For the last four years, Google has fought for net neutrality in Washington, and the right to aggregate and serve ads against other people’s content in the technology press. An open letter that the company sent to the FTC Tuesday, however, shows that Google is ready to engage in not one, but two regulatory battles on Capitol Hill.
Ironically, the company finds itself pushing for more regulation on the one hand, and less on the other.
“While we’re not wed to any particular legal theory to justify the FCC’s jurisdiction,” wrote Google counsel Rick Whitt in April before a circuit court struck down the FCC’s latest attempt to regulate Comcast, “we do believe some minimal oversight over broadband networks is essential.”
But in the letter it sent Tuesday to the FTC, which recently released a comment paper suggesting an aggregation tax on sites like Google News, Google argued that “Regulatory proposals that undermine the functioning of healthy marketplaces and stall the pace of change are not the solution. Indeed, the very innovation on the Internet that has led to so many improvements in the lives of consumers around the world is likely to be harmed by many of these proposals rather than enhanced by them.”
One can hardly blame the tech company for using its ubiquity to look out for its own interests: Google stands at the nexus of the two most important regulatory debates of the decade, and the company seems to believe that its own future is contingent upon loading its back pockets with as many legislators and regulators as will fit.
According to the Sunlight Foundation, Google and Microsoft have spent a combined $2.1 million lobbying Congress this year for the implementation of net neutrality. But now that Google is set to fight for a government takeover of journalism, it’s likely that the tech company will shortly begin losing allies on the broadband front.
Take Google’s partnership with Free Press, for instance. The notoriously volatile group of media reformists who not only want to pass net neutrality, but also want to regulate private media out of existence, have openly said that Google is just a temporary ally.
“Free Press wants the Internet to ultimately become a government-backed public utility,” National Journal’s Neil Munro wrote in March. “Google’s view of net neutrality is not nearly so expansive. Last August, Robert McChesney, who co-founded Free Press with [Josh] Silver, told an interviewer that the organization is getting ‘in bed with some media companies that on other issues we are mortal enemies with.’”
As of right now, it’s anybody’s guess as to how Free Press and other media reform groups will change their approach to broad band-reform after reading Google’s letter to the FTC, demanding that government keep its nose out of the journalism business.
“The ultimate solutions that will result in a new online equilibrium for the news industry cannot, however, be mandated by changes in the regulatory framework or a change to the copyright laws.The solutions, instead, must be driven by the industry itself, working with technology providers like Google and experimenting with its customers to develop new and innovative ways of delivering the news online,” the letter reads in part.
And Google’s insistence raises one other question: If the journalism industry can regulate itself, why can’t the Internet do the same?
Liberals: End Fox's Use of First Amendment
This blog is by Neil Stevens about Google now wanting to be EXEMPT form the Net Neutrality laws it wants everyone else to live with:
Even as Google pulls out all the stops to promote Internet regulation, they’re whining like hypocritical little babies to keep themselves exempt from any form of regulation. Too bad. Too bad, I say. If ISPs have to be transparent and neutral, and route Internet packets according to what FCC Commissars say is best, then you have to do searches in a transparent and neutral way, and return results according to what FCC Commissars say is best. You chose to ride on the scorpion, and it’s going to sting you because that’s its nature.
Don’t like it, Google? Then switch sides on Net Neutrality. Because I’m going to laugh in your faces if your backing of Net Neutrality backfires, and so will all of us who are watching you collaborate with the big government Democrats in Washington. Yes, my wrist is aching and making me get more strident than I might, but too bad. If your core business is attacked by the FCC using the Title II powers you are promoting, then your suffering is just.
Oh, and a special scowl to the FCC today. Apparently our technical Commissars are unhappy that people in the real world are opposing their propaganda and responding to it. In any case, it’s nice that you guys have outed yourselves not as neutral regulators for the common good, but you are placing yourselves in direct opposition to the industries you are entrusted to regulate. You are looters, plain and simple, and you are exposed to shame for your implied threats against honest businessmen if they don’t “work with you” according to your dictatorial terms.
It’s the time FCC got neutered by the Congress, because these ideological goons are completely out of control.
Conservatives and libertarian web activists have been warning about this for months. Under the guise of criminal probes, "illegal" activity and tolerance-via-censorship, Obama and his minions have made their first foray into quelling free speech. It is very simple. They find material not to their liking, subpoena the servers the material is on, search for something that can be used as grounds for shutting down a server and cut the cord. It's the easiest way to end free speech without anyone knowing.
It's a dangerous first step, one that even the "evil" Bush and his Republican cronies refused to do. How interesting the President of hope, change, honesty, transparency and tolerance happily orders this mess.
