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(The Hill)   Three leading House Energy and Commerce Committee democrats are calling for an oversight hearing on President Bush's Obama phone program   (thehill.com) divider line 41
    More: Obvious, President Obama, Democrats, President Bush, Commerce Committee, Diana DeGette, lifeline, oversight, Henry Waxman  
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932 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Mar 2013 at 11:04 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-08 10:48:20 AM
I pretty sure a right wing blog, Red State, opinion piece by right-wing Eric Erickson recently cited the Obamaphone "scandal" as an example of Conservative looking like complete idiots.

When the chicken farkers are telling you to lay off the chicken, you know you should think about taking a break.
 
2013-03-08 11:07:11 AM

mrshowrules: I pretty sure a right wing blog, Red State, opinion piece by right-wing Eric Erickson recently cited the Obamaphone "scandal" as an example of Conservative looking like complete idiots.

When the chicken farkers are telling you to lay off the chicken, you know you should think about taking a break.


that was a funny video
 
2013-03-08 11:08:49 AM
You mean, Reagan is finally having an oversight hearing?
 
2013-03-08 11:10:50 AM

Farkomatic: You mean, Reagan is finally having an oversight hearing?


www.fgi.com

Reaganphone
 
2013-03-08 11:10:51 AM
Good. Is anyone opposed to people asking if current policies are wasteful or not?
 
2013-03-08 11:12:32 AM

nmrsnr: Good. Is anyone opposed to people asking if current policies are wasteful or not?


this hearing will probably cost more than the Obamareagabush phone
 
2013-03-08 11:14:20 AM

Farkomatic: You mean, Reagan is finally having an oversight hearing?


This
 
2013-03-08 11:14:29 AM

Farkomatic: You mean, Reagan is finally having an oversight hearing?


Yeah. Fun fact, the "Obama phone" program was the mobile phone version of a program started during the Reagan administration that provided poor people with land lines.
 
2013-03-08 11:15:23 AM
Headline: Obamaphone

TFA: The program, which began long before President Obama took office

Says it all right there.
 
2013-03-08 11:18:37 AM

nmrsnr: Good. Is anyone opposed to people asking if current policies are wasteful or not?


Try getting a job if your résumé includes no phone number. Seems like this tiny cost could pay dividends even if most users don't use it to find a job.
 
2013-03-08 11:23:08 AM
The program, which began long before President Obama took office, has been notorious for waste and abuse.

uhhhhh
 
2013-03-08 11:23:49 AM
If you're going to rage against a program like this, at least tell me how much the program costs/wastes so I can adjust my level of outrage accordingly.
 
2013-03-08 11:23:55 AM
it actually is literally only "notorious" because of the fact that it gives phones to people the right considers subhuman, hth
 
2013-03-08 11:28:07 AM

Jackson Herring: it actually is literally only "notorious" because of the fact that it gives phones to people the right considers subhuman, hth


"notorious" implies that this program is known for its abuse. Probably not the case since most people hadn't even heard of it until Obamaphonelady but I don't think it has anything to do with being "subhuman"

"A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "
 
2013-03-08 11:28:48 AM

skullkrusher: nmrsnr: Good. Is anyone opposed to people asking if current policies are wasteful or not?

this hearing will probably cost more than the Obamareagabush phone


FTFA: "The FCC enacted reforms last year aimed at trimming billions of dollars from the program, but recent reports indicate that people who are ineligible for the program are still receiving subsidies."

Unlikely to cost billions.

Three Crooked Squirrels: Try getting a job if your résumé includes no phone number. Seems like this tiny cost could pay dividends even if most users don't use it to find a job.


Then it's not wasteful if it pays off. The FCC says it already saved $200 million through reforms and that we're potentially wasting billions on those who aren't eligible, the committee isn't saying they're going to end the program, they just want to know if the money is well spent, or if they can save some or better spend the money they are already spending. This isn't a Republican NPR, ACORN, etc. witch hunt, this is asking if our current policies are working, which is exactly what government should do.
 
2013-03-08 11:29:59 AM

THX 1138: Headline: Obamaphone

TFA: The program, which began long before President Obama took office

Says it all right there.


Damn you Obama and your time machine
 
2013-03-08 11:30:06 AM

nmrsnr: FTFA: "The FCC enacted reforms last year aimed at trimming billions of dollars from the program, but recent reports indicate that people who are ineligible for the program are still receiving subsidies."

