back to article Pointless US Congress net neutrality vote will take place tomorrow!

After weeks of teasing, Senate Democrats will finally take decisive action on bringing back net neutrality to America on Wednesday – by holding a pointless vote. "BREAKING," yelled Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) on Twitter. "The Senate's vote to save Net Neutrality will take place this Wednesday, May 16th. Keep raising your voices …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    "Because that is how you govern."

    I think the point is that Democrats aren't actually in government right now. So they can't do anything but try pointless things.

    1. redpawn Silver badge

      There is a point though. It is to remind people of the all the things the Trump administration has foisted on the US populace.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Like the highest UN-emplyment records set by any recently elected President in history. By actually getting North Korea to talk to us, and hopefully end all the hostillity. (Instead of giving them candy, and kicking the can though the years till a guy like Trump comes along. Here's looking at you Bill.)

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          By actually getting North Korea to talk to us,

          The only reason Korea talked was that it achieved its aim to make the Kaddaffi scenario too expensive for everyone.

          At which point it was offered candy by Mike Pompeo combined with a demonstration that we would still like the Kaddaffi scenario in the form of the currently ongoing military exercises. By the way - these exercises were cranked up by Bolton/Trump one level above last year. Stealth aircraft and nuclear bombers. Just in case you know... Defensive weapons you know...

          At which point it cancelled the talks. Frankly, cannot blame them - they are for once consistent. It is pretty much a given they will cancel the Singapore summit too.

          If anything Trump and Pompeo have destroyed whatever was achieved so far between the Koreans themselves.

        2. pelerin

          No president in the past wanted Kim* to talk to him, because that would grant him legitimacy. Since Trump doesn't read, he was unaware of that.

      2. SundogUK

        Which most of the US populace actually want...

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          "Which most of the US populace actually want..."

          Didn't Trump loose the popular vote?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            No. That's because there was no single popular vote, but rather 50 separate popular votes, and he won enough of those to become president. It was designed that way to prevent the large cities from controlling the rest of the country. You could argue that's a bad thing, but I tend to think having the inner city government dependents in charge is sub-optimal. They have a slight conflict of interest.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        "all the things the Trump administration has foisted on the US populace"

        like, BETTER ECONOMY, FEWER REGULATIONS, LOWER TAXES, MORE JOBS, LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATES *EVAR* FOR MINORITIES and WOMEN, ...

        I do not think that word 'foisted' means what you think it means.

        But as for 'net neutrality' (the ironically named attempt at gummint control of content on "teh intarwebs"), *THAT* in and of itself (aka 'net neutrality') is "the pointless thing".

        1. redpawn Silver badge

          The economy was already on the upswing before Trump. Remember the economy under collapse at the end of Bush's term. Lots of rebuilding under Obama but trump claimed it was a bubble. The economy is now on amphetamines as this increase in economic activity is pushing the National Debt is through the roof. Buy a nice membership to Sam's Club with your tax break unless you are super rich in which case get yourself a new jet.

          You wouldn't want the quality of your water or air to be regulated as it might interfere with bidness. Enjoy your free market choices with the end of net-neutrality.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Ah, "Rebuilding." So that's what massively inflating the national debt (with nothing to show for it) is called. I was wondering...

    2. ricegf

      "I think the point is that Democrats aren't actually in government right now. So they can't do anything but try pointless things."

      If that's their point, it's badly damaged by their claim that the LAST time they held the presidency and both houses of Congress (by overwhelming majorities) that the Republicans blocked them at every turn but one.

      Why are the Democrats so dang impotent now when they are only *one vote* short in the Senate and reasonably close in the House? You frustrate me, Ds!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "And then Trump might get impeached (but won't)."

    After he just flew out a squad to support his favourite terrorist apartheid state in it's illegal occupation which then shot over 2000 unarmed Palestinians in a single day, hopefully sanity will prevail and his remaining tenure will be brief. He is an embarrassment to America.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "terrorist apartheid state in it's illegal occupation"

      Let's not forget "invented by Great Britain in 1948 to give Jews a place to go that wasn't Fair Albion".

      "He is an embarrassment to America."

