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As we have established pretty clearly, Ted Cruz doesn't know a damned thing about Net Neutrality, and he is also quite proud of his ignorance. So proud that he even wrote a whole column full of stupid, in which he repeated his Twitter catchphrase and then added more pure wrongness:


In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet. It would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.

In reply to that pile of dumbth, Sen. Al Franken went on CNN this weekend and explained that Cruz is "completely wrong" about both Obamacare and about Net Neutrality:

He has it completely wrong and he just doesn't understand what this issue is. We have had net neutrality the entire history of the Internet. So when he says this is the ObamaCare, ObamaCare was a government program that fixed something, that changed things. This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same. This would keep things exactly the same that they've been.

We're big fans of Al Franken's Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, particularly the chapter where Franken dismantles the dishonest rightwing coverage of Paul Wellstone's funeral.

And now, Franken can file away for future analysis what Ted Cruz has done with that line about how Net Neutrality merely keeps the Internet free and open like it's always been -- where all data moves at the same rate, and ISPs can't extort fees from content providers or throttle down smaller players. According to Cruz, keeping the Internet free-n-fair, the way it's always been, actually means that Barack Obama and Al Franken will force us to view our cat videos over rotary phones:

Cruz's video cleverly includes only the bit where Franken says, "This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same. This would keep things exactly the same that they've been," and obviously what that means is Al Franken hates innovation:

CRUZ: When you regulate a public utility, it calcifies it — it freezes it in place. Let’s give a simple contrast. The Telecommunications Act of 1934 was adopted to regulate these [brings out an old rotary-dial phone]. To put regulations in place and what happened? It froze everything in place. This is regulated by Title II. [pulls out an iPhone] This is not.

It's just stupid enough to be persuasive, but Cruz may want to rethink using that partial Franken clip, because, as we understand, conservatives just hate to be quoted out of context.

What's more, as Bob Cesca notes, Cruz is also lying about his iPhone, which is indeed

subject to extensive government regulations including FCC guidelines, the proof of which can be found by looking at the funny symbols and codes on the back of your phone (any cellphone), not to mention the iPhone that Ted Cruz held up in the video. On top of that, the Communications Act of 1934 established the FCC in the first place, and the act absolutely regulates new media and mobile phones. Apple also faces anti-trust regulations on top of the technological regulations that face any company that manufactures electronic devices. Ted Cruz was clearly trying to pull another fast one, flagrantly lying to his audience.

And of course, iPhones didn't just spring fully formed from the deregulated head of Steve Jobs. They grew out of technology that has thrived because we have a regulatory framework -- like, for instance, Hedy Lamarr's 1942 patent that made cell phones possible in the first place. And of course, as we may have mentioned, the Internet itself, and its beautifully egalitarian architecture, was built and promoted by the Big Bad Government in the first place.

Not that any of that matters. Ted Cruz isn't merely mistaken; he's lying and he knows it. But his rotary phone may just turn out to be the "Death Panels" lie that catches on with enough mouth breathers to actually doom Net Neutrality. Comcast über alles!

[CNN / WaPo / Daily Banter]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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