Regulatory lapdogs

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Regulatory lapdogs are supposed to be "watchdogs" but have fallen over to becoming tools of the industries which they are supposed to oversee. Cases are evident within the Bush regime of

  • FCC [1]
    • "On June 27, 2005, in a 6 to 3 decision (National Cable & Telecommunications Association vs. Brand X Internet Services) the United States Supreme Court ruled that giant cable companies like Comcast and Verizon are not required to share their cables with other Internet service providers (ISPs). The Court opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, was fashioned to serve corporate interests. Instead of taking up the question of whether corporate monopolies would destroy the open-access architecture of the Internet, it used sophistry and legally- suspect arguments to obscure its constitutional duty to protect media diversity, free speech, and the public interest." [2]
  • United States Supreme Court
    • "By deferring to the FCC instead of exercising its own judicial discretion in determining what really was reasonable, the Court mooted the point of having an independent, ultimate court of appeals in the first place. This is to provide checks and balances on the activities of the other two branches of government, and to settle controversial, politically significant cases with far-reaching social consequences. Instead, it abandoned its constitutional charge to protect the First Amendment right of all Americans to freedom of speech in cyberspace from encroachment by big business acting in tandem with federal government." [3]

"With key positions in the hands of industry veterans, the administration has been able to pursue one of its most effective stealth tactics -- steering clear of legislative battles and working instead within the difficult-to-understand, yawn-producing realm of agency regulations. It's a strategy that has served Bush well, especially in his push to give the energy industry -- which donated $ 2.8 mm to the 2000 Bush campaign -- access to some of the nation's last wild lands." [9]

"By using stealth tactics to pursue a corporate agenda, the Bush administration is undermining the very landscape of democracy. The White House has also been darkly brilliant at using the courts to do its dirty work -- through methods such as "sweetheart suits," the practice of encouraging states and private groups to file lawsuits against the federal government, and then agreeing to negotiated settlements that bypass environmental laws without any interference from Congress or the public. [10]

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