Walter Einenkel

Watch: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez teaches CNN how a representative democracy is supposed to work

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on CNN Sunday morning with Jake Tapper on his State of the Union show. In part because Democratic reps going on Sunday shows, like Republican reps going on Sunday shows, is about this coming election, and in part because newscasters are not particularly deep or creative when it comes to talking about politics, Tapper decided to spend a lot of time trying to get Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to attack Joe Biden for their differences of political opinions. Newsflash: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, progressive hero, co-author of the ambitious Green New Deal environmental package, and Vice President Joe Biden aren't exactly on the same page as to how to handle climate change.

More to the point, Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez whether or not she was bothered by the fact that Joe Biden has not said he would outright ban fracking. The move to ban fracking in states across the country has been a seesaw battle of fossil fuel interests fighting against progressive environmentalism and science. Biden's refusal to provide whole-throated support for a ban on fracking is disappointing to many of us on the left, but it isn't surprising. Even more importantly, it is below the most essential first step the progressive movement—and the country for that matter—needs to take: getting rid of Donald Trump from the White House, and getting rid of the Republican majority in the Senate.

Let's send the corporate welfare class of elected officials packing. Donate what you can to help take back the Senate.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez isn't going to be pulled into a pointless argument about fracking with Jake Tapper. Her position is well-reported. So is Joe Biden's. AOC explains very clearly that this is how politics work in a representative democracy.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: It does not bother me. I believe, and I have a very strong position on fracking. You know, the science is very clear, the methane emissions from fracking are up to 64 times more powerful than CO2 emissions and trapping heat in the air, and from a perspective of stopping climate change there is a scientific consensus. However, that is my view. Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with the fracking ban and I consider that, you know—it will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House but we need to focus on winning the White House first. I am happy to make my case but I understand he is in disagreement with that issue.

Tapper now wonders whether this will depress the youth vote, a vote that AOC represents more closely than Joe Biden. This, of course, is literally the only reason Trump and his surrogates have been bringing up this difference of positions the last couple of weeks. The hope is that it will depress the more progressive vote, while spooking some more conservative-leaning folks in fossil-fuel heavy states like Pennsylvania and Texas. Ocasio-Cortez points out that the youth vote over the past couple of years has not simply become more sophisticated since 2016, it has brought in more progressive candidates and officials into local elections. The turn out in 2018 showed that, and Ocasio-Cortez believes that this election is very clearly a choice between Donald Trump, someone who is a non-starter of a human being, and Joe Biden.

Tapper then plays a clip of Biden telling reporters that he isn't "getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time," but that he's talking about getting rid of the subsidies the fake free-marketeers enjoy in the fossil fuel industry. While Tapper is hoping that this will illustrate how Biden isn't AOC and the youth vote may be turned off by this statement, Ocasio-Cortez sees it as an important step in the right direction.

REP. OCASIO-CORTEZ: When he says we are eliminating subsidies, I think that is, frankly, an important first step. A lot of folks who like to tout themselves as free market capitalists, while still trying to make sure they get as much government subsidy, and propping up of the fossil fuel industry as possible. If you do believe in markets, solar and renewable energies are growing less and less expensive by the day in many areas. They are starting to become less expensive than fossil fuels. When you eliminate government subsidies, it becomes more difficult for fossil fuels to compete in the market. I think while the Vice President wants to make sure that he is not doing it by government mandate or regulation. I do believe we are moving towards that future. I believe that there's a way and that we should push that process along but the vice president and my disagreements are, I believe, recorded and that is quite all right.

Get out and vote.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains how democracy works to Jake Tapper youtu.be

GOP's Wisconsin Foxconn has exploded — with zero manufacturing jobs and a $400 million deficit

From the beginning, the Republican-promoted, Trump-boasting, former Gov. Scott Walker-lying Foxconn deal with Wisconsin sounded like a mega-scam. It was clear to anyone with a reading level above elementary school that the "incentives" used to bring the Taiwanese electronics giant into the Badger State were so much more lucrative than anything Foxconn could provide in economic stimulus. The math didn't add up. In fact, some estimates put the timeframe it would take Wisconsin to get out of the red on the deal at … 25 years.

