Mo’ money, mo’ squabbles over scholarship for Diddy’s son - Chicago Sun-Times Mo’ money, mo’ squabbles over scholarship for Diddy’s son - Chicago Sun-Times

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mo’ money, mo’ squabbles over scholarship for Diddy’s son - Chicago Sun-Times

Mo’ money, mo’ squabbles over scholarship for Diddy’s son - Chicago Sun-Times
Story Image

NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Sean "Diddy" Combs and son Justin Dior Combs attend Justin Dior Combs' 16th birthday party at M2 Ultra Lounge on January 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sean "Diddy" Combs;Justin Dior Combs

Updated: June 4, 2012 12:46AM

The decision by UCLA to award a full-ride scholarship to young football star Justin Combs — son of multimillionaire entertainment mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs — has generated a huge debate online and on the campus of the Southern California university.

While many argue the younger Combs earned the scholarship on his merits, I’ve learned there’s considerable backlash among key UCLA alumni and fund-raising honchos. During this time of tough economic challenges, many UCLA alumni who play major roles in Hollywood’s showbiz world believe that need should trump everything else.

“I know it seems unfair to Justin, but clearly he has had so many advantages in his life. … Those funds should have gone to a kid who otherwise might not be able to attend UCLA,” said a top studio executive and university alum Sunday, who also said, “Everyone I’ve spoken to is on the same page about this.”

† Diddy’s camp believes that Justin is entitled to the scholarship, and no one’s intending to give it back. That said, there also is word that Combs Sr. will be very, very generous to UCLA fund-raising efforts.

“I’ll bet he’ll end up giving the university more — over a period of time — than Justin is getting over the next four years,” said a close Combs associate.

DEJA VU? Is Charlie Sheen slipping back into his old ways — partying wildly, drinking heavily and surrounding himself with a bunch of porn stars?

That was the contention of some weekend reports the actor was laughing off, claiming he’s well in control of himself. Sheen blasted the unnamed “friends” who gossiped about him to several celebrity magazines and websites, saying, “Consider the sources.”

My own sources close to Sheen do express concern that he seems to be repeating the behavior that caused him problems in the past.

“Charlie now thinks he’s able to control himself and won’t be pushed over the edge by surrounding himself with booze, drugs and porn stars,” said a longtime Sheen associate, who did add, “so far he’s doing OK.

“I just worry, he’ll go crazy all over again — and totally lose control.”

While spokesfolks for Sheen’s ex-wife Brooke Mueller — and her parents — insist her return to rehab was a long-planned event (as part of her ongoing recovery) and not due to relapse, others think her being around Sheen a lot lately hasn’t been healthy.

“I don’t care what anyone says,” added a second source. “Charlie has always been a trigger for Brooke’s addictions. Always has been. Always will be. I’m sorry, I just don’t think that will ever change.”

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Jay Cutler and his very pregnant fiancee Kristin Cavallari were seen happily shopping at the Division Street Farmers Market this weekend. … Cubs shortstop Starlin Castr o dined at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie, while the Sox’s Paul Kornerko was spied dining at Joe’s Stone Crab — as was (separately) the Bulls’ Rip Hamilton. … Fans of the band Buckcherry were excited to spot the guys at RA Sushi at State and Elm, while the band were here for a “Throttle Fest” gig at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. … “Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince checked out RPM Italian, Paris Club and Studio Paris while in town over the weekend.

Google Has A Magic Money Making Machine - The Business Insider

Here's one thing that's clearer than ever after Facebook's IPO mess: Google has a magic money making machine, and it's possible no other internet company will ever have the same sort of (relatively) easy success.

The number one comparison point for Facebook as it headed towards an IPO was Google. Facebook, like Google, was a giant web company that had hundreds of millions of users. Facebook, like Google, was working on highly-targeted ads that could hit hundreds of millions of consumers.

But a funny thing happened on Facebook's path to becoming Google 2.0 (from a business perspective). Everyone suddenly realized Facebook's ads aren't that good. And everyone realized that Facebook's ads, while very good at targeting, aren't nearly as powerful or effective as Google's.

