×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comcast-NBC Merger Approved By FCC

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the gov't-power-concentration-is-fine-though dept.

The Internet 268

AndyAndyAndyAndy writes "It seems that the FCC has approved the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC, effectively kicking apart hopes for protection against 'pipes and their water' frameworks. Pres. Obama's 2008 goal also goes ignored: 'I strongly favor diversity of ownership of outlets and protection against the excessive concentration of power in the hands of any one corporation, interest or small group.' The Dept. of Justice is also onboard, leaving little hope that this will be stopped."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

268 comments

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922504)

WTF? I thought the Dems were all about keeping the monopolies from taking over, and then collapsing, as happened in 2008.

Re:WTF (5, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922694)

WTF? I thought the Dems were all about keeping the monopolies from taking over, and then collapsing, as happened in 2008.

"Democrats" and "Republicans" haven't run anything in the United States for at least a few decades.

These terms are only used for betting purposes now. Political power belongs to people for whom limiting terms such as "party" or "ideology" have no meaning.

Today, power is vested with people whose names are not widely known. "Dems" and "Repubs" are little more than handy punching bags that can be blamed for problems so the people in power won't be disturbed.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922826)

WTF? I thought the Dems were all about keeping the monopolies from taking over, and then collapsing, as happened in 2008.

Dems are all about media monopolies.

Re:WTF (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922944)

Only three of the five FCC commissioners can be of the same party - meaning, you only need one democrat and the two republicans to allow something like that.

I have no idea if that's what's happened in this case, though.

Re:WTF (5, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923008)

It seems it's not - according to TFA, the decision was approved with 4 - 1 votes. Michael Copps was the only one to vote against. I salute him.

Re:WTF (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923152)

Dems and reps are one in the same, corporate shills all too eager to sell legislation to the highest bidder.
Don't let the media confuse you with their hot button left/right bullshit propaganda.

Yeah baby, way to go Comcast (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922506)

Sweet, I cant wait to see the great programs they have to offer

Bill baby, Bill! (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922700)

...was heard from some exec's top floor corner office.

think of the lawyer on the simpson's episode who stood up on his desk to do a dance when apu's wife wanted to file for divorce. yes, the guy who looked like the animal who stole her chickens back in india.

PARTY TIME for our cable overlords.

Awesome. (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922510)

One step closer to a single outfit controlling^Wsupplying all your media needs.

Re:Awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922704)

Hahaha. I guess the CCCP had it right after all.

Re:Awesome. (5, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922748)

One step closer to a single outfit controlling^Wsupplying all your media needs.

Along with that, it will be interesting to see what happens when Comcast gets Universal Studios along with NBC. I guess it means they'll start suing their own file-sharing customers -- which they won't even have to subpoena the names for. Maybe you'll even just see a charge on your next bill:

Comcast High Speed Internet Service: $52.99
Movie Sharing Fee: $25,000.00
Total due by Feb 8, 2011: $25,052.99

Thank you for choosing Comcast!

Re:Awesome. (5, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923314)

Hm.. no that's too short and readable by a mere mortal.

There, fixed it for ya..

Movie Sharing Fee: $200
Surcharge for IP packets received from competitors networks/websites (Qty: 63,250 packets * $0.003): $189.75
Surcharge for IP packets sent to competitors networks/websites (Qty: 8,260 packets * $0.03): $247.80
Surcharge for 100 movie uploads (above sharing allowance): $1.50 * 100: $150
Surcharge for uploading to off-network users ( 200 * $5) : $1000
Surcharge for downloading files from off-network users ( 200 * $1) : $200
Surcharge for viewing websites outside partner network (Qty: 5000 page hits * $0.10) : $500
Surcharge for accepting TCP connection from off-network user (Qty: 768 TCP connections * $0.40) : $307.20
Surcharge for HTTPS usage (Qty: 1733 connections * $0.02 ): $34.66
Surcharge for SSH usage (Qty: 15 unique hosts * $2.50): $37.50
Surcharge for e-mail to out of network e-mail addresses (Qty: 63 * $1.50) : $94.50
Surcharge for IRC usage (Qty: 6332 msgs sent/received * $0.05): $316.60
Surcharge for miscellaneous TCP protocol usage (Qty: 566 connection hours * $0.08) : $45.28
Surcharge for SIP UDP usage (Qty: 1289 SIP INVITES * 0.15) : $193.35
Music industry partner sharing charge (Qty: 50 MP3s uploaded * $10) : $500
Music industry partner download charge (Qty: 14 MP3s downloaded * $5) : $70
Music industry partner internet radio charge (Qty: 50 songs streamed * $1.50) : $75.00
Disney.com access surcharge (Qty: 45 page views * $1.25): $56.25
Pandora.com access surcharge (Qty: 36 hours listening * $60): $2,160
Youtube.com access surcharge (Qty: 90 videos viewed * $2.50) : $225.00
Youtube.com access surcharge (Qty: 10 videos viewed with NBC content * $25.00) : $250.00
Youtube.com access surcharge (Qty: 45 videos "liked" * $0.95) : $42.50
Youtube.com access surcharge (Qty: 45 videos "disliked" * $0.10) : $4.50
Youtube.com access surcharge (Qty: 15 comments posted * $3) : $45.00
Facebook.com access surcharge (Qty: 500 page loads * $0.10): $50
Facebook.com access surcharge (Qty: 220 status updates submitted * $0.15): $33.00
Google.com access surcharge (Qty: 240 web searches * $0.75): $180
Twitter.com access surcharge (Qty: 100 tweets submitted * $1.99) : $199.00
NyTimes.com access surcharge (Qty: 50 page loads * $0.30) : $15.00
Mortal soul surcharge: $19784.10
Finance.yahoo.com access surcharge (Qty: 100 stock charts viewed * $0.45) : $5
Amazon.com access surcharge (flat fee) : $10
Timewarner.com access surcharge (flat fee): $30

