Patterico's Pontifications


Another Outrage: FCC Looks to Invade Editorial Decisions Made By TV Stations

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

It’s creepy enough to begin with that there is an agency called the “Federal Communications Commission” — as if communications are something that the government should be allowed to regulate. The original justification for this — that the spectrum is limited and must be managed by the government for the public good — is laughable in a world where you have 400 channels more than you ever watch. But these are general concerns, and I raise here a very specific concern, which is raised by a WSJ article noted by Ace (thanks to MD in Philly):

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.

But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

The FCC also wants to wade into office politics. One question for reporters is: “Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?” Follow-up questions ask for specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decisions.

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

The proper answer to questions from the federal government, to the media, such as “how are you serving underserved populations?” and “tell us the editorial process by which you decide to cover important issues like the environment and economic opportunities” is the same answer employers should give when asked to sign illegal certifications on their tax forms. It rhymes with “muck you” and begins with an “f.” If you’re still in the dark, ask mommy.

But once you give the government power of inquiry over media editorial decisions, and power to coerce statements or behavior from employers regarding their hiring numbers, you’ve given up the game. Liberty is a joke. Which is why it’s increasingly frustrating to write a blog. The administration does crazier and crazier things, and nobody seems to care except a small handful of people.

As a nation, we deserve what we’re getting. The few good states like Texas should secede. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

111 Responses to “Another Outrage: FCC Looks to Invade Editorial Decisions Made By TV Stations”

  1. Ding!

    Icy (7ab4a8)

  2. This post + the one before it = Brave New World

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  3. This would be a good time to reread Liberal Fascism.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  4. I’m pretty confident that the news industry still retains enough arrogance to tell the FCC to FCC [pronounced] off.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. “Comrade Station Manager, you will tell us why-for your meteorologist does not use officially sanctioned term ‘climate change’ when describing transition from Spring to Summer, da? Also, you must explain appalling lack of coverage concerning women’s field hockey at local college. I refer you to Title IX of Supreme Statute. Now, as to constant use of inflammatory and racist code-word ‘Obamacare,’ . . .”

    Icy (7ab4a8)

  6. Federal agencies have vast powers and presidents have vast influence if not plenary authority over who runs them. It makes a difference who’s in charge. Whether it’s the FCC, the SEC, the DOL, the EPA, or any other member of the alphabet soup brigade.

    Under Reagan the FCC lost powers, with abolition of the “equal time” rule. That’s why Rush Limbaugh is Rush Limbaugh, as opposed to being a graveyard shift teleprompter reader on ESPN or some like pursuit. Under W. Bush the most objectionable thing done by the FCC was fining CBS because Janet Jackson’s nipple came into view. Not a shining moment, but in the greater scheme of things a minor issue. Under Obama, however, all of the federal agencies, FCC included, have jumped the shark. Clinton, H. probably will be worse, believe it or not.

    Keep all this in mind when Nov. 2016 rolls around. For whom you vote and for whom you don’t vote have severe consequences. Ask Sharron Angle and her ilk.

    Lawrence Westlake (48fb95)

  7. For those crafting jokes about Southern cold weather survival competence its not incest its a geographic phenomenon:

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  8. Obama kept the one promise he really meant. He has transformed America.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. True DRJ. The problem is he did it ala’ “To Serve Man”, what he meant be transforming America was different than what people thought they heard.

    Times are getting serious when it is P, not JD, that starts talking secession.
    Is there really a legal framework for Texas to do that, or is that just wishful thinking?
    And, how many spare rooms do you have, DRJ? Or at least space in your yard for tents?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  10. Oh, I meant to say as I did yesterday on a different thread.
    While we could ask, “What part of ‘Congress shall make no law…’ don’t you understand?”, in keeping with recent precedent, I think it would be argued that there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the Executive branch and its regulatory agencies from making rules and mandates.
    Congress? They don’t need no stinkin’ Congress…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  11. There aren’t enough red states left, MD. I hope that changes in the next 2 elections but if it doesn’t, Patterico is right about secession. Come to Texas. We have room and welcome people who want to work.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  12. “The [SCOAMF] administration does crazier and crazier things, and nobody seems to care”.

