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Exclusive: Klobuchar's Media Bill Won't Save the Press –



Klobuchar's Media Bill Won't Save the Press

#Klobuchar039s #Media #Bill #Won039t #Save #Press

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) likes to paint herself as a 21st century trustbuster. However, her latest antitrust proposal, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), is pro-collusion and provides an antitrust exemption for politically well-connected news media companies.

What this bill reveals is that the heart of the antitrust crusade by Klobuchar and other neo-Brandeisians is not actually about consumer protection or small businesses. They seek to use antitrust and the force of the government to protect the companies and industries they prefer.

The JCPA pits digital platforms like Facebook and Google against “traditional” media services such as newspapers. To “help” these traditional media companies against the supposedly big, bad tech companies, the JCPA mandates that platforms pay news publishers to link to their articles, creates an artificial limit discouraging news platforms from expanding their newsrooms’ reach to reap the law’s benefits, and creates an eight-year safe harbor from existing antitrust laws including allowing news companies to collude with one another. In short, this proposal empowers the government to help out its favored, eligible news services while also attacking today’s successful tech companies. The real losers, however, are the American people.

The media plays an important role in public discourse, and one incredible benefit of the internet is the ability to access both hyperlocal information and news sources from around the world. For the average consumer, this means access to more sources of information and different voices than ever before. No longer is it just a matter of what makes the morning edition of a few newspapers, but instead, we can see what is happening on the other side of the world and read commentary from new perspectives.

It has allowed us to stay connected to what’s going on back home even when we’re far away and unable to get our favorite local news sources in print. For example, a beloved local pub in Arlington, Virginia, recently caught fire after a car crashed into it. Like many familiar with Ireland’s Four Courts, I rushed online to see what had happened. Initially, the first reports of the incident came from bystander tweets of a local news site. Much to my and others’ benefit, social platforms enable the quick sharing of this information rather than having to physically go find it, or worse, wait until the evening news or the next day’s local or national paper decides to run it (or not).

But laws like the JCPA could make it more difficult and costly for platforms to provide access and allow users to share this sort of information from small, local news sources. Consumers might end up facing additional paywalls as online platforms will have to pay for sharing news.

Looking into the media industry itself, it’s no secret that Americans increasingly distrust legacy news organizations. According to a recent Gallup poll, trust in the media has crashed over the past 30 years. But the press as an idea is still seen as very important to democracy.

As such, Americans and people globally still rely on local and niche news sources to obtain information that may not be important to others. But today, consumers are getting that information from more and different forms than ever before. Not only do we have traditional newspapers, TV, and radio channels, but we also have new types of media emerging, such as podcasts, apps, videos, blogs, and newsletters.

This dynamism is increasing the reach of legacy and emerging outlets alike without the need for the government to step in. However, traditional media outlets seem to be worried about current sentiments against their industry, and they may be turning to the government to ensure they remain viable even if Americans reject them. It’s a playbook seen in other instances of industries running to the government and begging it to make things “fair” when the competition heats up, rather than evolving with market demands. The result would likely be, as has happened before, that the government unfairly props up those who are least useful in a changing market by giving them special privileges.


But the potential damage that laws like the JCPA could do is not purely theoretical. We can look at the consequences Australia has faced in light of a similar law. Like the JCPA, Australia’s Media Bargaining Code was portrayed as protecting journalism from its loss to social media. Its actual results remain murky at best, and the way it’s designed favors certain media players like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Increasingly, it has been revealed that proposals like the JCPA are less about helping local news and more about crony capitalism.

Today’s journalists face many serious challenges, including the pressure to conform rather than innovate and improve. But the JCPA would further fail today’s independent journalists, decrease the amount of information available, and raise costs for consumers, small outlets, and online platforms.


Exclusive: Democrats go to war with Iowa and New Hampshire over 2024 –




Democrats go to war with Iowa and New Hampshire over 2024

#Democrats #war #Iowa #Hampshire

For a half-century, the presidential nominating calendar has been regular and predictable. But, on Friday, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the DNC decided to blow up the 2024 primary process.