Unlikely to cost billions.


Right. Closer to trillions I'd say
 
2013-03-08 11:31:24 AM

Jackson Herring: it actually is literally only "notorious" because of the fact that it gives phones to people the right considers subhuman, hth

that video where the blah lady yells "OBAMAPHONE!" real loud.

Seriously.

That's it.

And the sudden and vocal CARE that people have mustered just tells me that these people didn't know the program existed before.  Which means they are farking idiots for bothering to write or talk about it in the first place.
 
2013-03-08 11:32:15 AM

skullkrusher: Jackson Herring: it actually is literally only "notorious" because of the fact that it gives phones to people the right considers subhuman, hth

"notorious" implies that this program is known for its abuse. Probably not the case since most people hadn't even heard of it until Obamaphonelady but I don't think it has anything to do with being "subhuman"

"A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "


A lot of the abuse stemmed from the design of the program regarding certification of eligibility.
The program left it up to the carrier to decide who was eligible and then had the carrier's reporting requirements lax as well.

The program serves a noble purpose and deserves to be continued, but the scrutiny is good,  as it shows that corporate America,
when left to their own devices, will abuse government programs to squeeze out extra profit.

Gee, whodathunkit?
 
2013-03-08 11:32:35 AM

skullkrusher: "A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "


I'm sure the providers aren't particularly concerned as long as they're getting the money.
 
2013-03-08 11:36:41 AM

GoldSpider: skullkrusher: "A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "

I'm sure the providers aren't particularly concerned as long as they're getting the money.


well, yeah
 
2013-03-08 11:37:06 AM

BeesNuts: And the sudden and vocal CARE that people have mustered just tells me that these people didn't know the program existed before.  Which means they are farking idiots for bothering to write or talk about it in the first place.


no, I was hearing that Obama gives iPhones to poor black people a long time before that video came out

that isn't an exaggeration by the way, that was literally a conversation that I had with a person
 
2013-03-08 11:42:31 AM

Jackson Herring: BeesNuts: And the sudden and vocal CARE that people have mustered just tells me that these people didn't know the program existed before.  Which means they are farking idiots for bothering to write or talk about it in the first place.

no, I was hearing that Obama gives iPhones to poor black people a long time before that video came out

that isn't an exaggeration by the way, that was literally a conversation that I had with a person


did you have that conversation with Obamaphonelady?  That's literally what she said too :)
 
2013-03-08 11:58:03 AM
Obamaphone:
A program started back in 1985ish signed into law by Reagan and only/last modified in 2003 and signed into law by Bush and not modified by Congress once since.
 
2013-03-08 12:00:49 PM

skullkrusher: GoldSpider: skullkrusher: "A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "

I'm sure the providers aren't particularly concerned as long as they're getting the money.

well, yeah


The law requires zero accountability fom the telcos. It's a no brainer that they would give out as many lines as they could.
 
2013-03-08 12:03:28 PM
Last October, I made a Word document that looked like a printed Fox News website article, stating that 0bama had promised to expand the 0bamaphone program by offering free iPhones.  The gist of it was a description of a campaign speech given during a stop in Dayton OH:

"As part of a new stimulus bill, I've created a program for Americans to upgrade from a ten dollar dumb phone to a real, honest-to-goodness smartphone, so they can search for jobs, submit resumes, check their email for job offers when the economy recovers thanks to my policies, and even do online banking so they can deposit their paychecks when they land that great new unionized job.  Let me be clear: Americans need these smartphones, for the smart jobs of the twenty first century.  Now, I realize that this is going to be an expensive upgrade.  And I want to be fiscally responsible, so this isn't just a giveaway.  I'm not going to put the cost on our children, or borrow money from China to do this.  So I've proposed a fair way to fund this, which will be a rider to 0bamacare.  The revenue to pay for this will come from a small five percent extra income tax levied on doctors, a ten percent reduction in Medicare payments, and a ten percent federal commercial activities tax on for-profit hospitals and surgery centers.  That way, we can save money on health care, and get you a free 0bamaphone at the same time.  It's a win-win situation!"

I surreptitiously left several copies around my office, and at the surgery center where I and my partners work.

