Boston Globe under threat of closure if unions don’t concede to management.

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

In a report by Editor and Publisher via the Associated Press, talks to keep the Boston Globe newspaper operating while extorting concessions from union employees are being extended.

Deadline on Talks for ‘Boston Globe’ Cuts Extended

Published: May 02, 2009 11:00 AM ET

BOSTON Negotiations between unions at The Boston Globe and its owner, The New York Times Co., will continue after the company agreed to extend its midnight deadline for the newspapers’ employees to make $20 million in concessions.

“Because there has been progress on reaching needed cost savings, The Boston Globe will extend the deadline for reaching complete agreements with its unions until midnight Sunday May 3,” Globe spokesman Robert Powers said in a statement.

Leaders of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe’s largest union, asked for an extension of Friday’s deadline after discovering what they called a $4.5 million accounting error. The Guild, which has been asked to come up with $10 million of the $20 million in concessions, said ownership mistakenly was counting the salaries and benefits of 80 people who have left their jobs at the Globe since the beginning of the year.

“We have given the New York Times Co. and Globe management proposals for deep cuts in our members’ pay and benefits that we believe will save The Boston Globe,” Daniel Totten, Guild president, said in a statement. “We are awaiting the company’s response.”

The concessions sought by the Times Co. could include pay cuts, a reduction in pension contributions and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for some senior employees. Those guarantees state that the staffers cannot be let go without cause.

The Globe, like many newspapers, is struggling with declines in circulation and advertising. The Globe’s operations lost $50 million last year and are projected to lose $85 million this year.

The Times Co. announced in April that it would close the Globe unless the concessions were met.

Talks are expected to resume Saturday.

The importance of this newspaper in breaking otherwise underreported scandals cannot be overstated.  In the last presidential election, it was the Globe that broke the story of how then-state senator Barack Obama actively worked to gut health care reform in Illinois.  Since the newspaper’s fate, and that of its reportorial archives, is uncertain, I will reproduce the full articles linked to.

In Illinois, Obama dealt with lobbyists

But as candidate, he faults Clinton for ties

By Scott Helman, Globe Staff  |  September 23, 2007

When Barack Obama and fellow state lawmakers in Illinois tried to expand healthcare coverage in 2003 with the “Health Care Justice Act,” they drew fierce opposition from the insurance industry, which saw it as a back-handed attempt to impose a government-run system.

Over the next 15 months, insurers and their lobbyists found a sympathetic ear in Obama, who amended the bill more to their liking partly because of concerns they raised with him and his aides, according to lobbyists, Senate staff, and Obama’s remarks on the Senate floor.

The wrangling over the healthcare measure, which narrowly passed and became law in 2004, illustrates how Obama, during his eight years in the Illinois Senate, was able to shepherd major legislation by negotiating competing interests in Springfield, the state capital. But it also shows how Obama’s own experience in lawmaking involved dealings with the kinds of lobbyists and special interests he now demonizes on the campaign trail.

Obama has tried to distinguish himself from rival Hillary Clinton by criticizing her ties to lobbyists and special interests, and, unlike her, refusing to take contributions from federal lobbyists and political action committees. But Clinton supporters say she has been more honest than Obama – including on the healthcare plan she released last week – in acknowledging that industry deserves a role.

“Senator Clinton has learned along the way the importance of both listening to those who are in the field as well as listening to the concerns of the consumer,” said Sylvia Larsen, the New Hampshire Senate president and a Clinton backer. Obama “seems to have forgotten the importance of hearing from all sides.”

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Obama’s overall experience in Springfield was that lobbyists and special interests wielded too much power, not that they should have no voice in lawmaking. Psaki said Obama had worked with disparate interests to pass many important bills, including not just the Health Care Justice Act but a sweeping ethics overhaul that became the first major change in Illinois campaign finance law in 25 years.

“Barack Obama’s experience with this bill and also with his leadership on the ethics reform bill, which he also helped pass in the state Senate, showed him that real change comes not by dividing but by bringing people together to get things done,” Psaki said.

The Health Care Justice Act, which Obama sponsored in the state Senate, grew out of work done by the Campaign for Better Health Care, an Illinois coalition of healthcare advocates, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations. The ostensible goal was simple: make affordable healthcare available to all Illinoisans. But the politics were anything but simple.

On one side were healthcare advocates, eager to capitalize on the Democrats having won control of the General Assembly and the governor’s office. On the other were most insurers, who worked vigorously to sink the bill. Obama was in the middle, trying to reconcile a range of agendas to get a viable plan signed into law.

