back to article They did it! US House reps pulled their finger out, voted to restore net neutrality in America!

US lawmakers approved a net neutrality bill on Wednesday that would repeal the repeal of rules that would force ISPs to treat all internet content equally. The humbly titled Save The Internet Act passed in the House of Representatives with a 232-190 vote, sparking delight among net neutrality advocates and causing celebration …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I like the boulder analogy...

    I'd like to drop a really fucking big one on Washington DC & "drain the swamp" by the simple act of turning the swamp into a smoking crater.

    Damn it, I'm having Total Extinction Event fantasies again...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I like the boulder analogy...

      Washington DC was originally mostly swamp land. Maybe we don't need to drain but re-flood it back to a swamp as nature intended?

      1. GnuTzu Silver badge

        Re: I like the boulder analogy...

        Careful; if you re-flood it, you'll just have a big mosquito problem that would spread diseases. What we need to do is contain the diseases--the divisive political ones in particular, so that they'll stop infecting peoples minds. The duocracy is a false dichotomy.

    2. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: I like the boulder analogy...

      Wrong Greek mythological task, Sisyphus had it easy.

      All references to getting ANYTHING done, by either side, should be related to cleaning the Augean stables. The only disagreement between the myth and current events is that Hercules actually won.

      They need to FLUSH out and cleanse the swamp, not put up a wall and landfill the area with horse/bull manure.

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: I like the boulder analogy...

      Three very small ones would be more humane. Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Pentagon.

  2. Kev99

    Why one person has the authority to block the "will of the people", as the House of Representatives represent the people not the states, is beyond me. I hope the turtle faced jerk gets so hard in the next election it'll take years for him to see the light of day. Talk about being bought and paid for.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      In case you hadn't noticed...

      The US federal government is not democratic, and the people who run it couldn't give an airborne act of intercourse for the people or their will.

      The USA is (and always has been) a very sophisticated corporate plutocracy masquerading (very casually) as a democratic republic. The deception would not fool anyone intelligent and educated who cared - but it fools 98% of the American people.

      Ah, the advantages of a state-run education system!

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
        Pint

        Re: In case you hadn't noticed...

        "...couldn't give an airborne act of intercourse..."

        Have this -------> for that excellent alternative phrasing.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      net neutrality = class envy

      Why one person has the authority to block the "will of the people"

      It is by design. The USA has 2 legislative bodies, each with different kinds of representation.

      The Senate has 6 year terms and represents the states.

      The House has 2 year terms and represents individuals.

      The President has a 4 year term and must approve all legislation. However, a 2/3 majority in both the Senate and the House can override a veto.

      The entire point is to prevent "tyrrany of the majority" by making it HARD to pass legislation.

      Successful congresses learn how to compromise and not do everything "our way or the highway".

      If they want 'net neutrality' so bad, they need to craft legislation that does not favor one party over another. Sensible legislation would be approved. What the FCC was doing prior to Trump, is NOT 'net neutrality'.

      If this is all about network prioritization and filtering, then that needs to be debated. Personally, I like the idea of having a fast lane that I can pay for, so long as it isn't "butting anyone else out" to do so. So by adapting minimum performance standards, you could allow packet prioritization up to the point where the performance standards of 'regular traffic' still meet those standards. but yeah, once the fast lane clogs up it doesn't help a lot. but the extra revenue for it SHOULD enable the construction of faster pipelines, or else the ISPs and network providers will LOSE MONEY and NOT get revenue for a fast lane that does NOT work...

      I'd like to add that socialist "equal outcomes for all" legislation only benefits the very few (elitists, uber-rich, and those in power, who never seem to be affected by what affects everyone else), because the masses will always have their mediocrity, but forcing EVERYONE to have the SAME mediocrity keeps everything mediocre... kinda like if you couldn't pay for UNLIMITED bandwidth on your phone, and because it's NOT fair to a poor person, you MUST have the same plan as the lowest service plan. Because, 'net neutrality'.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: net neutrality = class envy

        If they want 'net neutrality' so bad, they need to craft legislation that does not favor one party over another.

