My Thoughts Exactly

I support the Bernie Sanders Plan

I’ve been doing a fair amount of handwringing over the meltdown on this-ahere blog lately, but now let me offer something positive. I support, 100 %, the plan put forth by Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. Sanders is asking for citizen co-signers. I signed, you should too.

As for the crappy plans before Congress now, I hate all of them, including Dodd’s. If they go through, I’m not sure I’ll ever file taxes again. If Bush thinks it’s so all-fired important to make Paulson a monarch, then why has he not gone on television to explain why democracy must end now? It’s all baloney. I’m with Bernie on this one.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Kevin Martin, champion of Net Neutrality?

According to Freepress.net, Martin joins a “Bipartisan FCC Majority” to punish Comcast for its peer-to-peer blocking funny business, already discussed here lots of times.

Like everybody else, I’ll await the in depth analysis sure to come from Harold Feld.

But assuming that this is what it appears to be, I hereby congratulate Chairman Martin. As I reported here, I had a chance to talk to him at the reception following the FCC hearing in Boston. And I found him sympathetic to the point of view that net neutrality was about more than consumer rights, it was about preserving the Internet as an engine of democracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if that argument figured in the deliberations on this ruling. In any event, I’m cautiously optimistic.

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My Thoughts Exactly

What Digby said

All hail Digby.

If you’re not familiar with Digby, by all means, do yourself and the cause of democracy a favor and get familiar.

Those of you who are among Digby’s regular readers know that until recently very few people knew whether Digby was a man or a woman, and still today, even after Digby’s speech, only her close friends know her name or what she “does for a living.” All I know about her are (as of a few days ago), (a) what she looks and sounds like, and (b) that she is and for some while has been the best writer writing about current events in the USA. She is passionate, informed, funny, angry, brilliant, and a magnificent prose stylist.

This is the first, but it will certainly not be the last of time that John of Wetmachine joins the exponentially growing phenomenon of bloggers putting up posts entitled “What Digby said.” (Meaning, of course, “I hereby emphatically endorse what Digby said.”) Digby, the Tom Paine of our era.

That is all.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

How the FCC Made Star Trek Possible

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek, now referred to as Star Trek: The Original Series (or just ST:TOS). I make no secret of my love for ST:TOS, and credit it with (among other things) imbuing me with a sense of idealism and optimism against the odds. But few realize how FCC regulation of broadcasting made the creation and syndication of Star Trek possible — and why deregulation has made it so much harder for something like Star Trek to hapen today.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Latest on COPE and Latest Video

From what I have heard and seen on the House Whip Schedule, the vote on COPE will likely take place this Friday (6/9). On Wednesday June 7, the House Rules Committee will determine what, if any, amendments members may offer. For example, they may or may not allow Markey to offer his Network Neutrality Act of 2006, or allow Sensenbrenner to offer the version of the Internet Freedom and Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Judiciary Committee as an amendment. After that, the package goes to the floor for debate and a vote.

The smart money expects passage of COPE because the House Republican leadership backs it and enough Dems will defect to provide a comfortable margin. OTOH, public pressure keeps pushing members to change their position to support NN. Not that smart money or conventional wisdom believes in democracy anymore, but I am hopeful we can hand them another surprise.

Meanwhile, Moby has prepared this video that tells you how you can call your representative and tell him or her to support net neutrality.

Remember, don’t make Moby cry! Support Net Neutrality and help spank the telcos!

Stay tuned . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Too geeky even for Wetmachine

For all you progressive’s who remember the TV Show Babylon 5, I wrote this on my LJ.

Back in the mid-1990s, it amused me no end to see know-it-alls pound on [series creator] J. Michael Straczinsky for the ridiculous idea that the government could shift from democratic to essentially a military dictatorship in so short a time, simply by leveraging the fear of “alien influences” assaulting our “way of life.” “Ho ho ho,” they laughed. “That trick may work on others, but it couldn’t happen in a real democracy like the U.S. I mean, if the President started to intrude on people’s rights and civil liberties, started locking them up and holding them for years without pressing charges, or started spying on his own people, no one would sit still for it! He’d be out on his ear when everyone rose up in protest.”

Sadly, I think JMS may end up with the last laugh, although I doubt he will find saying “told ya so” much comfort.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Aaron McGruder Interview Worth Reading

You can read a very interesting interview with Aaron McGruder, creator of the Boondocks, here. Skip the first page of pro-forma business stuff. It’s the part where he gets on to what is wrong with our democracy today that is worth reading.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: A Win In Indiana!

Sorry I’m behind, but there is a _lot_ going on. First, the good news: as reported Muniwireless and elsewhere, the Indiana anti-muni bill has gone down in flaming defeat!

Score one for the good guys and reinvigorate my faith in democracy. For more, see below . . .

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My Thoughts Exactly

Sinclair-Pappas-FCC-FEC- Paging Harold Feld!

I know Harold has just posted that he expect to be swamped until after election day, but I, for one, am very anxious to hear a Sausage Factory opinion on all the Sinclair Broadcasting fiasco, the Pappas

story, and other issues related to the public airwaves, media consolidation, and democracy.


We know you’re busy, Harold, and we’ll all wait if we have to. But this is just to let you know that there are at least a few of us out here who really do look to Sausage Factory to help us make sense of this confusing, and scary, nexus.

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