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Big news on the net neutrality front yesterday. The New York Times editorial board explains:
After weeks of being criticized for a proposal that would have divided the Internet into fast and slow lanes, the Federal Communications Commission put forward a new plan on Thursday. While more balanced than its earlier approach, the commission still seems to be leaning toward creating a two-tiered system that could discriminate against smaller companies and restrict consumer choice. [...] Mr. Wheeler has said he wants to adopt final rules by the end of the year. But the F.C.C. should take more time if it needs to, as one Democratic commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, has suggested. These rules are too important to rush through.
ICYMI, read this post by Joan McCarter:
We've got 120 days to push Congress, push the FCC and even push President Obama to urge the FCC to reject this rule and do what really needs to be done to save the internet: Reclassify broadband companies as public utilities and allow for real regulation.
Take one moment and let's keep up the pressure. Please sign our petition to the FCC to keep a free and open internet.

More on this and other top stories below the fold.

Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School calls out FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:

Perhaps I am naïve, but I usually assume that people mean what they say. At Thursday's F.C.C. public meeting, Chairman Tom Wheeler declared, with Lincolnesque firmness, that he would stand second to no one in his defense of net neutrality.

 [...] I believe that Wheeler means it, but there is a gap between his speeches and the actual rules. The rules say, for example, that “our proposed no-blocking rule would allow broadband providers … to negotiate terms of service individually'' with content sites provided that they are commercially reasonable, and don’t harm Internet openness. That sounds an awful lot like the fast lane that the chairman says he will not allow.

Perhaps what Chairman Wheeler means is that his personal enforcement of the rules would prevent a fast lane from emerging; but of course he will not be chairman forever. As it stands, it feels like the chairman and his rules are sending conflicting messages. We have several months: the final rules should match the rhetoric.

Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, calls out President Obama:
In a democracy everyone's ideas and innovations should have the same chance to succeed as those of wealthy corporations.

Wheeler’s proposal leaves the door open for an exclusive fast lane for wealthy corporations, while relegating the rest of us to a second-class, censored Internet.
For this reason, the rules recently proposed by F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler were disappointing. They left all options on the table, even those that would allow “paid prioritization,” destroying the free and open Internet.

President Obama is partly to blame. As a candidate, he campaigned on maintaining net neutrality. He should stay true to his word. Now is not the time to give mega-corporations like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon the green light to discriminate against content they don't like.

Switching topics, Jay Bookman takes a look at the Republican strategy on immigration reform:
For years now, immigration reform has been something that certain segments of the Republican Party have promised to do "soon." As party elders said in their autopsy of the 2012 election, after they lost the presidential race as well as seats in both the House and Senate, "we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only."
Yet "soon" never seems to get here.
Jimmy Williams writes against judicial nominee Michael Boggs:
It seems President Obama has nominated Georgia state judge Michael Boggs to be a federal district court judge as a part of an all-or-nothing group of nominees. Boggs was a member of the state House of Representatives for four years before being elevated to the state judiciary. During his time in the state House as a Democrat, Boggs took a few votes that are raising the eyebrows of more than a few U.S. senators and progressive constituency groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, Human Rights Campaign and the Congressional Black Caucus. And that leads us to the whole Confederate flag mess.

In 2003, Boggs voted to retain the Confederate flag as a part of the Georgia state flag. His response back then? He was “representing” his constituents’ views. Well, the white ones at least.

Boggs voted to ban gay marriage in 2004. When asked about his current position by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Boggs responded: “My position on that, Senator, may or may not have changed since that time — as many people’s have over the last decade.”

Eugene Robinson takes a look at how Republicans are already frothing at the mouth over Hillary Clinton:
Republican panic at the prospect of facing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race has suddenly reached Godzilla-nearing-Tokyo proportions.

The election is more than two years away, and Clinton hasn’t even decided whether to run. But none of this seems to matter to the GOP strategists and spinmeisters who are launching the whole arsenal at her — smears, innuendo, false charges. Already, they’ve moved beyond distorting her record to simply making stuff up.

