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F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules (nytimes.com)
3384 points by panny 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 1431 comments



The voters elected a Republican government. That a Republican-led FCC would err on the side of under-regulating telecommunications companies is about the least surprising outcome you can imagine. Anybody who told you that lobbying the FCC was going to make a difference here was, whether they meant to or not, selling a bill of goods.

As someone who respects but mostly profoundly disagrees with principled Republican laissez-faire regulatory strategy (at least, once we got past 1991 or so), it is more than a little aggravating to see us as a community winding ourselves in knots over market-based regulation of telecom at the same time as the (largely unprincipled) Republican congress is putting the finishing strokes --- literally in ball-point pen --- on a catastrophically stupid tax bill that threatens universal access to health insurance, not just for those dependent on Medicare but on startup founders as well.

If you care deeply about this issue, stop pretending like filling out forms and putting banners ads is going to persuade Republican regulators to act like Democrats. "Net Neutrality" isn't my personal issue --- I worked at ISPs, have backbone engineer friends, and candidly: I think this issue is silly. But if it's yours... sigh... fine.

But do it right: get out there, to your nearest seriously threatened D districts or to the nearest plausibly flippable R district (the suburbs are great for this), open up your damn wallets, and donate.

The FCC may very well be right that it's not their job to impose our dream portfolio of rules on Verizon (certainly, a lot of the rules people are claiming NN provided were fanciful). It doesn't matter how dreamlike the rules are: Congress can almost certainly enact a law, which the FCC can't revoke.

But otherwise, be clear-eyed: elections have consequences. We elected the party of deregulation. Take the bad with whatever the good is, and work to flip the House back.


"That a Republican-led FCC would err on the side of under-regulating telecommunications companies is about the least surprising outcome you can imagine."

That is not why this is shocking. This proceeding is shocking because the legal basis for this change is dependent on a false statements about the technology involved. It goes beyond just, "Republicans prefer deregulation," or, "Republicans favor market-based approaches." There is plenty of room and a general need for debates about what policy approaches are best, but there is no room for debate about the answer to technical questions.

Engineers and researchers submitted hundreds of comments to the FCC trying to correct the falsehoods presented in the NPRM. The FCC did not simply ignore those comments. The draft rules specifically cite those comments and totally dismiss them as "not persuasive." Only commentary from ISPs was "persuasive" in this proceeding, and the ISPs omitted facts that were inconvenient for them (the point of public commentary is in part to fill in the omissions that lobbyists would obviously make).

Sorry, but I do not buy the "what do you expect from Republicans" argument. I expect Republicans to be pro-markets, even pro-big-business; I expect Republicans to favor deregulation. It is not acceptable to pursue that agenda by ignoring expert answers to technical questions, regardless of party affiliation. It is one thing to interpret facts -- for example, the draft rules interpret the fact that edge services can be accessed via ISP networks as ISPs providing a capability to their customers, which is bizarre but within the bounds as far as policy debates go. To simply dismiss facts that are being presented to you by experts, when you have a legal obligation to receive and consider such facts, is another matter entirely.

Yes, I expect the party of deregulation to base its policy goals on facts, as interpreted through the lens of a pro-business/pro-markets approach, and not some convenient fantasy.


>It is not acceptable to pursue that agenda by ignoring expert answers to technical questions, regardless of party affiliation

Your entire premise can be rebutted with the policies around climate change. If something as catastrophic and irreversible as climate change can be subject to partisan nonsense, twisting of facts and delegitimization of experts; what makes anyone think that Net Neutrality would be looked upon with logic, facts, and reason.

I personally lean towards preserving NN.

I hope at some point we can return to some semblance of governance based on facts, logic, and pragmatism rather than ideology.


Or, we can accept that ideologies are how we all make the majority of our decisions and then work to create a convincing ideology which combats the systems of power/corruption we're currently dealing with. None of this going to go away with facts and logic.

Change never happened because someone spouted a couple damning facts and shamed people with power.


Oh I disagree wholeheartedly.

We're in the sh*tshow we are today not because of a lack of ideologies: Libertarian, Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, Evangelical, Green, and on and on... So clearly, there's no lack of 'convincing ideology' for any single individual's belief system and ideals.

The problem as I see it, is that the majority of people have retreated into their ideologies and just started tossing grenades and stones behind their respective walls, rather than having dialogue, understanding, and compromising.

And if your counter is that we're just lacking an even BETTEREST ideology that somehow rules them all, I think that's fallacy. Ideology is neither the solution, nor the problem.

It's the fact that ideologies have become ending points, rather than starting points of discussion. Which leads me back to my original point that we need leaders who will govern by listening to ideas, facts, counterpoints, and making tough compromises and decisions based on that.

EDIT: spelling


I really want to agree with you. And in times past I absolutely would have. But I think something that's become clear over time, worldwide, is that getting incorruptible, good, and objective people into office is not really possible - certainly not on a regular basis. Really it's unclear if such people even actually exist. I think most of us believe our decisions are driven by objective merit, yet we all view most of everybody else as subjectively driven. The latter view is probably the correct one.

What we need is systems themselves that take human nature into mind. The founding fathers of the US set out to create this exact sort of system. And they really did. Lacking a super majority, literally a single senator can prevent a political appointment. So on this issue, if the senate really did not want to put into appointee into the FCC who was in favor of dismantling net neutrality - they had that power. When Pai was appointed by Obama in 2012 his views were no secret. The senate could have said no. McConnell could have proposed a new person, Obama formally nominates him, and again the senate could reject. They are under 0 obligation to approve any nominee - ever.

Yes, this would be incredibly dysfunctional - but that is precisely how the US government was envisioned. The whole checks and balances thing we learn about in elementary social studies is specifically about preventing something from happening unless there is mass consensus. The founding fathers did not want a huge, powerful democratic government - they wanted a small accountable republic driven to progress only on issues where there was minimal to no opposition.

You can even see this in things like the bill of rights. The bill of rights does not, for instance, guarantee you the right to free speech. It says you already inherently have that right - it is inalienable. The bill of rights does not grant you a right - it prevents the government from infringing on your natural rights. In other words the view is that governments cannot grant rights, but they can take them away. A dysfunctional government maximizes the freedom of the people by preventing the infringement of such freedom except in cases such that there is a mass consensus of its merit.

The problem is that the doomsday scenario of all of congress falling into one clique happened. Politicians all need money to get elected and stay in office. Corporate donors (and influence) is where that money comes from. And this is where I think the problem is. But I also don't think there's any solution to it. Imagine you take all money out of political campaigns. That don't stop already famous individuals from running for office and their advantage in these cases would be monumental. There are radical ideas like treating political duty the same as jury duty, but I'm unsure how well that would be publicly received.

The point here is that I don't think 'just get better politicians' is something that's necessarily workable in the longrun. We need to create systems that readily accept the realities of corruption, cronyism, and general pettiness -- but then operate in a publicly desirable way regardless of this.


Why do Americans believe trying to interpret the Founding Father's intent is a reasonable way to debate policy? If the opinions of 18th century wealthy men have merit today it should be because we believe their reasoning applies to current circumstances, not because they were the Founders of anything.

I'm not saying I necessarily disagree that "a small accountable republic driven to progress only on issues where there was minimal to no opposition" is desirable today, but you have put forward no valid argument for it.


What the grandparent comment did was bring the Founding Fathers into the discussion, took an idea from them, and then presented it in light of current events. You can evaluate the grandparent comment's idea without including the Founding Fathers; the reference is relevant only to show the changes that have occurred in the last 200 years.


...because we have documents (e.g. the Federalist Papers [1]) that explain their philosophy and arguments. Moreover, significant technological advances aside, our basic psychology / neurobiology remains virtually unchanged, and so many of their initial insights into mitigating the risks of human political systems still pertain.

For instance: they foresaw the problems powerful interests acting in bad faith could cause, and so we now enjoy judicial recourse when politicians or appointees make arbitrary, capricious, or corrupt decisions. The fact that we're discussing legal challenges to the FCC's decision as even a possibility underscores this point.

We understand more about human psychology / neurobiology now, of course, so this is one limitation of uncritically accepting their advice. We also have the benefit of over two centuries of additional hindsight. Still, I think there is good reason to at least consider the opinions of people who would, by any reasonable reckoning, count as political systems design experts of their time.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Federalist_Papers


"government maximizes the freedom of the people by preventing the infringement of such freedom except in cases such that there is a mass consensus of its merit" seems pretty clear. The argument is that the freedoms the founding fathers wanted to preserve are protected by making it hard for corrupt politicians to take them away. The vision of the founding fathers is taken seriously because they were very smart and America has been very successful in many respects.


>> The problem is that the doomsday scenario of all of congress falling into one clique happened. Politicians all need money to get elected and stay in office. Corporate donors (and influence) is where that money comes from. And this is where I think the problem is. But I also don't think there's any solution to it. Imagine you take all money out of political campaigns. That don't stop already famous individuals from running for office and their advantage in these cases would be monumental.

Many countries such as the UK have legally enforceable limits to the amounts parties can spend on elections. This helps, the UK government is not totally in the packet of big business. The only celebratory I can think of having been elected is Glenda Jackson. Of course big business still owns most of the "popular press".


> getting incorruptible, good, and objective people into office is not really possible - certainly not on a regular basis.

How about we make these people complete a PhD in three different fields. After that, they will be humbled enough to be fit for politics. (Of course, experimentation needed for validation of this claim; anecdotal: Merkel has a PhD and she did pretty well so far).


The way to reduce the impact of money in elections is to make elections smaller, i.e. shrink the federal government and go full blown State's Rights. So much money is needed because there are so many people to reach and marketing costs a lot. Fewer people to reach = less money being deployed in any particular election.


I can't agree more with you and wish so much we as a nation would see the wisdom the founding fathers had when they wrote all rights not given to the federal government belong to the states. They were weary of powerful central governments and introduced competition throughout the system to stay the power of wicked men in centralized systems.

Going back to such a system would require incredible tolerance on both "conservative" and "progressive" sides. We would have to accept that within one nation there would be other states regulated in highly different fashions than our own.


Which leads me back to my original point that we need leaders who will govern by listening to ideas, facts, counterpoints, and making tough compromises and decisions based on that.

Good luck raising billions of dollars or marshaling millions of volunteer hours to elect candidates that may or may not follow through on promises on any given issue. Where are these wise leaders going to come from that they're immune to the vagaries of party politics and voting blocs?


Honestly, at least some of these issues can be addressed game theoretically... But having a well educated populace is key to most of those strategies.

If people can't (or won't) critically evaluate claims, and vote, then how can we expect the system to work in their favor?

Take Trump as an example of that latter point: I had friends who believed that because he was a businessman he would be able to run the country better than Hillary. They assumed this was true, and even when presented with his poor performance in that role they didn't yield. I didn't even receive a counter-argument. The conversation ended.

As a side note: we already raise billions of dollars every year in the form of taxes.


The only protest that makes a damned bit of difference is the vote.

Once in a long while citizens clean house. Major parties dissolve, etc, and fresh leadership emerges. This will happen again once rank-and-file on the left and right begin to find consensus on some key issues like diminishing freedoms, privacy, and corrupt leadership.

It's my opinion that ideology gives one tunnel vision and shouldn't be encouraged. There are things we can ALL be pissed about, let's talk about those things. Above all, we should agree that "incumbency" and "party affiliation" are nasty things.


Unfortunately, world history has clearly shown that by the time rank and file realize they need to reach consensus, they have lost their freedoms, privacy etc. (For their own good as so many dictators have said.)

By being passive and blindly listening to your party's claims -- in this case Republicans and Democrats mainly -- you have conceded your power to extremist groups (see gun control, extreme right, racists), corruption (anything to do with lobbying in the U.S. (in other parts of the world it would be called legalized corruption)) and politicians passing last minute illegible bills to laws. If you have under 20% turnover something is ridiculously wrong with the system.

Kid yourself not. It is your choice. You have the obligation as a citizen in a democracy to pay attention, vote and yes put your foot down when they feed you bullshit, like the FCC report. Otherwise, you are being ruled, you have conceded your power and it is democracy only in name. Thus I think this must be a wake up call -- see how many people on e.g. Twitter accepted this deregulation as totally ok and for "our own good". How many people know about title I and II classification? Or why FCC was forced in 2015 to finally classify ISPs as title II? Search what happened in 2005 here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the_United_S... . It is not like ISPs are playing nicely or care about our rights. And us accepting their blatant lies and this farce is the defeat of the day.

The worst thing is you teach the next generation of voters that this is ok and natural. It is not.

And you are lowering the bar by saying "oh it is Republicans they can do that." No -- if Republicans followed their advertised mantra to the letter they should be totally against this deregulation. Don't lower the bar of what you are demanding from your representatives. If you care for your country and your life stay informed.


There are many other useful forms of protest. What makes you think that?

I genuinely challenge you to come up with a form of civic protest that solves a problem, then commit to solving it. Big or small; doesn't matter. Just get out there and do something.

(Disclaimer: I've never voted and don't plan on it, but I spend much of my free time attempting to fix some niggling problems at local and state levels)


Do you not vote at the local/state level either?


No, though I've tried working with campaign teams before in Chicago. The ruthlessness (and by proxy, the system that enables such ruthlessness) of political candidates and their campaigns is something I'd rather not support.


> I hope at some point we can return to some semblance of governance based on facts, logic, and pragmatism rather than ideology.

This is a great point. We're in this NN shit show because of ideology. The GOP tried to work with the Democrats to craft NN legislation, but the Democrats only wanted a Title II designation and nothing else. Now the GOP has effectively stripped away any NN protections. Both sides holding firm on ideology have landed us here.


No, they haven't, not yet. There is lawsuit being filed by multiple state attorneys general stating alleging the FCC violated the Administrative Review Act, and there is reason to believe they have a strong case.

During this whole process, the Republican commissioners have done many mistakes. They stated they do not need to mind the public's comment period. They even stated they would not pay heed to the public's comments. They cited technological reasons for this, were told they were wrong, and then tried to dismiss those reasons. They refused to work with investigators on the fraudulent comments. They refused to listen to Congress's requests to delay the vote. There have been statements and leaks of Pai acting openly hostile towards the public and catering to Verizon. The other thing is that there is no compelling proof the ISP landscape has changed enough since 2015 to warrant repealing these rules. There is a very strong case that if skillfully argued can demonstrate Pai was acting in an arbitrary fashion against the consumer's best interests, which is the mandate of the FCC.

It's not a sure guarantee, but as I said, the FCC has given the AGs more then enough fodder. It's what happens when you hand the reigns over to people who don't understand the limitations of their office.


Why wouldn't the dems just go along with the GOP and enact NN legislation? Why is Title II so important? This is what I mean by ideology getting in the way. If it wasn't about ideology, then the dems would be working with the GOP to get NN done.

https://morningconsult.com/2017/01/23/thune-net-neutrality-r...


"Why wouldn't the dems just go along with the GOP and enact NN legislation?"

IIRC it would have prevented the FCC from enforcing net neutrality rules at all, which makes no sense. Title II is not an ideological position.

(Edit: Thune's compromise would not prevent the FCC from enforcing net neutrality of some form, but it would restrict the FCC and prevent it from adapting to future net neutrality challenges. For example, it might have prevented the FCC from dealing with new kinds of NN violations like zero-rating.)

