Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Election Day 2018

For the Globe it is, to no one's surprise, all about Trump:

"Analysis: In midterm election, voters will have their say on Trump, his style, and his policies" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  November 06, 2018

WASHINGTON — There aren’t do-overs in American politics, but there are course corrections.

Actually, there are "do-overs." They are called recalls.

That how you going to start of the "analysis?"

After nearly two years of President Trump’s divisive and increasingly nationalistic style of politics, voters will deliver a midterm verdict on the man in the White House and the party he has reshaped.

The immediate stakes include control of 36 governor’s mansions and the two chambers of Congress. Democrats believe they can gain the 23 seats needed to win the majority in the House of Representatives. Their chances are less clear in the Senate, where they’d need to win an additional two seats to take charge, but this particular election means something more, on both sides of the aisle.

I'm actually crapping a brick about the Senate and will be glued to Fox tonight.

It’s the first real test of the durability of Trump’s political brand for Republicans, many of whom have adopted his core issues and even his racially charged rhetoric. For the left, after two years of yelling at the TV, marching in Washington, and knitting pink hats, it will measure whether that stored energy can be converted into something meaningful.

For those critics who saw Trump’s 2016 election as a last gasp of a Republican Party dominated by white men, the results will test whether demographics are a path for a Democratic resurgence.

They are still stuck in the failure of identity politics. 

What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

“The American experiment of democracy is being challenged,” said Aimee Allison, the founder of She the People, a liberal group that supports female candidates of color.

The results will also provide Democrats, who’ve been struggling with how best to confront Trump, with some hints about how to approach the 2020 presidential race. They’ll know which kind of candidates and messages work in purple and red parts of the country and which won’t.

Meaning they will be a bunch of two-face position shifters depending on who they are talking to -- like Clinton in 2016.

Will they never learn?

At least Trump, as course and crass as he is, says what he believes.

Practically speaking, a Democratic takeover of just one chamber of Congress would block much of Trump’s legislative agenda, which includes additional tax cuts and further rollbacks of health care coverage. It would ignite robust oversight investigations into everything from Trump’s taxes to his self-branded luxury hotel in Washington, and it would provide a measure of protection to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion.

Oh. That's why we have been prepared for a Democratic House.

They want to protect Mueller and the rat's nest of corruption over at the DoJ and FBI. If Republicans lose a majority in the House, then the investigations into the spying and attempted infiltration of the Trump campaign and the origin of the Dirty Dossier will be deposited down the old rabbit hole.

A Democratic House majority could move to impeach Trump, though removal from office would require Senate cooperation that would be more difficult to muster.

Because of these stakes, Republicans also see the midterm elections in near-apocalyptic terms.

“Their plan is to take power to destroy President Trump and destroy Republicans,” said Andy Surabian, a former White House staffer and Republican consultant, referring to Democrats.

He said that in recent weeks there’s been renewed energy on the right in key races, a phenomenon that polls have captured.

“Republicans who have previously been sleep-walking like zombies have seen the vitriol on the left. It’s like someone shook them and woke them up,” Surabian said. “The question is: Is it going to be enough?”

Not only that, they don't talk to pollsters. That's why the polls have been consistently wrong the last few times out.

Surabian compared the possible change in power from this year’s election to 1994, the first midterm contest in President Clinton’s tenure. That year the GOP picked up seats in the Senate and won 54 seats in the House, taking the majority in the lower chamber for the first time in four decades and ushering in Newt Gingrich as speaker.

“It will be the same type of partisan politics that came from Newt, without the bipartisan policy that came from Newt,” Surabian predicted of a Democratic victory Tuesday, noting that Gingrich worked with the Clinton White House on issues including an overhaul of the welfare system.

“The passion that might put Democrats into office is from people who expect them to govern in a very liberal way. They expect resistance to the Trump agenda from Democrats, not bipartisanship,” Surabian said.

The party that controls the White House tends to lose seats in midterm elections, but if Trump bucks this trend — or even just manages to hold on to power in the House — it would affirm his decision to rely on division and discord as a governing principle, and Trump has done what he can to make the election a referendum on him and his ideas.

I think the Globe is more responsible for that than him.

At a rally in Cleveland Monday, Trump warned the crowd they would be living in a “socialist world” if Democrats win Tuesday, and repeated the lie that Democrats are “inviting” caravans of undocumented immigrants into the country. He praised “honest polls” that show “promise” for Republicans. “I look forward to seeing what happens because something is going on!”

