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The new law gives newspaper printers and publishers a 40 percent cut in the state’s main business tax. The discounted rate mirrors breaks given in years past to the Boeing Co. and the timber industry.
Washington State newspaper readers ought to be asking what the state is getting in return. Tax breaks are given to companies to attract them to a state, to increase the tax base and bring new jobs. That’s not the case here.
I’m assuming it’s meant to keep the businesses in the state and/or prevent closures. But why, if they’re failing? A free market mindset would say let them fail so the deadwood can be cleared and new operations be born. A statist mindset says dump tax money into failures, making them beholden to the government.
Don’t believe it? Look at the continuing TARP saga. Today’s installment has the Obama Administration planning to dictate compensation practices to the banking industry, even banks that didn’t participate in TARP. That’s your local hometown bank.
Now we know how Washington’s governor thinks. That’s useful information for any Washington Tea Partyers out there. I would monitor their editorials, choice of stories and the slant given to them to see if the ruling political class in the state gets favorable treatment. Businesses understand that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Will the battered taxpayers get a tax break as well? Inquiring minds want to know.
You’ll be paying for news you can use, even if you have no use for it, if a Democrat Congressman has his way. From Reuters, U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.
“This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat,” said Senator Benjamin Cardin.
…Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.
Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements.
How kind of Big Brother, letting the press be free to report. What about reporting on people or organizations that make political endorsements? Is that allowed? And who decides what a political endorsement is? The IRS? Oh, yes, we want the IRS monitoring political speech. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that. The tax code could never be used to punish, could it?
If you’re thinking the paper will be free of charge, think again:
Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax exempt, and contributions to support news coverage or operations could be tax deductible.
That deduction will make up for the $400 tax credit you won’t be getting.
Because newspaper profits have been falling in recent years, “no substantial loss of federal revenue” was expected under the legislation, Cardin’s office said in a statement.
So it’s okay to transform the free press into a government-subsidized, government-monitored entity then. It won’t cost the government anything. That’s a relief. What it will cost us is another matter and is above the Congressman’s pay grade.
It’s for the children, or Mother Earth, or something:
Cardin’s office said his bill was aimed at preserving local and community newspapers, not conglomerates which may also own radio and TV stations. His bill would also let a non-profit buy newspapers owned by a conglomerate.
Thereby spreading its freedom-killing tentacles throughout the entire information industry. It won’t hurt a bit. You won’t even notice.
“We are losing our newspaper industry,” Cardin said. “The economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy.
Then let the market fix it. No sir, the tragedy is that you’re turning newspapers into government propaganda machines that will kill our democracy.
We only have ourselves to blame:
Newspaper subscriptions and advertising have shrunk dramatically in the past few years as Americans have turned more and more to the Internet or television for information.
This idea needs to die a painful death.
On MSNBC’s March 11 broadcast of “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” host Andrea Mitchell asked [Rep. Barney] Frank to respond to criticism in a March 11 piece from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that too many appointees were being held up for what he deemed insignificant reasons.
“I think it’s a problem, although I will say this – for the media to blame that entirely on the Senate seems to me a little bit self serving,” Frank said. “I mean, the media is the problem here, in part. It is the over-focus on part of people in the media to relatively minor infractions that causes this. I guarantee you my colleagues would not on their own be doing this. So I do think we are in a culture now where a lack of perfection exacts too strong a toll, but that’s the politicians reacting to the media.”
Waiting for Andrea Mitchell to point out to Barney Frank that it is the job of the media to inform the public about government events and actions? Don’t hold your breath:
Speaking on behalf of the American media, Mitchell told Frank she pled guilty and that this has been allowed to get out of control.
“I take your point, Mr. Frank, Mr. Chairman,” Mitchell said. “You’re right and we plead guilty because this is this culture right now of ‘gotcha’ has gotten completely out of control.”
Speaking on behalf of the media audience, I think the media culture of Obama cheerleading is thriving. Some watchdogs, huh?
