Billionaire Joe Ricketts Shuts Down Gothamist And DNAinfo, Deletes Their Archives After Writers Unionize

The New York Times reports:

A week ago, reporters and editors in the combined newsroom of DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of New York City’s leading digital purveyors of local news, celebrated victory in their vote to join a union. On Thursday, they lost their jobs, as Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who owned the sites, shut them down.

At 5 p.m., a post went up on the sites from Mr. Ricketts announcing the decision. He praised them for reporting “tens of thousands of stories that have informed, impacted and inspired millions of people.” But he added, “DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure.”

The New York Daily News reports:

Ricketts said he pulled the plug because the DNA brand — which was melded with Gothamist sites earlier this year — failed to turn a profit.

“Businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure. And while we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn’t been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded,” Ricketts wrote.

But Ricketts, an outspoken opponent of unions, had signaled he might bail on the business if WGAE’s vote was successful. Staffers will get full pay and benefits until Feb. 2, the company said in its email.

The shuttered sites include DNAinfo, Gothamist, DCist, Chicagoist, and SFist. At this writing only Ricketts’ letter is posted on each site and archives are unreachable.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Strepsi

      This GIF is getting a workout in 2017!

  • AndyinChicago

    I’m going to just yell at the next Cubs fan I see. This is where you’re money’s going.

  • Todd20036

    Think Walmart, but journalism

    • Judas Peckerwood

      The difference being that DNAinfo and Gothamist actually provided something of value, and which was actually produced in the US.

      • twray1974

        Most of their writers were from neighborhood news blogs they had absorbed. People who lived in and knew the areas they covered. With Tronc shutting down the neighborhood weeklies, THIS was how Chicago neighborhoods got news.

  • fastlanestranger

    Capitalism, AHOY!

  • Lazycrockett

    something is going on with Drumps twitter account………….

  • JoeMyGod

    Gothamist was my favorite NYC-centered site and I’ve been reading it daily since its launch. I also checked in regularly at Shanghaiist.

    • Rebecca Gardner

      Me too. Gothamist and SFist.

      • pj

        chicagoist.

        • JCF

          But definitely not Christianist.

    • twray1974

      I referenced DNAInfo Chicago daily on my FB pages. Hell, I’d shared one of their stories on the Illinois Eagle FB page. This just gutted Chicago coverage as well.

    • Do Something Nice

      Ditto for me at SFIST.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      LAist was good. Its been killed too

    • D. Gray

      Isn’t it possible that the same body of reporters could establish a new blog for the same cities?
      Perhaps a worker-owned cooperative?

    • BurningTongues

      I was a daily reader and active commentor there. Ricketts didn’t just kill the sites, he killed a community of funny, caring, sarcastic people who really enjoyed debating and talking with each other. I’m really upset about this.

    • BurningTongues

      I’m happy to report that the archives are back up and running. That’s something, at least.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Time to dust off the tumbrils.

  • Dramphooey

    There was a time in this nation’s history this would have caused a howl of rage from the working class. Now a good many of them will gloat about this destruction of journalism and also this blow against unionism. The latter is the most stupid because those good paying jobs from the 1950s they think Trump is going to miraculously restore would not have existed without unions.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      “Ha! Stupid eggheads with thur writin’ and thinkin’. Serves ’em right!”

    • BobSF_94117

      Much of what was accomplished for working Americans from the Depression onward had two purposes: to better the lives of the vast majority of the people and — from the side opposed in principle to anything like that — to forestall a Socialist victory like those that swept the rest of the world. What America saw as The New Deal and the remarkable economic success that followed it was, for right-wing Republicans, a temporary concession. With Communism dead and Socialism losing to Capitalism around the world, we’re headed back to the reign of the Robber Barons. And there are lot more of them this time around.

      • Do Something Nice

        Headed back? We are in the midst of robber baronism.

        • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

          Gilded Age 2.0

          • Jeffg166

            Time for the New Deal 2.0.

          • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

            I agree! But initiated by WHO?

      • Moonbeam_Song

        Although it’s interesting how much the younger generation — worldwide — is becoming more and more enamored of Socialism. Don’t count it out yet. I’m betting that overreach is going to continue to breathe life and bring more devotees to the side of socialism.

      • Dramphooey

        “to forestall a Socialist victory like those that swept the rest of the world”

        Many right wingers will speak of American exceptionalism little realizing that it was coined by socialists who came to realize that while labor and socialist parties gained power in other parts of the world the USA was the exception. It was a term created because the American labor movement scored victories for the working class without the assistance of the socialist movement.

      • David L. Caster

        And, if Trump and the GOP get their way with tax “reform” by eliminating the inheritance tax, they will bring back the days of dynastic wealth and thereby strengthen the long term prospects for a full takeover of our political system by the moneyed.

    • Nowhereman

      Workers who are anti-union make me crazy. I had a friend like that–she worked for long hours with low pay for the casinos in Lake Tahoe. Bragged about not having to pay union dues and complained about her wages and working condition and fought every attempt to unionize. I was able to retire 7 years ago at the age of 59 thanks to my IBEW union pension. As far as I know, she’s still working.

  • canoebum

    Republicans. Not just greedy, mean and nasty cheapskates, but vindictive as well.

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      If you’re going to do something, do it as only an asshole can.

  • LovesIrony

    Our governor’s daddy

  • pch1013

    Years ago I got banned from its sister site SFist for telling a white supremacist troll to fuck off.

    It’s a shame to lose SFist, but I can’t say I’m *completely* broken up about it. Maybe only 95% broken up.

    • Rebecca Gardner

      I got banned from SFist because I let them know about an error in their article. So they thanked me by deleting my comment, correcting their article, and banning me from ever commenting again.

      • SLK in SF

        Yes, they were a little ban-happy, I know someone else who was as well.

        Still gonna miss the site though.

        • pch1013

          I will too, though I suppose Hoodline will pick up some of the slack.

          • Do Something Nice

            Hoodline is too much of a cheerleader for gentrification. And their comment moderation is ridiculous.

