This is good news:
Comcast is planning to abandon its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable after the deal encountered intense regulatory scrutiny over whether it was anticompetitive and in the public interest, people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.
The merger would have united the country’s two largest cable operators and reshaped video and broadband markets. Some lawmakers, public advocacy groups and media and technology companies had rallied against the merger, saying it would invest too much power and market share in one company. The combined company would have controlled just under 30 percent of the pay television subscribers and 35 to 50 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet service, depending on how regulators define the market.
A Comcast spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Time Warner Cable. An announcement is expected on Friday.
The collapse of the deal is a major blow for Brian Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast who has steadily built his company into one of the country’s largest media conglomerates through a series of acquisitions in recent years. That includes the prominent 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal, which also drew intense regulatory scrutiny but was ultimately approved.
The implosion also is a major setback for David L. Cohen, the Comcast executive who was in charge of navigating the deals past regulators. The well-connected executive is known for his lobbying skills in Washington.
On Wednesday, Comcast officials met with both the Justice Department and the F.C.C., facing signs of stiff resistance from the regulatory agencies. Justice Department officials were considering whether the deal would harm competition, while the F.C.C. was evaluating whether the deal was in the public interest.
Last week, staff lawyers at the Justice Department raised concerns about the merger and were leaning toward recommending that it be blocked, people familiar with their thinking said. While the development was preliminary, it signaled that the tide had turned against the deal.
Franken, with little fanfare, has been opposed to this since day one, and quietly and steadily built opposition and consensus among those who mattered that this was a bad deal. His statement today:
I’ve been opposed to this deal since it was first announced, and I’m glad that over the last 15 months, more and more people have come to see it the way I do. This transaction would create a telecom behemoth that would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and even worse service. We need more competition in this space, not less. If reports of the collapse of the deal are true, it would be a huge victory for American consumers.”
Sen. Franken has opposed the deal since it was first announced in February 2014. He pressed federal regulators several times to reject it and took a lead role in questioning the deal at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. He recently led a letter to the Department of Justice and the FCC opposing the deal, which was signed by five other senators, and earlier this week, he penned an op ed in TechCrunch outlining his ongoing concerns about the deal.
This merger was no good, and I say that as one of the few people in the country who is very satisfied with his Comcast service. I have a super connection that is blazing fast and I always get great customer service when I call.
I really, really, really like Sen. Franken and I like his approach. He’s solid on many of the issues I care about, and he gets things done in a very quiet, non-grandstanding way. Another one I like a lot is Kirsten Gillibrand. Good young Senators. Maybe they can teach Manchin something.
This is where one of you tells me I supposed to hate Franken because XXXXX and Gillibrand because she did XXXXX and piss all over my relatively good mood upon hearing this news.
*** Update ***
No lie, I have never been on hold with Comcast for more than five minutes in the past five years.
My current ping is 26 ms, download speed of 114.45 Mbps, upload of 11.46 Mbps. And I never have a ping over 30-40 when gaming, whether it is warcrack, world of tanks, whatever.
Manchin learn anything? Be serious. He thinks the Senate is more bipartisan since the Republicans took over. The man is an idiot. And for what it is worth, John, David McKinley OUR Congressman is a typical Republican, but not an idiot. He’ll torch Manchin if he runs against him for the Senate.
The balls on these fuckers to even think they could get this through in the first place. Shows how much we’ve shifted from a democratic republic to a corporate oligarchy.
I’m a big fan of both Gillibrand and Franken, so I won’t be pissing on your good mood.
O/T: The Pink Martini channel on Pandora is awesome!
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
I’m sure as hell not going to tell you not to like Al Franken; I’ve voted for him twice and been extremely pleased with what I got.
I’ll admit that I was extremely leery of his candidacy when it was announced. I never thought he was a very funny comedian, and while that shouldn’t mean much when choosing a Senate candidate, it meant that I couldn’t find anything that recommended him. I always found his political writing to be long on invective and short on anything useful, though I admit to never listening to the radio so he could have been different there.
