Search Results

NEWS YOU CAN USE: “If you’re wondering why you passed so many dead corpses laying on the side of the road while you drove to work this morning, that’s just the repeal of net neutrality taking effect. It’s official: according to the FCC, starting this morning there is no more net neutrality.”

How bad is it? FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is taking the Internet all the way back to the way it was in the stone knives and bearskins era of (checks article for date of net neutrality passage)…2015. But maybe I should dust off my TRS-80 and 300 baud Hayes Smartmodem just in case.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● “Does President Donald Trump fit the profile of an authoritarian dictator?

—Salon.com, Thursday.

“Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle.”

—Salon.com, March 6, 2013.

“Let’s nationalize Fox News: Imagining a very different media…Excerpted from ‘Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA.’

—Salon.com, January 18, 2014.

Like [the late communist Pete] Seeger and the FDR cargo cult, Salon also harbors turn-the-clock-back fantasies of their own: Last month, the publication called for the nationalization of the news media because it was uncomfortable with the glut of right-leaning news and opinion led by — you guessed it! — Fox News. (Hmmm — I wonder if someone in the FCC read that article?) Now the Website wishes to turn the clock back on the film industry because of a perceived glut of independent films.

Easy Riders, Raging Stasists, Ed Driscoll.com, February 22, 2014.

“Let’s nationalize Amazon and Google: Publicly funded technology built Big Tech. They’re huge and ruthless and define our lives. They’re close to monopolies. Let’s make them public utilities.”

Salon.com, July 8, 2014.

As Charles C. Cooke asked the left in 2016, “Herewith, an under-asked question for our friends on the progressive left: ‘Has Donald Trump’s remarkable rise done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the State?’”

IN THE MAIL: From Stephen P. Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi Occupied-France: Tyranny and Resistance.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

AT AMAZON, Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals – Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Sports Equipment.

Plus, deals galore at the Amazon Outlet Store.

HEH: We must rally around Joy Reid.

Why keep this investigation going? Because of the stakes. Somewhere out there is a hacker — or perhaps an entire collective — specializing in retroactive-digital-homophobia-archival-insertion intrusions. This time they victimized Joy Reid. But tomorrow they could go after anyone in the industry. They’ll memorize old blogging archives; they’ll study fonts and writing styles; they’ll turn back the web’s clock a decade, then push it forward, then drop some inflammatory text on some platform. They’ll make everyone think that their targets are way more homophobic than they ever were, regardless of their ability to “evolve” on gay rights.

(As with any claims in the public arena, Reid’s proclamations have drawn some haters. “Joy Reid’s Defenders Praise Her Apology — But Ignore Her Apparent Cover-Up,” notes a headline over at HuffPost. Some people, apparently, have no appreciation for what Reid “genuinely” believes.)

When we asked MSNBC for an official statement, we got no such thing. And when we asked Nichols whether he’s still working on Reid’s hacking, we received no response. These people have no time for silly press inquiries. They have a perpetrator to track down.

An ultra-sophisticated time-travelling hacker from the future? Hasn’t NBC already aired this story?

AT AMAZON, Under Armour Men’s Tech Short Sleeve T-Shirt.

Plus, Lightning Deal, DEIK Classic Stainless Steel with Wooden Block 16 Piece Knife Set.

AT AMAZON, save in Tools and Hardware.

Plus, spring deals in Automotive.

AT AMAZON, save in Tools and Hardware.

Plus, spring deals in Automotive.

LEFTIES ALWAYS WANT TO SILENCE THEIR POLITICAL OPPONENTS: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Want the FCC to Revoke Sinclair’s Broadcast Licenses. For the crime of broadcasting-while-conservative.

THEY SAY IT’S TO PROTECT FREE SPEECH: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Want the FCC to Revoke Sinclair’s Broadcast Licenses.

As Andrew Klavan once said, the Democrats’ arguments invariably boil down to:

PRE-DEMONIZATION OF CENTER-RIGHT MEDIA: Much has been written about the MSM freakout regarding Sinclair here, and here. What’s happening is this is nothing more than a campaign from the left to demonize Sinclair so that readers avoid it, and more importantly, relegate it to their list of “must ignore” platforms, like InfoWars or GatewayPundit. It’s a pre-emptive move to further control the narrative and censor by repudiation what you see and hear.

Two important facts (known in the media business but pointedly ignored) are first, CNN sells a service called CNN Newservice to stations around the country, and customers repeat CNN’s scripts verbatim. Conan O’Brien discovered this as a source of humor as long ago as 2013.

The second fact is that even on more “serious” matters, like editorials, The Fair Media Counsel reports an anecdote from a former Tribune (now “Tronc”) journalist:

Sinclair isn’t the only organization to do such a thing, but it is perhaps the most visible and unapologetic in its approach. In the not-so-obvious file was this personal experience: When the FCC was considering raising the ownership cap, all Tribune-owned newspapers were told to run an editorial in support of the action. (The same editorial, by the way.) I had written a letter to the editor in opposition of that point of view. My letter was rejected, with a brief explanation: Tribune was not allowing letters with opposing points of view on that particular subject.

Whatever happened to the marketplace of ideas? It’s been abandoned in the culture wars. In the new media marketplace, if you use center-right currency, your money — and your ideas — are no good here.

 

AT AMAZON, save on Bestselling Jewelry.

Plus, shop the Home Improvement Outlet.

IN THE MAIL: From Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every hour. Your patronage is always appreciated!

FCC: PERSON WHO SENT FALSE HAWAII MISSILE ALERT REFUSING TO COOPERATE.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who mistakenly sent out a mobile alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile is refusing to cooperate with the Federal Communications Commission investigation, an FCC official said Thursday on Capitol Hill.

At a hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Lisa Fowlkes, the head of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at the FCC, said the federal agency is pleased with the cooperation from leadership in Hawaii, but disappointed in the refusal from the key employee.

“We hope that person will reconsider,” said Fowlkes.

Well sure, he terrified 1.5 million Hawaiians into thinking they were about to be nuked into a fine paste, but FCC chairman Ajit Pai rolled back net neutrality, restoring the Internet to the same standards used prior to 2015. Who’s the bigger monster here?

LIVE BY THE PEN AND PHONE, DIE BY THE PEN AND PHONE: Obama Mocked Trump’s Political Ambitions. Trump Spent His First Year Dismantling Obama’s Legacy.

Trump has overseen the dismantling of several of Obamacare’s most controversial aspects. The tax cuts package Trump signed last month included a provision repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate. Trump also rolled back the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, which forced religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide birth control for all employees, regardless of conscientious objections.

Trump’s Department of Education rolled back several measures that conservatives had decried as federal overreach. The Trump administration repealed the Obama-era mandate that required all public schools to implement transgender bathroom policies and speech codes. The Trump administration also revoked a legally dubious Title IX guidance that regulated sexual assault proceedings on college campuses.

In July, Trump announced the United States would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, which Trump blasted as a threat to American sovereignty. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rolled back the Obama administration’s Waters of the US rule, which drastically increased federal regulations of streams, and repealed the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which increased environmental regulations on coal-fired plants. Trump approved both the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines that Obama had rejected.

Last month, Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rolled back the Obama-era Net Neutrality policy that increased federal regulation of the Internet.

The difference a year can make is remarkable. Or, “Get the hell out of my way!” as the wise man once said.

FIGHT AGAINST “FAKE NEWS” FRAUGHT WITH FAKERY: Our intellectual betters in the EU, including France, Ireland, Germany and England have been passing or flirting with all sorts of laws criminalizing “fake news.” Industry giants Facebook, Twitter and Google have consistently failed at sorting out “fake news” and more often than not, simply add an ideological filter skewed against conservative-leaning speech as if that would fix the problem. I, for one, think the “problem” is greatly exaggerated.

