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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why learn to speak in public? What are the basics of communication? What is the Communication model?

August 1935 Social Security was Born!

Numbers or Rhetoric? Truth or Dare on Obama Record.

Keep the press from covering open campaign fundraiser

BuzzFeed's Zeke Miller reports that campaign aides are restricting reporters from a Paul Ryan fundraiser, despite promising days ago that they would not do so:
Presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's first major fundraiser will be closed to the press, in apparent violation of the Romney-Ryan campaign's oft-strained agreement with the reporters who cover the campaign.
Days after assuring reporters that Ryan would follow the same rules as Romney when determining which fundraisers would be open to reporters, the campaign has apparently changed their tune.
Both campaigns have been guilty of restricting reporters, despite official policies and promises. Thing is, for all the media's kvetching, the public really doesn't seem to care.

Romney Bus in BC at 2 PM tomorrow (Wednesday)

Romney/Ryan campaign bus to stop in BC on Wednesday

Boulder City Review
The campaign bus for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will stop by Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City on Wednesday.
The bus is scheduled to arrive at 2 p.m. and stay for one hour.

To be clear, neither Romney nor Ryan will be on the bus or in Boulder City.

Republican state Sen. Joe Hardy and Republicans state Assemblyman Cresent Hardy will arrive on the bus as local representatives for the campaign. They are also making stops in Pahrump and Mesquite on Wednesday.

The Boulder City stop is part of a 13-city bus tour that started Monday in Las Vegas, Laughlin and Searchlight, the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The bus serves as a mobile campaign headquarters, focusing on volunteer recruitment, voter registration and expanding campaign operations in every part of the state.

Nevada is a key battleground state that the Romney/Ryan campaign believes could swing the election in their favor.

Veterans Memorial Park is located across from the city airport on the corner of Veterans Memorial Drive and Buchanan Boulevard.

Health Issues

Despite incredible improvements in health since 1950, there are still a number of challenges, which should have been easy to solve. Consider the following:
  • One billion people lack access to health care systems.
  • 36 million deaths each year are caused by noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. This is almost two-thirds of the estimated 56 million deaths each year worldwide. (A quarter of these take place before the age of 60.)
  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one group of conditions causing death globally. An estimated 17.5 million people died from CVDs in 2005, representing 30% of all global deaths. Over 80% of CVD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Over 7.5 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases, each year.
  • In 2008, some 6.7 million people died of infectious diseases alone, far more than the number killed in the natural or man-made catastrophes that make headlines. (These are the latest figures presented by the World Health Organization.)
  • AIDS/HIV has spread rapidly. UNAIDS estimates for 2008 that there are roughly:
    • 33.4 million living with HIV
    • 2.7 million new infections of HIV
    • 2 million deaths from AIDS
  • Tuberculosis kills 1.7 million people each year, with 9.4 million new cases a year.
  • 1.6 million people still die from pneumococcal diseases every year, making it the number one vaccine-preventable cause of death worldwide. More than half of the victims are children. (The pneumococcus is a bacterium that causes serious infections like meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis. In developing countries, even half of those children who receive medical treatment will die. Every second surviving child will have some kind of disability.)
  • Malaria causes some 225 million acute illnesses and over 780,000 deaths, annually.
  • 164,000 people, mostly children under 5, died from measles in 2008 even though effective immunization costs less than 1 US dollars and has been available for more than 40 years.
These and other diseases kill more people each year than conflict alone.
Why so many needless deaths? The collection of articles below, hope to help shed light on this tragedy.

Traveling this August?

All travelers should familiarize themselves with conditions at their destination that could affect their health (high altitude or pollution, types of medical facilities, required immunizations, availability of required pharmaceuticals, etc.). While some of this information may be found in the documents listed above, the key resource for health information is the Travelers’ Health page of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at The CDC website also provides general guidance on health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect-bite protection. The CDC also maintains an international travelers' hotline at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or, by fax, at 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299). See also the resources listed below.

The Romney Package

BRACE yourself for weeks of chatter about Mitt Romney’s running mate. Vice presidents matter, as we have been spookily reminded by the recent re-emergence of Dick Cheney on our TV screens. And Paul Ryan matters more than most. (See below.)
Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Bill Keller

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But these days you don’t just elect a ticket of two; you elect a whole package. Presidents come with a cast of advisers, think tanks, lobbyists, legislators, donors and watchdogs. Some in the entourage end up in key jobs; others operate as a kind of shadow cabinet, vetting choices and enforcing doctrine.
This is especially true of Republicans, who have spent decades building a disciplined conservative infrastructure that recruits talent, culls dissenters and lays down the law. Compared with Democrats, who are scattered left and center, a Republican administration is more than ever a conservative turnkey project.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney gathered a team of technocrats, centrist Republicans, even some Democrats. “He sought competence, experience and creativity and gave less weight to politics or ideology,” recalled Scott Helman, a veteran Romney-watcher for The Boston Globe. “But that was then,” he added. Yes, that was a different time, a different place, a different Romney.

