Category Archives: Politics

Can Amtrak bar NJ Transit from Northeast Corridor if state withholds rent?

Governor Chris Christie (best known for George Washington Bridge) posed this question and NJ.com covered the story.

NJ Transit pays Amtrak $93 million a year so that more than 400 of its trains can use the Northeast Corridor, but Gov. Chris Christie wants to stop making the lease payment until he gets answers to maintenance questions after an April 3 derailment in Penn Station…
NJ Transit paid $62 million for maintenance for 2016, in a lump sum payment after executing a contract with Amtrak in February, spokesperson Nancy Snyder said. That payment wasn’t late under the agreement, she said.

NJ Transit officials are waiting for an invoice from Amtrak for this year’s $74 million maintenance payment. That bill will be reviewed and, once any discrepancies have been reconciled, NJ Transit will make arrangements to pay, Snyder said. Amtrak officials said NJ Transit makes monthly rent payments.

At the same time, NJ.com reported Amtrak officials are citing mechanical issues with an NJ Transit train as the cause for the incident that stranded 1,200 passengers for several hours in the Hudson River tunnels between New Jersey and New York on Friday night.

“Amtrak has determined that the incident involving NJ Transit Train 3850 last Friday was not caused by Amtrak infrastructure, and that the preliminary cause appears to be a NJ Transit mechanical problem involving the train’s pantograph (power collector),” said Mike Tolbert, an Amtrak spokesman in a statement on Monday.

Then a story from Bloomburg: After three passenger-train mishaps in the past month underscored the fragility of New York City rail travel, Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Wick Moorman said the only solution is the $23 billion Gateway tunnel project.

“The fundamental problem is: What is plan B?” Moorman, 65, said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. “I don’t know.”

Then WABC-TV chimed in: Recent train disruptions in New York that caused cascading delays between Boston and Washington, D.C., have refocused attention on a multibillion-dollar tunnel project that could have ameliorated future problems if it hadn’t been canceled by Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2010.

Whether Christie feels any pangs of remorse over the decision was left unanswered Wednesday at a news conference to urge President Donald Trump’s administration to honor a pre-existing commitment to fund a new tunnel project.

Elon Musk’s idea for fixing traffic suffers from one fundamental problem

Elon Musk — the restless billionaire behind Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity — was stuck in annoying traffic and mused that one solution would be to drill more tunnels. All he’d need, really, is a giant machine…

Everyone’s trying to figure out whether Musk is genuinely serious about starting a brand-new tunnel-boring company or not. Who knows! But tunnels are fun to think about, so why not pretend he is serious and think through how this might actually work….

One obvious hitch to Musk’s scheme is that some cities are already trying to dig new tunnels to accommodate traffic — and it’s far from easy! There’s a lot of existing infrastructure buried in the ground beneath cities, from water mains to electrical cables. And the tunnels themselves often need to be reinforced. That makes tunneling slow, difficult, and expensive work.

Seattle is a cautionary tale here: Since 2013, the city has employed a massive 57-foot-diameter boring machine named Big Bertha to drill a 2-mile highway tunnel beneath the downtown area. Yet six months after work began, Big Bertha broke down after overheating. Drilling finally resumed in late 2015 — but then had to stop again after a sinkhole opened up near construction. Perhaps Musk can improve on Big Bertha. But that brings us to an even deeper problem with his idea. Building more tunnels is just not a good way to alleviate traffic congestion. In fact, it would likely do the opposite.

The “fundamental rule” of traffic: building new roads just makes people drive more
In January 2016, during SpaceX’s Hyperloop pod design competition, Musk explained why he thought tunnels could help alleviate traffic:

It’s a really simple and obvious idea and I wish more people would do it: build more tunnels. Tunnels are great. It’s just a hole in the ground, it’s not that hard. But if you have tunnels in cities you would massively alleviate congestion and you could have tunnels at all different levels — you could probably have 30 layers of tunnels and completely fix the congestion problem in high-density cities. So I strongly recommend tunnels.

Except economists and traffic experts have been studying this issue for a long time and they’ve found the exact opposite. When cities add new roads to a congested area, it usually doesn’t alleviate congestion. Instead, it just induces more traffic, as people take advantage of the added road space to drive more.

Granted, there can still be good reasons for fast-growing cities to build new roads. They just shouldn’t necessarily expect traffic jams to disappear as a result. Los Angeles got a firsthand glimpse of this after widening its I-405 freeway, a project that cost $1 billion. “The data shows that traffic is moving slightly slower now on 405 than before the widening,”

So what does help alleviate congestion? If cities really want to erase traffic jams, many transportation economists would instead recommend that they charge people to use roads when they’re crowded — a policy known as congestion pricing that has popped up in places like London, Singapore, and Stockholm.

