Thursday, February 26, 2015

We won!

Sometimes, the good guys win:
Senior Republicans conceded on Tuesday that the grueling fight with President Obama over the regulation of Internet service appears over, with the president and an army of Internet activists victorious.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet. While the two Democratic commissioners are negotiating over technical details, they are widely expected to side with the Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, against the two Republican commissioners. ...

The F.C.C. plan would let the agency regulate Internet access as if it is a public good. It would follow the concept known as net neutrality or an open Internet, banning so-called paid prioritization — or fast lanes — for willing Internet content providers.

In addition, it would ban the intentional slowing of the Internet for companies that refuse to pay broadband providers. The plan would also give the F.C.C. the power to step in if unforeseen impediments are thrown up by the handful of giant companies that run many of the country’s broadband and wireless networks.

We couldn't have done this without President Obama, and no win is permanent:
The new F.C.C. rules are still likely to be tied up in a protracted court fight with the cable companies and Internet service providers that oppose it, and they could be overturned in the future by a Republican-leaning commission. But for now, Congress’s hands appear to be tied.

After decades of  Republican presidents, the Supreme Court is still controlled, 5 to 4, by right-wing zealots. After deciding that corporations are 'people' with their own religious beliefs and that buying politicians with untraceable money doesn't even give the appearance of corruption, it's really hard to tell what crazy thing they might come up with next.

And, of course, there will be other elections. If we don't actually get out and vote, we may well end up with a president who'll make George W. Bush look intelligent, and a Congress which will fall all over itself in an attempt to be crazy enough. As I say, no win is permanent. We can't ever think that.

But this is still very definitely a win, a huge win, for the good guys. We should be celebrating.

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