      A joke, anyway. At least his tenure will be short. Should only take a couple years to clean up the mess after we take out the trash. Mid-terms in a few short days should be a start as to how the country really feels about the rotund orange idiot-in-chief.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Let's not forget "invented by Great Britain in 1948 to give Jews a place to go that wasn't Fair Albion"."

        Well yes, but only after a Zionist terrorism campaign in Palestine that killed several hundred British such as the bombing of the King David Hotel. Americans are apparently oblivious that the Palestinians learnt everything they know about terrorism from the occupying regime.

        Anyway, those bits are not generally in dispute. It's all the other land they took by force and that they have systematically expelled the ingenious population from and then colonised.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Mid-terms in a few short days should be a start as to how the country really feels about the rotund orange idiot-in-chief.

        He is trying to replicate (sometimes verbatim) the previous idiot - Ronnie the Demented Raygun. Judging by the votes then and the American nostalgia to Ronnie's tenure I would not hold your breath if I was you. It was Ronnie's tax cuts and super-weapon spending that started USA on the path to bankruptcy. It was Ronnie who brought us to the brink of bequeathing the Earth to the roaches. It was Ronnie...

        None the less the USAsians still like him. So frankly, in a worst case scenario, expect another democrat defeat and plan accordingly. At best - expect a congress where any of the new democrats are indistinguishable from hardcore pro-Trump republicans.

      3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. SundogUK

      Do fuck odd you anti-Semitic shit.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Anti-Semitic?

        Where? I see nothing anti-Semitic.

        And fucking odd is the only way to go! Try it, you might like it. :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anti-Semitic?

          "Where? I see nothing anti-Semitic."

          There isn't. It the just standard dirt throwing response to defend the indefensible.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      "He is an embarrassment to America"

      you meant OBAMA is an embarassment to America. I had to tolerate that [insert pejoratives here] for 8 years. FINALLY there is SOMEONE who does what _I_ want done in the White House!!!

      So yeah, I'm pretty stoked that Trump is President.

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Go

    One good thing

    It keeps 'em occupied from doing anything stupider!

    And basically it's just another bit of "look how those bad Republicans kept us from doing something good!" theatre.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: One good thing

      "It keeps 'em occupied from doing anything stupider!"

      Assume facts not in evidence. They ARE politicians, after all. I never met one that had risen to it's level of maximum stupidity and stayed there; seems there is always room for improvement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One good thing

        Don't be churlish. America has the finest politicians money can buy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One good thing

          > "America has the finest politicians money can buy."

          Not in the White House. Mrs. Clinton massively outspent Trump and still lost. Sometimes money cannot overcome a poisonous personality and a huge smelly baggage train.

          Not that Trump is a lily, but his personality is merely loud and brash, not actually repellent (except among those already opposed). And Trump's baggage is mostly just inflammatory stuff he has said out loud, while hers is composed of equal parts influence peddling, money laundering, underhanded electoral dirty tricks, and outright rigging. No contest, really.

    2. quxinot

      Re: One good thing

      This has been a refreshingly accurate view of politics in action.

  4. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Just Political Ad Fuel

    Next November's Election commercials:

    So and so "Voted against Net Neutrality..."

    They'll probably also add a few other line-items to the bill such as help for orphans, assistance to veterans, and national "middle class" day, to make voting it down as toxic as possible.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

      Of course. What's your point?

      1. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

        Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

        Running for office is the pinnacle. All that legislative work is left for the the lobbyists to figure out..so you need something to show for your time when you aren't "winning".

    2. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

      sorry, but any reason to get people, that don't believe in science and want to cook us all through global warming, from power is a good reason

      if I agree with it, it only makes it better

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

          Sorry bob, but I think you'll find a lot of independents - especially women - have a real problem with Trump. The tax cuts amount to chicken feed for most people, it is only when you get into six figures that you really start to notice (but not so much in a state like California thanks to the state/local tax deductibility changes)

          If you think republicans are going to sweep this fall based on that weak (for most) tax cut, prepare to be surprised. Trump and republicans in general have a huge problem with women, which is only growing. Relying primarily on white men is not a good long term strategy for the republican party.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

            Doug, I honestly believe you're whistling past the graveyard. Trump has no huge problem with women that I'm aware of, outside the Left's echo chamber. Why do you think several prominent leftist women have recently badmouthed other women publicly for voting Trump? It's a disgraceful national "name and shame" operation, and it's going to fail miserably, as it should.

