Friday, April 22, 2005
Today's Seattle Times carried an article in the business section about a proposed buyout of bankrupt Adelphia Communications, in which Adelphia's 5.3 million customers would be divided between Comcast and Time Warner, currently the nation's two largest companies. What caught my eye was this paragraph near the end of the piece:
Several public-interest groups said Tuesday that they'd oppose the deal because it furthers what they consider to be anti-competitive media consolidation.
Adelphia is BANKRUPT: its assets need to be sold to the highest bidder or bidders. Consolidation is going to occur, since Adelphia is going to go away. As to competition, for the most part, competition in the cable industry is nonexistent due to geographical monopolies granted by local governments. Does it really matter to the general public which corporation provides service to an area? Note that the pressure groups are not arguing on grounds of substandard service (something which I can relate, considering last week's woes with Comcast. They are arguing the tired "media concentration" meme without stopping to consider that it doesn't matter one whit in this case. Mindless opposition to anything relating to corporations is sadly typical of self-identified "public-interest groups", who invariably believe that the profit motive causes corporations to screw over their customers.
I'd like to see these groups push to deregulate the industry further, eliminating the government created geographic monopolies that shield the corporations they distrust from competition. It's not likely to happen, however, because the same mindset that opposes corporate profits also loves the nanny state and its byzantine bureaucratic rules. Opposing deregulation actually harms the consumers these groups are claiming to champion.
posted at 09:21 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Pulling a Sullivan
..."Sullivan", of course, being Andrew Sullivan, who did a full 180° spin (I was going to say pirouette, but that would be a little too much) on Bush when Bush announced his support for the detestable Family Marriage Amendment. Suddenly, Bush could do no right, and Sullivan had to, um, adjust a few of his positions to fit his new worldview. Sullivan's site started looking more like a slightly more coherent Eschaton (without comments).
This month's contestant is John Cole. For him, the trigger was the Terri Schiavo case. Cole has always been willing to criticize the GOP's excesses (he has had a post category entitled "Republican Stupidity" for quite some time), but his sudden hatred of Republicans has endeared him to a whole new set of commenters from Daily Kos, who rejoice in what they consider to be a "Rational Right-winger". Since April 1st, Balloon Juice has been wall-to-wall Republican bashing; in just the last week he has trained his sights on Delay, Frist, Sensenbrenner, Lugar, religious conservatives in general, Sean Hannity, and bloggers Hugh Hewitt, John Hinderaker, Bryan Preston and Misha. The only non-Republican bashing posts were a snipe at Robin Givhan and a post about GM's woes.
John has not really changed any of his views, other than allowing his religious apathy to veer towards antipathy, and (in his most recent post) a desire to have the government dictate to business what they are required to stock (pharmacies and "Morning After" Pills). He certainly has altered the tenor and focus of his posts, however, to reflect his new focus. I hope he snaps out of his funk, because I tend to agree with much of what he says, just not his tenor or his emphasis. He's even taken pains to bash Republicans over the Schiavo memo, while totally ignoring Howard Dean's identical politicization of the issue.
(As an odd aside, I moved Balloon Juice into my "All the Time" blogs when I dropped Andrew Sullivan out of that position. Is there a curse on my blogroll?)
posted at 08:32 PM | permalink | Comments (9)
Work that headline
James J. Na at Guns and Butter Blog catches a whopper of a misleading headline in the Times of India, in reference to one of the front-runners to be the next pope (who has been selected but not revealed as I type this). One has to read the entire article to understand the truth of the situation, which is nowhere near as diabolic as suggested by the headline.
UPDATE: Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI. I imagine the Times editor responsible for the odious headline is disappointed, and the writer is probably not terribly happy either. The headline and the article were both rather slanted against the new pope, and spoke to an agenda that neither is likely to admit pushing.
posted at 09:23 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, April 18, 2005
Double Standards? Never!
Let's review now...
When a staffer for a brand-new Republican senator gins up a memo that suggests that the Terri Schiavo case is a winning issue for Republicans, the left explodes in fury, accusing the Republicans of inexcusable politicization of the issue (rightly, IMNSHO).
However, I expect to hear only crickets from the same left-wingers over Howard Dean's politicization of the issue.
"We're going to use Terri Schiavo later on," Dean said of the brain-damaged Floridian who died last month after her feeding tube was removed amid a swarm of political controversy.
Note that Howard Dean is not a flunkie of a freshman senator, he is the national leader of a major political party.
Dean, who has called congressional intervention in the Schiavo case "political grandstanding," singled out House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) for his leading role in the matter.
"This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it's going to be an issue in 2008," Dean told about 200 people at a gay rights group's breakfast in West Hollywood, "because we're going to have an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?' "
Congressional involvement in the issue is grandstanding, but an ad campaign such as the one Dean outlined is not? Howie, your reality check just bounced; your sanity account is severely overdrawn.
The Republican activists who pushed this case were wrong, but Howard Dean is not only wrong, but idiotic, because he's had time to assess the effect of the memo affair on public opinion, and he still couldn't restrain himself. The Democrats have just ceded any moral high ground they might have had over the Republicans on this issue.
Those who thought that Terry McAuliffe was bad for the Democrats are in for a long couple of years, because with Captain Dean at the helm, the Democratic Party is going to be obsessed with harpooning the white whale, to the exclusion of everything else, like winning back seats in the senate and House of Representatives. Even if they take Delay down, his seat is so solidly Republican that it's unlikely a Dem could win it. Bumping off Delay would actually be a net plus to the Republicans, since it would deprive the Democrats of their favorite whipping boy. Rick Santorum is a lot more charming and sympathetic than Delay; they simply will not be able to get the same mileage with him as they have with Delay.
(Link courtesy of Best of the Web.)
(Edited 8:45 AM/19 April 2005 to clarify.)
posted at 10:40 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Thing that make me go hmmmph
If you are one of those flaming anuses who must listen to your bass-heavy, Two-Nikes-in-a-Kenmore music at a deafening level, I am sure that there is a special ring in hell reserved for you, wherein you will be forced to listen to Lawrence Welk and the 101 Strings for eternity, at the same mindsplitting volume you inflicted your aural dreck upon the rest of us.
(This screed brought you by the idiot who drove down the street behind my house with his musicand I use the term looselyblasting loud enough to cause all of the windows in the house to rattle in sync. I think it would have set the burglar alarm off if it had been armed.)
(Edited at 8:45AM/19 April 2005 for clarity.)
posted at 09:04 PM | permalink | Comments (1)