    This is why I feel our first priority is decapitation of the GOP, the putative opposition.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  13. I agree, states should start to secede. Beginning with Texas.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  14. underserved populations

    This is the key phrase that announces the FCC’s bad intentions, its intention to control and dictate coverage.

    It’s also used extensively in social science “research” which in turn is used to garner grants from the feds.

    This is tyranny. Still for the moment with a smiley face, but tyranny nonetheless.

    Just proves that all federal agencies are at best useless and at worst instruments of repression.

    Patricia (be0117)

  15. Boy, are we on the poop list now. Readers of PP are going to be on the list of “right wing extremists” that the DHS and DOJ will tell the military and law enforcement they need to watch.

    I just added to my thought crimes by sending an encouraging email to Mrs. E at True The Vote.

    Ted Cruz and Mrs. E, Texas is proud.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  16. 11. Waiting on RESET is surely numbing most of us to its approach–the slowly boiled frog effect–but it is gaining pace.

    Tax revenues by October’s end will collapse to everyone’s amazement.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  17. We hear that some neighborhoods in Philly waited five days for power to be restored following the ice storms of about two weeks ago.

    This reminds one of Staten Island last fall.

    The myth of urban survival uber-competence is beginning to fall apart as the end of other peoples money dawns.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  18. As a nation, we deserve what we’re getting.

    And I wonder how debased and decadent we actually have become? After all, when I see opinion polls that indicate large numbers of Americans, even today, continue to attribute economic problems to George W Bush instead of Obama, or show certain races in which the Democrat candidate has way more support than he or she deserves, I go “hmmm.” And then I think of that phrase of “we have met the enemy (or fool), and he is us.”

    So, yep, I’m fascinated — but with morbid curiosity — by places like the city of Detroit, Venezuela, Argentina, France, Mexico and Greece. That’s because no matter how bad things are or become in those parts of the world, a considerable portion of their populace continues to vote for the same politicians, the same policies, the same concepts.

    Call it doubling down on stupid.

    Mark (8d237f)

  19. It actually was more the northern and northwest suburbs that had the power out. Ice storms are bad. They had crews from as far as Chicago here helping out.
    Looking outside, we actually have had 10-12 inches of snow since last night, with a layer of ice on top, and more snow on top of it later today and tonight. And winds to 40 mph later today. We didn’t have to put up with wind before, I expect more tree branches and trees will come down. In fact, there is one broken branch hanging in a tree over our driveway…at the moment it is hanging.

    Any word on those tire chains???

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  20. Greetings:

    Quoting: “But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

    So, until now it’s just been a random confluence of interests ???

    11B40 (58f84e)

  21. The problem is he did it ala’ “To Serve Man”, what he meant be transforming America was different than what people thought they heard.

    MD, I must disagree: He was very clear. Most commenters here knew precisely what he was saying. People who are stunned by the reality heard what they wanted to hear, or needed to hear to fit their particular political/philosophical bent. A willful dishonesty at some level.

    Dana (df0733)

  22. ‘may our fortunes, be ever in our favor’

    narciso (3fec35)

  23. 17. Ha! How about that?

    besides all of that, since 1993 we have had 3 storms of over 20″ of snow in less than 24 hours

    Absolutely, the freezing rain does not occur much on the high plains and its margins. Lake effect causes it within 10 miles of the western side of Lake Michigan.

    We have been too cold during Dec. thru Feb. for snow.

    But big snows in Madison of >18″ do occur, last year for instance. We had four feet cumulative last April in Central MN.

    The PDO and AMO are in negative phase, which coincidence could easily last a quarter century. I believe the last such occurance was just 5 years in the 1930’s.

    While that gave us the Dust Bowl during Summer, the Winters brought record cold spells.

    Sandy was similarly, a PDO/AMO side-effect.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  24. We have room and welcome people who want to work.

    I’m worried about the phenomenon where people throughout the US who tend to lean left, for whatever reason — but particularly due to even their becoming exasperated by a place’s rampant mediocrity due to the dynamics of loony liberalism (but which they won’t want to admit to) — will move away from a blue city or blue state to a so-called “red” place, then continue to vote the exact same way. Or vote in a way that made their previous home such a mess to begin with.

    Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

    Then the entire US eventually becomes a slice of France, Greece, Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina writ large.


    Mark (8d237f)

  25. 20. I’ll check on chains, or rather nylon cable hoops. Chains or steel cable like tungsten studded tires are illegal for any but the State Patrol.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  26. While that gave us the Dust Bowl during Summer, the Winters brought record cold spells.

    I tend to favor cooler, wetter weather, certainly as it applies to California, but have been stuck with (and I say this quite seriously, not with tongue-in-cheek) endless days of (boring) overly warm temperatures and too much (boring) dryness.

    Too much here, too little there. Too little here, too much there.

    The record drought is going to have a wonderful effect on this country’s food supply and, in turn, the prices at the supermarket.

    If Mother Nature is into politics, then she must be an ideologue, an extremist. This planet is as ridiculous as Barack Obama is.

    Mark (8d237f)

  27. 27. Although its just my acclimatization, temps in the nineties in SF mid-October is nigh to intolerable. Blossoms in mid-January are pleasant tho.

    During the last La Nina Summer a few years back the Jet Stream cut across Mexico, the Gulf and re-entered mainland NA over TX thru to the Carolinas.

    I’m afraid that’s what we should expect this Summer, more SW drought.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  28. Comment by Dana (df0733) — 2/13/2014 @ 9:02 am

    I think our disagreement or agreement is dependent upon the caveats.
    You and I and others here knew what the friend of Bill Ayers meant, but many others didn’t, either because they heard what they wanted to hear, or they heard what the major media wanted them to hear (Bill who???)
    You must admit, what many heard was only the talk about getting over the partisan divides and racial polarization and make Washington work again. If that is all one heard, one could have been justified in not understanding.

    In the 12 years I lived in Wisconsin, I can remember only a few times of 12 or more at a time(and not much more).
    but yes, cumulative is another story altogether, which is why WI and MN and such need to deal with the snow rather than hope it melts sooner than later, and Philly prefers the “hope” strategy.
    Thanks in advance what anyone can tell me about tire chains/cables/ropes.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  29. My goodness, narciso, NYC is obviously trying to lead the way to despotism for the rest of the country.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  30. 30. From about 1981 to more recently, say 2010 or 11 we got big snow in WI in 1994 I believe, but in the 60s it was more common.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  31. I call him Mayor Bane, although he hasn’t developed the breathing apparatus, yet,

    narciso (3fec35)

  32. Cairo got an inch earlier this Winter, the first in more than a century.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  33. I think what they are really after is that broadcasters should give more prominent and FLATTERING (of course!) coverage to black activists like Al Sharpton, local black politicians (incumbent Democrats, of course) and whatever memes the SEIU and other unions close to the Democratic party are pushing.

    They don’t mean more coverage of local crimes.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  34. I wonder what the folks on Comedy Central are going to say about the editorial decisions they make concerning the news stories they decide to have Jon Stewart cover on the Daily Show?

    With respect to MSNBC, we know they just cover what the White House tells them to, so that’s easy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. I’m pretty confident that the news industry still retains enough arrogance to tell the FCC to FCC [pronounced] off.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:19 am

    So, tell me – which of these “news organizations” will tell the FCC (under Obama) to f’ off?

    Clear Channel

    I cast a vote for Fox…just Fox.

    As I recall each of the alphabet networks all have a senior news executive’s relative employed by the White House. The White House co-hosts daily talking point briefings with members of the liberal media, which then flog the talking points all day long. Which networks cover Benghazi & Fast & Furious? Which networks fell completely in line after Obama told them that covering any story led by Fox would find themselves frozen out by the White House? No, the MSM like their role supporting a leftist administration and are not going to jeopardize their access to Saddam Obama just to honestly and independently cover the news.

