Stu’s Excellent Analogy

Glenn Beck’s Stu had a brilliant insight this morning [no sarcasm].

While discussing why people would vote for a dog eating Communist for President, Stu made the observation that most of America knows about as much about politics and the role of government as Glenn knows about Sports.

Most people only know a couple things and even that they only know superficially.   Their main interest is they just want to be on the winning team and have someone to root for.

The day that Qaddafi was murdered by his own people in Libya, 30% of America suddenly decided it was a good thing that the U.S. was involved and would say that they supported the war all along.    That’s the 30% who will decide if a dog eating Communist is elected in 2012.

The purpose of banks

USA Today has this story today about President Obama’s choice to lead the World Bank

Kim: Obama’s unconventional pick to lead the World Bank

Mr Kim was born in Korea and raised in the United States.   For the past 3 years, he has been running Rutgers University, but most of his adult life has revolved around finding ways to violate patent law and distribute low cost HIV and other drugs to so-called developing countries.

The “World Bank” is neither.   It isn’t a global organization and it isn’t the World’s Bank.    The folks at USA today describe the purpose of the World Bank as “the elimination of poverty”. 

Overlooking that eliminating poverty is not possible – the people will the least “stuff” will always be “poor”, no matter if they have cars, air conditioning, cable TV and free food and education – they will still be “poor”.

The World Bank has an interesting history that is worth understanding

At the close of World War II, the leaders of the countries met in Bretton Woods New Hampshire to decide how Europe was going to be rebuilt and how the world and its economic systems would be run, with the United States dominating the decision making.  The World Bank’s limited purpose was to make money available primarily from the US Treasury as loans for coutries to rebuild after the world, and later to the developing world to finance major infrastructure projects like roads and dams.

Rather than recognizing it no longer serves a purpose, in the 1980s the World Bank decided to change its mission – from helping countries grow their ecnomies to the benefit of everyone to becoming a global welfare agency handing out free “stuff” to the “poor”.  

This change in direction was  in reaction to what Ronald Reagan viewed as a useful role in the world for the World Bank:

“a shared vision of growth and development through political freedom and economic opportunity”…  not handing out free HIV drugs.  We’ve come so far in such a short time.

Barack Obama’s mother worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia on what was essentially a project based on the premise that “Banks are Evil” because they charge interest and expect to be paid back, something that Islam calls Usury and outlaws.

Ann Dunham [Obama?] Soetoro moved to Indonesia to help woment there establish “Microbanking” – the idea was that with seed money from the Ford Foundation, women could set up small businesses and earn money and then loan that money to each other to create more businesses and wealth and power instead of being under the control of the Big Banks, so we’ve come full circle.,9171,1729685,00.html

[Did you know Ann Dunham met Barack Obama Sr in a Russian language class?]

Clear Channel’s war on Conservative Talk Radio

Let’s start with what I believe – I believe Robert Pittman  (CEO of Clear Channel) wants Barack Obama to be reelected and wants the Democratic Party to have complete control over Congress.   Why do I believe that?  The last 15 years of political contributions he has made, especially the one to Barack Obama in April of 2007.   State Senator Barack Obama launched his campaign in February 2007, and few people knew who he was or gave him any chance of winning the Presidency in 2008.

Robert Pittman has an obstacle in the way of achieving his goal – his employer Clear Channel owns Premiere Radio, by far the biggest provider of “Conservative” Talk Radio, which for 3 years has been airing non-stop Anti-Obama “hate”.    Robert Pittman was the founder of MTV, ran AOL and has extensive ties to people in the entertainment industry and Hollywood, as demonstrated how he was able to round up folks for the iHeartRadio launch in Las Vegas.   In his youth, Pittman was also a radio programming prodigy with a track record of success.  There is no doubt in my mind that Pittman would be fully on board with helping the White House in any way he can, including destroying Conservative Talk Radio from the Inside.

Clear Channel is owned by its debt – something over $20 billion of it.   The company is managed by two private equity firms Thomas H Lee and Bain Capital, both of Boston.   Mitt Romney worked for Bain Capital, still owns a significant financial interest in it, and personally knows the people who run it.  Bob Pittman did not get the job at Clear Channel unless Bain Capital wanted it.   I believe, but can’t prove it outright that Harvard University’s endowment fund was a significant force at Bain Capital, at least in the early days.  If Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, Harvard wins no matter who wins the election.

