Invisible extremists 

Invisible extremists

“Rather than just reporting relatively meaningless statements, ABC could have done voters a favor by reporting just how the Republicans planned to help the economy. Some of their plans were quite extreme, such as Mike Huckabee's proposal to ‘replace the Internal Revenue Code with a consumption tax,' …”

We're reminded that the media devote an extravagant amount of time and space to presidential politics and almost none of the coverage deals with real issues. Mike Huckabee has withdrawn from the presidential race, but lusts after the vice presidential nomination — as much as Baptist preachers stoop to lusting — so it would not be irrelevant even now for journalists to remark on his plan for abolishing the federal income tax and replacing it with a 30 percent national sales tax. (Thirty percent to begin with, that is. Economists say the rate would have to go even higher for the sales tax to produce as much revenue as the income tax.) Pundits could note, quite correctly, that Huckabee's scheme would put more money in the pockets of the very rich while taking money from their economic inferiors: taxation based on inability to pay.

But the media will not tell us more about Huckabee's sales tax, even if he gets on the ticket. They will continue to advise us that he plays bass, and is popular with the Religious Right.

Little more has been said of John McCain's goals — that he wants to “privatize” Social Security, that he opposes substantive health-care reform, all in the service of special interests.  You'll certainly not catch the mainstream media revealing that McCain is a mostly-orthodox right-wing Republican, hewing carefully to partisan and ideological lines.

For the last several weeks, coverage of the presidential race has consisted almost entirely of “Hillary Should Get Out,” and “Why Won't Hillary Get Out?” and “Let's Pinch Hillary Until She Gets Out.” It's a heck of a way to elect a president, or run a free press.


Is this a joke?

Billy Tauzin speaking at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service? Nothing could be more inappropriate. Tauzin is the epitome of private service, having feathered his own nest handsomely at the expense of the American people. He's the former congressman who steered through federal legislation protecting the drug companies from competition that would have lowered drug prices, and then took a jillion-dollar job as the official spokesman for Big Drugs. The University of Arkansas should apologize for giving this creep a forum, and seek a better class of speaker for the Clinton students. Kenneth Lay is dead, but Jack Abramoff is still around.   


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