Joe Biden tells Americans that he's helping them by building "from the bottom up and the middle out." …
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Image of the Day: Americans' Shrinking Earnings Under Joe Biden

Joe Biden tells Americans that he's helping them by building "from the bottom up and the middle out."  But the numbers don't lie, and the ugly reality is that he's only dragging us all toward the bottom.  Throughout his presidency, wage gains (green) have been consistently exceeded by inflation (blue), meaning loss in real earnings (red):

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="455"] Bidenomics Means Lost Earnings[/caption]…[more]

May 19, 2024 • 11:05 PM

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Captain America, Barack Obama and Surrender of U.S. Internet Authority Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 26 2016
If you're wondering at this point why it's suddenly a good idea to surrender U.S. oversight of the open Internet, you're not alone.

In the new blockbuster "Captain America: Civil War," which I highly recommend to anyone debating whether to see it, the Avengers team splits over whether to surrender themselves to United Nations authority. 

After an Avengers operation to capture a terrorist in Lagos, Nigeria, results in collateral damage to innocent bystanders, the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.N. inexplicably blame Captain America and his team instead of the terrorist whose devices killed the civilians.  The Secretary, who resembles John Kerry whether by design or coincidence, subsequently presents them with a written demand that they either agree to U.N. oversight or face prosecution.  The Avengers immediately split into opposing six-person sides, one led by Iron Man who inexplicably favors U.N. command and the other led by Captain America who recognizes the inherent peril of that scheme. 

Without offering any spoilers for those who have yet to see the film, Captain America obviously maintains the superior position. 

Beyond thrilling summer entertainment, the film presents a timely analogy for real-world events. 

Specifically, Barack Obama similarly believes that it's a good idea to end United States government authority over the worldwide open Internet. 

Back in 2014, Obama's Commerce Department announced its intention to relinquish control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that manages Internet names and addresses, as well as the technical means by which users connect to servers and websites across the Web.  By way of background, ICANN has maintained that authority since 1998, after University of Southern California scientist Jon Postel passed away after handling those duties following the Internet's creation in the U.S. 

The Obama Administration assures us that the surrender wouldn't empower tyrannical foreign governments like Iran, North Korea or Cuba, but that's precisely the result its scheme would have.  Among other things, foreign governments would obtain power to determine ICANN's composition, and individual citizens and groups would possess no legal standing to protest.  Remember, this is the same Obama Administration that promised, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." 

If you're wondering at this point why it's suddenly a good idea to surrender U.S. oversight of the open Internet, you're not alone.  After all, what is wrong with the Internet that surrendering control to the "international community" would somehow fix? 

The answer is obvious: nothing at all.  Few innovations in human history match the Internet's two-decade record of improving and revolutionizing innumerable aspects of our lives. 

More fundamentally, what positive achievement during Obama's eight years in office suggests that he has earned the benefit of doubt in managing international affairs such as this?  When he says, "Trust me," what foreign policy success justifies his request? 

The answer is just as obvious:  nothing at all.  There is not a single theater of the world where conditions today are better than when Obama entered office, nor is there a single significant place where America's interests are better protected today than they were on January 20, 2009. 

Accordingly, this latest scheme would merely extend the Obama Administration's failures to the Internet, opening the door to censorship and degradation of the online experience as we know it. 

Fortunately, Obama's plan has been postponed and can be permanently stopped.  But that requires continued vigilance from Congress and the American electorate. 

For the third straight year, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that prevents termination of ICANN's current authority.  And on the Senate side, Senators Marco Rubio (R - Florida), James Lankford (R - Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R - Utah) and Ted Cruz (R - Texas) are leading the campaign to stop Obama's plan in its tracks.  Senator Cruz points out that the Constitution's text prohibits any transfer of government property without the consent of Congress.  Because ICANN adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury each year, it constitutes government property and therefore cannot be unilaterally surrendered by Obama before he leaves office. 

Accordingly, Obama's plan to surrender Internet authority to the dangerous "international community" is subject to both Congressional and judicial interruption.  It's just as bad an idea as the hypothetical Avengers surrender to the same type of international authority, but it's up to Congressional leaders and American citizens to halt it. 

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