If Republicans introduced a new regulatory framework for the FCC to apply to ISPs, which gave the FCC the power to enforce net neutrality rules without the parts of Title II that have nothing to do with this issue, many Democrats would probably support it. The problem is that Republicans have not yet introduced that, and have instead tried to introduce watered down traps that would prevent a future FCC from enforcing strong net neutrality rules.


It's not ideology getting in the way, it's pure corruption. If the Republicans truly believed in free market competition, they would seek to end the agreements between ISPs and local governments that create monopolies. They would put a stop to the ISP's usage of the legal system to hamper competition (Google and Nashville, for example). They would find ways to use federal money to incentivize people to create new ISPs, increasing competition.

As it stands, though, the Republicans are doing none of that. Their only goal has been to undo Title II and then do nothing about the state of broadband access in the United States.

Also:

> Why is Title II so important?

Because right now, it's the only tool we have to enforce NN. I'd love to have more ISP choices and not have to rely on the government to ensure fair play, but money, politics, and business are a hell of a drug for people.


>> Why is Title II so important? > > Because right now, it's the only tool we have to enforce NN.

We have plenty of tools to enforce a thing. We have existing legislation, and we have the power to enact new legislation. We have existing regulation, and we have the power to effect new regulation. We have voices, and we have votes. I am not entirely convinced that Title II vs Title I is the best way to move forward, but I am entirely convinced that it is not the only.

The Telecommunications Act was enacted in 1934, then updated in 1996. That's more than twenty years ago. With significant change in politics and the creative ways in which ISPs have quashed neutrality in the name of network management, Congress has had plenty of opportunity to take notice and offer something more substantial than "Oh, no, how did this happen?"


> We have plenty of tools to enforce a thing. We have existing legislation, and we have the power to enact new legislation. We have existing regulation, and we have the power to effect new regulation. We have voices, and we have votes. I am not entirely convinced that Title II vs Title I is the best way to move forward, but I am entirely convinced that it is not the only.

The current administration and Congress have shown a blatant disregard for the voice of the American citizens beyond a wealthy few. Any legislation they enact will to further enrich themselves and their donors, and only continue to selling of America. Our system is rigged so our votes don't matter in general. The current president ran a "populist" campaign and still lost the popular vote by 3 million. The system is setup so that when Democrats win, they need to win big, and when Republicans lose, they still win. Title II is the best we're going to get in this regime.


> I expect Republicans to be pro-markets, even pro-big-business; I expect Republicans to favor deregulation. It is not acceptable to pursue that agenda by ignoring expert answers to technical questions, regardless of party affiliation. It is one thing to interpret facts... to simply dismiss facts that are being presented to you by experts, when you have a legal obligation to receive and consider such facts, is another matter entirely.

From where I sit, the particular observation you're making about how policy has been treated when it comes to Net Neutrality issues looks exactly like how the Republican party behaves generally. Whether it's about net neutrality, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, climate change, stimulative effects of tax policy, health care -- it sure looks like many Republican positions are primarily arrived at and founded in the profit and power aspirations of a narrow constituency rather than observation and study, and that "deregulation" and "market-based" approaches are primarily invoked as tools or even just fig leaves where they appear useful.

Net Neutrality just happens to be one example where the audience here is predominately familiar enough with the relevant practical issues that it's easy to see.


[flagged]


> Who appointed Ajit Pai to the FCC in the first place?

The FCC by law cannot have more than three commissioners from the same party. The sitting President therefore finds himself in the position of having to appoint up to two commissioners who are NOT from his own party.

I don't think that there is any actual requirement for how the President picks such nominees--so a Democratic President needing to appoint a non-Democrat could in theory choose someone from some left-leaning non-Democrat party like the Green party, and a Republican President could choose someone from a right-leaning non-Republican party, such as the Libertarian party.

In practice, though, what Presidents of both parties usually (always?) have done is ask other party leadership [1] for a name, and then the President nominates that person.

When the nominee comes up for confirmation in the Senate, generally the Senators from each party pretty much automatically vote to confirm the nominees from the other party unless there is something that actually disqualifies them. They don't vote no just because they disagree on ideological grounds.

So yes, Obama originally put Pai on the FCC, but you can't really read anything into that as far as Democrat positions goes. Pai was the choice of Republican leadership for one of the two seats that could not go to a Democrat.

People are too focused on Pai here. Getting rid of net neutrality is in the freaking GOP party platform. By winning the White House, Republicans won a majority on the FCC. It didn't matter which existing Republican commissioner they elevated to the chairmanship (Pai or O'Reilly) or if they made their new, third guy chair (Carr). Whoever they picked was going to do this.

[1] Usually whoever leads the other party in the Senate, I believe.


More broadly the point is that Republicans are not alone in their idea that a bunch of things should be privatized or deregulated; they're just more enthusiastic. The Democrats have been scorning and ignoring their core constituencies (because what are they going to do, vote for Republicans?) for decades. On countless issues both parties march in lock-step with each other and against the wishes of a majority of voters. Simply scolding people for voting for not turning out hard enough for the Democrats seems to miss the point.


From what I've seen Democrats seem to look at the data and studies on the situation to figure out what works best for the economy and the people. Republicans tend to vote on ideology regardless of who it benefits (turns out it mostly benefits those who sponsor their compaigns, surprise surprise).

As for "voting in lock-step", nope not even close. Good analysis of many major votes here: https://www.reddit.com/r/cantmisslists/comments/7gaq5z/both_... Democrats vote to keep the government transparent, honest and benefiting the people way more than Republicans.


>That is not why this is shocking. This proceeding is shocking because the legal basis for this change is dependent on a false statements about the technology involved. It goes beyond just, "Republicans prefer deregulation," or, "Republicans favor market-based approaches." There is plenty of room and a general need for debates about what policy approaches are best, but there is no room for debate about the answer to technical questions.

Haha. Try working in education or, gasp, environmental science, if you think that the contestability of simple facts is shocking.


One could argue that the democrats have an anti-science view on gender. The newest argument from the far left is that there are no physiological differences between man and woman. Biology says otherwise.

The best thing you can do is realize everyone is an idiot and think for yourself rather than the party.


There is no doubt that Democrats sometimes ignore facts and expert opinions. That is a normal part of the political process.

The problem is that in recent months Republicans seem to always ignore the facts being presented to them. That is beyond "politics as usual" and is dangerous and destructive to our country.


Which Democrat/s said this? A blog / site claiming to be far left != Democrats. Saying those in government believe what the some member of the general public believes is not a logical train of thought.


There's a large difference between the Democrats and the far left.


No, the science said there’s no physiological difference between the male and female _brain_. Big difference there, chief.


> what do you expect from Republicans

Disclaimer: I am a canadian citizen.

What I expect from republicans is the opposite of evidence based policy making. None of their policies are supported or motivated by evidence. Pick one from taxes to gun control to sex education.


All politicians occasionally lie about the facts; that is the nature of politics. Yet it was not that long ago that Democrats and Republicans were equally likely to base their policy proposals on (actual) evidence. The decline has been happening for a long time, but in the past decade Republicans have completely abandoned the idea of interpreting (actual) facts from a conservative perspective and have instead come to rely only on "alternative facts" (I believe in Canada you would say "fantasies" but I am not Canadian).

Put another way, I like to remind people that it is possible to be an intelligent conservative, despite the image the Republican party has been projecting lately.


> Put another way, I like to remind people that it is possible to be an intelligent conservative, despite the image the Republican party has been projecting lately.

It's an inevitable truth, with half the country on "either side", that any given side will have a bevy of smart, reasonable, sane people... It's high time to start distinguishing the corporatists, the fascists, and outright liars from "conservatism".

At the same time: with the crusade against reality, common sense, and collective action on long term problems the GOP has wholeheartedly embraced since the 90s (along with the media barons), I think it's high time we remembered that before the 90s we had liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats who weren't afraid of those labels.

The problem isn't that conservatives are "dumb" or "crazy". The problem is that smart conservatives haven't put the GOPs feet to the fire, or changed party affiliation en masse, or primaried the teapartiers to a degree that the tribalism FOX News fosters is offset.


Both parties are irrational, but about different things. Both largely shaft their base and serve different segments of the oligarchy.


Informed gun advocates can actually make a pretty compelling case against gun control, but few are interested in listening. Canada's gun control IIRC isn't that much stricter than the US's, yet there's significantly less gun crime. As Michael Moore pointed out in "Bowling for Columbine" culture seems to play a significant part.


That's interesting but I haven't heard any of these compelling cases. All I see is fear mongering from the NRA.

I'd argue that there isn't a good argument against gun control. The 2nd amendment gives US citizens the right to bear arms but pretty much any sane person will agree that there should be control over some arms. You aren't allowed to build a nuke or make sarin gas in your back yard. If everyone agrees that control over some weapons is a good idea then why would guns specifically be exempt from regulation?

Here are a few questions I'd like to see answered by someone who is against gun control: Should we allow the sale of devices that modify guns to fire at a rate of 100s of rounds a minute? Should we allow the sale of guns to people with a history of violent crime? Are there mental illnesses that should prevent someone from owning a gun? Should we require a cooling down period between when a person decides to buy a gun and when the actual purchase goes through? Are there any places we should not allow people to go while armed with a gun?


Our gun control laws are significantly stricter.


The party of deregulation cannot base its policy goals on facts, by definition. Because the idea that regulations and government intervention are universally bad and all sectors should be deregulated is a dogma that has been disproven by facts many times. So any party with that ideology goes against facts.

For example, in healthcare, it's more than proven by countless studies that countries that provide universal healthcare not only provide better healthcare by almost any metric, but also spend much less in it than e.g. the US. So anyone that defends the broad idea that government intervention is bad goes against facts, period (as does someone that defends the idea that it's always good, of course - the only position compatible with facts is that some sectors may need more regulation and some may need less, on a case-by-case basis, with some individual cases arguable).


So what you are saying is that the republican party in its current form is unvotable. I agree. Even people holding dear republican aligned beliefs should take note and realize that the party is not able to act aligned with their own interest.

I guess partisanship might simply be a huge problem because democrats can‘t recognize republicans as republicans any more - still because there are only 2 relevant parties - republicans don‘t see an alternative to the GOP and still go for the „in theory better aligned“ party. That should give any American pause to think and highlight the importance of choice when it comes to politics. Why not create a new republican party?


>Why not create a new republican party?

The system is heavily weighted in favor of the duopoly (televised debates, etc.). Fixing that might increase the odds a third party would be able to be a genuine contender, rather than simply splitting one side's vote.


Do you have examples of outright falsehoods?


Among other things, the rules claim that DNS is an integral part of the service ISPs provide. The rules also claim that using a third party server requires unusual configuration on the part of consumers. That is false: an ISP could choose not to provide any DNS service and configure their customers' equipment to use a third party server.

(Amazingly enough, DNS is one of the central points in the FCC's argument that ISPs provide an information service.)


If that's the best example of a 'falsehood' the ISPs presented then I'm not surprised the ISPs won. What kind of consumer ISP doesn't provide DNS servers? And in which universe would it be acceptable to sign up for a new ISP and discover DNS resolution didn't work?

Yes, in theory ISPs can outsource it, in theory a company can outsource everything. That doesn't make any difference to arguments about whether it's an integral part of the service though.


Your argument is equivalent to saying that ISPs can "outsource" email to third-party services like Gmail and Outlook. That is an awfully stretched interpretation of what it means to "provide" or to "outsource" a service. ISPs do not need to coordinate with third party DNS servers to have their customers use those servers, any more than they must coordinate with third party email providers.

There are plenty more falsehoods in the order. The order states that DNS is analogous to a gateway server that translates addresses and not analogous to a directory service. The order claims that transparent caching is a critical aspect of ISP service that users have come to depend on, and dismisses comments pointing out that numerous modern web standards break transparent caching. The order states that the service an ISP provides is a "multi-user computer server" through which consumers access the Internet and ignores the fact that most consumers receive public IP addresses and are technically connected directly to the Internet (and that, technically, it is possible to host edge services using a broadband connection, even if doing so is rare). You can go read the order if you want more examples.


While I suppose if you are in to nitpicking it's technically wrong but it's a generalisation that is excusable. It's not as if they are saying something inexcusably erroneous, like for example that JSON is the protocol used to route packets.

In effect I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of ISPs are running their own DNS servers. Making this point rather unimportant.

Any other technical inaccuracies?


"It's not as if they are saying something inexcusably erroneous, like for example that JSON is the protocol used to route packets."

They also suggested the DNS is like a proxy server (in their words, a "gateway") rather than a directory service. Does that count?

"Any other technical inaccuracies?"

That consumers continue to rely on transparent caching and that caching is a core ISP service. The FCC dismissed comments pointing out that TLS breaks transparent caching on the basis that there are websites that do not use TLS.

The order also claims that because people are able to access websites via an ISP network, the ISP provides people with the capability of whatever those websites do (e.g. under the order's reasoning, Verizon is providing me with the capability to have this conversation with you). You can argue that is an opinion and not a fact, but the order does not apply it consistently; for example, it does not assert that a phone company is providing an information service by virtue of its customers' ability to use a dialup ISP.

The order claims that by connecting to your ISP's network, you are receiving, "...computer access by multiple users to a computer server...that provides access to the Internet." Maybe that is just how the FCC interprets routers, but again it is not being consistently applied e.g. to the phone system.

If you want more, go read the order; the technical analysis is not very long.


Yes referring to a DNS server as a gateway is obviously wrong.

I'm not aware of how much caching is used, but to my knowledge is not that common as it would introduce a lot of problems for developers. This is also wrong.

How much of their arguments are based on DNS and caching?


The Tax Plan will pay for itself.

That is an outright falsehood.

"Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), Congress's nonpartisan scorekeeper, predicted that the Senate tax bill would add about 0.1 percent more a year to growth over the next decade, far less than what Treasury says. JCT took into account the economic effects of the tax cuts on individual and business taxes, but not other policy changes advocated by the administration, such as welfare reform. The JCT says the Senate bill's total cost would be $1 trillion after considering growth effects.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/11/the-t...

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/364415-wharton-study-gop-t...


So your 'evidence' is based on a group that purports to see the economic future? That's hardly evidence.


> To simply dismiss facts that are being presented to you by experts, when you have a legal obligation to receive and consider such facts, is another matter entirely.

That makes it sound like you can sue the FCC for not meeting their legal obligations here. Is that viable?


If I'm interpreting you correctly, you can totally sue the FCC for matters like this, and in fact, people are doing just that. [1]

1: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/12/state-attorneys-...


Marvellous! :)


That's a silly expectation for a party that denies science whenever it's inconvenient. Climate change, the war on drugs, abortion, and more are all examples of this. This is the party of anti-intellectualism and anti-science, yet somehow you expect them to treat the Internet differently?


Most of drug, abortion policy is due to values, not science.

You're corrupting the notion of science to say otherwise.


I did not say otherwise. I completely agree. That is exactly the problem. Policy is based on people's delusions and stupidity, not science.


Are you saying that it's good to base drug and abortion policies on values even though science indicates that those value based policies do more societal harm than good?

Is it a good policy to harm people as long as you are faithful to some set of values?


Science can't really measure 'societal harm', it's not a well defined concept. The moment government delegates what 'societal harm' and 'societal benefit' mean to a bunch of self-proclaimed scientists they've effectively given up on democracy and delegated to a dictatorship of doctorates. But history shows us that having a PhD is hardly a magic talisman against dangerous or delusional thinking.


Ok. What about the cases when value based policies have scientifically measurable effects exactly opposite to stated also value based goals of the policy?

