This undated publicity photo provided by Nickelodeon shows a scene from the animated series 'SpongeBob SquarePants' (AP Photo/Nickelodeon)
LOS ANGELES – "SpongeBob SquarePants" may be getting squeezed off of Time Warner Cable.
Media giant Viacom Inc. said its Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and 16 other channels will go dark on Time Warner Cable Inc. at 12:01 a.m. Thursday if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by then.
The impasse over carriage fee hikes would mean "SpongeBob" and other shows like "The Daily Show" will be cut off to 13 million subscribers, said spokesman Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable operator.
Viacom has asked for fee increases of between 22 percent and 36 percent per channel, an amount that could increase customers' cable bills, Dudley said. Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew said the requested increase was in the very low double-digit percentage range.
"The issue is that they have asked for an exorbitant increase in their carriage fees and their network ratings are sagging," he said. "Basically we're trying to hold the line for our customer."
Viacom said the increases would cost an extra 23 cents a month per subscriber — which works out to $35.9 million more in total. It said that Americans spend a fifth of their TV time watching Viacom shows but its fees make up less than 2.5 percent of the Time Warner cable bill.
"We make this request because Time Warner Cable has so greatly undervalued our channels for so long," it said.
"Ultimately, however, if Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and the rest of our programming is discontinued — over less than a penny per day — we believe viewers will see this behavior by their cable company as outrageous," it said.
Tense negotiations are continuing at the highest level, Dudley said.
Viacom accused Time Warner Cable of not negotiating.
"It is our sincere hope that they will come to the table and negotiate a deal," said McAndrew. The network operator also intends to tell viewers about the dispute in TV ads in 11 major markets.
Part of the disagreement is that most of the popular shows are rerun on Web sites where Viacom collects advertising revenue that it does not share with Time Warner, Dudley said.
"We don't think that's fair," he said. "They're trying to have their cake and eat it too online, where anybody can get it for free."
Viacom has staked much of its revenue-growth prospects on its ability to extract higher carriage rates out of its cable and satellite affiliates despite an ad slowdown and weak ratings.
In the third quarter, media network revenue, which accounts for about two-thirds of the total, grew 6 percent to $2.1 billion, despite global ad revenue falling 2 percent, largely because of double-digit percentage growth in affiliate fees and the success of its "Rock Band" video game.
Viacom shares rose 69 cents, or 3.7 percent, to close at $19.26 on Tuesday, while Time Warner Cable shares added $1.56, or 7.7 percent, to $21.76.
The channels that would be affected are: Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike, The N, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, and VH1 Soul.
Richard M. Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew were the first US President and Vice-President team to resign from office. Agnew was known to have a coat with large pockets hanging in his office at all times. First as Maryland Governor, and then as Vice-President, Agnew expected visitors to his office to just load the large pockets of his hanging coat with bundles of cash. Agnew and Nixon spent no time in jail. The time of the "free-for-all" should end. See to it that Bush DOES jail time.
Excerpt: The vice president even feared for his life, reading into Haig's message: "go quietly—or else." General Haig similarly found Agnew menacing enough to alert Mrs. Haig that should he disappear she "might want to look inside any recently poured concrete bridge pilings in Maryland." [source]
Had fate been different, Agnew could have been a judge sitting in courtrooms making judgments on court cases. What does that say about America's courts?
Agnew was found to have committed felonies as Maryland Governor and Vice President. He was allowed to pay $10,000 in fines, and go on his merry way. Frank Sinatra even helped Agnew skate.
There shouldn't be two classes of people in the US, those above the law, and those living in fear in a Police State.
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NIXON TAPES: Outraged at Ivy League (Pat Buchanan)
Text with video: 023-039 April 19, 1972 White House Telephone
President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger talk to speechwriter Pat Buchanan about a speech he is writing for Vice President Spiro Agnew. They encourage Buchanan to attack the "spineless, soft, wooly headed" university presidents and faculty, who were attacking the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War while a North Vietnamese offensive was going on. Nixon says that student protestors can't be blamed when such people lead them. (This phone call occurred one day after Nixon's daughter Tricia had been booed and harassed at a sports event on a college campus.)
