GSA's Trump Hotel Lease Debacle

As the clock ticks down towards President-elect Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, the window is rapidly closing on the General Services Administration’s opportunity to extricate itself from the Trump Organization’s lease of the historic Post Office Pavilion. The lease—in which Donald Trump would, in effect, be both landlord and tenant—now presents unprecedented and intolerable conflicts of interest.

Why Corruption Matters

Paul Krugman explains all.

Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire.

Saying good-bye to the Sacramento Bee

For my entire life (that I can remember), my household has subscribed to the local newspaper. This was the case when I was growing up, this had been the case since I've been on my own up until last Friday.

A week ago I decided to quit getting the paper version of the local newspaper - the Sacramento Bee. One of the benefits of the print version is that you get the digital versions for free. I had found that I wasn't reading the print version so much and decided to drop it.

In my mind my account would have two checkboxes - 'gets the paper', 'gets the digital'. I tell them I want to drop the paper, the Bee unchecks the 'gets the paper' checkbox and all is good. They were all ready setup for auto-payment. Life goes on.

But it turns out there's a dependency. The 'gets paper' checkbox is what allowed me to get the digital version. So, I lost all access. Many emails and phone calls ensued to restore my access. It turns out I was really just starting over. Had anyone told me that a week ago I probably would have logged in with a different email address and restrated. There is no way to manage this on my own online.

A side note, if you go to the Bee site and say you want to subscribe to the digital edition, you're prompted to provide your zip code so they can check if you're in a delivery area. You wouldn't know this from that sort of clumsiness, but they got an early start on 'online'. I participated in a focus group about moving online at the Bee 20 years ago (it seems) and have the coffee cup to show for it. Apparently no one who learned those lessons stuck around.

But in the mean time, I had gone a week without the Bee. And my general disrespect for the editorial side is now extended to the business side. So, I'm going to just sit with this and see if I miss it.

I still get the Sunday NY Times. It's nice to get a physical paper (I'm old, I know.) and that print subscription also gets me full digitial access. Many years in, that's working out fine. I don't think I'll mess with it.