I.e. to reduce teen pregnancies we create policy of abstinence only sex education. You can measure that this policy causes exactly opposite effect yet value based lawmakers cling to it.

As for scientific inability to objectively define societal harm...

That's what's beautiful in science. You can define it any way you like and then measure how well policy causes the effects fulfilling the definition. You can define it as "less people addicted" or "less addicts homeless" or "less addicts without steady jobs" or "less people jailed for non violent crime" or "less violent crime". Definitions are plenty. But if you ignore any measurements by any definitions and make laws just based on your values then you are doing favor to noone.


They are presumably evaluating the benefit in ways that are wider than just teen pregnancy rates (i.e. they probably assume that other policies would cause fewer pregnancies but more teenage sex and their real goal is to reduce teenage sex).

Not that I agree with teaching abstinence to teenagers, that's daft. But I've learned over the years that simplifying an apparently rational adult's views down to a single factor "it's so obvious they must be idiots" analysis usually leads to poor analysis.


> their real goal is to reduce teenage sex

I don't get it. When they are in position of power they secretly want teenagers to have less sex, but they don't tell that anybody, instead they enact policy that they think will do that loudly claiming it is to reduce teen pregnancies despite the scientific fact it does exactly opposite thing....

This is beyond silly scenario. Way simpler explanation is that they simply ignore the facts when they counter their believes and cultivate illusion they will still be right in the end despite available and mounting evidence to the contrary.


Everyone agrees teen pregnancy is bad. It's a bipartisan issue. Not everyone agrees teen sex in general is bad. So it makes sense for them to hang their preferred policy on that issue.

Yes, you can assume your opponents are just thick as bricks and randomly generate policies with no basis. You aren't ever going to make political progress that way though. You'll just irritate them and build support for them: "you're too stupid to have an opinion" is a vote winning position in no democracies ever.


> Everyone agrees teen pregnancy is bad.

Apparently they don't agree, at least not as bad as teen sex since they are willing to, under false pretense, enact policy that factually increases teen pregnancy rates just to possibly decrease teen sex.

They are willing to lie to their constituents to gain support of their opposition. Not to mention that they harm both sides on yhe issue of teen pregnancy, not to mention actual teens.

No matter how you spin it it still doesn't sound good. Even worse. I'd prefer to think my opponent as misguided not machiavellian and malicious towards his own supporters.


Whether there are mistakes in the official documents doesn't change anything about the policy. They weren't persuaded because they didn't receive a persuasive argument about why net neutrality is supposed to help. That doesn't mean they weren't persuaded that some of the "facts" were wrong, it means that they weren't persuaded in terms of opinions. The arguments of the ISP are obviously biased and that should surprise nobody. I think it's pretty reasonable to assume the same thing about tech companies. Is e.g. Netflix unbiased when the net neutrality question pretty much came up in regards to Netflix? You would have to be insane to claim that Netflix (or Google, or Facebook, or Reddit) aren't supporting this (at least to some extent) for the sake of increasing their own profit margins.

The Right is arguing for a free market economy and decreased regulation not because they are "going against the facts." There is no fact stating that "net neutrality is necessary for the world to function" or "internet is a human right" or whatever. All of these things are opinions. You have the opinion that net neutrality is needed, but there is no fact backing that statement.

> It is not acceptable to pursue that agenda by ignoring expert answers to technical questions

Here's what you're missing: they don't oppose net neutrality because of what the ISPs said about it. They oppose it because it is a regulation that limits the free market. There is no fact or fiction to this opinion, it's like saying "because there's facts to show that speech can hurt people, free speech should be restricted." I agree that speech can hurt someone, but I disagree that it should be restricted. Does that mean I'm fighting the facts here?


"That doesn't mean they weren't persuaded that some of the "facts" were wrong"

Why did they repeat the false statements from the NPRM in the final draft is that is true? Why did they dismiss comments correcting falsehoods in the NPRM as not persuasive?

"it means that they weren't persuaded in terms of opinions"

I am not talking about opinions. I am talking about the details of core Internet technologies like IP, DHCP, DNS, etc. The rule change was based on an argument that ISPs meet the legal definition of an "information service." To make that argument the FCC's NPRM and the final draft make several false statements about the technical details of the Internet.

Whether or not net neutrality regulation is proper is a different matter. This order actually removes net neutrality requirements as a side effect. What the order actually does is change the FCC's official legal classification of broadband Internet service from "telecommunications service" to "information service." The 2015 rule change also involved changing ISP classification, in response to a successful court challenge to earlier net neutrality regulations that were based on the "information service" classification. Basically, the courts determined that an "information service" cannot be subject to net neutrality rules, because that is a "common carrier" requirement that can only be imposed on a "telecommunication service."

"they don't oppose net neutrality because of what the ISPs said about it"

Maybe so, but in terms of the technical details this entire order is predicated on, the FCC for the most part cites the comments of ISPs as the truth, and dismisses everything else.


The core issue here is surely not Dems vs Reps but rather that there's a meaningful difference in law between "information service" and "telecommunications service". This is the kind of vague regulatory language that causes so many fights in the halls of power.

Can someone reasonably argue an ISP is an information service? Hell yes! The internet started out by being called "the information superhighway", I guess some of us here are old enough to remember that. The internet is literally used to retrieve information, that's all it does. If an ISP is the on-ramp to the information superhighway then it can obviously be classified as an information service.

Can someone else reasonably argue an ISP is a telecommunications service? Hell yes! ISPs move packets around, they may also provide other forms of information on top, but their core service is the movement of data over wires: surely the essence of being telecoms.

In such arguments it's important to take a step back and realise it can legitimately go either way. The problem is not the players, it's the game. And the only way to fix that is to change the rules of the game. Instead of bickering about the exact bucket into which ISPs fall, pass a new law that is explicitly targeting ISPs and say explicitly what they can or cannot do.


"The internet is literally used to retrieve information, that's all it does."

That is false. The Internet supports communication between the end points; information retrieval can be built using communication, but the Internet itself is more than that. For example, it is also possible to use the Internet for two-way voice communication (VoIP).

What is important to remember about the "information service" classification is that it has a specific legal meaning that was meant to capture the service provided by AOL, Compuserve, and other early consumer ISPs. At the time Internet access was just one of many features provided by online services, and some truly acted as "gateways" and did not us IP for the last-mile connection. Obviously that is not what ISP service looks like today; the FCC had to really dig to even find examples of ISPs providing something that meets the "information service" definition (the best they could come up with is DNS and transparent caching).


> The rule change was based on an argument that ISPs meet the legal definition of an "information service."

It was an excuse and as such it doesn't have to be real. ISPs donated 100mil$ to the congress. The only reason for an excuse is that they couldn't say "Hey, NNaggers, you haven't paid us nearly as much as ISPs"

ISPs are just more aware than idelistically arogant silicon valley what it means to enter public political discourse. You do it with cash, arguments are secondary and just a way of spinning the decision that has already been made with money.


1. voters did not elect a Republican government. Gerrymandering has given Republicans wins in many places where Democrats would have won in any other universe. Likely rigged electronic voting machines that have no audit trail have given Republicans votes they would not have had. *Targeted voter suppression campaigns have prevented people from voting who would have tipped the scales in favor of Democrats.

2. Republicans (and many Democrats) do not "under-regulate". They regulate in favor of paying corporations. Those regulations are not all typical visible regulations; many are special provisions or loopholes. That is not laissez-faire.

3. Since you re-iterate, I re-iterate. Republicans are not a party of deregulation. They are a party that supports monopolistic, bully-capitalist behaviors.

The only real solution for the US is that it suffer a slow decline in global and economic relevance until it becomes desperate for a change in behavior. Only then will the shit be flushed out of the government and campaign finance rules put in place to prevent another corrupt government that serves a very limited few people at the cost of 330million others.


> 1. voters did not elect a Republican government. Gerrymandering has given Republicans wins in many places where Democrats would have won in any other universe. Likely rigged electronic voting machines that have no audit trail have given Republicans votes they would not have had. *Targeted voter suppression campaigns have prevented people from voting who would have tipped the scales in favor of Democrats.

Regardless of the other points, _millions_ of voters selected Republican. Fixing gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter turn out, etc, doesn't change the fact that of those who did vote, picked republican. Fixing those issues may change the _result_ of the election but it won't change millions of people's individual minds.

Millions picked this government and I would guess the primary reason is abortion law as this party seems to like laws that favor corporations over people.


Eh, there’s a difference between the parent comments (“voters elected...”) and yours (“voters selected ... [regardless of] the result of the election”).

Your statement is technically still true if only 1% of voters chose a given party. The discussion above is whether a given party was given a democratic mandate to enact its policies. When the fundamental idea of a democratic election is rule by popular consent, the fact that the minority has rigged the system to give them wins despite lacking majority popular consent undermines the very idea of election.

That some portion of the people still “selected” a given party is irrelevant. Entirely.


>Targeted voter suppression campaigns have prevented people from voting who would have tipped the scales in favor of Democrats.

And the Democrats have spun reasonable measures, such as requiring some sort of identification to vote, as "suppression", possibly so those who aren't citizens can vote. Who cheats more? Who knows.

The low-hanging fruit for the Democrats is, however:

1) Prioritize lower/middle class economic concerns over progressive identity politics

2) Push the DNC not to scuttle candidates, like Bernie, that people don't universally loathe

If those two things get done, the Democrats have a good chance going forward. Otherwise, who knows.


No, in person voter fraud is well studied and considered so uncommon that it is a red herring. If it were truly considered a problem then mail in ballots would require some proof that the correct person voted. That's the low hanging fruit for vulnerability of voting, why isn't it fixed? You can't even catch the perpetrator! Because rural voters who support them would scream, they don't care about fixing the gaping security hole.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/12/16767426/...

1) has identity politics has been shown to be such a loser for republicans? 2) since more people voted for Hillary than Trump, is "universal" loathing actually a problem for presidential candidates?

Roy Jones won 6/7 districts and lost the popular vote. Pretty much the definition of gerrymandering, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/13/how-d...


Saying that someone won the popular vote but not the election is identical to saying that someone won in the more densely populated area but lost in the more sparsely populated areas. It don't prove gerrymandering, which is the intent to arrange voting districts to manipulate elections. The intent is the key here and not the result.

Having seats allocated by area rather than population is an very old tactic to unify a large number of small provinces into a single nation. Rural voters votes need to still feel like its worth to vote, even if they are outnumbered by 10 to 1 to the voice and needs of the more populated areas. Similar how people view voting of third-party to be a wasted vote, so is it believed that people in low population areas would feel if election was purely based on the popular vote. This is not the definition of gerrymandering, but rather policy that is designed to prevent splintering of nations and civil war.

Did Roy Jones or his party rearrange the district to orchestrate a election win? If so then that is gerrymandering. If not then the idea of having voting districts rather than popular vote is really just the trade that happened a long time ago between low and high populated areas being applied to all levels.


For reference, the previous commenter was talking about AL's 7 congressional districts. US congressional districts are defined based on population (they're suppose to be equally sized intra-state).


>has identity politics has been shown to be such a loser for republicans?

Pretty much, which is why they didn't really do it. Trump stole from Bernie's playbook - if you take his last few ads as a representative sample - they pushed the class warfare angle pretty hard - starring Lloyd Blankfein, ironically enough.

That played really effectively off Hillary's "business as usual ; government is hard ; I work hard" angle, and was probably responsible for her losing Michigan - not exactly a state that has done well out of the status quo or the trade deals she championed.

>2) since more people voted for Hillary than Trump, is "universal" loathing actually a problem for presidential candidates?

Yes, because the numbers that stayed home in disgust outnumbered both candidates. Voter turnout is what killed Hillary's chances, not "white supremacists" or "fake news" or whatever, and that voter turnout was because she was such a thoroughly loathed individual - which was actually largely her doing.


Re: 2 - that's an inaccurate way of representing it. Hillary had an 0.1% difference in voter turnaround relative to Obama in 2012. What actually won the election for Trump was (a) the distribution of votes across the landscape and how that translates to Electoral College votes and (b) demographically speaking, white people (at every income level).


What exactly is your point about white people?

Are you claiming this is about racism? If this was a race issue, the black man would've lost (instead he won both times) and the white woman would've won. Or am I missing something?


> Are you claiming this is about racism? If this was a race issue, the black man would've lost (instead he won both times) and the white woman would've won. Or am I missing something?

I don't claim either side of that question, but I just have to say that your statement is patently false.

Hypothetically all racists could vote one way, and still lose an election (or turn the tides), depending on the size of that group.


If all white people in the US had voted for McCain instead of Obama, Obama would've lost. Literally impossible for there to be any other outcome.


Well, that statement is only relevant if you assume that all white people are racists, which I think is absurd.


That was my point.

What is the point of saying "white people won Trump the election" if your underlying presumption is not "all whites are racist".


Demographic analysis != racism


Stating demographics != analysis

Pointing out that "white people won Trump the election" does not really mean anything to me. Which is why I asked for clarification from OP. I feel like I'm supposed to understand some veiled inference, but I'd rather OP explicitly say what they mean.


That's always what the Dems are claiming these days.

Though, if you dig deeper, economic distress (which correlates to race) is was the real mover.

Or, to put it as Bill Clinton once did just before he won an election, "it's the economy, stupid".


My last mail in ballot was rejected because the state of Texas thought the signature on the ballot and the signature on the envelope didn’t match.

So much for my scribble sig.


> Roy Jones won 6/7 districts and lost the popular vote. Pretty much the definition of gerrymandering

No, it's a common consequence of the fact that partisan leanings aren't uniformly distributed that will be able to occur in almost any situation where districts aren't artificially drawn to compensate form that fact, which even most proposals to use blind algorithms for districting wouldn't do.

Now, in the case of Alabama, it's absolutely the case that the Congressional districts are the result of a partisan gerrymander, but simply the fact that a party can lose a statewide vote while winning in the vast majority of districts doesn't prove that; the way democratic voters are often hyperconcentrated in urban centers makes that quite plausible, especially for a Republican statewide loss, without gerrymandering.

Which is why we need to eliminate FPTP for House elections, not just limit the ability to.deliberately distort districts.


>since more people voted for Hillary than Trump, is "universal" loathing actually a problem for presidential candidates?

Evidently so seeing as getting the most votes in total isn't what was required to win.


Well, exactly, my point is that you could be loathed by more people and still win!


Requiring ID often is voter suppression. Democrats repeatedly offer to support these requirements if ID is free and easy to obtain. Of course, republicans often actively work against that. In 2015 in Alabama, DMVs in predominantly black (and therefore democrat) areas were going to be closed closed by republicans in power, making it harder to obtain ID for democrats. Republicans have repeatedly been caught talking about how voter ID law is pushed only for partisan advantage. Is it really surprising the democrats are wary?

Yes, voter ID requirements, while not necessary by any metric I can see, sound reasonable, but they are being abused as a tool for suppression. If republicans truly care, they just need to include law that enforces free and easy access to ID for everyone.


In the Netherlands we require ID to vote and having an ID is not free but it is compulsory. In most cities there is only 1 place where you can get an ID. You also automatically get a hard to forge letter in the mail that you have to bring with you. Seems like common sense to me. The idea that anybody can vote (multiple times, even) seems crazy to anybody outside the US. Don't you need an ID many times in your life? How do you prevent people from getting married / applying for welfare / getting a job in somebody else's name? How do you verify somebody's age for age restricted activities?