Click "read more" below to continue reading or click here to go to the Times.

Patience while we rebuild our computers

I have been a Mac user since 1984.  I have never had a bug or worm. Last week a worm devestated my computer and I have been slowly rebuilding it, with limited success (lots of data to restore and updated ways Apple does things resulting in lost and now too often changed passwords).

It will take time and patience (something I am running out of).

So be patient as the content of this blog is added when I can.

And help me out by rushing events and other news you feel should be shared to (the only working e-mail as of this moment).

Telemundo's Olympics audience sets record . Enquirer may take over Variety. Sinclair and Dish battle. Paramount goes fishing.

Bourne Legacy
"The Bourne Legacy" didn't take in as much over the weekend as everyone thought. And it wasn't alone. (Universal Pictures / August 14, 2012)
After the coffee. Before deciding whether I need to stop watching HBO's 'The Newsroom' for my own sanity. 

Correcting the record. Monday's box-office reports had "The Bourne Legacy" taking in just over $40 million in its debut weekend. But that was a little wishful thinking on Hollywood's part. Updated numbers show that the Jeremy Renner thriller actually made about $38 million. Other top movies, including the comedy "The Campaign," lowered their numbers too as the end of the Olympics took a bigger bite than had been anticipated. Details from Variety.

The Skinny: This is not a paid spot but I have to give a shout out to Custom Auto Craft for getting a nasty scratch out of my car. They ruined my excuse to be grumpy all week. Tuesday's headlines include Paramount's less-is-more strategy to making movies, CNN's efforts to backtrack from a report that it wants to get into the reality business, and another big spat between a broadcaster and distributor.

Daily Dose: Fox Sports typically provides a lot of programming to regional sports networks owned by cable giant Comcast Corp. But the two sides no longer have a deal and now shows that Fox syndicates -- including Dan Patrick's popular sports talk program -- are not available in Comcast homes. It is unclear whether talks will resume or if Comcast has decided to go in a different direction.

Mexico soccer players celebrate gold medal victory
Members of Mexico's soccer team celebrate the gold medal against Brazil at the 2012 London Olympics on Saturday. The game was the most-watched Olympics event in Telemundo's history. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / August 13, 2012)
Boosted by Mexico's run in men's soccer, NBCUniversal's Spanish-language network, Telemundo, scored viewership records for Olympics coverage. Telemundo said Monday that 22.5 million viewers watched a portion of its coverage of the London Olympics over the 17 days.

Saturday's highly anticipated men's soccer championship final, in which Mexico defeated Brazil, drew 3.6 million viewers -- a new record for an Olympics audience on Telemundo. The game, which attracted more viewers than programming on any other TV station in Los Angeles Saturday morning, also produced Telemundo's highest weekend day ratings for a soccer match.

"God bless soccer," sportscaster Andrés Cantor said as he began calling Saturday's match at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

Overall, Telemundo's viewership was up 42% compared with the company's Spanish-language coverage of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Telemundo's coverage highlighted Latino athletes and soccer, boxing, basketball and swimming events.

The London Olympics captured the honor of being the most-watched event in U.S. television history with more than 219 million viewers, NBCUniversal said Monday. The company dedicated six television networks, including NBC, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network, Bravo and Telemundo, to its coverage.

Bob Costas with U.S. gymnists
NBC's Bob Costas, shown with the U.S. women's gymnastics team, and the rest of the network get to feel like winners again. (NBC / August 13, 2012)
NBC feels like a winner, estimated to break even or earn some profit with huge ratings gains. Heading into the Summer Olympics the smart money had NBC bleeding lots of red ink and struggling to land a big audience in an era of jaded viewers watching cynical and expletive reality shows.

The smart money was wrong.

Instead, NBC executives will leave London smiling. At worst, NBC and its parent, Comcast Corp., will break even on the games and may even make a tiny profit. NBC averaged 31.1 million viewers for the 17 nights of coverage it aired and overall almost 220 million people watched some of the games.

That huge audience also became a platform for NBC to promote its fall shows and even get some sampling for a few of them. In addition, the games boosted its morning show "Today," which is struggling to put some distance between itself and ABC's "Good Morning America."

