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Yesterday I wrote about the need for systematic change in this country and why Barack Obama had the best plan and record to accomplish that of any of the candidates running. In that diary I talked about his support for public financing of elections and the bills he had introduced to make that a reality with progressive champion Russ Feingold. Since I wrote that I have found out he introduced a bill to publicly finance elections in the Illinois State Senate too. Hard to still make the claim that he is only doing this to win votes.

There is a old saying in the media reform movement "if media is not your number one issue, it has to be your second issue." In this post I am going to focus on my second issue, media reform.

The current media sucks. We all know that. Mainstream media covered in detail every bit of the pointless Clinton impeachment. There hasn't been a peep from them about impeaching Bush Co on real charges. That's just one example. We all know that Fox News is not balanced but they are not the only ones. Why does the media have such biases? Because it's in their interest. About 90 percent of the media is owned by a few giant multinational corporates like GE. GE also has defense contracts. Start to get the connection? Why would GE owned NBC want to uncover defense contract abuse or do hard hitting investigations about the war? They wouldn't is the answer because it goes against their interests. With the current media policy a bunch of old white men own all the media and their is almost no diversity. This also means the issues that matter to women or minorities are not focused on.

I probably don't need to spend a lot of time convincing you on how bad the media is. But we could have much better media if we had better media policy. And if we had better media then the progressive message could be communicated more effectively and besides we would have decent media.

The ubber-power that controls media policy in the US is the FCC (Federal Communications Council). The president gets too appoint three members of the panel from his party and the other party gets to recommend who to appoint for the other two spots on the FCC. This makes control of the presidency very important for media policy. A president can ram just about anything through the FCC if they have loyalists in the FCC. Bush does and so the Republican controlled FCC just pushed through a big present for Big Media by changing the rules to let Big Media get even bigger. At the time I wrote a diary on why this was such a bad move and what we could do to try to stop it so if you want to learn more about that recent move check it out.

Barack Obama opposed that move. On October 22 he wrote to the Chairman of the FCC, Kevin Martin opposing the proposal. Here is that letter.

Dear Chairman Martin:

I am writing regarding your proposal to move forward aggressively with modifications to existing media ownership rules. According to press accounts, you intend to present specific changes to existing rules in November with a Commission vote on that proposal – whatever it may be – on December 18, 2007. I believe both the proposed timeline and process are irresponsible.

Minority owned and operated newspapers and radio stations play a critical role in the African American and Latino communities and bring minority issues to the forefront of our national discussion. However, the Commission has failed to further the goals of diversity in the media and promote localism, and as a result, it is in no position to justify allowing for increased consolidation of the market. Moreover, 30 days of public review of a specific proposed change is insufficient to assess the effect that change would have on the media marketplace or the rationale on which any such proposal is based.

While the FCC did commission two studies on minority ownership in the round of 10 studies it ordered at the beginning of 2007, both suffered from the same problem – inadequate data from which to make determinations on the status of minority media ownership or the causes for that status and ways to increase representation.

It is time to put together an independent panel, as Commissioner Adelstein has recommended, to issue a specific proposal for furthering the goal of diversity in media ownership. I object to the agency moving forward to allow greater consolidation in the media market without first fully understanding how that would limit opportunities for minority, small business, and women owned firms.

I also object to the Commission’s propensity to vet proposals through leaks to the press and lobbyists. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report in September 2007 titled, "The FCC Should Take Steps to Ensure Equal Access to Rulemaking Information." In that report, GAO found that: "Situations where some, but not all, stakeholders know what the FCC is considering for an upcoming vote undermine fairness and transparency of the process and constitute a violation of the FCC’s rules." The report went on to state: "This imbalance of information is not the intended result of the Communications Act and it runs contrary to the principles of transparency and equal opportunity for participation established by law and to the FCC’s own rules that govern rulemaking."

In the wake of that report, I find it disturbing that, according to the New York Times, the Commission is considering repealing the newspaper and television cross ownership rules. It is unclear what your intent is on the rest of the media ownership regulations. Repealing the cross ownership rules and retaining the rest of our existing regulations is not a proposal that has been put out for public comment; the proper process for vetting it is not in closed door meetings with lobbyists or in selective leaks to the New York Times.

Although such a proposal may pass the muster of a federal court, Congress and the public have the right to review any specific proposal and decide whether or not it constitutes sound policy. And the Commission has the responsibility to defend any new proposal in public discourse and debate.

This is not the first time I have communicated with the agency on this matter. Senator Kerry and I wrote to you on July 20, 2006, stating that the Commission needed to address and complete a proceeding on issues of minority and small business media ownership before taking up the wider media ownership rules. Our request echoed an amendment adopted by the Senate Commerce Committee in June 2006. And last month, at an FCC hearing on media ownership held in Chicago, I requested that the FCC put out any specific changes that would be voted on in a new notice of proposed rulemaking so that the American people have an opportunity to review it.

In closing, I ask you to reconsider your proposed timeline, put out any specific change to the rules for public comment and review, move to establish an independent panel on minority and small business media ownership, and complete a proceeding on the responsibilities that broadcasters have to the communities in which they operate.


Senator Barack Obama

He didn't just write letters though. He also co-sponsored a bill (S.2332) with Senator Byron Dorgan to prevent the FCC from pushing ahead with that plan. Unfortunately it only made it out of the Commerce Committee (were it passed unanimously) and the vote went ahead but it is still possible to block the changes. Here was his statement when it passed the Commerce Committee.

"The rules promoting the public interest and diversity in media ownership are too important to allow the FCC Chairman to force through an agenda supported by Washington lobbyists that favors corporate interests over the people’s interests. I commend the Senate Commerce Committee for passing the Dorgan-Lott-Obama Media Ownership Act. The bill requires what I have been urging for more than a year – that the FCC place its public charge ahead of its concern for corporate profits.

"We must ensure that we have an open media market that represents all of the voices in our diverse nation, and allows them to be heard. One important way to do this is to expand the ownership stake of women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses in our media outlets. The more the rules let media outlets fall into the hands of big media conglomerates, the less likely our leaders are to be responsive to the public’s needs and in particular, the needs of minority communities. The FCC needs to meet its obligations to diverse communities and ensure that broadcasters are doing right by the communities they operate in before it considers loosening any media ownership regulations.

"Congress cannot continue to allow the FCC to move forward with regulatory changes through leaks to the press and closed door meetings. This legislation will ensure that any changes to FCC rules will be done through a fully transparent and inclusive process, fully taking into account the interests of our minority communities. I thank my colleagues for their leadership on this issue."

