The Bush Administration is mired in corruption and cronyism. The latest bad decision made by Bushies comes from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). According to FreePress.net:
… [T]he PRC rejected a postal rate increase plan offered by the U.S. Postal Service. Instead they opted to implement a complicated plan submitted by media giant Time Warner. (Click here to read the decision and click here for a timeline)
Under the original plan, all publishers would have a mostly equal increase (approx. 12 percent) in the cost for mailing their publications. The Time Warner plan overturned this level playing field to favor large, ad-heavy magazines like People at the expense of smaller publications like In These Times and The American Spectator. It penalizes thousands of small- to medium-sized outlets with disproportionately higher rates while locking in privileges for bigger companies.
This is devastating for smaller publications like The New Republic, Commentary and the Weekly Standard. And it could put smaller arts publications like Granta, Glimmer Train, and other journals out of business entirely. Conversely, it may raise the cost of all of these smaller publications, making the cost of reading them higher – something especially difficult for many readers of arts and poetry journals.
What Bush's appointees have done is despicable. The intent of the Founding Fathers was to allow the mail to carry ideas widely and cheaply:
Thomas Jefferson supported this with calls for a postal service that allowed citizens to gain "full information of their affairs," where ideas could "penetrate the whole mass of the people." Along with James Madison, he paved the way for a service that gave smaller political journals a voice. Their solution included low-cost mailing incentives whereby publications could reach as many readers as possible.
The corruption of this administration is staggering. Here's an easy way to fight back. Send a letter to your congressperson and to the Postal Service. As Thomas Jefferson noted:
"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Jan. 16, 1787
I spent many years as a conservative Republican. I walked away from it very recently because of the cronyism and corruption of this administration. We all need to stand up for freedom, and we need to stand up for the little guys who are being crushed by Time-Warner's plan. If you subscribe to any T-W publications (People, Time, etc.), consider canceling your subscription(s), noting that you are doing so because of T-W's attempt to crush smaller publications. T-W should pay a price for its thuggish behavior.
As for Bush, history will judge him harshly on many counts and, if today's polls are any indication, the American people will, too. His approval rating fell to the lowest point yet, lower than any other modern President (and, arguably, any pre-modern president, as well). (Of course, the man doesn't read the newspapers, so he may not realize this.)