The FCC Just Faked Out America With
Last-Minute Vote On Consumer
Ajit Pai is BIG MONEY’s plant in the FCC. We have one chance left to save Net Neutrality, contact your Law Maker in Washington and tell them to support Net Neutrality by overturning the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality with the CRA.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to have pulled some fast and fancy moves this week, as a controversial change to its complaint review process was seemingly pulled, and then suddenly passed.
Today, the FCC’s four remaining commissioners voted along party lines to approve a package of rule changes around how it handles consumer feedback, including complaints against internet service providers (ISPs), following several long-term scandals about its actions and/or inaction in this area.
Earlier this week, one aspect of that package drew public ire when a series of media reports pointed out that more Americans might have to pay $225 to have the FCC review their complaints.
The matter at hand, as Motherboard deftly explained, is this:
As it stands, the FCC currently accepts two kinds of complaints from cable or broadband subscribers: formal and informal. Informal complaints are free but often ignored. In contrast, formal complaints cost a $225 processing fee and kick off a cumbersome legal process involving hearings and paperwork most users won’t have the time for.
A fact sheet circulated by the FCC… claims the agency’s proposed rule change simply “streamlines and consolidates procedural rules” involving said complaints. But a letter sent to the FCC by Democratic Senators Frank Pallone Jr. and Mike Doyle claims that under the changes the FCC would have forwarded all informal complaints to ISPs without reading them, forcing consumers to pay a $225 fee if they want to be taken seriously by the agency.
Some confusion ensued, but ultimately the FCC reportedly said it would postpone voting on that matter in today’s hearing, but then Chairman Ajit Pai proposed and successfully passed it, anyway.
In his comprehensive summary of the whole situation, Gizmodo’s Rhett Jones described this week’s fast-moving mess the best: “By sneaking the changes through a vote via complicated legalese and the use of footnotes, the FCC has at least done us a favor in bringing it to everyone’s attention that the rules are bullshit and require taxpayers to cough up more money if they want to guarantee their complaint will be taken seriously.”
As media quoted widely, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the only remaining Democrat after Mignon Clyburn’s emphatic resignation earlier this year, called the decision “bonkers.”
Investigation: Obama’s People Drugged,
Force-Fed Meds to Border Kids
The journalism hall of shame keeps getting more crowded.
A blockbuster report last week by the Center for Investigative Reporting cast a glaring light on a practice of U.S. authorities forcing immigrant children who have been separated from their parents to take psychiatric medicines – and forcibly injecting them if they resisted.
But in its eagerness to damn President Donald Trump and his administration for yet another aspect of handling illegal alien minors, according to a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner, the report left out one crucial detail.
The practice began during the Obama administration, and three of the four minors who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit naming Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a defendant were actually drugged long before Trump even took the oath of office.
As reported by the Washington Examiner’s Philip Wegmann, a lengthy article published Wednesday by Reveal, a publication of the Center for Investigative Reporting, failed to note anywhere in the text that the practice of drugging illegal alien children at a Houston-area social services contractor was begun while Obama was in the White House.
“The reporting is detailed and horrific, but the story creates a fake villain,” Wegmann wrote. “The first words of the piece are ‘President Donald Trump.’ The article blames Trump and his current zero tolerance policy on immigration for creating “a zombie army of children.” That is misleading at best.
“Three of the four children cited in the report were drugged during the Obama administration. According to federal court filings, only one occurred while Trump was actually president. The other three happened in 2016. That timing is left out of the story, which, after opening with Trump’s policies, never mentions the years of the specific incidents of mistreatment.”
“Misleading at best”? Wegmann is being kind.
As he noted, the first three words of the piece are “President Donald Trump.” The piece was published in the middle of a nationwide hysteria over the status of children of illegal aliens who have been separated from their parents. The wrong conclusion is obviously easy to draw — intentionally easy, apparently.
Only a reader willing to dig into the lawsuit filings that are linked to the article would have a clue that the practice is not some monstrosity cooked up by the administration of the man who’s now holds the presidency.
There is one hint in the article that the contractor – the Shiloh Treatment Center – had a history of problems that predate the Trump administration. Namely, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee had been calling for the center to be closed as early as 2014. (This might be the first and only time the regrettable Rep. Lee might not have been utterly wrong about something.)
But the editors of the ironically named Reveal had to know that the percentage of readers willing to read into the actual court filings linked with the article would be vanishingly small. Likewise, the offhand reference to Lee doesn’t so much establish a time frame for problems at the center as emphasize the false impression that Democrats are the party that actually cares about children.
