If this country ever undergoes a revolution in my lifetime, I sincerely hope that the lobbyists that acted at these levels of scumminess get tried for treason.
Lamar Smith has received $277,350 from groups that support the bill and $41,000 from those who do not.
The total contributions for all groups to all members of congress who support $49,802,962 the total for those who oppose $665,012. This stats that 98.68% of the total 504,67,974 lobbing dollars are from groups that support SOPA.
Does anyone know why Google/Apple/Other-super-giant-billion-dollar-companies aren't more proactive in influencing congress?
With all their billions, competing with $50 million seems like it would be a pretty insignificant cost for them - especially if the cost was shared among a consortium of companies. A few million per company seems like it'd be pretty cheap to ensure greater influence in preventing malignant legislation like SOPA.
The First Amendment would disagree with you.
Speech != money. Talk/write/etc all you want. Even spend money on spreading your "voice". But, giving people money or "in kind" is clearly bribery and not speech.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
"Major" Bloomberg: "The NYPD is my Army", Homeland Security trampling on the US Constitution at every opportunity and at the order of congress, warrantless wiretaps, etc etc. Peaceable Protest made impossible by bureaucracy. Establishment of "First Amendment" zones for the press - where they can't see what's going on. Congress/Executive/SCOTUS making a tidy living from bribes^H^H^H Free Speech Expressed As Money.
There are a great many "bodies of men" acting unconstitutionally in this country, so assuming that a revolution took place, I don't think this line of prosecution would have much of a problem, do you? If a revolution doesn't take place, I think its pretty safe to say that the Government will take your side on the matter.
Of course, this only applies to me, you, county judges, etc. Not senators. Not SCOTUS Justices. Not the people who have the most to gain from such corruption. Not the people who actually decide such laws. Fancy.
I worked in Congress and saw a lot of good people doing a lot of good things. In my three years there I never saw any of the culture of greed and corruption that is perpetuated in so many places. It's sad.
Yes. That pretty much nails the complaint on the head right there.
"I never saw"
And that would be the second.
So the First Amendment would not be a problem there. It's hardly a prerequisite of a revolution to keep the same constitution as the old regime or to interpret it in the same way --quite the opposite.
Because he was an expert on it by then. It's not a big deal.
This is what's known as hedging.
If I get pulled over 10 times by 10 different cops, and I offer each one $100 to let me off, and only one of them takes the bribe - the other 9 don't negate the fact that one guy took the bribe.
"No your honor, I just like giving money to police officers whenever I meet them. See, its just random chance that this one guy let me off. Clearly it was on the merits of the situation, not because my money influenced him."
Cops don't make the laws of course. Otherwise you'd be allowed to bribe cops.
Lamar Smith (R TX-21) Support: $277,350 Oppose: $41,000
I see some other Judiciary Committee members up near the top with similar very high support/oppose ratios and I think it's been fairly supportive of the bill overall. Then I looked up some of the more notable opponents: Pelosi & Issa. They have 2-1 and 10-1 ratios (support/oppose) in spite of being opponents.
I think looking at the list of industries that are SOPA supporters is more interesting. Exactly why do some of those industries want to support SOPA? Here the oddballs industries on the list: auto repair, animal feed & health products, confectionery processors & manufacturers, optical services (glasses & contact lenses), & tobacco & tobacco products. Why are they on there? My best guess is that lobbyists are involved somehow.
Counterfeit products, perhaps?
It almost as bad as Guantanamo still being open (except some innocent people there without trial for half a decade).
When lawmakers make their own laws, they are certainly going to guarantee they can always take money and get big benefits (and skip the TSA lines at airports, etc. etc.)
I'm sure that it is above average, but it still needs to be clarified.
If we banned lobbying, took away all donations, and mandated all candidates use public funds to campaign, this would not be a problem. (Except to the very most annoying of Libertarians.)
Doesn't make any sense.
I do think it is a great idea in theory, but again it violates the First Amendment to take away my ability to support a candidate.
Because they bribed them to redefine their bribing as speech, which any independent thinking individual clearly knows is not the case.
_Nine_ percent approval rating.
Another point is exhausting pedantic analysis is not political --sometimes your gut instinct tells you more of what's going on. I mean, at some point we ought to be ENRAGED of such things, not discuss trivial details about them.
That said, regulatory capture is the real demon (moreso than campaign contributions).
Sarah Palin, is that you?
The political system is really brilliant from the point of view of the rich. You only have to buy 100 senators and 435 representatives (actually, only 67% of them) to decide what 307 million people do, how their tax money is spent, etc.
(Part 1 of 2) http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-13-2011/exclu...
(Part 2 of 2) http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-13-2011/exclu...
Discussion of anonymity is in part 2 at 5m35s.
A) Require that all donations are anonymous
B) Hold donations for a minimum delay
C) Distribute donations randomly over a period of time
D) Allow donators to revoke their donations secretly during the distribution delay
Apparently, this was tried with judges in Florida and no one donated anything. It worked _too_ well.
Call me old-fashioned, but if the complaint was 'it put taxes up', I'd rather see a tax-funded than bribery-funded system.
Rather OT, but I have a major problem with this line. The population of the U.S. around the writing of the constitution was ~3 million; if it was a state today, it would be one of the smaller ones. In many cases, states are not in any better a position to decide these issues than the federal government. (And with things like SOPA, per-state regulation would naturally be disastrous.) I think at this point, very few things can be well decided at the state level; thus, either the national gov't is needed to keep states from stepping on each others' toes (tax law and internet taxes), or the national gov't is needed to keep states from stepping on the rights of citizens of that state - which they are just as capable of doing as the national gov't was when the idea of state sovereignty was taken for granted.
tl;dr: states are as capable of screwing things up as the national gov't, and tend to be less transparent about it.
I worked for a politician from a Western State. He got tons of money from mining, gaming and defense contractors. He openly stated that without those three industries, his home state would barely exist. Those three employed a vast majority of his constituents and would thus would always have him in their corner.
Interestingly, he had a hard time raising money when running against an opponent who also agreed with the above points.
Representatives are there to represent contituents because the USA is too big for direct democracy. If industry x really has such a profound impact on a community then it's in the self-interest of voters to reflect that at the voting booth by voting for the politician that will help said industry, and by extension, their community.
A private organization greasing the hand of a politician in order to ram a piece of legislation through, against the wishes of said politician's constituents is beyond contempt. From all the evidence I've seen, the only ones who like SOPA are the entertainment industry, and last time I checked they weren't elected to any governmental position.
Look, I hate SOPA etc etc, but I think you are going a bit overboard here.
The entertainment industry is a large employer, and the people employed by it are constituents.
You and I may think that SOPA isn't the best way forward, but it is easy to argue that it might protect old, dying industries and the jobs they represent.
Lobby groups are how the voices of people are heard in Washington. It isn't ideal, but nor is it necessarily as corrupt as you are making out.
Also, SOPA is supported by the pharmaceutical and retail industries, which are large employers as well.
The software industry probably employs around 2 million (1.7 million in 2007) .
I would like you to prove to me this has ever happened. I am not saying it ever happened, as I am sure it has. Show me one time it did.
"If industry x really has such a profound impact on a community then it's in the self-interest of voters to reflect that at the voting booth by voting for the politician that will help said industry, and by extension, their community."
In my experience, that is why 90% (my guestimation) of donations--by both individuals and organizations--happen.
1) My guy was honest and just expressing his opinion.
2) My guy had trouble raising money when faced with an opponent who also had the same opinion and whose honesty you cannot vouch for.
You argument does not refute our claim: Money goes to the corrupt. Indeed it would appear to support it.