Thursday, April 06, 2017

Americans Want Privacy-- Including Republicans


A couple of nights ago, Rachel Maddow did a long and interesting segment about what the Trumpist Regime does behind closed doors. The whole segment is posted above. And it's primarily about how the Trumpists are secretly moving more troops into Syria without asking for congressional approval. The decision making is behind closed doors. The second example that Maddow discusses though, is the one I want to take up today. Just before the 11 and a half mark on the clip, she mentions how the Regime tried hiding the fact that Trump signed the incrediblely unpopular Republican bill that allows internet providers to sell your personal data without getting your permission or even alerting you that they're doing it.

Jeff Flake's Joint Resolution "providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to 'Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services,'" passed the House March 28 215-205 Not a single Democrat voted for it, not even the worst corporate whore Blue Dogs and New Dems. Even Sinema, Cuellar, Peterson and Gottheimer voted against this-- and they vote for everything the Republicans want. This one was too politically toxic even for them though. in fact it was too politically toxic for 15 Republicans as well. That's why the vote was so relatively close.

A combination of Freedom Caucus purists like, Justin Amash (R-MI), Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Republicans in unsafe seats in swing districts, like Mike Coffman (R-CO), Dave Riechert (R-WA), John Faso (R-NY) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) refused to go along with Ryan and McCarthy on this one.

In The Senate, Flake's resolution had already passed, 50-48, on March 23. Every Democrat voted NO, including Manchin and Heitkamp, and every Republican voted YES, except 2 who were absent. Back to Maddow... she is very correct in calling it "a big deal, a big deal for all of us. This is a material change from the way your data is handled now... Thanks to this bill that President Trump just signed, my Internet prcvider-- and yours-- can take your browsing history, can take their record of everything you have ever downloaded, can take their data about everything you have ever done online, all of your financial information, everything they have got on you, and they can sell it-- to anyone, without even giving you notice that they're doing so, let alone allowing you the opportunity to object. And if you don't have a lot of choice of internet providers, which a lot of people don't, your only option is for opting out of this system, for protecting yourself at all is to... not use the internet?... As you might imagine, this thing is radically unpopular. Even the radically pro-Donald Trump corners of the internet... Trump supporters are freaking out that he just signed this thing."

YouGov's national poll asked people if Trump should sign the bill or veto it. 11% thought he should sign it. 74% wanted him to veto it. But he didn't veto it. He kicked out the cameras, shut the doors and signed it-- behind closed doors... "no press, no tweets, no cameras... They signed it in secret."

Democrats running against incumbents would have to be insane not to make this into a big campaign issue. It isn't some abstract; this touches all of our lives and it shows the Republicans off at their corporate worst-- and their authoritarian worse. So, for example, the internet providers-- like AT&T, Century Link, Charter (Spectrum), Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Optimum, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and Windstream-- gave Darrell Issa $317,200 last year alone for his cooperation on this kind of legislation. This issue of taylor-made for Doug Applegate, Issa' progressive opponent. This afternoon he told us that "Darrell Issa will do anything to avoid talking to his constituents. But he'll gladly vote to allow his internet service provider donors to his campaign profit from selling those same constituents' internet history. Daryl hasn't served a single day in Congress without rigging the system."

Same in an inland district north of Issa's, where Kevin McCarthy gobbled up an astronomical $400,300 from the internet providers so that he would guide their legislation through Congress. I asked his Democratic opponent, Wendy Reed, who told me that "This is a perfect example of how our so-called Representative represents corporate donors and corporate-controlled government while I represent the interests of real people. This action shows patent disrespect for our liberties and our right to consent. Americans have the right to a government that serves the people and reflects the will of the people. This action, allowing corporations to sell our private and personal information for profit, is the opposite of what Americans want."

Exactly right-- and even if her district, CA-23, has a PVI of R+16 with far more registered Republicans than registered Democrats-- this issue transcends political parties. And McCarthy is on the wrong side of it while Reed is standing with the people from Lancaster, Rosamond, California City, Tehachapi, Bakersfield and Porterville.

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At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

corporations wanted it. They got it. And because the Ds' numbers are irrelevant, they allowed them to vote nay... to no effect.

The public will have forgotten all about it by... well yesterday. No worries at all for the Rs who did it.

On to the next clusterfuck.

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might have hoped that even Republican voters might have learned by now that the corporatists they enable care nothing about them except for their votes, and that once the corporatists are in power that even Republican voters are seen only as profit opportunities.

It's not looking like that is going to happen.

Bye, Grannie! They will miss you once Trumpcare is forced into law, an act for which they will cheer lustily. It was nice knowing you, but business must realize profit of else Jay$u$ will be VERY angry. Keeping you alive was just not cost-effective.


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