(Photo: Richard Nixon shaking hands during the 1972 election, while his wife First Lady Pat Nixon watches.)
Judicial, Police, Attorney, Prosecutorial, and Official Misconduct
[click here] for the Connecticut State Police Misconduct complaints that I lodged. They have a policy called, "Arrest and Discredit" for complainers.
If you are a Green Party Campaign Manager, the Connecticut State Police just might put you on their "Secret Police Enemies List". Journalist Kenneth Krayeske found all about their list [more]
Ritt Goldstein found all about the lying lawyers on the legislative Judiciary Committee. He fled the US seeking political asylum in Sweden after proposing Civilian Oversight of Police legislation to elected officials, so terrorized by police. [video and more]
Subject: Docket # CR01-0074672, Rockville Court, Connecticut, 20 Park St.
With all due respect, I am trying to convey my story without a tone of anger, which is impossible. I mean no disrespect to you in any of my words below. I admit a lack of tact and can be guilty of not having basic common sense, but I have worked hard my entire life, spoke my mind too often, and have tried to improve my life and for those around me as long as I have been old enough to be aware. I feel a grave injustice has occurred and wish to make you aware for possibly investigating my claims. [more]
The Connecticut "Justice System" has the morals of a Whorehouse. If those you complain to about public corruption are allegedly part of the profiteering, racketeering, obstruction of justice, and the attorney, legislator, executive branch, judicial, prosecutorial, official, and police misconduct, what do you think happens to the complainer? How "ethical" are any investigations if there is no requirement that there is ethics in government?
[click here] for pictures and video from Bill Cosby's Hartford, Connecticut, appearance on the topic of fatherlessness and fatherhood.
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The police misconduct complaints lodged by Steven G. Erickson against Connecticut State Troopers [click here]
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal allegedly refused to return calls, emails, and letters from Congressman Simmons office regarding just reviewing my trial transcripts. Blumenthal never answered me on my complaints against police officers in Connecticut.
The Connecticut State Police still have a policy of "Arrest and Discredit" for those who propose Civilian Oversight of Police to elected officials, for those who get "Mouthy" about police misconduct in newspapers or blogs, for those who wish to sue police, and for those who lodge police misconduct complaints.
Former Green Party Campaign Manager for Connecticut Governor, Kenneth Krayeske, was placed on the Connecticut State Police "Secret Enemies List" and then arrested on sight. [story]
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Richard "Ritt" Goldstein proposed Civilian Oversight of Police to a special session of the Legislative Judiciary Committee in Hartford, Connecticut, December 1996. He soon fled to Sweden seeking political asylum so terrorized by Connecticut Police. [more]
US Marine comes home to Connecticut gets stabbed 13 times by felon on probation, David J. Taylor. Stephen Murzin is arrested when he woke up in the hospital alive with 13 stab wounds for having caused a disturbance while being stabbed. Murzin faced 6 months in prison. Felon on probation, David J. Taylor wasn't even violated on probation for trying to kill 3 people, ferociously stabbing them. [story with videos]
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[click here] for a post that is my open letter to the members of the legislative Public Safety Committee in Connecticut
Is Connecticut State Representative Michael P. Lawlor a propagandist? [more]
Grand Jury systems and the need for them explained [video]. Effective Grand Juries, acting independently, is what corrupt officials, police, prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys fear most.
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To: Connecticut State Representative Drew, Thomas J. Thomas.Drew@cga.ct.gov [website]
I would like to pass onto you a number of individuals that can attest to the same thing regarding what is going in Connecticut. Mr. Drew are you interested in having me pass names onto you or to someone else in the legislative branch?
I am talking about public corruption of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), the Judicial Branch, the Connecticut State Police, and other agencies, departments, individuals, and their families and associates.
The Connecticut DAS IP address seems to be involved in the hacking and harming of websites, possibly even in attempts to make computers permanently crash.
