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Advertising Government Television

Ban On Loud TV Commercials Takes Effect Today 383

Posted by timothy
from the watch-for-workarounds dept.
netbuzz writes "A new law banning broadcasters from delivering TV commercials at a higher volume takes effect today at the end of a yearlong implementation period. Called the CALM Act, or Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, the law does provide for violators to be fined. TV commercials that crank up the volume have been the No. 1 complaint logged with the FCC over the last 10 years."
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Ban On Loud TV Commercials Takes Effect Today

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  • I said (Score:5, Funny)

    by mozumder (178398) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:35PM (#42274653)

    A BAN ON LOUD TV COMMERCIALS TAKES EFFECT TODAY /an all caps filter? really? people are actually bothered by that?

    • Re:I said (Score:5, Informative)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:41PM (#42274785) Homepage

      really? people are actually bothered by that?

      I don't know what it sounds like through the TV speakers since I always play my TV through my amp, but when you have the volume set for a TV show and suddenly a commercial comes in which is markedly louder ... yes, it's extremely annoying.

      Some commercials are played at a significantly higher volume than the rest of the stuff being aired. Presumably to make damned sure you can hear the commercial.

      It can be the difference between a comfortable listening volume and "WTF just happened". It's just the advertisers being asshats, and someone has finally told them they can't do it.

      • Re:I said (Score:5, Informative)

        by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:49PM (#42274915)
        The thing about it is that my understanding is that for most "loud" commercials, they are not technically louder than the TV show. It is just that the entire commercial is as loud as the the loudest part of the TV show while the loud point in the TV show is only for a moment or two before the volume returns to much lower normal volumes. I am sure there are exceptions, but I remember seeing a study which made this claim back right around the time this law was passed.
        • Re:I said (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:02PM (#42275177)

          It is just that the entire commercial is as loud as the the loudest part of the TV show while the loud point in the TV show is only for a moment or two before the volume returns to much lower normal volumes.

          That's what "louder" means. Put some averages and standard deviations in there if you like, but "peak loudness forever" is louder than "peak loudness for a brief moment." I usually drive my car around the speed limit but I went 100mph once, a car going 100mph all the time is faster than me.

          • by Deadstick (535032)

            In other words: Hey, viewers, our commercials aren't louder than the program; remember the scene where that guy got shot?

        • Re:I said (Score:5, Informative)

          by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:03PM (#42275199) Homepage

          It even has a name - "dynamic range compression" [wikipedia.org].

          • by gagol (583737)
            I actively uses a compressor when watching movies, mainly to be capable of hearing conversations without explosions blasting my ears off. I call it, the "baby is asleep" mode. I guess it would work with tv shows and ads, but I despite ads so much I dont watch tv anymore.
            • by Joce640k (829181)

              I hate them. They gradually raise the volume in the gaps between sounds (background crickets or whatever get louder and louder and louder) then SLam it back down again on the first syllable of each dialog, making the first word unintelligible.

              I'm sure the tech exists to embed proper compression information somewhere in the binary but nobody except me seems to think it's a good idea.

        • But wouldn't this indicate a monotone equivalent to the decibel peak of the show, if thinking about it as a graph of the loudness?

          ISTM the average decibel level of the commercial is significantly higher than the average loudness of the television show. It's why I have to reach for the remote to turn the sound down during commercials.

        • Re:I said (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:07PM (#42275261) Homepage
          I am pretty sure that by all reasonable measures of loudness, that counts as technically louder. If I am quietly telling you a story and in the middle of it, I make a loud clap of my hands and then continue telling you the story quietly, you would not say I am loud. The average volume is quite low. If someone walked in after my story and yelled a whole story at the volume of my clap, you would say that they were loud. For something like that, you can't just measure the peak, you have to weight it over some duration.

          Compressing the dynamic range of a commercial to make the whole thing as loud as the peak volume of the TV show counts as "technically louder" unless you are using an unreasonable measure of loudness.

