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Monday, March 26, 2012

President Obama's March 21st Boulder City interview with Marketplace

The Obama interview: U.S. must invest in itself

President Obama, in exclusive Marketplace interview, defended U.S. investment in alternative energy and called for more investment in the nation's infrastructure. Above, host Kai Ryssdal checks his notes during interview at the Copper Mountain solar plant in Nevada desert.
U.S. President Barack Obama walks across the tarmac to greet well-wishers on March 21, 2012 upon arrival at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) tours the Copper Mountain Solar Project, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country, March 21, 2012 in Boulder City, Nev.

On a two-day trip to promote his energy policy, President Obama told Marketplace in an exclusive interview that the U.S. must invest in alternative energy or cede leadership to China. He called on Congress to help create jobs by providing more aid to struggling homeowners and investing more in infrastructure.

Under attack by Republican critics for rising gas prices, the president is speaking to audiences in four states to argue for what he calls his "all of the above" energy policy: making the United States energy independent by developing all kinds of energy, drilling for oil and gas but also investing in alternative energies such as solar.

He came to Nevada to visit Boulder City, a city built by the government to house construction workers building the Hoover Dam. Today it's the site of the Copper Mountain solar plant, the largest operating solar generator in the country, powering 17,000 homes with the use of nearly one million solar panels.
As Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal put it, the president was "kicking into economic campaign mode."

Ways industry makes money shifting faster than expected. Streaming to pass DVD/Blue Ray this year!

Later this year, movie streaming over the Internet is expected to overtake traditional home viewing of movies on DVD and Blu-Ray, which means consumers could wind up spending far less on the movies we watch.
Kai Ryssdal: Turns out this is going to be a big year for the movie industry. "Hunger Games" aside, it's not necessarily going to be a year of record ticket sales or blockbuster franchise.
No, according to the research firm IHS Screen Digest, later this year, movie streaming over the Internet is expected to overtake traditional home viewing of movies on DVDs and Blu-Rays, which means consumers could wind up spending far less on the movies we watch.
Here's our senior business correspondent Bob Moon.

Bob Moon: On the surface, it sounds like blockbuster news for the entertainment industry: The report predicts the number of movies rented or purchased online will jump by 135 percent this year. But consumers are expected to spend $11 billion buying DVDs and Blu-ray discs this year. Compare that to less than $2 billion they'll spend on movies over the Internet.
As CNET senior writer Greg Sandoval sees it, this could be one of those scenes with a train barreling straight down the tracks -- toward Hollywood.
Greg Sandoval: It can't be good news for the studios and creators, because if it happens quicker than they think, they're unprepared. They haven't figured out how to make money off of streaming yet.
Sandoval explains that "all you can eat"-style subscription services are eating up much of the revenue.
Sandoval: When you stream, they're paying much less money for their video than if they were buying.
Sandoval says the industry has looked at streaming as something in the future -- but the future is now.
Shelly Palmer is the author of "Overcoming the Digital Divide." He says the studios need to re-learn an important lesson.
Shelly Palmer: They were completely convinced that VHS tapes would put them out of business, then they were completely sure that DVDs would put them out of business. And in both cases, both technologies enhanced sales dramatically.
Palmer says the key is embracing what consumers want.
Palmer: As long as the movie studios fight the good fight by making it super easy to stream legally, by making the price appropriate for a legal stream, they're going to have a good line of defense.
You could say they need a strategy right out of the movies.
Marlon Brando in "The Godfather": I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.
I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Obamacare Scare Tactics Take Ugly Turn

Obamacare Scare Tactics
On August 21, 2009, while the Congress was in the heat of the debate over the health care reform bill that would eventually become the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) stood on the House floor and told a terrifying story of America's certain future under health care reform. Scalise darkly warned of "health care rationing," and cited something that had happened just the day before in socialist-healthcare loving England.

"When you look at the bill, you start to realize what they're doing and proposing is the very government takeover where rationing of care would exist where a government bureaucrat can get in between the relationship of you and your doctor," Scalise said. "It's the same thing that's happened in Canada, the same thing that's happened in England, where unfortunately just yesterday, we saw the story of a 22-year-old, who was denied life-saving care, denied a transplant by this government bureaucracy that exists in England that rations care."

The story sounded scary enough, and it was perfect for the fearmongering needs of the moment -- provided, of course, that nobody bothered to check on what had actually happened.

By the way! I checked on what had actually happened. According to reports, the man Scalise was referring to was Gary Reinbach. And his was an interesting case:
A 22-year-old British man who became an alcoholic as a teenager has died after doctors refused to give him a liver transplant. Gary Reinbach began binge drinking when he was just 13 and ended up with severe cirrhosis of the liver. He was admitted to a London hospital in May but died after doctors refused to give him a liver transplant amid fears he would not stay sober for six months after the operation.

