Musings on current events, books and random themes
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
A second itteration of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
In the midst of ongoing political controversy regarding net neutrality, we have new wrinkles in the internet and FCC concerns. Here are some excerpts from a recent article:
"Racial spoils are making a comeback at the Federal Communications Commission after being put mostly to rest in an important 2006 reform.
The latest sign is a quiet, nonpublic vote by Chairman Tom Wheeler and his two fellow Democrats to approve a waiver for minority entrepreneur David Grain, allowing him a 25% discount in this fall's spectrum auction—a nice windfall."
"From the moment Bloomberg News reported the David Grain waiver two weeks ago, the focus has been on Mr. Grain's political giving. He was a big Obama bundler and lately has been generous to South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, whose daughter is the FCC's Ms. Clyburn. The importance of donations can be overstated, though Mr. Grain would have been a poor businessman not to start writing checks long ago to prepare to greet any goodies that might venture his way.
In any case, he may be a fine person (everybody says so), but his windfall is coming straight from the taxpayer's pocket. The episode also adds a perverse luster to Mr. Wheeler's record of finding new ways to bring unflattering attention to his agency. He came to his job with rare technological and business chops, and knowing his industry's Washington landscape inside-out. Like a lot of appointees who look good on paper, he turns out to be a clumsy politician whose clumsiness now threatens to metastasize into a full-blown scandal."