Then, over the course of the next few weeks and months and years, it became clear that Foxconn wasn't going to do any of the things it said it might do, because frankly, it didn't have to do them to get that sweet Wisconsin taxpayer money. Invisible hand of the market and all that. This left lots of vacant space where Trump and then Gov.-Scott Walker took gold-shoveled photos at. Most of 2019 was spent with Wisconsin officials, having been left holding the bag of bunk that newly un-elected Scott Walker created, trying to renegotiate with Foxconn. Something that Foxconn officials, having experienced the pathetic dealmaking of the previous Republican administration, seem most interested in delaying. Possibly in the hope of finding another set of GOP marks with which to renegotiate.

Then on Oct. 12, The Verge reported that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) denied Foxconn's application for tax subsidies. The argument is that Foxconn hasn't even built anything that was originally agreed upon.

WEDC also noted that even if whatever Foxconn is currently doing had been eligible under the contract, it had failed to employ the minimum number of people needed to get subsidies. Foxconn needed to employ at least 520 people at the end of 2019 to receive subsidies and claimed to have hired 550, but WEDC estimated that only 281 would qualify under the terms of the contract.

What is most important to note here is that even in a deal that Foxconn was getting away with murder on, they still wanted to cut corners because the previous Republican administration was so bereft of sense that it put little regulations in place for the deal and seemed to be such cowardly pushovers to big money. Why negotiate with Democratic representatives and agents who actually want something resembling a fair deal when you can wait and hope that a new set of Republican con men hacks show up after Election Day?

The other issue that Foxconn faced was that just because Walker was willing to take constituents' money and line Foxconn CEO Terry Gou's pockets with it, that didn't mean the deal was commercially viable for Foxconn. It turns out it wasn't.

Since Democratic Gov. Tony Evers took office, Foxconn has flirted with renegotiating the contract since they seem to have zero interest in even coming close to the bogus promises of the original one made with Walker and friends. According to The Verge, a settlement agreement seemed to have been reached this past July between the WEDC and Foxconn, but that deal expired without another deal in place. The tax subsidies being withheld from Foxconn would have been the "first installment of the nearly $3 billion in refundable tax credits that made up the bulk of former Gov. Scott Walker's record-breaking subsidy package."

But don't you worry—Donald Trump is on the job.

Bad news: Donald Trump is a pathological liar. It turns out that not unlike the rest of the Foxconn deal, this was all for show. Sort of like the $100 million gift to the University of Wisconsin at Madison promised by Gou. Turns out the school received about $700,000 from Foxconn.

In an investigation conducted by The Verge, Foxconn attempted to boost hiring numbers right out of the gate, giving jobs out with no descriptions, just trying to hit the numbers that would allow them to make profits off of tax subsidies alone. These "jobs" would be and were very quickly dropped. Their business deal, so pathetically constructed by Walker and promoted by Trump and other Republicans, meant that it was better business for them to make some fake jobs up and not even really consider building out a business that might actually manufacture anything.

"Imagine being in a job where you don't really know if it's real or not. Or you know it's not real, but you don't know it's not real. It's a constant thing you're doing in your head day after day," said one employee, who returned to the rented building Trump had spoken at, where workers had been assembling TVs, only to find the line shut down and the lights dimmed a couple of weeks after the photo op was over. "I think all of us were on the verge of a major breakdown."

According to the investigation, while this deal is likely kaput, it has cost Wisconsin taxpayers at least $400 million in land and infrastructure. People were pushed out of their homes. Foxconn, who promised it would build a 20 million-square-foot LCD complex, has built an empty building 1/20th the size that it now says will be for "storage." Walker and friends promised 5,200 jobs by the end of 2020. There will be less than 281 by the end of this year.

The Foxconn story has been one of scam idea after scam idea. Business plans continuously changing in order to keep up the illusion that work was being done to create something that would warrant Foxconn's hiring of 580 workers for long enough to get some tax money. Like Donald Trump and the Republican Party, it was all an inflated lie that crashed before they could grab the last bit of money left on the table.

Watch: Maine Republican stuns debate moderators and opponent with blatantly racist commentary

Incumbent Democrat Chellie Pingree of Maine is facing Republican challenger Jay Allen, for her 1st District seat in a couple of weeks. On Tuesday night, the two faced off in a debate. Many issues were covered in the debate: public health, where Allen blamed nursing homes for not following the "rules" of public health, while also trying to say that mandating mask wearing was not a good public health policy. Rep. Pingree mentioned that wearing a mask was, at the very least, "a benevolent act for everyone else," and wondered aloud why anyone would refuse to wear one anyway. She also explained that the concept of "low risk," during these times is relative and therefore mask wearing is very important for everyone to participate in.