Livers, being in short supply as they do not grow on trees, are already rationed. Seems to me that the scarier "rationing" story would be the one about the person who didn't receive their ration of care because it was used on a career drunk.

But Scalise's tale nevertheless had all the essential ingredients of health care fearmongering -- a dollop of truth to be twisted, a willingness to omit key details, and a little bit of play-acting. Scalise, however, deserves some credit for creativity and abstruseness. Most of the fearmongering that has occurred since then ... well, as HuffPost Video Producer Andrew Rothschild demonstrates, it hasn't exactly set records for subtlety.

For the video that accompanies this story or for additional news click here for Huffington Post.

Prom dresses, tuxs and help needed

Innovations International K-12 Charter School was started 6 years ago by a UNLV professor. Half the students are on free or reduced lunch. The Three Square food bank gives a full meal to every child in the after school program daily.  IICSN is holding their first-ever Prom on May 12th. Many of the students cannot afford evening wear for this occasion.  If you have any prom dresses or tuxedos (or prom appropriate suits) that you could donate, it would be very much appreciated. Please contact me if you have a donation. The students, school and PTO are also holding many fundraisers (many are simply dining out).

Thank you,

 Tracy Sherman <>

Tracy Sherman, M.Ed., RRT-NPS
CSN Faculty Senate Chair

Using Power Point

a.     PowerPoint is a Microsoft product, these notes apply to all PowerPoint like systems of presentation, but use the term PowerPoint due to its market dominance
b.     Must take into account not to use as a crutch
c.     Must take into account to avoid briefing (unless the speech is a briefing- see Unit 6 notes on Informative Speaking)
d.     Avoid distracting movements, music and graphics
e.     Do not let the power point be the speech, it is only an aid
f.      Do not put everything on the PowerPoint
g.     Avoid clutter, too much gray matter (verbiage and numbers) and anything that is not referred to vocally and important to the speech
h.     Do use creative integrated features as needed
i.      Do plan and rehearse use of PowerPoint
j.      Use professional quality layout that compliments your speech
k.     Be able to give the speech effectively without the PowerPoint
l.      Do not darken room so that you are not seen clearly by audience
m.   Speak to the audience and not the PowerPoint
n.     Reveal items slightly after you introduce the subject supported (except in the use of humor)
o.     Be sure you do not plagiarize
p.     Make sure you use copyrighted materials properly and within the law
q.     Wide use of PowerPoint (avoid overuse)
                                               i.     94% of professional speakers use PowerPoint
                                             ii.     90% of multi-media presentations are developed using PowerPoint
r.      Plus and Minus
                                               i.     Allows use of a variety of visual aids without having to juggle between them or set up separate equipment
                                             ii.     Allows incorporation of text, photographs, charts, graphs, video, sound and other presentation aids under one system
                                            iii.     Allows for easy professional images (if proofed properly and if design elements are taken into consideration)
                                            iv.     PowerPoint could dominate the presentation (a negative)
                                              v.     PowerPoint may make speaker too dependant on presentation aids
                                            vi.     PowerPoint may lead to the use of aids that are not needed
                                           vii.     PowerPoint can lead to inflexibility in the presentation
                                         viii.     PowerPoint is not easily adaptable to the audience
                                            ix.     Do not use PowerPoint to illustrate every aspect of the speech
                                             x.     Do no look at the PowerPoint more than to glance at it
                                            xi.     Do not let the PowerPoint upstate the speaker
s.     Do not throw together a presentation
                                               i.     Required planning
                                             ii.     Requires rehearsal
                                            iii.     May require changes as speech is developed and practices
                                            iv.     May require changes to adapt to an audience
                                              v.     Make sure the presentation enhances the content of the speech
t.      Review further components and their use in the textbook and in PowerPoint Tutorials
u.     Check for errors. Any error will take away form your Ethos
                                               i.     Spelling
                                             ii.     Statistics
                                            iii.     Color use
                                            iv.     Image order
                                              v.     Etc.
v.     Do request help from other students or professionals when needed
w.    Observe Copyright laws
                                               i.     Obtain permission
                                             ii.     Pay fees if requested
                                            iii.     Fair use provision of copyright law for education
1.     May use portions of copyrighted material for a class
2.     May not receive payment of any kind for presentation
3.     May not post copyrighted material on the open web without written permission form copyright holder
4.     Must credit source in any use, even on closed systems or in a speech use (may be done with written source acknowledgment in find print or in your full outline)
5.     May use three minutes to ten percent, whichever is less, on all film, video or time motion media without obtaining permission, provided above items are observed.
6.     May use ten percent or no more than thirty seconds of music provided source is acknowledged
7.     May use entire photographs or illustrations pro video no more than 15 images or ten percent, whichever is less, of a collection of works.
8.     Must credit sources and use the copyright symbol when presenting material in a PowerPoint or any other presentation aid.

