Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Senate 2006: Pickups We'd Like to See

Here's my list of Senate seats the Democrats could pick up, in the order in which I'd like to see them happen, along with likelihood of same.

(1) MONTANA Jon Tester just won his primary yesterday and is, frankly, awesome. He's a chubby, flat-topped organic farmer who lost a finger in a farming accident and rose to become the Democratic state Senate leader from a pretty Republican district in the thick of rural Montana. He's a feisty guy who likes alternative energy. He would replace the very Abramoff-tainted Conrad Burns, a morally nauseating Republican who you'd be hard-pressed to tell apart from any other GOP Senator in a police lineup. Burns barely beat back a challenge fromcurrent Governor and Tester buddy Brian Schweitzer in 2000. Tester has already plled near or ahead of Burns. Odds of pickup: 50-50.
(2) PENNSYLVANIA Ever since I was a young man of 15, I've disliked Rick Santorum. He's built his career around a rigid stance on social issues, specifically his fervent opposition to dudes doin' it, but also his dislike of women having jobs, public schools and government accountability. Finally, Pennsylvania has begun to turn on the guy; he's the nation's least-popular Senator, and he's ripe for ousting by the slightly-more-conservative-than-I'd-like-but-still-a-million-times-better-than-Santorum Bob Casey. Odds of pickup: maybe 60%, but it'll be closer than it looks right now, sadly.
(3) OHIO - Bland nonentity Mike Dewine, who takes great pains to make token "moderate" votes in the face of usually lockstep GOP support, is being opposed by the genuinely progressive Sherrod Brown, who would rival Feingold, Obama and (God willing) Jon Tester in the Coolest Senator category. Dewine hasn't really committed a fireable offense, but in a year when the GOP governor and top GOP fundraiser have already been convicted of crimes and House member Bob Ney looks headed for an indictment, Brown may have a shot. Odds of pickup: 40% or so.
(4) MISSOURI In the dictionary next to "bland nonentity of a Bush foot-soldier," you'll find a picture of Jim Talent, whose name should not be taken as indicative of actual talent. He's one of the GOP's two "plane-crash Senators" of 2002; he won a special election to finish the term of Gov. Mel Carnahan, whose wife was appointed to fill the seat. He's opposed by the classy and cool Claire McCaskill, a moderate, but the kind of Democrat who'd make a Democratic Senate majority possible and sustainable. Odds of pickup: 48%.
(5) TENNESSEE Bill Frist is leaving, and it's possible that Harold Ford could be the first black Senator in the South since reconstruction. He's very middle-of-the-road, but a statewide win by a black Southern Democrat would make me feel very nice about America. Odds of pickup: 35-45%, depending on the outcome of the GOP primary.
(6) ARIZONA Jon Kyl is very, very, very conservative. Jim Pederson is wealthy, pretty smart and willing to put in a very nice effort to swing this traditionally GOP state our way, helped out by the likely re-election of Gov. Janet Napolitano. Odds of pickup: 25-35%.
(7) VIRGINIA George Allen wants to run for President. He's a slimeball and it would be lovely to deny him an office from which to run. Failing that, I'll take the chance to tarnish him a bit. Odds of pickup: 20-25%, but oh, it'd be sweet.
(8) RHODE ISLAND If the whole Republican Party were Lincoln Chafee, I'd hardly care about picking up the Senate, but it's not. It's Burns and Santorum and Talent. In a closely-divided Senate, we'd probably get Chafee's vote fairly often, but if knocking him off gets us the majority, then the ironically-named "Senator Whitehouse" sounds fine by me. Odds of pickup: 45%, rising to 75% if Chafee's right-wing opponent wins the GOP primary.

There are no other realistic pickup opportunities, and several seats that need fervent defense - Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington and Maryland. If we're going to pick up the majority -frankly, a longshot - we need to get SIX of the aforementioned eight seats. In order of likelihood, that means PA, MT, RI, MO, OH and TN. See you at the polls...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

And we're back.

Here we go again: since was bought out from under me, I've decided to return to my shiny old blogging location here. Look for daily political updates, pop-culture critiques and my inimitable drollness to ensue. Huzzah!

Friday, June 20, 2003

Hot Stuff, Kids!

