WASHINGTON—The U.S. Justice Department is suing to block AT&T Inc.'s proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA, saying Wednesday that the combination of the second- and fourth-largest U.S. cellphone companies would hurt competition and likely raise prices.
At a news conference Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the combination would result in tens of millions of consumers facing fewer choices and lower-quality products.
But the agency said the "door is open" to AT&T to propose remedies in the deal.
The proposed tie-up has faced tough opposition from consumer groups and No. 3 carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. since it was announced in March. Shares of AT&T were down 3.7% on the announcement. Shares of Sprint, thought to be a victim of an enlarged AT&T, were 9.6% higher.
[...] The deal would create a giant in mobile telephony that AT&T has argued would provide better service to more of the country. But the Justice Department said in its suit that it would also remove an important challenger—T-Mobile—from the market, reducing pressure on its larger rivals to keep prices down and improve service. T-Mobile has been struggling to compete with the larger carriers, and owner Deutsche Telekom AG has said it isn't willing to invest more in the venture.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas an idiot on CNN today for suggesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency be denied funding and that Americans rely on private insurance to cope with natural disasters.
Three minutes into a live, five-minute interview about the impact of Tropical Storm Irene on Connecticut, anchor Christine Romans posed a long question about the criticism of FEMA by Paul, a tea party hero and Republican presidential candidate. Malloy answered in just five words.
"I think he's an idiot," Malloy said.
Romans seemed taken aback.
"That's blunt. That's quite blunt," said Romans, who began laughing.
Malloy, 56, a first-term Democratic governor now seeking a federal disaster declaration to bring aid to the state, said the money the U.S. is spending on two wars dwarfs the resources that go to FEMA and disaster relief.
"This is a ridiculous conversation," Malloy said. "I really don't understand what he's talking about, and I'm not sure he does."
"I think I hear a frustrated Democratic governor of Connecticut," Romans said, noting he still was coping with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, which destroyed or heavily damage dozens of homes. "You're in the middle of a mess right now."
"It's not that," Malloy said. "I'm a supporter of FEMA."
He credited disaster planning by all levels of government for saving lives in a storm that pummeled the east coast from North Carolina to New England. FEMA's second in command, Richard Serino, was in Connecticut on Tuesday.
The exchange is one reason why Malloy has become a welcome guest on shows such MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where Malloy wasn't been shy about mixing it up with the host, Joe Scarborough, or exchanging barbs with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Ron Paul's comments to Anderson Cooper of CNN last night below the fold.
The past week has been unfortunate for women's rights and reproductive health. On Friday night the super strict abortion law passed by the Virginia Legislature took effect. The new regulations require that the 22 clinics that perform abortions now must comply with physical standards that may require buildings to be rebuilt, renovated, or facilities to be moved at significant costs to the clinics of course.
The new restrictions that require five-foot wide hall ways and 250 square-foot operating rooms are a kind of financial asphyxiation of women's health care resources in the state of Virginia. Since anti-choice advocates can't overturn Roe, despite their best efforts, and voters are too worried about jobs and the economy to take anti-choice legislation seriously, they're just going to work slowly to bankrupt anyone providing women's health out of the business.
The same law that Virginia passed and is now enforcing was also passed in Kansas earlier this summer that would have closed all but one abortion clinic. Perhaps, realizing that the law was an effort to make [or "was part of efforts to make"] the compliance standards difficult and nearly impossible, a judge blocked the state from enforcing those regulations and shutting down the clinics.
The other interesting news in Kansas, however, is a strange law that was passed very late in the legislative session this year that some even think was in violation of the rules. It prohibits any insurance company from providing coverage for elective or necessary abortion procedures. Women requiring these services would have to obtain an insurance rider under the new law - but when the petitioner in the suit asked her insurance company for the rider she was informed that an insurance rider doesn't exist. The law also does not provide an exemption for the life and health of the mother nor does it provide any coverage for women who are the victims of rape or incest. Those women would also have to obtain an insurance rider for the insurer to provide the procedure - but again - the riders don't exist.
The Kansas ACLU is suing the Insurance Commissioner saying that these practices are discriminatory to women because they don't require men to obtain separate insurance riders for procedures. Interestingly, when this bill came up last session there was a lot of activity on the House floor with members who said that it shouldn't stop at abortion coverage riders. Members attached amendments to the bill that would require that prescriptions for Viagra would require a rider, treatment for smoking would also not be covered unless a rider was obtained. So many amendments were attached for so many things that the bill was sent back to committee where it promptly died.