It looks like there’s more than “misleading” that’s happening here. It looks a lot like a deliberate deception, a slight of journalistic hand that pretends to “reveal” some fact when conveying an idea that’s completely different from reality.
But what is absolutely clear is depth to which anti-Trump journalists are willing to go to smear the administration with loosely presented facts.
Given the hoaxes that have already been perpetrated surrounding the story of the “separated families” there’s no denying what’s happening.
Liberals have lied to the American people about caged children (using pictures taken during the Obama administration or outright staged for propaganda purposes). They’ve deliberately misrepresented the picture of the little girl who made the cover of Time magazine.
Major media (including USA Today) picked up a story about 1,450 children allegedly “lost” by the Trump administration when it wasn’t true.
And these are just a few of the examples.
The “Russian collusion” coverage has been skewed and tainted, but for sheer, outrageous misstatements and half-truths, it’s doubtful the country has seen distortion like this from the media since the “hands up, don’t shoot” lies of the Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrations turned into a national movement by Black Lives Matter thugs.
But the truth will come out eventually. And it’s going to hurt the liberal media more than it hurts the rest of the country.
Until then, the journalism hall of shame is just going to keep getting bigger.
Obama administration delivered illegal immigrant children to predators,
“Worse yet, the administration acknowledged that it can’t account for each of the 90,000 children it processed and released since the surge peaked in 2014.”
The Washington Times – Thursday, January 28, 2016
The Obama administration sent illegal immigrant children into “modern-day slavery” by turning them over to sponsors who forced them into child labor or subjected them to sexual abuse, members of Congress said Thursday as they demanded that top child protection officials explain how it could have happened.
“I do hope all you President Trump haters can read better than you remember history, because here is just one sick part of Obama’s Legacy, and also I hope everyone pays attention to the lies HHS/CPS tells to Our Law Makers.”
Social workers don’t verify all sponsors’ identities, don’t make site visits to see the conditions they’re sending the children to, don’t insist on follow-up visits to see how the kids are doing and don’t consider serious criminal records — including child sex charges — automatic disqualification for hosting a child, congressional investigators said.
As a result, the government delivered children into the hands of what amounted to sexual predators or abusers or placed them into abject poverty, investigators detailed in a report about malfeasance at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.
One girl was sent to live with a man who claimed he was her cousin and who had paid to smuggle her into the U.S. It turned out he wasn’t related at all, but instead had paid to bring the girl — with her mother’s encouragement — on the understanding that she would become his wife. She became uncomfortable with their sexual relationship, came forward to report the real story and was taken into child protective services.
In another case, a boy was turned over to a man who posed as a relative, but was in fact connected to smugglers who forced the child to work almost 12 hours a day to pay off the $6,500 his mother gave to smuggle him into the U.S., congressional investigators said. That situation is so prevalent it has earned a name: debt labor.
Worse yet, the administration acknowledged that it can’t account for each of the 90,000 children it processed and released since the surge peaked in 2014.
“It sounds like everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which conducted a six-month investigation into the government’s handling of the tens of thousands of children who have poured across the border in the past few years.
Mark Greenberg, acting assistant secretary at the Administration for Children and Families, the HHS agency that oversees the handling of the children, stumbled for answers during a two-hour grilling, but said his officers were only following their policies.
He insisted that if there was a fault, it lay with Congress, who needed to rewrite the laws if it wanted his social workers to do more to keep children safe.
“What we’re talking about today is our understanding under the law,” he said.
The Obama administration admits it was overwhelmed when unaccompanied children — those sent on the treacherous journey north without a parent or guardian in tow — streamed across the border at the rate of more than 10,000 a month during the peak in the summer of 2014.
Local communities waged “not in my backyard” campaigns to keep the children from being housed at facilities near them, so the administration looked to quickly process and release the kids. Part of that meant relaxing the checks that were performed.
The Washington Times reported in July 2014, at the height of the surge, that advocates predicted children would be sent to unsafe homes, with one group estimating that as many as 10 percent of the children were being sent to live in unacceptable or dangerous conditions.
But 18 months on, the Obama administration has yet to revoke a single sponsor’s custody agreement, with the administration saying once it has placed a child in the hands of a sponsor — either a relative, family friend or someone else — they no longer have control.
If a sponsor refuses to answer questions and shuts the door in the face of a social worker, there’s nothing the administration can do, Mr. Greenberg told the Senate panel.
“Our view that we don’t have continuing custody after we release a child is a long-standing view,” he said.
