FCC votes in Regs on 'Net Neutrality' – Consequences?

By SUA Staff

The Obama/Democrat Party “fundamental transformation of America” just visited another terrible blow on capitalism and further increased the size of government.

It also sets the stage for international controls few can fathom. Look soon for a new cabinet department, the DOI, Department of the Internet. George Soros, John Podesta, and the White House have won.

The repercussions of the new regulations created by the FCC, effectively taking control over the internet, passed on a party line vote of the Commissioners, 3-2 are stunning and unmeasurable at this time.

In an expected 3-2 party-line vote, the agency’s Democrat majority approved a plan by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that puts broadband providers in the same legal category as more highly regulated conventional telephone companies.

Wheeler has promised a modernized, light-touch regulatory approach that would exempt Internet service from many of the tougher provisions of that designation under Title 2 of the telecommunications law, particularly rate regulation. (LA Times)

The unintended consequences of this move will likely yield a whole host of negative results – but is that really unintentional? But we won’t know until we wade through all 322 pages. Sound familiar?

FCCNetNeutralityVote
Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, center, joins hands with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their meeting in Washington, D.C., Thursday to vote on tough net neutrality regulations. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

The Chairman of the Commission and a supporter on the Commission said:

“The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. It’s simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” Wheeler said in voting for the proposal. “The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.

FCC member Jessica Rosenworcel, who voted for the regulations, said: “We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind.”

One of the two dissenting votes disagreed:

Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the FCC, said the new regulatory proposal abandoned 20 years of bipartisan consensus “to let the Internet grow free from utility-style regulation.”

“It seizes unilateral authority to regulate Internet conduct, to direct where Internet service providers make their investments and to determine what service plans will be available to the American public,” he said. (Read more at the LA Times.)

To those of us who work on the internet daily, many relying on it for their livelihood, we can see where this will go; all to fix something that was not broken. Market forces can get out of hand, and some regulation is necessary in some industries, but the internet is not just a “common carrier” of information – not by a long shot, it is not a utility.

In the Name of Consumer Protection

This is eerily similar to “pass the bill to see what’s in it” language that Nancy Pelosi told us about ObamaCare. Then, in a video posted by the LA Times about GOP concerns, Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO of Public knowledge stated in part in his response to concerns made by Rep. Greg Walden, R-OR:

“Sit back, and see what is put forward tomorrow…,” he may be a consumer advocate, but he is also all for the regulatory changes as he stated in his Senate testimony in January of this year. (While at the Department of Justice under Eric Holder, Kimmelman was referred to as Obama’s “Secret Weapon” on in the anti-trust division and was a Director at George Soros funded New America Foundation.)

Once again, we have to pass it so we can see what is in it. How would you like to be the CEO of a broadband provider who now has to see how his company’s future plans just changed unilaterally by bureaucrats? We see shades of the health care insurance industry, and health care provision issues all over again.

Gene Kimmelman testifying before Congress prior to the vote.
Gene Kimmelman testifying before Congress prior to the vote.

The internet is not just about downloading movies or songs, social networking, or blogging; and the free flow of ideas, innovation, creativity, and exploration, it is about commerce. Most of these attributes were not in any danger because the market self-selects and people vote with their wallets.

Unilateral Control

Those voting for the regulations claim it is about fairness – leveling the playing field. How level is level in the world of commerce and the free market?

Net_Neutrality_BennetIn our opinion, this effort was about control, not keeping something free, open, and fair.

Once again, liberals use crafty language to sway the unknowing and couch arguments in “safety,” and “fair” jargon, with the real purpose being to have government make decisions for you “stupid” masses, just ask Jonathan Gruber.

If it was about controlling broadband providers and keeping the internet neutral, why did it take 322 pages of regulations and why did they keep it hidden from the public?

We do not know, but many warned the FCC not to mess with the Web’s still-developing economic ecosystem and may be a tragic threat of our 1st Amendment rights.

However, the debate is not over but the regulations are now here, unilateral government control of the internet by a single agency without Congressional input. Yes it was created by our military, but ours, as in we-the-people’s.

International Control

Next it will mutate into international control if they have their way. Somehow, we see the United Nations creating yet another commission and gaining control many feared when the story that the Commerce Department tackles the contract with ICANN next year came out.

As was reported last March, the international question of control arose again as the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg wrote:

U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.

“We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan,” Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement. (Read more here at the Washington Post.)

Then Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) said: “…consistent with other efforts the U.S. and our allies are making to promote a free and open Internet, and to preserve and advance the current multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance.” Thank you Senator, we all feel safer now.

There you go, those “safety” and “comfort” words again. Now that the FCC has voted, the slippery slope was just greased with 40 weight motor oil. Back in March, former Speaker-of-the-House, Newt Gingrich said: “This risks foreign dictatorships defining the internet.”

Recently, the new Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota opined:

“…by claiming more authority over Internet access for net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission will undermine the ability of the U.S. to push back against international plots to control the Internet and censor content.

