FCC Chair Ajit Pai suspends the proposed Sinclair/Tribune merger, saying he's afraid Sinclair will sell some of its stations (in order to get under an FCC ownership cap) in "sidecar arrangements" allowing them to keep a stake in programming and revenues -- thus retaining control over stations they don't own, which is against the law. Next will be a hearing before an administrative judge; Comcast and Time-Warner abandoned their efforts to merge rather than face an administrative judge in 2015. I still wouldn't be surprised to see this deal come back from the dead, though. And why do we allow any person or corporation to own more than one station again?
Look, I want to believe just as badly as anyone else that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) could vote against the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination. After all, Mr. Kavanaugh believes a President should be exempt from criminal prosecution because he's-so-busy, and he has also stated that our government's metadata-vacuuming program is "entirely consistent" with our Constitution's 4th Amendment (and also spoke of the program's alleged "critical national security need," as if he hadn't convinced himself of the previous statement). But Mr. Paul could be the deciding vote here -- Republicans have 51 of 100 Senators, but John McCain is gravely ill and hasn't voted on anything in months -- and my guess is he waits for Sens. Manchin, Heidtkamp, and Donnelly to vote yea before he votes nay. Because the best time to vote on principle is when it makes no difference!
Just as we should take the term "fake news" with about a pound of salt, Jim Naureckas at FAIR reminds us that we might actually credit social media with the leftward shift in voters' beliefs over the last few years. And just as we figure our President calls things "fake news" because he doesn't like being criticized, we should also figure that the "liberal" media doesn't like social media first and foremost because it's upended their authority -- social media has allowed good Americans to filter the news they get more to their liking, and maybe traditional "liberal" media sources, corporatist and cowardly as they are, aren't really to anyone's liking. Also, too, social media certainly isn't worse than the "right-wing noise machine" that drove voters rightward during the '90s.
Uh oh: looks like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also met with Marila Butila, the Siberian woman recently charged with trying to collaborate with certain Americans to influence American elections. They met during Mr. Walker's Presidential campaign launch in 2015, which reminds me, mainly, that we really dodged a fucking bullet when Mr. Walker's campaign went kaplooey later that year, because Mr. Walker would be doing all the things Mr. Trump is doing and doing them in a way that would probably seem civilized to most Americans. But I'd be perfectly happy if this revelation helped finish his try for a third term later on this year.
Our President sure did put on a show two days ago in Helsinki (no, this won't be the straw that breaks the camel's back for Republicans, either), but no no no a thousand times no our President did not commit treason by throwing our intelligence agencies under the bus and sucking up to Vladimir Putin. He committed a thousand other sins, certainly, but not that one, because Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution still says what it's always said, and Congress has not declared war on Russia. And just as we remain wary of our "liberal" media regardless of how much our President constantly whines about them, we should remain wary of our intelligence agencies, as we have always done, out of our duty as citizens.
Finally, I was profoundly disgusted with our President fist-bumping that notorious Turkish dictator wannabe, Mr. Erdogan. "Do(ing) things the right way," according to our President, doesn't just explicitly mean steamrolling over our Constitution's mandate that spending bills originate in Congress -- it also explicitly means firing tens of thousands of civil servants, sending hundreds of judges to jail, torturing and raping detainees, and arresting 60 children for treason. Think of all that the next time you think of President Big Balls fist-bumping Mr. Erdogan.