No one is enjoying the tax hikes which have already occurred, nor the ones that kicked in today, but a sales tax hike is just one of the many measures our state government is using to try and tackle that massive budget shortfall.
Sometimes my brain just shuts down when I hear a news report saying that we’re $x gazillion in the hole, because frankly, these numbers aren’t as real to me as the money that is flying out of my wallet or bank account. Basic common sense tells us that there are two ways to make up the gap: increase taxes and/or cut spending. But what to tax and what to cut?
The L.A. Times has a “fun” little interactive doo-dad which let’s you “[t]ry your hand at closing California’s budget shortfall, estimated at $24 billion. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Cut spending, raise taxes and/or borrow to get the state out of the red. For each choice — drawn from proposals from across the political spectrum — we’ve tried to give some sense of the effects. As you craft your proposal, the Deficit Meter will show your progress.”
Can YOU do it and how?
UPDATED BELOW: Looks like the L.A. Times has begun laying off more journalists, as we mentioned it would a few weeks ago.
Blogger Veronique deTurenne Twittered, posted at her HereinMalibu blog at LAObserved, and then just now posted something at the Times blog. In the event the editorial higher-ups yank the post later today in a fit of revisionism, the text follows the jump here. Continue reading Axes now falling at the Times – layoffs underway*
I’m not a regular L.A. Times reader or basher, but here’s the entire list of stories in the “Los Angeles Times – California/Local News” capsule of my MyYahoo! page at this very moment:
“Trial begins in slaying of yacht owners”
“Counselors respond to killings of Porter Ranch family”
“Father kills family and himself, despondent over financial losses”
“Long Beach mother convicted in fatal stabbing of teen”
“For burned illegal immigrants, a long road to recovery”
Something is sick here, and I think it’s us.
At the height of The Great Depression, one of the most respected institutions in America still thrived. Instead of tearing down, they were building up. They were the pride of the city. They were the news.
They were The Los Angeles Times.
The year was 1934.
Photo from the Los Angeles Public Library
Talk about a trainwreck.
Last night as I was running out the door, I caught a snippet of the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS. It was a point-counterpoint discussion between Steve Wasserman, the former editor of the now-axed LAT Book Review, and Kassia Krozser, the founder & editor of booksquare.com, a book review site & publishing industry hub that, FWIW, I’d never heard of.*
The segment was intended to discuss the elimination of the LAT Book Review from the Sunday paper. Tribune loose cannon Sam Zell deep-sixed the little insert, which was one of the few sections of the paper I read anymore (and for which I had the privelege of penning two book reviews). Wasserman called the elimination of the review a “philistine blunder,” while Krozser seemed to have been brought in to defend the Internet, which to my mind is a separate issue from whether the paper Review should have been cut or not.
Throughout the segment, I found myself whipsawed over which interviewee I detested more… Continue reading “The vast democracy wall that the Internet provides” vs. the LA Times Book Review (R.I.P.)
Looks like the Times is having to do a little back peddling after internet-dirt-diggers-extraordinaire The Smoking Gun revealed that the documents used as the basis for last week’s report linking Sean Combs to an attack on Tupac Shakur were faked. Times Editor Russ Stanton has launched his own internal investigation into the matter:
Stanton ordered the review after the editor of the celebrity-centric website, The Smoking Gun, told the newspaper that he had reason to doubt The Times’ account and in particular the FBI records that were supposed to buttress the story.
The website this morning posted a story saying the records — purportedly statements by an unnamed informant to an FBI agent, which the newspaper posted on its website — appeared to be forgeries. The Smoking Gun said the documents seemed suspicious for multiple reasons, including the fact that they appeared to be written on a typewriter, rather than a computer, and included blacked-out sections not typically found in such documents.
Given that the March 19th article on Shakur’s 1994 shooting was the the Times most-viewed story this year, that’s gotta sting a least a little.