No, a big audience for the Olympics does not mean NBC will suddenly be the most popular network when the fall season starts. Just because 30 million people saw a promo for a show, that doesn't mean they'll all tune in like lap dogs when it debuts a month later.

NBC made the mistake of cutting the final cerimonies before the finale and then calling the finale an all too brief "after party", alienating viewers and perhaps runing them against the shows they were promoting during the hour long break.

But NBC needed to at least show it still has a pulse and the Olympics did that. For almost three weeks, the network got a reminder of what it is like to be watched. After years of bad ratings, the brass there gets to feel like a winner again. Hopefully that enthusiasm won't fade when the Olympic torch is put back in the closet.

If NBC's new shows are tanking in mid-October, there will be lots of stories about how the Olympics ended up being a bust. That won't be fair or accurate. It's not on the Olympics to save NBC. The Games and the ratings achieved gave NBC a chance to promote its new shows to America. If America skips them, that's the fault of the programming team, not the sports guys.

Comcast had expected to lose money on the Summer Olympics. That it didn't means it already gets a medal. It will also no doubt make it feel better about the $4.4 billion it agreed to shell out for the U.S. TV rights to the next four Olympic Games from 2014 to 2020.

Christian Bale in "The Dark Knight Rises," Andrew Garfield in "The Amazing Spider-Man" and Noomi Rapace in "Prometheus"
"The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Prometheus" will all open within a week of one another in China. (Warner Bros. / Sony Pictures / 20th Century Fox / August 13, 2012)
In China the competition is on! Hollywood tentpoles "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Prometheus" will all open in a single week in China as the communist country takes its most aggressive step yet to limit the box office of American imports.

Though it first became clear last month that the state-owned China Film Group intended to open the two superhero films on the same day, Warner Bros. had been lobbying to delay the release of its "Dark Knight Rises" until September. That effort failed, as both movies have now been officially dated for Aug. 27.

To continue reading click on  More.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in "Titanic"
"Titanic 3-D" will be the first American movie released in Myanmar in decades. (Merie Weismiller Wallace / August 13, 2012)

"Titanic 3-D" will be the first movie to play in Myanmar in more than a decade as 20th Century Fox has struck a deal to release the film in the Southeast Asian nation that is slowly opening to the world.
Fox said Monday that it has struck a deal with Mingalar Co., a local importer that operates eight single-screen theaters, to open "Titanic 3-D" on Aug. 17 in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
While it's not clear exactly when the last American movie was seen in Myanmar, Fox said in a statement the wait has been "decades." To continue reading this story click on More..
The Variety logo
An owner of the National Enquirer's parent company is now the leading bidder for Hollywood trade paper Variety. (Variety website / August 13, 2012)
Avenue Capital, a New York hedge fund whose holdings include the parent company of the National Enquirer, is now the leading bidder for Variety.

A late entrant in the sales process being run by Variety corporate parent Reed Elsevier, Avenue had bid more than $40 million, according to a person close to the process who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Avenue invests primarily in "distressed and undervalued assets," according to its website, and has $12 billion worth of holdings.

If it succeeds in purchasing Variety, Avenue probably would merge the back-end operations of the financially troubled 107-year-old trade newspaper with American Media, according to the New York Post, which first reported the news.

Along with the Enquirer, American Media's publications include Men's Fitness, Shape, Radar Online, and Star.

American Media is co-owned by Avenue along with other former bondholders including Angelo Gordon & Co.

Billionaire supermarket magnate Ron Burkle had been considered the leading candidate to purchase Variety by insiders. However, he has recently fallen behind other interested parties, the knowledgeable person said.

Another top bidder is Penske Media, the owner of online Hollywood trade outlet Penske is being backed by private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors.

It remains to be seen whether Avenue is able to close a deal for Variety, which has seen its financial state deteriorate amid declining advertising and increased competition online.

If not, both Burkle and the Penske/Shamrock team remain in the wings.

A spokesman for Avenue Capital did not respond to a request for comment.

Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey, left, and actor Brad Pitt attend the AFI Awards in Beverly Hills. (Frazer Harrison, Getty Images for AFI / August 14, 2012)
Gone fishing. Summer is when Hollywood studios typically roll out their big guns and battle for box-office supremacy. But Paramount Pictures doesn't roll that way. Instead, the fabled studio is in the midst of what the Los Angeles Times describes as a "three-month intermission." For Paramount it is part of an overall strategy to make fewer movies and take fewer risks. "If you're making 20 movies a year, you basically need to greenlight a movie every two weeks," said Adam Goodman, who oversees Paramount's production and development. "I don't know how you can find a movie you love every two weeks." To continue reading click on More..

