deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

Archive for July 2006

Read all about it: Newspapers are saved!

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Yep — we don’t have to worry about the fate of newspapers anymore. They’ve got a new business plan, and the money’s gonna start rollin’ in. Advertisers will be flocking back to newspapers (online, anyway) in droves, throwing money at ’em as fast as they can.

And it’s so easy, they say. Fight fire with fire. Or, in this case, fight Google and Yahoo with Inform.com. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 31, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How do state politicians use campaign money?

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We shouldn’t overlook how our representatives in state legislatures raise and spend money.

Matt Spina of The Buffalo News offers a real eye-opener about New York state legislators’ use of campaign money for babysitters, season tickets for sports events, payments for cars and such.

See Matt’s Sunday front-pager here.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 23, 2006 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

An ode to the motivation of a House vote (money, perhaps?)

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Who knew the United States needed a free trade agreement with Oman? Apparently, my representative in Congress, the Hon. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, did, because he voted for it along with 220 of his GOP colleagues.

No matter where you stand on free trade agreements (bad for national security, helping out a “stalwart” friend in the Mideast, bad for workers’ rights in Oman or a host of other reasons), you’d hope that our representatives in Congress would study such an issue carefully.

You’ll recall that these are the folks who leave D.C. Thursday afternoon to politick and fundraise in their districts, then return on Tuesday morning to spend much of their time in party offices making fundraising phone calls. These are the folks who will likely spend only 100 days in session in this Congress. (See earlier post.)

So did Rep. Kuhl study this issue carefully? Or did he decide to help out a pal, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who sponsored the legislation? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 23, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Story on Kuhl, Massa campaign money could be better

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My representative in Congress placed on his Kuhl for Congress Web site under the head “Kuhl Way Ahead in Money Race” a copy of a story about his and his opponent’s campaign finances.

The story, from their hometown newspaper, has Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, R-Hammondsport, and his Democratic challenger, Eric Massa, trading barbs about who’s raised the most money in and out of the district.

The story — it at least addresses campaign finance — just doesn’t dig deeply enough. If the reporter had used easily available information on Web sites I’ve mentioned many times, a little more time and a calculator, he might have produced a more insightful story. The story could have expanded beyond “he said vs. he said” to how much both have raised out of the district as a percentage of their totals.

It could have shown the financial connections between the top Democratic and GOP House leaders and Rep. Kuhl and Mr. Massa.

Pardon the ego, but compare my take with that of the Corning Leader story. Leader readers could be better served with a little more digging.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 23, 2006 at 12:15 pm

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It’s about the content … really

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Earlier this week, I cheekily posted a story that the Wall Street Journal had decided to put ads on its front page. Jabber and seeking4sophia took issues with that and, in essence, asked for an alternative. My reply is after the LJ cut. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 21, 2006 at 5:10 pm

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Campaign ‘finance’: sickening, depressing, frustrating, infuriating

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To represent a New York congressional district slightly larger than the state of Connecticut, with a population of just 1.8 million people who, on average, earn between $23,000 (Yates County) and $37,700 (Monroe County), the incumbent congressman and his principal challenger have raised nearly $1.4 million so far in the 2006 election cycle.

Most of that money comes from outside the district each seeks to represent. It demonstrates the distressing, access-peddling role of money in American politics. That’s depressing and unlikely to change. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 20, 2006 at 4:27 pm

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PBS’ new rule: If you bleep it, pixelate the lips, too

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Here it is, from an e-mail sent by PBS:

Editing of Coarse Language/New Practices. Henceforth, producers would face two new requirements: (1) if a word is bleeped or wiped (silenced), the entirety of the word must be bleeped or wiped, meaning that “mother-F-word” would now have to be “bleep bleep,” and (2) if the F-word or the S-word were uttered to camera so that viewers could recognize it from the speaker’s mouth, the lips must be pixelated. [emphasis added]

See the reaction of Front Line’s executive editor, Louis Wiley Jr. (He doesn’t like it.)

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 19, 2006 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized