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Paul Krugman at The New York Times ponders the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger in Barons of Broadband. Blowing out the merger's candles would be a good way to celebrate the Clayton Antitrust Act's 100th birthday this year:

So let me ask two questions about the proposed deal. First, why would we even think about letting it go through? Second, when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power?

On the first question, broadband Internet and cable TV are already highly concentrated industries, with a handful of corporations accounting for most of the customers. Once upon a time antitrust authorities, looking at this situation, would probably have been trying to cut Comcast down to size. Letting it expand would have been unthinkable.

Comcast’s chief executive says not to worry: “It will not reduce competition in any relevant market because our companies do not overlap or compete with each other. In fact, we do not operate in any of the same ZIP codes.” This is, however, transparently disingenuous.

Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic writes with righteous ferocity—On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn:
I wish I had something more to say about the fact that Michael Dunn was not convicted for killing a black boy. Except I said it after George Zimmerman was not convicted of killing a black boy. Except the parents of black boys already know this. Except the parents of black boys have long said this, and they have been answered with mockery.

Jordan Davis had a mother and a father. It did not save him. Trayvon Martin had a mother and a father. They could not save him. My son has a father and mother. We cannot protect him from our country, which is our aegis and our assailant. We cannot protect our children because racism in America is not merely a belief system but a heritage, and the inability of black parents to protect their children is an ancient tradition. [...]

Spare us the invocations of "black-on-black crime." I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought insane. The most mendacious phrase in the American language is "black-on-black crime," which is uttered as though the same hands that drew red lines around the ghettoes of Chicago are not the same hands that drew red lines around the life of Jordan Davis, as though black people authored North Lawndale and policy does not exist. That which mandates the murder of our Hadiya Pendletons necessarily mandates the murder of Jordan Davis. I will not respect any difference. I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought crazy.

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post shows that even stopped clocks like Ron Unz can get it right by default, as he does by saying that  Raising the minimum wage is the right idea for the right:
The only mystery is why so few conservative politicians see the issue this way. Rank-and-file conservatives know better. A December Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 53 percent of self-described conservatives supported a minimum wage increase. [...]

One conservative, at least, is speaking for this majority. Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley millionaire and one-time Republican candidate for governor of California, is championing an initiative to raise his state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour. His reasons are thoroughly in keeping with his ideology.

Unz has argued that a minimum wage hike “would function as a massive stimulus package.” He told ABC News that if the national minimum were increased to $12, “probably between $150 billion and $175 billion a year would go into the pockets of the lower-wage families that spend every dollar they earn. It would cause a tremendous boost in economic demand.”

You can read excerpts from more pundits below the fold

Ana Marie Cox at The Guardian argues that The best way to stop 'the war on women' is to embrace it:

Yes, there are conservatives who seem to have voluntarily enlisted: Akin, Taranto, Rush Limbaugh. And those “men’s rights” “activists” (where to stop with the scare quotes!), about whom less is said, the better.

Those men are lost to our side no matter what; they will be beating drums and fashioning spears in their mental wilderness no matter which peace agreement the rest of us reach.

I want to talk to (or at least about) the men who hear “war on women” and, appropriately, think of the women they love: mothers, wives, sisters daughters, colleagues, friends. They scan their feelings and come up with compassion and respect, a sample of one that allows them to reject the premise of a more general conservative attack on women’s rights. For them, the slogan becomes just another liberal subterfuge, distracting from the “real” crises: I’m a conservative, I admire and trust my wife and daughters, therefore Benghazi.

I don’t think there’s any amount of data that can dissuade those who reject “the war on women” based on their positive personal relationships with women. It is actually a scientific fact that scientific facts carry little weight against life experience.

So we have to confront the semi-conscientious objectors to of the war on women. We have to ask them to expand their personal experience. We have to make further personal experience available to them. We have to ask them to think not about their own feelings about the women they already know, but to look more closely at the lives of the women all around them. What are the struggles of the woman who teaches your kids, who does your accounting, who makes your espresso, who delivers your mail, who rings up your groceries?

Stefano Hatfield at The Independent says Helen Mirren is right: When did TV violence against women become so acceptably ubiquitous?
She took the words right out of my mouth. For years, I have been boring on at my diminishing circle of friends that British television, for all its qualities, has a real problem: an over-reliance on violence against women. Now, Dame Helen Mirren has spoke publically about it too, I don’t feel quite so alone.

