back to article The FCC, once seen as a telco-thrashing hero, is sadly losing the plot

The FCC's continued push against the powerful telco lobby has swung a spotlight onto the American regulator's archaic work practices and increasingly partisan atmosphere. Appearing in front of a US Senate subcommittee (again) yesterday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and his four Commissioners were quizzed about a range of plans to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This sounds as if the Republicans are all upset because they can't do the bidding of their telco paymasters.

    Logically, do they do logic in the US, the FCC should be completely independent of any political agenda by any side. The politicians set what is wanted and should then get out of the way and let the FCC get on with the job, even if it does upset the paymasters as it appears to have done in this case. After all isn't the US political system the best money can buy?

    The next thing the FCC should do is break up the monopoly of the incumbent providers and open it to all comers - in other words let the free market determine just who fails. But that will never happen in the 'land of the free'.

    1. Mark 85

      Politicians and corporate paymasters... you nailed it. Our government is fast becoming dead in the water because of this. The upcoming election is probably going to spell the end of the concept of "bi-partisan" no matter which party wins it.

      There's no compromise, no statesmenship, no "do the right thing in spite of politics" any more. At some point in the recent past (last 4 decades) there was at least some, but even the pretense of those are long gone.

      1. Eddy Ito

        And here I'm actually hopeful that with so many people who absolutely hate Donald, roughly an equal amount who absolutely hate Hillary and both of those counts being over half of voters that there might finally be a chance for a third party to candidate to enter the fray and knock one of the major parties out of this little cotillion.

        The only question is what color should this new party adopt? White for giving up on both existing parties, purple for taking only the best of each party, orange for removing the worst of each party, brown for the shitty state of affairs we have now or chartreuse for the drink so good they named a color after it?

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          How about mauve?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Third party candidate

          I agree that this is a historically good time for a third party candidate to have a chance of success, with so many republicans refusing to vote for Trump, and many democrats who are unexcited, at best, about Hillary.

          The problem is the prospective third party candidate, not being beholden to party orthodoxy, would support some democratic ideas, some republican ideas, and some ideas that neither party supports. The parties will use the things the third party candidate agrees with them on to paint it as "stealing votes from our side and guarantee the evil [Clinton|Trump] wins easily", and use the things neither party supports to paint the third party candidate and "dangerous and/or crazy".

          This worked with Perot, after all, though the climate now should increase resistance in both parties (but especially the republican party) to being told what to do by the party establishment.

          I think the main chance of success is that republicans who don't want Trump obviously don't want Clinton but probably view four years of her as a guarantee that a republican candidate will win in 2020. 12 years of one party is about as much as this country can stand, historically. However, if Trump wins they're stuck with him as candidate in 2020 and have the worry he causes a permanent fracture in the party. So a fair number of republicans might not worry if a third party candidate caused Clinton to win, thus a moderately conservative third party candidate might have the best chance here. Who that is, I have no idea.

        3. Sherrie Ludwig

          New party

          Unfortunately, a third party nationwide in the USA is about as likely as unicorn herds bounding across the Great Plains. The two parties have made it mind-numbingly difficult to get on the ballot with third party candidates by ensuring that each of fifty states, wildly differing in their rules, each control their own ballots and election processes, and increasingly the major party in each state gums up the works just to stitch up the other major party (Arizona). Then, you have to get media attention, which is another whole problem (Bernie Sanders) and then you need to get serious money, mostly to fend off the legal challenges from the two major parties. Then, you need to get the uninvolved, un-evolved American voter to get off their duffs and VOTE. Not seeing this happen in this century.

  2. Curtis

    Bias? What Bias?

    perhaps, for clarity's sake,the author should admit his bias in political issues. Certainly, perusing his Twitter feed was enough to reveal it and explain his shadings and spin used in reporting this story.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bias? What Bias?

      Agreed there. The FCC is a creature of Congress by Law. The author might want to go back and look at the selection process for the various appointees.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bias? What Bias?

      That Twitter feed is very revealing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only

    Tom had played along with his previous employers, none of this would be happening! Those meddling kids! Yeah, feels like Scooby Doo to me. Can't wait for someone to take off Pai's mask.

  4. paulf

    Murrican politics

    The article notes the FCC Chairman has the ability to push through his (/her) agenda against any opposition from the commissioners. Surely the alternative is the deeply partisan divisions that exist elsewhere in Murrican politics where nothing gets done (for years or longer) because even the tiniest tip toe towards something viewed as a compromise with "The other side (tm)" is nuked from orbit on the basis of "We will not compromise, because compromise is surrender!".

    I'm not saying our politics in Right-pondian territories is significantly better but it does seem to be somewhat less partisan - especially when you see examples of (in the UK) Government back benchers voting with the Opposition, and Opposition MPs voting with the Government.

    Unfortunately Murrican politics seems to enjoy being extremely partisan, like some kind of tribal battle, and I doubt there is much ability for the electorate to change this, even if they wanted to.

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