And it is yet another reason people need to be aware of how radical and dangerous Obama really is.
"The imminent passage of a tough new Wall Street Reform bill," wrote Wolf, pictured right, on ABC's website, "will cap off a wildly productive two years for Democrats in Washington – they will have passed two pieces of sweeping legislation and an enormous $800 billion stimulus bill to deal with the ailing economy."
Wolf goes on to wonder why those three pieces of legislation haven't benefited Democrats' electoral prospects. Let's see: 6% of Americans believe the stimulus bill created jobs, a strong majority favors repealing the health care bill, and almost 80% of Americans polled have little or no confidence that the financial reform bill will achieve its stated objectives. Is Wolf still confused?
He goes on to write that Democrats' problems stem from the fact that they just have not embraced liberalism to a great enough degree.
"Rather than energize the electoral base that helped put Democrats in control of Congress in 2006 -- and President Obama in the White House in 2008," Wolf writes, "the accomplishments have often frustrated activists, who see compromised ideals and watered-down bills instead of legislative victories."
If this is supposed to be an explanation for Democrats' poor prospects in November, it falls well short.
First of all, the districts where Dems are vulnerable are by and large ones they picked up in 2006 and 2008 from sitting Republicans that couldn't shake the tarnished Republican name. Now that Bush is a memory, red state Dems need to court moderate Republicans, not cater to the far left.
Furthermore, the number of Americans who identify themelves as "conservative" is at its highest point since 1994, when Republicans walloped Dems in the midterm elections. Forty-nine percent of the nation believes that Democrats are too liberal, up 10 points from 2008. Only 10 percent believe they are too conservative.
A shift to the left is not going to be a winning strategy.
While Republicans have, since President Bush left office, instituted an almost myopic, party-wide focus on spending and debt, Democrats have struggled to rally behind their versions of health reform and Wall Street reform. They could barely find enough votes to pass the bills. And despite millions of jobs Democrats say were created by the $862 billon stimulus bill, the unemployment rate remains high, and is not expected to come down any time soon.
"I think the public doesn't quite perceive (the accomplishments) because they don't see much change in their everyday lives. They're still having trouble finding work," said Donald Wolfensberger, director of the Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Got it? Obama and congressional Democrats have made fantastic accomplishments, but the American people are too dumb, distracted, or removed to perceive it.
These three defenses of the Democratic Party in the face of intense public opposition -- that they have been politically successful, that they have not embraced the far-left elements of the party, and that Americans are generally unable to perceive just how awesome they are -- are tired leftist talking points.
And with liberal pundits and politicos parroting them nonstop, is it any wonder Americans are ready for some house (and Senate) cleaning?
Robert Chatigny, nominated for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, believes that sexual sadism should be what's known as a "mitigating factor" in determining guilt and punishment for murder and rape. Counterintuitive as it may be, he thinks sexual sadism should be cause for a lighter sentence.
On top of all this, CNS News reported that 13 years before Chatigny delayed the execution of one Michael Ross, a serial killer and rapist, he had served as Ross's private defense attorney. Apparently he forgot to recuse himself. Will the media report this tidbit?
CNS News reporter Fred Lucas wrote today,
President Barack Obama’s nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Robert N. Chatigny, did legal work as a private defense attorney in 1992 for convicted serial killer Michael Ross and then, in 2005, as a federal district judge, led a proceeding that resulted in a delay in Ross’ execution. Chatigny says he forgot about the earlier work and should have recused himself from the matter.
"Had I recalled it, I would have recused myself," Chatigny wrote in a questionnaire last month for the Senate Judiciary Committee…
In a written response to questions from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chatigny wrote, “I recalled my prior involvement only after one of the complainants amended his initial complaint to include a claim based on my prior involvement. Until then, I had no recollection of it."
Regardless of whether Chatigny is telling the truth about his poor memory span, isn't this massive conflict of interest worth a report or two from major media outlets? The Senate will vote on his nomination soon. His record seems relevant. But apparently few in legacy media agree.
Chatigny's beliefs regarding sexual sadism have no grounding in any legal standard or precedent; he said so when asked by Sen. Jeff Sessions. He, Chatigny, just sort of thought it up and decided to implement the standard on his own. He is the product of the activist philosophy liberals strive to create in the judiciary.
The media's continued refusal to call Chatigny out on his reporting just demonstrates that they are, by and large, on board with this philosophy. Telling, though hardly surprising.
It doesn’t matter that nearly all House Republicans are against it, and a good number of Democrats besides. It doesn’t matter that ATR is against it, CNBC warns it could “kill the Internet,” or that we just don’t need it.