        • Chicken_Flucker

          any positive mention of Uber on SFist
          https://media.giphy.com/media/hCdhyt0DzDbhu/giphy.gif

      • Dramphooey

        That’s a jerk move. Still, probably a lot of good people went out the door with the dick running the Web site.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      When I first moved to the area, for some reason, I used to think that was a fisting website.

      • pch1013

        They probably got a lot of traffic that way. As will whoever ends up acquiring that domain.

      • Lizard

        Um….do you mean “fishing website”?

  • Ninja0980

    Drop dead asshole.

  • hdtex
    • John Ruff

      Lol

    • glass

      Best Hallmark Ever!

  • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn
  • netxtown

    Well ain’t he just the big man on campus. I hope all the other sides form unions – and he shuts them ll down as well. Fuck him. He can stick all that money up his ass.

  • bkmn

    Somebody wants to be king of the assholes.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Cage match with Cheetolini!

  • Todd20036

    Wonder if anyone will pick this up. It’s a pretty good money maker, and it has brand loyalty/recognition

  • Mike C

    Less than a week before local elections too.

  • John Ruff

    That’s business

    • safari

      But usually when a paper goes under the owner doesn’t demand all the libraries burn their microfilm.

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        There must be copies somewhere.

        • safari

          Probably in archive.org. However — searching them is now an issue since you’d have to know *when* a page you are looking for was published. I wonder if something like LexusNexus has copies. But even then, that’s a pretty expensive service.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Not on the way-back machine?

      • John Ruff

        Well, he’s a scumbag billionaire with little time left in this world. That’s his right.

    • SoCalGal20

      Not really. He could have sold the business or at least kept up the archives.

      • John Ruff

        But, he didn’t.

    • pch1013

      What business advantage did he gain by getting rid of the archives?

      • safari

        His dick twitched for the first time in years.

      • Jonathan Smith

        he dosent have to pay union dues?

      • SoCalGal20

        A sensible person who is not a complete douchebag would have just sold the business to somebody else.

      • John Ruff

        It’s his business. He can do whatever he wants with it.

    • BobSF_94117

      No, it’s revenge.

      What businessman shuts down a business that he could sell instead?

      • John Ruff

        Private businesses will do whatever they want. Why are we surprised?

        • BobSF_94117

          Because businessmen rarely throw away money.

          • John Ruff

            Huh???? How do you think they minimize their tax liabilities?

          • BobSF_94117

            Yeah, right. Business people routinely lose money to avoid paying taxes on profits, cuz it’s better to lost 100% than pay 39.6%.

          • John Ruff

            Read a little. You’ll learn. Billionaires toss millions and millions away every year.

          • BobSF_94117

            But they don’t do so to gain any financial advantage. There are certainly tax schemes vehicles one can use to create “paper losses” to off-set profits, but actually running a money-losing business is not something billionaires do unless they want 1) to create a public image or 2) satiate a hobby or 3) actually influence other people’s lives even if means giving money away.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Surely this despicable deed must guarantee him a cabinet position with Dumpf?!

  • SoCalGal20

    He (and his family) own the Chicago Cubs. He must REALLY hate the players’ union.

  • JCF
  • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn
  • boatboy_srq

    Translation: Today in 1%er Sore Losers.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      0.001% sore losers

  • safari

    An attack on journalism by a billionaire?

    Sounds right. There are too many of them that are the enemy of our democracy.

  • Do Something Nice

    Eat the rich.

  • Blake J Butler
    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      This has become one hot mess. Very disappointing.
      Such a shame.

      • paulrees100

        Rumors about him have been in the press for years. His “I don’t want to talk about my private life” makes it even creepier.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          Now we know why he didn’t want to talk about it.

    • Lazycrockett

      and still nothing bout Bryan Singer.

      • SoCalGal20

        Maybe he’s been throwing money around to keep people quiet.

    • safari

      It’s a shame I find him a good actor, because it sounds like he’s a terrible human.

      • JCF

        I don’t believe any LGBT person has a duty to “[capital ‘C’, capital ‘O’] Come Out”, per se. But any queer who dicks around, when asked (also looking at you, Ms Latifah >:-/ ), shows distinct signs of being pond scum.*

        * Obviously, I’m not talking about being asked in, say, Uganda.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      And they say “Boys in the Band” is a period piece.

    • Jonathan Smith

      so, a sexual predator who tried to molest a 14 year old, is a lecherous, grabby bastard? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/610e1bd78490397acfc49dd997ad3d63e20c22978a2b39d80a17f284a3f2667b.jpg

      • JCF

        Now, now, I’m sure he’s just stayed drunk since then…

    • Natty Enquirer

      I find the accusations easy to believe, but that doesn’t mean I will believe them. Let the evidence come out.

  • Ninja0980

    Sucks his family owns the Cubs.
    Sans the daughter, the entire family is a bunch of right wing assholes.

    • JCF

      While still a corporation, there are certain things that I believe that “San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC” (My SF Giants) just wouldn’t DREAM of trying (that they’d never get away with, in THIS town!)

  • Robincho

    How fitting to be named after a disease…

    • greenmanTN

      And he has plenty of Vitamin C U Next Tuesday.

    • coram nobis

      Not just “rickets”. Rickettsiae are a nasty strain of spotted fever.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickettsia

      • MT YVR

        … now I’ve got spotted dick in my brain….

        • coram nobis

          You learn something every day here at JMG.

        • Treant

          No thanks, I just ate and I won’t be hungry again today.

          https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51BkeNe%2B0GL.jpg

          • MT YVR

            Prince Albert in a Can is now in my head.

            Mmm. PA. Where did I put my hardware?

          • Treant

            I have the distinct feeling you have way more hardware than I do…which is more than zero.

            If you even intimate that you’re going to make a hole in me, somebody needs to drag the unconscious body out of the way. I’ll be up and about in ten minutes or so.

          • clay

            A girl friend and I convinced a guy in college (bass, Swahili, genetics triple major, furry, bearish blond) to let us pierce one of his nipples at a party. The house where the party was had this old dentist chair in the middle of the entry way, you see, and . . . Well, he backed out when he realized we were going to use a corkscrew.

