The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Liberal activist group MoveOn.org (search) is telling leaders of the Democratic Party that after raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the Kerry campaign and the DNC this past year, "Now it's our party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back." In an e-mail to supporters, MoveOn says, "[For years] the Party cozied up to many of the same corporate donors that fund the Republicans ... The result was watered down, play-it-safe politics that kept the money flowing but alienated traditional Democrats."
So, MoveOn says, "we can't afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers." Meanwhile, a new study shows that tax-exempt political groups like Move-on, known as 527s, raised $534 million this past year, $410 million for the presidential race alone.
What's more, the study, by the campaign finance tracking service Political Money Line (search), shows that pro-Democrat groups raised nearly twice as much as their pro-Republican counterparts. Specifically, groups supporting John Kerry or opposing President Bush raised $266 million, while groups opposing Kerry or backing President Bush raised $144 million.
Retiring PBS Anchor Bill Moyers (search) says the biggest story of his lifetime is "how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee." Specifically, Moyers says, "We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that's interested in the bottom line. Therefore, we don't have vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people … We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country, or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own media."
Moyers will air a piece about all this on his final program.
Religious or Not?
Like other malls in Broward County, Florida, the Broward Mall has erected a large Jewish Menorah (search) next to its customer service desk for Channukah — a holiday commemorating a successful Jewish revolt against a foreign army more than 2,000 years ago.
But, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the mall refuses to set up a nativity scene, saying religious displays are strictly forbidden. The mall's general manager, you see, insists Channukah is "a celebration of a battle," not a religious event.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report