Net Neutrality and “A Corporate Shill”

Media Matters for America
Net neutrality is a big deal. Corporations are spending big money on lawsuits and lobbying to make the policy go away, and this week those corporations won a big victory. But the fight isn’t over: now is the time to speak out.John Whitehouse
Twitter: @existentialfish

Net Neutrality Matters A Lot

Net NeutralityA court this week struck down the FCC’s implementation of net neutrality. As the FCC contemplates making adjustments, network news completely ignored the issue – even as their parent corporations stand to benefit from the ruling. Related: Without net neutrality, a few corporations can take control of the internet:

Cliamte Change And Broadcast Networks

ClimateNetwork Sunday shows spent just 27 minutes discussing climate change in 2013. Today we released our study on how broadcast news covered climate in 2013: Related: We always suspected it, now we have proof: Fox News only talks about climate change when it’s cold outside:

Lives Are On The Line

Abortion and ViolenceThe Supreme Court heard a case this week about a buffer zone outside Massachusetts women’s health clinics. The buffer zone was instituted because of the threat of anti-choice violence: Related: Four things to know about this Supreme Court case:

Inside Fox News

Gabriel ShermanGabriel Sherman released his new book The Loudest Voice In The Room about the CEO and Chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes. Joe Strupp sat down with Sherman for a conversation about Fox News, Ailes, and more: Related: An anonymous blog Roger Ailes reportedly commissioned defended Fox and regularly featured Ailes photoshopped as Superman, Rocky Balboa, and more:


Shep Smith“You sound like a corporate shill.” That’s how Fox News anchor Shep Smith pushed back against his guest, an anti-net neutrality advocate and telecom CEO.


AblowFox News “Medical A Team” member Keith Ablow declared this week that there is no such thing as being transgender. Needless to say, Ablow is very wrong:


Megyn KellyWhen Megyn Kelly talks about race, we’re always ready to correct her — and often have to. This week, Kelly misrepresented sentencing guidelines that could keep minority students from unfair imprisonment:


O'ReillyBill O’Reilly dedicated an entire segment to complaining about people discussing the pay gap between men and women. Sorry, Bill, this is a serious issue:


Fox Poll
Fox News Poll Adds Up To 137%


Here we go again …


The Attacks on Women’s Health Keep Coming

It’s only January 15, but Republican legislators and their activist allies are not wasting any time when it comes to the war on women. Just today, both the Supreme Court and Congress considered new restrictions that could limit basic access to abortion.

1. A panel of House Republicans, all of which are men, is advancing a bill that contains far-reaching restrictions on abortion access. The bill, the so-called Rape Audit, H.R. 7, aims to limit access to abortion by making it much more difficult for women to purchase private insurance that covers abortion (as most private plans currently do) with their own money. (Similar laws were passed by seven states last year.) In addition to increasing taxes on women and small businesses, it would also empower the IRS to conduct audits of rape survivors to ensure they’re not merely pretending to be raped. Pro-choice legislators and advocates have been pushing back against this assault, including a group of Democratic congresswomen who sternly told the GOP to “stop wasting taxpayers’ time and dollars waging attacks on women’s constitutionally protected right to make informed health care decisions about their own bodies.”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, claimed the bill is actually a jobs plan because denying women access to abortions will make them have more children, who will in turn help grow the economy. Another leading anti-abortion legislator, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), blocked a Democratic effort to amend the bill with legislation that cracks down on workplace discrimination against pregnant women by claiming that abortion access has nothing do with pregnant women.



2. The Supreme Court may rule to eliminate buffer zones at abortion clinics, allowing protesters almost unlimited access to patients and staff. Depending on how the Justices rule in McCullen v. Coakley, a case they heard today, cities and states may no longer be allowed to enact buffer zones around reproductive health care facilities. Since protests outside of clinics often turn violent, abortion providers say that buffer zones are critical for ensuring the safety of their patients and staff. In fact, there have been over 4,700 incidents of clinic violence and 140 clinic blockades since 1995.

Justices Scalia and Alito incredulously claimed that anti-abortion activists who gather outside clinics and harass patients and staff aren’t actually even protesting, they merely want to “speak quietly” to patients. It appears likely that Alito, Scalia, Kennedy (who has long opposed buffer zones) will be able to find at least two other justices to strike down the Massachusetts law and perhaps overturn a 2000 ruling that upheld a similar law in Colorado.

It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court bans protests on its own plaza.

3. In the past 3 years, states have enacted more abortion restrictions than during the entire previous decade. A new report from the Guttmacher Institute notes that between 2011 and 2013, state legislatures enacted 205 laws that restrict women’s reproductive rights. In the decade prior, between 2001 and 2010, states enacted 189 such restrictions. While the campaign against abortion rights rages on nationwide, Guttmacher points out that the multiple, often overlapping restrictions enacted just a few states — North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina — helped drive the spike.



4. States with anti-choice governors and state legislatures outweigh states with pro-choice ones. The two charts below illustrate the imbalance. And in a new state-by-state report card released this week by NARAL Pro-Choice America, 25 states receive a failing grade for reproductive rights while America on the whole gets just a ‘D’ grade.

Choice Positions Of Governors

Choice Positions Of Governors


Choice Positions Of State Governments

Choice Positions Of State Governments


BOTTOM LINE: Women’s health advocates are hopeful that this year will prove to be a turning point in the fight over women’s reproductive rights, but so far we’re seeing more of the same from their opponents.

Official Google blog …

Introducing our smart contact lens project


Posted: 16 Jan 2014 04:00 PM PST

You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem—affecting one in every 19 people on the planet. But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.
Many people I’ve talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a part-time job. Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are dangerous and not uncommon, requiring round-the-clock monitoring. Although some people wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor embedded under their skin, all people with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day. It’s disruptive, and it’s painful. And, as a result, many people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should.
Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.

We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second.  We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.  It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.
We’re in discussions with the FDA, but there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We’re not going to do this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market. These partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor. We’ve always said that we’d seek out projects that seem a bit speculative or strange, and at a time when the International Diabetes Federation (PDF) is declaring that the world is “losing the battle” against diabetes, we thought this project was worth a shot.
Posted by Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, project co-founders

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS ~~ the House


The Senate will meet on the following days at the following times for pro forma sessions only with no business conducted:

–        Friday, January 17th at 11:15am;

–        Tuesday, January 21st at 10:30am; and

–        Friday, January 24th at 9:30am.

The Senate will convene at 2:00pm on Monday, January 27, 2014. 

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.1926, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

At 5:30pm, there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.1926.  As a reminder to all Senators, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to the bill on Thursday, January 16th.


Last Floor Action:
1:03:53 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to pursuant to section 4(b) of H. Res. 458.

The next meeting is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on January 21, 2014.

Last Floor Action:1/16
1:44:39 P.M. – The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on January 17, 2014.