          I mean, it is a shame that someone has to actually push through regulations to ban this. It's probably complicated and has all sorts of long definitions about what counts as loud (what if you were just watching a particularly quiet part of a show?)...but the advertisers have brought this burden on themselves. If they hadn't been dicks, nobody would force them to monitor the volume of their commercials.

        • Re:I said (Score:5, Informative)

          by medv4380 (1604309) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:08PM (#42275287)
          That's actually a part of the reason the FCC has taken so long to pass the regulation in the first place. However, that argument no long applies. The technical document describing it is here [atsc.org]. That document describes the Normalization process the commercial should be sent though to make it in compliance. Someone could probably try to subvert it, but that's what the reporting is for. If there is a complaint then the FCC will go back and look to see if it was a problem with the Algorithm or if it was someone subverting it.
        • Re:I said (Score:4, Funny)

          by Yakasha (42321) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:57PM (#42276223) Homepage

          The thing about it is that my understanding is that for most "loud" commercials, they are not technically louder than the TV show. It is just that the entire commercial is as loud as the the loudest part of the TV show while the loud point in the TV show is only for a moment or two before the volume returns to much lower normal volumes. I am sure there are exceptions, but I remember seeing a study which made this claim back right around the time this law was passed.

          Seems about right. They measure internet speeds the same way. My connection is advertised at 25 mpbs because from 2:01:34 A.M. to 2:01:38 A.M. I actually get 25 mbps.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Well fortuitously my receiver has settings to detect when the dynamic range suddenly becomes less dynamic and will kick its normalization. Anything that stays constantly loud for more than a few ms, an it kick in the normalization and compression.

        I can't stand watching TV without that feature on. Even most programs are recorded such that events like explosions will rattle the pictures off your walls if the have base volume level high enough that the dialog is comfortably audible. These settings do ruin t

      • "Some commercials are played at a significantly higher volume than the rest of the stuff being aired. Presumably to make damned sure your neighbors can hear the commercial."

        There, I fixed that for you...

  • Just interested, do they use ITU-R BS.1770 or EBU R128?

    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:16PM (#42275429)

      ITU-R BS.1770-1 or -3 are measurement standards, they don't prescribe any limits. It gives a way of measuring the subjective "loudness" of a program based on a psychoacoustic model but it presumes total control over the speaker system (which TV doesn't provide), and it doesn't say "how loud."

      EBU R128 gives a single standard, and you use it with ITU-R BS.1770. The problem is that it treats a dialogue-heavy program the same as a musical program; a musical program has a lot more signal, over a half hour average, than a dialogue one, so a musical performance will tend to sound quieter when put next to a dialogue heavy one, given they're mixed with the same level normalization scheme.

      The CALM Act is actually based on Dolby Laboratories technical definitions and the dialnorm subcode metadata in an ATSC bitstream actually has to be decoded and properly enforced. It's not actually LAW but it's an adopted FCC federal regulation. Dolby's standard is to measure the average dialogue level in the program, and only the dialogue, and to use that to derive the normalization level -- EBU R128 uses the entire program mixed together, dialogue, music and sound effects. I think Dolby's approach is superior but more technically demanding, since it requires the person encoding the AC3 bitstream to have access to the dialogue mix-minus, but on professional productions this isn't an issue.

  • Mixed feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:37PM (#42274697)

    I don't know if I like government to get involved in regulations like these. I can't say I don't like this particular one, of course - it pisses me off when the kids are sleeping and we need to turn up the volume to hear the show, then the commercial comes on and wakes up the whole f-ing neighborhood. But I have to wonder if this is the best use of government, and if we eliminated these positions that come up with and enforce rules against things that don't violate your rights, how much money we could save?

    • Suppose you were a HAM operator and you randomly radio people and after they tune in blare obnoxious loud music. You could even set up a machine to do this randomly. Should you loose your license?
    • Re:Mixed feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermat1313 (927331) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:47PM (#42274875)

      I don't know if I like government to get involved in regulations like these. I can't say I don't like this particular one, of course - it pisses me off when the kids are sleeping and we need to turn up the volume to hear the show, then the commercial comes on and wakes up the whole f-ing neighborhood. But I have to wonder if this is the best use of government, and if we eliminated these positions that come up with and enforce rules against things that don't violate your rights, how much money we could save?

