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Author: Subject: Cabinet news, thoughts, concerns

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:10 PM
Positions requiring Senate confirmation by simple majority vote:

Secretary of Defense - James Mattis, confirmed 1/20 by 98-1 NY Senator (D) Kirsten Gillibrand voted no

Secretary of Homeland Security - John Kelly, confirmed 1/20 by 88-11

CIA Director - Mike Pompeo, confirmed 1/23 by 66-32 - Rand Paul (R) Kentucky voted no

What was the delay for in Pompeo? I know of reasonable concerns with some Cabinet picks, but wasn't aware of anything worthy to delay his vote to today. Too partisan for some Democrats to easily go along with? Political theater to not give Trump too much for his inaugural weekend?

Secretary of State - Rex Tillerson, approved out of committee 1/23 11-10 party line - confirmed 2/1 by 56-43 with all Republicans supporting and 3 Democrats voting yea - Heitkamp (ND), Manchin (WV), Warner (VA) + Ind King (ME).

Director of National Intelligence - Dan Coats, approved out of committee 3/9 13-2 Wyden (D-OR) and Harris (D-CA) voted no confirmed 3/15 85-12 other than typical nay voting Democrats, notably Rand Paul (R-KY) voted nay

Secretary of Treasury - Steve Mnuchin, 1/31 approved out of committee, no Democrats present to vote.confirmed 2/13, 53-47 party line with Manchin (D-WV) voting yea

Attorney General - Jeff Sessions, awaiting committee vote - postponed - postponed again - approved out of committee 2/1 11-9 party line confirmed 2/8 by 52-47 with only one Democrat voting yea (Manchin WVa)

Secretary of Commerce - Wilbur Ross, approved out of committee voice vote no objection 1/24, confirmed 2/27 by 72-27

U.S. Trade Representative - Robert Lighthizer , committee hearing held 3/14

Education Secretary - Betsy DeVos - approved out of committee 1/31 12-11 party line (voted twice, both ending 12-11, due to concerns and criticism of Democrats on panel) - confirmed 2/6 by 51-50 with 2 Republicans voting No, 1st time in Senate history the VP had to break 50-50 tie for confirmation vote.

Secretary of Energy - Rick Perry - approved out of committee 1/31 16-7 with 4 Democrats supporting - Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) opposed. confirmed 3/2, by 62-37, 9 Democrats voted yea.

Secretary of Health and Human Services - Tom Price - 1/31 approved out of committee, no Democrats present for vote. confirmed 2/10 by 52-47 party line (McCaskill [D-MO] did not vote).

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - Ben Carson, approved out of committee 1/24, confrimed 3/2, 58-41, 6 Democrats plus I King (ME) voted yea, notable Sherrod Brown voted yea

Secretary of Interior - Ryan Zinke - approved out of committee 1/31 16-6 - Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) voted against Zinke, confirmed 3/1, 68-31 - notable Democrats voting yea were Sherrod Brown (OH), Michael Bennet (CO), Tim Kaine (VA), Chris Murphy (CT), Ron Wyden (OR)

Secretary of Labor - Alexander Acosta 3/30 approved out of committee 12-11 vote
x - 1st nominee Andrew Puzder WITHDREW HIMSELF 2/15

Secretary of Transportation - Elaine Chao, approved out of committee voice vote no objections 1/24, confirmed 1/31, 93-6 - Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) all voted against her.

Secretary of Agriculture - Sonny Perdue, 3/30 approved out of committee voice vote with Gillibrand (D-NY) the only objection

Secretary of Veterans Affairs - David Shulkin, confirmed 2/13, 100-0
-Obama appointee serving in a senior position with the VA-

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency - Scott Pruitt, awaiting committee vote - 2/1 delayed, 2/2 approved out of committee 11-0, no Democrats present to vote, confirmed 2/17, 52-46 party line except Susan Collins (R-ME) voted nay, but Heitkamp (D-ND) and Manchin (D-WV) voted yea. McCain did not vote either did Donnelly (D-IN).

