Friday, December 15, 2017

Ajit Pi Alone Can't Kill Net Neutrality-- It Takes A Village... A Corrupt Conservative Village


Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Wu wu wu
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson
Jolting Joe has left and gone away
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Actually it's Lyin' Ryan who's gone away... or, at least, going away. And he's leaving behind the mess over net neutrality. "Oh, but it isn't Ryan's mess," you claim. It;'s just that horrid, slimeball lobbyist Ajit Pai. Pai, a former" Verizon lobbyist, was just doing his job, clearly for his "former" employer. It's Ryan who isn't doing his job, if you consider the people in southeast Wisconsin his employer. We'll get to that in a second. First a little update from Tom McKay at Gizmodo.
On Thursday, the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission and its chairman, Verizon BFF Ajit Pai, will hold a vote on whether to repeal Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules. If passed, the FCC would allow ISPs to begin setting up a tiered internet designed to suck as much money from customers’ pockets as possible while screwing with their ability to access competitors’ content, or really anything that might suck up amounts of bandwidth inconvenient for their profit margins.

The plan is immensely unpopular, even with Republicans. This type of situation would typically call for a charm offensive, though Pai has apparently decided to resort to his time-honored tactic of being incredibly condescending instead. In a video with the conservative site Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson [above]-- the dude who got fired from BuzzFeed for plagiarizing Yahoo Answers-- Pai urged the country to understand that even if he succeeds in his plan to let ISPs strangle the rest of the internet to death, they’ll let us continue to take selfies and other stupid bullshit.

...All of these claims on what users “will still be able to do” are actually questionable, seeing as under Pai’s plan, ISPs could easily hit up their customers with crushing fees to let them access any of these services at reasonable speeds-- particularly those binge-watching streaming services he claims to love so much. Strangely, Pai didn’t mention torrenting, one of the applications of the internet he believes ISPs should be able to turn off entirely to save on bandwidth.

The debate over net neutrality isn’t whether people are literally going to be unable to upload photos of cute puppies to the internet, but whether they’re going to be able to do so on fair terms or arcane, extortionate ones dictated entirely by a handful of ultra-wealthy service providers. But that’s beside the point; just like with a previous video mocking Twitter critics he filmed with the right-wing site Independent Journal Review, the intent seems to be finding friendly last-minute venues for Pai to publicly laugh off the intense criticism being directed at his plan.

He’s trying to buy precious cover by painting everyone who disagrees with him as a simple-minded idiot.
Beto O'Rourke, an ardent defender of net neutrality, is running for the Texas Senate seat held by the odious Ted Cruz, a fanatic anti-neutrality backer. He's been working on a bill and so has Sean Patrick Maloney. But no one is deluded into thinking Ryan-- who has taken oodles of cash from the telecomms; this cycle $59,195, more than anyone else in Congress other than Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology ($105,100).

Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), everyone's favorite congresswoman, also emphasized that "this fight is not over with today’s vote. In Congress, I am an original co-sponsor, with Rep. Mike Doyle, of the Congressional Review Act that will reverse the FCC’s terrible vote. It is a top priority for me to do everything I can, working with people across the country, to protect net neutrality and preserve an open internet for all."

Another member of Congress told me he called for a constitutional amendment on net neutrality 7 years ago! He said the "most likely reason why nothing has passed is that the phone companies and cable companies would try to jam up any effort like that, and the internet companies aren’t strong enough on K Street to neutralize their effort.  AT&T, for instance, has the single largest federal PAC in DC, if I recall correctly. So the New Dems stop it in the House, and the Schumer Dems in the Senate." Hawaii's progressive champion, Kaniela Ing came up with a very interesting solution he tweeted last night. What do you think of this?

Carol Shea-Porter, the progressive congresswoman from New Hampshire, told her constituents that the fight isn't over as far as she's concerned. "I strongly oppose the result of today’s shameful FCC vote, and I will work to restore the net neutrality protections American consumers expect and deserve. Net neutrality is the simple principle that lawful content on the Internet should be equally accessible to everyone, and that Internet service providers should not be allowed to discriminate against some content providers. Without the guarantee of net neutrality, the Internet superhighway’s rules of the road will favor big businesses over newer startups. The Internet has allowed the proud tradition of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship to reach every corner of the globe. Its openness has enabled a new generation of New Hampshire innovators to turn a bright idea and a laptop into a business. We can’t stand by as the FCC and big corporations steal our right to equal access."

