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The MisAdministration Fucks the Troops Again

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I am sure this story warms the cold little hearts of Dougie and FFF, as once again the MisAdmenustration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus W. Bush, takes yet another opportunity to fuck the soldiers defending Bush's folly in Iraq.


Phone-card rate rise will hurt GIs[/font size]



Published on: 12/16/04

This holiday season, embattled Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell might have you believe he wants to play telecom Santa, as he parachutes into various trade shows brandishing high-tech gadgetry with an almost childlike wonderment.


But back at his day job on the eighth floor of the FCC, Powell seems ready for quite a different role. Following a presidential election during which both candidates pledged their undying loyalty to our troops fighting in Iraq, the FCC chairman is attempting to show his patriotic gratitude in the oddest of ways: He's trying to raise the prices for the very prepaid telephone calling cards that 95 percent of the troops use to communicate with their anguished family members who wait with hope of life reassured with the telephone's ring.


Powell — long seen by many conservatives as a weight around the neck of the White House for the mishandling of various media consolidation and broadcast decency matters — would seem, to the troops in any case, better cast as the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas."


For it seems that Powell's first post-election priority is to rush through a heavily lawyered new federal regulation that will raise the prices for prepaid calling cards by up to 20 percent.


Because these cards use pre-recorded promotional ads, they have been classified as deregulated information services free from much of the legacy federal telecom regulations, such as access fees, which are widely considered pay dirt for the telephone monopolies. Now, in a proposed rule that would make most bureaucrats dizzy, Powell wants to reclassify these services in ways that will please the monopolies while giving our soldiers a lump of coal in their holiday stockings.


While most servicemen and women have little interest in the arcane designations of federal regulatory law, they do know the effect of the bureaucratic maneuver that will raise rates on nearly all of them and the more than 1 billion minutes of calls each year that keep us — those safely stationed here on the continental United States — and them connected.


U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), the widely respected senior Armed Services Committee member, called the Powell-led effort "particularly unconscionable during a time of -war."


Weldon went on to admonish the FCC for even considering taking "money out of soldiers' pockets while they defend our country. We should be making it easier for U.S. troops to stay in touch with loved ones back home, not harder."


Our military servicemen and women are the country's pride and joy, risking their lives in a distant land in the fight against terror. The notion that an unchastened federal bureaucrat would attempt to, during the holiday season, raise their telephone rates seems utterly out of touch with political realities and basic decency. And with a new, seemingly strong electoral mandate for deregulation, this whole holiday season regulation seems downright un-American.

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