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President Obama To Nominate Cable and Wireless Lobbyist To Head FCC 304

Posted by Soulskill
from the break-out-the-tinfoil-hats dept.
symbolset writes "The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that longtime telecomm lobbyist Tom Wheeler will be nominated to head the Federal Communications Commission. According to the LA Times: 'Wheeler is a former president of the National Cable Television Assn. and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn. Despite his close ties to industries he will soon regulate, some media watchdogs are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. "As someone who has known Tom for years, I believe that he will be an independent, proactive chairman," said Gigi B. Sohn, president and chief executive of Public Knowledge, adding that she has "no doubt that Tom will have an open door and an open mind, and that ultimately his decisions will be based on what he genuinely believes is best for the public interest, not any particular industry."'"
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President Obama To Nominate Cable and Wireless Lobbyist To Head FCC

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  • Yep, typical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:54PM (#43594747) Homepage Journal

    I really wish the alternatives in the recent elections weren't more in bed with corporate interests.

    • Re:Yep, typical (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:56PM (#43594775)

      What do you expect? This is the same party that gave us the DMCA.

      • Re:Yep, typical (Score:5, Insightful)

        by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:31PM (#43595167)
        Back up further: what do you expect of politics in general? Money buys influence in any government, no matter what form it takes. The only time that is not true is when enough people oppose the money. You can argue about this party or that party, or the number of parties, or term limits, or democracy even, but in any organization where the citizens don't care, you'll get money buying rules. Parties aren't going to do the job of the public for the public.

        Actually, you can generalize that last part as well. No one is going to do any job you want them to do unless you keep on them or they have their own interests in doing it. Politicians aren't going to have our interests at heart unless you threaten to kick them out if they don't. And we're not doing that.
        • The only time that is not true is when enough people oppose the money.

          Or when you have an honest man for a president who truly does place the public good above his own greed. The only two examples I can think of offhand are George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt.

          Obama is just as corrupt as Bush, he is a team player.

        • That's what I've been preaching for the last few months. Politicians listen to money, because the people don't take the time to make them listen.

          My own state is an example of this. We contacted a democrat and had him vote against the recent gun control legislation. Did he do this because we asked him to? Did he do this because the NRA promised him big checks? Only time will tell. But at least in this instance, he voted what I can only assume is the will of the loudest people. (I also believe in my so

        • by emaname (1014225)

          Well said, interkin3tic!!! Well said!!!

          That is one of the most succinct descriptions of our current political system that I've read to date (other than "politicians suck"). In fact, all we have left is "political theater."

          I've been suggesting that we start an "abstain campaign(TM)" (Note I TM'd that). Make a point of going to the polls, but write in your nomination/vote. However, write in something like "These candidates are not worthy of my vote. My vote is too precious to throw away. I abstain." This is p

      • by slick7 (1703596)

        What do you expect? This is the same party that gave us the DMCA.

        The best bought mongrel dogs taxpayer money can buy.
        All politicians should serve three terms, two in office and one really long term in prison.

    • Third parties (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:57PM (#43594789)
      You must not have been paying attention. There were many third party candidates who were not on the corporate payroll.
      • Re:Third parties (Score:4, Insightful)

        by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:59PM (#43594811) Homepage Journal

        The most viable third party, the libertarians, really really really are pro-corporate in their actual published platform. The lack of money in that regard seems to just be and artifact of their lack of electoral potential.

        • Re:Third parties (Score:5, Insightful)

          by claytongulick (725397) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:14PM (#43594983) Homepage

          This is a common misunderstanding/misperception. The Libertarians vehemently oppose corporate welfare and public/private partnerships. What you're calling "pro-corporate" is really not true - they believe that in general, the market should be left alone, regulation minimized and clear separation between companies and government should exist. They are deeply suspicious of things like the military-industrial complex.

          The Libertarians believe that a person has a right to the fruit of their own labors, and that people should be free from burdensome regulation and oppressive government manipulation of markets. This is not "pro corporate" this is "pro human". They also believe that just as a person should be free to succeed, they should be free to fail. The libertarians are passionately opposed to "bail outs" and "stimulus" government corporate welfare programs.

          Any Libertarian who tried to pull the sort of shenanigans that we're seeing here would be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail by his/her own party.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by JDAustin (468180)

            If you want to be modded up, you should always remind slashdotters about the libertarian stance on drugs...

          • Re:Third parties (Score:5, Insightful)

            by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:52PM (#43595385) Homepage

            Any Libertarian who tried to pull the sort of shenanigans that we're seeing here would be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail by his/her own party.

            And then the Libertarian would rebrand himself a Republican and run as that.

            Plus, it wouldn't matter anyway - after killing off regulations, the large corporations would have an even larger stranglehold on the marketplace, as there would be no anti-trust laws to keep them from colluding, price-fixing, etc. and any competitor who tried to enter the field would be crushed before they could get a foothold.