Countries like Russia already have made it clear that they want the International Telecommunications Union or another United Nations body to have more power over the Internet, Thune said.

“It seems like reclassifying broadband, as the administration is doing, is losing a valuable argument,” Thune said at his panel’s hearing on Internet governance. “How do you prevent ITU involvement when you’re pushing to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, and is everyone aware of that inherent contradiction?” (Read more at the National Journal.)

Trust in Government Agencies

How much trust do you have in our governmental agencies? How well have they run anything? Certainly politics will not be a concern.

Katherine Maher of Politico defended the idea of “It [Commerce and ICANN] intends to transition its coordinating role over the Internet’s domain name system—those web addresses you type into your browser—to the global Internet community” last March by saying:

It’s actually the opposite of what the critics claim: The Obama administration is trying to head off rising global pressure to give other countries, including China and Russia, more of a say in how the Internet is governed, not bow to it.

Her trust in the Commerce Department is a common problem, trust of a governmental agency that is at the whim of the current political tide has earned anything but. Ask yourself, who is the appointed Secretary of Commerce now and who will it be in the future? Who will be in charge of the FCC in the future?net-neutrality

If it is like the National Labor Safety Board that Obama tried to stack with cronies illegally, or ObamaCare that was shoved down our throats through the Department of Health and Human Services, be very afraid.

Maher continues:

“ICANN, [Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers] which was created primarily for the purpose of contracting to Commerce, is already a global body. Its headquarters are in California, but it has offices around the world and a governance model that includes representatives from 111 countries, international organizations and commercial and non-commercial stakeholders.”

“…there is no way Commerce will allow for a transition that doesn’t serve the public’s interest in a free and open Internet. The department controls the conditions, the timing and the ultimate approval of any new arrangement.”

If it is already international, why do the likes of China and Russia want more control? The simple answer is, they are actively seeking to reduce America to her knees, and Obama and his cronies are more than willing to “lead from behind” once again.

Say goodbye to your freedom on the internet, one already fraught with constant cyber-attacks, especially by the Chinese and Russians, and say hello to less privacy, higher bills, taxation, internet sales taxes, and limits on free speech.

How do you like all that flowery “comfort” jargon now? Free and open; fair? How about that doctor or health care plan you got to keep? Period! How about that “reset” with Russia? Is the internet the next Crimea?

How about that “targeting” issue? Do we really believe that a future administration would not “weaponize” the FCC like we all witnessed with the IRS? This will morph, of that we can be sure.

 

ObamaNet – FCC Hides Regs, WH Emails Prompt Hearing

Editor’s Note – The FCC commissioners are set to vote on new regulations that many are now calling “ObamaNet” on the “Net Neutrality” issue. But Republicans on the Commission want America to see what they are up against:

“We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it,” Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly said in a statement Monday.

“Then, after the commission reviews the specific input it receives from the American public and makes any modifications to the plan as appropriate, we could proceed to a final vote.” (Read more at Daily Caller)

FCC-Chairman
Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai shows us the 322-page book that contain the regulations proposed.

This cannot be allowed to move forward like the ObamaCare legislation did. As Nancy Pelosi famously promoted that bill as “needing to pass the bill so we could see what is in it” just must not fly.

Once again the Obama administration is attempting to fundamentally transform America, this time through the FCC on the internet. Is this a brewing scandal du jours?

We think it is, possible White House chicanery on this effort has drawn the ire of Congress because of the possibility that the White House improperly influenced the commission:

Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will chair a hearing Wednesday about whether the White House improperly influenced the independent agency and pressured its chairman, Tom Wheeler, to develop a net neutrality plan that mirrored recommendations President Barack Obama made last November.

Obama had called on the FCC to classify broadband as a public utility and adopt open internet rules that would ensure that “neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online.”

The congressional hearing was initiated after Chaffetz reviewed heavily redacted emails and other documents VICE News obtained from the FCC two weeks ago in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request; the emails show White House officials and Wheeler communicating about net neutrality.

VICE News sought comment from Chaffetz’s office about the email exchanges and shared the documents with him. (Read more here at Vice News, also here at B & C, Broadcast & Cable.)

In a curious twist, Twitter has come out in favor of the regulations:

“We need clear, enforceable, legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet remains open and continues to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. This is the heart of Twitter,” wrote Will Carty, a Twitter public policy manager, in a company blog post Monday. (Read more at the WSJ.)

Once again, the administration is misleading America, with flowery “safety” words, and subterfuge. This is a complicated subject and America deserves to have an ope debate, or to be able to at least read it and comment on it.

Read our previous article on the subject for more background. You be the judge, read on:

FCC to Vote on Net Neutrality Rules on Thursday

By Bob Adelmann – The New American

On Thursday consumers will finally be able to see and read the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) planned new rules to regulate the Internet.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler

Deliberately hidden from public view, the 332-page document is expected to be passed by the FTC, as demanded by President Obama last November when he told FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to adopt the “strongest possible rules” in regulating the Internet.

Leaks from the document were inevitable, and critics have slowly pieced together the latest attack on Internet freedom. Five times legislation has been offered in Congress to mandate “net neutrality,” and five times it has failed.

Twice courts have struck down previous efforts to regulate the Internet. This time, however, ignorance and momentum are likely to rule the day, and the Internet.

The main excuse for implementing the new invasions is the statists’ favorite complaint: Internet service providers “discriminate.” They discriminate by charging different rates and providing different services for their customers, based upon usage, content, the size of the servers providing the service, the complexity of the platforms connecting the data between providers and end users, the type and expense of the equipment used to facilitate that data flow, as well as the mode of communication.

This is awful. This can’t be allowed. Something must be done.

In other words, all automobiles, in the worldview of the Obamas and the Wheelers (and their facilitators seeking to benefit from less competition, such as Facebook, Google, and Netflix), ought to be beige in color, have identical horsepower, the same number of doors, and get the same gas mileage no matter how far or fast they may be driven.

After all, in their worldview, offering free market choices is a sin from which only government agencies such as the FCC can save us.

fcclogoReaders of the new rules will no doubt find phrases such as the following, which have appeared in previous attempts to rein in the Internet:

“Broadband service providers may only prioritize … based on the content, applications, or services … purchased by the end user, without charge for such prioritization.”

This will require Wheeler and his statists at the FCC to change the classification of the Internet from “information services” companies to “telecommunications companies” in order to inflict the much more onerous rules the agency applies to them.

In short, the new regs will turn the Internet into a bland, beige, highly regulated, inefficient, and costly utility.

Not only will Internet customers be charged more, through the levying of various fees and service charges, but many of them will resign from the Internet because of those increased costs, resulting in fewer choices.

Those remaining will begin to enjoy a service that is less innovative, with slower speeds and less content than would be the case, as entrepreneurs are now being treated as unnecessary impediments to neutrality.

Courtesy of Bloomberg - Screen Shot
Courtesy of Bloomberg – Screen Shot

As the authors of a backgrounder on the Internet for the Heritage Foundation noted, “Most of the practices identified by regulation supporters as activities that should be prohibited are in fact beneficial for consumers … efforts to regulate the internet would hurt the very consumers those advocates claim to [want to] protect.”

One simple example will suffice. One of the most cited incidents reflective of the dangers inherent in today’s Internet, according to net neutrality supporters, occurred between Madison River Communications (MRC) located in rural Mebane, North Carolina, and Vonage. Back in 2004 MRC blocked Vonage, a voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) telephone provider, from using its service as it competed with a local similar service.

The FCC mandated a settlement that would likely have occurred anyway without federal interference. Today, residents in Mebane have access to five broadband providers, giving MRC plenty of competition and plenty of reason to be more responsive to the needs of its customers.

And this is the single case most often referred to by statists building their case for giving the FCC more power to interfere in such local matters.ObamaNet

But the “control” mindset is firmly implanted as evidenced by Matt Wood, a writer for the Free Press blog. He observed, “Letting the carriers charge more or less money to reach certain sites is discriminatory, and it’s not how the Internet is supposed to work.”

No, Matt, that’s exactly how the Internet is supposed to work, if it’s left alone to provide competitive services to its customers. Once the FCC is empowered to interfere, however, Matt, the new “net neutral” Internet will be slower, most costly, and less useful to those customers.

There are other dangers to “net neutrality” as well. As David Farber, a former chief technologist of the FCC, expressed it:

My fear is that regulating the Internet like a telecommunications service [utility] potentially opens a Pandora’s box.

Once that box is opened, it will prove impossible to close. Good intentions expressed by Wheeler to use a “light touch” in the early days of the new regulatory paradigm will hardly provide insurance against vastly more invasive intrusions by his future replacements. As the policy director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Clyde Wayne Crews, put it:

In expanding utility regulation into the modern era, what the FCC is doing will set new precedents that irretrievably undermine [the Internet’s] critical infrastructure’s evolution across sectors and harm the nation.


 

A graduate of an Ivy League school and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www. LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics.


 

This article was also based on multiple entries on the Denise Simon Experience blog at the Founders Code regarding the email scandal brewing.

Malls in Peril? – DHS Sec Warns of Al Shabaab Video Threat

Editor’s Note – In what is seemingly becoming a contest for supremacy of how evil a Militant Jihad group can be, some high profile terror organizations like Boko Haram and al Shabaab are ratcheting up the threats to possibly prove they can be even worse than Da’esh.

Even though many other terror factions are uniting with Islamic State, it seems all terror groups want more press and it does not bode well for the civilized world. In a video released by al Shabbab, the threats are focused on malls in the US, Canada, and the UK.

West Edmonton Mall and Water Park in Canada
West Edmonton Mall and Water Park in Canada

The video purportedly shows 6 minutes of graphic images and the terrorists celebrating the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed more than 60 people.