All over Europe they have a requirement that you carry ID at all times. It's very handy for governments.

It is also a hangover from Nazi occupation. The UK has no ID that you have to carry at all times, nor does the US.

So where as requiring ID in the Netherlands is a non issue it's a massive issue in the US, especially as many people don't need a passport if they never leave the US.

Personally I prefer the US and UK systems. I like the basic level of anonymity that you have from not having to carry ID.


> All over Europe they have a requirement that you carry ID at all times.

This varies country by country. I would say roughly half the countries require one and the other half not (and even less require it for foreign citizens)

There is some other weirdness though. As we are in the Schengen area there is no border control and thus the police have been given the authority to look for people here illegally and thus they are allowed to ask anyone to identify themselves basically without any reason. If you can't identify yourself they can take you to the police station to verify who you are.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_identity_cards_in_the...

And in some places (like Finland) you can vote without one if you can prove who you are in some other way (for example have a relative with you who has one and the police give out temporary free ID cards for voting). Though as the drivers license works as a valid id in Finland it usually isn't much of an issue (very few actually have the official id card thingie).

Also everyone registered to vote automatically. For early voting you can use any polling station (on the actual election day you have to use the one assigned to you)


The question is not whether you have to carry an ID on you at all times, but whether you have to show your ID to vote. Having an ID does not really change anything with respect to anonymity, unless you have to carry it. Something that really impacts anonymity and privacy: mobile phones.


>The question is not whether you have to carry an ID on you at all times, but whether you have to show your ID to vote.

No, but it is nontheless relevant: in the Netherlands one is compelled to carry ID. Absolutely no such requirement exists in the US. So it's a different situation where an ID is required to vote in a country where carrying ID is already compelled compared to requiring an ID to vote in a country where no such ID-carrying requirements exist and many find the notion of compelled ID-carrying odious.


That would be a good point if an ID was not required for many other activities. I don't understand why people think it's voter suppression that you need an ID to vote, but not, say, marriage suppression that you need an ID to marry.


Requiring an ID isn’t in itself voter suppression. Actions taken that reduce (ease of) access to obtaining that ID is suppression.

A marriage also isn’t as time-sensitive as a vote, so that’s somewhat different. If someone who lacked ID goes to the poll to vote and is rejected for not having ID, this is different from going to the City Hall to register a marriage. You can do the marriage on another day. The vote, not so much.


Why can't you get the ID some time before the vote?


In terms of political philosophy it's a fundamental issue. What is paramount? The sovereignty of the individual, or the government?


Voting multiple times doesn't happen, at least not easily. The U.S. voting system requires people to register ahead of time. They are assigned a specific voting location. When that person arrives s/he must verify their address/some info.

Certainly not fool-proof, but enough hurdles to weed out fraud. Seems to work as voter fraud is minimal.


Funnily enough the few reported instances of actual voters voting multiple times this past election were (almost?) all people attempting to vote multiple times for Trump.

One such instance: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/2...


I'm actually from the UK - but either way, I feel like my post made it clear that I don't think having ID is a problem, the problem is attempt to increase friction on voting for a subset of the population by making getting that ID harder in areas where your opposition has more supporters.

The issue is that the republicans keep trying to push through legislation that requires ID to be shown, while providing no guarantees on ID availability. If they want it to go through, they just need to add the guarantee and then it can't be used for partisan gain. They refuse to do so, and have repeatedly abused ID requirements when passed by restricting access in democrat-supporting areas.


>In the Netherlands we require ID to vote and having an ID is not free but it is compulsory.

But the easy access point remains, doesn't it?

Or would you consider "I wanted to vote, but just couldn't get an ID" a plausible excuse in the Netherlands?

Edit: Clarification, excuse to not vote.


No, that is not an excuse. They will not let you vote if you do not have an ID. Why should it be an excuse anywhere? I just looked it up; getting an ID is cheaper in the US than in the Netherlands. If it is somehow extremely difficult to obtain an ID in the US, then surely the fact that this would make it difficult to vote is the least of the problems, since you presumably need an ID for lots of other things, like opening a bank account and getting married. Why is the outcry only about voting?


Because the party in power is actively restricting access in areas that predominantly vote for their opposition. While it may still be possible to get IDs, increasing friction will definitely result in some not getting them. Should that kind of gamesmanship be legal when it comes to voting?

It's worth noting that another example specifically is legal in the US - you are legally allowed to gerrymander for political gain. Most people I talk to agree this is wrong too.

The reason it's mainly focused on voting is because the idea of voting as an enshrined right is very important, especially in the US. Everyone is meant to get a vote, and attempts to stop people from voting are seen as an attack on the core principles and foundations of the country.


Why is the focus almost entirely on not requiring identification for voting then, and not on making it easier to get an ID? It seems to me that, unless the point is to allow people to vote illegally, getting people an ID is a far more important issue since you need it for most important actions in your life (getting a job, getting married, etc.), and many unimportant actions too. How hard is it really to get an ID? From a European perspective this discussion makes no sense at all. If somebody proposed no longer requiring an ID to vote they'd be laughed out of the room, and if somebody proposed to set up a system to make it hard for a specific party's voters to get an ID there would be a huge outcry.


Oh come on, you posted 2 hours after i clarified i meant excuse to not vote, your first point completely missed. (the rest is tackled by Latty)


Not having an ID isn't a plausible excuse for anything. You really need to have your ID.


"I lost my ID, I need a new one", "Sure. Please show me your ID so I can ensure you are who you say you are and issue you a new one", "I can't do that, I lost it", "Then please wait until you receive the certified letter attesting to the fact you are who you say you are", "But I need to vote", "You'll need ID for that", "I know, but I lost it", "Then you need to get a new one".

Repeat.


I don't understand the problem. If you do not have an ID you do not get to vote. The reason why you do not have an ID is irrelevant; without an ID they cannot verify that you are casting your own vote. Without this requirement it would be possible for people to buy other people's "stempas" (the letter that you get in the mail that allows you to cast one vote). That would be very bad because it allows wealthy people to cast multiple votes. This is also why there are strict rules about only one person entering into a voting booth, and why you are not allowed to take a picture of your ballot.


Except that's how it works in the US, and voter fraud rarely ever happens.

And the problem is it disenfranchises people. As others mentioned, it really depends on what you want to prioritize on.


How do you know that voter fraud rarely if ever happens if you don't ask for an ID? Why does requiring an ID disenfranchise people? If people are prevented from getting an ID then surely the issue is that people are prevented from getting an ID, which is necessary for lots of important actions, and not that you can't vote without an ID? Making it about voter suppression makes it seem like the only thing that matters is that these people vote for the right party, and not how not having an ID impacts their lives.


>Or would you consider "I wanted to vote, but just couldn't get an ID" a plausible excuse in the Netherlands?

Carrying ID is compelled by law in the NL. But you are correct that it is easier to access and it is not a burden to obtain.


FYI, the current laws in Alabama provide voters with free ID and will give them a free ride to obtain that ID. Pretty reasonable, and if you look at the latest election, voter suppression (if that is a goal) must have been pretty ineffective!

I don't see any reason why we can't have BOTH high election integrity and nearly universal access. Personally I'm in favor of both sensible, easy to obtain voter ID and measures to increase turnout, such as making election day a national holiday. (High participation vs election integrity is not an either-or choice. Why do so many people insist on having one but not the other? Is there any reason other than seeking partisan advantage?)


The problem is many Republicans have, off the record, admitted that voter ID is specifically about voter suppression, and that voter fraud is a non-issue (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/17/us/some-republicans-ackno...)

That makes Dems really, really reluctant to support those laws.

Now, objectively, is it fair to require ID if it's free, and easily obtainable? Probably. But those are both more complicated than you think. Per your Alabama example; do people know about it? How do they arrange a free ride if they don't have internet access (such that they can find the number to call)? For the working poor, are these IDs availabile "after hours", i.e., on Sundays and outside the hours of 8-5 (answer: no, the only locations are governmental offices)? Is the process from departing from their home, to the location, and back again, sufficiently short that a working mother with her kids will be able to take that amount of time? And what about the trip to the social security office to get their SS card, and etc (because the process of getting an ID is a pain in the ass if you don't have anything to start with).

Alabama, which you mention, still doesn't have mobile ID units, which was talked about as part of the bill that required voter ID (in 2011...), and which is still listed on their governmental website ( http://sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/photo-voter-id/mobile-i... ). The technology exists to know when no adult at a given address holds a photo ID, and to send out a letter to ask if any resident wishes to get one, and if so to please send in a reply letter with a date and time they'd like the mobile unit to show. But we don't do that anywhere, and none of these proposals suggest doing so (because these proposals generally aren't willing to actually spend that much money to prevent voter fraud, because, again, it's a non-issue)


I understand the reluctance on the part of Dems, for the reasons you point out.

I disagree that voter fraud is a non-issue, mainly because it gets brought out every time a Republican candidate loses. It is technically a vulnerability in the process, even if it isn't currently being exploited. Why not patch it? If nothing else it will stop those specific complaints. If we fix enough holes in the process then voters will start to feel more confident that results are legitimate. This is important if we don't want to descend further into political tribalism and violent conflict.

The mobile ID units sound like a great solution.


I think I was clear in my post that I agree that giving free ID to everyone is the preferred solution. The issue is that whenever laws are passed requiring voter ID, the law doesn't tend to come hand-in-hand with equally strong requirements on ID availability.

There have been a lot of attempts to use it to gain partisan advantage, so why would the democrats support it without guarantees it won't be used for that purpose? After you have had your wallet stolen three times, you get pretty wary of the guy going "please just put your wallet here", but refuses to promise he won't touch it.


> The issue is that whenever laws are passed requiring voter ID, the law doesn't tend to come hand-in-hand with equally strong requirements on ID availability.

I completely agree. Typically Republicans propose these laws, and they are usually filled with half-considered measures that are ripe for abuse.

Neither party really seems to want to "solve" these issues properly. Democrats typically oppose all forms of voter ID and Republicans typically oppose measures that increase participation (including early voting, easier registration, etc). Even worse, BOTH parties resist increased ballot access for independents and third parties, and neither party seems to be interested in improved auditing of election systems.

The only bright spot recently is Colorado, which just launched formal post-election audits to validate election results. Every district should be doing this!

So much is on the line when it comes to free and fair elections. The worst part about the status quo is that the populace increasingly believes that the game is rigged -- and they aren't entirely wrong -- leading to generally low turnout and even less motivation to tackle the hard problems. It's an ugly feedback loop.


Are you serious? With all the allegations of election fraud you seriously think it's okay to go to the voting station without identifying yourself? Do you have any idea how crazy this sounds to the rest of the developed world?


I doesn't sound crazy at all. In Australia no one shows ID, we have a voter roll. You walk up and say your name, which is found on the voter roll and you then go an vote.

The name is checked off, as it is compulsory to vote in Australia, so you get rid of all the shannigans about turnout, and actually find out what all the people want rather than a subset.


And to make it clear the reason Australians don't need ID is because voting is compulsory so turnout is >90% each election.


Australian here. If often wondered if anyone checks those rolls. What's to stop a motivated person from going to several polling booths and casting multiple votes? I suspect this doesn't happen much.


In the UK you just:

Go to a polling station. State your name and address. They cross your name off and you get a card Make your choices and put it in a box.

There is negligible voter fraud.


Sure, but you need to register in advance for the electoral roll, and that registration is linked to an actual known identity (usually via your National Insurance number). And if you arrive at the polling station and someone has already "stolen" your vote, I'm sure you can contest that, no?

That is why your UK credit score has "being on the electoral roll" as a major component - private companies trust the registration process required to vote.


In the USA you have to register in advance for the electoral roll (which is tied to your SSN or DMV number) and show up with photo ID in these states. If voter fraud were occuring people would, as you say, notice that their vote had been stolen. This is why the photo ID requirement seems superfluous.


Yes, you need to register in advance in both places. However, SSNs are known to be fairly easy to use fradulently. Much more so than the UK's NI number, which is far better managed, tracked, and linked more closely to employment and social services. In the US, there have been many instances where the SSNs of dead people have been abused for a variety of reasons [1].

As to photo ID - there is no federal mandate to have photo ID for voting, and only 15 states require voters to show up to polls with a photo ID [2]. And those states that do are routinely accused by democrats of voter suppression for this requirement. That's kinda the point. One side argues that SSN verification is ripe for abuse, the other side argues that requiring ID is voter suppression.

In order to claim that the system is not ripe for abuse, I think you'd need to prove that SSNs are secure, which is gonna be a major problem because they are definitely not.

1: https://www.cnbc.com/2015/03/11/dead-peoples-social-security...

2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_ID_laws_in_the_United_St...


There is a postal vote fraud. I wouldn't say it was common, but it's definitely not negligible.


https://www.ncpolitics.uk/2016/12/how-big-a-problem-is-votin...

> According to the data provided in the report, there were 51.4 million votes cast across the UK in 2015, with 26 allegations of voting fraud relation to in person voting and 11 relating to proxy voting, a total of 37.

It seems negligible.


That's just the number of occurrences, not the number of votes. One postal voting instance could be hundreds of votes. EG: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1487144/Judge-lambast...


This sounds barbarian to me!


This is one of the ways "dead" people can keep voting over and over long after they've passed away.


Except the allegations all have no proof, despite being investigated, and meanwhile voter suppression has happened, repeatedly. Courts have forced states with voter ID laws to reopen DMVs, for example, where they were closed in predominantly black areas.

You are also completely ignoring the core part of my post, where I say there is literally no issue with requiring ID, provided you ensure that everyone has easy access to it at minimal cost. If you want to require one, require the other - it's hardly a big ask.


> In 2015 in Alabama, DMVs in predominantly black (and therefore democrat)

In 2017 in Alabama black people had an amazing ~30% turnout for the senate elections. More than for President Obama.

I don't think requiring ID is a real issue in Alabama.


To those downvoting this comment, please think hard about whether you're just downvoting because you disagree with them. The comment wasn't inflammatory, and does counter the comment that it's replying to in a logical manner.

We need to allow for civil discourse between people we disagree with, or else we'll form an echo chamber.


It's a response to a comment saying "Black people's votes are routinely suppressed" with "Black people don't vote enough, that's the real problem!" - yes, at least in part, because they are being suppressed!

It's just like when people quote the percentage of black people in prison as some kind of proof of inherent black immorality. They are ignoring the root causes that aren't the fact those people are black: average wealth, systematic racism, etc...

The comment is getting down voted because it's just logically stupid - it's like someone coming to you with the problem that they don't have any food, and you going "Well, you haven't eaten a meal all week! Maybe start there." - it's not useful or a "counter", it's just restating the problem and pretending it's the fault of the victim.

Compare that voting figure to the national average for people in a similar socio-economic class to the average black person, and then consider they are having votes suppressed as well. Not to mention a political history of being ignored, discriminated against and lied to that would likely reduce anyone's faith in the system.

The idea that it's somehow their fault they are being targeted for systematic suppression or that we shouldn't care about the issue because they, as a population, have low turnout, is just flat-out stupid.


>And the Democrats have spun reasonable measures, such as requiring some sort of identification to vote, as "suppression", possibly so those who aren't citizens can vote. Who cheats more? Who knows.

Everyone knows: it's the Republicans, and it's not close. Voter fraud is not real. It doesn't happen. It's kind of amazing that it doesn't, but that's the facts.