I’m not, of course. Last autumn, the best-selling British crime writer Ann Cleeves (Vera Stanhope, Shetland) hit out against the violence against women in Scandi-noir thrillers, a point picked up on by one of our leading playwrights David Hare only last week, when he described TV’s rising female body count as “ridiculous”.

Of course it’s not just British television.

Ruth Conniff at The Progressive discusses one guy who is Fighting the Corporate Takeover of America's Media:
Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps, the only FCC commissioner to vote against Comcast's merger with NBC/Universal in 2011, says of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merge] "This proposed deal runs roughshod over competition and consumer choice and is an affront to the public interest." [...]

Copps is a hero to people who care about media and the public interest.

When he left the FCC last year after more than a decade, instead of cashing in on his many corporate contacts, Copps went to work with Common Cause and Free Press to fight for a more democratic media. [...]

"We need to look at alternatives," Copps says, including public broadcasting, nonprofit media, low-power radio, community media, in addition to stopping corporate consolidation.

"It's not the laws of nature or the hand of God that created our media system," Copps says. "It was public policy."

William Greider at The Nation explains Why the Federal Reserve Needs an Overhaul:
The remnant Populists still in Congress in 1913 were not fooled by the talk of political neutrality. Representative Robert Henry of Texas described the new central bank as “wholly in the interest of the creditor classes, the banking fraternity, and the commercial world without proper provision for the debtor classes and those who toil, produce and sustain the country.”

A hundred years later, the country seems to have circled back to the very same arguments. We are confronted again by the financial destructiveness the Fed was supposed to eliminate. Despite some worthy reforms that centralized power in Washington, bankers still run wild on occasion, ignoring restraints and spreading misery in their wake. The Fed still rushes to their rescue with lots of money—public money. And people at large still pay a terrible price for official indulgence of this very privileged sector.

So this is my brief for fundamental reform: dismantle the peculiar arrangement and democratize it. The Federal Reserve has always been a glaring contradiction of democratic values. After a century of experience, we should be able to conclude from events that the system simply doesn’t work. Or rather, it does very well for bankers, but not for ordinary citizens. The economy does require a governing authority—Fed advocates are right about that—but it suffers from the Fed’s incestuous relationship with Wall Street bankers. My solution: throw open the doors, let the people into the conversation and the decision-making. The untutored ranks of citizens are as fallible as any economist, but they often know things about economic reality well before the experts.

Robert Reich at his personal blog laments America’s “We” Problem:
America has a serious “We” problem—as in “Why should we pay for them?” [...]

The pronouns “we” and “they” are the most important of all political words. They demarcate who’s within the sphere of mutual responsibility, and who’s not. Someone within that sphere who’s needy is one of “us”—an extension of our family, friends, community, tribe – and deserving of help. But needy people outside that sphere are “them,” presumed undeserving unless proved otherwise.

The central political question faced by any nation or group is where the borders of this sphere of mutual responsibility are drawn.

Why in recent years have so many middle-class and wealthy Americans pulled the borders in closer?

The middle-class and wealthy citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, for example, are trying to secede from the school district they now share with poorer residents of town, and set up their own district funded by property taxes from their higher-valued homes.

Similar efforts are underway in Memphis, Atlanta, and Dallas. Over the past two years, two wealthy suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, have left the countywide school system in order to set up their own.

The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times says First, the U.S. killed Anwar Awlaki. Now another citizen may be targeted. What about due process?:
If the United States is again to deliberately take the life of one of its citizens without due process of law, leaders from the president on down must, at the very least, offer specific and credible proof that such action was absolutely necessary to prevent imminent attacks on Americans and that capturing the suspected terrorist was impossible.
Satisfactory substantiation was never provided for the assassination of Awlaki, a propagandist for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who, according to the U.S. government, had assumed an operational role. Nor was the public fully informed about how President Obama and his advisors decided that Awlaki's name belonged on a kill list.
The Editorial Board of the Miami Herald agrees with Attorney General Eric Holder that the nation should Restore voting rights to ex-felons:
Mr. Holder has no power to change the states’ policies, but he was right in calling attention to the issue. According to him, an estimated 5.8 million American felons — 2.2 million of them African American—are disenfranchised by states denying them voting rights. Like other criminal-justice issues Mr. Holder has tackled lately, there is a racial component here. More black Americans are incarcerated than any other group and generally receive tougher sentences for drug-related crimes. [...]