Apple - Think Different - Full Version

Mob Museum and Attraction in Las Vegas

Martin Sheen: Stand Up for Medicare

Packed Theatres. Hunger Games Record Boxoffice. The Rock. James Cameron goes deep.Terminated coach lands at FOX (where else?)

The Skinny:I saw "The Hunger Games." It is "Survivor" meets "The Truman Show" with a little bit of "The Bachelorette" thrown in. Still, nothing like seeing a movie in a packed theater. Monday's headlines include the big box office take for "The Hunger Games," Dwayne Johnson's return to the wrestling ring and James Cameron's long trip.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here to access the latest industry news).

The Hunger Games

 Photo: "The Hunger Games." Credit: Lionsgate. 

Appetite fulfilled. As expected, Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" had a massive opening weekend, taking in $155 million. That is a new box office record for a non-sequel and behind only the last "Harry Potter" movie and "The Dark Night." About 61% of the audience for "The Hunger Games" were women. That's about 20% less than what the last "Twilight" film averaged. At the screening of "The Hunger Games" I attended, there was a fair amount of chuckling when a preview for the next "Twilight" movie was screened. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Movie City News and the New York Times.

HungerGamesBurnsLawrencePhoto: Lions Gate vice chairman Michael Burns and actress Jennifer Lawrence at the premiere of "The Hunger Games." Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here to access the latest industry news).

More than $300 Million on profits for Liongate from "Hunger Games."
The blockbuster opening weekend of "The Hunger Games" — which debuted with an estimated $155 million — will ultimately lead to more than $300 million in profit for independent studio Lionsgate, analysts predicted Sunday.

And with three sequels to come, the franchise as a whole is expected to deliver $1.5 billion or more to the Santa Monica company's bottom line.

That's a significant success for Lionsgate, which has posted net losses in its last four fiscal years and struggled to up its game in film production. While it has scored with a variety of genre and prestige pictures like "Saw" and "Precious" and has a growing television division, the studio last year took losing bets on several high-profile flops, including "Conan the Barbarian" and the Taylor Lautner action-thriller "Abduction."

Media analyst Monica Dicenso of JP Morgan predicted that the first "Hunger Games" film will produce $310 million in profit and the series as a whole will generate $1.5 billion. James Marsh of Piper Jaffray said the numbers could be even higher, with more than $400 million from the first movie and $2-billion-plus for the entire series.

This weekend's release, which cost a little more than $80 million to make (after a tax break) and $45 million more to market, needed to reach about $100 million in domestic box office receipts to break even, according to a person familiar with the picture’s economics who was not authorized to speak publicly. The picture reached that milestone on Saturday.

The ultimate success of the franchise will depend largely on how the movie performs on DVD when it's no longer in theaters as well as the sales of licensed products.

Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns noted Sunday that he had just received an email informing him that "Hunger Games" T-shirts were already selling out in many Hot Topic chain stores.
"The panacea in the movie business is to find franchises," he said when asked to reflect on the meaning of "The Hunger Games" to the studio, which he and chief executive Jon Feltheimer have run since 2000.

"The idea that we can create some predictability around the most unpredictable part of our business is fantastic," he added.

There are several factors in Lions Gate's favor that should help the company generate even higher profits from the sequels than the first film. The movie's international opening, for instance, was solid but not spectacular, particularly outside of the English-speaking world, where author Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" novels are not as well known.

Just as the popular"Twilight" sequels did much better overseas than the original, the same might hold true for Lionsgate's new franchise.

In addition, with the success of the first film, Lionsgate will be in a position to demand more favorable terms from foreign distributors for the sequels. The independent studio does not handle the release of its movies outside of the U.S. and Great Britain.

One challenge the company faces, however, is the pending departure of motion picture group president Joe Drake. While Feltheimer gave the movie the greenlight, it was Drake and his team who oversaw the development, production and marketing.

Drake and several of his key executives are being replaced by the team from "Twilight" studio Summit Entertainment, which Lionsgate acquired in January.

Lions Gate stock has more than doubled in value since September in part because of anticipation for "The Hunger Games" (as well as the exit of dissident shareholder Carl Icahn). The shares closed at $14.53 on Friday. But with the movie outperforming even the most optimistic expectations this weekend, they could rise again Monday.

The Daily Dose: Fox Broadcasting has indicated that it would consider hiring Sean Payton -- the New Orleans Saints coach who was suspended for the season as a result of his role in the team's bounty program that encouraged defensive players to take out opposing players -- for its broadcast coverage of the NFL. Such a move would not make the network any new friends at the NFL. After all, if the NFL has decreed that Payton's behavior has made him bad for football, it seems unlikely it would look kindly on anyone giving him a job where he would seemingly be a face of the league. "Our feeling about Sean is that he’s bright, articulate and obviously contemporary,” Lou D’Ermilio, a Fox spokesman, told the New York Times. “Any network with NFL rights would have to consider it.”