Voter ID laws and stringent voter registration laws do disproportionately suppress the vote of Democratic-leaning subpopulations; that's also a proven fact that's not up for debate. Poor and non-white voters are less likely to have acceptable identification readily to hand, and even when they do, poll workers in certain areas have a bad habit of suddenly changing the rules or not accepting identification for certain voters.


If people don't have ID how can you know that there's no fraud? That seems kind of circular. It's kind of amazing that this is even a debate, what kind of voting system doesn't require you to prove you're a citizen?

I'm not sure you should be so trusting of studies of ID fraud. For the longest time it was claimed in Europe that migrants who 'lose' their ID and commit asylum fraud are a tiny proportion of the total. Now there are large scale medical studies being done and it turns out in some countries that maybe 70-80% of the asylum seekers who claimed to be children are in fact over 18. Many of the lost ID documents were deliberately lost or destroyed to enable this sort of thing.


> how can you know there’s no fraud?

Because the FBI has repeatedly investigated these claims and found them lacking in merit. Various academics have studied it. Police departments have been called in. There’s never anything noteworthy there. It’s one of those things for which there’s no evidence of meaningful fraud, which everyone who has -bothered looking into the issue- knows, rather than proclaiming “but there must be.”

https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legacy/The...


Can you highlight where in the PDF they set out their methodology for determining voter fraud?

It seems difficult to measure but easy to fix.


> what kind of voting system doesn't require you to prove you're a citizen?

The UK, really. If you know someone's name and address, you can steal their vote pretty easily.

https://www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/polling-stations

> Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive. You don’t have to take your poll card with you.


You just have to know that the guy who you are voting for doesn't also show up. That seems rather tough.....


That's if you only fake one vote, yes. But it would be relatively easy to visit a whole bunch of polling stations (even on foot you could do 15-20 in a day). And also easy to get a whole bunch of people doing this.

(I'm surprised this hasn't actually been tried before now.)


> But it would be relatively easy to visit a whole bunch of polling stations

That would make it harder. If you try it for one vote in one place there's a decent chance you might get away with it. You have to hope that the person isn't voting at the same time you are, that the poll workers don't recognize the person, that others voting there don't, etc. It's quite possible you'll get caught, considering these are local areas, but there's enough people that you might get away with it once. But try it 10-20 times, and the likelihood that you're going to get caught increases a lot. And even trying it 10-20 times doesn't mean 10-20 votes, since if the person already voted you'll get a provisional ballot.

So even trying to get a handful of extra votes is extremely risky. If you tried to organize a dozen people to do the same, the chance you're going to get caught goes up massively - both because of the possibility of getting caught in the polling place mentioned before, and the fact that if you try to organize a group like that there's a good chance something will leak out/someone will tell people.

You're in a situation where it's very likely to be caught and, even in the off chance that you succeeded, you wouldn't even be creating enough votes to impact the vast majority of elections. This is why in person voter fraud is so rare.


It has - there were Facebook posts from students in the last UK election boasting that they'd voted multiple times. Nothing happened to them.

I thought you had to show ID to vote in the UK. But I've done postal voting for the last 10 years or so. So I guess my memory is bad.


I don't think you can't quite compare asylum ID fraud with voter ID fraud.

From what I understand, for people with some moral sense (so every non-psychopath), to be motivated enough to commit fraud, a mixture of selfishness and self-justification is required. The latter part is where the two examples differ here.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of asylum seekers, from an objective, rational point of view, asylum fraud comes down to trying to maximize one's chances of success against a system set up to act as a gatekeeper.

It is not hard to see why asylum seekers would find it very easy to morally justify committing fraud to themselves. From their POV, said system has xenophobic and racist elements to it, and the gatekeeping is purely intended to separate the haves from the have-nots. If rules feel unfair, people are less likely to respect them.

And that's not even taking into account the factor of "being sent back would put your life in danger".

By the way, I'm not saying that all asylum seekers are saints; a typical example are the guys from countries that have no political problems, and simply ask for asylum knowing that the application will be rejected (they're pretty easy to spot: they're the bored guys not worried about family back home, harassing the female asylum seekers). They exploit the time it takes for administration to prove out that they have no reason to leave, using the asylum seeking center as some kind of motel. This is obviously a problem, and it takes away resources for people from warzones who genuinely need asylum.

But if anything that just shows how ridiculous this system fails: when rejected they get a plane ticket home. There is zero incentive for them not to do this (except moral incentive of course).

Anyway, voter fraud requires stealing someone's identity to cast one extra vote for the party that you want to win. If voter fraud happens it's systemic and large scale, not individual; the impact is too small, the risk too great, the self-justification not remotely comparable to the things I just mentioned, and it's not gameable for immediate personal gain like with the fraudulent asylum seekers I just mentioned either.


Do you have a link to one of those studies?


According to: https://www.rmv.se/aktuellt/det-visar-tre-manader-av-medicin...

I don't speak Swedish, so I had to translate it (the site I found the link from[0] after Googling seems like it has an axe to grind). They indicate that, of ~2400 refugees where the National Medical Board rendered an opinion, some ~2000 were estimated to be eighteen years of age or older, with ~400 estimated to be under eighteen years of age (so ~5/6).

This may be different from the patterns in general because these are cases where the board was asked for and subsequently rendered an opinion. It might be that (contra the headlines) this sort of misrepresentation is relatively rare, and the rate for the subset of the population where no questions were raised is substantially lower.

-----

0. https://nationaleconomicseditorial.com/2017/07/15/sweden-chi...


It is, perhaps, useful to take into account the context here.

These are people who have risked their life to escape from areas in which they are being persecuted, and are taking every step they can to avoid being forcibly returned to those areas.


Without ID you don't actually know that. They claim to be asylum seekers but you don't know where they're from.


And closing voting stations or greatly limiting hours (typically to work-day periods, when hourly wage earners cannot reasonably take off).


Wouldn't this suppress republicans more than democrats?


As implemented thus far, they close stations (and post offices, as far as ID requirements go) in democratic districts. Travel plus hour limits mean Democrats from democratic districts literally can’t get to a voting station in time unless they take off a full day of work to accommodate it.


  proven fact
Source?


1) Prioritize lower/middle class economic concerns over progressive identity politics

This. This right here. And I can't get any Dems to pay attention to this.

In the '90s it became popular to "brand" the Democrats as the "liberal elite." I had no idea what they were talking about (and neither did most of the people who were using the term).

But now there is a new term going around- one that makes much more sense: Coastal liberals. I grok this term because I now live in MA. These are Democrats who (although they mean well and have a heart of gold), they truly don't understand a lot of the middle-class, working Americans. They live in white neighborhoods and their kids go to private schools. Nobody in their family every mined coal or built Fords. They really, truly, do not understand what those people are going through. And because of that, they aren't talking to them and they lost them in the election.

This is why we still have an electoral college, and why I actually favor it. It was put in place to help ensure that everybody has a chance of being heard, and the large cities wouldn't be able to run roughshod over the smaller (but very important to our country) areas.

The Dems still aren't talking to those folks. If you watch left-tv (which is damn near unwatchable, I must say), nobody is talking about how to help middle America. Everybody is still talking about "anything but Trump." They should be doing both, and if they don't then Trump is going to win again in 2020.


> I can't get any Dems to pay attention to this.

Because they are all funded by corporations who want, as Alan Greenspan put it, "worker anxiety" to keep profits high. They gave Trump 37 billions more in the military budget than he asked for - authorising a level spending on par with the height of the iraq war, but will balk at Bernie Sanders's suggestions for universal healthcare or free tuition because it's unaffordable.

It also helps that the republicans are horrific towards anyone who isn't a straight white male: Roy Moore overwhelmingly won the white vote despite talking about how America was greatest during the times of slavery, how he believes all the amendments after the tenth were mistakes(these include allowing woman and black people to vote), not to mention the rampant homophobia.

Trump is the absolute worst thing that can happen to middle America. His policies hit the middle and lower class whites the worst. But they will _feel_ safe and secure with a giant wall and a ban on refugees.


>It also helps that the republicans are horrific towards anyone who isn't a straight white male

There are women in all rungs of the Republican Party, from local to federal levels. The GOP has also followed the general trend of growing diversity (1) and I believe in 2013 were MORE diverse than the Democrats (although this isn't true today).

The Democrats are more diverse, but the idea that the GOP is just some old boys club is outdated.

Also, what do you mean by horrific? Certainly many are not as progressive on the issue as Coastal-Elite-White Democrats (and I'm being very specific there), but homophobia is extremely prevalent among the democratic base, especially among African-Americans (2) and Latino Americans (3).

>Roy Moore overwhelmingly won the white vote despite....

I agree with you, Roy Moore was an absolute disaster.

(1) http://www.people-press.org/2016/09/13/1-the-changing-compos...

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974805/

(3) http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0739986390012400...


> And the Democrats have spun reasonable measures, such as requiring some sort of identification to vote, as "suppression", possibly so those who aren't citizens can vote. Who cheats more? Who knows.

Do you really want to suggest the listed examples to targeted voter suppression is comparable to overreaching when complaining about what is and isn't voter suppression? Because it is blatantly obvious "both sides"-ism nonsense that should not pass the smell-test with anyone, unless they've been desensitized from being neck-deep in shit for ages perhaps.


>Because it is blatantly obvious "both sides"-ism nonsense that should not pass the smell-test with anyone, unless they've been desensitized from being neck-deep in shit for ages perhaps.

The idea that one side is lily white and the other is wholly corrupt doesn't pass the smell-test. Politics is a dirty game and confirmation bias is especially easy when folks stay in partisan bubbles.


You're assuming both sides have equal opportunity to cheat. Democrats' base is composed largely of minorities who are easier to disenfranchise. Republicans' base is largely middle class white people.

Sure, if Democrats could prevent middle class whites as a group from voting, they would; they can't. Replublicans absolutely can price poorer black people out of voting.


Democrats' base is also composed of a huge population of over ten million illegal immigrants. They are often well-integrated with Democrat-aligned political organizations, and many have family or friend connections to citizens who can vote legally. And given the political climate, it's obvious they massively favor Democrats.

They don't have to do anything as complex as voting at several polling places. They just have to go vote once. That's easy to justify to yourself.

It's a massive opportunity to cheat.


How exactly are they registering to vote? Have you ever actually talked to, or worked with, someone in this country without a visa? I have and without exception they stay as far from official government interactions as they possibly can. They don’t fly, they mostly don’t have health care, they don’t get welfare, food stamps, disability or any other kind of government assistance — all they do is work and eat and pay rent. In many ways they are the ideal Republican fantasy!

They definitely do not vote! There are more published examples of Republican politicians illegally voting than there are of illegal immigrants voting.


Um, that may be true in you local experience, but statistically it is really, really false.

There are lots of places where illegal immigrants can receive drivers' licenses and other forms of government assistance. And they do. For example, just in California, there are now a million illegal immigrants with driver's licenses. [1]

"Through June 2017, the Department of Motor Vehicles has issued approximately 905,000 driver’s licenses under Assembly Bill 60, the law requiring applicants to prove only their identity and California residency, rather than their legal presence in the state."

In California, a driver's license is enough to vote. In fact, it automatically registers someone to vote.

[1] http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert...


Any citation on illegal immigrants voting?

Or are you calling "connections to citizens who can vote legally" a massive opportunity to cheat?


If identification were readily accessible and free then it would be a reasonable measure. But we don't live in a country like that-- instead we live somewhere where banks and credit unions get away with using SSNs for identification they weren't meant to provide. Once /federal/ IDs are free, readily accessible, and easy to replace when lost/stolen we will be ready to ID voters at the booths; that just isn't going to happen for a long time.


I really don't understand this, as a non American. Don't nearly all Americans outside major cities drive cars? It's been almost mandatory to drive any time I've been there outside of Manhattan. And doesn't that require a driving license? Driving license issuance clearly works, it must do, otherwise you'd get lots of poor people who are poor only because they couldn't renew their license and couldn't drive to work. But I never heard of anything like that.

More to the point if nobody is checking that voters are eligible to vote how does anyone have any confidence in the outcome at all? What stops people voting multiple times or stops illegal immigrants from voting?


>>What stops people voting multiple times or stops illegal immigrants from voting?

Let's face it. In the US the problem is getting people to vote at all -- not stopping them from voting multiple times.

But, to answer your question, when you go into a voting station you have to tell them your name. You don't get to vote anonymously, at least not in New Jersey! They look you up in the register and then you sign the register. No one there is a handwriting expert, so I assume that you could actually vote as someone else, but then that person would not be able to vote when they got to the voting station. There would be trouble.

Also, in the 99% of the voting stations not in big cities, these stations are small, local affairs. You couldn't vote multiple times because the people there would see you and notice that you had been there before. I suppose you could come back and try to vote later in the day again, but you would have to be a pretty dedicated fiend to do so.


The main issue is not citizens voting multiple times, it is illegal immigrants voting once each.


It’s a political issue, and politics robs words of their meanings.


> If those two things get done, the Democrats have a good chance going forward. Otherwise, who knows.

Otherwise, I hope the US political system gets an upheaval and more than just the lesser of two evils have a fighting chance in the elections. The two-party system is one of the problems that the US has. A lot of left-leaning HNers support the Democrats, but I'm fairly sure a lot of those are because it's the lesser of two evils.


Had DNC not effectively shut Sanders out, I daresay he could have won. Despite that possibility, Congress would still be full of members funded by corporate interests. That's not likely to change no matter who is president.


>The low-hanging fruit for the Democrats is, however: > >1) Prioritize lower/middle class economic concerns over progressive identity politics > >2) Push the DNC not to scuttle candidates, like Bernie, that people don't universally loathe

I wouldn't say that these are really "low hanging fruit". I think it's difficult to overstate just how much the DNC insiders truly loathed him - he represented a threat to them that even Trump doesn't. They can potentially win back power from Trump in 4 years; they wouldn't stop Bernie from unseating them and replacing them with progressive allies.

A similar pattern occurred in the UK's Labour party and the depths to which the insiders stooped in order to unseat him were, if anything, even more extreme. The only thing that kept him in power during the coups, was a grass roots organization set up to lobby for him. It functioned similarly to the Tea Party (only non-crazy), and not only let him cling to power but let him reshape the party into something more democratic and member led.


Well, Corbyn's story isn't quite that simple. He's reshaped the official opposition into something dominated by a tiny segment of the population with outlier views, and set things up in such a way that from now on the sort of MPs who actually won votes in non-safe seats won't be ideologically pure enough to be selected. Thus guaranteeing a hard-left Labour whether it wins elections or not in perpetuity. Before Corbyn the party wasn't left-wing enough for some, but it did hold power for a long time, so it was clearly acceptable to many.

As for it being "non crazy", that is surely your own political filter at work. Corbyn and his allies routinely do and say crazy things. McDonnell was caught on video saying "I'm a Marxist" and then when questioned on TV, he said "I'm not a Marxist". When the questioners pointed out that he'd said the exact opposite, on film, and anyone could find it on YouTube he doubled down and claimed he'd never said that! So anyone can go see that the man is willing to baldly lie about his own political beliefs.

He also keeps getting asked how much his spending plans would add to the national debt, and he keeps saying he doesn't know the answer because it's irrelevant for him to know, on the grounds that however much his plans cost they will pay for themselves. This didn't just happen once, it keeps happening. He's shadow chancellor! And as for Diane Abbott's grasp of numbers, well, let's not go there.

