John Nichols on Local Endorsements

John Nichols comments on local endorsements from the Wisconsin State Journal:

As such, they’ve set up an interesting choice for Madisonians. If voters think that George Bush is a great president and that Tammy Baldwin is a rotten member of Congress, they will definitely want to back the State Journal’s slate of candidates.

This is a very interesting time….

Free Speech & Blogs Cause Flap in Tennessee

The fast growing internet writer (and free speech) world is making some waves. Bill Hobbs relates the story of the Tennessee House Speaker killing a representative’s bill because he “had the nerve” to start writing about the “goings-on” in the legislature. More here and here. Civil, respectful discourse can only benefit our society. Internet writers are simply stepping into the void created by a changing media landscape.

I think Therese Berceau would be an excellent legislative blogger.

Profit Margins Growing Faster Than Sales…. Newspapers

Or – “Harvesting a market position”:
Jay Rosen: Laying The Newspaper Gently Down to Die:

The Project for Excellence in Journalism, in its invaluable report on the state of the news media today, puts it this way: “If older media sectors focus on profit-taking and stock price, they may do so at the expense of building the new technologies that are vital to the future. There are signs that that may be occurring.”

Newspapers in 2004, for instance, increased their profits at double the rate (8%) that their revenues grew (less than 4%), according to the Newspaper Association of America, a distinct sign of profit-taking. The industry remains highly profitable. Margins averaged 22.9% in 2004, according to the analyst Lauren Fine, and are expected to rise in 2005. The investment in online publications, though, where the size of the profits is still fairly modest, remains by most evidence cautious.

Perhaps this local example is related?

Tax Foundation on Colorado’s TABOR

The Tax Foundation:

The state of Colorado is under assault. Opponents of Colorado?s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) are waging a well coordinated but misleading attack on Colorado?s reputation. This attack takes the form of a number of rankings and statistics that purport to show that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights has decimated Colorado. These rankings and statistics are based on the assumption that if Colorado ranks poorly on things like the adequacy of prenatal care and education spending, then Colorado is failing to adequately care for and educate its citizens, and that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights must be to blame. A closer look at the attacks shows that they fail to prove that the amount a state spends on health care and education determines quality, and they also fail to tell the whole truth about the rankings and statistics of the state of Colorado.

Armstrong’s Notes on MGM vs Grokster

Timothy K. Armstrong:

I would say the argument went a little better for Grokster than I would have expected it to. Not to the point where I’d actually predict victory for them, but to my mind at least, the questions Grokster got were not as difficult as those MGM got.
The big issue that the Justices were wrestling with, it seemed to me, is what the standard ought to be for deciding whether services like Grokster can be secondarily liable for their users’ copyright infringement. The Justices did not sound especially satisfied with either MGM’s or the government’s answers to this question.

David Byrne Launches an Internet Radio Station


Musician and artist David Byrne, known most widely as co-founder of the Talking Heads, has just launched an internet radio station that streams the music he digs. I spoke with Mr. Byrne earlier today about the project for NPR’s “Day to Day.” Part of the interview will be included in a segment airing on the show tomorrow about filesharing and cultural change — but here are more details about the radio project.