The narrator, his face wrapped in a black-and-white kaffiyeh-type scarf and wearing a camouflage jacket, spoke with a British accent and appeared to be of Somali origin. He accused Kenyan troops in Somalia of committing abuses against Somali Muslims.

He ended the video by calling on Muslim men to attack other shopping malls in Western countries.

Perhaps it is just a way to continue to ring our bell, or a recruiting grab of their own, they focused on Minneapolis where the largest Somali population in the US exists. Officials are taking it all seriously and DHS Secretary warn everyone on the Sunday talk shows but may have walked some of that back:

The Department of Homeland Security has denied it is aware of any credible terrorist plots against shopping centers on US soil after their chief advised shoppers, particularly in the Mall of America, to be careful following threats from Somali extremists.

“We are not aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center,” Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Marsha Catron said in a statement. She noted, however, that federal agents have shared the information with local law enforcement and “private sector partners.”

However, this scenario is not new, and we all remember the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya where over 60 were killed by al Shabaab in a sophisticated attack. They are also sending a message when we see the young being trained and the recent suicide bombing by a 7-year old in Nigeria. They are telling us that they are in it for the long haul no matter what the west does to Da’esh, al Qaeda, or any terror group by any name.

No matter how high the possibility is, the world has seen the evil mount rapidly and no one is feeling safe. In an abundance of caution, authorities have ramped up the message despite Obama’s conciliatory speeches of late.

Meanwhile, DHS report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat, imagine that! One also has to consider the fact that the DHS budget deadline looms.

DHS Secretary Warns as DHS Bill Comes Up: ‘If Anyone Is Planning to Go to The Mall…’

By Susan Jones – CNSNews.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson went on the Sunday talk shows to demand that Republicans fund the Department of Homeland Security without blocking money for President Obama’s executive amnesty plan.

Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya attacked by al Shabaab last year.
Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya attacked by al Shabaab last year.

But he prefaced his you-better-fund-my-department pitch by warning that an al Qaeda-linked terror group, Al-Shabaab, is publicly calling for attacks on shopping malls in the United States, specifically the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

“I would say that, if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful. And, as the statement you read indicates, there will be enhanced security there that will be apparent to people who are there,” Johnson told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Gloria Borger.

But on at least two of the Sunday morning shows, Johnson steered the hosts to the topic he wanted to talk about — Republicans using a DHS funding bill to block President Obama’s immigration policy, which goes beyond the scope of current law.

After talking about the threatening al-Shabaab video on CNN, Johnson said that “public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important. And it’s the environment we’re in, frankly. And it’s all the more reason why I need a budget. And I’m assuming you’re going to ask me about that.”

“I will,” host Gloria Borger replied. “I am going to ask about that because, of course, this comes down at a time when Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down your department in a week over a fight on immigration.”

Some 40 million people visit the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Some 40 million people visit the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota

(In fact, Republicans say they do not want to shut down DHS. They want to fund the Department of Homeland Security, except for President Obama’s plan to give work authorization and Social Security numbers to millions of illegal aliens living in the United States.)

The same thing happened later on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, whose first three questions to Johnson involved national security, not DHS funding:

Johnson told Stephanopoulos, “The reason I think we’re all concerned about this is because it encourages independent actors who could strike with very little notice to our intelligence community, our law enforcement community here at home.

And so that’s one of the reasons, frankly, why it’s imperative that we have a budget for the Department of Homeland security, which is due to expire at the end of the week. And I’m assuming you’ll ask me about that at some point.”

“I will ask you about that,” Stephanopoulos replied. But first he asked Johnson about something else.

According to CNN, DHS officials began “walking back” Johnson’s warning after he appeared on the Sunday shows.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

A spokesman for DHS told CNN the agency “is not aware of any specific credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center.”

“Secretary Johnson didn’t say that they should not go to the mall, he told shoppers to be extra vigilant and that security was increased,” CNN quoted DHS Assistant Secretary Tanya Bradsher as saying.

Johnson later told CNN he does not regret any of the comments he made on the Sunday shows.

The threat of lone-wolf attacks in the United States is nothing new, nor is it a surprise that shopping malls might be a target.

And as Johnson amplified the video message from al-Shabaab Sunday morning, he said he was doing it because “there needs to be vigilance and, you know, just be careful, obviously.

It is a new phase. We’re in a new phase right now. And that involves public participation in our efforts.”

Obama Hits a Legal Roadblock, 'Normal Order' – McCarthy on Shutdown

By Scott W. Winchell, SUA Editor

A judge in Texas has put the brakes on the implementation of Obama’s unilateral orders which were set to begin tomorrow to aid states that are challenging that action in court. People like Cass Sunstein are furious.

This could effectively stall Obama for a while and Andy C. McCarthy explains why below. We only hope the appeals court does the right thing about this ruling.