Total due by Feb 8, 2011: $25,252.99

Thank you for choosing Comcast!

Re:Awesome. (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922978)

One step closer to a single outfit controlling^Wsupplying all your media needs.

You think this is just about media?

Re:Awesome. (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922986)

I don't have a citation, but from what I've read Comcast has some of the shittiest customer service of them all. You get AOL-Time Warner, Comcast-NBC, I'm sure there are others. As the media producers combine with the new-age distribution channels, we are going to get the corporate internet we all dread. Its coming, and Washington isn't going to do a fucking thing about it.

Its going to be like AOL all over again, except you will have to pay extra for third party email, third party content. Shit--ISP and backbone peering, that will disappear. Traffic shaping will get worse. Protocol throttling. Worse. These are the golden years of the internet, and I dare say that it will only become more degredated as the conglomerates consummate their blood-lust for money. Maybe it will get better.

Perhaps its time to start and open-source organization for developing a true ad-hoc mech network. Get like an android powered WAN/Router/DNS box, have it link up with other boxes nearby, ad infinitum. Something like that to get 'off the grid'. If enough people (and I mean enough) had them, perhaps we could go back to people run internet, and not corporate run. Granted you would lose much of the benefits of the preexisting infrastructure, but at what point do you have to draw the line instead of just continually taking fees up the ass?

Fuck It. (5, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922514)

Let's just start making all our own content and distributing it by sneaker net and avian protocols. I'm tired of every single damn decision going towards funneling more funds and freedom (for abuse) to the megacorps. We'll hire Kenyans drinking powerthirst to be the runners for the sneakernet version of gmail.

Re:Fuck It. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922524)

Bareback Oboingo is a kenyan.

Re:Fuck It. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922542)

Bareback Oboingo is a kenyan.

People like you need to fuck *miles* of off.

Re:Fuck It. (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922618)

LMFAO avian protocalls. I've heard of sneakernet but that's funny. +1

Change.... (-1, Flamebait)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922538)

Pres. Obama's 2008 goal also goes ignored: 'I strongly favor diversity of ownership of outlets and protection against the excessive concentration of power in the hands of any one corporation, interest or small group.' The Dept. of Justice is also onboard, leaving little hope that this will be stopped."

Obama is the President, he has executive authority over the DoJ, does he not?

It's Obama ignoring his own goal. Change you can believe in.

Re:Change.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922576)

"Yes we could've."

Re:Change.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922918)

Time to wake up folks. Here's the spoiler alert on the Big Conglomerates' evil plans:

1) Buy off all major media outets
2) Widen the party divide through sensationalist stories from aforementioned media outlets
3) Convince the average Joe that a vote for will make a difference by keeping those damned out of office!
4) Buy off whoever wins.
5) Enact laws that favor Big Corporations
6) If Big Conglomerates control all branches of Government, Goto 7, else Goto 2
7) Profit

Re:Change.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922990)

Executive authority over the DoJ? I don't think the U.S. government works the way you think it works.

Re:Change.... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922992)

Obama is the President, he has executive authority over the DoJ, does he not?

NBC is General Electric. They have authority over everything.

React After the Fact (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922540)

It seems these kinds of excesses are only dealt with after some severe abuse. Even though the potential for abuse is clear, the regulatory approach always starts with vague promises by corporations with spotty histories and some limited, in scope and duration, conditions with questionable enforcement provisions.

For the love of Pete ppl... (-1, Flamebait)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922552)

stop voting Republican. I know the Dems aren't exactly saints, but at least the leader of their party was opposed to this!

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922612)

You really believe that?