        Idiot, net neutrality already existed, the GOP unilaterally killed it without recourse to crafting anything fair or equal.

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Technically

    "Which means it will not and cannot pass until there is a Democratic majority in the Senate and a new president."

    Technically, a new President isn't needed if there's a veto-proof majority in Congress.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Technically

      "Technically, a new President isn't needed if there's a veto-proof majority in Congress"

      True, but that supermajority is 2/3 majority in BOTH houses. The last few years every single topic seems to have become extremely polarised no matter how trivial or 'obvious' the issue is. In practice the only way to have a veto-proof majority is for one party to control 2/3 of both houses. And, also in practice, if one party has a 2/3 majority in both houses, they will also control the presidency so no veto-proofing would be a moot point.

      The current situation with split government, the only way to get anything through both houses and teh president to sign is attaching barrel-loads of pork to every bill.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Technically

        The current situation with split government, the only way to get anything through both houses and teh president to sign is attaching barrel-loads of pork to every bill.

        Which in itself is a significant part of the problems in DC. They'd hate me in Washington were I a Congresscritter, as I'd automatically vote down a bill that were loaded down with ANY amendments unrelated to the core function of the bill.

        But you know the old saying: "If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con', what is the opposite of 'Progress'?"

        1. cmaurand

          Re: Technically

          But you know the old saying: "If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con', what is the opposite of 'Progress'?"

          Regress

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    Enough, Kieran...

    Have you ever wondered how some issues become so entrenched in American society that they become impossible to resolve despite widespread frustration from both the public and the majority of lawmakers - topics like abortion and gun control? Well, this is how. Net neutrality is now officially an impossible topic.

    Kieran, from this and the rest of your screed, one could easily assume you are a "I want it all, and I want it now" immediate-gratification Millennial. And possibly, one from the other side of the Pond, to boot. To quote the Firesign Theater, "You don't understand how radio works!" Yes, this is posturing, to a degree. but the Democrats have learned from the Republicons how to play a Long Game (or at least, a longer game). Democrats have now demonstrated to their base, each other, and to the Republicons, that they can win on this issue. Looking forward, you may well find this buried in, say, an appropriations bill, or maybe, a military authorization, that the Republicons (and Herr Drumpf) wouldn't dare veto. Plus, they have just given themselves yet another campaign issue they can beat the Republicons over the head with come 2020.

    A chess game is not won on the first move. Patience, Grasshopper....

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Enough, Kieran...

      +1 for Firesign Theatre.

      And nothing wrong with getting your opponents on the record supporting some of the least liked corporations in the US. Some of whose biggest hostages customers are in underserved rural areas which traditionally vote Rep.

      Certainly cleverer, electorally, than the Green New Deal, whose likely impact on emissions actually seemed doubtful considering the cost.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Enough, Kieran...

      The only problem is the "wild cards". If not given the nod during the run ups, some will split off from the Dems, run as independents and syphon off votes. Seems to be usually what happens... unity in politics only goes so far and then egos take over.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Enough, Kieran...

      There's long games of political manouvering

      Then there's the sort of thing like Brexit or other impasses that actually involve compromise and long periods in rooms with people you might not care for, not, like or annoy the hell out of you on principal.

      I think a lot of them spend too many months basking in their accomplishment of getting elected and a sense of their own importance, and expect to be sitting at a desk fawned over while they sign things and end up dithering while they collect a huge salary (and gifts from contacts in business) and push paper around your desk (and usually off the desk into the bin when no ones looking) when it becomes apparent the work doesn't involve 'changing the world with a hand gesture and (what their PR person has settled on as) the best photogenic smile they are capable of.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Enough, Kieran...

        I think a lot of them spend too many months basking in their accomplishment of getting elected and a sense of their own importance, and expect to be sitting at a desk fawned over while they sign things and end up dithering while they collect a huge salary (and gifts from contacts in business) and push paper around your desk (and usually off the desk into the bin when no ones looking) when it becomes apparent the work doesn't involve 'changing the world with a hand gesture and (what their PR person has settled on as) the best photogenic smile they are capable of.

        i.e. Herr Drumpf.

