One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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We have very many times discussed the very many unilateral power grabs of the very many Executive Branch departments, agencies, commissions and boards.
And we have noted that a particularly stupid part of these power grab processes – is the fake democracy veneer applied that is the Comment Period:
“Where some agency of which you’ve never heard – and to whom you’ve elected no one – quietly announces a period where you can file thoughts on the damage they’re about to inflict upon you.
“Of course, the Comment Period is entirely and solely Democracy Theater. (Again, we’re a republic, not a democracy.) Again, if the government wants to do something new – the process has to begin with legislation by the Legislative Branch. Not bureaucratic fiats by Executive Branch agencies.
“The Comment Periods – are just dumb. Again, these bureaucrats aren’t elected. And they are under no obligation whatsoever to have the comments you file – affect at all what they’re about to do to you.
“If the comments favor the power grab they are about to execute – they trumpet the results, and move forward as planned. If the comments oppose – they ignore the results, and move forward as planned.”
Sometimes, when we’re really fortunate, the Comment Periods aren’t just stupid – they’re also corrupt.
We are currently less than a year into the Donald Trump Administration. A wonderful respite from the otherwise endless DC regulatory onslaught.
Under Trump, Regulation Slows to a Crawl: The president promised a less active government. Data show something starker: It has almost ceased issuing significant rules entirely.
That Obama – is of course Trump’s presidential predecessor, Barack Obama. Who’s administration was renowned the world over for issuing tens of thousands of pages of new regulations – many huge and sweeping in nature.
Another Obama hallmark was coordinating (dare I say colluding) with outside Leftist groups – who were also very much in favor of very much more government.
Emails Reveal Collusion Between EPA and Green Groups on Crafting Climate Change Rules: “The documents include EPA associate policy administrator Michael Goo’s use of a private Yahoo account for what he described as a channel for offline chats with environmental advocacy groups, including the Clean Air Task Force, as well as then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s description of the Clean Energy Group as an ‘industry validator’ for climate change regulations.”
Wait a sec – “Lisa Jackson + email” rings another bell.
Newly Released Emails Show EPA Director’s Extensive Use of Fictional Alter Ego: “Richard Windsor never existed at the EPA, but the agency awarded the fictional staffer’s email account certificates proving he had mastered all of the agency’s technology training – including declaring him a ‘scholar of ethical behavior,’ according to documents disclosed late last week.
“Windsor.Richard@epa.gov was the controversial email alias used by former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who resigned earlier this year amid questions about whether her agency was complying with open-records laws.”
Wait a sec – I seem to recall some other Obama Administration email corruption issues.
White House Deputy CTO Reprimanded for Ethics Violation: “Andrew McLaughlin, former director of public policy and government affairs at Google, was cited for an ethics violation after he e-mailed Google employees – including current Google public policy director Alan Davidson and vice president Vint Cerf – about issues like net neutrality from his personal Gmail account.”
Speaking of stupid comment periods, emails, collusion, corruption and Net Neutrality….
And when that didn’t work out to the Obama Administration’s Comment Period satisfaction – they cheated and lied.
FCC Knew Their Net Neutrality Comments Were Unverifiable, Yet Still Counted Them All to ‘Prove’ Their Case: “FOIA’d records show that…(as) hundreds-of-thousands of comments were pouring into the Commission ‘for’ Net Neutrality, (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler remarked to his top top-brass…’Interesting that this new round of emails is designed to hide the person’s name. Thus, we don’t know if they’re real or not. Can we accept unsigned material into the record?’ (Emphasis added.)…
“There’s nothing about verifying anything. 223 pages of FOIA’d documents never even mention the words ‘verify the comments.’ Because it was understood it could not be (especially for this PR stunt). If the agency did, that would make the ‘ballot’ look questionable (at best).
“Subsequent news reports reveal that the agency was willfully blind to the problem. In other words, it knew significant numbers of the comments were bogus, yet the Majority Commissioners still clung to/spun the notion that the ‘ballot’ was ‘real,’ thus ‘proving’ that Americans want Net Neutrality. (We don’t have to look to the Russians for collusion, eh?)”
Speaking of words never mentioned – no legislation in the history of the United States Congress has ever contained any permutations of the phrase “Network Neutrality.”
Which means, as we type, the FCC has zero business doing anything about Net Neutrality.
In Reality, Net Neutrality doesn’t belong anywhere near the Internet.
In DC, if they insist, Net Neutrality belongs in a piece of legislation extruded by our elected officials in Congress and signed by our elected President.
People with whom we can file Comments that actually mean something – because we can at least attempt to un-elect them if they ignore us.
Legislation-begetting-law – that then tells the FCC what to do about Net Neutrality.
Until then, anything having anything to do with Net Neutrality – is an unconstitutional power grab.
And the power grab Comment Period – is simply, titanically stupid. And almost always corrupt.
[Originally Published at RedState]