Stimulus Bill Qs

I am confused beyond endurance by whatever-the-hell is going on (or went on) with the “final Stimulus Bill”. So maybe some of ya’ll can provide some A’s to the following Qs:

  — Where can one see a copy of the final bill? How about in .html, rather than .pdf form? Earth to Newspapers (and hell, bloggers): Give us some links to some goddam hard facts on this thing. Even the @#$% New York Times story on the Plan’s passage offers no links at all to the bill. Or whatever got passed.
  — What the hell is the NTIA, really, and how is it different from the FCC? I ask because I see it all over the place, and hardly heard about it before this. I’ve read what it says at that last link, and I get the feeling I’m missing a lot. Especially politically.
  — Are there “open network provisions” in there, like Public Knowledge said yesterday? Where? What?
  — Is “open” defined in the bill?
  — How about “broadband”? Here’s a search for “broadband” at; but I’m not even sure if it’s for the “final” plan. Or wtf it says, really. Take this, for example. Okay, I just found this. Not sure what to think about it, though.
  — Is the Internet treated as infrastructure in any serious way by this thing? I look up “Internet” at and find eleven results. Over half say something like “The secretary shall post on the Internet…”

I like this Washington Post graphic, even though it looks like a map of a boondoggle to me.

My big concern, of course, is with the Internet, which desperately needs to be liberated from the telecom Regulatorium. This “package” isn’t the right place to do that, I’m sure. But liberation needs to be done. Far more economic prosperity will arise form Internet build-out that’s free from regulatory encumberances that date back to the railroad age.

Which brings me to another question.

  — How would you deregulate the Internet? I know lots of folks (myself included, in some ways) who would like to see the Net’s virtues (openness, neutrality, whatever) protected one way or another. My question here is about what we’d get rid of. And not just at the federal level. I mean at the state, county and municipal level as well. What I’d like to see is a wide open field where anybody can get into building out the Net’s physical and wireless infrastructure in any way that does not make our varioius commons tragic.

My short answer to that one is to get rid of the whole concept of “telecom services” and “information services” — and even of “services”, in the laws that govern how we connect.

Which brings me to Freedom to Connect next month in Washington. I’ve been to most of them, and I wouldn’t miss it. The theme this year is “The Emerging Internet Economy”. I submit that more will emerge with less regulation than with more of it — especially if “more” is done inside the old telecom regime.

Bonus link. Comments included.

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18 Responses to Stimulus Bill Qs

  1. gregorylent says:

    the game is over, what good is “stimulus” when the need of the entire planet is to stop consuming useless junk .. when they get to finally having a “re-structuring bill”, we can all wake up a bit …

    and maybe by then there will be some links, some public communication, and some democracy …

    in the meantime, crash is good, crash is needed, and crash is what we get …

    enjoy the shift,

    gregory lent

  2. Dale Babcock says:

    The Bill can be viewed and/or downloaded (pdf) here:

    It’s hefty at 1434 pages… Enjoy!

  3. Not sure if you got my tweet, but whenever you need a bill ask the Library of Congress (because as the name actually suggests, it is the ‘Library’ of the House and Senate).

    Here is the bill, HR1.

    You’ll eventually see a ‘Conference Report’ on the bill that should include (in English) what is in the bill itself. But you can read the actual though somewhat arcane text of the legislation on those links.

    Here are some of the broadband provisions (though there are others)

  4. By the way, this is a link to the House Republican Study Committee (the more conservative members of the House). While they may not be in political in tune with this person or another, when I worked up there I found their research was actually pretty good (you have to understand that on about 75% of the votes, it’s not really a party/policy thing, but just a vote on ‘we’re going to spend $XXX on this or that and sometimes it is really hard to figure out just what the heck you are voting on without some professional research)

    Here is their take on the House-passed version. While it does have some political arguments, it also has, in basic English, some of what the bill does and does not do, including dollar amounts. The farther you read the more details there are:

  5. Pauly says:

    @Gregory, I tend to agree and think this crash provides an opportunity for a much needed paradigm shift, but I hope the landing at the bottom of the pit doesn’t kill too many of the relatively innocent.

    As for the fate of an internet commons in the apparently obfuscated and opaque stimulus bill, this ( doesn’t make me at all optimistic. Having the likes of Waxman at the levers is chilling.

  6. Kenny Hatcher says:

    This whole stimulus bill is ridicules. It does nothing to create long term jobs. These are all short term projects that they want to do. What are all of these people working on these projects going to do once everything is fixed? They will be jobless without any where to turn and the economy will go back down. If we are going to throw money around, lets throw some into creating jobs outside of the government. One job resource that could us a jolt of life is our manufacturing industry. I was reading articles over at about how much of this problem could have been avoided if we had not outsourced all of our manufacturing to China. We need to stop relying on the government to bail us out and start bailing each other out. If we support companies that employ Americans then maybe they will not move to China.

