Posted at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2008
by Bob Collins
Chevron and Bank of America were added in place of Honeywell, and Altria, the tobacco company.
Honeywell is being dropped because it is the smallest of the industrials in terms of revenue and earnings. It is also reflective of the fact the U.S. economy isn't as much about industrials anymore.
Posted at 10:41 AM on February 11, 2008
by Bob Collins
Last month, I posted the story of Ken Dahlberg, who grew up poor in St. Paul and Wisconsin, and ended up being a rich guy, with a stop along the way to become an ace in World War II.
There's another person today, whose life just makes you shake your head at the amazing journey, which ended today for Rep. Tom Lantos of California. He died of cancer in Washington.
Says the Associated Press:
Lantos, who referred to himself as ''an American by choice,'' was born to Jewish parents in Budapest, Hungary, and was 16 when Adolf Hitler occupied Hungary in 1944. He survived by escaping from the labor camp and coming under the protection of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who used his official status and visa-issuing powers to save thousands of Hungarian Jews.
As his obituary by the AP (no doubt prepared well in advance) notes, Lantos brought a moral authority to his work as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a coveted spot in the Great Comments on Capitol Hill Hall of Fame.
''Morally, you are pygmies,'' he told execs of Yahoo! last year, when they defended their company's role in providing the information to China, which allowed it to jail a journalist.
Some other favorite Lantosisms:
"The Lord gave us Ten Commandments, but the bill before the House today gives us 39." -- June 2005, speaking on a Republican get-tough-with-the-U.N. bill.
“You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany.” -- October 2007 in an exchange with Dutch lawmakers who visited Guantanamo Bay. The exchange also included, "“Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay.”
"Unless you're unbelievably naive, it is self-evident that baseball's new policy is designed to silence the critics and not to solve the problem." - March 2005 at congressional inquiry into steroids in baseball.
“It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.” -- Last month, announcing he would retire from Congress, knowing he was dying.
A couple of prominent news sources today kick around the question of whether a snapshot in time captures who candidates really are.
First, the New York Times (Putting Candidates Under the Videoscope), profiles "embeds," the "will work cheap" videographers and reporters who film everything the candidate does, blog like crazy, and occasionally get the big story, like when Mitt Romney hugged the women from Hooters, or when FoxNews' Bill O'Reilly shoved a member of Barack Obama's staff.
Says the Times...
The ubiquitous camcorders and immediate Internet access do make the campaigns more wary of potential pitfalls. If a candidate becomes irritated during a newspaper reporter’s interview, the instance may merit only a sentence in the next day’s article. But if the exchange takes place in front of video cameras, “It gets put on the Internet for the whole world to see, not just for that day’s news, but repeatedly over time,” Mr. Fehrnstrom said.
Is this a good thing? No, says Dan Gillmor today. He runs the Center for Citizen Media, a one-man advocate for putting journalism in the hands of people.
What is still not part of the understanding is the sheer unfairness of letting a single moment on video reflect a person’s reality. Yet this is what seems to happen on a regular basis.
When, as in the case of former Sen. George Allen — he of the famous “Macaca” comment — there is a history of racially charged words and deeds, then you have something worth discussing. When it’s simply one of those weird moments on the campaign trail, it’s nothing or close to it.
I could follow anyone reading this with a video camera for an hour and post something on the Web that would make you look ridiculous. You could do the same to me. Neither posting would reflect who we really are.
A culture of gotcha is a shallow culture. Is it the one we really want to promote?
Perhaps true. On the other hand, my day today -- and I'll bet yours -- is not completely scripted, occasional with the purpose to hide who we really are.(2 Comments)
Posted at 1:57 PM on February 11, 2008
by Bob Collins
How do you think CBS News would cover this if it weren't about CBS News?
BAGHDAD (AP) - Two CBS News journalists were missing in the predominantly Shiite southern city of Basra, the network said Monday.
CBS said all efforts were under way to find the journalists, who were not identified by the network. It requested "that others do not speculate on the identities of those involved" until more information was available.
"CBS News has been in touch with the families and asks that their privacy be respected," the network added in a brief statement from its headquarters in New York.
Posted at 3:52 PM on February 11, 2008
by Bob Collins
With the Legislature set to begin on Tuesday, no doubt there'll be a few bills to raise sales taxes. The transportation folks want a gas tax increase and a metro-area sales tax. The hunting/fishing/classic music coalition wants a 3/8 of 1 percent sales tax increase to go before voters in November.
Where does Minnesota's sales tax rank with other states? It has ranked 5th for most of this decade, even though it hasn't raised its sales tax (except for the baseball stadium and some local options).
For the gas tax, Minnesota currently ranks 38th. It ranks 25th in "spirits tax." It ranks 34th in beer tax. These numbers are all courtesy of The Tax Foundation using 2006 numbers.
The state and local tax burden for Minnesota places it 11th nationally. Only 3 times since 1970 has the state ranked that low - 2004, 2005 and 1970. It also ranks 11th in terms of total tax burden -- including federal, state and local taxes.
While many folks in the northern climate are worried about the effect that Delta will have if and when it takes over Northwest Airlines, in Atlanta there's some fretting about what will happen to Delta if it adopts some of the practices of Northwest.
Teamsters President James Hoffa says because Northwest outsources a lot of its maintenance work overseas, the prospect of sending even more jobs to Asia "is a key concern that should be addressed" in any regulatory review of a possible merger.
Delta, which like Northwest is not represented by the Teamsters, says the concern is unfounded because the airline profits from doing maintenance for other airlines.
"Delta senior leadership has made very clear its commitment to growing its in-house maintenance business by focusing on high-skill, high-value maintenance work," Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Last year, Delta TechOps brought in more than $377 million in revenue, and 2008 is looking to be even better."
Did you catch that?
Delta is commenting on the effects of a merger that hasn't even been announced yet.(1 Comments)
Posted at 6:03 PM on February 11, 2008
by Bob Collins
We all made fun of former Timberwolf Latrell Sprewell when he turned down a 3 year $21 million contract, saying "I've got a family to feed."
We thought he was kidding.
It turns out, "Spree" really didn't know how to make ends meet while making big cash.