John Oliver, Frank Pallone Rhetoric Brings Racist Threats at FCC

These leftists are doing all they can to incite fear and hatred against Ajit Pai and the Federal Communications Commission. Now a stream of racist threats is flooding in.

We covered last week that Democrat rhetoric was evoking prejudice against Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman. Add that to John Oliver’s unhinged rants, and the result is a flood of racist death threats coming into the FCC.

Says the Free Beacon:

“Save internet and fuck this Ajit guy,” said another. “He’s from India, deport that asshole. We will take care of him when he’s back.”

Other comments used racial attacks against Pai, the son of Indian immigrants.

“Can you guys stop being complete greedy little s–ts and work for the American people and not for your wallets,” said one commenter using the name ” Andromeda Titan.” “Also, f–k you Ajit Pai (a disgrace to all Indians). And f–k Trump too.”

Another commenter said, “Ajit Pai looks and sounds like an Indian fraternity brother who exclusively f–ks underage women.”

If the parties were reversed, comments like these would be headline news.

If this is the kind of person that supports government regulation of the Internet under the antiquated Title II of the Communications Act – the policy which has been given the Orwellian name Net Neutrality – then Ajit Pai needs to redouble his efforts to repeal it.

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POLL: Razor-Thin Republican Lead in Georgia Special Election

A major independent poll has come out in the Georgia special election. Let’s see if it confirms earlier estimates of the race!

Before we only had an internal poll to work with, but an independent poll is much more meaningful.

Democrat Jon Ossoff’s own poll had him up up one point over Republican Karen Handel, so I predicted she was up 4 points, 52-48. Well, Landmark Communications’ poll for WSB-TV has her up about 3, 49.1-46.5.

With no incumbency advantage, even a ‘safe’ seat will make a new candidate earn that victory. Karen Handel and her supporters cannot let up for a moment. They must keep making calls, knocking on doors, and doing everything else in their power to get all of her voters to show up on election day.

The Democrats have nothing to lose. Republicans must muster the passion to match their desperation, if Handel is going to be the next representative of Georgia’s 6th district.

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Justin Amash Is Not Standing For Paul Ryan’s Nonsense

Justin Amash is enduring the barking from the establishment attack dogs, who will pounce on any Republican who refuses to close his eyes and vote the way Paul Ryan and Donald Trump insist. His statement today shows he means business. Principle before party.

Here is his statement in full:

This is not the bill we promised the American people. For the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. But it is increasingly clear that a bill to repeal Obamacare will not come to the floor in this Congress or in the foreseeable future.

When Republican leaders first unveiled the American Health Care Act, a Democratic friend and colleague joked to me that the bill wasn’t a new health care proposal; it was plagiarism. He was right.

The AHCA repeals fewer than 10 percent of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act. It is an amendment to the ACA that deliberately maintains Obamacare’s framework. It reformulates but keeps tax credits to subsidize premiums. Instead of an individual mandate to purchase insurance, it mandates a premium surcharge of 30 percent for one year following a lapse of coverage. And the bill continues to preserve coverage for dependents up to age 26 and people with pre-existing conditions.

I want to emphasize that last point. The bill does not change the ACA’s federal requirements on guaranteed issue (prohibition on policy denial), essential health benefits (minimum coverage), or community rating (prohibition on pricing based on health status). In short, Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are retained.

The latest version of the AHCA does allow any state to seek a waiver from certain insurance mandates, but such waivers are limited in scope. Guaranteed issue cannot be waived. Nobody can be treated differently based on gender. And any person who has continuous coverage—no lapse for more than 62 days—cannot be charged more regardless of health status.

Consider what this means: Even in a state that waives as much as possible, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be prevented from purchasing insurance at the same rate as a healthy person. The only requirement is that the person with the pre-existing condition get coverage—any insurer, any plan—within 62 days of losing any prior coverage.

