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Issa to FCC head: Explain W.H. visits
By: Brooks Boliek
March 24, 2011 12:08 PM EDT
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski still has a lot of explaining to do concerning his frequent visits to the White House during the time the commission was developing its net neutrality rules.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told the chairman that his response to earlier inquiries into the role the Obama administration played in the controversial policy is inadequate.

“In the fourteen months since my initial request, the FCC has done little to demonstrate its independence from the White House,” wrote Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a letter dated today.

The letter cites White House records that show that on Sept. 17, 2009 — “just four days prior to the near simultaneous announcement by the White House and FCC on proposed regulations for the open Internet” — Genachowski and his chief of staff Edward Lazarus met with Larry Summers, then the director of the National Economic Council.

“In addition,” the letter continued, “in the month following the April 7, 2010, decision by the United States Court of Appeals … that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate network management practices, you and Mr. Lazarus had over a dozen meetings at the White House.”

In total, Genachowski visited the White House 81 times between January 2009 and November 2010, which Issa said was more than the secretaries of Energy, Homeland Security, Defense, Treasury and State combined.

“The large volume and timing of these meetings gives the appearance that they are more than coincidental,” Issa wrote.

for full article: http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=55DD7ECE-0206-4BCE-88E4-D0CCB4A5A967

     Claiming the regulations are needed to protect the free and open nature of the Internet, the FCC today voted, 3-2, to implement regulations that will control the websites on the Internet. Republicans had warned the FCC that the Commission lacked the authority with regard to the measure, while others, like Sen. Al Franken, claim the FCC’s actions are too weak, and do not go far enough.

        Congress has the power to, in an oversight role, vote to overturn the regulations, and that action has not been ruled out.

In the letter, according to the Washington Examiner, Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, John McCain, R-Ariz., Kit Bond, R-Mo., Judd Gregg, R-N.H., Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jim DeMint, R-S.C., James Risch, R-Idaho, Mike Johanns, R-Neb., John Thune, R-S.D., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Robert Bennett, R-Utah, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, David Vitter, R-La., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jim Bunning, R-Ky., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, state that:

[The FCC has] admitted in published statements that the legal justification for imposing these new regulations is questionable and “has a serious risk of failure in court.” It is very clear that Congress has not granted the Commission the specific statutory authority to do what you are proposing. Whether and how the Internet should be regulated is something that America’s elected representatives in Congress, not the Commission, should determine.

Rep. Fred Upton, who is set to take over the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction where net neutrality is concerned, has already signaled his disapproval of the move in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, which reads in part:

The FCC does not have authority to regulate the Internet, and pursuing net neutrality through Title I or reclassification is wholly unacceptable. Our new majority will use rigorous oversight, hearings and legislation to fight the FCC’s overt power grab.

 

As yet, it is unclear whether either letter will force the FCC to reverse course, but in the wake of Senate Republicans having forced Majority Leader Reid’s hand on the omnibus bill, some observers say they remain hopeful.

For full article: http://biggovernment.com/capitolconfidential/2010/12/17/senate-republicans-to-fcc-no-net-neutrality/

“We’re not going to stand by and let publicly regulated radio and television just go for marketing and promoting this kind of racism,” Al Sharpton said about his campaign to take Rush Limbaugh off the airwaves.

Sharpton says he will be going to the FCC next week to demand Limbaugh be taken off the air.

“Rush Limbaugh has the right to say whatever he wants to say, he does not have the right, though, to do it on publicly regulated airwaves. The FCC has the responsibility to set standards,” Sharpton added.

“You can’t say — in the name of free speech, you can’t say anything you want,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC. “We’re not talking about stopping free speech,” he added.

“We’re not telling Rush don’t say what you want to say, say it at home, not on public airwaves,” he concluded.

for video: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/12/06/sharpton_going_to_fcc_limbaugh_doesnt_have_right_to_use_public_airwaves.html

Here is audio of the Rev. Al Sharpton actually calling for the FCC to take action against stations that carry the Rush Limbaugh program, accusing Rush of having a show with a “race or gender bias format.” Laughably, at the same time, Sharpton says no one wants to block “free speech,” but wants Limbaugh to be shut down on the public airwaves. Specifically, he advocates the FCC pulling the licenses of stations that carry Limbaugh’s program. He believes the FCC should decide what to “permit” on air.

Nothing like the Left’s tolerance and openness. Doesn’t it just warm your heart?

http://freedomslighthouse.net/2010/11/23/al-sharpton-urges-fcc-action-against-stations-carrying-rush-limbaugh-program-audio/

FCC may regulate Internet lines days before Christmas

By Sara Jerome – 11/19/10 04:50 PM ET

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Christmas gift in store for the phone and cable industry: it may move ahead on its controversial net-neutrality regulations three days before Christmas.

An FCC source confirmed on Friday that the commission plans to push its December meeting back by a week, meaning it will fall on the 22nd of the month. That’s the same meeting in which analysts say the agency may move forward on its controversial net-neutrality proposal.

Though the FCC has not confirmed that it will vote on net neutrality this year, rumors are swirling that it will. 

The timing of the meeting is already raising eyebrows. Some see it as a way to move the matter along before the GOP assumes the majority and while Congress is not in session to criticize the effort.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), ranking member of the telecom subcommittee, questioned the schedule on Friday.

 He said “it appears that Chairman [Julius] Genachowski is trying to slip it under the radar and hope no one notices.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/130197-fcc-may-regulate-internet-lines-days-before-christmas

Sen. Rockefeller never mentions that the FCC has no authority regarding the Cable networks………

The FCC Again Resumes its Unauthorized Internet Agenda
The Washington Examiner, By Seton Motley

The estimable John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports: The (Federal Communications Commission-FCC) is issuing a public notice to “improve the FCC’s understanding of business broadband needs,” calling it the “next step” advancing the FCC’s small business broadband agenda.

Only one problem with this FCC assertion. They’re not supposed to have a small business broadband agenda. Or a broadband agenda. Or any sort of Internet agenda at all.
(more…) http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/09/net-neutrality-update-3/

Rainbow Coalition Also Wants Comcast/NBCU To Spend 25% Of Ad Budgets On Minority-Owned Firms

The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition wants Comcast to set aside 10% of its basic tier for networks “owned and controlled by people of color.”

The organization also wants both Comcast and NBC Universal to spend 25% of their ad and marketing budgets and the same percentage of “vendor dollars” on minority-owned firms.

“We want to make sure that independently owned and controlled minority cable networks don’t find it harder to gain carriage if this deal happens,” said Jackson in written testimony for the July 8 House Communications Subcommittee field hearing in Chicago on the deal. Jackson did not deliver the testimony at the hearing, according to an observer on site.

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the civil rights community held out great hope that the emerging cable industry would be reflective of communities of color in programming, ownership and staffing,” he said. “Our community hoped to not only own cable networks but cable franchises as well. But this simply hasn’t happened.”

Those are just a couple of a number of conditions Jackson wants the FCC to impose on any approval of the Comcast/NBCU joint venture. Others include on job training, hiring and promotion, recruitment and mentoring.

Jackson said the deal was perhaps the last, best opportunity to address “critical issues” in global communications, which he called the twin national challenges of “creating jobs and helping to connect every American, especially people of color, to vitally needed news, information and broadband internet services.”

(Excerpt) Read more at multichannel.com

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2549547/posts