But to heck with what I think. As free-speech advocacy group Article 19 points out, “neither states nor business are getting it right on ‘fake news’ and free expression”:

“The notion of ‘fake news’ is too vague to prevent subjective and arbitrary interpretation, whether in legislation or the rules of online platforms. “Fake news” laws can be (and frequently are under some regimes) used to suppress media freedom and jail journalists, but it would not be much reassurance to have private entities like the tech giants making these assessments instead. Such efforts can lead to undue censorship as a result of flawed algorithms and ill-thought out assessments of what can be considered “true” – not to mention that these businesses may be subject to the influence of non-democratic governments in certain countries where they operate.”

Just last week the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that two Jordanian journalists were arrested for violating that nation’s Press Law, which criminalizes “false information.” In the US, as in Jordan, there is a reflexive impulse of government actors to decry news they don’t like or that may be factually incorrect without proof of malicious motive as “fake” or “false.”

The proof of the problem with these kinds of laws is concrete. In early January, pressured by the new German “fake news” law, Twitter blocked the account of German satirical magazine Titanic after it posted tweets that parodied a far-right politician.  The German Federation of Journalists, which has criticized the law since it was first proposed last year, told CNN said that the suspension of Titanic was exactly the kind of censorship the group has warned about for months. Eurocrats countered by saying that “rules covering hate speech and illegal content on digital platforms [are] in line with those already imposed on print media.” Justice minister Heiko Maas said that “freedom of expression is not a license to commit crimes.” When a bureaucrat can’t tell the difference between “hate speech” and humor that actually lampoons “hate speech,” you know trouble is inevitable. (Not that the Germans are famous for their sense of humor anyway).

Worse yet, even The New York Times has admitted that the impact of the fake news propagated in social media may have been wildly exaggerated. While “fake news” is on the never-ending and always evolving list of reasons that Ms. Clinton lost an election she had thought was sewn up, it is emerging that these fake news stories and memes didn’t change votes, but rather reinforced the bubbles and bias of those who had already made up their minds.

Here’s a crazy idea: how about treating the polity as capable of thinking for themselves and embracing the “marketplace of ideas“? In the words of the great Nat Hentoff: “Let the asses bray.”

**Shameless Self-Promotion: I’ll be speaking on the keynote panel “Fake News Eats the World: Protecting Speech, Evaluating Truth & Validating our Decisions” at the Legaltech 2018 Conference in New York City on Thursday, January 31, 2018

 

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Andrea Mitchell: Dems Must Get Deal ‘Written in Blood’ to Avoid Shutdown.

Earlier today: “CBS This Morning co-host John Dickerson on Friday touted Democratic talking points regarding a government shutdown. Talking to Senator Cory Gardner, Dickerson tried to explain away demanding a DACA fix in return for keeping the government open. He lectured the Republican: ‘Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging.’”

Earlier:

As Steve says, come and see the violence inherent in the leftism.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH:

CBS This Morning co-host John Dickerson on Friday touted Democratic talking points regarding a government shutdown. Talking to Senator Cory Gardner, Dickerson tried to explain away demanding a DACA fix in return for keeping the government open. He lectured the Republican: “Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging.”

Yes, Dickerson is paraphrasing Samuel Johnson, but murdering Republicans seems to be a recurring fantasy for the CBS anchorman:

Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.

Headline, John Dickerson’s column at Slate, January 18, 2013.

Earlier:

NBC’S RACHEL MADDOW SHOW SPARKED FBI INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH THREATS AGAINST MCCONNELL, PRUITT.

● Rand Paul: Recovery after attack ‘was a living hell.’

Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his appearance at CES because of death threats.

Terry McAuliffe says he’d punch Trump: ‘You’d have to pick him up off the floor.’

As Steve says, come and see the violence inherent in the leftism.

CHANGE MORE OF THE SAME: Senate Dems at 50-Vote Mark to Block FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal.

This report is from Bridget Johnson, whose unexplained and unacknowledged Twitter banishment remains unexplained and unacknowledged by Twitter management.

A LESSON FROM HAWAII: America’s emergency notification systems were first built for war, and then rebuilt for peace. A false alarm in Hawaii shows that they didn’t anticipate how media works in the smartphone era.

I’m glad that Ajip Pai has the FCC working on a fix.

TO BE FAIR, IT WASN’T A DRILL, IT WAS A FUCKUP: ‘This Is Not a Drill.’ Hawaii Just Sent Out an Incoming Missile Alert. It Was a Mistake. It must have been awfully disconcerting to have this pop up on people’s phones, and it took nearly 40 minutes to send out the message that it was a mistake.

Sounds like the planned FCC reboot of the wireless alert system can’t come too soon.

UPDATE: It’s all explained here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: “Possible hack?”

NBC’S RACHEL MADDOW SHOW SPARKED FBI INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH THREATS AGAINST MCCONNELL, PRUITT:

Drinking while watching MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show led to death threats against Republicans Mitch McConnell and Scott Pruitt that sparked an FBI investigation.

An individual admitted to sending threatening tweets against the Senate majority leader and Environmental Protection Agency administrator, according to the EPA’s inspector general investigation document, first reported by E&E News.

Earlier:

● Rand Paul: Recovery after attack ‘was a living hell.’

Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his appearance at CES because of death threats.

Terry McAuliffe says he’d punch Trump: ‘You’d have to pick him up off the floor.’

As Steve just said in response to that last item, come and see the violence inherent in the leftism. (Bumped, by Glenn, because they keep trying to bury this stuff.)

CIVIL SOCIETY: Racist goons are targeting the FCC chief — and his family.

The source of great consternation on the left is the FCC’s decision to scrap an Obama-era rule implemented in 2015 deemed “net neutrality.” The end of net neutrality will allow internet service providers to, if they choose, privilege the content of providers that they own or support.

Over this, Pai has been the target of a campaign of harassment that amounts to a national scandal.

HBO host John Oliver was among the first mainstream cultural figures to organize a net-neutrality campaign, which he dubbed “Go FCC Yourself.” He encouraged followers to bombard the FCC’s website with comments supporting the regulation, and so they did.

Those comments were peppered with claims that Pai was a pedophile, a “dirty, sneaky Indian” who should self-deport and reminders that anonymous online hordes maintain the “power to murder Ajit Pai and his family.” Oliver was eventually compelled to release a video urging his followers to dial back the racism and death threats.

This episode would prove to be just the beginning of Pai’s ordeal. By May of last year, Pai’s tormentors began a campaign to ensure that the FCC chairman could enjoy no peace — not even in his own home.

If this were happening to a Democrat appointee, it would be the lede story, everywhere, all the time.

FRENEMIES: Huawei, Seen as Possible Spy Threat, Boomed Despite U.S. Warnings. “Chinese telecom giant has gobbled up huge global market share; now Washington is warning anew about alleged spy threat as U.S. telecoms embark on $275 billion 5G network build-out.”

Since 2012, Huawei has expanded to 170 countries from 140, and now claims 45 of the world’s 50 biggest wireless carriers as customers. Huawei, which also runs a popular smartphone brand, made $75 billion overall in 2016. About $26 billion came from its telecom equipment and software business, making it the leader in the $126 billion-a-year global market, according to research-firm IHS Markit Ltd.

Huawei’s dominance is again stoking fears among Washington security and intelligence experts, who worry major U.S. carriers might be tempted to turn to Huawei.

Last month, members of the Senate and House intelligence committees sent a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission to review any relationship with Huawei and requested that the FCC get briefed on the security concerns raised in 2012. The letter also raised concerns about Huawei’s growing smartphone business, now the world’s No. 3 brand behind Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.

