Michelle Malkin called it, as did several NewsBusters commenters. Their prediction was that newspapers on the brink would be asking for government bailouts.
It came to pass in late November that seven Connecticut legislators asked the state's Department of Economic and Community Development for help in keeping the New Britain Herald and the Bristol Press afloat. A JPEG of the full letter with three of the seven signatures is here. Alleged GOP Governor Jodi Rell is apparently sympathetic.
A Wednesday "analysis" piece by Robert MacMillan of Reuters reports that the state agency is indeed "offering tax breaks, training funds, financing opportunities and other incentives for publishers, but not cash."
Governor: John? It's the Governor here. Say, you guys there at the Bristol Press are doing a great job. Top notch. But there is that one reporter of yours making a big stink over our proposal to increase the state income tax. He really doesn't get what we're trying to do to help our state move forward. And you know, that bill to renew your paper's subsidy is coming up next week. I'd hate to see it get bogged down in the fuss over this. Know what I mean?
Editor: Um, yes, I know, sir.
The conversation is imaginary but the possibility is real. At least, it is if the proposal of seven Connecticut state legislators were ever to be adopted. As reported at the BristolToday blog, the seven have written a letter to the state's Commissioner of Economic and Community Development asking for state "help" for two struggling local newspapers in their districts. [H/t FReeper abb.]
There's a new potential excuse out there for Obama backers fearing a racial tinge to the election results next Tuesday.
As NewsBuster's Tim Graham noted, Newsweek has been proactive enough to suggest that only racism can launch McCain into the White House at this point.
The Hartford Courant offers a different rationale, however (As if there is anything rational about calling someone who doesn't vote for your candidate, a racist).
Yes, the new terminology offered by the Hartford Courant is ‘unconscious racism.' Meaning if you pull the lever for McCain on Election Day, you are not only a racist, but you're too stupid to realize it.
See Update at foot: university says Mika will not "represent" Obama.
H/t reader Thomas S. Despite her obvious liberal leanings, Mika Brzezinski prefers to play coy about her presidential preference on Morning Joe. Mika often deflects co-host Joe Scarborough's accusations that she's in the tank for Obama by invoking the fact that her brother works for McCain. And I have two beloved liberal Dem sisters: nu?
But Mika is apparently set to emerge from the political closet and let her Obama flag fly. Check out this report from the Fairfield [CT] Weekly about Brzezinski's upcoming participation in a debate at Fairfield University in which Mika will be "representing" Obama in a debate with formidable conservative pundit Monica Crowley [emphasis added]:
In a 4-3 decision today the Connecticut Supreme Court decided that civil unions for same-sex partners were not equivalent to marriage and as such ordered the state to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples applying for them.
In reporting the decision, ABCNews.com put the story in the top headlines rotation with the following teaser:
Conn. Gives Blessing to Gay Marriages; State Supreme Court ruling paves way for same-sex marriages to start next month.
This one has got to take the cake for stupidity and lack of journalistic integrity. The Old Media has been gyrating in ever widening circles to find new and unheard of ways to destroy Governor Sarah Palin and now from the Hartford Courant (Connecticut) we find the most ridiculous one yet. With this Robert Thorson column we have now gone from slandering Gov. Palin herself, to attacking every last member of her family -- including her Down Syndrome child, Trig -- to this latest stop on the smear Palin express: attacking Palin's hometown Wasilla, Alaska. Thorson seriously tries to make us believe that Wasilla is an "angry" town! Why? Because of its "geography." And because of something that happened in 1976.
Yes, Wasilla is filled with "disappointed" and "angry" people and this is what "scares" Thorson about Governor Sarah Palin. And Thorson knows that everyone in Wasilla is foaming at the mouth mad because of his intimate knowledge of Wasilla and it's people, right? He knows this because of his extensive research into Wasilla's newspapers, or TV reports, or interviews with citizens all of whom are telling him about their mental perturbation, right? Uh, no. He "knows" this because of an Encyclopedia entry and little else.
Nearly two years ago on Newsbusters, I floated a proposal that newspapers require their editorial and other writers to police themselves for accuracy by requiring them to turn in footnotes with their copy. The process would force writers to check information they think they know that isn't so.
It has been nearly three years since the Kelo v. New London ruling by the US Supreme Court, and just short of two years since the city of New London, CT settled with the final two Fort Trumbull holdouts, Susette Kelo and the Cristofaro family.
