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FCC having second thoughts about creating state-run media

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It’s no mystery to even the casual observer of American politics that Donald Trump has little love for Freedom of the Press as he repeats his claim of “Fake News” like a broken record any time the news media reports about him unfavorably . . . even on foreign soil.

Days after kicking off his recent European trip with a “Good morning to Fake News media” during a bilateral meeting with NATO leadership, Trump broke out another classic on the eve of his #SurrenderSummit with his BFF Vladimir Putin—a man who murders journalists for sport. Using words that certainly pleased his host, Trump leveled a Soviet-styled claim that the American news media is “the enemy of the American people,” a claim he originally broke out over a year ago.

A few months following Trump’s original “enemy” tweet last year, Trump’s chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, reinstated an old rule that paved the way for a $3.9 billion TV merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group—Trump’s favorite news media company outside of FOX News—and Tribune Media. This rule change paved the way for Sinclair to own enough local stations to control over 70 percent of US households.

A few months after that rule change, the FCC eliminated another rule requiring TV stations to operate local studios within their licensed markets, thus opening the door for local news to be nationally broadcast from places like New York City and Washington, D.C.
Trump’s hatred of the free press aside, the FCC was creating the perfect environment for a new state-run media. And while originally dismissing this threat to the First Amendment, Pai is now questioning the wisdom of paving the way for Sinclair’s near monopoly. In a statement released yesterday, he said that he now has “serious concerns” about the merger.

In an effort to get the deal approved, Sinclair had proposed selling off some of its TV stations in exchange for the FCC’s endorsement. However, this was little more than a shell game because Sinclair would still control those stations. So, in a “why didn’t he see this before” explanation, Pai rejected the merger.

“The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law.”

Pai’s decision could be the death-knell of the merger, but with Sinclair’s openly pro-Trump bias along with Trump’s desire to silence his critics in the media, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that there’s still a “Dumb and Dumber” level of a chance that it could happen.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Democrats

Stop underestimating the ignorance and gullibility of the left

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Stop underestimating the ignorance and gullibility of the left

As a conservative, I can break down the left vs. right paradigm by using two edited axioms. For the left, it’s “If at first you don’t succeed, double down and make it even worse.” For the right, it’s, “If it ain’t broke, do everything to keep the left from trying to fix it.”

I’m sure my friends on the left (few, but present) would disagree. I do what I can to keep never completely alienate my progressive friends because I need them to help me understand why they react certain ways to different people, ideas, and circumstances. For example, a cordial conversation I had with a former Bernie supporter the other day revealed to me she still likes him, but she’s much more excited about Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren. I asked her opinion of Pete Buttigieg. She knew nothing about him.

Yesterday, she told me she was all in for Buttigieg. I asked why. She said he seemed more genuine than Beto and a better campaign strategist than Pocahontas (her choice of nicknames).

That’s the state of affairs in the Democratic Party. Every candidate has their share of faithful followers, but outside of Sanders and possibly O’Rourke, the game is wide open for most Democratic voters. They move their preferences up and down, left and right just as Republicans did during the early days of the 2016 primary season. In that regard, the left and right aren’t very different. At this stage, a lot of the popularity of the candidates will be based solely on personality. People like who they like and as long as they check the right ideological boxes, the early days are nothing more than a personality contest.

This is why every candidate is picking and choosing their policies to promote as well as the policies to avoid. You can tell when a candidate believes in a more moderate approach to handle any issue when they’re not willing to say much about it. When they’re radical on an issue, they blast it out there. This is the part that scares me.

Those who were paying attention in the late months of 2014 and the early months of 2015 know something that would probably shock most voters today. There was a topic the GOP wanted to avoid altogether. Strategists said not to bring it up. Analysts said it was a losing issue. Then, Donald Trump announced his intention to run and suddenly the taboo topic was front-and-center. That’s right, before Trump entered the race and gave his famous speech about deporting Mexicans, the GOP consensus stated that immigration was a topic to be avoided through the primaries and possibly onto the general election.

It’s important to understand this because it demonstrates very clearly how election season, especially primary season, sets the stage for not only the topics that will be discussed but also the way the country will be governed based on which side wins. It concerns me greatly that the topics being discussed by the Democrats today are Medicare-for-All, Green New Deal, reparations, higher minimum wages, eliminating student debt, and socialism in general. The presence of these radical ideas in the early days of the primary season tells us these are the topics that will be driven home by the eventual winner of the Democratic nominee.

If the Democrat then wins, they’ll be expected to start implementing these ideas just as President Trump was expected to repeal Obamacare and build the wall. He ran on those ideas, so he’s expected to deliver.

Republicans might think, “Bring it on.” I hear about it when talking to GOP strategists. I see it in the bluster of keyboard pundits on Twitter. I even see it in the posts and statements by the GOP itself. Most are licking their chops at the opportunity to take on these radical progressive ideas. Unfortunately, they’re not doing it right, and by “they” I mean I’ve seen a tiny handful who are even taking it seriously.

What we’re seeing instead is the complacency that goes with underestimating the ignorance and gullibility of the left as well as the malleability of the center. That friend who now supports Buttigieg happens to be a nurse and happens to adore the ideas of both the Green New Deal and especially Medicare-for-All. When one of my other friends (who happens to be a more moderate leftist) asked her the standard question of how they’re going to pay for it, the new Buttigieg fan said, “The rich will pay for it.”

I started to rain on her parade with actual numbers, but stopped immediately. This wasn’t the time to debate anything, let alone the idiocy of believing only the rich would be dramatically effected by such dramatic increases in the budget. After all, I need to keep some progressive friends around and this particular one would never have spoken about politics with me again if I shared the truth with her. I let it go.