Ambassador to the United Nations - Nikki Haley, approved out of committee 19-2 1/24, confirmed 1/24, 96-4 vote (Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Chris Coons (D-Delaware) Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) voted no)

Administrator of Small Business - Linda McMahon, 1/31 approved out of committee 18-1, Cory Booker (D-NJ) was the only No vote. confirmed 2/14, 81-19

White House Office of Management and Budget director - Mick Mulvaney, 2/2 approved out of two Senate committees 12-11 and 8-7 party line votes, confirmed 2/16, 51-49 with John McCain voting nay in an otherwise party line vote


[Edited on 1/24/2017 by nebish]
[Edited on 1/25/2017 by nebish]
[Edited on 1/28/2017 by nebish]
[Edited on 2/1/2017 by nebish]
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[Edited on 2/8/2017 by nebish]
[Edited on 2/9/2017 by nebish]
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[Edited on 2/16/2017 by nebish]
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[Edited on 2/18/2017 by nebish]
[Edited on 3/7/2017 by nebish]

[Edited on 4/4/2017 by nebish]

 
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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:27 PM
Schumer can’t control his own Senators. He agreed Friday to move forward on the vote for Mike Pompeo as CIA Director but unbeknownst to Schumer Sen. Wyden, D-Ore, objects and forces the vote to Monday. Democrats are in disarray.

Mike Pompeo will be confirmed as DCI.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:31 PM
Of note Rand Paul (R) Kentucky, voted against Pompeo


 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:32 PM
Who will be the first one sent to prison?.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:34 PM
quote:
Who will be the first one sent to prison?.


Make up some odds, tell us what you think? Where is the biggest issue with you (I know where to start from your perspective right?)

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:35 PM
quote:
Who will be the first one sent to prison?.

___________________________________________________________________________ ____________

Hillary Clinton


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:36 PM
quote:
Of note Rand Paul (R) Kentucky, voted against Pompeo



___________________________________________________________________________ ____________

On the upside, Rand Paul is not nearly as nuts as his daddy.

 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:38 PM
Education Secretary - Betsy DeVos committee vote rescheduled to 1/31

Anyone who saw her novice skills and lack of knowledge last week should be embarrassed to vote "yes" for her. She is far from qualified for the position. My gut tells me the GOP will sail her through. Did anyone see her last week...thoughts?

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 08:52 PM
quote:
Education Secretary - Betsy DeVos committee vote rescheduled to 1/31

Anyone who saw her novice skills and lack of knowledge last week should be embarrassed to vote "yes" for her. She is far from qualified for the position. My gut tells me the GOP will sail her through. Did anyone see her last week...thoughts?


I heard a little on the radio and then saw some in newsbites. Really am far from qualified to really get into things like proficiency vs growth debate, not my area - don't pretend to know things about everything like some people do. But that didn't go over well in terms of her knowledge on the subject. The guns issue, me, look nobody wants kids to take guns to school or in most cases not teachers or administrators. But maybe somebody, a principle, or somebody who undergoes special training in the daily administration should have a firearm locked in their office for use in the event of an emergency. The Wyoming school statement of a person having a gun to "defend against grizzlies" may have been grizzlies, like grizzly people wanting to do grizzly things - not the bears. But it makes you wonder, I probably shouldn't be defending her, just trying to offer a different point of view.

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 09:05 PM
quote:
Education Secretary - Betsy DeVos committee vote rescheduled to 1/31

Anyone who saw her novice skills and lack of knowledge last week should be embarrassed to vote "yes" for her. She is far from qualified for the position. My gut tells me the GOP will sail her through. Did anyone see her last week...thoughts?

___________________________________________________________________________ ___________

After the last eight years of the inner-city public schools crumbling, teachers being beaten and test scores dropping Betsy DeVos is a perfect pick to begin salvaging the public schools in Democrat run hell holes.

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 09:08 PM
Mike Pompeo confirmed a DCI.
It is done.

The train kept a rollin' all night long, The train kept a rollin' all night long, The train kept a rollin' all night long, The train kept a rollin' all night long

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 09:42 PM
quote:
Who will be the first one sent to prison?.


Dopey Al Sharpton? Better get the checkbook out now that Obama cant protect him from thd IRS to collect their millions from that race hustler.

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 09:45 PM
quote:
quote:
Who will be the first one sent to prison?.


Dopey Al Sharpton? Better get the checkbook out now that Obama cant protect him from thd IRS to collect their millions from that race hustler.


