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Tuesday, September 6, 2011


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The price of cuts

Cut government.

That means cuts in infrastructure, meaning roads, bridges, tracks that transport goods, police and fire protection, parks and recreation, and above all education.

But those who cry for cuts tend to be older, already having benefited from the most prosperous time of the Greatest Nation on Earth.

Without good roads and railroads the cost of transporting all the food and goods we buy and use will go up. Without parks and recreation our quality of life will go down. And without education we become sheep, answering to corporate or worse yet, political dictators instead of making informed and well reasoned decisions and operating as a democracy as established by the founding fathers.

In all of these it is the poor and middle class,  those for whom food, or even options goods, are choices that take budget planing and conservation to afford. The wealthy and the corporate interests can afford increases in minor costs and gain power from those who do not pay attention to current affairs, feel that their voice does not count and who do not vote.  Sheep can be lead with thirty second ads, five word slogans, false accusation and promises and being given basic sustenance.

If we cut government, the sheep will be more easily led by those with the money and power to buy the government, and the vote.

If we cut education, we are giving up over 230 years of what up until now has been the positive experiment of democracy and government by, for and of the people.

Is it worth the savings of the cuts?

Is it worth not raising taxes on the wealthy, as we have done in every major financial or military crisis in the past, or for that matter paying a bit more ourselves?

Can we really afford to cut government?

Can we afford to slip into second tier status as a nation, and give up our claim of being the Greatest Nation on Earth?

"You cannot base your life on other people's expectations. " -Stevie Wonder

Couric's Not So Hard Hitting Night Line Debut, MGM focus on International, Superbowl is already sold out

Doug Finberg, MGM

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has hired a new top marketing executive whose experience lies overseas, underscoring how important foreign markets are to the rebooted studio.
Doug Finberg, previously an international marketing executive at Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks SKG, has been named executive vice president of marketing at MGM, where he will oversee all publicity for the studio. He replaces Michael Vollman, who recently left the companyafter finding himself with a paucity of movies to sell.
Under new chief executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, MGM does not yet have domestic distribution rights to any movies that it is co-financing. However the studio does have a mixture of foreign theatrical rights in certain countries and foreign television rights to several films, including next year's James Bond and "The Hobbit" pictures and this December's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
No hard labor for "The Help." The Labor Day weekend typically marks the end of the summer movie season and, as has been the case for the last few years, Hollywood went out with a whimper, not a bang. The three new movies opening -- "The Debt," "Apollo 18" and "Shark Night 3D" -- didn't set the world on fire. Staying on top was "The Help," which took in $19 million. Box-office analysis from theLos Angeles Times and Variety. Also a look at the summer box office overall from the New York Timesand a harsh critique of that story from Movie City News.
Party of One. Chris Keyser, a co-creator of Fox's "Party of Five," has emerged as a serious dark-horse candidate in the race for the top spot at the Writers Guild of America West. Keyser is currently neck and neck with Patrick Verrone, the former two-term guild president who helmed it during the 2007-08 writers strike. More on the race and what it means for Hollywood from the Los Angeles Times.
Was Andrew Dice Clay not available? The hottest rumor of the weekend was that Eddie Murphy had emerged as the leading candidate to host the Oscars. At first I threw water on my face and turned on the TV to make sure I hadn't gone back in time to 1986. No, it is still 2011. Murphy, who is far removed from his hey day as one of the hottest performers in the world, is certainly capable but I'm not quite sure who he would appeal to and wonder if he'll be paired up with anyone. Coverage fromDeadline Hollywood.
What did Rupert Murdoch not know and when did he not know it? The probe into phone hacking at News Corp.'s now closed News of the World tabloid continues this week with another hearing in Parliament. A former News Corp. lawyer said at the Tuesday hearing that he did not think Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the media giant, had been fully briefed on the ethics scandal when he made his appearance before Parliament earlier this summer. Coverage from the Wall Street Journal.
My offer is in the mail. There are five first-round bidders for Hulu, the popular video site owned by News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp. Among those making a play are Amazon, Yahoo, Google and satellite broadcaster Dish Network. The latest from Bloomberg.
Super spots. NBC has just about sold out its commercial inventory for next February's Super Bowl. The network sought to get $3.5 million per-30 second spot, which would be a record. However, an NBC executive told Ad Week that advertisers could get commercials cheaper if they bought ad time elsewhere on the network's schedule.
Tax code revolt. Former Disney lobbyist Preston Padden penned an op-ed in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call advocating overhauling of the deferral tax loophole. "It rewards companies for moving property and jobs overseas, and it is unfair to corporations that keep jobs in the United States and then must shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of government," Padden wrote, citing General Electric Co. as an example of the problems with the code. 
Hard-hitting story. Katie Couric will make her debut for ABC on Tuesday's edition of "Nightline." Her piece? An interview with actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who has a new movie coming out. Is this the kind of tough stuff that CBS was keeping her from doing? Kidding! The piece no doubt will be used to showcase Couric's ability to snag celebrities as ABC parent Walt Disney Co. starts to sell her afternoon talk show, which is set to debut next fall. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Hollywood fights to keep its tax credit for California productions.Mary McNamara on the return of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." "Rescue Me" gets ready to end its run. John Horn on the Telluride Film Festival.
-- Joe Flint and others...
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From the LA Times Company Town blog (click here for the latest news)