A few things I meant to blog about:
The Republican House Judiciary Committee chairman walked off with the gavel Friday, leaving Democrats shouting into turned-off microphones at a raucous hearing on the Patriot Act.
The hearing, with the two sides accusing each other of being irresponsible and undemocratic, came as President Bush was urging Congress to renew the sections of the post-Sept. 11 counter-terrorism law set to expire in September.
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), chairman of the panel, abruptly gaveled the meeting to an end and walked out, followed by other Republicans. Sensenbrenner said that much of the testimony, which veered into debate over the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was irrelevant.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) protested, raising his voice as his microphone went off, came back on, and went off again.
“We are not besmirching the honor of the United States; we are trying to uphold it,” he said.
HGTV ‘Dream Home’ winner struggling to afford prize
I’ve blogged about this before, the possibility that winning the HGTV Dream Home would be more of a nightmare. Well…
Cruz won the five-thousand-square-foot house in Texas in the Home and Garden Television “Dream Home” sweepstakes. The one-and-a-half (M) million-dollar home on the shores of Lake Tyler also has a boathouse.
But to keep the home, Cruz has to find a way to raise about 631-thousand dollars he owes in taxes. He had hoped to do that by renting out the boathouse and the master bedroom, but city regulations may prevent him from doing that.
$631,000 in taxes? Holy crap.
A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government’s financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children’s educational programs as “Sesame Street,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Arthur” and “Postcards From Buster.”
In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which passes federal funds to public broadcasters — starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB’s budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million.
In all, the cuts would represent the most drastic cutback of public broadcasting since Congress created the nonprofit CPB in 1967. The CPB funds are particularly important for small TV and radio stations and account for about 15 percent of the public broadcasting industry’s total revenue.
Expressing alarm, public broadcasters and their supporters in Congress interpreted the move as an escalation of a Republican-led campaign against a perceived liberal bias in their programming. That effort was initiated by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s own chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson.
“Americans overwhelmingly see public broadcasting as an unbiased information source,” Rep. David Obey (Wis.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said in a statement. “Perhaps that’s what the GOP finds so offensive about it. Republican leaders are trying to bring every facet of the federal government under their control. . . . Now they are trying to put their ideological stamp on public broadcasting.”
Well, this is hardly a surprise in today’s world, is it? The neocons are sweeping through government, taking over every facet of it. Now that they’ve got the three branches of government nicely under control as well as the media in almost every market, they’re turning to public broadcasting, the last bastion of local, public control. Since there are no media barons like Rupert Murdoch or a huge corporate juggernaut like Clear Channel to force a right-wing shift, they figure that cutting the money flow will do it. We’ve already seen their attempts to force right wing programming on PBS — I will never understand how the right wing gets away with calling themselves “marginalized” and “under attack” and generally acting as if they were not in power and were the underdog. Every talk radio station floods the airwaves with ultra conservative dogma, and the right wing acts as if the left wing were somehow taking over the media.
It’s all part of their broad-based plan to seize power in every conceivable way. After public broadcasting falls, what will be the next target? How far will they go to bombard me with their propaganda in my own home? Why do I keep seeing parallels between the right wing and the Soviet Union? Maybe it’s because they have no Reds to rail against anymore and they miss it?