      I see where you are coming from, and we shouldn't need government interference here. But if government doesn't create laws like this, then the alternative is that big business sets defacto policies for us, because they hold all the cards. Your only choice as a consumer is to just turn off TVs.

      I liken this to the CAN SPAM act. Technically it's a limitation on free speech, but if the government doesn't step up to create policies that benefit consumers, who will? Trust me here, the media companies don't have our backs here. Never will.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Your only choice as a consumer is to just turn off TVs.

        Which, BTW, is an excellent choice.

        • Re:Mixed feelings. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by PapaSmurphy (249954) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:59PM (#42276273)

          Your only choice as a consumer is to just turn off TVs.

          Which, BTW, is an excellent choice.

          Yep, it sure is! It works in all similar situations too.

          Don't regulate spam. If people don't want spam, they can just turn off their internet.

          Don't regulate traffic speed. If people don't want car wrecks, they can just turn not drive anywhere.

          Don't regulate yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater. If people don't want to be stampeded to death, they can just not go out in public.

          See, this works for everything doesn't it.

      • It's a limitation on corporate speech. Yet another example of what happens when you apply 1st Amendment rights to corporations: they get a megaphone.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by interval1066 (668936)
      This is EXACTLY where the government needs to step in. Stupid, annoying things like this. When I heard the ban was coming I prayed then and there on the spot and my atheist heart warmed knowing there is a God who loves and cares for us.
    • The thing is, the networks are using your resources to send this to you, and in exchange for the right to do so without interference from other things, they have to live up to certain requirements.

      This is just an additional requirement tacked on in response to quite honestly horrific behaviour on their part.

      Think of it as being told to turn down the volume at an excessively loud party, because it's pissing off your neighbours.

    • by Kergan (780543)

      I don't know if I like government to get involved in regulations like these. (...) how much money we could save?

      Methinks it's safe to assume that one can measure -- and fine -- it automatically.

      If not, end users will find all sorts of reasons to sue.

    • Re:Mixed feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker (132337) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:53PM (#42274995) Homepage

      I look at it this way. People have complained and the market did not fix itself so now government has to step in. I'm no fan of big government either.

      • Re:Mixed feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:35PM (#42275783) Homepage

        People have complained and the market did not fix itself so now government has to step in. I'm no fan of big government either.

        And when, exactly, does the 'market' ever 'fix itself'?

        This notional abstraction of the 'market' as an entity which resolves problems for the better is, well, a myth. It's missing all of the mechanisms which would cause it to self correct.

        Instead the corporations typically do what they want, and the governments have given them the ability to do it.

        The market solution which would correct this would take decades on its own, if at all. Because first you'd need viable competition to the cable companies so there was any consumer choice so they could choose a provider which didn't do this. And the barrier of entry to that is so enormous, that it won't happen. And then they'd need to either stick with the idea, or give up and decide there's more money to be had.

        As it exists, the 'market' doesn't naturally settle on an optimal outcome except for the corporations, who basically set the rules themselves. Instead, it's more like a dog which will eat all of the food until it gets sick, and then start all over again.

        This idealized entity which everyone thinks is mostly infallible is so heavily skewed and manipulated that it isn't capable of generating the outcomes ascribed to it. And, in reality, that idealized 'market' has only ever existed on paper -- there's always been corruption, collusion, cheating, bribing, self interest and other things. The consumers lack perfect information and make irrational choices. The assumptions on this perfectly even-handed entity are largely erroneous.

        Every time someone talks about the 'market' finding a solution I cringe, because the only solution it will ever come to is the one which maximizes profits by any means necessary.

        The market doesn't 'choose' to not sell baby formula with melamine in it -- it has to be told, and it's not like "over time people will simply choose to not buy baby formula with melamine in it" solves the issue.