If a person chooses not to get coverage within 62 days, then that person can be charged more (or less) based on health status for up to one year, but only (1) in lieu of the 30 percent penalty (see above), (2) if the person lives in a state that has established a program to assist individuals with pre-existing conditions, and (3) if that state has sought and obtained the relevant waiver. Here in Michigan, our Republican governor has already stated he won’t seek such a waiver, according to reports.

So why are both parties exaggerating the effects of this bill? For President Trump and congressional Republicans, the reason is obvious: They have long vowed to repeal (and replace) Obamacare, and their base expects them to get it done. For congressional Democrats, it’s an opportunity to scare and energize their base in anticipation of 2018. Neither side wants to present the AHCA for what it is—a more limited proposal to rework and reframe parts of the ACA, for better or for worse.

In March, when this bill was originally scheduled to come to the floor, it was certainly “for worse.” The previous version provided few clear advantages over the ACA, yet it haphazardly added provisions to modify essential health benefits without modifying community rating—placing the sickest and most vulnerable at greater risk.

Over the last month, several small but important changes were made to the bill. The current version abandons that fatally flawed approach to essential health benefits (though the new approach includes new flaws), incorporates an invisible risk sharing program, and permits limited state waivers. These changes may slightly bring down (or at least slow down the increase in) premiums for people who have seen rates go up. Even so, the AHCA becomes only marginally better than the ACA.

Many have questioned the process that led up to the vote on May 4. I have publicly expressed my disgust with it. The House again operated in top-down fashion rather than as a deliberative body that respects the diversity of its membership. But it’s important to acknowledge that the bulk of this bill (123 pages) was released on March 6. Only about 15 pages were added after late March. Members of Congress were given sufficient time to read and understand the entire bill.

While an earlier version of the AHCA included a CBO score, the types of changes made to the AHCA in more recent stages render an updated score highly speculative and practically meaningless. For that score to be useful, the Congressional Budget Office would have to effectively predict which states will seek waivers, which waivers they will seek, and when they will seek them. This complex analysis of the political processes and choices of every state is beyond anyone’s capability. I weighed the lack of an updated score accordingly.

When deciding whether to support a bill, I ask myself whether the bill improves upon existing law, not whether I would advocate for the policy or program if I were starting with a blank slate. In other words, the proper analysis is not whether it makes the law good but rather whether it makes the law better. In this case, I felt comfortable advancing the bill to the Senate as a marginal improvement to the ACA. The House has voted more than 30 times to amend (not just repeal) Obamacare since I’ve been in Congress, and I have supported much of that legislation, too, on the principle of incrementalism. If it advances liberty even a little (on net), then I’m a yes.

Nonetheless, the ACA will continue to drive up the cost of health insurance—while bolstering the largest insurance companies—and the modifications contained in the AHCA cannot save it. Many of the AHCA’s provisions are poorly conceived or improperly implemented. At best, it will make Obamacare less bad.

The Framers of the Constitution understood that federalism—the division of powers between the national and state governments—would maximize the happiness of Americans. As long as Washington dictates health insurance policy to the entire country, there will be massive tension and displeasure with the system. I’ve always said, and I will continue to say, we need to start over: Fully repeal Obamacare, let the people of each state choose their own approach, and work together in a nonpartisan manner.

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Busted: These Lobbyists Give Free Air Time to Politicians They Like

How often do we let businesses just give away their product to politicians who vote their way? Not very often, but these well-connected, highly-regulated businessmen found the perfect loophole to give pro-regulation legislators a free advantage come election season.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is the archetypical lobbyist group. It’s a group of businesses that seeks to keep regulations high in order to minimize competition and maximize profit. They march in lockstep with government to keep the checks flowing into their wallets.

Of course, if politicians changed the law to meddle with their priorities, that would be bad. So NAB needs to get the right people elected, and the easiest way to do that is to give them free airtime. And they found the perfect loophole to do it, in a move spotted by the Content Creators Coalition: pass the free ads off as Public Service Announcements:

The free airtime on community stations comes just as broadcasters are trying to showcase the importance of local radio and fight against possible new royalty fees for stations.