And then everyone realized Facebook isn't going to have its own magic money making machine. If it's going to make lots of money, it's going to be more of a grind to figure it out.

In our newsroom, someone threw out a good analogy for Facebook's ad business*: It's like you're at a party, standing around, talking to your friends, and someone made the posters on the wall advertisements. Maybe you'll look at them, but they're not really what you're there to do.

Google, on the other hand, is like you're walking through a grocery store looking for whatever you need and the advertiser gets to jump in at the last second and offer you what you're looking for.

As Chris Dixon has written, successful online advertising is all about purchasing intent. How do you capture commercial consumer interest?

Google's entire business is based on people asking commercial questions and giving advertisers an opportunity to provide the top 2-3 answers to the question.

That's an amazing business. And it's one Facebook doesn't have.

That's not say Facebook isn't going to figure out a way to make gobs and gobs of money. It has 900 million users. It has a team of super smart people looking to solve a hard problem. It can figure something out.

It's just not likely to be a magical money making machine like what Google has.

Don't Miss: Here's What Could Happen Next To Facebook's Stock

*We apologize if this analogy was from somewhere else and we didn't realize. Credit to whoever came up with it.

Money to invest: Obama or Romney? - Jackson Clarion-Ledger

If I were investing my own money, whom would I trust to run a company and make a profitable return?

If the choice were between someone who had been successful and made buckets of money for others who had invested with him, or someone who had not only lost money but who had also actually taken investors' money and given it to some of his cronies ... well, whom would you trust?

Let's face it: Mitt Romney has made buckets of money for those who have invested their own money with him in his business ventures. Even the Obama camp admits that.

On the other hand President Barack Obama has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the auto sector, energy sector and "stimulus" sector of our economy ... that is, none of his own discretionary money we are aware of, but hundreds of billions of tax dollars the IRS demands from us every paycheck. But he didn't stop there. In our name - USA taxpayers - Obama has borrowed trillions of dollars to invest in many sectors. What are the results?

To save GM and Chrysler, he invested $82 billion tax dollars. Surely this hefty amount would "save" Detroit? No, both companies declared bankruptcy anyway. By the way, those two companies still owe about $24 billion.

Union workers didn't lose a nickel, but those of us who had GM or Chrysler stock in our pension plans lost our shirts. Oh, and 2,500 non-union autoworkers lost their jobs not counting the closings of hundreds of dealerships and workers who lost their jobs.

In the energy arena, Obama not only shut down a hundred thousand or so jobs through his moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but he also invested tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in green energy, promising to create 5,000,000 new jobs. So, how's that working? Can you say Solyndra, Beacon Power or Ener1? Not any more, since they've all filed for bankruptcy.

And, let's not forget the nearly trillion-dollar investment in "shovel-ready jobs" poured into an abyss at the beginning of his presidency.

How many jobs have all of Obama's investments created? Checking the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have fewer Americans working today than we had before he took over investing in our economy.

We have to give the president credit - literally. He's spent trillions of taxpayer dollars trying to rev up the economy, and he's borrowed nearly $6 trillion more that our grandchildren will have to repay. If I were investing my own tax dollars, whom would I want to run this country? If you earn a paycheck, you're investing too. Choose carefully. Our grandchildren will judge our choices.

Labor's plan is on song and on the money - Sydney Morning Herald

The ALP is sowing seeds of doubt over Abbott, but still has its own doubters.

IT HAS taken a little time to emerge from the fog and clutter, but the Gillard government has a strategy to claw back lost political ground. It's not exactly innovative. In fact, its core is older than time. There is cash for working families, Labor's base, fretting about cost-of-living. Wads of it, flowing out the door.

Cash is the dominant political theme, day in, day out, harmonised with taxpayer-funded advertisements. A rare example of this government really backing in a message - every question time, every interview, in front of every open microphone, they are shouting, ''Cash, cash is coming! For you.''

