Congress probing White House role in FCC chief’s net-neutrality plan

Congress probing White House role in FCC chief’s net-neutrality plan
Jason Chaffetz
Two congressional panels are looking into whether the White House improperly influenced a net-neutrality proposal by the FCC’s chairman. Above, a Sept. 30 photo of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of one of the panels, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
By Jim Puzzanghera contact the reporter

Politics and Government

House and Senate committees launch probes of any White House role in FCC’s net-neutrality proposal
Rep. Chaffetz and Sen. Johnson want to know if White House improperly influenced FCC’s net neutrality plan

Two congressional committees have launched investigations into whether the White House improperly influenced the net-neutrality proposal released last week by the head of the Federal Communications Commission.

On Monday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a letter to explain his decision and produce documents related to communications and meetings involving the White House and agency officials concerning the issue.

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Wheeler he was concerned that there was “apparent pressure exerted on you and your agency by the White House.”
FCC chief seeks to treat Web as public utility in net neutrality fight
FCC chief seeks to treat Web as public utility in net neutrality fight

Last week, Wheeler proposed strict new federal oversight of online traffic to ensure Internet providers don’t give preference to video and other content from some websites over others.

Wheeler’s plan, circulated to his fellow commissioners ahead of a Feb. 26 vote, is much tougher than what he initially outlined early last year and closely follows the approach President Obama publicly called for in November.
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“The FCC’s new position on net neutrality is not only a monumental shift from Chairman Wheeler’s original net-neutrality proposal but also a large deviation from the light regulatory touch applied to broadband services since the Clinton administration,” Johnson said in releasing the letter.

“The decision is wrong, and the process raises serious questions about the president’s inappropriate influence over what is supposed to be an independent agency that derives its authority from Congress and not the White House,” Johnson said.

His letter follows a similar one sent to Wheeler on Friday by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Most Republicans strongly oppose the FCC’s approach, which would put Internet service providers in the same classification as highly regulated telephone companies.
Obama strongly endorses tough net neutrality rules
Obama strongly endorses tough net neutrality rules

Although the president nominates the chairman and other FCC commissioners, the agency is independent and not supposed to be subject to White House control. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the cable-TV and wireless industries and was a major fundraiser for Obama, who nominated him to head the FCC in 2013.

Republicans have charged that Obama unduly influenced Wheeler’s proposal. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wheeler “succumbed to the bully tactics of political activists and the president himself.”
cComments

@Big Jim Slade One only has to look at the detailed charges on a phone bill to see what the real bottom line is — endless fees and taxes on the consumer — and they never go away and they always increase.
InkandQuill
at 10:42 AM February 09, 2015

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Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said “the White House needs to get its hands off the FCC.” And Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the FCC, has called Wheeler’s proposal, “President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet.”

Chaffetz said in a letter dated Friday that he was investigating reports indicating “views expressed by the White House potentially had an improper influence” on development of Wheeler’s proposal.

He and Johnson cited a Wall Street Journal article last week that reported that two White House aides led a “secretive effort” to build support from outside groups for tough net-neutrality regulations.

The article did not indicate that the aides, Obama or other White House officials directly pressured Wheeler to take the more aggressive approach.

FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said the agency had received the letters and was reviewing them. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Gigi Sohn, the FCC’s special counsel for external affairs, said Friday that Wheeler’s position on net-neutrality rules had been evolving before Obama made his public comments.

“I think what the president’s statement did was, rather than force the chairman’s hand, was give him cover to do something he already was thinking about doing,” Sohn said in an appearance on C-Span’s “The Communicators” series.

Last week, in discussing the new proposal, senior FCC officials said Wheeler had decided last summer that his original approach wouldn’t work and that it was possible to classify Internet service as a public utility yet exempt companies from most utility-related rules, much as the agency has done with wireless service.

Johnson asked Wheeler if the FCC was “aware of the ‘unusual, secretive effort inside the White House’ relating to net neutrality.”

He and Chaffetz asked for “all documents and communications” between the FCC and the White House regarding the net-neutrality rules. Both chairmen want the documents before the Feb. 26 vote.

if congress originates laws, how can obama have a net neutrality plan? wtf???

