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Comedian John Hodgman: Feds should lay down ‘broadband like Eisenhower laid down interstates’

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Comedian John Hodgman told fans Monday night during a discussion on net neutrality that the government was considering the exactly wrong action on the Internet.

Hodgman, who played “PC” in the famous Apple computer ads, said during a question-and-answer session on his Tumblr page that federal regulators should not allow telecommunications companies to charge websites more to carry their content.

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“On principle I support anyone who supports the principle that all packets that traverse the internet should be given the same treatment regardless of source,” he said.

The former “Daily Show” contributor agreed that telecom companies had invested heavily in improving their content delivery and should be permitted to make a return on those investments.

“But these are also companies that built their empires on public resources (airwaves) and across and under private and public lands,” he said.

Hodgman said the Internet is simply too important to the economy, education, and creative expression to turn over that much power to telecom companies – which are merging into increasingly fewer choices for consumers.

“We have seen what happens when two or one large companies control what is increasingly a MANDATORY purchase in a given region, whether that’s health insurance or broadband (internet is a de facto required school supply in most communities now): high prices compared to the rest of the world and compromised service,” he said.

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Independent commerce and journalism would be “throttled to the point of non-existence” if a few corporations could require them to pay exorbitant fees to use their online networks, he said.

“I believe in capitalism but not monopolies,” Hodgman said. “I believe in entrepreneurship and I am not against government efforts to foster it.”

The actor and writer said more communities “should invest in their own broadband networks to break regional telecom monopolies.”

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“Personally I believe that the federal government should be laying down broadband like Eisenhower laid down interstates,” Hodgman said, “and I believe preferential fast-laning for big companies will decrease competition and quality and ultimately hamper what is poised to be the most important area of economic, cultural, and technological innovation of our time.”


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‘Not supposed to be that way!’ Bitter Trump whines about Senate possibly letting John Bolton testify

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President Donald Trump on Monday whined about the Senate potentially letting former national security adviser John Bolton testify during his impeachment trial.

"They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House," the president wrote on Twitter. "They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!"

In reality, the House impeachment investigators tried to get Bolton to testify during their inquiry, but he refused to appear unless he got legal clearance to do so. However, Bolton has now offered to testify before the Senate even though he did not comply with House requests to do the same.

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Ex-GOP impeachment manager ripped to shreds on CNN for ‘upside down’ defense of Trump’s conduct

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On CNN Monday, two veterans of the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton clashed over whether President Donald Trump was guilty of impeachable offenses.

"My view is that the phrase that the president's lawyers included in their six-page answer over the weekend is absolutely ironclad, perfectly correct," said Bob Barr, a former House impeachment manager against Clinton. "The language in the Constitution says very clearly that the only basis on which a president can be impeached and removed from office is treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. You have to have a crime. And no matter how much rhetoric you put around that to try and get around it, that is a fact, a legal fact, you have to have a crime."

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Donald Trump and Ben Carson are destroying one of MLK’s most enduring legacies

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President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act just days after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King -- and President Donald Trump's Housing secretary wants to undo that legacy.

The 1968 law hasn't been able to undo the harm from government-sanctioned housing segregation, which still feeds today's wealth and racial inequality, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to remove a protection for black owners who pay unfairly high property taxes, reported the New York Times.

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