It feels a bit like buying satellite telecom equipment from the Soviets in the early ’80s.

RAND PAUL: Recovery after attack ‘was a living hell.’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) discussed his recovery after he was attacked by his neighbor outside of his Kentucky home in November, calling the process “a living hell.”

“It was sort of a living hell for the first four or five weeks,” Paul told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“Couldn’t get out of bed without assistance. Six broken ribs, damage to my lungs two bouts of pneumonia,” he continued. . . .

The incident marked the second time Paul had been attacked last year after he and other members of the GOP congressional baseball team were shot at during practice in June.

The senator was not shot in the attack.

Paul went on to discuss the safety of elected officials while not in the capitol.

“I was also at the baseball field when we were shot at with semiautomatic fire,” he said.

“People don’t want to think it is open season on our elected officials.”

Well, only the Republican ones. Related: Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

And not just the elected Republicans: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his appearance at CES because of death threats.

NO ONE’S CRUELER THAN A LEFTY WHO’S NOT GETTING HIS WAY: The Torment of Ajit Pai. Except maybe a lefty who gets his way.

WHEN THE RADICALS BECOME FANATICS: The Torment of Ajit Pai. At Commentary, Noah Rothman writes:

The so-called “Resistance” latched onto the net-neutrality issue early in the Trump presidency and went about expressing their opposition to the repeal of this regulation in the most contemptible fashion imaginable. HBO host John Oliver was among the first figures of mainstream cultural relevance to organize a campaign against this regulation, which he dubbed “Go FCC Yourself.” He encouraged his followers to bombard the FCC’s website with comments supporting the regulation, and that is precisely what they did. Those comments were peppered with claims that Pai was a pedophile, a “dirty, sneaky Indian” who should self-deport, and reminders that anonymous online hordes maintain the “power to murder Ajit Pai and his family.” Oliver was eventually compelled to release a video urging his followers to dial back the racism and death threats.

This episode would prove to be just the beginning of Pai’s ordeal. By May of last year, Pai’s tormentors began a campaign to ensure that the FCC chairman could enjoy no peace—not even in his own home. “Resistance” groups began distributing fliers and door hangers around Pai’s Arlington, Virginia neighborhood, featuring a black-and-white photo of Pai with his vital stats (height, weight, age, and professional background) and accusing him of selling the Internet out to corporations. “Have you seen this man?” the fliers read.

These demonstrators didn’t stop there. They began organizing “vigils” in Pai’s driveway—a tactic that net neutrality activists deployed in 2014 against then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. They “come up to our front windows and take photographs of the inside of the house,” Pai told the Wall Street Journal. “My kids are 5 and 3. It’s not pleasant.”

In a related post at Taki’s, Christopher DeGroot explores “Giving Offense, or How to Overcome Mass-Media Morality,” beginning with a look at “Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One race-car driver and whipping boy for the identity-politics puritans. The man had put up a video on Instagram in which he mocks his nephew for getting a dress for Christmas. ‘Boys don’t wear princess dresses!’ he said. For this he was—inevitably—taken to task by people who presume they have the right to do so. As you would expect, Hamilton issued the obligatory public apology. Good news for the mob and his PR people. Bad news for everyone else, including the callow Hamilton himself.”

In a passage that dovetails well with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman John Oliver ginning up the mob to attack Ajit Pai, DeGroot responds:

Today, people act as if they have a “right” to revenge, even as they have a “right” never to be offended. Here, it would be impossible to underestimate the influence of mass media, a source of endless division, resentment, and wickedness. Mass media produces a debasement such as no one in the past ever could have imagined. It is an infinite impetus to destructive sentiments. Nor is the sort of mad reaction that we saw in the Hamilton scandal, and the concomitant will to punish, going to go away anytime soon. For it has become a norm, and therefore something that many do not even question as possibly wrong. There are many—single mothers in particular—who, though they teach their children nothing of traditional morality, will allow them to believe that reflexive herd castigation is “good conduct,” what “decent and tolerant” people do.

Since it increasingly is ”morality,” mass-media influence is a nightmare from which we need to wake up. To do so we must, in Dr. Johnson’s words, “clear the mind of cant.” Rejecting mass-media morality, and thus the evil ends for which it is the vehicle, we must go our own way, indifferent to what media-shaped cattle think of us. Most of all, children must be taught that mere hurt feelings are not a sign of rectitude. Parents should be candid with boys and girls that the media is insidious, trafficking in evil under the guise of righteousness. The young must learn to see it for what it is. If not, the world will be happy to dupe them and profit at their expense.

America’s future is already difficult enough. A culture that lacks emotional restraint, choosing instead to indulge every offended impulse, will be especially ill-suited for dealing with its many problems. Therefore, people—and especially men, the primary targets—need to learn how to respond to these facile charges of sexism, racism, homophobia, and all the progressive rest.

Read the whole thing.

(Found via Kathy Shaidle, who writes, “as I’ve been saying for years, what people really need is insensitivity training…”)

THEY TOLD ME IF DONALD TRUMP WERE ELECTED PRESIDENT, WE’D SEE DEATH THREATS AGAINST INDIAN-AMERICANS AND THEY WERE RIGHT! FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his appearance at CES because of death threats.

Reminder: Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

SOMETHING YOU CAN USE: Easy Low Carb Slow Cooking: A Prep-and-Go Low Carb Cookbook for Ketogenic, Paleo, & High-Fat Diets.

PATTERICO: LAPD MAKES AN ARREST IN THAT DEADLY WICHITA SWATTING.

A 25-year-old California man was arrested in connection to an online quarrel between two “Call of Duty” gamers that prompted a hoax call and led to a man being killed by police in Kansas.

Los Angeles police on Friday arrested Tyler Barriss, who law enforcement claimed is the “prankster” who called 911 and made up a story about a kidnapping in Wichita, ABC 7 reported.

Barriss reportedly gave police the address he believed the other gamer lived.

In the audio of the 911 call, the caller claimed his father had been shot in the head and that he was holding his mother and a sibling at gunpoint. The caller added that he poured gasoline inside the home and “might just set it on fire.”

. . . .

Dexerto, an online news service focused on gaming, reported that the series of events began with an online argument over a $1 or $2 wager in a “Call of Duty” game on UMG Gaming, which operates online tournaments including one involving “Call of Duty.”

According to multiple articles, such as this one at Fortune, Barriss’ Twitter handle was “SWAuTistic,” and Twitter has since suspended that account. According to Fortune, Barriss “has been previously arrested for making hoax calls to police, including two bomb threats in 2015. More recently, he may have been responsible for a bomb threat that disrupted the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality rules.

AT AMAZON, Lightning Deal, ONIKUMA Stereo Gaming Headset for PS4 Xbox One, Noise Cancelling Mic Over Ears Gaming Headphones with Microphone.

CLIMATE OF FEAR: Leftists Dox FCC’s Ajit Pai on Facebook, Urge Insane People to Defecate on His Lawn.

AT AMAZON, save on Last Minute Deals.

Plus, bargains in Health and Personal Care.

WATCH MSNBC ANCHOR ALI VELSHI GET ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED DURING AN INTERVIEW ON NET NEUTRALITY WITH FORMER FCC COMMISSIONER ROBERT MCDOWELL (Video):

“Look, I just feel like we’re having a really unfair conversation here, I’m trying to have a conversation on the merits of the principle of unintended consequences,” Velshi whined. “And you’re dropping a lot of legal-ese.”

“The legal-ese is the merits though, Ali,” McDowell asserted. “That’s what’s at play here, and maybe you haven’t read these laws.”

“I’m very familiar with net neutrality,” Velshi snarked back. “I’m really not that familiar with being condescended to.”

