Roughly this week, five years ago, I sat down to write the first editorial in the first edition of the Penny Press.
I had sold a radio station a year and a half previous, the buyer was defaulting on the payments and my lawyer told me that I had to honor my non-competition agreement while we pursued the buyer in bankruptcy court.
So, I started the Penny Press, which my legal brain trust said was not a violation of that agreement.
The original idea was to let the defaulting buyer know that 1) we were not going anywhere and 2) he should pack his toothbrush if he really wanted to fight us in court, and, while we were at it, 3) have some fun, tweaking the liberals who wanted to remake Las Vegas in the image of San Francisco.
We won the radio station battle about nine months later but we were having way too much fun to cease publishing the newspaper, like everyone thought we would. Besides, the 2004 elections were coming.
This week marks the beginning of the sixth year of our publishing the weekly conservative voice of Las Vegas. And, like we say in our radio commercials, here at the Penny Press, we want to make sticking up for us little guys a whole new Las Vegas tradition.
A lot has changed since 2003.
We’re back in the radio business, this time with stations in rural Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. (We love our battleground states!)
Some of the people who started this journey with us have died; reminding us how fragile life really is—especially as we all have lived to well past 50.
The technology has continued to evolve to the point where we have as many readers on the internet as those who actually pick up a printed copy of the paper each week—and many of those readers are in Washington DC and other places, giving us a voice where many weekly newspapers have never had one in the past.
But, essentially, we are doing the same things we have always done.
That said, let’s deal briefly with the economic bailout of a whole lot of institutions, which the Federal Government has deemed too big to fail.
As I said last week, however repugnant the concept of bailing out the clowns that brought us Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is, let’s put the price in perspective.
It is one year’s cost—at today’s prices—of the oil we buy from nations that would like to destroy our way of life.
Can we afford it? Probably.
But there should be serious consequences and they should not come down upon the heads of the very taxpayers who are offering up the bailout.
The first consequence should be that any politician who votes for this bailout and then votes against drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve and off our coastlines should be taken out and shot by the voters who are ponying up the money. We should start drilling immediately, everywhere. And if we’re passing out Federal largesse, the average taxpayer should get a stiff incentive to install solar and wind power in his and her homes and businesses. When there’s a market, the industry will ramp up. And Harry Reid’s opposition to coal-fired power plants should cease to exist. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal.
The second should be that any executive of any company that in any way benefits from the bail out should have to return to the taxpayers 98% of the compensation that he or she allegedly earned during the time they messed the company up.
And the third should be that anybody who doesn’t need a bailout should get special consideration is buying up properties before the Federal government gets a shot. And anybody who helped cause the problems should be barred from dealing with the Federal government until the last bail-out property is disposed of.
I can hear the folks on Wall Street squealing about rules like this now. Maybe they should get jobs at factories for a few years to see how everybody else gets by.