So now the smoking gun – this is going to take explanation, so I apologize for the length, but think if you care anything about radio or politics or the future of the United States, you’ll want to take the time to understand what is going on.

Tom Taylor published a leaked copy of an email that was sent to radio stations that carry Premiere’s radio shows – that would include Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.  (Tom Taylor is not a fan of Conservative Talk Radio at all if you read his own writing)

“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory. More than 350 different advertisers sponsor the programs and services provided to your station on a barter basis. Like advertisers that purchase commercials on your radio station from your sales staff, our sponsors communicate specific rotations, daypart preferences and advertising environments they prefer. . .They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”

Now what this means – explaining some of the industry jargon and the context (Disclaimer: I’ve never worked in radio)

Traffic Manager” is the person who has the job of managing the commercials for a radio station. The Sales Person sells the ads, the Traffic Manager schedules when the ads will run in accordance with the sales contract and the policies of the station, makes sure the ads do run, and tracks to make sure the station is getting paid for the ads that are run (and schedules “Make Good” replacements if the air staff botch the running of the ads or otherwise fail to play the ads correctly). The smaller the radio station, the more likely that some of those functions are combined into one person.

National radio advertising is sold mostly by the one remaining National Representation firm Katz Media Group which just so happens to also be owned by Clear Channel.   How the other people in radio allowed this to happen is a mystery to me – when you hear an ad for Ford on your local “independent” radio station, it is very probable that Clear Channel gets a piece of the advertising revenue on that commercial and is cherry picking the best advertising time slots from its competitors.

The “Commercial Inventory” is those commercials which have been purchased by an advertiser, but not yet run.

“Barter Basis” is the most important thing to understand, and hard to pin down, because it is done fairly secretly to the public’s view.   Here is an example of how barter works in radio:  The Sales Guy wants to get the local Ford Dealer to advertiser on the radio station but isn’t getting anywhere.  He proposes a “Barter Deal” – rather than Ford dealer writing a check to pay for the ads, the transaction is done “off the books” – the car dealer provides the radio stations with cars to use and the radio station runs advertisements and does promotions for the car dealer.   Barter is done for a variety of reasons – it makes it easier to close the deal with advertisers who don’t like to spend cash, it has implications for purposes of accounting and taxes, and for the dishonest an opportunity to steal from the radio station.

In Syndicated Radio, how shows are paid for varies, depending mostly on the clout the show has and how many stations are willing to compete to give something of value up to get the show.  Shows with no clout just give the show away for free to any radio station who wants to run it (or even pay the radio station to run it) – the syndicator sells ads or products to pay for the show, and leaves holes in the programming for the local stations to run their advertisements to pay their bills.

On the other extreme is Rush Limbaugh – Rush’s ability to attract a desirable audience is well proven for over 20 years.  Unless a radio owner is blinded by their own political convictions, they would all jump at the chance to carry Limbaugh.   When Premiere is faced with a contract renewal, they have significant leverage to force radio stations to do things the radio station may not want to do.   A radio station may outright pay for the rights, but more commonly as alluded to in this letter, the stations agree to a barter deal with Premiere – they agree to take ads from Premiere and run them at other times of the day (like during the desirable morning drive time).    The station is not paying cash to get Rush, but is giving up advertising time that it would otherwise be selling to local advertisers.   They may have to run “Rush Limbaugh Minutes” during other parts of the day (with the ads embedded), may be pressured to carry other Premiere shows (If you want Rush, you have to carry Hannity), run the show for all three hours live and have no sports preemptions, run “Best of” shows on the weekends, maybe carry Ryan Seacrest on the music station the company also owns.   Clear Channel used to own LiveNation and put pressure to promote concerts at venues managed by Livenation, and demand stations run music from artists who had signed to appear at LiveNation concerts.  LiveNation has since been spun off as its own company, in part due to pressure from musicians and threats of an antitrust investigation.

“Rotations” is requirements about how the ads are to be run, i.e….  “No more than one per hour, no more than 2 in a daypart, no closer together than 30 minutes, no more than 20 a week, not during the last 15 minutes of the show”….  to generally set the rate at which the ads should be played – if McDonalds is running McRib ads for a month, they may want them spread out over the month, not all played in the first 2 days.

Daypart is industry jargon for “Time of Day” and day of week.   For almost all radio stations, “Morning Drive” daypart is the prime advertising that demands the best advertising rate.   An ad at 7:45 AM as people are close to arriving at work is much more valuable than one at 1:15AM when the audience is asleep and the people who are listening have little disposable income.