On November 8th he teamed up with John Kerry to pen a op-ed for the Politico about the proposal and media consolidation in general.

The bedrock of America's greatest advances — the foundation of what we
know today are defining values — was formed not by cheering on things
as they were, but by taking them on and demanding change.

The thoughtful exchange of diverse viewpoints not only helps guarantee
our freedom as individuals, it ensures those in power can be held
accountable for all that they do.

But to engage in the debates that have always made America stronger,
it takes a stage and a platform for discussion — and never before have
these platforms been more endangered.

In recent years, we have witnessed unprecedented consolidation in our
traditional media outlets. Large mergers and corporate deals have
reduced the number of voices and viewpoints in the media marketplace.

At the same time, massive technological change and an explosion of
Internet access have opened new avenues for information and new
methods of discourse. One thing we can be sure of: Change is upon us.

As we look toward the future, we must ensure that all voices in our
diverse nation have the opportunity to be heard. One important way to
do this is to expand the ownership stake of women-owned,
minority-owned and small businesses in our media outlets.

History provides plenty of proof.

Minority-owned radio stations, television stations and newspapers
played an essential role in battling segregation during the civil
rights movement.

When Hurricane Katrina struck, minority-owned media outlets helped
expose the true depth of poverty and inequality that others were
content to ignore.

Even today, while much of the media establishment has moved on,
minority-owned media outlets continue to highlight these issues as the
victims of that storm continue to struggle — two years later.

Just recently, African-American radio stations — together with
coverage on the Internet — helped propel the injustice in Jena, La.,
into the national spotlight.

Providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses to own media
outlets is fundamental to creating the diverse media environment that
federal law requires and the country deserves and demands.

The Federal Communications Commission is the agency charged with
governing the media. The FCC has an obligation to promote the public
interest, including diversity in media ownership.

Unfortunately, the FCC has failed to adequately assess the state of
minority-owned media or develop constructive ways to encourage
underrepresented entities to become larger players in the media

Now we understand the FCC may soon consider changes in the media
ownership rules that only help big media get bigger, but do nothing to
make media more responsive to minority viewpoints and local

The FCC tried this once before, in 2003. At that time, the nation's
top broadcasters met behind closed doors with FCC officials more than
70 times. But the public was not invited. After the proposed rules
were announced, a major public backlash ensued.

It has taken the FCC — still smarting from that public reaction — four
years to try again. This time, any changes to the media ownership
rules must encourage new entrants into the market and prioritize the
entry of small, women- and minority-owned businesses.

Last year, we urged FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to address the issue of
diversity in media ownership.

Several other leaders in Congress — including Sen. Robert Menendez of
New Jersey, Rep. Hilda L. Solis of California and Rep. John Conyers
Jr. of Michigan — have also pressed the FCC to stop allowing greater
corporate consolidation and start promoting media diversity. But our
questions went unanswered, and our concerns continue to grow.

If the FCC chairman chooses to reopen media ownership rules, he must
take into consideration the needs of local or minority communities.

If this is done improperly, more radio stations, television stations
and newspapers will fall into the hands of fewer owners and those
owners are less likely to include minority firms. It means that fewer
minority- and independently owned stations and newspapers will be able
to contribute to the national dialogue.

Today the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is
scheduled to hold a hearing on these issues, and we ask our colleagues
to take this opportunity to have an open and honest debate on this
important subject.

For too long now, the FCC has been putting corporate interests ahead
of the people's interests. It's time for that to change.

We need to not only create the opportunity for minority-owned
businesses to participate in the market, but also to help those who
enter this business succeed. We will keep fighting until we have a
free and open media that represents every American in our diverse

Barack Obama is a senator from Illinois and a Democratic presidential
candidate. John F. Kerry, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and
Transportation Committee, is a senator from Massachusetts and was the
2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

On December 14th he again teamed up with John Kerry to write to Martin urging him to delay the vote and threatening to cut off funding for the FCC if he didn't.

Dear Chairman Martin:

Your testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on December 13, 2007 restates your intention to move forward aggressively with a proposal that would relax media ownership rules with respect to the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule. We reiterate our call from July of last year and in various forums over the last two months for you to delay this vote for a period of time sufficient for the Commission to examine the status of minority and women media ownership in the United States, and to establish a policy to effectively address the need to promote greater diversity in media markets.

With respect to this issue, the intent of the Senate Commerce Committee was made clear with its decision to unanimously report S. 2332, the Media Ownership Act of 2007. Section 2 of this bill would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish and convene an independent panel to make recommendations for specific rules to increase the representation of women and minorities in the ownership of broadcast media. The bill further states that the FCC must act on the panel's recommendations before voting on any changes to its broadcast and newspaper ownership rules.

We recognize the widespread animosity aimed at the direction of the Commission regarding Tuesday’s scheduled vote. We understand that for a variety of reasons you are being asked to postpone the vote to permit more time for the Commission to fully understand how a relaxation in the Cross-Ownership Rule will impact other important issues such as localism. It is our hope that the sum of these objections will convince you to delay this vote until a time following the Commission’s consideration of other pressing matters. Specifically, we believe that moving forward with this change will have a direct and detrimental impact on the state of media diversity. Should you decide to move forward with this vote against the expressed bipartisan, bicameral intent of Congress, we will approach Appropriations Chairman Byrd with a request that funds be denied for the implementation of this rule.
Thank you for your consideration. Should you have any questions regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact any of us at any time.


Sen. John Kerry
Sen. Barack Obama

Despite all those efforts he could not change the fact that the majority of the FCC were Bush appointed Republicans. The FCC voted 3-2 for the changes. Obama was the first canidate to respond and he slammed the devision.

"Today the FCC failed to further the important goal of promoting diversity in the media and instead chose to put big corporate interests ahead of the people's interests. Minority owned and operated newspapers and radio stations play a critical role in African American and Latino communities and help bring minority issues to the forefront of our national dialogue. We must ensure that we have an open media market that represents all of the voices in our diverse nation, and allows them to be heard.

"I am disappointed that the FCC failed to meet its obligations to diverse communities and ensure that broadcasters are doing right by the communities in which they operate. Congress will not stand by and allow the FCC to move forward with these regulatory changes, and I will urge my colleagues to push forward legislation that ensures any changes will be evaluated and modified in a transparent and inclusive process, and fully takes into account the interests of our women and minority-owned outlets, and communities."