Numerous individuals could report of the judicial misconduct of Judge Jonathan Kaplan, Joe D'Alesio and others. Should there be defrauding of taxpayers, nepotism, retaliation, obstruction of justice, and the fixing of court cases going on within the Connecticut Judicial Branch? Judicial branch employees that allege misconduct of others don't have their claims investigated, they are sent out on unpaid leave, fired, and judicial marshals, private investigators, and other thugs are sent out to harass their family and friends.
I think there should be a special legislative hearing to call witnesses to public corruption.
There is a raging debate on whether judges should have blanket immunity from prosecution, even for malicious acts. Should a judge be able to stand up from the bench, pull a gun, shoot you dead, and then be immune from prosecution?
Should judges be able to rape, rob, murder, and falsely imprison citizens on their whims? [click here] for a video on the Grand Jury System and the need for a strong one.
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This public comment [video] was sealed from the public by the brass of the Connecticut Judicial Branch. Andrea Wilson and another judicial branch employee blow the whistle to judges, managers, and VIPs at an official hearing. This testimony and that of the public was hidden so the judicial branch could give itself straight A's in a rigged survey [video] paid for by tax dollars.
What are other insiders in the judicial branch saying when they feel free to let loose? [more]
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Should State Police, such as in Connecticut downtown areas, target home and business owners before they do prostitutes, drug dealers, and other criminals? [more]
Is Ellington, Stafford Springs area, Connecticut, Attorney Michael H. Agranoff the worst and most dishonest lawyer in Connecticut? My letter to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal [here]
What about arrests and prison for behavior like this?:
Attorney, prosecutorial, judicial, official, and police misconduct is an "art form" in the state of Connecticut and too many other states. There are two classes of people. Those that get taxed, arrested, and live in a "State of Fear" and there are those who run the "State of Fear" with immunity from arrest and prosecution, what US Constitution?
MAUREEN DUGGAN, right, addresses the committee reviewing misconduct charges against her related to a fraudulent letter she wrote in 2004 while a staff lawyer with the State Ethics Commission. The letter led to the firing of ethics chief Alan S. Plofsky. Her lawyer, Hope Seeley, is at left. (BOB MACDONNELL / HARTFORD COURANT / November 5, 2008)
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[click here] for pictures and video of the Bill Cosby, Hartford Capitol, Connecticut appearance on the subject of Fatherlessness for the legislative hearing, Fatherhood Task Force.
A blowjob, car crash, politically powerful man dead, and alleged police/court tampering, skewed investigations, and harassment allegedly orchestrated out of a governor's office. ...
The most recent Heather Specyalski saga: [click here] for below post
Police Report Recounts 15-Year-Old's Final Hours
Heather Specyalski, Laurie Latourelle (HARTFORD COURANT / April 29, 2004) In this 2004 file photo, Heather Specyalski, left, laughs with her friend Laurie Latourelle after a jury found Specyalski not guilty of felony charges in connection with the death of her boyfriend Neil Esposito in a 1999 crash.
Fifteen-year-old Brandon Specyalski spent the last hours of his life at home in Ashford drinking beer, downing shots of vodka and snorting ground-up morphine tablets he had taken from his mother, according to friends interviewed by police. [more]
The date of that seemingly Swedish language post is late August of this year. Does anyone out there know Swedish, and will you help me contact Ritt Goldstein?
added 4:39 PM EST:
Om du är i Sverige, vet att det svenska språket, kan du hjälpa mig få kontakt med Ritt Goldstein?
Är Ritt Goldstein fortfarande bor i Sverige utan "inhemska tidningar", olagligt?
Skriv i ämnesraden för eventuella e-post ", Ritt Goldstein". Tack.
Если Ритт Гольдштейн все еще живет в Швеции вы помочь мне найти его?
Написать в теме какой-либо электронной почте, "Ритт Гольдштейна". Спасибо.
Wenn Ritt Goldstein immer noch das Leben in Schweden werden Sie mir helfen, ihn finden?
Schreiben Sie in die Betreffzeile einer E-Mail, "Ritt Goldstein." Danke.
I was able to do the above myself with a language conversion tool for web pages found [here]. Just cut and paste the text and you can respond to someone in their language, or cut and paste their language in the box and get back English ... Wow... Cool!