When was the last time the pre$$ flat-out called any president a liar, 'eh?

This is the same kind of rhetoric that infuriates liberals and even has some Republicans nervous about him.

If the Republicans prevail, it would be an affirmation of some of his most controversial moments of the past two years. That includes his comments that there were “some very fine people” on both sides of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where a peaceful protester was killed. It would provide a mandate for his policy of separating families of migrants at the border, and it would reward a realignment of US foreign policy where allies are scolded and rivals embraced.

You mean the way he embraced Iran and scolded Saudi Arabia?

Why hasn't foreign policy and the endless wars for Israel been a greater part of the debate anyway? 

All the issues the media has presented and highlighted happen to be the very same divisive issues of race and gender that they decry the president for using.

In recent days, he’s doubled down on these themes by deploying the US military to the southern border to halt a caravan of migrants, who are hundreds of miles away, and promising to cancel birthright citizenship, which is enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. He even floated the idea of allowing American troops to use lethal force on asylum-seekers armed only with rocks, which would upend military rules of engagement.

“Barbed wire, used properly, can be a beautiful sight,” Trump said at a rally over the weekend, referring to new barriers set up at the border.

Now that does give me pause with him.

Does he mean in Germany or Gaza?

Democrats have protested Trump every step of the way and eagerly anticipated his repudiation at the ballot box. Should Trump’s GOP remain in control of all parts of government, it would send the opposition party reeling.

The snowflakes can't take it, while I'm prepared to accept the worst -- and by that I mean Majority Leader Schumer (shudder). 

Thank God the Republicans have McConnell. Even if he is minority leader, he will still be able to outmaneuver Schumer.

“If this much resistance and engagement can happen over two years, and it doesn’t change who holds power, that will be pretty devastating for a lot of people,” said Adam Green, the cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “It’s hard to think about what that would mean for America in historic terms.

“Assuming we survive the Trump moment, if there’s one silver lining it could be there’s a whole new civil awakening in our country,” added Green.

The green shoots of that awakening are evident in the candidates on the ballot this year. More than 270 female candidates are running in House, Senate, and gubernatorial races, according to a New York Times tally.

Eighty-four are women of color. Stacey Abrams could become the first black female governor in America. Andrew Gillum could become Florida’s first black governor.

“Tuesday is our opportunity for a rebalance of power,” said Timothy Naftali, the coauthor of the recent book “Impeachment: A History” and a professor at New York University. “When you have a governing majority in Washington that is so out of tune with the desires of most Americans, the system provides the opportunity.”

What about an eliti$t ruling cla$$ and its media mouthpieces that are completely out of touch with the pulse of the American people?

Naftali observed that Trump is trying to beat the historical trend that the president’s party loses some power in the midterms.

He has defied history at every turn, and I think that is the new normal now.

“We have a president who has signaled again and again his contempt for presidential decorum and the responsibility of the president to be a unifier and not a divider,” added Naftali. “Should he be in position to claim victory [after the midterms], who knows what he would do with that power and the increased arrogance that would come with that outcome.”


After I finished the piece I wrote OMG SUX.

"This is 2018, the year that everything — even Barbra Streisand ballads — became about politics in the age of Donald Trump, and the horror writer Stephen King, like everyone else, is coming out swinging on social media. So it’s not hard to envision how he would apply his sickening story to the queasy state of the nation. On Sunday, King let slip who, in his portrayal, the reviled queen rat might be — someone who, in the writer’s words, he has ‘‘personal reasons’’ for disliking. The short story is set in Maine, but King briefly turned his attention to Iowa, where one of the president’s congressional acolytes is facing his first credible challenger in years. The best-selling author and deep-pocketed Democratic donor asked Iowa residents to vote against Republican Representative Steve King because, the King of fright tweeted, ‘‘I’m tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell.’’ The King of Congress might well relish the author’s disparagement. On Saturday, the Republican responded to an onslaught of criticism fueling a fund-raising blitz by his Democratic opponent — first-time candidate J.D. Scholten — by taking aim at ‘‘Left Coast billionaires.’’

The ma$ks are off.