Congress probing White House role in FCC chief’s net-neutrality plan
Jason Chaffetz
Two congressional panels are looking into whether the White House improperly influenced a net-neutrality proposal by the FCC’s chairman. Above, a Sept. 30 photo of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of one of the panels, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
By Jim Puzzanghera contact the reporter

Politics and Government

House and Senate committees launch probes of any White House role in FCC’s net-neutrality proposal
Rep. Chaffetz and Sen. Johnson want to know if White House improperly influenced FCC’s net neutrality plan

Two congressional committees have launched investigations into whether the White House improperly influenced the net-neutrality proposal released last week by the head of the Federal Communications Commission.

On Monday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a letter to explain his decision and produce documents related to communications and meetings involving the White House and agency officials concerning the issue.

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Wheeler he was concerned that there was “apparent pressure exerted on you and your agency by the White House.”
FCC chief seeks to treat Web as public utility in net neutrality fight
FCC chief seeks to treat Web as public utility in net neutrality fight

Last week, Wheeler proposed strict new federal oversight of online traffic to ensure Internet providers don’t give preference to video and other content from some websites over others.

Wheeler’s plan, circulated to his fellow commissioners ahead of a Feb. 26 vote, is much tougher than what he initially outlined early last year and closely follows the approach President Obama publicly called for in November.
lRelated Strong U.S. jobs report shows best wage growth in six years

Business
Strong U.S. jobs report shows best wage growth in six years

See all related
8

“The FCC’s new position on net neutrality is not only a monumental shift from Chairman Wheeler’s original net-neutrality proposal but also a large deviation from the light regulatory touch applied to broadband services since the Clinton administration,” Johnson said in releasing the letter.

“The decision is wrong, and the process raises serious questions about the president’s inappropriate influence over what is supposed to be an independent agency that derives its authority from Congress and not the White House,” Johnson said.

His letter follows a similar one sent to Wheeler on Friday by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Most Republicans strongly oppose the FCC’s approach, which would put Internet service providers in the same classification as highly regulated telephone companies.
Obama strongly endorses tough net neutrality rules
Obama strongly endorses tough net neutrality rules

Although the president nominates the chairman and other FCC commissioners, the agency is independent and not supposed to be subject to White House control. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the cable-TV and wireless industries and was a major fundraiser for Obama, who nominated him to head the FCC in 2013.

Republicans have charged that Obama unduly influenced Wheeler’s proposal. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wheeler “succumbed to the bully tactics of political activists and the president himself.”
cComments

@Big Jim Slade One only has to look at the detailed charges on a phone bill to see what the real bottom line is — endless fees and taxes on the consumer — and they never go away and they always increase.
InkandQuill
at 10:42 AM February 09, 2015

Add a comment See all comments
38

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said “the White House needs to get its hands off the FCC.” And Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the FCC, has called Wheeler’s proposal, “President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet.”

Chaffetz said in a letter dated Friday that he was investigating reports indicating “views expressed by the White House potentially had an improper influence” on development of Wheeler’s proposal.

He and Johnson cited a Wall Street Journal article last week that reported that two White House aides led a “secretive effort” to build support from outside groups for tough net-neutrality regulations.

The article did not indicate that the aides, Obama or other White House officials directly pressured Wheeler to take the more aggressive approach.

FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said the agency had received the letters and was reviewing them. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Gigi Sohn, the FCC’s special counsel for external affairs, said Friday that Wheeler’s position on net-neutrality rules had been evolving before Obama made his public comments.

“I think what the president’s statement did was, rather than force the chairman’s hand, was give him cover to do something he already was thinking about doing,” Sohn said in an appearance on C-Span’s “The Communicators” series.

Last week, in discussing the new proposal, senior FCC officials said Wheeler had decided last summer that his original approach wouldn’t work and that it was possible to classify Internet service as a public utility yet exempt companies from most utility-related rules, much as the agency has done with wireless service.

Johnson asked Wheeler if the FCC was “aware of the ‘unusual, secretive effort inside the White House’ relating to net neutrality.”

He and Chaffetz asked for “all documents and communications” between the FCC and the White House regarding the net-neutrality rules. Both chairmen want the documents before the Feb. 26 vote.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/02/09/republican-fcc-member-warns-net-neutrality-is-not-neutral/

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/02/09/republican-fcc-member-warns-net-neutrality-is-not-neutral/

 

Republican FCC Member Warns Net Neutrality Is Not Neutral

Ajit Pai, the sole Republican Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), inferred in a Tweet that President Barack Obama’s secret, 332-page “Net Neutrality” document is a scheme for federal micro-managing of the Internet to extract billions in new taxes from consumers and again enforce progressives’ idea of honest, equitable, and balanced content fairness.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently acknowledged that the two Democrats on the commission had decided to avoid Congressional input regarding the Internet by adopting President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1934 Communications Act to regulate the Internet with the same federal control as the old AT&T customer monopoly. To make sure that libertarian advocates would remain in the dark, Wheeler “embargoed” release of any of the specifics in the new administrative “policy” that will act as law.