It caused an amazing localized shiatstorm.  People photocopied it for distribution to their colleagues.  When they tried to find the article on the Fox News website (yeah, I put a fake url in the header on the printed pages too) and got a 404 error, they blamed 0bama. "Goddamn it!  I'll bet 0bama blocked that story, or made Fox News pull it off the internet!"   Soon, CRNAs and industry reps were spreading the rumor to other hospitals.  Because it was getting out of hand, I confessed that the whole thing was a cruel prank.

The amazing thing is that  there are still a few holdouts who insist it was authentic.  "Are you saying you think that's a joke?  It's not funny to me!  That's gonna be a lot of money he's stealing from us!"

"Uhhh... no, I'm telling you that I made that up.  It was a prank that got out of hand.  it's total fiction."

"No, I saw it.  With my own eyes.  On Fox News."

*facepalm*

Anyway, now I feel a sort of kinship with Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley.  End of CSB.
 
2013-03-08 12:05:38 PM

Chagrin: skullkrusher: GoldSpider: skullkrusher: "A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "

I'm sure the providers aren't particularly concerned as long as they're getting the money.

well, yeah

The law requires zero accountability fom the telcos. It's a no brainer that they would give out as many lines as they could.


sure which is why it shouldn't be administered by them.
 
2013-03-08 12:13:04 PM

skullkrusher: Chagrin: skullkrusher: GoldSpider: skullkrusher: "A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "

I'm sure the providers aren't particularly concerned as long as they're getting the money.

well, yeah

The law requires zero accountability fom the telcos. It's a no brainer that they would give out as many lines as they could.

sure which is why it shouldn't be administered by them.


But socialism!!
 
2013-03-08 12:14:59 PM

GoldSpider: skullkrusher: Chagrin: skullkrusher: GoldSpider: skullkrusher: "A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. "

I'm sure the providers aren't particularly concerned as long as they're getting the money.

well, yeah

The law requires zero accountability fom the telcos. It's a no brainer that they would give out as many lines as they could.

sure which is why it shouldn't be administered by them.

But socialism!!


1/2 way there by giving telcos the money. Might as well go full bore and let the gubmint administer the program. Telcos can apply to the gubmint for the subsidies on a quarterly basis.
 
2013-03-08 12:20:35 PM

skullkrusher: 1/2 way there by giving telcos the money. Might as well go full bore and let the gubmint administer the program. Telcos can apply to the gubmint for the subsidies on a quarterly basis.


How far behind would be the "Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Obama government takeover of telecommunications!!1!"?
 
2013-03-08 12:29:47 PM

nmrsnr: Three Crooked Squirrels: Try getting a job if your résumé includes no phone number. Seems like this tiny cost could pay dividends even if most users don't use it to find a job.

Then it's not wasteful if it pays off. The FCC says it already saved $200 million through reforms and that we're potentially wasting billions on those who aren't eligible, the committee isn't saying they're going to end the program, they just want to know if the money is well spent, or if they can save some or better spend the money they are already spending. This isn't a Republican NPR, ACORN, etc. witch hunt, this is asking if our current policies are working, which is exactly what government should do.


Fair enough.
 
2013-03-08 12:30:59 PM

GoldSpider: skullkrusher: 1/2 way there by giving telcos the money. Might as well go full bore and let the gubmint administer the program. Telcos can apply to the gubmint for the subsidies on a quarterly basis.

How far behind would be the "Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Obama government takeover of telecommunications!!1!"?


I already got them... from the future
 
2013-03-08 12:43:58 PM

Parthenogenetic: "Uhhh... no, I'm telling you that I made that up.  It was a prank that got out of hand.  it's total fiction."


You could say it sprung fully-formed from your head.
 
2013-03-08 12:46:17 PM

Jackson Herring: BeesNuts: And the sudden and vocal CARE that people have mustered just tells me that these people didn't know the program existed before.  Which means they are farking idiots for bothering to write or talk about it in the first place.

no, I was hearing that Obama gives iPhones to poor black people a long time before that video came out

that isn't an exaggeration by the way, that was literally a conversation that I had with a person


I am so sorry that you know real people like this.  Have you tried one-upping their crazy?  Right to their face?