It is a familiar plan. It is the kind of plan that many totalitarian regimes would love to implement. Pastor Mike Stahl of Florida wants to put all atheist on a watch list. Why? Because haters are going to hate.
Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys (sic) for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..
This type of “National Registry” would merely be for information purposes . To inform the public of KNOWN ( i.e., self-admitted) atheists. For example , let’s say you live in Colorado Springs , Colorado , you could simply scroll down ( from the I-Net site /Blog ) I would have , to the State of Colorado , and then when you see “Colorado Springs” , you will see the names of all the self-admitted atheist(s) who live there ( e.g., if an atheist’s name happened to be “Phil Small” ) . The individual’s physical address , and other known personal information would NOT be disclosed ( though , perhaps a photo could be ) .
Now , many (especially the atheists ) , may ask “Why do this , what’s the purpose ?” Duhhh , Mr. Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000 . My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Satan .
Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves ( unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’ ) .
Let's just keep in mind some others' words:
1 Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5
"You are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself that you will escape the judgment of God? Romans 2:1-3
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi
The blog suggestion is actually a year old. But apparently, Pastor Mike didn't get enough traffic to his online-only church-cum-blog, and opted to run the piece again on Facebook. It got the attention Pastor Mike was looking for, although perhaps not the kind of attention he had hoped. He took the post down again after South Florida's "The Daily Pulp" linked to it and I'm sure he received all kinds of comments on his particular brand of Christianity.
You have to admire the pluck of Christine O'Donnell If nothing else, the girl has spunk. Most people would just wilt under the withering criticism that gets directed at her but she just picks herself up and keeps right on going. Sort of the Energizer Bunny of politics, or infotainment personality or whatever hell category she fits into.
O’Donnell took the turnout of five people — members of the media outnumbered customers — at Barnes & Noble in stride.
“God bless you, Tom,” she told Tom Bruzzesi of Fort Myers, who said he’s launching his own presidential campaign.
“I like her,” Bruzzesi said. “She’s kind of a rogue like me.”
“Thank you for coming out today,” O’Donnell said to Louise Campo of Naples.
“She interests me. She’s very conservative,” Campo said.
O’Donnell, a Christian, then politely turned down a request from a young man who asked her to sign his book on demonology instead of a copy of her book.
And now we hear today that Christine's appearance with Sarah Palin at a tea party rally in Indianola, Iowa has been cancelled. Apparently teabaggers objected to witches attending. From the Wall Street Journal blog:
“I made a mistake,” said Ken Crow, president of Tea Party of America. “I assumed there was an open slot and there wasn’t.”
Monday night, Mr. Crow told Washington Wire that Ms. O’Donnell would appear.
Tea Party of America’s co-founder, Charlie Gruschow, said the group withdrew Ms. O’Donnell’s after receiving numerous “emails from a lot of tea party folks that were very disappointed that she would be speaking.”
“We decided not to have her speak,” Mr. Gruschow said. “We felt it was in the best interest of the movement.”
Ms. O’Donnell’s spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
After news spread across the Internet that O'Donnell had been dumped by the same tea party movement that catapulted her to victory last September over Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP Delaware Senate primary, tea party leaders had a change of heart and re-invited O'Donnell.
"We're making room for her," Crow told The News Journal late Tuesday. "We welcome her and look forward to hearing her speech."
In a statement, O'Donnell said she has "humbly re-accepted their re-invitation."
"We're grass-roots people," said Crow, a retired west Texas rodeo cowboy. "We're not professional political operatives."
UPDATE 3: Now Sarah Palin has cancelled, due to “continual lying” from event organizers at Tea Party of America, including a recent mixup over whether former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware would also speak.
After watching the ever widening list of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, and hearing that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may again consider throwing his hat into that ring, Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's Last Word proceeded to shred Giuliani for his handling of the crisis on 9/11 and went after the BIG LIE on what happened that day.
Counter to our media's general narrative on the topic, Giuliani actually cost the lives of firefighters with his mismanagement of the disaster. O'Donnell noted Wayne Barrett's article on the topic and was pretty well reading from part of it. There's a whole lot more there, so go read the rest, but here's part of the article on BIG LIE number two that O'Donnell discussed during the segment in the video above.
2. 'I don't think there was anyplace in the country, including the federal government, that was as well prepared for that attack as New York City was in 2001.' This assertion flies in the face of all three studies of the city's response—the 9/11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), and McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm hired by the Bloomberg administration.
