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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:43 PM
Original message
Proud to be practicing UNPAID PUNDITRY
This whole Armstrong Williams thing has just turned my stomach in all kinds of new ways. And I didn't think it was possible.

As I tell people, all the time, I have been writing all my life and never made a dime off it. I do it anyway, because it's part of who I am and because most of the time I can con myself into believing that it matters. And, as I have been learning about the publishing racket through my unproductive encounters with it, one thing that has always really saddened me is the unthinking assumption made by most everyone in this country that your writing is worth nothing unless you can sell it. Well you know what, folks, the people who buy writing are motivated first and foremost by a desire to make money. The question of whether the writing they're buying is good, useful, or even entertaining comes second. Writing has become just another commodity to be traded in an increasingly corrupt marketplace, and we see the results of that every time we pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV.

As if that were not enough, we now have the introduction of a whole new level of whoredom. It is not enough to be owned by the corporate media outlet that has bought your perspective. Now, you can also get paid directly, in cash, in secret, by the federal government to tell everyone what the government wants them to hear.

$240,000 in cold hard cash so he could promote a 'program' that is essentially a covert attempt to disembowel public education. It just boggles the mind.

DU doesn't pay its writers. That never bothered me. I don't need the money. What I *would* like to have is the legitimacy that most people in this country will only give the 'professionals'--i.e., the people who get paid. The problem is that when you take the money, you are accepting restrictions on what you can do. Those restrictions get tighter as you get closer to the center of the mainstream, which is of course where all the legitimacy is clustered. The 'branding' of the news has become so successful that most people will now *only* trust news and opinion that has already been bought and paid for by large, rich corporations.

And now along comes this asshole, literally going on the take and then defending it as 'paid punditry' and telling everyone he took $240,000 of taxpayer money because NCLB is "something I believe in." You know what, there's a lot of shit I believe in, but nobody is ever going to offer me $240,000 to promote it, and that's because most of the stuff I believe in matters to people who don't have $240,000 to throw around. If he believes in NCLB that strongly, wouldn't the thing to do be promote it for free and let them keep the $240,000 to fund the actual program?

Well, I can say one thing for Williams: he has made me feel a lot better about giving it away. I've never been prouder to say that I write for love and not for money.

:puke:

The Plaid Adder
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well said!
I am nominating this for the home page. I, too, am appalled and sickened by this practice. This makes all people who give an opinion suspect of taking money.

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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've proposed a merit system for journalists
like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Only those who exhibit objectivity and at least two sources earn a gold star.

Who's the judge? I guess we are.

Nya nya nya nya nya.
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I used to give out a Lick Your Own Damn Boots Award:
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 08:03 PM by Plaid Adder
http://www.plaidder.com/ownboots.htm

Jon Carroll was pleased to get his, but I never heard back from Molly Ivins.

C ya,

The Plaid Adder
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:33 PM
Original message
She probably never saw it.
Let's bring it back. Should not be much work. There are so very few.

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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Molly Ivins: The Goddess of Journalism
All hail Molly. I'll bet she sends * into a screaming fit everytime she writes something new and brilliant, which is pretty much daily.

In the meantime, Plaid Adder, you are immensely talented, as are the many other writers of DU. We're lucky to have all of you. As you mentioned,

Writing for the love, not the money,
Julie
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billkurtmeyer Donating Member (360 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well stated!! My sentiments exactly - were are the ethics?
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
39. They've been replaced with "family values."
What passes for ethics & integrity these days is appalling.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good ole Armstrong also said
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 08:17 PM by babylonsister
he would not give the money back because he 'earned it'. So which is it, does he believe in 'no child', or was it just a job?

Edited to say, P.A., your writing is music to my ears. Wish I could express myself as well, so appreciate it when others do! :hi:
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Jesus H. Christ.
He earned it. That's nice.

I'm sure he did earn it. If he has any self-respect or dignity left, doing this must have given him a whopping ulcer.

I mean I just can't imagine how you do something like this and sleep at night. Or look at yourself in the mirror. Or...well, anyway.