Finally, McDonnell also talked about how elections don't work and how he wants to seize power through insurrection. Every so often a similar statement crops up: he talks about using violence to achieve his political ends. Not surprising for a self-avowed communist.

In the US, the Republicans and Democrats at least pretend to care about the costs of policies, even if it's often a bit of theatre. And I don't recall any US politician literally threatening to overthrow the government in violent revolution. Labour has dispensed with the theatre entirely, its shadow cabinet happily and publicly revels in not knowing or caring about the cost of anything they propose.


>tiny segment of the population with outlier views

I knew a comment like this was coming.

This was essentially the story that the insiders played non-stop from the moment he was elected leader.

He was going to destroy the party.

He has views that are "so far left" that was they are crazy and would render the Labour party unelectable for a generation because that's not what the public would ever vote for.

The media dutifully followed this line, and at one point every single major media outlet in the UK - including the BBC and the Guardian and "traditionally" left wing (although billionaire owned) media like the Independent attacking him nearly non-stop.

The most common complaint I got about him at the time wasn't that people disagreed with his policies (his policies were rarely talked about in the media until the election manifesto was leaked), but that they read that he was unelectable so they believed he was unelectable. At that point he was polling very low because of this.

Then Theresa May called an election and completely pulled the rug from underneath this illusion. Labour insiders rallied behind him out of fear for their jobs and the media followed suit. His polling climbed so quickly it gave Theresa May whiplash, causing a hung parliament in the end.

So much for destroying the Labour party and so much for unelectable.

That's the point it became clear to everybody that it was much, much more than just a tiny segment of the population that shared his views.

And, today, they poll much better than the ruling party. Nothing says "tiny segment of the population" like that, right?

What this all demonstrates is the sheer power of propaganda to shape people's perceptions - yours included - because your line was the most common talking point, right up until it was proven so utterly, completely wrong that even Alastair Campbell - the consummate Blairite Labour party insider - was forced to grovel for being so wrong.

Incidentally, this whole process was mirrored in America with Bernie Sanders. The only difference is he never got to prove that he was electable.


I would note that whilst Corbyn does have a few policies that are popular, he still lost despite facing perhaps the weakest Tory candidate in a very long time. Theresa May: "the naughtiest thing I've ever done was skipping through a field of wheat" wat?

The objections to him aren't usually about the specific policies raised in the last manifesto (which I disagree with but reasonable people can differ on things like railway nationalisation). They're more that people don't trust his government would actually stick to the manifesto. The habit he has of surrounding himself with liars who try to hide their extremist views - and yes, in the UK thinking Marxism is great is an extremist view - engender a deep suspicion that if he won on a moderately left wing platform he'd immediately go off the deep end.

today, they poll much better than the ruling party

The latest polls don't show Labour polling better at all, although this many years into an administration the opposition would normally be polling much better. Actually the Tories are slightly ahead at the moment:

http://britainelects.com/polling/westminster/

Of course the polls will drift around all over the place between elections. That doesn't mean much about what would happen if there was another snap election.

What this all demonstrates is the sheer power of propaganda to shape people's perceptions - yours included

Given that you just made a claim that's provably false, I'd be careful about tossing around accusations that those you disagree with are all brainwashed, although I realise this is a very common belief amongst Corbynites.


>he still lost despite facing perhaps the weakest Tory candidate in a very long time.

Or, to look at it another way, he triggered a hung parliament in spite of:

* 60% of the PLP openly and covertly sabotaging him.

* The entire mainstream print and broadcast media attacking him relentlessly ("left wing" Independent and Guardian included) until the day the election was called.

>Given that you just made a claim that's provably false

I was talking specifically about the claim made in 2015 that Corbyn was "unelectable" and would "render the Labour party unelectable for a generation" by members of the media and Blairite members of his own party.

They were arguing that the UK was going to become essentially a one party state with Labour polling similarly to the Lib Dems in all of the following elections for a generation (~25 years).

What followed was the largest vote gain in history by any UK party since 1945.

That is not provably false, it is provably true.

>I'd be careful about tossing around accusations that those you disagree with are all brainwashed

I'm not arguing that people who disagree with me are all brainwashed. I'm arguing that people who agreed with that specific idea were brainwashed. What else do you call people who buy into ideas promoted heavily in the media that are so divergent from reality?


Number 2, I think, really hurt Dems in the last election. Enough Dem voters didn't like Clinton's "I deserve to win" attitude[0]. Those voters would have voted easily for Bernie.

[0] Nobody deserves to be President. We choose.


If you believe that gerrymandering renders the election of Congressional representatives moot, what on Earth could possibly be the point of lobbying the FCC? They're two steps removed from accountability in that analysis.


> Likely rigged electronic voting machines that have no audit trail have given Republicans votes they would not have had.

Is there any reasonable source for this other than wishful thinking and denial?


Your wish is my command [1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1thcO_olHas


"The purest form of insanity is to leave everything the same and the same time hope that things will change." -Albert Einstein.

I mean, to be frank, I think that both major parties are playing a role in this illusion that you, the voter, have control over the government without grabbing pitchforks and heading to their office in your preferred form of communication. We live in a country where you can decide your own fate. You can work for what you want, no one will stop you. The government seems to have forgot what "govern" means. They get their hands into things they shouldn't be in, and then make the every-man look like a criminal. Why do we continue to rely on a capitalistic fascist society? One that pays us in non-backed currency as well. This is literally alchemy and everyone buys into their bullshit.


> But otherwise, be clear-eyed: elections have consequences. We elected the party of deregulation. Take the bad with whatever the good is, and work to flip the House back.

What I'm bitter about is that my vote, as a californian, is worth a tiny fraction of a vote in a swing state. Republican lawmakers have zero incentive to care about me, and red states are overrepresented in congress in relation to their small population.

The American people from a popular vote standpoint didn't want any of this, but they can be safety ignored by people who are abusing a flawed system. The voices of individual Californians count for very little unless they have money that they can spend on PACs and political campaigns. How is that democratic?


Republicans aren't pushing deregulation of the internet to make swing states happy. They are pushing for deregulation because that's what several billionaire campaign contributors want them to do.


Again, per OP's suggestion, if everybody got one vote, instead of the current formula "<effective votes> = f(<net worth>)" with f' > 1, we would not be in this situation.


That's more than a little bit off the mark. Both the U.S. and Europe are in the middle of a multi-decade economic boom resulting from deregulation. Telecom, airline, etc., deregulation isn't something we did on our own. Pretty much the whole developed world has massively deregulated these industries, and continues to do so, and continues to benefit from those policies.

To me, the litmus test for whether deregulatory (or really, any other) argument can be assumed to be in good faith is to ask: what do other developed countries do? Pai's self-regulation approach is being mocked as disingenuous in the U.S., but for example, Japan and Denmark also rely on self-regulation in this area.


The US at least, has been in an economic boom since the Subprime Mortgage Crisis in 2010, which was partly caused by deregulation of banks and lenders. Can you provide some examples of why this world wide boom is credited to deregulation?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_mortgage_crisis#Decre...


I'm talking about longer-term trends. Post New Deal, government regulation didn't just mean things like safety standards. The government was micro-managing the economy, telling companies where they could build telephone lines or what routes they had to fly and what prices they had to charge. Getting rid of all that was hugely beneficial: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PB_Dere.... And these market reforms weren't just adopted in the U.S. European countries engaged in massive deregulation themselves.

This is kind of a silly example, but in France, the government used to regulate the open hours of bakeries to ensure adequate supply of baguettes: https://econlife.com/2017/07/tbt-throwback-thursday-french-b.... There was a time when this sort of government intervention in the market was completely common, even in the U.S. But everyone realized that less invasive methods of regulation were preferable. (Though France has always been slow on the uptake--Macron got rid of the baguette regulations only in 2015.)


If only the gains from that boom could go to more than just a few...


Why is it so hard for people to take the other side at their word? Republicans push deregulation because they think it's the right thing to do, because they believe the market is a better regulatory mechanism. Perhaps you think this view is mistaken. Good, great, fine! Then argue against it.

But there's no crazy hidden motive here. Republicans just disagree with you.


Invoking the term "deregulation" carries with it the connotation that this is a policy decision. But given the active efforts to avoid engaging with the topic on a policy level made by the FCC in this case, it's obvious that it's not a policy decision at all.

They don't disagree, they just don't care.

And that's before we get to the signs of influence/interest contact points.


I don't know what to tell you. They do disagree with you. Setting everything else aside -- money and influence in politics, etc -- you really need to start by accepting that there are people who disagree with you in good faith. Not just on this issue, but in general.

If you can't even do that, then I'm not sure there's really any conversation that's likely to be fruitful.


> you really need to start by accepting that there are people who disagree with you in good faith.

Certainly, such people exist. I respect them and even enjoy talking to them sometimes.

But that's off topic. We're talking about the current/recent incarnation of the Republican Party. The idea that they believe, "in good faith", in deregulation implies that they have some kind of tested framework for believing it, that they've actually spent any time at all observing and thinking out issues where they intersect with relevant policy areas. And when it comes to how Net Neutrality debate (and now, recent policy changes), there is no evidence that's happened, and absolutely ample evidence of bad faith scattered all over both the process and the transparently poor arguments deployed to give a pretense of engagement.

Or what, exactly, does "good faith" really mean in your mind? Is honest belief enough? If I were to say, honestly believing it, "I think the earth is flat, not round" or "I think the gold standard has been behind the most stable and prosperous economies," or "I think a hot air balloon is a reasonable way to provide transport between the earth's surface and the moon," would my honest belief be enough to really give grant me "good faith?"

Also, why should anyone "set aside" money and influence in politics, particularly on this issue where the fingerprints are pretty clearly visible?


"Also, why should anyone "set aside" money and influence in politics, particularly on this issue where the fingerprints are pretty clearly visible?"

I'm not asking you to set it aside forever and in all contexts. I'm asking you to set it aside when evaluating the claims of Republicans against net neutrality, because it seems to be blocking you from accepting that they genuinely and in good faith disagree with you.


> And when it comes to how Net Neutrality debate (and now, recent policy changes), there is no evidence that's happened

Yes there was.

They are working on the rule of thumb that we shouldn't have a regulation unless there is significant evidence that it is needed.

And the truth is there is not a lot of evidence it is required.



> They don't disagree, they just don't care.

Except this just isn't true. In NN in particular, the GOP tried to push legislation through, but the Dems only wanted Title II as the method. The disagreement is really less about NN and more about how to accomplish NN.


They disagree with me because I’m not giving them money for their reelection campaign. Same goes with Democrats. It’s a problem that needs to be fixed and one that’s really obvious to spot.


Removing money from politics will take a constitutional amendment. And it will take a different breed of politician to make that happen at either the Federal (Congress initiated amendment process) or state (convention initiated process) level. It will be difficult and there will be many other distractions that the moneyed class will put up, and has always put up to prevent the country from becoming more of a democracy.

This country and its constitution only prescribe a polyarchy instead of a monarchy. And from the outset participation and benefit was primarily meant for white, male, land owners. The discrimination is stacked into the system still, despite multiple amendments to make it incrementally more of a democracy.


1. What reelection campaign are you talking about? The chairman of the FCC is appointed, not elected.

2. Second, these two issues aren't mutually exclusive. Let's get some of the money out of politics? Sure, great, fine! But the Republicans still just disagree with you on net neutrality.


The FCC chairman is appointed by President under the strict direction of Congress. FCC decisions follow from Congressional elections.


What exactly happened in 2008, companies had to be bailed out with taxpayer money. Capitalism with profits, socialism with the losses.

> Republicans just disagree with you.

The problem is they are wrong, the most famous deregulation guy Alan Greenspan had to admit he made a mistake with deregulation.


I know my post was very cynical. I agree open and free markets are very valuable and need to be protected. But in this case, anti-NN policies are so hugely unpopular, I can't see how anyone would think that they will be good for business as a whole.


That makes no sense. If california voters did anything other than voted for the candidate with the D next to their name, not everyone would assume their massive pile of votes will always go Democrat. California voters matter way more than any swing state, it's just so predictably one-sided that nobody bothers to waste time there.

The same thing would happen in a pure democracy. No candidates would spend time placating any large population centers that consistently vote one way. LA/SF/NYC issues would be irrelevant because everyone will just pick the D each time anyway so it will still come down to appealing to groups that might change their minds.


Republicans won the house popular vote 63.1 million to 61.8 million.


239 r's 193 d's. the point is that house is gerrymandered to hell and favors r's.


Gill v. Whitford will be heard in the current term of the U.S. Supreme Court to look at this issue again. It has the potential to make an explosive difference in 2018.

Look at the recent Alabama election. A Democrat won most of the votes in the state, and also won most of the votes in every single urban area. And yet applying that state wide vote to the House of Represenatives district map in Alabama, would have still sent one Democrat and six Republicans to House of Representatives in Congress (had it been an election for HoR rather than Senate). Even in the case were Democrats made double digit gains in most counties from the 2016 election, it still would not affect the representation in the House. This is a massive case of voter disenfranchisement.

And while both parties gerrymander, only one party engages in the most obvious and egregiously unfair form of it while benefiting overwhelmingly and disproportionately, hence the lawsuit before the Court. And in the Alabama case, it is blatantly racist as well.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DQ862zWUIAAxWfa.jpg


"And while both parties gerrymander, only one party engages in the most obvious and egregiously unfair form of it while benefiting overwhelmingly and disproportionately"

i like that you said that. ive always said that it wouldn't surprise me if d's try suppress vote if it benefitted them. its just that they are fortunate enough that enfranchisement benefits them and is also the right thing to do. i dont mean to equate r's and d's, but just to reinforce the idea that all parties seek to consolidate power and preserve themselves.


It's quite convenient that the Democratic party happens to benefit from Democracy. That means their policy positions are correct, and for as long as that continues, they deserve to win.


Yes, but the point is that they don't have to. Look at 2010.


FPTP isn't really democracy, let alone whatever the electoral college is.



> What I'm bitter about is that my vote, as a californian, is worth a tiny fraction of a vote in a swing state.

And? Surely with the money flowing through California you can actually afford multiple providers and in doing so ensure competition.


That a Republican-led FCC would err on the side of under-regulating telecommunications companies

Holding it as "under regulating" seems like it's falling for the doublespeak. It is also Republican governments at every level that are almost universally responsible for the (over) regulations that led to the current monopolies of providers in most areas (often a single `choice'). If a city or region or even second party looks to install alternative feeds, overwhelmingly opposition comes from Republican governments, and there is already threats that this federal government will prevent States from passing their own rules on this (it would be too obvious if red states lived in a shitstorm while blue states lived in the modern world). It is profoundly corrupt.

I'm not trying to be partisan, but the Republican party in the US are the voice of a oligarchy. This FCC decision is the perfect example of it -- something they are profoundly incapable of building the slightest justification for, and that can only possibly benefit already overwhelming providers.


>I'm not trying to be partisan, but the Republican party in the US are the voice of a oligarchy. This FCC decision is the perfect example of it -- something they are profoundly incapable of building the slightest justification for, and that can only possibly benefit already overwhelming providers.

Net neutrality is 100%, unequivocally favorable for every tech company (Google, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Microsoft, etc.). Are you sure the Democratic party is not the "voice of the oligarchy" here? You say that Republicans are incapable of building justification for this decision, but it fits exactly to the pillars of the Republican party -- deregulation, a free market economy, and a small government. Their argument is that NN is unnecessary regulation that limits the free market and oversteps the boundaries of a reasonable government. You may disagree with this, but that argument is a subjective one and not an objective one. It may benefit the providers but it also hurts the tech monopolies (which is why they oppose it so adamantly... unless you really think that Alphabet, inc. is on the side that opposes big businesses).


