Control of the Internet

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the American manager of Internet domains and Domain Name Service under contract to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the globally agreed agency responsible for the global Internet. It had been about to sell the Internet domain .org to a private enterprise.

The .org registry is a database of more than ten million websites managed since 2003 by the nonprofit Internet Society. The group decided .org could be better served by a company that could invest returns back into the service.

The sale would have been for $1.1 billion, which ICANN could have put to good use, too.

Biden is Tough on the PRC

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden says so. And he’s actually going to run on that thesis.

However.

Leaving aside Hunter’s profiteering on Daddy’s coattails in the People’s Republic of China—that’s just the scummy topping on the gruel—Biden’s track record in dealing with the PRC as Senator and as Vice President is one of failure after failure to get, even to try to get, balanced trade deals and even-handed treatment of American companies wanting to do business inside the PRC.

A Post-Wuhan Virus Situation Supply Chain Environment

The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based news outlet, has a five-part series in progress regarding outcomes potentially stemming from the current situation. My comments here concern remarks from the SCMP‘s third part.

Consensus is growing in Beijing that the coronavirus pandemic is set to make the world more hostile towards China, undermining the accommodating international environment that underpinned the country’s spectacular rise from a closed communist backwater into a global economic powerhouse.

With considerable justification, given the PRC’s steady drumbeat of coverup, lies, and subsequent shipment of dangerously shoddy masks and Wuhan Virus testing kits.

Wuhan Virus and Higher Education

Our colleges and universities are being confronted with “hard choices” as a result of the Wuhan Virus situation.

Every source of funding is in doubt. Schools face tuition shortfalls because of unpredictable enrollment and market-driven endowment losses. Public institutions are digesting steep budget cuts, while families are questioning whether it’s worth paying for a private school if students will have to take classes online, from home.
To brace for the pain, colleges and universities are cutting spending, freezing staff salaries, and halting plans for campus building.

Bail Out the States?

A letter writer in The Wall Street Journal‘s Wednesday Letters section had a thought about Illinois’ fiscal situation and how to resolve it.

Why a bailout? How about a low-interest loan from the Treasury with fixed payments due on specific dates?

Illinois has chosen to renege on its promises to its public pension facilities. Why would anyone with two neurons to bump together into a ganglion believe Illinois would keep any promise to repay a loan to the Feds?

New Jersey Wants Federal Dollars

But it’s not a bailout, Governor Phil Murphy (D) insists.

“I wouldn’t call it a bailout. I would just say this is a war, we’re at the front lines,” Murphy said, stressing that his state does not want federal help at this time for “legacy” budget issues that predate the pandemic.
“We know what we got to do with the old legacy stuff, we need help with the here and now: educators, police, fire, EMS, the front-line stuff.”

A Supreme Court Error

No, I’m not talking about the Court’s cowardice on gun rights. This one concerns the Court’s nearly unanimous decision regarding any Congress’ ability to undo what a prior Congress has done and the Executive Branch’s obligation to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated.

The Court upheld health coverage providers’ demand, under Maine Community Health Options v US for

payments to health insurers for so-called risk corridors in ObamaCare’s first three years[.]

Never mind that the 112th Congress, in 2010, undid what the prior 111th Congress had done and both refused to appropriate funds for those “risk corridors” and explicitly forbade the Executive Branch from making any risk corridor payments from other funds.

A Taxing Error

The European Union is making one. Again.

Of the EU-27, France, Poland, and Denmark have so far proposed barring companies that are based, or have subsidiaries, in tax havens from receiving coronavirus-linked bailouts. Italy may soon join them after Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio added his voice to calls to tackle tax havens.
Meanwhile, the European Commission confirmed on April 24 that its existing rules allow individual EU countries to block coronavirus aid from going to companies based in tax havens.

Whether such companies should be eligible for Wuhan Virus-related bailouts is a separate question. Whether there should be Wuhan Virus-related bailouts at all is yet another separate question.

An Appellate Court Error

The 6th Circuit has this one.  Gary B v Whitmer concerns children in a really poorly performing Detroit public schools: miserable classroom conditions and abysmal test scores.

The appellate court decided, though, that this matter had nothing to do with the quality of the schools, over which the court has no jurisdiction, and everything to due process as delineated in our Constitution’s 14th Amendment, within which the court does have some jurisdiction.

Another Reason

…to move our supply chains out of the People’s Republic of China, a reason the rest of the world ought to take seriously, also. The PRC government has been lying about its African swine fever epidemic, after the disease has killed 120 million of the PRC’s hogs. That’s a bit over 1/6 of the PRC’s hogs.

As China has largely brought the coronavirus pandemic under control within its borders, another highly contagious disease—one affecting livestock [African swine fever]—is reappearing and raising questions about the accuracy of the country’s reporting.

Since mid-March, China’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs has reported a spate of new cases across the country, supporting what some independent veterinary and farming consultants have been saying since late 2019: the disease is still rife.