The Supreme Court's majority, in their June 2005 Kelo ruling, declared that "public use" as stated in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution really means "public purpose" -- that is, instead of the government being able to take land through eminent domain only for the purpose of building a public structure or creating a public service (road, bridge, school, park, etc.), the government can take land for any reason it believes a worthy one. In the case of New London, the city believed that demolishing occupied, functioning houses that had stood for over 100 years and developing "something else" that would garner the city more tax revenues was a worthy public purpose.
What has been done with the property since then?
As a development-related deadline loomed in mid-May, a Hartford TV station filed this report, and gave us the answer:
Plans Stall In Fort Trumbull Land Remains Barren After Homes Torn Down
"It's become part of the American landscape - synthetic turf, durable and soft," ABC correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi said. "It's everywhere, from stadiums to neighborhood soccer fields. But now, questions over whether those fields are safe. Health officials in New Jersey randomly tested synthetic turf fields across the state. Two of the fields had lead levels so high they closed them."
Fort Trumbull Developer Asks FHA To Back $11.5M Loan
Faced with a tight lending climate, the Corcoran Jennison company has asked the Federal Housing Authority to back an $11.5 million loan to fund the long-delayed construction of housing on the Fort Trumbull peninsula.
As an exemplar of a government-run enterprise stuck in the mud, it’s hard to come with a better example than what is happening in the area that was the subject of the infamous Kelo v. New London ruling in 2005. Nearly 2-1/2 years after the US Supreme Court ruled that the city could evict Susette Kelo and other holdouts from their homes, and 17 months after the final settlement between the city and the final two holdouts, very little has been done in the affected area.
Make that "nearly three years" (New London Day link requires registration after a short time, and a paid subscription after that):
As an exemplar of a government-run enterprise stuck in the mud, it's hard to come with a better example than what is happening in the area that was the subject of the infamous Kelo v. New London ruling in 2005. Nearly 2-1/2 years after the US Supreme Court ruled that the city could evict Susette Kelo and other holdouts and take their homes, and 17 months after the final settlement between the city and the final two holdouts, very little has been done in the affected area.
The latest setback to substantive progress in the area is significant, and is being totally ignored by the non-local press.
Here are the two major stories and the local paper's editorial from earlier this week (New London Day links require a paid subscription after seven days):
Nov. 27 (report by Elaine Stoll) -- Fort Trumbull Developer Asks For More Time, Misses Deadline NLDC could claim default, but delay in project more likely
"In 2000, Americans were reminded that electoral votes select presidents. In 2004, Democrats were reminded that Bruce Springsteen does not."
I guess the Boss doesn't read George Will.
His concert at the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center last night wasn't just an evening of classic tunes mixed with an introduction to his new album. He must have memorized some kind of script, because the following (from the Hartford Courant's review) was similar to the screed he gave when he performed live for the "Today" show last week:
On the face of it, this Hartford (Conn.) Courant editorial about Fred Thompson's long-awaited entry into the presidential race seems fair. Or is it?
Initially, the editorial tries to give Thompson the benefit of the doubt when it comes to some of the more popular charges against him:
He has some baggage, too. He carries a reputation, deserved or not, of being a bit lazy. (So did Ronald Reagan, and it didn't hurt him.) And back when Mr. Thompson was minority counsel on the Senate Watergate Committee investigating the Nixon White House, the paranoid occupant of the Oval Office was said to have considered Mr. Thompson none too bright. (Critics said the same thing about Mr. Reagan, but that didn't hurt him either, and besides, it wasn't true.)
The Fairfield County [Conn.] Weekly is one of those papers that is available for free at diners and bus stations, and it's usually very liberal in its views. (A sampling of recent article titles includes one where the author claims Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) was checking out her décolletage at an event, and another calling former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a "quaint torture-monkey.")
In the first read-through, this article took me by surprise...could one of Fairfield County's most cherished liberal institutions be going "right"? Entitled You're Worth It! For one measure of your worth to society, look back at all you W2s, author Phil Maymin tries to make sense of who is revered in our society and why. He goes through a series of examples (Bill Gates, sports stars, philanthropists and artists whose work gains wealth posthumously), and finally decides:
My headline really says it all. In an article that sets out to determine why New Haven, Connecticut would choose to offer official ID cards to illegal immigrants, while Hazleton, Pennsylvania enacted legislation that would make it difficult for illegals to obtain employment and housing, Hazleton ends up with the short end of the stick. It's all in the wording.