Net neutrality is 100%, unequivocally favorable for every tech company (Google, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Microsoft, etc.).

Net neutrality favors any entrant equally, and thus is unfavorable to the large tech players (all of whom can financially overcome any obstacle).

deregulation, a free market economy, and a small government

Right, and that is total bullshit. State rights is a supposed principal of the Republican party, until a state wants to do something in opposition (seen time and time again, and already evident with net neutrality -- if California and New York state demand NN, it will turn the whole thing into farce leaving the hillbilly states reaping what they sow). Republicans love free market, unless it's the free market threatening the incumbents.

unless you really think that Alphabet, inc. is on the side that opposes big businesses

This profoundly and comically misreads the motives of the big tech players.


If it's unfavorable to large tech players, why does every single one campaign for it? These are the companies that make up most of the bandwidth use, which is why ISPs want to slow them down if they don't pay for a "fast lane." Either way, losing NN will decrease their profit margins.

The GOP is for states rights, and they are also for the general decrease in government size. They are against state-level NN because that is increased regulation in those states. There are legitimate exceptions (gay rights, abortion rights, war on drugs, etc.), but those apply more to social issues than to economic ones. In terms of free market policy, the Republican party has a pretty reasonable track record of supporting it. For example: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-do....


This is hilariously naive. You're essentially pointing fingers and laughing at people who you esteem to be less intelligent than yourself while making pretty absurd statements that have little to no basis in actual fact

For instance the original, and probably fatal, blow to net neutrality was the 1996 Telecommunications act that was passed mainly to encourage "wire to wire competition", which has since become a total farce. In exchange for this absurd concept we not only gave the telecoms huge tax cuts (nominally so they could expand infrastructure) that they then directly plowed into dividends, share buybacks, and bonuses, we also allowed the sale of wireless spectrums (another public good). But most importantly we enshrined local monopolies into law. Almost every single fight we've had for net neutrality since then has stemmed from this legislation. Guess who signed it into law? Bill Clinton, a democrat. And while the Senate and House both had Republican majorities the bill was passed with largely bipartisan support (less than 20% of the Senate and less than 5% of the house voted against it) and heavy support from the Clinton administration.

But lets say you don't buy that, lets take a look at the current political climate. The largest recipients of telecom dollars in the Senate have been overwhelmingly Democrats (it's about 50/50 over the past 8 years in the House), the telecoms have extremely influential Democrats in their pocket like Nancy Pelosi (who laughably claimed that the ISPs would save us from the Republican bill to allow ISPs to sell your internet traffic history), and even ex-Obama administrators are largely applauding today's ruling. Don't for a second think you or anyone else is somehow above this just because you identify with a certain tribe.

Also it's pretty odd that you think name dropping engineering friends means you have an informed opinion on this extremely non-technical matter, as if an RF engineer would have an informed opinion on the intricacies of economic repercussions of spectrum auctions.

But you do have one very good point, elections have consequences. Vote out anyone who takes a dime from telecoms, ISPs, interconnect providers, or even tech companies. The issue here is not ideological, it is monetary. Corporate influence has completely taken over our political system and regardless of party we are helpless to stop it until we take a principled stand and refuse to vote for the representative who's trying to sell us to the highest bidder simply because they wear the same color shirt as the people we associate with.


Yes, people are quick to forget that Obama's FCC was not anxious to implement these rules and did not do so until the very end of Obama's term, presumably because they knew it wouldn't hold up very long and by getting it done in the administration's final gasp, they could keep it as a feather in their political cap and pass the burden of "net neutrality repeal" onto the next guy.

Interestingly, amidst the jokes about Tom Wheeler leaving babies to the dingos, I don't recall much of a lament over the "consequences" of electing Obama. It wasn't until after this point that Wheeler reversed course, likely after the party realized this issue had teeth with one of their important constituencies. This "you asked for it" anti-Republican line is pure opportunism.


> Yes, people are quick to forget that Obama's FCC was not anxious to implement these rules and did not do so until the very end of Obama's term, presumably because they knew it wouldn't hold up very long and by getting it done in the administration's final gasp, they could keep it as a feather in their political cap

Nothing but damn lies.

Obama's FCC set up the Open Internet Order in 2010 (to formalise the informal 2005 rules which had been judged no basis for governance), they moved towards Title II following that being mostly invalidated by the courts in 2014 (the courts ruled that the 2010 rules couldn't be applied under Title I), the new rules were proposed in May 2014, the public comments period was opened in July, closed in September, and the FCC passed Title II rules in February 2015.

> pass the burden of "net neutrality repeal" onto the next guy.

What burden of net neutrality repeal? There was no burden because there was no requirement to repeal NN.


>Nothing but damn lies.

Please review the civility guidelines. If nothing else, mischaracterizing a clearly-labeled presumptive statement as a "damn lie" reveals your malice and discredits your POV.

As I alluded to in the grandparent, it was not at all obvious that the FCC or other elements of the Obama administration were working toward net neutrality when the jokes about Obama leaving the baby to the dingos were getting flung around. [0]

> What burden of net neutrality repeal? There was no burden because there was no requirement to repeal NN.

It was clear that ISPs did not fit the legal definition of Title II carriers which is why they weren't just classified as such at the beginning. It was clear that it was not likely that they would retain this classification, whether a Democrat won the next cycle and a successful lawsuit overturned the rulings or whether the FCC undid it as is the case now with Ajit Pai (whose primary contention, by the way, is not that net neutrality shouldn't exist, just that Title II is not an appropriate regulatory framework in which to cast it).

Of course, in politics, all that really matters is brownie points, so as long as the public sees you as the good guy, then you win and it doesn't matter if a judge overturns everything you've done.

Obama made liberal use of this principle, and in some cases his staff would openly discuss the expectation that some executive action would not survive judicial review. Obama was pretty bad about his respect for legal structure and processes, but Trump takes it to such an extreme that saying this about Obama seems like a joke now. :P

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU


> If nothing else, mischaracterizing a clearly-labeled presumptive statement as a "damn lie" reveals your malice and discredits your POV.

Oh come off your high horse,

> FCC was not anxious to implement these rules and did not do so until the very end of Obama's term

is not presumptive, and it's a bald-faced lie.

> It was clear that ISPs did not fit the legal definition of Title II carriers which is why they weren't just classified as such at the beginning.

Oh look, an other lie. DSL ISPs were classified under Title II until 2005 when Bush's FCC reclassified them.

> It was clear that it was not likely that they would retain this classification

It was not clear at all, and regardless there is no "burden of net neutrality repeal" following a court order.

> whose primary contention, by the way, is not that net neutrality shouldn't exist, just that Title II is not an appropriate regulatory framework in which to cast it

And that's a bullshit assertion, as I told you in my previous comment the only reason Obama's FCC reclassified ISPs under Title II is that the courts ruled net neutrality could not be enforced otherwise.

And regardless of judicial review risks, the only alternative would have been a brand new Telecommunications Act. In 2015. With a GOP legal majority.

But funnily enough, "concerned Ajit Pai" has been hard at work reclassifying ISPs without either waiting for the court decisions you state was clearly coming, and without putting any effort into building a new regulatory framework.

You know what that sounds like? Concern trolling.


[flagged]


> There is no difference between the two parties. None. The rhetoric is different but the actual voting records show they are the same animal.

Er, no, actual voting records of Congress and regulatory agencies like the FCC show a whole host of issues on which the parties are very different.

Including, relevant to this discussion, the consistent absolute partisan split on net neutrality at the FCC.


How much of that do you believe is simply taking the other side by democracy’s because they hate republicans? Versus if the dems has the WH and both houses they would appoint another telecom shill and have done exactly the same thing?

That’s the party that tried to bring us the Clipper chip my friend. Think about that.


> How much of that do you believe is simply taking the other side by democracy’s because they hate republicans?

Approximately zero; the areas of partisan difference, and the details of disagreement in those areas, have drifted a bit over time, but were largely similar 25-30 years ago, when, despite campaigns being hard-fought, relations were much more collegial then today. It's not personal hatred driving the policy differences.


One of the two parties thinks my gay and trans friends should have human rights, and the other party has fought tooth and nail against it, so "they're exactly the same" is bullshit for that alone. The Democrats aren't nearly good enough, but they're by far the lesser of two evils.


> work to flip the House back

A well written response, but I choke on salt when I read this sort of call to action.

The house has been slowly and surely gerrymandering the country into hereditary fiefdoms for their parties.

And if the solution is to relocate to "to the nearest plausibly flippable R district" then we're really saying that money is the real power.

Today's decision is a black eye for the concept of self-governance.


Don’t relocate. Stay in your damn house. Go talk to the people who are actually running in those districts. If you can write them even the cost of a ps4, they want to hear from you.

In particular for Democrats running against entrenched Republicans, these people aren’t evil corporate fat cats. They own restaurants, teach high school, are small-town mayors, or nurses. They need help to compete. The DNC is not going to help candidates who don’t show viability on their own.

NOW is the time to get involved, before the primaries.


>> Go talk to the people who are actually running in those districts. If you can write them even the cost of a ps4, they want to hear from you.

You propose this as a solution, but for the average person it makes no sense. Suppose that in the worst case scenario, the big ISPs did eventually start throttling certain content and offering tiered pricing for unfettered access to the entire Internet. Would the extra cost of upgrading to a higher tier really be worse than the cost of making political donations and taking the time to participate in lobbying activities (even if it were as simple as mailing a printed letter or making a phone call)? I am going to guess that for the average person it is not worth it.


I am not sure if this is the right equation. Should we accept something wrong just because it costs (financially) us (personally) less than fighting for fixing it ? Are we becoming more apathetic than the previous generations ? (real question) Should the cost of right be priceless ?


I'm not saying whether it is right or wrong. I am just saying that realistically, this is the calculation that many people will make.


The calculation has to include the whole set of stuff the Republicans break and cost you though, not just net neutrality and your connection bill.


Don't be so pessimistic, people care about things.


Ahh I misunderstood what you said. I see what you mean now, but sadly I'm still salty that solution (despite being a sound one) boils down to money.


Yes, Citizen United and unlimited corporate monetary donations to political candidates is at the core of many of our political problems. The only fix I see is to use the system to fix itself. Wolf-PAC goal is to end the corrupting influence of money in our political system.

It's a PAC with the goal of ending all PACs.

http://www.wolf-pac.com/the_plan


The Supreme Court has decided that in this country money=speech, so ...


If you can write them even the cost of a ps4, they want to hear from you.

Isn't this the problematic issue, though? If you have some disposable cash, politicians will pay attention to you even if you come form outside their district. If you don't, they won't. Sure, they want people to vote for them but that's basically a function of how much money they can throw at the problem.


You say "politician". I say "registered nurse running in a district where the R would be effective unopposed otherwise, needing straightforwardly to raise $100k before the end of the year to get taken seriously by the DNC".

You can not like that the system works this way (I hope you do like the idea of more RN's and school teachers as reps!), but compared to lobbying the Republican FCC, it has the virtue of being plausibly effective.


I love the idea of more regular people (especially non-lawyers) running for office, I'm just more pessimistic than you about the wisdom of throwing more money into the campaign finance machine.


Any suggestions about how to find this type of person running in this type of district? I agree that supporting this type of person could be disproportionately effective, but how do you find them when still in the early stages?


Maciej Ceglowski of Pinboard has been traveling the country meeting candidates for races that professionals helped identify as underserved by the DNC, and came up with a "Great Slate", which is a good starting point:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/great_slate

But: if you live in a major metro area: you're probably in a D district, where just a few miles from you there's a suburb in an R district. Find that district and see who's running in it.

Here's who's running in the NM-2:

http://fec.gov/data/elections/house/NM/02/2018/

Just fix the URL for whatever race you're interested in.

Strong recommend on donating to the Great Slate.


Are you sure that the time to be involved wasn’t say... a couple of decades ago? This feels like the terminal end-stage. It was time to be involved when Reagan was ending the hope of public education or mental health, during three or more decades of scientists and environmentalists screaming bloody murder, or at some point during our decades of failed adventurism abroad.

This isn’t new, this is the sharp end of an edifice people have allowed to be built underneath them, complete with extralegal security apparatus. It’s only when an orange clown is in charge and his henchmen are sharpening their regulatory knives, or 75% of the insect biomass vanishes that people start to notice.


Orange clown --> Racist

Henchmen --> Fear-mongering

Public Education --> We still have it.

Mental Health programs --> Still have 'em.

Insect Biomass --> It's almost as if having 7B humans on the planet has consequences. But sure, rabble rabble, it's all Reagan's fault.


He clearly looks orange due to spray tan. Although it's rude, I don't see how it's racist to make fun of someone for their spray tan.


You're not wrong, except that no one has a time machine, so...

But I feel ya'.


No time machines, but maybe a genuinely panicked recognition of just how much trouble we’re in could inform the nature and magnitude of the response.


Don't choke on salt. That could make you vomit


I like how you think donating to politicians is the answer. Money in politics is why we're in the situation we're in. Those with insufficient money to donate should be heard as well as those with money. The system needs a change. It can happen peacefully or not. Seems to be going in the not direction.


I personally find the whole donating money to politicians thing in the US mind bending. I’m from a country where no ordinary people donate to politicians and everyone is doing just fine (we don’t have the party that we’d like, but throwing money at them won’t fix that).


Yes, I think the biggest take away of this is to push the fact that republican legislators did not listen to their constituents. At all. They did not put their constituents first. At all. The chairman actually talked about consumers working with the FCC to enforce regulations as a bad thing.


I do not agree. I believe Republican voters do not in fact want the government extensively regulating the Internet. It is very difficult to argue in 2017 that the Republican party is the party of a pragmatic, consumer-protected regulatory state. The Republicans believe that the market will take better care of Internet users than any regulatory agency. On this one issue, it's possible they're even right.


"The Republicans believe that the market will take better care of Internet users than any regulatory agency. On this one issue, it's possible they're even right."

There is a pretty significant problem with this reasoning: what market are you referring to? Most Americans have zero, one, or two broadband ISPs they can receive service from. In most cases where there is any choice, it is between cable and DSL, which have very different technical characteristics and are not always interchangeable.

I could get behind a market-based approach if there was some kind of proposal to foster a market. What happened to the line-sharing requirements that gave us competition among DSL services in the late 90s? That was a market-based solution and it worked well; that approach continues to work well in other countries.

Instead, the current approach is to leave the monopolies and duopolies in place, and to do nothing to reduce barriers to entry for competing services or otherwise foster a competitive market.


We could sit here all day and argue about net neutrality regulation all day. But "let the market decide"? I don't know how someone can say that with a straight face.


It's not a straight face, it's a smirk, and they'll keep saying it so long as it bothers you. They'll happily eat dog shit if the opposition has to smell their breath.

This is how populism works, and it's only going to get worse.


That was a damn good mic drop my friend


1) Republican voter support is broad for net neutrality. Multiple sources have shown this pretty consistently.

2) The Republican deregulatory ideal (if it works at all) only works if competition exists. It doesn't. The market can only have a chance to work if it exists.


On top of that republicans have been enforcing net neutrality for decades.


Can you back that up with something specific? I'm Paul Ryan's party platform put out last year they specifically mentioned deregulating the internet. Not sure how you can overlook that


You do know that TCP/IP packet data delivery is handled by network protocol right? Protocol is designed to work, not to please Verizon lawyers.

