Opinion
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski (R) delviers remarks before the commission voted to adopted controversial Net neutrality rules December 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. The rules put into effect by the commission create two different classes of broadband internet service -- one for fixed networks and another for wireless networks -- due to their technological differences. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski (R) delviers remarks before the commission voted to adopted controversial Net neutrality rules December 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. The rules put into effect by the commission create two different classes of broadband internet service -- one for fixed networks and another for wireless networks -- due to their technological differences. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)   

Obama Administration Micro-Managing EVERYTHING Communications

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Seton Motley
President, Less Government
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      Seton Motley

      Seton Motley is a consultant and the founder and president of Less Government, an organization dedicated to, well, less government. He is editor-in-chief of StopNetRegulation.org, a Center for Individual Freedom project.

The Barack Obama Administration has spent the last three-plus years unilaterally, illegally over-regulating us into economic oblivion.

Why does our economy continue to stink on ice?  This is a hay-yuge reason why.

One of the Administration’s most unlawfully over-active wings has been the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Obama’s FCC wasted more than a year illegally imposing Network Neutrality – bestowing upon itself Overlord status over the entire World Wide Web.

Just this past Friday, it voted to mandate television stations put their “political advertising file” online.  Which means these stations must post what their ad rates are – and which political candidates and organizations are paying them.

This is of course anti-free market – you don’t want competitor stations knowing what you’re charging for ads.  It is also a tee-up for ACORN-esque Leftist grievance groups to harass stations who take Republican and Conservative ads – and anyone else involved in the process.

A tactic we’ve seen yet again very recently with the Marxist, 9/11-Truther Van Jones-led Color of Change, the George Soros front group Media Matters and others haranguing first Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers and then supporters of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

And then there are media mergers, which absurdly require federal government Mother-May-I approval.  Again and again, Obama’s FCC has abused the living daylights out of this power.

It set up one impediment after another to the AT&T-T-Mobile merger.  The Obama Justice Department backed the FCC’s play, suing to block.  After more than a year of Administration foot-dragging and outright opposition, the companies gave up and withdrew their application.

Obama’s FCC was unable to outright deny the Comcast-NBCU merger.  So it loaded up its approval with pages and pages of illegal regulations – to which Comcast was forced to capitulate to get Mother’s consent.
How preposterous, small-bore and all-encompassing are these regulations?  This:

Comcast told the FCC Tuesday that Bloomberg’s claims it had relocated channels in violation of a non-networking condition in the NBCU deal is “demonstrably false.”…

Bloomberg alleged that Comcast moved MSNBC into existing news neighborhoods in Bethel, Conn., and Etna, N.H., and created new neighborhoods in Crescent City, Fla., and Claxton, Ga.

Etna, New Hampshire has a whopping population of 814. Crescent City, Florida: 1,776.  Claxton, Georgia: 2,276.  Bethel, Connecticut is the monster of this group: 18,584.

Barack Obama’s FCC illegally empowered itself to lord over the order and placement of television channels – in towns as small as population 814.

If that isn’t swatting a tsetse fly with a gi-normous regulatory hammer, than nothing is too small for Big Government.

Currently being forced to grovel before the FCC are Verizon and a cable company consortium: Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and the now serially abused Comcast.

Verizon wants to buy from the consortium spectrum – the airwaves we need for everything wireless.  The consortium wants to sell it to Verizon. In the Reality that is a free market, this would be enough. In Big Government Land, it’s not even close.

House Democrats want to have a hearing.  Obviously a simple, clean free market transaction surpasses their understanding.

The aforementioned Leftist Grievance Groups – and the unions and failed companies allied with them – are of course opposed to the sale.  And they have now filed with the FCC what may be the most absurd request for a transaction review delay ever:

Sprint/Nextel, DirecTV, and public advocacy groups critical of the proposed sale of cable spectrum to Verizon have joined with the Communications Workers of America to ask the FCC to stop the clock on its merger review, citing software problems with opening some of the documents filed by Verizon and cable ops.

What, they don’t have Microsoft Word?  Have they not yet downloaded Adobe Reader?  And if not, how is that Verizon or the cable companies’ fault?

In case you were wondering:

(T)he companies (say) the files CWA could not open were in formats — shapefiles and tables — specifically requested by the FCC and for which there were free viewers available for CWA to use.

Is it these technology companies’ fault that their anti-free market opponents are this technologically incompetent?

And if these anti-free market opponents are this technologically incompetent – why on Earth is the Obama FCC listening to them on anything having anything to do with technology policy?

Because nothing is too small for Big Government.  Not even the tiny capabilities of Big Government’s Leftist allies.

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government.