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Trump’s move to kill net neutrality sells out the alt-right in favor of big businesses

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Right-wingers celebrated the Trump administration’s move to roll back Obama-era protections on net neutrality, which bar corporate internet service providers from blocking or slowing down sites at will. Alex Jones’ InfoWars lauded the move as “freeing” the Internet from the grips of Obama’s overreach, and alt-right journalist Mike Cernovich said social media companies deserve to “get ripped off by ISPs” because they “censor conservatives.”

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But as The Daily Beast pointed out amid news of the rollback, “non-mainstream” sites like InfoWars and other fringe pages frequented by right-wingers could be among the rule change’s biggest losers.

According to Tim Karr, the senior director of strategy at the internet rights group Free Press, this rule change “would allow telecom giants like Comcast to prioritize their own websites and properties, like Comcast-owned NBC sites,” the report said.

“In turn,” the report said, “this would slow traffic to fringe or non-mainstream political sites like InfoWars and 4chan—unless users paid more for a ‘higher tier’ internet, which currently doesn’t exist.”

Yet because companies like Google that champion liberal causes have been for net neutrality for years, alt-righters favor ending the rule that benefited them to spite their political “enemy.”

“Just look at the four companies in FAVOR of ‘net neutrality’: Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook,” a post on the r/The_Donald subreddit read Monday. “Anything that pisses them off is what I want.”

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“Since these 2015 regulations passed, Internet giant portals like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have moved to become the judge, jury, and executioner of the contact we read on the Internet, under the guise of eliminating ‘fake news,'” InfoWars’ most recent article applauding the move read.

But as Karr noted to the Beast, “the new bill would make telecoms like Comcast actual juries of content, forcing users to pay more for speedier access to some website.”

“It’s largely a mystery how this has become a bipartisan issue,” Karr said. “Anyone who sees the internet as a tool to organize and get their message beyond the mainstream media, protecting an open internet is vital.”

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He went on to speculate that companies like Comcast and Verizon, who have long opposed net neutrality, may be funding some right-wing opposition to the rule.

“Usually when we see that sort of saber-rattling activism on the far right, there is some money behind it,” he said. “The phone and cable lobby very actively funds some of the net neutrality activism.”


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Trump’s new plan for covering COVID-19 patients has administration officials scrambling once again: report

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According to Politico, President Donald Trump's decision not to reopen the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, and to instead pay hospitals to treat uninsured coronavirus patients, blindsided not just insurance companies, but his own health officials — and left everyone scrambling to implement his orders.

"The rollout of the new hospital pay program capped a frenetic several days within the administration, prompted by a White House official’s confirmation Tuesday that there would be no reopening of the Obamacare markets," wrote Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook, and Susannah Luthi. "That declaration surprised even some officials in the Health and Human Services Department, who believed the concept was still under consideration. And amid a crush of criticism from Democrats led by 2020 front runner Joe Biden, it worried officials who viewed the verdict as an unforced error in the middle of a historic pandemic."

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2020 Election

Trump is preparing the ground for a totalitarian dictatorship

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We're all going to know someone who has died of the coronavirus when this is over. The tragic news is all over Facebook and Twitter already. My friend Patricia Bosworth, the actress and biographer, died on Friday of the virus. Everyone has friends and acquaintances who have the virus, family members who have died, favorite musicians or actors and friends of friends who are sick and dying. The virus has taken them from us, but so has Donald Trump with his inaction and lying and childish finger-pointing and failure to take responsibility.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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HBO’s Bill Maher returns to rip Trump over the pandemic — and blast his fans who are rallying around ‘the guy who made it worse’

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HBO's Bill Maher returned on Friday night via YouTube to blast Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic and took on fans of the president who are rallying around him, calling their response "irrational."

Speaking from what appeared to be his backyard, the "Real Time" host noted that Americans tend to rally around their leaders in times of crisis but that this president is not deserving of support.

"Was the current crisis preventable? " he asked. "Not all of it, of course. But we could have done what South Korea did, their nightmare started the day our's did. But while Trump shut up experts, happy-talked and lied his ass off, South Korea put a strong testing program into place, tracing people, and today they have twenty-0ne times the cases and thirty times fewer deaths."

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