"That's not the farking half of it!  The iPhones all come preloaded with GPS tracking software that feed directly into the NICS database.  When you apply for your Obamaphone, you are required to sign an agreement saying you will photograph any person or persons carrying firearms of any sort for the purpose of cataloging the locations, faces, and habits of law abiding gun owners.  You just wait and see.  I buried all my guns in my yard until a republican gets back into office.  I won't be taken advantage of, and I suggest you do the same."

:lights cigarette:

"Farking Trashcan Hustle&Flow O'blamer.  I can't wait until his ass gets tossed to the curb, ya know what I'm sayin?"

:walks away:

"Farking asshole."
 
2013-03-08 01:12:52 PM
Some people believe that the government is using taxpayer's money to run this program, however this claim is false. The Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administers by Federal Communication Commission (FCC) along with a private entity known as the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), pays for the Lifeline Assistance Program.
 
2013-03-08 01:33:40 PM
Why does it always seem like the people who want to cut costs and have specific details on how to go about it are Democrats?
 
2013-03-08 01:48:59 PM

Usurper4: Why does it always seem like the people who want to cut costs and have specific details on how to go about it are Democrats?


These cuts are far too small solve our deficit spending problem. Tax and Spend Democrats simply don't have the leadership or the initiative to make the hard choices that face America today. Elect Death and he will put us on the road to fiscal sustainability!
 
2013-03-08 06:37:17 PM
I kept hearing about the "Obamaphone" controvoversy on the internet.  So it's the Lifeline program that they're screaming about?  My son (who was disabled and is now dead because of health issues) had one of these.  He also had to get approval renewed every year from a doctor that would attest that he was still disabled and show proof of his income.  What it was, it allowed him to get a subsidized landline phone.  It called local and he wasn't even allowed to make collect calls from it.  As with any government program there will be abuse and the fact that government workers aren't doing their job if it's being abused.

Oh, and 1985?  Zombie Reagan strikes again!
 
2013-03-08 07:19:56 PM

Bigdogdaddy: I kept hearing about the "Obamaphone" controvoversy on the internet.  So it's the Lifeline program that they're screaming about?  My son (who was disabled and is now dead because of health issues) had one of these.  He also had to get approval renewed every year from a doctor that would attest that he was still disabled and show proof of his income.


Won't argue that he was a legitimate recipient. The problem is that the telcos are billing the government for the phones they hand out and the telcos don't need to provide any documentation when they do that; there's currently no way to audit them. It's very easy for them to commit fraud and based on their rapidly increasing bills that's apparently what they're doing.
 
2013-03-09 12:40:59 AM

Chagrin: Bigdogdaddy: I kept hearing about the "Obamaphone" controvoversy on the internet.  So it's the Lifeline program that they're screaming about?  My son (who was disabled and is now dead because of health issues) had one of these.  He also had to get approval renewed every year from a doctor that would attest that he was still disabled and show proof of his income.

Won't argue that he was a legitimate recipient. The problem is that the telcos are billing the government for the phones they hand out and the telcos don't need to provide any documentation when they do that; there's currently no way to audit them. It's very easy for them to commit fraud and based on their rapidly increasing bills that's apparently what they're doing.


Then once again, it's the greedy corporations that are doing the fradulent thing to line their pockets as well as the cheating customers.  It really pisses me off because he seriously could not afford a phone, yet he did live by himself in another town and hold down a part time job, even though he was disabled.
 
2013-03-09 12:44:12 AM

Bigdogdaddy: Chagrin: Bigdogdaddy: I kept hearing about the "Obamaphone" controvoversy on the internet.  So it's the Lifeline program that they're screaming about?  My son (who was disabled and is now dead because of health issues) had one of these.  He also had to get approval renewed every year from a doctor that would attest that he was still disabled and show proof of his income.

Won't argue that he was a legitimate recipient. The problem is that the telcos are billing the government for the phones they hand out and the telcos don't need to provide any documentation when they do that; there's currently no way to audit them. It's very easy for them to commit fraud and based on their rapidly increasing bills that's apparently what they're doing.

Then once again, it's the greedy corporations that are doing the fradulent thing to line their pockets as well as the cheating customers.  It really pisses me off because he seriously could not afford a phone, yet he did live by himself in another town and hold down a part time job, even though he was disabled.


Also, it was a home phone and not a cell phone.  It's a shame people have to game the system.
 
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