Monday, May 23, 2005

Calling Some Senators

It's been a while since my last post; I definitely was in an end-of-the-semester rush. I have, however been following developments in the possible use of the "nuclear" option to end filibusters of Federal Judicial appointments in the Senate.

I can't believe that this is even being considered. It goes against giving the minority party any checks and balances on these very important appointments. I don't believe that any judge should be confirmed just because the majority party puts his or her name forward. The way Sen. Frist and company are going about this is also against Senate rules. People for the American Way has a good explanation here.

This morning, I called several Senators to urge them to vote against any nuclear option. I was able to leave messages at the offices of Senators Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Nelson, Gordon Smith, Ted Stevens, and John McCain (who has said he would vote against it). I also called Sen. Frist's office and left a message that I thought trying to do this was a terrible idea.

If some of you read this and have time to contact some of these Senators before a vote on this - possibly tomorrow, 5/24, I would urge you to e-mail them or call their offices. I was unable to reach the offices of Sen. Collins and Sen. Warner (who are two key Senators on this issue). The U. S. Senate site has a directory of contact information.

We should all watch closely as this unfolds as we need to keep some checks and balances on majority power.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Is "Public" still in PBS?

Read here about what is going on at PBS.

In another report I received via e-mail, two recent appointees to the CPB board, Gay Hart Gaines and Cheryl Halpern have been major donors to conservative causes. Although the CPB Board is not supposed to interfere with PBS programming, there is tangible concern that this is what is on the agenda now.

We desperately need PBS to "balance the voices that dominate the commercial media" - that from the Fairness and Accurate Reporting group. The voices dominating commercial media seem to be increasingly corporate oriented - tending to the Conservative or Right-wing. We need the type of news and events coverage that only PBS can provide. We need a source of news and programming that will truthfully examine the issues of the day. We need news shows that will tackle issues that the more commercial media will not. After all, how many reports of the Michael Jackson trial, the runaway bride, and Paula Abdul do we need? We need programming that is independent, not subject to censorship. We need programming that will truly inform and enlighten, not just repeat spin. We do not need PBS to be another outlet of propaganda. We need PBS to truly be public broadcasting.