          • Treant

            While he was in the chair, did you at least ride him like a pony?

          • clay

            I did not.

          • Treant

            Oh, Clay. What are we going to do with you?

          • JCF

            Heh. Just recently, on (S2) “The Durrells in Corfu”, Mrs Durrells served “Spotted Dick” (exotic English food, for the Greeks O_x )

          • Treant

            I rather like it; one (insane and rather abusive) branch of my family is English. Terrible people. Tolerable cuisine.

  • Andrea_Rae

    It’s his company, he can do with it what he pleases.

    • safari

      And I can hope he spontaneously combusts.

      • Andrea_Rae

        We can both hope for that!

    • Natty Enquirer

      And we can judge him an asshole for doing it as we please.

    • Strepsi

      Serious question: is it not illegal for a company to shutter once the employees unionize? I *believe* it is here in Quebec….

      • safari

        In the US the GOP is passing “right to work” laws which give you the right to be fired for no reason.

      • Natty Enquirer

        If the court finds that retribution was the primary motivation, and that there are not sufficient bona fide financial factors, then it is an unfair labor practice under Federal law.

        • Strepsi

          Thanks!

        • safari

          Really?

          • Natty Enquirer

            Yep. Closing or moving or selling just to avoid unionization is a violation of the NLRA.

        • Jonathan Smith

          so, no. it is not illegal.
          /s

          • Treant

            Exactly. The guy’s got more than enough to bribe the judge.

        • Treant

          I shoulda read down; ignore my question. 🙂

    • Michael R

      “When the president does it , that means that it is not illegal “

    • JCF

      OK, I’ll admit: I can’t tell if you’re being facetious/sarcastic—or not.

      1) If facetious/sarcastic: well done—but careful: you’re skating the ambiguity “Poe” edge.

      2) If serious: would you please Go Fuck Yourself? Hard, Rusty, Sideways?

      All the Best/Worst!

      • clay

        3) despondent and resigned?

      • Andrea_Rae

        100% serious. He is a business owner and this is a free country, I don’t care for curbing individual liberty.

        • JCF

          Seriously, FUCK your Almighty Business Owner mentality: labor builds wealth! Buh-bye, TransCon. Idiot. [Caitlyn, is this you?]

          • Andrea_Rae

            I stand only for the freedom to run ones life as one sees fit. If I owned a business and wanted to close it I would like to retain that right. Be careful dictating rights that others can possess, it may come back to bite we LGBT. I would think that would be obvious, apparently not.

  • teeveedub

    At least the existing writing that appeared on those sites will still be available via the Wayback Machine:

    https://web.archive.org/web/*/www.dnainfo.com

    https://web.archive.org/web/*/www.gothamist.com

    P.S. Fuck that guy.

    • safari

      It’s just a matter of *searching* the Wayback Machine. It’s more date/site indexed than a search system like google.

    • Whew!!! At least the journalist have a record of their work.

  • Canadian Observer

    Hard to believe he wasn’t tapped for the Secretary of Labor position.

    • safari

      I hear there’s an Ag secretary position open.

      • carrot festival

        Sounds like he’s well versed in fertilizer.

  • Michael R

    I thought SFist was something else .

  • NZArtist

    Who knew you get to being a billionaire by being an arsehole.

    • Cattleya1

      The majority of billionaires get that way by being really acquisitive and more than a little sociopathic.

      • 2guysnamedjoe

        Behind every great fortune is a great crime.

        Either an old Chinese saying or an old Jewish saying. I forget which.

        • pch1013

          Isn’t that one of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition?

      • NZArtist

        Of course. People are a resource to be used to enrich yourself. They have no other purpose.

        • Cattleya1

          If you look at the present US government that is what you come to believe. There was a reason that our maximum income tax rate was 70% back in the ’50’s – we used to understand that letting acquisitive people accumulate too much money was not good for society. For someone born into a family of Eisenhower republicans, I am starting more and more to sound like Karl Marx.

  • SoCalGal20

    Bummer. I enjoyed reading LAist. At least there’s LA Weekly and some other local publications.

  • greenmanTN

    Oh no! They’ve shut down East TN-ist too! However will I keep track of our myriad social and cultural events & and all the happening places?! 😁

  • Treant

    So it sounds like he did that as retaliation…isn’t that illegal when the shop has decided to unionize? I’d thought so, but…anybody know for sure?

    • OdieDenCO

      i think it would depend on what state the business was in. every job i’ve held in CO has a clause in the contract about termination with or with out cause.

      • Treant

        I’m thinking that law is Federal, so would override any state laws or clauses.

        PA is an at-will state, but there are limits.

        • OdieDenCO

          reading down thread you are correct

  • MikeBx2

    O/T: I’m beginning to think that Jeff Sessions isn’t on the up and up…
    https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/926230352401764355

    • Treant

      Do you really think so? Could it be, that a prior Senator might…might not be telling…telling the truth?

      I need a tissue, smelling salts, and a lie down.

    • safari

      Jeff recused himself for a reason.

      • clay

        And, as Turmp’s so very helpfully tweeted out, they ALL knew it was going to be a problem BEFORE he was offered the job.

    • Lazycrockett

      They want to destroy Sessions so he will resign paving the way to fire Mueller.

      • MikeBx2

        I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • David L. Caster

        Exactly my thought.

    • greenmanTN

      The last time Beauregard was on the up and up it was the 70s and he had on platform shoes.

      https://fthmb.tqn.com/Iz3dAU6PxGewI_cyHL93D6maIII=/768×0/filters:no_upscale()/1500-mens-heels-platforms-70s-56a866d95f9b58b7d0f27d85.jpg

      • JCF

        JCF calls…1974.

      • Natty Enquirer

        They really knew how to dress back then.
        For the circus.

      • JCF

        Did these two gentlemen just get engaged?

        • greenmanTN

          Looks like it, doesn’t it?

      • Lazycrockett

        Is that a Pinto?

        • Bomer

          It’s either that or the Nina or the Santa Maria.