As these damp squibs clatter harmlessly to the ground, it’s useful to remember that Clinton has seen it all before. And I mean all . Anyone who thinks she’ll be rattled or intimidated hasn’t been paying attention the past few decades.

Dana Milbank turns his eye to Chris Christie:
Chris Christie’s presidential prospects are sagging — and it has nothing to do with those steel cables spanning the Hudson River.

The sprawling controversy, which began with bridge lane closures in Fort Lee, N.J.., to punish a political foe, has given the governor a reputation for running New Jersey in a vindictive and even thuggish manner. But this would hurt him less in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries than the loss of the central rationale for his potential candidacy: that he returned New Jersey to fiscal health.

And, on a final note, take some to read this column by Paul Krugman:
Once upon a time it was possible to take climate change seriously while remaining a Republican in good standing. Today, listening to climate scientists gets you excommunicated — hence Mr. Rubio’s statement, which was effectively a partisan pledge of allegiance.

And truly crazy positions are becoming the norm. A decade ago, only the G.O.P.’s extremist fringe asserted that global warming was a hoax concocted by a vast global conspiracy of scientists (although even then that fringe included some powerful politicians). Today, such conspiracy theorizing is mainstream within the party, and rapidly becoming mandatory; witch hunts against scientists reporting evidence of warming have become standard operating procedure, and skepticism about climate science is turning into hostility toward science in general.

It’s hard to see what could reverse this growing hostility to inconvenient science. As I said, the process of intellectual devolution seems to have reached a point of no return. And that scares me more than the news about that ice sheet.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Finally, net neutrality coverage. (9+ / 0-)

    I thought it was embargoed or something all day yesterday.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Fri May 16, 2014 at 04:58:17 AM PDT

  •  Extra, extra: Democrats abandon democracy. (5+ / 0-)

    Again.

    In a 3-2 vote, D's finally embrace the Republican spirit and boldly reject the clear will of We The People. During an election year no less.

    Why don't they pass KXL and cut the safety net and go for the trifecta.

    If net neutrality is abandoned -- as it isn't anywhere in Europe, Australia, Japan... -- I will officially abandon this Party.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:02:36 AM PDT

  •  "My position may or may not have changed" WTF? (9+ / 0-)

    Who the hell does Boggs think he is?
    Playing it coy may work well on a first date.
    Or being a pol.
    Not on your job interview.

    Ive been in a mood this week to believe America is well and truly hopelessly permanently screwed, and a creep like Boggs isnt doing anything to dispel that.

    Find a nominee who says they wipe their ass with a Confederate flag every morning and give them the job.

  •  Sabato says Pryor may have a chance.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, ER Doc
  •  Sadly, money win$ again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, glitterscale, cybersaur

    I wonder what post-FCC jobs were offered to the Dems who voted against preserving net neutrality?

    •  Corp boardships with stock "options" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, JaxDem

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:28:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They are all united against reality... (9+ / 0-)
    The Koch Brothers are taking a cue from Grover Norquist's successful "No New Taxes" Pledge, and are using it to make sure a carbon tax never gets implemented by Congress.

    They are pressuring politicians to sign a "No Climate Tax Pledge," which their front group, Americans for Prosperity, has been peddling since 2008.

    411 politicians have signed it so far, including the entire House Republican leadership - a quarter of senators and a third of the House of Representatives.  Signatories hold offices across the country, from Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin to gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia, from Florida's attorney general Pam Bondi to the Oklahoma schools superintendent and Idaho state treasurer.

    No climate change believers allowed in thier club.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:13:09 AM PDT

  •  Eugene Robinson, You are sooo right! (12+ / 0-)
    ...it’s useful to remember that Clinton has seen it all before. And I mean all . Anyone who thinks she’ll be rattled or intimidated hasn’t been paying attention the past few decades.
    Hillary is the GOP's worst nightmare.  She has proved not only to be a survivor, but that she can do it with grace and style.  