Early research suggests that pricing really does cut down on traffic, as people decide to move their commutes to non-peak hours, shift to mass transit, or cut down on trips overall. It’s arguably even more effective if cities use the funds to provide alternative transportation options.

The downside is that congestion charging tends to be rather unpopular, since people don’t like it when they suddenly have to pay for something that used to be free. (It’s the same reason why checked-baggage fees on airplanes have incurred such a backlash.) So urban planners tend to favor building new roads and widening existing roads — or, in Musk’s case, new tunnels — even if the research suggests again and again that it doesn’t cut down on congestion.

Now, that doesn’t mean a tunneling machine would be useless! Remember, Musk also has plans to start colonizing Mars within a decade. And humans living on Mars would probably want to spend most of their time underground to avoid the higher levels of solar radiation that hits the planet.

Second Avenue Subway Will Roll January First; Where Will Gov. Cuomo Shoot At Next?

Governor Cuomo was throwing his weight around. Put another way: There better not be any screwups under his watch because a new age of public construction had dawned in New York State. Over the past year and a half, Cuomo said he had “taken a personal hands-on approach, and that’s the only way you get things built.”

First proposed during the Roaring 20s, the Second Avenue line was meant to be a muscular addition to the system’s capacity, bustling with passenger activity and energy from Hanover Square to East Harlem or beyond.That was the plan. Then the 20th century happened.Plans were shelved during the Great Depression and World War II. Federal funds were allocated in the 1970s, but the city’s fiscal crisis put the project on hold again.After nearly 100 years of stops and starts and delays, we’re left not with a bold new line running the length of the world’s busiest island, but a $4.5 billion extension of the Q line three stops to 96th.

Earlier this year, the MTA dedicated funds for the second phase of the line up to 125th.

There are other megaprojects for NYC to turn its attention to as well — starting with the $10 billion East Side Access project which includes nearly two miles of new tunneling to bring the LIRR to Grand Central Station, reshaping travel to and from LI.

Robert Moses: Biggest “Bad Guy” In Blocking The Second Avenue Subway

We have been following the century-old battle over the Second Avenue Subway for a loooong time. So why did it not get done sooner? Biggest obstacle was Robert Moses.

An in-depth look at this man can be found in a book called “The Power Broker” by Robert A. Caro. Robert Moses (sometimes referred to as “RM”) was born in 1888. His parents were well-to-do merchants. Although he was born in New Haven, his family was from New York City and moved back when he was a youngster. Moses graduated from Yale in 1909.

An example of his arrogance involved the swimming team. A consistent benefactor of this team was Ogden Mills Reid. As a matter of fact, he paid almost all of the expenses of this team as Yale was then concentrating its funding on such projects as the Yale Bowl. Moses had organized a “minor sports association” in which each minor sport at Yale would share equally in donations. Moses approached Reid and got a contribution but didn’t tell him it was for all minor sports and not just swimming. When challenged by the team captain for deliberately misleading Reid, Moses offered his resignation the first of many times in his life. This time it was accepted. Other times it was refused by many mayors and governors. The next time his resignation was accepted was by Nelson Rockefeller almost sixty years later!

It can be argued that Robert Moses shaped New York in its present form. He built every major highway except the East River Drive, all seven bridges completed since 1931, Shea Stadium, Lincoln Center and the now-empty New York Coliseum. In addition, he cleared the obstacles to acquiring the United Nations land and built huge numbers of public and private housing units (Coop City for example). But he didn’t do much for mass transit and consistantly blocked the Second Avenue Subway.

Between 1924 and 1968 he held immense power. The base for this power was a public corporation named the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. In addition, he held several other titles such as New York Power Authority Chairman; New York State Parks Commission Chairman; New York City Construction Coordinator; New York City Planning Commission Chairman.

He controlled his empire from an unobtrusive building on Randall’s Island below the Triborough toll plaza. As a matter of fact, his authority administered all of Randall’s Island. The TBTA had its own flag; fleet of cars, trucks and boats; and private army of “Bridge and Tunnel Officers”. It had its own source of revenue in the coins dropped into toll booths.

Moses had a secret veto on all public works projects in New York City and had more power than the mayor. He kept secret files which he used to discredit his opponents.

