton, Business Reporter Robin Stansbury, Environment Reporter David Funkhouser, reporters  Steve Grant and Anna Marie Somma, sportswriter Matt Eagan,  itowns editor Loretta Waldman, itowns reporter Nancy Lastrina, administrative assistant Judy Prato, Marge Ruschau, Features copy editors Adele Angle and David Wakefield, and library staffer & researcher Owen Walker.

We’re told that editor/reporter Kate Farrish resigned earlier this week as did editor John Ferraro.

Denis Horgan is calling it the Mardi Gras Massacre.

Paul Bass has more in the New Haven Independent.

Now, back to Texas:

Memo from San Antonio Express-News’ editor

From: Rivard, Robert
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:44 AM
To: SAEN Editorial
Subject: We are canceling this morning’s news meeting for obvious reasons.

Colleagues:

By now you have read Tom Stephenson’s message to all employees. Every division of the Express-News will be affected, including every department in the newsroom. Incremental staff and budget cuts, we are sorry to say, have proven inadequate amid changing social and market forces now compounded by this deepening recession.

It is not lost on us as journalists in this difficult moment that we have built an audience of readers, in print and online, that is larger and more diverse than at any time in our century and half of publishing. We have done that at the Express-News through a commitment to excellence and public service. Now we must find ways to maintain these high levels of journalistic distinction even as valued colleagues depart. It is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that declining advertising revenues are insufficient to support our operations at current levels. At the same time, more and more people have become accustomed to reading us at no cost on the Internet. As a result, we are reducing the newsroom staff by some 75 positions, counting layoffs and open positions we are eliminating.

As a first step to securing our future and continuing to serve the community, we are undergoing a fundamental and painful restructuring of the newsroom staff. We will have fewer departments and fewer managers, and yes, fewer of every class of journalist. After we reorganize and consolidate additional operations with the Houston Chronicle, we will then turn to finding new ways to create and present the journalism we know is vital to the city and the region. There is every indication the community we serve recognizes our importance and wants the Express-News to succeed.

The newsroom leadership team will begin now to meet with individuals whose jobs are being eliminated. Brett Thacker and I are working with these editors to carry out such notifications as swiftly and humanely as possible. No one is being asked to leave the Express-News today unless you so choose. March 20 will be the final day for those whose jobs are being cut, at which time they will then receive involuntary separation packages that include two weeks’ pay for each year of service up to one year’s pay, along with other benefits. Some production journalists involved in the consolidation project with the Houston Chronicle will be asked to stay on until that project is completed in the coming months. Those who do stay until the completion will receive their separation packages at that time.

We have worked to preserve the size and depth of our newsroom in every imaginable way these past months and years, but events beyond our control have overwhelmed those efforts. Newsrooms become like families, but companies in every industry reach a point where they face fundamental, sometimes harsh change in order to preserve their viability. We are at that point. Most of you read yesterday’s news regarding the San Francisco Chronicle and recently became aware of pending staff cuts at the Houston Chronicle. Our intention is to get through these difficult days and work to remain an indispensible source of news and information through the recession and beyond.

Hearst purchased the Chronicle in 2000, but soon afterward felt the impact of an economic downturn in the dot.com sector as well as the loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and other online sites. The problems have been exacerbated by the current recession.

In the news release, the privately-held, New York-based company said that the Chronicle has had “major losses” since 2001.

Back on the West Coast, there is no safe haven.

Sacramento Guild bracing for job cuts

Woe is us, McClatchy warns

Media Workers Guild – 12 Feb 2009

Sacramento Bee employees should expect a serious wave of layoffs in early March, as well as other cost-cutting measures now being considered, including wage cuts and mandatory furloughs as McClatchy Newspapers’ financial crisis worsens, company representatives told the Guild’s bargaining committee in a 90-minute session Thursday.

Mercury Bargaining Bulletin 9

 

Mercury News wants $1.5 million cut from wages and benefits

 

California Media Workers Guild – 10 Feb 2009

Mercury News negotiators said Tuesday they need to find $1.5 million by cutting wages and benefits paid to Guild members annually in the face of the economic woes facing the company. The company’s announcement came at a bargaining session Tuesday that kicked off an effort by management and the Guild to expedite the process of reaching a new contract to replace the one that expired October 31.