This was the tenor of the First Congressional District Debate. Oh, Jay Allen also wore a tie with an American flag pattern all over it, talked about creating a social security sliding scale that would get rid of some people's social security benefits, and was not able to give an actual replacement solution to getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. Super classy stuff. But this was all overshadowed when race and law enforcement's relationship to race came up.

Allen began by bringing up some tangled sentence about law enforcement personnel having Black friends and other white people have Black friends. Seriously. The point was that we already have laws that say you cannot discriminate against Black people and so there isn't systemic racism. "People in general are not racist." He then blamed issues in the Black community on homes "without fathers." An old, factually incorrect, and racist trope. Then moderators asked about "qualified immunity" laws that give law enforcement blank checks to brutalize citizens with impunity.

Rep. Pingree explained that there are inequities in our society that fall along racial lines and to deny that is a non-starter in trying to fix it. She spoke about the need for programs that helped disadvantaged groups of citizens and her support for a task force that would look into modifying "immunity laws" for police as they frequently become great obstacles in investigations of police malfeasance and accountability.

Allen wanted to jump in to give his two-racist cents and talk about how police are awesome and … that, I guess? He then explained that there are programs for disadvantaged groups already. He must be talking about the ones that Republican politicians in Maine have been attacking and cutting funding from for about a decade. He then went on to give what is arguably the most concise racist logic about law enforcement's use of violence against Black people you will ever read. When asked if what he was basically saying was that Black people are more likely to be shot by police because Allen thinks the Black family unit has eroded, Allen went full-blown bananas cuckoo clock.

JAY ALLEN: No. They [police] are less likely. Because they know that if they shoot a Black person then they will face an inquisition if they shoot that Black person. So they have to be pretty sure that that Black person needs to be shot.

[Gulp]

Everyone took a slight pause there, trying to compute the confusing racist man with the American flag tie. Later on Allen called into question the science behind climate change. Just more of the Grand Old Party's stale greatest hits.


2020 Maine First Congressional District Debate www.youtube.com

On-duty Miami cop wore a pro-Trump mask to a polling location — and it may cost him his job

Early voting kicked off in Florida on Monday, Oct. 9. On Tuesday morning, the chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, Steve Simeonidis, tweeted out a photo he reportedly took of Miami Police Officer Daniel Ubeda inside of an early polling location. The image showed that the fully uniformed and armed law enforcement officer was wearing a "Trump 2020: No More Bullshit" face mask. NBC Miami reports that the location of the image was the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in downtown Miami.

This is, of course, wrong for so many, many reasons. If he were wearing a Biden mask and carrying a gun, it would be problematic. But there is also a very specific set of Florida statutes that Mr. Ubeda is violating. Specifically, 102.101, which clearly states: "Sheriff and other officers not allowed in polling place. No sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or other officer of the law shall be allowed within the polling place without permission from the clerk or a majority of the inspectors, except to cast his or her ballot. Upon the failure of any of said officers to comply with this provision, the clerk or the inspectors or any one of them shall make an affidavit against such officer for his or her arrest."

Sheriff Ubeda should only be there in his full uniform if he is voting or has been asked by the clerk or elections inspectors to remove a person like … Sheriff Ubdea himself. The fact that he's wearing a Trump mask that includes profanity is just icing on the cake. :

The City of Miami Police released a statement to news outlets saying: "This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately."


That's some weak sauce. It's a level of poor judgment so extreme that I'm not sure why he is even allowed to have the job he has in the first place. Deputy Police Chief Ron Papier told the Miami Herald that officer Ubeda is in "clear violation of our department policy regarding campaigning while on duty," Papier said. "Additionally, the mask has offensive language, which is also a violation of department policy."

When law enforcement is taught that they are above the law they act like they are above the law.

Trump’s top health official lies and says the US is doing as well as the rest of the world on COVID

The Trump administration is a disaster. It was a garbage fire when it began, but that ongoing fire, stoked by the entire Republican Party, has led to an increase in authoritarian use of law enforcement and ICE forces to dehumanize people all across our country. On top of all of that, the bad economic policies and general culture of avarice and self-serving incompetence promoted by Trump and the Republican Party have led us to the precipice of an economic depression, and a public health crisis the likes of which has not been seen in generations has pushed that depression into the territory of collapse.

