JANUARY BOUNCE

A month ago, I suggested three possible year-end bargains. The most speculative, CICI, closed last night at 65 cents, up 80% or so. If I were you, I’d sell a third of it here, a second third at 90 cents, if it should ever get there, and hold the last third long-term to see what happens. (I would not rush to buy it here – it remains highly speculative.) The next most speculative, ILA, closed last night at $4.39, up 25%. I plan to hold it for a year or more, hoping the company may one day return to health and a significantly higher valuation. The third, CMM – itself no blue-chip – closed last night at $11.31, up 10%. I plan to hold this one for a long time, also.

As always, please remember that free advice is worth what you pay for it. Indeed, sometimes it is worth considerably less.

TWO CONSERVATIVE VIEWS

‘Whatever else this president is,’ writes conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan in commenting on Tuesday’s State of the Union message, ‘he is no believer in individuals’ running their own lives without government regulation, control or aid. If you’re a fiscal conservative or a social liberal, this was a speech that succeeded in making you take a second look at the Democrats. I sure am.’

A while back I ran a blind quote from a prominent conservative who had e-mailed in dismay over the performance of the Bush administration. One of you wrote in to say he believed I had made it up, and that if I wanted anyone to believe it was real, I would have to name the source. Unfortunately, the fellow who sent the e-mail is not ready to go public with his view – it’s a pretty big life-decision to make, and my little column may not be the place he would choose to do it, if he ever does – but the e-mail I quoted from was quite real. As is this one, from the same correspondent, which arrived yesterday:

Apparently, today’s NY Times is FINALLY beginning to report a few early strands of just how angry conservatives are with the lunatics running the country. For a few years, I’ve been a member of a very high-end restricted-circulation email group, heavily tilted toward the Right, overwhelmingly pro-Iraq War, and with substantial numbers of intellectuals, academics, and journalists. My guess is that about 18 months ago, 80% of the list members would have voted for Bush over just about any Democrat. In the last couple of weeks, nearly the last Bush supporters announced their opposition to his reelection.

Needless to say, I take this as good news. I think, at the end of the day, the voters will favor the Democrat over Bush by a considerably wider margin than they did last time. Another reason I think so is Iowa: there was a huge influx of new voters to the caucus process – something like 50% of the caucus-goers were first-timers, I’m told – and, if true, this bodes very, very well for Democrats. If enough become concerned, alarmed, and engaged, turn-out for the general election may spike up around the country as it did for the primary in Iowa.

A LIBERAL VIEW

Q: How do you get rid of a bush?
A: From the roots.

And, finally, for your weekend delectation . . .

A VIEW YOU WON’T HEAR EXPRESSED ON CBS

From the network that didn’t bring you the Ronald Reagan docudrama, now fails to come the 30-second ad that moveon.org was trying to pay $1.6 million to run.

To me, the prospect of a complete rightwing lock on all three branches of government, if we should elect Bush/Ashcroft November 2, becomes even more disturbing when you consider the increasing concentration and clout of the conservative media. Most of talk radio . . . FOX . . . and now an increasingly cowed CBS? Bill Paley must be turning over in his grave.

Many of you have doubtless already gotten this e-mail, either directly from moveon.org or else from a friend. But for those who missed it, and who care about democracy:

During this year’s Super Bowl, you’ll see ads sponsored by beer companies, tobacco companies, and the Bush White House.1 But you won’t see the winning ad in MoveOn.org Voter Fund’s Bush in 30 Seconds ad contest. CBS refuses to air it.2

Meanwhile, the White House is on the verge of signing into law a deal which Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says is custom-tailored for CBS and Fox,3 allowing the two networks to grow much bigger. CBS lobbied hard for this rule change; MoveOn.org members across the country lobbied against it; and now our ad has been rejected while the White House ad will be played. It looks an awful lot like CBS is playing politics with the right to free speech.

Of course, this is bigger than just the MoveOn.org Voter Fund. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) submitted an ad that was also rejected.4 But this isn’t even a progressive-vs.-conservative issue. The airwaves are publicly owned, so we have a fundamental right to hear viewpoints from across the ideological spectrum. That’s why we need to let CBS know that this practice of arbitrarily turning down ads that may be “controversial” — especially if they’re controversial simply because they take on the President — just isn’t right.

To watch the ad that CBS won’t air and sign our petition to CBS, go to:
http://www.moveon.org/cbs/ad/

(If you want to skip the ad and just sign the petition, click here.)

We’ll deliver the petition by email directly to CBS headquarters.

You also may want to let your local CBS affiliate know you’re unhappy about this decision. We’ve attached a list of the CBS affiliates in your state at the bottom of this email. Remember, a polite, friendly call will be most effective — just explain to them why you believe CBS’ decision hurts our democracy.

CBS will claim that the ad is too controversial to air. But the message of the ad is a simple statement of fact, supported by the President’s own figures. Compared with 2002’s White House ad which claimed that drug users are supporting terrorism,5 it hardly even registers.

CBS will also claim that this decision isn’t an indication of political bias. But given the facts, that’s hard to believe. CBS overwhelmingly favored Republicans in its political giving, and the company spent millions courting the White House to stop FCC reform. 6 According to a well-respected study, CBS News was second only to Fox in failing to correct common misconceptions about the Iraq war which benefited the Bush Administration — for example, the idea that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11. 7

This is not a partisan issue. It’s critical that our media institutions be fair and open to all speakers. CBS is setting a dangerous precedent, and unless we speak up, the pattern may continue. Please call on CBS to air ads which address issues of public importance today.

Sincerely,
–Adam, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Laura, Noah, Peter, Wes, and Zack
The MoveOn.org Team
January 22nd, 2003

P.S. Our friends at Free Press have put together a page which explains simply how CBS and the FCC rule change are integrally linked. Check it out here.

 

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