C ya,

THe Plaid Adder
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Dignity? Self-respect? Those concepts
are not recognized by 'some' people in the * camp. I said some? Well, maybe more than that...
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
38. No sense of self-respect. no dignity, no opinion.
This is the lowest of lows for journalism. To suspect such things were going on, you would be called paranoid. Now knowing what went on I'd call us foolish for not suspecting.
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itzamirakul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Even if he did give the money back, his friends
in high places would find some other way to give it back to him.

I bet this spells the end of that long-running show, THE BLACK FORUM. Too bad..it was often a very good program. But, hey...if it's going to function on "paid punditry" they can go to hell...the good along with the rotten.

I HIT 1000 WITH THIS POST! YAYYYYYYY!
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Congrats!
Here's to your next 1000! :toast:
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itzamirakul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. Hey...Thanks!
Please DU this poll:

www.armstrongwilliams.com

He's getting the shit kicked out of him on his own website
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
10. Adder, I've read some of your columns on my public affairs radio show.
I suppose the proper thing would've been to ask you first, but I neglected to do so. I did, however, give you proper credit on the air. Hope that's OK!
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Sure, the more the merrier
My position has always been that people are welcome to disseminate away as long as you don't a) take my name off it or b) rewrite it. I think DU technically owns the copyright to those columns, but they take more or less the same position.

What's your radio show?

The Plaid Adder
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. It's called NAKED LUNCH RADIO.
Basically, it's a collection of news items and opinion pieces that I find at various sources. I also try to include a socially conscious piece of music on each show.

NAKED LUNCH RADIO runs on alternating Saturdays from 5:00-5:30 p.m. EST on WHUS, 91.7-FM, from the University of Connecticut. In fact, the latest edition will broadcast this weekend! If you're so inclined, you can catch NAKED LUNCH RADIO at http://whus.org/listen.htm
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nostamj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #16
30. now that Guy James has moved to 7pm
I can actually catch your show!

p.s. a graduate of UConn here! Class of none-of-your-business ;-)
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
11. Photo: NCLB: Neo-Con Love Bunny
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 08:30 PM by jazzjunkysue
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hey Plaidder.
I thought "The DaVinci Code" was some of the worst writing I've come across in a long time, so getting paid doesn't necessarily mean it's good writing. Not only that you can publish yourself if you are willing to do it all. A friend of mine did just that and was picked up by a mainstream publisher for a paperback version of her novel series. No she'll have to go a bit to become a best seller, but it's a start.
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Congratulations to your friend!
She must be very happy. I haven't read The DaVinci Code but I heard the same thing about the quality of the writing.

AH well,

The Plaid Adder
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
17. this is just another slap on the main stream media
time for you all on the net to take over. after three decades of watching the news obsessively for 3 months i havent even turned it on. i come onto the net for my news. from the people. not from these professionals you talk

i would like to see you or on line journalists do an interview with kerry. a non attack, non agenda interview to allow the man to talk and not feel like he has to watch every word and protect self so much we cant figure out what is being said. we need to get the net to be the ones to create our own media

go at it. give kerry a call
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Will Pitt has probably already done that
somewhere on www.truthout.org . He has an interview up there with John Conyers that I have been meaning to check out.

C ya,

The Plaid Adder
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
19. It is possible to write for love and money...
...but it isn't easy.

In Skinner's monster tsunami-crackpot thread I mentioned that even the "Karma" you get at slashdot.org can be a corrupting influence.

Hmmmmm, makes me wonder... How much could I get for that tight red dress and tall pointy shoes I used to wear whenever I was at slashdot karma-whoring? Is there a place on e-bay for selling that kind of thing? Those flashing LED nipple shields I wore were so damned cool!

Accckkkkkkk! No, no, please, I don't want to know, and hey you there nerd-boy, put it back in your pants, I'm retired...

There is nothing wrong with getting paid for what you like to do. In a perfect world everyone would be paid for jobs they enjoyed doing.

The sad thing is when people destroy their own lives, or destroy the lives of others, by selling their souls to the devil.

The "whore" analogy is exactly right.

Yes, we all want it end like "Pretty Woman," with Julia Roberts living hapily-ever-after with the suddenly ethical rich guy. But in the real world these stories almost never end that way.