        • Re:Mixed feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjames (1099) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:08PM (#42277495) Homepage

          The problem, and the elephant in the room people refuse to look at is that all of that market theory that showed it acting as a correcting and optimizing force were predicated on a great many players in the market with buyer and seller on roughly equal terms. If there were hundreds or even tens of cable operators competing for each customer, it might begin to work, except that there isn't room in the spectrum or on the poles for that many in one place.

          None of the market theorists ever considered the case of 3 or 4 billionaire multi-nationals replacing dozens or hundreds of individuals selling in the market. It just doesn't work if the seller doesn't need the buyer as much as the buyer needs the seller.

          The market theorists also presumed near perfect information. That is, the buyer could easily know enough about the product to make a good estimate of the value being offered. That went out the window some time ago, and buyers were forced to resort to reputation rather than an examination of the goods. With 'value engineering', market segmentation and rampant re-badging, that has gone out the window as well. The result is that the consumer is left with nothing but price as a criterion for buying and the race to the bottom is on.

          You allude to the latter part with the melamine example. The consumer can't see or taste the melamine in the product. The consumer has never heard of melamine until babies start dieing.

        • by Viewsonic (584922) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:15PM (#42277611)

          And when, exactly, does the 'market' ever 'fix itself'?

          Unions are the best example I can come up with. When companies run workers into the ground, and the government wont step in, and other better companies don't appear to replace the bad ones, it's up to the workers. Unions are the defacto example of a free market regulating itself.

      • by metlin (258108)

        People have complained and the market did not fix itself so now government has to step in.

        That, indeed, is the idea behind Keynesianism. It assumes that while free market is great, like any system it has its shortcomings, and it is the job of the government to step in and fix any systemic issues (including regulations, helping fix broken institutions such as banks and industries etc).

    • by timeOday (582209)
      It is good for the government to step in when competition creates a situation that is counter-productive, even for the "winner" of the competition. If advertisers are allowed to turn ads up to 11, then they are effectively forced to do so (by competition) even though in the end they're right back where they started (all the same volume), but now with lower sound quality (clipping) and annoyed consumers. You could view this as a rule imposed on advertisers, or instead as a negotiated truce among them.
    • I think regulations like these are why we have government. Of course it would be better if we didn't need such regulations, but as long as we're going to allow the amoral psychopaths called corporations to exist, we also need to keep them reigned in. As for the cost, I expect that the total expense of enforcing this law for the next century will be a pittance compared to wars and corporate welfare.

    • people have not acted responsibly toward each other, and so, bigger bullies have to step in.

      if people (broadcasters, etc) showed some sense of taste, style and wisdom, we would not have to be ruled with big sticks.

      just that simple.

      our system shows, time and time again, people can't be trusted to self-police. look at the financial industry, if you doubt me.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Why do you think the governemnt has one use? IN fct, why do you think 'the government is a single separate entity from the people?
      And save money compared to what?

      The government agency, which is run by citizens, are responding the the people. That's their job.

      Do you also think the police should handle it when your neighbor is playing music at 120 db when it's 2 in the morning?

    • by Mitsoid (837831)

      This is one of those things the government did NOT screw up..

      Philosophically, "we the people" empower the government to enforce stability and rules. Some of these 'rules' are more annoyances -- but we're certainly glad they are there... such as public urination... or the requirement for a business that serves food and drink to allow you to use their restroom..

      Sometimes businesses need to be kept in check because they start to break this social contract of people playing nice... and individuals don't have en

  • Myth TV plugin? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:39PM (#42274745) Journal

    It seems that the FCC is relying on citizen complaints for enforcement. I think a great opportunity is to be had by a Myth TV plugin that automatically checks the RMS amplitude of the commercials and forwards a complaint if it's outside of spec. Clearly we can't rely on the FCC to actually monitor the airwaves for enforcement, but we could do so ourselves pretty easily.

    • by Nimey (114278) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:51PM (#42274939) Homepage Journal

      RMS amplitude

      That's GNU/amplitude, please.

