“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.
“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”
Translation: Liberals love taxes so long as someone else is paying them.
As the New York Times revenue base continues to collapse and it prepares for a much smaller future, it is only natural that members of the top management at America’s holy writ of contemporary liberalism would be made to walk the plank. So it was that Executive Editor Jill Abramson was fired by Publish Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger, Jr. this week. However, Abramson has not gone quietly:
New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. felt he had no choice but to hit back at Jill Abramson late Saturday after being attacked in the media for sexist motives in dismissing his executive editor.
Sulzberger sacked Abramson after concluding that her managing editor, Dean Baquet, would have quit otherwise and that this would have been devastating to the paper, says a Times executive with knowledge of the situation. Instead, Sulzberger elevated Baquet to be the paper’s first African-American editor.
The final straw was Sulzberger’s conclusion that Abramson had misled him by not informing Baquet that she planned to bring in another journalist, the Guardian’s Janine Gibson, and give her the same title of managing editor, the executive said. That was viewed as a sign of disrespect to her deputy. Baquet complained to Sulzberger about being blindsided shortly before Abramson’s dismissal.
The Abramson firing has played out amid allegations of sexism after leaks to the New Yorker that her $500,000 salary was less than that of her male predecessor, Bill Keller. Sulzberger, who had already put out a statement saying that she was actually earning 10 percent more than Keller in her last year, issued a toughly worded second statement on Saturday.
Go here to read the rest by Howard Kurtz. The New York Times accused of sexism, does it get any better than that! Well, yes it does, for those of us who like our schadenfreude served up in large portions. The upper reaches of the management of the paper has apparently been more than a bit daft for quite some time:
Ed Driscoll at PJ Media gives us this bizarre incident:
By 2003, it was obvious that the New York Times had gone off the rails, between the firings of Jayson Blair for serial fabulism and Howell Raines for hiring him — not to mention Raines’ obsession with the Augusta National Golf Club, while a slightly larger story was unfolding in America: 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the dawn of the Global War on Terror.
At a 2003 meeting to reassure hundreds of troubled and irate Times staff members that everything was under control, Sulzberger suddenly displayed a stuffed toy moose. “He commented that unhappy Times employees should ‘talk to the moose,’ ‘deal with the moose,’” wrote one journalist, “and he also urged employees to ‘put their moose on the table.’” Sulzberger then handed the moose to Executive Editor Howell Raines, who put the stuffed toy aside next to his chair.
“You’re sitting in the room with giants in the business,” one Times reporter, appalled by Sulzberger’s toy moose, told New York Magazine. “It was mortifying.” “Its use struck some in the audience as a tone-deaf and patronizing gesture,” reported the New York Daily News. “It wasn’t just embarrassing,” wrote journalist John Ellis. “It was embarrassing and pathetic.”
For days thereafter, pundits pondered why the 52-year-old publisher had brought a toy moose to such a serious meeting. Eventually they discovered that Sulzberger is a huge fan of psychological motivation techniques. The moose is akin to the expression “the elephant in the room,” a big topic that people are reluctant to acknowledge or talk about.
“My father and his generation were defined by the Great Depression and World War II, and it created a very strong command-and-control culture,” Sulzberger has said. “My generation is defined more by revolutions…. We deal with the moose.”
To amplify Pinch’s comments, his father, Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger (1926-2012), who grew up in the dynasty that owned the New York Times, enlisted in the US Marines in 1944, serving in the Pacific Theater, and accompanied MacArthur to the surrender of Imperial Japan. His son deploys a stuffed moose during critical business meetings. Continue reading
My heart bleeds:
Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.
They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.
But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage. Continue reading
But… but maybe he’s only a little crazy like painters or composers or… or some of those men in Washington.
Mr. Shellhammer, Miracle on 34th Street, (1947)
Something to brighten the Christmas Season courtesy of Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air:
Capitol Hill staffers are hitting multiple obstacles in trying to enroll in the Obamacare exchange just days before the federal government’s deadline for getting coverage.
They and lawmakers have until Monday to sign up on DC Health Link, the District’s insurance exchange, if they want to maintain the government’s generous employer contribution to their health insurance.
But as crunch time approaches, Democratic and Republican staffers are getting error messages, denials, notices that they’re enrolled in multiple plans and incomplete confirmation — as well as a website that went down briefly Thursday.
Officials at DC Health Link say that they are working quickly to fix each problem. But the snags are causing a lot of frustration and grief.
I feel for anyone who has to go through this process who didn’t have a direct hand in passing this thing. As for the true believers, it is quite useful to have them experience exactly what the rest of America is going through. And, this is what that looks like:
We are in the best of hands.
Rep. John Boehner’s journey through the system has been well documented. It took him 3-4 hours to find out his premiums will double and his co-pays and deductible tripled.
“I’m thrilled to death, as you can tell.”
An amendment to the Affordable Care Act required federal lawmakers and their personal staff to forfeit their government-sponsored health care plans and enroll in state-based insurance exchanges. The goal was to make lawmakers experience what many Americans face in the individual marketplace.
But with the enrollment deadline looming, the complaints are growing louder — and are aimed particularly at the D.C. small-business exchange that members of Congress are supposed to enroll in.
The D.C. exchange’s log-in tool experienced technical difficulties Thursday morning.
“Sigh. I was just in the middle of signing up,” the chief of staff for Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, tweeted in response to an internal Senate email about the hiccup.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s speechwriter and communications adviser Amanda Carpenter has also been tweeting her experiences. She went to a physical DC Health Link help line offered for staffers after her first online attempt failed. Continue reading
Well it’s a Friday, I will be picking up my son for Thanksgiving Break and then tomorrow, he, my bride and I will be going to Monmouth College to see my daughter performing in A Christmas Carol. Life is good, and the story below makes it even better:
“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.” Continue reading
I really do think that the average Obama voter really did believe that Obamacare would lead to lower health insurance prices, except for mean rich Republicans perhaps. Many of them are now learning just how wrong they were:
Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”
Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.
No national polls today because of the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see any more until last-minute weekend ones. To tide over political junkies, there is a fun story in SFGate about California liberals petrified over the prospect that the Southside Messiah may not be reelected:
Edelman hosted a bunch of friends to watch the debate over dinner. But after the first five minutes unfolded, nobody ate. Few spoke. “And right after it ended, everybody just got up and left,” she said.
Alas, Obama didn’t respond to Blume’s pleas. And for the next two nights, Blume didn’t sleep. A man who has voted for only one Republican in his life - when the Beatles were touring – found himself questioning Obama and the state of the campaign.