Then I found out what he majored in in college. I’d known that he went to Harvard but assumed that his degree was in some form of performing arts or writing. It’s not. He has a bachelor’s degree in statistics. I think that that is just about the perfect degree for a legislator to have for a number of reasons. It means that you’re numerate. It means that you’ve been trained to be skeptical and think of things as probabilities rather than certainties. It’s probably the best degree you can get as a foundation to doing public policy work; you’ll need specific subject training for whatever you go into but you have all the tools needed to learn it.
I love Al Franken. And I have watched in person as he drew all 50 states on an easel, freehand. That’s an awesome skill.
Sen. Franken. The Non-Issa.
I go back and forth between overly naive and utterly idiotic for Sen Manchin.
He’s the kind of person who thinks doing something *anything* is a better outcome than panning an obviously bad bill.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
That was crazeballs.
Of course YOU get good customer service! What giant corporation dares piss off the proprietor of the Brobdingnagian behemoth that is Balloon Juice? None that want to stay in business, that’s who.
You are supposed to hate Gillibrand because she was too uppity to maintain comity by allowing her fellow august Senators to pinch her fanny, as needed.
mai naem mobile
Run Al Run. Franken 2016. That’s who I’m ready for.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I saw the 50 states drawing on YouTube and am still in awe.
Ummm, have you *seen* AT&T lately?
Verified! But limited.
Al Franken is an excellent Senator. I know lots of GOP morans just dismiss him as a comedian and have decades-old butthurt over his Big Fat Liar book, but he has taken being a Senator very seriously. With humor, of course, because normal people understand that you have to crack jokes to get through the day. But the work, he takes it very seriously.
I hope he can help bring Amy Klobuchar along. She has a case of chronic Broderism that is quite discouraging.
@Corner Stone: Actually, he’s drawn it as a mirror image on a clear wall(drawing the map from behind a clear wall). It’s really quite impressive to watch.
Amy K and Patty Murray bug the absolute shit outta me. No idea why they pull the BS they do.
Can’t say the same for Di-Fi as she makes big coin acting the way she does.
I’m amazed that anyone ever thought this deal could survive antitrust review. It’s hard to imagine any deal that could look more like a “combination in restraint of trade.”
Sounds like some little piggy didn’t get his snout in the trough.
Still busy looking for your 67 votes for the TPP, counselor?
Wasn’t sure what to make of Al Franken as a Senate candidate when he first announced, but goddamn. The guy is infinitely more serious about his job and the issues than any of our current GOP senators and damn near any from his own party.
It was clear from his writing that he was sharp and well-informed, but I don’t think many people expected him to keep such a low profile and stay so safely out of the extremely dangerous path between McCain/Graham/Schumer/Rand and the cameras.
It was fantastic that Al f’n Franken was so solid that he ran semi-unopposed in a GOP wave year. I thought for sure he’d have a giant bulls-eye on his back every time he came up for reelection. GOP “strategists” probably still just see him as a potty-mouthed comedian, for all the good that does them.
Not to worry, Mr. Cole.
Hillary will sell Time Warner to the Russkies and Comcast to the Chinese.
Franken does want to get rid of the medical device tax part of the ACA. It’s a policy I disagree with, but I don’t think it makes him evil. Mainly because he didn’t refuse to support the overall bill.
Why are we supposed to say something about Franken? He’s been awesome from day one.
Well, Democrats lose two faithful donor with Comcast & TW.
I guess they only need foreign money now and can throw everyone else under the bus.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
I was never worried about how Franken would do as a Senator. I faithfully listened to him on the ill-fated Air America. He had on a lot of political guests and it was clear he had been doing his political homework for a very long time. Plus there was a lot of comedy. That’s the part I miss.
Sure as hell won’t hear it here, John. I’d love either of them to be one of MY Senators.
“as one of the few people in the country who is very satisfied with his Comcast service. I have a super connection that is blazing fast and I always get great customer service when I call.”
You have go to be shitting me. Comcast has the worst customer service in the history of the fucking planet. Minimum 1 hour out of my day for any problem. It’s 45 fucking minutes until I get a live person on the phone.
@burnspbesq: But, but, but…. According to Cramer and his cohorts on the 9 a.m. CNBC show just yesterday, how could the Feds rule against the Time-Warner/Comcast merger and allow the various recent airline industry mergers/consolidations? I, of course, don’t have the answer/rebuttal, but that was the gist of their argument, that there was some equivalency there that resulted in different federal rulings, which was unfair to Comcast.
