Common ground for strange Web bedfellows
Friday, January 20, 2012
came out against some of the provisions
in the two bills in Congress
that would put the boot on online piracy
so you’d think the remaining Republican
contenders would make it one of their top priorities to pass the bills, no?
You would be wrong, Bucky. At last night’s debate, all four GOP contenders were unequivocal in their opposition
to the Senate’s Stop Online Piracy Act
(SOPA) and the House version, Protect Intellectual Property Act
In essence, the two bills would require search engines and other Web sites to become the online police
in cleaning up the theft of other’s work. The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy
, D-Vermont, and backed by a host of Left Coast elite headed up by Christopher Dodd
, the former Connecticut senator who is now the head of the Motion Picture Association of America
. And there seemed for a time that this was a bipartisan effort
that might actually have a chance to pass.
But then the might of the Internet came down
with a worldwide web of protest never before seen that caused many a Republican lawmaker to retreat and others, such as Sen. Scott Brown
, to announce they would vote against the bill
if it indeed came up as promised. But it won’t because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this morning he is postponing the planned vote
that was slated for Tuesday. No one ever said Reid can’t count.
Tech companies protested the bills were so loosely written, they could allow some large music and movie entities to force them to shut down if a questionable site ended up on their search engines. More than 7,000 Internet sites went dark in protest, including some of the biggest names such as Google and Wikipedia, giving the world a taste of what it was like in the days of the Luddites. It was effective. And impressive in who it aligned.
The ideology, if not the actual power, of the Occupy Wall Street movement was a major force behind the protest
and the opposition also drew the likes of Al Jazeera
and a slew of liberal bloggers.
The Republican opposition, though, may be easily summed up by Newt Gingrich
’s reply in last night’s debate.
“Well, you're asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood,” he kind of joked, although it may have something to do with Rupert Murdoch tweeting his feelings
.There could be a price to pay for Obama
, as the Los Angeles Times
and others report Hollywood heavies, who have been among his strongest backers, are none-too-pleased with his stance and it could result in a fundraising hit for the president.
But perhaps this is not as complicated as it seems. Keller@Large
has a solution to online piracy: Stop stealing
. --JACK SULLIVAN BEACON HILL Senate President Therese Murray
tells a Salem audience that casino operators must pay for roadway improvements and also pledges to pass a health care bill soon, the Lynn Item reports
. Gambling commissioner Steve Crosby says
it could be two years before the state awards its first casino license.
The state’s unemployment rate falls to 6.8 percent
in December, its lowest level since 2008, WBUR reports
.MUNICIPAL MATTERSAlex Morse
, Holyoke’s 22-year-old mayor, goes on Radio Boston to discuss his hard line
on casinos. For more on Morse, check out CommonWealth’s story
Brockton City Councilor Jass Stewart
wants to implement minimum qualifications
such as requiring college degrees for city department heads, which currently do not exist.
Brian McGrory attends
a non-protest in Hingham
bill would expand that state’s open records law
to include the Legislature, Governing reports
The feds go after
Megaupload ,a site they claims shares movies and other media illegally. Hackers then move to disrupt the US Department of Justice’s website.ELECTION 2012
In campaign kickoff, Sen. Scott Brown
stresses his independence and role as a political outsider, the Lowell Sun reports
. He starts his reelection campaign in Worcester where his last campaign ended, NECN reports
. Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren campaigns in Worcester
, too. RedMassGroup has the text
of Brown’s speech. Newsweek’s
Niall Ferguson asks
if there is a credible conservative answer to the attack on the 1 percent.Daily Beast
the South Caroline debate.
Here’s the National Review
’s rapid reaction.
At the Weekly Standard
, William Kristol
thinks Mitt Romney
had the most problematic debate performance
because of his taxes and Romneycare. Time examines
Newt Gingrich’s scorching attack on the media after the “open marriage” question.
The New Republic has a piece
about the media’s failings in covering Newt Gingrich
, namely their tendency to underestimate him. Mother Jones digs out a 1984 profile
of Gingrich which leads off with an epic House battle with Speaker Tip O’Neill
. A New York Times editorial
says it’s little wonder Gingrich is being stung by the open marriage accusation: He’s been trafficking in a “toxic combination of infidelity and sermonizing” for years. But at least the guy lets the media peek at his tax returns
. Peter Gelzinis scorches
the GOP presidential contestants: “Now we have the supreme spectacle of Newt Gingrich, the Tim Tebow
of fallen House speakers, on his pudgy knees and crawling up Mitt’s perfect back, begging for forgiveness as he pledges his fealty to the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman ... and another woman ... and another woman.”
Scot Lehigh warns
that if Mitt Romney
can’t adequately address concerns about the practices of his private equity firm to GOP voters, he will have a much harder time doing so in the general election. Romney also did little in last night’s debate to dampen down curiosity about what exactly is in his tax returns
is in typical Paul Krugman form
, which means he isn’t writing about open marriages, but is instead insisting that rich folk pay more taxes.
Meet the Somerville resident who was arrested
for trespassing at a Romney campaign event. BUSINESS/ECONOMY
Massachusetts auto insurance rates fall 12.7 percent
over a three-year period, CommonWealth reports
. Was it do to the Patrick administration’s “managed competition” or just the natural course of business?
-approved supplemental budget included an amendment that would remove the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s oversight
over the Meditech
project in Fall River
, a battle that was detailed
in the most recent issue of CommonWealth
While most commercial fishing advocates have been unhappy with the Commerce Department
’s stewardship of NOAA
for years, not everyone is convinced the proposed shift
of the agency to the Interior Department
is a good solution.EDUCATION
school superintendent lifted the suspension on the high school’s wrestling team
after a week-long investigation determined several members of the team violated the school’s anti-hazing rule
, though she did not release any disciplinary action.
State officials led by Lt. Gov. Tim Murray
yesterday announced a grant to fund a feasibility study
to build a marine and environmental community college
The Globe reports
on the Massachusetts biotech industry’s entrance into the generic drug market. ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT
Northeast Utilities, the Hartford-based utility, seeks permission
to buy NStar.
The American Spectator
says Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline
could be his and the environmental movement’s undoing.
Dolphins continue to get stranded
in Wellfleet. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Attorney General Martha Coakley is investigating
the labor practices of the Marriott Copley Place
renovation project. The project is being completed by laborers from a Philadelphia church shelter.
The state Parole Board
turns down Thomas Maimoni
, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 1991, calling him a “pathological liar,” the Salem News reports
The Patrick administration
is releasing its Corrections Master Plan
and some proposals on how to deal with the expected 10,000 more inmates than the state has beds for.
Because more than two dozen books is apparently not enough to tell the whole story, there is a new one about James “Whitey” Bulger
and his relationship with the FBI
For the third year in a row, the “Poe Toaster,” a mystery visitor who would annually appear at Edgar Allen Poe’s grave in Baltimore
on the dark novelist’s birthday and leave a half-empty bottle of Cognac
and three roses, failed to show, marking what many think is a quiet end to a nearly seven-decade tradition.