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922650)

Its President Obama's agency heads who have signed off on this.

The President has to be in favor of it.

So why vote Democrat when they are the ones who do this?

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (2)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922794)

It's both, you pinheads! When are you douchebags going to wise up to the fact that the Democrats AND Republicans are both full of shit, corrupt entities? The right vs. left "fight" is only a diversion to keep you from noticing that the corporations continue to bribe, I mean, lobby their point home with tons of cash for anyone willing to vote their way? You think your vote does anything useful? You're fooling yourself. You think the Tea Party is going to be any different? Good luck, citizens. The corporations call all the shots in this "democracy." Nothing has changed, only the leanings to garner your waste of a vote. Whoever controls the house and senate are meaningless, because they vote the way the corporations tell them to vote. Period.

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923210)

Not answering to this specific situation, but you are 100% wrong. Not objecting strongly enough to burn political capital to change the decisions of others is not the same thing as actively supporting it. Pretending they are the same is a lie. I don't know Obama's opinion on this, and neither do you. You don't know what he's thinking and don't have enough from this situation to deduce it. Don't pretend you can and then assert that it has to be the worst possible situation.

Not that I'm supporting the democrats. They are as bad as the alternative. But I advocate hating the parties for the right reasons, not lying about it to hate them for unrelated things. That's what creates partisanship in the first place, and partisanship is the worst possible thing because it gets people to think they aren't voting for evil when they vote for the lesser of two evils. They are all evil, and selectively bashing one to imply the other isn't as bad as they actually are is a lie.

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923284)

Sorry, but if the President was against it he could simply make that clear to the two Federal agencies who have signed off on it. Both agencies answer to the Executive Branch.

Political capital is for people who intend to be career politicians, President Obama has reached the peak of US politics and vetoing this merger would not cost him anything in the 2012 General Election.

President Truman established the idea that he was responsible for the government and the decisions they made, by that two Federal Agencies coming out in favor of it means the head of the Executive Branch is in favor of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_passing [wikipedia.org]

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922680)

leader of their party...

...appointed the current FCC chairman and is responsible for the D majority of the FCC.

leader of their party...

...is the largest recipient of Hollywood campaign contributions in the history of US politics, and is about to embark on a $1E9+ re-election effort. NBCCOMCA$T? No Problem!

Keep drinking the anti-republican cool-aid, numpty. It's helping a lot. But for wise folk such as you we'd really be messed up. Quick, everyone mod this brilliant mofo way the hell up!

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922692)

While the Republicans have certain ideological commitments to "free market" (i.e. free for the incumbents) content creation and distribution, the Democrats just get too much in campaign contributions to let this sort of thing fall apart. You'd be better off pushing for public financing of elections, or organizing your friends into a cadre of nutty "patriots" who show up at town hall meetings with rifles and threaten "second amendment remedies" to the problems of media consolidation.

Of course, as long as the only people who care about media consolidation are the Clearasil posse, and pissy libertarians who refuse to vote for the major parties, expect no change on this front.

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922710)

voting?

how cute. someone who still thinks there is a connection between the will of the people and those in charge.

for your 15th birthday, I'll get you the video game of your choice.

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922716)

*was* opposed. He isn't now.

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922732)

Vote neither. Either vote third party, or stop voting at all. At least that way your hands are clean of this bullshit.

Re:For the love of Pete ppl... (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922868)

3rd party, or nothing; there r more then the 2 and they airnt already corrupt so at lest a year of pure public interest

btw pirate party USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Who's Pete? (2)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923038)

Personally I think both "sides" are bad.

...but at least the leader of their party was opposed to this!

In my opinion, if someone is against it...well saying something and doing something are two different things. I think it is apathy that is to blame. Too many (non tech-"savy") people just say they really do not care that much. Apathy, hell we know those lobbyists are very motivated people. The other problem is ignorance, I mean the internet is a series of tubes right?

...kicking apart hopes for protection against 'pipes and their water' frameworks.

Oh right, pipes. Also from the article:

...the Federal Communications Commission determined the deal was in the nation's public interest...

But having just The Washington Post opinion really is just that. Let's go to the source...
Here are the statements: 1 [fcc.gov] 2 [fcc.gov] 3 [fcc.gov] 4 [fcc.gov]
The news release [fcc.gov] isn't much better as when reading down to each individual bullet point, I see many comments for "protecting online video", but video is not the only concern!

Offers its video programming to legitimate OVDs on the same terms and
conditions that would be available to an MVPD.

Send chills down your back when you consider the implications of statements like that, doesn't it?
Quote from link 1 above:

The conditions include carefully considered steps to ensure that competition drives
innovation in the emerging online video marketplace.

