The FCC Vote on Net Neutrality Will Increase Transparency and Oversight |  US News


Many media outlets have said that the FCC is removing all rules, when in fact the FCC wants to strengthen the most important rule of all, transparency.

Under the new proposal, internet service providers, or ISPs, have to disclose information about their practices to consumers, entrepreneurs and the commission. This includes network management practices, performance and commercial terms of broadband internet access service “sufficient to enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of such services and entrepreneurs and other small businesses to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.”

These disclosures must be public and easily accessible. Information is the foundation of a market economy, competition and consumer protection. Transparent information is essential for consumers to make informed decisions.

Source: The FCC Vote on Net Neutrality Will Increase Transparency and Oversight | The Report: Opinion | US News

No, the American People Did Not Absolve Trump of Sexual Misconduct Charges | US News


In the matter of allegations of President Donald Trump’s sexual misconduct, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders really ought to leave the American people out of it.

Asked Monday in her regular briefing about calls for a congressional investigation and/or a presidential resignation in light of the women who have accused him of everything from ogling (teenagers no less) to groping and kissing, Sanders repeated Trump’s denials and then invoked no less an authority than the American public as grounds to end the discussion. “The people of this country, at a decisive election, supported President Trump, and we feel like these allegations have been answered through that process,” she said

There are several problems with this argument, perhaps the most obvious being that “the American people” did not support Trump’s election. The numbers are not new: Trump got 46 percent of the popular vote; or to put it another way, 54 percent of the voting portion of “the American people” wanted someone else to be president; and specifically, 48 percent voted for Hillary Clinton, who garnered 3 million more votes nationwide than did her opponent.

That makes for a truly novel definition of “overwhelming support.”

Source: No, the American People Did Not Absolve Trump of Sexual Misconduct Charges | The Report: Opinion | US News

What’s Next for Net Neutrality? Lawsuits Against the FCC | Fortune


In a fight over the future of the Internet, 18 state attorneys general have petitioned Ajit Pai’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cooperate with New York’s Eric Schneiderman in an investigation over fake net neutrality comments that used stolen American identities.

Schneiderman, in a separate press release, also announced he would lead a multi-state net neutrality lawsuit.

The FCC lawsuit was announced shortly after the net neutrality vote that approved a repeal of regulations on broadband internet providers.

Source: What’s Next for Net Neutrality? Lawsuits Against the FCC | Fortune

Washington D.C.’s new expressway tolls charged drivers $40 after its debut | Quartz


The idea behind demand-based toll pricing is simple: When a road is overcrowded by vehicles, increase the price of tolls to dissuade more drivers. When traffic eases up, ease the prices too.

Source: Washington D.C.’s new expressway tolls charged drivers $40 after its debut — Quartz

In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society | WIRED


Ant Financial wasn’t the only entity keen on using data to measure people’s worth. Coincidentally or not, in 2014 the Chinese government announced it was developing what it called a system of “social credit.”

In 2014, the State Council, China’s governing cabinet, publicly called for the establishment of a nationwide tracking system to rate the reputations of individuals, businesses, and even government officials.

The aim is for every Chinese citizen to be trailed by a file compiling data from public and private sources by 2020, and for those files to be searchable by fingerprints and other biometric characteristics. The State Council calls it a “credit system that covers the whole society.”

For the Chinese Communist Party, social credit is an attempt at a softer, more invisible authoritarianism. The goal is to nudge people toward behaviors ranging from energy conservation to obedience to the Party.

Source: In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society | WIRED

The Alabama Senate Election Was Decided 100 Million Years Ago | WIRED


.. Or maybe, it was the ground itself—the literal soil underneath voters’ feet, which was once submerged underwater, leaving behind a uniquely fertile strip of land on which human beings committed unthinkable atrocities, the effects of which are still being felt today.

What? The Democratic National Committee didn’t mention that in its emails? Then, allow us to explain.

Historians and political scientists have long observed that the map of slavery in the antebellum South looks almost exactly like the map of Democratic counties in America …

Source: The Alabama Senate Election Was Decided 100 Million Years Ago | WIRED

Republicans join push to lift secrecy around misconduct in Congress


Prominent Republican senators on Thursday embraced a push to overhaul rules for addressing sexual harassment in the U.S. Congress, signing on to a bill that would protect victims and require lawmakers to pay for their own settlements.

Settlements would be made public automatically unless victims choose to keep them private.

Source: Republicans join push to lift secrecy around misconduct in Congress

With Billions at Stake in Tax Debate, Lobbyists Played Hardball | The New York Times


As the largest tax rewrite in decades powered through Congress, lobbyists found themselves sprinting to keep up and find ways to persuade, influence or cajole the small group of lawmakers empowered to tweak language in the final version of the joint Senate and House bill.

The lobbyists and their allies opened their wallets wide to fund advertisements, phone banks and field campaigns. They leaned on longstanding relationships with lawmakers and staff, dashed off letters to congressional leaders and wrote checks to secure a few minutes of precious face time at fund-raisers.

They brought families struggling with rare diseases to Capitol Hill …

Source: With Billions at Stake in Tax Debate, Lobbyists Played Hardball – The New York Times

Does Trump Want Peace in the Middle East? | Pacific Standard


“Recent history demonstrates that stoking global conflict is a staple of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, if they have one at all,” says Emran El-Badawi, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Houston.

“Within his first 10 months in office Trump has deliberately challenged North Korean president Kim Jong-un after that country’s latest nuclear weapons test; he breached the Iran Nuclear Deal on behalf of the U.S., by refusing to re-certify it a second time and then declared that country’s National Guard a terrorist group. … One of the only countries in support of Trump’s hawkish, and many would say racist, policies has been Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Source: Does Trump Want Peace in the Middle East? – Pacific Standard

Brexit: The EU has been loving its life since Britain voted to leave | Quartz


The weeks after the UK referendum were nervy times for Brussels. Europe’s refugee crisis was raging, European economies were stagnant, and there were fears that Brexit-like referendums would spread across the continent. Far-right candidates threatened to win power in elections in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

But none of those fears quite came to fruition.

Then came three big elections. In the Netherlands, Mark Rutte’s center-right government held off the extremist Geert Wilders. In France, the young, pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron wiped the floor with the National Front’s Marine Le Pen.

Their optimism has also made the EU’s mandarins truly fed up with Brexit. While they want to move forward, London’s mixture of arrogance and incompetence in negotiating its departure is a constant irritant.

Source: Brexit: The EU has been loving its life since Britain voted to leave — Quartz