But first, on Sunday, Chris Wallace interviewed John Boehner and it got heated. The subject of the interviewed centered on the possible closing of the DHS, despite recently elevated fears we all rightly have concerning terrorism in general, and ISIS in particular. We say bunk, and agree with McCarthy.

Here is a video of that exchange at Fox News:

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But once again, Wallace, like his more liberal counter-parts at other news outlets, he kept accusing the Republicans, the Tea Party Caucus, and Boehner of once again shutting down government. The knee-jerk reaction to blame the Republicans for employing their only real weapon against Obama’s unconstitutional edicts simply misses the point on so many levels and Wallace just does not get it, nor does George Will.

It’s about the purse-strings all, not politics from the right, they are only representing the people’s views and votes – what Obama did was not only illegal, it was just another case of politics over policy, over reach, and a petulant Democratic Party and President not getting their way.

The President and the Democrats know this all too well and despite the legislative process, they politicize this immediately and cast the usual aspersions that the Republicans are controlled by the Tea Party and they hate immigrants. Instead of assailing the President for his illegal and unconstitutional moves, they all castigate the only ones operating under ‘normal order,’ Constitutional, balance of power, order.

To his credit, Boehner repeatedly reminded Wallace that the House was doing its constitutional duties, had already done its work, and that it was now up to the Senate. At one point, he even had to reiterate that he is the Speaker-of-the-House and had no control over the White House or the Senate.

Of course that does not matter to the beltway boys, he is the “leader” of the Republican party and should get his people in order – but again, ‘we the people’ have no say in it, even if we voted that way on purpose. Obama is not King, and the Congress is a co-equal branch Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Obama, et al.

Once again, it is the Democrats in the Senate mucking up the works and politicizing an issue because they did not get their way at the polls. They are filibustering the bill the House passed, even though the Majority Leader, Sen. McConnell has brought back ‘normal order,’ something the Democrats had ‘nuked’ in the last Congress under Sen. Harry Reid – the real “do-nothing” hack.

In this Feb. 4, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama meets with a group of "Dreamers" in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. A federal judge temporarily blocked Obama’s executive action on immigration Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
In this Feb. 4, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama meets with a group of “Dreamers” in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. A federal judge temporarily blocked Obama’s executive action on immigration Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Even though McConnell invited amendments and proper discussion as is the Senate’s duty, something Harry Reid never allowed, now its those dastardly, cold-hearted Republicans again. So now we have two wrongs and one right – Obama is wrong on his edict, and the Democrats in the Senate are, and have been wrong for a long time on procedure and now again they throw a temper tantrum.

Then there are people like George Will take exception to Boehner and what the House sent to the Senate, a bill sure to be vetoed by the President. Talk about belt-way mentality Mr. Will, you sound like Nancy Pelosi. He thinks they are wasting time, placing further threat on America, and being political – all over the President not getting his way.

Heard of ‘statesmanship’ Mr. Will? If it gets vetoed, is it not the President’s fault shutting things down Mr. Will? He was the reason the last time, but that did not matter, it had to be the Tea Party that last time so now it is again! ‘Same mantra, different day’…or is it the other one; SSDD?

The problem people like Will and the MSM is that the House and Senate are filled by representatives of the people and the States, not appointees of the President. They are doing what they ran for office to do, and the people spoke clearly. But that does not matter to the belt-way types – the people never really matter to them and George Will, though we often agree with him on other subjects, is just flat wrong, and this will by no means endanger the USA further – talking points Mr. Will?

Elections have consequences, remember that mantra when the left was winning? Please read Andy’s great piece:

Obama’s Amnesty Hits a Legal Roadblock

If a Texas judge’s temporary stay against it is upheld, it could be headed to the Supreme Court.

By Andrew C. McCarthy – National Review

Late Monday, a federal district judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction that bars the Obama administration from proceeding with the president’s unilateral decree of effective amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

To be clear, the order issued by Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. court for the southern district of Texas in Brownsville is a temporary stay. It is not a ruling on the merits of the lawsuit brought by 26 states that claim they will suffer profound financial and other damage from the president’s lawless executive action — an action that Obama himself many times conceded would be lawless before he finally took it late last year.

Fox New's Chris Wallace interviews Speaker of the House John Boehner on Sunday, Feb. 15th.
Fox New’s Chris Wallace interviews Speaker of the House John Boehner on Sunday, Feb. 15th.

Today, the Justice Department will seek an emergency order from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to block Judge Hanen’s injunction. There is a good chance the Justice Department will succeed, at least temporarily. If the Fifth Circuit blocks the injunction, that, too, would not be a ruling on the merits of the case. It would just mean a return to the status quo that allows Obama to proceed with the implementation of his amnesty decree.

Andrew C. McCarthy
Andrew C. McCarthy

I imagine we will know by late this afternoon whether the Fifth Circuit will set aside the district court’s injunction.

