ANNOUNCEMENTS


Audio Postcard from Dennis Kucinich

Dear Friend,

Attached is my Audio Postcard to you. To see and hear it, please turn up your speakers, and click on this link: http://postcards.AudioGenerator.com/P001/P1127857.htm

The message you will instantly hear is my message to activists across the country on Peace Day, Sept. 21.

Remember that it's even better to send postcards than to receive them, so when you have the card on your screen, please send it to friends.

Sincerely,

Dennis Kucinich
Democratic presidential candidate


A Message from Ramsey Clark

Dear VoteToImpeach Member,

Your vote to impeach is important. It reminds Americans that the Constitution provides the means for removing an Imperial President and officials who commit high crimes. It informs the rest of the world that Americans recognize that the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq violated the Nuremberg Charter which ranks war of aggression first among Crimes Against Peace.

Impeachment is more important now than ever. The most serious crimes against peace and humanity and crimes of war have been committed in plain view on TV, worldwide. Iraq lies bleeding and angry with uncounted, unmentioned tens of thousands dead, slaughtered, cities in rubble, hospitals overflowing with critically injured men, women and children, but few emergency medical supplies.

President Bush, the Vice President, Secretaries Powell and Rumsfeld, Attorney General Ashcroft are celebrating as their friends in American corporations plan to reap vast profits and control oil resources, the prize for international crimes. They must be held accountable.

Nearly two hundred thousand people have already voted to impeach online. Many tens of thousands of paper ballots are being counted. Votes are pouring in. Full page ads in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and smaller papers have informed millions of the campaign.

We need your help now to press on. We need a million votes and more.

Impeachment is the nonviolent means the American people have to take back the Constitution in time to restore honor to our government and find peace with the rest of the world. Get out to vote. Contribute to the campaign.

Sincerely,

Ramsey Clark

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Information on the Newspaper Ad Campaign from VoteToImpeach.org Congratulations to everyone - the VoteToImpeach Ad has appeared in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and a number of newspapers in other cities, reaching millions. Many people have expressed an interest in taking the initiative to place the ad in their own local newspapers or periodicals. To get information about this process, we have established a separate e-mail address for inquiries. Please contact: ads@VoteToImpeach.org.

To make a financial contribution to support the impeachment campaign, visit http://www.votetoimpeach.org/donate.htm.


Schools are Suffering

Dear MoveOn member,

Across the nation, schools are suffering. Tens of thousands of teachers have received pink slips and looming budget deficits only promise worse to come. Yet in Washington, Congress seems unaware of the problems at home. They're talking about cutting taxes and cutting budgets -- not about how to keep the schools and essential services going.

The final vote on these budget cuts will come in just a few days, and we're leading a campaign to bring focus to who is getting hurt -- especially to the cuts that will hurt our kids and fail our schools.

Please join us and sign a petition to Congress, asking key Congressional leaders to lead the fight against tax and budget cuts, and to save education and other basic services from drastic cuts. Just go to:

www.moveon.org/saveschools/

With this petition, we're also collecting personal stories about the impact budget cuts have already had on schools in your area. Tell Congress about teachers who have been fired, about schools closed, about the impact on your own children or grandchildren. Instead of proposing a plan to support the states and our schools during this difficult time, the Bush administration is cutting back billions in federal support, just when it's most needed. We've got to expose the real-world pain of these cuts.

We'll deliver the petitions and the stories to key leaders in Congress who have the power to block this dangerous tax bill.

Help us highlight what's at stake at www.moveon.org/saveschools/

This petition is part of a seven day countdown campaign, called the "Countdown to Budget Disaster", leading up to the final vote.

In the past, the administration has succeeded in framing budget negotiations in terms of the size of a tax cut. Of course, this a continuation of the right-wing strategy of forcing historic program cuts by driving the U.S. budget into deep deficit. This ideological maneuver may be good political strategy, but it's terrible policy. It's time to fight back.

