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Obama Crony Awarded Huge Contract To Supply Ill-Equipped Smartphones To Low-Income Job-Seekers… Is it the responsibility of the Gov to supply free phones for low income job seekers ?

CAPISCE 2013/02/07 15:19:29
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A cellphone company whose top executive has close ties to President Obama lobbied for and won a piece of a major new government push to provide Internet service to low-income job-seekers, even though critics say the company’s smartphones are poorly suited to the task of helping those in the program find work.

The program’s supporters tout it as a way for the unemployed to learn technical skills, to prepare resumes and to search for jobs, but one of the 14 pilot contracts that the FCC awarded went to Miami-based TracFone Wireless Inc.

TracFone CEO F.J. Pollak has been a frequent White House visitor and his wife Abigail has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both Mr. Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
And although TracFone had originally lobbied for the program, critics say its contract would not provide recipients with skills-boosting computers and services, but would supply high-end Android phones, ready to play games and browse Facebook but doing little in the way of getting a job.

Other companies selected to provide Internet service noted that merely allowing viewers to use apps such as Twitter and run simple Google searches on a small phone screen didn’t meet the spirit of the program’s intent, which included goals of “increasing digital literacy and use of the Internet [to] help bridge the skills gap [and] reduce job search discouragement.”

“The small screen, keyboard and perhaps connectivity issues make it harder for smartphone-only users to engage as deeply with the Internet as home broadband users,” wrote John B. Horrigan of the Partnership for Connected Illinois, which will provide DSL hookups and computer hardware for the poor in that state.
Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican, said the cellphone spectrum is poorly suited to be a user’s primary Internet portal and that any resume tapped out with two fingers on a cellphone screen would be sure to be sloppy.

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  • Butch 2013/02/08 11:43:29
  • MsDianna 2013/02/08 11:24:16
    No
    MsDianna
    +2
    if you can't afford a phone it's not the government's responsibility to provide you with one.
    it's another way the government can take more control over your life
  • Martyr4Christ 2013/02/08 05:59:13
    No
    Martyr4Christ
    +3
    Dependence on the government is how Big Brother gets his foot in the door.

    gov
  • Brandon Michaels 2013/02/08 03:18:36
    No
    Brandon Michaels
    +2
    Woah, they're giving people a Sectera Edge? I'm low income, so I should get one, right? Regardless of already having an awesome Samsung Galaxy SIII, right?

    But seriously, this is absolute bull. They can't afford the stuff they're already doing. We're on the verge of a major financial collapse and another depression with all this dept. Now he wants to hand everyone free cellphones and free service? Is this a joke? Because if it is, it's probably one of their best ones yet!
  • olylift 2013/02/08 02:43:50
    No
    olylift
    +2
    Whatever happened to working hard, and being able to afford your own phone?
  • JeffDeWitt 2013/02/08 01:56:12
    No
    JeffDeWitt
    +2
    And it's not the government supplying those phones, it's US, the taxpayers.