    Face it, the progs believe that they now will hold power in perpetuity – they have no fear that the power they seek will ever be in the hands of a conservative administration. They also know the flywheel is really the administrative staff in every federal agency and for the most part they are heavily biased in to the left.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  36. MD in Philly – Sorry, but the set of tire chains I bought was in something like 1989 at I think Pep Brothers in Sacramento. Little wimpy things, not like we used to have in the 60s and early 70s. Shed them pretty quick trying to make it over the Donner Pass where travel was restricted to 4WD or chained vehicles due to a blizzard. Luckily some roadside bandits were making a mint outfitting cars with sturdier gear.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  37. Again, “No one seems to care” is partially weather catastrophe related, ice storms in the Mid-Atlantic States, no snow in Sochi:

    Italy is getting a new unelected Premier.

    The Nikkei is resuming its fall.

    Canada’s housing bubble is burst.

    US Unemployment Applications at 339K.

    Another Chinese shadow bank fails.

    Gold has broken free of Central Bank shenanigans.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  38. To MD and others in the path of the bad weather,

    I hope the storm passes quickly, that you don’t lose power, and that you stay safe, warm and dry.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  39. Ok, since they’re already in the tank, what difference does it make? If any, it will be to get their dander up and off their knees. Otherwise, they (and we) have not lost anything that exists now.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. 43. Meanwhile de Blasio(whatever) is defending his call to keep NYC schools open with the backend of the current storm set to duplicate the frontend’s deposit.

    Really, who cares what the inmates think?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  41. 39 Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 10:01 am

    MD in Philly – Sorry, but the set of tire chains I bought was in something like 1989 at I think Pep Brothers in Sacramento. Little wimpy things, not like we used to have in the 60s and early 70s.

    Maybe this will help then?

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  42. narciso – Good thing, because everybody knows the predetermined conclusion of the study was to document bias at only one television broadcast station and its affiliates, and only those radio stations stations airing talk radio hosts deemed enemies of the state.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  43. Italy is getting a new unelected Premier.
    The Nikkei is resuming its fall.
    Canada’s housing bubble is burst.

    Beyond that, the political dynamics embedded in the following stories are lurid. Observing them is similar to watching a huge, flaming car wreck on the side of the road., February 13: Anti-government protesters clashed with police in Venezuela, leaving three people shot to death and nearly two dozen injured, authorities said. Two people were killed in the capital of Caracas during the protests Wednesday, Venezuelan attorney general Luisa Ortega said.

    Pro-government students countered the protests by taking to the streets of the capital Wednesday. Their marches were part of “Youth Day” commemoration, which marks students’ participation in the 19th-century independence fight against colonial powers.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described the recent protests as a possible coup against his government. “I want to alert the world we are facing developing coup plan against the democracy and the government that I preside by the responsibility of a small group of irresponsible leaders, violent, full of hatred and personal ambitions,” he said Wednesday.

    Students have protested for days nationwide to demand a better way of life, greater security on campus and the release of colleagues arrested during marches.

    Previously…, November 15, 2013: Venezuela President Nicholas Maduro has announced the arrest of 100 “bourgeois” businessmen accused of price gouging, Reuters’ Andrew Cawthorne and Deisey Buitrago report.

    “They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!” the pair say Maduro thundered in a speech heralding the round-up. “We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”

    Inflation in Venezuela has soared more than 50% in the past month, which Maduro blames on a conspiracy by an amorphously defined opposition seeking to bring down the socialist regime. In the past week, soldiers and inspectors have raided more than 1,400 shops and occupied an electronics firm and a battery manufacturer.

    The government has also shut down websites showing the bolivar at 10 times the official rate of 6.3 to the dollar.

    Opposition party Justice First says Maduro is producing a dystopian society. “This shows the economic chaos Maduro has got us in where prices have no logic. The government created this monster and now tries to pretend it will control it, but Venezuelans cannot be deceived by this electoral show,” Justice First said.

    ^ I’m not being sarcastic when I can easily envision Obama reading about such events, smirking, chuckling to himself, and getting a cheap thrill over just far a nation’s ruling political force can go before anyone cries “uncle!”

