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J. Emilio Flores / Invision for the Television Academy via AP

John Oliver's last push for strict net neutrality rules arguably moved both the issue and his HBO show into the mainstream. Oliver revisited the issue Sunday night as the Republican-led FCC moves to scrap the legal foundation for those rules.

Why it matters: Oliver helped rally the troops when this battle was last waged in 2014, with some estimating that his segment drove 45,000 comments to the agency. He clearly hopes lightning will strike twice.

Worth noting: Oliver also got more personal in his attacks on the affable Pai.

  • "But the dangerous thing about Pai is he presents himself as a fun, down-to-earth nerd," the comedian said.
  • He mentioned Pai's giant Reese's-branded mug. "Yes, Ajit Pai is the kind of guy who has a fun, oversized novelty mug, and he is really proud of it," Oliver said, later adding, a (bigger) mug in hand, "Your mug's not that big."

Details: Oliver characterized FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's argument that the legal regime behind the current rules is unnecessary as "deeply disingenuous" and bought GoFCCYourself.com to direct members of the public to the page where they can comment in support of the rules. That page appeared to be malfunctioning early on Monday morning, leading some to speculate online that Oliver's plea had crashed that part of the FCC's website.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The benefits of giving cash directly on Giving Tuesday

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Direct cash giving — channeling donations to charities that dispense money, rather than goods or services — is emerging as the gold standard in anti-poverty philanthropy.

Why it matters: Giving Tuesday is this week, and the money donated that day can do the most good when it goes as directly as possible to those in the most need.