A nice disclaimer at the front of link 3 above (joint approval):

However interesting and intricate the issues raised by the combination of Comcast and
NBCU may be, as a matter of law, our role at the Commission is limited to ensuring that the
transaction complies with all applicable statutory provisions, such as ensuring that the license
transfers are in the public interest. Our analysis should only include a thorough examination of
the potential benefits and harms of the transaction. Any proposed remedies should be narrow
and transaction specific, tailored to address particular anti-competitive harms. License transfer
approvals should not serve as vehicles to extract from petitioners far-reaching and non-merger
specific policy concessions that are best left to broader rulemaking or legislative processes.

That would be fine if the government actually gave the FCC power, but this is a whole other issue [arstechnica.com] within itself.
From the dissenting opinion, to which I agree: (link 2)

Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal is a transaction like no other that has
come before this Commission—ever. It reaches into virtually every corner of our media
and digital landscapes and will affect every citizen in the land. It is new media as well as
old; it is news and information as well as sports and entertainment; it is distribution as
well as content. And it confers too much power in one company’s hands.

Looking over these public notices [fcc.gov] on the FCC site I think it must be considered though on what we expected the FCC to do in the first place. If a particular judge thinks a law is stupid, it is not his job to ignore the law. (Constitutionality being a whole other ballgame...) In the same sense, the FCC did make this decision based on powers that they were given. I am curious however, rsilvergun, and others, what do you think of the FCC's current power? I am ignorant at this point to what role the FCC should have taken within their legal bounds and departmental role. I hate this just as much as anyone else, don't get me wrong, but link 3 above (and related quote) did have a point if that's correct. Were the issues that arose from this merger outside the scope of the FCC...no matter how much they morally objected to it?

Disclaimer that is sadly needed: I am not a Republican or a Democrat to be clear, and I am not "intelligent", ok I am wrong, and I do not want to get involved in a political discussion... take it for what it is worth. And yes I understand by playing devil's advocate all hell will break loose, but I think that is what that merger did anyway so idc...

the only good stuff on NBC is sports and by NFL ru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922560)

the only good stuff on NBC is sports and by NFL rules that MUST BE FREE OTA.

2012 the year of the cable only or PPV olympics then in 2014 EPSN or fox get's them.

NHL moves to ESPN in 2012 and VS becomes a other G4 with crap on it.

NBC sports (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922988)

2012 the year of the cable only or PPV olympics then in 2014 EPSN or fox get's them.

I've been wondering for quite a while anyone would watch the Olympics. Are they really that interested in how much the death of the bronze medal winner's great grandmother affected his childhood? I really don't care if Michael Phelp's socks make his feet itch. Personally I hope that they go PPV and nobody pays.

Conflict of Interests (2)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922568)

I wouldn't suggest downloading any NBC-related torrents on Comcast.. because you know they'll be watching.

And, for the record, I don't condone illegal torrents, but I would merely like to point out the large privacy concern this merger presents.

Re:Conflict of Interests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922742)

On the other hand wouldn't any adverse reaction (lawsuit) on the part of NBComcast be seen as an illegal use of monopoly?

Re:Conflict of Interests (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922814)

On the other hand wouldn't any adverse reaction (lawsuit) on the part of NBComcast be seen as an illegal use of monopoly?

Sure. Well, either that or a perfectly legal protection of their intellectual property. I mean, theoretically it could go either way, but my money's on the guys and gals with the money, and that means NBComcast, now more than ever.

Re:Conflict of Interests (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923178)

There's a (somewhat costly) countermeasure to this, which is to route tracker queries through either https or tor to prevent eavesdropping, and scrape trackers instead of adding your IP address to the swarm (i.e. don't advertise a listen port), to prevent passive monitoring of swarm participants. The cost is that now your client no longer accepts incoming connections, so it can only make outgoing connections. For small torrents or initial seeding, this can be a problem, but for torrents with many peers, there's always enough that accept incoming connections to support everyone else.

Re:Conflict of Interests (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923308)

Damn, then you'll have to miss out on all that amazing NBC content, like . . . um . . .

And anyone was surprised by this? (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922596)

I will not be voting D or R this election. I don't care who it is, but it won't be them (tea party isn't a party).

I have friends who work at Universal, according to HR, "it is quite an exciting time to be working apart of the NBC Universal family."

Who wants to predict a big round of layoffs in the entertainment industry pretty soon?

Re:And anyone was surprised by this? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922654)

predict?

I'd like to HELP accelerate it.

out of work 'entertainment' folks is what I call good old fashioned JUSTICE.

Re:And anyone was surprised by this? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923132)

I will not be voting D or R this election.

