Tag Archives: national news

Ticketmaster + Live Nation = Monopoly?

The Atlantic
Ticket distributor Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation have been hoping to merge. Britain’s antitrust regulator objected today in a preliminary ruling. It believes the merger would severely limit competition and hurt consumers. I think it’s right, and its decision is something of a no-brainer.

Let’s break it down. Imagine you want to go see a concert. Since Live Nation has, by far, the strongest influence in the concert space, you will probably be going to one they promoted or produced. So to buy those tickets? Well, you probably have to go through Ticketmaster, since it has vast control over concert ticket distribution.

How cornered would they have the market? According to this CNN Money article from back in February about the proposed merger, their combined market share would be close to 80%. If that isn’t a threshold for antitrust regulation, then I’m not sure what is.

It makes sense business-wise for them, but as a frequent concert attender I am concerned about prices sky-rocketing.

Kinda Large Budget Deficit

1.4 trillion is the amount of the budget deficitĀ for the 2009 fiscal year, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This deficit, the highest in our economy in over half a century, was estimated for 2009 until September 30th.

For the month of September alone, the U.S. ran an estimated deficit of 31 billion.

Patrick Yoest for Dow Jones Newswires said that “The fiscal 2009 spending is equal to 25% of the nation’s gross domestic product, which the CBO states is “the highest level in over 50 years.”

Yoest said that “The CBO in its monthly budget report states that the fiscal 2009 deficit was estimated to equal 9.9% of gross domestic product in the U.S. – the largest deficit relative to the nation’s gross domestic product since 1945.

So much for fiscal responsibility!

Barefoot Burglar

…Although he is only 18, Colton Harris-Moore has been on authorities’ radar for years. “Colt,” as he is called, was first arrested for burglary at age 12, said Detective Ed Wallace, a spokesman for the Island County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in at a local school earned Colton a few weeks in a juvenile facility, Wallace said.

Local media reports tally nine arrests for Harris-Moore before the age of 15. Now police in five counties in Washington state are looking for him.

Harris-Moore dropped out of high school and, according to Wallace, police believe he spent his teens burglarizing unoccupied homes on Camano Island, a vacation community of about 15,000 people off the Washington state coast. He became known as “the Barefoot Burglar,” because, investigators say, he preferred to prowl shoeless.

Gradually, Wallace alleges, Harris-Moore moved onto more sophisticated crimes.

“He will typically break into a home or vehicle and copy down the credit card numbers,” Wallace said. “He then leaves the credit cards behind so people don’t realize they have been stolen.”

This kid’s messed up yo!

Saturn Will “Wind Down”

General Motors said Wednesday it would wind down its Saturn brand after Penske Automotive Group abruptly called off negotiations to buy the unit.

Penske pulled the plug because it couldn’t secure future products for Saturn showrooms beyond 2011, when GM is scheduled to stop producing Saturns.

Although it had negotiated a supply agreement with another manufacturer, the deal was rejected by that manufacturer’s board of directors, Penske said in a statement. “Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction.”

Makes sense I mean Mike T. is the only person to ever own a Saturn.

WTF? Lost Vegas

The Sun

LOVEBIRDS Steven and Kathryn share a well-organised home in bustling Las Vegas.

They have a neat, if compact kitchen, a furnished living area, and a bedroom complete with double bed, wardrobe and bookshelf featuring a wide selection including a Frank Sinatra biography and Spanish phrase book.

And they make their money in some of the biggest casinos in the world.

But their life is far from the ordinary.

Because, along with hundreds of others, the couple are part of a secret community living in the dark and dirty underground flood tunnels below the famous strip.

Facebook Has Role In Crime

MARTINSBURG – The popular online social networking site Facebook helped lead to an alleged burglar’s arrest after he stopped check his account on the victim’s computer, but forgot to log out before leaving the home with two diamond rings.

Jonathan G. Parker, 19, of Fort Loudoun, Pa., was arraigned Tuesday one count of felony daytime burglary.

According to court records, Deputy P.D. Ware of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department responded on Aug. 28 to the victim’s home after she reported the burglary.

She told police that someone had broken into her home through a bedroom window.

There were open cabinets in her garage, and other signs of a burglar.

See, Facebook isn’t useless.


WASHINGTON — The community activist group ACORN has selected a former Massachusetts attorney general to investigate its housing program after employees were caught on video giving advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp.

ACORN announced Tuesday that Democrat Scott Harshbarger will conduct its internal investigation.

ACORN said last week that it was suspending the admission of new clients into its housing program pending the outcome of its investigation.

ACORN has NRA in it!!!


WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. non-farm productivity was stronger than initially thought in the second quarter as companies slashed costs to protect profits, data showed on Wednesday.

The Labor Department said non-farm productivity rose at a 6.6% annual rate, rather than the 6.4% pace it reported last month. That was the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2003.

Productivity rose at a 0.3% pace in the first quarter.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast productivity, which measures the hourly output per worker, rising at a 6.4% rate in the second quarter.

Unemployment still at an inadequate level.

Refrigerator Rebates!

A $300 million cash-for-clunkers-type federal program to boost sales of energy-efficient home appliances, washing machines, and dishwashers, but it’s probably not enough to lift companies such as Whirlpool (NYSE:WHRNews) and Electrolux out of the worst down cycle in the sector’s history.

Beginning late this fall, the program authorizes rebates of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances. The money is part of the broader economic stimulus bill passed earlier this year. Program details will vary by state, and the Energy Dept. has set a deadline of Oct. 15 for states to file formal applications. The Energy Dept. expects the bulk of the $300 million to be awarded by the end of November. (Unlike the clunkers auto program, consumers won’t have to trade in their old appliances.)