    More Obama crony capitalism.
  • GAC 2013/02/08 01:43:51
    No
    GAC
    +2
    The government is never to going to force me onto its teat!
  • princess 2013/02/08 00:55:12 (edited)
    No
    princess
    +3
    OMG, and who exactly thinks these "free" phones are actually being used for JOB SEEKING?? LMAO
    Sorry, they're simply more freebies for the low-life, dead-beat, entitlement Welfare Liberals.....the OVomit sheeple.
  • Tangerine Sky 2013/02/07 23:33:24
    No
    Tangerine Sky
    +3
    omg are u freaking kidding! This is just Obama buying support from the poor.
  • Reggie☮ 2013/02/07 22:46:09
    No
    Reggie☮
    +3
    No because they're doing it on my dime.
  • ZB 2013/02/07 22:35:17
    No
    ZB
    +2
    My wife and I fall into the low income category. No one pays for our phones for us. This is another freebie to keep voter opinions positive...for those that voted for him in the first place. Just another something for nothing.
  • dispatcher 2013/02/07 21:44:13
    No
    dispatcher
    +2
    Sounds like some thankyou gifts, Why not give everyone a free phone since AMERICAN TAXPAYERS ARE HAVING TO PAY FOR IT !! Cell phones are not a necessity the are a luxury so why in the hell does anyone on welfare who refuse to get up & look for a job or put any effort into making a better life for themselves get free stuff.. The government should put anyone on welfare to work cleaning the streets & parks.. There are many jobs that can be accomplished if they are to receive free benefits, COMMUNITY SERVICES..
  • mich52 2013/02/07 20:29:11
  • John Walker II 2013/02/07 20:07:15
    yes
    John Walker II
    I'm leaning towards yes because of the march of technology as it is, where one day home phones are a thing of the past and everyone has a cell. In theory it would help them remain connected and be able to help with their job hunt, but that's why there's a key phrase in there that I liked to see.

    "pilot contracts".

    This implies it's a test program to see if it'll work. And if it doesn't? then no harm no foul, don't reup.

    It's at least worth a shot to see if it'll help.
  • ZB John Wa... 2013/02/07 22:37:20
    ZB
    +3
    You don't need a smart phone for a prospective employer to reach you. A basic phone works just fine. My family is low income. No one pays my cell phone bill for me.
  • John Wa... ZB 2013/02/08 19:07:39
    John Walker II
    I see it as an experiment, not as a final product or process. If it works, fine. if not, then contract finished without renewal.

    Unfortunately, since I don't know the process to see that contract for myself, I have to make guesses.
  • ZB John Wa... 2013/02/09 00:44:37
    ZB
    +1
    I see it as another something for nothing at taxpayer expense. If they cannot afford even a basic phone, why should they get smart phones for nothing? Experiment or not, it still has to be paid for by SOMEONE. Guess who that someone is?
  • John Wa... ZB 2013/02/09 01:59:07
    John Walker II
    A logical extension of your arguement is if they can't even afford food, why should we give them anything to eat... I'm not ok with that.

    I'm of the belief that if it's kept to a small pool of people and used as a test case to see if it helps, and is subject to review.. then good. If it turns out they are a huge help and those people do end up with jobs, with due credit to the added communications, then we might be on to something.

    Can't make a cake without breaking a few eggs. And if it doesn't work... that's why I would like to see that pool of people kept small.
  • lipton7.62 2013/02/07 19:20:10
    No
    lipton7.62
    +2
    If you put on a tin hat when using the phone while voting ? may your arm not pull the wrong lever.

    brain zap tin hat
  • lipton7.62 lipton7.62 2013/02/07 19:27:49
    lipton7.62
    +4
    The end result