Now to the bullet:   The memo doesn’t say content that “Some may find objectionable” – Premiere outright says the list of shows that ARE objectionable in the eyes of advertisers, and gives specific examples:

  • Mark Levin – syndicated by Cumulus Media, not Premiere
  • Rush Limbaugh – Syndicated by Premiere
  • Tom Leykis – Tom Leykis has not had a radio show in about 5 years since the end of Free FM on CBS.  He is about to return to radio as his CBS non-compete runs out.   The only reason he is on this list is to make it look like Clear Channel is being even-handed and not targeting Conservative Talk Radio
  • Michael Savage – Syndicated by Talk Radio Network
  • Glenn Beck – syndicated by Premiere,
  • Sean Hannity – originally syndicated by ABC radio, but now syndicated by Premiere with a special arrangement for the former ABC radio stations now owned by Cumulus Media

Missing from that list are former Air America host Randi Rhodes, who IS syndicated by Premiere, and at least as caustic and controversial, and any of the “Progressive” hosts syndicated by Dial Global – Bill Press, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Mike Malloy

So with that background, this is what that message means in blunt language.  You are receiving programming provided by Premiere.   In order to keep the show, you must run advertisements for free that Katz media (us) have sold to national advertisers, but you may not run them during our offensive shows, nor offensive shows from our competitors if the host is a controversial talk show host [on the list provided to us by the White House].

So you as the station owner now have a choice – you can keep carrying Rush, with almost no national advertisements and also give up the valuable local ad time during other shows – which are how you pay your own bills – or can dump Conservative Talk shows and put on more “Acceptable” shows that won’t be offensive to the people at Media Matters and Think Progress and the New Black Panther Party.   Oh, by the way, your banker is on the phone and wants to discuss this with you too if you decide to fight us – the banker whose bank was bailed out by TARP funds.

What’s your decision?    Are you ready to die on this battlefield?  How important is it to keep radio “free” of government control of your programming content?   How much pressure from the FCC over your license are you willing to fend off in the future against claims that you weren’t acting “in the public interest”?   Are you willing to “out” the list of advertisers who are blackmailing you into staying silent?

The “Mormons hate black people” thing

No Republican is going to bring this up in the pimrary.    No Democrat is going to mention it until after Mitt Romney has locked up the nomination and it is too late for Republicans to change their candidate.

It’s an issue with no merit, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a potent weapon.   It came up briefly in 2008 and Romney chased it away, but he wasn’t the Republican Nominee and he wasn’t running against a man who is the result of an inter-racial sexual relationship.

I listen to “black radio” fairly regularly, something few “white” people do.  You can bet your last dollar that if Romney is the nominee running against Barack Obama, this issue will be out front 24 hours a day for months pounding Romney into the ground for something he doesn’t believe (at least I don’t think so)

Back in the “good old days”, the Mormon church had an official policy that blacks could not be in leadership positions in the Mormon Church and were specifically not considered to be equals

Background on LDS theology about Blacks

Mitt Romney’s reaction to being hit with that charge is that it was his father George Romney who pushed the LDS church to repeal its stand in 1978.   George Romney had tried to run for President in the 1960s with little success.   George Romney was born in Mexico after his parents fled the country.  It’s an open question as to whether George Romney was a “natural born” US citizen and eligible to run for President.

This is a letter George Romney received in 1964 while he was Governor of Michigan:

Letter from Delbert Stapley to George Romney

Enjoy your Super Tuesday   Choose wisely.

Andrew Jackson, Newt and Ron Paul

Newt would devastate Barack Obama if they are ever in a forum where knowledge of history is a factor.   Barack Obama missed learning all that American History we learned as children – to the extent he learned things in Hawaii, undoubtedly he was taught by Hawaiin teachers who resent being part of the United States.

I didn’t watch it, but I’ve heard a few clips of Newt getting standing ovations in South Carolina over the weekend.   He particularly stuck it to Ron Paul and his isolation by bringing up Andrew Jackson and how having been disfigured by a British Soldier at the age of 13, he had no problem fighting against the British in the war of 1812.   I suggested that he would bring up a historical Southern person to play on the regional sentiments of people in the South against those Yankees like Romney.

That having been said, Newt got away with a whopper, knowing that nobody in the room knows history – especially Ron Paul and people that work in TV.

