Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take The Bonus Omid, Please! notes Google sales chief Omid Kordestani turned down his $1.4 million bonus in 2008. And, according to the company, "Omid also declined to receive any equity awards in 2009.”

Bad Omid. Bad Omid.

Amigo, I understand you're a billionaire and want to make a statement about -- something. But you're returning a ton of money to a company with a market cap bigger than a lot of national economies.

Think, Omid, think.

Take the dollars, take the equity, and invest it in ways that help people survive the economic collapse. Health insurance premiums? Education? Health insurance premiums? Support for non-profits trying to help? Health insurance premiums?

And, really, it's a decent tax deduction no matter how complicated your retrun.

Are we square on this Omid? Thanks, man.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The End Of A Free Press?

Let us hope the proposed Newspaper Revitalization Act never becomes law.

A seemingly well-meant attempt to prop up failing newspapers, such a law would be the beginning of the end for a free press in this country.

The legislation would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code.

They could report on all issues, including political campaigns but would be prohibited from making political endorsements. Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax exempt. Contributions to support news coverage or operations could be tax deductible.

In effect, the law would give government more than a toehold in every news paper that adopts this model. What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away. Regardless of what anyone says, that simple fact will always be with all-too-human editors and publishers as they plan news coverage.

And if a president doesn't like what the subscribing papers say about her she can simply drop a dime on the IRS suggesting an audit of the offending publication's tax-exempt status.

Nor would this kind of help cure what's ailing newspapers: An archaic business model and declining readership.

The newspaper industry -- just like the automakers -- is paying the price for its arrogance and short-sighted attitude. Rather than prop up either one with direct or indirect subsidies, it's time to let them die off so more agile, forward-looking replacements can step in.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bill Is Back

Secret assignments, kidnappings, brainwashing. No, they cannot stop me.

I am back.