Wiretap: Taking on giants in the name of Net neutrality

It’s not too late for communications-industry corporate colossi to snatch victory from the widening jaws of defeat, but still… How did a ragtag band of startups and activists successfully stand up to Internet giants like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner and their army of lobbyists in the great battle for net neutrality? Brendan Sasso writes for the National Journal that even the longest of long shots can sometimes win, particularly if you can get the FCC chairman to take your side.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore — you may remember him from the infamous Ten Commandments ruling — is back, this time telling Alabama judges to ignore a federal court ruling that same-sex marriage is now legal in Alabama. If that sounds like Alabama in the days of George Wallace and Jim Crow to you, that’s only because it does. Same-sex marriage was to begin today in Alabama. Will someone have to call in the National Guard? Via the New York Times.

On the “free-trade” Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement: Maybe it should come down to who can give the best two-minute-fifteen-second presentation? Who is up to battle Robert Reich? Anyone? Anyone?

Best Quote, Sunday New York Times? Al Gore, who had a 1998 late-night vision of an observatory satellite that could take full pictures of the Earth and remotely track its evolving atmosphere and general health. Republicans mocked the project as “GoreSat” but scientists weren’t laughing. They wanted to rig it with monitors to warn against any of the kind of sun storms that would cause massive electrical blackouts on Earth. Seventeen years later, the “Discovr” observatory is scheduled to launch — tonight at 6:07 EST, from Cape Canaveral. Asked about the educational and scientific value of the $370 million project, Gore smiled: “I would say there is some evidence there is [still a need],” he said. “I’m laughing because I’m thinking of some of the politicians who came out in favor of measles last week.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates explains why Obama is sometimes hesitant to talk about religion and race in his commentary piece for the Atlantic: “The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech.”

It’s time to ask the real measles-related question: Is there a vaccine to protect us from politicians? Via the New Yorker.

PolitiFact Wisconsin judges Scott Walker’s “drafting error” excuse for trying to change the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement to be a Brian Williams-like lie. Via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Arming Ukraine, writes University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer in a New York Times op-ed, would only make matters worse: For the United States, for NATO, for Ukraine.

This is for Dylanistas only: The transcript of Bob Dylan’s MusiCares person of the year speech. You should not miss it. Via the Los Angeles Times.

John Feinstein: An appreciation of Dean Smith, the coach who will live forever. Via the Washington Post.


Jason Pohl at the Fort Collins Coloradoan with a pullout story on a Loveland bike versus car wreck. It happens once every two days in Front Range Larimer County, with its commuter highways, rural intersections and beautiful, dangerous, winding, mountain two-lane roads. and “nearly one in ten Northern Colorado drivers who hit a cyclist in 2014 fled the scene, data show, and rarely are the fleeing motorists caught.”

And the Pueblo Chieftain has published a Special Report section on marijuana called “The Growing Trade.”

[ Photo by Sophie Deschenes.]