Goal ThermometerAlmost all the Blue America-endorsed candidates sent out e-mails today campaigning on net neutrality. Wise. Sam Jammal (CA-39): "Ajit Pai and the FCC just voted to ignore the overwhelming majority of Americans who begged to save net neutrality. Too much of our economy is reliant on a free and open internet for us to stand back and do nothing... It's time to elect a Congressman who refuses to sell out his community." Derrick Crowe is our candidate in the Austin-San Antonio corridor (TX21): "The internet is ours-- the people's. But, the FCC sided with corporate America and voted to kill the open Internet. Send me to Congress and I will fight to pass strong legislation that will undo this terrible decision. This is what Donald Trump's appointees are here to do: sell us out to corporate America. The best way to fight back now is to take back Congress, and to put representatives in place who will force an open Internet policy on the FCC. I am refusing corporate-PAC money because you need to know whose side I am on." Katie Hill, up in the Santa Clarita Valley, got it perfectly: "Today, the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, ignoring the millions of us who stood up in support of it. They allowed a handful of billionaires and corporations to control our access to information. Now, the best way for us to stand up and fight back is right here in the 25th district. Steve Knight has taken $60,000 from telecom companies, and has stayed completely silent on net neutrality. These telecom companies are emboldened by politicians like Knight, and they won't be stopped until there are leaders in place who can't be bought by special interests."

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At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Let's work towards the blue wave and drowning all of the horrible orders that have come out of the Republican majority.

More than ten years ago I went to a Halloween wedding. My husband refused to wear a costume so I gave him a black cape and taped on the back a bumper sticker, "The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans." Prescient, huh? Nah. things have been heading in this direction for a very long time. The American people were asleep at the wheel and complacent about our government and our democracy. Well, we have woken up! Voting counts, we must vote these horrors out in a tsunami in 2018. Progressives rule!

The Alabama election shows, shockingly but very hearteningly, that a decent candidate and an all out groundswell can fire up the Dems and get out the vote. Thank you Alabamians and black women in particular! The Dems should take note (but will they?) - forget about going after the deplorables (who will always be here with us, unfortunately, but fortunately are a minority) and put energy and enthusiasm into good use - go after women, people of color and young people, have a clear progressive message that will resonate and push to end voter suppression and gerrymandering.

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't join you, Hone

There remain too many corporatist sellouts in the DINO-Whig party for me to join in any "blue-wave" efforts. Certain individuals will get my support directly, for they are NOT corporatist tools. But the Party as a whole is just a slower path to corporatist fascism. At least they will smile before they rape us. I'm almost consoled!

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Hone, sorry to say, but we HAD a massive D majority in 2009-2010. Your Valhalla never materialized. Instead, they just put a little higher viscosity lube on the ramp to hell so we all would slide a tick slower.

The Alabama election (and a few other closer calls) show simply that voters still don't know their assholes from the foreign object being rammed into it by the money. If they could tell them apart, they might choose to NOT HAVE ANY foreign object rammed into it at all.

So, maybe after this "wave" election is over and nothing improves again/still, voters will not be given the option of lube when the ramming starts again. Voters still wouldn't notice anything. Voters are dumber than shit.

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just an academic exercise: How much have the cable behemoths "donated" to Pelosi/scummer, their pacs and superpacs? And if it isn't enough, how much more would they "donate" to prevent all those lovely progressives (that are going to save the party) from doing shit about this? Pelosi and scummer will set the price; they'll gladly pay it; and Hone's panacea of new BA progressives won't count for shit.

If you ever find yourself experiencing spasms of optimism... just remember 2009 and the entire obamanation admin. Then ask yourself: "What the fuck is different now?"

Nothing is different. It's, NOT ironically, SOS.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does take a village. It takes a village of idiots too stupid to vote for anyone who won't ass rape them every chance they get.

America is a village. A brain-damaged inbred village.


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