Polish up your nose rings. The fight for the hearts and minds of America is on: From Politico, Rush Job: Inside Dems’ Limbaugh plan
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 story details the plan to demonize Limbaugh, portray him as the face of the Republican Party and, hopefully for them, relegate the two-party system in America to the trash-heap of history.
Seems to me the President is giving us a living history lesson. He’s been Lincolnesque in his speeches (according to the media), Reaganesque in his speech to Congress (in choice of words if not in content), and now he’s emulating another President, one who didn’t like what the media was reporting. How did that work out again?
Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc shares plummeted for a sixth straight day on Friday, hammered by fears that the U.S. government could nationalize the banks, wiping out shareholders.
Bank of America shares were down 19 percent to $3.20 in early trading, their lowest level since 1984, while Citigroup shares fell 20 percent to $2, their lowest price since the early 1990s.
Both stocks have lost more than 90 percent of their value in the last year.
“It’s a clear sign that the markets are expecting a high probability of them being nationalized,” said Mike Holland, founder of Holland & Co. “The clear expectation is that shareholders would effectively be wiped out.”
On the other hand, Katie disagrees: Couric: Bank Nationalization Will Provide ‘Big Dose of Confidence’
Katie Couric concluded a Thursday night look at the pros and cons of nationalizing banks by seeing the federal government as a comforting security blanket: “Nationalization may have a psychological impact as well, and Uncle Sam wrapping his arms around failing banks in this country might provide a big dose of confidence for the American consumer.”
Who ya gonna believe? That’s a tough one.
H/T Daily Beast
In another illustration of the media not seeing the forest for the trees, the Telegraph’s headline tells you the least important part of the story: Silvio Berlusconi criticised for ‘pretty girl’ rape comment :
The Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi promised to deploy 30,000 soldiers on the streets to combat crime after a spate of violent rapes in Italy but drew criticism for saying on Sunday that rapes will still occur unless there are ‘as many soldiers as pretty girls’.
What did the reporter think was the takeaway?
“We could not field a big enough force to avoid this risk [of rape]. We would need so many soldiers because our women are so beautiful,” he said.
Sex sells, people. And this lead bleeds, too.
What’s the real story?
Around 3,000 armed troops have been patrolling Italian cities and guarding sensitive sites since August. Mr Berlusconi, who was re-elected for the third time last year, said the aim was to increase “ten-fold” the military presence in order to confront “an evil army” of criminals.
Mr Berlusconi made the announcement in the wake of three brutal rape cases in Rome this month, which have shocked the public and inflamed the Italian press. In the latest attack, which happened last week, five men of Eastern European origin raped a 21-year-old Italian woman after locking her boyfriend in the boot of the couple’s car on the outskirts of Rome. There is a high level of anxiety among Italians about crimes committed by immigrants, particularly the tens of thousands of Romanians who have moved to Italy since Romania joined the European Union.
Not everyone is on board:
Critics accused Mr Berlusconi of creating a “police state”.
The centre-left opposition said putting soldiers on the streets was an empty gesture designed to placate public opinion and not an effective way of tackling crime. Marco Minniti, the shadow interior minister, said such a large scale mobilisation of the military was “unprecedented, very expensive and would mean a state of siege”.
Opposition leader Walter Veltroni said: “If there are resources to send 30,000 troops onto the street, then those same resources should be used instead to help improve the effectiveness of the police force.”
So a European politician is capable of making empty gestures? Not just ours? We’re part of the international community after all. What a relief.
There’s no indication in this article of the possibility of a declaration of martial law, which would have been a nice thing to know. It seems the logical next step, if the situation is as bad as is claimed. Can individual members of the European Union still do that? Inquiring minds want to know. Maybe NATO or the EU Army will need to be called in. Or, if he really wants to get serious and nip this thing in the bud, he could call for UN peacekeepers.
It sounds as if Italy has a very serious crime problem. No matter what he does, somebody won’t like it. Perhaps Mr. Berlusconi should frame it as the Italian government taking a share of the citizen protection business on behalf of Italian taxpayers. He would probably be hailed as a hero by Nancy Pelosi.