Internet only works when neutral.

Here is your argument: Regulation bad - Deregulation good. Don't you think that's a bit overly simplistic?

What part of this are you missing? Either you have the Internet with protections in place or simply you don't have an Internet at all. Your world view is AOL and Compuserv. That's what a world without NN looks like.


> On this one issue, it's possible they're even right.

IF there was competition. However, the ISPs have sought to end that.


And when a market doesn't take care of itself the people are the ones to suffer, no matter which party they are part of or voted for.

Mortgage industry was self-regulated and politicians just balled out the bad actors.

It is about "finding" simple and reliable regulations, since there is no true "etched in stone" regulations.

Regulations have a shifting baseline. Say 100 fish are in a lake. Regulate that only 20 maybe harvest a year. This goes on for 10 years and in the 11th they are all gone. Write once regulations do not account for changes in the environment / market environment.


A poll "found that 83 percent overall favored keeping the FCC rules, including 75 percent of Republicans"

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/364528-poll-83-percent-...


Actually the voters elected a Democrat. The electoral college elected the Republican.

Not your issue? I've followed your account for years. This is exactly your issue, and everyone in this community's issue.

Without the Internet you have no chance of fighting against things like the new tax bill. It takes away your voice. It takes away all of our voices.

This might not be 'your' issue, but make no mistake, it is more important than all of the issues you mention, in that without a free and open Internet, your free speech is essentially gone, and that severely handicaps any efforts to organize and protest against the other issues you talk about.


> Actually the voters elected a Democrat. The electoral college elected the Republican.

You mean 48.2% of 58% of eligible voters elected a Democrat. You can slice it many ways but the electoral college is all that matters.


Err, no. Winning the most votes is not "one of the ways you can slice it" -- it's the natural criterion that almost universally comes to mind when you ask somebody how democracy should be implemented.


Well, maybe if you founded a federated republic and wanted each state to decide independently how to cast their votes for the president it might make sense.

It really doesn't matter what's "natural" though. It's like talking about who had more pieces on the board at the end of a game of chess. You knew the rules and you still lost by them. If you had changed the rules the entire matchup would have gone differently.


Of course I know the rules; I was born into them!


Winning the most votes is irrelevant if the contest was something different. I‘m sure the campaigns would have looked differently if the contest had been about the number of votes.


Yes! If everyone knew it was a popular election, the results would be drastically different. Candidates would actually campaign and get out the vote in states they never even think about now, and voters in states that are not swing states would be more motivated to vote.

Saying Clinton won the popular vote is just wishful thinking.


How ever did society function without the Internet? Were all leaders just dictators leading up to the 90s? It's hyperbolic crap like claiming this is the very foundation of free speech that leads people with opposing views to disengage, leave you to your echo chamber, and then surprise you when they pass regulation that represents their views.


You've been breaking the HN guidelines more than once in this thread. We've had to warn you about this before. When this keeps happening and people don't stop, we ban them, so please stop.


Please tell me how I broke the guidelines with this comment. Please keep in mind this is the level of hyperbole I replied to that you did not warn against.

>Without the Internet you have no chance of fighting against things like the new tax bill. It takes away your voice. It takes away all of our voices.

That type of comment ignores thousands of years of civilization through extreme hyperbole and you have felt the need to call my hyperbolic response out instead?

I've seen you complain about this community falling apart but this blatant partisanship on your behalf as a moderator is one of the reasons this happens. Anyone who disagrees with the main stream silicon valley politics is treated like a child.


> Please tell me how I broke the guidelines with this comment.

"Hyperbolic crap" and "leave you to your echo chamber" are name-calling, times 10 when bubbling in the stew of indignation.

> this blatant partisanship on your behalf as a moderator

If I can say this respectfully and not just about you: it always feels like blatant partisanship when oneself or something one likes is moderated, and it always feels like decency and even-handedness when someone from the other side gets the moderation. This is one of the dominant cognitive biases I see on HN.

That doesn't mean we aren't biased in our own right. Inevitably we are. But we do try not to let that govern moderation here, and have put in a lot of hard practice at the effort. Many things that might look like bias outwardly are actually attempts to preserve certain qualities for the community. They're not attempts to promote one view over others, and there's little if any information in there about what we personally agree or disagree with.

But because most HN readers don't know that, they reach for the readier explanation of 'blatant partisan bias'. Combined with only considering the data points that fit this theory and ignoring the other ones, that is a potent bias cocktail in its own right. I'd love to know some effective things to do about this but we are where we are. And to repeat, I'm not talking about you except insofar as you're one of everybody.


Paradigm shifts makes previous systems obsolete. That's why it's not a great time to sell landline telephony or newspapers, and why relying on pre-internet political organizing technology is to cripple oneself straight out of the gate.


> The voters elected a Republican government.

FALSE. The voters were sidelined by both old (electoral college) and new (mechanically-assisted gerrymandering) methods. Just look at Texas:

"The redistricting had a revolutionary effect. Today, the Texas delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives includes twenty-five Republicans and eleven Democrats—a far more conservative profile than the political demography of the state. The Austin metropolitan area, the heart of the Texas left, was divvied up into six congressional districts, with city residents a minority in each. All but one of these districts are now held by Republicans. I’m currently represented by Roger Williams, a conservative automobile dealer from Weatherford, two hundred miles north of Austin."

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/10/americas-futur...

Republicans have used these tools to cook up an unprecedented constitutional challenge to our republic. MULTIPLE suits are presently being heard by the Supreme Court regarding their shenanigans.


> FALSE. The voters were sidelined by both old (electoral college) and new (mechanically-assisted gerrymandering) methods.

More of them voted, for the House of Representatives, for Republicans than for any other party.

It's true that the actual representation of Republicans is outsized for that vote, and gerrymandering played a role, but they also got more votes. (And an outright majority voted for anti-NN parties.)

Good point on the Presidency, though (but even there, it's a hairs breadth either way on whether pro- or anti-NN candidates got a majority of votes.)


I agree with your points in broad strokes, so please don't think I'm being argumentative when I point out one quibble I have with your post:

The lack of Net Neutrality is not an example of "market-based regulation."

Although government regulation can, for better or worse, hamper the operation of a free market, that isn't the case here. The point of Net Neutrality is to keep Internet infrastructure free from being feudalized. A feudal government where massive policy changes impacting people's everyday lives are decided by power players and their arcane web of alliances is still a government, and it is definitely not one conducive to a free market.

Anyone who favors free markets cannot oppose Net Neutrality. It would be like opposing antitrust laws and claiming to be free market.


We already have the feudalism. Facebook/Twitter/Google/Apple. They have tremendous lock-in on the current market.

Your content is theirs, and their policy is your law.


Voters != Electoral College. It's an important distinction because this particular issue is very clearly a national issue (and even a global one). And yet at a national level the one person one vote principle does not apply to U.S. presidential elections. Some people's vote counts more than others in this system even though it should not count more on this issue.

Unquestionably elections have consequences, but do not say we (voters/citizens/individuals) voted for this person or party or policy outcome. The Electoral College that did that. This president didn't get a majority of the votes, and much more relevant is he didn't even get a plurality of the votes.

This was an unpopular administration from day one by definition. It could have tried to grow its base. It hasn't. There's no national mandate for this policy change. Could the administration have supported stronger competition law while also deregulating net neutrality? Sure. But it didn't try to make this case at all.


> The FCC may very well be right that it's not their job to impose our dream portfolio of rules on Verizon (certainly, a lot of the rules people are claiming NN provided were fanciful)

That^ Too many people are trying to shove things that are covered by antitrust into net neutrality. This makes it a much harder sell.

I'm convinced many Republicans could be convinced to support net neutrality if it didn't have that extra baggage attached.

Keep it to:

1. No blocking of legal content,

2. No throttling of legal content,

3. Must deliver the speed and bandwidth that the customer pays for.


Many Republicans do support those principles, today. They simply believe that the FCC doesn't need to impose Title II regulations on ISPs to accomplish it. For instance: the Republican component of the FCC strongly believes it's already unlawful to block legal content to consolidate and exploit ISP market positions, and that the FTC already has the power to enforce that regulation.


Yeah. We probably would have been better off if people had accepted Wheeler's first proposal for the 2015 Order. That was the one that stayed under Section 706, and so would not have been able to do everything that had been done under the 2010 Order because of the court decision that struck down the 2010 Order. It would have had to allow "fast lanes".

But I don't see any net neutrality issue with "fast lanes" AS LONG AS the ISP does not slow other things down in order to force the use of "fast lanes" to get normal advertised speeds. Paid "fast lanes" might be anti-competitive in some cases, but that should be handled under antitrust law.

ISPs probably actually do belong under Title II as far as actually providing internet access goes --I don't see anything fundamentally different from a policy point of view about the internet compared to, say, the telephone system. But that should probably be done by Congress, not the FCC.


First, your condescending tone is unnecessary.

Second, the last Republican president and FCC commissioner, Michael Powell, defended and enforced net neutrality. So this wasn't a given.


For those in California, Josh Butner (D) is trying to flip Duncan Hunter (R)'s seat. This is the same Duncan Hunter Jr who basically rolled into the seat when his dad, Duncan Hunter, Sr, rolled out. Voters never even noticed. This is the same Duncan Hunter who vaped in Congress and spent something like $1300 of his campaign funds on Steam games.

Josh is a retired Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander. Spent 23 years in the Navy including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, raised his family in Jamul, and continues to serve on the local school board. Go help Josh. https://joshbutnerforcongress.com/


So your solution is to spend money to move somewhere else? Government of the rich, for the rich, by the rich :-/


No, that is not my suggestion.


> The voters elected a Republican government

Not the majority though, as far as I understand, they won even though they don't have a majority of the voters, just a majority of the districts. Or something along those lines which simply confuses (and amazes) us non-US residents.

I'm also a bit impressed / curious about how much power the President has; he appoints FCC the chairman, and that chairman ends up taking these sort of decisions? Sounds a lot like something that the legislative branch should pick up, not [transitively] the executive one.

Or am I missing something?


Majority of land-owners.


Republicans don't support deregulation per se. That's just the cover story. Republicans just support big business, that's it. If regulations make businesses better? Why the hell not?


Yup, the obvious next step will be to go after muni ISPs. Republicans will be more than happy to regulate them out of existence.


If you're going to make blatant conspiratorial statements about the motivations of nearly half of the US population you are going to need to back that up with evidence.

That would be the biggest 'cover story' in the history of humanity


Sorry, not referring to voters. I'm referring to republican political leaders.


The worst part about this thread is how people resign to their party lines distancing each other from the common ground where the solutions exist.


>>> The voters elected a Republican government.

Not precisely. The proportion of people who voted in a gerrymandered electoral system with potentially widespread voter suppression produced a preponderance of Republican legislators and an outcome of the electoral college that produced a Republican president. I'm not sure that this qualifies as an "elected" government.


Those same gerrymandered districts and electoral college elected Democrat Congresses and a Democrat president for the last 8 years. To suggest that it's completely rigged when they lose the following election is absurd. This coming from someone who also hates the current outcome, but come on now. If the Democrats ran someone who most of the country didn't hate, they would have won easily. If they hadn't fought themselves in the primary and nominated a much better candidate, they would have won.

We've had this same electoral college in place for a long time, and everyone knew the rules ahead of time. It certainly has flaws, and you can argue a popular vote would be better, but it is the system we have and everyone knew it going into the election. It absolutely qualifies as an elected government.


I'm willing to take the risk that creating a better electoral system would not benefit my party. Even if we ended up with exactly the same government, I think it would be preferable if that government could credibly claim legitimacy.


this seems like whataboutism to me.

I completely agree the tax bill is also terrible. but this conversation started around the FCC NN rules and due to _lack_ of competition anything we have is better than this form of deregulation. I'm happy to entertain a _separate_ conversation about the tax bill but I feel like you are saying because that is so much worse that NN does not matter... I believe that way of communicating is very dangerous because it can be applied to anything and everything. for example ISPs being able to store/mine and sell data on their users which was another law passed this year and caused me to donate to the eff.

my point is, I do not think you comment contributes to NN fairly by correlating the tax law as more important, I believe they are both very important.


> it is more than a little aggravating to see us as a community winding ourselves in knots over market-based regulation of telecom at the same time as the (largely unprincipled) Republican congress is putting the finishing strokes --- literally in ball-point pen --- on a catastrophically stupid tax bill that threatens universal access to health insurance, not just for those dependent on Medicare but on startup founders as well.

Yeah. It was nice to see people coming together to fight for net neutrality, but it would have been nicer to see some of that energy and excitement used to fight something that will actually kill people.


This is not republican vs democrates. It's simply corporate donor money at work. You might remember that FCC tried exact same thing during Obama administration as well and they had to turn back because of huge backlash. This time I think backlash wasn't super aggressive and Trump administration thinks they can get away with anything as long as they are tough on border and other party is weak on border.


> The voters elected a Republican government. That a Republican-led FCC would err on the side of under-regulating telecommunications companies is about the least surprising outcome you can imagine.

Even less surprising as the GOP has been opposing Title II all along, and a GOP FCC is how ISPs got moved to Title I in the first place.


True, but net neutrality is also broadly popular. Granted, they won't lose any votes but I know several staunch conservatives who are pissed about losing NN. I don't know if they are pissed enough to change their voting habits though and thats probably the real problem.


> I worked at ISPs, have backbone engineer friends, and candidly: I think this issue is silly. But if it's yours... sigh... fine.

Why is it silly?


> The voters elected a Republican government.

The majority actually didn't. But election system is skewed.


Why can't I vote this comment down, or at least flag it?


> The voters elected a Republican government.

The Electors elected a Republican government. The voters elected a Democrat by 2,868,691 votes and there was Russian meddling on top of even that. Associating any popular mandate with that is shear nonsense.


I’ve seen no proof of Russian meddling that had any provable effect on the election. Only theoretical.

Second do you have ANY idea how many elections the US has “meddled” in? Let alone how many leaders we have literally overthrown?? Get some perspective. If you don’t like other nations pissing in our oatmeal I seriously suggest we stop pissing, shitting, and vomiting in theirs. Golden rule and all. Let the booing begin.


I guess it's only a theory that Cheeto's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

Really.


Even if that’s accurate how does that negate what I said about all of the Russian BS is just that BS. No proven election fraud, no voter fraud, nothing provable to russians.



You realize that Ajit Pai was appointed to the commission by Obama right?


It had nothing to do with Obama's preference.

Obama was required to appoint a Republican to the commission per the rule whereby the agency's commissioner seats must be split between the parties, with the tie breaking seat going to the party in control of the presidency.

Following these rules, when a Republican seat opened on the commission, Obama asked Mitch McConnell for an recommendation, and he suggested Pai. When Trump took over, Obama's FCC chairman Wheeler left the position, and Trump put Pai in his place, and replaced his former seat with another Republican, Brendan Carr.


Your statement is factually right, however the only way someone can treat this statement is by assuming you are trying to refute the OPs republican claims. Since I can't downvote you, ill just include an explanation for others on why this comment holds no merit.

Ajit was appointed to the chair under Trump (Republican). Ajit was a recommendation from Republican minority lead (at the time) Mcconnell. Ajit has (to my knowledge) always been a republican member of US FCC.


What's more, Ajit Pai was nominated by Obama only because the FCC has a fixed apportionment of party appointees.

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