Restoring felons’ voting rights is not an easy sell in many states. Studies have found that felons are more likely to vote for Democrats than for Republicans, so lifting the voting bans and limits in states is a partisan issue that likely won't change soon in GOP-led states like Florida. Interestingly, a 2002 study by the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University concluded that the 2000 presidential election would “almost certainly” have come out differently had more felons in the country been allowed to vote.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't understand how permanently taking away (40+ / 0-)

    voting rights can be justified. People serve a sentence; they are on parole -- but for the rest of their lives they are still punished by having no input into their government?

    There should be class-action lawsuits throughout every state. I'd like to hear the argument defending this policy. Where in the constitution does it state that people should be considered a criminal until they stop drawing a breathe?

    First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

    by theKgirls on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:50:00 AM PST

  •  Really?? You mean George W. Bush would have... (11+ / 0-)

    ...won in 2000 if more felons had been allowed to vote? That seems counter-intuitive...

    Interestingly, a 2002 study by the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University concluded that the 2000 presidential election would “almost certainly” have come out differently had more felons in the country been allowed to vote.

    NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

    by Obama Amabo on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:53:18 AM PST

  •  Give me a break - Ann Marie Cox would have us all (7+ / 0-)

    holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

    Yes, let's all try to make men think about women other than their wives, mothers and children.  Get them to think about the challenges of the everyday working woman.  Are you kidding me?  These are the men who vote food stamps away from children, you think they give a fat rat's arse about the female grocery clerk ringing up their beer and chips?

    It is called a "War" on women for a reason and pipe dreams and campfire songs don't cut it in a war.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:55:49 AM PST

  •  Breaking Nooz....Obama graduates from Tyrant to (12+ / 0-)

    Dictator (or is that a downgrade?).......heard it on wingnut radio.

  •  That is clearly only because we haven't been... (12+ / 0-)

    ...enforcing the laws against Republican felonies. Start putting some of those white collar bastards in prison and the GOP, led by Tom Perkins and Judson Phillips, will soon be claiming that a voter should have a number of votes proportionate to the time he's served.

    Studies have found that felons are more likely to vote for Democrats than for Republicans, so lifting the voting bans and limits in states is a partisan issue that likely won't change soon in GOP-led states like Florida.

    NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

    by Obama Amabo on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 05:00:59 AM PST

  •  About that war on women (18+ / 0-)

    Thing is the Republicans can deny it all day long, but real life keeps getting in the way. Tell the "bookkeeper" that knows she would be the "accounting manager" with twice the salary if she had boy parts that there's not a war on women. And I will say a kudo to Mika this morning for commenting that if Wendy Davis had been the father instead of the mother, there would be no criticism of her choice to stay at Harvard while her children were at home (in Texas?) with her mom and husband. Right before Chuck remarked that she's just not ready to be Governor. Define ready.

  •  Banks would not run wild so often (20+ / 0-)

    had Mr. Clinton not seen fit to sign Gramm-Leach-Billey.

    Ms. Warren is dead right on this one: Glass-Stegall worked perfectly well for the better part of a century. Restoring it in full should be a national priority.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 05:02:50 AM PST

    •  ^^^ This ^^^^ (5+ / 0-)

      Which needs to be repeated every time the right-wing screechers charge that Hillary Clinton is a raging socialist b/witch who is out to destroy the American capitalist system.

      I wish it were true, but alas, the Clintons have always been quite content to do Wall St.'s bidding.

    •  Actually, it worked so perfectly (5+ / 0-)

      that starting 5 years after the bill was passed, the Congress worked on weakening the bill, which was a shadow of it's former self when Clinton took office.
      For example, in 1987, the Federal Reserve Board allowed banks to engage in securities underwriting (mostly responsible for the collapse of Lehman Bros)
      Then Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary James Baker let banks start underwriting municipal bonds.
      By the time Clinton took office, banks were already expanding into insurance, commercial banking and investment banks affiliates, prompted by loopholes created in the law.
      In the end, only 8 Senators voted against the repeal of Glass Steagall, passing the bill with a veto proof majority of 90-2 (and also passed with huge majorities in the House).

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:31:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Having spent some time in Europe i was shocked (15+ / 0-)

    at how cheap cable and broadband were compared to the u.s. You know, socialist Europe that actually has competition for these things.

  •  On the Comcast merger (4+ / 0-)

    The content providers is the market which will cause problems for this merger.  The lack of geographic overlap between the two companies will likely insulate them from problems regarding the ultimate customers (us).  

