PG127: Net Neutrality, AT&T Time-Warner Merger, Transgender Ban, Sexual Harassment

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Mike and Jay start off this week with a discussion of net neutrality in the wake of the FCC’s move to revoke Obama-era rules that prevent internet service providers from privileging content from certain providers over others. Jay argues that this is a welcome backing off of government regulation that is not only more fair to ISPs but should result in greater investment and better outcomes for consumers. Mike disagrees, saying that investment didn’t drop after the net neutrality rules went into effect and says that this is a perfect example of a market in which natural monopolies cry out for smart regulation to enhance competition. Mike goes even further than this, calling for an internet infrastructure project as a 21st century equivalent of the interstate highway system.

Then the Guys look at the Justice Department’s surprising legal challenge to the AT&T / Time Warner merger. Neither Mike nor Jay think that there’s much of a case, because historically, ‘vertical’ mergers like this – where the two companies involved are not in direct competition – don’t meet anti-trust guidelines. Mike thinks this is probably a negotiating strategy on the part of the Justice Department and that an out-of-court settlement will ultimately be reached.

Next, it’s a look at the latest challenge to President Trump’s ban on transgender troops. Both Mike and Jay agree that the federal judges ruling against the ban made the right call, and they also both have trouble understanding what rational reason the president would have for attempting to change policy in this area.

Finally, Mike and Jay discuss the latest sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill involving long-time Democratic Representative John Conyers, new allegations against Democratic Senator Al Franken, as well as President Trump’s semi-endorsement of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

What Mike’s Reading:
The chained CPI: Another secret tax hike for the middle class slipped into the GOP tax bills

What Jay’s Reading:
The Desolate Wilderness
And The Fair Land

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