With just over two weeks until Election Day, Trump's surrogates—the ones not sick with COVID-19 or hiding out to pretend they aren't still milking the poisonous Trump cow—have taken to the airwaves to pretend everything is going according to plan. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was on Meet the Press Sunday, to implore Americans in his most imploring-sounding voice, to wear masks and follow the basic general protections against spreading the COVID-19 virus that experts have been promoting since the beginning of this pandemic. Azar even scripted his statement as a plea to Chuck Todd's "viewers." This, obviously, surprised even Meet The Press host Chuck Todd, since Donald Trump and his administration have done the opposite now for, oh, about ... seven months.

Secretary Azar's message to Chuck Todd's viewers was specifically about large "indoor gatherings." This is relevant due to upcoming Halloween festivities and Thanksgiving celebrations. Todd remarked that Azar's statement was strange considering that just last week, Azar attended an indoor rally with President Trump—the same President Trump that still may very well be COVID-19 positive. Azar said that everyone at the indoor rally was socially distanced—sort of—and were all offered masks. Of course, this means nothing if you don't wear said mask. Todd pointed out that the message being sent doesn't seem consistent, as states like Wisconsin see surges in COVID-19 cases, while Donald Trump flies into those areas to promote big superspreader events.

It is here that Azar attempts to promote misinformation that does two things: It attempts at justifying the Trump administration's current anti-public health farewell tour, while also absolving the administration's criminally negligent handling of a pandemic that has claimed almost a quarter of a million American lives. Azar says that lots of countries in lockdown are having big surges. The implication here is that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

This isn't true. The fact of the matter is that the United States, for the first time in years, is actually No. 1 in the world in something: death rates due to COVID-19 and death rates in general during the pandemic. We are also a leader in the world in cases per 100,000 and deaths per 100,000. I guess Azar is talking about how places like Aruba and Bahrain have a worse case rate? Todd asks why it's been so "difficult for the president" to promote a public health message that would actually save thousands, if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of lives.

ALEX AZAR: I think it's a difficult message for all western democracies. We're seeing that in Europe. The American people have given so much. People of Europe have given so much, Chuck. They've been locked down, isolated. But they're tired. But the point is, we're so close. Hang in there with us. We're so close ...

Azar has been a Trump hack throughout this process and can be justifiably blamed for much of the misinformation and confusion among certain sections of the American public in regard to COVID-19. He has attacked Americans and frontline responders instead of the virus. If we lived in a just universe, Alex Azar would soon find himself doing some prison time along with the hundreds of Republican operatives and scam artists who have brought us to where we are now.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar says wear a mask but that it doesn't really matter www.youtube.com

VoteVets and the Lincoln Project collaborate on one of the most devastating Trump videos yet

While the Lincoln Project continues to line its organizers' pockets, the silver-lining of the PAC is that they have been very prodigious in their video output. More specifically, their videos are attacks on Donald Trump and his record and how awful he is. This relentless barrage of fact has allowed Vice President Joe Biden the opportunity to run a campaign that does not rely on what the traditional media would likely call "negative ads." I say that with a pinch of salt because Donald Trump's entire existence is negative, from start to finish, and the facts are the facts.

The newest video put out in collaboration with VoteVets.org tells the very simple story of retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and the bullying and threats he and his family received for bravely testifying about Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani's involvement in trying to coerce a foreign power to create the illusion of criminal impropriety in political rival Joe Biden's record. The video shows Rachel Vindman, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's wife, and their family talking about their experience on the righteous end of an authoritarian and corrupt president's anger.

Vindman's wife speaks for most the video, calmly explaining that she has already gotten a phone call no military spouse ever wants to get: the one when her husband Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was injured in action. Very quickly, they show footage of Lt. Col. Vindman bravely testifying, not sitting on a book advance like galactic-level piece of shit John Bolton.

You might remember this part of Vindman's testimony, where he addressed his own father, telling him "Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."

Rachel then says that, "The first time I felt threatened was just after Alex's testimony." From here we cut to Trump and his press secretary's attacks and dismissive statements regarding the Lt. Col. Mrs. Vindman goes on, "The most powerful man in the world came after our family. But what happened to us can happen to anyone."