            And the GOP's chances are not solely based on the tax cut by any means, regardless of its true impact. There's plenty of other things to point at, assuming it's real Republicans we're discussing and not "Never-Trump" fake GOP'ers. Of course, most of those aren't even running, knowing they will get their heads handed to them should they do so.

            1. Tomato42 Silver badge

              Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

              @Big John

              > Trump has no huge problem with women that I'm aware of

              then get aware: https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-discloses-reimbursement-to-michael-cohen-tied-to-stormy-daniels-payment-1526493667

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

          "You actually BELIEVE that?"

          That anthropomorphic emmissions of CO2 are warming the planet hasn't been in any scientific doubt whatsoever for a couple of decades now.

          "This is due to the ~70 year cycle in the northern hemisphere"

          And what is the scientific explanation for this cycle? Of which I can find no evidence at all.

          The various independent data sets of GLOBAL average temperature all show a very clear trend of long term rises over a time scale of decades. As do satellite measurements. And as is also demonstrated by global sea level records showing persistent long term sea level rises which is primarily due to hydrothermal expansion, and also partly due to melting glaciers and similar land based ice.

        3. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

          "In fact, there's been no "global warming" for at least a DECADE."

          Reality backed by overwhelming observed evidence disagrees:

          http://berkeleyearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/TimeSeries2017.png

          "In fact, temperature is going DOWN now"

          The first accurate thing you have said. And that's only due to the previous El Nino event. The underlying warming trend continues.

          "I could write an entire BOOK on this subject"

          I suggest that you make sure it's soft, strong and very absorbent.

          "STUPIDITY. IGNORANCE"

          Sentences with random caps do tend to imply that.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Just Political Ad Fuel

      Yes, same reason republicans held meaningless votes on repealing Obamacare. At least the democrats will (hopefully) only vote on this once, instead of dozens of times!

      If democrats think net neutrality will be a winning issue for them this fall, then we can look forward to the "blue wave" crashing onto the rocks before it reaches shore.

      The only way net neutrality becomes an issue is when ISPs begin to abuse their "freedom" and start trying to extort money out of streaming companies that use a lot of bandwidth - especially those who directly compete with their TV offerings like Netflix, Directv Now, Sling TV, etc. - and "de-prioritize" those who won't play ball. They aren't going to be dumb enough to do that before the 2018 elections, and undoubtedly will start small - just ask for a small amount to get them all used to paying up, then ratchet up slowly to see where the streamers start to become screamers.

      If/when it does become an issue, republican legislators who voted it against it won't face any repercussions because their vote will have been years ago. They will say "my thinking on this issue has involved" or profess shock that ISPs couldn't be trusted to self-regulate and admit that this is a rare case where regulation is required.

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. Cubical Drone

    "so throw away any claim to a political higher ground..."

    While I agree, unfortunately the moral high ground gets you nothing now a days, while the reverse seems to get you a lot.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "so throw away any claim to a political higher ground..."

      While I agree, unfortunately the moral high ground gets you nothing now a days, while the reverse seems to get you a lot.

      Of course, only the folks actually paying CongressCritters (the lobbyists) dictate the "high ground".

  6. tekHedd

    Let's keep talking about it anyway...

    Now is a good time to ask: what legislation is Congress quietly and bipartisan-ly passing while all this noise is going on? If Trump tweets something outrageous on top of all this, watch out.

  7. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Windows

    Free! Free! We're ALL FFFRRREEEEEE!

    Of course the Democrats want to make the Net 'neutral' just like they've made gender 'neutral' and it will work out the same way........screwing everyone and everything equally.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Free! Free! We're ALL FFFRRREEEEEE!

      "Of course the Democrats want to make the Net 'neutral'

      Any sane consumer would want to make the Net Neutral. The only real interest of not having net neutrality is for restricting content or changing someone for certain traffic types. Neither of which benefit consumers.