The bill originally called for a “Bipartisan Health Care Reform Commission” to implement a program reaching all 12.4 million Illinois residents. The legislation would have made it official state policy to ensure that all residents could access “quality healthcare at costs that are reasonable.” Insurers feared that language would result in a government takeover of healthcare, even though the bill did not explicitly say that.

By the time the legislation passed the Senate, in May 2004, Obama had written three successful amendments, at least one of which made key changes favorable to insurers.

Most significant, universal healthcare became merely a policy goal instead of state policy – the proposed commission, renamed the Adequate Health Care Task Force, was charged only with studying how to expand healthcare access. In the same amendment, Obama also sought to give insurers a voice in how the task force developed its plan.

Lobbyists praised Obama for taking the insurance industry’s concerns into consideration.

“Barack is a very reasonable person who clearly recognized the various roles involved in the healthcare system,” said Phil Lackman, a lobbyist for insurance agents and brokers. Obama “understood our concern that we didn’t want a predetermined outcome.”

In one attempt at a deal, Obama approached the Campaign for Better Health Care with insurers’ concerns, asking if the group would consider a less stringent mandate than requiring the state to come up with a universal healthcare plan. The coalition decided not to bend, said Jim Duffett, the group’s executive director.

“The concept of the Health Care Justice Act was to bring the sides – the different perspectives and stakeholders – to the table,” Duffett said. “In this situation, Obama was being a conduit from the insurance industry to us.”

Obama later watered down the bill after hearing from insurers and after a legal precedent surfaced during the debate indicating that it would be unconstitutional for one legislative assembly to pass a law requiring a future legislative assembly to craft a healthcare plan.

During debate on the bill on May 19, 2004, Obama portrayed himself as a conciliatory figure. He acknowledged that he had “worked diligently with the insurance industry,” as well as Republicans, to limit the legislation’s reach and noted that the bill had undergone a “complete restructuring” after industry representatives “legitimately” raised fears that it would result in a single-payer system.

“The original presentation of the bill was the House version that we radically changed – we radically changed – and we changed in response to concerns that were raised by the insurance industry,” Obama said, according to the session transcript.

During debate over the Health Care Justice Act, Obama also attacked the insurers, accusing the industry of “fear-mongering” by claiming, even after he made changes they wanted, that the bill would lead to a government takeover.

Still, Obama’s willingness to hear out insurers and their lobbyists is revealing given the posture he strikes today on the presidential campaign trail – that lobbyists, insurance companies, and other big-industry special interests have an outsized and polluting influence on policy-making in Washington.

In a new television ad his campaign unveiled last week, Obama says that cynics “don’t believe we can limit the power of lobbyists who block our progress, or that we can trust the American people with the truth. . . . In 20 years of public service, I’ve brought Democrats and Republicans together to solve problems that touch the lives of everyday people. I’ve taken on the drug and insurance companies and won.”

And yet while serving in Illinois, Obama was willing to accept campaign contributions from lobbyists. Obama’s state Senate campaign committee accepted contributions from insurance companies and their lobbyists – including $1,000 from the Professional Independent Insurance Agents PAC in June 2003, and $1,000 from the Illinois Insurance PAC in December 2003 – while the Health Care Justice Act was wending its way through the Illinois General Assembly. Obama also collected money from the insurance industry and its lobbyists for his successful US Senate campaign in 2004.

Obama’s campaign has said that his position on accepting such contributions has evolved and that he decided not to accept them for his presidential campaign after seeing how much influence lobbyists had in Washington during his first two years in the Senate.

The Illinois task force eventually released its healthcare recommendations, including the Illinois mandate that all residents be covered. But Governor Rod Blagojevich has since come out with his own proposal to expand coverage, and the governor and lawmakers are now wrangling over how to proceed.

Some who worked on the bill say Obama recognized then that lobbyists and industry play an integral role in shaping legislation.

“At the end of the day,” said Kim Maisch, Illinois state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, “he realized that if he wanted to pass something, you have to work” with lobbyists.

The Boston Globe also was among the first newspapers to report on George W. Bush’s desertion from the Texas Air national Guard during the Vietnam War.  Attempts to locate the original article from 2000 have proven difficult, but CNN picked up on the story following the revelation, as did film-maker and author Michael Moore.