      • clay

        No, seriously?

        • greenmanTN

          No. That’s just some image I got by googling platform shoes.

      • David Walker

        The scarf is a nice touch. Goes well with the fist bump. As for the platform shoes, I’m surprised he didn’t continue to wear them. A rotten weasel elf needs all the help he can get.

        • BobSF_94117

          That’s not a fist bump. He’s merely handing him the keys, I think.

          • licuado de platano

            Ohhhh. One of them key parties that were part of 70s legend?

      • Jefe5084

        Is he the 70’s version of Aaron Schock?

      • BobSF_94117

        I got off a plane in Milan in 1972 wearing pretty much exactly that. But the shoes were white. They were strange times…

      • KevInPDX

        Plymouth Duster? AMC something or another? Wheel cover looks like a ’72 Duster- moms commuter car.

    • JWC

      Ya think????????

    • AlternativeQuacks
    • Blake Jordan

      I thought he was an honest racist, sexist and homophobic man…
      But a liar too, now I am crushed!!! /s

  • Are their articles available on the wayback machine?

    Ricketts is a greedy odious piece of shite to fire everyone after they unionized.

  • Cuberly Deux

    “billionaire”

  • gaycuckhubby
  • gaycuckhubby
    • safari

      Okay. My two comments are: good, find out who did what; and, I don’t understand why Breitbarters think I should be upset about this.

      • gaycuckhubby

        Exactly. Liberals don’t give a shit about Podesta

      • Treant

        Apparently because somebody nobody cares about might theoretically have some connection to this. Also, “Lobbyist.” As far as I’m concerned, take them all down, please.

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        This isn’t John Podesta. His brother?

        • safari

          Yes. They apparently worked at the same lobbying firm like in the ’90s together. John left around then.

    • Treant

      Fox News: “Democratic TREASON! Next, on Greta!”

      Greta’s still around, isn’t she? Her boobs didn’t droop or something and they fired her?

  • Rillion

    I was on the sfist site reading articles right when this happened. Was really confused for a minute since I had just finished one article, went to read the next and got the message that the site had been shut down.

  • Michael R

    Why that doesn’t sound like him at all !

    Carter Page spent seven hours pleading the Fifth and refusing to hand over documents to House intel committee

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/carter-page-spent-seven-hours-pleading-the-fifth-and-refusing-to-hand-over-documents-to-house-intel-committee/

    • Treant

      Is he going for Congressional immunity? I don’t think that’s going to work out, and I’m quite sure that somebody else has copies of those documents.

    • SoCalGal20

      Chris Hayes should have asked him. Carter can’t seem to resist him.

  • JWC

    What a wonderful man His image should grave the 3 dollar bill

  • Bluto

    To the clean coal mines with all these journalists.

  • boobert

    In the hospital with hubby, and the other man in the room turns on fox news. Thank goodness, he cursed at them and changed the channel.

    • Treant

      How’s he doing?

      • boobert

        Good, thanks for asking ! He got a TEE and ablation for A Fib.

        • gaycuckhubby

          I don’t know what any of that means but I’m glad he’s doing well!

          • boobert

            The TEE is they go down your throat to examine your heart. Ablation is shocking to get you back to a regular heartbeat

          • Jonathan Smith
          • boobert

            Those puppies on colbert the other night were adorable.

          • 2guysnamedjoe

            Looks like a Maine Coon kitty, but I can’t imagine a Maine Coon sitting still for that.

          • JCF

            More often than not in Dog/Cat friendships, it’s the dog who shows Exceptional Patience…but it’s nice to see the other way around sometimes!

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Trans-esophageal Echocardiogram.

        • Treant

          Ugh, I have A Fib. Which we turn down to an arrhythmia and suppress well enough that I refuse to have the ablation done. 🙂

          Send him my best!

          • boobert

            He can’t take amiodarone. They’re gonna try something else

          • Treant

            I control very well on Cardizem, scarily enough.

        • 2guysnamedjoe

          I thank my lucky stars and planets that I had to Google every one of those terms.

          • boobert

            The older you get , the more medical procedures you learn about. It really sucks,lol.

          • fuzzybits

            You said a mouthful.

  • superindy

    Piece by piece the country is being chopped up and served to the wealthy and only the wealthy. Another piece goes…a bit of time passes, it is forgotten and the next piece is chipped away.

  • After the first season of Star Trek some of the staff at Desilu suggested to studio head (and star!) Lucille Ball that they should cancel Star Trek. The show was expensive and was just barely breaking even? “Are we losing money?” No, they were not. “Keep it. It’s a good show.” Not everyone is all about money. No, you can’t go on losing money and stay in business but not everything has to be a cash cow either. Some things are worth doing for their own sake. At least people who aren’t sociopaths think that way.

    • Lazycrockett

      In other Sci Fi news The Orville got renewed for a 2nd season.

      • Treant

        With no help from me. I’m not used to having a “show” to watch, and I forget it almost every time.

        • TexasBoy

          Orville is great. Looking forward to seeing it tonight.

          • kareemachan

            Watched it. Meh.

          • TexasBoy

            It was really an episode that harkens back to Data wanting to be human from TNG.

  • Treant

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/mueller-reveals-new-manafort-link-to-organized-crime

    Manafort’s ties to organized crime.

    So…he can drink the polonium tea, sleep with the fishes, or go to jail for the rest of his life. Nice choices he’s got at this point. And I don’t feel a bit sorry.

    • safari

      I’m thinking he’ll just disappear.

      • Treant

        I’m thinking he’ll write a tearful note about his innocence and be found dead with his brains blown out. He’ll then cut himself into one-inch meat cubes and put himself in the freezer, except for his brain, which will be stored in a jar atop the fridge.

        A clear suicide, in other words, when the “Justice” Department gets done with it.

        • greenmanTN

          Investigation notes: “According to several foreign business associates, Mr Manafort regularly dusted himself with polonium, believing it helped his complexion.”

      • Lazycrockett

        I firmly believe he has one of those cyanide tooth deals.