Because it’s absolutely impossible to out-smug an MSNBC anchor. Read and/or watch the whole thing.

TOO BAD FOR THEM THAT BOTS AND SOCKPUPPETS DON’T HAVE THE VOTE: Dems Vow to Take Net Neutrality to SCOTUS, Make FCC Move a Midterm Issue.

BE EVIL: Google Is Using Its Immense Power To Censor Content That Doesn’t Fit Its Political Goals.

The Daily Caller released a funny video Tuesday of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defending the committee’s upcoming net-neutrality rollback. Through Wednesday and Thursday, liberals and others who dislike Pai’s political position lost their minds. And by Friday morning, Google, one of the most powerful companies on the planet, had censored the video based on a bogus claim from a politically motivated man.

It took seven crucial hours and the full force of our news site to push Google and YouTube to reverse this political censorship. We were able to prevail because of the sizable contacts and resources of TheDC. An average citizen showcasing a political viewpoint Google and the left disagreed with would almost certainly have had a far more difficult — and fruitless — time fighting back.

I’m not a big fan of antitrust, but if any company deserves some tough regulatory scrutiny, it’s Google.

AT AMAZON, LEGO Classic Creative Builder Box 10703.

Plus, Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket.

BECAUSE “THE RESISTANCE” IS A BUNCH OF CHILDISH JERKS: Why Is the ‘Resistance’ Harassing This Man? FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his family endure a season of hatred.

Speaking of crossing lines, unhinged critics on Twitter have attacked Mr. Pai’s Indian heritage and wished death by AIDS and cancer upon him and his family. Mr. Pai’s Chief of Staff, Matthew Berry, has posted some of the appalling messages.

According to Variety, Mr. Pai’s wife “has received threatening messages at her workplace, according to an FCC source.” April Glaser has more in Slate:

It wasn’t the first time that activists apparently showed up near his home. Menacing, handwritten signs also appeared in Pai’s local neighborhood, including one that named his children and the question, “How will they ever look you in the eye again?” In May, in what appeared to be a coordinated campaign by the advocacy group Popular Resistance, people left flyers on Pai’s neighbors’ doors that included his picture, age, and weight. Unfortunately, such attacks aren’t new to Pai, who has endured a steady stream of racist, lewd, and threatening backlash since April, when he introduced his intention to gut the net neutrality rules. . . .

As irresponsible as such language is, it’s also ridiculous. The resisters are casting as a fundamental free speech right what was essentially a gift to tech lobbyists. Companies like Netflix, which by some measures generates more than a third of all North American Internet traffic, and Google, which also generates significant traffic via its YouTube video service, didn’t want to pay market rates to companies like Verizon for moving that traffic. Essentially, Silicon Valley wanted to cut its phone bill and it persuaded President Obama to instruct his supposedly independent telecom regulators to make it happen.

They told me if Trump were elected, racist mobs would harass minority members and government officials who were just trying to stand up to corporate looting. And they were right!

IN NATIONAL REVIEW, OF ALL PLACES: This Thanksgiving, Thank Donald Trump:

This Thanksgiving, Americans in general — and free-market conservatives in particular — have plenty for which to be grateful. And much of it would be absent had the White House’s current occupant not become president on November 8, 2016. The day after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Princeton University economist Paul Krugman called Trump’s victory “the mother of all adverse effects.” He predicted “very probably . . . a global recession, with no end in sight.” • The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all hit record highs on Tuesday. The Wilshire 5000 Index calculates that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since President Trump’s inauguration and $5.4 trillion since his election. Fueled by the reality of deregulation, expectations of lower taxes, and a new tone in Washington that applauds free enterprise rather than excoriate it, the economy is on fire. • Atop the second quarter’s 3.1 percent increase in real GDP, and 3.0 in 3Q, the New York Federal Reserve Bank predicts that 4Q output will expand by 3.8 percent. This far outpaces the feeble average-annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent on President Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, the IMF expects global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year. So much for a Trump-inspired “global recession.”

Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. New unemployment claims in September were at their most modest since 1974. Goldman Sachs on November 20 “lowered our unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and 3.5 percent by end-2019.” According to the Wall Street powerhouse’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, “Such a scenario would take the U.S. labor market into territory almost never seen outside of a major wartime mobilization.” . . .

• For every new regulation that Trump has imposed, 16 have been erased.

• The FCC has begun to dismantle Obama’s “Net Neutrality” takeover of the Internet, which functioned marvelously, thank you, before his needless e-power-grab.

• Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is on the bench, along with 13 constitutionalist lower-court judges. At this stage in Obama’s presidency, the Senate had confirmed just seven of his district- and circuit-court nominees.

Much more at the link, concluding with this: “The Never Trump faction still claims that the president of the United States ‘is no conservative.’ And yet, with rare deviations (such as free trade), he spends nearly every day implementing the conservative agenda. Ideas that center-Right activists have demanded for decades are becoming public policy, one after another — to the pleasant surprise of even some of Donald J. Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters.”

Did I mention this was in National Review, of all places?

MEGAN MCARDLE: The Internet Had Already Lost Its Neutrality: Even while the FCC was more strictly regulating, a few powerful companies took control of what we see and don’t.

The internet will be filled today with denunciations of this move, threats of a dark future in which our access to content will be controlled by a few powerful companies. And sure, that may happen. But in fact, it may already have happened, led not by ISPs, but by the very companies that were fighting so hard for net neutrality.

Consider what happened to the Daily Stormer, the neo-Nazi publication, after Charlottesville. One by one, hosting companies refused to permit its content on their servers. The group was forced to effectively flee the country, and then other countries, too, shut it down.

Now of course, these are not nice people. Their website espoused vile hate. But the fact remains that what they were publishing was not illegal, merely immoral, and their immoral speech was effectively shut down by a small number of private companies who decided to exercise their considerable control over what we’re allowed to read. And what is to stop them from expanding this decision to other categories, forcing the rest of us to conform to Silicon Valley’s idea of what it is moral and right for us to see?

Fifteen years ago, when I started blogging, it was common to hear that “the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” You don’t hear that so often anymore, because it’s not true. China has proven very effective at censoring the internet, and as market power has consolidated in the tech industry, so have private firms.

Meanwhile, our experience of the internet is increasingly controlled by a handful of firms, most especially Google and Facebook. The argument for regulating these companies as public utilities is arguably at least as strong as the argument for thus regulating ISPs, and very possibly much stronger; while cable monopolies may have local dominance, none of them has the ability that Google and Facebook have to unilaterally shape what Americans see, hear, and read.

In other words, we already live in the walled garden that activists worry about, and the walls are getting higher every day. Is this a problem? I think it is.

I do, too.

THE WAGES OF BARNEY FRANK AND ELIZABETH WARREN: A Wall Street Journal op-ed by a former Barney Frank staffer, Dennis Shaul, bewails a great mistake by the Democrats: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Richard Cordray’s resignation as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a great opportunity for President Trump to appoint a new director who can undo an unfortunate legacy of bureaucratic overreach and political bias. More important going forward is what we have learned from our experience with the CFPB to prevent future similar missteps.

The first lesson is that Congress should never again create an “independent” agency with a sole director, particularly one not subject to the congressional appropriations process. Under the law, the CFPB—unlike the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and other independent agencies—is funded by the Federal Reserve, a move specifically designed to avoid congressional oversight.

I had the privilege of working as an aide to then-Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee when the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which created the CFPB, was written. I realized that no bill is ever perfect and the CFPB would have its imperfections. The authors wanted the bureau to be a fair arbiter of protecting consumers, instead of what it has become—a politically biased regulatory dictator and a political steppingstone for its sole director, who is now expected to run for governor of Ohio.