That's all about one FCC ruling though not about his plans for the future. He isn't running for FCC Chair so he doesn't have a ten page plan on media policy but he does have include media as part of his tech plan and Matt Stoller of OpenLeft who is usually a critic of Obama has praised his media plans and has said that he might vote for Obama because his media plans are so good. Here is what he had to say about him.

Obama's plan is very different.  I was on a call yesterday where the campaign's wonky advisers explained that political appointees will have to pledge not to lobby the government after their term is over.  His plan covers media consolidation, pushing for more localism and diverse ownership requirements.  It stakes out a wireless spectrum owned and operated by the public, with clear openness requirements.  His FCC will define broadband as broadband, instead of playing corrupt telecom games.  And I'm convinced that no one will be stronger on net neutrality than Obama, who signed onto the net neutrality bill as one of his first actions in the Senate.

The Obama campaign and Obama himself get these issues on a very fundamental level.  Instead of nonsensical worries about violence on TV marring the children, Obama takes privacy very seriously in his plan.  Instead of ludicrous discussions of fake public-private partnerships around failed models of broadband deployment that dance around net neutrality, Obama is clear and forceful on the issue.

It's really a generational split here.  Obama gets, on a gut level, the importance of the internet and the open culture that has created much of our wealth and opportunity.  Clinton is entirely about a 1970s and 1980s suburbanized corrupt form of politics, where you give everything important to industry while demagoguing on issues like violence on TV for the children (doing nothing about it, of course).  It's an entirely fake and disgusting model of engagement on the media reform and internet freedom agenda.

I don't always agree with Matt but he knows media policy to the core and when he says Obama has a great media policy I'd tend to trust him.

You can also find this statement clearly on his issues page.

Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership: Barack Obama believes that the nation’s rules ensuring diversity of media ownership are critical to the public interest. Unfortunately, over the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission has promoted the concept of consolidation over diversity. Barack Obama believes that providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses to own radio and television stations is fundamental to creating the diverse media environment that federal law requires and the country deserves and demands. As president, he will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum. An Obama presidency will promote greater coverage of local issues and better responsiveness by broadcasters to the communities they serve.

From his work and op-ed with Kerry to his opposition to the FCC's Big Media giveaway to Matt's praise of his plan it's hard to say he doesn't have a strong position on media policy. Matt has more access to his advisers and he probably knows a few of them so he is about as good a source as you can get on what a Obama Administration's media priorities would be like.

This might not have been as interesting or as detailed as my last post but Senators have a lot more control over election reform then media policy. But on all the media issues that he has dealt with in the Senate Obama has not only voted the right way, he lead. Hopefully this will have provided some good information and even if Obama is not you're first choice think about what should be you're second priority and make the canidate who is leading on that you're second choice.

And it's money season so again I will repeat what I said in the last diary.

Donate now to help me and Barack Obama change the system.

I will have posts up on his ethics and transparency record and also his record on election reform coming soon. Until then, try not to start a flame war, OK?

3 days 'till change.

Originally posted to Populista on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:12 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Can't tip (32+ / 0-)

      But I just wanted to say this is a great diary. You are an excellent writer and Democrat. Although we disagree on candidates I wish you the best in all you do. You keep things positive, and that deserves a rec from me!!

      Best of luck!!

      Our country is in danger, not just from foreign enemies, but from our own misguided policies- RFK No priviledges for the truth- RDemocrat

      by RDemocrat on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:16:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks RD (18+ / 0-)

        I feel lucky to still have rec privileges now. So I gave you a tip. Keep up the good writing yourself.

        •  Me neither! great diary as usual! Thanks! n/t (10+ / 0-)

          "Whatever it is, I'm against it!" - Groucho Marx

          by MadAsHellMaddie on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:28:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This diary sucks. Just like Obama's ethics reform (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nestor Makhnow, Jacob Freeze

            As pointed out on openleft by Matt Stoller, the lobbying reform in early 2007 was a joke and I dont know why Obama is proud of such a hollow accomplishment. Besides, lobbyists are only agents of special interests. Accepting money from special interest and corporations that hire lobbyists does just one thing : It eliminates the middleman (lobbyists) and probably makes lobbying business cheaper and more efficient for corporations. Those lobbyists will simply go on payroll of corporations and contribute money thru corp to 527s and the max allowed directly to Obama and Edwards.

            Grow up children, Washington isnt going to change by couple of guys who wont take money from registered lobbyists and take it directly from corporations.


            I know this because I heard this from a Democratic staffer working for Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington, during my work with a non-profit that hired Quinn-Gillespie and Patton Boggs as its lobbyists. I swear this is a true story.

            He said that new laws ban meals paid by lobbyists for members of congress and staff. Here is how they got around it. Let's say they want to serve up steak for members of congress at an event. Steak, qualified as a "meal" banned by law. However, if they serve steak by chopping it up into pieces and sticking a toothpick in it, its an appetizer and appetizer, fingerfood, is not "meal".

            If they can find a way around getting steaks served to congressmen, I dont know why Obama is soooo proud of doing the ethics reform or whatever the heck he did.

            As Matt Stoller at openleft pointed out, if Obama thinks he fixed Washington by stopping meals going to congressmen, who by the way are eating steaks off of toothpicks, then Obama is naive and childish just like Clinton accused him of being in the second debate.

            Obama does need more miles on his congressional odometer (without the "present" votes, please) before he runs for President.

            •  Stoller was off (13+ / 0-)

              Obama never claimed to have fixed Washington.  He claimed to have actually taken steps to combat the influence of lobbyists, which is something that Edwards really can't say.

              Exhibit A that he might just have succeeded: Trent Lott fleeing Congress before the rules went into effect.  Closing the revolving door between Congress and lobbying matters.

              There are a number of additional measures that Obama wanted in the 2007 ethics package that he will continue to push for: like an independent ethics watchdog to monitor Congress, greater campaign finance restrictions, public disclosure of who sponsors earmarks, and a full online database listing earmark sponsors and potential conflicts of interest.

              And actually, when it comes to your example, there is a difference between lobbyists being able to serve fingerfood and serving meals.

            •  The Charming Candidate... (0+ / 0-)

              I have a growing suspicion about Barack Obama. It's been forming for some time. He's charming; but when you look beneath that surface charm, you find a lack of substance, and sometimes, disturbing revelations of questionable ethics, and frequent inflations and distortions of the truth.