“Given the losses the Chronicle continues to sustain, the time to implement these changes cannot be long. These changes are designed to give the Chronicle the best possible chance to survive this economic downturn and continue to serve the people of the Bay Area with distinction, as it has since 1865,” Bennack and Swartz said in their statement.

“Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve,” they added. “But without specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organization, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle, and, should a buyer not be found, to shut down the newspaper.”

The Hearst statement further said that cost reductions are part of a broader effort to restore the Chronicle to financial health. At the beginning of the year, the Chronicle raised its prices for home delivery and single-copy purchases.

Hearst owns 15 other newspapers including the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio News-Express and the Albany Times-Union in New York . Hearst announced Jan. 9 that in March that if a buyer is not found it will close Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has lost money since 2000.

Vega said readers and advertisers will see no difference in the Chronicle during the discussions with the unions.

“Even with the reduction in workforce, our goal will be to retain our essential and well-read content,” Vega said. “We will continue to produce the very best newspaper for our readers and preserve one of San Francisco ‘s oldest and most important institutions.”

The Chronicle, the Bay Area’s largest and oldest newspaper, is read by more than 1.6 million people weekly. It also operates SFGate, among the nation’s 10 largest news Web sites. SFGate depends on the Chronicle’s print news staff for much its content.

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 21 daily newspapers covering an 11-county area.

The Chronicle’s news staff of about 275, even after a series of reductions in recent years, is the largest of any newspaper in the Bay Area.

“While the reductions are an unfortunate sign of the times, the news staff has always been resilient in San Francisco ,” said Ward Bushee, editor and executive vice president. “We remain fully dedicated toward serving our readers with an outstanding newspaper. We are playing to win.”

The area’s other leading newspapers – the Bay Area Media News Group that includes the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune – also have seen revenues decline sharply and cut staff.

These problems are a reflection of those faced by newspapers across America as they experience fundamental changes in their business model brought on by rapid growth in readership on free internet sites, a decline in paid circulation, the erosion of advertising and rising costs.

Advertising traditionally has offset the cost of producing and delivering a newspaper, which allowed publishers to charge readers substantially less than the actual cost of doing business. The loss of advertising has undermined that pricing model.

In the case of the Chronicle, Vega said the expense of producing and delivering the newspaper to a seven-day subscriber is more than double the $7.75 weekly cost to subscribe.

At the beginning of the year, in an effort to evolve its business model and offset its substantial losses, the Chronicle raised its subscription and newsstand prices, taking a cue from European papers that charge far more than their American counterparts.

“We know that people in this community care deeply about the Chronicle,” Vega said. “In today’s world, the Chronicle is still very inexpensive. This is a critical time and we deeply hope our readers will stick with us.”

The challenge the Chronicle faces, Vega said, is to bring its revenues from advertising and circulation into balance with its expenses so that the newspaper can at least break even financially.

“We are asking our unions to work with us as partners in making these difficult cost-cutting decisions and reduction in force to ensure the newspaper survives,” Vega said.

Michael Savage will have some candid comments on the layoffs. What about the content of the Chronicle’s “news?”

The union reps “negotiate” their fate:

Cost-Cutting Talks Begin – 

Guild leaders met with representatives from The Chronicle and Hearst Corp. this morning to discuss the company’s cost-cutting proposal.

We opened the meeting by underscoring our commitment to our membership and the community to do all we can to reach an agreement that will keep The Chronicle open and return it to profitability.

The company seeks a combination of wide-ranging contractual concessions in addition to layoffs, the exact number of which the company said it did not yet have. For Guild-covered positions, the company did say the job cuts would at least number 50. Other proposals include removal of some advertising sales people from Guild coverage and protection, the right to outsource — specifically mentioning Ad Production — voluntary buyouts, layoffs and wage freezes. 