Seth D. Michaels Presents the Seth Bulletin is now at a shiny new site!

Please update your blogrolls accordingly, and enjoy the new site.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Andrew Northrup: Twenty Pounds of Common Sense in a Five-Pound Bag

Andrew Northrup of the Poorman is cranky today, and there are few things better in all the world than when he's cranky. He's cranky about two things:
a) people who talk about how old video games are great and how it all started going downhill with ColecoVision don't have any idea what they're talking about...I can't believe nobody told me that video games were like a billion times better than crack now.
This is absolutely correct: video game technology ranks up there with the Mach 3 razor on the list of things that prove how amazingly far in the future we are. Playstation 2 is just fucking dope as all hell. It looks like what the fourth-grade me would have thought video games would look like in, say, 2025. When you play Tekken 4, and you're fighting in the jungle-river board and you knock the other guy down, the water splashes. Have you seen the commercials for the new Tomb Raider game? It looks more realistic than the Tomb Raider movie.

b) I can't ignore the fact that first Andrew Sullivan, and now the fucking National Review are trying good old-fashioned PBS guilt-trip pledge drives to get people to send them money for writing a webpage. And people actually gave them money - wads of cash, some tens of thousands of dollars to Sullivan, by my estimate.
This is mind-numbingly irritating to me, as I make approximately 1/4 as much per year as Andrew Sullivan has made by asking people for money on his web site. And the Corner, it's awful: all they printed for the past several days were requests for money and testimonials from people who fell for the requests for money. Thankfully, they've returned to their regular schedule of insistence that Hillary's book sales are artificially inflated, that Bush's judge selections aren't conservative enough, and that gay men will turn the sacred and millenia-old institution of marriage into a bathhouse. Northrup is right on here:
when extremely well-funded name brand right-wing pundits start asking you for money, please write a big fat check to Oxfam. Unlike webloggers, they actually do something useful.

Also, I very belatedly saw "Matrix: Reloaded" last night, and you know what? It was awesome. Naysayers be damned, I thought it was just a rollicking good time at the movies. Here are some things I liked:
a) A willingness to let action sequences go on a really, really long time, and yet to keep escalating.
b) Despite the fact it's the second part of a trilogy, it has a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end.
c) As I noted in my comments on the new X-Men, film technology is starting to catch up with the demands of imagination. The dialogue is stilted and deadly serious, but it's an epic, and thus it gets away with having no sense of irony.
d) That said, the funniest part of the movie: when Neo escapes from the 100 Smiths, and they all look really sad and disappointed for a second.
e) The sex scene in the middle is straight out of Strindberg's "Miss Julie." In "Miss Julie" the sex act is implied by the peasants' festival dance; in the movie, most of the action is implied by the cuts back to the big pre-annhilation rave. Nothing like a good-if-unintentional parallel to classical literature to endear a movie to me (for instance, I put up with the extremely dull Jason Biggs vehicle "Loser" because it had the structure of commedia del'arte).

At any rate, if you want to read way too many people arguing way too much about "Reloaded," check here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Snaxis of Evil

Jim Henley at Unqualified Offerings points out a proposal for government action that makes even touchy-feely-lefty me recoil at the encroachments of the nanny-state. He's responding to this column advocating a tax on high-fat, low nutrition foods, with proceeds going to "fight the epidemic of child obesity."

I happen to agree with Henley that sales taxes as a combined means of revenue-raising and behavior modification are not a particularly good policy. Behavior-modifying sales taxes grate on both my libertarian streak and my progressive streak, because they insert the government into fields that aren't under their jurisdiction and they're regressive, reaping their revenue from the poorest consumers. (As someone who spends a significant proportion of his $21,000 a year on alcohol and high-fat foods, this hits close to home.)