    • All I know is VLC added a real compressor plugin and its made my movie watching so much better. I actually looked into finding an HDMI audio decoder chip to run the analog audio through a hardware compressor and then re-encode it.

      • I don't know why you would want to do this full time. The director chose to have some things louder and some things quieter and it is a part of the movie. Explosions should be big and rumbly, quiet conversations should be soft and draw in your focus.

        Obviously there are times when you might want compression--you might want to bring the high volume sections down late at night, or bring the low volume sections up if you are watching it while doing something noisy (sanding a woodworking project, running on

        • by Nimey (114278)

          Sometimes the sound engineer will do a bad job. I've watched a few movies at home wherein the characters will be talking too quietly to hear easily, so I'll turn up the volume, then the next scene will have something really loud like an explosion or an ambulance going by, and I have to lower the volume quickly, and then they start talking quietly again.

          Dynamic range is good, but only up to a point.

        • Because the dynamic range is too great. When the dialog is at an acceptable level the other noises (gunshots or explosions) cause physical discomfort to my ears. Movies on VHS were never like this, as soon as DVDs came out this nonsense started. Look I know car crashes and explosions are loud but come on I'm watching 2D images while sitting on my couch here. You are right about music having no more dynamic range. I do take issue with that. I just like the idea of a hard limit. The volume is set to a level a

          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            Movies on VHS were never like this, as soon as DVDs came out this nonsense started.

            HiFi VHSs only have maybe 50 dB of S/N ratio, tops. DVDs have 70dB and then 20dB of headroom.

          • by adolf (21054)

            If you want less dynamic range from a DVD, just crack open the manual for your player and learn how to adjust it. This is a function that is part of Dolby Digital and it is adjustable on every player I've ever had my hands on.

            Some of us like loud car crashes and explosions while watching 2D images and sitting on the couch.

            We can have it both ways.

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        A "compressor" just takes the signal, attenuates it if it exceeds a fixed amplitude. It then cranks everything up.

        It doesn't actually make things louder, it's just that many films and TV shows are mixed so that dialogue hits speakers in the middle range of the loudness, so the LOUD parts of the movie can actually be louder than the dialogue. Since laptop speakers are tiny, and only just audible at their maximum level, the compressor cranks up all the middle-loudness dialogue stuff, but when you get to a

    • by nimbius (983462)

      It seems that the FCC is relying on citizen complaints for enforcement.

      and what would lead you to this conclusion? that after ten years the denizens of the airwaves have had a paper tiger unleashed upon them in response to the number one complaint of the people a regulatory body is sworn to protect? the FCC is no more charged to protect content consumers than is the FDA or USDA, they are all charged to protect and promote the consumer capitalism that drives the american economy. in this case it appears the FCC have finally been forced to act in the interest of consumers if

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:40PM (#42274757)
    Loud or less loud, commercials get the skip button treatments.
  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <AdHocTechGuy@ a o l . c om> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:42PM (#42274799) Journal
    Does the law encompass Hulu and other internet streaming services? Loud and repetitious ads are worse than merely repetitious ads.
  • by Kergan (780543) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:42PM (#42274803)

    Whether the law itself works or not, one has to hand this much to US politicians: over the years, they've turned finding acronyms into an art form. Few -- if any -- other countries have politicians who can boast the same.

    • Ah, man. I take our German way to name acts over backronyms like CALM or PATRIOT...

      Look at the glory of the LMBestrV - the "Lebensmittelbestrahlungsverordnung", a law regulating food treatment with electron-, gamma-, X-, neutron- or UV-rays.

      Or look at the PatAnwAPO, the "Patentanwaltsausbildungs- und Prüfungsordnung", the act regulating training and examination of patent attorneys.

      Only in such nomenclature can you really appreciate the majesty of the law... ;)
  • PBS in Austin is terrible with the volume of "commercials", which are usually segments promoting PBS. After the PBS News Hour you have to be quick on the remote or get blasted with twice the volume. I expect this from a commercial channel, but even the public channels are pulling this stupidity.

  • by Jetra (2622687)
    It's great to know our money is going to a good cause such as making TV commercials quieter and erections last twenty hours....I honestly want to punch someone. What the hell!? How about using that money to fix our roads or our education!?
  • Watch.

    This will definitely create a new market for TV commercials. See example:

    Weekly commercial run off prime-time: $750
    Weekly commercial run during prime-time: $1500
    Daily commercial run off prime-time: $5500
    Daily commercial run off prime-time: $10,000
    Additional fee for "enhanced attention grabbing services": *$?

    * Since we can't find finite penalty amounts in the Act, you agree to pay whatever they happen to be, plus legal fees, plus an additional $1000 "Service Fee".

    • This is essentially what already happens on TV and radio networks that break the FCC rules on indecent language. I worked at a college radio station, and the going was "try not to let any swear words slip on the air - either from your mouth or from a CD. If you do and the FCC is listening, we can be fined $[insane amount]." Larger networks or shows can predict what that will cost and go ahead and pay the fines to the broadcaster in order to have "unedited" content hit the airwaves, although I think there ar

      • A good thing to have in this Act, and I'm only assuming it's not in there because tl;dr, is to have penalties for repeat offenders so that a system of pay-to-play-(very-loudly) won't crop up - of course, that means limiting the amount of fines coming in to the FCC and thus will likely not happen.

        That is very insightful. I didn't think of that, but it really is a deterrent.

        I guess the first large company to test it will show the numbers. *coughwalmartcough*

  • by Lucas123 (935744) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:52PM (#42274965) Homepage
    Billy Mays isn't around to see this sad day. RIP.
    • Shut your mouth, fool! The Billy Mays didn't need any artificial means to boost his sales skillz into the minds of men! His marketing kung fu transcended mere volume!

      • Shut your mouth, fool! The Billy Mays didn't need any artificial means to boost his sales skillz into the minds of men! His marketing kung fu transcended mere volume!

        Seconded.

        Mays had the unique ability to sound like he was yelling, even if he wasn't. Volume regulations would do nothing to protect you from Billy's voodoo voice.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      BILLY MAYS HERE WITH MY LOUD-ASS VOICE! Are you bothered by new regulations limiting the volume of commercials? FEAR NOT, MARKETERS! With just ONE EASY COMMERCIAL STARRING ME, I can overcome ANY regulation limiting decibels simply by YELLING AT YOUR CUSTOMERS! I yell so loud, I can SHATTER THEIR MUTE BUTTON INTO A THOUSAND PIECES!

  • by BrookHarty (9119) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:52PM (#42274983) Homepage Journal

    Took the FCC 10 years to fix this? Whats the rush!?

  • Politics should be left out of this. Like telemarketing some things should be banned because they are annoying as hell.

  • ...since I always mute commercials on the rare occasions I'm watching commercial television.
  • It got such a problem for us I just bought a cheapish Behringer audio compressor (volume compression, not data!), strapped it across the TV audio output and in to my amplifier. Set the controls and forgot about it. Works incredibly well.
    • any pro audio store can help with a box like this.

      there used to be a cheap small box called RNC (really nice compressor). analog in and out and not hard to use.

      dbx makes them, lots of companies make them.

      the thing is, people run digital audio these days. and the hdmi TRAP that people fell into means their audio is drm's too, along that path. I prefer to avoid hdmi AUDIO and go with spdif and simple 2ch audio, at that. movies get mixed down to 2ch so that I can send spdif in to most any system I want.

      the

  • I don't think this is the government's place... nonetheless, people can just fast-forward through commercials on their PVRs or download the content via bittorrent instead. Seems like the problem would quickly work itself out.

  • Congress has become government of the highest bidder, by the highest bidder, for the highest bidder. I assume the advertising industry donates quite a bit to Congress. I'd be quite surprised if they did anything to annoy a big donor, or do any harm to that business model. The example of the financial sector is illustrative. [rollingstone.com] Trillions of dollars of FederalReserve and government spending (which the taxpayers will ultimately pay [bloomberg.com]) have been funneled directly to the financial sector, and yet there's been no se

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