Goob, Obama isn't president anymore. You were asked your opinion of the cabinet choices.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 10:01 PM
i still withhold judgement for results.....which will take months to see

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/23/2017 at 10:43 PM
Good story from NPR on Wilbur Ross. I bolded a segment of the text, Ross says working with Leo Gerard and the results he was able to achieve in buying troubled steel mills is what he is most proud of in his career.


quote:

Wilbur Ross: The Best Commerce Secretary Pick Dems Could Hope For?

December 14, 20165:09 PM ET

Chris Arnold

Billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. is one of the wealthiest members of what's being called Donald Trump's "gilded cabinet." The parade of Wall Street and corporate elites is drawing sharp criticism from many on the left. But actually, Ross, who Trump has chosen as his secretary of commerce, is respected by organized labor. Those close to him say he is not a right-wing ideologue, and some who've known him over the years say he's the best possible pick that Democrats could hope for.

But that's not stopping left wing advocacy groups from criticizing Ross. On an online petition to "block Trump's cabinet of hate and Wall Street greed," the group Demand Progress describes Wilbur Ross as a "notorious vulture investor," because Ross has profited from buying up dying companies.

Leo Gerard is international president of the United Steelworkers union and he represented workers after Ross bought up several bankrupt steel mills back in 2002. When NPR asked about Ross' reputation as a vulture capitalist, Gerard said Ross wasn't a vulture at all. Vultures feast on a dying or dead animal. Ross was more like a rescue helicopter swooping down.

"Well look, the relationship we had with him was one where he was open and accessible and candid and honest and he put a lot of money back into the mills," Gerard says. "So literally tens of thousands of jobs were saved."


Starting in the late '90s there was a massive global surplus of steel.

"We ended up with a steel crash in America where 35 to 40 companies went bankrupt," Gerard says.

Gerard is a labor leader. He says he's seen the dark side of Wall Street investors coming in to profit off a steel company's misfortune. He says they raid the pension fund, sell off parts of the company, and all the workers lose their jobs.

"We've had experiences where we've had so called bottom feeders come in and sucked the capital out of [the companies] and left them there to die," he says.

But Gerard says that's not what Wilber Ross did. Gerard says Ross saved the companies. And he even restored some of the retirees healthcare benefits after a bankruptcy court wiped them out, even if the benefits weren't as generous after Ross brought the company out of bankruptcy.


Ross also turned to the blue collar workers for ideas on how to be more efficient, a fact Gerard says he liked about Ross' technique.

Wilbur Ross talked about this approach in an NPR interview in 2008:

"We got an enormous amount of good ideas from the blue collar workers," Ross said. "That fellow who has been standing behind a machine for 10 years, knows it better than the people who built it, really knows what to do."

Ross sold off the companies a few years later under the name International Steel Group for $4.5 billion. Gerard says by that time Ross had restructured the steel mills in a fair, sustainable, and smart way.

"With Wilbur it's been almost 15 years now, and those mills are [still] running and some of them are the most productive in North America," Gerard says.

By that time, ISG had become the largest steel company in America by buying up failing steel companies including Bethlehem Steel, LTV Steel and Acme Steel. Gerard says the jobs Ross saved were at the mills themselves and at the companies in supply chain.

Given this good relationship with the Steelworkers union, and that Ross is a former Democrat who was involved with the Clinton administration (before backing Romney and later Trump for president,) you might think democrats and liberals would be OK with Ross as Commerce Secretary. But he's still being lumped in with what critics describe as a cabal of wealthy elites getting ready to take over America.

"There's massive skepticism about Ross and his record," says Kurt Walters a campaign director with Demand Progress.

He says the steel industry aside, when Ross bought textile companies, he did exactly what Donald Trump criticized during the campaign — he killed jobs in the U.S.

"He was very willing to ship American textile jobs from U.S. factories over to China and over to Mexico," says Walters.

Still, Ross also kept textile jobs in the U.S. And even some in the labor movement don't vilify him for owning factories overseas. Scott Paul is a democrat and the President of the non-partisan Alliance for American Manufacturing. It's a union-business partnership that promotes American-made products.

"Wilbur Ross, he reminds me of a trauma surgeon, in a way, who's dealing with a patient who's in crisis," says Paul. "There may be some unpleasantness associated with it. You might lose a limb, but he's gonna save your life."