Judge Hanen’s order would temporarily prevent the Obama administration from implementing the executive action — in particular, the issuance of positive legal benefits, like work permits, for illegal aliens despite the lack of statutory authorization. The stay would also allow Judge Hanen a chance to issue a final ruling on the merits of the case. Again, he has not at this point conclusively ruled that Obama’s executive amnesty violates the Constitution or other federal law.

To justify issuing the stay, however, he had to decide that the states that brought the lawsuit had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits. That is, in Hanen’s judgment, they have shown that they probably:

  1. have standing to sue,
  2. will show that Obama violated the law, and
  3. will suffer concrete harm from the violation (particularly economic harm).

The big question in the case is standing: Is the case properly brought by the states? If the Fifth Circuit, on an emergency appeal of the stay by the Justice Department, decides there is a likelihood that the states do not have standing, then it will vacate Judge Hanen’s stay.

Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. court for the southern district of Texas
Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. court for the southern district of Texas

The appellate court could find a probability that standing is lacking because, for example, federal jurisprudence holds that immigration is mainly a federal responsibility, or because the harm the states say they will suffer from the executive amnesty is too speculative. (Again, note that we are talking about “likelihood” and “probability” here because these are preliminary, predictive determinations. The case has not been fully presented and ruled upon at this point.)

If the Fifth Circuit were to vacate the stay, that, again, would not be a ruling on the merits of the case. It would simply revert matters to where they stood before Judge Hanen’s order on Monday, meaning the administration could move ahead with its plans while we await a final ruling on the merits from Judge Hanen.

If, on the Justice Department’s emergency appeal, the Fifth Circuit were to decline to disturb Judge Hanen’s stay, there are at least three possibilities:

  1. the Justice Department could appeal Judge Hanen’s stay to the Supreme Court;
  2. the administration could accept the decision and hold off implementation of the executive order while waiting for Judge Hanen to issue a final ruling (which, all signs indicate, will go against the president); or
  3. the president could do what he often does with statutes and court decisions that interfere with his agenda: simply ignore the judicial stay and begin implementing his amnesty decree.

I would bet on (1), an appeal to the Supreme Court. I do believe that Obama is inclined to (3), the lawless route, if all else fails. Obviously, however, the president would rather win in court if he can. That necessitates moving ahead with the judicial process while there are still rounds to play. The administration has a decent chance of getting the stay vacated in either the Fifth Circuit or the Supreme Court.

Even if that fails, and Judge Hanen, as expected, renders a final decision against the president, the administration has a decent shot at getting such a ruling reversed by the Fifth Circuit or the Supreme Court. I expect the president to play this out. It may take many months, at least, and during that time there is a reasonable chance that some tribunal will lift the stay and allow him to begin implementing the amnesty pending a final appellate ruling on the merits.

This underscores what I have been arguing for some time. The courts are a very unlikely avenue for checking presidential lawlessness. The proper constitutional way to check the president’s executive order is for Congress to deny the funding needed to implement it. That is what Republicans in the House have done, by fully funding the lawful activities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but denying the funding for the unlawful executive amnesty.

Democrats are blocking that legislation in the Senate, in the hope that, as the budget deadline approaches, the pro-Obama press (with regrettable help from George Will and Senator John McCain, among others) will convince the country that it is somehow the Republicans who are “shutting down” DHS.

George Wll

On that score, I will briefly repeat what I’ve contended before:

  • The fact that politicians hang a sign that says “Homeland Security” on a dysfunctional bureaucratic sprawl does not mean that denying funds to that bureaucracy would harm actual homeland security in any material way.
  • We have a DHS only because of typical Beltway overreaction to a crisis — the need to be seen as “doing something” in response to public anger over the government’s misfeasance prior to the 9/11 attacks.
  • Homeland security in the United States is more than adequately provided for by the hundreds of billions of dollars that continue to be spent each year — and that Congress has already approved for this year — on the Justice Department, the FBI, the 17-agency intelligence community, the armed forces, and state and local police forces.
  • We did not have a DHS before 2003, and if it disappeared tomorrow, no one would miss it.
  • The agencies in DHS that actually contribute to protection of the homeland could easily be absorbed by other government departments (where they were housed before DHS’s creation).
  • Under Obama, the immigration law-enforcement components of DHS are not enforcing the immigration laws. Why should taxpayers expend billions of dollars on agencies that do not fulfill, and under this president have no intention of fulfilling, the mission that is the rationale for the funding?

In any event, as we await the next round in the courts, the speedy and certain way to stop a lawless president is to deny him the money he needs to carry out his designs.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

The jokes are on us, and so are the lies – Williams & Stewart

Editor’s Note – Over the weekend, the NY Post published an opinion piece by Kyle Smith that examined the way people get their news, who they believe, and why, in a manner that nails it on the head. Well done Kyle Smith!

His piece addresses two major figures in the news recently, Brian Williams of NBC, and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show – and all the lies!

In a well-written, well-researched, and amusing critique of Stewart’s recent show where he tackled and defended Brian Williams, it represents the answer to the questions above.

