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More On The FCC And Net Neutrality

As I sat down this morning to write, pondering different issues that I could address, one thing continued to stick in my mind. Once again, let me discuss the Federal Communications Commission and their new plan to regulate the Internet. I have already discussed this once, but I think there is more to be said. There is certainly more dissent, as several Republican lawmakers are declaring they will be fighting the new rules in the Congress that will take their seats in January. Among those who have said they will do so, we find Senators John Ensign, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Jim DeMint. Oddly enough, even with all of the media attention that has been centered on the vote taken this week at the FCC, it is not known for sure what these new rules will contain. That’s what troubles me the most. Here is a quote from FOX News.

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The Internet regulations — which aim to prevent service providers from discriminating against websites and companies using their networks — cannot go into effect until 60 days have passed after they have been posted in the Federal Register. But the rules won’t be released until the dissent by commissioners who voted against them are addressed.

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A source with knowledge of the FCC’s workings told that the rules are likely to be made public in January, putting them on track to be enacted sometime in March.

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Can someone explain to me why we have a federal agency, who’s members were not elected, going against the ruling of an appeals court and trying to enact rules that will begin regulation of the Internet? To top that off, they refuse to release the plan until the concerns of the dissenting members are addressed. I don’t understand what difference that will make, as they have apparentlyNet Neutrality already approved the new rules, in a 3-2 vote. Unless they change the rules to suit the two Republican dissenters, how is delaying the release of the rules the proper thing to do?

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Let me be as clear as I can be. The FCC is attempting to regulate the Internet and the general public doesn’t have access to the new rules. Therefore, a proper public debate on the issue can not be held. There is a lot of speculation on what the rules will say, but until we have a hard copy in our hands or before our eyes, how can we say this is a good or a bad thing? It’s like trying to drive a car around a curve and not being able to see the curve. I think the right thing for the Obama administration and the FCC to do is to release the rules and let all of us see what is about to happen. I can’t stress that enough, it is simply the right thing to do. Here is what we know now about any possible release, as well as the move to push back against the FCC.

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A source with knowledge of the FCC’s workings told that the rules are likely to be made public in January, putting them on track to be enacted sometime in March.

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But it might be too late by then.

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Republicans, who will control the House and an additional five seats in the Senate in the next Congress, are planning to take advantage of the procedural delay.

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“It gives us time to put a coalition together to push back,” a Republican Senate aide told

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Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can strike down a regulation by passing a joint resolution. If President Obama vetoes the resolution, Congress could overturn it by a two-thirds majority.

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While blocking the FCC’s Internet rules appear to be a longshot, Republicans aren’t backing down.

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Sens. John Ensign and Kay Bailey Hutchison plan to introduce a resolution of disapproval to stop the ruling from going into effect.

“This vote is an unprecedented power-grab by the unelected members of the Federal Communications Commission, spearheaded by Chairman Genachowski,” Hutchison said in a statement, referring to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowksi. “The FCC is attempting to push excessive government regulation of the Internet through without congressional authority and these actions threaten the very future of the technology.”

“Individuals and businesses alike are rightfully concerned about government attempts to seize control of the Internet, and I will introduce a resolution of disapproval in an effort to overturn this troubling regulatory overreach by the FCC,” she added.

Rep. Fred Upton, who will oversee the powerful House Energy and Commerce in the next Congress, has pledged to summon all members of the FCC to Capitol Hill to explain their move while working to block the plan “by any legislative means necessary.”

I have no illusions that this move by the Republicans will force the rules to be published early. This administration seems to have no problem doing exactly what they want, when they want, with no compunction of how it affects the American citizen. I expect the FCC rules will be no different.

In simple terms, here is what is happening. We have President Obama, who is personal friends with Julius Genachowski, the Chairman of the FCC. Both of them agree that the Internet needs to be regulated, so therefore they are moving to do just that. Again, let me remind us all that an appeals court has already ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate in such a manner. That doesn’t seem to matter to the FCC or President Obama. The President could call of the dogs, if he chose to do so, but I don’t see that happening. He is a believer in what the FCC is trying to do, so don’t expect him to say a word, other than “atta boy”. Meanwhile, the information highway is about to get a paint job, complete with new white and yellow lines and road signs, and we are driving with blinders on. So much for an open and honest government.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Published rules or no published rules, how can we have an agency of our government ignoring a court ruling? In my book that is illegal behavior and the head of the FCC and three Democrats that voted for the rules should be arrested.