"Former President Obama made a surprise appearance in northern Virginia Monday to rally supporters for Senator Tim Kaine and state Senator Jennifer Wexton on the eve of Election Day, part of a series of stops during the past week to help Democrats win control of at least the House. Carrying a box of doughnuts, Obama startled a crowd of about 60 mostly young campaign staffers and volunteers inside a Wexton field office. He cast the election as a referendum on the country’s future, and he attacked President Trump for what the former president has called ‘‘fear mongering’’ and repeated lies. The popular former president’s appearance was mainly meant to boost Wexton in her race against Republican Representative Barbara Comstock in the 10th congressional district that stretches from McLean toward the West Virginia border. The seat has been in Republican hands for nearly 40 years. Wexton held an 11-point lead over Comstock in a Washington Post-Scholar School poll conducted late last month....."

The key i$$ue is health care.


As Election Day approaches, candidates are racing to the finish line

Big turnout could be in store in Mass. on Election Day

Be sure to bring your ID to the polls.

The good thing is after today there will be no more election ads on TV.

Also see:

Thousands of migrants reach Mexico’s capital

Trump claim on citizenship question contradicted in New York trial

NBC, Fox, Facebook stop running Trump caravan ad criticized as racist 

I saw it during “Sunday Night Football.” Very effective.

Nearly 100 Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo restaurants close

They filed for bankruptcy protection and are laying off 1,100 people because of the hike in the minimum wage.

Lowe’s closing 51 stores, including two in NYC

David’s Bridal prepares for bankruptcy filing

Hey, at least stocks gained and gas prices dropped again.

These companies give workers paid time off on Election Day so they can vote

The Globe says vote like your life — and our democracy — depend on it.

So what are you looking for in a candidate?

Where marijuana is on the ballot Tuesday


"An obituary for an Indiana woman who was a Boston native and fervent New England sports fan has attracted the attention of people from around the country for its wit and tongue-in-cheek nature....."

She was a Budweiser-swilling mom who loved her family more than anything — except the Red Sox and Patriots.

So what happens after tonight's spanking?

"The Trump administration is bracing for a massive staff shake-up in the weeks following the midterm elections, as the fates of a number of Cabinet secretaries and top White House aides are increasingly uncertain heading into a potentially perilous time for President Trump. Some embattled officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, are expected to be fired or actively pushed out by Trump after months of bitter recriminations. Others, like Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, may leave amid a mutual recognition that their relationship with the president has become too straine. and more still plan to take top roles on Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign or seek lucrative jobs in the private sector after nearly two years in government. The expected midterm exodus would bring fresh uncertainty and churn to a White House already plagued by high turnover and internal chaos. Many in Trump’s orbit worry that the administration will face challenges filling the vacancies — especially if Democrats win the House majority and use their oversight powers to investigate the administration and issue subpoenas to top officials. Trump’s allies, however, note that some turnover at the two-year mark is normal in any administration. They also say that any departures would give the president a chance to reshape the White House more fully in his own image. Among those most vulnerable to being dismissed are Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation after Sessions recused himself. Trump has routinely berated Sessions, whom he faults for the Russia investigation, but he and Rosenstein have forged an improved rapport in recent months. Other Cabinet officials — including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Nielsen — also face uncertain futures. Other top figures, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and press secretary Sarah Sanders, also have been mentioned as possible departures in the coming months, though if they leave, they seem likely to do so of their own accord. Trump’s White House has weathered an extraordinary amount of turnover....."

He's going to show them the door:

"Almost two years into Trump presidency, Pentagon’s revolving door still spins" by Aaron Gregg Washington Post  November 05, 2018

WASHINGTON — Almost two years after Donald Trump came to Washington pledging to ‘‘drain the swamp’’ of special interests and clear waste from the Pentagon’s supply chain, a steady stream of retired generals, admirals, and government procurement officers are still accepting lucrative positions with companies that do business with the military.

A report released Monday by the advocacy group Project on Government Oversight found that major US defense contractors have hired hundreds of former high-level government officials in recent years, including at least 50 since Trump became president. The report lends new visibility to long-standing concerns about a revolving door between the government agencies that award massive contracts for military supplies and services and the businesses that profit from those contracts.

Corporate influence in Washington was a campaign trail rallying point for Trump, who said soon after the 2016 election that there should be a ‘‘lifetime restriction’’ on top defense officials going to work for defense contractors. ‘‘The people that are making these deals for the government, they should never be allowed to go work for those companies,’’ he said on Fox News.