I heard that she would sell Uranium to the Chinese and Smallpox to the Russians.
Something about a vial tube of dense glowing sprinkles spread over yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
@burnspbesq: They thought they’d bought enough politicans.
Like Cole, I really like my cable company; unlike Cole, I have a small regional service (RCN: Boston, NYC, DC, Chicago, Lehigh Valley). Their tech people have stayed on the phone with me for thirty minutes figuring out where the fault is (a month ago, we determined that either my modem had failed or the server for my end of town had, and at 11 pm the server was going to have to get it’s autoboot at 5am; I plugged the modem back in 8 hours later and everything was working fine.
They shouldn’t have let Comcast and NBC/Universal merge. This one would have been twisting the knife after that hot mess.
Franken was a huge fan of Paul Wellstone and has been completely serious about continuing in his footsteps. He didn’t become a senator because the grift was so good (like Norm Coleman). I hope I get to continue voting for Franken for a good long time.
Anybody using their free of monopoly internet to play GTA online now that the PC version is out? We need a balloon-juice crew.
Your stupidity continues to amaze. I thought I made it abundantly clear last night that if the final version of the TPP that goes to the Senate for ratification includes the things that Loomis and all the other Chicken Littles of the left believe (based on exactly zero evidence) it will include, I will be opposed to it. So no, dickweed, I’m not looking for 67–I don’t know what I’m looking for yet, because unlike you, I know what I don’t know. Fuck off.
@EriktheRed: Damn straight, I would most willingly trade you both of mine, (Graham, and Scott) and throw in Jim Demint and the rest of the SC assholes for just one of them.
Can. Not. Resist. the Stuart Smalley bait.
Here’s John Cole on “unfunny” Franken back in the day:
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
It’s been a good day. driventoit gets to go to a hockey game with me.
So you’re saying you can’t quite yet count to 34, counselor?
You’re a pathetic gaping asshole of gormlessness.
ETA, what you made clear is that anyone asking to deny fast track authority could go suck Erik Loomis’ dick.
Not to repeat myself but, you’re pathetic.
I’m not an antitrust lawyer, but I took a course in undergrad, so just for a second let’s pretend.
Airlines? Domestically we have four with relatively equal market shares, so you can’t say monopolization. They may be guilty of price-fixing from time to time, although it would be difficult to prove because it’s conscious parallelism as opposed to outright collusion.
Time Warner + Comcast = one ring to rule them all.
Cramer has no fucking clue what he’s talking about.
That’s pretty much standard in the industry, why waste money on support when your customers don’t have any choice to speak of? I had Qwest DSL, and their “service” was the pits. Now I’m with Comcast, and in 6 years I’ve never needed to deal with their service drones, praying that continues.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
it’s so cool to watch him do that.
More fail. No, I’m not saying that either, as you would know if you had the reading comprehension skills of the average cockroach or the IQ of a desk lamp. Try reading what I actually write, instead of responding to what the demons in your head tell you to imagine.
What a waste of time it is trying to educate you.
Ditto. Also, Gillibrand is one of my Senators, and unlike the other (I’m lookin’ at you Chuckie Schumer), she doesn’t regularly piss me off by taking Republican Lite positions.
WHAT DA PHUQ?!?!?
Arpaio admits he hired PI to investigate judge’s wife
Megan Cassidy, The Republic | azcentral.com 2:19 p.m. MST April 23, 2015
Sheriff Joe Arpaio knew that private agents had investigated U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s wife, the six-term lawman admitted under oath Thursday in an explosive diversion from this week’s contempt of court proceedings.
It was Arpaio’s second day on the stand in a civil contempt of court hearing, where he and a handful of his top aides are facing three broad allegations of defying Snow’s orders, stemming from a racial-profiling suit.
Obama didn’t just drone hostages, he droned American citizens w/o trial again.
I’m trying to decide whether or not to dump Charter and go with one of the dish outfits? The hopper seems cool but the reviews are not great. Opinions?
He is a good friend of Norm Ornstein, also from MN, I believe. Ornstein is a scholar at AEI which seems an odd fit because he has written with Thomas Mann about the Constitution colliding with extremism and other sensible articles. Ornstein was a frequent guest on Franken’s show and I took him for a liberal and surprised he was at AEI. He was quite funny too, another reason I thought he was liberal.
