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FNC cheerfully carried GOP's water
Fox News claims:
Gen. William Shelton, head of the Air Force Space Command, told House members in a classified briefing earlier this month that he was pressured to change prepared congressional testimony in a way that would favor a large company funded by Philip Falcone, a major Democratic donor, congressional sources told Fox News.

Republicans have raised questions about whether the project pursued by the company, LightSquared, is being unduly expedited by the Obama administration, which has pushed for national wireless network upgrades.

But Philip Falcone is also a major Republican donor.

According to the FEC disclosure database, Falcone donated $28,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2008, $20,000 to the Republican Party of Minnesota in 2008 and 2009, $12,300 to Norm Coleman's recount campaign, $4,600 to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign and even $1,000 to George W. Bush's presidential campaign. He also made large contributions to Democrats, including a total of $58,900 to the DSCC, but he didn't contribute a dime to the Obama administration.

Nonethless, Republicans are convinced that if there was an attempt to influence Shelton's testimony, it's an example of Democratic corruption:

“There was an attempt to influence the text of the testimony and to engage LightSquared in the process in order to bias his testimony,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) said in an interview. “The only people who were involved in the process in preparation for the hearing included the Department of Defense, the White House, and the Office Management and Budget.”

And just what did the White House allegedly want Shelton to say?

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said.

So the White House allegedly asked Shelton to to say (1) that he supports commercial wireless broadband and (2) that he would seek to expedite the Pentagon's review of the technology used by LightSquared.

So Republicans are pissed off that the Obama administration might be trying to fast track the regulatory approval process. Uh, isn't that exactly what they have been demanding ever since President Obama took office? A day doesn't go by that you don't hear some Republican or another demand that President Obama lift the regulatory burden on America's "job creators."

But as soon as there's a rumor that President Obama may have helped a "job creator" clear one of those regulatory hurdles, it's proof that he's corrupt—even though he was just doing what Republicans said they wanted him to do in the first place. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Saw a story on their 'perception management' (6+ / 0-)

    efforts on dkos earlier this week, so glad you are shedding more light on it Jed.  They broadcast these loaded press releases and the corporate owned press just eats them up.  Thanks to dkos we get the rest of the story.

    •  Too bad the Progressive Noise Machine is only (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      tuned to be heard by already friendly ears. So that "the rest of the story" goes in one ear and in the other ear too, on either side of the same head. With maybe a little "squeak" coming out the mouth...

      And did I miss something, or is there maybe a problem with the technology and spectrum takeup that Lightsquared is so hot to push into profitable service? Stuff like whether one area of the CORPORATION's planned "services" might stomp on your cherished dashtop GPS signal?
      Of course, that might just be part of the big old CORPORATE game being played by some big CORPORATIONS, you know, those "legal persons" who are the elephants stomping the little grassy knolls where us minuscule "natural persons" scurry about, trying not to be crushed?

      And hey, what's with the Air Force general, who I am sure has some interesting personal secrets involving favoritism to his own war contractors, spilling some beans here? They are the folks who transport billion-dollar pallet loads of CASH to Notagainistan, where it disappears into "the fog of war" somehow.

      We are one stupid species. Slime molds and colonies of bacteria and of course beehives and fire ants do one hell of a lot better job of taking care of each other than we do...

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:54:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, bottom line is (8+ / 0-)

    "classified" meetings mean zero since someone -- let's guess which Party -- leaked information from a "classified" meeting which distorts reality.

    Congress is a pathetic joke and basically the majority in the House plus Blue Dogs and the Blue Dogs in the Senate are hell-bent on further fucking up this country.

    I've lived long enough to see this shite before.  I'll die seeing this shite continue.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:32:49 AM PDT

  •  media matters (3+ / 0-)

    has a good report on standard policy.  The General and Air Force, as well as the White House have denied undo pressure.

    Besides, do Generals have official opinions that haven't been cleared for testimony on these matters?   Does every General set policy for the DOD and the CiC?  That seems like the tail wagging the dog to me.