              Over the course of this year, I've questioned why so many people were so willing to allow themselves to be charmed by him, to project their own naive beliefs on to him, without really knowing much about him, or asking themselves questions about his past. For there are many questions about Barack Obama; questions people here should be asking themselves but don't. And, when, momentarily, questions are raised, these Obama lovers become vitriolic in their rejection of the suggestions that maybe, something just isn't right. They refuse to look, perchance to see that they've been "charmed" by an inveterate charmer who has a lifelong history of skipping to the top of the class on his "charm"

              You know how you sometimes just get that intuition about the man who seems so charming, so perfect? He's got all the right moves (he looks good), says the right things (mostly anyway, and you overlook those moments when he doesn't), and paints a picture of harmony and bliss? But, for some reason you just can't see what's behind that pretty picture (maybe it's because you really don't want to)? You can't put your finger on it, but there's just something...that in the back of your mind, raises red flags(danger, danger Will Robinson)?

              That's how I feel about Barack Obama. I just have an intuition. But, then I read something this morning that focused that intuitive sense that there's just something about Barack Obama. And, it's encapsulated by the question:

              Where are the testimonials from people who've known Barack Obama all of his life?

              If you love Obama, believe in him, and want to see him become the nominee, then you'll have no problem reading this, before you snipe about the source:


              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H.L. Mencken

              by SignalSuzie on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 06:30:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  you never considered Obama so let's cut to the (0+ / 0-)

                chase.  Vote for Hillary already and get it over with.

                "Whatever it is, I'm against it!" - Groucho Marx

                by MadAsHellMaddie on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 07:32:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh please (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                samddobermann, Chicago Lulu

                Obama has an enormous list of accomplishments working for real people. It's all well documented.

                Quit being a hack.

              •  Go to Obama's Issue site to see what (0+ / 0-)

                is behind the man you sneer at.

                The summaries of Issues are out front. You can click on any to read in depth and at the bottom of most are links to position papers. I highly recommend the one on Urban Poverty (7 pages).

                He has passed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act)[which] requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free that includes for each Federal award:

                1. The name of the entity receiving the award;[and congressman's name]
                1. The amount of the award;
                1. Information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, etc;[whether no bid single bid, competitive]
                1. The location of the entity receiving the award; [and history of amounts]
                1. A unique identifier of the entity receiving the award.

                Check it out.  By the way what piece of Significant legislation has your candidate passed? I can't find any for Edwards or Clinton.

                re really using the Media for the people; check out his sides on openness in gov and  -- oh I forget which issues. Just go look, read. You seem to want to be spoon fed.

                Obama's positions are long well thought policy expositions, not strung together feel good sound bites which can be fed to folks at rallies. You mix up sloganish positions with substance. go read.

                Engaging the American People on Foreign Policy: Obama will bring foreign policy decisions directly to the people by requiring his national security officials to have periodic national broadband town hall meetings to discuss foreign policy. He will personally deliver occasional fireside chats via webcast.


                Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

                by samddobermann on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 04:03:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  S Suzie: dumbest site I've seen (0+ / 0-)

                for a candidate. What, if any, legislation has she gotten passed?

                She sure hasn't helped the Democratic Party:

                From an e-mail communication from Paul Rogat Loeb:

                Barack Obama's Hope Fund PAC, Clinton claims, deliberately contributed to candidates in key early primary states that year, with the aim of securing their later support. Never mind that the Hope Fund gave to a broad spectrum of candidates--including, oddly, Hillary Clinton herself. If she really wants Democratic voters to judge their potential nominees on their 2006 choices, she may not like the judgments they make.

                2006 was a Democratic opportunity, and grassroots supporters dug deep and then deeper to finance an ever-expanding array of competitive races. Clinton, meanwhile, made a conscious decision to raise $52 million for a Senate campaign that she could have won in her pajamas, spent $40.8 million (to beat a token [progressive, antiwar] opponent who spent less than $6 million), and transferred the rest to her presidential campaign.

                You could say she was just playing the game, but John Edwards and Barack Obama, in comparison, campaigned throughout the country to support worthy Democratic candidates, while doing negligible fundraising for their own pending campaigns. The Edwards campaign ended that season still in debt from 2004. Obama emerged with less than a million in the bank. Their top priorities really did seem to be helping other Democrats win a critical election, instead of subordinating all other goals to their own personal futures.

                For another contrast, the entire Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised only $107 million that season, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $103 million. Hillary spent more than a third as much as either of these, more than any candidate in America that year. Only the self-funded Jon Corzine has ever spent more for a Senate race in our history. And she did this for a race that was never in doubt.

                Imagine if Clinton had transferred $20 million into the dozen Congressional campaigns that Democrats lost by margins as close as a few hundred votes. Or into Harold Ford’s Senatorial campaign, to help close a $5-million gap with Republican Bob Corker. By late summer it was clear that the Democrats had a huge opportunity and were scrambling for the funds to respond to it. A few extra ads or mailings might well have tipped the balance in more of these races. That’s why so many of us were stretching to contribute, even when it hurt. Clinton made different decisions. Much as may have been true with her support of a recent Iran vote so reckless that Senator James Webb called it "Dick Cheney's pipe dream," her priority was election-year positioning.

                If we compare Clinton’s actions to those of the ordinary citizens whose time and money made a critical difference, she comes up short. She also comes up short compared to her main Democratic rivals. While the money she spent may have gained her a few extra points of electoral margin, it did nothing to shift the power from an administration she said she opposed.  If we're going to use 2006 as a measure of Presidential character, we might remember the choices Clinton could have made--and the priorities she chose instead.

                Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

                by samddobermann on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 05:29:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  What significant piece of legislation (0+ / 0-)

              has Clinton or Edwards gotten passed? I can't find ANY.


              Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

              by samddobermann on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 04:09:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I put in two bits for you! (6+ / 0-)

        "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

        by elwior on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:38:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dear Populista, (7+ / 0-)

              For your very young age, you are a great writer and represent our younger, disenfranchised voters very well.  I am the mom of three in their 20's.  They and their friends, socially liberal, mostly registered "Independent" in Florida because they despised the Clinton and Bush administrations for their devisiveness and their corporate/MIC ties. (the exception is my oldest, a medical school intern and her hubby that are Obama fans and registered Democrats)  My National Guard Staff Sgt. son and his military and local friends love Obama and his Middle Eastern policies.  My senior son at FSU and his friends love Obama.  Why?  Because he is honest and he is trusted because of his unwavering positions from the past and his smart choices. (going after bin Laden, his groupies and the bad Taliban in those E.Afghanistan/W.Pakistan mountain (Waziristan) is important to our real military---my son ran an ANA Depot near Kabul for a year and our stolen tax dollars given to Pakistan by Cheney, his secret, no-bid, corrupt business deals with his favored corporations and the "Rummy Doctrine" of bombing civilian areas for expediency needs to be investigated and prosecuted by our bungling (complicit?) Congresscritters.  The poor locals of Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered by our corrupt administration and their enablers.  Hillary falls into that corrupt MIC, warmongering category with her Kyl/Lieberman vote against Iran)                                                                                                                I just spent 9 days visiting my family farm in mid-Michigan and all of my relatives/neighbors/friends support Obama.  GM employees/laid off employees, small farmers that have been devastated by the Clinton and Bush administrations big corporation policies.  Hillary is a "Hell No" (except by her Granholm and Levin- type state endorsers) and Edwards isn't liked  there either.  I feel that people on this site are oblivious to the fact that Edwards isn't admired as much around the country as much as they admire him.  Edwards was liked better in my local area in 2004 than Kerry.  (Kerry made a huge mistake by writing off our younger Florida voters and didn't even campaign at our three largest universities)  Obama has these voters now and they are enthusiastic for the general election. Reaching consensus with the public is not that difficult in our country and Obama knows how to begin the process.  I remember when politics did not involve a religious-right and we need to make sure that the friendly "populist" seeming Huckabee does not become our next president.  Obama will whip his ass in Michigan and in Florida.                                                    

          •  Obama and Clinton (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lawyer to Capitalists

            are fairing better than Edwards in his home "Carolinas".  He is money challenged!   I just don't get the TomP support and believing that Edwards can win the primaries over Hillary.  I did believe that Edwards may be the winning candidate until about a year ago, when I started seeing the intense Obama support from the crucial moderates and "Independents".  Not everyone is a diehard Republican or Democrat or are registered as the vote. (the decriptions have changed since the early 70's when I started voting and the religious-right Baptist/fundamentalists were not a factor back then)

            •  This has always been a problem (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mjd in florida

              for Edwards (winning his N.C. and S.C.).  I think it's very telling.  Also, Kerry won't endorse him.  The man has a problem and it's not in his "feel-good" policies, either.

              •  I can't believe how many people (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                samddobermann, Chicago Lulu

                are falling for the immediate control and change that Edwards is now proposing.   Everything will take some time and working with our asshat Congresscritters.  Obama knows this and Edwards acts like he turned a new leaf and that he can demand it!   Getting out of Iraq, alone, will take some time with our present corrupt administration's corporate/money theft of our tax dollars towards repair and any real political settlements in the area.   I won't even mention how much we have screwed the Afghan people with our corruption and crimes and with Cheney giving tons of our stolen tax monies to Pakistan to harbor their bin Laden "boogey" guys for every election season!

              •  o/t nolalily, I just figured out that Edwards (0+ / 0-)

                housing policies will produce maybe a hundred NOLAs without even a storm.

                1. he wants to give 200k housing vouchers a year for 5 years to move poor people out of their communities (theory: too many poor people together bad for people). This will scatter them among strangers. They will, of course, lose their community supports -- just like the scattered NO folks.

                2 ) Privatize public housing -- that's what Hope VI funds are for to transfer public housing to developers who then develop "mixed communities -- but there is never enough room for those displaced to return -- even if they could meet the difficult requirements to deserve new housing.

                This is what happened to Chicago public housing. This is what is happening to the beautiful and sturdy New Orleans public housing.

                Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

                by samddobermann on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 11:41:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  What RD said (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        RD, I dropped a rec for you.

    •  Rec'ed and tipped :) (13+ / 0-)

      Anyone who fights arguably the most destructive force in our country now--big media--is a-ok by me. :)

    •  Outstanding diary-Outstanding candidate-go Obama! (5+ / 0-)
      Fire it Up! Ready to Go!

      Change We Can Believe In. Stand Up For Change!

    •  I wish I could give you 10 recs! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Excellent positive diary for Obama and the importance of media reform. Thank you and keep up the posting of these exceptional diaries.

      Vive la resistance! Obama '08.

      by speck tater on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 07:05:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't wait. (27+ / 0-)

    Come on Iowa...make us proud!  

    When I look at Barack Obama, I think about John F. Kennedy, who leaped over Hubert Humphrey's generation to bring in fresh voices and fresh ideas.-Bill Moyers

    by snout on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:15:47 PM PST

  •  Populista - you are going to have to stop this! (35+ / 0-)

    Another fact-filled, drama free diary about the strengths and merits of the Obama for America campaign.  I tip and reccomend this work with pleasure!

    / I'm not trying to party like it's 1992./

    by Sagittarius on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:19:45 PM PST

  •  I believe the actual quote (9+ / 0-)

    is more like this:

    "Whatever your #1 issue is, your #2 issue should be media reform."

    Great diary.

    "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all \\ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." --Keats

    by Illissius on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:36:11 PM PST

  •  Populista - You are doing a great service... (13+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your great work.  Just the facts, gotta luv it!

  •  Obama cares about the issues we care about (15+ / 0-)

    ...but few other politicians dare discuss. That's another reason we need him in the White House.

    •  Obama walks the walk----which differentiates (12+ / 0-)

      him from the others, who are mostly about the talk.
       Great diary again Populista.!

      •  Seems to me, he POSTURES a lot . . . (0+ / 0-)

        . . . about various issues.

        He then justifies his failures to follow up by way of any meaningful, confrontational action by singing a lot of "Kumbaya" about how both sides need to get along.

        And judging by the loyalty and enthusiasm of his supporters, it seems to me that this schtick serves him pretty damned well.

        •  God, i hope this isnt coming from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          an Edwards supporter. The most egregious example of that possible.

          Sorry Populista, im really getting tired of this. I shouldnt ruin your great diary with this. Still mad that Kos would use Stoller's fake, contrived arguements as a reason to downgrade Obama. You cant just put words into someones mouth, and then claim they dont live up to your lip-synching act.

          I know i shouldnt feed the trolls.

          I think saying anything different is a Republican Talking Point from Fox News.

          by Unseen majority on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 03:22:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a mild Edwards supporter (0+ / 0-)

            But so what?

            One of the reasons I'm a mild Edwards supporter is precisely because I've watched Obama's actions (or non-actions) and rhetoric since he got into the Senate.

            The guy lost me a long time ago.  He blew his chance to win me.