Bush dismisses report he skipped Air National Guard service

By Kevin Flower/CNN

May 24, 2000

Web posted at: 9:46 a.m. EDT (1346 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Texas Gov. George W. Bush on Tuesday dismissed a newspaper report suggesting he had not fulfilled his Texas Air National Guard service.

“I spent my time and I went to the Guard. It’s just not true. I did the duty necessary…any allegations other than that are simply not true,” Bush said.

An article in Tuesday’s Boston Globe reports a one-year gap in Bush ‘s service record with the Texas Air National Guard, with no record of any drill activity from May 1972 to April 1973. Attendance at regular drills was a requirement of part-time Air National Guard members.

Bush joined the Air National Air Guard as a pilot in 1968 and served the first four years of his service based in Houston. In 1972, he moved to Alabama to work on the U.S. Senate campaign of Winton M. Blount, where he said he fulfilled his guard service locally on weekends. Upon leaving the campaign, Bush moved back to Houston where he completed the remainder of his six-year Air National Guard commitment.

Responding to the Globe’s report that his Alabama base commander had no recollection of Bush ever showing for drills, the governor said “I pulled duty in Alabama and I read the comments and the guy said he didn’t remember me. That’s 27 years ago, but I remember being there.”

Asked about his Air National Guard attendance record, Bush told reporters it was “spotty attendance but I did the duty necessary… I did the time that was required in the Guard.”

Bush acknowledged that he was granted special permission to fulfill part of his Guard service in Alabama and that he was also given an early release to attend Harvard Business School, but denied that it was due to any favoritism because of his father’s prominence.

In 2004, the Globe reported Bush’s desertion anew.

Bush fell short on duty at Guard

Records show pledges unmet

September 8, 2004

This article was reported by the Globe Spotlight Team — reporters Stephen Kurkjian, Francie Latour, Sacha Pfeiffer, and Michael Rezendes, and editor Walter V. Robinson. It was written by Robinson.

In February, when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush’s military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

But Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service — first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School — Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.

He didn’t meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.

On July 30, 1973, shortly before he moved from Houston to Cambridge, Bush signed a document that declared, ”It is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months. . . ” Under Guard regulations, Bush had 60 days to locate a new unit.

But Bush never signed up with a Boston-area unit. In 1999, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett told the Washington Post that Bush finished his six-year commitment at a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit after he left Houston. Not so, Bartlett now concedes. ”I must have misspoke,” Bartlett, who is now the White House communications director, said in a recent interview.

And early in his Guard service, on May 27, 1968, Bush signed a ”statement of understanding” pledging to achieve ”satisfactory participation” that included attendance at 24 days of annual weekend duty — usually involving two weekend days each month — and 15 days of annual active duty. ”I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation,” the statement reads.

Yet Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, performed no service for one six-month period in 1972 and for another period of almost three months in 1973, the records show.

The reexamination of Bush’s records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush’s attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush’s unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ”satisfactory” — just four months after Bush’s commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months.

Bartlett, in a statement to the Globe last night, sidestepped questions about Bush’s record. In the statement, Bartlett asserted again that Bush would not have been honorably discharged if he had not ”met all his requirements.” In a follow-up e-mail, Bartlett declared: ”And if he hadn’t met his requirements you point to, they would have called him up for active duty for up to two years.”

That assertion by the White House spokesman infuriates retired Army Colonel Gerald A. Lechliter, one of a number of retired military officers who have studied Bush’s records and old National Guard regulations, and reached different conclusions.

”He broke his contract with the United States government — without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen,” Lechliter said in an interview yesterday. ”He was a pilot. It cost the government a million dollars to train him to fly. So he should have been held to an even higher standard.”

Even retired Lieutenant Colonel Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a former Texas Air National Guard personnel chief who vouched for Bush at the White House’s request in February, agreed that Bush walked away from his obligation to join a reserve unit in the Boston area when he moved to Cambridge in September 1973. By not joining a unit in Massachusetts, Lloyd said in an interview last month, Bush ”took a chance that he could be called up for active duty. But the war was winding down, and he probably knew that the Air Force was not enforcing the penalty.”

But Lloyd said that singling out Bush for criticism is unfair. ”There were hundreds of guys like him who did the same thing,” he said.

Lawrence J. Korb, an assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs in the Reagan administration, said after studying many of the documents that it is clear to him that Bush ”gamed the system.” And he agreed with Lloyd that Bush was not alone in doing so. ”If I cheat on my income tax and don’t get caught, I’m still cheating on my income tax,” Korb said.