He was the long-time New York City Parks Commissioner. When he took the job there were 119 playgrounds in the city. When he left there were 777. Outside of the city, he built power dams at Massena and Niagara Falls as well as many parks and parkways on Long Island. Since he built both Jones Beach and all roads leading to it, that explains why there is no mass transit to it.

In the 1930’s the Regional Plan Association proposed improved mass transit. Robert Moses didn’t listen to them; instead he built 100 miles of new parkways which filled up as soon as they were opened. RM was responsible for the West Side Improvements and wanted “the great highway that went uptown along the water”. He completed a long-stalled 5-mile elevated expressway from the southern tip of Manhattan to 72nd Street. He also built 6 1/2 miles north to the tip of the island. He then built a park on the river and the Henry Hudson Bridge.

The West Side project involved moving the New York Central Railroad. Details of this were set up in a 1927 agreement between the railroad and the city. The 30th Street and 72nd Street yards were built to replace track further downtown. Before 1929, the city had spent $25 million and the railroad $84 million. The Depression had halted all work but RM found money for the railroad by tapping the state grade crossing elimination fund.

The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge which was built in 1936 made no provision for mass transit. Earlier bridges in New York (not built by Moses) had subway lines as well as roads. Some of these are the Brooklyn, Queensboro, Manhattan and Williamsburg. Many of the parkways he built were designed with bridges too low to accommodate buses. This was very intentional as Moses wanted to make them for cars-only and to exclude trucks.

Between 1930 and 1950, rail commuters declined while highway commuters into New York increased. Every trainload of commuters shifting to automobiles required parking space about equal to the effective parking capacity of one side of Fifth Avenue from Washington Square to Sixty-eighth Street (3 miles).

The Van Wyck Expressway was built where 13 tracks of the Long Island Railroad cross Atlantic Avenue in Jamaica. While construction was underway, 1100 daily train movements (one of the busiest in the world) were maintained. One can’t help but wonder why a rail line from this point couldn’t have easily followed the parkway to Kennedy Airport. Cost to construct when the road was being built would have been reasonable – today it would be prohibitive.

There was an attempt in 1955 to use Triborough and Port Authority funds to modernize the Long Island Railroad, build a subway loop to New Jersey, build a new Queens subway and build the famous but still-born 2nd Avenue Subway. At central locations in Queens and Nassau Counties, multilevel parking garages could have been built atop commuter rail stops. There could have been a new East Side Long Island RR terminal and even a new rapid transit line along the median strip of the Long Island Expressway. The New Jersey tunnel loop would have not only given access to Manhattan where commuters really wanted to go from the Battery to Fifty-ninth Street. It would have prevented the current mess on New Jersey highways, trans-Hudson vehicular tunnels, the West Side Highway and Manhattan streets. The Nostrand Avenue Subway in Brooklyn could have been extended and the even-today bottleneck in train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan at DeKalb Avenue eliminated.

RM’s proposed highways were designed to help automobile-owning families. In 1945 two out of three residents of the city did not own automobiles. Subway fare increases hurt these people. While highways were being extended into areas of the city where they might or might not be needed, subways were not being extended to where they were vitally needed. His monopolization of public funds for highways made subway construction impossible. Even for car-owning families, no subway meant the hardship of having to drive into Manhattan – and park – and pay bridge tolls. It is also said that Moses’ transportation policies helped the poor stay trapped in their slums (“ghettoization”).

In the 1950’s, millions were spent on highways in New York City but only a fraction of that on mass transit. In 1974, New Yorkers were still riding on tracks laid between 1904 and 1933 – before Moses had come to power. Not another mile was built under Moses. Since shortly after World War I, the city had been promising to build a Second Avenue Subway to serve the East Side. Plans have sat in city engineer’s desks since 1929. The city repeated its promise when the Second Avenue El was torn down and again in 1955 when the Third Avenue El went. A Second Avenue Subway coupled to a dedicated East River tunnel could have been extended to Queens to provide subway lines to residents who were miles from the nearest station. The result was, and is, an overcrowded Lexington Avenue IRT line. Subway cars were not replaced (at one point, much of the fleet was a half century old) and a policy of “deferred maintenance” began to take its toll. Fortunately, the subway system had been well engineered and previously well maintained – but eventually it deteriorated.

The last great project Robert Moses was involved in was the 1964 World’s Fair. It was a financial disaster and, again, no gains for mass transit. In the meantime, the Long Island Expressway was built without provision for rapid transit. As each section opened, it was jammed to capacity (“The world’s largest parking lot”). For an extra 4 percent of the cost, it would have been possible to acquire the land to build a rail line.