            So, your statement about me being an Edwards the supporter points to an after-the-fact reality that, in the end, is really irrelevant to my take on Obama.

        •  There's no "There" There? (0+ / 0-)

          Yeah. He's the "Charming" Candidate. But who is he? Really? Where are the people who've known him all of his life, who are giving testimonials about him? There aren't any. And, he cleverly disguised names and places in his book--as even he has admitted. Moreover, the people in that Chicago community he supposedly "organized?" They aren't willing to speak up for him, offer testimonials about his time there.

          I think Barack Obama is a charming man. And, I'm always suspicious of charmers, because when you peek behind the curtain, you usually find they aren't quite as charming as they appeared.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H.L. Mencken

          by SignalSuzie on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 06:36:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He has passed a lot more (0+ / 0-)

          meaningful legislation than Edwards and Clinton put together!

          Read his issues page. Click any heading for issues that interest you.

          Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

          by samddobermann on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 11:54:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Informative. You've told me things (10+ / 0-)

    I didn't know, and I thought I knew just about everything about Obama!

    "We are in a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril." Barack Obama, Nov.10, 2007

    by keeplaughing on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:48:20 PM PST

  •  All this has of course been going on (5+ / 0-)

    for quite awhile.  As I recall Michael Powell, Colin's son, was instrumental in giving away a coverage increase to big media and Senator Dorgan was the one who fought it.  

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 07:49:13 PM PST

  •  Media ownership rules (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, dotster, Fonsia, cantelow

    are incredibly important.  I'm very glad that Obama is being persistent with the FCC.  

  •  i am either obama or edwards... (3+ / 0-)

    ...but if i may say, isn't toquedeville right that obama has been a bit vague about the degree to which he will take on entrenched corporate interests?

    i ask this genuinely, is there something the obama promoters can direct me to, statements or voting record or whatever, that will let me know as a potential voter that he will be taking on the special interests to the degree that edwards has proclaimed?

    taking on the FCC is good but the FCC is only one head of the beast that needs to be driven back into its lair....

    •  the beast is not the corporations... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Femlaw, bflaff, Mojo Jojo

      ... but the lack of vision and shared American values, which Obama is calling us back to. People are starving for a larger vision.

      The coporatocracy is only the symptom of the illness, not the illness itself. As any doctor or professional counselor knows, focus on one symptom and not the source of the problem, and another symptom will emerge to take its place.

      •  What does (0+ / 0-)

        "shared American values" and a "larger vision" even mean? Pure mumbo jumbo. How is a technocratic neo-liberal like Obama going to provide this country with anything other than the status-quo?

        •  values and vision... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bflaff, Fonsia

          are what we use to get to the future we want. We got into the mess of a status quo we're in now because we acted in ways contrary to our shared American values (e.g., torture, the occupation of Iraq, threatening other countries, tax cuts to the wealthy, not listening to the will of the people... you know the drill).

          But support someone else if you don't agree.

        •  Its about articulating your vision (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kpardue, samddobermann, zenobia

          to the country at large so you can build a coalition for change.

          Populist rhetoric about "fighting like hell" plays well on DKos but it turns anyone who isn't a Democratic partisan off. And newsflash -- we're only 37% of the country at best.

          The Democratic party has been far more successful articulating a vision based on calling people to shared values than it has on anger.

          Our principal problem in the past two elections is the lack of a candidate that people a) liked or b) believed.

          Its actually the "fighting like hell" style that is pure rhetoric and nothing else -- What did John Edwards, for instance, do in the United States Senate to fight like hell for anyone when he had the chance?

          Edwards was a very ordinary moderate left of center politician that served one undistinguished term but had great oratory skills. That is his record.

          For all you dig at Obama's rhetoric, at least he can connect it to a real progressive record in elected office, rather than about running away from his record.

          •  It's all rhetoric, from all three candidates, BUT (0+ / 0-)

            that aside, Obama has focused on the one thing that above all I want: CHANGE.  

            But what change?  Here, too, he is vague, as Edwards and Hillary about their broad-based rhetoric.  I'll fill it in for you, though.  WE NEED CHANGE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.  It's sick.  The past year has been ample proof of that.  We need new people in leadership posts that can set a new agenda for the country that is more in tune with the majority of Americans than the entropy of the Democratic beltway establishment.

            So when I hear the word CHANGE, I get a thrill.  

            I'm glad to know Edwards is against corporate influence.  Then again, though, I can't remember a Democrat running who said he was in favor of increasing corporate influence.

          •  That's not true. (0+ / 0-)

            If anything, populism is the most effective means for generating broad coalitional support. Populism, by definition, assimilates people and political interests of all stripes in a collective effort to overcome percieved political adversity. The ideology of centrism and bipartisanship, by contrast, seeks to defuse political energy by peddling the strictly mythical belief that political differences do not really exis -- or when they do, they are the monstrous deviation from some rational norm. Whereas as populism articulates and tries to overcome conflict through political practice, centrism uses the myth of universalism to simply deny the existence of difference and thereby preclude the very need for political affect. As an ideology, then, centrism simply silences the political voices that, articulated, might lead to drastic social change. The question is: who benefits from this ideology? The answer is so obvious that it truly disturbs me that so many people have fallen for this centrist nonsense.

            Populism doesn't turn people off: indeed, your claim simply reiterates the standard rhetoric of corporate America, which is threatened by social and political change.

    •  Yes, yes, yes, yes (10+ / 0-)

      i ask this genuinely, is there something the obama promoters can direct me to, statements or voting record or whatever, that will let me know as a potential voter that he will be taking on the special interests to the degree that edwards has proclaimed?

      Notice that you only note what Edwards has "proclaimed," not what he's done. Obama and his supporters have been urging people to consider what the candidates have actually done when they had the chance as opposed to what they say they're going to do.

      Obama has a long record of fighting and winning against lobbyists:

      A couple of good places to start:
      Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 - (Obama/Coburn) requiring public access to all government spending (earmarks, grants, loans and contracts)  

      He also sponsored and passed the 1998 Illinois State Gift Ban Act which was "Heralded As the Most Sweeping Good-Government Legislation in Decades"

      Of course, the best place to go would be his website page on ethics reform

      Barack Obama -- The Time is Now

      by pragprogress on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 08:59:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He took their money. (0+ / 0-)

        Passing slam dunk legislation while taking their money isn't that impressive.

        •  If it was such a slam dunk then why didn't (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kpardue, Dumbo, samddobermann, Mojo Jojo

          Edwards pass it.