She goes on to say that her family received "thousands of letters of support. America is so much better than Donald Trump." It's simple and true and to the point. Finally, Lt. Col. Vindman himself speaks, saying "This is America.This is the country I've served and defended. Here, right matters."

Lincoln Project & VoteVets Ad | American Family www.youtube.com

Trump's COVID-19 herd immunity petition is full of names like 'Dr. Johnny Bananas' and 'I.P. Freely'

In August, Trump brought in a new quack doctor to advise him on COVID-19 and how to make it seem like Donald Trump was doing anything about it. Neuroradiologist Scott Atlas was brought in to push the well-debunked theory of letting everyone just get sick until we, as a national community, have achieved "herd immunity." As Daily Kos's Mark Sumner explains, this idea has "always been an immoral and impossible idea."

Of course, "immoral and impossible" is the Trump family motto (maybe along with grotesque and sociopathic). On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Trump's White House had "embraced a declaration by a group of scientists arguing that authorities should allow the coronavirus to spread among young healthy people while protecting the elderly and the vulnerable—an approach that would rely on arriving at 'herd immunity' through infections rather than a vaccine."

Sky News looked into the letter signed by these "scientists" and found that it was filled with … not scientists. In fact, there seems to be a lot of names on the list of people that probably aren't even real people.

In fact, the news outlet reports that it found "dozens of fake names on the list of medical signatories," on the list. Names like "Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename and Dr. Johnny Bananas, who listed himself as a "Dr. of Hard Sums." Now, I know what you're thinking: Sure Dr. Person Fakename would sign this letter, he's a hack! But Dr. Johnny Bananas?

Other strange signatories include Harold Shipman, a doctor who died in 2004, but was also arrested in 1998 for being a serial killer of more than 200 patients. Also on the list were dozens of homeopaths, "massage therapists, hypnotherapists, psychotherapists and one Mongolian Khöömie singer who describes himself as a "therapeutic sound practitioner."

It is important to note here that this is not a joke story. This is a real thing. The President of the United States of America and his advisers in the White House are promoting a scientific public health theory, using a letter signed by joke names and serial killers as his support. It makes sense that Trump and his crew of cons would find a scientific con to promote their policy con

‘Accidentally cut cable’ shuts down online voter registration in Virginia on last day

The Republican Party's never-ending war on democracy continues in high gear as we approach the 2020 November Election Day. There have been some victories for Americans who believe that Americans should be allowed to vote. But there continues to be very suspicious, "accidental" acts of suppression taking place across the country. In Florida, for example, the online voter registration portal stopped working on the last day of registration, freezing out who knows how many people. Throughout California, Republican operatives have been setting up illegal fake mail ballot drop boxes. This is a criminal enterprise of possible voter suppression.

Then on Tuesday morning, the Virginia Department of Elections tweeted this distressing piece of voter suppression news: "This morning we were alerted by VITA that a fiber cut near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center was impacting data circuits and VPN connectivity for multiple agencies. This has affected the citizen portal along w/ registrar's offices."

Excuse me?

According to WUSA 9, a CBS affiliate, an "accidentally cut cable" is the cause of Virginia's online voter registration portal going dark on the final day of registration. The outages caused by this "accident" are affecting the entire state. According to the state's cybersecurity company, Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA): "A fiber cut near Rt. 10 in Chester near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC) is impacting data circuits and virtual private network (VPN) connectivity for multiple Commonwealth agencies."

The last update, that "technicians" were "on site" working to fix the problem, came around 9:30 AM EST. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has called for the deadline for registration to be extended beyond the Oct. 13 deadline, but the state's board of elections has yet to make any announcements for rectifying the situation.

Virginia Democrats were able to get same-day voter registration through as law in the Old Dominion. But that will not take effect until October 1, 2022.

Florida Department of State extends voter registration deadline after website crashes on last day

Republicans in Florida have been doing everything possible to not allow Floridians to vote in this upcoming election. They've added costs to registration for people convicted of felonies, a "poll tax" by any other name. Activists and other Americans disenfranchised by racism—and very obvious anti-Democracy practices of conservative legislators—have fought tirelessly to ensure more Americans have the right to vote. And at every step, Republicans in power have worked to keep their minority-rule by fighting to rid our Democracy of the fundamental tenet of one person, one vote.

