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House Republicans seek to block FCC Internet rules

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  • The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling services like Skype and Web video services like Netflix that could compete with their core operations. The FCC's three Democrats voted to adopt the regulations late last year over the opposition of the agency's two Republicans.
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  • Why the FCC can’t protect net neutrality
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  • David Morris: How America lost control of its airwaves
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Associated Press/Google

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House Republicans on Thursday (Feb 17) moved to block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing new rules that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic on their networks.

With a 244-181 vote, Republican leaders succeeded in attaching an amendment to a sweeping spending bill that would bar the FCC from using government money to implement its new "network neutrality" regulations.

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Why the FCC can’t protect net neutrality, Mike Ingram, World Socialist Web Site

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  • The FCC is incapable of securing the openness of the Internet because such openness is incompatible with a system based on private ownership and the attack on democratic rights necessitated by a massive increase in social inequality. The real defense of net neutrality can only be conducted as part of a struggle for socialism.
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  • Special Report | Fake Net Neutrality
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David Morris: How America lost control of its airwaves, David Morris, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Today, stripped of all rules requiring decency and fairness, talk radio has become hate radio.
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  • Together with a similarly unrestrained Fox News, aided and amplified by the Internet, incivility and hatred has infected the general culture. Public threats of violence are becoming the norm.
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  • Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies
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Huffington’s Plunder

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  • Any business owner who uses largely unpaid labor, with a handful of underpaid, nonunion employees, to build a company that is sold for a few hundred million dollars, no matter how he or she is introduced to you on the television screen, is not a liberal or a progressive.
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  • (The sale) exposes the callousness of our oligarchic class and their belief that they have a right to use anyone who can contribute to the monuments they spend their lives erecting to themselves.
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  • “Something is happening here,” Bob Dylan sang in “Ballad of a Thin Man,” “but you don’t know what it is. Do you Mr. Jones?”
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Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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AP / Mark Lennihan

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I was in New York City on Thursday night at the Brecht Forum to discuss with the photographer Eugene Richards his powerful new book “War Is Personal” when I was approached for an interview by a blogger for The Huffington Post. I had just finished speaking with another blogger who had recently graduated from UC Berkeley.

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These encounters, which are frequent at public events, break my heart. I see myself in the older bloggers, many of whom worked for newspapers until they took buyouts or were laid off, as well as in the aspiring reporters. These men and women love the trade. They want to make a difference. They have the integrity not to sell themselves to public relations firms or corporate-funded propaganda outlets. And they keep at it, the way true artists, musicians or actors do, although there are dimmer and dimmer hopes of compensation. They are victims of a dying culture, one that no longer values the talents that would keep it healthy and humane. The corporate state remunerates corporate management and public relations. It lavishes money on the celebrities who provide the fodder for our national mini-dramas. But those who deal with the bedrock virtues of truth, justice and beauty, who seek not to entertain but to transform, are discarded. They must struggle on their own.

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The Planet Keeps Warming, But U.S. Media Interest Cools

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  • The largest press delegation to Cancún, it turns out, was from the Climate Change Media Partnership, which provided fellowships to 35 journalists from 29 developing countries to the UN summit—including 10 U.S. reporters whose outlets’ own budgets couldn’t accommodate the trip.
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  • Fox News Boss Ordered Staffers To Cast Doubt On Climate Change Science
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  • An Answer for Bill O'Reilly
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  • Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal
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Miranda Spencer, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

This article is made possible with the contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

After the anticlimax of the COP-15 climate-policy negotiations in Copenhagen last year (Extra!, 2/10)—in which the more than 190 UN-member nations walked away with a non-binding statement of intent cobbled together in secret by the U.S. and a few other wealthy nations—public and press expectations for this year’s COP-16 meeting (11/29–12/10/10) in Cancún, Mexico, were low.

At least in part reflecting this pessimism, there has been a “steep slide” in climate reporting this year, Columbia Journalism Review’s science blog (Observatory, 11/24/10) noted. Few major corporate news media outlets even planned to send reporters to Cancún; as Washington Post lead environmental writer Juliet Eilperin told Observatory, “It feels like there is absolutely no momentum…. What will there even be to cover in Cancún in terms of public policy or reader interest?”

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Fox News Boss Ordered Staffers To Cast Doubt On Climate Change Science,  Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post
A top Fox News editor sent an email to staffers and journalists questioning the science behind global warming and directing them to always point out on air that the theory has its skeptics.

An Answer for Bill O'Reilly, Al Gore, Huffington Post
Scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.

Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal, Bill McKibben, AlterNet

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  • For two decades now we've been ignoring the impassioned pleas of scientists that our burning of fossil fuels was a bad idea. And now we're paying a heavy price.
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  • Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011?
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CBS News Still Covering for Ronald Reagan?

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  • On CBS's Early Show (1/17/11), Michael Reagan repeated his denials. But what was most noteworthy about the CBS interview wasn't what Michael Reagan said, but what CBS journalist Erica Hill did not say.
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  • CBS almost reported Reagan was mentally unfit in 1986
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Steve Rendall, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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In his new book, Ron Reagan says he saw early signs of Alzheimer's disease in his father, Ronald Reagan, while the late president was still in the White House. When he said as much on ABC's 20/20 last Friday (1/14/11), he infuriated many on the right, including his older brother Michael Reagan.

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Over the weekend, the older Reagan son took to Twitter, writing over the course of several messages, "My brother seems to want [to] sell out his father to sell books.... My father did not suffer from Alzheimer's in the '80s.... Ron, my brother, was an embarrassment to my father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother."

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CBS almost reported Reagan was mentally unfit in 1986, David Edwards, Raw Story

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  • "I now believe [Reagan aides and his wife Nancy] covered up his condition, and many continued to as they wrote their memoirs. But then, the public knew something wasn't right. There were all sorts of signs. We all looked the other way," Leslie Stahl concluded in her book.
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  • Mission Accomplished: The Reagan Occupation and the Destruction of the American Middle Class
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  • How Republicans created the myth of Ronald Reagan
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