We plan to closely analyze this proposal over the next few days and explore every possible alternative. Meetings will be held to discuss details with members of the bargaining unit. An informational membership meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m.tonight (Tuesday Feb. 25) at the Guild office, 3rd floor conference room.

Management reiterated its commitment to keeping The Chronicle open and to working with the Guild to secure a viable future. Despite the difficult economic environment, we are confident that by working together we can find solutions to any problems that confront us.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact your shop steward or e-mail Unit Chair Michelle Devera, Local President Mike Cabanatuan or Unit Secretary Alissa Van Cleave.

In solidarity,

Michelle Devera, Chronicle Unit chair, michelleatsfchronunit@gmail.com
Michael Cabanatuan, Local President, ctuan@aol.com
Alissa Van Cleave, Chronicle Unit secretary, vancelave44@hotmail.com
Wally Greenwell, Chronicle Unit vice chair
Gloria La Riva, president, Typographical Sector
Carl Hall, Local Representative

Ice age commeth — Deepest snow cover in North America in 40 years.

Al Gore, where are you?

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.

“Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data,” the center said. “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.’’

By Mick Gregory

Update: Feb. 16, 2009

Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and was elected to the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.

“I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect,” said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

Schmitt contends that scientists “are being intimidated” if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels.

    

 

“They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming,” Schmitt said.

Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration.

Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the “global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making.”

Update: Feb. 4, 2009

The Weather Channel reports that 90 percent of the U.S. will reach freezing temeratures tonight. 

 

Update: Feb. 2, 2009

 

 

The groundhog says six more weeks of winter.

England has biggest snow cover in more than 20 years.

The heaviest snowfall in 20 years has closed thousands of schools and caused transport chaos up the eastern side of Britain, with London and the surrounding areas the hardest hit.

Six million bus passengers were left in the lurch as all London’s bus services were halted because of dangerous driving conditions, and every Tube line except the Victoria line was at least partially suspended.

 

Update: Dec. 13-17, 2008, Snow coverage in Malibu, Seattle, Las Vegas, Houston Texas! 
Feb. 25, 2008: Snow cover over North America and much of Russia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities recorded record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January “was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average.”

China is experiencing its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

NPR fans along with Al Gore and Hillary must be wondering why they called the “crisis” climate change, rather than global warming. Words matter.
No Mr. Gore, the debate is not over.

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.

Drill here, drill now, pay less, create jobs — That’s stimulous

Gov. Sarah Palin continues to make news. She understands economics and real-world energy issues. 

 

I AM DISMAYED THAT LEGISLATION HAS AGAIN BEEN INTRODUCED in Congress to prohibit forever oil and gas development in the most promising unexplored petroleum province in North America — the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Alaska.

Let’s not forget: Only six months ago, oil was selling for nearly $150 per barrel, while Americans were paying $4 a gallon and more for gasoline. And today, there is potential for prices to rebound as OPEC asserts its market power and as Russia disrupts needed natural gas to Europe for the second time in three years.

As I traveled throughout the country campaigning for vice president, I was glad to hear politicians, including Barack Obama, promise that “everything was on the table” to address America’s great challenges. I also found that when Americans were apprised of the facts, most people became supporters of responsible oil and gas drilling in Alaska. So, I want to remind our national leaders of this promise and make the case against this legislation:

•Oil from ANWR represents a huge, secure domestic supply that could help satisfy U.S. demand for more than 25 years.

•ANWR sits within a 20 million-acre refuge (the size of South Carolina), but thanks to advanced technology like directional drilling, the aggregated drilling footprint would be less than 2,000 acres (about one-quarter the size of Dulles Airport). This is like laying a 2-by-3-foot welcome mat on a basketball court.

•Energy development is quite compatible with the protection of our wildlife and their habitat. For example, North Slope caribou herds have grown and remained healthy throughout more than three decades of oil development. Most of the year, our coastal plain is frozen solid and thus characterized by low biological productivity.

•ANWR development would create hundreds of thousands of good American jobs, positively affecting every state by providing a safe energy supply and generating demand for goods and services.

— Gov. Sarah Palin

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