We've talked before about how the telcos -- Time-Warner, AT&T and others -- have been successfully getting state legislatures to replace local cable franchises with state-wide ones, which ultimately give customers less protection and the telcos less oversight. This came about a couple of years ago when Bush's FCC issued a ruling that made it possible. It's not like the FCC came up with this because they thought it was a really great idea. The concept was actually originated by the telcos, who also wrote the bills that many state legislatures have since passed. Well, the telcos aren't even finished with that, and they're starting in on telephone rates: This is essentially the same thing that happened to cable. In that case, the issuing and supervision of cable franchises was taken away from local communities and put under state-level control. This was, they told us, a great way to foster competition and reduce prices. The state franchise kicked in where I live a month ago. This week I got a letter cordially informing me that my service was going up $5 a month. Hey, deregulation and competition work!! So now here we are with Congress, like the FCC two years ago, poised to feather the nests of the telcos once again. Boy, I'm sure glad those extreme socialists in the Democratic party are protecting my ass...and yours!!