And he said the workers whose jobs he saved have a strong appreciation for that.

One former employee of Ross's who spoke to NPR says Ross is the opposite of the flamboyant Donald Trump. He remembers picking the billionaire up at the airport for the first time. He expected a private jet and an entourage. But he says Ross flew commercial, without any assistants, and got off dragging an easel and some charts for a presentation he was about to make in Congress about the auto bailout.

This time, when Ross comes to Washington, these labor leaders say they hope he's the same guy they came to know who understood how to balance profits with the interests of working class Americans.



http://www.npr.org/2016/12/14/505258592/wilbur-ross-the-best-commerce-secre tary-pick-dems-could-hope-for

And a story on how Ross plans to address conflict of interest concerns on his own part:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/business/commerce-secretary-pick-wilbur- ross.html

[Edited on 1/24/2017 by nebish]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 12:16 AM
A cabinet full of Mike Browns. For having an elephant as a mascot, the GOP sure has a terrible memory.

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 09:47 AM
I watched the Devos hearing. She is grossly unfit. Anyone who votes for her should be embarrassed. Fresh eyes are nice sometimes, but she has never held any position related to public education. She is also a huge proponent of school choice, i.e., public money to private schools, which many conservatives hypocritically support for some reason.

quote:
After the last eight years of the inner-city public schools crumbling, teachers being beaten and test scores dropping Betsy DeVos is a perfect pick to begin salvaging the public schools in Democrat run hell holes.


Obviously you don't understand how public education systems work. They are run by the states, which is why there are drastic differences in the quality of each state's public education, which also means in each city. For instance, NYC's school system is quite good, while rural Mississippi's public schools are not as good. But hey, keep making stuff up as you like.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 09:54 AM
quote:
I watched the Devos hearing. She is grossly unfit. Anyone who votes for her should be embarrassed. Fresh eyes are nice sometimes, but she has never held any position related to public education. She is also a huge proponent of school choice, i.e., public money to private schools, which many conservatives hypocritically support for some reason.

quote:
After the last eight years of the inner-city public schools crumbling, teachers being beaten and test scores dropping Betsy DeVos is a perfect pick to begin salvaging the public schools in Democrat run hell holes.


Obviously you don't understand how public education systems work. They are run by the states, which is why there are drastic differences in the quality of each state's public education, which also means in each city. For instance, NYC's school system is quite good, while rural Mississippi's public schools are not as good. But hey, keep making stuff up as you like.

___________________________________________________________________________ ___________

"you don't understand how public education systems work"
- are you a product of public schools?

The Federal Government controls vast amounts of the public school system's budget and curriculum now via common core.

The U.S. spends fourth highest per pupil in the world and U.S. Public Schools rank 26th.
Many public schools in the inner-cities are literally falling apart.

School choice, which parents support, does not take money away from the public schools.
That lie is standard liberal crap.

Betsy DeVos will be confirmed so when she gets the failing public schools working you can go back and get a free education.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 10:00 AM
i do tend to believe that expecting immediate results is unrealistic. even results in 4 years......from DeVos

[Edited on 1/24/2017 by LeglizHemp]

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 11:45 AM
quote:
The Federal Government controls vast amounts of the public school system's budget and curriculum now via common core.

The U.S. spends fourth highest per pupil in the world and U.S. Public Schools rank 26th.
Many public schools in the inner-cities are literally falling apart.


Maybe crawl out of your bunker and visit a city, because "cities" aren't all the same. Common Core is as a general curriculum structure and standards, but states still determines budgets and their own standards, which affects quality of education. While some federal money does go to K-12 education, the majority of Federal money for public education goes to higher education because it is increasingly unaffordable thanks to state budget cuts and tuition increases.

quote:
School choice, which parents support, does not take money away from the public schools.
That lie is standard liberal crap.


Voucher programs use state money that is diverted from public schools. Also, like cities, "parents" aren't all the same, so they don't all agree. I know a lot of parents, and they don't support it. But keep making it up as you go! I'll be happy to correct your homework for you.



 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 12:21 PM
Education certainly being a much debated and controversial topic in this country...DeVos is certainly controversial and should be subjected to much debate likewise.

I believe most of the security positions are not much of the controversial type. 3 have already been confirmed.