The FCC has gone ahead and put out a Notice of Inquiry to go ahead with Deem and Pass reclassification of ISPs away from being “information services” under the law, which was the plainly obvious intent of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. You see, in Comcast v. FCC, the courts have strictly limited how much regulation the FCC can do of information services. So, the FCC is going to declare that ISPs are now phone companies, and regulate accordingly.
I’m sure for some of us I’m sounding horribly repetitive on this. I know myself I’ve typed variations on the above sentences more times than I can count. But those were just the warnings. It is now beginning to happen. They’re just calling it the “third way” and not “deem and pass” as I do.
But make no mistake: It’s the same thing, and the neo-Marxists behind it are overjoyed. For Free Press, “Third Way”/”Deem and Pass”/Title II reclassification is a step toward not just “Net Neutrality,” but the broader “media reform” they’re after. Media reform of course is what Free Press calls state run media in America. Think of it as single payer socialized medicine, only for news reporting.
Oddly enough though, as Jon Henke points out they’re giving FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski very little credit for this, instead showering praise on their pet commissioner Michael Copps along with commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Is there a split here we need to exploit? Let’s watch for that.
Because this plan must be defeated, either by preventing its passage at the FCC or by passing a law to forbid it or (should it be accomplished first) passing a law to reverse it. Look, even the AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, League of United Latin American Citizens, Minority Media and Telecom Council, NAACP, National Urban League, and Sierra Club want the Congress to act on this, not the runaway FCC.
With all the attention on President Obama’s bungling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the news of Congressional calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate of an alleged job offer by the Obama Administration to get Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) out of the Pennsylvania Senate race has been pushed down the news pages. This is a serious matter and something that will not be brushed aside. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), former Bush Administration official Karl Rove and Senate Judiciary Republicans have raised the issue that somebody in the Obama Administration may have committed a felony.
This Administration has held themselves out to be more ethical than administrations of the past. President Obama’s declared in his inaugural address on January 21, 2009 that:
What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
This “new era of responsibility” should include an open discussion by the President about whether they did offer Congressman Sestak a job to get out of the primary race for the Democrat nomination to be the next Senator from the state of Pennsylvania.
The White House Web Site promises transparency and accountability right now:
President Obama has consistently made clear that he will strive to lead the most open, transparent, and accountable government in history. Whether it is reigning in the influence of lobbyists in Washington, bringing unprecedented accountability to federal spending, opening doors to engagement with the American public, or shutting down the “revolving door” that carries special interest influence in and out of the government, the highest standards will be sought in every thing the federal government does.
Those promises will be tested over the next few weeks with calls by some Republicans for the Obama Administration to come clean about an alleged job offer to Sestak. Karl Rove has alleged that one of two things are true: either Sestak is lying; or, a crime may have been committed by somebody in the Obama Administration.
Karl Rove via the L.A. Times as quoted on the Fox News Channel:
One of two things is true, you can’t have two things true. One or the other is true. Either Joe Sestak is lying and he was not offered a position in the administration in return for getting out of the primary. You know he’s a liar, in which case not worthy of public service. Or, he’s telling the truth, in which case somebody inside the White House committed a felony. 18 USC 211 says that, a government official cannot promise a job in return for anything of value and it has a long list of values.
Congressman Darrell Issa has compared this scandal to President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Bridget Johnson of The Hill reports:
An e-mail from Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) campaign suggested Wednesday that the controversy over Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D-Pa.) alleged administration job offer could be President Barack Obama’s Watergate scandal. In an e-mail with the subject line “The Sestak Affair - Obama’s Watergate?”, the ranking member on the Oversight and Government Reform committee focused on “long-standing questions” about the offer Sestak says was made to him to urge him to drop out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary.
Senate Republicans are concerned enought that they have sent a letter dated May 26, 2010 to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting “the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate” this matter. The letter is signed by all Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee including Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The letter alleges a possible violation of various criminal laws including but not limited to “18 U.S.C. Sec. 600 (promise of employment or other benefit for political activity).”
That law reads:
Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
There are questions as to whether other federal statutes may have been violated. The letter to Holder states in part:
The allegations in this matter are very serious and, if true, suggest a possible violation of various federal criminal laws intended to safeguard our political process from the taint of bribes and political machine manipulation. The first hint of improper conduct came to light in a February 2010 cable television interview when Congressman Sestak revealed that a White House official offered him a federal job in an effort to end his campaign in his state’s Senate primary.
