aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Regulators in bed with the regulated
Railroads aren’t the only industry with close ties between the regulated and the regulators, but this, one can only hope, is a particularly egregious example:
The inspector general, Kenneth M. Mead, said in the report, dated Dec. 10 and obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act, that it was wrong for [the Federal Railroad Administration’s acting chief Betty] Monro to have shared a house on Nantucket, Mass., with the Union Pacific lobbyist “at the same time the agency you represent is, among other things, proposing and settling millions of dollars in fines against that railroad.”
Mr. Mead said he found no evidence that Ms. Monro, a longtime friend of the lobbyist, showed any favoritism toward Union Pacific. But he did note that Union Pacific had “the highest average number of train accidents” of the four major railroads from 1998 through 2003, yet it was inspected “proportionally less, ranking third.”
A friend sides with Newsom
Not all of my friends in New York are happy about Bloomberg’s “I-back-it-but-I’m-appealing-the-ruling-anyway” gay marriage stance. One sent this article about San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom blasting Bloomberg:
“I think if you believe something, you’ve got to act on it,” Newsom said at a press conference on Thursday. “If you don’t believe in it, don’t act on it. But don’t say you believe something and then do everything to stifle that belief.”
The note that came with it said, “This is how I feel!”
An untimely passing
Community Media has suffered a great loss with the untimely death of Dirk Koning, Founding Director of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center. He died of complications during a heart procedure. From the Grand Rapids Press:
Koning was hired to run the fledgling GRTV public access television station in the early 1980s. That station grew into the Community Media Center on Bridge Street NW, operating two cable channels, WYCE-FM, Internet service provider GrandNet Services, and the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy.
At the time of his death, Koning was trying to create a wireless network offering free, high-speed Internet access in Grand Rapids and several suburbs. He also was raising $2 million to expand and create services at Wealthy Theatre.
Dean and the Noise Machine
At the DNC Winter Meeting today, Howard Dean will be elected Chair. A Gallup Poll out yesterday shows virtually unanimous support. 90% of DNC members think Dean will do an excellent or good job. Says Kos:
Looks like we’re going in with a full head of optimism.
Now get ready for the Corporate Media’s and Right Wing Noise Machine’s anti-Dean barrage. It’s coming.
Chris Bowers’ agrees, after pointing to instances where it’s already happening, he urges action:
We can’t let this stand. I know that right now it seems like we are fighting political war on about twelve different fronts at once, but today I am asking you to step up and take action to defend Howard Dean and the Democratic Party from the coming Noise Machine onslaught.
The Mainstream Media believes that Democrats should become more like Republicans in order to win over my Red State home. I believe that’s bunk; there are liberals here, we want to make more of them. But the corporate media storyline is we must move more towards Republicans and that’s what they’ll run with; Dean doesn’t suit them.
We’re in a tie, Democrats and Republicans nationwide, and the way to break the tie is not to become more like the other side. We’ve got to convince some of them, not all, just some, that our ides are better. Democrats must be Democrats, true to their values and responsive to their invigorated grassroots, to win.