An independent federal agency should be nonpartisan. A bipartisan commission on the model of the SEC and FCC would allow for better and more evenhanded decision-making. To show how partisan the CFPB became under Mr. Cordray’s leadership, not one of the agency’s employees made a contribution to Donald Trump’s campaign, while a multitude contributed to Hillary Clinton. The new director will have a partisan staff.

Yes, Trump’s in charge, not Hillary. Tsk. The essay goes on to list several egregious examples of CFPB overreach.

This one, for example:

The CFPB, like other agencies, collects fines and fees. Astonishingly, Congress does not require them to be transferred to the federal Treasury. Mr. Cordray has boasted of collecting billions of dollars on behalf of consumers, but portions of that money ultimately go to favored consumer groups—a continuing problem of ideological preference.

Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren helped create and build this hideous government monster. Yes,”a politically biased regulatory dictator.” Tsk again.

WELL, GOOD: Inside the Decades-Long Fight for Better Emergency Alerts.

Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the commission would move forward with an Obama-era order calling for wireless carriers to pinpoint emergency alerts down to the cellular tower level. Until recently, these alerts have targeted entire counties, an area so vast that, typically, people either receive alerts that are irrelevant to them, or emergency managers forgo alerts altogether—with potentially disastrous consequences. The alerts will also include embeddable links that can redirect people to additional information.

For public safety and communications experts, including Wheeler, these upgrades represent a crucial step in a multiyear battle with the cell phone industry.

“It is great the FCC has announced they’re going to do something,” Wheeler says. “Too bad it took tragedies to get that to happen.”

It usually does.

AT AMAZON, save on bestsellers in Automotive.

Plus, deals on Musical Instruments and Recording Gear.

BOTS ARE PEOPLE, TOO? 83% Bots: We Told You The Power Grab ‘Comment Period’ Is Titanically Stupid.

Seton Motley explains:

We were just subjected to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Comment Period” – as the Donald Trump FCC reasonably engages in the government process of undoing the heinous Barack Obama Administration FCC power grab known as “Network Neutrality.”

(Yes, we have to “Comment Period” again when we rightly undo “Comment Period”-ed power grabs.)

How’d that go?

80% Of All Net Neutrality Comments Sent By Bots, Claim Researchers

What’s a “bot?”: “An Internet bot, also known as web robot, WWW robot or simply bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.”

Get all that? We have unelected bureaucrats. At little known bureaucracies. Engaging, nigh always, in huge power grabs. For which they have little renowned “Comment Periods.” During which they pretend to listen…to a bunch of non-human respondents.

Automated autocracy.

AT AMAZON, save on Office Supplies.

Plus, bestsellers in Tools and Hardware.

AT AMAZON, Lodge Logic L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet.

Plus, Lightning Deal, Gonicc 8″ Professional SK-5 Steel Blade Sharp Anvil Pruning Shears.

AT AMAZON, on sale, Smith & Wesson Military & Police Tactical Pen.

Plus, Lightning Deal, Damaged Screw Extractor and Remover Set by Aisxle,Easily Remove Stripped or Damaged Screws.

SNAG: Elon Musk’s Plan to Girdle Earth With Satellites Hits Turbulence.

SpaceX, the rocket startup Musk runs, filed for permission for its constellation of refrigerator-sized satellites late last year. Selling broadband from orbit is a key part of how SpaceX plans to make money beyond its original rocket-launching service.

But the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is poised to deal the project a setback with a decision that could force power reductions on SpaceX satellites, and potentially limit the spectrum they can use, making them less effective.

The regulator will in part defer to the International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations, on how these new satellite systems need to coordinate and share spectrum, according to a draft set of rules set for a vote Tuesday. The package is likely to pass as it’s backed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who leads the agency’s Republican majority.

I wonder if the expense and risk inherent to space launches might encourage Musk and his competitors to come up with a better self-regulatory scheme — and faster than the FCC and UN could.

AT AMAZON, on sale, Flip-N-Lite 300-Pound Duty Rating 6-foot Stepladder with Platform.

Plus, on sale, Qually United – a Must Have 18″ Best BBQ Grill Brush.

THIS IS A GOOD IDEA, IF IT CAN BE IMPLEMENTED: U.S. Senate passes bill that would make cellphones work on other networks amid natural disasters. It might also be worth revisiting the FCC regulations — killed by the industry — requiring backup power at cellular nodes.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: EXCLUSIVE: Emails Show Obama-Era FCC Gave Special Treatment To Liberal Groups.

HOW BAD WAS CHARLOTTESVILLE’S POLICING? BAD ENOUGH THAT RICHARD SPENCER AND CORNEL WEST ARE ON THE SAME PAGE ABOUT IT: Chicago Tribune: Police in Charlottesville criticized for slow response to violent demonstrations.

“The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn’t do a godd—- thing,” said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va., after an initial morning melee at a park that when unchecked by police for several minutes.

Fourteen people were injured in clashes; nine others were hurt in the car crash. Later, two Virginia State Police troopers were killed when their helicopter smashed into trees at the edge of town and burst into flames. The loss of police officers only compounded the calamity on a day that pushed police, city officials and residents to their limits.

Cable news replayed a seemingly endless loop of the early violence at Emancipation Park, where police in riot gear had surrounded the expanse on three sides, though seemed to watch as groups beat each other with sticks and bludgeoned one another with shields. Many on both sides came dressed for battle, with helmets and chemical irritants.

Police appeared at one point to retreat and then watch the beatings before eventually moving in to end the free-for-all, make arrests and tend the injured. The governor declared a state of emergency around 11 a.m. and activated the National Guard.

“The whole point is to have overwhelming force so that people don’t get the idea they can do these kinds of things and get away with it,” said Charles Ramsey, who headed both the District of Columbia and Philadelphia police departments. Demonstrators and counter demonstrators “need to be in sight and sound of each other but somebody has to be in between,” he said. “That’s usually the police.”

You’d think.

AT AMAZON, 70% off or More on Foam Mattresses.

AT AMAZON, still on sale, Brightest Tactical Flashlight, FREE Flashlight Keychain Bottle Opener Included, LED Nightlight Flashlight.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MIKA BRZEZINSKI AND THE VICTIMIZED MEDIA:

The morning after Trump’s vicious attack on Brzezinski’s facelift — she admitted that she had her chin “tweaked” — MSNBC promoted that she and her co-host Joe Scarborough would appear (on their own show!) to respond (delaying a planned vacation).

Taking on the air of two freed hostages suffering PTSD, Brzezinski and Scarborough assured a shaken nation that they were “okay.”

“I’ve been getting a lot of texts and hearing you all talking,” Brzezinski said. “Thank you. I’m fine. My family brought me up really tough.”

“We’re okay,” said Scarborough, a defiant hero.

Less than two weeks after their trauma, the pair appeared this past Tuesday on late-night TV to giggle about it and promote Scarborough’s side hustle as an aspiring rock artist.

Before a live performance of his song “Welcome to the Monkey House” — the music magazine Spin described it as “pretty bad” — Scarborough took the opportunity to announce in front of a sympathetic audience that he’s switching his party identity from Republican to independent.

Applause followed and the look of pure satisfaction on Scarborough’s face said that the tweet about Brzezinski, his new fiancé, paid off.

This is what the media do with Trump: Criticize him, await the blowback, then play dead before cashing in.

Or as Ace of Spades quips, “Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Legendary Vanity-Rock Sensation Joe Scarborough Quits the GOP on Steven Colbert, After Admitting He Buys Into Liberal Progressive Line 100%:”

[Scarborough] has announced to his millions of adoring fans that he’s decamping the Republican Party, making this announcement on the place where Republicans come to discuss issues, the Stephen Colbert show.