“If this is an area where Congress wants the law to be different, Congress should change the law.”
HHS did not disqualify families even if the sponsor was an illegal immigrant in danger of being deported himself.
Home visits are made in just 4 percent of the tens of thousands of cases, and it wasn’t until earlier this week — years into the unaccompanied minor crisis — that HHS adopted a new policy preventing children from being shipped to homes where someone has been convicted of a sex crime.
“We’re talking about felony convictions for child abuse. Hello?” said a frustrated Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat.
About 90 percent of the children were sent to live with parents or close relatives, but that left thousands who were placed with other sponsors — often people claiming to be family friends.
The subcommittee investigation found some sponsors tried to claim multiple children, and some addresses were repeatedly listed on sponsorship forms, suggesting that government officials should have spotted something wrong.
In the worst public case so far, investigators said human traffickers used the government’s placement program to sneak kids from Guatemala to the U.S., where HHS processed them at the border, then delivered them to supposed family friends. But the friends turned out to be sponsors-for-hire who, as soon as they collected the kids from HHS, turned them over to the traffickers who were running an egg farm in Marion County, Ohio, and needed the children for cheap labor.
The children were forced to work 12-hour days, six or seven days a week, and lived together in a dilapidated trailer. The traffickers withheld paychecks and threatened their families back home in Guatemala to intimidate the children, Mr. Portman said.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard. But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers,” he said.
Father of boy who civil jury says was sexually assaulted worries that teacher who did it is still near kids
Dallas County, TX – A Dallas civil jury found a teacher sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy with autism. Now the child’s father is raising concerns about whether the teacher is still around children at the same school.
His son had attended Anderson Private School in Parker County for six weeks when, the civil jury found, Alexander Anderson, now 31, sexually assaulted the boy on an Oct. 31, 2014 field trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Grand Prairie. The teacher, Alexander Anderson, lives with his parents in a nearby home that shares the same address as the school.
The father of the boy is afraid that Anderson may still have “access to kids,” he said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. The News does not typically identify victims of sexual assault or their families. The boy just turned 15.
The civil jury awarded the boy and his father more than $8 million in December after finding Anderson committed sexual assault and assault against the boy and after finding that Anderson’s parents had defamed the child’s father during a police investigation into the incident.
No criminal charges have been filed and Grand Prairie police closed the investigation. The case was tried in Dallas because Ripley’s is in Dallas County.
William “Rocky” Feemster, an attorney for the Andersons and the school, said Alexander Anderson, his parents and the school say no sexual assault occurred.
“My clients disputed the allegations and continue to do that,” he said. “My clients, especially Alexander Anderson, denied this even occurred.”
Feemster confirmed that Anderson still lives “contiguous” to Anderson Private School. Records show they share the same Fort Worth address on five acres in Parker County. Several buildings are located on the property, including the home where Anderson lives with his parents, who founded and operate the school.
Anderson also worked at the school and the school’s website still says he is on the staff, but Feemster says he stopped working for the school after the jury’s verdict.
Anderson does not have a criminal conviction and a civil jury’s verdict does not require him to register as a sex offender. So there’s nothing to prevent him from living close to a school.
In December, a jury awarded the boy $4,041,250 from Alexander Anderson “for the sexual assault and the assault,” according to court records. The same jury also awarded the father $1.75 million “for the defamation” by William Anderson and $2.5 million “for the defamation” by LeVonna Anderson. William Anderson is Alexander Anderson’s father and LeVonna Anderson is his mother.
The boy is a high functioning autistic child, according to his father. He attended regular classes in public school with the help of an aide until, as the school district grew, the father decided to look elsewhere. He chose Anderson Private School because it presented itself to the boy’s family as a safe environment with highly qualified teachers in a highly supervised environment. There were about 15 students enrolled when the boy attended, his father said.
The field trip
All students leave the school each Friday for “an adventurous experience” and they also take an overnight trip each year, according to the school’s website.
The father of the assault victim chaperoned the 2014 field trip to Ripley’s, which features a wax museum and an exhibit of odd but true events.
During the trip, the father said in an interview, he began to panic when he lost sight of his son.
Grainy, silent surveillance video shows the boy and his father in the lobby. The father walks into an adjacent room to talk to others on the field trip. John Sloan, the family attorney, said the father was asking other adults on the trip whether they were going through the exhibits as a single group or in smaller groups. In the video, the father picks up his belongings and walks back to the lobby.
Only seconds have passed, but his son is no longer in the lobby. Another camera recorded Alexander Anderson walking out of an exhibit and the boy following him back inside the exhibit.
