Investment guru Warren Buffett’s outlook on newspapers is dismal

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

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

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

The Goracle speaks about global warming to our leaders

During a rare snow and ice storm in Washington DC on Jan. 28, the Goracle  (Al Gore) spoke of the crisis of man-made global warming.

 

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

This story by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post will  be  the turning point on the greatest hoax of the last 100 years.

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, January 29, 2009; A03

 

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that “would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth —

and this is within this century, if we don’t change.”

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle’s premonitions. “Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate

vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy,” he beseeched.

“Geothermal energy,” the Goracle prophesied. “This has great potential; it is not very far off.”

Another lawmaker asked about the future of nuclear power. “I have grown skeptical about the degree to which it will expand,” the Goracle spoke.

A third asked the legislative future — and here the Goracle spoke in riddle. “The road to Copenhagen has three steps to it,” he said.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

It was a jarring reminder that the Goracle is, indeed, mortal. Once Al Gore was a mere vice president, but now he is a Nobel laureate and climate-change prophet. He repeats phrases

such as “unified national smart grid” the way he once did “no controlling legal authority” — and the ridicule has been replaced by worship, even by his political foes.

“Tennessee,” gushed Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Gore’s home state, “has a legacy of having people here in the Senate and in public service that have been of major

consequence and contributed in a major way to the public debate, and you no doubt have helped build that legacy.” If that wasn’t quite enough, Corker added: “Very much enjoyed your

sense of humor, too.”

Humor? From Al Gore? “I benefit from low expectations,” he replied.

The Goracle’s powers seem to come from his ability to scare the bejesus out of people. “We must face up to this urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization,” he

said. And: “This is the most serious challenge the world has ever faced.” And: It “could completely end human civilization, and it is rushing at us with such speed and force.”

Though some lawmakers tangled with Gore on his last visit to Capitol Hill, none did on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican, agreed that

there will be “an almost existential impact” from the climate changes Gore described.

As such, the Goracle, even when questioned, was shown great deference. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), challenging Gore over spent nuclear fuel, began by saying: “I stand to be corrected,

and I defer to your position, you’re probably right, and I’m probably wrong.” He ended his question by saying: “I’m not questioning you; I’m questioning myself.”

Others sought to buy the Goracle’s favor by offering him gifts. “Thank you for your incredible leadership; you make this crystalline for those who don’t either understand it or want to

understand it,” gushed Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who went on to ask: “Will you join me this summer at the Jersey Shore?”

The chairman worried that the Goracle may have been offended by “naysayers” who thought it funny that Gore’s testimony before the committee came on a morning after a snow-and-ice

storm in the capital. “The little snow in Washington does nothing to diminish the reality of the crisis,” Kerry said at the start of the hearing.

The climate was well controlled inside the hearing room, although Gore, suffering from a case of personal climate change, perspired heavily during his testimony. The Goracle presented

the latest version of his climate-change slide show to the senators: a globe with yellow and red blotches, a house falling into water, and ones with obscure titles such as “Warming

Impacts Ugandan Coffee Growing Region.” At one point he flashed a biblical passage on the screen, but he quickly removed it. “I’m not proselytizing,” he explained. A graphic showing a

disappearing rain forest was accompanied by construction noises.

The Goracle supplied abundant metaphors to accompany his visuals. Oil demand: “This roller coaster is headed for a crash, and we’re in the front car.” Polar ice: “Like a beating heart,

and the permanent ice looks almost like blood spilling out of a body along the eastern coast of Greenland.”

The lawmakers joined in. “There are a lot of ways to skin a cat,” contributed Isakson, who is unlikely to get the Humane Society endorsement. “And if we have the dire circumstances

we’re facing, we need to find every way to skin every cat.”

Mostly, however, the lawmakers took turns asking the Goracle for advice, as if playing with a Magic 8 Ball.

Lugar, a 32-year veteran of the Senate, asked Gore, as a “practical politician,” how to get the votes for climate-change legislation. “I am a recovering politician. I’m on about Step 9,” the

Goracle replied, before providing his vision.

Prospects for regulating a future carbon emissions market? “There’s a high degree of confidence.” The future of automobiles in China and India? “I wouldn’t give up on electric vehicles.”

The potential of solar power in those countries? “I have no question about it at all.”

Of course not. He’s the Goracle. He and his entourage jetted to Davos, Switzerland! 

He can afford his carbon credits, he owns the company. It’s like the Stienbrenners “buying” tickets to see the New York Yankees. 

Now the famous NASA “climate change scientist” has been disgraced.

One of Al Gore’s favorite salesman is  James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute. Hansen’s former boss, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, has come forward with some news … Theon is skeptic of man-made global warming and his former employee James Hansen is an embarrassment to NASA. Theon says, “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made.” He goes on to say, “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”

There’s more to chew on here,  it is good to find out who is on the  Al Gore PR payroll.

