Comcast, Time Warner and Congress: Perfect Together

by Michael Winship

The US Senate on Wednesday held its first hearing on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner deal — a $45 billion transaction that will affect millions of consumers and further pad some already well-lined pockets — so now seems a good time to look at how our elected officials have benefitted from the largesse of the two companies with an urge to merge.

Although the ultimate decision will be made by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a reliable, nonpartisan watchdog, “The number one and number two cable providers in the country are also big-time on the influence circuit, giving upwards of a combined $42.4 million to various politicians and groups since 1989.

The Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer tool also shows that the two companies have spent a combined $143.5 million lobbying Congress since 1989 on issues including telecommunications, technology, taxes and copyright.

The Monstrous Merger of Comcast and Time Warner Must Be Stopped - Now

We must confront connected regulators and force them to pull the plug. Our democracy depends on it

by Amy Goodman

(image: Free Press)Comcast has announced it intends to merge with Time Warner Cable, joining together the largest and second-largest cable and broadband providers in the country. The merger must be approved by both the Justice Department and the FCC. Given the financial and political power of Comcast, and the Obama administration’s miserable record of protecting the public interest, the time to speak out and organize is now.

“The True Cost of Coal” Artwork by the Beehive Design Collective

Innovative and detailed graphic is a visual exploration of the life cycle of coal as an energy source; artists will tie artwork to local energy issues in Central Illinois.

WHAT: One day exhibit of Beehive Design Collective work entitled “The True Cost of Coal,” including an artist-led discussion of the piece.

Two years in the making, “The True Cost of Coal” is an elaborate narrative illustration that explores the complex story of mountaintop removal coal mining and the broader impacts of coal in Appalachia and beyond. The image is the culmination of an intensive and collaborative research process, as the Beehive Design Collective methodology centers on first hand story-sharing. To create the poster, the Beehive interviewed hundreds of community members throughout the Appalachia region. These exchanges of inspiration and information were collaboratively woven together into a tapestry of hand-illustrated graphics, designed to strengthen and support genuine dialogue, critical reflection, and strategic action in defense of the Appalachians Mountains and the cultural and biological diversity they nurture.

Pete Seeger and the NSA

I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this.

Pete Seeger, 1955, testimony pursuant to subpoena before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  

Pete Seeger (Image: EFF)

Pete Seeger: The Man Who Brought Politics to Music

One of Pete Seeger's greatest achievements was incorporating political activism into music, and realising that liberation struggles need a soundtrack

Net Neutrality Is Dead—Here's How to Get It Back

by Craig Aaron


An appeals court just dealt the latest blow to the open Internet. Three judges in D.C. just killed Net Neutrality.

This could be the end of the Internet as we know it. But it doesn't have to be.

At Once-Promising Brooklyn Arts Center, Creative Hopes Are Dashed

We have our struggles, some of them similar to those in the story here, but we manage...

by Vivian Yee

Crowding into the tasting room of the Brooklyn Brewery, in Williamsburg, the nearly 200 painters, metalworkers, writers and self-styled entrepreneurs — all former members of 3rd Ward, the Bushwick arts center, D.I.Y. haven and creative network that collapsed in October — sounded a little like refugees.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty is the Complete Opposite of 'Free Trade'

The TPP would strip our constitutional rights, while offering no gains for the majority of Americans. It's a win for corporations

by Mark Weisbrot

Home Wireless Network Keeps the Snoops Away

by Kate Murphy

LIKE most people, Kim Thomas has a broadband connection at home that she uses to check email, surf the Internet and stream music and video.

But unlike most people, Ms. Thomas, 56, a program director for a charitable foundation in Portland, Ore., has no monthly bill. All she did was buy a router and rooftop antenna , which not only granted her free access but also made her part owner of the infrastructure that delivers the signal. Total cost: about $150.

Ms. Thomas is a participant in the Personal Telco Project, one of a growing number of community wireless mesh networks in the United States and abroad. These alternative networks, built and maintained by their users, are emerging at a time when Internet service providers are limited in number (some argue monopolistic) and are accused of cooperating with government snoops.

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