There’s a big overlap between members who have taken advantage of the free airtime and those who have signed on as co-sponsors of a NAB-backed resolution, the Local Radio Freedom Act, according to analysis by POLITICO. The measure says Congress shouldn’t impose new performance royalties on radio stations.

You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. Tell you all you need to know about their preferred policy. They want radio stations to be able to play music for free, while their online competitors have to pay for it. Sounds pretty unfair and obviously biased, right? Well, now you know how they get away with it.

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Frank Pallone Injects Racism into the Net Neutrality Debate

The far left is getting hysterical as Donald Trump’s regulators roll back the power grabs by Barack Obama’s regulators. Elections have consequences, as they are learning. But I never expected them to get racist about it, as they try to stir up fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Frank Pallone, New Jersey Democrat, will leave no stone unturned to add slime to the debate.

At the conclusion of his speech to the Open Technology Institute today, Frank Pallone capped off his rant against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, with a jab at Pai’s heritage:

If you’re truly American, and care about the country and its democracy and the Bill of Rights and capitalism and competition, you should be on the side of Net Neutrality.

Watch for yourself (this closing remark starts at 37:50):

Ajit Pai is the son of Indian immigrants. His parents were doctors at a rural hospital in Kansas, where he grew up. He went on to attend Harvard and the University of Chicago, before embarking on a career in and out of government working as a lawyer on telecommunications matters.

For Frank Pallone to hint that Ajit Pai isn’t truly American is simply out of bounds.

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New Internal Poll in the Georgia 06 Race. Can Karen Handel Win?

Georgia’s 6th district runoff left us with two candidates in the normally-safe Republican district: Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Republican (and long time RedState favorite) Karen Handel.

A new internal poll is out. Can she win?

Here’s the new poll by Ossoff’s own campaign. It’s an internal poll, which means his campaign picked the very best outlier on his side, to publish.

As a result, we conclude Karen Handel is leading, probably about 52-48. Which is close, so her campaign had best get it into high gear with door knocking and other turnout efforts, in order to convert this lead into a victory.

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The Dark Side of Google’s Planned Chrome Ad Blocker

Google, which makes a lot of money through the AdWords and Doubleclick For Publishers programs, has predictably been late to the ad blocker train. What they’re finally going to do about it for Chrome might sound good for users, but it might also be a huge act of self-dealing by the browser publisher.

Instead of simply blocking all ads within the browser, as most ad blockers do, Google is expected to take a more nuanced approach. That’s a kinder way of saying they’re going to use their access as browser developers to pick winners and losers in the ad industry.

They’re already known for paying to have their own ads excluded from certain ad blockers:

Google already pays to be part of an “Acceptable Ads” program offered by software company Eyeo GmbH, for example, which develops popular ad-blocking tool Adblock Plus. As a result, advertising on Google’s search engine and some of the other ads it powers are allowed to pass through Adblock Plus’s filters.

It seems likely that Google would allow its own ads to pass through in a similar manner. Worse, they may penalize entire sites for individual ads, effectively embargoing certain ad providers:

In one possible application Google is considering, it may choose to block all advertising that appears on sites with offending ads, instead of the individual offending ads themselves. In other words, site owners may be required to ensure all of their ads meet the standards, or could see all advertising across their sites blocked in Chrome.

Chrome is a leading browser. Any action Google takes to prefer itself over other ad providers, is a major act of self-dealing in a high-stakes industry.

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The FCC is tearing down Net Neutrality, But Should It?

Net Neutrality is one of the most misleadingly named things to come out of DC in a long time. It actually has nothing to do with openness on the Internet at all! To understand what it does, you have to look past the name and into the technical details.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai knows what’s lurking in there, and that’s why he’s tearing the thing down!

The FCC has been trying to grab power for years. Over and over again they tried to apply the same regulation to the Internet that they get to apply to phone companies. And we all know how well the phone companies work. Well, the Congress actually had the sense to keep FCC from running the Internet the way it runs phone companies. It passed the Telecommunications Act, which orders FCC to treat telecommunications services differently from how it treats phone companies.