        Except, of course, for the smile thing. No one has successfully figured out how to make a cat's anus smile photogenically.

    4. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Enough, Kieran...

      "A chess game is not won on the first move".

      Maybe not, but it can be lost in two moves.

      Or irretrievably compromised in two or three moves.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Not completely pointless.

    My FIL, who has blindly voted a straight Republican ticket since WWII, has decided that enough is enough. He is re-registering Democrat.

    Pigs will fly, and there is a blizzard happening in hell ...

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Not completely pointless.

      @jake:

      apparently in Colorado too. But that's far more normal than lifetime republicans crossing the floor.

    2. Michael Hoffmann
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not completely pointless.

      Doing the math, the fact that your FIL has been around to vote since then and is still alert and politically engaged is awesome! More power and even many more years to him!

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Not completely pointless.

      My FIL, who has blindly voted a straight Republican ticket since WWII, has decided that enough is enough. He is re-registering Democrat.

      I haven't, nor will I be voting for either half of the "two-party Fraud". Last two presidential elections I proudly voted for my Johnson...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Not completely pointless.

        "Last two presidential elections I proudly voted for my Johnson..."

        People like you put the current Idiot In Chief into the Oval Office.

        It's a sad commentary on the system, but it's true nonetheless.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Not completely pointless.

            Of course!

            However, none of the previous Idiots In Chief that I helped put in that office ever had a chance of going into history as being the worst Idiot In Chief ever inflicted by the American People on themselves. The current one will win that hono(u)r hands-down.

  6. Youngone Silver badge

    You say you want a revolution?

    Have you ever wondered how some issues become so entrenched in American society that they become impossible to resolve despite widespread frustration from both the public and the majority of lawmakers

    Weirdly, this doesn't happen in proper democracies.

    So let's celebrate America. Because the Democrats have found their version of Obamacare to obsess about while refusing to acknowledge or even discuss to underlying problems that have led to such a split in opinion in the first place.

    That may well be because the problems are systemic. As TFA noted, After all, you still get your paycheck and top-notch healthcare to boot.

    so until the Democrats stop profiting from gerrymandering and all the campaign finance nonsense that goes on why would they fix the real problems?

    I keep saying it, but I think all that is a weird way to run a country.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: You say you want a revolution?

      Minor correction: "so until both the Democrats and republicans stop profiting..."

      Other than that, sure. That's one of the problems with a two party system, as seen in other countries as well. Plus with politicians being mostly concerned to be voted back into office, no matter which party they belong to and which country we are talking about...

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: You say you want a revolution?

      Weirdly, this doesn't happen in proper democracies.

      Yes it does.

      Brexit for example.

      Think of the US situation not as where we have been but as where we are going.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: You say you want a revolution?

        Weirdly, this doesn't happen in proper democracies.

        Yes it does.

        Brexit for example.

        I don't think at this point you can attempt to classify the UK as a "proper democracy". A country where the concept of holding a vote is held to be "undemocratic"? A country where the PM and the conservative party is actively trying to blackmail parliament in to doing what they want? I don't care if you voted to leave or to remain, I don't see how anyone at this point can try to maintain the pretense that the UK is a functioning democracy at this point.

        1. Frederic Bloggs

          Re: You say you want a revolution?

          Have you ever wondered how some issues become so entrenched in American British society that they become impossible to resolve despite widespread frustration from both the public and the majority of lawmakers - topics like abortion and gun control? Well, this is how. Net neutrality Brexit is now officially an impossible topic.

          And, sadly(?), we don't have the wiggle room to shove it into a Finance bill (for instance). I must confess I am somewhat conflicted as to whether this is a good or a bad thing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You say you want a revolution?

      "That may well be because the problems are systemic. As TFA noted, After all, you still get your paycheck and top-notch healthcare to boot.

      so until the Democrats stop profiting from gerrymandering and all the campaign finance nonsense that goes on why would they fix the real problems?