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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
20. Armstrong Williams, li'l whore, swallowed whole.
Gangbanged by Bush & Co.

plenty whores "believe" in taking on a room full of paying customers.

Get out of the business, Armstrong, your word is SHIT.
Go find yer ass a nice, warm street corner and start workin it honest.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Is that a rocket in your pocket?
I would very much hate to see this thread die...
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. like 'em long
do you...
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
23. Plaiddy, You've got some things worth a lot more than money.
For one, Integrity.

Two: Brains.

Three: Compassion.

Four: You can write good.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
25. There's a lot of good to be said
about the kind of writing you do, Plaid Adder. It's the culmination of many hours of reading, and the writing itself takes time.

Your regular articles on DU, letter writers to newspapers, writers to representatives, all do it for free. and in many ways all this writing is a way to help keep us free as Americans.

Thanks PA!

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RBHam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
26. Count me as one who reponds with...
A big "Thnk You!"...

Always have enjoyed your articles...

With your talent, You SHOULD be getting paid...

More proof of the Right Winger's claim of a "Liberal Media".

It has always been a Goebbels-like "Big Lie".

Tell it often enough, long enough, with little dissent allowed, it becomes true.
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
27. Plaid, Dear.
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 11:10 PM by realpolitik
Surely you realize that of the various sorts of value, money is perhaps the most artificial and limited.

A large number of thinking people admire you, and more importantly, *read you*. I love your control and your way around an argument. You need not fear for your bonafides, I have a wide choice of well paid journalists to read, and you rate a higher place on the list than many of them.

You are read, and critically respected by a thoughtful audience, and paraphrasing Henry the Second in 'The Lion in Winter,' "To these age'd eyes, girl, that's what winning looks like."



Admiration and Respect, and all things that become a thinking admirer,
RealP
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
28. I LOVE YOU, PLAID!!!!
:loveya: :loveya: :loveya:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
29. Armstrong was already getting paid, wasn't he?
He was doing a radio show and writing a column.
I am a little bit confused about the hostility to NCLB which I thought was Kennedy's bill as well. It seems to me that getting paid to push NCLB is quite a bit different than getting paid to push the "Clear Skies Initiate" or "Healthy Forests" or the "War on Tara".
I am pretty sure that I can be bought, although no one has ever tried except for DOD and I quit them after a year. If Kerry was President and paid me $200,000 to promote the idea of reversing the Bush tax cuts, I would probably take it, because he would be paying me to do something I was going to do anyway. Taking the money gives the appearance that you will say whatever you are paid to say, but hey, with that kind of money what do I care about appearances? One of my favorite songs is Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" - "I don't give a damn about my reputation."
Because they are in the paper I have read alot of columns by people like Cal Thomas, Joseph Perkins, Tony Snow, and I have written a few rebuttals which have been printed as LTEs. It astounds me that some of those people are paid to write when their reasoning ability and command of relevant facts are so illusory. There ain't no justice (TANJ!)
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upperleftedge Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Perfect Plaid!
I've always enjoyed your work. I'm sorry you don't get paid. I think everyone should get paid to do what they do. I'm getting paid (but not very much) to work on a biography of a man I respect. $250,000 wouldn't be enough to make me work on a biography of someone I didn't respect. (Unless I was working with Kitty Kelly maybe)
It is strange but true that people only respect people who get paid to do something. They are "professionals". Those who don't get paid are "amateurs". If you look up the word 'amateurs' in the OED you will find that its origins are in 'amour', the French word for 'love'. Some of the best music I have ever heard was played by amateurs around a kitchen table. There is a purity and honesty that is often destroyed by the demands of any profession. A lot of musicians don't want to spend their lives in a smokey bar playing for drunks. A lot of writers don't want to spend their lives meeting deadlines and letting corporate editors distort their voice. When I published my newspaper for ten years I promised my writers two things; I would pay them a symbolic $5 per story and wouldn't edit their words. Spell check yes, edit no. If I didn't like the way they wrote the story I wouldn't print it unless I thought that the story itself was more important that how it was told. That rarely happened. What you and so many others are doing on the internet is my last hope for a free press in this country. When the government and corporations control all of the information available to the citizens they control the perception of 'reality'.(Vonnegut said that 'reality' should always appear in quotation marks as in; 'so called "reality"')
I suggest that DU pay its writers $1 a year to recognize that they are professionals. Yes, and I think they should issue "press credentials" too. Jon Stewart was right when he called the pundits 'hacks' and Mr. Williams seems to qualify as a whore. He sold himself. He doesn't have an opinion, he has a price. He doesn't report news, he reads commercials. He should list his profession as 'actor' not journalist.

