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Media Matters Endorses Dynasty Over Democracy

Posted by libhom Saturday, June 30, 2007 2 comments

One of the many problems with conservative Democratic Party frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, is the dynastic trend in American politics. In a recent Action Alert, Media Matters attacks political analyst Larry Sabato for expressing a perfectly legitimate concern about the erosion of US democracy. (bolding by Media Matters)

Media matters attacks a 6/21/07 column in which Sabato makes the following statement:

A much more reasonable criticism is directly related to the dominating presence of Hillary Clinton in this election cycle. The population of the United States now exceeds 300 million, and the talent pool of the world's only superpower is deep and rich. How is it that the country is on the verge of filling its highest office for the sixth consecutive term from one of two families? That every President from 1989 to 2017 may be a Bush or a Clinton is a national disgrace. What has happened to the American Republic? How does it differ from a banana republic -- where a couple of dominant families often run everything for generations? Have we driven the vast majority of the potentially best Presidents out of the contest because of the high personal and professional costs of running for office? Are we the voters responsible because we are too lazy to go beyond the simplistic attractions of familiarity and high name identification? Or, most disturbing of all, has our political system become ossified, so that we are too fearful of change to seek out the most outstanding leaders among us for the toughest job in the world?

Media Matters then launches a hysterical attack against Sabato for saying this.

This alert is bizarre. Sabato's point of view is perfectly reasonable and gets far too little play in a corporate media that wants our choices to be limited to a dynasty of conservative Democrats, the Clintons, and a dynasty of far right Republicans, the Bushes.

The efforts to the media to gloss over the undemocratic aspect of the presidency being exchanged back and forth from ruling families is disgraceful. It is critical that people who oppose this attack on our democracy and nation's values get access to the public.

One has to wonder if Media Matters is genuinely concerned about right-wing media bias or is it simply a front-group for the Clinton campaign.

Congress.org has a form you can use to support increased fuel efficiency standards.

The Senate is working on an energy bill which may include raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to a minimum of 36 mpg for passenger cars by 2025 and 30 mpg for light trucks by 2022.

America's automakers are terribly managed. If they knew what they were doing, they already would be making more fuel efficient cars. But, the stupidity of management is costing far too many workers their jobs. Raising CAFE standards is an important step in protecting American jobs.

Of course, Global Warming poses an even greater threat to our economy than bad car company management. We need to take strong action now to protect our planet.

Then, there is the issue of fighting terrorism. Most terrorism is funded, directly or indirectly, with oil money. The less oil our country consumes, the less money gets in the hands of terrorists.

Another critical issue is the trade deficit. Raising CAFE standards will cut the amount of foreign oil we buy and result in more sales of US cars. It is an economic win-win.

Please ask your Senators to support even stronger CAFE standards than those currently being proposed.

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Why So Many Blogs Have Negative Tones

Posted by libhom Saturday, June 09, 2007 10 comments

I wandered onto this blog put out by a fundamentalist Christian with a post entitled: Why are we so negative?

It was tempting to put a snarky reply on the comments section, but I decided to reply seriously. The results seem worth pulling up to my own blog, after a bit of rewriting.

The main reason for negativity on American blogs is that it reflects the negative reality the overwhelming majority of Americans experience and observe.

While the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, many middle class Americans are becoming poor, and the rest of the middle class are slowly losing economic ground.

We are in a senseless war in Iraq that actually helps Al Qaeda recruit terrorists. Tax policies are getting more slanted towards the rich and corporations. Religious extremism is widespread here in the US and abroad, and it isn't limited to one particular faith.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, AIDSphobia, and Christian supremacy are still rampant in the US. The very discussion of such topics is widely condemned by many sectors of our society.

Our environment is in a serious state of decay. Global Warming could end up being a disaster of unheard of proportions.

With very few meaningful limits on campaign finances, our elections often resemble auctions. Even the counting of the votes often is not valid, as was the case with the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

Jobs are being exported from this country at an alarming rate. Workplace safety is largely ignored by the current administration. Unionization is undermined both by corporations and by a complicit government.

Under the circumstances, the tone of most US blogs is relatively serene compared to the reality they are commenting on.

Sick Quote from Arkansas GOP Local Official

Posted by libhom Monday, June 04, 2007 1 comments

Dennis Milligan, chairman of the Saline County Republican Party quoted in the 6/3/07 Arkansas Democratic Gazette.

“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,” Milligan said.

It sounds very much like a Freudian slip, as if some Republicans have a desire to see this country attacked again just so they can exploit it. Of course, the notion that people who oppose the war don't appreciate the sacrifices of our troops is pretty sick and twisted as well.

In 1998, Edwards Thought of Us as “Those People”

Posted by libhom Sunday, June 03, 2007 0 comments

A comment John Edwards made in 1998 is getting a lot of media thanks to a tell-all book by an unhappy former staffer, Robert Shrum.

In his new memoir, "No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner," Shrum recalls asking Edwards at the outset of that campaign, "What is your position, Mr. Edwards, on gay rights?"

"I'm not comfortable around those people," Edwards replied, according to Shrum. He writes that the candidate's wife, Elizabeth, told him: "John, you know that's wrong."

An irony embedded in this whole thing is that the pundit who broke the story, Howard Kurtz, is homophobic, among other things.

Much of the blog discussion has been on Edwards saying that he was uncomfortable around us, but the thing that is creepier to me was the “those people” part. We know who “those people” are, especially in the Dixiecrat context: people in a despised minority.

We can hope that Edwards has advanced in his thinking since then. However, there are other Democratic presidential candidates who are better on queer issues (e.g., Kucinich and Richardson). So far, Edwards certainly is not giving queers much reason to support him.

Edwards' position on Iraq has been a bit slimy too. He tries to sound anti-war by saying congressional Democrats should have pushed harder on legislation to drag the war out all the way to 2008 when he should be calling for an immediate cutoff of all funds. If Edwards were serious in opposition to this nutty war in Iraq, Edwards would call for US troops withdrawals to start immediately and be finished in weeks. (It only took a couple of weeks to get our troops into the Iraq occupation quagmire. There is no reason why it should take that much longer to get them out, especially since they would face little opposition among Iraqis for leaving.)


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