February 4 - Good News From the Chairman of the FCC; The Confirmation Hearing for the New Secretary of Defense; The Growing Graduation Gap Between Rich and Poor Students

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Part 1

We begin with the unexpected good news from the Chairman of the FCC who apparently will move to have the Internet reclassified as a telecommunications service instead of an information service under Title 11 of the Telecommunications Act that mean a big win for net neutrality advocates and open Internet protection. Sascha Meinrath, the Director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, joins us to discuss this major move to protect consumer broadband Internet from further monopoly control and paid prioritization of favored content and what efforts the Republicans in the service of the telecom and cable monopolies can mount to derail the ruling that will be voted on by FCC commissioners later this month.

 

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Part 2

Then we examine today’s confirmation hearings for the new Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter before the Senate Armed Services Committee with William Hartung, the Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and author of “Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex”. We discuss the relatively mind treatment Carter got from the Republicans given that he is an Obama appointee, and the increase in the defense budget which if the Coast Guard, pensions and veteran affairs and other military costs were included would be a trillion dollars, more than enough when compared to Russia’s just-increased defense budget of $50 billion.

 

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Laura Perna, a Professor and founding Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania about the new report she co-authored “Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the U.S.: 45 Years Trends Report” (at www.ahead-penn.org) which finds the completion gap between rich and poor students has doubled with 99% of students from the highest income group graduating by 24 while just 21% of students from the lowest income families finish by that age. 

 

laura perna

 

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