Obesity is a national health hazard, to be sure, and it is not without its social costs, but here's a dirty little secret: obesity is a poverty-related issue.
See, people who are in poverty are subject to a number of factors that contrbute to obesity:
-inconsistent eating schedules, including periods of feast and famine that lead the body to adapt by storing fat. This is especially true of people on food stamps or other food aid, who frequently run low on food at different times during the month.
-a lack of exercise, particularly for people who live in urban environments or crowded trailers.
-a lack of regular preventative medical attention, including information of maintaing proper diet and exercise.
-and most importantly, healthy food is more expensive and time-consuming to prepare. The food industry is not set up to provide food that is both affordable and healthy; one's diet can be simultaneously high-fat and malnourishing. Cheap, quick-to-prepare food is generally high in fat and sodium but low in nutrients, and in many poor areas access to supermarkets is difficult while access to convenience stores is easy. Most people don't realize it, but it's a commonplace among hunger advocates that obesity and hunger often coincide.

My point is that in one way the national "obesity epidemic" is not really the government's jurisdiction, and in another way it's so tied in with issues of poverty that it can't be affected directly as itself by policy (it's a symptom, not a cause). And the idea of a "fat tax" is going to be hardest on the people who are most affected by both poverty and obesity.

For more on issues of hunger, visit Project Bread in Massachusetts and OxFam for global issues.
Blast from the (Fairly Recent) Past

Did they just put this up online? It's the first time I'm seeing pictures online of this adorable little theater festival, which took place on a perfect night in the ominous air of late September of 2001. They haven't held the festival since, even though it seemed pretty successful; instead they're holding outdoor film screenings, which I suppose require the coordination of fewer people.

Also, I still haven't finished that "collection of short stories" upon which I was "at work" at the time.

Monday, June 16, 2003


First of all, happy belated Father's Day, Flag Day, and Pride Weekend to everyone who is a father, patriotic, gay, or all of the above.

Second, my ardor for Dean Esmay will never sour, and his name should be praised highly, for he is going to assist me - as he has done for many others - in improving my weblog. Specifically, in a week or so, you'll see an all-new Seth Bulletin on my very own domain. Until then, as I prepare for the switchover, I'm going to continue my semi-hiatus. Thereafter, I plan on relaunching with all the news and commentary of the ol' Bulletin and all the flexibility and permalinkability of Movable Type.

Third, a Blogospheric feud has caught my interest of late: the fact that Tacitus, oft-cited in these pages as my favorite conservative blogger, and an ardent supporter of the Iraq war and the general theory of democratization by assertion of military power - has been blackballed as soft on Palestinians by Charles Johnson, the moderator of the pro-war and occasionally anti-Islam Little Green Footballs. In both his own comment boards and on LGF, poor Tacitus has gotten dragged into a "debate" that's beneath him with Team LGF, which is aptly described by one of Tacitus' commentors:
While LGF openly tolerates the extreme anti-Muslim (as well as anti-immigrant) bashing that goes on by the minority on its site, Charles Johnson BANS from his site numerous posters who take a dissenting view and in particular BANS posters who criticize the racism present on the site. These people are quickly labelled by LGF posters as "PC trolls", even when that is clearly not the case (and so what if they are?), and are even directly criticized by Charles Johnson himself, who then blocks their access. The effect is that, even if he does not share the views of the bigots, he protects them by allowing their access while denying access to their critics. In this sense, he not only "shapes" the tone, but exercises substantial control over it.
Now, I'm a frequent blog-reader, but there's a reason I almost nevere bother reading - let alone contributing to - comment threads: they end up being either echo chambers or pissing contests. It is a great credit to Tacitus that his comment boards are better than most: it stems from the fact that he attracts generally smart and courteous readers and enforces his own posting rules.

Finally, I'll leave you with this absurd list of the "Top 100 Songs of the Last 25 Years" from VH1. The crimes of this list:
-"Paradise by the Dashboard Light," possibly the worst song of the last 25 years, is at #59.
-The highest-ranking Beck song is "Loser," at #63, while the superior "Where It's At" is nowhere to be seen.
-Highest Talking Heads position is "Once in a Lifetime" at #55.
-The highest-rated rap track is Eminem, at #4, with "Lose Yourself." See Steve Silver for commentary on same.
-No Pavement, no GBV, no Yo La Tengo, not even Sonic Youth.
-Finally, the best song of the past 25 years - "Guns of Brixton" by the Clash - isn't listed. What gives, yo?

Friday, June 13, 2003

A Tale of Two Senators

John is wrong. Ted is right.