  •  I'd like to suggest that we're missing (2+ / 0-)

    the point.  "Regulatory" reform is a Capitol Hill prerogative.  It's what they use to extort contributions from industry and commerce to get electoral support for themselves.  It's part of their arsenal of sticks and carrots.  It's why so many of their legislative initiatives don't go anywhere.  They're mostly to bluff the potential targets into forking over for campaign dollars to keep the advertising industry afloat.  
    Obama is stepping on their turf.  If corporations get consideration from the agencies for nothing, what's going to make them beholden to Congress?

    While Koch Industries may be the devil incarnate, they may have a legitimate bone to pick with Boehner and his merry men.  Koch Industries are into coal.  Their plants are reputed to be polluters.  As far as I can tell, they've also tried to corner the market on some mineral additive which, presumably, will make the coal burn cleaner.  But, if Congress keeps jerking them around, (one minute they want clean coal, the next not), then that's likely rather frustrating.
    I don't believe in clean coal.  On the other hand, I see no reason why carbon, which is what's being atomized and pumped into the atmosphere, can't be filtered out of the exhaust.
    I definitely don't appreciate the effort to derail the New England energy consortium which is proving that cap and trade can motivate energy producers to pollute less and I don't appreciate Koch buying up Georgia Pacific and shutting down alternative/green energy plants in the mistaken notion that eliminating the competition will help coal.  But, that doesn't excuse Congress' screwing everyone to hold on to power.

    by hannah on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:47:06 AM PDT

  •  And so it starts. (3+ / 0-)

    Clinton couldn't do anything without it being turned into something bad.  It was recently said that Obama is so clean, so they're searching for the dirt.  It strange, but they need to get their rapid response team together 14 months out.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith

    by HappyinNM on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:38:02 PM PDT

  •  should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fox News says:  ( that's where you just have to stop)

    Who the fuck cares what the propaganda wing of the republican party says or does at this point.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:38:38 PM PDT

  •  Republicans attack (7+ / 0-)

    It's what they do; it's who they are.

    And since the public is getting bored, they have to keep upping the ante (and the number of ads).

    I think, though, that younger voters are getting inoculated. They know these guys have no shame.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:42:11 PM PDT

  •  Consistency (0+ / 0-)

    is the hobgoblin of small minds.  Or something like that.

    I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

    by ccyd on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:44:09 PM PDT

  •  Socialism with a capitalist "s" (n/t) (4+ / 0-)
  •  Commander in Chief (0+ / 0-)

    Three little words.

    When a general speaks for the military, he also speaks for the civilian in charge. That would be President Obama.

    Someone needs to remind the Republicans that the military works that way. If they don't like the commands of the Commander-in-Chief then I guess it is their right to pursue legal action but this sounds to me like it is a problem between Obama and his generals. Wouldn't be the first time. Sounds like this General needs a swift reprimand and a kick in the ass.

  •  Wow, how much are we paying our generals today? (0+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. Meteor Blades 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by gooderservice on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:49:30 PM PDT

  •  This is where this discussion goes off the rails (0+ / 0-)

    This issue is having one regulatory process for those without friends in Washington, and then having another entirely different one for those who have the $$$ to grease wheels in Washington.

    IMHO it's not a defense to a charge of being "anti-business" to say that you took specific action to ease the regulatory burden for one particular company that just happens to also be a major political donor to both parties.

    Better would be a regulatory process that works for business and the public whether or not the business in question is politically connected.

  •  GOP desperate for scandal (5+ / 0-)

    If Perry is the nominee the media will find all sorts of dirt on him. Fox is getting desperate to mfg some kind of scandal to connect to Obama so it will look better for Perry.

  •  Now do the hearings begin? (0+ / 0-)

    Let's talk about something besides job creation.


    by nipit on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:53:34 PM PDT

  •  Just Give Up (0+ / 0-)

    Everybody will gleefully vote for the Republicans who say such nice things about America.

    We are doomed.  Voters here are too stupid to maintain an independent country.