Ratings race.There is a shakeup going on in cable television viewing as many of the top-rated cable networks -- including Time Warner's TNT and Comcast's USA -- have seen their ratings take a dip this year. On the rise are the History Channel and AMC. Of course, the good thing about the cable business is that the programmers have long-term deals with distributors and often their subscriber fees are immune to fluctuations in their ratings. More on this year's cable numbers from the Wall Street Journal.

Layup for Lauer. Matt Lauer, lead anchor of NBC's morning news program "Today," appears to be in the driver's seat as he and NBC try to hammer out a new deal to keep him at the network. Lauer's contract is up at the end of the year. While ABC's "Good Morning America" has closed the gap on "Today," a loss of Lauer could easily give its No. 1 rival even more momentum. A look at Lauer's leverage from New York magazine.

Lightening his load. James Murdoch has resigned from boards affiliated with News Corp.'s British newspaper unit, which is currently under investigation for ethical abuses by lawmakers there. Next month, the Parliament committee investigating phone hacking and other wrongdoings by News Corp. tabloids is expected to release a report critical of Murdoch's handling of the situation. More from Bloomberg.

Double duty. Dwayne Johnson, who first rose to fame as the wrestler "The Rock" before leaving the WWE to become a movie star, is returning to the ring. Interestingly, Johnson is doing this when his box office star continues to rise, not because it has taken a tumble. Variety looks at Johnson's career strategy.

Can you hear me now? Director James Cameron ("Titanic," "Avatar"), best known for taking movies where no one has gone before, has now taken himself where no man has been before. Cameron dove to the deepest point on Earth in a special submarine. According to the Associated Press, Cameron reached a depth of almost 36,000 feet. Guess his favorite album is Van Halen's "Diver Down."

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Randall Roberts on Madonna's latest release. James Rainey on celebrity profiles.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter and the odds will be ever in your favor.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here to access the latest industry news).

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Politics, watch the waffeling and games being played...

GOP Slams Dems For Medicare Cuts Republicans Support

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Houser Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Houser Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)
 From Talking Points Blog (click here)

The latest “Mediscare” battle is rife with irony: Republicans are attacking a Medicare policy enacted by Democrats, even though they voted overwhelmingly to continue the policy last year and are supporting it again this year.

In a new TV ad, the House GOP’s electoral arm NRCC targets Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) for backing President Obama health care reform law, declaring that it will “decimate Medicare” and “shred the social safety net and leave seniors vulnerable at risk.” The NRCC is also launching robocalls in 13 Democratic-held districts slamming the members over the Medicare cuts in the reform law.

The Affordable Care Act reduces Medicare spending by some $500 billion over 10 years, mostly with reimbursement cuts to private insurers and health providers — the reductions do not touch benefits. The aim was to reduce over-payments and strengthen the life of the safety-net program.

As it turns out, nearly every Republican in the House and Senate voted last year to sustain those cuts in the Paul Ryan budget. And they’re set to do so again in the near future as his updated Path To Prosperity blueprint comes up for a vote. That’s the context of these ads — Republicans know Democrats are about to hit them hard for again pushing a plan that partially privatizes Medicare and ends the coverage guarantee, so they’re making a pre-emptive strike.

NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay, asked about this contradiction, did not dispute that Republicans are now supporting the same Medicare cuts they’re bashing Dems for. He simply made the observation that Dems are using them to fund the Affordable Care Act, which enjoyed the two-year anniversary of its enactment Friday.

“Democrats cut $500 billion from Medicare in order to pay for ObamaCare,” Lindsay told TPM. “The Path to Prosperity puts that back towards ensuring that Medicare remains sustainable instead of funding the Democrats’ massive government healthcare takeover.”

Republicans used this line of attack ahead of the 2010 elections and reaped the political rewards. But their own budget, for the second year in a row, illustrates that the GOP has no qualms with the Medicare policy they’re excoriating Dems for enacting.

“The ‘do as I say, not as I do’ NRCC is at it again lying yet again,” the House Dems’ electoral arm DCCC said in a statement, “about Democrats’ record to strengthen and improve Medicare in an attempt to distract from Republicans’ record of trying to end the Medicare guarantee to give tax breaks to billionaires and Big Oil.”

The irony goes even deeper: While the GOP is attacking Dems for cutting Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act, their own Ryan blueprint converts Medicare into a market exchange for seniors that’s very similar to what the Affordable Care Act does for non-seniors. But the GOP plan has a public option, which Republicans successfully fought to keep out of the ACA.

This new round of ads comes after Republicans spent part of the last year decrying Democrats for “Mediscare” attacks.

 From Talking Points Blog (click here)