Many American progressives and independents are angry with President Barack Obama for making so many concessions to “centrist” Democrats on health-care reform – and to the Pentagon and neoconservatives on the Afghan War.

It’s understandable why people who hoped for real change are disappointed. But the hard reality is that Obama was never going to be the knight in shining armor vanquishing every foe.

The President is operating in a Washington environment where right-wing and neocon institutions and personalities dominate the public debates, the op-ed pages and the dinner-party conversations.

And that is partly the fault of liberals, progressives and other reasonable folks who have not invested nearly enough in “inside the Beltway” media, think tanks and activist groups to challenge the capital’s misguided conventional wisdom.

That is one reason why we fashioned Consortiumnews.com around the idea of a “consortium,” which would raise money to support independent journalists (as well as providing them editing support and an online outlet so their information could reach the people).

As a longtime mainstream journalist myself – for The Associated Press, Newsweek and PBS – I understood that it is not enough to hope that talented writers and investigators can somehow do the necessary work for free; they need to pay bills and support families, too.

But my personal failure has been my inability to convince enough people of means that they should support this endeavor. Instead we have relied mostly on small donations from readers – and during the recession, we did what many small businesses did: we cut staff, reduced pay and slashed expenses.

The time has come, however, that we must expand what we’re trying to do or pack it in. That is why I am making this year-end appeal to all our readers, but especially to those who can afford to make “sustaining” donations of $5,000, $10,000 or more.

We were hoping to find 10 “sustainers” at that level before the end of the year. So far, two such contributors have come forward. Could you be one of the other eight?

Of course, we deeply appreciate whatever you can give. We recognize that the last couple of years have been very tough on many pocketbooks.

If you can help, please make a tax-deductible donation either by credit card by clicking here – or by sending a check or money order to: Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd.; Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201. (You can find a mail-in donation form by clicking here.)

(For readers using PayPal, you can address your contribution to our account, named after our e-mail address, “consortnew@aol.com”).

We also will count toward our year-end $100,000 goal all discount sales of the three-book set (Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege, and Neck Deep). For details on this book offer, click here. (This is a great way for small donors to help out – and get a fantastic deal on these three important books.)

And, we will count any commitments for “Bob and Ray” talks by investigative reporter Robert Parry and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The price for these talks can range from $2,000 for community groups to $10,000 for business groups. For details on scheduling a talk, click here.

Thanks so much.
Robert Parry, Editor

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the Internet's first investigative magazine. He saw it as a way to combine modern technology and old-fashioned journalism to counter the increasing triviality of the mainstream U.S. news media.

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