Newspaper exec talks to WSJ but not his own paper

The CEO of Stephens Media wouldn’t give his own newspaper a quote about attempts to dissolve the JOA, but he gives one to The Wall Street Journal. Riding for the brand? Not.

“To say that we are attempting to monopolize anything is utterly ridiculous considering the plethora of news and advertising sources available to Las Vegas residents and the realities of the modern media marketplace,” WSJ this afternoon quotes Mike Ferguson, CEO of Stephens Media. “We will vigorously contest the unfounded allegations in this action, and are confident that the courts will agree. We intend to seek reimbursement of our attorneys’ fees for this meritless action.”

And just what is the real circulation figure now? Do they still have that reader board in the lunchroom ticking down the numbers?

WSJ says the Sun board of directors voted for noncompete clause, but I think they may be assuming something.

WSJ quotes Leif Reid as saying, “The Supreme Court said in the Associated Press case that freedom to publish is guaranteed by the Constitution, but that freedom to combine to keep others from publishing is not. We believe that the Review Journal’s effort to eliminate its competition through this illegal and anticompetitive transaction will be stopped by the courts.”



Another reason why background checks for private sales of guns is wrong

When Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed Senate Bill 221, he said that requiring background checks for the private sales of firearms is an erosion of Second Amendment rights.

A certain know-it-all pundit gave the governor a hearty horse laugh and said:

“To accept the governor’s argument, it’s constitutional if I buy a gun in a gun store and undergo a background check, but it’s an unconstitutional erosion of my Second Amendment rights if I buy a gun from some guy in the parking lot of that same gun store? That’s simply ridiculous.”


No, the real and pertinent reason background checks are wrong is that they are racist. The federal government says so.

Gov. Brian Sandoval (AP photo)

An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has unloaded both barrels against companies that conduct background checks on potential employees.

The EEOC discovered that retailer Dollar General rejected 10 percent of black job applicants over failing a criminal background screening but only 7 percent of whites. The editorial noted, “The EEOC calls that three-percentage-point difference a ‘gross disparity’ that is ‘statistically significant’ enough to qualify as discrimination.”

There you have it, background checks are racist.

One of the main reasons for the passage of the post-Civil War 14th Amendment was to assure blacks could not be deprived of their civil rights, as outlined by the Bill of Rights, by the various states. Until then the Bill of Rights only applied to the Congress, not the states. The 14th assured that blacks could not lawfully be deprived of Second Amendment rights, which is precisely what was taking place.

Ridiculous? No, racist.

Come to think of it, what about that requirement that gun stores conduct background checks?

How would Harry like to have 10 Ted Cruzes to contend with?

The Wall Street Journal’s front page feature article today carries the amusing healine: “The Yellow Prose of Texas? Secession Movement Blooms in Fiction: Alternate-History Authors Explore Putting The ‘Lone’ Back in the Lone Star State.”

For instance:

“‘The Secession of Texas’ by Darrell Maloney of San Antonio envisions an independent Texas with its own border patrol, guarding against people trying to sneak into the country illegally — from Oklahoma.”

While the story points out that nobody of any consequence, including the authors of the several novels cited, is all too serious about Texas seceding from the Union, it fails to address a little known aspect of history contained in the resolution admitting Texas as a state in 1845, after having been an independent nation since the defeat of Santa Anna’s Mexico army in 1836.

This reads:

“New States, of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of the said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the federal constitution.”

Yes, Texas could break into five separate states. What makes this prospect all the more tantalizing is imagining how Harry Reid would contend with 10 Ted Cruzes.

Obama’s thugocracy sues rating agency that downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating

Attorney General Eric Holder is suing the Standard & Poor’s credit rating service for $5 billion for fraudulently giving overly optimistic ratings to residential mortgage-backed securities that subsequently crashed in value and cost investors untold amounts of money, according to Bloomberg News.

The Justice Department investigation, code-named “Alchemy,” began in November 2009, and reportedly looked into a number of ratings agencies but litigation against only S&P was announced Tuesday.

Eric Holder (Bloomberg photo at WSJ)

A funny thing happened along the way, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial today.

The newspaper quotes an S&P attorney as saying “things seemed to rev up in terms of the intensity” of the federal probe in 2011, about the time the agency downgraded Washington’s credit worthiness during the debt-limit fight. That was about the same time the credit rating agency Moody’s, which did not downgrade the government, was dropped from the investigation.

WSJ could not resist pointing out the rich irony of the fact that Jack Lew, nominated to be secretary of the Treasury, was the head of Citigroup’s subprime mortgage investment division. Lew was paid nearly $1 million at a time the company’s stock value was crashing as a result of bad investments.

Bloomberg also points out that Obama’s new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, when he was the attorney general in Ohio, sued all of the big three ratings agencies — S&P, Moody’s and Fitch — accusing them of giving fraudulent credit ratings that cost public employee pension funds to lose money.

A judge dismissed the case, saying such opinions are essentially protected free speech and “predictive opinions.” A federal appeals court upheld the ruling in December.

In a right-hand-doesn’t-know-what-the-left-hand-is-doing mode, the WSJ points out that SEC rules require financial institutions to hold assets that are highly graded by the Big Three. But Justice is suing S&P, not the SEC.

Don’t think it is a co-incidence that only S&P is being sued and the government is using an argument that has already failed in court, while the president appoints people involved in abject failures to lucrative government jobs.