Sestak stated in a televised interview that an official of the White House contacted him and offered him a federal job to pull out of the race. President Obamawas not shy in his support for Senator Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) re-election bid and this action is consistent with the President’s support for Specter over Sestak. The letter further states:
We do not believe the Department of Justice can properly defer to White House lawyers to investigate a matter that could involve “a serious breach of the law.” The White House cannot possibly manage an internal investigation of potential criminal misconduct while simultaneously crafting a public narrative to rebut the claim that misconduct occurred.
President Obama promised more information about this matter at his press conference today and we can only hope that the “most open, transparent, and accountable government in history” removes the taint of Chicago Machine style politics and appoints a special prosecutor to look into the matter.
On Sunday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs glibly asserted that “lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak. And nothing inappropriate happened.” With whom were these conversations had? Gibbs won’t say. Neither will Attorney General Eric Holder, who dismissed “hypotheticals” when questioned about Sestak’s allegations last week on Capitol Hill by GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California. Holder is simply taking his cue from the commander-in-chief’s personal lawyer and Democratic Party legal boss.
You see, on March 10, Issa also sent a letter to Bauer, the White House counsel to the president, requesting specifics: Did White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel contact Sestak? Did White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina (whom another Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff, has accused of offering a cabinet position in exchange for his withdrawal)? How about the White House Office of Political Affairs? Any other individuals? What position(s) was/were offered in exchange for Sestak’s withdrawal? And what, if any, steps did Bauer take to investigate possible criminal activity?
Bauer’s answers? Zip. Nada. Zilch. While the veteran attorney ducked under a table with the president, Gibbs stalled publicly as long as he could — deferring inquiries about the allegations one week by claiming he had been “on the road” and had “not had a chance to delve into this,” and then admitting the next week that he had “not made any progress on that,” refusing the week after that to deny or admit the scheme, and then urging reporters to drop it because “whatever happened is in the past.”
But the laws governing such public corruption are still on the books. And unlike Gibbs, the U.S. code governing bribery, graft and conflicts of interest is rather straightforward: “Whoever solicits or receives … any … thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
Bauer is intimately familiar with electoral law, Barack Obama, ethics violations and government job-trading allegations. And he’s an old hand at keeping critics and inquisitors at bay.
A partner at the prestigious law firm Perkins Coie, Bauer served as counsel to the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Obama for America. He also served as legal counsel to the George Soros-funded 527 organization America Coming Together during the 2004 campaign. That get-out-the-vote outfit, helmed by Patrick Gaspard (the former Service Employees International Union heavy turned Obama domestic policy chief), employed convicted felons as canvassers and committed campaign finance violations that led to a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission under Bauer’s watch.
It was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully in 2008 to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. It was Bauer who attempted to sic the Justice Department on AIP funder Harold Simmons and who sought his prosecution for funding the ad. And it was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Obama’s behalf.
More significantly, Bauer has served as Obama’s personal attorney, navigating the corrupted waters of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pay-for-play scandals in Illinois. Bauer accompanied Obama to an interview with federal investigators in Chicago. And he’s got his hands full fighting Blago’s motion to subpoena Obama in the Senate-seat-for-sale trial — a subpoena that included references to a secret phone call between Obama and Blagojevich; an allegation that Emanuel floated his own suggested replacement for Obama’s seat; an allegation that Obama told a “certain labor union official” that he would support (now-White House senior adviser) Valerie Jarrett to fill his old seat; and a bombshell allegation that Obama might have lied about conversations with convicted briber and fraudster Tony Rezko.
With not one, not two, but three Democrats (Sestak, Romanoff and Blagojevich) all implicating the agent of Hope and Change in dirty backroom schemes, “Trust Us” ain’t gonna cut it. Neither will “Shut Up and Go Away.”
What did Bob “The Silencer” Bauer know, when did he know it, and how long does the Most Transparent Administration Ever plan to play dodgeball with the public?
What happened to your pledge to NEVER raise taxes for those earning less than $250,000 a year, Dear Leader?
Read here for the disturbing news.
Here is a link to the Red River Tea Party.
Late last year Chris Christie, Republican, shocked the political world by upsetting a long-sitting Democratic governor. He has since been in office three months. In that short time, Christie has ordered cuts in every single part of New Jersey's budget --- education included, to offset billions in shortfalls.
But the Democrats and union thugs (really, they are always hand in hand) have sent out a mass e-mail asking for people to "pray Dear Lord" to take Christie.
Here is the news link.
Just days ago, the national media was hyping what are now, apparently, false reports about the "hate" at TEA Parties. But have you seen this display of hate and actual ill-will on your TV set? Didn't think so...