After his own review, Korb said Bush could have been ordered to active duty for missing more than 10 percent of his required drills in any given year. Bush, according to the records, fell shy of that obligation in two successive fiscal years.

Korb said Bush also made a commitment to complete his six-year obligation when he moved to Cambridge, a transfer the Guard often allowed to accommodate Guardsmen who had to move elsewhere. ”He had a responsibility to find a unit in Boston and attend drills,” said Korb, who is now affiliated with a liberal Washington think tank. ”I see no evidence or indication in the documents that he was given permission to forgo training before the end of his obligation. If he signed that document, he should have fulfilled his obligation.”

The documents Bush signed only add to evidence that the future president — then the son of Houston’s congressman — received favorable treatment when he joined the Guard after graduating from Yale in 1968. Ben Barnes, who was speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in 1968, said in a deposition in 2000 that he placed a call to get young Bush a coveted slot in the Guard at the request of a Bush family friend.

Bush was given an automatic commission as a second lieutenant, and dispatched to flight school in Georgia for 13 months. In June 1970, after five additional months of specialized training in F-102 fighter-interceptor, Bush began what should have been a four-year assignment with the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron.

In May 1972, Bush was given permission to move to Alabama temporarily to work on a US Senate campaign, with the provision that he do equivalent training with a unit in Montgomery. But Bush’s service records do not show him logging any service in Alabama until October of that year.

And even that service is in doubt. Since the Globe first reported Bush’s spotty attendance record in May 2000, no one has come forward with any credible recollection of having witnessed Bush performing guard service in Alabama or after he returned to Houston in 1973. While Bush was in Alabama, he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical in July 1972. On May 1, 1973, Bush’s superior officers wrote that they could not complete his annual performance review because he had not been observed at the Houston base during the prior 12 months.

Although the records of Bush’s service in 1973 are contradictory, some of them suggest that he did a flurry of drills in 1973 in Houston — a weekend in April and then 38 days of training crammed into May, June, and July. But Lechliter, the retired colonel, concluded after reviewing National Guard regulations that Bush should not have received credit — or pay — for many of those days either. The regulations, Lechliter and others said, required that any scheduled drills that Bush missed be made up either within 15 days before or 30 days after the date of the drill.

Lechliter said the records push him to conclude that Bush had little interest in fulfilling his obligation, and his superiors preferred to look the other way. Others agree. ”It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable,” said retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon’s director of the Air National Guard.

Returning to Obama, it was – again – The Boston Globe that reported the ties between the dictator and slumlord Tony Rezko, as well as Obama’s support of subsidizing slums with taxpayer money.

The crisis faced by newspapers in America was not brought on by technology and amateur bloggers out-pacing the ability of reporters to get the news out to the public.  It was brought on by the nearly universal abdication of all journalistic responsibility to go after the truth with every tool at the newspapers’ disposal.  Editors (and indeed, many reporters) across the nation got in bed with the very same government and business thugs whose wrongdoing they were supposed to expose, and became cheerleaders for right-wing propaganda.  Even when reporters did their jobs, the tendency by editors was to relegate such stories to the back pages, all-too-often dismissing them altogether.

The public is smart enough to know when it’s being lied to, or when it isn’t being given the full story.  People began looking for more honest sources of news.  Technology merely allowed for faster, more expansive access to information.  The gatekeepers in the corporate media found themselves unable to keep up, having abrogated their duty to report the truth and having failed in the craze to consolidate into huge trusts to consider that such a business model was always, ultimately, unsustainable.

So now we have a spate of newspaper closings as the bosses realize they can’t make the obscene profits they thought they could, and as a result, many good newspapers are suffering.  Rather than return to the traditional news model of multiple newspapers in a single area, each owned by a different publisher and better meeting the needs of their communities through genuine reporting, the bosses are using closure as yet another means of union-busting.  It’s disgusting, and more importantly, destructive to the ideals of a free press.


  1. The whole economic downturn is being used by elites to put the screws to 98% of the populace.

    Willie Sutton’s reasoning as to why he robbed banks: “that’s where the money is” is turned on its head as Wall St shakes down average Joes and Janes because, “that’s where the money is”.

  2. or rather that commercial peasant of the parent corpo entity the New York Times.

    “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”

    David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991.

    Assholian,parasitic,secret elite sociopathic eugenics endorsing Rockefeller.  

    I can get everything I need to know and will impact my life personally from you fucking establishment parasites.

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