    Mark (8d237f)

  44. Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/13/2014 @ 10:28 am

    If anyone believes this is truly over, I have a citrus orchard in suburban Philly to sell you.
    They never stop. Maybe this is like SSM in 1995 rather than in 2014; maybe it is like ACORN in 2002 instead of 2010, but this will go away just like ACORN and Journolist have gone away.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  45. Of course, one has to develop a wry sense of detachment living in District 8, MD, when one realized it doesn’t matter who the figurehead Chairman is, as long as Mark Lloyd is there,

    narciso (3fec35)

  46. gary, the link has multiple things on it. I want the voice of experience to tell me to get “this”, whatever “this” is,
    and besides, my computer tells me that Walmarts in my area don’t sell those, not even available to order and pick up in store…

    but thank you, and Sammy

    maybe P should start an “Outrage of the Day” series

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  47. time to get the bow and arrows out to practice, narciso

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  48. But it is encouraging that they didn’t think they have the momentum sufficient to go ahead anyway.
    The whistleblower can expect the ATF, FBI, OSHA, IRS, and yet to be determined others to show up at his home/office/ and local Planet Fitness.
    order to be determined.
    And this is actually too likely to really be funny.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  49. This strikes me as Obama’s message to his base that he’s open to policies like this, either by executive order, administrative rule-making, or simply by letting the FCC and its employees know they have free rein. Obama rarely does directly what he can accomplish by subterfuge.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  50. Rush has a short hand for this ‘they are all Obama,’ they don’t need to be told, but they do get together, to get the cover stories together.

    narciso (3fec35)

  51. Exactly, narciso. Obama and his staff hoped Obama for America would be their supporters’ version of the media’s JournoList — spreading his goals and taking points so they could parrot his policies — but it isn’t working out. I think that may be because the only person Obama’s base reliably listens to is him. They seem to tune out everyone else.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  52. 51. Sorry, I’m not familiar with the black markets although it seems like we should make an effort.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  53. 54-56. Another issue is the troops’ command and control. Sheila Jackson Lee, presumably of a Specialist grade, says their priority is to draft EOs for il Douche ’cause he’s so busy entertaining.

    Dangling prepositions could be an insurmountable problem.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  54. Good man right?

    Rodney King's Spirit (ca9e04)

  55. And the people who look the other way, good too right?

    And the people who support this, good right?

    We are getting closer and closer to internment camps as we speak.

    Rodney King's Spirit (ca9e04)

  56. Well lets not go there again, however I’m sure Trotsky and Dzerzinski were family men, the Stacey McCain piece on Myerson’s category comes to mind.

    narciso (3fec35)

  57. 58. Perhaps KoKo could be brought in to work on EOs.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  58. #49 This is why i see no other option but the worst kind. They have turned on the Country, its laws and traditions. Extraction is the answer, not co-existence b/c to your point — they don’t want to co-exist — they wish to rule.

    Rodney King's Spirit (ca9e04)

  59. A minor Goodwin violation,

    The name of the agency was originally “The All-Russian Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage”[1][3]

    narciso (3fec35)

  60. gary gulrud #58:

    That’s true. Sheila Jackson Lee is especially hard to control. Last October she even said Congress could pass a bill raising the debt ceiling using martial law. It’s always hard to tell what Jackson Lee means, but I don’t think she meant that.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  61. I had to meet with the FCC back in the late-80s on business and I was impressed at how Spartan their facilities and furniture were, thinking to myself this is a worthy minimalist approach to government. I would wager all of that has changed in the years since.

    Colonel Haiku (c1bfa3)

  62. 67. I also found the IRS offices Spartan when last audited around 2003 or 4.

    I’d put the mortgage interest on the line following its appropriate entry on Schedule A, property something.


    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  63. Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/13/2014 @ 11:38 am

    Upon reading the link, my reaction was the same as what Allahpundit had said at the link-

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  64. Wow, the FCC proposal reads like satire, it’s such a glaring and brazen example of government overreach, but, I guess that, in the age of Mugabe-bama, we shouldn’t be surprised that what formerly might have passed for satire or farce, is, in fact, the reality.

    “Orwellian” doesn’t even begin to properly describe how creepy this proposal sounds. Who comes up with this asinine crap? I mean, seriously, every bureaucracy is made of individuals, so, who are the men and women who really think that these are inspired, worthy ideas? What is wrong with society today, that these proposals (and, the imbeciles who propose them) are not laughed at, ridiculed, scorned and given no credibility whatsoever?

    Guy Jones (2a6c7a)

  65. 70. Also, ‘powerless’?

