First, find who his or her biggest corporate donors are. Then check his or her record on policies that may impact the bottom lines of those companies. Does she support or oppose financial-sector reform? Has he recently signed a letter or released a statement opposing EPA curbs to coal-plant emissions?
Thanks to Snowden, we now know the Internet has become a giant government spying apparatus dependent on the complicity of companies we use everyday. A Reuters poll from April showed that a majority of Americans believe that technology companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon are "encroaching too much upon their lives." It's a rather remarkable statistic given these companies were universally loved not that long ago, widely imagined to be allies of the people against the old oligarchs.
When President Barack Obama pledged to appoint a FCC chair who was dedicated to protecting net neutrality, we had no reason to doubt he'd find the right person for the job. Obama campaigned in 2008 as a strong champion of the open Internet, telling an audience that he'd "take a back seat to no one in my commitment to net neutrality." He said that his chair would share his views on safeguarding the open Internet. Now, the president is on his second FCC chair, and neither has proven himself up to the task. Obama's second FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, will put into circulation today a proposal for a new rule. All evidence suggests that Wheeler's proposal is a betrayal of Obama and of the millions of people who have called on the FCC to put in place strong and enforceable net neutrality protections.
The ongoing debate between of what constitutes an artistic expression of free speech versus religious protection had recently been witnessed not in the public eye, but instead under the radar on social media. And the stirred-up controversy had been with none other than America's beloved pop music star Katy Perry.