The Communist Party of the United States celebrates Obama’s inaugural — the people’s inaugural

Let the transition to socialism in the US begin. Why hide the Democrat/MSM agenda any longer? 

History will mark 2009 as the start of the United Socialist States of America (USSA). 

Is this just hype from right-wing nuts? 

Check on this yourself at cpus.org

 

A People’s Inaugural
by Joe Sims, 01/20/2009
Reprinted from the People’s Weekly World

Huge crowds, unprecedented in U.S. history, gathered in Washington on Tuesday, to celebrate and welcome President Barack Obama to the White House. Pre-inaugural estimates of up to 3 million participants seemed on mark, with newspapers like the Washington Post calculating 2 million people on the Mall.

With many participants both with and without tickets unable to gain entry, the overall numbers are likely higher. “I had tickets and couldn’t get in,” said a New York City teacher whose story was echoed by many others.” We got here early but it was just too big.” Her family managed to watch President Obama’s speech at Union Station.

“You have to conceptualize this as a populist inauguration,” said political analyst, University of Maryland professor and long-time activist Ron Walters to the Washington Afro-American. “You have people coming here from all over the world; people coming from across the country – many bunking in with relatives – just because they want to be a part of history.”

As the millions gathered to observe the festivities, Wall Street stocks tumbled in the worst Inaugural Day plunge in a century, accenting the cloudy economic horizon and giving emphasis to President Obama’s people-oriented themes. The stock market plunged over 332 points or 4 percent, wiping out January gains amid growing fears of bank instability.

The president’s speech seemed to anticipate these problems and was a continuation of themes struck during the presidential campaign. Obama said, “Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”

Moments later, tracing the sacrifice of previous generations, he continued, “For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.”

Even the poet Elizabeth Alexander, says The New York Times, speaking after the president, highlighted working class themes: “Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.”

Still the event and speeches, with these touches and emphasis, spoke broadly to the nation about the economic challenges ahead and marked a sharp break with policies of the Bush administration and even a direct rebuke, as President Obama made particular reference to not sacrificing ideals for expediency in foreign policy. “We reject as false the choice as between our safety and our ideals,” he said.

After the swearing-in Obama attended a traditional luncheon hosted by Congress, followed by a legislative session where several Cabinet appointments were approved. The huge outpouring of citizens from all over the country for the inaugural ceremony is sure to help hasten the approval of the president’s legislative agenda. According to press reports the first act of the new administration was to order a halt, pending further review, of all of former President Bush’s pending presidential regulations.

The inaugural parade extended into the afternoon, featuring a trade union float, representing the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the teachers union, the first in many years at an inaugural. Over 200 workers marched and called for passing the Employee Free Choice Act. That is the act that will put pressure on all but the smallest businesses to become unionized with open ballots. Employees will not be able to vote in private.

Kirsten Gillibrand is tapped for the New York U.S. Senate seat left by Hillary — a big seat to fill!

Mick GregoryUpdate: After two months of a royal dance, and  the first public look at Caroline Kennedy, New York Gov. David Paterson (the legally blind replacement of the former man whore) named upstate NY Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. And what a big seat to fill! 

Gillibrand is a NRA-backed moderate Democrat. But don’t worry liberals, she will fall in lock step with your party.
“This senator has great shoes to fill,” Paterson said at a press conference on Friday. (Note to MSM, this was a public news conference, any reports from this are in the public domain, bloggers are not getting their news from your press release rewrites). 

Gillibrand  is 42 and the mother of two. Did Paterson hear the uproar over the heir apparent Caroline Kennedy, then Andrew Cuomo’s obvious line to the throne? 

 

The privileged in New York’s Democrat royal families thought they could continue the tradition of tapping only the blue bloods. First Caroline Kennedy, then “you know” her do-nothing resume came to light. Next it was Andrew Cuomo. Wow, so his dad with Mafia connections and an ex-governor paved the way to keep high office all in the family.

Would Hillary have ever been a New York Senator in the first place if she had not been married to Bill, and bought their house in New York just months before she ran for office?

There are reports that that was the first time the Clinton’s had to buy a house and pay a mortage, all those other years their homes have been paid for by tax payers. What a royal life! 

What a surprise that Kirsten got the pick. I don’t think that she will do will when Hillary’s term is up. New York Democrats wanted one of the blue blood socialists. 

Now we know that Caroline got nasty. Gov. Paterson rappedCaroline Kennedy at a private event the night before he tapped Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate, telling guests Kennedy had been “nasty” to him and shown “disrespect” with how she bowed out… 

 

Mick Gregory