Sold Out, Again

I recently downloaded your magazine from the Braille and Audio Reading Download website produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. I found Mara Kardas-Nelson’s article about St. James Parish [“To Stay or Go?” Sept. 9/16] to be the sad same ol’ same ol’.

I live in Louisiana, should have had the sense to get out a long time ago. I do not understand why our politicians give away so much—so much in taxes that businesses do not pay, so much in natural resources—and yet Louisiana is so often found at the bottom or near the bottom in so many metrics, whether in education, income, working conditions, etc. Texas has a bigger petrochemical industry but seems not to give so much away in tax breaks. It is baffling.

David Faucheux
lafayette, la.

Blame the Media?

I was struck by Eric Alterman’s approach to criticizing the Democratic Party debates [“Destructive Debates,” Sept. 9/16]. I’ve watched the party of Roosevelt over the course of 40 years with increasing disgust. From the Clinton-Gore team’s decision to “end welfare as we know it,” which denied so many the slim public assistance they received, to the party’s weak support of abortion rights, the party has consistently let down those who vote for it.

The latest version of a Democratic president was Barack Obama, who had kill-list-Tuesday meetings to decide whom to drone 10,000 miles away. Under him, the Democrats did not want to implement decent universal health care, and that is why we don’t have it, not because of the shallow excuse that they “were depending on the media” to sell it, as Alterman puts it. They do want to maintain the forever wars and the insane trillion-dollar-plus Pentagon budget. The Democratic Party’s adherence to the status quo (or status quo lite) led directly to the disastrous situation we are in today; it is not “assisted suicide by debate moderator.”

Please don’t let the Democrats off the hook so easily. For the kind of positive radical change we need in this country, hold the party itself accountable for its misdeeds.

Thea Paneth
arlington, mass.

Alterman’s column offers a particularly erudite analysis that every Democratic Party leader must read. As I read the piece, I couldn’t help but recall when, in 2013, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd said, effectively, that it’s not the media’s job to correct Republican lies about Obamacare. Considering that MSNBC and CNN are usually vastly more honest than Fox News, Alterman just proves that the mainstream corporate media often walks on eggshells when commenting on a right-wing Republican viewpoint. We are fortunate to have The Nation.
Sal R. Pauciello
irvington, n.j.

Re Eric Alterman’s “Destructive Debates”: As far as the news media is concerned, it’s all canned news anyway, all of it.

I.F. Stone said one of the primary functions of a journalist is to be skeptical of any official statement. Today, it’s lapdogs “reporting” what they hear in the echo chambers of the 1 percenters, who own the news media. It’s a vicious circle; now it’s up to the citizens to be skeptical of official statements and what they hear in the echo chamber. Good luck on that. The news media only serves to keep us divided and arguing over which way the 1 percenters threw the bone—“Over here! NO! Over there!” People have to be able to read between the lines.

Nancy Lindsay