            • Re:Third parties (Score:4, Informative)

              by Yakasha (42321) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @06:18PM (#43595637) Homepage

              as there would be no anti-trust laws to keep them from colluding, price-fixing, etc. and any competitor who tried to enter the field would be crushed before they could get a foothold.

              You're confusing "minimal" with "no" regulation. Very different words.

              • OK. How do you define or find "minimum" then?

                Pretty sure different people will define that differently, so no point in using that word at all.

            • after killing off regulations, the large corporations would have an even larger stranglehold on the marketplace, as there would be no anti-trust laws to keep them from colluding, price-fixing, etc.

              Corporations are creations of the government, giving limited legal liabilities to large companies.

              The so-called "libertarian paradise" would NOT include corporations, and so no limited legal liability for the officers/owners of those large companies.

              Which would mean that most of them would dissolve and the rest

            • after killing off regulations, the large corporations would have an even larger stranglehold on the marketplace, as there would be no anti-trust laws to keep them from colluding, price-fixing, etc. and any competitor who tried to enter the field would be crushed before they could get a foothold.

              This sounds scary, but the reality is that a burdensome regulatory system favors large entrenched companies over start-ups. Back when Microsoft was smaller, they didn't like government, but these days they have a to

          • Re:Third parties (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @06:09PM (#43595539)

            Is it "pro human" to let someone die of an easily-treatable health condition just because they previously depleted their savings and can't work while disabled?

            • I think libertarian ideals are far to under-represented to make such sweeping generalizations. But the argument stems from without regulation corporations would rape us. It doesn't matter as it stands now the corporations are raping us all through regulation.

              Now the FCC has had some positive effects and I cannot sit here and throw rotten tomatoes at their past actions. But reading the summary makes me think we just got shat on one more time. The cable and cellular industry does not inspire non-biased for th

            • by BoberFett (127537)

              Do you believe easily treatable conditions would cost as much as they do in a libertarian society with no government enforced monopolies, compared to what we have right now in a world run by drug patents and with the AMA artificially limiting the number of doctors we have?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by saleenS281 (859657)
            They also believe that corporations wouldn't pollute the water supply because it's bad for everyone to have polluted water, so we don't need the EPA. Or that companies won't create things like the mortgage bubble because bad investments are bad for the entire market - a la Alan Greenspan, so we don't need banking oversite.

            Reality has shown their beliefs are absolute trash when put into practice. Greedy assholes will always be greedy assholes and they tend not to care what happens to anyone that isn't t
        • Re:Third parties (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:18PM (#43595021) Journal

          the libertarians, really really really are pro-corporate in their actual published platform.

          Nope. Libertarians are pro-market. The Ruling Party is pro-corporations, and does all it can to help their cronies exclude competition.

          -jcr

        • Is it hard to talk while fellating that straw man?

        • by khallow (566160)
          "Pro-corporate" compared to what? The developed world isn't in its current mess due to any sort of libertarian policy.
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        Yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:55PM (#43594755)

    adding that she has "no doubt that Tom will have an open door and an open mind, and that ultimately his decisions will be based on what he genuinely believes is best for the public interest, not any particular industry."

    Seriously?

    • by PPH (736903)
      Trouble is, we are the ones that get hit in the ass by it.
    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      They said exactly what they could say to dispel any concerns that he might be a biased industry shill so they could assuage fears of the populace?

      DIABOLICAL!

  • by zlives (2009072) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:55PM (#43594763)

    in other news Dr. Kevorkian to head Department of Health and Human Services

    • How would that be bad? He gave his patients what they wanted. People trying to force their religious beliefs on everyone else, with their strange notions of your life not being yours to end when you feel like it, that's not who I would want in charge of health services.
    • What is wrong with Dr. Kevorkian, let's hope you won't get into the situation to beg doctors to end your life...

    • by Yakasha (42321)

      in other news Dr. Kevorkian to head Department of Health and Human Services

      Humor aside,
      Dr. Kevorkian's belief in a person's ultimate control over their own lives & bodies from birth until death, regardless of the wishes or views of any other person on this planet, makes him the perfect candidate for such a position.

      Suicide, abortion, plastic surgery, drug use... none of that going on in my body due to my own decisions is any of your fucking business.

  • by onyxruby (118189) <{onyxruby} {at} {comcast.net}> on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:00PM (#43594827)

    This doesn't even pass the sniff test with regards to conflict of interest. Obama is as much of a tool of industry as W ever was, his entire populist election campaign of 2008 was one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the American public. Seriously, look at industry after industry and you will see Obama acting fundamentally the same. How many bankers are in jail for the collapse of the economy, etc, etc?

  • I think this needs to be investigated. Seriously. This is not normal. Now the lobbyist with power can now do what he was unable to do when he was powerless (but just placing bribes) lobbyist.

    Some shit is going to happen following this and it is going to be bad.

