Monday, 14 March 2011

Just a Comment on NPR

When and if the budget cut does come to NPR....which might happen (it's more likely than less likely)....the NPR folks will come out and tell you that they can get the money and advertisers to continue on.

I sat and pondered over this today.  There are 1341 transmitters around America.  If congress worded their document in a certain way....and forbid any government agency from donating toward the NPR vehicle....to include the transmitter towers, then it'd be up to the states to fund these and carry them on.

It kinda hit me at that point....some states are simply not going to be able to keep full power and keep operating 1341 towers around America.  Donations?  You might be able to keep operating cost continuing but these towers require replacement situations and equipment.

Within two years....I'd predict that 100 of the transmitters would be off-line (if congress cut their funding as part of the scheme).

Within five years?  I'd bet on 500 of the transmitters off-line.

You'd still have streaming audio, and maybe someone like Bill Gates would fund an entire satellite channel. Maybe.  Maybe not.

But if not.....then you'd have these big shadow areas across the US where you wouldn't have NPR reaching people.  It might still be strong in urban areas....but in the rural areas of Alabama or Kansas?  No. In some ways....they'd repeat the problems of Air America....being unable to reach a full audience across the US.

So is NPR in trouble?  Yeah....they might just lose thirty percent of their audience eventually....because of some stupid comments on the air and some stupid comments in getting donations.

The Woes of Rory

It's a difficult mess to explain....so I will have to use Bama-speak to get points across.

There is this young gentleman who happens to be the son of Senator Harry Reid....named Rory Reid.  This young fella was all primed and pumped up last summer to run for governor of Nevada.  Naturally, it takes money to run.  So he had some friends and they organized themselves as a political action committee.  These political action committees are always referred to as PAC's....for you folks from Bama.

Congress got all upset about the way that PACs run...so naturally, they invented some rules about them and how transparent they run.  That's mostly hidden chat-chat commentary meaning that you really need to hide the good so that newspapers and regular folks can't figure out your schemes.  But it has to look open and transparent.  Confusing?  Yes.....but that's the best way to do things like this.

Rory's two friends started up this PAC called the "Economic Leadership PAC"...which is pretty for a title. They registered it just like congress mandated.  They even filled in the address.  Somehow....they got some money dumped into the EL-PAC....although it's not clear who or what gave them the money.

Along the next step here....the EL-PAC wanted to help Rory (like you would imagine)....except there is this funny rule that a PAC is limited to a $10k donation.  It's a fine rule for most folks but it didn't help Rory much.

So the boys got this idea of creating sub-PACs....so they registered them....into dozens, and dozens and dozens.  And they donated $750k to Rory....at $10k a whack.

Naturally, this would have all been ok except some idiot asked for a listing for all the PAC donations and then did the homework to figure what street address each of them used in their paperwork.  Eventually, some idiot spent a heck of alot of time doing this.

Strange thing....all of these 90-odd PACs....came out of the same address as the EL-PAC.  Yep, it's kinda like you had 90 relatives listed at your house and pretending that they all live there with you.  You know it's highly impossible.

Rory is kinda standing there and hinting now that things are clear, transparent, and "fully disclosed".  I'm guessing the state folks will ask for more details and he's got some explaining to do.  At the very least....he will have to pay a fine.  These folks might be nice enough to let Rory just pay $20k and walk away.  They might make it $100k just to make an impression on him.

The real crime here?  Rory should have had 90-odd addresses lined up in some trailer parks around the state, and just had 90-odd fellas donating each from a different trailer park.  This would have made this all perfectly legit, or appear that way.  So it's more of a crime of stupidity.

So don't worry.  Rory is still in the clear and won't do any jail-time....and most of this will be forgotten in two years anyway.  As for the EL-PAC?  Well....it'll dissolve and folks will create a totally new fancy named PAC in two years for Rory.  And this time....they will be smart enough to create 90-odd sub-PACs around the entire state of Nevada....probably from barbershop PACs, coffee-shop PACs, bordello PACs and even dairy farm PACs.  Course, congress will eventually question how a barbershop PAC can come up with $10k and we might have to out-law barbershop PACs from existence.

Just another day in America.

Quote of the Day

“We’ve gone from a 24/7 news cycle to 24/7 elections."

- A quote by State Senator Tim Cullen (D) of Janeseville, Wisconsin.


It's a short and blunt quote that most folks would really prefer not to hear.  Folks have to attend family reunions where they will be asked their standing on this party or this problem....and it's best not to answer.  The same will be true of a guy who has traveled six hundred miles for a high school reunion....only to face a couple of guys who are now absolute union enthusiasts.  The same will be true of folks who married someone and suddenly discover that they are sympathetic toward the Tea Party folks and you just can't stand them.