Numerous media sites are now reporting that Florida's online voter registration website—RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov—began crashing throughout the day on Monday—the final day of voter registration for this upcoming November election day. Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo told reporters that "This is just latest attempt from the Republican leaders in Florida to limit democracy. The Florida Voter Registration website not working on the last day to register to vote in Florida is blatant voter suppression. Fix the website, stop the suppression, and let democracy work."

A reminder, Florida's online registration system, was taken down for "maintenance" in 2019, by the Republican-controlled state officials, right before National Voter Registration Day.

The website is maintained by the Florida Department of State. At around 6 PM Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee tweeted out "OVR is online and working. Due to high volume, for about 15 minutes, some users experienced delays while trying to register. We have increased capacity. You can register until midnight tonight. Thank you to those who immediately brought this to our attention."

Reporters, including those at the Tampa Bay Times say that the website continued to have serious problems with crashing, and Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani followed that up by tweeting "Voter registration website continues to NOT work for many Floridians. Retweet if you think Florida should extend the voter registration deadline by at least one day!"

On Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Laurel Lee told news outlets that she had met with Gov. Ron DeSantis. She released a statement saying "We're exploring all options to ensure that all eligible registrants have the ability to register to vote and will work with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process. We will be issuing an update as soon as possible." Maybe "as soon as possible" will be after November 3?

Update: The Florida Department of State just announced it will be extending its online voter registration until 7pm tonight!


Mississippi officials say AT&T took $283,000,000 to provide broadband — and pocketed the money

One of the things that the FCC and FTC have not done effectively over the last few decades is hold telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon accountable for their tax-subsidized infrastructure obligations. In fact, the FCC under Trump's choice and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai, have done everything possible to protect big telecommunications from being held responsible for their fraudulent behaviors. The Republican-run FCC has done all of this in the name of deregulation and the promise that the invisible hand of the market will provide. Unsurprisingly, so far deregulating the system, giving out massive tax breaks to big telecoms and destroying net neutrality consumer protections have led to the opposite effect.

On Thursday, Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) officials sent a letter to the FCC calling on the corrupt body to investigate AT&T's claims of "providing internet service to 133,000 locations in Mississippi using federal aid from the Connect America Fund." How much federal-aid money did AT&T get their hands on? According to Arstechnica, the telecommunications company has pulled in a sweet $283,000,000 "from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund to expand its network in Mississippi," since 2015. Ah, that sweet corporate welfare!

According to the PSC's letter, their investigation has turned up nothing but examples of AT&T falsely claiming to have created new broadband service in places they have not, for people that are not receiving broadband access. More specifically, saying you have provided internet access to 133,000 "locations" is incredibly vague when the point is to provide human beings with good service. Considering that AT&T has a history of taking taxpayer money to provide broadband and wireless services, only to not do that, and also make false claims of having done that, the news out of Mississippi isn't particularly surprising.

The PSC has been pushing the telecom giant for more information regarding their service providing in Mississippi since subpoenaing them in September, demanding "production of documents showing the number of actual subscribers to AT&T's fixed wireless service within the 133,000 locations where the company claims to have provided service, the number of complaints filed with the company by customers who have taken service and the number of Mississippians who applied for fixed wireless service based on AT&T's assertion that it was available and were later determined not to be in an area covered."

In 2015, AT&T made a deal with the U.S. government where they would get almost half a billion a year to bring very meager broadband 10MB service to rural areas. That money has been pulled from the Connect America Fund.

AT&T will get the money over six years with an option for a seventh, potentially bringing the total to about $3 billion, according to Multichannel News. AT&T and other carriers getting Connect America funding have to deploy Internet service to 40 percent of funded locations by the end of 2017, 60 percent by the end of 2018, 80 percent by the end of 2019, and to 100 percent of locations by the end of 2020, the article said.

For a very long time now AT&T has argued—somehow very successfully—that letting localities or individuals build out their own broadband networks stops the telelcom from taking our tax money. Seriously, they have argued that. AT&T has also argued that when they say one thing but do another thing, like not provide broadband service while taking federal money by saying they've provided that infrastructure, they haven't lied or mislead anyone because reporters have investigated them and exposed them. Seriously, they really have argued that.

The FCC has taken out its own teeth but ending net neutrality protections. Ajit Pai has argued that the FCC cannot regulate the industry that it was created to regulate. This, of course, means that without a new president and a new FCC, any chance of getting telecommunications companies to do what they're supposed to do for the general public is unlikely.

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