New York City Mayor Lindsey and many others tried to throttle Moses, but only Nelson Rockefeller was successful. “Rocky” was one of the most dynamic and forceful governors New York ever had. Moses had always used financial protection of creditors as a defense against any takeover of “his” Authority. But his principal bondholder trustee was the Chase Manhattan Bank. Chase Manhattan was the only major bank still controlled by one family – the Governor’s! Rockefeller brought all the region’s transportation elements together under William Ronan and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

When “RM” came to power, New York City’s mass transit system was the best in the world. When he left, it was the worst.

A New United States President!

In one of the biggest political surprises in modern history, Donald J. Trump will be the 45th US president after a shock victory over his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton. The Republican candidate declared victory after unexpectedly winning several key swing states, including Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Trumps victory came in the wake of consistent polling predicting a Clinton win. Mr Trump’s victory in Wisconsin put him over the 270 out of 538 electoral college votes needed to win the White House. The US president-elect took to the stage at his victory rally in New York and said: “I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory. The real estate tycoon, reality TV star and political novice, was universally ridiculed when he declared his candidacy in June last year. Trump said his victory had been “tough”. Mr Trump will take office in January with both houses of Congress fully under Republican control as Democrats were unable to wrest control of the Senate. He also received congratulations from Russian leader Vladimir Putin hoping the two countries will improve their relationship.

BEWARE OF MEDIA AND THEIR POLLS: They are not perfect!

The election of 1948 had a lot in common with 2016. It was CLOSE. All kinds of results from polls. Day after election the Chicago Tribune (probably the second biggest newspaper in the United States) ran with a Dewey victory! The single most famous newspaper error…..ever.

Harry Truman was not popular. He had taken over the Presidency when popular President FDR died. Truman ended up making the most important decision in the history of the United States: to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan.

Thomas E Dewey was the Governor of New York and was relatively unknown throughout the country. Dewey had “made his mark” as New York City District Attorney in successfully prosecuting “The Mob”.

I trust Presidential polls as far as I can throw them. They are only as good as the people who participate in them. I have never been asked to participate in a Presidential poll AND I AM NOT ALONE.

Finally a story about Dewey. In 1948, Presidential Candidates did not rate Secret Service protection. (Not until 1968 when candidate Robert Kennedy was assassinated).

I was on a train from Utica, New York to New York City in 1948 near the election. Our train stopped at Albany Union Station. We looked out the window and saw Governor Thomas E Dewey on the platform headed for OUR TRAIN. He was accompanied by just a single New York State Trooper (in uniform and armed with his service revolver).

Now I thought in 1948 that the New York State Troopers were great and could do anything. My grandfather (at that time Paymaster of the NY Central System) joked that Dewey should have ridden in a “Pay Car”. A Pay Car had a railroad detective and two armed paymasters). Of course, by 1948 all the pay cars had gone to scrap and the whole system was paid by check from Utica (the reason I was born in Utica).

Written by Ken Kinlock

Presidential Debates: History From The Technical Side of 1960: Nixon / Kennedy

I attended a great presentation on ALL Presidential Debates (current and on TV but not Lincoln-Douglas et all).
Presentation was given by Democrats Abroad. Decided I should commit my knowledge on Presidential Debates to paper.

Realized not seen ANY ! Always too busy. EXCEPT third debate in 1960 (October 13, 1960). Which I watched on KINESCOPE later.

(Kinescope /kɪnᵻskoʊp /, shortened to kine /ˈkɪniː/, is a recording of a television program on motion picture film, directly through a lens focused on the screen of a video monitor.)

The whole 1960 Presidential Debate was really a big deal for the industry.

In 1950, only 11 percent of American homes had television; by 1960, the number had jumped to 88 percent. An estimated seventy million Americans, about two-thirds of the electorate, watched the first debate on September 26th.

Though color television had been around since 1953, few Americans owned color sets. The debate was broadcast in black and white, using a sharper technology for the event.

So who were the « players » in this event ?

The Communications Act of 1934. Lasted until 1996 and regulated EVERYBODY . It’s policeman was the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

Radio and Television « networks » were a creation of the FCC.

ABC (American Broadcasting Company) was created in 1943 from the « Blue Network » of NBC.

NBC (National Broadcasting Company). Founded in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States.

One of the largest and most influential electronics companies during the 20th century was the Radio Corporation of America, or RCA. At one time, the breadth of its operations included everything from making vinyl records to building and manufacturing communications satellites.

