Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Google's Stock Value Shocks The World - Joe Mandese MediaPost

Will Google hit $1,000? That's the question.

IF THERE WERE ANY DOUBTS that we were back into a new, digital media economy, they were laid to rest Monday when the price of Google's shares topped $600 for the first time, giving it a price to earnings multiple of 49.54, and a market capitalization greater than the three biggest traditional media companies - Time Warner, Walt Disney Co., and News Corp. - combined. Based on Monday's closing price of $609.62 per share, Google has a market cap of $190.28 billion.

Based on their closing prices, traditional media's Big 3 - Time Warner ($71.23 billion), Walt Disney Co. ($68.50 billion) and News Corp. ($49.00 billion) - equaled a combined $188.73 billion.

Looked at another way, Google's market value is now 3.6 times greater than all of Madison Avenue's publicly traded ad agency holding companies - WPP ($17.72 billion), Omnicom ($16.43 billion), Publicis ($8.57 billion), Interpublic ($4.89 billion), Aegis ($2.96 billion), Havas ($2.484 billion), and MDC Partners ($274 billion) - combined.

The relative valuations of the new and traditional media companies are more than just symbolic. They signal investor confidence that allow companies to leverage their share value in stock-based acquisitions that can help companies grow even bigger and more dominant over time. And if Google's high price/earnings multiple seems bubblish, it wasn't apparent to experts on Wall Street.

Analysts from investment giants like Piper Jaffray and Thompson Financial raised their expectations for Google last week, as the company moved closer to releasing its latest quarterly earnings on October 18. Due in part to improved revenue forecasts, analysts at Bear Stearns, for example, have pegged the search giant's stock to reach $625 per share by the end of 2007--setting a target price of $700 dollars.

Google's share price has grown along with its share of search, and push into areas like contextual advertising, and hosted email, calendaring and publishing applications. Shares initially sold at $85 when the company went public in August 2004--and had closed at about $460 by the end of last year.

The search giant's progress has even driven some industry analysts (namely Silicon Alley Insider's Henry Blodget) to forecast shares to hit $2,000 over the next few decades--but this quarter's all-important earnings release will most certainly determine the stock's performance for the near term.

Joe Mandese is Editor of MediaPost.

Barack Obama, African Americans, Clinton, and Black Fear Of Success

The way Rev. Al Sharpton's treated Senator Barack Obama earlier this year reminds me of something that happened to me in Oakland, and it's a sign of how we as African Americans fear social success and breaking the glass ceiling. Indeed, given that Barack could be our next President, you'd think there would be an automatic Black voting block.

Instead some of us are backing Hillary Clinton, but don't believe for a moment that it's because of Hillary Clinton -- it's because some of us are scared of seeing the reality of a Black person in charge of America. Let me explain.

In 1998, I worked for the City of Oakland, and then-Mayor Jerry Brown, fresh from his election victory, was moving into City Hall, I was to be transfered over from my office in the Mayor's Office, to ...somewhere.

Then-Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb personally asked me to talk with then-Economic Development Director Bill Claggett, with whom I did not entirely get along with at the time. But I did have lunch with him and he told me that he thought I talked like I knew everything. To which I said it wasn't that I did, but many people -- himself included -- were not used to hearing someone Black speak well.

At that point, I didn't want to go over to Economic Development

When I told Robert Robb what happened, his reaction was that he expected Glaggett to say that. "Oakland," he said, "Is a crabbarrel town. You know what I mean? You? Bright. Young. Articulate. Black. They can't stand that. They want to pull you down."

Because Bobb said that, I went to Economic Development -- simply because he knew what the problem was and how stupid some of the people were being. The same can be said for Reverend Al -- well the stupid part that is.

One big reason some of us African Americans have been slow to overcome the chains of the past and also willing to back Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama is that people like Reverend Al won't let us take them off. That's certainly not my problem as I'm a stauch supporter of Senator Obama for President, but that's not what I'm writing about here. I'm writing about those Blacks who actually fear Barack's success. Those who think he can't win because he's Black -- like them.