    • I agree that the FCC should not ignore the court ruling. I just think they should at least release the rules so the public can see what is about to take place.

  • The FCC is attempting to regulate the Internet and the general public doesn’t have access to the new rules.

    So much for transparency on the part of the Obama administration, huh?

    Well, I’m not surprised. We have so much “shadow government” working behind the scenes.

  • I think Glenn Beck hit this on the head a few weeks ago. In order to facilitate complete control over every aspect of America, the media must be brought under the power of the government as well. Van Jones is in recent video on youtube saying that controlling the media is the last leg of their revolution. He further states that the progressives how no idea how powerful the conservative media is and that was a big mistake. I think this makes perfect sense. As long as we have a venue to keep the truth front and center, the progressives cannot move their ‘revolution’ (their words, not mine) forward.

    And think about this. Van Jones claims this is the ‘last’ leg of their revolution.

  • This is a glimpse of the next two years now that Obama no longer controls the House. The Federal agenices and his czars under his control will be the way he sidesteps Congress and the courts. Together with the Executive Order, these are his strengths and no doubt he will play to them.

    • I’m afraid you are right. Considering that, we will not have the votes to override any vetoes he may issue. That is all the more reason to be working towards his defeat in 2012.

  • The administration is also ignoring court orders regarding the oil drilling moratorium. These actions present an enormous socipolitical risk. When the government itself violates its own laws, it makes it all too easy for citizens to believe that compliance with laws is optional. It won’t take too many frustrated individuals acting out on their frustrations to create a huge mess.

    • I hadn’t thought of that, but you are right. The courts also ruled they couldn’t enact the drilling ban, but they bullied it into place and to devil with the consequences for the people.

  • I am not sure I want to hitch my wagon to Fred Upton. Another Rhino who got rid of our light bulbs and more.Glad you are on this, as this is a critical issue.

  • It is great that it appears as if the new Congress is going to go after these new FCC rules, but I don’t think they will have the votes to override Barack Obama’s veto. This means it will be up to the courts to decide, but they already have and the FCC is ignoring the ruling. What is to prevent the FCC from ignoring more rulings in the future? It is honestly scary to think that we have a government agency that is carrying out the will of the president even after the court said they could not. If the FCC gets away with this, other agencies are sure to follow and if that happens we can forget about the Congress ever having to vote on another piece of legislation.

    • That’s why I think this needs to be nipped in the bud. We can not afford to have federal agencies making their own rules, expanding on their mandates, etc. That would put us all in a very dangerous place.

  • I believe that it is time to critical look at these agencies to determine their usefulness. Look we have an agency that is heavily funded ignoring not only the law; but ignoring the congress and we simply cannot live like this. This is America and the rule of law is supposed to be absolute. When will someone have the courage to stand up and call it like it is? Maybe never because I’m starting to believe they’re all in it together. It’s time for the states to step it up and the only way this is going to happen is if we step it up. Great post Larry.

    • Thanks, John. The more I look at this, the more I see an agency going beyond it’s mandate and ignoring the ruling of the court. President Obama could rein them in, if he so desired,but I don’t see that happening.

      • In Barack Obama’s eyes, the end justifies the means and in this case Barack Obama supports the end result of this so he is more than willing to ignore the means. It is not a pleasant thought to know the president doesn’t care about the law as long as his agenda passes.

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  • Sometimes my daughters ask if they can do something, and I say no. So they go ask their mom, and she will say, “what did your dad say?” This boils down to another no. Then they go do it anyway, which makes us very mad and they get disciplined.

    Sometimes children just don’t take no for an answer. Perhaps we should replace the children running the FCC with some adults.

  • As Drudge calls him: Julius Seizure. I have not studied this issue too much but going against appointed judged and our court system doesn’t seem right.