RCA began life as a joint venture between several different manufacturers of electric equipment. In the early 1900s many companies began manufacturing and selling a new technology called radio. By about 1915 there were several radio stations operating in the U.S, but several of them were foreign owned and nearly all were used exclusively for transmitting Morse Code. When the U.S entered World War I, the federal government seized the foreign stations, and later gave them to the U.S companies General Electric (G.E.), Westinghouse, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) and United Fruit (an international shipping company). These companies set up a new organization in 1919 to run the stations, and called it the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). In 1932 these companies were forced out of RCA by Federal courts (violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act). RCA became a separate company (it was bought, in entirety, in 1986, by G.E.)

For a time, RCA operated radio stations (still almost entirely used for transmitting Morse Code) and sold radio equipment manufactured by its parent companies. However, many amateur operators were now on the air, and the resulting popularity of radio listening encouraged the parent companies to move in this direction. Westinghouse obtained a license from the U.S government to launch a commercial broadcasting station in 1920 and launched KDKA, the first commercial radio station. By 1926, the success of KDKA (and WGY in Schenectady) led RCA, Westinghouse, and General Electric to create a chain or “network” of radio stations spread across a wide geographic area, all broadcasting content created in central studios in New York. The name of this network was the National Broadcasting Corporation—NBC.

In 1929, RCA purchased phonograph manufacturer Victor Talking Machine Company, and renamed its new division RCA-Victor. With Victor’s expertise and facilities, RCA-Victor was able to begin making its own radio receivers (as well as records and phonographs), and quickly became one of the largest consumer electronics manufacturers. While the Great Depression of the 1930s crippled businesses worldwide, RCA-Victor and NBC thrived. NBC became such a big money maker that David Sarnoff, the leader of RCA, moved the headquarters to a huge new skyscraper in New York and created Radio City Music Hall, a large and technologically innovative performance space.

RCA’s major technical accomplishment in the 1930s was the development of the electronic television system that is still used in many parts of the world today (although it may soon be replaced by High Definition Television). Following a ten-year, millions-of-dollars research effort, led by Vladimir Zworykin, TV was demonstrated at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York and briefly sold to the public before it was put aside during World War II.

For a time, RCA operated radio stations (still almost entirely used for transmitting Morse Code) and sold radio equipment manufactured by its parent companies. However, many amateur operators were now on the air, and the resulting popularity of radio listening encouraged the parent companies to move in this direction. Westinghouse obtained a license from the U.S government to launch a commercial broadcasting station in 1920 and launched KDKA, the first commercial radio station. By 1926, the success of KDKA (and WGY in Schenectady) led RCA, Westinghouse, and General Electric to create a chain or “network” of radio stations spread across a wide geographic area, all broadcasting content created in central studios in New York. The name of this network was the National Broadcasting Corporation—NBC.

In 1929, RCA purchased phonograph manufacturer Victor Talking Machine Company, and renamed its new division RCA-Victor. With Victor’s expertise and facilities, RCA-Victor was able to begin making its own radio receivers (as well as records and phonographs), and quickly became one of the largest consumer electronics manufacturers. While the Great Depression of the 1930s crippled businesses worldwide, RCA-Victor and NBC thrived. NBC became such a big money maker that David Sarnoff, the leader of RCA, moved the headquarters to a huge new skyscraper in New York and created Radio City Music Hall, a large and technologically innovative performance space.

RCA’s major technical accomplishment in the 1930s was the development of the electronic television system that is still used in many parts of the world today (although it may soon be replaced by High Definition Television). Following a ten-year, millions-of-dollars research effort, led by Vladimir Zworykin, TV was demonstrated at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York and briefly sold to the public before it was put aside during World War II.

The huge research effort necessary for television encouraged the company to create a permanent research facility. When World War II came, RCA had a perfect opportunity to do so and opened its new RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey and produced many crucial innovations for the war effort. After the war RCA returned its attention to television, designing inexpensive receivers and sponsoring the creation of a new NBC television network to provide programming. RCA’s original television system, as well as the color television system it announced in the 1950s, would eventually prove to be the company’s most profitable line of products.The huge research effort necessary for television encouraged the company to create a permanent research facility. When World War II came, RCA had a perfect opportunity to do so and opened its new RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey and produced many crucial innovations for the war effort. After the war RCA returned its attention to television, designing inexpensive receivers and sponsoring the creation of a new NBC television network to provide programming. RCA’s original television system, as well as the color television system it announced in the 1950s, would eventually prove to be the company’s most profitable line of products.