    The potential problems with the merger are the increased buyer power Comcast will have with regard to the content providers.  Like walmart, Comcast's increased size will give them significant leverage with the providers because they risk not gaining access to the largest markets (and many others) if they do not accede to Comcast's rate offers.  The deal will also exacerbate the problems raised in the GE merger- that Comcast will favor its provider over others.  

    One other potential ray of hope is that the govt licenses through which TW operates (ie, the licenses to provide cable/internet services in various markets) may be subject to renewal upon the merger.  That is, the licenses may be subject to separate approvals upon merger.  So, there might be competitive bidding in those markets.

    •  Isn't the lack of overlap because THEY ARE ALREADY (0+ / 0-)

      LOCAL MONOPOLIES? And aren't cable licenses granted by local entities, not the feds?

      Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

      by ohiolibrarian on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 01:42:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        that's the nature of the cable/internet geographic markets.  That's why Comcast's highlighting this fact, although correct, avoids the other antitrust concerns with the deal.  The feds will look at both geographic and product/services markets.  On the former, they may not have a problem for the reason you cite.  But that is not the end of the antitrust analysis.  The feds do have authority to compel the merged company to divest certain of its licenses, but probably will not do so.    

        Yes, the approvals I was referring to are the local licensing approvals.  I mentioned them because they may provide opportunities for other providers to step in and try to obtain a license in a market in which they are not currently active.  This is hypothetical because, using NYC as a guide, there has not been any competition in licensing heretofore.  

  •  "Don't want my MTV..I hate cable TV so much... (17+ / 0-)

     I can't believe it's still in my home." Al Lewis' WSJ column yesterday summed up the downhill course of cable programming along with the skyrocketing costs and wondered how long before people decided to abandon it in droves: (emphasis mine)

    I turn on the History channel, seeking enlightenment about our collective past, and what do I get? Las Vegas pawnshop operators appraising trinkets, two guys picking through junk in barns and sketchy documentaries about UFOs, swamp people, lumberjacks and Big Foot.

    On Bio. it's "My Haunted House" and "Stalked by a Ghost." On Discovery there's a survivalist show called, "Dude, You're Screwed," which sounds like something one might say to a cable subscriber.

    These are the intellectual channels. But, clearly, like most cable subscribers, I'm not very smart because I keep paying for cheaply produced and falsely advertised reality-TV programs...

    I also pay to watch the commercials in between this schlock...

    ...Cable rates have more than doubled since the industry was deregulated in 1996 -- in legislation heralded as terrific for consumers...

    Now, the cable companies, and our legislators want to "help" us some more by letting the cable companies play Monopoly.  And, yet again, corporations and Congress prove that deregulation is not our friend (how much is deregulation saving you on that phone bill?)
  •  Another reason conservatives should love (12+ / 0-)

    a higher minimum wage:

    Most of the social safety net that they love to hate was put into place precisely to avoid messy issues like increasing the minimum wage, or allowing and encouraging union organizing. The EITC and child tax credits basically use government (taxpayer) money to heavily subsidize the wages of low-wage workers with children, in some cases doubling the family's income. Food stamps and Medicaid and all the other federal programs (like heating assistance and Section 8 housing and school lunch/breakfast) enable working people to have a minimally acceptable level of subsistence even though the wages they are paid do not.

    The net result is to transfer taxpayer money into the pockets of the corporations and their shareholders that pay too-low wages.

    For 50 years, the liberal response by anti-poverty advocates has mostly been insisting on increasing (or at least not cutting) these forms of assistance. That makes sense in a way. But I'm glad to see Sen. Warren, fast food workers, Wal-Mart workers, and many others shift to demanding that the work itself pay a wage that is sufficient to live on.

    If that happened, then shrinking the government safety net -- not to zero, but smaller than it has been -- would be fine.

    •  For sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon, Calamity Jean

      higher minimum wage would mean less expense and more revenue for the Nation. It would kick the deficit ass if it goes high enough. It would make the number of people not paying federal income taxes go down

    •  Makes sense unless you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      consider that the real goal of the GOP is not to reduce government or improve the economy for the middle class and poor.  It is to make sure that corporations and the wealthiest keep getting more.  Having assistance programs helps their cause to keep their "other" base riled enough to vote for them.

      This is my opinion.

      "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

      by newfie on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:34:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

      why this argument has gotten so popular.

      Yes, conservatives hate taxes. But staunch conservatives also hate the minimum wage, for the same reason: They believe that an individual's property is theirs, and that the government does not have the right to tell them what to do with it.