          What DID Edwards do with his six years to take on the special interests? Seriously. What?

          Every Edwards diary on this site is about what the man SAYS and not about what he's DONE.

          There's a reason for that. There's no "there" "there".

          He's a trial lawyer who knows how to calibrate a message, stay on that message, and drill it home. But you can't talk these guys to death. It takes the courage to act. Every time Barack has been given political power he's used it to fight for the principles that we value.

          Edwards cannot say the same for the time he has held power. And that is what is so profoundly frustrating with the Edwards diaries I read about around here. There's simply no real progressive legislation in his background.

          •  Exactly, Edwards talks a good game (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, kpardue, samddobermann, Mojo Jojo

            but what did he accomplish when he was actually in the Senate? His supporters constantly point to speeches he's given or policies he now suggests but his current words are entirely inconsistent with his rather brief prior legislative history.

            Anyone can speak of changing a system and fighting for legislation but the best predictor of future behaviora is past behavior.

            Obama's work here with Kerry clearly elaborates his history of actually fighting for changes in an area of corporate driven influence that affects us all.

            thanks Populista
            Obama 08

          •  Ever heard of the Patient Bill of Rights? (0+ / 0-)

            It got bogged down in Congress although it didn't stall in the Senate. This idea that Edwards doesn't have a real record on things he has in his platform is bunk- complete and utter bunk.

            What I'd like to know is why if Obama proposes a policy and it fails that counts but if Edwards did so and it didn't pass then it doesn't count?

          •  Two bills. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kpardue, samddobermann, Mojo Jojo

            Edwards only had two bills become public law that he authored.  Both of them were for renaming post offices.

          •  Excellent point. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kpardue, samddobermann, Mojo Jojo

            I also want to know what does Edwards means when he says he will "fight" the corporations.  I really would like an Edwards supporter to tell me exactly what Edwards will do that would constitute "fighting" the corporations.

        •  cite please. Otherwise you are repeating (0+ / 0-)


          Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

          by samddobermann on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 12:18:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  check out populista's previous diary... (9+ / 0-)

      on this topic.  It is jam packed with answers to your question.  Link here.  Obama has consistently been at the forefront of ethics, government reform, and transparency efforts.  This is probably my number 1 issue as a voter, and it's the top reason why I back Obama.  He stands head and shoulders above the others.  I like what Edwards is saying on this topic, but Obama has actually gone out and done it.

    •  big pharma (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      He wants to force them to give seniors the same bulk discount as the military.  And take away incentives for off shoring and give credit to company's  staying in the USA with tax credits.  These are things i have heard him say directly but i am sure they are on record.  

      democracy is not a spectator sport...

      by zenobia on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 06:16:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  a gnostic, Obama takes on issues and people (0+ / 0-)

      in a different way. It is the difference between war and diplomacy. Edwards starts out at war with everyone; Obama looks for one small spot of agreement then moves them his way and he defines the field of play.

      Read Read his issues page. Click any heading for issues that interest you. And go to his Wikipedia page for some of his accomplishments.

      Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

      by samddobermann on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 12:14:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When people complain about candidate (14+ / 0-)

    diaries on dKos, they should distinguish between puff pieces, silly hit diaries, and substantive diaries like Populista's have been. I have learned a lot about Obama by visiting dKos and would like to thank all those diarists for their efforts

  •  Great diary! (8+ / 0-)

    Another homerun.

    Obama-Clark : The Experience to Lead. The Courage to Unite.

    by alexm on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 08:36:10 PM PST

  •  you (9+ / 0-)

    know, everyone makes a big deal of his being a junior senator but he has done so much in his short time and when you take that and combine it with his other accomplishments, it's just clear that this man means business and if anyone can change the world, he can.  I believe!

    People who have no hope are easy to control and those who have the control have the power. Neverending Story

    by choppycursur on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 08:41:51 PM PST

  •  Terrific diary (9+ / 0-)

    Obama has the wisdom and insight to focus on the core issues. And he does it with a sense of purpose and principle. He's grounded, and I love that about him. It comes through in everything he says. He doesn't feel the need to find an enemy to blame, but reminds people to act on their shared values.

    •  "Reminds people to act on their shared values" (6+ / 0-)

      That's about as well as I've ever heard it summed up.

      That is Obama's genius.

      That is why the angry tone gets Democrats nowhere. Show some outrage, yes. But lots of Americans who are predisposed to being on our side of the issue get turned off from politics the more the temperature gets turned up.

      Obama has brought about major progressive changes that many thought would be impossible by using a three-step process with the American people:

      1. Strike a civil and unifying tone and therefore get people to listen to you who otherwise might not
      1. Stand for your principles and share those convictions with people openly
      1. Connect your principles and vision with values that Americans beyond the current democratic voting population share (fairness, opportunity, common sense, community, dignity for working people).

      You don't just need anger, bluster, and heat. What you need is a genuine progressive coalition that has a mandate for change. And you have to build that by talking to people, not at them, and reminding them that we all have a stake in our communities -- and that progressive policies represent the values they hold dear in their own lives.

      •  Here, Here. Good point on Obama's genius (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann, Albatross, Mojo Jojo

        BTW, Strategic Vision has Obama leading in Iowa. O-30; C-29; E-28. I know other polls show a different alignment.  But with Obama's great ground game; and unpolled independents, republican crossovers, and youth, I predict that Obama wins Iowa with 40%.  And this is from someone who generally does not like predictions

      •  yes, tempature too high or temperature too low (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, people might not like "too angry" a tone, but right now there is an equal possibility that people are more alienated because because Democrats are not angry enough.

        You sound like Broder.

        fact does not require fiction for balance

        by mollyd on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 06:29:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic Diary (6+ / 0-)

    Obama is the real deal.  He is smart.  For change.  A uniter.  Effective.  Honest.  Not a panderer.  Sees the details and the big picture.

    America is STARVING for a politician like him.  

    That is why JFK's former advisors, among others, support him.

    PS I thought he was very well reasoned on MTP today.  His explanation of why he doesn't want to force all Americans to buy health care was very good.  He said that under Romney's universal plan in Mass. poor people who couldn't/wouldn't buy it were being fined for not doing so.  Obama said that we can deal with the problem of insurability by penalizing people for buying health insurance only right after they get sick.

    OBAMA '08!!!