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There would be actual justice if scumbag lawyers didn't oversee each other. If you lodge an attorney misconduct complaint, a board of lawyers hears your complaint. They side with each other. I think the worst, and most dishonest, attorney in the State of Connecticut calls himself the, "DCF Specialist", Michael H. Agranoff. [click here] for my complaint to the Connecticut Attorney General regarding Agranoff.
The Hollywood blacklist—more precisely the entertainment industry blacklist, into which it expanded—was the mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities; some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time. Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, the late 1940s through the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit and verifiable, but it caused direct damage to the careers of scores of American artists, often made betrayal of friendship (not to mention principle) the price for a livelihood, and promoted ideological censorship across the entire industry.
The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. A group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the artists—the so-called Hollywood Ten—in what has become known as the Waldorf Statement. On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet called Red Channels appeared, naming 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of "Red Fascists and their sympathizers"; soon most of those named, along with a host of other artists, were barred from employment in much of the entertainment field. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films Spartacus and Exodus. A number of those blacklisted, however, were still barred from work in their professions for years afterward.
Others Hanns Eisler, composer (Herman 1997: 356; Dick 1989: 7) Bernard Gordon, screenwriter (Gordon 1999: 16) Joan Scott, screenwriter (Ceplair and Englund 2003: 403; Goldstein 1999) Persons first blacklisted between January 1948 and June 1950 (an asterisk after the entry indicates the person was also listed in Red Channels) Ben Barzman, screenwriter (Ceplair and Englund 2003: 401) Sheridan Gibney, screenwriter (Navasky 1980: 88) Lillian Hellman, playwright and screenwriter* (Newman 1989: 140) Canada Lee, actor (Goudsouzian 2004: 88) Paul Robeson, actor and singer (Gill 2000: 50–52) Edwin Rolfe, screenwriter and poet (Nelson and Hendricks 1990: 53) William Sweets, radio personality* (Cogley 1956: 25–28)
It is a comedy, but how intelligence and internal government works, might be spot on. Life has no value, nothing matters, and those in power do as they please. So, what is then funny? Well, the telling of the story is great with images and scenes. There isn't too much dialogue to muddy the point of the filmmaker.
Is GEICO the Nazi Party of Insurance Companies? Do they hire lawyers, private investigators, and other hacks to pay out as few legitimate personal injury claims as is possible? Is all their advertising a cover for their true nature? GEICO stands for "Government Employees Insurance Company". In my opinion they suck as a company. There automobile insurance might be in some cases, like not having insurance at all.
US appears to ignore findings of British court on detainee's torture
LONDON -- The announcement Dec. 1 that Barack Obama had retained Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates was intended to demonstrate the President-elect’s desire for a “big-tent” administration that transcended partisan politics. Gates had voiced his desire to close the Pentagon's notorious Guantánamo Bay prison almost as soon as he took over from Donald Rumsfeld in December 2006, and this and his subsequent stewardship of the Iraq War earned him a place as a trustworthy figure who might bridge the Bush and Obama divide.
However, a declaration the defense secretary made in a Washington, D.C. District Court filing Dec. 12 during the habeas review of Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed might make some rethink the trustworthy label. Mohamed’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, says that unless Gates retracts his statement, he could find himself accused of perjury.
Mohamed has said that after being seized in Pakistan in April 2002 and held for three months, he was rendered by the CIA to Morocco, where he was tortured for 18 months.
His claims of torture were upheld by the British High Court in a review this summer (PDF), which took place after Mohamed’s lawyers sued the British government for alleged complicity in their client’s rendition and torture. Both the British government and the British High Court accepted that Mohamed “has put forward a prima facie case of torture,” Stafford Smith said.
The court established that Mohamed was “unlawfully rendered from Pakistan to Morocco by the United States authorities,” his lawyers said, and was ”subject to unlawful incommunicado detention and torture during his interrogation there by or on behalf of the United States authorities.” The court also established that Mr. Mohamed was “unlawfully rendered by the United States authorities from Morocco to Afghanistan,” where he was “detained unlawfully and incommunicado” and was “tortured or subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by or on behalf of the United States authorities in the ‘Dark Prison.’” -- a secret CIA facility near Kabul.