      That includes telling wage-earners to pay a portion of their income to the government as taxes, telling business owners how much to pay their employees, or telling restaurateurs who they have to serve. (The only exceptions are the taxes needed to mount a national defense and enforce laws protecting life and private property rights.)

      I grew up among conservatives, and there is no way they would support increasing the minimum wage as an antidote, solution, or alternative to government safety net programs. The antidote to the government safety net, in their view, is for people to support themselves. If they aren't making enough money, they should change jobs. If they can't get a better job, they should improve their skills, start their own business, or just suck it up. In any case, it's their own problem, not the problem of the people who are making more money than them.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You aren't "standing your ground" if you're (14+ / 0-)

    actively pursuing someone.

    You aren't "standing your ground" if you're told by the police to stop, stay & await backup and decide to ignore them in order to close in on the person you're suspicious of.

    You aren't "standing your ground" if you pursue and repeatedly shoot at someone fleeing on foot or in a vehicle.

    I just something similar on my FB page:

    Without getting any further into the b.s. surrounding the deadly idiocy of the "Stand Your Ground" laws - just taking it on the surface of several cases I've seen - you're not "Standing Your Ground" if you're actively pursuing someone fleeing, or if you go looking for someone who has moved on and is out of sight.

    That's not "standing your ground." That's "pursue & destroy" and "hunt down and kill" - that's intentional, you're the aggressor, and you should not be able to claim you were "standing your ground" when you were ACTIVELY MOVING TOWARD THE ALLEGED DANGER and PROVOKING POTENTIAL DEADLY CONFLICT by FIRING REPEATEDLY AT FLEEING PERSONS AND/OR VEHICLES.

    Any law that's "whimsically named" and serves only to provide a thinly veiled (at best) excuse for people to shoot each other and engage in armed combat in the civilian populace is an abhorrent affront to human decency. And it sure as hell isn't Christian - I don't recall any stories of Christ unloading his Glock into Judas, or anyone else for that matter.
    •  SYG = "Submit to my 'natural' superiority" n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:00:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very schizophrenic verdict (5+ / 0-)

      couldn't convict on murder, but convicted on attempted murder.  Seems to me the message sent by this jury was, "Don't miss."

      Another dismissal of the humanity of a black teenager, murdered for acting as all teenagers do on occasion.  There is not nearly enough outrage for these crimes,  and Zimmerman and Dunne become heroes to the haters.

      •  No beef with the (0+ / 0-)

        3 other kids in the car.  His perceived threat was from Davis.  Apparently Dunne kept firing after the car took off. What shocked me was that not only could they not agree to first degree murder, they could not agree to 2nd degree or manslaughter.  Now it is wholly possible that their were different parties within the jury that held out on each count.  So maybe someone felt no way did they prove first degree but was willing to convict on 2nd degree or manslaughter and someone or some people thought no way we let him "off" with 2nd degree etc.  Unless we know how the jury deliberations went we won't know what the sticking point is.

        "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

        by newfie on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:45:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's more complex... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          newfie

          If a jury member opens up to what the deliberations entailed we will know how the discussions went.

          My speculation was there was a faction that would not budge from 1st degree, intent on sending the message that the killing must stop.  The other group could not accept that there was premeditation but would accept 2nd degree.  neither group would budge.

          Perhaps there was a SYG'er that wouldn't budge either.

          What do I know though.  I wasn't on the jury and IANAL.

          The republicons moan, the republicons bitch. Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich. Ferguson Foont

          by Josiah Bartlett on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 01:47:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, sure, Ta-Nehisi. Jefferson and Washington: (0+ / 0-)

    worthless crumbums who ought to be burned in effigy, not honored for their imaginary contributions to this country!

  •  I've moaned about this for years: (8+ / 0-)
    Helen Mirren is right: When did TV violence against women become so acceptably ubiquitous?
    Women, for all that don't understand this (it's to be hoped that everyone on this site does) are not merely prey. They are not born, brought up with tender care (ballet lessons, tennis lessons, sent to summer camps, treated to  visits to Europe and college educations) just so they can be preyed on by predators. Women are actual people with hopes, desires, ambitions, and feelings. Yet in the eyes of male scriptwriters they exist only to be killed. Actually, in the eyes of real-life predators, women exist only to be killed.

    Germaine Greer said years ago, "Most women have no idea how much men hate them." The older I get (and that's pretty damn old), the more I perceive this to be true. Just look at the laws being passed in state legislatures against women's rights.

