The 2011 merger of Comcast and NBC-Universal created one of the largest media conglomerates in American history, which critics warn could limit the variety of voices heard by the public and threaten the internet’s role as a forum for free exchange of information.
Posts Tagged Al Franken
U.S. Sen. Al Franken called for an “explicit ban” on discrimination against LGBT students in a civil rights hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
At a hearing on the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, Sen. Al Franken took issue with the testimony of Tom Minnery, the head of Focus on the Family’s political arm, CitizenLink. After Minnery cited a government study he said showed that the children of married gay and lesbian couples fared worse than married opposite-sex couples, Franken flatly stated that Minnery was wrong and called into question any further testimony from Minnery.
No one loved the internet rules written by the Federal Communications Commission last year that sought to safeguard the free-flowing egalitarian quality of the internet, where communication-industry giants don’t get to decide which information streams to users and at what speed. One side thought the rules were overreaching socialism and the other thought they were riven with the kind of loopholes corporate interests could wiggle through when it came time to assert control. In the spring, Republicans in the House opposed to the rules voted to strip the FCC of the cash it would need to enforce the rules. On Wednesday, a small band of senators, including Colorado’s Mark Udall, sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) objecting to the House action and asking the committee to strip out the budget amendment that would hold back the FCC funds.
Senators discussed the “human toll and budget consequences” of senior hunger at the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging Tuesday. Arguing for increased funding for the Older Americans Act of 1965, Sen. Al Franken and committee chair Bernie Sanders said that the act saves money. “It allows seniors to stay in their homes, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to stay in their homes,” Franken said. Sen. Rand Paul countered that “only in Washington, D.C., can you spend two billion dollars and claim that you’re saving money.” His solution: Letting charities deal with senior citizens.
In his keynote speech Saturday morning at the Netroots Nation conference in Minneapolis, Sen. Al Franken noted the growing income disparity between the middle class and the rich, a trend that began in the late-1970s. The Independent sat down with Sen. Franken to get some thoughts on that disparity and how the American middle class might once again benefit from economic growth.
Sen. Al Franken is the sponsor of legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate late last week that would give binational same-sex couples the same rights as married couples for immigration purposes.
“I came here today to warn you that the party may almost be over,” Sen. Al Franken said. “They are coming after the internet hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important tool for indie artists and entrepreneurs: its freedom and openness.”
The Austin-based South by Southwest music, film, technology fest this week has so far featured populist political discussion on the labor showdown in Wisconsin, Washington war spending and the privatized “debt-based” monetary fund. That was all from Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich. Minnesota Senator Al Franken is set to discuss the future of the internet at 8:30 this morning Colorado time. Franken, like Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, has long fought against the drive to give communications corporations more control over what kind of content flows fastest on the web.
As efforts to reduce school bullying reach the White House, Coloradans take leadership roles.