The period from the 1950s and 1970s saw both high and low points in RCA’s history. Its research laboratories produced innovative technologies in these years and helped advance computers, integrated circuits, lasers, and other devices. It introduced innovative products like the 45-rpm record and the solid-state television camera. Even some of the company’s minor innovations were very successful, such as the “RCA connector jack” found on many types of audio equipment.

Alongside RCA and NBC, many of the developments that made broadcasting stable by 1960 came out of the General Electric (G.E.) Main Plant in Schenectady, NY. First with radio, G.E. established WGY radio as a « Clear Channel » station of 50,000 watts in 1922. Television station WRGB-TV signed on as W2XB in 1928) and FM radio (W2XOY, later  WGFM, then  WGY-FM signed on 1940). WRGB-TV in 1940 began sharing programs with  W 2XBS (forerunner of  WNBC) in New York City receiving the New York station directly off the air from a mountaintop and rebroadcasting the signal, becoming NBC’s first television affiliate. Later, the New York connection was achieved via coaxial cable and eventually by satellite.

CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System ) began in 1927 when talent agent Arthur Judson, unable to obtain work for any of his clients on the radio programs carried by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), established his own network, United Independent Broadcasters. The little company needed investors in order to keep it afloat so the Columbia Phonograph Company (Columbia Records) rescued the company and renamed it CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System). The radio company began its first broadcast on September 18, 1927 with the Howard Barlow Orchestra.
the New York connection was achieved via coaxial cable and eventually by satellite.

CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System ) began in 1927 when talent agent Arthur Judson, unable to obtain work for any of his clients on the radio programs carried by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), established his own network, United Independent Broadcasters. The little company needed investors in order to keep it afloat so the Columbia Phonograph Company (Columbia Records) rescued the company and renamed it CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System). The radio company began its first broadcast on September 18, 1927 with the Howard Barlow Orchestra.

Eventually operational costs made Columbia Records want to sell the company so CBS got passed about until a man named William S. Paley took in the little radio network: Paley’s first year at CBS made one of the leading radio networks in the entire nation. This was possible because Paley changed the way CBS dealt with its affiliates on programming.

Originally, rivals like NBC would pay the affiliate to run sponsored programming and charge them for any other programming they would put on the air. This led to a bad relationship between networks and affiliates and a lot of non-sponsored (or sustaining programming) not being put on the air.

Paley decided that CBS would give sustaining programming for free if the affiliate put on every sponsored program and accepted CBS’s check to do so. This led the CBS having more affiliates than NBC by the end of the year. 

Over the course of the 1930s, CBS prospered as one of the leading radio networks in both programming and scope. And in 1934, after much fighting with the public and other officials within CBS, Paley founded the radio news division of CBS (the first of its kind) with new director Paul White, who brought the events unravelling in Europe to the American public.

It was also on CBS where the infamous The War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles took place. Despite three disclaimers that it was a work of fiction, people all over the nation began to panic that Martians had invaded Earth. This caused the FCC to ban fake news bulletins during dramatic programming. 

When television began to take hold of the American populace, CBS was the frontrunner in programming when I Love Lucy debuted in 1951 (11 million out of 15 million Television sets were watching Lucy). 

The FCC limited the number of television and radio stations which a network could own . All other TV and Radio stations carrying network programs were termed « Affiliates ». TV and Radio stations Owned and Operated by the network itself were and are still called O&O stations. The « network »O&O stations in NY City (WABC-TV), Los Angeles (KABC-TV), and Chicago (WLS-TV) participated in the 3rd Presidential Debate of 1960,

The last company I will talk about is AT&T (sometimes called the « Bell System »). The history of AT&T dates back to the invention of the telephone itself. The Bell Telephone Company was established in 1879 by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell also established American Telephone and Telegraph Company  in 1885, which acquired the Bell Telephone Company and became the primary phone company in the United States. This company maintained a monopoly on telephone service in the United States until anti-trust regulators split the company in 1982.

In 1913, after vacuum-tube inventor Lee De Forest began to suffer financial difficulties, AT&T bought De Forest’s vacuum-tube patents for the bargain price of $50,000 ($1.2 million in 2009 dollars). In particular, AT&T acquired ownership of the ‘Audion’, the first triode (three-element) vacuum tube, which greatly amplified telephone signals. The patent increased AT&T’s control over the manufacture and distribution of long-distance telephone services, and allowed the Bell System to build the United States’s first coast-to coast telephone line. Thanks to the pressures of World War 1, AT&T and RCA owned all useful patents on vacuum tubes. RCA staked a position in wireless communication; AT&T pursued the use of tubes in telephone amplifiers.