  7. Steve Stroh says:

    Doc: Not sure what the context is of your question about NTIA vs FCC (haven’t read the bill), but when it comes to wireless, NTIA manages / allocates / enforces portions of spectrum allocated to US Government operations. FCC manages portions of spectrum allocated to everything else. It gets muddled when it comes to public safety, as there is some (desired) interoperability between state and local government agencies and US Government agencies (FBI working with local law enforcement, etc.). NTIA has been involved in spectrum issues of late because of direction to “give back” unused USG spectrum. For example, the recently auctioned AWS band (1.7/2.1 GHz) was USG spectrum that was de-allocated. When we have cries for “more spectrum”, NTIA puckers up ’cause they know what’s coming.

  8. For text of bill, download pdf into foxit
    click tools and select Text Viewer

    cut and paste ohmy

  9. RBM says:

    @ Steve Stroh

    muddled when it comes to public safety,

    That seems to be quite well born out in WKY in the recent storm.

    Poster Airdale at
    was in the midst of it all (he’s still without grid) and he pointed that the fire station said their transmissions were encrypted. There were other problems including in the area of HAM operations.

  10. John says:


    Nobody can fix a problem that they have not correctly defined.

    We are screwed.


  11. I’d like to see them read the entire bill out loud before voting on it.

    I’d like to see them read out EVERY bill before voting on it.

    I’d like them to read out EVERY law EVERY Congressional session, before they can vote any new laws into place. Any law they fail to read is automatically repealed.

    Yrs for a more comprehensible and transparent government.

  12. George J. Janczyn says:

    For the latest details on the stimulus bill, try:

    For full text and status of all bills before Congress, try:

  13. John says:

    YES they could,

    YES they did,

    it’s NOT CHANGE,


    The Problem is: TOO MANY PEOPLE and TOO FEW JOBS.

    Technical Productivity Gains add an exponent to the Problem.

    Solve the Problem !

    READ THIS, it is not perfect, but the problem components are here:

  14. Doc Searls says:

    George, the link here … … leads to a page that says “there is no way” that the bill can be downloaded. 🙁

  15. Doc Searls says:


    I looked through everything here…

    … with “broadband” in it (that wasn’t struck out), and found none of the language that Feinstein wanted inserted in the bill. Doesn’t mean it isn’t in there. Just that I couldn’t find it.

    The only way to look easily is trough one document that includes all the text. Still not sure where to find that.

    BTW, I like Russ’s idea of having the lawmakers read their dog food out loud.

  16. John says:

    To anybody interested in solving the real problems we face in the real world. (not in TV media Land )

    Face the music.

    Solve the real root problems.

    Stop the false misleading feel good propaganda.

    Misleading and confusing the public in a weak attempt to “rig” a false positive “consumer/investor confidence” is a non starter.

    The U.S. Standard of Living is and has been in decline.

    The jig is up.

  17. John says:


    Yesterday, Monday Feb 23 2009, I was watching Erin Burnette on CNBC from Hong Kong interviewing Kirby Daley, senior strategist at the Newedge Group.

    The video segment is titled :

    “Can China Fund U.S.? 23 Feb 2009

    Kirby Daley, senior strategist at the Newedge Group, tells CNBC whether China will help America recover. ”

    For some reason, I can’t get the video segment to play.

    I did see the live interview, and Kirby Daley said that due to the dramatic decline in demand for exports from China there is simply less money to buy U.S. Government Debt.

    China is spending a lot of its money to Stimulate the Chinese Economy in the wake of the sharp decline in demand for its exports. Chinese Stimulus money is taking away from money for China to buy U.S. Government Debt.

    So, China is unable to continue to buy U.S. Government Debt at the rate that it has in the past.

    That leaves the U.S. Treasury one option. Print more paper currency.

    That has one result, MASSIVE INFLATION is on the horizon.

    I know there are a lot of special projects going on at Harvard and there are some smart people there, but are they going to stand by and watch this train wreck happen?

    Do people really think that “blind faith” and “hope” and rigged “consumer confidence” will fix this dire situation?

    At some point, smart minds will have to acknowledge the fact that the first destructive wave of exponential global population has already crashed down on the U.S. Mainland and Flooded our country with cheap labor.
    That flood has forced down the U.S. Standard of Living.

    It is time for the silent to pull their heads out of the sand.

    They are so focused on global warming, and Co2 and food and water and disease around the globe that they have let the engine that drives the U.S. and the Global Economies be destroyed.

    The U.S. Middle Class drives the world economy.

    Will somebody with a brain who knows somebody who cares in a position of power please explain to these morons “behind the wheel” that they have not identified the correct problem and are driving our bus off a cliff ?

    Do you think Bernanke ties his shoes looking through a microscope?

    Somebody must have pulled the plug on that CNBC Kirby Daley video segment I have tried it many times.

    Kirby Daley does have a dire outlook for Japan.

    Thanks for your help.

  18. John says:


    I found the interview on YouTube.

    The one on CNBC still fails to work for me.

    You may want to sit down first.

    “Kirby Daley said on 2009.02.23 that China will not have sufficient amount of money”

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