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back to article Republicans turn up heat on FCC over net neutrality push

A group of conservative lawmakers are calling on FCC boss Tom Wheeler to take a step away from his plans to mandate a net neutrality policy for the communications watchdog. In a letter (PDF) signed and posted by House Speaker John Boehner, several prominent Republicans inform Wheeler of their opposition to what they call " …

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Are these guys for real?

This is a rather unprofessional letter to be on House of Representatives letterhead. It looks more like something that belongs in a political campaign.

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Anonymous Coward

As if

You needed another reason not to vote for these morons.

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Anonymous Coward

Republican opinion? Who cares?

What Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, and Rodgers really believe about net neutrality is of absolutely no interest or importance. The only thing that really matters is what their corporate overloads believe – they pull each and every one of the strings controlling their Republican puppets' moves. Those aren't campaign contributions, folks, they're business investments – and quite cost-effective ones, to be sure

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Anonymous Coward

Political opinion? Who cares?

What people in Washington (both parties) really believe about net neutrality is of absolutely no interest or importance. The only thing that really matters is what their corporate overloads believe – they pull each and every one of the strings controlling their political puppets' moves. Those aren't campaign contributions, folks, they're business investments – and quite cost-effective ones, to be sure

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Facepalm

"We don't want to stifle economic growth in America!

By that we mean that we don't want to stifle economic growth in select companies. Please make regulations such that wealthy and established players are able to combat smaller competitors and keep markets in an iron fist. Ideas for such regulation could be gained from a view towards regulation on stock markets and investments."

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Black Helicopters

Perfect example of general Republican party

I hold an elected position within the local county party (vice chairman) and stupid calls to arms like this are why I can't appear to be a rational person to anybody that understands the issues. The party takes its stance on something (in this case "pro-business/anti-regulation") and applies it without thinking, but still wanting to sound intelligent. The declaration that this would cause a reduction in *investment* capital is almost deceptive. The investment capital would cease going towards *connection* providers who are making enough shiploads of cash to purchase each other off and would start going to *content* providers, who actually then reinvest it into content *producers*, which then creates a product. The only way that investment capital would properly be used if it was going to connection providers would be an increase in the overall infrastructure throughout the nation, but we know that that hasn't been happening with any sort of rationality (live in a large community, here's 30Mbs shared, live in a different community that's the same size, well, we happened to upgrade that in the past 10 years so here's 30Mbs dedicated) or future-looking attitude. The lack of competition is preventing a market from demanding anything different, so the ISPs can continue to rake in boatloads *without* having to make that infrastructure investment that the Republicans pretend would be threatened by such regulation.

TL;DR Republicans are supposed to be pro-free market, but these chuckleheads have convinced themselves that they are anti-regulation instead, even when the free market is being destroyed by the lack of regulation.

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Re: Perfect example of general Republican party

I consider this a perfect example of cronyism. And it is not a plague of the republicans, it plagues the democrats too. The only politicians it does not plague are those who do not have enough capital to get elected, or the very rare honorable politician.

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Re: Perfect example of general Republican party

@Technological Viking

Yes, is the short version.

The point I try to make is that there is nothing inherently desirable about a 'free market', just as there is nothing inherently desirable about competition.

What is desirable is the supposed results, which (in short) is the ability of consumers to access services and products suitable to their needs/wants at a price they can afford, the ability of companies to be rewarded for the utility of their products and the ability of workers to be fairly compensated for their contributions.

In other words, consumers get a fair price, companies get a fair profit and workers get a fair wage.

The problem is that this doesn't necessarily arise naturally and in some cases quite the opposite can happen, for example, when certain markets tend towards a monopoly or where there are large barriers to entry.

In these instances, regulation can function to help achieve the desired ends where a 'free market' approach isn't working.

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Re: Perfect example of general Republican party

Infrastructure is being strangled by collusion among the biggest players. For instance, in New York City we have TIme Warner Cable and Verizon (supplying fibre optic connections). So what happens? Verizon only provisions customers in large building where they can make a quick profit, and TWC is not challenged by a better competitor. I live in a very active part of Brooklyn, NY (Park Slope) which still does not have Verizon FIOS on offer, even though a huge number of residents are actually in the software and media business and would go for FIOS in a heartbeat. The cables have been run in the large avenues (to comply with a city directive), but Verizon have been delaying offering the service to the cross streets. I am currently using a wireless ISP, and stopped using ADSL which had become very poor. I loathe TWC, especially as you can be down for a week before a technician will come to fix it. TWC is one of those services that bundle undesired products such as Sports and make you pay for them.

We won't have decent service until internet is recognised as a common carrier like phone service and supervised by the government.