      "like they've made gender 'neutral' and it will work out the same way"

      Well no, this is more like charging you extra to go the bathroom if you are a vegetarian...

  8. veti Silver badge

    What do you want them to do?

    When Trump reversed DACA all the talk was "Congress should pass a law, that's their job."

    We're all agreed, aren't we, that leaving important policy decisions to unaccountable government agencies is a bad thing? The correct approach is for elected lawmakers to propose, debate and vote on appropriate laws.

    Now they're trying to do that, you're still giving them grief. What do you people want?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: What do you want them to do?

      The basic problem is as you stated... The correct approach is for elected lawmakers to propose, debate and vote on appropriate laws. Our government has for at least a decade been going around the lawmaking to department regulations and rules, presidential orders, etc. All that can be wiped out as shown by the current White House tenant. Apparently, Congress just got a wake up call...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do you want them to do?

        Mark, I totally agree with you on this. Let Congress do its job, period. Obama's great sin was to eschew congress and go it alone. If his ideas were so great then they could have been passed by Congress, regardless of GOP opposition (NN included).

        T'was ever thus.

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge

          Re: What do you want them to do?

          > Obama's great sin was to eschew congress

          It was a Republican congress! They kept cutting their own noses to spite him! And it worked, because the US general public has a memory worse than a goldfish.

  9. dbtx Bronze badge

    "another layer of nonsense"

    I stand corrected. The lie is a cake.

    "one more point"

    I never really lost, just been a little bit behind when time ran out.

    1. Nimby
      Thumb Up

      The lie is a cake.

      Wins an upvote from me!

  10. JLV Silver badge

    Oh I dunno

    After all, even a fair amount of Rep voters are not entirely happy at Pai's Net Neutrality gimmicks.

    This law has little semblance to true Red conservative causes, like abortion, coal production or gun control. It's just a predatory bit of regulatory capture. If doomsayer predictions come true and people's bills and services worsen, why not have Rep lawmakers on the record in front of their constituents as having voted for it?

    Maybe the next election Rep voters can elect representatives who can think for themselves and vote for the greater good rather than by party line? Not that it would hurt Dems any to apply that unsurmountable hurdle to their own Congress critters ;-)

  11. Uncle Ron

    Obvious

    So long as campaign money (bribery) is the mother's milk of American politics, and so long as money is considered "speech," and campaign "speech" (money) is unlimited, making the "speech" coming from some locations (corporations, wealthy people, and lobbyists) of much greater volume than from ordinary people, the American people will never be heard from again.

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: Obvious

      Thank Scalia (R) for that

  12. EarthDog

    Factional fighting.

    This is a battle of for net neutrality barons vs against net neutrality barons. The bet is that the for oligarchy will give you more support that the against oligarchy fights you and it will give you the money you need to win elections.

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  14. Kaltern

    When did the Register become an openly political propoganda soapbox? I don't mind discussions of a political nature, when it's related to the world of IT - but can we perhaps not have these almost bot-like posts of X party is better than Y party?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Joke

      Come on, leave the bot herders to earn a living. It is easy to ignore and even if the author of the Bombastic Bob bot renames his creation as Michael Habel and changes the style generator slightly, that is still run by the same herder. Easy to discern.

      By the way, the bot herding thingie is very IT. At least so I have heard.

      1. handleoclast Silver badge

        bob the bot-herder

        even if the author of the Bombastic Bob bot renames his creation as Michael Habel and changes the style generator slightly, that is still run by the same herder.

        I think bob has enough technical savvy that he could set up another e-mail account to get another El Reg account. After all, he has his treasured upvote:downvote ratio to be proud of, and that would be wiped out if he changed his handle.

        I also doubt that the style generator is amenable to change. I've encountered him elsewhere (the handle there also had "Bob" in it") and although it was clear that he was on very different drugs from usual (ecstasy rather than methamphetamine), the style was recognizably his.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: bob the bot-herder

          I don't look like a bot when I look into a mirror. Strangely I'm being accused of being one.