Actually, Giuliani didn't create the OEM until three years after the 1993 bombing, 27 months into his term. And he didn't open the OEM's new emergency command center until the end of 1999—nearly six years after he'd taken office. If he "assumed from the moment I came into office that NYC would be the subject of a terrorist attack," as he told Time when it made him "Person of the Year" in 2001, he sure took a long time to erect what he describes as the city's front line of defense.
Sometimes you wonder what's the worst fate for a band starting out - to disintegrate before your very eyes, or have the record company fall apart in front of you. In the case of The Moon, it was the latter. With a lot of promise, a gathering of very talented musicians in their own right, excellent production and a file cabinet full of hook-laden tunes, you'd think they were the answer to every A&R Departments dream. Well . . .maybe every A&R Department except Imperial Records. Imperial was one of the pre-eminent labels in 1950's R&B and early Rock n' Roll. Their roster boasted such luminaries as Fats Domino and Ricky Nelson. They were a powerhouse label all the way up until 1967 when things began to fall apart. And 1967 is where The Moon comes in.
The Moon were a collection of musicians, all from the West Coast, who had been involved in various other projects before meeting up. Most notable was David Marks, who had just left the Beach Boys a year earlier. The venture was spearheaded by singer-songwriter Matthew Moore, who had gotten the notice of producer Mike Curb (of later California Lieutenant Governor fame) who bankrolled production of a first album and got release from Imperial who more or less ignored it and offered little or no promotion or airplay.
Sadly, the album went nowhere. Nor did the second album. By the time talk got around to a third album there was no more Imperial records and there was no more Moon.
Tonight's track is off that debut album. It's actually two cuts, which blend into each other, so I kept it that way. She's On My Mind and Walking Around are the last two cuts on side one of the lp.
Another band that barely made it out of the starting gate and who are probably better known now than they were in 1967. Such is the Music Business.
While we're still in the middle of watching the devastating flooding left in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene with the likelihood that President Obama is going to come out and push the Republicans for some spending on infrastructure to get Americans back to work and help repair some of the damage from this storm, what's the reaction on Fox?
Apparently toeing the line for Paul Ryan's budget proposal which contains massive cuts to transportation and infrastructure spending. Ryan's name was never used and his proposal was never mentioned here, but that doesn't matter much, because what they were doing is advocating for everything that's in it. From the DC Streets Blog which I've got more of below the fold:
The proposal would also radically shift the balance of federal transportation spending toward highways. It promises to eliminate all new intercity rail projects unless they can be established as profitable private enterprises, for example. It also blames the highway trust fund’s deficits on non-highway spending, with “bike trails” specifically singled out. Of course, the real cause of the trust fund shortfall isn’t the minuscule amount spent on bikeways but the declining revenues from a gas tax that hasn’t even been adjusted for inflation since 1993.
Fox's Cavuto and Sarah Palin fan-girl Kate Obenshain attacked the tolls being collected at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel and the Golden Gate Bridge and then immediately conflated the tolls being collected on those bridges to the gas tax and spending on infrastructure and transportation at the federal level instead of the state level, and claimed that those taxes weren't really being used on infrastructure, but instead being “wasted” on things like bike trails, maintaining our parks, historic preservation and mass transit, rather than paying to maintain roads and bridges.
As I already noted, more on what's wrong with these arguments below the fold, but first here's some of Obenshain's word-salad gibberish she ended the segment with (I think she's been spending a little too much time paling around with Sarah Palin).
OBENSHAIN: Well of course it doesn't. And you look at the President's priorities right now. That is the essence of the problem Neil. Instead of going to the government's responsibility, that's making sure that our roads and our bridges are safe, instead we've the President proposing $53 billion for the fast rail with no cost analysis benefit. This is government philosophy. Instead of focusing on the true, real, good purposes of government, and of our responsibility to provide for, just this kind of scenario, we're off helping build more bike trails with federal funds when we've seen unsustainable increases in transportation spending right now. We've just seen, I think we've just hit the $4 trillion dollar mark that the President has increased the debt by, and yet we're talking about adding to that?
How about focusing our transportation funds on what is real and necessary and right now, frankly, cutting out the stuff that we can put off until we've renewed the prosperity that the free market can bring about. But if we continue to think that just by pouring more and more government money into the problem, this is going to solve the issue, we're making a huge mistake.