The Medicare-reform bill before the Senate right now might not be precisely the right size and shape, but it's a step in the right direction, and it would be unfortunate if, as several Democratic Senators are suggesting, we rejected the good because it isn't the perfect.

Some Democrats and advocates for the elderly are still unhappy with the legislation, and a few groused that Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a critical figure in the negotiations, agreed too early to a bill that offers less than what Democrats wanted.
The Massachusetts Democrat delivered an impassioned plea for the Senate legislation at a closed meeting of Democrats this week, saying that the bill was imperfect but the best chance Democrats had to win some kind of drug coverage for seniors, according to senators present at the meeting.
Kennedy called the deal ''an enormous victory for Democrats'' who have been struggling since 1992 to win a guaranteed drug benefit for seniors. He said he would prefer a more generous benefit, but wanted to lock in a drug entitlement when he could, with the chance that spending could grow in later years. ''This is a down payment,'' Kennedy said.

See, if there's a chance to help more seniors avoid the decision between pills and food, we should take that chance, even if we have to go back later and fidget with it to make it more stable and broad. It would be irresponsible to reject a practical compromise simply because it's a compromise. Let's think of it as a starting point, and make it better in the future, because this bill is better than the alternative, which is continuing to provide no coverage.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Attention Must Be Paid

Andrew Sullivan has printed a host of anagrams of "Howell Raines." Damn, I'm impressed. And I practically do this shit for a living.

Unfortunately, Sully, the best tribute I can do on short notice is "LAVA-URN SWINDLE" and "UNRIVALED LAWNS."
Dear Lord.

Here we go.

It's going to be a fun next seventeen months.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

On Dean

I haven't yet decided who I'll be supporting for the Democratic nomination. [That phrasing makes it sound like the candidates are lining up for your endorsement, Seth. -Ed.] I like several of the candidates just fine, and all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. That said, several things have turned my attention of late towards the Deaner.

1) Undeniably, he has the "buzz." In a nine-candidate field, he seems to be the one getting the most consistent attention. Maybe he's peaking too early, but if he's still this talked-about in December, he'll have great momentum going into the primaries. He's jumped in past months to a within-the-margin-of-error second in NH and a strong position in Iowa.

2) He's actually used the potential of the internet, for community-building and fundraising and message amplification. In a recognition of this fact, perhaps the politically smartest of the lefty bloggers, Daily Kos, has signed on as a Dean consultant.

3) I met a swell Dean volunteer last night at a LNP taping and for the first time got a sense of the enthusiasm that I've really only read about in the abstract. She described the Dean squad in its social aspects more than in any policy sense, and it seems like the organizational structure is really smart. In addition, she said there was a decent Dean presence at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention this weekend in Lowell, which is surprising, because that should be totally Kerry territory.

4) Most importantly: whenever I speak about politics with my mom, she brings up Dean. She doesn't fit the stereotypical Dean profile: she's retired, a regular churchgoer, a rural Pennsylvania resident, not a politics junkie, but she sees something in Dean she really connects to, as though he's somebody she would vote FOR, rather than just an alternative to the guy she'd be voting AGAINST. This crucial difference, I think, sets the Deaner apart from the rest of the field.

So I'll probably change my mind a million times between now and then, but right now I'm feelin' the Deaner.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Casus Belli?

Via South Knox Bubba, we see that some chemical weapons supplies have been found in Iraq. Nothing particularly surprising - small amounts of chemical weapons production facilities, allegations of other sites destroyed. More updates later today.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Remember When...

...a few days ago, I wished people were paying more attention to Myannmar, Zimbabwe, and the Congo?

You can always count on CalPundit.

Make it a point to read Calpundit. He's one of the good ones.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Four Good Things about Today

First of all, it's gorgeous out, and we may actually have an entire weekend without cold rain. It's about time, being that it's June.

Second, the Back Page in the latest New Yorker is by Roz Chast, who in all honesty is as big an influence on me as anybody I can think of.