    • by mcl630 (1839996)

      Not normal? Industry insiders being appointed to gov't positions that regulate said industry? That's unfortuately very normal. The Treasury Department is full of ex-Goldman Sachs people, the Department of Justice is full of ex-RIAA and MPAA lawyers, etc.

    • He did raise half a million dollars for the President's reelection campaign. You need a million to be made ambassador. For lower tiers there has to be a bone somewhere in the executive branch to throw your boosters and the Justice Department is already full of Hollywood lackeys, so the FCC is the natural next spot for the meatpuppet of our copyright maximalist entertainment industry overlords.
    • by Yakasha (42321)

      I think this needs to be investigated. Seriously. This is not normal. Now the lobbyist with power can now do what he was unable to do when he was powerless (but just placing bribes) lobbyist.

      Some shit is going to happen following this and it is going to be bad.

      They have already re-labeled his paychecks as "campaign contributions". What isn't normal?

  • I keep getting questions from people asking me to give them an example of regulatory capture. Now I have one.

  • More of the same... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superdave80 (1226592) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:05PM (#43594883)
    Good thing we didn't elect that mean ol' corporate guy, Romney, eh? Keep electing Democrats hoping that they will be different than Republicans, and don't you DARE 'waste' your vote on anything other than an (R) or a (D)!
    • I voted for the the Green...much good it did, but there it is.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:53PM (#43595405)

        The more votes a third party gets, the more the Rs and Ds try to copy their policies in order to win those votes back. Better to change position on a few topics then let another party gain good media attention. The third parties see that someone cares about them and they keep on fighting for their principles. Your vote does more than you think it did.

        Thank you for voting for a different party.

        • by alexo (9335)

          Out of mod points, but would like to thank the AC for his synopsis.

      • by alexo (9335)

        I voted for the the Green...much good it did, but there it is.

        That's your problem right here. Should have voted for the Purple [midwinter.com].

    • Obama is not a war monger like 'W'. He is more like Bush Sr.

      With that said, I reject the "wasted vote" doctrine of bipartisan purity as you do. Esp. if one lives in a state that is comfortably R or D, there is no excuse to not make your conscience felt at the polls.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Obama is not a war monger like 'W'. He is more like Bush Sr.

        What, precisely, makes you think that CIA Death Squad manager George Herbert Walker Bush is not a war monger?

  • by Nethead (1563)

    Where does it say that Wheeler worked for Cable & Wireless? [wikipedia.org] Gotta watch those titles.

  • By the people, for the people in other news, corporations rule the western world
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:12PM (#43594965) Journal
    No doubt he can be counted upon to be reasonable with this startup that's challenging his former employers.
  • First we have the SOPA loveboat heading up NSF funding, and now Cable lobbyists in charge of the FCC? Whats next, putting Prenda lawyers in charge of the US Patent Office?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:17PM (#43595005)

    Despite the promises made by President Obama, there are plenty of lobbyists with jobs in government, hired on his watch. What's one more? What difference does it make?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-lobbyists-inside-the-obamas-administration?op=1 [businessinsider.com]

  • Regulatory capture [wikipedia.org] in action, news at 11.
  • The fast that revolving door spins, the more circulation of air we get. Okay, so maybe that'll just make the ice caps melt faster, but I'm sure their hearts are in the right place.

  • "No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years."

    If he hasn't been a lobbyist within the past two years, I suppose we ought to give him a pass. Right?

  • Remember Merdith Attwell Baker? She approved the NBC/COMCAST merger. Then she started working for NBC right after [huffingtonpost.com] The way the US government stands now is that politicians get elected by gathering the most money through campaign contributions. They then do everything in their power to help those who gave them money. Some people say the corporations interest is the people. But most know this isn't always true.
  • There is nothing you can do about it anyway. So enjoy the trip.
  • Fucking hell... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @07:23PM (#43596205)
    Privately run prisons, rubber stamping patent office, one-sided antagonistic copyright, violent take downs of non-violent civil offenders who pissed off corporations, multi-million dollar salaried revolving door jobs for politicians who fucked the public in the ass to do their corporate buddies a favor, hiring former corporate cronies as regulators so they can continue doing corporate favors... Why don't we just save ourselves the trouble by dropping the pretenses and officially handing all government duties to private corporations?
  • "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems - of which getting elected and re-elected are number and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind." -- Thomas Sowell

    With that in mind: "President Obama is expected on Wednesday to nominate Tom Wheeler, a venture capital investor and fund-raiser in Mr. Obama’s presidential campaigns, [nytimes.com] as chairman of the Federal Communications Commissi

  • by Spykk (823586) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @10:19PM (#43597207)
    This event is the punctuation mark on a diatribe that should have convinced you to vote third party. Voting for a Democrat or a Republican is WASTING your vote. The published views of a party are meaningless when their actions are entirely self-serving. If you don't think that your countries laws should be dictated by corporations that view you as a commodity then it is your patriotic duty to vote for someone, ANYONE, who is not beholden to one side of the corporate coin or the other.

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