New Orleans became part of the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.   During the War of 1812, the British seized New Orleans with the hope of cutting off river traffic in the Mississippi River and disrupting commerce and preventing the United States from using the river to move troops and supplies.  Andrew Jackson led the troops that just devastated the British and regained control of the city (which happened actually after the war was officially over, but it took a long time for the order that the war was over to get from Washington DC to New Orleans).

Ron Paul would have had no problem with the US Military fighting the British at New Orleans – that’s exactly the kind of thing Paul sees as the right role – the British had invaded US sovereign territory and it was the Federal Government’s obligation to expel the invaders.

If I can go so far as to put ideas into Ron Paul’s mouth, Ron Paul would have pointed out that the reason the United States got into the War of 1812 to begin with was the United States invading  Canada (then called British North America) and getting involved in taking sides (again) in the wars between England and France.

If you were to ask “Which president would Ron Paul be most like?”, Andrew Jackson is the obvious choice.   Andrew Jackson was a real outsider.  he was a “rube” from Tennessee who didn’t know how much he didn’t know.   One of his priorities was to dissolve the Second Bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve bank of its time.

Jackson was a Democrat in the literal sense – he was an egalitarian who saw Government as a tool of rich people to control the country and use its power to engorge their own profit.  He wanted government to serve the common people, not the big industrialists and bankers of the NorthEast.

Jacksonian Democracy would ultimately break apart the Democratic-Republican party (the Anti-Federalists) into the Democratic Party and the Whig Party (which would evolve into the Republican party), aligning the people of the South against the powerful economic interests of the NorthEast bankers and factory owners – laying the foundation for the Civil War.  The fight over tariffs under Jackson began to build up the anti Federal sentiment.

Being so anti-establishment, Jackson quickly found that both parties did not want to follow his lead, making him ineffective as President, as surely Ron Paul would face if he is elected.

Much of what people dwell on about Jackson is his dislike of Native Americans and pushing them out to Oklahoma and fighting to “liberate” Florida from Spain.   In today’s PC world where Native Americans are revered as special spiritual people who are more in touch with God than other peoples, the actual history gets overlooked.   Jackson’s opinions about the Native Americans was based on his experiences with them – in his youth growing up in Tennessee and South Carolina, and the English and Spain had been cultivating the support of the Indian tribes to rebel against the United States and destabilize the country while England was trying to destroy the United States.

Even though a number of tribes had fought with the United States in the War of 1812, ultimately he wanted them all moved out to Oklahoma against their will.

[And yes, the world could survive without Wikipedia]

Bain is the new Haliburton

Get ready – this story in Kansas City is not “news” and clealy has only one purpose – to “get Romney”.

Mitt Romney was there at the beginning of the Bain Capital Private Equity firm in 1986.   He left in 1999 to take over running the Salt Lake City Olympics(tm) which were in serious trouble.

In 2001, Bain gave up on this Steel processing plant and put it into bankruptcy, and dumped the underfunded pension liabilities into the government Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

Therefore, Mitt Romney is responsible for everything that Bain Capital does or ever does, just as Dick Cheney is still responsible for everything that Haliburton did or ever did.

On the other hand, Michele Obama has no responsibility for all the people who died because she worked with the hospital system that employed her to keep poor people from coming to the hospitals.

The Muslim Santa Clause

Bet you didn’t hear that on the news.

Aziz Yazdanpanah killed his family, dressed as Santa Claus.  A small amount of additional research quickly identifies him as an Iranian immigrant.  He apparently complained recently about people complaining about his ethnicity, and his house is in foreclosure.

The 8 justices of the Supreme Court.

James Oliphant.   What a buffoon.  (Not to be confused with Tom Oliphant)

He thinks Governor Perry thinks there are only 8 Justices on the Supreme Court because Gov Perry said “eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges” decided to ban prayer from public school.

Engle vs Vitale – the 1962 ruling of the US Supreme Court that outlawed requiring  public school students to recite a prayer was decided by a 7-1 vote.

Eight judges did make that decision.

Nice try.

Perhaps Mr Oliphant had that case confused with the 1963 cases of Abington School District v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett which dealt with the issue requiring  reciting Bible verses in public schools.

Those cases were decided by a vote of 8-1.

That point having been made, how bizarre that a candidate embracing the Constitution would then say that it is flawed because the Supreme Court isn’t elected by the people.   You can’t love the Constitution then make such a blanket statement about it being fundamentally flawed.  God didn’t want an elected Supreme Court.