AT&T’s Long Lines was the device which transmitted TV signals to the individual stations. So they get big credit for enabling TV debates.

Republican candidate, Vice President Richard M. Nixon, and Democratic candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy hold their third debate. The candidates answer, or comment upon answers to questions put by a panel of correspondents.

For this debate John F. Kennedy was in New York and Richard M. Nixon was in Los Angeles, the correspondants were in a third studio in Chicago. The moderator was Bill Shadel of ABC News. Correspondents were Frank McGee, NBC News; Charles Van Fremd, CBS News; Douglass Cater, Reporter magazine; Roscoe Drummond, New York Herald Tribune.

This was the second most importent debate to air on network television, because it was the first time split screen technique was used. Senator John F. Kennedy was in New York; Vice President Richard M. Nixon was in Los Angeles. They were brought together through a major technological achievement for the times.The main topic of this debate was whether military force should be used to prevent Quemoy and Matsu, two island archipelagos off the Chinese coast, from falling under Communist control.

The split screen technique was invented by William C. Benesch in the late 50’s. He submitted under his Professional name Bill Bradshaw. He was director of photography for WKRC TV in Cincinnati, Ohio.

NEW YORKER Says It All (and other gripes too)

Must admit I did lot of political stuff when Bernie was active. Never touched Republicans. Now it is my turn to endorse a candidate. My Favorite Magazine, the NEW YORKER, did it in a cool way. YES, a 131 kilo / 289 pound Miss Universe sounds cool.

Much of what I do day-to-day is not glorious. Sometimes I get to write, what I call great blogs. You may not agree that SO HOW IS THE 124-YEAR OLD “START-UP” COMPANY DOING? is great. But I do. I spent several hours working on it.

Many times I think I am in the wrong business. I obviously love writing blogs. I love picking other blogs to REBLOG. But the STUFF that goes along with it is absolute “BS”. Respond to comments on WordPress. Go onto FACEBOOK and respond to whatever. Same with TWITTER, PINTEREST and the other little followers. Not Like the old days when I wrote about SUPPLY CHAINS.

The Right Strategic Vote for the Political RevolutionThe Right Strategic Vote for the Political Revolution

I understand the frustration that progressives are feeling after coming so close to defeating the establishment in 2016. We almost did it, and now we are stuck with choices that we would rather not have. I understand that people are tired of the fear card being played by establishment Democrats when they ask, “Would you rather have Trump?”

While that argument does resonate with me, and I think Trump would be a disaster for the country, I also see a strategic reason to keep the Democrats in the White House while we build on the successes of the past 18 months.

Bernie Sanders has pointed us in the right direction. Bernie knew the country was ready for progressive politics, and he had long considered an independent run for the White House. He correctly concluded that the system is rigged in favor of the two major parties and that the only way to succeed is using one of them as a vehicle. He chose to run as a Democrat so he couldn’t be ignored. It is a shame that our political system is rigged. The two major political parties are incapable of representing the diverse views of our country. Until we take power and change the rules of the game, we are forced to play by those rules.

Now the good news: The progressive movement is on the rise, and if we build on our momentum nothing will stop us from taking over the Democratic Party. The entrenched establishment held on for dear life in 2016 and is dying. We can beat them in 2020 or 2024 if we build on our gains.

How many progressive activists out there have attended a central committee meeting of your local Democratic Party? We complain about the Democrats, yet we don’t get involved in the party and do the work it will take to make it a progressive party. It’s not enough to vote in the primaries or work on the campaign of a candidate you like. If we are going to transform the Democratic Party we have to become the Democratic Party.

Let’s face it, there is no enthusiasm for the corporate wing of the party. The Democratic Party is ripe for the taking. It will take a lot of work. It’s not just about running for office or working on campaigns – we can take over the mechanisms of the party, and the enthusiasm is there for our agenda. The establishment is counting on us remaining on the outside and letting them continue to control the machine. We need to do better at the inside game to go with our superior outside game. If the Clinton campaign hadn’t had control of the party mechanisms, Bernie would have been the nominee this time. Change is coming as long as we move forward and don’t squander our gains.

Here is what we should do:

1. Start attending the meetings of your local central committee. There are unfilled seats that you can fill. When we gain the majority, we will be able to elect the county and state chairs. We will be able to change the rules on how our state parties operate. And we will be able to support progressive candidates the same way the local parties have supported neo-liberals in the past.

2. Bernie is right about running for local office and working on campaigns for progressive candidates. Elected officials build organizations that they can use to turn out the vote for other candidates they align with. We made a big deal about the superdelegates voting for Hillary to put her over the top, but the reality is that their collective political organizations did as much to help Clinton as the delegate count.

Let’s look at the states where Bernie did really well. In Oregon, Bernie had a senator in his camp, Jeff Merkley, who had a statewide organization that helped Bernie. We all expected a big win in California, but where was the governor, both senators? They were mobilizing active Democratic Party voters for Hillary Clinton. Gil Cidillio probably had the biggest political organization in the Bernie camp in California, but that organization was no match for Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer.

Illinois was close because Chuy Garcia was a force, but imagine if instead of supporting Hillary Clinton, a senator or governor had been in Bernie’s camp. The party’s elected officials stood together this time behind Hillary. Our job is to make sure there is a political price for that in the future. We don’t have that leverage yet, but when we build it we will be unstoppable.

3. Continue the outside pressure that we are good at. Get involved in your local Fight for 15, your local frontline environmental groups, peace groups, women’s groups, etc. It will take an inside/outside strategy for us to succeed. Elected officials need pressure from within the party and from outside advocacy groups. They work hand in hand.

That’s just a start. Don’t give up now – we are making progress.

4. You are not going to like this one, and I risk having you reject the rest of it, but on the national level we should continue to vote Democrat while we take the party over from within. It is the best strategic move if we want to forward a progressive agenda. Of course it’s a tough one to stomach – Bernie was the best candidate by far. But he is not an option in November.

Jill Stein is right on the issues, but the rigged political system keeps her from being a viable option. It sucks, you are right. We should be able to vote for someone who shares our values. The problem is that in our current political system, voting against the two major parties is nothing more than a protest vote. It is not a smart strategic vote.

Here are some positive reasons voting for Hillary Clinton is the best strategic vote for the political revolution:

The Supreme Court. In our current political system the president appoints Supreme Court justices. There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton will appoint better Supreme Court justices than Donald Trump would.

Health Care. I’m with you: Single payer is the way to go, and Obamacare is flawed. The alternative under the Republicans is worse. It’s personal for me – Obamacare saved my life. I would love a public option, but the subsidy has made health care affordable for me and I don’t want the repeal on Donald Trump’s desk. Hillary supports a public option as the next step in Obamacare and will increase funding for community clinics. These are steps in the right direction.

Iran Nuclear Deal. Donald Trump would scrap the Iran nuclear deal and give radicals in Iran the support they need to reconstitute their nuclear weapons program. Hillary will stand by the deal she helped bring into fruition.

Climate Change. I hear you: ban fracking. Hillary is not there yet, but she acknowledges the existence of climate change and will do more than climate change deniers in the Republican Party.

Minimum Wage. Let’s be honest, Clinton doesn’t oppose the Fight for 15. She thinks $12 an hour is easier to achieve, but if we put a $15 an hour national minimum wage on her desk, Hillary Clinton would sign it. Donald Trump would not only veto it, he would lead the fight against it in community after community.

Debt Free College Tuition. Okay, I used her term. It’s not free public college tuition, but it is a step in the right direction. The Republicans don’t have a plan. They like college for those who can afford it.
As you see, we can make progress under Hillary Clinton, while we will make no progress under Donald Trump.

If you want to vote Green, just understand that you are voting with your heart and you will not likely help the political revolution in a strategic way. Voting for Hillary Clinton is voting to make some progress. Not the progress we had hoped for, sadly, but progress we can build on.

Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

Organizers From Bernie’s Campaign Plan to Support 400 Progressive Candidates for Congress in 2018

For the next 90 days the first imperative is to dump the Trump. After Election Day the goal is to build on Bernie’s successes and continue to mobilize a strong and tenacious political force to reclaim our economy and democracy from the moneyed interests in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

Organizers from Bernie’s campaign already have launched “Brand New Congress” (see below), an ambitious effort to run at least 400 progressive candidates for Congress in 2018 with “a single, unified campaign with a single plan,” financed by crowd-sourced small donations and led by a nationwide network of volunteers.

Bernie himself has announced the formation of “Our Revolution,” which will support progressive candidates up and down the ticket. “Our goal will be the same as in our campaign: we must work to transform American society by making our political and economic systems work for all of us, not just the 1 percent,” he wrote.

The mobilization to fight the moneyed interests is just beginning. Will we need a third party or should the strategic goal be to take over the Democratic Party? What do you think?

See COMMENTS from Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Facebook Page