          I just don't tow the liberal-lefty-line. Maybe everyone *ELSE* is a bot... [and based on what we see in social media in general, according to the 'Russian Collusion' investigation, using bots to make one person look like "a swarm" is commonplace]

          but I figure the "howler monkey" downvotes are either bots OR collusion. Or both. HA HA HA HA HA!

          Seriously, I sometimes think that commenters are being hired by organizations like "Media Matters" to individually comment so they don't LOOK like bots. Those of us who are conservative, true libertarians, or simply "disagree" with the politically correct socialist viewpoint, get *PUMMELLED* all of the time by the gang-up bullying LEFTISTS (aka 'howler monkeys' slinging poo).

          That's ok, like Trump, I'll just throw it back at 'em.

          (my 'fan club' can find me on USENET, too)

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: bob the bot-herder

          "even if the author of the Bombastic Bob bot "

          The bot that changes his posts to random CAPS?

          "I think bob has enough technical savvy that he could set up another e-mail account to get another El Reg account"

          There is more to it than that. There are numerous ways to detect if someone uses multiple accounts, and plenty of forum tools to help with that - and avoiding / working round them requires some knowledge, skill and effort. And besides I don't think anyone needs to see the handle to know WHEN BOB POSTS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "...but can we perhaps not have these almost bot-like posts of X party is better than Y party?"

      I must disagree here. Many of the comments on this thread are actually suggesting that locally elected legislators should do their jobs, in opposition to calls for top-down control at the federal level we're usually treated to by the "botish" commentators.

      It's quite different from what's been happening lately, and most refreshing. Further, the "we're better than you" tone (on all sides) is finally muted a bit. I'm seriously wondering if there's a sea-change going on.

  15. ricegf

    More of the Same

    So the Democrats are running in the midterms on 2 main promises: "We'll impeach the president" and "We'll raise your taxes". Always popular slogans. 8-(

    I wonder if the Republicans are funding the Democratic ads this time around? I certainly would!

  16. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Snarky article from someone who's parliament still has Outlawries Bill on the agenda.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      The Outlawries Bill is a mere nipper, only been around since 1727. The Select Vestries Bill of 1698, now, that has some legs.

  17. IGnatius T Foobar

    Neutrality done the wrong way

    The "net neutrality" debate is silly, and the fact that it's become politically partisan is downright stupid.

    All you have to do is mandate that anyone who supplies last-mile connections, must offer those last-mile connections as unbundled elements. When they did this with DSL in 1996 it was wonderfully successful; if you didn't like your ISP you could switch to another one who had access to the same wires.

    Do this for fibre and coax, and all problems are immediately solved. And no partisan bickering either -- both Congress and the President could easily get behind it.

  18. Alphebatical

    "But even though everyone knows it won't pass, the fact that it only requires one additional vote to pass the Senate has led to seemingly endless commentary pieces on how it actually might pass because it only needs one vote."

    Are there any senators that haven't said anything or taken a side? If there are, I highly suspect at least one found out that there were already fifty votes and is keeping quiet in order to be the Big Damn Hero. After all, people might like heroes who never let the evil reach the city, but they love and remember the ones who stop it at the gates.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enough...

    I don't know about all of you folks, but I know that I've had enough of Kieren McCarthy!

    Even for a British news outlet, where I already expect a healthy amount of snark with any coverage of the U.S. political system--but somehow he manages to take the level of smugness far beyond anything I ever thought was possible!

    I realize that someone has to cover those stories, but could El Reg please find someone that's less misanthropic or annoying to read?!

    I'd honestly rather read the news, as delivered by Bombastic Bob! Yup--he's that annoying! Mind you, it takes a lot for me to be willing to subject myself to the word salad, of a troll in a tinfoil hat, rather than deal with Kieran's incessant whining, and nay-saying!

  20. robert lindsay
    Megaphone

    While I agree that the vote is pointless, it's not exactly new either. The reubs had 35 or so votes against obamacare while they we out of power. And it's certainly possible the dems retake the house, rollcall seems to think so, so they can certainly impeach trump, convict? no possible way. Meanwhile the telco get their winfall...

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