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Stream This!

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007 4:03 AM

I haven't said a lot about the Writers' Strike, but this interview with Ron Moore, the showrunner for Battlestar Galactica, explains what's at stake.

"I had a situation last year on Battlestar Galactica where we were asked by Universal to do webisodes [Note: Moore is referring to The Resistance webisodes which ran before Season 3 premiered], which at that point were very new and 'Oooh, webisodes! What does that mean?' It was all very new stuff. And it was very eye opening, because the studio's position was 'Oh, we're not going to pay anybody to do this. You have to do this, because you work on the show. And we're not going to pay you to write it. We're not going to pay the director, and we're not going to pay the actors.' At which point we said 'No thanks, we won't do it.'"

"We got in this long, protracted thing and eventually they agreed to pay everybody involved. But then, as we got deeper into it, they said 'But we're not going to put any credits on it. You're not going to be credited for this work. And we can use it later, in any fashion that we want.' At which point I said 'Well, then we're done and I'm not going to deliver the webisodes to you.' And they came and they took them out of the editing room anyway -- which they have every right to do. They own the material -- But it was that experience that really showed me that that's what this is all about. If there's not an agreement with the studios about the internet, that specifically says 'This is covered material, you have to pay us a formula - whatever that formula turns out to be - for use of the material and how it's all done,' the studios will simply rape and pillage."

(h/t to Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake)

After an interesting tap-dancing routine during testimony before Congress, Howard Krongard, the State Department's Inspector General, admitted that his brother, Buzzy Krongard, was on the advisory board for Blackwater USA.

Krongard had, at first, testified that he didn't know of the connection, while Buzzy had apparently stated the opposite in an interview. Then Howard admitted that he 'had just learned' of the relationship, and recused himself from any further matters involving Blackwater USA.

Judge Michael B. Mukasey was sworn in as the new U.S. Attorney General yesterday.

Mr. Bush fidgets throughout, and the video gives the appearance that he is looking off to his right as Chief Justice Roberts administers the oath of office.

It remains to be seen if Mukasey will now be briefed into the details of the 'enhanced interrogation' torture program, and if he has an opinion on it.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to review language on the 'new and improved' FISA bill, which includes features like telecom immunity (for things they say they didn't do), and basket warrants (standing one-year surveillance orders).

Of course, the proposed legislation has a 'sunset clause' - a feature tacked on to most (if not all) of this Administration's hallmark anti-terror silliness - and a feature that has rarely been allowed to stand. Which means the assurances that our civil liberties are safe from abuse die with the clause.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann gets a nod for awarding himself the bronze medal in his own 'Worst Person in the World' segment, which is usually graced by the latest outrageous and/or insane pronouncements from the media and public officials, or the just plain stupid. (It's hard, sometimes, to tell the difference between the three.)

Keith pegged himself for getting his facts wrong, citing that '1 in 4 veterans' are homeless, as opposed to the correct data, that '1 in 4 homeless are veterans.'

A question for the Democratic candidates, who keep assuring us that things will be different with them in office.

Where's the proof of this leadership now? How is it that we can have a field filled with several prominent senators, and yet the Democratic majority is routinely bemoaning that they 'don't have enough votes' and knuckling under to the bully-boy tactics coming out of the White House?

Instead, we have poll-driven equivocating, mock outrage, and a parade of cheap shots at each other. Expect more of the same in tonight's debate among Democratic candidates, and the only talk being about the latest 'pile-on Hillary' or 'Hillary fights back.'

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