I suppose the brutal simplicity helps, but this is a sea change. This government has historically lacked persistence with the daily sell. Certainly the frenetic media cycle doesn't help, always demanding something new. But ''consistently on song'' is not this government's strong suit. Someone's panic about having to fill the void generally asserts itself. As a result, new confetti is tossed in the wind, scattering randomly.

When Gillard and her ministers aren't talking up the cash, they accuse Tony Abbott of wildly exaggerating the impact of the carbon tax. (One month until implementation day; four weeks to till the soil and sow the seed of doubt.)

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet yelled in Parliament last week. Shouted. And sang. Here was the perennial straight man, rising to the vaudeville of the times. Uncharacteristic, this hogging of the spotlight. Combet was out-thundering those opposite - which takes some doing.

They are all yelling in the Labor Party right now, straining to be heard above the din - almost like a parental directive has been issued: speak up, for God's sake, don't mumble.

The government is trying to promote a suspicion some voters already have that Abbott is a wrecker, not a builder (today's Age/Nielsen poll once again records high dissatisfaction ratings for the Opposition Leader). And not just doubt with the voters. Labor wants to put a question mark over the Abbott strategy, invite foment in the opposition, and self-doubt in the candidate, who is a confidence player.

Labor is also bent on disrupting Abbott's narrative. It's the barrister's trick in the jury trial: create reasonable doubt.

The government is not trying to prove the carbon tax is good. That's now impossible.

What Labor is trying to prove is that the tax is not as bad as Lead Prosecutor Abbott says it is, that there are other versions of reality than the one the Opposition Leader has spent months meticulously laying out. They seek to do this because Abbott rarely misses when he stands in front of a microphone; in his telling, the carbon tax is always present, and catastrophic, whatever the premise of any reporter's question.

Labor's alternative reality is this: the world doesn't end on July 1. Coal is mined and exported. Carbon-tax-generating heaters are not tossed in pique into the street.

The Labor hope is that Abbott finds himself stranded on the wrong side of reality at a time when the punters might be inclined to discount his arguments, and question his motives. That Labor can catch its breath on the ledge before resuming the punishing slog up Mount Everest. Such is the hope, just a tiny glimmer.

The hope of some at least: the Prime Minister, who wants to breathe on that ledge without looking down, and others who believe in the policy.

But there are Labor people who have never been on board with the policy in any iteration; and people who don't want the carbon tax to be their epitaph, who don't want to be washed out with the tsunami for an abstract policy ''right''.

As is often the story, the government is not of single mind and single aspiration. Which is why a step forward is often accompanied by a few shuffles backward. Look at the clumsy positioning over the foreign workers deal for Gina Rinehart: a revealing little window on the government's lingering internal mistrust and murk.

The government's cash-plus-reasonable-doubt strategy is being rolled out regardless, and that has been the case since last month's budget. Not a backward step. No obvious hesitation. Some good days, even.

But the truth for Labor is that frozen in this moment are two adrenalin-soaked impulses: fight, and flight. In its soul, the government is like Road Runner, aloft, frozen, with legs pointing in opposite directions.

The carbon tax remains a proxy for the leadership question: there's a sotto voce suggestion around the place that Kevin Rudd, if drafted back, could pull the toxic tax back somehow, then steam forth, smash Tony Abbott and save the day (or if not the day, then at least the furniture in Queensland and NSW).

For Gillard there's an equal and opposite hope: nail the next few weeks, glue cracked foundations, be Labor leader at the next poll.

July 1 is not only an inflection point in the national political debate, it is an inflection point for the Labor leadership. ''Good'' polls - where the ALP primary vote ticks up, and Abbott's negatives remain high - insulate the PM. But bad polls, like today's where Labor's primary vote slumps down into the 20s, will panic those inclined to panic.

It's as simple and as timeless as cash-plus-reasonable-doubt.

Katharine Murphy is national affairs correspondent.

twitter Follow the National Times on Twitter: @NationalTimesAU

No comments: