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Senator Diane Feinstein Trying to Kill Net Neutrality 873

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wonder-what-the-payoff-was dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Register, Senator Diane Feinstein is attempting to put language into the stimulus bill that would kill net neutrality. The amendment that her provision was attached to was withdrawn, but lobbyists tell Public Knowledge that Feinstein hopes to put it back into the bill during the closed-door conference committee that reconciles the House and Senate versions." Bad Senator! No Cookie!
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Senator Diane Feinstein Trying to Kill Net Neutrality

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  • by Whammy666 (589169) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:06PM (#26813601) Homepage
    She needs to be investigated for her conflict of interest between her position as chair on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee and her husband's firms receiving billions of dollars of defense construction contracts. Oops. She's the chair of the Senate Rules Committee. I guess there won't be any investigations.
  • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:07PM (#26813617)
    The Democrats have always been in the pocket of RIAA/MPAA/Hollywood types. Look up Hillary Rosen if you have any doubts. Republicans have scr*w*d up the country but on this issue, they have always been a better alternative. Not because they are more moral or anything, but because they are not as beholden to the Hollywood set.
  • not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Michael Restivo (1103825) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:07PM (#26813627)
    when you look at the long-term contribution trends http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=B02 [opensecrets.org]

    Cheers, Mike
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:09PM (#26813647) Homepage Journal

    When the people stop getting involved.
    contact this person, inform them, get involved with your representatives.

    Most people just complain.

  • She's not a good Democrat. Step 1 for Democrats was to get more elected Democrats. Now that is accomplished, step 2 is to get better Democrats.

    Feinstein and many others will probably be facing primary challengers for the next election. We can certainly find better Democrats than these people.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:13PM (#26813743)

    This, amongst the other chicanery of congress, is yet another example of why we need to impose single purpose limitations on the bills congress tries to pass.

    They can take their riders and try to get them passed as stand alone bills.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:14PM (#26813751)

    because they are not as beholden to the Hollywood set.

    No, instead they're beholden to the Oil and Military set.

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:15PM (#26813763)

    Both parties are bought and paid for.

    That anyone ever thinks differently must lack critical thinking. The people in power are corrupt, and the weaker party, which happened to be in power last time, is going to swoop in and fix everything.

    Fuck, half the problem is that this country wasn't set up as a democracy, but a republic. But then it started with electing the president directly instead of state legislatures deciding themselves, sending electors that were little more rubberstamps, and then an amendment where the senators get voted in by the people, instead, again, of the electors deciding. The republic originally envisioned would have had several layers, with people voting the bottom local layer, and then those layer of people voting up another level, etc.

    The net effect is that, I as a lone and insignificant voter, instead of just voting for a few people that I know better on a local people - get swamped with choices on every level - local, state, federal. Who has the time for it? You know how people complain about choice and linux distros? This is 100x worse. The end effect is that people start voting down the line for parties. National Parties evolved.

    Such a system also gives the mainstream media undue power, puppet strings whereby to agitate voters into their agendas who in turn wail to their politicians, all the way up to Senators and Presidents, about the latest insignificant thing. It's not a good way to keep government limited if people always demand things from the government. If senators, as originally, were appointed by state legislators or governors - there would be focused on more than winning the next election.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:16PM (#26813781)

    I mean, I thought it was the Republicans who were destroying America and the Democrats were going to save us? You mean to tell me that they are all beholden to business interests? Say it it isn't so!

    Ah, see? And yet again, because it's a Democrat party senator going against the ./ grain, the little (D) mark after the name is absent from the intro blurb. Curious how that always happens. Whenever it's a Republican senator or congressman in the hot seat, that little (R) is right there to make sure everyone knows it. I've pointed this out before, and here it is again. Coincidence? Oversight? Not this many times it ain't.

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:17PM (#26813797)
    Unfortunately, while Diane Feinstein is a great democrat in other areas, she is firmly on the side of copy protection, DRM, the RIAA, MPAA, and media distributors in general. This has nothing to do with the Democrat take over of congress, or going back on campaign promises, Diane Feinstein has always been this way. Even though I'm a hard-core democrat, I voted against her in the elections every time when I lived in California (I've vote instead for the Peace and Freedom party). Here's the form letter I got back in response to my letter I sent to her complaining about some new draconian copyright law:

    Thank you for writing to me about music file-sharing. I appreciate your thoughts on this important topic and welcome the opportunity to respond. I have always believed that the protection of intellectual property rights is vital to a flourishing economy -- particularly in California. As new technologies, such as P2P file sharing, have developed over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to protect intellectual property from illegal copying and distribution. I believe that we must work to prevent the creation of digital copies of copyrighted works that can be illegally distributed throughout the world. The "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004" (S 2560) is currently pending consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member. I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind should this legislation come up in the Committee. Again, thank you for writing. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841. Sincerely yours, Dianne Feinstein United States Senator

    There you have it, she's pretty much in the media content protection camp as far as she can go and she's always been that way. Meh... I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that the senator who draws her financial support from Hollywood would be interested in "protecting" copyright. It doesn't mean I like it any more and I do wish she would go away.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:18PM (#26813829) Journal

    She's not a good Democrat. Step 1 for Democrats was to get more elected Democrats. Now that is accomplished, step 2 is to get better Democrats.

    Thank you for sharing the Daily Kos theme song with us ;)

    Feinstein and many others will probably be facing primary challengers for the next election

    Good luck with that.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:20PM (#26813851)

    You're right of course, but you'll probably get modded into oblivion here. Not that the Republicans are any better, either. They're as guilty as the Dems for pissing away hundreds of billions in Iraq over the last six years.

    Where's the party that wants to reduce the size of government, spend less, and hold people and corporations accountable for their own actions? The one that still believes if you touch a hot stove, it should hurt? I could care less what its name is as long as those things are in its platform. I'd support the Libertarians, but their pro-drug plank makes them un-electable in mainstream America today (regardless of your feelings on the drug war, that's a fact). How do we get the fuckers in Washington to just STOP blowing trillions of our dollars already?

  • by Admodieus (918728) <{ten.kazcsim} {ta} {nhoj}> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:21PM (#26813861)
    The problem with having no network neutrality as the broadband industry currently stands is that there isn't any regulation. Most Americans have one (maybe two, if they're lucky) choices of ISPs and that is it. If your area or apartment building only has Comcast and you don't like the way Comcast is prioritizing traffic, too bad. You're stuck paying the monthly fee for a service that you're not satisfied with, and there's nothing you can do about it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:23PM (#26813897)

    It isn't about the menial hops between you and Google. It's about ISPs deciding who can and cannot have a meaningful presence online.

    It's a legal minefield at the moment, but if neutrality isn't enshrined in law it's conceivable that they could start throttling traffic from arbitrary sources so much that they would effectively block them. Youtube would disappear, replaced by your ISP's choice of video streaming solution.

    Comcast has a monopoly in my area, and I don't have any other choices for my internet service. If they went ahead and throttled services I rely on to the point that they become unusable, I have absolutely no recourse. Network Neutrality, in part, ensures that Comcast can't arbitrarily block things they don't like.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:24PM (#26813907)
    just like how gas prices weren't going to go up once we got the oil man out of office. well, he's out and prices are going back up. does this make barak an oilman now?
  • Reality Check (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GottliebPins (1113707) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:25PM (#26813943)
    Republicans always get blaimed for everything bad that happens in this country. The sad thing is most Americans don't even know which party is in control in Washington. While the Republican hating masses were giving Congress a single digit approval rating, most of them didn't even realize it was the Democrats who were in charge of Congress. And now that there's no opposition in the White House to their stupidity this is what we get. Career politicians protecting the rights of special interests and screw the average citizens. And everyone stands around waiting for Obama to waive his magic wand and everyone gets free healthcare and nobody will ever have to pay for rent or gas and we can all eat cake and ice cream for the rest of our lives. Wake me up when it's over.
  • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:27PM (#26813961) Journal

    Close, but no cigar. Corporations may be people in some legal respects, but they sure as hell can't vote. It's people like us who give politicians their jobs, and it's people like us who can just as easily take them away.

  • by cjb658 (1235986) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:28PM (#26813995) Journal

    I live in California. Feinstein is my senator. She was my senator 12 years ago when I was taking government in Jr. High. She'll probably still be senator when I'm 50.

    The joys of living in a blue state with no term limits on senators...

  • by spydabyte (1032538) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:28PM (#26814003)
    The labels of democrat and republican are horribly uninformative; and people, including yourself, should stop labeling them so. Just because they label themselves one way or another doesn't make them non-politician. That's the label we should all agree on :). Lobbied Politician.
  • by tripdizzle (1386273) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:29PM (#26814015)
    I usually catch things like this, but didnt this time. Nice one, which I had mod points for this AC.
  • by eln (21727) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:29PM (#26814019) Homepage

    Feinstein and many others will probably be facing primary challengers for the next election. We can certainly find better Democrats than these people.

    The Senate is run almost entirely on seniority. No one is going to give up a Senator with that kind of seniority and replace them with someone of the same party unless the Senator gets convicted of a felony or something, and even then it's not certain.

    Entrenched Senators only lose their seats when they retire or when there's a massive demographic shift in their district that moves more people of the opposition party in. The primaries are just a formality when a senior Senator is involved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:30PM (#26814037)

    Good thing the Democrat candidate for president accepted the public funding for campaigning, while the greedy Republican candidate went back on his word and got money from outside sources (ie: corporations, etc.)

    Wait, what? It was the other way around? Gee... Imagine that....

    Well..then... Good thing Democrats are trying to cut out pork from the stimulus and keep faithful to the American People, rather than the American Senator or American Corporation, while the greedy Republicans are.......

    Wait, I got that one wrong too, didn't I....

  • Move Along.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by d0n0vAn (1382471) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:31PM (#26814045)
    Is Time Warner really one of her largest donors? Nothing to see here.... FTFA: US Senator Dianne Feinstein hopes to update President Barack Obama's $838bn economic stimulus package so that American ISPs can deter child pornography, copyright infringement, and other unlawful activity by way of "reasonable network management." SOURCE: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?CID=N00007364 [opensecrets.org]
  • Re:Shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:31PM (#26814053) Homepage
    She does. She supports the "Fairness Doctrine" even though it will actually be a restriction on Free Speech. I sent a message to her via her website about it but of course I never got a reply.
  • by John Anonymous (73428) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:32PM (#26814087)

    Close, but no cigar. Corporations may be people in some legal respects, but they sure as hell can't vote. It's people like us who give politicians their jobs, and it's people like us who can just as easily take them away.

    Corporations are much more powerful than people: they are after all comprised of people, who can vote; they can "live" longer than people; they typically have much more money and resources than people, with which to lobby governments; and since there are generally many people working for a corporation, they have a lot more person-hours to spend on lobbying, etc. than a natural person.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andytrevino (943397) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:33PM (#26814091) Homepage

    Way to make it personal, asshole. I'm a college student so I can get away with charging 20 bucks an hour undercutting everyone else (high gas prices and an outdated website, you see; the website does no selling for me) and it's still a reasonable amount of money considering my expenses -- and I'm really good at what I do, if my continued referrals mean anything.

    Discarding the politics of personal destruction and returning to the issues, it's silly of you to assert that only Democrats have dissonance within their ranks. There are many varied viewpoints in the Republican party, from the wacky (and IMO quite stupid) Creationists to the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Giuliani conservatives to the corrupt idiots like Ted Stevens who I'm happy to see go. People like me consider the Ted Stevenses and the Arlen Specters and the Olympia Snowes (the latter two of which supported this pork-laden stimulus package in the Senate) to be, as you say, wolves in sheeps' clothing.

    And unfortunately, Barack was pitched to us as a messenger from fairy land sent to save us all, that he would magically make everything better. He can't even instill his own purported values of transparency, freedom of information and clean government in his own party members despite his sweeping election. There is no hope for them; indeed, I think they've started to rub off on him [bostonherald.com] -- there are no pork or earmarks in the stimulus bill, but there are special spending projects and shovel-ready construction projects and countless other Democrat special projects [wsj.com] that just can't wait to garner Democrat votes with government dollars.

  • by eln (21727) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:33PM (#26814097) Homepage

    There are two reasons the D is likely missing:

    1.) Slashdot editors are lazy
    2.) Everyone already knows Feinstein is a Democrat. She's one of the leaders of the party, and one of the people the Republicans are always complaining about. Anyone who pays attention to politics at all knows she's a Democrat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:35PM (#26814137)

    This "stimulus" has more intrusive government BS that will impact my daily life than anything GWB ever did.

    Federally holding/monitoring my medical records?
    Ending net neutrality?
    Etc?

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:37PM (#26814163)

    Unlike the republicans, the democratic party has a lot of people with their own views.
    --snip--
    I hate feinstein and always considered her a wolf in sheep clothing.

    "Unlike the Republicans, we have true diversity. Of course, I despise all the ones who don't think like I do."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:38PM (#26814175)

    If you havent realized it yet, Republicans and conservative philosophy are way more friendly to net neutrality than the democrats who want to control everything. You may never have even heard the phrase "limited government" because the Left wing establishment wants your slavish vote for Obama

  • Corporations may be people in some legal respects, but they sure as hell can't vote.

    Sure they can, "one viewer, one vote" for elections, and "one lobbyist, one vote" for bills. Together, this simplifies to "one dollar, one vote", and we all know that corporations have many more dollars than individuals.

  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:41PM (#26814259)

    Why would you need to vote, when you can just buy politicians?

    but seriously, if a corporation gets treated as a person in legal realms, it should get punished as one. I would love to see a "corporate death penalty" where they just reject the charter of a corporation, dissolving it, or place it in a "jail" so it can't do any business for 30 days, or whatever..

  • by kalirion (728907) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:41PM (#26814269)

    You know, as much as I like the spirit of net neutrality, I've always found it suspicious that the same ./ers who tell the government to "keep out of my internets" are so supportive of giving the government more footholds in regulating the net.

  • by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:41PM (#26814271)

    It isn't about the menial hops between you and Google. It's about ISPs deciding who can and cannot have a meaningful presence online.

    Actually net non-neutrality affects ALL hops that your packets take, it's just that the ISP is a choke point where they can demand bribe money from specific destinations, like google for instance, in order to connect to those users. It's a classic shakedown, because ISPs are already getting paid for the bandwidth used and there is nothing special about a given destination except how much money they have.

    But it doesn't stop there. AT&T can say to Qwest that they'll need an extra cent per MB of traffic routed to google. Then instead of routing being a 'simple' issue of getting packets to the destination address, it adds weights like 'at minimal the cost' or 'cheapest in 0.X seconds' and so on.

    'Net bias' is really a bone-headed idea in pretty much every way.

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:43PM (#26814291) Homepage Journal

    I had the same concerns so I did what you did & wrote a letter. I swear I got almost the exact same form letter from my *republican* senator & I'm in Florida.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:43PM (#26814293) Journal

    Unlike the republicans, the democratic party has a lot of people with their own views

    And those views are dead on arrival if they conflict with the views of the party/congressional leadership. The NY Times just had an interesting article [nytimes.com] about the oldest serving member of the House. Here's the interesting part:

    More troublesome for Mr. Dingell has been the long-term trend toward ideological polarization, making the Democratic Party less hospitable for members with socially conservative views, like his support for gun rights. When redistricting pitted him against the more liberal Representative Lynn Rivers in a 2002 primary, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California sent $10,000 to Ms. Rivers.

    Mr. Dingell survived. But like colleagues in both parties, he has chafed under Ms. Pelosiâ(TM)s speakership at the centralization of decision-making within the House leadership. "It started under Gingrich," he said, "and it continues today."

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:43PM (#26814307)
    Unless you "involve" yourself by holding big fundraisers for them or getting them big campaign donations, they couldn't give a shit less what you think.
  • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:44PM (#26814315)
    One man's pork is another man's infrastructure spending. What Republicans want is 100% tax cuts. Tax cuts (from the evidence of the last few times we have tried this) do not return as much in terms of economic activity as infrastructure spending does (the comparison is $1.02 vs $2.10 per dollar spent). And that totally ignores the modern reality of globalized economic interactions.

    More damningly, since there is not much manufacturing left in the US, whatever money you choose to spend out of the tax cut goes straight to the Chinese or whichever third world hellhole the greedy US corporations are importing that week. Tax cuts made perfect sense before this age of globalization. Now, we are simply stimulating the Chinese economy while borrowing money from them. So, the Chinese get to see their economy boosted by each US tax cut plus they get to earn interest on whatever was spent by the US federal government. Can't think of too many deals sweeter than that one.

    The current stimulus bill is utterly misguided. 100% of it should have gone to infrastructure spending (the stuff you like to call pork) with an explicit buy American clause (otherwise any stimulus would again flow to China). If we are going to borrow money and get deeper into debt, we might as well spend it on boosting our competitiveness and creating new future industries rather than giving a double fillip to the Chinese economy.
  • by General Fault (689426) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:44PM (#26814327)
    oh yeah.. way worse than Cunningham, Stevens, Delay or a whole slew of other Republicans... (I do realize that Cunningham and Stevens were congressmen)
  • by Ardeaem (625311) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:46PM (#26814363)

    Corporations may be people in some legal respects, but they sure as hell can't vote. It's people like us who give politicians their jobs, and it's people like us who can just as easily take them away.

    Corporations don't need to vote; they have lots and lots of money. And they have JOBS waiting for the politicians when they leave politics. Did I mention money?

    The problem is that the political system is rotten. If you can't be supported by a major political party, you can't get elected unless you have lots and lots of money. The political parties are corrupt, so to be supported YOU have to be corrupt.

    "But wait, can't we just throw them all out?" Yeah, but the problem with this is that we all want the OTHER party thrown out first. The way the plurality system works, if you vote for a third party candidate, the OTHER party wins. So, whoever starts voting against the two party candidate closest to them in favor of a third party candidate will screw you in the end.

    What is needed is a complete change in the way politicians are elected and serve. THAT won't happen because the POLITICIANS have to do it. They like the system the way it is, because it makes them wealthy and connected.

    In short, we are doomed.

  • by divisionbyzero (300681) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:47PM (#26814383)

    Since this is so naked and obvious I'd say she doesn't care. Why might that be? Oh, right, by appeasing one of the largest lobbies in California it might make her trip to Sacramento a little smoother.

  • by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:49PM (#26814411) Homepage Journal

    Actually the Clintons were considered the oil company's best friends when Bill was in office. Read "Hear No Evil, See No Evil" by Robert Baer for a fascinating blow by blow account of the author being ordered to help the oil companies by the Clinton administration.

  • by Retric (704075) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:49PM (#26814419)

    We already have net neutrality. They want the ability to charge a website for bandwidth that their users are accessing. Now this might be silly but I assume people spending lot's of money lobbing for something only do so when they are planning to start doing it.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:52PM (#26814475) Homepage Journal

    Corporations may be people in some legal respects, but they sure as hell can't vote.

    Campaign contributions are worth much more than individual votes, they'll buy you tons of votes. In bulk.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Digitus1337 (671442) <lk_digitus.hotmail@com> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:56PM (#26814567) Homepage

    You might want to do some reading into the history of the Democratic party.

    You might want to do some reading on "realignment" ;-).

  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:00PM (#26814661)

    Removal of net neutrality would have some key effects:

    • An ability for ISPs to collude with large commercial interests/government to simply suffocate small operators and individual websites, particularly of "inconvenient" to the ruling elites' contents, by selling all the "priority" bandwidth to large corporations/government and throttling the rest severely. This allows for censorship and creation of monopolies all under a pretense of "market forces" at work.
    • It would mean the end to all peer-to-peer applications, large chunk of Internet gaming, small scale VPNs etc by introduction of massive latency resulting from now legalized throttling of all "not sufficiently profitable" traffic.
    • Massive increase of costs for most commercial websites, which of course would simply be passed on consumers, which would in turn drive prices up for Internet commerce significantly, all with absolutely no improvement to the operation of these sites and with an overall deterioration of Internet service in general as mentioned above.
  • by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:03PM (#26814715)
    I'd take it a bit further and say no consecutive terms, including the president. They can run for re-election on their own dime and time.
  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:05PM (#26814745)

    and that would just lead to "Generic Systems Co" folding and opening up the next day as "Ge dynamic Systems CO". A completely different entity which just happens to employ all the same people.

    Now a death penalty which involves the board of directors or the biggest share holders actually being given the death penalty might mean something.
    Perhaps in cases where a company causes a vast number of deaths.

  • You know, as much as I like the spirit of net neutrality, I've always found it suspicious that the same ./ers who tell the government to "keep out of my internets" are so supportive of giving the government more footholds in regulating the net.

    Why? We don't want the government saying what can/can't be done online, and we don't want the ISPs doing that either. The preferred answer to the ISPs would be "vote with your wallet", but this doesn't work because the local governments like selling them monopolies.

  • by jimmydevice (699057) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:12PM (#26814875)

    Not a Cal. resident?

    Out of State:

    Thank you for sending me your electronic mail message. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

    Because of the volume of e-mail that is received by my office, we can only respond to email that includes a California postal address. Please resend the text of your e-mail message, including your postal address, and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

    Should you need additional information about the Congress, or my offices in Washington and California, please visit my homepage on the World Wide Web. The address is http://feinstein.senate.gov./ [feinstein.senate.gov]

    Thank you again for contacting me, and I hope you will continue to do so in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Dianne Feinstein
    United States Senator

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:19PM (#26814989)

    Wow, I wonder how much it cost to get her to add that.

  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn&wumpus-cave,net> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:27PM (#26815133)

    Democrats, at least certain members, are as tied to the entertainment industry as much as Republicans are to oil companies.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:37PM (#26815287) Homepage Journal
    To be fair, Bush's TARP plan was basically "put a giant pile of money on the table, turn your back, and whatever the banks want they can take". The Obama plan is far more directed and includes oversight as well as earmarks to reduce the chance that the money just goes directly into someone's pocket, never to be seen again.
  • by Reziac (43301) * on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:40PM (#26815323) Homepage Journal

    Then why do these idiots keep re-electing people like Feinstein? She's done nothing but raise taxes, vote away our rights, and spend money.

    THIS California resident votes for whoever the hell runs against her, but it's a lost cause so long as she has all that name recognition.

    "Democracy: that ultimate triumph of quantity over quality." -- Peter H. Peel

  • by eam (192101) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:41PM (#26815337)

    Term limits would also get rid of the honest, competent politicians who serve their constituents with integrity.

    If we ever get anyone like that, it will be a shame to lose them because of term limits.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:41PM (#26815357) Journal

    Abraham Lincoln when he acted like George Dubya - like a military dictator.

    (I'm about to get modded -1 by both sides. Now that's real bipartisanship.)

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:43PM (#26815379)

    I'd support the Libertarians, but their pro-drug plank makes them un-electable in mainstream America today

    Sad but true. Only in America would the elimination of 80% of crime, while saving the nation billions every year be considered, "un-electable."

  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:44PM (#26815425) Homepage Journal

    But the most notorious machine politicians are the ones who ALSO held perpetual office.

    Wrong, the most notorious machine politicians are the ones that never got elected, the "kingmakers" if you will.

      Term limits at least get rid of those.

    Term limits empower machine politicians and take away the power of those who would defy them. A popular lawmaker can stand up against the machine, but it's for naught if he can't stay in office.

    I don't see why you would be against term limits simply because they may be friendly to machine politicians in certain areas... there are better ways to address that particular situation.

    Politicians who have the confidence of the electorate are the best deterrent to machine politicians. You cannot defuse the power of the politicians and expect it to flow back to the people. Instead, it flows back to lobbyists and party/machine politicians. In a representative democracy, the best place for the power to be is in the hands of the politician, rather than the back-door dealmaker.

  • by Reziac (43301) * on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:47PM (#26815451) Homepage Journal

    That's an interesting thought -- let 'em run the first time on a certain limited amount of public funds (just to make sure everyone has a fair shot at being seen as a candidate), but for re-election to that same post, that they have to find their own funding, and CANNOT take time away from the current elected position for campaigning for ANY position (current or new).

    Would change the game considerably. What it wouldn't fix is the kick-'em-upstairs that happens where there are term limits, tho that can be beneficial if the elected person is doing a good job -- so put him where he has more power to do more good.

    I'm not sure this is progress either, but it's worth discussing.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Americano (920576) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:59PM (#26815653)

    Your sources are diverse and correct! Everyone knows Open standards for medical documents is a one way road to Socialism. Just ask anyone on slashdot what open standards does to a buisiness! It's evil, don't touch it! You don't have to read deep into Torvaldis' Das Penguinal to see that communism follows.

    Sarcasm isn't really a rebuttal. But then you knew that, right?

    You could try reading Betsy McCaughey's [bloomberg.com] op-ed about the piece, or better yet, go read the actual bill [gpo.gov] in question yourself. And note that that web site is GPO (Government Printing Office), not GOP - I'm sure some dyslexic will misread it and accuse me of being a shill for the Republicans.

    Point of fact: nowhere in the bill is an "open" standard for medical records referenced or called for.

    Point of fact: In this bill, the government is appointing itself as the entity to ensure that everybody (yes, everybody - there don't appear to be any provisions for people who wish to opt out) has electronic medical records by 2014. The government has also tasked this bureaucracy with developing infrastructure to facilitate the exchange of those medical records.

    When any agency (government or private) nominates itself as the caretaker of extensive private information about you, it's wise to have privacy concerns. I don't mean tin-foil hat conspiracy theories, I mean, there should be full & accurate disclosure as to what privacy controls are in place, so that the public can understand & offer feedback on the proposal.

    The GP's last 2 sentences are actually spot-on. An economic stimulus bill is NOT the place for a tacked-on afterthought which creates a sweeping change to the country's medical landscape. There are legitimate privacy questions & concerns in the creation of electronic medical records, and to just stuff them into this bill stifles open & constructive debate on exactly what safeguards should be put in place.

    Slashdot readers fumed over the PATRIOT act's potential for violating their privacy; this provision could have equally far-reaching impact on your private, personal medical records. So bottom line, I'm asking you to answer this one question:

    WHY is the fact that the government wants to take full or partial control of your medical records NOT a cause for concern for you?

    Please answer in a complete sentence that doesn't begin with either of these two phrases:
    1) "Because President Obama says..."
    2) "Well it's not like it's President Bush..."

  • by limaxray (1292094) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:00PM (#26815659) Homepage
    I agree and don't really understand the NN argument myself, and generally find myself opposing it. The main net neutrality argument is that ISPs *could* throttle this, or *could* filter that to force people to use their preferred services. I see a couple problems with this argument:

    -There are no instances of this actually happening. Creating laws before there is actually a need is not healthy for a free society. As a libertarian-leaning individual myself, I feel it is best to keep laws to only where they promote the maximum benefit to society while minimizing the impact on the rights of others. Creating such a law now would not benefit anyone, while it would infringe on the property rights of a few - if this changes, then, and only then, should such laws be considered

    -If ISPs start filtering traffic to force you to use their services, that would fall under existing anti-trust laws. These laws are there for a reason, and this is a perfect example of such a reason. ISPs as they stand now pretty much hold Monopolies/Duopolies on their markets and they stand on a very fine line of being tolerated. Raising their rates or filtering traffic just because they can will certainly put them under anti-trust investigation and they know this. The point is that abusing your position as a monopoly is already against the law, and these are the laws that should be enforced in such a scenario.

    -As much as I hate and distrust my ISP (Comcrap), I distrust my government more. Our government is corrupt at all levels as politicians easily give in to whichever lobbyist throw them the most cash and prostitutes. Granted, the executives at these companies have the same priorities, but at least they're honest about it. My biggest fear is this - NN giving the government control of what is or is not filtered and we live in a world of what content we get depends on who lobbies the most. ISP's with plenty of cash to spend still get to have a say in what you get, without fear of anti-trust investigation, while 3rd parties like the RIAA/MPAA make sure technologies like bit torrent are blocked regardless of what content it is used for. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I've lived in NJ most of my life and this is EXACTLY the kind of crap that goes on.

    -Finally, and I think most importantly, NN laws simply address a symptom, and not the actual problem - lack of competition amongst ISPs. This is like treating bronchitis with Robotussin - it may make the cough better, but the underlying infection is still there, except now it is easier to ignore while it only gets worse. If any laws need to be passed, it should be to address the limited number of available broadband providers - NN legislation is just a feel-good band-aid solution that fixes nothing while expanding government control over the greatest free-speech forum of all time.

    Sorry for the rant.
  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:11PM (#26815845) Homepage Journal

    Yes, of course, Just like how they're treating Lieberman, right?

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:12PM (#26815861)
    Maybe - try being a pro-gun or pro-life democrat sometimes. On some specific issues, there is no seat at the table with the more powerful arms of the Democratic party.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:15PM (#26815905) Journal

    >>>She is trying to insert language to allow ISPs to "manage their network" to stop illegal file sharing and distribution of child pornography.

    I repeat: When did Diane turn Republican? These two activities (protecting RIAA and superimposing Christian morality) are more like a Republican tactic. The founder of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson, would be ashamed.

    While I support protecting children, I also recognize that nudity is not a sin and does not need to be censored. And neither does bittorrent; not all the traffic that flows peer-to-peer is illegal (as many ISPs falsely presume).

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:19PM (#26815983) Journal

    Abraham Lincoln when he acted like George Dubya - like a military dictator.

    Lincoln went a lot further than GWB ever dreamed. If GWB had the cojones of Lincoln he would installed puppet governments in the state capitols of the blue states that opposed his policies and ordered the army to arrest the entire editorial board (well, except Kristol) of the New York Times.

    People who blindly idolize Lincoln really need to open a history book and see what he was all about. I'm not convinced that forcing the South to remain a part of the Union at gunpoint was really worth it.

  • by bsane (148894) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:22PM (#26816043)

    MS and BofA are avoidable. Comcast and other cable/internet providers generally have a monopoly on critical services that I can't avoid.

    Something needs to be done about that monopoly, because until then there is no way to 'vote' with dollars.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:44PM (#26816423)

    Why you people in Cali keep voting for this woman I will never understand.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:48PM (#26816495) Journal

    This started in 1913 with the passage of the Income Tax Amendment AND the Federal Reserve Act.

    At this point, the government had a higher power - a bank - and the means to confiscate wealth at an alarming rate.

    Things were quiet - even including the Great Depression, the only notable happening was the Fed grabbed some more power to prevent it from happening again (lets see how that worked out).

    Then in 1945 Congress passed the Victory Tax act. This was an unconstitutional law that actually taxed people's individual wages. But in patriotic America, no one date question it, like the invasion of Iraq. The law was repealed two years later before anyone dare challenge it and replaced with one that was constitutional.

    The precedent was set though - Through a Patriotic Campaign [the7thfire.com] people were convinced to pay taxes on their "wages". Forms were set up and (W-2, W-4, etc) and used to collect the unconstitutional tax. After the Victory Tax Act was replaced, the precedent had been set, and a large wage tax the database established. The forms were kept the same, so no one was the wiser.

    Today you can read for yourself the constitutional definitions in 3401 [cornell.edu] and 3121 [cornell.edu] of title 26. Note the definition of wages" "employment", "United States", and "State". If you doubt the meaning of "United States" contrast it with 4612. [cornell.edu]

    Further more, Senator Bailey, the biggest income tax proponent had this to say:
    "I have no hesitation in declaring that a tax on any useful occupation cannot be defended in any forum of conscience or of common sense. To
    tax a man for trying to make a living for his family is such a patent and gross injustice that it should deter any legislature from perpetrating it."
    44 Congressional Record 1702 (1909)

    Well, Senator Bailey had no idea just how bad things would get. After WWII, we had a great sense of accomplishment. But we found ourselves in a cold war, and quickly moved into the Korean and Vietnam wars. All the while the expectations and budgets increased.

    We are incredibly guilty of this today. We have run up a $10T deficit, and we owe it to the Federal Reserve. Our money is has dropped to 1/25 its value, by moving from US Notes to Federal Reserve Notes.

    It is our demands on the government that are to blame. Before we were all paying federal income taxes (and specifically the wage tax) there could be no consolidation of power in Washington DC. But now they have a vacuum into every household of America, called the wage tax which allows them to control both sides of the equation. This is very attractive target for lobbyists. Once you only have one city to work in, you have less to concentrate on and can do so much more effectively rather than persuade hundreds in state legislatures everywhere.

    But still I continue to blame us. We must reject the idea of government being the solution. It has proven that unless it is war, it is not. All the solutions have come at a cost to future generations. They don't fix the problem they just sweep it under the rug for future generations. If we relied on government less, we'd not have to worry about these gross abuses of power because 1) they couldn't afford it. and 2) no one would pay attention.

    Recently several states sent letters to Washington reminding D.C. that state sovereignty still exists:
    Washington State [wa.gov]
    Arizona [azleg.gov]
    Oklahoma [yourwebapps.com]

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:56PM (#26816655) Journal

    Why won't it work? Are you saying that a hundred challenges will all fail? Are you saying that Democrats should pursue a strategy of ceding territory without a fight?

    Care to venture a guess on the number of sitting US Senators that have lost a primary election in the last 100 years?

    it'll be considered a gain for progressives.

    And a net loss for everybody else who values real freedom instead of Governmental hand-holding nanny state bullshit.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Uberbah (647458) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @03:00PM (#26816749)

    On what planet would Libertarians improve accountability for corporations?

  • Re:Why not? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by waerloga01 (308176) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @03:15PM (#26817011)

    To put it simply, having your medical records fully accessible by everyone opens the door for discrimination.

    I wouldn't put it past some employers to fire or not hire someone based upon information in their medical records. Either over dubious legitimate concerns over long term heath problems increasing insurance premiums or completely irrelevant information like the STDs that someone has been treated for 20+ years ago when the person in question was a teenager.

  • Re:How ridiculous. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdgeorge (18767) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @03:27PM (#26817205)

    Screw everyone who tries to make this a partisan issue.

    Bush and Obama have both accurately described the economic conditions as disastrous. The potential fallout of inaction is huge.

    Is massive government spending the best way to get us headed toward recovery? I don't know, but Bush thought so, and so does Obama. Props to Bush for sticking to his approach despite the lack of support from his own party. Props to Obama for not dismissing Bush's approach just because he's a Republican.

    Both of these guys genuinely want the US economy to succeed. They are and have been deeply concerned about its current direction. Calling what either of them did fear mongering is unjustifed. They are trying to help people understand the extent of the problems, and motivate them to support what they believe to be a workable solution.

    Don't like the Bush/Obama approach? Suggest a better one.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:04PM (#26817817) Homepage Journal

    it is the fact that as the sole decider in your treatment what recourse do you have? You versus the government.

    With private control over health care the government can have oversight in the process and laws can be crafted and enforced by the government to ensure fair application of the rules. Do you really think that will happen with the government? While your fighting it for your rights your condition will continue to exist all the while you hope that some government bureaucrat bothers to even look at your case or give it some priority over the hundreds if not thousands of other pleading their case is equally if not more deserving that yours.

    In effect you relegate yourself to being like that woman at the recent Obama press show where she pleaded with him to give her a home because she is in a pickup truck. She was in effect stating she is more deserving than those already on the waiting list. Who decides? Government. Look they are already managing that housing issue in Florida and they are botching it. Now you show no fear that they can manage your health care nor do you care if they keep your condition secret?

    No what happens when they know your condition fully they will do a measure of your lifespan versus the costs to treat you. Then all those little things add up and suddenly your left without recourse. Not a fun society when the rules and test change based on the needs of government, a government your unlikely to have any protection against.

  • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:11PM (#26817921)

    Then why do these idiots keep re-electing people like Feinstein? She's done nothing but raise taxes, vote away our rights, and spend money.

    Because her opponent in every election would do nothing but raise taxes, vote away a different group of your rights, and spend money.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @04:34PM (#26818297) Homepage Journal

    Point of fact: In this bill, the government is appointing itself as the entity to ensure that everybody (yes, everybody - there don't appear to be any provisions for people who wish to opt out) has electronic medical records by 2014.

    An economic stimulus bill is NOT the place for a tacked-on afterthought which creates a sweeping change to the country's medical landscape.

    Converting the paper records to electronic form would indeed be an economic stimulus. It creates jobs for the nerds who design and build the systems. It makes the doctors more productive.

    Who BUT the government would have the power to force this? Why would anyone WANT to opt out?

    Slashdot readers fumed over the PATRIOT act's potential for violating their privacy; this provision could have equally far-reaching impact on your private, personal medical records.

    See HIPPA [wikipedia.org].

    WHY is the fact that the government wants to take full or partial control of your medical records NOT a cause for concern for you?

    Because they're not "taking control of your medical records," they're mandating that medical records be in electronic form.

    My GP retired about ten years ago, and the next time I tried to visit I discovered thet I no longer had any medical records.

    So I found a new doctor whose malpractice could have killed me (took me off of Paxil while my house was being foreclosed after my divorce).

    My new doctor has only seen me thee times, and my file is pretty damned slim -- and I'm 56 years old!

  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @05:00PM (#26818739) Homepage Journal

    The key word in your sentence is "YOU DECIDE". The way we're going, you have no decision whatsoever, other than to take your money and walk somewhere else. The way we're going, your ISP decides, and that decision is based on mutual corporate backscratching clubs. Plus if you take your money and walk, it will be to another ISP, who more likely than not is simply a member of a different mutual corporate backscratching club. You'll get to choose content from friends of ISP-A or content from friends of ISP-B.

    The reality SHOULD be expressed simply in 2 words - COMMON CARRIER.

    Imagine for a moment if your phone company would let you call someone in New York City for free or cheap, but you have to pay a LOT to call someone in Portland, Oregon. Logical if you lived close to New York City, but outrageous if you lived in say, Corvallis, Oregon. THAT's what we're talking about.

  • by SBacks (1286786) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @05:41PM (#26819419)

    Comcast and other cable/internet providers generally have a monopoly on critical services that I can't avoid.

    I think you may need to turn down the rhetoric a little bit. Cable TV/High-Speed Internet is not really a "critical service". We would all survive just fine without them.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @08:48PM (#26821571) Homepage Journal

    That assumes everyone has the same experience with politics. What about the teens that come to /.?

  • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @09:57PM (#26822199) Homepage Journal

    WHY is the fact that the government wants to take full or partial control of your medical records NOT a cause for concern for you?

    Please answer in a complete sentence that doesn't begin with either of these two phrases:
    1) "Because President Obama says..."
    2) "Well it's not like it's President Bush..."

    Because the private sector won't do it on their own.

    Ineffective record keeping is a problem. You can already see the benefits if you compare the VA system to private care, for example, since veterans tend to stick with the VA and thus have all their records in one place. The result is fewer problems like harmful drug interactions caused by one doctor not knowing what another has prescribed.

    Private firms have little incentive to share records effectively, just like they have little incentive to pay for preventive care: it costs Company A today for a benefit that might come around in ten years, but by that time the patient might have moved to Company B.

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