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Ooh, Your Honor, please make them remove the GPS thingy from my ankle, so I can, uh, go to my kid’s soccer game.

      • Treant

        I give a fifty-fifty chance he “commits suicide.” Or, at least that’s what it looks like.

  • andrew

    Billionaire like Joe Rickets and his Republican allies hate unions, because Unions try to level the playing field in this very unbalanced capitalist economy. To the shame of many Union members they vote against their own best interest when they vote Republican. Will they wise up in 2018 and 2020? Probably not. The Republicans have convinced many Union members that the Democrats are too pro black, gay, Jew and immigrant. Too soft on crime, too anti gun, not for a strong enough military and so those Union members vote Republican and get anti-Union Presidents and Congress. And so it goes.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Because it’s just not fair that the richest 1% only own a little more than the bottom 90% – combined.

      • andrew

        One of the saddest aspects of our politics is that tens of millions of working and lower class wage earners in America sit home on election day or vote Republican and allow this to happen.

  • Do Something Nice
  • Treant

    OT: The End. The photo features Riley, wondering where all the plants went. Most died in the frost, and the salvia that didn’t still mostly got cleaned out. I leave a few plants for winter interest, plus the blue and red salvia might bloom for another four or five days until going down in the weather change.

    The yellow “eggs” in the garden are off the Easter Egg plants. The animals come and eat them, and then the birds like to pick over the shells all winter long for the ten thousand seeds in those things. Several of the standing plants are Easter Egg plant as well, which will be of great interest to the critters.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/76e516a37c6f7591bc803309245765e9519035ad2b88cd711551203637623634.jpg

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      What a difference! This is practically a tabula rasa!

      • Treant

        Close! The tabula won’t fully rasa until February or March. Just after that, the crocuses start off the 2018 season.

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          Do you have any close-up pics of the Easter egg plants or close ups of the eggs?? This plant is new to me.

          • Treant

            Here’s Park Seed’s official image. I’m sure I have some… let me look…

            It’s actually a small eggplant, semi-common in places like Vietnam. PickyPecker was kind enough to pose for the photo as well, apparently.

            https://parkseed.com/images/xxl/01884-pk-p1.jpg

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Lovely! Can one eat the baby eggplants?

          • djcoastermark

            The picture looks to be a complete meal.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            But which came first? The chicken or the egg plant?

          • Treant

            A member of the Nightshade family, the eggplant was bred by the Chinese and does not appear in nature. The species is entirely man-made and we’re not completely sure of the genetics (much like corn, which was teosinte…but we don’t know which species).

            Consequently, the chicken evolved first and long before that. The chicken, therefore, came long before the eggplant.

            (This has been your pedantic lecture for the day).

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Ha!! Awesome!

          • Treant

            Yes, they’re edible and considered a minor delicacy. I found them rather seedy and flavorless when raw, but I’m not a huge eggplant fan.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            I was thinking of them sauteed with garlic and onion, and a drizzle of olive oil.

          • Treant

            Um, yeah, cooking… 🙂

            One family friend has grown them for eating; she loves them. I grow them as interesting ornamentals, and something that can carry the winter garden into January before completely turning brown and mushy.

          • JCF

            Not an eggplant fan? Heresy!

          • Treant

            It was raw, so… I actually eat most veggies raw, and I’m a fan of raw cauliflower. Which I understand that most aren’t.

          • djcoastermark

            Interesting that most don’t like raw cauliflower. It’s the way I like it best and did the silly assume thing. I would gladly have a side of raw cauliflower over chips or fries with a sandwich.

          • Treant

            Ditto. I have to say, it has very little taste. I do like what’s there, though, and the texture is out of this world.

          • Treant

            Here we go! Unlike the Park Seed image, mine got…huge. I feed a lot.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f36d78ad9799e8860ec588c547e6cda9b5a2769c6b56bbfb68bcbd96c440079a.jpg

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Do I see naked men on those matching Grecian urns?

          • Treant

            Matching Grecian urns with a simple pattern. 🙂 Those broke last year in a bad windstorm, and I now use a plain, square, and very durable black plastic pot.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            One last question. I’m in Philly.
            Is the growing season long enough to get plants like yours from seed, or do I need to buy potted specimens from a green house?

          • Treant

            I grow all of mine from seed, but get plenty of volunteers from all the eggs I scatter around. They have time–if barely–to produce fully mature eggs before freezing. Volunteers don’t sprout until the ground really heats up in July. ETA: You’re 40 miles south of me with a growing season 2 to 3 weeks longer. You should be fine even relying on yearly volunteers, much less sprouted plants from indoors!

            If you grow from seed, you can start them any time from February to April. Place out after last frost.

            If you need plants…I’ve actually never seen them. This isn’t something that’s commonly available.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Thanks!

          • Treant

            And here’s a closeup of the mature eggs, about the size of a Grade A egg or a little bigger. As they mature, colors go from white to pale yellow to yellow to orange to deep orange…then brown and mushy. The leaves naturally fall off as the plant ages, exposing the eggs without any work from the gardener.

            These would almost be mature enough to remove and extract the seeds.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a7adbef46578e01968479cd22244603b067e2d386f362aa893de7bcdbbb7067.jpg

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            They look like porcelain or glass artwork. Very nice.

      • BobSF_94117

        Treant is, apparently, a monster. At least from the herbaceous perspective.

    • greenmanTN
      • Treant

        Lovely! But yes, you’ll notice the trees in the shot are still green.

        It’s November. “Normal” weather would have them fully de-leafed by October 20th.

        Warranted, I play games with Nature’s balance on this property (I’ll suggest to the grass on Saturday that it’s not November, it’s more like a chilly late September and there’s no reason to think about going dormant…see, you have plenty of chlorophyll!) You can see from the grass photo that I already started; ours is deeper green and much more lush than the surrounding properties. As of Saturday, I send it deep thundery green and enhance levels of some hormones and photosynthetic chemical chains.

        Still. Even I can’t fully resist the pressure of the season. That lilac and the Cleveland pear should be de-leafing. They’re not.