Critiques based on sound economic policy have largely fallen on deaf ears. Even Alan Greenspan objects to tax cuts, yet Congress continues to argue over the size of cuts. We have ignored the vast pain that will result from a crippled federal government. This pain is already beginning to bubble up from across the nation. It's time to connect the dots. It's time to focus on the pain, and to lay responsibility for this pain on Bush and the right-wing ideologues.

Our campaign will be a daily drumbeat, in the midst of congressional debate on the budget. Each day will focus on a different kind of pain, and highlight who is gaining by these cuts and how. We will lay bare the costs of blind ideology -- to our children, to our elders and to ourselves.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

-Wes Boyd
MoveOn.org
May 6th, 2003

P.S. I've attached Senator Jeffords May 3 radio address on the budget cuts below. He summarizes the situation very well.

_____

Saturday, May 3, 2003
SENATOR JIM JEFFORDS DELIVERS THE
WEEKLY DEMOCRATIC RADIO ADDRESS

Hello, this is Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont.

Two years ago this month I made my decision to leave the Republican Party and become an Independent. One reason I made that change was that I felt the Republican Party that I knew, and grew up with, had changed its priorities dramatically. Those changed priorities were best exemplified by President Bush's insistence on a budget that short-changed so many of our national needs: education and special education; health care and prescription drugs for our elderly, environmental protection; and, importantly, deficit reduction.

It is now two years later, and it seems that we're having the same debate again. The President is again proposing a budget that does not adequately fund America's needs and includes new tax breaks that are likely to force disastrous cuts in urgent national programs, and create horrendous future deficits. And again, those who are expressing their reservations are being vilified for taking stands of conscience. This happened in 2001 when I made my decision to leave the Republican party, and it is sad for me to watch it happen again. When did standing on principle, speaking your conscience and representing your constituents become unacceptable in certain Republican circles?

When he was pushing for the first tax cut, President Bush said that we could do it all, we could afford a tax cut, make investments in our national priorities, and still have money left over to pay down the debt. Time has proven those words wrong, and we have massive job losses and a soaring deficit to show for it. After the President's proposal was reduced, I supported the 2001 tax cut. That was a mistake, one I will not make again.

Now, those needs I spoke of two years ago have become even more pressing, and we face the new challenges of protecting America and fighting a war against terror. President Bush has said that his plan is a, "jobs growth package." But the only thing guaranteed to grow is the federal budget deficit, something Republicans used to care about, and I still do. We will be paying for these tax cuts with borrowed funds, money borrowed from our children and grandchildren who will be forced to foot the bill. And these deficits will explode just as the baby boom generation begins to retire, further endangering the health of Social Security and Medicare, both of which are so critically important to our seniors.

Perhaps more importantly, the President's plan doesn't benefit the people who need it most. In my home state of Vermont, 2,200 people have lost their jobs. Many who are lucky enough to have jobs are just barely scraping by. What will this plan do for them? Well, two-thirds of Vermont taxpayers will get a tax cut of less than $100. Yet, someone who makes a million dollars a year will get a tax cut of $90,000.

This fervor for tax breaks at the expense of all else demonstrates that there are some who see tax cuts not as a policy, but as a theology. Their belief that tax cuts will solve any problem is uncompromising, unyielding, and, sadly, undeterred by past experience. Our goal should not be a tax cut for the sake of a tax cut, especially one that gives most of its benefits to a very few people. Our goal should be a policy that puts Americans back to work, gets our economy growing and keeps us on the right track for future generations.

What should we do to boost our ailing economy and help those Americans most in need? We should start by extending unemployment insurance benefits, currently scheduled to expire at the end of May. More than 100,000 additional jobs were lost in March, and the overall number of jobs fell to a 40-month low. We should help the states, which are facing the worst budget crisis in 50 years. To close budget deficits, some states are cutting back school days, eliminating effective early education programs and eliminating health insurance coverage for our neediest families. We should support programs that encourage job creation, like boosting federal spending to improve our nation's highway system, money we are going to have to spend someday anyway. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 47,000 jobs are created for every billion dollars spent on our highways and bridges.