      I keep saying it, but I think all that is a weird way to run a country."

      I see this in my home country. The way the electoral system is designed entrenches a 2-party system. The government is hugely corrupt, and won the last election precisely because it is hugely corrupt - by providing high-paying jobs to cronies, who are also appointed to key positions that block any investigation into the corruption, and created unneeded government jobs to thousands of people who just collect a paycheck while providing no value. People know they are corrupt and vote for them because they can benefit from that corruption. There's trickle-down economics for you!

      The opposition seem to have adopted the attitude of 'if you can't beat them, join them', and merrily go along with everything. They don't want to get into government to clean up the corruption, they want to get into government so they'll be the ones to profit from the institutionalised corruption.

      And the ordinary people? Well, who cares about them?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money talks, this won't be an issue for Americans for a good few years when most people have forgotten how you got this point. Strike when the iron is cold. I'm sure that was agreed that the start.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "Money talks"

      And bullshit walks. Time for most of DC to start walking, methinks.

      1. SVV Silver badge

        With Brexit it's more the case that bullshit talks and money walks.

  8. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Why?

    "So, why did the House even bother and why so much celebration?"

    For much the same reason that knights of yesteryear went off to slay dragons. Lots of parades, admiration from the town's ladies and stories to tell about heroism around the fire. And zero probability of actually encountering a dragon.

    If such legislation had a chance of passing, both sides would have gotten together and hammered out a carefully thought out bill.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      You have to wonder if it's less that and more they don't want to piss off their bases, which are becoming more energized these days and can threaten incumbents without a general election (via primaries). And these bases are so diametrically opposed they think the other side isn't human. To them, compromise is a dirty word; they want conquest.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      If such legislation had a chance of passing, both sides would have gotten together and hammered out a carefully thought out bill.

      Nor in this current political environment. It's so toxic and elected ones are being so hardnosed on both sides, I'm not sure what it will take to get the Congress to compromise and follow the will of the people and what's best for the country (the people, not the corporates).

      I'll add, part of the problem is the voters. They (we?)) have become more narrow and more politicized also. FB, et al, plays a big part as does the mainstream media with "10 second sound bites" (a long running problem). Thoughtful and meaningful discussion has deteriorating into urinating contests. I always considered myself to be an "independent" just because in the past both sides had good and bad. Anymore, both sides are toxic with the shouty ones getting the attention.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        "I'll add, part of the problem is the voters. They (we?)) have become more narrow and more politicized also. FB, et al, plays a big part as does the mainstream media with "10 second sound bites" (a long running problem)."

        Is it the media affecting the public or the public losing patience and demanding simple solutions to complex problems? No one's got time to think the long game anymore; you snooze, you lose. Plus there's been a lot of backlash against "old boys' networks" as of late, which as some analysts have noted actually had a calming influence on politics but got swept away due to its main drawback of disenfranchisement.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would seem that 'we the people'

    Will do what they're damn well told!

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: It would seem that 'we the people'

      "Will do what they're damn well told!"

      Until the rights to you are sold.

      - F. Zappa

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: It would seem that 'we the people'

        Zappa and Firesign Theater in the same forum! Either we commentards are very culturally attuned, or we're just getting old....

        Now, git offa my lawn, dammit!

        1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

          Re: It would seem that 'we the people'

          And the Beatles.

  10. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    STI Act

    Outside the unholy pits of government, STI is the commonly used abbreviation for "sexually transmitted infection", previously STD "sexually transmitted disease", and VD - Venereal disease - before that.

    I would imagine the usage is not unknown amongst the politicians although the majority would be more familiar with the older variations..

  11. Sebastian.Q.Ostragoth

    This is hardly a US speciality...

    Whilst the comments about the US politicians being unable to find common ground have a small amusement value (schadenfreude from afar?) the sad fact is this is this century's reality. US pollies can't compromise to make decisions of value, UK pollies cant compromise to prevent a Brexit outcome (no deal) which everyone on both sides of the English Channel agrees would be disastrous, Australian pollies can't even agree on who should be leader from one week to the next, let alone anything of real importance.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

      "...which everyone on both sides of the English Channel agrees would be disastrous."

