Friday, November 17, 2006

Good news, bad news

Keep this for future reference. A very long list of election problems in the 2006 midterms. Another reminder that election reform should be at the top of the any activist's list of issues.

Paul Waldman has some very good advice for the Democratic Party. Short version - stand up and fight. Act like a winner and you'll be treated as one.

The ties that bind. Suddenly the name Carlyle Group is being whispered in every corner of political punditry. William Rivers Pitt shouts it out with a revealing timeline on just how embedded this secretive little cabal is in our foreign policy. Not to mention just how many billions they're making on the war on terror. James Baker is one of the prime beneficiaries. I'd say that doesn't bode well for the "new" Iraq plan.

Senator elect Jim Webb has a good op-ed at the WSJ on the growing class divide in this country. It can't be restated enough that "The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes." Webb has hope the working class has found their voice and won't sit still any longer for flat wages and health care costs that have risen 73% in the last six years. We can only hope he's right.

And to end with some positive news, the shift of power to the Democrats is good news for net neutrality and other tech related issues that have been defeated until now largely along partisan lines.
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9 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

despite the argumentations of mr james carville, it is clear the "netroots" won the day for the dems.

5:14:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well I certainly give them credit for helping but it was combination of a lot of factors. Clearly the GOP lost though, in spite of fixing the Diebolds. They didn't fix them enough.

6:50:00 PM  
Blogger The Heretik said...

The Webb article was sad.

9:07:00 PM  
Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

Lots of fine words from the fresh blood, but I'll wait to see what happens (or not) when the new congress convenes.

2:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

The Webb was sad Heretik. Horrifying to think Americans have become so callous about their fellow man.

I'm with you Neil. Pretty talk is fine but I'm holding my judgement until the spring when they've had a chance to do something. Still, I'll be preparing for my dump all incumbents campaign -- just in case they don't deliver.

11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous HOTI said...

It will be interesting to see how the tech issues play out in the new Congress, although I maintain that net neutrality is unnecessary and based purely on doomsday rhetoric.

In the interest of full disclosure, I work with the hands Off the Internet coalition in opposing the proposed net neutrality regulations.

While many people continue to claim this is a partisan issue, I would disagree and as just one example would urge everyone to read this editorial from Dr. Alfred Kahn, not exactly a neocon. Dr. Kahn was extremely influential in the Carter Administration in deregulating the airlines and trucking industries. As Dr. Kahn notes,

"Why all the hysteria? There is nothing 'liberal' about the government rushing in to regulate these wonderfully promising turbulent developments. Liberals of both 18th and 20th--and I hope 21st--century varieties should and will put their trust in competition, reinforced by the antitrust laws--and direct regulation only when those institutions prove inadequate to protect the public."

http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/ps/2006/ps2.24voiceofcautiononnetneutrality.html

2:38:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Welcome Hoti. Always glad to hear the other side of the argument. However, I disagree with the premise that this is a case of overreach by the government and we can't trust competition to protect us because their is none under media consolidation. It's not a question of the gov't rushing in to make new regs. It's a matter of reinstating the regs that expired and were working just fine until then. In fact, what the telecoms are asking for is for the gov't to interfere on their behalf.

6:27:00 PM  
Anonymous HOTI said...

Libby, thanks for your response. I would argue that since the information services reclassification made by the FCC in 2005, there haven't been any problems with the operation of the internet. To impose net neutrality regulations now is both unnecessary and would be detrimental to the efficient operation of the net.

With the use of VOIP, IPTV and bandwidth intense downloads growing exponentially, the net neutrality regualtions would not allow for "discrimination" of these various packets. There are in fact differences between a text email and a IPTV packet. The VOIP and IPTV packets should be prioritized to ensure quality and uninterrupted service for the consumer.

As Dr. Kahn mentioned (the link I included in my previous comment), we already have regulatory agencies and antitrust laws in place to protect against the claims made by many net neutrality supporters.

4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Sorry Hot1, I just found this response. Frankly, I don't understand the technical aspects that well but one thing I'd say in response to your premise is that regulatory agencies and anti-trust are only as good as their enforcement and none are not well enforced under this administration. Look to the decaying enforcement and/or rescinding of environmental regs and perhaps you'll understand my concern about this.

11:50:00 AM  

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