Reality? Us? Never! On Monday, the New York Post reported that CNN was considering reality programs to boost its sinking ratings. But CNN, which declined to comment for that story, is now singing a different tune. The cable network told the New York Times that it is not going to start looking for the next version of the Kardashians. But it will seek out "documentary"-type shows. I see a debate soon about what's documentary and what's reality.

Showdown. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation's most powerful TV station owners, are in tense negotiations that are not going well. Sinclair owns over 70 TV stations and is trying to sign a new distribution deal to keep the stations in Dish's 14 million homes. The current pact is set to expire Wednesday. Dish says Sinclair wants too much money. If Sinclair's stations do come off of Dish dishes, it will be bad news for the broadcast networks that are affiliated with Sinclair too. More on the spat from MediaPost.

No Nobel Prize for NBC. A group of Nobel Peace laureates have written NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt to complain about the network's new reality show "Stars Earn Stripes," in which D-level celebrities (Nick Lachey, Todd Palin) learn how to blow things up. According to Reuters, the letter writers told NBC, "It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence." The network replied that "Stars Earn Stripes" is "not a glorification of war but a glorification of service."

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is taking a look at Dick Clark Productions. (Bloomberg)
CBS is going after Dick Clark Productions and the Golden Globes. Earlier this year, CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said he was willing to shell out more for the TV rights to the Golden Globes than NBC paid when it renewed its deal to keep the awards show through 2018.
Now he may get his chance.

CBS has emerged as the latest suitor for Dick Clark Productions (DCP), which holds the television rights to the Golden Globes as part of its partnership with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the owner of the Globes. Other DCP properties include "So You Think You Can Dance," the American Music Awards and "New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest."

The rights to the Golden Globes is DCP's biggest asset. It's also its biggest headache. DCP's partnership with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. on the Globes is about as stable as Kristen Stewart's love life.

In April, Dick Clark Productions beat back in federal court the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s efforts to get back the TV rights to the Globes. However, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is appealing the judge's decision.

During the trial, Moonves testified that he was interested in getting the Globes for CBS and was willing to pay an average fee of $25 million. Under NBC's deal for the Globes, the license fee averages out to about $21.5 million. CBS declined to comment on its interest in DCP, which was first reported by Reuters. However, two people close to the situation confirmed the company is taking a look.

If CBS were to land DCP, it's first task would be to undo the terms of the production company's rather bizarre agreement with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. The terms of the pact between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and DCP call for the production company to maintain the rights to the Golden Globes in perpetuity as long as the program is under contract to NBC.

"The Beatles: Rock Band"
A scene from "The Beatles: Rock Band," developed by Harmonix. (Viacom Inc. / MTV Games)
Viacom has been ordered to pay the piper. The media conglomerate that owns Paramount Pictures has lost its appeal of an arbitration order to pay $299 million to the original shareholders of Harmonix, a game development studio that Viacom agreed to buy in 2006 for $175 million, plus performance-based bonus payments.

The setback is just the latest in a series for Viacom, whose ambitious foray into music video games has resulted in massive losses and acrimonious litigation. The ruling, from a Delaware Court of Chancery judge, was first reported Monday by The Hollywood Reporter.

The lawsuit stemmed from Viacom's refusal to pay Harmonix bonus payments based on the performance of the "Rock Band" game franchise, which sold more than 10 million units but, nevertheless, lost money because of the high cost of creating the instruments needed to play the games. Viacom sold Harmonix in 2010 for a mere $50 for tax purposes, but realized a $50-million tax benefit from the transaction. The lawsuit went into private arbitration last year, and Viacom was ordered in December to pay $383 million. It paid $84 million, but appealed the remaining $299 million in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Viacom lost the appeal.

Viacom, in a statement, hinted that the show wasn't quite over.

"We are disappointed in the court's decision, and are evaluating our options for the next steps of this process," the company said.

Still, the New York media company, which also owns the cable channels MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, among other properties, already set aside $383 million for the adverse ruling during its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

New sound? Legendary New York radio station WOR-AM may be in for a format change. WOR, home of Big Apple institution John Gambling, has recently been acquired by Clear Channel, the nation's largest owner of radio stations. Clear Channel will probably look to shake things up at WOR, which has faced tough competition over the last few years. The New York Post chats with Clear Channel about what may be in the works for WOR.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the disconnect between Hollywood power players who embrace politicians in real life while mocking them on the screen.

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