Given all of this posing, I thought this great Daily Kos post gives us the proper historical context on how we now find ourselves in this state (oh, and did I mention that Gregg voted for TARP but against the automaker loan, as noted here?).
Update 3/26/09: Wank on, Judd, wank on.
Writer Steve Coll of The New Yorker has what I think is an interesting perspective on this here; he supports the idea in part for the following reason…
The typical spend rate for endowed nonprofits is in the five-percent range. If the Washington Post had a two billion dollar endowment, it would be able to fund a very healthy newsroom. And this is before revenue from continuing operations—advertising, circulation, etc., which could surely cover at least the cost of distribution and overhead, particularly if the form of delivery is increasingly digital. Two billion dollars, by the way, represents something in the neighborhood of five per cent of Warren Buffett’s net worth, the last I knew that figure. (Buffett is a director of the Washington Post Company and one of the great public-minded businessmen of his age, although my impression is that, as someone who is so talented at making money, he is congenitally unhappy about giving it away—so he has asked his friend Bill Gates to do it for him).In the other corner, we have John Temple, who states as follows from here…
…even the national newspapers these writers treasure do far more than inform their citizenry with serious reporting on public affairs. That's just a part of what they do. I can tell you from experience that the comics are far and away the section of newspapers that many readers feel most passionate about. Coll's Washington Post publishes comics. Are we going to have nonprofits publishing the funny pages? Members of the public getting tax breaks for donating to keep Garfield alive? If we want to be so high-minded to create nonprofits for public service journalism, we'd have to exclude not only comics but also sports, entertainment, cooking, lifestyles, gossip, horoscopes, puzzles and all the other stuff that readers love but has nothing to do with Jefferson's ideals.And I thought Temple’s remarks were particularly telling since the paper he formerly worked for, the Rocky Mountain News, went under after 150 years, and a model of the type Coll and Cardin advocate might have saved his paper, though not in a form he might prefer (and I thought Temple had an interesting remark about how French papers, for example, employ amateur journalists to do about 70-80 percent of the work).
We're a country that values freedom and independence. Invariably, by going the nonprofit route, newspapers would become more beholden to government and more subject to regulation.
I’m glad Cardin and company have put this issue front and center, if for no other reason because it is a break from the incessant drone of “charging for content is our way back to profitability,” which is not only flat wrong, but it allows our journalistic practitioners to continue engaging in nonsense like this (h/t Atrios) while thinking that no price will ever be paid in a loss of circulation as a result.
You would think that the life forms that run some of these operations would consider our tanking economy and the subsequent effect on our workforce when they make these decisions (yes, I know, silly me). But this is perfectly in keeping with how IBM operates, given that they disciplined employees for showing pro-union signs in their cars on company property (the judge ruled that IBM’s actions constituted an unfair labor practice) here, and here, they reclassified the jobs of sales technicians as exempt from overtime; when the employees fought back, IBM decided to settle and re-classified a whole range of jobs as non-exempt and eligible for overtime…along with 15 percent pay cuts all around, with overtime as the only means to recover the money.
I just thought I'd post this as a public service to those Asian workers who now know how low their propsective new employer will stoop when the time comes to screw them over.
Bastards ("Big Blue," I mean).
President Obama has made a powerful case for investing in what is "absolutely critical to our economic future": green energy, universal health care and educational opportunity. He's asked for a budget for America with a totally new set of priorities. But those who profit from the old ways are already lobbying to keep things the same.For more information, click here.
Because of the way things are done in Washington, only a few members of Congress can control whether President Obama's ideas make it to the next round of budget-making. But even if you don't live in one of those districts, we've found a way that you can make a difference.
Together with a huge coalition of other progressives, we're asking you to be part of a virtual phonebank to dial up the constituents of those key budget-writers, and helping them make the all-important calls to Congress. We've got a simple online system which handles all the dialing and everything, but YOU have to have those conversations with our fellow citizens.
Click here to VOLUNTEER TO TALK TO VOTERS to win Obama's priorities.
The most effective way to reach someone is a personal conversation from a real person, not a bunch of recorded robo-calls. If you'll volunteer to tell these constituents why it's important to pass a budget which builds a new kind of country, some of them will agree to call their Congressmember. If enough of us volunteer to do that, we'll win.
Click here to volunteer to join us this Tuesday, March 24th; Wednesday, March 25th; or Thursday March 26th, in a nationwide "virtual phonebank" to pass the budget.
We'll begin with quick training calls at 6 PM Eastern if you're in the eastern half of the country and 5 pm Pacific if you're in the west. Then, we'll hit the phones.
We're using a simple computer program that removes a lot of the bad numbers so we can maximize the amount of time you spend actually talking to human beings. All you need to do is sign up right now, and be ready Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday with a phone and computer.
Update: Sounds like there's more work to do to remind Our Man Arlen how to do his job (here and here).