McCain Invented the Blackberry!

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    Bob Fertik
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Speaking to reporters today, McCain campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin claimed that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is responsible for the “miracle” of PDAs:

“He did this,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry.

Note to the McCain campaign: The Blackberry was invented in Canada.

As for McCain's claim that he made the wireless spectrum available, that's another McCain lie according to the FCC Chairman's chief of staff, Blair Levin:

Levin pointed out that McCain actually voted against the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA ‘93) that "authorized the spectrum auctions that created the competitive wireless market that gave rise to companies like Research in Motion [the creator of Blackberry]." 

Devilstower has more:

With the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Senate passed the first major revision to telecommunications law in 62 years which provided the foundation for much of the cell phone and Internet regulation over the next decade.  The bill passed 81-18 and was signed into law by President Clinton.  McCain voted against the act.

In 2002, McCain authored the "Consumer Broadband Deregulation Act of 2002" which eliminated the requirement of the 1996 law that telecommunication companies provide access to competitors.  It didn't pass.

In 2003, the Internet Tax Freedom Act was passed, putting in place a moratorium on taxes for activities on the Intenet. The bill had 11 cosponsors – McCain wasn't one of them. He did vote for the bill, but since it passed 97-3, that's definitely "guiding" with a small 'g.'  Granted, this wasn't directly a bill about wireless, but since McCain doesn't seem to have authored any law on wireless technology, I'm having to search for connections.

Of pending legistlation, McCain is not a sponsor of the "Connect the Nation Act" – though Senator Obama is. McCain is not a sponsor of Senator Rockefeller's call for a universal next generation broadband by 2015 – though Senator Obama is. And of course, McCain isn't a sponsor of the "Internet Freedom Act" that would ensure net neutrality – though Senator Obama is. That last is no surprise. McCain has repeatedly opposed net neutrality, saying that companies have a right to restrict speed or even limit access to sites "when you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment."

So,  McCain's "guiding hand" seems to consist of opposing the legislation that laid the groundwork for the communications we have today, and authoring failed legislation designed to benefit big carriers. Of course, we should probably be glad that John McCain really didn't invent the cell phone or wifi, otherwise we'd all be getting our wireless services from one monolithic company free to restrict our access to only the pages that pay for the privilege. And we'd all be using "Jitterbugs."