The father said he found his son alone in the gift shop after they’d been separated about 11 minutes. At the time, the father said, he didn’t realize something had happened to his son while they were separated.
“It was during this field trip that Alexander Anderson preyed upon and sexually assaulted” the child, the lawsuit alleged. “Alexander Anderson was familiar with Ripley’s, as the Anderson School had taken field trips there in the past. As a result of his familiarity, Alexander Anderson knew Ripley’s did not have adequate security or adequate staffing in many areas of the premises and there would be ample opportunity to commit his intended sexual assault.”
The lawsuit said Alexander Anderson “took advantage of” the boy’s disability and “lured” him “into an area at Ripley’s where he knew they were alone and away from the group, and sexually assaulted” him.
Later, at home, the father began to worry that something had happened on the field trip. He told The News that his son, “told me later that evening that the teachers at his school were ‘mean.’ He had been super excited about school until then.”
The father phoned the son’s therapist, Sloan said. The therapist later met with the boy and then called the police.
According to medical records from Cook Children’s hospital in Fort Worth, the boy told a nurse specific details about the assault.
He also told the nurse “Alex is bad. I don’t like Anderson school.”
Grand Prairie police began to investigate the case Nov. 4. 2014, but said in a statement that there was not enough evidence to file charges.
“Both insufficient evidence and conflicting evidence hindered prosecution of this case,” the department said in a statement. “Should additional evidence become available, we will immediately re-open the case.”
Sloan said a flawed police investigation prevented a criminal case from moving forward.
“By allowing the adult suspect’s mother to be present during Alexander Anderson’s first and only interrogation, and by allowing her to dominate the interrogation with defamatory statement after defamatory statement about the victim’s father the GPPD investigation was tainted from the beginning,” Sloan said.
Typically, law enforcement investigators interview people separately or with only their attorneys present. When people are interviewed together, officers have a more difficult time determining their individual version of events.
The father said William and LeVonna Anderson told police and others that he was “on drugs” and was “outside using drugs” during the field trip. In the civil trial, the jury awarded part of the $8 million judgment for defamation after finding those allegations to be false.
Grand Prairie police declined to answer questions about whether defamatory statements against the father or interviewing Alexander Anderson and his mother at the same time damaged the investigation.
Feemster, the attorney for the Andersons, said the police investigation went nowhere because Alexander Anderson committed no crime.
The school does not have insurance, Sloan said. The Andersons’ homeowners insurance policy covers defamation, he said, but not money owed to the boy because of the sexual assault.
Earlier this month, the school, the Andersons and their insurance company came to an agreement with the father and his son on how to resolve the case. The agreement could be finalized soon, but the terms are confidential.
Feemster said his clients’ insurance company decided to settle rather than appeal. Both sides, he said, wanted to settle “to get away from each other” and have the case finished.
The News tried to reach the Andersons through the school. A man who answered the school’s phone declined to identify himself or answer questions about the lawsuit.
“It was a frivolous lawsuit. Nothing ever happened. It was done for money,” the man said before hanging up.
The father said he hopes Grand Prairie police carry on with the investigation.
The father said his son’s life will never be the same after the assault, adding that he is worried about other students at the school.
“We hoped to make it so he’s not a teacher anymore,” the father said. His son is “alive but he’s destroyed.”
“Our mission is to keep the community safe and pursue justice, while promoting a fair and equitable criminal justice system,” the State Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “We follow the rule of the law and do not pursue charges unless we have a good faith belief based on the evidence that the person committed the crime of which he or she is accused. In working with law enforcement during a thorough investigation of the Hoskinson case, we determined that a key witness fabricated and manipulated evidence and that there was not credible evidence to pursue the charges at issue. Accordingly, we have declined to file charges and have closed the investigation.”
What started as an argument with a family member turned physical when Kimberly Hoskinson pushed the victim and Michael Hoskinson punched the victim twice in the ribs, investigators said at the time.
“The Tampa Police Department made arrests in the Hoskinson case based on probable cause and in the interest of protecting a victim,” the department said in a statement. “As is standard in such cases, the investigation continued after the arrest. As a result of that thorough investigation new information came to light, which resulted in the actions announced by the State Attorneys Office today.”
The Hoskinsons, who were silent as they wiped tears from their eyes during a Monday afternoon press conference, will meet with district officials within the next few days to determine their future positions.
“The district is sensitive to everything the Hoskinsons have gone through,” Hillsborough schools said in a statement. “Their positions with the district have not been determined at this time.”