That is the approach I support. Millions of Americans need help. Yet, the President insists on a tax cut that hurts those who need help most, and helps those who need it least. In Vermont we take care of our own, and as a nation we should do the same.

This is Jim Jeffords, Independent Senator of Vermont, thanks for listening.


NBC's Double Standard

Dear Media Corps Member,

Today's media alert is particularly outrageous. I hope you can participate in sending a strong message to NBC.

PROBLEM:
When NBC and MSNBC correspondent Ashleigh Banfield criticized the major TV networks for portraying the Iraq war as "glorious and wonderful," NBC News president Neal Shapiro sharply criticized her, saying NBC News was "deeply disappointed and troubled by her remarks." The network still has no comment on MSNBC commentator Michael Savage's ongoing tirades and epithets -- including calling Banfield a "slut," "porn star," and an accessory to the murder of Jewish children.

ACTION:
Write to NBC News chief Neal Shapiro. Ask him why Banfield was criticized for her remarks while Savage is not. Tell him you support Banfield's right to critique her profession and let him know what you think of her analysis of the situation. (See below for excerpts.) If you're a frequent NBC watcher, you may want to mention that as well; as always, polite messages are best.

CONTACT:
Neal Shapiro
President, NBC News
neal.shapiro@nbc.com
Switchboard: 212-664-4444
Fax: 212-664-4426

REPORT YOUR CALLS:
Once you've emailed or called, please let us know at: Click Here

MORE INFO:
One of the nastiest aspects of this debate is that in the media, criticism of Banfield often focuses on her femininity. Under the heading "Hot Tub Banfield," Rush Limbaugh recently posted a reader's comment: "If she is going to be in hot water, let it be in a hot tub." This kind of condescending attitude toward Banfield even prevails within MSNBC. Here's an excerpt from the Reuters article below: "'I don't think people look to Ashleigh Banfield to set the standards of journalism,' one person said about the reaction inside the [MSNBC news] department. 'People were sort of rolling their eyes.'"

What Banfield said took guts. She's now come under fire from her own network and from conservatives around the country, including Michael Savage at the same network. We need to let NBC News President Neal Shapiro know that we don't appreciate his double standard -- criticizing Banfield for speaking out while holding back on Savage's attacks. If we don't, no one will.

For some of the news coverage surrounding this controversy, take a look at the following stories:

BBC Chief, Banfield Decry War Coverage
The Washinton Post, Sunday, April 26th, 2003

NBC's Banfield Chided Over Criticisms
Reuters, Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

For more information on Michael Savage and his frequent offensive or violent outbursts, check out our earlier Media Corps Alert on this topic.

Here's what Banfield said that got her into trouble:

"You didn't see where those bullets landed. You didn't see what happened when the mortar landed. A puff of smoke is not what a mortar looks like when it explodes, believe me. There are horrors that were completely left out of this war. So was this journalism or was this coverage-? There is a grand difference between journalism and coverage, and getting access does not mean you're getting the story, it just means you're getting one more arm or leg of the story. And that's what we got, and it was a glorious, wonderful picture that had a lot of people watching and a lot of advertisers excited about cable news. But it wasn't journalism, because I'm not so sure that we in America are hesitant to do this again, to fight another war, because it looked like a glorious and courageous and so successful terrific endeavor, and we got rid oaf horrible leader: We got rid of a dictator, we got rid of a monster, but we didn't see what it took to do that."

"I can't tell you how bad the civilian casualties were. I saw a couple of pictures. . . . But we really don't know from this latest adventure from the American military what this thing looked like and why perhaps we should never do it again. The other thing is that so many voices were silent in this war. We all know what happened to Susan Sarandon for speaking out, and her husband, and we all know that this is not the way Americans truly want to be. Free speech is a wonderful thing, it's what we fight for, but the minute it's unpalatable we fight against it for some reason."

You can read more of Banfield's comments that stirred up this controversy at: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15778

Thanks for your participation.

Sincerely,
--Eli Pariser
MoveOn.org
May 5th, 2003


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