FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler might not go along with President Obama's push for net neutrality, but the American people are speaking loudly on the issue: They don't want "fast-lanes." They want net neutrality.
In a new survey, the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication found that support for neutrality is strong and widespread -- regardless of gender, age, race and level of education. About 81 percent of Americans oppose allowing Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon to charge Web sites and services more if they want to reach customers more quickly, that is, allowing what are often called "Internet fast lanes."
Most surprising of all, given comments by Republican lawmakers over the past couple of days, is that support for net neutrality is bipartisan. Indeed, Republicans were slightly more likely to support net neutrality than Democrats. Eighty-one percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Republicans in the survey said they opposed fast lanes. The poll's margin of error was 3.2 percentage points.
Maybe Republican lawmakers hope to sway their constituents, but as Joe DiStefano writes, this poll indicates that people will only become more likely to support net neutrality as they learn more about it. Among those who said they'd "heard a lot" about the issue (only about one in ten of those surveyed), 56 percent strongly opposed fast lanes. The corresponding figure was 44 percent among those who said they'd "heard nothing."
All the same, these findings raise the question of why Republicans in Congress have been so quick and so forceful in their responses to President Obama's call for strict net neutrality rules. There is a convincing conservative case for net neutrality regulations. While that might be an attractive position for the GOP, some suggest that Republicans are just dependent on campaign donations from the cable industry.
What's in Wonkbook: 1) Obama, Xi reach climate deal 2) Opinions: Democrats and Obamacare 3) FCC chair splits with Obama on net neutrality 4) Guard could return to Ferguson 5) Going around the Supreme Court on health insurance, iPhones break bones and more
Map of the day:Annual damages due to flooding in the world's major port cities are expected to rise to $63 billion a year by midcentury as the seas rise. This map shows the cities that are in the most danger. Yudith Ho and Rieka Rahadiana for Bloomberg.
Number of the day: 1.6 million. That's the weight, in pounds, of the ammunition that Marines destroyed before abandoning Camp Leatherneck, a base covering 10 square miles in Afghanistan. Tim Craig in The Washington Post.
Correction: The number of the day in Tuesday's newsletter inaccurately stated that one in every eight arrests last was year was for simple possession of marijuana. That was the fraction of arrests related to any drug, not just arrests made for possessing marijuana. The 609,000 arrests for simple weed possession accounted for about half of drug-related arrests -- 5.4 percent of all arrests. Our apologies.
1. Top story: U.S., China reach climate accord
In Beijing, Obama and Xi Jinping agree to bold greenhouse gas goals. China agreed to begin reducing its carbon dioxide emissions, which are still increasing quickly, in 2030. This will require building enough wind turbines, solar panels and nuclear reactors to power the entire United States. By 2025, the United States will aim to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than a quarter from their level in 2005. Administration officials said they thought that goal could be achieved without additional action from Congress. David Nakamura and Steven Mufson in The Washington Post.
It isn't clear how either country will reach the targets. "One big question is whether U.S. policymakers can actually follow through on this. The country's carbon-dioxide emissions are currently 10 percent below 2005 levels, but they've started to rise again of late. And, yes, the US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules to curb emissions from existing power plants, but that's unlikely to achieve a 28 percent cut. And Congress is deadlocked on climate. So where will the additional policies come from?" Brad Plumer at Vox.
But the agreement is probably most important as a message to other countries. China and the United States together account for nearly half of global carbon dioxide emissions. This agreement shows other governments, especially fossil-fuel exporters, that they're willing to make greenhouse gases a priority diplomatically. Ben Adler at Grist.
What about the Keystone XL pipeline? The Senate could vote on a bill to force Obama to approve the project in the coming days, aides said. Democrats in the Senate want a vote to help protect their colleague Mary Landrieu, who must defend her seat in a run-off on Dec. 6. Landrieu would have a chance to vote for the pipeline and mollify her constituents in Louisiana. Ed O'Keefe and Chris Mooney in The Washington Post.
Oh -- Xi and Obama also made a big bilateral trade deal. Even as the United States and China promote competing free-trade agreements in the Pacific, they agreed to reduce tariffs drastically, which would lower prices for all kinds of electronics and information technology products. Mark Landler in The New York Times.