      Utter crap. Most polls are showing 'no deal' as the countries preferred outcome.

      1. Caltharian

        Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

        Which country are you refering to, most of the big polls in the UK are showing a majority for Remain, It seems to be a vocal minority who seem to think that leaving the EU with no deal would be a good idea

      2. BigSLitleP Silver badge

        Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

        Yeah, no. I have yet to see a poll that says no deal would win if put to a vote. The majority of the UK realise what a clusterfsck that would be.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

        "Most polls are showing 'no deal' as the countries preferred outcome."

        I'll assume by "countries" you actually mean one country, the UK? You can't be suggesting that most countries in the EU want a No Deal exit of the UK from the EU, surely?

        If so, great, with the extension you can now support a confirmatory vote. This will break the deadlock and the public can vote for a 'no deal' Brexit. Of course the option to remain would also have to be on the ballot, but as "most polls" are showing this is very unlikely then there is absolutely nothing to worry about, eh?

        Please ignore this also -> You Gov Polling 31st March ~ 1st April 2019

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

        At the referendum 52% voted for what is essentially "no deal".

        In the following general election 83% voted for parties supporting Brexit.

        It is our politicians that are not implementing their constituents will. If they had the UK would be out by now.

        1. Colin 29

          Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

          Nope:

          1) 52% voted for any number of different versions of 'leaving', depending on who they listened to.

          2) 83% voted for parties supporting Brexit because it's a two party system and there's basically no choice.

          3) Politicians are representatives not delegates, look up the difference.

          4) YouGov issued a clarification because their poll numbers were being mis-represented to suggest a majority support 'no-deal'. The poll data does not show this.

          1. jabuzz

            Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

            In addition every one in the leave campaign said a deal would be "easy peasy" to negotiate. Which is why even arch Brexitiers like Gove and Greene have openly admitted that there is no mandate for no deal.

            The simple problem with Brexit is that the sort of Brexit that the long term agitators (aka people who never respected the 1975 referendum on membership of Europe) of Brexit want is fundamentally incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement, which basically mandates a customs union and regulatory alignment with the EU.

            The deal May has presented (and it's not just her deal it's the EU's too) is as far as you can get from the customs union and regulatory alignment and respect the Good Friday Agreement. Noting there is no electoral mandate for breaking the Good Friday Agreement either.

            The simple solution is to ask the people if the deal is acceptable or should we remain. Noting that in 2012 the likes of Mog said a confirmatory referendum on the deal would be perfectly reasonable, and Farage two days before the result said a 52/48 result would be unfinished business and he would not respect it.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

      But New Zealander pollies can agree to ban assault weapons (pronounced "wee-puns" down there) in 3 weeks.

      There is hope!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

        The fact that NZ can do something stupid and pointless in three weeks is hardly an indication of good government, whether or not it was done from ignorance, logic failure, or cynical calculation.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

        You think "there is hope" when a legislature passes feel-good legislation that does nothing more than manufacture a whole new set of criminals who have never actually none anything illegal?

        1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

          Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

          Why manufacture a whole new set of criminals?

          If you were the legal owner of an assault weapon and it became illegal to own one, there are some mechanisms set to allow you to hand down your weapon legally.

          You would become a criminal if you did not hand down your weapon, but then you would have omitted doing something that was your responsibility to do in due time, and such put yourself in the criminal boots (like if you omit to pay your taxes when you know there is a deadline).

  12. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    a colossal waste of everybody's time and energy

    Are you new? Yes, that pretty well defines most everything Congress does and has done for about a hundred years. Sure there are a few bright spots now and again but surely those fall under the premise that even a blind mouse finds a carving knife once in a while - or something like that.

  13. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Congress pulled its finger out and voted to restore net neutrality

    No, it didn't. The House of Representatives did. Congress includes the Senate as well, and - as the article points out - there has been no vote there.b

  14. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Mr. Turtle

    Would block a tax cut if it was the democrats idea, Blocking things is about all he is good for.

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