David Harsanyi only briefly hints at how miserable this fink’s (double hand finger airquotes) “music” is, to instead talk about his rampant hypocrisy for having done everything in his power to get Trump nominated as GOP candidate, then becoming a loud-and-proud liberal Democrat the moment he succeeded in getting Trump to that position.

Alternate hypothesis for your consideration: It wasn’t hypocrisy, it was covert action. Maybe Scarborough has been a Democrat for a good long while, and was following the Democrat Conventional Wisdom that Trump was the weakest candidate the GOP could field and so it was in ever Democrats’ interest to pump him up — until he secured the nomination at the convention.

Really? The guy who took on-air real-time story corrections from the Obama administration is bolting the Republican party? I’d cover more of that, but first I’m off to investigate the reports that there’s gambling going on at Rick’s Café.

BECAUSE HANGING WAS TOO GOOD FOR HIM? Scammer who made 96 million robocalls should pay $120M fine, FCC says.

REGULATORY COSTS, PART DEUX: Axios’ Kim Hart reporting that payphones (remember them?) are so few and far between that the cost of regulation outweighs revenue:

“Cincinnati Bell asked the FCC last month for a waiver to exempt it from filing the annual audits tracking pay phone transactions. According to FCC filings, the cost of Cincinnati Bell’s audit is now about five times the amount of revenue it makes from its pay phones. Sprint also asked for a waiver.”

Most bureaucracies (particularly the FCC) are loathe to waive jurisdiction or oversight, but let’s see what happens.

 

AT AMAZON, 47% off Cartman Pink 39-Piece Tool Set – General Household Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case. This toolbox is amazing, I have been using it all week while helping a family member move and it is easy for someone like myself who is not that handy to cut boxes, use heavy scissors that cut well and screw together light pieces of furniture and appliances.

NO. RNC Lobbying FCC for a New Way to Annoy us With ‘Ringless’ Voicemail Ads.

Now there’s possibly a new way to annoy us being reviewed by the FCC. The Republican National Committee is pushing the agency to adopt a new technology that would allow telemarketers to leave prerecorded messages on our voicemail without the phone ever ringing, Recode reports. We would simply get a notification that a voicemail was received, mixed in, of course, with more important voicemails.

Current laws prohibit calls by telemarketers if the recipient has signed up on the do not call registry. While many ignore it, most reputable organizations and companies abide by the rules. But, apparently, they feel left out from the right to annoy us. So they want to use this new technology that avoids ringing. Their logic is that this should be legal because if the phone never rings, it’s not a call. As a result, they are now petitioning the FCC to allow this new form of messaging. They argue that they shouldn’t need our permission to auto-dial our mobile voicemail inboxes directly to leave an advertising message.

As you can imagine, this effort has drawn strong opposition from consumer groups such as the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC).

Clearly, Republicans are no longer interested in winning votes from people who have phones.

FASTER, PLEASE: FCC Begins Rolling Back Obama’s Net Neutrality Rule.

THE MASK SLIPS: Net Neutrality Supporters Want to ‘Ban Drudge.’

Alt-left advocates for net neutrality, who say they want a “free and open internet,” want to ban the Drudge Report.

Members of the alt-left who have been tied to violent protests in the past picketed outside the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday in protest of Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to reverse net neutrality rules. The FCC will vote to undue the Obama era Title II rule that classified Internet service providers as utilities, subjecting them to more federal regulation.

Protesters covering their faces held signs that read “Ban Drudge,” with a no symbol over the Drudge Report, the highly trafficked news website run by Matt Drudge. Other protesters held signs to ban other news websites, including Breitbart and InfoWars.

If you’re covering your face while demanding censorship, you’re a fascist.

STUART BROTMAN: Net neutrality 2.0: Perspectives on FCC regulation of internet service providers.

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: Eugene Volokh Unpacks Still More Constitutional Illiteracy From Howard Dean.

DESPITE ALL THE TALK, TRUMP HASN’T DONE A TINY FRACTION OF WHAT FDR DID: FDR’s War Against the Press.

Like Trump, he feuded with the mainstream media; like Trump, he used a new medium as a direct pipeline to the people. He also used the government’s machinery to suppress unfavorable coverage, a fate we hope to avoid in the age of Trump. . . .

In the 1936 election, Roosevelt claimed that 85 percent of the newspapers were against him. In the standard work on the subject, historian Graham J. White finds that the actual percentage was much lower and the print press generally gave FDR balanced news coverage, but most editorialists and columnists were indeed opposed to the administration. Convinced that the media were out to get him, Roosevelt warned in 1938 that “our newspapers cannot be edited in the interests of the general public, from the counting room. And I wish we could have a national symposium on that question, particularly in relation to the freedom of the press. How many bogies are conjured up by invoking that greatly overworked phrase?”

Roosevelt’s relationship with radio was warmer. The key distinction was that broadcasters operated in an entirely different political context: Thanks to federal rules and administrators, they had to tread much more lightly than newspapers did. At its inception in 1934, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reduced the license renewal period for stations from three years to only six months. Meanwhile, Roosevelt tapped Herbert L. Pettey as secretary of the FCC (and its predecessor, the Federal Radio Commission). Pettey had overseen radio for Roosevelt in the 1932 campaign. After his appointment, he worked in tandem with the Democratic National Committee to handle “radio matters” with both the networks and local stations.

It did not take long for broadcasters to get the message. NBC, for example, announced that it was limiting broadcasts “contrary to the policies of the United States government.” CBS Vice President Henry A. Bellows said that “no broadcast would be permitted over the Columbia Broadcasting System that in any way was critical of any policy of the Administration.” He elaborated “that the Columbia system was at the disposal of President Roosevelt and his administration and they would permit no broadcast that did not have his approval.” Local station owners and network executives alike took it for granted, as Editor and Publisher observed, that each station had “to dance to Government tunes because it is under Government license.” . . .

Even as he was securing domination of the ether, Roosevelt worked hard to neutralize criticism from the print media. Here he used a combination of manipulation and intimidation. By 1935, the famous Roosevelt charm was much less of a guarantee of success, and his press conferences became increasingly orchestrated. Like Trump, he singled out some reporters who wanted to ask questions and ignored others. Writing for The Washington Post in 1938, Harlan Miller commented that Roosevelt only answered questions which enabled him to “utter an oral editorial.…He selects only those on which he can ring the bell.”

He also gave special access to pro-administration outlets, such as J. David Stern’s Philadelphia Record and Marshall Field’s Chicago Sun. Another Field publication, PM, was probably the closest facsimile to a New Deal Breitbart. In both editorials and news reports, PM repeatedly demonized FDR’s enemies, often comparing them to fascists. These pro–New Deal outlets had a special entrée to top administration officials, who gave them valuable scoops. The collaboration went both ways. In 1942, Field brought an antitrust complaint against the much less Roosevelt-friendly Associated Press.
The Black Committee

Roosevelt’s intimidation efforts reached their apogee in the hands of the Special Senate Committee on Lobbying. The president indirectly recruited Sen. Hugo L. Black (D–Ala.), a zealous and effective New Deal loyalist, as chair. The committee’s original mission was to probe the opposition campaign to the “death sentence” in the Public Utility Holding Company Bill, a provision that would have allowed, under certain circumstances, the dissolution of utility holding companies. The Black Committee gained traction with the public when it brought to light evidence that some lobbyists had concocted thousands of “fake telegrams” sent to Congress to protest the bill. Smelling blood, Black expanded the investigation into a general probe of anti–New Deal voices, including journalists.

The Treasury granted Black access to tax returns dating back to 1925 of such critics as David Lawrence of the United States News. Then he moved to obtain his targets’ private telegrams, demanding that telegraph companies let the committee search copies of all incoming and outgoing telegrams for the first nine months of 1935. When Western Union refused on privacy grounds, the FCC, at Black’s urging, ordered it to comply.

