Skimm for February 21st

Quote of the Day: "I don't know why it is in this town, folks leave stuff until the last-minute." -President Obama on DC living

Spring Cleaning

Buyer's Remorse?THE STORY: The Fed is having second thoughts about its bond-buying program.

THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): The central bank shifted policy last year and implemented a bond-buying program, while keeping interest rates low, to help the economy get back on its feet. The bond sweep was supposed to end when unemployment dropped significantly (hint: we're not there yet). But now, in another set of minutes from a Fed meeting--always a fascinating read!--some officials are expressing continued concern that the buying has to stop or slow way down. Officials will meet next month to review the program. Some at the Fed are worried the current strategy could lead to excessive risk-taking, a concept clearly foreign to all on Wall Street.

Cleaning HouseTHE STORY: The New York Times Co. is selling its New England Media Group, which includes The Boston Globe. Apparently not even New Yorkers can handle the New England winter.

THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): The NYT is shrinking its exposure to the print world as digital becomes more and more popular (shocking). The company would now like a buyer to take The Globe & friends off of its plate. The NYT has been trying to rid itself of The Globe for years, once threatening to shut the paper down completely. Here's hoping other companies out there are interested in a spring shopping spree to save a Boston favorite.

Cleaning BingeTHE STORY: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally notified Congress and its 800,000 civilian employees that the Pentagon plans to place many employees on unpaid leave, due to spending cuts starting March 1.

THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): Panetta gave Congress a very real reminder of what's at stake if the expected "sequester," automatic, massive spending cuts, starts in March -- lots and lots of furloughs. No, this has nothing to do with horses. The furloughs would give workers at least 30 days before placing them on unpaid leave, potentially costing the civilian employees 20% of their pay but saving the government $5 billion. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the furloughs would be "disruptive and damaging" but there was no alternative. Cough, find a bipartisan deal, cough cough.

REPEAT AFTER ME...What people are still morbidly fascinated by... the sensational case of double amputee track star, Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend. Things took a sharp turn today when it came to light that the lead investigator, Hilton Botha, is facing attempted murder charges himself. Who overlooked that one?! In 2011, the investigator and some others allegedly fired at a minibus they were (possibly drunkenly) chasing. They were arrested on seven counts of murder, one for each person in the bus, however the charges were withdrawn and recently reinstated. Apparently Botha did not think he would be facing a murder charge. Big surprise. Oscar was also dropped by Nike -- not as big of a surprise.

What to say when you're asked to make a donation... Just to clarify, this won't be used for your personal Build-a-Bear workshop fund, right? Former US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), who has battled a mood disorder, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to use $750,000 in campaign funds for personal things, like Rolexes, cruises, and bear workshops for an overall campaign cash-filled life of luxury. He's going to be saying "I'm sorry Miss Jackson" a lot since his wife, former Chicago Alderman, Sandi Jackson, pleaded guilty as well. Sandi pleaded guilty to a single charge of filing a false tax return, while her husband's negotiated guilty plea for conspiracy to commit various types of fraud could land him in the slammer for up to five years. At least he'll have a Teddy to keep him company.

What to say when someone says you can't... I don't listen to haters. I focus on getting the job done, just like AC Milan. The soccer world thought AC Milan was past its prime and too brittle to take on Barcelona. They were wrong. Milan beat Barca 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League for the first time in eight matches. Milan played some good D against Barca, who has lost only two matches this season. Limoncellos to go around!

What to say when you can't connect... The FCC needs to get in this game. US regulators proposed to free up certain slices of airwaves (no, you can't see them) to tackle the shortage of available airwaves used to transmit wireless signals. This could ease up Wi-Fi congestion in high use areas like some homes, airports, Skimm HQ, and stadiums. The proposal would open certain airwaves largely used by government entities like the FAA and DOD, who are a bit nervous to share. Also, the auto industry isn't a fan because it could interfere with new technologies like self-driving cars. And that concludes this episode of "The Jetsons."

What to say when you need a change... I just feel very "You've Got Mail." Yahoo is rolling out a new homepage that should be available to all US Yahooo-sers within two days. It's not a total overhaul but the new page is more personal and interactive. It also features an infinite scroll that never, ever stops. It just keeps loading with new stories. Mind blowing. Ex-Googler and current CEO Marissa Mayer was said to be very involved in the project. Her old turf, the big G, released more info about Google Glass. Instead of saying "Go go gadget," try "Ok, Glass..." to get them going. Or just use your iPhone at the same time you wear your regular glasses.

What to say about summer... Paul McCartney is going to get trapped in the closet. Bonnaroo, the four-day music fest on a farm in Tennessee, is straight up cray this year. The lineup features Sir Paul, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Mumford & Sons, and even R. Kelly. Weird Al will be there too. Where do I buy tickets?

BIRTHDAYS: Katie Schimmelpfennig (Cleveland, OH); Karen Kruper (Los Angeles, CA); Lauren Schimmelpfennig (Cleveland, OH)

Congratulations! Welcome to theSkimm life.

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