        • ColdCountry

          We just had the warmest October on record, but it was also dry. Which is good in that I refuse to mow the lawn from Nov to the start of May. This is Maine, ffs, I will NOT mow the lawn in November! NO.

          • Treant

            I had the mower out today. 🙂 I’ll finish off tomorrow, but since I’m not doing it, I don’t care how long it takes.

      • I am jealous. I wish I was in fall weather. I can just do it virtually unless I fly somewhere! (one of my Second Life shots below). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f942aca5e278f24d81f50c7d09e25cc86ed8d6ac9bed4ed63571f539de99f9f4.jpg

    • JCF

      Mixed feelings: on the one hand, just took the patio sun-shade umbrella down (we’re supposed to get a big rainstorm coming in tomorrow).

      On the other:

      A phenomenon of my Western-facing Sacramento vegetable garden (which, due to my procrastinating tendencies, I *always* put in too late!): I get few or no tomatoes during the summer. It’s just too hot for the fruit to set.

      But the plant keeps growing (maybe I should prune it, but I don’t know the theory of that—to not butcher it). And then, after Labor Day: BOOM! Tomato City. Ergo, here’s how the plants look now: Cherry tomato in front, a “Champion” tomato growing like Jack’s beanstalk against the house (w some old stakes/fence pieces to help bolster ’em). Depending on this winter, they should keep growing outside into December…and then inside (window ledge and paper bag), they’ll finish ripening (I’ll undoubtedly have tomatoes into January, maybe longer). “Summer’s Bounty”, in mid-winter. ;-/

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/562fa34c369d3381a35df37be9f0fe1b071bbc21c511ef93dd713951819a040e.jpg

      [For the last, least sweet tomatoes in January, I developed a trick: mix them (in puree) w/ pomegranate arils (I have a friend w/ a tree).]

  • Comixbear

    it’s not worth it anymore. mankind has proven that humanity and caring about others is dead. all that matters is money and power. no one has an ounce of caring anymore.

    • clay

      No, you’re still here, and you count.

      • Comixbear

        No, no I don’t. I’ve learned that lesson over the last year and have taken it to heart.

  • AlternativeQuacks

    OT – Oh noes! I hope Trump wasn’t near the launch codes when this happened.

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/926240579431911430

    • Treant

      Somebody probably realized the dumbfuck had violated every agreement they had. Until a few minutes later when somebody else realized he’s worth $$$$ and turned it back on, rules and etiquette be damned.

    • Bomer

      Shame they reactivated it.

    • clay

      Zuck’s new AI found it be be fake news, but also protected as public records.

    • JCF

      But why TF didn’t it *advertently*???

    • safari

      How much do they want to deliberately do it?

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Practice run?

    • KnownDonorDad

      Awwww, conspiracy theories are so cute when they’re babies.

    • Shy Guy

      Employee on last day, apparently:
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41854482

  • Oh, a robber baron. Figures.

  • Henry Auvil

    So today’s theme is billionaires running for the exits. Too bad the other 99% of Americans don’t have that luxury.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Oh please, this has nothing to do with profits, but how the percentage might dip because of a union. Thing is, the dip would have probably been minute, maybe 2-5% at most; but hey, a billionaire’s gotta eat, am I right? Fucking greed, it’s an ugly thing.

    • Do Something Nice

      Ricketts is a Trumper, and all of the blogs that were shuttered today were progressive. He bought them in March and silenced them in November.

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Despicable!

  • gaycuckhubby

    This seems big. And very bad for Sessions

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/926244271354675201

    • It is very, very, very bad.

      Although not under oath, JD Gordon is also on record saying that Papadopoulos DID mention he could get to the Kremlin via knowing the Russian Ambassador in London. This would be the 31 March ’16 meeting with the famous photo showing all of them sitting around the same table.

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Beauregard, … beware the Ides of March!

    • Jmdintpa

      Yeah but Sessions is white and republican so it does not matter

    • gaycuckhubby
      • Jmdintpa

        they wont… nothing will come of it. sadly

    • Treant

      He’s a Republican, so they’ll let him amend his testimony, slap his hand, and send him on his way.

      • Jmdintpa

        thank you…. none of this matters. trump could admit it all tomorrow and they wont do anything

        • Treant

          It’s gonna have to come down to a trouncing next Tuesday. On an off-off-year election, we’re going to be fortunate to get Dems out at all.

          Georgia’s Senate election will certainly be a bellwether. If they can cheat enough to win, the Republicans will full steam ahead. If they can’t, you’ll see some backing off.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Do you mean Alabama?

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Billionaires running amok!?
    This harkens sweet memories of the French revolution.

  • JWC
    • greenmanTN

      Awww. Yours?

      • JWC

        No my sweetie is 10 found this little gem on line

    • JCF

      Teh Kewt!!!!!

  • Rebecca Gardner

    The stupid motherfucker really dreams of being a Dictator.

    https://twitter.com/KFILE/status/926248051597070336

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      He’s completely deranged.

  • Captain Jack

    SFist is gone too…. what a sad world we live in!

  • MassageBear
  • gothambear

    This is the turd Ricketts who created those anti-Obama ads in 2012 that were violent and racist before he was shamed into pulling them. It caused a massive backlash and many people pulled their business from TD Ameritrade including yours truly who went to Fidelity. When the TD rep called me to ask why I was moving (to their credit they did call) I told them exactly why. He was sheepish but understood. Hopefully this will cause a 2nd run on TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts moving to other more progressive firms.

  • MikeBx2
    • Treant

      (Refuses to take eyes off the traitor to go pay attention to somebody’s book sales).

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Where are your tax returns, crooked Donnie??

    • fuzzybits

      He never shuts up!

      • djcoastermark

        In a way,that’s a good thing. At least we know what the slug trail is up to. (and might come in handy later)

        • fuzzybits

          True. But if this were someone in real life sitting and talking about every thing under the sun constantly i’d have to tape their mouth shut.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Lol – Money laundering?
      Projecting again Hair Furor??

      • safari

        Donald doesn’t launder money. He just sells real estate at inflated prices to shady people. See. That’s just good business.