Third, my occasional commenting at Tacitus has resulted in productive email exchanges with friendly conservatives who seem curious about the polite lefty. For instance, David at The Wise Man Says has seen fit to blogroll me:
he presents his stuff in a fairly calm, fairly unhysterical manner, so to me, he comes off as a center-leftist, not a left-leftist.
Which is I guess proof (warning: extreme meta-bloggery ahead) of something interesting Jeanne at Body and Soul said: made me wonder about how we define people politically, and how much style has to do with it. I'm always surprised, for instance, when I see descriptions of Hesiod as an extreme left winger. Politically, he seems pretty moderate to me, the only thing immoderate is his willingness to take on the right-wing bullies. And while most people recognize that Ampersand would belong pretty far over on the left of anybody's map, he comes across as such a nice, gentle person that it's really hard to see him as any sort of extremist.
Exactly. As evidenced by David's comment, I come across as much less left-lefty than I am, because I'm self-deprecating and polite. If this means that people on the right can stomach reading me and thus get a taste of how the other half thinks, I'm happy to be of help.

Fourth, tonight I'm off to see the very fine Blackstone Valley Sinners. As always, seein' Slim, Rich and Judith Ann will be a treat.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

New Discoveries


Via Alicublog.

Congratulations, Professor Insty:
It looks like the Howell Raines reign of terror is over.

I really can't bring myself to care very much about this. I really like the New York Times, and I'm sure Raines' departure won't much change the things I like about it, nor make those whose lifestyle hinges on complaining about it complain any less.

I also don't care much about Martha Stewart's criminal activity. Her prosecution is more zealous than it would otherwise be because of her public status; on the other hand, her prosecution is about as zealous as it needs to be, and the real shame is that the same level of media attention isn't being paid to the dozens of people who committed far worse investment-related crimes, especially the electricity wranglers who manufactured the "California energy crisis." Although I think they overstate their case, Stewart's lawyers hit the nail on the head here: it because the Department of Justice is attempting to divert the public's attention from its failure to charge the politically connected managers of Enron and WorldCom who may have fleeced the public out of billions of dollars?

Martha and Howell are reaping what they sowed, which is all well and good. Would that the American zeitgeist cared as much about the Congo, or Myanmar, or Zimbabwe.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Very Important News

Hopefully we're a little closer to a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bush met with Sharon and Abbas, and everybody seems to agree on the road map for the next few years:
On a brilliant, sweltering afternoon on the Gulf of Aqaba, Mr. Sharon pledged immediately to begin dismantling some "unauthorized outposts" of settlements that have been set up on West Bank hilltops to extend and tighten Israel's grip on the land where Palestinians want to carve out a state. Mr. Abbas for the first time explicitly declared that "the armed Intifada must end," a reference to the 32-month Palestinian uprising against Israel.
Mr. Bush pledged to send a team of American monitors to the Middle East to help carry out the peace plan, called the road map, and to try to keep both parties talking. The team will be led by John S. Wolf, the assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation.
"This mission will be charged with helping the parties move towards peace, monitoring their progress and stating clearly who was fulfilling their responsibilities," Mr. Bush said.

Credit is due Bush for putting in the effort on this one, which produced positive words on both sides. But let's see if they can figure out how to fold the damn thing up and keep driving - in other words, let us hope that they translate into action, and not into a map like this.

Strikingly Unimportant News

A gem from today's "Open Secrets" column:
Fashion claimed another victim last week on the Senate subway. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) noticed the snappy black and gray tie Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) was wearing and asked where he got it. At the airport, replied Crapo, adding it only cost $14. That got the attention of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who said she didn’t know anyone bought ties in airports. “… I do,” Crapo said sheepishly. Ouch!
Poor guy...first he has to go through the agonies of junior high with the last name "Crapo," now he finally gets somewhere in life and look what happens.
Oh well. At least Mike will still be riding that subway come 2005, while Lisa will be hanging out somewhere a little colder.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Important Update

Via Oxblog, we find that one of the world's real heroes, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been arrested following an uprising in Myanmar (Burma). In the heart of one of the world's worst regimes, this brave woman, technically the country's elected president, has been standing up and advocating democracy while spending most of the past decade under house arrest. Kudos are due to Bush for drawing attention to the incident publicly, but Josh at OxBlog is correct: louder, please.
Privat(ized) Lives

Yesterday CalPundit had a typically good moderate-left post on the free market that struck me as well-thought and well-argued (as is usually the case):
...while market-based economies are terrific at a wide range of allocation problems, free market capitalism isn't a law of nature or a command from God. It's an invention of human beings, and like any human tool there are places where it works well and places where it doesn't.
Bottom line: I am a considerable fan of free market capitalism and generally think of it as the default mechanism for making economic decisions. However, while I'm also a fan of the scientific method, that doesn't mean I think it's the right tool to decide every single question of the workings of the world.Likewise, capitalism isn't the right tool to decide every single question of resource allocation and human interaction.