The committee approved a new primary schedule that ended Iowa’s status as an early state and calls into question New Hampshire’s place on the calendar.

The calendar was proposed by President Joe Biden earlier this week and greatly diminishes, if not ends, the longstanding places of Iowa and New Hampshire in Democratic nominating contests. Both were states where Biden did poorly in 2020. In a letter proposing the change in the calendar, though, Biden emphasized the need to ensure voters of color had a bigger role in the nominating process.

The new schedule puts South Carolina first on Saturday, February 3, 2024, a move that came as a surprise to top Democrats in the Palmetto State. The draft calendar then has New Hampshire and Nevada three days later on February 6, followed by Georgia on February 13 and Michigan on February 27. The full Democratic National Committee will almost certainly ratify this calendar early next year.

This means that the Democratic nominating contest will begin with South Carolina, the only state where Tom Steyer in 2020 and Al Sharpton in 2004 have finished in the top three in a presidential primary. However, it’s likely to set off a chaotic scramble over which state goes first.

National political parties don’t determine when states hold their nominating contests. That’s the subject of state law. However, national parties are fully within their rights to sanction states that don’t follow their rules for how to hold nominating contests, or throw out the results altogether.

In advance of rolling out this new schedule, the Democratic Party already added more teeth to its ability to crack down on states that buck the DNC to hold nominating contests earlier in the primary. Recent rules changes give the party more latitude to crack down on candidates who campaign in states that hold unsanctioned contests.

In setting the calendar, the resolution passed Friday also requires state elected officials to pledge to abide by DNC rules, otherwise they lose their position as an early state. In Georgia, it requires Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, to certify that he will hold the state’s presidential primary on February 13. This would either require Georgia to hold two entirely separate presidential primaries or for the Peach State to jump the line in the Republican nominating process. A spokesperson for Raffensperger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Georgia is a sideshow in this. The real targets are Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been the first two states in Democratic presidential primaries for generations and have perennially been the target of resentment as a result. Removing Iowa from the calendar accomplishes that cleanly. The state has been an obvious target since its fiasco in reporting results during the 2020 caucuses, which were in part the result of rules changes imposed on the Hawkeye State by the national Democratic Party. Scott Brennan, a DNC member from Iowa, told Vox, “We’re disappointed and believe the calendar passed ignores a vast swath of the US. There is no pre-window state in the Central or Mountain time zones. “


In the Republican presidential primary, Iowa is maintaining its traditional role as the first nominating contest and there is no reason that state Democrats couldn’t ignore the DNC and go at the same time. The entire national media will already be camped out in the state and any contest will receive significant coverage even if the caucuses would amount to no more than a glorified beauty contest.

The new rules also implicitly target New Hampshire and set up a conflict where the state legally cannot abide by the DNC’s rules. Under state law, New Hampshire’s primary must go first in the nation, seven days before any other state. (Iowa does not conflict with this because a caucus is deemed sufficiently different from a primary.)

The DNC resolution going into effect would require New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Jason Osborne, the state’s GOP House majority leader, not only to agree to repeal the state’s first-in-the-nation primary law but also to change state election law to allow more widespread early voting. In a statement, Sununu said, “This was Joe Biden’s decision, and once again, he blew it. … The good news is that our primary will still be first and the nation will not be held to a substandard process dictated by Joe Biden and the Democrat Party.” Osborne simply sarcastically told Vox, “Yes, I have a letter for the DNC. Looking forward to sending it.”

Joe Sweeney, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party and a state representative there, told Vox, “I would say it’s likelier President Biden comes back to New Hampshire to campaign again after all this than any New Hampshire Republican caving to DNC bullying regarding our FITN law … New Hampshire won’t be bullied by DC and certainly not by the DNC Rules Committee or the president.”

Ray Buckley, the longtime chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, succinctly told reporters, “We’ll have first in the nation, and whatever sanctions they have, so be it.”