The FCC legislation that was passed eighty-one years ago by the most leftist Congress in American history to ban companies from participating in “unjust or unreasonable discrimination” when providing phone services to customers.

But in 1949, the Democrat-dominated Commission implemented the “Fairness Doctrine” that required holders of media broadcast licenses to present “issues of public importance” in a manner that is “honest, equitable, and balanced” in the “Commission’s view. It would take 39 years before a conservative Congress could overturn a policy that hijacked the mainstream media to kowtow to liberals or face loss of their licenses.

If the Internet economy was a country, it would rank fifth, behind only the U.S., China, Japan, and India. Economic activity on the Internet totals $4.2 trillion, and almost half of the earth’s 7 billion people are already connected to the Web.

Ajit Pai’s description of “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet” sounds Orwellian. He tweeted a picture of himself holding the 332-page plan just below a picture of a smiling Barack Obama with a comment, “I wish the public could see what’s inside.” The implication depicted Obama as George Orwell’s “Big Brother.”

Pai also released a statement: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” he said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”

Pai had previously observed that he was concerned about the plan would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country, and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.

“The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.”

Pai’s confrontational comments came after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler penned an op-ed in Wired Magazine detailing his spin on the core aspects of the Democrat’s desire to lump ISPs under the amended Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act — which was used to break-up the AT&T telephone monopoly into four regional Bell companies at the dawn of the digital age.

“Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” Wheeler wrote on Wednesday. “These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services.”

Pai responded that the “Courts have twice thrown out the FCC’s attempts at Internet regulation” during the Obama Administration. On January 14, 2014, the D.C. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals struck down most of the FCC’s November 2011 net neutrality rules. The Appellate Court vacated the FCC’s “anti-discrimination” and “anti-blocking” as essentially discriminatory and blocking in an attempt to again give the FCC political appointees the power to dictate what they believe is honest, equitable, and balanced.

Pai said that after a year of debates responding to the courts twice striking down FCC efforts to regulate the Internet, “There’s no reason to think that the third time will be the charm. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal flaws that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time.”

Pai promised he would make further comments as he reviews the plan himself in the next two weeks in the run-up to the FCC’s public vote on February 26. He has blamed the two Democrat Commissioners’ for their dismissal of any negotiations with Congressional Republicans in setting the “basic rules” governing Internet access.

As Breitbart has highlighted before, turning the Internet into a “telephone service” would “empower an intrusive public sector that thrives on high taxes, heavy-handed controls and the status quo.”

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5 Reasons commies Hate Soldiers Like Chris Kyle

“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” — Michael Moore

“Hurt Locker made $17 million because it was a little ambiguous and thoughtful, and this one was just ‘American hero. He’s a psychopath patriot, and we love him.’ – Bill Maher on American Sniper

American Sniper had a record-breaking debut. It’s the widest release ever for an R-rated movie, the biggest debut ever for a Best Picture Oscar nominee; it’s the highest grossing January movie in history and it’s already the second highest grossing war movie of all-time.

The movie has already gone beyond “blockbuster” all the way up to “cultural phenomenon” in the space of a few weeks’ time. However, ironically, as the movie has become more popular with the public, liberals have gotten more and more upset about it. You’ve already seen the quotes from Michael Moore and Bill Maher, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Just to give you an example of how agitated this film makes liberals, here are article titles that are all currently running or linked on the front of the far left-wing website Alternet.

WATCH: Chomsky Blasts ‘American Sniper’ and the Media that Glorifies It

7 Big Lies ‘American Sniper’ Is Telling America

Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ Is One Big Historically Dishonest Action Flick

Bill Maher Takes a Shot at ‘American Sniper’ for Glorifying ‘Psychopath Patriot’ Chris Kyle

‘American Sniper’ Has Incited Death Threats and Racism — It’s Far from ‘Apolitical’

At first glance, this seems to be bizarre because despite that last title, the movie could fairly be called “apolitical,” it doesn’t glamorize war and it doesn’t gloss over the human cost of battle. The film shows Chris Kyle’s friends dying, his marriage suffering and Kyle struggling with the things he has to do. Soldiers are shown on the screen with missing limbs, Kyle is seen at funerals for his friends and it’s made very clear that he has a lot of trouble adjusting to civilian life.