Great thread, I just found out about Pink Martini and Franken draws a map.
Screw Comcast and Brian Roberts. And NBC Universal too.
@srv: And obviously they decided against the takeover deal to take away attention from the NYT’s story on Hillary. Wheels within wheels!
This is great news, really. You thought the Giant Ant Overlords was gonna be bad… two of the worst companies on the planet with a stranglehold on everyone’s internet?
Yeah. It would have been bad.
Arpaio is a menace.
He probably does have some clue. HLS class of ’85.
He used to do a bit that always just cracked me up. It was called something like “Truth, Lies, Weasel or Liesl.” He would play clips various political statements, media claims, etc., and the caller had to identify whether they were true, false, or weasel words. At this point I can’t even remember how something got identified as a “Liesl,” but I do remember that if the contestants got a Liesl, they had to yodel “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music. Such a fine, ridiculous concept. I loved it.
It seems I keep reading exactly what you write. Good luck trying to hide from it, counselor.
“It’s still a treaty, which means that it takes 67 votes for ratification.”
“then it should be child’s play for Warren, Sanders, et al to find 34 “no” votes. And if they can’t, too damn bad, and you can just go suck Erik Loomis’ dick. ”
“34 is the magic number. You can count that high, can’t you?”
It almost seems like you’re too fucking stupid to understand the intertrons, and that shit you say is.right.there.
@raven: I dumped Charter for TV for Directv, I kept Charter for the intertubes. I’m relatively happy with the choice.
ETA: I should note that I don’t have much experience with the dish and weather, since it doesn’t rain here.
Major Major Major Major
We had to ditch the whole package because Comcast was so slow. Now we use a local company called Monkey Brains instead. We don’t have cable any more but we can get HD on Netflix now that our internet doesn’t suck.
I hate Comcast. All the big telco’s are holding the entire country back out of sheer greed.
@bemused: “Norm in the USA”. Yes, I was a Franken Factor listener.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
Before Franken was running for the Senate, he gave a speech to a big Dem crowd in Maine and then went to a fundraiser after. Back in my previous life when I used to attend such things, I was there. There we all were milling around at this fundraiser and Franken was nowhere to be seen. I went looking for my kids (teens) and found Franken there hanging out talking and laughing with all the kids. I left and let them be and have really liked Franken ever since.
O/T but first of the month I will hit your fundraising page.
@EriktheRed: other than MA (and even that is debatable), I can’t think of a state that wouldn’t improve its Senate delegation with those two.
Franken is great. I live in CA and I donate to him. He’s way worth it.
Major Major Major Major
@efgoldman: the one with the pink undies right?
@raven: Dish, you mean like DirecTV or Dish Network? Or something else?
@BillinGlendaleCA: safety school.
Good times! Ornstein would do a bit about polls, what percentage of people knew this or that, iirc. It would end up with a tongue twister of the percentage of people who don’t know what they know or don’t know what they don’t know…
I still have vcr tapes of the show. I should play them on old vcr before they disintegrate.
@bemused: You should digitize them.
@raven: We have been running with the Dish Hopper for a couple of years now. Pretty good dvr, you can program it over the web and that’s actually easier to do than with the remote. It will accept external hard drives for extra capacity. I have a couple TB of movies and shows recorded and saved. Rain will fuck it up but you can use it to stream stuff you miss.
Sigh, I miss that. I loved the great comedy. There’s still Stephanie Miller but no more Franken Factor and no more Randi Rhodes. Lots of info with humor.
It makes it even more incomprehensible that anyone would want to listen to rightwing radio for fun. Way different senses of humor. What else can explain a woman Republican I know who thinks that Michael Savage is funny.
Pricey I would think?
@raven: I moved in November and got Dish with the Hopper, so far, so good. In some ways too good. I have shows backed up for weeks on the Hopper and it’s nowhere near close to full, so I just keep stacking. I’m planning to do a marathon at the end of the season. I haven’t had any weather related problems. You will want to get your broadband from someone else. They have Internet, but even they admit it’s slow. It’s mostly for people who are in areas that don’t have broadband. It at least gets them on the Internet. I use Time Warner for my broadband. I had Time Warner for years both cable and Internet and they always fixed the problems eventually. A friend uses ATT and is happy.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@MomSense: Thanks! I’m trying to edit part 2 as we speak.