Be gentle with yourself. We are the people we have been waiting for.

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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. hfojvt, NCLB was supported by Dems under certain
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 02:43 PM by Kurovski
conditions.

Those who helped the bill along are furious about being betrayed by Bush.

I recall reading about this in the New Yorker magazine.

Underfunding is the main problem. But it's become obvious NCLB was just another sop to the extremist right who despise public education.

Make no mistake, Armstrong is still a whore of the highest order and Plaid Adder is the total and complete opposite of a contemptable, ignorant hack like Williams.
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recovering democrat Donating Member (365 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
31. Thank you.
Also want to express my thanks for your dedication, your integrity and your communication skills.

It is fitting and appropriate that this is on the front page with a post about Fritz Stern and a perception on the similiary between the treatment of religion now and in Hitler's Germany. I have elderly friends who were refugees from Hitler's Germany. They fascinate me sometimes with their brilliant judgments about this country.

Thank you most of all for saying what has to be said.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
33. You, dear Plaid Adder, you are a DU treasure!
n/t
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flygal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
34. I used to know some tv reporters
I refuse to call them journalist - but the word "shallow" only begins to describe them. Probably the most materialistic person I've ever met in my life is now a "consumer" reporter. I swear she has never stepped foot in a grocery store - think Bush Sr. marveling at the scanners in '92.

I just think tv reporting has given way to a breed of person who sees it as stardom. They fear not having notoriety and with that they need the money. I am not so shocked tv reporters are siding with the corporations for their benefit. Thank God for the internet. I'm sure you're a good looking guy - but you obviously could care less if your hair and make-up are done to write this shit.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. LOL! Wrong on both counts
I am neither a guy, nor good-looking. But it is true that I have never cared at all about hair and make up.

I agree with you about the pernicious influence of TV celebrity on broadcast news. The demand that all TV journalists look more or less like actors has to significantly limit the pool of talent, for starters.

C ya,

The Plaid Adder
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StephanieMarie Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
36. I love your writing. n/t
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shuffnew Donating Member (306 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
37. Excellent post & well-stated!
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 10:11 AM by shuffnew
snip from your post..."You know what, there's a lot of shit I believe in, but nobody is ever going to offer me $240,000 to promote it, and that's because most of the stuff I believe in matters to people who don't have $240,000 to throw around."

And "WE" are the ones that ultimately paid this pundit with "OUR" tax dollars... as you say, the ones "who don't have $240K to throw around." !!!!! We, the taxpayers, somehow must demand an investigation, as I feel certain this $240K is not all we unknowingly paid for in this fraudulent election! And of all things... to destroy the education of our children in this country. It's really "Every Child Left Behind" (ECLB) the way it was implemented - and holding such a deceptive "title"... NCLB is certainly not something I would have agreed to pay for with OUR tax dollars! Put this man on trial right there with the DeLay clan (IMHO) - minimal, return the money and do community service for life!

Yes... :puke:











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joytomme Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
41. Armstrong Williams
One of the interesting aspects of this latest Bush administration moral lapse is that the New York Times reported on January 8th that conservative talk show host, Armstrong Williams, was the "protege" of both Strom Thurmond and Clarence Thomas.

Could he have chosen more evil mentors? With these men whispering in his ear, there was only one direction to go...down. He finally reached his own level when he made a pact with the Bush White House.

I've said it before, I say it again, Republicans are going to bring the BushMen down. It's Republicans who are beginning to loathe the BushMen more than Democrats and the world loathe him.

There are hundreds of scandals just waiting to be unearthed concerning the BushMen and it's going to be Republicans who leak the info. Watch for it.

Joy Tomme
Ratfuck Diary (http://ratfuckdiary.blogspot.com )



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