Dan Coats seems qualified and respected, why is he not confirmed yet? Social issues? Democrats could take forever confirming if they take exception with a social issue view of a cabinet person unrelated to their position.

Confirm the ones who aren't questionable and debate the ones that are.

Random story...

quote:
Dan Coats, the ‘Mister Rogers’ Senator Poised to Be Intelligence Chief

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER and MICHAEL D. SHEARJAN. 5, 2017

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump is expected to choose as director of national intelligence two-time Senator Dan Coats, a former ambassador to Germany, secret foodie and lover of all things Indiana who also served as a member of his chamber’s Intelligence Committee.

Known for a self-effacing style, Mr. Coats was popular among his colleagues. “I always thought he should wear a red cardigan,” said Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado. “He was the closest thing to Mister Rogers we could come up with.”

While fiscally conservative, Mr. Coats, an Indiana Republican who completed his second Senate stint this month, often found common cause with Democrats, who described him as thoughtful on intelligence and national security issues, with a sharp intellect and disarming humor.

“I have always been impressed with his demeanor,” said Senator Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and who served on the Intelligence Committee with Mr. Coats and traveled with him in Eastern Europe. “He’s not a fierce partisan and knows the intelligence community. He’s very amiable and easy to work with.”

The position of America’s top intelligence official was created by Congress in 2004, as a response to criticism that the nation’s spy agencies had failed to detect and prevent the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Since then, the director has been charged with coordinating the intelligence-gathering and analysis of the country’s 16 civilian and military spy agencies, helping to prevent a terrorist attack and serving as a central liaison to presidents and their White House staff.

But bureaucratic turf wars have dogged the office of the director of national intelligence since its creation. Officials who run the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency, among others, have sought to maintain control over parts of the spying apparatus, and to exert influence with presidents and members of Congress.

In 2009, for example, Leon E. Panetta, President Obama’s incoming C.I.A. director, clashed with Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence at the time, after Mr. Blair sought to select the top American spies for overseas postings. Mr. Panetta sent a dispatch to the agency’s employees telling them to ignore Mr. Blair’s message — an assertion that the C.I.A. was in charge.

The rivalries have weakened the national intelligence office and led some critics in the government to question its effectiveness. The year that Mr. Obama took office, an internal report criticized the office of national intelligence for adding to — not removing — bureaucratic bloat and doing little to end the tensions among the various spy agencies.

In 2010, James R. Clapper Jr., the current director of national intelligence, insisted during his Senate confirmation hearings that he would not be a “hood ornament,” saying that despite the inherent limitations on his job, he would try to bring an end to turf battles among the nation’s spy agencies.

Six years later, the job appears to have limited appeal to some intelligence professionals, several of whom were not eager to serve in the position for fear that they would not be empowered.

Mr. Coats had been an early and strong contender for secretary of defense in the first term of President George W. Bush, until Mr. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, successfully pressed for Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Continue reading if you wish
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/us/politics/dan-coats-direction-national -intelligence-trump.html?_r=0


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 12:36 PM
While I want to preface this by saying I haven't done much research on him, the proposed head of the FCC is reported to be against net neutrality. If true, I find that alone to be of serious concern to those who, like myself, support net neutrality.

I would add that I support the effort to classify the internet as a utility. I would assume the Trump's FCC nominee to be against such a measure.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 01:03 PM
quote:
Dan Coats seems qualified and respected, why is he not confirmed yet? Social issues? Democrats could take forever confirming if they take exception with a social issue view of a cabinet person unrelated to their position.

Confirm the ones who aren't questionable and debate the ones that are.


Now this notion is important? That's interesting.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 02:14 PM
quote:
While I want to preface this by saying I haven't done much research on him, the proposed head of the FCC is reported to be against net neutrality. If true, I find that alone to be of serious concern to those who, like myself, support net neutrality.

I would add that I support the effort to classify the internet as a utility. I would assume the Trump's FCC nominee to be against such a measure.

___________________________________________________________________________ _____________

"net neutrality" is the crap obama attempt to control the internet.
There was nothing neutral about it. The obama FCC wanted to decide what information could be disseminated and what should be censored.
It also opened the door for obama to tax internet use and sales.


 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 1/24/2017 at 02:23 PM
I'm so impressed by Muleman's vast expertise in federal law and political science. I'm very jealous.
 
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