    • OdieDenCO

      money laundering? really? sounds like some first person projection to me

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Great minds!

    • DaddyRay

      At least she didn’t collude with a foreign country that happens to be an adversary of the United States and commit treason just to win an election

    • Lazycrockett

      Its a typical contract that all politicians sign with their party , including Bernie.

      • Lazycrockett

        Donna just wants to sell some books.

        • JCF

          Tragically, it looks like it. 🙁

      • Michael R

        How long do we have to wait for Joy Reid to shut this shit down ?

    • JCF

      You’re a fool, Donna, if you didn’t see this coming.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Rosario ☹

    • JCF

      Argentina? [Had to Google it.] Tragedy, for these friends to lose 5 of their number, to verkakte terrorism (wrong place, wrong time).

      • gaycuckhubby

        I was making a Will and Grace reference. 🙂

    • DaddyRay

      Poor Rosario – RIP

  • safari

    O/T: I keep hearing about impeachment charges being filed against Donald by dems at some point this month.

    I think that’s a stupid idea until we get more information. There is one shot at impeachment of DonJohn.

    • Impeachment charges are basically a waste of time unless Paul Ryan agrees to bring them to a vote on the House floor. He controls the agenda. And we can assume that unless a majority of Republican House members will agree to impeachment (The Hastert Rule), it is not going to go anywhere. I think that Trump would resign before this happened to be honest — we have to wait until we take the House back for the Dems in 2018.

    • Safari — this is a cool light show that took place in A2 for the bicentennial of the University last weekend, cool Michigan shots. Take a look — https://youtu.be/iI-4zeNw4G8

      • safari

        Thanks. I’ll watch it later; Rachael’s A-block is on.

      • HomerTh

        I graduated in 1986 from U of M

    • gaycuckhubby

      It would be incredibly stupid

  • RayEBrownSS

    And the Bishop allows this covetous sinner to receive communion?

    • Treant

      Well, duh, it’s not like he’s gay or has an abortion-supportive opinion! He just starves the workers by firing them, and that’s something Jeebus can forgive.

  • safari
  • Michael

    I’ve learned over the years and through several layoffs to save my work — externally — as I go along. That said, I really feel for the people impacted by the DNAinfo and Gothamist, and others, shut down. May they land on their feet.

    • JCF

      May their feet land on Ricketts’ nuts.

  • Sam_Handwich
    • Lazycrockett

      Shouldn’t asshole be packing or at least sleeping before flying to Asia tomorrow.

    • While Trump is an expert on disastrous leadership, I don’t think I’ll take his word on this.

    • Treant

      Oh, crap, I almost agree with him on something. Comey, it turns out, was a traitorous hack who had no qualms about influencing an election.

      Almost because I don’t think the agents’ quality has gone down and most FBI agents are as annoyed by Comey as I am.

      • greenmanTN

        Where did the Comey as traitorous hack info come from? I want to know more.

        • Treant

          I’m making the presumption that somebody made him really, really rich by “forcing his hand” to release this information about an investigation just before the election.

          I’m also making the assumption that the Russian influence goes a fuckload deeper than we’ll ever find out–or get rid of.

          • JCF

            “I’m making the presumption that somebody made him really, really rich by “forcing his hand” to release this information about an investigation just before the election.”

            That’s quite a presumption. I think the Comey Letter was TRAGICALLY ill-conceived, incompetantly released…

            …but I see no evidence of malice (much less treason) on Comey’s part. I think he’s a man of integrity…and in at least one case, idiocy.

          • stevenj

            Since when has the CIA or FBI been completely truthful with the citizens of the US? They engage in subterfuge. And not told us some pretty big secrets. The deep state is not our friend.

    • safari

      He also wants you to know he’ll be on Fox News at 10…

    • Donald remains determined to engage in as much witness tampering and jury poisoning as he can before the feds come for him…

  • safari
    • Treant

      Dumpy should be impeached simply for this disaster.

    • BobSF_94117

      That’s remarkably fast when you consider the scale of the damage. They just turned on the power in the commercial area across the bay from me on STT today. There are crews from all over the country stringing power lines along the main roads. The next step will be tough as they need to re-hook-up all the residential areas and home lines.

  • gaycuckhubby
  • Lazycrockett

    new thread

    • safari

      Oh. Late evening new posts. Be still my heart.

      • Girlgoon

        Some of us live in later time zones

  • CottonBlimp

    These are the “job creators” Republicans keep talking about: rich pieces of shit who go around buying businesses built from the ground so they can lay off and fire people.

    • Tempus Fuggit

      “What’s your point?” –Republicans

      • Girlgoon

        Point is these are the captain’s of industry who beg for big tax breaks cause they contribute so much to the economy as the common narrative goes, Painting themselves as do good’rs and philanthropists.

        • Tempus Fuggit

          Oy vey. Please re-read my comment, taking especial note of the quote marks and the last word with the two dashes in front of it.

  • Girlgoon

    Another spiteful move by a man-baby billionaire. Seems hauntingly familiar nowadays

    • DaddyRay

      Just wait until those reporters get jobs at other papers – Karma will come a knocking

    • The_Wretched

      Germany and other countries have systems that limit the growth in wealth and number of their billionaires. We used to do it with the Inheritance tax and high marginal rates on high incomes. Those controls need to come back.

  • rednekokie

    Bull crap — that ought to be a punishable offense.
    So much for TD Ameritrade — conn game that it is.

  • RayEBrownSS

    The Sandhill Cranes just voted to unionize so Jackass “Katholic” Joe is shutting down all funding to the Crane Trust since the Cranes were “promoting a corrosive us-against-them dynamic that destroys the esprit de corps businesses need to succeed’.

  • leastyebejudged

    I’m glad they’re all shut down. They were owned by a scumbag, a FACT everybody employed by the scumbag sought to obfuscate.

    Stop giving your money to shitbags ! I bet most of you here have financed our enemies FOR YEARS.

    As a matter of fact, I KNOW most of you actively finance our enemies.

