The Watering Hole, Monday, May 8, 2017: Preserve Net Neutrality

The new FCC Commissioner, whoever he is, doesn’t believe in protecting net neutrality. And why not? He used to be a lawyer for Verizon. (The president who appointed him doesn’t even understand the concept of net neutrality, so there’s no help there.) On last night’s “Last Week Tonight”, John Oliver explained why ISPs were now able to be governed by the FCC. In short, ISPs were re-classified as businesses that could be governed under Title II of the Communications Act, instead of under Title I where the Supreme Court said the FCC lacked that authority. This new commissioner doesn’t seem to understand why it was necessary to do that, and thinks it’s really bad and should be changed. You must tell them No. In addition to contacting your Members of Congress, you can leave a comment on the FCC’s Comments page, if you can find it. Since it was changed from the much simpler comment system from three years ago, one has a right to assume they deliberately want to make it harder for you to complain and then say later, “Well, nobody used the comment system to complain.” This was how Fox News Channel defended their star host, Bill O’Reilly, from claims of sexual harassment – that nobody used the internal complaint system to complain, so they have a hard time believing any of it happened. John Oliver explained the tedious process of what you would now have to go through just to get to the FCC’s comments page. He and his great staff wanted to make it easier for you to get there, so they created this website:

go fcc yourself dot com

It skips through the confusing pages and inconveniently located links to get to where you can leave a comment to tell them to preserve net neutrality and Title II. If it works. I tried it and it seemed to go to a mostly blank page except for a little blue circle with a person’s outline in it. Maybe he crashed the FCC’s commenting system just like he did three years ago. Well, his viewers did.

Now, please go there and tell them to what to do, and then enjoy today’s open thread.

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The Watering Hole, Monday, February 20th, 2017: ICYMI

A few articles from the past week:

I noticed something in one of Raw Story’s articles on Stephen Miller, and had to look into it:

“Though he denies it, Miller is believed to have written a significant portion of the travel ban, with some help from Steve Bannon and congressional aides sworn to contractual secrecy.[emphasis mine]

The Daily Mail article linked to in the above excerpt had more:

“Senior House Judiciary Committee staffers helped produce President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban, even as top lawmakers and cabinet heads were left in the dark.
The aides were required to sign nondisclosure agreements as they labored in secret to help draft the ban, Politico reported.

Trump’s transition brought in the Hill aides during the transition, while it was still rushing to staff the administration.”

And the Politico story had even more:

“The work of the committee aides began during the transition period after the election and before Donald Trump was sworn in. The staffers signed nondisclosure agreements, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Trump’s transition operation forced its staff to sign these agreements, but it would be unusual to extend that requirement to congressional employees.”

Now, wait a minute – since when do the president-elect’s staffers and congressional aides sign non-disclosure-agreements?  Aren’t any of them subjected to any vetting process, any background check, in order to work for the president-elect, or for congresspersons and congressional committees?  These are all government public servants, not trump’s TV employees!

I honestly don’t know anything about the legalities of this.  Both the Daily Mail and Politico articles are from the end of January, but I don’t remember hearing about this then. Considering that the articles also state that the congressional aides’ ‘bosses’, such as both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairmen, were not consulted, I’m a little surprised by that.  Am I just a suspicious cynical alarmist, or is this secretive ‘reacharound’ to bypass normal procedural channels just one more example of trump’s delusional version of presidential power, one that just slipped by amidst the hundreds of other trump delusions?

(sigh)  However…

Maybe there’s hope that there may be a REAL investigation into the trump-Russia cabal. From the Raw Story article:

[T]he Senate Intelligence Committee has ordered more than a dozen individuals and agencies to preserve records related to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

According to the Associated Press, a congressional aide confirmed that the committee had sent formal requests that all materials related to Russian meddling be preserved.

The AP notes that the letters were a bi-partisan affair with both the panel’s chairmen, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and vice chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) signing on.

The Friday letters come on the heels of a closed door meeting with FBI Director James Comey who spent nearly three hours answering questions Friday afternoon in a secure room in the Senate basement used for classified briefings.”

Finally, some humor amidst the destruction of our world as we know it: if you didn’t catch John Oliver last night, here’s Raw Story’s thread covering it. Enjoy.

This is our Open Thread – say anything.

The Watering Hole, Monday, August 17th, 2015: Grab Bag

Just a few odds and ends to get your Monday started.

(R) Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson has already proven that he “don’t know much about biology” when it comes to homosexuality, women’s reproductive and overall health, and where the fetal brain tissue came from on which he used to experiment. He’s also shown that he “don’t know much about” #BlackLivesMatter, or about prisons. Now Carson shows that he “don’t know much about history” when it comes to foreign policy, the Middle East, or the meaning of “anti-semitism.” In particular, he shows in an op-ed piece in The Jerusalem Post that he “don’t know much about” the Iran Nuclear Deal either.

A few items from Daily Kos: one oldie that makes a nice palate-cleanser; and a recent one that ends with an eloquent message [some of the comments afterwards are excellent as well.]

And for the funny, ICYMI (as I did), John Oliver and friends teach Sex Education.

This is our daily Open Thread–pick a topic, any topic.

TDS: The Meter is Running

This is BRILLIANT!

In Part 1, John Oliver felt that FOX News deserved their own documentary, but they wouldn’t grant an interview.
In Part 2, John Oliver has to create his own pundit show to tell the story of FOX’s legacy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.thedailyshow.com posted with vodpod