And for every one of us who does overcome that mentality and the chains that come with it, like Barack Obama, there's someone like Reverend Al, right there to put them back on again -- or at least try to. According to an article in the New York Post , Sharpton doens't like Obama and is jealous of his success. Or he was at the time the article was written.

Now Sharpton knows that if anyone can help him achieve his agenda, it's Barack Obama, but the possibility of success was not desirable to him as long as he had to deal with someone who's able to be something that Sharpton doesn't see himself as: bright, smart, and attractive.

So, Sharpton says Barack's "not Black" knowing all the time that slavery is not a measure of Blackness and never was. There were "free" Blacks even during Slavery. He also knows that many of us have some measure of "White blood," -- whatever that means as I tend to think in terms that are more specific to region and not skin color -- and that's certainly true for Barack. Big deal. It's how society regards us, and everyone sees Barack Obama as Black, including himself.

I've gotten the same slings and arrows from not just Blacks, but people like Bill Claggett, who's White, that Barack Obama's getting today. Fortunately, America's waking-up to the stupidity of people like Claggett and Sharpton, and in such a way that Sharpton's childish attitude could wind up hurting his friend and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. More and more people are responding to Senator Obama as an individual who's a born leader and one who's capable of bridging gaps in society. Barack can win the presidency.

But such an outcome seems to be an issue to a "Crabbarel" like Reverend Al. As long as Blacks remain second class citizens and there's room for his "victimization" approach, and he's on top, that's all. It's all about Reverend Al, no matter how much it hurts other Blacks like me or Senator Obama.

He's just trying to pull us down.

Havard Professor Derrick Bell has explained these problems well. Bell once said that he got into a cab on the way to the airport, when the cabbie, who's African American, asked him what he did. "I'm a professor at Harvard," he said. "Oh, " responded the cab driver, It's folks like you who make it harder for the rest of us."

What the cab driver meant, and Bell understood, was that his position as a professor at Harvard was a sign that other African Americans could achieve that status, and that Bell's success made it harder for the cab driver to see his Blackness as a block to achivement.

Some of us who are Black may look at Barack the same way as the cabbie looked at Professor Bell, but it's wrong. We should see Barack as a role model and someone who can win the nomination, should win the nomination, and in doing so break that glass ceiling. Indeed, you'd think intelligent African Americans like Stanley Crouch would know this, but even he can't help tugging that mental chain. Crouch stupidly -- that's what it is -- said that Barack wasn't Black because he didn't have the background of slavery.

That's just plain dumb. It is.

To be frank, if Barack were Italian or Asian, people who identify themselves as Italian or Asian would speak of him with pride, not fear. We're the only set of people with the tendency to express fear of success, and that should be a major concern to everyone in America, regardless of race, creed, or color.

If we as a major part of American Culture can't feel good about ourselves, then we harm the ability of the country itself to improve. We've got to take off our mental chains and follow Barack, without fear.

Police Officers In A Very Bad Light - Are We Hiring Mentally Ill Officers?

As I write this I'm watching CNN's presentation of a terrible image of a White Maile police officer arresting, then spraying, and punching a young Black woman who was all of 90 pounds. Regardless of the explaination, it's obvious that it was an application of excessive force.

Then there was the other police officer -- again White and Male -- who's repeatedly tazering a young woman -- time after time.

Then there was the student at the John Kerry panel even in Florida -- a young man who like anyone else just wanted to have his say.

Then there's the Black preacher who wanted to get into the Iraq War Hearing and was wrestled to the ground and arrested -- even as others were allowed to pass him by.

Then there's the officer who went off and killed his girlfriend and others just a few days ago.

I could go on and on.

This is happening all too often and so the question must be asked "Are we hiring police officers who may be mentally ill?" What I mean is that the "modern" officer is one that uses force first, and not reason and does this all too often and all too quickly. Plus, the officers seem to do this more often with Blacks and other people of color.


Perhaps it's the kind of people who are attracted to the job, combined with the lack of screening to keep people who may be racist, sexist, or have anger management problems.

Moreover, why do police officers have to be male? Why not have more female officers?

Whatever the case, it's clear America needs to reform its law enforcement system, and before it's too late.