@bemused: I don’t know about Crapple, but on a PC you’d just need either a board and software(probably around $100).
Hauppauge TV tuner products
Both of my PC’s came with these boards.
I’m an old luddite. One of the kids will be here for the weekend and I’ll ask him if he would help. It would be wonderful to preserve those shows.
Jeebus, I’m tempted to move to West by god Virginia just for that.
@jharp: You have go to be shitting me. Comcast has the worst customer service in the history of the fucking planet. Minimum 1 hour out of my day for any problem. It’s 45 fucking minutes until I get a live person on the phone.
We get service pretty quick here. (I dunno about 5 minutes – might run as high as ten.) 87 mb down, 10 mb up, 14 ms ping time.
[‘Maybe Comcast is just good in places where there aren’t any people.’]
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
While I personally think Franken is a bit prickly (although his wife and daughter are absolute gems, so he’s probably a good guy underneath) I ABSOLUTELY love his politics. He’s one of few pols I will enthusiasticly campaign for, and I have dontated to him every month for many years.
Howard Beale IV
@Corner Stone:When both CATO and Senator Warren are on the same side when it comes to TTP, you know it’s a bad deal.
It’s OK to ram stuff down our throats as long as both sides do it.
That Library better be fabulous.
Howard Beale IV
@BillinGlendaleCA: Hauppague? Try Ceton. I have the 4-channel CableCard PCIe tuner and it works swimmingly with Windows Media Center. To be fair, I also have a Hauppague 2-channel OTA HD Tuner as well in my HTPC, which gets fed into my WHS 2011 box (soon to be a Windows Server 2014 Essentials)
@efgoldman: Not many.
@Violet: Yes those.
@raven: My sister & BIL dumped charter for satellite and ended up changing back because they lost satellite every time it stormed.
I’m surprised none of out front pagers have picked up on this shit storm in Valdosta.
VALDOSTA, GA (WXIA) – In the face of an expected large crowd at a protest rally in support of the American flag, Valdosta State University is closing all facilities on Friday.
@WaterGirl: After 2 years I guess?
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
LOL. Amazing find.
@raven: Back then you weren’t locked into a contract, which I would guess is what you are alluding two with the 2 years comment?
They didn’t wait two years, it just was not reliable at all. Summer storms, winter snow, it was always a problem. It was so bad that I even remember it from when I would visit.
@WaterGirl: Aha, thanks
Tree With Water
Way to go, Franken (et.al).
@raven: I’ve had both Dish Network and DirecTV. Currently have DirecTV. Both went out during rains but had a bigger problem with Dish Network. If you like sports, get DirecTV. It’s better for sports.
Not sure what the current DVR box is, but the boxes are pretty good and unlike with AT&T Uverse, the shows you record are on the box and you can access them for a month even if you discontinue your service. I think Tivo partners with DirecTV so if you prefer the Tivo box, look into that.
Get EVERYTHING you can when you sign up. It’s a two year sign up and all your best deals will be before you’re a customer. One thing that they may not tell you is that if you know someone with DirecTV and have them “refer” you, you BOTH get $10/off per month for a year. So find someone who has it and do that. Outside of that, keep asking for additional deals–HBO for free, or some upgrade to something or a second box for free. Get it all before you sign up.
@raven: You can cancel before the two years. They just pro-rate what’s left of your contract. By the time you get to the second year it’s not really that much.
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
@raven: Directv. Dumped Time Warner for them and have never looked back.
And this is new … how? Seriously, who takes stock picking advice from a raving madman?
The last time I called Time Warner, it was because I’d mistyped a payment online and I was like $25 short on the bill. We began getting robocalls about it. Like eight a day. Drove Mr WereBear out of his tree.
I called their customer service as was told it was okay, just pay more next time. But the robocalls would not stop.
I called again. They said they couldn’t stop them. I got a hold of corporate headquarters. No one could stop them. And they were threatening legal action.
I sent them the $25. And okay, one could say I owed them the money. But they were acting like the most psychopathic loan shark in the world. And they acted like they couldn’t control their own company.
