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Archive for December, 2011

And the Journal Sentinel Pay Wall Goes Up

Expected news.

First heard this plan was in the works months ago.  Frankly, I don’t see it working, unless the big-wigs at the Journal Sentinel think “Recall Madness 2012” will be the able to keep eyeballs on the site past the 20-story free minimum and paying $2.35 a week to make it happen.

People will likely go else where, where the content is still free.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s digital subscription program is set to begin Jan. 4.

With its digital offering, called “JS Everywhere,” the Journal Sentinel will offer access to JSOnline.com, the Journal Sentinel e-edition, its mobile site for smartphones, plus coming iPad and other digital applications for a subscriber’s fee. Readers who subscribe to the print edition of the newspaper will receive free access to all digital products. Web content previously available on the pay site Packer Insider will be included as part of JS Everywhere subscriptions.

Under the JS Everywhere plan, online readers will be able to read as many as 20 articles per month at no charge, but after reaching that threshold, will be prompted to become a print or digital subscriber.

In introducing digital subscriptions, the Journal Sentinel joins a growing list of major metro dailies – and smaller newspapers, as well – that have set up plans requiring readers to subscribe to receive content digitally. Among newspapers that have started paid digital subscriptions this year are the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

I understand the bind the JS publishers are in.  Craigslist and other online classified sites have all but destroyed the traditional cash flow model used by newspapers for decades, if not centuries.  It’s led to massive drops in revenue streams and the eventual rolling back of staff by early retirements and buyouts.

If it works, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.  But I don’t think it will since even the New York Times had to drop its own pay wall eventually and if that’s the business model the JS is working from, it might not end well.

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DNC / Obama 2012 Still Shy on Returning Corzine Donations

I think the tally of unreturned money is close to, or exceeds over a half million dollars.

President Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have returned more than $70,000 in contributions from former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine following the collapse of MF Global, Corzine’s financial firm, officials said Friday.

Obama’s campaign and the DNC returned contributions of $35,800 from Corzine and his wife, Sharon Elghanayan, said Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. They were not authorized to speak publicly.

Corzine was among Obama’s top fundraisers, raising at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election campaign since April, according to records released by the campaign. The former Goldman Sachs chief held a fundraiser for the president last April and was considered a main Obama emissary to Wall Street.

One of the Democratic officials said the campaign and DNC would evaluate whether to return donations from other MF Global employees on a case-by-case basis.

A spokesman for Corzine declined to comment.

It’s called “Bundling” and Corzine was quite good at it.  Expect to here all three GOP campaign committees (RNC, NRCC, NRSC) to keep at this as long as they can.  Corzine and MF Global are going to be an albatross around all Democrats next year.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Cartoon of the Day

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Merry Christmas

Enjoy the day everyone.


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Coal for Iowa, Christmas for the Rest of Us

(H/T Berry Laker)

The U.S. ethanol subsidies and (Illegal by the way since Brazil took the country to the WTO and was going to win) tariffs against Brazilian ethanol imports are set to expire at the end of the year.

It is a policy change that is well past due.

The United States has ended a 30-year tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol that cost taxpayers $6 billion annually, and ended a tariff on imported Brazilian ethanol.

Congress adjourned for the year on Friday, failing to extend the tax break that’s drawn a wide variety of critics on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Critics also have included environmentalists, frozen food producers, ranchers and others.

The policies have helped shift millions of tons of corn from feedlots, dinner tables and other products into gas tanks.

The move was praised even by environmental groups.

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In Wisconsin, We Call This “A Nygren”

In Wisconsin, it only takes 2,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot in a statewide race.  You can max that out at 4,000 before the GAB caps you off.

For those wondering, signature collection likely starts around mid-February or early March of 2012 for the April Presidential Primary.

In Virginia, you need 10,000 valid signatures, and from the looks of things, a number of Republican Presidential hopefuls aren’t going to make the ballot for the party primary.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, state GOP officials said Friday evening and early Saturday.

The Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday that Gingrich and Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures of registered voters required to get their names on the ballot for the March 6 primary.

“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the party announced on Twitter.

The rejection is a significant setback for the Gingrich campaign since he is leading the polls in Virginia among likely Republican voters and is seen as a strong contender for the nomination.

Perry’s campaign told state election officials it had submitted 11,911 signatures, and Gingrich’s campaign said it submitted 11,050 signatures. State party officials spent Friday night validating the signatures.

Earlier Friday, the Republican Party of Virginia certified former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) to appear on the ballot.

The four candidates turned in thousands of signatures by the 5 p.m. deadline Thursday.

Yes, for those of you keeping count, Michelle Bachman, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum (Do I even bother with Herman Cain?) didn’t even bother turning in signatures to get on the ballot.

And people have been asking me why I haven’t been commenting Republican primary much.  Frankly, it’s because it’s too damn embarrassing to watch most of the time.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Don’t Expect to See Rebukes from the La Follette Cultists

Yeah, because John Nichols and Ed Garvey are the type of upstanding citizens to give a damn about standing by the reams of paper they’ve regurgitated to the rest of us about Democrats being different and not beholden to party bosses and outside forces.

It’s all bull frickin crap.

This report from Bice hasn’t just been speculated by our side, it’s been expected.  After all, has there even been a contested primary in Wisconsin on the Democratic side since 2006?

According to an email obtained by No Quarter, Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell, WEAC Executive Director Dan Burkhalter and other top union officials had a face-to-face meeting with the Democratic mayor to discuss the potential Walker recall race.

“On Monday, Dan and I, along with the We Are Wisconsin partners, met with Mayor Barrett,” Bell wrote Thursday to her board members and UniServ presidents. “Despite attempts to communicate the issues you laid out very clearly in our meeting on Saturday, in our judgment the meeting did not convince Mayor Barrett that he should not run in a potential recall election.”

Insiders say the union officials are hoping to clear the field for former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk to take on the first-term Republican governor in the spring. Also attending the meeting was Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union and an open critic of Barrett.

Bell, who could not be reached for comment, urged WEAC officials to press the case for Barrett to sit on the sidelines in a recall contest. Walker defeated Barrett by 52% to 47% in the 2010 general election.

“We continue to pursue the message on other fronts, but could use your assistance in telling the story from your perspective and with your reasons, to those with whom you have connections that might be more effective in delivering that message to the Mayor,” Bell wrote.

What we’re gonna see over the next couple months is a direct attempt to avoid a primary at all cost by the public employee unions in this state.  If that happens naturally, it happens naturally.  But let’s be honest with ourselves here, the unions are looking for their next version of Jim Doyle — a pathetic, do-nothing Madison liberal from a political dynasty, who as a political legacy would shoot their own children in the head to be Governor of Wisconsin.

Good thing they appear to have found Katie Falk to fill that role.

Because hand-picking a candidate, that’s really what democracy looks like, right?

UPDATE – Guess I ticked off good friend of John Nichols, Steve Carlson, over at Blogging Blue.  Here’s a hint Steve, learn what hyperbole means.  Will make your live a whole less conflicted.

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Throw the Book at this Idiot

What has to be wrong with you to bomb threat a hospital?

This dude’s definitely on the “Naughty List” for sure now.

A 25-year-old Sheboygan County resident was taken into custody after a bomb threat had been discovered at Aurora Memorial Medical Center Thursday evening.

The Sheboygan Police Department responded to a call about the threat, which was written on a mirror in a public bathroom, at 5:50 p.m. Thursday at the medical center, 2629 N. 7th St. No bombs or suspicious items were located after Sheboygan Police and Memorial Medical Center security officers searched the facility. The medical center was locked down for several hours.

A suspect was developed from video surveillance, and the 25-year-old was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and bomb threat.

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