He concludes the article by saying: “Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.” Couldn’t have said it better.

To be frank, Smith did what we wish we could have done and have been trying for years, showing how societal memes rule the day. Showing how lies become ‘truth,’ and showing how disingenuous the media is today.

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Bill O’Reilly might take a valuable lesson from Smith’s piece, so the next time he gives air time to Stewart, he doesn’t lend legitimacy to Stewart so undeservedly. Alan Colmes, Juan Williams, Rachel Maddow, and Kiersten Powers could also learn a thing or two here.

If it ain’t “cool,” eyes glaze over, if it isn’t entertaining, yawns abound, if it ain’t pretty, the thumb on the clicker couldn’t hit ‘next’ fast enough. If it’s about how the left is lazy, hides, spreads lies, or rattles on with tired and untrue memes…crickets! Again, thank you Kyle Smith.

The only thing Smith did not address was the 800 pound ‘lying gorilla’ on all our screens daily; Obama – he of the liar-of-the-year fame. But then again, we all know that already – right? After all, this piece is already long, but well worth the read!

How Jon Stewart turned lies into comedy and brainwashed a generation

So Brian Williams goes out (for six months) humiliated and derided. Jon Stewart goes out (permanently, one hopes) the same day, but on a giant Comedy Homecoming King float, with a 21-gun salute from the media, his path strewn with roses and teardrops.

Why? Brian Williams lied about his personal exploits a few times. Jon Stewart was unabashedly and habitually dishonest.

Though Stewart has often claimed he does a “fake news show,” “The Daily Show” isn’t that. It’s a real news show punctuated with puns, jokes, asides and the occasional moment of staged sanctimony.

It contains real, unstaged sound bites about the day’s events and interviews about important policy matters.

Stewart is a journalist: an irresponsible and unprofessional one.

Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart onstage at O’Reilly Vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium. Photo: Getty Images
Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart onstage at O’Reilly Vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium.
Photo: Getty Images

He is especially beloved by others in the journo game. (For every 100 viewers, he generated about 10 fawning profiles in the slicks, all of them saying the same thing: The jester tells the truth!)

Any standard liberal publication was as likely to contain an unflattering thought about Stewart as L’Osservatore Romano is to run a hit piece on the pope.

The hacks have a special love for Stewart because he’s their id. They don’t just think he’s funny, they thrill to his every sarcastic quip. They wish they could get away with being so one-sided, snarky and dismissive.

They wish they could skip over all the boring phone calls and the due diligence and the pretend fairness and just blurt out to their ideological enemies in Stewart style, “What the f–k is wrong with you?”

Most other journalists aren’t allowed to swear or to slam powerful figures (lest they be denied chances to interview them in future). Their editors make them tone down their opinions and cloak them behind weasel words like “critics say.” Journalists have to dress up in neutrality drag every day, and it’s a bore.

Yet Stewart uses his funnyman status as a license to dispense with even the most minimal journalistic standards. Get both sides of the story? Hey, I’m just a comedian, man. Try to be responsible about what the real issues are? Dude, that’s too heavy, we just want to set up the next d- -k joke.

Stewart is often derided by the right as having minimal impact and low ratings. That’s not true. He and Stephen Colbert ruled the late-night ratings among 18- to 34-year-olds for most of the last five years, though Jimmy Fallon has lately surpassed both.

Jon Stewart’s defense of Brian Williams was “The Daily Show” in a nutshell — laugh off a scandal and change the subject. Photo: Getty Images
Jon Stewart’s defense of Brian Williams was “The Daily Show” in a nutshell — laugh off a scandal and change the subject.
Photo: Getty Images

About 522,000 Americans in that age range watch “The Daily Show” on an average night, but that means many millions of occasional viewers, with millions more watching clips online.

To a key audience, he was a strong influence. Longtime Cooper Union history professor Fred Siegel says his students constantly came to him repeating Stewart’s talking points.

College students, of course, are both little acquainted with realities of adult existence and walled off from conservative views, so they’re the perfect audience for Stewart’s shtick, which depends on assumptions that are as unquestioned as they are false.

This week’s “Daily Show” segment in which Stewart defended Williams was distilled, Everclear-strength Stewart. It was as amazing as watching Barbra Streisand run through a medley of her greatest hits in only seven minutes: In this little chunk of error, cliche, preening and deception, Stewart managed to pack an example of just about everything that is unbearable about his style. It bears close study.

Stewart made some mild jokes at the anchordude’s expense, interrupted with insufferable Jerry Lewis-style mugging, baby talk, high-pitched silly voices and the inevitable reference to whether Williams was “high” (authority figures getting high: always comedy gold to the campus audience).

Stewart slipped in a line of blatant editorializing: “Being caught is punishment enough, no?” Really? Why? If so, argue it, don’t just point the sheep in the direction you want.