Just flat out sick.
Lot’s of good info! Thanks!!!
@raven: I found the guys on this forum really helpful when I was signing up for DirecTV. Lots of good info about what to ask for, how to get what I wanted that compared to the Uverse I was leaving, etc. Used them to troubleshoot a few times too.
I think I used them when I got Dish and they were equally as helpful.
@Violet: Cool, I hit it earlier when I read that the Hopper had serious issues.
I am invoking Cleek’s Law, wrt to the TPP. If Republicans are for it, I am against it.
@raven: I know you like sports, so be sure to consider DirecTV over Dish. DirecTV has the NFL network and you can probably get the first year free. Bargain for it. From what I have read, DirecTV is the way to go if you like sports.
I’ve found DirecTV customer service to be helpful. You can get a real person quickly. Their support is a little lame–you know, reboot the machine, etc. But I don’t expect much else. Had to have them come back out shortly after the initial install and that guy was really nice.
I call every three months or so to ask for additional reductions on my bill. Usually they work out something.
I’ve got DirecTV in WI, and have to clear the dish of snow after the first, maybe second snowfall of the season. Rain will also interrupt the signal, but it has to be pretty heavy (either here, or directly to the south and high enough to interdict the satellite path). And the signal recovers as soon as the heaviest rain passes.
I hate TW in Rochester. I was on the phone with them last night for 50 minutes trying to minimize my cable bill since the promos were up. They wouldn’t really do anything, so I cancelled all cable TV and am in the process of switching to Earthlink for the internet service. TWC can go screw as far as I’m concerned.
@Violet: I wish there were brick and mortar stores to go to but I guess not. I’m less concerned about the NFL than I am about getting the BTN and SEC networks.
You don’t have a paying job, do you?
That should be “Goldman’s Law” or maybe “Warren’s Law”
I won’t be happy till that shitbird is behind bars.
@raven: I think it was Costco that some friends went to and signed up for DirecTV. I don’t know if that would be helpful. No, there aren’t actual DirecTV stores to go into.
I don’t know about those other networks, but I do remember the DirecTV was supposed to be better for sports. If you want those other networks and they’re on another tier, ask for discounts when you sign up.
@Central Planning: Yes, we used to call up every year and threaten to leave, and they would cut the bill.
Because if we didn’t, it would creep up and up and up…
I thought the Gawker article had a great first para:
The FCC is very likely to block Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the reigning Worst Company in America and Most Hated Company in America, from completing their $45.2 billion super-megamorph into The Worst, Most Hated Company in America, a source familiar with the deal told Bloomberg today. Hey Comcast, have you tried turning it off and rebooting it?
110mps no fucking way.
@raven: We have Dish and the Hopper. We like it a lot. The system is not as intuitive as DirecTV was when we had it in 2005 but it’s easy enough to learn. We get fast enough internet through then, too.
I tried that. About 4 years ago I left them and went to DirectTV. They didn’t care. Last night, same thing. I cancelled HBO and cut my roadrunner to standard instead of extreme ($20/month savings) and cable to the standard package. New cost was $14 less/month than my previous bill, which basically was the cost of HBO. I can get HBO directly now which is cheaper than TW too. Instead of getting $150/month from me, they are now getting $0 (well, they are getting something via earthlink).
I am glad John has had good service with Comcast. Every time I get PO’d with ATT Uverse, I consider Comcast, but the horror stories are too much.
It’s horrible for Democrats here, and it’s getting worse:
I just think people have absolutely zero faith or trust in trade deals. None. Brown is probably hearing from people who are absolutely enraged. It’s that kind of thing here, and it isn’t just Democratic voters. Lots and lots of Republicans hate these deals too.
The California Assembly has approved the proposal to name the tunnel leading from the Golden Gate Bridge north to Marin County the Robin Williams Tunnel. This is the tunnel with the rainbows on each end that was known as the Waldo Tunnel, but that was never its official name.