Leinart out for the season; Cards sign Rattay as backup to Warner

Associated Press

PHOENIX -- An already difficult second NFL season came to an end for Arizona's Matt Leinart on Tuesday when he was placed on injured reserve with a broken collarbone.

Kurt Warner, the 36-year-old quarterback who had shared duties with Leinart, moves into the starting job. The team signed Tim Rattay on Tuesday to be Warner's backup.

Leinart, a left-hander, fractured his left collarbone when he was sacked by Will Witherspoon in the second quarter of the Cardinals' 34-31 victory over the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. He sat on the sideline in the second half with his arm in a sling.

"We didn't want to rush him back," first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "To hold a roster spot for that long is difficult, with some of the areas we are banged, with the hope he can get back in time. I am more concerned about him trying to rush back and maybe jeopardize his future."

The uncertain timetable was a major reason for calling an end to the young quarterback's season.

"Whenever you have a fracture there will be six weeks or however long it takes to heal," Whisenhunt said, "and then, especially because it is his throwing shoulder, you have to do the rehabilitation of it throwing the football. Who knows what it could have been? Could have been 8 weeks, could have been 12 weeks."

Leinart, the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft, had been unhappy with the two-quarterback system employed by Whisenhunt. The former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national champion at USC has started 16 games for Arizona, including the first five this season.
But Whisenhunt used Warner when the team went to a no-huddle offense that often has been effective.

Warner's statistics are better than Leinart's.

Warner has completed 62 percent of his passes (43-of-69) for 580 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. Leinart has completed 54 percent (60-of-112) for 647 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Warner, a former NFL and Super Bowl MVP, is in his 10th NFL season, the past three with the Cardinals. He started the first four games last season before losing the job to the then-rookie Leinart.

Rattay, an eight-year veteran, played in four games last year for Tampa Bay and completed 61 of 101 passes. He played for the San Francisco 49ers for six years before being traded to the Buccaneers.

"He has competed in this league and he has started in this league," Whisenhunt said. "That will help him pick up the offense. Just the way he understands the game -- you see it on tape -- that's why we were interested in him."

The Mess Congress Made: Immigration inaction is fueling Irving panic

This article was written by the Dallas Morning News. www.dallasnews.com
06:47 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Many North Texans are reacting to Irving's crackdown on illegal immigrants by saying: Darn right, they're breaking the law, and it's about time we sent them packing. Folks on the opposite side counter: This is a harsh overreaction against people who are working, contributing to the economy and paying taxes.

The mood is getting nastier by the day. Fear abounds within the Hispanic community. Latino U.S. citizens, along with legal and illegal immigrants, worry that they could be hunted down and deported. Irving schools have noticed a drop in attendance because some parents, fearing deportation, have gone into hiding with their children.

"They get this notion that someone is going to actually come to school and snatch their children," Irving ISD Superintendent Jack Singley told The Dallas Morning News last week.

No matter where you stand in the illegal-immigration debate, this state of affairs should be unsettling. No one wins when children are on the streets instead of in the classroom. Federal law requires schools to educate children regardless of immigration status. A climate of fear, whether prompted by police action or unsubstantiated rumor, can only disrupt learning and ultimately wastes taxpayer dollars.

The crackdown in Irving – along with Farmers Branch and dozens of other communities across the country – is a reaction to a more profound problem. Local governments are getting involved in immigration enforcement because Washington is too timid to confront it.

Congress has repeatedly failed to tackle the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, a hot potato that few politicians want to handle before the November 2008 elections. Having lost patience, local governments increasingly are intervening, even though immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility.

This is an abysmal state of affairs. Members of Congress are fooling themselves if they think immigration reform will somehow get easier the longer they delay it.

We think it's pathetic that Irving schoolchildren are being kept home out of fear. But what's even more pathetic is the fear – of voter reprisal – that is preventing Congress from doing its job.

Oakland Raiders Invade San Diego To Maul Chargers

That's what's going to happen. The Oakland Raiders are going to maul and manhandle the San Diego Chargers. Get tickets for the game here -- NFL Tickets Exchange