    Thanks for the roundup, MB, can't help wondering when you ever get to sleep!  :)

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:21:28 AM PST

  •  E.J. Dionne missed something about conservatives. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, LinSea, lcbo, Calamity Jean

    He says

    There is a magnificent public policy that achieves many of the goals conservative politicians regularly extol. These include promoting work over dependency, ...

    The policy in question is raising the minimum wage.

    But, conservatives think people who only earn minimum wage don't make better money because they're lazy. They think minimum wage earners aren't working.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:18:08 AM PST

    •  He missed quite a bit indeed.... (0+ / 0-)
      ...His reasons are thoroughly in keeping with his ideology.

      Unz has argued that a minimum wage hike “would function as a massive stimulus package.

      Since when is a stimulus package in keeping with Republican ideology?  Has Dionne been asleep for the last 5 years?

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:19:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    on Democracy Now this morning: Former FCC Commissioner Warns About Comcast-Time Warner Merger, "Mindless" Media Consolidation.

    Not a done deal yet, according to this broadcast. But the cabelization of the internet ... would allow to block websites and control content and control the distribution. In worst case szenario it could block Democracy Now itself. ...

    Listen to the end of this segment. It's chilling.

    If I don't answer to your comment, it means I was distracted by work. I don't mean to be impolite. Arggh.... Where is my work council ???

    by mimi on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:32:48 AM PST

    •  here: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      If I don't answer to your comment, it means I was distracted by work. I don't mean to be impolite. Arggh.... Where is my work council ???

      by mimi on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:38:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only Comcast Serves My Area and Lawsuits (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    There is an internet company owned by local government and it's inexpensive to have, but it's only for businesses to use.

    Wonder how many lawsuits Time-Warner and Comcast have launched to forbid local governments from offering low cost internet service to their citizens? From what I understand, quite a few lawsuits with more to come.

    Greed sucks.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:32:42 AM PST

  •  PETITION: Stop Comcast/TWC Merger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnww, LinSea

    Happy Presidents' Day! Proclaim your emancipation from Comcast by signing the whitehouse.gov petition at:
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...

  •  Very interesting that Paul Krugmans question.. (0+ / 0-)

    .."when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power?" is answered by

    Comcast’s chief executive says not to worry:
    “It will not reduce competition in any relevant market because our companies do not overlap or compete with each other. In fact, we do not operate in any of the same ZIP codes.”
    This is, however, transparently disingenuous.

    But this argument is mostly about territory, zip codes and such and seems to be ignoring or skipping past another less covered aspect of monopolies/ anti-trust issues.
     How these huge companies get people to pay them. How they want to maximize their control over methods to make more money, and lesson the ways people have to open access pathways

    I'm a bit off topic. but there is another reason to conglomerate/merge/monopoly

    Seems like a merger is a way to control the type of service is provided. Big corporate advertising is also playing a part in the goings on here

    Big Media Hopes To Kill The Ad-Zapping DVR With Video On Demand - January 16, 2014 | 10:32AM PT

    People (like me) have power to NOT watch commercials. After trying many different different tactics to force people to watch, which didn't work that well, VOD - video on demand is being pushed to replace DVR by viewers.

    “People were going to be blasting through advertising, and we wanted to try to slow them down,” recalled Tom Trenta, a marketing consultant who helped KFC devise what was then billed as an “anti-TiVo’ ad. In the end, advertisers abandoned the device, because, said Trenta, it had become “something to fight rather than to embrace.”
    I've cut out important points being made but this is part of corporate finagling imo:
    The only condition: Cox had to disable a viewer’s ability to skip past the ads. That idea has been implemented time and again, creating a situation where viewers must sacrifice their ability to ignore the commercials that provide so much revenue to the networks in exchange for the convenience of watching an episode of their favorite program whenever they choose.

     - emphasis added

    It seems that the more control people have over what they view and how they view it, the corporations/big cable etc. have to make moves that sure seems to me that their main concern is not competition amongst themselves/different providers as much as is competition against people and peoples freedom to do for themselves

    And this applies to TV watching, internet access, anything to control the flow of money.

    So fighting if there is going to be media attention and argument; then argument/attention over zip code/territory and such is the argument the corporations would have as the conversation; whereas how to make people pay the maximum is not a conversation they want to have so much

     - imo

    Thx MB

    P.S. Ta-Nehisi Coates  nails it too

    And this yay

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