Is TV Losing Its Grip on Politics?

There may be hope on the horizon, according to the New York Times, which reports that the "once-overwhelming influence of television advertising on political campaigns is declining," leading politicians "to embrace aggressively old-fashioned campaign tools like telephone calls and door-knocking in this year's Congressional elections." According to Missouri Democrat Richard Gephardt, "The amount of television and the proliferation of television channels is lessening the importance of television advertising over time.


Sustainable Development: Rest In Peace!

"Sustainable Development is dead. Its demise came, ironically, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development," CorpWatch's Kenny Bruno writes in his report from the UN meeting in Johannesburg. "It's not that the phrase wasn't invoked. It was, ad nauseum. But it was hardly discussed. Instead, sustainable development was deemed to be whatever compromise governments happen to reach on trade, subsidies, investment and aid, and whatever projects corporations see fit to finance. 'Sustainable Development' is now officially meaningless."


Fat Cat Hotel Still Open For Business

A recently-released list of overnight guests at the White House shows that George W. Bush is following the precedent of Bill Clinton and inviting major political donors to sleepovers at the White House. The list of guests at the Bush White House includes six "pioneers" -- Bush supporters who raised more than $100,000 for his presidential campaign.


The Price of Power in Canada

A fundraising letter from the Liberal Party in British Columbia, Canada, is "inviting people who work in public relations to donate $10,000 apiece at the same time that the provincial government is assessing contract proposals from the industry," reports the Globe and Mail, one of Canada's national newspapers. In addition to making direct cash donations, the letter invites PR firms to "build a fund-raising effort around an event or two -- events where we can invite clients or others for an intimate lunch or dinner with a key cabinet minister."


Canada Fires the Messengers

Canada's Liberal government in British Columbia has fired its entire communications division - 300 unionized civil servants - and replaced them with 180 non-union political appointees in order to ensure that government information providers are "committed to the goals of the Liberal administration." Union president George Heyman says Premier Gordon Campbell is "using reorganization as an excuse to lay off workers and replace them with political hacks.


Social Insecurity and "The Fear of All Sums"

"During the 2000 election campaign, George W. Bush was able to get away with the nonsensical claim that private accounts would not only yield high, low-risk returns, but save Social Security at the same time. For whatever reason, few reporters pointed out that he was claiming that 2-1=4," notes New York Times economist Paul Krugman. "But when it came time to produce concrete plans, the arithmetic could no longer be avoided. Sure enough, the plans laid out by Mr.


The Big Guys Work for Carlyle

Fortune magazine recently spent six weeks investigating the Carlyle Group, the secretive investment firm with ties to the Bush administration that invests heavily in military contracting. Carlyle employs a raft of former government officials, including the Bush the senior as well as former Secretary of State Jim Baker, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci and former British Prime Minister John Major.



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