Right right right. Nicely done, Kevin. I need only add a smidgen of emphasis: free market capitalism is a good default mechanism for making economic decisions. And since I'm neither a die-hard Marxist nor a utilitarian nor an Ayn Rand devotee, I'll stress that I don't think all decisions are economic ones, nor are all political decisions economic ones. And therefore there are some things that are as poorly handled by the tool of the free market as others are poorly handled by the tool of government.

This brings us to the issue of health care, which is one of the stickiest of issues because it's crucially important and happens to combine economic and non-economic decisions in difficult-to-separate ways. There are a lot of things wrong with the way we currently go about providing people with health care.

The Bush administration has its own ideas about how to fix things, and right now a task force of governors is working on ways to rejigger the system.

Take a look at these two columns - the first by David Broder, the second by Jane Bryant Quinn.
Here's Quinn, on the flaws in Bush's plan to shift Medicare more and more towards privatized, market-based plans:
Yet no one can explain to me what, exactly, is wrong with traditional Medicare. Why is Bush eager to subsidize private plans for seniors while spurning the one plan that people have trusted for nearly 40 years? In either case, seniors will have to pay more for their medical care. Why not support the plan they like best? To reject all government programs is knee-jerk dumb.
Here's Broder, on a national coalition of business and union officials who are pushing for comprehensive government action:
The organization has not endorsed a specific plan, but its message is clear: Unless the approach is comprehensive, it is unlikely to head off this looming catastrophe. Its principles call for universal health insurance as a first step toward controlling expenses and ending the cost-shifting that burdens policyholders and their employers for the uncompensated costs of those who show up at hospitals and emergency rooms without insurance.
A comprehensive reform would also aim at improved quality, by emphasizing preventive medicine and carefully measuring the value of various treatments, and would simplify the overly complex system of financing and administration we know today.
Is such a system feasible? The answer, all these hardheaded businessmen say, is yes. It is not only possible but necessary.

More comprehensive coverage on the government side would free up businesses from being too heavily involved in non-economic questions, would reduce the amount of paperwork in the medical industry, and would shift care for the curently uninsured towards cost-effective preventative care, rather than expensive emergency care.

Fortunately, most of the Democratic nominees have ideas in mind about how to make this a reality. Unfortunately, we have to elect one of them and get their plans through a Republican Congress first. I expect that eventually some serious reforms will be undertaken to improve health-care coverage, but I'm guessing things will get worse before they get better, especially for people who can't afford coverage and thus are ill-served by private, free-market plans.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Dystopia, Part I: How to Boil a Frog

Put the frog in a pot of hot water, he'll jump right out.

Put the frog in a pan of cool water, he'll sit perfectly still as you turn up the heat.

In this way, you can boil the frog.
The FCC said a single company can now own TV stations that reach 45 percent of U.S. households instead of 35 percent. The major networks wanted the cap eliminated, while smaller broadcasters said a higher cap would allow networks to gobble up stations and take away local control of programming.
The FCC largely ended a ban on joint ownership of a newspaper and a broadcast station in the same city. The provision lifts all "cross-ownership" restrictions in markets with nine or more TV stations. Smaller markets would face some limits and cross-ownership would be banned in markets with three or fewer TV stations.
The agency also eased rules governing local TV ownership so one compant can own two television stations in two markets and three stations in the largest cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

In a clear play for inclusion in the Chutzpah Hall of Fame, FCC chairman Michael Powell said,
"Our actions will advance the goals of diversity and localism."

Go visit Jenny at
little red cookbook, who's both clever and impassioned on subjects like the danger that media consolidation poses to "Reading Rainbow." Don't take my word for it!