Politics and Spending Bills In Congress

MacRumors: Apple’s New Privacy-Focused Tracking Prompt Begins Appearing for iOS 14 Users

As a privacy measure for their customers, Apple will be requiring developers of iPhone and iPad “apps” to request permission from users to track their activity across other apps and websites for personalized advertising purposes starting early next year. iOS 14.4 should be publicly released in January or February.

Facebook pulled out the usual canard; “They (Apple) are hurting small businesses and publishers who are already struggling in a pandemic. These changes will directly affect their ability to use their advertising budgets efficiently and effectively.”

I think Zuckerman should be more worried about what happens to section 230 than Apple allowing iPhone owners blocking their collection of personnel information. He and Facebook have lived way too long under the protection of being a small business as detailed in Section 230.

WSJ: Senate Approves Trump’s Pick for FCC

During a lame-duck session, Republicans have added a new member to the FCC an action which typically has been left to an incoming administration.

Along party lines, the Republican-led Senate voted 49-46 to approve Nathan Simington for a five-year term on the FCC.

Mr. Simington told the Senate Commerce Committee last month he saw “no reason” to change the FCC’s approach to the regulation of internet-access services, a signal he could oppose Democrats’ expected efforts to restore net-neutrality rules that Republicans recently dismantled. The rules, if reinstated, would require internet-access providers to treat content equally. Cable and telephone companies have opposed them.

If cable and telephone service providers oppose net neutrality, then there must be more to this. I do not know about you; but, 90% of the calls to my regular phone are BS calls to sell me something, “spoofing” or the fake IRS.

Know Your Spending Bills in Congress

COVID 19 Relief ($900 Billion):

Funding Unemployment insurance ($120 billion), Direct payments ($166 billion), Paycheck Protection Program ($284 billion), Vaccines, testing, health providers ($69 billion), Schools and universities ($82 billion), Rental assistance ($25 billion), Food/farm aid ($26 billion), Child care ($10 billion), Postal service forgiveness ($10 billion), etc.

Omnibus Bill ($1.4 Trillion):

Non Defense Spending ($659.6 billion): The omnibus measure wraps 12 spending bills into one and funds agency operating budgets through Sept. 30 of next year. The measure also contains more than 3,000 pages of miscellaneous legislation, such as: Surprise billing, Community health centers, Tax extenders, Water projects, Clean energy, Education, Pipeline safety, McConnell’s Horse racing “doping, New Smithsonian museums, Aircraft safety, Intelligence programs, etc.

Defense Spending ($749 Billion): The omnibus includes $671.5 billion in Base Defense spending and also provides for $77 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations spending. trump is holding the defense portion hostage in an attempt to be Santa Claus and deliver $2,000 to each constituent. 


Think of Lucy holding the football for Charlie to kick it and then pulls it away. I can see where much of the spending can be turned into a trap after the January election if the Democrats do not win both Senate seats. There is no way Republicans are going to increase taxes next year to pay for Covid relief much less to fund an additional $1400/ individual. Guess who will be blamed for the deficit and a failing economy?

Keep in mind, the trump tax breaks passed under Reconciliation to avoid a 60-vote requirement “will” sunset in 2025 and the nation will return to the prior tax brackets due to the deficits created by the tax breaks. The winners? Corporate America and those taxpayers in the upper 1% of household income who will face a much smaller tax increase percentage – wise. 

The Omnibus Bills are great places to hide things which get signed into law and often times hurt the constituents such as the Republicans blocking the funding for the Risk Corridor programs which caused healthcare insurance companies to leave the exchanges, CoOps to go bankrupt, insurance to increase in price, and constituents to scramble to find new plans. We should read the bill before we pass as we do not know what is in it (old Pelosi quote taken out of contest by Repubs).