This sets up a spiraling conflict over the calendar and opens up the possibility for other states to go rogue and move up. There is precedent for this. In advance of the 2008 presidential primary, the final calendar wasn’t set until December 2007, and even then there was conflict over Michigan and Florida going rogue and holding primaries in defiance of the DNC, which was not resolved until May 31, 2008, at the very end of the primary process.

But this is a year in which conflict over the calendar has comparatively few consequences. If, as expected, Biden runs for reelection, he is unlikely to face a serious challenge for the nomination. This means that any conflict over the calendar will happen during an election that is likely to be a fait accompli.

But what it does mean is that there is a precedent set in advance of 2028, which will be a wide-open field, to minimize the role of Iowa and New Hampshire. It will open the door for new fights, over exactly what states come first, that will happen with potential candidates posturing for the calendar to help them.

For all the criticisms of Iowa and New Hampshire as too white or too rural or too unrepresentative of the Democratic Party, their place on the calendar at least provided certainty and an electorate that, for better or worse, was accustomed to vetting presidential candidates. That’s not the case moving forward. The next competitive Democratic presidential primary will happen without any preset calendar or clear rules of the road.

In the meantime, the Republican presidential calendar is set and a host of candidates will show up in Iowa and New Hampshire as usual in advance of 2024, while the national Democratic Party might go to war with the state parties in both states.

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Exclusive: The Midterms Were a Hollow Victory for Democrats –




The Midterms Were a Hollow Victory for Democrats

#Midterms #Hollow #Victory #Democrats

But amidst all the liberal revelry lies an uncomfortable, little-reported fact: Democrats lost the House popular vote by three points.

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Exclusive: After Macron Complains About U.S. Climate Policy, Biden Rushes To Appease the EU –




After Macron Complains About U.S. Climate Policy, Biden Rushes To Appease the EU

#Macron #Complains #Climate #Policy #Biden #Rushes #Appease

It appears that when the rest of the world says “jump” to Joe Biden, his response is “how high?”

After French President Emmanuel Macron ripped U.S. energy policy on Wednesday, saying that the Inflation Reduction Act could have dire consequences for the French and other European economies, Biden appeared to carry on with business as usual with his America Last policy.

Biden immediately went into appeasement mode, saying the U.S. and the European Union could “work out” any differences caused by the Biden administration’s, what Macron called “super aggressive,” climate policies.

At issue are government subsidies for green tech and energy. 

Macron and Biden appeared at a joint press conference where Biden stated, “We’re going to continue to create manufacturing jobs in America but not at the expense of Europe. We can work out some of the differences that exist, I’m confident.”

Macron agreed saying, “Everything that is absolutely decisive, because as a matter of fact, we share the same vision and the same willingness.”

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European Concerns

At the heart of European concerns about the Inflation Reduction Act is that if components for electric cars and other green technology is manufactured in the U.S. and gets subsidies from the federal government, European manufacturers will suffer economic consequences. 

With Europe already struggling with high fuel costs due to the war in Ukraine (though not France, which derives 70% of its power from nuclear energy,) Macron has taken the lead to call on the EU to come up with its own green subsidies program.

According to Politico, of course the Biden administration is all in to help other nations while it heaps close to $400 billion in new taxes on Americans.

RELATED: Americans Are Fed Up With Woke Military Leadership: Poll Shows Less Than 50% Now Trust

Earlier Biden-Macron Spat

This is not the first time that Joe Biden has been in hot water with his French counterpart.

Back in October, while attending a Democrat fundraiser, Biden stated that the U.S. could be looking at for the first time in decades “the direct threat of the use of a nuclear weapon if, in fact, things continue down the path they are going.” His comments were in reference to the war in Ukraine.

The nuclear annihilation comments did not sit well with Macron. He responded by saying, “We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters. I have always refused to engage in political fiction, and especially … when speaking of nuclear weapons,” he added. “On this issue, we must be very careful.”

Macron also said that he wanted “to be respected as a good friend,” but that Inflation Reduction Act policy would “perhaps fix your issue but you will increase my problem.”

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