Sunday, March 16, 2014

Update 4/19: Marsha Blackburn to the Rescue; Update 3/24: Even Bill Clinton is Against It; Hurry, Somebody Call Al Gore!

Did Al Gore give his permission for the USA to hand over the internet to the United Nations?

Media Matters says that Fox News Channel is lying about Mr.Obama giving away the internet. Unfortunately, that's not true (but what else should we expect from Media Matters?).  I've been reading the same kind of information FNC is reporting on Politico, at The Heritage Foundation website and at the Wall Street Journal online.

At the present time, a non-profit organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is overseeing the internet in accordance with a contract with the US Commerce Department.  This is about to change when the USA hands over control of the internet to the United Nations in September 2015.

This can't be good.  Here's a little blurb from the Heritage article:
Challenges to the Status Quo Governance.  Despite great success, there are serious challenges to the way the Internet is currently governed. Specifically, authoritarian nations wish to implement changes to make the Internet subject to more control and oversight by government. To achieve this goal, these nations have attempted to use various U.N. bodies that are directly controlled by governments, most notably the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to regulate the Internet.
This article says,..."The ITU ultimately serves the majority of nations which do not want a free and open Internet..." 

and this...
Revelations by Edward Snowden have only contributed to this trend toward international governance. In October 2013, various Internet stakeholders met in Uruguay and issued the Montevideo Statement,which called for “an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing.”  This is concerning: ICANN has been gaining independence from the U.S. government since its inception, but the Montevideo Statement would reverse this trend with a twist—government oversight would be strengthened—but with 193 governments, not just the U.S., looking over ICANN’s shoulder.
International Internet Idealism vs. Internet Freedom. Broadening international governance of the Internet may sound like a fair and appropriate course of action. But such a path will allow bad actors to greatly constrain human rights and freedoms. The irony of the Montevideo Statement is that, in trying to combat balkanization of the Internet and Internet surveillance, it makes ICANN more vulnerable to autocratic and despotic regimes, which use broad and repressive censorship and surveillance programs. 
Here's a little blurb from the Wall Street Journal article:
The action had been debated among technologists and policy makers, but the prospect of the U.S. relinquishing control concerns some businesses because of the potential for censorship."If you hand over domain-name registration to someone who doesn't want certain classes of domains registered, then you're setting up a censorship structure," said Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents businesses.  In recent years U.S. policy makers have pushed back against calls from nations including China and Russia for the U.N. and ITU to have a greater role in overseeing the structure of the Web. U.S. officials have previously argued that such an arrangement would lead to the repression of free speech and the Balkanization of the Internet.
Just the mention of China and Russia having a say in the internet sends "censorship" chills down my spine.

Does the following make you feel any better?
According to Larry Strickling, administrator for the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration the new governance model must ensure that Icann is free from government influence. The plan must also fulfill several other conditions, such as preserving the security and stability of the Internet while keeping it open and free from censorship.
I didn't think so.

This issue has been on the table for a long time.  According to some of the articles, the US has fought back against giving away control of the internet, but apparently the Obama Administration isn't too worried about it.  Can he really be so naive or is this just one more way to knock down the influence of the United States in the world?  I think it's the latter.  I'm betting this is just one more item checked off Mr. Obama's bucket list.

UPDATE 3/24:

Former President Bill Clinton is against the handing over the the internet by the US.  I doubt Mr. Obama cares about Mr. Clinton's opinion.  I wonder if Mrs. Clinton will put her 2 cents in on the matter.

Bill Clinton Opposes Internationalizing Internet Control

UPDATE 4/19:

Hopefully, this puts an end to the internet give-away:

More reading:

U.S. Plans to Give Up Oversight of Web Domain Manager (March 2014)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Marco Rubio Beats Down Tom Harkin and His Cuban Love Story

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) disappointed me when he joined the Gang of 8 with their Senate proposal on immigration.  I couldn't believe my Senator, the guy I supported so vigorously on this blog, could hook up with the likes of Chucky Schumer.  He's backed away from it since, but I'm not sure his change of heart has changed many disappointed hearts who had high hopes for him.

Today I saw this video and felt that pang of pride for Senator Rubio again, the one I felt way back when he first ran for U.S. Senate.

Enjoy his beat down of Democrat Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who had recently finished a speech on his "wonderful" trip to Cuba.  It's great.

Video via:  NewsAttackNow

More reading:
Miami Herald

Monday, January 13, 2014

Update: Rubio Submits Legislation to Stop Bailout - The ObamaCare Bailout Mr. O Neglected to Tell Us About

Last week I was discussing my thoughts on ObamaCare with a friend.  I mentioned about how I think everything that is happening has been planned in order to usher in single-payer, government controlled health care.  I said I even thought that Mr. Obama didn't really care about the internet mess up or how it affected his polls, just as long as the desired outcome is achieved. My friend said that my beliefs are a conspiracy theory. 

I read this article today.  It only reassures me that the "conspiracy theory" is reality.

We are now finding out that our tax dollars will be bailing out the insurance companies.  Another little tidbit Mr. Obama neglected to share with the taxpayers.

Via:  The Weekly Standard
Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.”  How can this be?  Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them.  The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.
But that’s exactly what it will do—unless Republicans take action.  As Laszewski explains, Obamacare contains a “Reinsurance Program that caps big claim costs for insurers (individual plans only).”  He writes that “in 2014, 80% of individual costs between $45,000 and $250,000 are paid by the government [read: by taxpayers], for example.” For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers,through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses. 
In other words, insurance purchased through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges isn’t even full-fledged private insurance; rather, it’s a sort of private-public hybrid.  Private insurance companies pay for costs below $45,000, then taxpayers generously pick up the tab—a tab that their president hasn’t ever bothered to tell them he has opened up on their behalf—for four-fifths of the next $200,000-plus worth of costs.  In this way, and so many others, Obamacare takes a major step toward the government monopoly over American medicine (“single payer”) that liberals drool about in their sleep.

UPDATE 1/13/14:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has submitted legislation to prevent the bailout of the insurance companies.  Read Rubio's article:

Sebelius, Congress should take ObamaCare bailout off the table 

"...By law, health insurers are leveling with their shareholders about how ObamaCare will hurt their bottom line. Now President Obama, Secretary Sebelius and ObamaCare’s supporters should level with American taxpayers about the law’s true costs and eliminate any chance for a bailout.
Unfortunately, we can’t just take the administration’s word that it won’t happen. Congress has to act, and it should approve legislation I’ve introduced to repeal ObamaCare’s risk corridor provision and stop any bailout.  At just a page long, my bill is simple but would instantly wipe away the taxpayer's exposure to millions – and potentially billions – of dollars' worth of a bailout for insurance companies.
If the only way ObamaCare works is with a taxpayer-funded bailout of insurers, it’s yet another clear sign that the law can’t survive and isn’t worth saving.
 While in office, I have worked with others to protect Americans from ObamaCare's damage – as patients, taxpayers, consumers and workers. While some immediate relief is possible, it's become clear that all of ObamaCare's damage can't be prevented forever, unless the law is repealed and replaced with market-based reforms that will make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans..."