Sunday, November 16, 2014

FCC Plans Stealth Internet Tax Increase

FCC Plans Stealth Internet Tax Increase: "Under its “Open Internet” or “network neutrality” proceeding, the FCC would regulate the  Internet and broadband service providers with rules similar to those that courts have not once but twice ruled unlawful.   By statute, the FCC regulates telecommunications services, not Internet services.  Rather than wait for Congress to give it authority to regulate Internet services, the FCC asserts that power for itself by some imaginative interpretation of the Communications Act.

One set of proposals considered by the FCC would classify Internet services, or at least Internet access services, as “interstate telecommunications services” bringing the regulation of those services exclusively to the FCC.

The FCC imposes fees of 16.1% on interstate telecommunications services that will generate more than $8 billion in federal universal service funds in 2014. Additional FCC fees on interstate telecommunications services raise $1 billion for federal telecommunications relay services.  Although Congress mandates the general nature of the federal universal service fund and telecommunications relay services, it is the FCC alone that sets the budget size of the funds and develops the fee structure to raise receipts for the funds."

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Joseph Rago: How Scott Walker Keeps Winning - WSJ - WSJ

Joseph Rago: How Scott Walker Keeps Winning - WSJ - WSJ: "Act 10’s collective-bargaining reforms allowed the state to balance the budget, and counties to restrain or even reduce the property taxes that had increased 27% over the decade before Mr. Walker. But the legislation also improved Wisconsin in ways that “wouldn’t seem quite as obvious,” he says. By eliminating tenure and seniority work rules, “we can hire and fire based on merit and pay based on performance, we can put the best and brightest in our classrooms—and voilĂ , graduation rates are up. ACT scores are up, now second best in the country. Third-grade reading scores are up. The left certainly doesn’t acknowledge this: Our schools are better.”"

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The Other Gender Gap: Weed | National Review Online

The Other Gender Gap: Weed | National Review Online: "This fits with my own pet theory that women, members of minority groups, and other traditional constituencies for activist government are risk-averse relative to white men. Groups that historically have been marginalized, economically and politically, are less inclined to trust in free markets and other decentralized institutions and instead seek government guarantees as a hedge against various kinds of risk. That is why it far from impossible — or even surprising — that there are people who really do understand that the Affordable Care Act will introduce various inefficiencies and stupidities into the health-insurance market but nonetheless support it, for much the same reason that people who understand that Social Security is not a very good “investment” for them prefer the security (the overestimated security, in my view) of a government-backed program to the more profitable but volatile investment markets. They call it Social Security for a reason."

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The War on Soda claims its first victory « Hot Air

The War on Soda claims its first victory « Hot Air: "So the Deplorable Nanny State Mayor chalks one up in the win column. The article goes on to describe “health advocates” as practically jumping for joy. I do appreciate the fact that the coverage is at least honest enough to refer to it as a punitive tax, which is exactly what it is. But who is being punished with this action? The obvious answer is the poor, who are probably the most likely to be drinking Big Gulps in the first place. The wealthy professors and cocktail party crew don’t need to worry about a ten percent hike in costs, but the people who tend their lawns and gardens, clean their pools and empty their trash might.

But hey… they’ll be more healthy. Once they start riding their bikes to that second job to pay all the taxes, the pounds will just drop off as if by magic. Well done, Berkeley. You’ve really struck a blow for freedom here."

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Out of the gate, Obama reminds the GOP a majority didn’t vote for them « Hot Air

Out of the gate, Obama reminds the GOP a majority didn’t vote for them « Hot Air: "In fairness to the president, he did say that he will seek an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS; a display of constitutional deference to the Congress which the Congress should have long ago demanded. But that seemed to be the extent of Obama’s willingness to reach across the aisle. According to the president, the voters who delivered a landslide victory to the GOP also are entirely supportive of Democratic policies.