In early 2017, Trump signed an executive order imposing a five-year ban on administration officials lobbying agencies in which they have served and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments, but Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler noted that Trump has weakened lobbying restrictions put in place by previous presidents.

While it is hard to say whether revolving-door activity has increased or decreased in the Trump presidency, it is clear that defense firms are still eager to hire those with high-level military experience.....


If you jump ahead on the POGO stick you will see that the ‘‘report reflects the same concerns that president Eisenhower did when he coined the phrase ‘military industrial complex.’ . . .  a self-serving community of people who benefit from military spending.’’ 


Here is a look at other news in key states:

"An Arizona boy fatally shot his grandmother, then killed himself Saturday, after being instructed to clean his room, his grandfather told authorities. Doyle Herbert called police at about 5 p.m. to report his wife and their 11-year-old grandson were dead in an apparent murder-suicide, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Joaquin Enriquez, said in a statement. Hebert told authorities the boy shot his 65-year-old grandmother, Yvonne Woodward, in the back of the head after they’d asked him repeatedly throughout the day to pick up after himself. The boy was apparently ‘‘being stubborn about it,’’ according to the statement....."

He did say he was sorry before killing himself.

"Mystery in a small town: A quiet couple are shot dead, their daughter missing" by Sarah Maslin Nir New York Times  November 06, 2018

BARRON, Wis. — Cows and corn and silence stretch out on either side of US Route 8, beyond the Jennie-O turkey plant and nine churches that serve this town of just over 3,400. So when James and Denise Closs, a quiet couple who had lived in town for decades, were found shot to death in their taupe house last month, residents were stunned. It was an agonizing loss of two lives, but also of a way of life.

Front doors are being locked. FBI agents have descended. Yet after three weeks, residents are left with a terrifying mystery that goes beyond the shocking deaths: Not only have the authorities publicly identified no suspect, no murder weapon and no motive, but the Closses’ 13-year-old daughter, Jayme, has been missing ever since.

“We have a double murder and a missing 13-year-old girl, there’s not much more to tell than that — and that’s the frustration,” said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, whose force of 78 ballooned at one point with 200 federal, state, and local law officers joining a round-the-clock hunt.

More than 2,100 tips have turned up nothing. Law enforcement officials have turned a courtroom in a municipal building on the outskirts of town, about 90 miles northeast of the Twin Cities, into a nerve center for the investigation. Thousands of volunteer searchers have combed cornfields and cow pastures. And still nothing — no clues and no Jayme.

At just past 1 a.m. Oct. 15, a 911 call came in to the sheriff’s office. No one spoke, but muffled shouting could be heard. Police traced the call to Denise Closs’s cellphone and arrived at the house on Route 8 four minutes later. They found the front door open and the couple dead.

An Amber Alert was issued for Jayme, and in the weeks that have followed, her name has shot to the top of the FBI’s missing persons list. The agency has expanded its search nationwide, classifying her as “missing and endangered.” She is not a suspect in the case, according to the sheriff.

Jayme likes jazz dancing, ice-skating, and volleyball at Riverview Middle School, where she is an eighth-grader, social media accounts show. She adores shopping and Starbucks Frappuccinos, her aunt, Jennifer Smith, said during a news conference Oct. 25. Smith clutched Jayme’s dog, Molly, as she made an impassioned plea, addressing her niece as if she might be watching.

James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, worked at the Jennie-O plant for 27 years, according to a notice on the website of the Rausch and Steel Funeral Home. It read: “James loved the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers and getting into conversations on the ‘glory days’ of his high school sports career. Denise loved working with her flowers, feeding her birds, she loved angels and helping everyone, any way she could.”

Denise Closs taught classes at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in a nearby town, Cameron.


Around Barron, where Jayme’s sunny face and strawberry hair peers out from checkout counters from Duane’s Collision Repair Center to Dollar General, endless speculation has filled the void of hard information.

Over cups of black coffee and fudge-covered mini doughnuts, a group of welders who meet for breakfast daily at the A&W truck stop traded theories on a recent morning. At night, patrons sipped Spotted Cow ale and threw out hunches at ER Bar: Maybe there was a boyfriend? Maybe it was a hit? Maybe it was an inside job?