    more Colorado voters ! Obama voter
  • Ripley 2013/02/07 18:53:59
    No
    Ripley
    +6
    It's the responsibility of our Gov to give our returning soldiers the help they need. They've earned it! Stop doling out play toys. Job seekers can get out of bed, take some resumes and get some gumption and get out there and look for a job.
  • skowcog 2013/02/07 18:47:46
    No
    skowcog
    +6
    Many Libraries today have internet and computers for this very need. Why do my tax dollars have to go help Low-income job seekers to find a job. I already am paying for the library to have these services available.
    How much waste will the democrats, not the lib/progressives, put up with? When will those people come to the senses? and this quid pro quo governance has got to stop.
  • Justagirl 2013/02/07 18:44:34
    No
    Justagirl
    +3
    I love easy questions! ;)
  • CODE 11 2013/02/07 18:36:03
    No
    CODE 11
    +6
    A free phone isn't a human right.
  • MissAshley 2013/02/07 18:30:52
    No
    MissAshley
  • Brian ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮ 2013/02/07 18:30:31
    No
    Brian ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮
    +10
    Governments only responsibility is to protect our liberty, not provide it in any way.
  • frank 2013/02/07 17:49:55
    No
    frank
    +6
    I'll bet money on that the free phones won't be used for gob hunting. This looks just like give-a-way of tax payer’s money to friends of Obama.
  • Justin~PWCM~JLA 2013/02/07 17:29:01
    No
    Justin~PWCM~JLA
    +8
    why should they get a phone better then mine + section 8 housing is already provides land lines you are unemployed were do you have to go that you have to have a cell phone. WTF
  • Justin~... Justin~... 2013/02/07 17:32:01
    Justin~PWCM~JLA
    +2
    http://images.sodahead.com/pr...
    take some of that unemployment money and buy a $10 phone at walmart or cvs
  • Justin~... Justin~... 2013/02/07 17:35:45 (edited)
    Justin~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Go take some of that government money you get and go to cvs or walmart and buy yourself a $10 dollar phone like mine my phone
  • Flowers 2013/02/07 17:21:06
    No
    Flowers
    +6
    I think it proves conflict of interest, obamas nature to unfairly give friends special privileges and the whole thing should be terminated for unethical practices. We should NOT be paying for people to be given smartphones. Period.
  • Haole 2013/02/07 17:13:45
    No
    Haole
    +2
    The central idea is actually not a bad one. If you are looking for a job, your chances of getting a call back on your resume increases considerably if you have a phone. If you don't have a phone or an address you pretty much aren't going to find a job. That's why once you take that final step into homelessness it's pretty much all over for you. So the idea of having a SIMPLE BASIC telephone that people can use TO LOOK FOR WORK really isn't a bad one as far as i can see. The choice of phones and features and the company that was chosen and the amount of money spent on this whole scheme, is where I base my objection to it. There should be (in my opinion) a basica phone service, and they might consider an address for incoming mail at the unemployment office for people that have demonstrated a sincere desire to become re-employed, but it should be the cheapest service available and people should have to jump through some customary government hoops to get one (to show that they really want to work for it).
  • Cn2012 2013/02/07 17:05:08
    No
    Cn2012
    +3
    They shouldn't do half of what they waste money on. It's just a huge scam. You called it correctly. Cronyism.
  • Todd Parsons 2013/02/07 16:42:11
    No
    Todd Parsons
    +4
    But we have a radical in the white house. And sheep for a people
  • Broken 2013/02/07 16:19:47
    No
    Broken
    +4
    Its more of the Chicago thug way to payoff their cronies.
  • Ladybythesea 2013/02/07 16:19:32
    No
    Ladybythesea
    +6
    Do a little digging on this and just see the truth. This company is based in Mexico and your tax dollars will be answering to the tune of 100,000,000 ( that's million ) dollars
    a DAY !!!! Now think about a smart phone for a minute. ( TRACKING ) Might be why it's free ! If you offer something free, they will come . People might what to remember, all that glitters isn't gold. To the smart people in this country, ..... I see that debt clock spinning right off it's axels !!! Blind sheep !!!!!
  • Dave0626 2013/02/07 16:10:08
    No
    Dave0626
    +6
    Not practical or useful to anyone. TracFone Wireless has a poor record of reliability. No one is going to use a tiny screen to search for employment. All it amounts to is a toy for texting and playing games. Nothing more than another Obama 'pay off'.
    But hey, I'm on a fixed income, so where's my free ISP? Nope, I'm not a useless Illinois 'thug', guess I don't quality. So I'm stuck paying $75 a mth to Comcast!
    Same ol story, the honest wage earner always has to pay!
  • Arel 2013/02/07 16:07:21
    No
    Arel
    +6
    Stop the spending and work on real solutions.
  • Peewee ~PWCM~ 2013/02/07 15:55:33
    No
    Peewee ~PWCM~
    +9
    No. Computers are free to use at the library.
  • Arel Peewee ... 2013/02/07 16:08:05
    Arel
    +5
    There are job placement centers too.

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