  •  Stealing the narrative (0+ / 0-)

    Has anyone else noticed that over the last few weeks it seems like Republicans are stealing our language of corporate donor influence? It's probably one of the most effective tools used by Progressives when they target Republicans. What happens when they steal it and make the Democrats look like the party of corporate influence (I mean, more so than it is, thanks Blue Dogs)?

    I have nothing to say.

    by calistan on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:55:30 PM PDT

  •  hard not to imagine the GOP finding Solyndra (0+ / 0-)

    somehow involved in this since they're so desperate for scandal

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:55:44 PM PDT

  •  If he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why then can't he do the right thing, the legal thing, the PRESIDENTIAL thing, and do what's best for the country and the people who are being mistreated by the mess created by the Republicans?  I know he's running for re-election now, but I believe if he would just do more to not continue caving (as in the regulation of emissions that the EPA is supposed to do) and focus instead on his jobs bill, this country would be on the mend already and he'd coast into office with renewed Democratic energy and majorities.  He needs to make sure his base is fired up to go all out for him, and his pandering to the Republicans isn't going to win him more votes - it's going to cost him votes as was demonstrated in 2010 and in the special elections this week.

  •  The other Lightsquared problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I work in the field of space and GPS software, and one big concern in that community is the likelihood that the signals used by Lightsquared will interfere with GPS.  (Just google Lightsquared and GPS, you'll find plenty of reference).  

    Now I think it's pretty clear that the whole "manipulating testimony as a payoff to a Democratic booster" is bullshit, but I do wonder why there would be influence used to support a spectrum allocation that would potentially harm one of the best examples of "big gubmint" doing something very useful for the general public that no corporation could ever do, namely the GPS network.

    ----------------------- "Zu jeder Zeit, an jedem Ort, bleibt das Tun der Menschen das gleiche..."

    by Rheinhard on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:59:26 PM PDT

    •  LightSquared, through a sockpuppet (0+ / 0-)

      called BroadbandforAllCalifornians  has been spamming Daily Kos for several weeks now.  Pure company boilerplate press release material, pushing its thing. No comments.  I have begun HRing this user.

      "Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame."---NYT

      by claude on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 06:25:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's no pleasing these people. They're singing (0+ / 0-)

    Groucho's song.

  •  I thought members of the military weren't (0+ / 0-)

    allowed to donate to politicians.

    To me, that's like attending a political event in uniform, which I don't think they're allowed to do, right?

    So since the law requires that their names be made public, how is that different than attending a political rally in uniform?

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. Meteor Blades 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by gooderservice on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 01:07:00 PM PDT

  •  Their Desperation Is Showing..... (0+ / 0-)

    If it's not Solyndra it's President Obama helping one of their illusive "job creators".  Honestly, job creators are becoming as scare as unicorns.

    No one can find them.  Apparently Republicans want us to believe they're all hiding from the boogey man AKA regulations.  In the l990's when we actually had a booming economy, regulations on businesses were much more plentiful.

    The real problem is demand.  The only manufacturing base we have left is the auto industry.  And now....Eric Cantor wants to screw that up by gutting it, taking away car loans to pay for disaster relief.  

  •  Fox lied? (0+ / 0-)

    Good thing I was sitting down.


    Great catch.  Not only was it a lie, it's self-contradictory and illogical.  Brilliant!

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 03:39:43 PM PDT

  •  Hell, Rick Perry was in town just today, (0+ / 0-)

    expounding on how all them awful gov'mint regalations is wuts keepin' are 'conomy back.

    Honestly, for a long time I have been thinking that the Republicans have decided that they can say anything they want, and be on whichever side of an issue that will play to the audience in front of them; their propaganda apparatus is so well-developed that they can get away with it.

    And, Rush has taught them for years that taking all sides of an issue means that you can always be on the winning side for any given occasion.

  •  So, the administration works w/the Pentagon (0+ / 0-)

    (with said military being under the Executive's direction) to prepare a presentation to Congress.  And the military guy starts grinding an axe about what the administration wants to accomplish.  And the President is supposed to be in trouble?  I don't get it.

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