What in the world makes you believe that voting means anything? Supposedly, according to the media (and not just the "mainstream media" but ALL media, left-wing, right-wing, blogs, etc) there have been HUGE ideological swings in the parties in power. We've had republicans running everything and democrats running everything but regardless of the rhetoric, the end result is the same. But don't think it's because there are no difference between the parties. No, it's because the parties, the elections, even the government itself is nothing more than the "circuses" part of "bread and circuses". The whole shooting match is nothing but a distraction. Something to make us feel like we're doing something.

Here you are, puffing out your chest and asserting that "Hell no! I'll not be voting for a Democrat nor a Republican in the next election". And you'll spend time pouring over information, choosing just the right third party or independent candidate who will most closely mirror your worldview. You will march down to the polling place, secure in the belief that you have done some sort of "civic duty". Really, you're passing responsibility from your hands into an invisible system so you can then say "don't blame me, I voted for "X"". The time you spent reading up on the candidates on the issues on the important matters of the day, the time you spent deciding, the time you spent voting will have amounted to nothing. Those in power will not have noticed one bit. It means nothing.

Polls are taken, published, trumpeted by partisan media. People point and say "See? Most of the country agrees with me!" and it will make you feel as though you are "in the right" that you are connected to something that in some way will effect outcomes. The board of directors at General Electric, at Comcast, are as aware of you, of your dreams, your goals, your complaints, your anger and rage as you are of the bacteria that live in the soil in the dirt in the postage-stamp sized bit of grass in front of your house or apartment.

When a tiny percentage of the population own virtually everything and forty percent of the population own zero - not one bit of anything why would you think that this "politics" thing, this thing which is done for your entertainment, to keep you amused and engaged like a 2pm game of Bejeweled is actually going to matter to the people in power?

Geez, I'm a fuckin' ray of sunshine today, ain't I?

Monopolies... (4, Informative)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922626)

It is in the interest of governments to allow monopolies, it is much easier to order 1 big entity to cough up certain needed information or to force them to execute the government plans, than a lot of small entities.

This revolving door between big corporate US and the government (fascism) is starting to be a real burden on the people, all we have to wait for now is government to draw the wrong cards and finding that in reality their power is more and more subdued by the corporates.

But then, the people lost already 50 years ago when Ike proclaimed his farewell speech, this is just the final stage of that losing battle.

Re:Monopolies... (3, Informative)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923170)

big corporate US and the government (fascism)

For the love of all that's holy, that's not what fascism is. Fascism is a political philosophy in which the state is the primary component. In a fascist system, there are no true property rights and business owners can lose everything if they are proscribed by a powerful individual.

Fascism has more in common with communism (they're both totalitarian systems in which the state is the most important element) than collusion between business interests and government. That's more of a mercantilist system.

Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922666)

It seems like Obama has betrayed a large fraction of the ideals he stated during his campaign.

What I'd like to know is, during his campaign, did he...

(a) Lie about those ideals, never intending to pursue them?

(b) Tell the truth about what his ideals where, but know he was exaggerating about being able to accomplish all of them?

(c) Intend to achieve them all, but not realize that he could only chose a handful to push through?

(d) Once in office (and with access to all classified info), realize that some of his campaign promises were unwise, although he believed them to be wise at the time?

The answers to these may suggest whether we as citizens need to be more realistic about what's really possible (for example, effective counterintelligence while prosecuting your state torturers), or whether Obama is really just a far worse person than people give him credit for.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922832)

B...b...but he kept his promises about obscure credit-card reform proposals! Leave Barack alone! It's those evil Republitards who are wrecking this country!!!11!!!

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (4, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922882)

At least I see Democrats and liberals questioning Obama's motives. During Bush's 8 years the Republicans questioned nothing.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922940)

You do? Where? Every liberal I know just sucks up to Obama despite minor things like his failure to close Guantanamo or end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. (What, you thought that was repealed? Check again - it can only be repealed two months after Congress votes that it "won't effect troop readiness." Guess what the chances of that happening are.)

Likewise all the liberals supporting Obamacare despite clear evidence from Massachusetts that the parts they did pass will only raise costs and lower actual coverage. The number of people in Massachusetts who have no access to a regular doctor and must instead seek all their care through the emergency room SKYROCKETED thanks to the very things Obamacare does.

Yet the one thing that could have actually helped lower costs (single payer, tort reform - the vast majority of health care costs are red tape) - Obama cut.

So, yeah. Where are all the liberals questioning him?

Hell, the liberals are still blaming Palin for the Giffords shooting, despite the fact that we now know that the shooter was a radical liberal!