    McConnell proposed handing POTUS the unilateral authority to raise the Ceiling subject to supermajority revocation. Congress delegated regulatory authority to the Borg bureaucracy over which ShamWow reigns as Celebrity Spokescretin.

    I’m thinking we are are past the point of peaceful return to ‘separation of powers’. Mr. Roberts tipped over his kings piece as well.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  66. Where does this come from,

    narciso (3fec35)

  67. [profanity deleted — htom]

    This is a return to the FCC of the “Equal Time Provisions”, only with a topic agenda, the tax boys, and a SWAT team.

    I was a program director who had to deal with “equal time”. It was nothing like this.

    [more profanity deleted]

    G. Orwell, call the Resurrection facility.

    htom (412a17)

  68. You get 400 channels on cable, not over the air.

    The FCC is responsible for allocation of spectrum and preventing people from jamming the authorized users of each spectrum section. Also for keeping Americans from jamming Canadian and Mexican users of spectrum allocated to those countries.

    That still has to be done.

    The FCC is also responsible for establishing technical standards for radio services – television, cellular telephony, others.

    That still has to be done.

    The FCC has plenty to do without investigating “content”.

    BTW, in Venezuela, the chavista government pulled the licenses of dozens of radio stations and suppressed all on-air criticism, reporting of news they don’t like, or editorial support of the opposition. At least one Obamacrat was quoted expressing approval of Venezuela’s communications policy.

    Also, the only opposition TV channel in Venezuela ran out of money and was sold to a government crony last year. 48 above noted mass anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela, with violent attacks on the demonstrators and two deaths. There is no TV or radio coverage of these events in Venezuela – the regime has achieved “communications hegemony”.

    Rich Rostrom (9d2acc)

  69. If TX were to secede, it would start a stampede of “Sooner” proportions of other state’s wishing to do the same to join with the newly independent Texas Republic.
    Which raises the question:
    What would the newly minted “Free States of America” look like, border wise?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  70. You think? Any state that joined Texas would be dominated by it, and why would it want that? And what do you do with New Orleans and Santa Fe? Texas fought hard to get rid of its Indians, why would it want Oklahoma’s? Arkansas, I suppose (at least the five residents who know what secession means) would join — it seceded from the Union the last time too. And then, it all would have to be done in the summer — two inches of snow or one heavy rain down there would bring everything to a halt.

    nk (dbc370)

  71. 30. …Thanks in advance what anyone can tell me about tire chains/cables/ropes.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 2/13/2014 @ 9:29 am

    You may want to look into tire socks, also called snow donuts, as an alternative to chains.

    I tried to link to one manufacturer’s website (a Norwegian company but they have resellers here) but for some reason my comments disappear into the ether.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  72. The company is called Autosock. It’s products have been approved as alternatives to chains when chains are mandated in Kali, Washington, and I believe Colorado. Not other brands, though.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  73. 77. During the first winter of the Civil War when the South was taking it to the North, they marched in TN and KY snows.

    Many had no shoes.

    Their insurmountable problem was a paucity of rail interconnections with incompatible gauges between states.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  74. And all the North would need to do now is leave the interstates unplowed. Of course, bad weather (below 70 degrees) would also take out California as a factor so Texas would not need to worry too much about a Western front. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  75. Two sources of employment, one source of revenue.

    81. And the Blue states will have no food or energy this time out. Scrip will hyperinflate in weeks.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  76. Weather, can’t live with it, can’t live without.

    Correlation of cold weather in January and Unemployment R = -0.10, in fairness January is a down season for employment.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  77. MD in Philly — I shouldn’t be so down on chains. I learned to use them as a kid. Here in Minnesota I see them constantly in the grocery store parking lot, when they should have been taken off miles ago (those few trucks that look like they might actually be being used off-road in a local construction site … maybe; mommy in Range-Rover with two kids? Very maybe.) Peerless SCC Auto-Trac, Laclede Alpine Premier, Pewag Brenta-C, are maybe good choices. The last set I bought were Auto-Trac, they were easy to install and remove, and in a decade were never used. They went with the car when we sold it. I don’t think I have a set now.

    htom (412a17)

