Rights and Democracy
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature authorized SB 1070 a year ago, imposing a set of harsh immigration enforcement laws that purportedly sought to reduce the state’s undocumented immigrant population through officially sanctioned racial profiling.
When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker decided to use a battle over his state’s budget deficit to go after public-sector workers, a lot of folks in the mainstream media thought this was a smart move. People are tired of “overpaid” government workers and their cushy benefits, according to conventional wisdom. And, after all, Walker had to do something. The state was “broke,” the TV broadcasters told us.
Earlier this year, hundreds of people turned out in Yorba Linda, California to protest the appearance of two highly controversial Muslim speakers at a dinner held to benefit local charitable projects. The scene outside the social hall quickly turned ugly, even frightening.
National Public Radio is having a tough time. It’s being beaten up and knocked down, and its good name is getting dragged through the mud.
You may not realize how much small towns and rural areas depend on the mail until someone puts it like this: “Folks who die after midnight on a Friday could be buried before their relatives read about the death in my Monday edition.”
Poor Detroit. The bad news never stops. The once-proud miracle of capitalism is the urban equivalent of a homeless family living under a bridge, digging in dumpsters for scraps.
To call the Republican field weak is to understate the obvious.
At last, Newt Gingrich has come bucking out of the presidential chute, shouting “Yippie-ty-yi-yo, here I go!” On March 3, that grizzled old cowpoke working the far-right-wing corral of American politics declared that he’s raring to go for the Republican presidential nomination.
Once again, America’s public broadcasters face the real possibility that their federal funding will vanish. This time, opponents are using the results of a dubious sting operation and the federal deficit as rationales for scrapping spending. But during an economic crisis, we need more reporting, more coverage, and more accountability, not less.
As its opening act this year, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution to restrict–but not eliminate-a maneuver known as the “secret hold.” The rules still allow a single senator to anonymously delay urgent legislation.