"Two buildings collapsed into a pile of rubble and beams Monday in the French city of Marseille, where authorities spoke of a race against time to find people possibly trapped in the ruins. The buildings — one condemned and supposedly vacant, the other containing apartments — gave way after 9 a.m. In the spot where they had stood, a large gap appeared once the dust and debris settled. Fire officials deliberately brought down most of a third building because of concerns the unstable structure might cave on top of search crews and sniffer dogs combing the rubble of the other buildings. The late afternoon demolition released more dust clouds....."

Looks like the inside job regarding a certain September morning, doesn't it?

In the past decade, there have been a total of four killings in Barron County, according to the sheriff. Barron is the kind of town where screen doors are left unlatched in summer; in winter, few lock their front doors. Those days are over, several residents said.....

There is a gun and ammunition just inside the doorway.


Also seeOfficials say driver was huffing before crash that killed 3 Girl Scouts and an adult

Must be something in the water over there.


"Lion Air jet’s airspeed indicator malfunctioned on 4 flights" by Niniek Karmini Associated Press  November 06, 2018

JAKARTA — The ‘‘black box’’ data recorder from a crashed Lion Air jet shows its airspeed indicator malfunctioned on its last four flights, investigators said Monday, just hours after distraught relatives of victims confronted the airline’s cofounder at a meeting organized by officials.

National Transportation Safety Committee chairman Soerjanto Tjahjono said the problem was similar on each of the four flights, including the fatal flight on Oct. 29 in which the plane plunged into the Java Sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

Erratic speed and altitude on the plane’s previous flight, from Denpasar on Bali to Jakarta, were widely reported and ‘‘when we opened the black box, yes indeed the technical problem was the airspeed or the speed of the plane,’’ Tjahjono told a news conference.

‘‘Data from the black box showed that two flights before Denpasar-Jakarta also experienced the same problem,’’ he said. ‘‘In the black box there were four flights that experienced problems with the airspeed indicator.’’

Indonesian investigators, the plane’s manufacturer, Boeing, and the US National Transportation Safety Board are formulating a more specific inspection for Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes related to the airspeed problem, Tjahjono said.

‘‘If there are urgent findings to be delivered, we will convey them to the operators and to the manufacturer,’’ he said.

Lion Air has said a technical problem with the jet was fixed after problems with the Bali to Jakarta flight.

Investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said investigators need to review maintenance records, including what problems were reported, what repairs were done, including whether components were replaced, and how the repairs were tested before the 2-month-old plane was declared airworthy.

‘‘Currently we are looking for the cause of the problem,’’ he said, ‘‘Whether the trouble came from its indicator, its measuring device or sensor, or a problem with its computer. This is what we do not know yet and we will find it out.’’

At the meeting with family members, Tjahjono had said that information downloaded from the jet’s flight data recorder was consistent with reports that the plane’s speed and altitude were erratic after takeoff on its final flight. Searchers are still trying to locate the cockpit voice recorder, but relatives questioned why the plane had been cleared to fly after suffering problems on its Bali to Jakarta flight on Oct. 28 that included a rapid descent after takeoff that terrified passengers.

Tjahjono said the large amount of small debris and relatively small area in which it was found showed the plane hit the water at a very high speed.

‘‘The plane was intact when it plunged to the sea, it did not explode in the air, and the . . . engine was running when it touched the water at high RPM — it’s marked by the loss of all blades of the turbine,’’ he said.

The Lion Air crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing all 162 on board.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.....


Also see:

Icelandair to buy rival Wow Air

Fell out of the sky like a brick.

UK fisherman saved from aggressive seals

Indian villagers crush tiger to death after it killed man

Should have built a wall around town.

Tens of thousands march to support new Sri Lanka government

They are wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

Students kidnapped from Cameroon school

So how is the coup going anyway?


"Harvard researchers suggest interstellar object might have been from alien civilization" by Martin Finucane and Steve Annear Globe Staff  November 05, 2018

That strange interstellar object that invaded our solar system and passed close to Earth in the fall of 2017 could have been an artificial object, a piece of a spacecraft from an alien civilization, Harvard researchers are suggesting in a new paper.

“There is data on the orbit of this object for which there is no other explanation. So we wrote this paper suggesting this explanation,” said Professor Avi Loeb, chairman of the Harvard astronomy department. “The approach I take to the subject is purely scientific and evidence-based.”

“As far as I know, there is no other explanation,” he said. “You can rule it out or in, based on additional data.”

The object ‘Oumuamua — Hawaiian for “messenger from afar arriving first” — is the first ever observed intruding in the orbits of our planets. It was picked up by telescopes in October 2017 at the University of Hawaii’s Haleakalā Observatory, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said. It is on its way out of the solar system and expected to never return. Scientists say other “interstellar” objects may have sailed by in the past, undetected.

The object raised eyebrows.

Loeb said he’s gotten some strong reactions, with the strongest ones coming from people who haven’t read the paper, which he said “illustrates how much prejudice there is about this subject.”

Steven Beckwith, a professor of astronomy and director of the Space Science Laboratory at University of California Berkeley, sounded a note of caution.

He noted that the object was now too far away for our current technology to actually verify its shape, “which means that any speculation cannot be confirmed or denied. So it’s a clever idea, but not obviously science in absence of an observational check.”

“This idea falls into the realm of Carl Sagan’s ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.’ The evidence for a light sail from some distant civilization is too weak to make a convincing case, but it is, nevertheless, fun to think about,” he said in an e-mail.....

So all the aliens and UFO shit that is ubiquitous on the cable channels is nothing but diversion and distraction, huh?


I take that back. It looks like a flying saucer crashed in Sheffield and a team is on their way over to dig it out.


It was only a drone, and I guess that comes with the rise of the robot:

New York and Virginia are said to be Amazon’s choices for HQ2

At least you will be getting free shipping for the holidays, Bo$ton.

City officials probe cause of facade collapse in Allston

Was made of brick, too.

Will have to relocate.

Bulger hoped to be buried next to longtime girlfriend

They are not going to bow to his wishes this time.

His proteges:

Man and boy, 14, charged in violent robbery at 7-Eleven store in Dorchester

Future Godfathers.

"The Shirley man arrested last week for allegedly stockpiling more than 100 firearms and silencers inside his home has ties to the Hells Angels and was previously accused of assaulting an elderly man over money and hurling racial slurs at him, records show. Details of the allegations brought against Jeffrey G. Dusti, 62, were contained in court filings made public ahead of his scheduled dangerousness hearing Monday in Ayer District Court....."

Did you see who will be hearing it?

"Supreme Court won’t take up Net neutrality" by Brian Fung Washington Post  November 06, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a closely watched case over the future of the Internet — rejecting a petition by telecom industry groups to consider Net neutrality, or the principle that Internet providers should treat all online content equally.

Three of the Court’s justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch — would have voted to take up the case, according to the Court’s announcement, and overturn a lower court’s decision backing the Federal Communications Commission’s Net neutrality rules, which were originally passed in 2015, but there were not enough justices for a majority, after Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh recused themselves. (Roberts’ financial disclosures for last year showed that he owned stock in Time Warner, a company that is now owned by AT&T under the name WarnerMedia, while Kavanaugh took part in the case as a judge in the lower court.)

As a result, the decision by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit stands. That opinion, in 2016, held that the Federal Communications Commission had acted within its powers when it approved sweeping new rules the year before that imposed new obligations on Internet providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

I'm told they restructured based open the judge's order.

The FCC rules forbade carriers from blocking or slowing down websites, and also prohibited them from offering websites faster delivery to consumers in exchange for new, additional fees. Providers complained that the rules were overly burdensome and a violation of the FCC’s congressionally granted powers; consumer advocates said the rules were necessary as a vital consumer protection. The DC Circuit upheld the regulations, prompting industry groups to escalate the case to the Supreme Court, but even as the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the appeal, the FCC under Republican chairman Ajit Pai moved to rescind those very rules. The new FCC in 2017 voted to reject much of its authority over Internet providers, and handed much of the responsibility for Net neutrality to a sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission.

The repeal went into effect this summer.

The GOP-led effort to repeal the FCC’s Net neutrality rules set off a separate round of litigation, as tech companies and consumer groups sued to block the deregulation. That suit, which is also pending before the DC Circuit, is quickly becoming the center of the legal battle over Net neutrality now, with the Supreme Court deciding not to hear its Net neutrality case. The Justice Department has also agreed to suspend its recent suit against California over the state’s new Net neutrality law, at least until the case before the DC Circuit is resolved.

Internet providers who had petitioned the Supreme Court said they support an open Internet.

‘‘Rather than back-and-forth regulations and lengthy court proceedings, now is the time for Congress to enact bipartisan legislation and resolve this issue once and for all,’’ said CTIA, the wireless industry’s top trade association in Washington.

Where have they put most of their lobbying money?


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