Tree With Water
@Origuy: That is such a bad idea. Exiting the Waldo tunnel (a perfectly fine name that compliments the Waldo grade) provides many people with their first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the city itself, the east bay hills in the distance. But it’s the bridge that renders this tribute so malformed. The Golden Gate Bridge is already synonymous with suicide victims, and Williams himself died a short stones throw from it. Macabre jokes about it would abound, which would be a disservice to the man and his memory. One thing is certain, however. If it could be, Williams would have milked the scenario for every laugh that could possibly be milked out of it.
There is absolutely no way we should just flat accept this trade deal. Because the last few were oh so helpful to avg American workers.
Just last month, for the first time in my 20 year relationship with TWC I had a good experience with them. Internet went out. Thought it was my modem, so I went to the store and replaced it. Nope; got home, hooked it up, no good. I called the help line. At 8pm. They could not help me but offered me a service call for 9am the next day. WHUT? You mean tomorrow? At exactly 9am? And then at 8:30am the next day they confirmed and they were here at 9 on the dot. By 9:35 I had internet again. Good Job, Time Warner Cable. Good Job!!
As someone who worked for Comcast I can tell you customer service quality depends heavily on where you live. Comcast service is divided into regions. The central PA region where I worked was consistently rated as the number 1 region for cs. We answered most calls within 5 min (It would have been within 15 sec for most people if it wasn’t for the god awful sales pitch you get before you can get help). If someone called I was literally able to fix their problem almost 90% of the time over the phone. If they needed a service call and called before noon I could have someone out the same day most of the time, next morning if it was after 12. And we guaranteed a 2 hour window that was hit over 90% of the time.
And then there were some regions like Baltimore that totally sucked ass. A lot of it, I think, had to do with the company who had the service before Comcast bought them out. Where I was Suscom had owned the setup and already had a good infrastructure and service setup already in place. Our call center also handled smaller service areas around the Suscom area that Comcast had bought and the service in those areas was crap. But as Comcast upgraded those areas service got noticeably better.
I watched part of the hearing where Sherrod went after the trade negotiator. It went veering off in this weirdly personal direction. It sounds like Sherrod thought the guy was disrespectful to his staff, one staff member, specifically.
I’m sure he is, but it sounds from the quote more like he is getting heavy lobbying FOR the TPP deal (if the “cabinet members” bit is accutate)…
Sure, absolutely, but he’s been holding rallies and meetings and such here. They want him to stop it. They hate NAFTA (which he opposed) and I just don’t think they’re reachable or persuadable. I don’t know if you remember how hard NAFTA was sold. They essentially told people it would be miraculous, which iof course led to a feeling they had been horribly lied to and betrayed.
As a TWC customer, I can say that I have never had a worse experience with any service or company. I’ve received things that were broken in the package that I look at longingly compared with TWC. When I cut my cable and signed up for Internet, I was on the phone for almost three hours. I talked to four people. Twice, I had to correct them in regards to what I was signing up for (in both cases they were trying to sign me up for more expensive Internet service). As bad as all of this, I am thrilled that it’ll not get worse due to the merger. Thank you Franken!
Besides being just generally a very smart man, Al Franken had 35 years on entertainment business as an actor, writer, producer, etc. so he knew just the kind of leverage and monopoly power that a Comcast and Time Warner merger would create. Such merger only makes sense (like the mergers take place right now between drug companies) as method to create “rents” for shareholders by limiting competition and creating monopolies in the markets.
@srv: That the Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, etc. are so enthusiastic for the TPP means the TPP is going to be great for the 1% and not so good for the rest of us. I don’t think in this case it is the shifting of jobs overseas (I am afraid WTO and NAFTA already led to that horse leaving the barn door), but rather the intellectual “property” protections for patents and copyrights on on drugs and software will mean higher prices for us, Japan, and other TPP nations. The other bad element is the Investment State Dispute Mechanism which I expect will be used to leverage labor, safety, environmental, and health regulations to the lowest level possible. Even if this was not the case, IDS clauses hurt U.S. workers and small businesses by encouraging investment overseas by lowering the risk of such investment. A business might think twice about investing in Vietnam if they thought the local Government would expropriate the business, but IDS not only means they don’t have to worry about that, they don’ t have worry about losing their expected profit if Vietnam raises its minimum wage or enacts laws ends sweat shop conditions and safety hazards in the work place. They can then file an IDS claim and at least get something of a guarantee profit out such an investment. Talk about giving incentives for bad behavior.