Every liberal may not have a problem with this movie, but why is it that so many do? Is it that Kyle was a sniper? Is it because Clint Eastwood directed the movie? Could liberals just be traumatized from their battles with Duck Dynasty and hate guys with beards? What is their problem with American Sniper?

Simple: their problem is that they don’t like soldiers like Chris Kyle and they detest the movie because it treats them as worthy of praise. Why do liberals feel this way?

1) Soldiers tend to be conservative: Soldiers tend to be almost reflexively conservative; so even the ones who don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh or know who Mike Lee is tend to lean to the Right. Liberals might not have a problem with traitors like Bradley Manning, deserters like Bowe Bergdahl or dirtbags like John Kerry who condemn their fellow soldiers (“randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan”), but they don’t like conservative soldiers any more than they like conservative Tea Partiers. If anything, the soldiers are worse in their eyes because the troops all have guns.

2) Soldiers tend to be patriotic: When I think of patriotism and soldiers, the first thing that comes to mind are those lines from Toby Keith’s Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue.
My daddy served in the army
Where he lost his right eye
But he flew a flag out in our yard
Until the day that he died

In my experience, most soldiers have a deep and abiding love of country – and Chris Kyle was no different. At one point in the movie, when he’s responding to his future wife, Chris Kyle says, “Why would you say I’m self-centered? I’d lay down my life for my country.”
The sad truth is that most liberals don’t like America very much. When they think of America, they don’t think of waving flags, a city on a hill and “the land of the free,” they think of a rotten country they want to change before it hurts more people. The idea that there are people out there who are willing to die for this country because they think it’s such a great place is like a thumb in the eye for people who read Noam Chomsky, like Jane Fonda, and wish we could be more like Belgium.3) Soldiers kill people: Why does Bill Maher think Chris Kyle was a “psychopath?” Kyle was killing bad guys, he didn’t do it for pleasure, he was justified in eliminating his targets and had he not done so, it’s likely a lot of Americans would have died. So, why does Maher call Kyle a “psychopath?” Because Chris Kyle killed people, just like our other soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq. Certainly liberals like Bill Maher would NEVER kill people….because men like Chris Kyle do it for them and the rest of us so we can stay safe. Some of us appreciate that. Liberals don’t – which is why they need to be reminded that George Orwell was right when he said, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

4) Liberals are Utopian thinkers: Liberalism is a guy using an Apple and an IPod railing against corporations. It’s a doofus with a sign that says, “Who Needs Oil? I Ride The Bus!” It’s a guy eating a cheeseburger talking about how awful it is that anyone hunts for food. The reason that Jack Nicholson’s famous speech from A Few Good Men resonated with so many people, even though he was a bad guy in the movie, is that what he said is such a perfect response to armchair critics who want the freedom our soldiers insure without doing the dirty, dangerous and messy work they have to do to provide it.

You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

5) Liberals view our troops as the moral equivalent of the people they’re fighting: Liberals were very upset that Chris Kyle referred to the people we were fighting in Iraq as “savages.” Of course, if people who deliberately murder civilians, use their children as suicide bombers and inflict power drills and beheading on captives aren’t savages, then the word has no meaning. Unfortunately, liberals have become so reluctant to make moral judgments that they are simply unable to see the differences between our troops and the people they’re fighting.

So, when liberal Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur compared Osama Bin Laden to the “revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown” or Ted Rall says, “Do our government’s poorly paid contract killers deserve our ‘support’ for blindly following orders?” they’re revealing that they’re morally unable to see the difference between our troops and the people they’re fighting. Most of us may have seen American Sniper as a film about a selfless hero saving American lives, but liberals saw two groups of monsters plugging away at each other and thought, “If only they could both lose!”

Bill Maher Calls ‘American Sniper’ Subject Chris Kyle a ‘Psychopath’
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John Hawkins

John Hawkins runs Right Wing News and Linkiest. He’s also the co-owner of the The Looking Spoon. You can see more from John Hawkins on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, You Tube, and at PJ Media.