  78. 81. Seriously, there’s no time for Secession to get rolling.

    the collapse will come, like a sudden clash of cymbals. The Furies will be unleashed. In the same way that an avalanche is unleashed by a mere footstep, events will spin out of control, impossible to stop or direct. The forces have been building up for years. Eventually, they will burst forth. When that happens, there will be nothing human that can stop them. Study the fate of the Romanovs, the Hapsburgs, the Hashemites, and Soviets, the Ceaucescus, Qaddafi, Mubharak… and for that matter, Achmad Sukarno himself. The pattern is clear… the only question is how much time remains.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  79. And that’s a cue. Happy St. Valentine’s Day, everybody.

    nk (dbc370)

  80. Happy St. Valentine’s Day to you, nk, and to everyone here.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  81. MD,

    I live in the desert and we don’t need snow tires or chains, so I have zero experience in this area. Therefore, keep in mind that anything I say on this topic is worthless. Nevertheless, this product looks interesting.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  82. Don’t underestimate just how useful tire chains can be in Texas, DRJ. I hunt up in the panhandle south of Amarillo. And when it rains, those trails turn into gumbo. Chains are just the thing.

    In fact, some companies also make chains designed with mud use in mind. Which will work on road in snow & ice, too. Slowly. And if you don’t mind the ride.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  83. But you’re right. Those GoClaws look interesting. I’ve heard good things about the original fastening system. I’ve heard bad reviews about the SnoClaws with the ratcheting fastening system. But on Jeep forums, so those guys are using the on road only traction devices off road. Then they seem surprised when they fail. There seems to be some confusion about which is which.

    I mentioned the tire socks because some cars don’t even have the clearance to use chains or either of these products. And from what I hear they’re fine for getting around town.

    One thing to make sure you do; read the tire chain recommendations in your owner’s manual. For instance I have a 2011 Toyota Tacoma. I can not use chains on the front tires even if I had bought the 4×4 (I have a Pre-Runner). There are clearance issues. If you put your palm on the tread and just slide your fingers around the inside wall of the tire it will hit suspension components. If your fingers hit it, the chains will too. Other 4x4s can use chains on all four tires.

    Some fwd cars may not be able to use chains at all. In which case the tire socks are probably your only option.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  84. Steve57,

    I grew up in Lubbock. That’s on the Llano Estacado and Panhandle towns like Lubbock and Amarillo do have bad weather, but I live further south and it’s rare where I live.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  85. Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/14/2014 @ 2:25 pm

    ” There are clearance issues. If you put your palm on the tread and just slide your fingers around the inside wall of the tire it will hit suspension components. If your fingers hit it, the chains will too”

    Excellent, practical, and easy to understand advice. I may never need it, but I am glad to have it. Thanks, Steve57.

    felipe (6100bc)

  86. Thanks, all.

    I liked this quote:
    “…they grip like a tick on your best bird dog!”

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  87. Well, it was just an observation about my Tacoma really. That’s the reason why Toyota says to use chains only on the rear axle.

    Even if your fingers can slip through, it’s entirely possible to buy a set of chains that can’t. Some are more heavy duty, and the “hand check” won’t work. I was just using that as an example of why I’m not smarter than the owner’s manual. Toyota tells me I can’t use chains on the front, and it turns out they know what they’re talking about. Always check to see how much clearance you’re going to need, then make sure you have it.

    Class “S” is a minimum clearance requirement set by some vehicle manufactures. To determine if your vehicle requires Class “S” tire chains, refer to your vehicle owners manual (usually listed under “tire chains” or “snow chains”) or contact the vehicle manufacturer directly.

    I suppose if there’s a rule of thumb (he he) if you can reach in and pass your palm around the inside treadwall just about anything will work. If your whole hand won’t fit but your fingers just will, something will work.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  88. I’ve used tire chains on muddy forest service roads more often than because of snow.

    SPQR (768505)

  89. Concur, SPQR. Although they weren’t just forest service roads where chains made the difference between driving out and walking out.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  90. You were wondering what she was doing;

    getting a lick of sense, was not one of them

    narciso (3fec35)

  91. Not like that makes a difference worth acknowledging.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  92. There’s a product called “Spikes-Spider” from Europe that claims to fit lots of non-fitable vehicles because it has no attachment on the inside of the wheel. It’s not clear to me how they do attach to the outside of the wheel; it looks like something to install on your steel snow tire wheels, not your summer alloy shiny ones.