    Rubio thinks he's had enough experience to run for president?  Heh.  Imagine Hillary debating him.  She not only would eat him raw, but she'd file down his bones and use them as toothpicks.  Bring It, Marco!

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:20:04 AM PDT

  •  I take great issue with the attitude (23+ / 0-)

    that holds that if you want something, you have to earn and pay for it, or else you should learn to do without. Sure, this is fine for things like yachts, caviar and mansions, i.e. stuff that's nice but that no one really NEEDS. But when it comes to things that everyone reasonably does need, like food, shelter, health care, education, and access to essential information and modern media, I take great exception to this attitude, especially given that none of these things are so rare and precious that they have to be rationed out based on one's ability and willingness to pay for them. With respect to the internet, we're not talking about free HBO or high-traffic profit-based HD web hosting for all, but simply the ability to make use of the internet on both the content consumption and creation sides at decent speeds without having to go broke or be rich.

    I view it like the library. Everyone can take out just about any book or other available media, for free, without having to buy or rent it, although the latter remain as viable options for those who can and would prefer to. Or public parks. It's nice to own your own 20 acre mansion with a big lawn and trees and I don't mind it that people can do this. But this shouldn't be the only way one can enjoy grass, trees and open spaces. It's why we have free parks. It's why we have free public education, affordable (and if warranted free) health care (well, some places at least), and affordable housing (much less so now than once, which is another thing that has to change). I see no difference with the internet, which has become a necessity to nearly everyone.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:25:51 AM PDT

  •  It's really gonna suck... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    ...when this website takes forever to load, time to pay up Kos.

    http://lazyactivismrules.wordpress.com/

    by LazyActivism on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:29:32 AM PDT

    •  It already does. The pages have so much spinach (4+ / 0-)

      that the site is one of the slowest I go to.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:42:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really wish (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnionMade, Wee Mama

        they'd do something about this.  DK often crashes my system.  Additionally, while I suspect this view won't be popular, I really wish they'd find a better way to do petitions.  Pop-ups are a real drain on many systems.  Can't we just have banners or something?  At any rate, DK really needs to get rid of all the scripts.  I come here less and less for this reason.

        •  This may help (0+ / 0-)

          You may want to look into running NoScript. It essentially breaks the Internet because it won't allow scripts to run by default, so there's some care-taking and Internet savvy involved in getting it work the way you want while avoiding the things you don't want, but it will prevent scripts from running and, as an added bonus, that also serves to protect your computer from malware.

          +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

          by cybersaur on Fri May 16, 2014 at 02:23:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wasn't this predictable? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floande, salmo, rl en france
    The FCC Just Approved A Proposal That Will Completely Change The Internet As We Know It
    [More at link.]
    The FCC voted today 3-2 to approve creation of an "internet fast lane."

    This will have massive ramifications for how all internet companies operate in the future.

    According to the FCC's proposal, companies that deliver content over the internet like Netflix, Hulu, and Business Insider will be able to pay internet service providers (ISPs) for direct access to customers on a given network. That means their content will reach ISP subscribers much faster than content from companies that don't pay ISPs for direct access.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:30:59 AM PDT

  •  Wheeler is afraid of the courts (5+ / 0-)

    He is trying to write rules that stay within the framework of the District of Columbia ruling in January. In part the ruling states

    even though the commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.
    But the ruling itself gives us the answer, "Given that the commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers."

    Joan, as always, is right. The solution is to designate the Internet a common carrier, and then regulate it. Short of that, the courts will decide what the Internet is.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:58:50 AM PDT

  •  Is it possible to make Net Neutrality? (4+ / 0-)

    A campaign issue this year and hold some Dem feet to the fire?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri May 16, 2014 at 06:22:04 AM PDT

    •  Net Neutrality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      Yup.  
      Net Neutrality has gone from being some obscure Internet geek fixation to something much of the Internet-using general public has at least heard of. It is a topic that is definitely on the radar of younger voters. Anecdotally, I can tell you that Net Neutrality even cuts across ideological boundaries to some degree.
      People love their Internet access and the universe of media it opens up to them. The overwhelming majority of people already hate their over-priced ISPs. Democrats would be wise to be very vocal champions of Net Neutrality.

