Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Still Getting Caught Up On E-mail

Image credit: Swapatorium.

As many people do, I suspect, I have an e-mail account that is expressly for political junk e-mail. Needless to say, it's been overflowing recently, and along with the usual nonsense are a few gems:

Democracy for America wrote:

How many times this year did you wake up and say to yourself
America needs more from our elected Democrats?

I've said it too many times to count. That's why our Primaries
Matter campaigns are so important.

When Donna Edwards sent Bush Democrat Al Wynn packing a few
months ago, we shook the establishment and sent a message to
Democrats in Congress: move America forward or move out of

Now, Ed Fallon is working to beat Bush Democrat Leonard Boswell
on June 3 in the Iowa primary and Rep. Boswell is running


[link from the original.; It leads to a Blue America page.]

I've been saying for some time that just electing Democrats isn't enough. We've already done that, and, predictably, it wasn't enough. It's time we got rid of the kind of Democrats who don't vote as their constituents would have them vote. Dianne Feinstein is one such Democrat. Leonard Boswell is another.

Ed Fallon is on Howie Klein's Blue America page. Howie links to this article Fallon wrote for Down With Tyranny a few months ago. Boswell's voting record has been pretty bad, and has only improved since Fallon announced he was running for Boswell's seat.

Progressive Democrats for America wrote:

Doubleday just released Bill Moyer's new book entitled Moyers On Democracy. An excerpt from it is printed here. It ends with this paragraph:

"I wish I could say that journalists in general are showing the same interest in uncovering the dangerous linkages thwarting this democracy. It is not for lack of honest and courageous individuals who would risk their careers to speak truth to power--a modest risk compared to those of some journalists in authoritarian countries who have been jailed or murdered for the identical 'crime.' But our journalists are not in control of the instruments they play. As conglomerates swallow up newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, and networks, and profit rather than product becomes the focus of corporate effort, news organizations--particularly in television--are folded into entertainment divisions. The 'news hole' in the print media shrinks to make room for advertisements, and stories needed by informed citizens working together are pulled in favor of the latest celebrity scandals because the media moguls have decided that uncovering the inner workings of public and private power is boring and will drive viewers and readers away to greener pastures of pabulum.

Good reporters and editors confront walls of resistance in trying to place serious and informative reports over which they have long labored. Media owners who should be sounding the trumpets of alarm on the battlements of democracy instead blow popular ditties through tin horns, undercutting the basis for their existence and their First Amendment rights."

Take action now to stop more corporate media consolidation:

[links from original e-mail. The second link leads to a page where you can write your congressman to ask him to vote for the resolution against media consolidation.]

I've written about the deterioration of the news in this country. It's been getting worse, and the consolidation of ownership that's happened in the past couple of decades hasn't helped it one bit. As Moyers observes, it's becoming harder for journalists to express what they feel is the truth when that truth runs counter to what the rich and the powerful want us to believe. A free and open press was one of the things Jefferson and other founding fathers felt was important for a functioning democracy. Today, we seem farther from that state of affairs than ever.

If you feel the same way, click on the link and tell Congress how you feel.

Of course, after last night's win/loss in Kentucky and Oregon, both the Obama and Clinton campaigns sent out self-congratulatory e-mails. See if you can guess which is which:

The polls are closed in Kentucky and votes are being counted in Oregon, and it's clear that tonight we have reached a major milestone on this journey.

We have won an absolute majority of all the delegates chosen by the people in this Democratic primary process.

From the beginning, this journey wasn't about me or the other candidates. It was about a simple choice -- will we continue down the same road with the same leadership that has failed us for so long, or will we take a different path?

Wish I had a nickel for every time some politician promised a "different path" and then proceeded to go down the same old path everyone else did. I could afford to buy a few congressmen of my own.

And then, not ten minutes later:

Once again tonight, you and I stood together and showed America what we're made of.

Every time we win another state, we prove something about ourselves and about our country. And did we ever prove something tonight in Kentucky.

We showed America that the voters know what the "experts" will never understand -- that in our great democracy, elections are about more than candidates running, pundits commenting, or ads blaring.

Wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard that one, too.

Of course, as Obi-Wan might say, each is true from a certain point of view. Clinton won a lopsided victory in Kentucky, and Obama is closer to the nomination. Guess you just have to accentuate the positive.

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