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923062)

I'm not sure what liberals you're referring to, but every liberal I know is still pissed off about the public option being taken out of health care reform. Same goes for Guantanamo still being open. Take a serious look at dailykos, firedoglake, or crooksandliars and you'll find plenty of liberal criticism of Obama. As to liberals "still" blaming Palin for the Giffords shooting, I challenge you to show me one example of a liberal blog blaming her for it. I challenge you! Give me an example. Palin has whined about this for a week, acting like she's the victim, and yet I haven't seen one single person blame her for it.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34923234)

Why limit your examples to liberal blogs?

http://www.irishtimes.com/cartoons/turner/2011/0112/12.jpg

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923064)

The shooter wasn't a radical liberal, as you call him. He had no known political affiliation, and had copies of both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto, which implies he was extremely confused about politics, if anything.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (1, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923000)

During Bush's 8 years the Republicans questioned nothing.

At least regarding the invasion of Iraq, the "Patriot" Act, etc., you didn't see many Democrats question him much either. At least not publicly.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922888)

Well... "c" and "d" imply that he wasn't lying at all, and we know for a fact that all successful politicians lie, so I'll with "b" since the easiest lie to tell is the one that's rooted in truth. For better or worse, nobody keeps all their campaign promises. Though I do think he (and many others) saw the Democratic majority in the house and senate as somewhat of a free pass, underestimating the strength of the obstructors.

Even if "d" could be a little true, it certainly doesn't hold much water in this case. Hard to imagine that unifying media control under a small number of conglomerates is somehow keeping "terror" at bay.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34923024)

It seems like Obama has betrayed a large fraction of the ideals he stated during his campaign.

What I'd like to know is, during his campaign, did he...

(a) Lie about those ideals, never intending to pursue them?

(b) Tell the truth about what his ideals where, but know he was exaggerating about being able to accomplish all of them?

(c) Intend to achieve them all, but not realize that he could only chose a handful to push through?

(d) Once in office (and with access to all classified info), realize that some of his campaign promises were unwise, although he believed them to be wise at the time?

The answers to these may suggest whether we as citizens need to be more realistic about what's really possible (for example, effective counterintelligence while prosecuting your state torturers), or whether Obama is really just a far worse person than people give him credit for.

I actually make it a point not to tune into talk radio during my commute, or to Fox News while at home. But my nonchalance has gone unpunished; I can get all the carefully fact-checked news and analysis about Obama just by logging into Slashdot.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (3, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923176)

You know, you see a lot of false dichotomies these days. But it's not often one gets to see a true, blue false trichotomy. So thank you for that.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923206)

You know, you see a lot of false dichotomies these days. But it's not often one gets to see a true, blue false trichotomy. So thank you for that.

I was trying to enumerate all of the plausible explanations I could think of for why Obama failed to fulfill core campaign promises.

I wasn't trying to provide a logically closed set of alternatives.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923216)

Can you be specific about which ideals he's gone back on?

Here's a summary of the ones I know of, based on Politifact:

1) Stimulus package. Passed, and current estimated at having added 3.5M jobs to the economy.
2) Raise taxes for people making over $250k/year. He ultimately caved rather than let the GOP cut off unemployment checks to millions of people.
3) Health care reform. Done, though lacking the public option he had touted on the campaign trail. He tried to get it, but ultimately Lieberman and a few others wouldn't budge.
4) Keep lobbyists out of the system for at least two years from their last job. I don't know how, or if, he ever intended to do that one. Oddly, he mainly talked about it after he was elected. Maybe he just really didn't understand how DC works...
5) Establish consumer credit safeguards. Done (for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans).
6) Allow bankruptcy courts to modify predatory mortgages. He tried, but it got voted down in the House. Badly.
7) Cap and trade. Filibustered to death in the Senate.
8) Immigration reform. Hasn't really been addressed. The DREAM act was by no means comprehensive reform.
9) Increase investment in science and technology. Considering he's increased science budgets by around $75 billion over the past two years, I'd say he's stuck by that one.
10) Repeal DADT. Done.
11) More transparency in the government. He has stood by that one, just not to the extent that most people on Slashdot want. "More transparency" doesn't mean putting Assange in charge of the NSA. You can now find freely available audits on the use of the stimulus funds, for example. Good luck tracing the TARP money sent out under Bush.
12) Net Neutrality. Let's be honest. While this is probably the top of Slashdot's agenda, it's likely the bottom of his. He hasn't touched the issue much one way or the other.

So of the top 12, there are 3 that he hasn't really tried to accomplish: Cutting down on lobbying, reforming immigration, and net neutrality. I'd say telling the truth 75% of the time is remarkably good for a politician, pathetically low as that standard may be.

Re:Obama: liar, weak, or naive? (4, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923290)

Can you be specific about which ideals he's gone back on?

Here's a pretty good list: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-broken/ [politifact.com]

The ones I especially care about are:

No. 234: A five-day reading period for proposed legislation.

No. 491: Provide an annual report on "state of our energy future"

No. 517: Negotiate health care reform in public sessions televised on C-SPAN

No. 518: Create a public option health plan for a new National Health Insurance Exchange.