Williams is a news anchor. A guy whose three main skills are being good-looking, an ability to read the English language out loud and seeming credible. To put his case in Stewart-ese: “If you want to be considered a trustworthy source of facts, maybe try NOT LYING!!!”

Declaring that media coverage of Williams’ lies was “overkill,” Stewart then built a wedding cake of bullcrap, layer after layer of untruth.

His first move was to change the subject. He used a variant of the rhetorical fallacy known as the “tu quoque” argument, or calling out alleged hypocrisy. Taken to its endpoint, tu quoque (“you, too”) reasoning means no one would ever slam anyone for anything because, hey, we’re all imperfect.

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Tu quoque-ism is a generally meaningless gotcha game that can, of course, be turned right around on Stewart: Hey, Jon, you really think you’re the guy to call foul on nuking media personalities who have made misstatements?

In high dudgeon, as though the thought weren’t already a cliche we’d all seen many times on Twitter and Facebook, Stewart declared sarcastically, “Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War.”

Then came the inevitable gotcha sound bites: News figures discussing intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. Why such a bizarre tangent into an unrelated matter? Because in Stewart’s mind, and those of his viewers, everything has to be the fault of an evil Republican, preferably George W. Bush.

Near the end of the segment, Stewart, with the prototypical combination of blustering self-righteousness and sarcasm that crystallizes his appeal to the college mentality, wondered whether the news shows will now start examining the “media malfeasance that led our country into the most catastrophic foreign policy decision in decades.”

Then (using comic bathos) Stewart cut to more newscasters making apparently trivial points about Williams’ lying. Stewart’s logic is this: The media can’t report negatively on anything anymore, because they dropped the ball on Iraq.

Stewart doesn’t actually believe that: It’s just a cheap gambit meant to get his buddy Williams off the hook by minimizing his serial lying. If Stewart were a public defender, he’d be even funnier than he is as a comic.

What judge or jury could fail to bust out laughing if a defense attorney said, “I have no rebuttal of any of the charges against my client, but lots of other people not in this courtroom are guilty of stuff, too!”?LiesQuoteLenin

I look forward to the next time a Republican assistant municipal treasurer in Dirt Falls, Idaho, says something awkward about race and Stewart says, “I forgive this guy given that the actual vice president of the United States once said of Barack Obama, ‘I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.’”

Let’s look at the media reports on Iraq that Stewart is arguing make Williams’ untruths pale in comparison. Problem: Those reports were not lies. Journalists trying to figure out whether the war was justified called up credible experts with experience in the field and passed along what they said. As a more honest version of Stewart might say, “Dude. That’s not malfeasance. That’s Re. Por. Ting.”

Stewart added that “it’s like the Bush administration hired Temple Grandin to build a machine that kills the truth.” Even the audience of devotees seemed to find this simile baffling.

The idea that “Bush lied” is itself a lazy, ill-informed and false statement.

As Judge Laurence Silberman, co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, essentially nobody in the Washington intelligence community doubted the major report that Iraq had an active WMD program in 2002.

Obama.Bush.LiesThe National Intelligence Estimate delivered to the Senate and President Bush said there was a 90 percent certainty of WMDs. Democrat George Tenet, the Clinton CIA director who continued to serve under Bush, said the case for WMDs was a “slam dunk.”

John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Joe Biden all looked at the intelligence and voted to authorize force. Sen. Jay Rockefeller argued strongly for the war. Then, years later, when it wasn’t going so well, he published a highly politicized report ripping Bush.

There is a serious case to be made against the Iraq War, but it’s a lot more complicated than the playground taunt, “Bush lied about WMDs.” (“Hey, I’m a comic, you expect me to do serious? Please welcome our next guest, Henry Kissinger!”)

Yet another lie on top of that is the absurd implication that the news media were too soft on Bush. The only way you could possibly consider the media to be too conservative would be if you were an extremist well to their left, which Stewart is.

During the Iraq War buildup, even as overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress authorized the use of force, 59 percent of the sound bites aired by the evening newscasts were antiwar, 29 percent pro-war.

To take another of innumerable examples, in 2006 Bush had about the same approval ratings that Obama suffered in 2014. The network news both commissioned far more polls when Bush stood to suffer, and reported on the Bush results far more.

Again, this isn’t close: The score was 52 to 2, as in 52 mentions of low Bush approval ratings versus two mentions of (even lower, at times) Obama approval ratings.

In every Gallup poll this century, more Americans called the media “too liberal” than “too conservative.” The numbers were 45 to 15 in 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion. In 2008, as Obama was being elected, it was 47 to 13. Last fall it was 44 to 19.

Thanks to polemicists and clowns, the myth that “Bush lied” has caught on, and now a majority of Americans believe it. Stewart-ism won the day.

Liberal comics make things up, liberal journalists chortle and praise and internalize the lies.

Before you know it, if you point out that Bill O’Reilly’s audience is just as well informed as NPR’s (as a Pew poll found), or that Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my house” (that was “Saturday Night Live”), you’re just a buzzkill.

Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.