It’s anecdotal, but I have a very strong feeling this thinking is common and growing more prevalent every day. After all, this wasn’t a random reasoning. This is what they’re saying among the hyper-leftists in the Democratic Party. It seems every candidate has a variation of the “hose the rich” plan. They know very clearly that the numbers are far too large for the average American to stop and think about. There are sheep on both sides of the political aisle, but the numbers are going up dramatically on the left thanks to the sudden total disregard for fiscal responsibility that is now Kosher to the new Democrats.

And the people will follow. They won’t challenge them. They won’t question them. They won’t do the math. They’ll nod their heads in unison as these candidates promise exponentially more than Bill Clinton or Barack Obama ever had the gall to promise.

The fact that these socialistic ideas absolutely, positively cannot work will be ignored by the candidates and over the heads of the leftist voters. I’m not saying they’re stupid. Many are quite bright. But anyone who believes socialism has any chance of success is willfully ignorant to the facts and gullible to the progressive sales pitch.

It is incumbent on conservatives to do everything we can to educate the population. If you’re as cynical as me, you’ll probably think it’s a nearly impossible task. If you’re as worried as me, you’ll know there’s nothing else we can do but try.

What we MUST NOT do is take jabs at the ideologies and policy proposals with an assumption the voters will get the jokes. Here’s Tweet tonight from the GOP:

As Tweets go, this one is horrible. Imagine a leftist or even a centrist leaning towards Medicare-for-All reading this. Government takeover of the healthcare system, single-payer, and elimination of private health insurance – to someone who doesn’t understand the numbers, this might seem like the GOP is endorsing Buttigieg because none of the negatives they pointed out are negatives in the minds of most leftists.

But it’s worse than that. This Tweet nor anything I’ve seen from the GOP so far on Twitter or elsewhere does anything to teach Republican voters how to counter arguments in favor of Medicare-for-All. Zero. The next election is going to be won or lost based on whether the GOP can demonstrate these “new” ideas are bad. And it won’t just be the candidates and pundits who need to do this. The voters themselves need to be able to make a solid case for why any one of these ideas are horrible.

The GOP needs to step up its game and attack the horrible leftist policy proposals with facts. Right now, it seems like they assume most Americans believe socialism is bad. Come election day, that may not be the case if the GOP doesn’t fix their messaging.

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Economy

PragerU: Is Denmark socialist?

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Is Denmark socialist

Not too long ago, many socialist, including presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, thought the model of the future for America was Venezuela. They saw the prosperity that the oil-rich nation was enjoying in its early days of socialism and said, “That’s us. That’s where America needs to be.”

Fast forward to today and suddenly every socialist is disavowing Venezuela altogether, claiming that the model of America was never really the model they thought it was and it’s not even real socialism. Why? Because it failed. Therefore, by the socialists’ reckoning, that must mean they didn’t do it right.

Now, Denmark is suddenly the model for America’s future. But there’s a problem. Denmark is a free-market nation that has been peeling away at its socialist foundation for decades. While they enjoy some of the most robust social programs in the world, they’re doing so at such a high price that the people are left with very little other than the essentials. Yes, they have free healthcare, but more citizens are turning to private insurance to bypass the poor treatment and long wait times associated with single-payer healthcare. Yes, they have free schooling, but grade-level students are being shifted to private schools at nearly a 20% pace while the “free” college system is being taken advantage of by those who are clever enough to realize they’re better off staying in college indefinitely than graduating and being thrown into the world of working to pay for the system.

This video by PragerU’s Otto Brons-Petersen breaks down the reality of the socialist utopia leftists often point to as their beacon of hope for a failed economic and political philosophy.

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Opinions

Today is Earth Day: Socialists of the world rejoice!

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Today is Earth Day Socialists of the world rejoice

Today is Earth Day, or as it is known by socialists and communists around the world, Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.

While there are those who argue that Earth Day falling on Lenin’s birthday was merely a coincidence, a look back at the history of the first Earth Day paints a different picture.

April 22, 1970 was the centennial celebration of Lenin’s birthday (April 22, 1870), a huge deal to the communist movement at the time. Lenin and the communist movements that grew from his ideology were anti-capitalist and preached the evils of profit, corporations, free markets, and the West.

When the communist movement began to collapse in the late 1980’s under Ronald Reagan, many of the disciples of communism around the world found a new home within the radical environmental movement.

The connection environmental extremism has with communism is no coincidence.

Most environmental economists in the 1960s and 1970s believed that only socialist countries were capable of protecting the environment. They believed governments in those countries allegedly acted for the good of all mankind while capitalist countries cared only about profit maximization and gave no regard for the environment.

So, on the 49th anniversary of the first Earth Day — and the 149th birthday of Vladimir Lenin — we shouldn’t be surprised at the growing belief in government-controlled economies and the continuing calls for government ownership of land, water, and natural resources.

We also shouldn’t be surprised at the rising acceptance of socialism over capitalism by the children of those who started the Earth Day movement, nor at the radical policies they are posing in the name of protecting the earth. This is the spirit behind the Green New Deal proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Unfortunately, it’s also the spirit behind the embrace by Republicans and so-called conservatives of a socialist-lite approach to environmental policy. Examples of what this looks like are seen in the Green New Deal “alternatives” being proposed by the GOP in the House and Senate.

And let’s not forget the Democrat with an “R” after his name currently sitting in the White House … or playing golf in Florida. Under the guidance of his defacto climate czar Ivanka, Trump appointed Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier — a radical environmentalist endorsed by former senior advisor under Obama, John Holdren — to lead the office of Science and Technology Policy as his science advisor. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement was an in-name-only hoax, and his position on global warming has been all over the map.

Earth Day and socialism are two sides of the same coin. Happy Birthday, Mr. Lenin!

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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