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Fri May 16, 2014 at 02:28:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have the roles reversed over 40 some years? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    "You Hippies shouldn't knock Science for being unmellow since it gives you nice things like Kombiwagens and 8-track stereo."

    To

    "You Baggers shouldn't knock Science for being unAmerican since it gives you nice things like GPS toys and smart phones."

    Although I have to wonder if a lot of the Hippies and Baggers are flip sides of the same coin? Some self-centered self-indulgant older Boomers didn't want be responsible and keep their noses clean back then "'cause The Man is 'pressin' me!" Now they don't to be responsible and pay taxes and follow regulations "'cause The Man is 'pressin' me!"

    It'll probably help if I didn't have an estranged step-bother that I don't see and don't miss who is that close to being that sort of strawman in the flesh. Not to mention a cousin and a some dude on Facebook.

    Then there's the double-think variations of "I'm voting my credit card for Reagan to keep the idealism of the '60s alive" during the icky '80s.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri May 16, 2014 at 06:33:19 AM PDT

  •  Fast Food strikes? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    How'd they go yesterday? I hope that they didn't flop.

    Then there's today's susposed Winger revolt in DC. I wouldn't be surprized if that fizzles.

    But oh, let's post a picture of a lot of Baggers in another place and claim it's today's revolt. Plus boast that Obama is just sooooo scared....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri May 16, 2014 at 06:37:21 AM PDT

  •  Wheeler never used the word "citizens" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotActingNaive

    Wheeler was doing what lawyer/lobbyists do, which is to parse phrases to precise hair splitting that people will generally miss.

    The language he used included many references to consumers but not citizens.

    That is in reality, a huge distinction.  Remember that he actually represents the cable industry.  Those folks are among the most crafty and subtle lobbyists in existence.

    You cannot trust the words of any of these Commissioners without considering the probable true intent, which may be unknowable.

    The problem is that this is the cable industry dinosaur not wanting to go down into the tar pit of history without taking everyone in reach down along with it.

    folks we have a very powerful enemy here and thus is ought to be considered a fight to the death .

    We have to win.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri May 16, 2014 at 08:10:10 AM PDT

  •  Can we please hold Obama accountable? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    Where is Obama on this?  Why is he not getting hammered by this site daily about this.  Its time to make him pay a political price for this.  That seems to be all he cares about.

  •  Removing scumbag Tom Wheeler . . . (0+ / 0-)

    is apparently far more difficult than I initially thought.   My understanding is that the FCC is an independent agency and its chairman can only be removed by impeachment for impropriety, but not for policy disputes.   He can't just be fired. I find it infuriating that Obama would appoint a telecom lobbyist to an office in which he would be both powerful and difficult to remove.   At best, this was stunning stupidity on Obama's part.   But I suspect it was something worse.  Obama is not an idiot.  I  think he knew exactly what he was doing.

  •  Obama Administration responsibility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    How come bloggers are treating the FCC as if it's some wayward entity that the Obama Administration has no control over? If Bush's FCC did this, everyone would be criticizing the Bush Admin. But since Obama put these thieves in charge of the henhouse, most p people are ignoring reality and getting geared up to "submit public comments" against the theft of our Internet. As if that's ever going to change anything.

    Here's the reality on Net Neutrality: Obama is the Plutocrat in Chief. He will continue to offer us tidbits while helping tear down the middle class. When will those of us who voted for him call him on his lies? If corporations can shut down this fine democratic tool called the Internet, we'll NEVER be able to reclaim our government.

    Obama appointed the FCC chairman, who came through a corporate revolving door so fast progressives heads were spinning. The agency is directed by five commissioners who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Dem controlled Senate.

    Clearly, this attempt to do away with Net Neutrality is EXACTLY what the Obama Administration and the rest of the plutocrats in Congress want.

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