As a result of the limits placed on FCC, every time it tried to take over the Internet, it lost in court. Finally tired of losing, Obama’s FCC tried a drastic step in the name of Net Neutrality. It declared that it was “reclassifying” ISPs to fall under Title II of the Communications Act. It was basically doing an end run around the law, by ruling that the new law didn’t apply, but rather the older law applied instead. This gave FCC a regulatory free hand.

The reason they could do this, and get away with it in court, is that the courts give broad deference to regulators that interpret the laws that are instead supposed to govern them. This is known as the “Chevron deference,” named for the court case that established it: Chevron USA vs Natural Resources Defense Council.

It’s on the Congress to close this loophole, but for now, Ajit Pai is going to reverse that reclassification, and return the Internet to the regulatory light touch that let it flourish.

Obama’s FCC harmed us. Reclassification deterred ISPs from making investments into building fiber optic Internet into people’s homes. Since it happened people have lamented this, without understanding why the build out stopped.

Government wasn’t the solution to our problem. Government was the problem, and Ajit Pai is right to roll back this terrible mistake.

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If Congress Doesn’t Act On Internet Sales Tax, Gorusch And The Courts Will

Amazon was the first to fall, charging sales taxes nationally on Internet purchases. But it’s going to come everywhere as soon as the courts get their hands on the issue, unless Congress acts fast.

The limits on sales taxes these days all derive from one Supreme Court case: Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. Tax and spend politicians have been straining against the case ever since that 1992 decision.

They haven’t had much luck yet over the last 25 years, but times are changing. The makeup of the court is different and it seems likely that one of the concurrences of Quill, Justice Anthony Kennedy, is likely to flip next time around. So the states are seeking to get into the courts with the intent of getting a test case to overturn Quill.

That takes us to the question of Neil Gorusch, Donald Trump’s newest nominee to the Supreme Court. Gorusch worked with Kennedy as a clerk, and some say he sounds likely to join Kennedy in overturning Quill. If the left wing of the court swings toward higher taxes, then Quill is toast.

The only way to stop runaway states is, as the late Antonin Scalia pointed out, for the US Congress to step in and control the way state sales taxes work with online purchases. Bill have been introduced for years, some of them good, others bad, all designed to answer this question.

Until now they’ve punted. But the Quill doctrine is under threat like never before, threatening to open up Internet purchases to all sorts of crazy state taxes, passed by and for cronies. Relying on the whims of the courts is not good enough. It’s time to take control of Interstate commerce and keep it open, like the framers intended.

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Trump Administration Slams The Door On A Major H1-B Visa Use

The H1-B Visa’s purpose is to allow smart people with specialized skills to come to the USA. Unfortunately the program has been abused to allow people with ordinary, common skills to be brought into the country at market-skewing low wages.

The Trump administration announced today that computer programmers would not get automatic entry into H1-B program, possibly curbing those abuses.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy does not bar firms from hiring computer programmers under H1-B Visas. However it simply says that computer programmers are not, as a rule, a position exotic and specialized enough to gain automatic entry into the program.

The H1-B program is meant for unusual skills. It’s meant to bring in high-powered models like Melania Trump, along with expert scientists and engineers, into the country to use talents that are hard to find.

Back in 1990 – when the program was founded – the ability to program a computer fell into that category. It was an unusual talent. But thanks to the Internet boom, countless Americans have gone to school and learned how to program, such that we have plenty of homegrown talent. Even President Obama suggested that all Americans should learn how to code.

This is why the Trump administration ruling makes sense. Just being a programmer is not specialized enough to qualify for H1-B anymore. You have to be a programmer in something specialized now. This will stop Silicon Valley firms from importing cheap Indian programmers to do jobs that could be filled easily with home-grown talent, assuming the salaries were raised to a sufficient level.

And that’s why you’re going to see a fit raised: H1-B has been subsidizing people, and now government is taking the binky away.

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