Right away, we discover that New Haven "has a long and rich history of liberal politics" while Hazleton is "a conservative city in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania." It's a classic case of sophisticated city folk versus uncultured hillbilly rubes. I can hear "Duelling Banjos" now...
If you read the article through, you'll notice that New Haven mayor Joe DeStefano is given more quote "airtime" than Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Compare this:
The Stamford Advocate has an article out today describing the efforts of one John Orman to determine if Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) broke election laws last year when he created the Connecticut for Lieberman party but did not officially join it. The party was created after Lieberman lost the Democrat primary to Ned Lamont, who as we know, ultimately lost to Lieberman in the general election.
Orman, a political science professor at Fairfield University, is described in the article as being a "longtime Lieberman critic." We're also told that Orman joined the Connecticut for Lieberman Party in order to bring attention to Lieberman's "abandonment of it."
The Courant article also starts off by telling the reader of the "shattered dreams" of Victoria (no last name), a graduate of New Haven's Wilbur Cross High School. She will not be able to afford to attend the University of Connecticut (UConn) to study criminal justice. Yes, criminal justice:
This really is delicious: a television anchorman in Connecticut has been exposed as having lobbied members of that state’s legislature in order to get a bill that benefited broadcasters passed.
As reported Friday by the Hartford Courant (h/t Dan Gainor):
Al Terzi, anchor of WFSB, Channel 3's "Eyewitness News," personally called a key legislator to urge the bill's passage. Terzi's WFSB colleagues Kevin Hogan and Susan Raff also lobbied for the bill, according to the legislator.
"Al Terzi called me," said state Rep. Emil "Buddy" Altobello, D-Meriden, an original sponsor of the bill, which concerned only security guards. "To ask for some help on the bill."
The bill, if signed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, would limit employers' ability to restrict when and where security guards and broadcasters subsequently work.
How sweet. The article continued by pointing out the obvious conflict of interest:
Give Food Stamp Challenge organizers in Michigan and New Haven, Connecticut some credit.
We'll probably never know whether they figured it out on their own, or perhaps read of other organizers' errors when they were pointed out by syndicated columnist Mona Charen and by yours truly (at NewsBusters here and here; at BizzyBlog here and here). But unlike their comrades in most other cities and states, they have at least framed their Challenge using a correct amount of $35 per person per week ($5 per person per day) based on this table, which was adapted from information available at the USDA's web site (near the bottom at link; the weekly amount is result of dividing by 4.345, the average number of weeks in a month):
Over the last five years, the resurgent radical left has found empowerment in the Democratic Party through what the political scribes antiseptically call the "Internet grass roots." When hawkish Sen. Joe Lieberman lost by four points in the Democratic primary in Connecticut to ultraliberal millionaire Ned Lamont, the media credited this hard left with the upset. In truth, however, the liberal media themselves were a major part of the equation.
It's time for today's game of see how long it takes The Washington Post to acknowledge the wild-eyed liberals (filled with "Nedrenaline") behind Ned Lamont's crusade to turn out Sen. Joe Lieberman. Instead, the MoveOn crowd are merely "grassroots Internet activists" who are "anti-war." The headline of Dan Balz's front-pager is: "Conn. Race Could Be Democratic Watershed: Loss by Lieberman May Embolden Critics of War." The story dumps off the front-page before the first L-word is deployed, 371 words in:
The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political parties.
An outraged liberal tried to connect a fictional neo-Nazi group, the "Grey Wolves," to a rally of the Minutemen United, an Ohio-based Christian group that planned to rally in Danbury, Conn.
The man, who calls himself both Rick Renage and Rick Regado, emailed a reporter for the Danbury News-Times that three busloads of Grey Wolves would show up wearing "black pants, black boots, red sox with black jackets and the swastika branded on the back." The purpose of his email was to tarnish the reputation of those rallying, and hopefully diminish their influence.
The News-Times believed the email and reported it, causing the city of Danbury to withdraw the permit for the rally.
When realizing his prank had actually worked, the man contacted the police and the newspaper to apologize.