H/T Daily Beast
Melanie Phillips relates the sorry state of America’s cultural homeland in Britain’s surrender.
Years of demonizing Israel and appeasing Islamist extremism within Britain have now coalesced, as a result of the media misrepresentation of the Gaza war as an atrocity against civilians, in an unprecedented wave of hatred against Israel and a sharp rise in attacks on British Jews.
Throughout the war, London’s streets have witnessed a hallucinatory level of violent and explicit support for Hamas from Muslims, members of the far left and supposedly progressive individuals.
Night after night, Israel’s embassy in well-to-do Kensington found itself under violent siege. Demonstrators attempted to storm the building, howling their support for the terrorist body whose genocidal intentions toward Israel and the Jews necessarily includes killing every one of the occupants inside.
Throwing in the towel:
In general, the police have reacted passively to the violence. One recent video clip captured the astonishing spectacle of Muslims stampeding through London’s West End hurling traffic cones and other missiles at the police, all the time shrieking ‘Allahu akbar’ and ‘cowards.’ The police ran and stumbled backward rather than standing their ground and stopping the rampage.
Not only has such violence barely been reported. There has also been no acknowledgment of the explicitly Islamist nature of these demonstrations. Keffiyeh-clad demonstrators prostrated themselves in prayer or shouted ‘Allahu akbar’ as they attacked Jewish-owned or -founded stores, such as Starbucks and Tesco, on numerous occasions.
Instead, the political class has simply regurgitated Hamas propaganda. In a debate in the House of Commons last week, one MP after another expressed horror at Israel’s supposed crimes against humanity in Gaza.
Neville Chamberlain lives on in the British political class. How did that work out for you last time, Britain?
A few days ago I posted “Jeepers Creepers” detailing several unsettling events I had read about that day suggesting the development of a cult-of -Obama mentality among different sectors of our society, including an effort by some celebrities to get the country to pull together in the new President’s name by making video pledges.
Andrew Breitbart discusses this effort and gives a spanking to Hollywood’s sunshine patriots in his piece I Pledge to Ridicule Celebrities Who Refuse to Recognize We Are At War With People Who Want to Kill Them, Too
Many of the celebrities that were central to demonizing and making life impossible for President Bush for eight loathsome years NOW want to help with the heavy lifting of bringing America back together under President Barack Obama.
Witness Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s cavalcade of shiny, happy situational patriots appearing in a derivative public servitude announcement: A “Presidential Pledge” to President Barack Obama.
What are these luminaries pledging to do?
President Bush was not holding back Moore from “free[ing] one million people from slavery in the next five years.” Nor was he holding back the Obama-biquitous Will.I.Am from “chang[ing] how [he] live[s].” Ditto: Aaron Ekhart (”To be a better person,”) Marisa Tomei (”To integrate into my heart what I already know in my head which is that we are all in this together,”) Kutcher (”To the abolition to 21st century slavery,”) Anthony Kiedis (”To be of service to Barack Obama,”) P. Diddy (” pledge to turn the lights off, cause I used to leave the lights on but we want to conserve energy so I’ma turn the lights off, you turn the lights off,) and all-in-unison (”Because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek.”)
Well. I’m impressed with the world-changing potential I see here. Not. And neither is Mr. Breitbart.
This video illustrates that the current celebrity class are not citizens but serfs. They need a leader to put their minds in the right place to do the right thing. They are not heroic individualists seeking to extend America’s promise but conformists who chose to sit out and complain during the tough years in order to ensure their guy got in the next go-around.
And it wasn’t courageous to make a movie about McCarthyism a few years ago, either. Just so you know.
Remember this video: It is a instructive relic of the era of celebrity decadence and boutique anti-Republican activism under President Bush. It is a sickening display that they want fast and easy absolution for having comported themselves like ill-behaved children for eight difficult and war-torn years.
Good luck, President Obama. The rest of you can go to hell.
H/T Hot Air