JOHN KERRY: The climate agreement marks "a fresh beginning." "Two countries regarded for 20 years as the leaders of opposing camps in climate negotiations – have come together to find common ground, determined to make lasting progress on an unprecedented global challenge." The New York Times.
2. Top opinions: Democrats, Obamacare
WILKINSON: Hillary Clinton needs a challenger. "The Democratic agenda looks good only by comparison. A Democratic presidential candidate won't be able to generate a fresh agenda by trashing Republicans; new policies, energy and language are far more likely to emerge from a spirited internal debate." Bloomberg.
FRANCIS BARRY: Democrats can't blame their losses on voter suppression. New laws on voter identification probably prevented some people from voting, which is a real concern, but the laws probably did not change the outcome of any races. Bloomberg.
EDSALL: Democrats need a way to reach the white working class. In the last election, Republicans showed that by muting their conservatism on social issues, they can sway white voters who are nervous about taxes and government debt. Republicans won over working-class whites, even though this group feels that the economy favors the rich, polls show. The New York Times.
GOLDFARB: Let's not forget that Obama raised taxes on the middle class. Democrats lost an election about two years after they allowed a reduction in payroll taxes to expire, which meant that workers lost about 2 percent of their take-home pay. The Washington Post.
BEUTLER: If they're being honest, the Supreme Court will probably reject the challenge to Obamacare. The conservative justices' dissent in the last Obamacare case acknowledged explicitly rejected the premise of this one. Besides, Chief Justice Roberts has no more reason to eviscerate Obamacare now than he did in 2012. The New Republic.
3. Obama, FCC split on net neutrality
Wheeler told industry representatives Monday he wants a compromise. The chairman, a former ally and fundraiser for Obama, thinks he can find a way to "split the baby," he said in a private meeting. Brian Fung and Nancy Scola in The Washington Post.
Obama's proposal has made Time Warner Cable investors nervous. Strict net neutrality rules could make Comcast's proposed purchase of TWC less profitable, investors believe. Liz Hoffman and Shalini Ramachandran in The Wall Street Journal.
HILTZIK: The cable industry misunderstands net neutrality. The industry wants to be rewarded for building the Internet, but it was publicly funded research and a spirit of cooperation that made the Web possible. Los Angeles Times.
4. National Guard could return to Ferguson
Missouri's governor outlined a plan for keeping order following the grand jury's decision. An announcement about whether or not Officer Darren Wilson will be charged over the death of Michael Brown is expected this month, and law enforcement and community leaders are preparing for protests. Gov. Jay Nixon said he was ready to call up the National Guard if necessary. Eli Yokley and Monica Davey in The New York Times.
The grand jury proceeding has taken longer than expected, but few expect Wilson to be indicted. "Everybody knows what's going to happen," said Lawanda Felder, 20, a college student who lives in a Ferguson. "They are going to let that officer off, and then things are going to get wild." Wesley Lowery in The Washington Post.
Restaurants have boarded up, and handgun sales have soared. One local gun shop sold more than 100 firearms in three days. "You can literally see the fear in people's eyes," the owner said. Kristina Sauerwein in Time.
Meanwhile, nationally police shootings are at their most frequent in the past two decades. Law-enforcement officers shot and killed 461 people suspected of a felony last year, according to the FBI's annual report. Kevin Johnson in USA Today.
5. In case you missed it
Are iPhones breaking children's bones? The frequency of broken bones and concussions among toddlers increased 10 percent from 2005 to 2012. A new paper argues that the increase is because parents were more likely to be using their smart phones than watching their children. Dean Karlan in The New York Times.
States may have a way out if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare. States are focusing on meaning of the "established" part of "established by the state." State legislatures could "establish" exchanges in name, setting up a governing authority and a plan for operating them, but rely on the federal government for all of the technical infrastructure. Jason Millman in The Washington Post.
Detroit emerges from bankruptcy, but has anything changed? The city's bankruptcy proceeding closed last week, but many of the accounting assumptions that got the city's pension system in trouble to begin with haven't changed. Mary Williams Walsh in The New York Times.
A European probe is attempting to land on the surface of a comet this morning. The spacecraft has been chasing the comet for a decade. Kenneth Chang in The New York Times.