He is not serious, of course. This is posturing for a deeply dispirited progressive base and a credulous press corps. The White House is a spent force, and America will be governed from Congress for the next two years when the president is not issuing executive orders which will necessarily be narrow in scope as they will not enjoy the support of the legislature. Obama’s pantomimed pugnacity may lift some progressive spirits for a time, but that will be a short-lived experience. They will soon find out that Obama has been reduced to talk and talk alone."

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No more tingles: Why can’t this ideologically cocooned president cope with other views on immigration, asks … Chris Matthews « Hot Air

No more tingles: Why can’t this ideologically cocooned president cope with other views on immigration, asks … Chris Matthews « Hot Air: "Arguably, the more bitter things get between Obama and the GOP Congress, the easier things are for Hillary in 2016. She’s going to run as the “experience” candidate, the old pro who knows how to get things done where amateurs like O and radicals like those darned tea partiers can’t. The more gridlock there is and the nastier things get, the more appealing that message becomes potentially. (That’s why Boehner and McConnell are eager to pass a few popular legislative items quickly.) Executive amnesty is a way to poison relations with the new Senate majority from the start, setting the tone for two more years of public exasperation with both sides. That’s also a perfect bookend, not to the last 48 hours but to the last 10 years. Obama became a superstar at the 2004 convention by insisting that there are no red states or blue states, just the United States. Now he’s on the verge of ending his presidency with an illegal amnesty measure that’ll pit all sorts of constituencies against each other and that will, by design, paralyze the government by antagonizing the other party to the point of boycott. From Hope and Change to deliberate, destructive partisan provocations aimed at gaining a political advantage. That’s how the Obama era ends."

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A Shellacking for Obama - WSJ - WSJ

A Shellacking for Obama - WSJ - WSJ: "That 2012 episode, reported at the time by the Washington Post, speaks volumes about the reason. Mr. Obama has consistently put liberal policy demands and partisanship above the goals of economic growth and compromise. Far from cementing a Democratic majority, his political posture has helped the GOP make a comeback. The question now is whether he will change enough to salvage his last two years as President."

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

3 Reasons President Obama Is Wrong About Stay-At-Home-Mothers

3 Reasons President Obama Is Wrong About Stay-At-Home-Mothers: "But perhaps it’s because this stay-at-home mother studied economics before she stayed home with her kids, in reality this is like saying “I want a world where unicorns are real and not just Taylor Swift Halloween costumes.” You can say you wish that taking time out of the workforce would have no effect on income, but that’s not how economics works. If every person got paid the same over the course of his or her lifetime — whether or not he or she took time away from the workforce to raise children — that would be an imaginary place, not a real place where scarce goods are allocated through market prices. I mean, you can believe in your heart of hearts that command economies can magically milk efficiencies out of something other than people acting in their self-interest, but you probably can’t do it with a grasp of reality. People should be free to make their own decisions regarding what they consume and what they produce, unless we want to be controlled by an all-powerful state. And what that means is that we have trade-offs."

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Tourism heavy cities unsure how to handle “homeless travelers” from Occupy movement « Hot Air

Tourism heavy cities unsure how to handle “homeless travelers” from Occupy movement « Hot Air: "It’s interesting how they noticed this influx after the Occupy movement fell apart. And the rude, aggressive youths (some of whom mutter a homophobic slur at people who don’t give them money) are clearly able to educate themselves on all the local laws concerning loitering and begging to stay ahead of the cops, but can’t manage to apply that level of intelligence and ability to study in the general direction of getting a job. Does that sound familiar?

The solution, which has already been adopted in some cities, is not to try to build up the police force and jail resources to arrest them all, even if you could legally do so. It’s an impossible task. Much better is to get your limited number of police and any city volunteers you can muster to go post signs asking tourists not to give the “free range citizens” any money and to actively intervene when they see it happening. Tell the visitors that giving to charities, homeless shelters and food pantries is far more effective. It’s much the same theory as cutting down on the illegal immigration problem by eliminating jobs and social safety net benefits for those here in violation of the law. When you remove the incentive to come, the problem decreases.

Urban Travelers… Some days I just regret turning on my computer."

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