At the end of this ordeal, Mohamed said he made a number of false confessions about his involvement with al-Qaeda and a plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in New York as a direct result of his torture in Morocco and at the hands of CIA agents in Afghanistan.
The Bush administration has never provided any explanation for Mohamed’s whereabouts from July 2002 to May 2004. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Guantánamo prisoners habeas corpus rights. Mohamed’s case was reviewed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington D.C. District Court.
Sullivan set a deadline of Oct. 6 for the government to produce exculpatory evidence relating to the case (in other words, any evidence that tended to disprove the government’s claims). When the time arrived, however, the Justice Department dropped the claim about the “dirty bomb” plot.
At a Oct. 30 hearing, Sullivan said, “That raises a question as to whether or not the allegations were ever true.”
Sullivan continued to press the government for exculpatory evidence. Although the “dirty bomb” plot claim had been dropped, he ordered the Justice Department to disclose any exculpatory evidence relating to the charge. In order to determine the reliability of Mohamed’s statements, he said he wanted to know how the interrogation sessions were conducted.
Sullivan also ordered the Justice Department to secure an affidavit from Gates. The defense secretary swore under penalty of perjury that all exculpatory evidence in Mohamed’s case -- including evidence relating to the alleged “dirty bomb” plot -- had been provided to Mohamed’s lawyers.
“It is the practice of the United States Government, in preparing factual returns in the Guantánamo Bay detainee habeas cases, to provide petitioners all evidence encountered in the development of the factual return that tends to materially undermine information presented in the return to support the petitioner’s classification as an enemy combatant,” Gates said in his declaration.
“Consistent with this practice, on August 12, 2008, the attorneys preparing the factual return in this case provided Petitioner with evidence encountered in the development of his return that meets this standard,” Gates added.
He also explained that following Sullivan’s ruling, “all exculpatory evidence reasonably available to the government” relating to the “withdrawn allegations” about the “dirty bomb” plot had been provided “on a rolling basis.” He added that 42 documents provided by the British government had also been handed over. “As a result,” he wrote, “the United States Government has turned over all reasonably available evidence that suggests Binyam Mohamed should not be designated as an enemy combatant.”
In a letter sent to the Justice Department on Monday Dec. 15 (which has been seen by The Raw Story), Stafford Smith said he was trying to evaluate whether the defense secretary had deliberately perjured himself, or had been misled.
“I will say that I am extremely disappointed in the declaration that was filed on behalf of Secretary Gates on Friday,” Stafford Smith wrote, adding, “There is no question but that it is false.” He said he couldn't conclude “whether I would categorize Mr. Gates’ statement as outright perjury, or as a misguided consequence of his reliance on an erroneous definition of the legal terms."
“The vast majority of material (almost the entirety of the substantive evidence) submitted against Mr. Mohamed consists of statements attributed to him,” and therefore "would qualify as ‘exculpatory’ under Sullivan’s order," he said.
Stafford Smith says it's apparent that a wealth of material has not yet been turned over.
“Without going into anything that is classified, the Government has at no point in this case even acknowledged that Mr. Mohamed was rendered by the U.S. to Morocco on July 21, 2002, or that he was held there for 18 months, or that he was abused there," he wrote. "Nor has the government breathed a word about the five months he subsequently spent being abused and tortured in the Dark Prison in Kabul.”
Stafford Smith said his only interest was to secure justice for his client.
“Both my interest, and that of my co-counsel in the habeas and the military commissions litigation, is to represent our client in the best traditions of US justice,” he wrote. “It pains me to have to say that the government continues to ignore its own obligations, and is risking sanctions.”
“Nothing has changed," Stafford Smith told RAW STORY last week. "Unless Robert Gates revises his opinions, his declaration will demonstrate that he has been drawn into the defense not of the nation, but of some of the worst excesses of the current administration, involving ‘extraordinary rendition’ and torture, and shameless attempts to cover up all evidence of wrongdoing.”