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Wake up Americans

Please wake up, you are being fooled by things and forces you do not support.

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Devil

Re: Wake up Americans

Really, it is too late. America is divided in a political civil war. We've already suffered $40 Billion in senselessly imposed "sequester" cuts, with more massive cuts to social and regulatory programs coming. There's a good chance the Republicans will capture a Senate majority in November, giving them control of both Houses of Congress. When that happens, there will be a political bloodbath. President Obama will need a fistful of pens and late-night veto-signing sessions to limit the damage ... but that will be like trying to hold back the flood of G.O.P. insanity with a napkin.

As for "net neutrality" ... anything that smacks of public social interest is anathema to Boehner and his intemperate hordes of Tea-Party fanatics. And half of the American electorate cheer them on.

It will be something to see when the new Republican congress tries to wrest health insurance away from over 11 million newly-insured citizens under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Now THAT will be a political bloodbath!

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Tipping Point

For a very long time I was a card carrying member of the GOP and a not insignificant donor. But I gradually realized they are nothing more than conmen who take advantage of a uneducated group of poor people they go way out of their way to keep uneducated and poor.

Those jackasses sold the 'American Dream' to the Chinese ages ago. The idea of 'getting rich' on your own merits, without having more than a little help to get started, is effectively impossible. I did have more than a little help from my parents money, but most people will never have the opportunity to take stupid risks without showing their family just how much they hate them.

You sure as fuck can't work your way up anymore. All those antiquated regulations that separated employees from contractors and made even the concept of permatemps on perpetual rotation a morally reprehensible thing. Those antiquated regulations that rewarded ingenuity and generosity instead of obstructionism and see how hard you can fuck your neighbor. Those antiquated regulations that made employees proud to work somewhere and made bosses proud to be able to employee so many people, even if their houses were only 15x larger than those of the employees.

It's all chucklefucks, moosedicks and shitsocks now and everybody is looking for a way to fuck somebody else. Not earn something or put in work to make something, they want to take it. And the GOP takes it from the very people they claim to represent.

But here's the kicker, 61% of registered voters who receive food stamps are Republicans. A whopping 69% of home foreclosures from the GOP Approved housing market collapse were Republicans. How about the majority of the chronically unemployed? They aren't Democrats. How about adult illiterates? Again, not Democrats.

Now, I don't blame the unemployed, uneducated, poor Republican voters. They're being fed some of the most morally reprehensible and unscrupulous psychology ever developed. And make no mistake, it has been developed. Developed at enormous expense and more collateral damage than tear gas fired into a Texas cult party pad.

The big fat fucks who 'lead' the GOP have, impressively, tied being a poor, uneducated gun owner together with abortion and Jesus. No matter how you arrange those descriptors, there's no way those things can all make sense together. I mean, Christ, one of their chief blowhards is on fucking AM radio. I don't know anybody who isn't in prison that listens to AM on purpose. There sure as fuck aren't a lot of wealthy people driving around listening to AM. Two of my cars don't even have an AM tuner in them. Nothing about that political party makes any sense and it's 100% poison to every single fundamental principle and they're running around claiming to be patriots. The GOP of today sure as hell wouldn't have supported freeing the slaves.

Overall it's a sad state of affairs. How anybody can stand up and be proud to be taking advantage of their fellow man is just fucking weird and disgusting. Fuck John Oompa Loompa Boehner and the ass he rode in on. Jackass proudly breaks the law everyday by refusing to stop smoking in his office (which is poorly decorated) but he's a proud supporter of keeping other people from smoking in their workplaces. Jesus. What a dick.

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Holmes

@ Don Jefe -- Re: Tipping Point

It's all chucklefucks, moosedicks and shitsocks now [...]

Very concise (and accurate) summation of the Grand Oligarch Party. My condolences for you about that party thing, but glad to hear you've seen the light. I guess that's why you're here...

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Thumb Up

Re: Tipping Point

Once again, the Don has nailed it.

For some time now the Republicans have been pro-the-corporations not pro-the-people - heck, they don't even bother to hide it anymore.

And as Don says, their faithful tea party fans are the ones who will be most affected negatively by Republican policies.

But of course, when you have Glenn Beck (fortunately he was eventually too much even for Fox) and co saying that just about everything is a pinko commie plot, feeding on the 'commie paranoia' which seems to affect many of the intellectually challenged (The British equivalent seem to just care about who does what in the Big Brother house, and who killed Lucy in some sodding fictitious soap-opera), they lap it up.

