August 16, 2012
With a subtitle like "Who Stole the American Dream?" it's clear where Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher's financial meltdown documentary "Heist" is going, and it doesn't take long to get there. From an opening salvo of Occupy Wall Street protest footage, the film quickly embarks on a string of snappily edited interviews that efficiently breaks down the step-by-step deregulation of an American economy shaped by the New Deal. Ultimately reframing the advancement of free market ideology of the last four decades as class warfare against the have-nots, the documentary manages to widen its scope without losing its narrative thread.
April 20, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Members of the California Public Utilities Commission are criticizing a bill that would strip their agency of authority to regulate basic telephone services. Meeting Thursday in San Francisco, the five-member board expressed doubts about proposed legislation backed by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. The measure, SB 1161, would ensure that state agencies have "no regulatory jurisdiction or control" over telephone calls that involve sending voice signals over the Internet.
April 18, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — An industry-backed bill that would preempt state agencies from regulating Internet-enabled voice and data transmissions won unanimous approval from a state Senate committee in its first legislative hearing. Amid protests from consumer advocates, the bill's author, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), tried to downplay the significance of the measure, which proponents said would simply lock the state's current hands-off policy into law. Such a reiteration of existing practices would give Silicon Valley businesses "the certainty" to continue developing innovative, Internet-powered products and programs, Padilla argued at a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee.
November 16, 2011 |
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reinforced what private-sector economists have been saying for months: The best proposals to spur the economy would cost the government but prove better at quickly creating jobs than pursuing an anti-regulatory policy as proposed Republicans in Congress. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said extending unemployment benefits or payroll tax breaks to those who are most likely to spend the money, as well as providing as tax credits to companies that hire new workers, are among the types of policies that could best boost the economy and create jobs.
January 21, 2011 |
Following up on their largely symbolic vote to repeal the new healthcare law, House Republicans moved ahead Thursday with more targeted efforts to advance their own healthcare initiatives, including deregulating health insurance sales. More than 60 House Republicans signed on to a new bill to permit interstate sales of health insurance. The goal would be to lower premium costs by avoiding requirements in many states that insurers cover certain services, such as maternity care, cancer screenings and mastectomies.
January 1, 2011 |
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is poised to greenlight the proposed merger of the big cable company Comcast Corp. with the huge entertainment conglomerate NBC-Universal. Genachowski wants to impose several conditions on the deal to ensure that the resulting entertainment behemoth can't use its dominating power to shut down competition, jack up rates for customers, and generally undermine the public interest. The likely result of those conditions?