Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Megyn Kelly's "Fuckabee" - Black Eyed Peas Remix

George W. Bush Tries His Hand At Rosey Grier Fanfic

Is it just me?

Statement by the President on Net Neutrality

Office of the Press Secretary
November 10, 2014

Statement by the President on Net Neutrality

Today, in a statement and video message posted online, President Obama announced his plan for a free and open internet. The text of the President’s statement is below, and an online version of his statement and video can both be found here .

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life.  By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted.  We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.  That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever.  Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy.  After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it.  Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach. 

The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone.  I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online.  The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe.  These bright-line rules include:

·         No blocking.  If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it.  That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
·         No throttling.  Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
·         Increased transparency.  The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment.  So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
·         No paid prioritization.  Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee.  That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.  So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital.  But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.

The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device.  I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks. 

To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past.  For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business.  That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider.  It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.

So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do.  To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.  This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.

Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation.  If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.

The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known.  The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks.  In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet.  I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and future generations to come.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Piers Morgan Wants To Whip The N-Word Into Brutal Submission

The Washington Post created a fair amount of buzz Monday with a piece discussing the "prevalence" and shifting meaning of the n-word, complete with statistics,  extensive video interviews, and sometime-insightful commentary. The contours of the discussion and debate are familiar, but it's a well-executed project that, while not without its flaws, is definitely worth reading. Pegged to the NFL's effort to ban the word, the piece capably illuminates the differences in context, inflection, and pronunciation that can affect how the word is perceived, as well as well-chosen commentaries on the word's history, and the debate over banning it versus reclaiming it.

 The piece got a lot of attention today, much of it due to their citation of a statistic that's supposed to show the word's "prevalence" in modern American life:
A word that is used 500,000 times a day on Twitter — as “nigga” is, according to search data on the social media analytics Web site Topsy.com — is almost by definition beyond banning. By comparison, “bro” and “dude” — two of the terms with which the n-word is synonymous to many people younger than 35 — are used 300,000 and 200,000 times, respectively.
That stat may be accurate, but it hardly seems to prove interchangeability with "bro" and "dude" among people younger that 35. The word "bae" is also used between 300k and 500k per day on Twitter, but I don't see it replacing "bro" or "dude" anytime soon.

The WaPo piece is excellent and insightful on the internal debate, among black people, on the use of the n-word, but makes unsupported leaps when it comes to the wider use, or acceptance, of the word.

 Former CNN host Piers Morgan took that leap in a different direction by penning a London Daily Mail column advising that "If black Americans want the N-word to die, they will have to kill it themselves," because all of that Twitter ubiquity is just too confusing for racist white people to figure out:
The reason it is so ingrained in pop culture is that many blacks, especially young blacks reared to the soundtrack of N-word splattered rap music, use it in an ironic way. They’re aware of its history; they know from their parents and grandparents that arrogant, dumb, racist whites used it as a wicked, derogatory insult against their black slave forebears. And they enjoy the freedom of being able to say it now in the knowledge that it’s become taboo for whites to do so.
Hold up, now, Piers. You understand that arrogant, dumb, racist whites still use it now, right? This isn't like "I bite my thumb at thee," it's a current, active expression.

There are great arguments for, and against, the "reclaiming" argument, and like Piers, I tend to side with the "no" side of that argument, but here's something that I would never think to include in the calculation:
Far from ‘owning’ these words, seizing back control with the use of them, I believe it merely serves to empower those who wish to deploy them abusively - and encourage them to continue doing so. Your average dim-witted, foul-mouthed bigot – and there are plenty of them as Twitter can attest – thinks: ‘If they use it, why can’t I?’ They hear African-Americans say the N-word to each other and claim victory: ‘See, that’s what they even call themselves!’ It’s the twisted, horrible mind-set of the wretchedly ignorant.
See, no one  is actually confused by this argument. Everyone understands the difference between the use of a familiar term by an insider, versus an outsider. Whatever it is that black people decide to do with the n-word, it should have nothing to do with the level of feigned confusion they are causing in white idiots.

 As well-intentioned as he is, Morgan suffers from a terminal case of tone-deafness, as evidenced by his overly-instructive headline, and his choice of n-word-banishing metaphor:
Better, surely, to have it expunged completely. Eradicated, obliterated, tied to a literary post and whipped into such brutal submission that it never rears its vicious head again. But this will only happen when America’s black community applies the same level of tolerance to its own use of the word as that now applied in the National Football League: zero.
It is in that same spirit of advice-giving generosity that I would suggest to Piers that when deciding whether black people should use the n-word or not, he's entitled to his opinion, but he's probably better off treating it like a shareholder's meeting for Doritos. It's nacho business, Piers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bill Burton About Smacked The Shit Out Of Chris Matthews On MSNBC Today

If you're anything like me, you are likely sick to death of listening to Chris Matthews lamenting, for the millionth time, about how Barack Obama can't do deals like Reagan and Tip O'Neil did, because the fucking Reagan years were so great. Since the Democrats' midterm trouncing, though, Matthews has gone into apoplexy overdrive, constantly insisting that now that a third of the electorate has spoken, after every Democratic candidate ran away from President Obama and immigration reform, that Obama must now split the baby with Republicans who would rather deport it.

It was with some satisfaction, then, that I watched former Obama spox Bill Burton impatiently put a stop to this silliness on Now with Alex Wagner today. Burton and Matthews got into it over immigration reform, with Matthews pimping the magical deal that Tip and Gip would have made, and Burton was like "Hell's no."

Things were getting kind of heated when Alex Wagner rescued them by changing the subject, but look at how Burton and Matthews are eye-murdering each other as Wagner tosses to Patricia Murphy:

"Chris, I feel like I'm living in a different world than the one that you're living in, because to listen to you talk about this bill, and the President's not selling it and blah, blah, blah, the problem is the bill has been passed by the United States Senate, and they will not move on it in the House, period. That's it. That's why." 

 Also, in case you're wondering, Burton is right, pathway to citizenship is consistently supported in polls, by overwhelming margins.

 Luckily, Matthews and Burton weren't done yet. Matthews swooped back in to fap about Reagan some more, and Burton straight-up laughed in his face:

Matthews: "It's like the old deal between Tip and Reagan on Social Security. The Democrats wanted to get more benefits, they wanted more taxes. They wanted the whole deal. Reagan wanted the monkey off his back. This "common ground" is stupid talk. It's compromise." 
Burton: (laughing in Matthews' face) "It's not stupid to talk about common ground!"

Matthews lives in some kind of fairy tale world where Republicans, who passed immigration reform in the Senate and had the votes to pass it in the House, just need to sit in the right cigar bar with Obama and trade stories about their college days to get them to do a deal with the guy they vowed never to do a deal with the night he was inaugurated. Man, it is going to be a long 2 years at MSNBC.