Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have upset the political elite’s apple cart. They both remind me of these lines uttered by the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”:
“It’s the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and uh, look where that got you. I just did what I do best. I took your plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did, to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hm? You know what, you know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger, will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!”
Yep. Trump says your elections are rigged and the President of the United States along with House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, spend time addressing Mr Trump’s few drums of gas and a couple of bullets.
Looks like the Obama administration is being outmaneuvered (again) by Vladimir Putin. Russia is seeking stronger relations with India and, to a lesser extent, Pakistan. The U.S. has long touted a special relationship with India because it is the world’s largest democracy. Last time I checked, Great Britain should share more of the dubious credit of bringing India’s democratic status about.
Meanwhile, the U.S. had to back down on its tough stance on including Russia on all of today’s talks regarding Syria. Hell. Why would Putin need Trump as a friend? He seems to be doing what he wants with Obama as an adversary, and if Mrs Clinton is going to be the continuation of Obama, then a Clinton victory will do Vlad the Impaler just fine.
The United States has long wanted to get Syria out of Russia’s satellite of control. Syria, geographically, puts a check on Israel. Ukraine, which is barely mentioned versus two years ago, is the alternate land bridge from Russia to western Europe.
The United States will be involved in talks over the weekend regarding air strikes against Aleppo and the need to get humanitarian aid into the beleaguered city.
Aleppo is another red flag patterned after Berlin post World War II. Get Americans crying and worked up about the spread of communism which successfully snookered Americans into answering the draft and fighting in Korea and Vietnam; proxies for the cold war fight between Russia,the United States, and China.
Syria offers the same boom rah-rah as Berlin did. This time it is worse because the cheer leading will offer something more personal and tangible versus political-economic ideology; it will offer up religion. The package, driven by American media acting as mouthpieces for the Obama administration, will play up abuses against Christians. This should be enough to get Louis Gohmert to get on C-SPAN and finally deflect our attention away from Kim Kardashian to persecution of Christians.
Hillary Clinton will be faced with her first major test, but she will be able to pass it with flying colors. She was a part of the team that got Osama bin Laden and Moammar Qaddafi. Taking out Assad while pushing Vlad the Impaler Putin back into the Caucuses will establish her as an ass kicker, much to the chagrin of her sister head of government, Angela Merkel who will then have to explain to the rest of Europe the increase in attacks from the likes of ISIS and probably from Russian operatives crossing into western Europe via, you guessed it, Ukraine.
Laurel and Hardy would appreciate the comedy and the other fine mess another peace loving Democratic president will keep the United States in.
Mr Putin needs a predictable factor in the White House; he needs Hillary Clinton in the White House. In any negotiation where Mr Putin can achieve an advantage, he needs the person across the table from him to be smart enough to know when their backs are against the wall; when they are facing checkmate.
Donald Trump is too inexperienced, too dumb, too arrogant to ever admit when he has been outmaneuvered. Who the hell wants an adversary that you like? You want one that you know and respect.
Regulating commerce is one thing. Failing to encourage capital formation and distribution of capital to entrepreneurs cannot be acceptable. Section 214 of the Communications Act demonstrates how out of touch current law is with today’s technology and the entities that deliver that technology. The 115th Congress and the next Administration need to revamp universal service such that funding actually encourages new entrants into the broadband market and the innovations that come along with that entry.
Under section 214 of the Act, common carriers designated as eligible telecommunications carriers (ETC) qualify for receiving universal service funds. A common carrier is engaged in providing foreign or interstate communications by wire or radio. The Federal Communications Commission revamped its 20th century based support program, originally designed to subsidize voice services, to now support deployment of broadband services in high cost areas, areas where broadband providers argue it is cost prohibitive to provide high-speed access services.
Among the criticisms of the program is its inefficiency. Specific concerns have been raised about funds supporting services in areas where competition already exists. On reflection why is this a problem? If a carrier sees the opportunity to take a single-digit percent of market share where garnering such a share covers her fixed and variables costs while generating a profit, so what if other choices already exists? New entrants enter the fray when they believe that they have an innovative way of providing services and eventually taking market share. This is part of the adventure of applying venture capital; digging in for a period of time a generating returns based on new ideas.
The Commission’s concerns about funding services in areas where there is already competition also stems from locking itself into an approach that results in common carriers being funded as opposed to wireless internet access providers. Again, current law paints a box where only common carriers can play. Wireless internet access providers may not want to build infrastructure for the purpose of being common carriers. It is too expensive and unnecessary to duplicate existing networks where instead their focus is rightfully on bringing value to those networks and consumers alike by providing alternative methods of accessing them. The Commission speaks of innovation too frequently to then turn around and pass up an opportunity to put its money where its mouth is.
Until the Commission decides to recognize the value that non-common carrier innovators bring to broadband deployment, the universal service fund as currently constructed will continue to be a pool of capital unavailable for use by certain new entrants.
Gentrification takes on a nasty meaning for residents in mostly black neighborhoods. Years of no investment, high unemployment, and low wages take their toll on communities where high crime and stagnation becomes the brand. Proposed influxes of infrastructure and other forms of capital near the top of the list of remedies for these neighborhoods. I’m all for these remedies.
In my vision, no neighborhood in any city should have to endure urban blight. I get tired of seeing young men walking around looking idle and unproductive. The optics send a signal that the mindset of some residents is one of resignation to a life of no big ideas, no growth, no pursuit of opportunity. It is depressing.
Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai put out a proposal to create gigabit opportunity zones where local and state lawmakers would provide incentives to attract broadband deployment. Any area where average household income falls below 75% of the national household median income would qualify. Tax credits are expected to make up a part of the enticement for broadband providers to deploy facilities and provide services over them.
Commissioner Pai also wants to see job growth and to meet this goal proposes tax incentives that offset payroll costs for entrepreneurs. I also appreciate the additional shout out the Commissioner gave to entrepreneurs by discussing access to capital. Government, according to the Commissioner, should promote access to capital by increasing the appeal and availability of crowdfunding.
Again, I applaud the Commissioner’s initiative to not only promote more broadband deployment but to get more capital into the hands of entrepreneurs. My concern is that we simply call this what it is: gentrification. Why is this correct nomenclature necessary? Because accurately identifying the policy by what it does gives policymakers and lawmakers better insights into how best to sell this package to current constituents who, under this proposal, will pay for it with their property and sales tax dollars. Individual entrepreneurs already existing in these neighborhoods will want to know whether the price of capital will start increasing when word gets out about potential new deployment of broadband infrastructure. Will those entrepreneurs who were holding the line in these neighborhoods using slower speed internet access find themselves having to move to cheaper areas?
The plan would have more teeth if there were a way to guarantee low cost capital flowed to existing entrepreneurs that use broadband as part of their business models. Otherwise, the people this plan is intended to help will find themselves being cleared out, ironically, by people who already have capital.