Remember the placcard one tea-partyist had saying 'get your government hands off our medicare!', and Palin talking about European 'death-panels'

I once had a tea partyist telling me he felt sorry for my lack of freedom compared to his own, and when I asked him for examples, I swear he said that our healthcare system is a form of opression, and the government controls us by mandating a mininum number of days leave our employers must give us! A poster child for the corporate fat cats!

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Re: @ Don Jefe -- Tipping Point

To be fair, they haven't always been so blatently corrupt, and batshit crazy.

Look at some of their old policies and you'll see they used to be far more 'socialist' than the current Democrats!

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Re: Tipping Point

@Don Jefe

That is some righteous anger there, mate.

As an external observer, and an interested follower of US politics, the thing I find most amazing is that the Rebuplican Party and Tea Party have somehow managed to convince large swathes of the American population to demand they be made worse-off.

It's like forcing people to build their own gallows and tie their own nooses; it's perverse.

Those famous placards about Medicare* just about say it all. They say that those people really don't understand what they are demanding and are just parroting the slogans of the dishonest, manipulative 'leaders' they have decided speak for them.

That is easily seen when you have scores of people repeating nonsensical flights of imagination like 'death panels'. What the fuck?** Every half-way intelligent person the world over heard that and wondered if it wasn't some kind of spoof. I mean, in what reality is an un-researched, un-substantiated tweet from Miss (I can see Russia from) Alaska a compelling political argument? But there you had it; thousands of people, repeating a completely fabricated accusation as if it were fact.

The power these 'leaders' wield to control the thoughts of so many is just obscene. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is nothing compared to the trick being pulled by the wealth and vested interests sitting behind this 'grass roots'/'middle America' illusion.

In many ways it reminds me of those repulsive evangelist preachers, with their blasphemously lavish life-styles, somehow convincing their poor, struggling congregation to give, not to the needy, but to the 'church'. Perhaps they skipped over Mark 12:38-40 . . .

----------------------------------------------------

* - My favourite being: "Don't steal from Medicare to support socialized medicine".

** - I usually try to avoid swearing in my posts but Don's liberal and expert use of such colourful language has convinced me to try my hand, however timidly.

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Re: Tipping Point

Senor Jefe, I too remember when the Republicans were an honourable party (as much as any political party can be). I have friends who have wept and rent their garments asunder at the selling out of the GOP to the corrupt self-outs that how pretend to support a moral high ground while debasing their heritage. Money corrupts as much as power does; the combination is, well, oligarchy.

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Re: Tipping Point

Don,

You have succinctly nailed what is wrong with the GOP.

Unfortunately, the Republican sheeple sit there and eat up the shit shoveled by the likes of Limbaugh and Beck.

The GOP of today stands for screwing the working man as fast as they can.

Now, before anyone thinks I am a rabid union member democrat, understand, I don't like what unions have become in the same timespan.

At one time, unions used to stand for something - better working conditions. Now, I really don't know what who they stand for.

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Re: Tipping Point

Like I say Don, you really can't fix that kind of American stupid.

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FAIL

"Well...there you go again!"

I see the corporate fatasses engaged their Republicon lackeys once is seemed that the US Govenrment Co. Inc. might have accidentally screwed up and done something to help the "little people".

Sheesh! Such fatuous spew!

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Devil

" could harm job growth"...?

"could harm profits in the businesses which are owned by the people who pay large amounts of money into their political campaigns..."

FTFY

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Flame

Black is white and up is down. This has been said for a few years now, but I'm still frustrated that is continues. Claiming that net neutrality, which spurred innovation in the past, will kill innovation? Black is white?

Wheeler really scares me. He says some good things, for example:

"If the network operator slowed the speed below that which the consumer bought it would be commercially unreasonable and therefore prohibited. If a network operator blocked access to lawful content it would violate our no-blocking rule and be commercially unreasonable and therefore be doubly prohibited.When content provided by a firm such as Netflix reaches a network provider it would be commercially unreasonable to charge the content provider to use that bandwidth for which the consumer had already paid, and therefore prohibited. When a consumer purchases specified network capacity from an Internet provider, he or she is buying open capacity, not capacity a network provider can prioritize for their own purposes."

But then he does the opposite, such as proposing a dual lane internet based on the content providers paying the transport providers extra fees, on top of what the customer has already paid.

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Same old same old

"All four argue that if Wheeler enacts rules which prevent networks from charging services for preferred network access, economic growth in the US would be stifled."

That's why it was "stifled" so far, right?

/sarcasm

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Anonymous Coward

Selective libertarianism

When it comes to stuff like people losing their jobs driving taxis to Uber, nerds are all "haha. Suck it buggy whip guys, free market rules bitches". When it comes to getting them to pay for the bandwidth they consume downloading torrents and porn, suddenly nationalizing infrastructure is awesome.

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