    • HomerTh

      Jesus fucking christ. You don’t know shit.

      • leastyebejudged

        Another idiot that supports giving money to our enemies and the already mega rich.

        Kill yourself.

        • HomerTh

          You seem really….something or other.

          • leastyebejudged

            You seem unable to form a complete thought.

          • HomerTh

            You seen unable to

    • Tread

      Fuck you. Fuck you and your bullshit purity. You’re a gross distortion of an actual progressive.

      • leastyebejudged

        You feel that a true progressive will simply get down in the filth and betray everything for money, ‘cus that’s how the world goes round.

        I feel that when they actually DO that, they need to be called out for it.

        So no thanks, your idiot fucks aren’t worth shit.

    • kanehau

      “As a matter of fact, I KNOW most of you actively finance our enemies.”

      You just made it personal… got any proof for that word salad?

      • leastyebejudged

        I’ve been here for years, a lot of you are new here, maybe you should just stfu and observe for a few years.

        • kanehau

          I’ve been here for many many years – if you had been here for years, you’d know that. So right back at ya.

          • ECarpenter

            Lestwebejudged is constantly judging others. What a shi tface.

  • JWC

    Raining here

  • Johnny Toro

    Class warfare much? Wake up America!

  • Johnny Toro

    I think we do need a new, independent third party in the US — name it “Tax the Rich”– so straightforward, on-point, even yahoos in W. VA. will vote for it.

    • Kelly Lape

      I’m pretty sure when Fox News says it’s bad, it doesn’t matter what it is.

    • Girlgoon

      An electoral system like present day Germany would give a third party a fighting chance.

  • Mark_in_MN

    The excuse that they have to be economically successful just doesn’t wash. If they weren’t making money, or they were loosing so much that they need to be shut down now, then why did he by the sites in March. And if he purchased them on the idea that he could turn around losses and make them “successful businesses” then 8 months is hardly sufficient time to do so.

  • Mark_in_MN

    I really don’t understand why someone would hate unions so much that they would shut down a business instead of dealing with them. I really don’t. It seems to me that business owners and managers should actually welcome unions. It would bring one entity to deal with, rather than many, with regard to pay and other work arrangements and mean that rules for both the workers and the management are more clearly defined, and clearer direction toward dealing with new issues that come up. This seems to me to be beneficial for all parties.

    • SDG

      He potentially bought them, to close them. Make back your expenses from the legal fees and costs involved… and then bye bye. I wonder if the former employees get severance (which is an expense, and a write-off).

    • Girlgoon

      Unions can be good and bad and they sometimes fleece their members or bully employers.

      My own union under the lazy eyes of the AFLCIO was eventually taken over by the feds after embezzling our union dues. It goes both ways. Henry Ford had his goons beat the crap out of people who tried to unionize.

      Just like democracy, unions can work to everyone’s advantage if done right or in the case of our present democracy screw everyone except an elite few.

      • ECarpenter

        Unions, like corporations, need effective government regulation to work.

        The system in most European countries works well – look at Germany, Sweden and France, where unions are strong and employees make living wages and have good working conditions.

  • coram nobis

    SFist shutdown, local impacts.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SFist-shut-down-gothamist-dnainfo-ricketts-12327549.php?ipid=articlerecirc

    Joe Ricketts, who bought SFist earlier this year, will also shutter associated sites under the DNAinfo and Gothamist umbrella in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Shanghai and New York.

    … The SFist site was founded by Eve Batey, Rita Hao and Jackson West in 2004.
    Batey, now a senior editor, learned of the closure Thursday …

  • Tread

    So here’s the weird question thing. I can view DNAinfo articles in Facebook on my iPhone. The letter just appears in the middle of each article. I think they fucked up their implementation.

  • Girlgoon

    Maybe he’s consolidating his assets to hold in an offshore account under an island volcano instead of staying in legitimate business and making more money like Dr. Evil did in Austin Powers.

  • motordog

    Phew! Thank goodness that septuagenarian billionaire shut down those companies before he lost any of his precious, precious money! I mean, how would he be able to survive (for the two or three years he has left) if those selfish workers gouged him into paying a fair living wage!

    Ugh…time to bring this back… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d500cc76c09c1d8c35f50bf75c16768688c3deded10c516200f2a97957591b7a.gif

  • greenmanTN

    To me the most logical answer is that he did this to silence them. That’s the only scenario where taking down the archives makes sense.

  • Kevin Andrews
  • Boreal

    The much touted free press repiglicans love to talk about except when it is unionized or reports on their crimes.

  • Acronym Jim

    Is Ricketts still associated with TD Ameritrade? Perhaps a blow to their “economic success” is in order.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Get a leader, connect with venture capitalists, and open them up under a new-yet-similar name. Don’t let him get away with this.

    • ECarpenter

      Venture capitalists also usually hate unions. Unions cut into their short-term profits, and they’re all about short-term profit.

  • 1980Gardener

    No one should expect him to operate businesses that don’t make money.

    • The_Wretched

      Noone should have to suffer like you do – unable to tell the difference between an economics issue and suppression of unionization. Raw power bs isn’t that complicated. Were this actually about $$, he’d have left up the sites for residual activity.

    • ECarpenter

      All of the evidence points to his losing money on this. He’s doing it to punish the unions and to chill any union efforts at other shops.

      This is what Capitalism looks like at it’s ugliest – punishing employees for trying to improve their working conditions.

      My Grandad was a railroad worker when the railroads were union-busting in the 1920s and 1930s. These are old, old tactics pulled by billionaires to keep employees totally subject to their whims.

  • May I suggest that the union establish a new News co-op collective and get the word out that the people who made up “Gothamist” have secided to strike out on their own after the owner abandoned the venture.

    Aside from forming an LLC with each writer as a member, allowing new writers in as members as well, and sharing in profits, they need to obtain domain names, etc.
    The principal issue would likely be how to work out compensation in addition to the profit-sharing, and how to deal fairly with stringers and occasional non-member writers

    But once they work out the kinks, perhaps they can establish that they don’t need any stinking owners, except themselves.