A little-noticed article in the Wall Street Journal over Labor Day Weekend concerning the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger caught my eye, not only because the article obviously concerns an important matter of communications policy, but also because it raises questions regarding a matter of proper administrative agency process.
The Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming “incentive” auction of TV airwaves is already at war with itself.
Somehow the FCC imagines it can maximize the revenue necessary to incent TV broadcasters to sell their 600 MHz spectrum by minimizing actual revenue collection via dis-incenting, and even banning some wireless company bids.
You have to be extremely stupid to send a couple of hundred armed government agents to confiscate some bullheaded rancher’s cattle without contemplating how the rest of the nation will interpret your actions.
What was obvious to voters who rejected Barack Obama’s run for the presidency the first and second time was the fact that he lacked any record of competency to be President. The rest voted for him because they wanted to say they helped elect the first black President of the United States and because they believed what this pathological liar said then and since.
From the various reports of briefings about the FCC’s planned rules for the 600 MHz incentive auction, two things appear clear. First, the FCC doesn’t trust market forces. And second, the FCC doesn’t want the highest bidders to win the spectrum.
With due credit to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!,”® so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the “name” of “U.S. wireless competition criticism” that the topic calls for its own collection of: “Believe it or Not!”® oddities.
The continuing scandal regarding National Security Agency monitoring of U.S. citizens’ and residents’ electronic communications makes one thing perfectly clear: If anyone is going to protect the public from unwanted snooping, the government isn’t it.
The FCC and DOJ do not want to look ridiculous applying a spectrum cap to Verizon and AT&T and not Sprint when the FCC’s own Wireless Competition report shows that Sprint controls roughly twice as many MHz per population as either Verizon or AT&T.
Suffice it to say that – four decades after Watergate – nothing much has changed when it comes to the abuse of Executive Branch power, and the famous dictum of Lord Acton remains true: power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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