No. 525: Introduce a comprehensive immigration bill in the first year

Also, from this list: http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=91286 [wnd.com]

Probably the most important to me is #10: greater government transparency.

And from John Stewart: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/01/08/jon-stewart-bashes-obamas-broken-campaign-promises [newsbusters.org] : Closing Gitmo within a year of his campaign promise being made.

It's also interesting to note the things which I felt he'd promised, but which PolitiFact (which I generally trust) has no record of:

  • An end to warrantless wiretapping by the NSA.
  • Prosecution of CIA torturers.

It would seem that I confused the general image he projected with actual promises on some important issues.

Leno better watch out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922670)

The first time he's late with his CATV bill they'll cancel his show.

YAY (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922688)

now I will have to get the darn near 80$ a month package to watch ... um ... hm the office or 30Rock? nah that is on hulu, um ... some football games like with ESPN and Monday night football?

awesome! thank you very fucking much comcast. If I can manage to afford it can you bother to actually hook the crap up without me rescheduling you 4 times cause your retard operator wrote down apartment 101 even though I TYPED 901 in your website? or is that too much bother?

Re:YAY (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923068)

now I will have to get the darn near 80$ a month package to watch ... um ... hm the office or 30Rock? nah that is on hulu,

You mean it was on hulu. Now it will be on comcast.com for Comcast subscribers, or you can pay the $5 an episode at itunes.

And we are surprised why? (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922768)

Really, the Obama Administration has been just a continuation of the Bush Administration. Every time they have had a choice, they have chosen to keep the status quo and to continue to favor large business. This is no exception. The only change we got is in the last name of the POTUS.

Re:And we are surprised why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922984)

Doesn't matter what administration is in power...

With the job-market $#!tstorm happening all over the country...can't you imagine this scenario going down?

The Prez: "Yo Big Biz, we're tired of your shenanigans"
Big Biz: "Well we're just going to take our jobs, money, and intellectual properties elsewhere"

If Obama lets that happen, then you get headlines like "President refuses to work with businesses; loses millions in revenue, thousands of jobs"

If he does work with them, then you get "President approves tax breaks for big businesses, industries continue to run rampant!"

All you get out of either outcome is the blame game and finger pointing. Big Business is too powerful now, it was too powerful eons ago, and it will continue to be so in the future because they have the ability to manipulate and control anything in their way (with enough money).

Re:And we are surprised why? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923186)

I so wish I had some mod points to throw your way. Anyone who thinks there's a perceptible difference between Bush and Obama is frankly blinded by partisanship.

Re:And we are surprised why? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923190)

To be fair, the first name is different too.

Re:And we are surprised why? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923246)

To be fair, the first name is different too.

Astute observation, for sure.

That said, we tend to refer to it as the "(last name) administration" or "(last name) white house". Really the first name is pretty unimportant. :)

What about the SEC? (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922788)

Is Justice the final word on mergers? I thought the SEC and other financial watchdogs had to sign off on mergers like this, and not just the FCC or DOJ.

Without the paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34922878)

It seems odd to buy NBC, considering how poor they've been doing and how utterly incapable they've been on developing new shows. What does it matter if Comcast owns NBC, if NBC has nothing anybody wants? I write that as someone whose only sitcom-viewing is NBC Thursday nights, though I don't like them enough to pay their ridiculously high iTunes price (showing that even without Comcast, their approach towards online sales is severely self-sabotaging).

So, really, NBC has pretty much no good new content, and old content isn't worth much online since whatever that's old and gets eyeballs is syndicated ad nauseum. What can we realistically expect from this? Is Comcast really going to start pushing NBC content down the throats of their ISP subscribers, even when it makes most of them throw up?

Re:Without the paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34923078)

I take it you haven't heard of hulu yet? tsk, tsk.

Re:Without the paranoia (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923122)

Hulu will disappear once NBC and the other Comcast properties pull their content. Soon it will be comcast.com for Comcast subscribers and a pay-per-episode model for everyone else.

Re:Without the paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34923248)

I use Hulu and Netflix, but I'd buy some of the shows even though I can watch them free online. For one, at-home internet always has some the occasional outages -- whether I'm in SF, NYC, or the bumfuck midwest -- and for another, I travel a fair amount and would rather buy episodes or movies I think are re-watchable than spend the same amount to rent something in-flight or rent an internet connection in-flight.

Been there . . . (4, Interesting)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922880)

. . . heard that. Remember when GE made TVs? Remember when they made other TV equipment (post RCA, per-RCA re-aquisition) like TV cameras, too? Remember when they owned Universal Studios, too? Remember when pundits said GE was going to control the airwaves (as they did when they first owned RCA) and the minds of America? Now, who is selling NBC to Comcast?