  •  This is such a great diary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kpardue, citizenx, Albatross, Fonsia, cantelow

    In my opinion, there are many reasons to support Barack Obama's candidacy, from foreign policy, to the environment, to energy, etc., but by far the most overarching key issue is political reform, of which media diversity is a part.

    Obama has depth and credibility on these issues far beyond anyone else in the race. The more you look, the more you like what you see.

    All politicians talk about standing up to lobbyists but few actually do. Obama has and will.

    Barack Obama -- The Time is Now

    by pragprogress on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 09:03:20 PM PST

  •  Good work. Learned something new today (5+ / 0-)

    and yet another reason to support Obama.


    If we want hope to survive in this world today, then every day we've got to teach on, teach on. - Ysaye Maria Barnwell

    by Femlaw on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 09:03:55 PM PST

  •  Thank you Populista (7+ / 0-)

    I think you have done an amazing job through this primary process with your diaries. Edwards is still my choice (I will support anyone who wins the primary and I live in little old Connecticut so it won't make much of a difference) but I really appreciate your positive approach in telling people the GOOD things about Obama instead of the BAD things about Hillary etc. You are a model for all to follow in primary season!

    A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader." -Daisaku Ikeda 池田大作

    by gladkov on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 09:32:39 PM PST

  •  Even republicans are against it. (0+ / 0-)

    This isn't a differentiating issue.

  •  Another great diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, speck tater, Fonsia

    It's nice to see a positive diary focusing on a candidate's strengths.  I hope you will continue these diaries through the primary process.

  •  Change is Not Something that is Unilateral (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva, mollyd

    Do you honesty believe that systems change because one candidate on one side wants a new system. It only happens when the other side agrees to change...and right now the other side they are getting what they want. They are not going to give an inch because BO is such a charming guy. He has no magic power. He is not a god. He will perform no deus ex machina. You people need to wake from the dream and realize politics is hardball not fluffball.

    Obama's "working across the aisle" is just another name for triangulation.

    by demwords on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 10:31:44 PM PST

  •  Give me a break! What about his sweet 16? (0+ / 0-)

    Donald Alexander (Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld)
    Kevin Chavous (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal)
    Tom Daschle (Alston & Bird)
    Stan Fendley (Corning)
    Elizabeth Fox (Jolly/Rissler)
    Francis Grab (Washington Council Ernst & Young)
    Tim Hannegan (Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates)
    Tom Jensen (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal)
    Broderick Johnson (Bryan Cave Strategies)
    Mark Keam (Verizon)
    Bob Maloney (Maloney Government Relations)
    Marcus Mason (The Madison Group)
    Andy Rosenberg (Ogilvy Government Relations)
    Bobby Sepucha (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal)
    Tom Walls (McGuireWoods)
    Michael Williams (Credit Suisse)

    As Ken Silverstein learned from an anonymous Washington lobbyist last year," big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn't see him as a 'player.'"

    by formernadervoter on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 10:48:17 PM PST

  •  great article (0+ / 0-)
    I am not sure how to put a link to this article but it's a brilliant discussion of Obama by Paul Street, dated December 30.

  •  for too long ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "For too long now, the FCC has been putting corporate interests ahead of the people's interests. It's time for that to change."

  •  Good candidate diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, Populista

    It's nice to see a pro candidate diary that doesn't bash the other candidates.

  •  Go Obama.... I real Democrat (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, Albatross, Populista

    No corporate greed, opportunity for EVERY American.  Constitutional integrity and most of all a progressive agenda that will tackle today's serious problems and advance our society.

    Vote Obama if love America.

  •  Diversity of media ownership only one part (0+ / 0-)

    I don't buy the thesis that exacting commissioner pledges or tweaking ownership guidelines would necessarily deliver a decent news media to our country.

    Whoever owns the outlets, their strategies will still be dominated by expectations for big profit margins, or at least margins in line with "benchmarks."  And they'll all continue turning to consultants telling them that infotainment is what builds viewership / readership.

    Newspapers just can't deliver the margins they used to because almost everyone is now online, or watching TV instead.  So papers can't sell the advertising space they used to, which means revenue declines, panic ensues, people get laid off, etc.  And it will only get worse -- the average age of newspaper readers is something like 50 -- in 25 years the number of people reading daily newspapers in print editions will probably be something like 1/3 of today's readership (if the papers are even still around).

    To take another tack, its possible that my crappy local newspaper might still be around, but I still won't be reading it.  The national coverage in that paper is atrocious, and the local coverage strikes me as highly slanted toward local developers.  Every new local strip mall proposal seems like the best idea ever, and we could have all these glorious projects tomorrow -- if only a few weirdos carping about traffic and environment would quit whining.

    My local paper is a Gatehouse media paper -- Gatehouse owns something like 70 local, small circulation papers.  I used to think that breaking up the Gatehouses of the world would be a major step toward better local media, but the gulf between my paper and the kind of local paper I would want is huge, and whether local ownership would bridge that gulf is unpredictable, but highly unlikely.

    What forces in our society would suddenly compel new owners toward responsible journalism?

    I think insulating the press from quarterly profit pressures is a bigger piece of the puzzle.  I think this type of insulation can be seen in countries with a more effective press.  In the case of the UK, the BBC gets a ton of government funding.  Its no coincidence that, for all their flaws, NPR and PBS deliver the best reporting in this country.

    Vis newspapers, in other countries, they are often wrapped up in family ownership trusts that protect journalistic content somewhat -- usually for the better, but sometimes for the worse.  The NY Times and Christian Science Monitor provided good journalism for decades under this model.  A similar structure used to protect the decent reporting-side of the Wall Street Journal, which will now be pillaged by Rupert Murdoch.

    I guess I think what our country needs is a bunch of big fixes -- not just busting up media monopolies, but fundamentally rethinking media ownership.

    My problem with Obama is that I don't see a President Obama getting any traction against big problems.

    Seeking pledges from commissioners not to lobby sounds highly Clintonesque to me.  Clinton was another brilliant, charismatic, "let's bring everyone to the table", "hell -- I'll even appoint a Republican to be Secretary of Defense" -- type guy whom I believe achieved little with his incrementalism, and achieved nothing that hasn't been radically undone by Bush.

    I think the only way we make progress would be with a President who would focus part of his or her energy -- not on inviting Republicans to the table -- but on shattering their power base (from K-street to the mega-churches to leeches now permeating the bureaucracy) and making sure they, and their corrupt supporters from media to healthcare to big oil, pay the penalties and serve the jail time they deserve.

    Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

    by Minerva on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 06:56:44 AM PST

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