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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 18, 2010 - Free Speech Under Attack by Dems - FCC to Regulate Internet - Dems Forced To Cancel House Vote the "Disclose Act"

Yesterday, the FCC Moves to Regulate Internet--Even Though the Law Calls for Internet to be 'Unfettered by Federal or State Regulation' - the FCC voted to begin the formal process of bringing the Internet under greater federal control -- a move sought by both President Barack Obama and FCC Chairnman Julius Genachowski. The 3-2 party-line vote began the formal process of reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service. As a telecommunications service, the Internet would fall under a much broader regulatory scope.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 41-57 to reject a substitute amendment to H.R. 4213 (the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”) from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to extend expiring tax breaks and unemployment benefits, cut spending to pay for them, and reduce the deficit by $68 billion. Also yesterday, Democrats failed again to get the 60 votes needed for the Baucus substitute that tried to take even more money from the oil spill cleanup trust fund to pay for ever more Democrat spending.

While the Democrats moved via the FCC to limit free speech on Internet, the Dems efforts to limit free speech related to campaigns has been momentarily stalled. Last night, the Speaker of the House pulled the alleged Campaign Finance bill, the DISCLOSE Act, which would have limited free speech except for special exempted groups like unions. Those standing for conservative values would have had their rights limited. Politico reports, " . . . after complaints from the conservative Blue Dogs and the Congressional Black Caucus, Pelosi was forced to pull the bill . . . . Democratic leadership aides said the vote would be rescheduled until next week, but it is still unclear whether Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), . . . the author of the bill, will have enough votes to move forward then. . . . Democratic lawmakers were largely tight-lipped leaving Pelosi’s office late Thursday afternoon, although it was clear that momentum was clearly building against a Friday vote. By early evening, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) office formally announced that the vote had been cancelled."

The Washington Post reports today, “One of President Obama's top legislative priorities is in serious doubt after top House Democrats' attempt to satisfy the National Rifle Association backfired badly. Top Democrats abandoned plans for a Friday vote in the House on the legislation, known as the Disclose Act, after liberal groups and members of the Congressional Black Caucus rose up against the deal with the NRA. A lobbying blitz by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups also undermined support for the legislation, aides said.”

The bill, sponsored by Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and former Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is designed to overturn the January Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down limits on spending and advocacy for or against candidates in elections by unions and corporations.

The New York Times notes, “Congressional Democrats are pushing hard for legislation to rein in the power of special interests by requiring more disclosure of their roles in paying for campaign advertising — but as they struggle to find the votes they need to pass it they are carving out loopholes for, yes, special interests.”

According to The Post, “The NRA had threatened to muster its formidable lobbying power against the legislation unless it was exempted from key donor disclosure requirements. After Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) unveiled the resulting compromise, gun-control groups, environmental organizations and other linchpins of the liberal Democratic base voiced outrage with the deal. The anger boiled over Thursday afternoon during meetings between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of two crucial voting blocs: the CBC and the conservative Blue Dog Democrats. The Black Caucus objected to the bill's potential impact on the NAACP and other civil-rights groups, while the Blue Dogs are spooked by opposition from the business lobby ahead of the November elections, according to aides familiar with the meetings.” And the NYT adds, “The resulting uproar over special treatment for the pro-gun group led Democrats on Thursday to expand the exception to cover even more interest groups as they tried to secure votes for the measure, which is opposed by most Republicans.”

But it wasn’t just the Left that criticized the NRA’s deal to back the Schumer-Van Hollen bill. One of the NRA’s own board members, campaign finance lawyer Cleta Mitchell, blasted the NRA’s decision in an op-ed for The Washington Post yesterday. Mitchell wrote, “The cynical decision this week by House Democrats to exempt the National Rifle Association from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure. It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act (H.R. 5175): namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections. . . . For its part, the NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for ‘neutrality’ from the legislation's requirements. In doing so, the NRA has, sadly, affirmed the notion held by congressional Democrats (and some Republicans), liberal activists, the media establishment and, at least for now, a minority on the Supreme Court that First Amendment protections are subject to negotiation.”

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) described everything offensive about this bill well when it was introduced in April: “It should be beyond suspicious when the man in charge of electing Democrats in the House teams up with the man who held the same job in the Senate to tell Americans how they can express themselves in an election. Make no mistake about it, the campaign finance bill . . . is not about reform, transparency, accountability or good government. It is about election advantage plain and simple. An effort to disregard the First Amendment and defy the Supreme Court in order to limit the speech of those who may disagree with you is an effort that has no place in this country.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, free speech, DISCLOSE Act, FCC, Internet To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:19 PM - Post Link

6 Comments:

Anonymous William J. Barnes said...

They don't like us getting united do they, kind of interferes with ramming more crap through.

6/18/2010  
Anonymous Eric Fox said...

They will not stop till they control every aspect of our lives...cause they know what is good and what isn't good for us, even better than we know ourselves. lol

6/18/2010  
Anonymous LaVanda Ivie Shellnutt said...

The weird thing is, I started reading a thriller novel today and the things going on these days are in the novel. It's really spooky. Yep, it's The Overton Window.

6/18/2010  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

Will we be able to reverse the affect of this administration enough that our grandchildren will experience the freedom that we have known?

Lavanda, bet you can't put the book down :) Be sure to read the very last section, which identified what is true and what is fiction. You will be amazed.

6/18/2010  
Anonymous LaVanda Ivie Shellnutt said...

I can only hope we can undo the damage they are doing.

And you were right, I couldn't put it down, just finished it. Still chilled by it.

6/18/2010  
Anonymous Anna M Alexander said...

I hope I live to see it !

6/20/2010  

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