Open thread for night owls: A page out of FDR's playbook - Rural broadband

At New Deal 2.0, David Woolner, a Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian for the Roosevelt Institute, writes, Obama Can Revolutionize Rural America with Broadband, FDR-style:

PhotobucketFDR brought prosperity to rural America with the Rural Electrification Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Obama can do the same with wireless internet.

In a speech delivered last week in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, President Obama unveiled his plan to bring high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of America. Such an initiative, he said, would spark “new innovation, new investment and new jobs,” and, if successful, would connect “every corner of America to the digital age.”

Investing federal dollars in bringing the benefits of high-speed wireless to rural America is not unlike the efforts Franklin Roosevelt launched more than 75 years ago to bring electricity to America’s family farms. In Roosevelt’s day, it is estimated that roughly nine out of ten farms in America lacked electricity. As such, most farm families still lived a life that was more reminiscent of the 19th century. With no electricity, there was no running water, and hence no indoor plumbing or bathrooms. Water had to be brought into the house from wells or a nearby stream and heat was provided by indoor stoves. No electricity also meant that most farms lacked the convenience of modern appliances and had no way to obtain entertainment or information over the radio. ...

As predicted, rural electrification revolutionized life on the farm and remains one of the most significant — if largely forgotten — legacies of the New Deal. It vastly improved farm life, bringing running water and refrigeration, for example, which improved health and sanitation, as well as the radio, which linked farm families to the rest of the nation. It also made it possible for new labor-saving appliances and technologies to be introduced not only on the farm, but also in rural villages and schools, all of which improved the rural economy and quality of life.

President Obama’s National Wireless Initiative is not unlike rural electrification. Properly administered and executed, it too can improve rural America’s quality of life and has the potential, as the President observed, to “accelerate breakthroughs in health, education, and transportation.” It also provides us with another example of how the federal government, in the tradition of the New Deal, can and must take the lead in improving the economic infrastructure of the country — even in a digital age.

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At Daily Kos on this date in 2005:

ABC News' The Note hasn't been a friend of the Gannon investigation, being snarky about it from the beginning. So why this today?
Anne Kornblut finds that Ari Fleischer had doubts about Jeff Gannon and said he stopped calling on the man after a while. LINK
Why is it that most savvy Democrats think this story is going away, while some pretty plugged in Republicans say the opposite?

What do those plugged in Republicans know that hasn't been dug up yet?