    When it’s really tough going, there’s always Matt Tracks which are … different. Not at all like driving a typical tracked crawler. I’ve never driven a half-track, maybe it’s like that.

    htom (412a17)

  93. Thanks for the continued info. The Sno-Claws look workable and with a reasonable price; so do the tire socks
    I assume in some of the western states in the mountains and snow there are regs saying you need certain tires or devices on your tires for driving in certain conditions, and if you get stuck in a mountain pass not using what is required you get fined along with an evil look and a big tow bill- hence something that is certified must have some credibility.
    The spikes spider also looks interesting, but more expensive than the others if I can use one of them.
    At present my car is stuck in slush and will need to be chopped out of the ice in the am.

    I don’t know if you heard about the big crash outside of Philly today, actually that was just the biggest of several, as at one point 3 major highways around the city were closed from accidents. yesterday it warmed up and rained late in the day, then dropped below freezing overnight. this am everything was untreated black ice. It is doing the same tonight. At 6:30 the roads were wet, by 7:15 they were turning into a sheet of untreated ice.
    More snow tomorrow.
    We could all use some Global warming, yeah, yeah…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  94. If you’re still in the dark, ask mommy.

    Now HOW can you possibly expect to exercise your own discretion at choosing which news stories are relevant when you can’t even properly spell “Obommy”?

    Smock Puppet, Gadfly, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d)

  95. The only difference between Sno-Claws and Go-Claws is different latches on the inside of the wheel; one is thinner/smaller and fits some vehicles the other won’t; some claim the smaller latches are not as sturdy.

    htom (412a17)

  96. 100. ..I assume in some of the western states in the mountains and snow there are regs saying you need certain tires or devices on your tires for driving in certain conditions, and if you get stuck in a mountain pass not using what is required you get fined along with an evil look and a big tow bill- hence something that is certified must have some credibility.

    You assume correctly, sir. As far as it goes. I’ll partially quote this page from kali’s DOT:

    Requirement One (R1): Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.

    Requirement Two (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
    (NOTE: Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)

    Requirement Three (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

    Naturally, what constitutes a traction device or a snow tire is spelled out.

    Here’s a useful shorthand guide to the regs in the 50 states. It’s no substitute for actually looking into the laws in a state you plan on driving in/through. Because as you observe, the fines can be hefty. And woe to you if instead of merely getting stuck you block a road because you weren’t in compliance.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  97. Did I adequately establish that I don’t know squat about tire chains?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  98. MD,

    I saw the report on the crashes outside Philadelphia. It’s fortunate you weren’t in one of them and unfortunate that your car is stuck. I hope the bad weather leaves your area quickly because I’m sure you’re sick of it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  99. Thanks, DRJ. I like snow myself, but the freezing rain stuff is not pretty, only trouble. (Isaiah, “Though your sin be as scarlet, I shall make you white as snow”.) More snow and freezing rain mix today and the next few days, then 40’s on Tuesday and the rest of the week is forecast. At least 3 days of what had been spring break for the schools will be class to make up for snow days.
    But, in the overall scheme of things, these are mainly annoyances compared to what can happen, obviously.

    Thanks, steve57

    gary, you still know more than me about international economics than I do about tires chains.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  100. 106. Another caution over our reductionist simplifications.

    For instance, did one know only 10%, by number, of the cells in one’s body are one’s own?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  101. Sunday morning Opinion is already total crap. It really cannot get worse.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  102. U2 and Will Smith on Fallon’s second nite?

    Time to just crawl off somewheres and die, Dave.

    Hurry up.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  103. 109. Oh, it was Monday, Kristen Wiig, Lady Gaga and some comedian tonight.

    Even NBC Today agrees Russkies are Ok, il Douche bombs again. Golf is autoerotic.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  104. Golf is autoerotic.

    You’re married to Moochelle and as President essentially live in a glass bowl ….

    nk (dbc370)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5588 secs.