The hole in the "oil spot" strategy for Iraq.

A mostly political Weblog.
Nov. 14 2005 3:46 AM

The Hole in the "Oil Spot" Strategy

Plus--You Can't Shut Anyone Up Anymore.

(Continued from Page 2)

A more damaging jibe is Peggy Noonan's:

You really don't want it? Then get out of the way! Get off the stage, let someone else stand there. The Democrats of California need a leader, not a handsome fly buzzing 'round their heads. [Emph. added]

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P.P.S.: The LAT piece's lead author, Carla Hall, was part of the Times team that (justifiably, and apparently accurately) reported on the Schwarzenegger groping incidents before California's 2003 recall election. Aren't they duty-bound to look into Beatty's personal history if he runs for office? I think they are! I'm not saying they'll find anything remotely comparable--it's hard to believe they would. Schwarzenegger has dramatically raised the bar in that area. But Beatty may not relish the scrutiny. ... 1:29 P.M.

Schwarzendebacle: Bill Bradley, the go-to guy for Schwarzenegger-insider reporting, blames strategist Mike Murphy for Tuesday's power-sapping defeat, but reports:

Schwarzenegger, according to sources in his own camp, has no real plan to correct his increasingly disastrous course. ...Multiple Arnold sources confirm that, just as there was never a specific plan for the misbegotten "Year of Reform," there is now no real plan for an Arnold move back to the bipartisan center, just a set of unformed intentions for "big thinking." [Emph. added]

[From L.A. Weekly] ... Forward lean: Maria to the rescue! ... 2:31 A.M.

Are you impressed that TimesSelect has attracted "approximately" 135,000 paying*** customers?** At $45 a head (halfway between the introductory price and the regular price) that's $6.1 million. Bigger than Arianna!  But if someone--say, Richard Mellon Scaife--had come along a year ago and offered the NYT $6.1 million to radically limit the reach of its (largely) liberal columnists, would the paper have taken the deal? ... P.S.: And is the future subscriber trajectory really up, up, up, as the Times' columnists fade as personalities on the Web and get replaced by other, freer popular writers? ...

**--Note that the figure of 135,000 isn't actually used in the press release, which refers to "approximately half" of 270,000. That was enough for other outlets to report that "about 135,000" TimesSelect customers are paying customers. ... I guess half of "approximately" is "about." ... It's almost certainly not "more than." ...

***--Update--Spacious Wiggle Room Discovered: Actually, as reader P points out, the press releasedoesn't even say that the "approximately half" figure represents paid customers. It only says they are "online-only subscribers." Does that include people who've been given free passes to the TimesSelect content? People who've said they are going to pay but haven't actually paid? Without additional numbers there is no way of knowing for sure. (The only detail given is that 90% of those who sign up for the free 14-day trial do eventually pay up. But how many "online-only subscribers" are 14-day trial subscribers?) ... 11:55 P.M.

Arianna's rich! (Her blog is worth $4,531,562.58, according to Technorati.) But that's before Cenk Uygur demands his cut. ... [She was rich before--ed But Andrew wasn't, and he's worth $2,041,376.64! Don't even ask about Nick Denton. Think what they could get for Fish Report--ed I know, I know.] Cold Water: Snarksmith's impressively-graphed calculations are more ... sober.  He has Sullivan, for example, in the $40,000/year category, based on BlogAds revenues. He emails: "Technorati's whole premise is based on the idea that AOL paid a reasonable amount for Weblogs.**  But AOL always pays too much for Internet properties." ...

TODAY IN SLATE

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