Since it looks like there’s no point in continuing to wait for a deus ex machina to come along and put the most morally bankrupt Congressional majority in history’s money grab out of our misery, it’s time to press on.

Initially, this was going to be a column focused on the gobsmackingly craven – and, sadly, expected – move by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal net neutrality. The agency’s risible defense of the move by stating it wants to return to the halcyon days of “light-touch regulatory framework” from more than a decade ago – generations in internet time – makes Pai’s lazily nugatory platitudes assuring that the industry will cross-their-hearts never turn what has become a utility in all but name into a cable analogue.

Make no mistake – despite attempts to dissemble by net neutrality opponents, including the very people who are put in place to protect the public interest on the matter – internet access is a utility, in the same sense that being able to turn on a light or cool a room or watch Netflix on TV is found to be utilitarian by those who have come to rely on electricity to better their lives. It’s a bully move, and it’s the kind of tone-deaf play that is part and parcel of the black noise emanating from an administration betting that no one will be listening.

But not even the looming loss of the internet as we know it compares to the GOP’s dereliction of duty to all but their organ grinders on their latest attempt to bring back supply-side economics, the long-disproven theory that has been around as long as other horror show monsters like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees – and has seemingly been resurrected as frequently.

The myriad of ways that this force-fed ode to inequity wrongs the American people has been well documented by this point, although given the complete disregard shown for regular order in the Senate, especially today – who doesn’t want to see the future of the American tax code x-ed out, scribbled and ad-libbed within an inch of your fiscal life? – we won’t know how badly we’ve been screwed until we see how positively the markets react on Monday, and the handwriting and forensic experts finish their post-mortems.

Appalling. It seems that Jules had the right idea. Elections have consequences, and with Republicans in charge of the White House and Congress, they get to set the agenda. But why choose to shepherd those who are looking to prey on the weak?

 

WINNERS

Women candidates: Following the stunning number of victories in last month’s elections, it was just a matter of time before the next wave of women candidates declared for the 2018 elections. This week alone saw former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad announce she would challenge Bob Brady for his congressional seat in next year’s Democratic primary; PA Rep. Madeleine Dean declare she would run against incumbent Lt. Gov. Mike Stack in next year’s Democratic primary; and McKeesport Councilwoman Fawn Walker-Montgomery named as the GOP candidate in the special election to replace disgraced PA Rep. Mark Gergely.

Bob Brady: Speaking of the longtime Congressman and leader of Philly’s Democratic party: it was reported that the statute of limitations may have lapsed in an ongoing federal investigation into alleged election rigging by his campaign during the 2012 primary.

Seth Grove: The state Rep. from York County, like anyone else who has been paying attention to the continuing failure of the state to improve its IT – while somehow managing to spend $160 million for upgrades that were anything but – introduced a bill that would streamline Harrisburg’s IT contracting process to prevent the state from getting grifted on costly computer upgrade projects.

 

LOSERS

PA Society traditionalists: No doubt, a fair number of those wearing pearls on their way to the annual shindig are clutching them in fear over what this year’s weekend will be like without the Waldorf-Astoria as home base. One thing is for sure: the hotel’s breakfast buffet bacon will be hard to replace.

Rahim Islam: The president and CEO of Universal Companies, a Philadelphia nonprofit founded by R&B legend Kenny Gamble that does everything from build housing to run charter schools, Islam was suspended this week after federal agents raided his home and office and let him know he is the target of an investigation.

Charles Hallinan: How does a payday loan shark nonpareil pay it back when convicted on all 17 counts of racketeering? When it’s Hallinan, the Main Line millionaire by posting $1 million in bail for the privilege of being under mansion … sorry, house arrest while he awaits an April sentence date.