The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004
 

Regulator, regulate thyself! 'Sonny Boy' Powell flip-flop on tit-flop bills!


Like father, like son.

Daddy - Colin Powell, Secretary of State and Fall-Guy Extraordinary - has spent his tenure at Foggy Bottom running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. He was happy to endorse, in front of an incredulous worldwide audience, the Iraq WMDbollocks he was issued with by genial Don Rumsfeld and his fellow jokers - suffering the consequent humiliation of his exposure by the double-act of Blix and Baradei.

But always there was the sense of Powell preening himself as being Captain Sensible in the camp of the Looney Tunes, doing his best to dilute their more moronic initiatives.

Sonny Boy, you will recall, just after the Jackson Super Bowl flop, was in the van of those revivalist-preaching for the slaying of the Anti-Christ. He said [1]
I am outraged at what I saw during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation’s children, parents and citizens deserve better.

Yeeaaaargh!!!

The Reverend Powell must have felt the whole nation antiphonising to his cry for justice: it was August 28 1963 all over again...

And now the vote-grubbers on the Hill have taken Powell's strident words and put them into legislation (my piece earlier today).

And Powell is having demagogue's remorse:
There are a number of things that give me pause because I don't want to see enforcement remedies being captured by constitutional litigation.

He'd apparently never thought about that possibility. Back then, he sounded as if he was prepared to take on the world to defend the proprieties on behalf of
Our nation’s children, parents and citizens

Now, the thought of a few days in court makes him cry for his mommy.

He goes on:
Things like three strikes and you're out, I think is an understandable idea but when you think it through, I can imagine scenarios where it can be more problematic than not.

Well, let's give it up to Sonny Boy that he actually disses three strikes. Remember, back in the Land of Three Strikes, only one legislator is apparently on record as favouring reform of the wretched system - Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (January 23).

But, of course, three strikes is a terrible example for Powell to take, because it passed the eagle eye of Injustice O'Connor and her crew with flying colours (March 5 for 3S details.)

He then refers to the Senate bill's concentration of ownership rider - supported by an unholy alliance of anti-big business liberals and conservatives fearful that right-wing shows will be curbed in the manner Bubba the Love Sponge was, well, ex-Sponged by Clear Channel Communications:
It just seems to me we've probably got a lengthier process and we may or may not get a bill at the end of the day.

Wow! I've read that can happen...

I find it hard to believe that Powell is quite as dumb as he seems. Happily, the FCC site supplies a bio. Apparently, most of Powell's career has been spent in Washington as a lawyer - private and government - dealing with antitrust, telecommunications and similar areas. And he clerked for the Chief Judge of the DC Circuit.

Either Daddy Powell's powers of nepotism are truly awesome, or Mikey must be reasonably wised up on the way things like the current FCC furore work.

Of course, even before the Super Bowl, Powell had made his populist lurch for publicity by calling for the FCC to reverse itself on the Bono Golden Globes cuss (AP January 14). Which does not seem to have happened yet. How hard has Powell pressed? What did he do when the Bono cuss came up for decision first time round?

My hunch is that Powell likes to talk the talk, not so keen on walking the walk [2]. If this is right, he would be looking for HR 3717/S 2506 to stall in conference - with Senate conferees insisting on the rider. But the option of having any new legislation injuncted pending judicial review at the behest of the ACLU or whatever is not a bad one, surely?

For someone who likes to talk loudly, and carry a balsa-wood stick...

(Remember Rep Henry Waxman's statement that only three indecency fines were levied by the FCC in 2003: even with the existing legislation, that scarcely sounds like a Commission raring to push the envelope!)

  1. And, rather than risk pollution by the Filter, I take his words from the press release dated February 2 (PDF) on the FCC site.

  2. I've suggested the same about Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, of course.

MORE
Did John Kerry vote for S2056? The membership list of the Commerce Committee has him on the list.

Reuters said that the bill was unanimously approved by the Committee - is there provision for a member to vote in his absence - he was on election duty, of course.

Was the markup for the bill chosen (by some arcane Senatorial courtesy) to be on a day when Kerry had a reason not to be present?

Does Kerry have a position on the bill?


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