by George Landrith • Townhall
Late one Friday afternoon, the Obama Administration announced its plans to cut the Internet loose from U.S. government oversight, giving control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a private corporation created by the U.S. to manage the web. Since then both ICANN and the administration have gone to great pains to explain that the change would have little practical effect, be largely benign, and that the current U.S. role would not be taken over by other governments like China, Russia, Iran, or the European Union. Sadly, however, these assurances are the Internet equivalent of “If you like the health insurance plan you have now, you can keep it. Period.”
Most Americans know the Internet won’t improve if dictators from around the world are given a bigger role in its governance. Many countries — even those not run by dictators — have engaged in censorship, silenced dissent, and selectively shut the Internet down for authoritarian political reasons. Continue reading
The attorney general is stepping down and leaving a trail of troubling questions behind.
by Peter Roff • U.S. News & World Report
Controversial figure U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be stepping down from his post, it was learned recently, leaving the Obama administration as soon as his replacement can be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Those who cannot see past race – and thus tend toward wanting to inflate Holder’s grade – are praising his tenure in office, lauding the attention he gave issues like civil rights and the manner in which, as NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested shortly after the news broke, managed to stay above politics.
In fact, almost every high-profile issue Holder took on had a political taint, especially his intervention in the civil rights arena where he and his department worked to thwart anti-election fraud reforms and to block reasonable photo ID requirements for voters. Continue reading
by Horace Cooper • Politix
Last spring the White House announced that it would go forward with an effort to relinquish all American oversight over the operation of the World Wide Web. At the time many critics within the tech community warned that this precipitous decision would have harmful effects – here at home and abroad.
The administration claims that this process is the natural evolution of America’s role in setting up and overseeing the web. But critics predicted that the risks of ending American management of the web’s operation would result in a dramatic change in the operation and accessibility of the Internet.
As the date for this transfer gets closer it is becoming increasingly clear that the critics were right to be alarmed.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which by an act of Congress has the primary responsibility for ensuring web stability and uniformity is turning out to be the perhaps the greatest threat to the stability and uniformity of the world wide web. Continue reading
by Chuck Vinch • Army Times
The Defense Department broke the law when it transferred five Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar in exchange for former prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday.
In a seven-page opinion, the GAO said a provision of the 2014 Defense Appropriations Act bars defense officials from using taxpayer funds to transfer any prisoner from Guantanamo unless the secretary of defense gives Congress at least 30 days’ advance notice. Continue reading
Nothing can be more fatal to a nation’s well-being than an attempt at autocratic transformation of society by incompetent politicians. Lack of competence engenders fear and inferiority complex. Knowledge of flawed abilities creates the desire to compensate by adopting confrontational and even hostile attitudes toward intellectually superior opponents. When such a politician encounters criticism and ridicule, his or her feelings could degenerate into destructive hatred that has the potential to destroy the morality and jeopardize the normal existence of society.
Today’s progressives see themselves as the exclusive trustees of all political truths, the absolute champions of social justice, and the elitist vanguard of an economically perfectly fair society. However, by claiming omniscience and by stressing moral superiority, they have closeted themselves in their self-constructed ivory towers, thus have become ignorant of reality, and gradually have lost sight of the human dimensions of the American people’s everyday lives. Continue reading
What Winston Churchill said of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles — that he was a bull who carried his own china shop around with him — is true of Susan Rice, who is, to be polite, accident prone. When in September 2012 she was deputed to sell to the public the fable that the Benghazi attack was just an unfortunately vigorous movie review — a response to an Internet video — it could have been that she, rather than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was given this degrading duty because Rice was merely U.N. ambassador, an ornamental position at an inconsequential institution. Today, however, Rice is Barack Obama’s national security adviser, so two conclusions must be drawn. Continue reading
Outrageous, but candid.
“There is a vast amount of discretion that a president has — and more specifically that an attorney general has,” Holder told the House Judiciary Committee. “But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that you’re acting consistent with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitution and protecting the American people.” Continue reading
At NewsMax, Sandy Fitzgerald writes:
Former President Bill Clinton objects to the Obama administration’s plan to give up the United States’ control over online domain names and addresses, saying that the country’s agencies have done a good job keeping the Internet free and open.
“A lot of people who have been trying to take this authority from the U.S. for the sole purpose of cracking down on Internet freedom and limiting it and having governments protect their backsides instead of empowering the people,” Clinton said during a panel discussion sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, reports ReCode.net. Continue reading
In his first inaugural address in 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant declared, “Laws are to govern all alike — those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”
Apparently, President Barack Obama agrees with the second sentence of that quote, if not the first. Which is why he continues to unilaterally prevent strict enforcement of the bad law that is his signature achievement: Obamacare.
The latest change came when the administration announced that the employer mandate, already delayed for one year, would be delayed another year for many companies. Now, businesses employing 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t be required to provide insurance until 2016, while companies employing 100 or more will be required to cover only 70 percent of employees in 2015. Continue reading
To adapt H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class. Witness their ad-libbed decision, at the 11th hour and on the basis of no legal authority, to create a special exemption for themselves from the ObamaCare health coverage that everybody else is mandated to buy.
The Affordable Care Act requires Members of Congress and their staffs to participate in its insurance exchanges, in order to gain first-hand experience with what they’re about to impose on their constituents. Harry Truman enrolled as the first Medicare beneficiary in 1965, and why shouldn’t the Members live under the same laws they pass for the rest of the country? Continue reading
“The Illegal-Donor Loophole” is the headline of a Daily Beast story by Peter Schweizer of the conservative Government Accountability Institute and Peter Boyer, former reporter at the New Yorker and the New York Times.
The article tells how Obama.com, a website owned by an Obama fundraiser who lives in China but has visited the Obama White House 11 times, sends solicitations mostly to foreign email addresses and links to the Obama campaign website’s donation page.
The Obama website, unlike those of most campaigns, doesn’t ask for the three- or four-digit credit card verification number. That makes it easier for donors to use fictitious names and addresses to send money in. Continue reading