Over a nearly three-month period at the end of 1935, FCC and Black Committee staffers searched great stacks of telegrams in Western Union’s D.C. office. Operating with virtually no restriction, they read the communications of sundry lobbyists, newspaper publishers, and conservative political activists as well as every member of Congress.

Sounds more like Obama than Trump.

Related (From Ed): And then there was that time in 1942, when FDR gave a New York Daily News journalist whose reporting he disagreed with a Nazi Iron Cross medal.

DEREGULATION: FCC Chief Ajit Pai Develops Plans to Roll Back Net Neutrality Rules.

The multistep plan that is emerging appears aimed at eventually shifting oversight for net neutrality to the FTC, which has long overseen most internet-related business, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Under federal law, the FTC lost much of its oversight of broadband providers when the FCC adopted its net neutrality policy, because the FCC rules reclassified broadband providers as common carriers subject to the agency’s oversight.

Mr. Pai’s plans likely would reverse that reclassification eventually, so the FTC again would have jurisdiction over the telecommunications carriers. To preserve the basic tenets of net neutrality, the plans would require broadband providers to pledge to abide by net neutrality principles such as no blocking or paid prioritization of internet traffic. That would allow the FTC to go after violators for deceptive or unfair trade practices.

tl;dr? It’s complicated.

AT AMAZON, deals in Candy and Chocolate.

save on Vitamins and Dietary Supplements.

FROM THE NETWORK THAT BROUGHT YOU RATHERGATE: CBS’s Ted Koppel views Sean Hannity and “all these opinion shows” as “bad for America:”

“You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts,” said Koppel to Hannity.

“That’s sad, Ted,” said Hannity to Koppel. “You’re selling the American people short,” he added, describing Americans as broadly able to discern between facts and opinions.

Koppel described the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine – a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy mandating news media broadcasters’ coverage of “controversial issues” be fair per the FCC’s opinion – as facilitating the creation of “two separate worlds” of politics via the ascendance of Rush Limbaugh.

Advocates for the Fairness Doctrine described the federal government’s control of political and partisan editorializing among news media broadcasters as serving “the public interest.” They credited the Fairness Doctrine with allowing Americans a “reasonable opportunity [to consume] the presentation of contrasting viewpoints.” “The right of the viewing and listening public to suitable access to the marketplace of ideas,” they added, “justifies restrictions on the rights of broadcasters [to determine their own editorial perspectives].”

Wow, somebody tell Koppel that in addition to broadcast television and terrestrial radio, there’s this new-fangled communications medium called the Internet as well, with [CUE SAGAN VOICE] Billions and Billions of Websites to match the worldviews and tones of a diverse multicultural readership. Why, it’s as if there’s more to journalism in the 21st century than just three commercial networks, a couple of big city newspapers and radio these days! Someone alert Ted!

Fortunately in response, “Dana Loesch Takes No Prisoners in Fox and Friends Interview (Video):”

On Ted Koppel’s comment that Sean Hannity is “bad for America”…

“He’s the last person on Earth to accuse someone of being bad for America simply because they are offering opinion. This is the problem with so much of legacy media. This is why you see New Media come up. People are tired of these anchors and reporters giving their opinion as unfettered fact and acting as though there is no bias on their part at all whatsoever.”

The difference between Dana Loesch and Ted Koppel, according to Ms. Loesch? She’s being honest about her bias. She admits she is biased towards the “constitution and natural rights”, thus all of her opinions are seen through that prism. If only we could get those in Big Media to understand this one simple thing, it would improve their credibility almost immediately.

It’s pretty tough to be a spokesman for a channel that made its bones with Walter Cronkite warbling on about Barry Goldwater being a crypto-Nazi and global cooling, his successor cooking the books with Rathergate, and his successor reading Christmas poems to beg for Obamacare (and then having a Rathergate of her own after she left the network) and still claim – in 2017! – to a proponent of “objective” journalism.

AUSTRALIA WILL SOON BE WITHIN RANGE OF NORTH KOREAN NUKES: From The Australian:

In South Korea last month, US General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of UN and US forces in the country, stood in front of ­Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and ­delivered some sobering news.

The general told her North Korea, led by the maniacal Kim Jong-un, had developed its rocket technology to the point that Australia would soon be within range of a nuclear strike.

“The assessment was that North Korea … was now at a point of advanced technology when it came to ballistic missiles that were capable of carrying a single nuclear warhead, that it was an increasing security risk not only to the Korean peninsula but also to our region, including Australia,” Bishop told The Australian.

US and Australian intelligence had long warned that North Korea was getting close to being able to launch a nuclear-armed intercontinental missile capable of reaching the US or Australia, but no one had spelt out this new reality as bluntly as Brooks.

“It was the first time I had heard it in such stark terms,” ­Bishop says.

“It is deeply concerning that North Korea has been able to take the opportunity to advance its capability.”

Glory be. We are where we are. North Korea extended the range of its ballistic missiles on Obama’s watch. Now art of the deal meets art of war.

HMM: Senate votes to kill FCC’s broadband privacy rules.

The Senate’s 50-48 vote Thursday on a resolution of disapproval would roll back Federal Communications Commission rules requiring broadband providers to receive opt-in customer permission to share sensitive personal information, including web-browsing history, geolocation, and financial details with third parties. The FCC approved the regulations just five months ago.

Thursday’s vote was largely along party lines, with Republicans voting to kill the FCC’s privacy rules and Democrats voting to keep them.

[ Further reading: How the new age of antivirus software will protect your PC ]
The Senate’s resolution, which now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration, would allow broadband providers to collect and sell a “gold mine of data” about customers, said Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat.

“Your mobile broadband provider knows how you move about your day through information about your geolocation and internet activity through your mobile device,” he said. The Senate resolution “will take consumers out of this driver’s seat and place the collection and use of their information behind a veil of secrecy.”

But critics of the rules say they are expensive to ISPs and subject them to tough privacy regulations not imposed on web-based companies like Google and Facebook.

You can choose not to use Facebook or Google, but there’s no escaping having to use an ISP.

READER BOOK PLUG: From Paula Sadok, Leaving Egypt.

SAVE BIG: Shop Amazon Outlet – Clearance, Markdowns and Overstock Deals.

Plus, Save on Top Rated Products.

WHO CAN ARGUE WITH SCIENCE? Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency.

More than 300 scientists have urged President Trump to withdraw from the U.N.’s climate change agency, warning that its push to curtail carbon dioxide threatens to exacerbate poverty without improving the environment.

In a Thursday letter to the president, MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen called on the United States and other nations to “change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases,” starting with carbon dioxide.

“Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm — with no environmental benefits,” said Mr. Lindzen, a prominent atmospheric physicist.

Signers of the attached petition include the U.S. and international atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, physicists, professors and others taking issue with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], which was formed in 1992 to combat “dangerous” climate change.

The 2016 Paris climate accord, which sets nonbinding emissions goals for nations, was drawn up under the auspices of the UNFCCC.

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

I guess the science is settled. You don’t want to be anti-science, do you?

INSTAPUNDIT READERS WEIGH IN ON TRUMP’S H.R. MCMASTER PICK FOR NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Reader T.J. Linzy writes:

I served with HR McMaster in 2/2 ACR in the first gulf war. He was the E Troop commander; I was a F Troop platoon leader. For your readers who may not know him very well, I would like them to know that this long time Instapundit reader thinks this might be President Trump’s best appointment yet.

HR is is highly intelligent, courageous, and one of the best human beings I have ever known. His integrity, wide-ranging knowledge, and willingness to take the fight to the enemy will dove-tail perfectly with GEN Mattis, IMHO.