Re:Been there . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34923028)

GE didn't have a granted monopoly on the broadcast medium in many localities, comcast does. I don't for a second believe this alone will make them "rule everything"...but this will definitely cause things like a "bittorrent surcharge" to start showing up on comcast bills, this also makes it so NBC can directly spy on all of comcast's internet users to send out even more ridiculously expensive lawsuits.

Pretty sad (2)

ecorona (953223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922928)

Anybody who truly understands the details of what transpired here and who has at least a shred of respect for the truth understand we live in a Kleptocracy.

To whome is may concern (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34922970)

Weren't you one of the slashdot guys telling us how great the FCC would be at regulating the internet?

We told you that the FCC had no intention of promoting net neutrality, but you didn't fucking listen. The FCC then put forth bullshit neutrality rules that not enforce neutrality.

Now the FCC is condoning the creation of a real neutrality problem (not just one you fucking imagined.)

Are you ready to concede, that the FCC should not to be in charge of regulating the internet? ..or do you need the FCC to fuck you over a couple more times before you will listen?

Re:To whome is may concern (4, Interesting)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923162)

Are you ready to concede, that the FCC should not to be in charge of regulating the internet? ..or do you need the FCC to fuck you over a couple more times before you will listen?

You are drawing exactly the wrong conclusion. In this case, the FCC is letting Comcast fuck us over. If the FCC is not in charge of regulating the internet, everyone with money and power will be able to fuck us over. At least with net neutrality regulation, they'll at least have to ask the FCC before they do it. It's not the best possible world, but it's better than the one we get without net neutrality.

NEWSFLASH! FCC makes unilateral decision (1)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923006)

with business concerns in mind but without concern to the citizenry!

Regulatory Capture of the FCC is kind of a given at this point.

The Worshipers of the Grand Free Market (except where the tariffs and controls prevent others from competing with the Grand Free Established and Entrenched) are full force and full on in genesis of this decay.

Sure the FCC makes stupid token actions in terms of the indecency of seeing aging female nipple or any male appendage over the airwaves to keep the proles feeling "protected" from the evils of the flesh (and coincidentally bolstering the closed and captured pay-per-view and [ahem] "premium-package providers" in the cash), but beyond that token public good with its fully coincidental cash windfall to the cable companies, it should surprise nobody that the FCC demonstrates purient action in favor of its corporate owners.

No need for a conspiracy theory here. Money talks, unfunded speech doesn't even get a "protest zone" for the President of the United States.

Welp. (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923072)

I was going pretty soft on Obama- I think he'd done some not-very-bright things, but he could shape up.

Time to go complain on the internet.

Can you say "Plutocracy"? (2)

get_your_guns (1380583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923160)

I agree with all the posters here that have seen where America is going. It is no longer a multi party democracy. When was the last time Americans had any control of important legislation? Where was the vote on the Health Care Plan that Obama pushed through with his majority vote?

This country no longer is controlled by the citizens. At least at my state level I can vote on certain state initiatives but I did not get a chance to vote on the Health Care Plan and the Health Care Plan will wind up costing me more than any state initiative. Just as Bush was given the green light for going to war from the big defense industry, Obama was given the green light from the health insurance industry, who by the way the health insurance industry will gain the most as the 30 million or so people that don't want insurance or was just managing to put food on the table for their family instead of paying high insurance rates will now be forced to pay high insurance rates and let their family die of starvation.

Obama did not get the chance to design the right health care system for the right one would limit the public health insurance options. There was billions of dollars spent behind doors that we voting Americans will never see. The people in control will never show themselves. They hide behind their money and corporations getting richer and richer all the while our jobs are going overseas, our gas is getting more expensive and the security of our families is going away.

I predict outtages/quality degredations coming... (1)

prodevel (1206992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923168)

I predict outages/quality degradations/nefarious tweaks coming to ABC/CBS for Comcast customers in 3... 2... 1...

Obama's 'goals' (2, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923184)

He might say he "strongly favors" this and that, but it's quite likely his power is much more limited than people realize. He's just one man against an entire bureaucracy with established connections between various groups that aren't going to be particularly willing to budge, no matter what he says. For him to make a difference he would have to put his political career on the line and risk significant retribution from those who don't want the change he's after.

For this reason I'm not sure whether to blame Obama just yet. Of course, maybe he was just naive in thinking he could conduct change without any personal risk.

Not very powerful since you don't need either. (1)

sanchom (1681398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923204)

This is only a concentration of power if you see comcast and NBC as needs. Who actually needs either of them?

There was a time when . . . (2)

sfarber53 (239131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34923312)

there were rules AGAINST media companies owning one another and cross-media ownership. It seems those days are gone forever. It is very sad that we are allowing so much power to concentrate in so few hands.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...