Our old, famed unit, the 2d Cavalry (known as the Ghosts of Patton’s Army in WWII), has produced several USA leaders recently, including Mike Powell (Colin Powell’s son and ex-FCC chairman), Doug Lute, US Rep to NATO, and Mike Pompeo, current CIA Director. All were Lieutenants, Captains or Majors in 2CAV in the late 80s and early 90s.

Plus, from another reader:

With President Trump selecting LTG HR McMaster to be the next National Security Advisor, we will no doubt be hearing a lot about the Battle of 73 Easting in the Gulf War. Captain McMaster was in the middle of what may be “the last great tank battle” when his Troop and one other destroyed a brigade of Iraqi tanks. History channel featured it in their series “Greatest Tank Battles” and it is a must watch; I imagine they will replay it soon because of this appointment.

I wanted to add a couple thoughts as I served under him and while I didn’t interact much with him personally, it was clear that McMaster may be the smartest man I have ever met – I went to an “elite” northeast academy and an Ivy – and nobody I know can hold a candle to his ability to learn every side and nuance of almost every conflict around the globe. While at Fort Benning, I was selected by my commander to head up the International Military Student Office where roughly 1000 foreign officers and non-commissioned officers from nearly 100 allied nations attend US Army courses. McMaster was the commanding general at the time of the Maneuver Center of Excellence (combined Infantry and Armor schools) and since it was a somewhat sensitive posting, I had to meet him personally. He was very knowledgeable of what my job would entail and made sure I understood, but he also knew about my entire career up to that point; this is impressive as he had hundreds of captains under him, but not exactly rare as it is a common characteristic of leaders effective enough to make flag rank.

What impressed me the most about him was his interaction with the international students. One of the courses that the international students attended was the captains’ career course and I had 7 cycles of 25-30 students in each ranging in rank from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. At the end of each class, MG McMaster would have a lunch with them where he would open the floor to any and all questions. These students came from every part of the world, and McMaster was able to answer nearly every question with stunning detail and understanding of the entire geopolitical ramifications behind each situation. In fact, only once did I every hear him say “I am not entirely familiar with that situation…” if I remember correctly, it revolved around a (relatively) new narcotics conflict in Suriname, but he then still answered the question by being able to draw upon knowledge he had in narcotics trafficking conflicts in other parts of South America, and the overall political climate in Suriname. The most challenging questions came from the Pakistanis of the class and while they sometimes became heated, he would approach the student after and speak personally to ensure that while they may not like what he said, they understood that he felt he had to answer them honestly – there was never hard feelings and always mutual respect from both him and the student. Every single student I spoke to afterward was blown away by how McMaster addressed their question and appreciated how much he understood about the problems in their home countries.

These Q&A sessions were scheduled for an hour and almost always went much longer as he was willing and eager to interact with those students whom he told would be “the future leaders of our allies” Imagine being a Lieutenant from a small nation being given this kid of respect and deference by a 2-star general of the US Army! These lunches were not mandatory but he did them anyway because the foreign students sent to study in the US are those officers whose nations predict will be their future senior leaders, quite possibly even some heads of state; McMaster understood to his core that the impressions he made then would affect US foreign relations 10, 20, 30 years into the future.

McMaster is a speed reader and I believe he also has a photographic memory. He was able to have an expansive grasp of the political ramifications on almost every live conflict in the world and it wasn’t even his job at the time to know them – his job was to train Infantry and Armor officers, but he knew that adding this aspect to his own education and the educations of those studying under him would make them better. This man is a perfect fit for the job of NSA and hopefully he will not meet the same resistance that so many current appointees encounter.

TJ Buttrick, CPT, US Army (retired)

And I don’t want to share details without permission, but a former student of mine who served with McMaster was saying similar things on Facebook.

WELL, GOOD: FCC’s new chairman no fan of net neutrality.

“Net neutrality” forbids pricing bandwidth by its value, which is how shortages are created.

JOSE CABRANES: If colleges keep killing academic freedom, civilization will die, too. “Recent attempts to shame professors for unpopular views and to curtail the due process rights of those accused of misconduct are cause for alarm. Especially when academic freedom is endangered at places such as Yale — long celebrated as a leader on freedom of expression — we know that the erosion of academic freedom has become a national problem.”

YES. Is it time for progressives to stop venerating FDR?

FCC NEWS: Trump appointee to FCC could put the brakes on Wheeler cyber initiatives.

One of the chief architects of cybersecurity policy during the Obama years — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler — last week announced he will leave the FCC on Jan. 20, clearing the way for a Donald Trump appointee who may put the brakes on a couple of cyber initiatives that have roiled industry.

Wheeler is a one-time telecom executive whose cyber and other policies at the FCC often put him at odds with his former industry.

President-elect Trump will choose the next FCC chairman, and Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican appointee, is frequently mentioned in telecom circles as a possible candidate.

That would be a welcome move to many in the industry, as Pai, an amiable former Verizon executive and FCC staffer, opposed some of Wheeler’s actions on cyber as going beyond the commission’s statutory authority to set requirements in this area.

I like Ajit Pai. Here’s one reason why.

CHANGE: FCC chairman to step down, handing GOP majority.

Ideally, the FCC would be stripped down to little more than a clearing house for the sale and allocation of useful radio frequencies.

PAYBACK’S A… YOU KNOW: The Most Potent Federal Regulatory Agency Will Answer Solely to Donald Trump.

The [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] was unaccountable to Congress and the president—but not the courts.

A federal appeals court ruling in October changed the fundamental structure of the CFPB and will allow future presidents to have direct control over the agency that has direct control over wide swaths of the country’s banking and financial sectors. Regulatory agencies headed by a single executive must be directly accountable to the president, the court observed, while independent agencies authorized by Congress—like the SEC and the FCC—must have a multi-member commission at the helm.

Practically, that means that Trump might be able to replace the director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, before his term officially ends in 2018.

More importantly, it means Trump will be able to use the CFPB’s powers for his own ends, if he wants, because the person who gets to determine whether a banking practice is unfair, deceptive, or abusive will now serve at the whims of the president.

In other words, nothing changes on January 20.

Obligatory:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-6-35-32-pm

DEREGULATION: Will Trump Abolish the FCC? “Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away.”

AMBITION: SpaceX just asked permission to launch 4,425 satellites — more than currently orbit Earth.

After we took a look at SpaceX’s FCC application, though, it seems these won’t be your typical telecommunications satellites.

Each satellite in SpaceX’s planned constellation will weigh about 850 lbs (386 kg) and be roughly the size of a MINI Cooper car. They will orbit at altitudes ranging from 715 miles (1,150 km) to 790 miles (1,275 km).

From this lofty vantage point, SpaceX says each satellite could cover an ellipse about 1,300 miles (2,120 km) wide. That’s about the distance from Maine to the Florida panhandle.

“The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide,” SpaceX wrote in its application.

That isn’t just a whole lot of satellites; that’s likely to be a whole lot of short-lived satellites. I hope SpaceX has a plan for cleaning up their mess.

AT AMAZON, save big on Bestselling Office Products.

Plus, save on Small Appliances.

IF THEY’RE UNHAPPY, I’M DISPOSED TO LIKE IT: MPAA Freaks Out In Response To FCC’s Revised Set Top Box Plan.

AT AMAZON, deals galore in Training & Fitness.

And shop the Amazon Emergency Prep Store. Plus, Emergency & Long-Term Storage Food Deals. When bad things happen, it’s good to have food.

Plus, Generators and Portable Power for Storm Season. Or if a generator isn’t practical, consider an inverter. Summer storms are coming!

And don’t forget the mosquito control stuff.