Facing a major protest on the Internet, and slight coverage in the regular press (Page A17 in the Times, for example), six SOPA-curious GOP senators have asked Harry Reid to postpone a vote on the bill, and Pat Leahey and sponsor Lamar Smith say they want the most objectionable part of the bill, the DNS blacklist, pulled for now.
We have the biggest do-nothing Congress in history, one that can barely keep the lights on, and yet members of both parties (mostly Republicans, but even the liberal Pat Leahey is a supporter), spurred on by lobbyists, are just about able to push a turd like SOPA out. Those assholes richly deserve their single-digit approval rating.
If “SOPA” means nothing to you, here’s Reddit’s FAQ on it.
Aren’t members of Congress paid to do nothing?
It’s not like it matters what their approval rating is. It doesn’t stop them from getting reelected.
Would they build new prisons for the guilty? Would the prisons be equipped with free wife? Just curious.
There are men, and I’m guessing that there are women too, who would commit a crime just to get into such a prison.
Its going to be fun watching the “News organizations” ignore the SOPA/PIPA blackout protest on the 18th.
Despite their low ‘approval’ numbers, how do these critters get elected again and again and again ? Either the pollsters are lying or those who are polled are lying.
@amk: If no one better is running against them, they get reelected. Also, too, the general populace in my district are low information voters. They have no idea how bad they are.
In the old Soviet Union when some big shot ran afoul of the leadership he became an “unperson” his name was removed from news articles, books, plaques, anything and everything; he was edited out of photos and it was as if he never existed.
The media serves that function for us here. When they decide to not cover a story it is an unstory. SOPA is being covered in a lot of liberal blogs and, of course, techie blogs are going nuts over it. Yet if you took a poll I bet only around ten percent of the population would actually know what SOPA would really do. The power of the media to make unstories is equal to, but more damaging, than their ability to make stories.
This ties in with my own “dream prison” where people who just can’t hack it can volunteer to “go to camp.” They get a nice little room, help out around the place to keep it up, get training and social skills, make friends, date with the kind of supervision that offers contraception and abuse monitoring, and generally enjoy a low pressure situation that will not stress them into mental illness or criminal activities.
I have discussed this with many correctional officers and law enforcement personnel, who think it’s a fantastic idea. They agree that the overwhelming numbers of the criminals they supervise are simply people who find the “constant coping circus” of a lousy environment, neglectful parenting, and low wage jobs simply more than they can handle. And then they do stupid things.
No, the sad fact is people hate Congress but love their Congress critter. They never see the problem with the institution as being the fault of their representative. It makes no sense to me but some sociologist or Physiologist could probably explain it. I don’t think it will change no matter how much we hate the House.
The tip off is when he or she commits the crime he or she is carrying a laptop.
@Schlemizel: I wonder if anyone brought that up when they were piling on the Times? Their sins of omission.
Media Matters also released a study yesterday, comparing SOPA coverage since it was introduced to coverage on evening newscasts of the Royal Wedding, Tebow, The Kardashians, and Alec Baldwin.
As you would expect, the results were not pretty.
Has anyone done polling on SOPA (yea, nea, unaware) on age groups? I’d be under 30 are incredibly unaware and against, and those over 50 have no idea this even exists.
@Schlemizel: In short, fourth estate = fifth columnists.
@cathyx: I wonder what would happen if the critter dies off. TINA factor is so stupid. The world is full of replaceable people.
Actually, I am thrilled by the Internet pushback on this issue; those who know and care know a lot and care deeply.
@amk: It is typical that people tell pollsters they don’t like congresscritters but then say their representative is good, hardworking, etc. So while 400-odd congresscritters are unworthy of re-election, their representative is worthy of re-election and the whole lot of them get to stay in Congress.
I don’t believe in the idea of wholesale voting out of incumbents because then you can lose a good congresscritter and end up with results as in 2010. People have to look carefully at their congresscritter’s record and evaluate if they are doing what you want. There are no easy answers.
I think it has to do with people generally being unable to move from abstract bitching and moaning to concrete cause and effect. Pick a topic. In criminal justice everyone thinks there is too much crime and too much criminal coddling. But when THEIR kid gets arrested, MY RIGHTS! WHERE ARE MY RIGHTS? People think education in this country sucks, but, wait, you want to do what with my kids’ schools? Redistrict what? Sure, I’d love to live in a suburban paradise. I’ll sign that neighborhood covenant. What do you mean I can’t put up this huge flag? This is AMERICA!!
Plus, people are idiots.
The Ancient Randonneur
Here is a list of the House Co-Sponsors. You can find the Senate Co-Sponsors of the related bill here. The liberals supporting this bill are rather surprising and it isn’t just Leahy. Al Franken, John Conyers, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Sherrod Brown are all on the list.
Think about the people you know who aren’t necessarily friends. Your friends will probably think about this stuff like you do, that’s why they’re your friends. But acquaintances you have, coworkers, people you’re friendly with at the gym, neighbors, church members, class members, members of a non political orgs you belong to. Do you really think they have any idea what SOPA is or have any idea of how effective your congress person is? Or even who your congressperson is?
To paraphrase an old saying “If it weren’t for bad legislation, there wouldn’t be no legislation at all.”
I’ve contacted Leahy and my senators, but I don’t expect a favorable outcome to this.
White House just sent out a memo seemingly wanting SOPA/PIPA sent back to committee for now. They don’t sound very supportive of the existing iteration.
All those other representives are criminal idiots, but my guy is okay. After all, he scored the Museum of Lint pork-barrel project for our district. Win!
Great thread title. You should reserve SOPA on a Rope for a future thread. Also to, I Am Curious, SOPA. Even SOPA Dope.
I would bet that quite a few under 30 have some idea about SOPA, especially since many in this group are perceived, fairly or unfairly, as being prone to InterTubes piracy offences.
But I don’t think all the ire directed at Congress is entirely warranted. I see a lot of “get off my InterTubes lawn” arrogance coming from the tech community. They muster up a great deal of faux libertarian outrage at how the InterTubes must be open and free from all governmental interference, and rag on about how Congress is too stupid to understand technology issues.
They compound their arrogance by refusing to instruct Congress. This leaves an opening for companies to go to Congress, complaining about how all their stuff is being stolen and how parts of the InterTube just needs to be shut down to protect their property rights.
The media companies also bring bags of money. This, Congress understands very well.
There is competing lege that would apply only to foreign sites??
GOS had a diary on the latest:http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/14/1054658/-The-White-House-Responds-to-SOPA-Petitions?via=siderecent
Yawn, fun to watch you internet kiddies get your diapers all in a knot over this. SOPA was and always has been a non-starter. If for nothing else than the fact it would be impossible to enforce. ISP’s would have to become internet police.
It would probably be a boom to Canadian ISP’s and all other non-US ISP’s. Because all those US based websites would simply just move to other countries.
Right. Tech weenies always think that they can easily outwit any attempt to regulate or restrict Internet access. It’s an interesting game of chicken that they’re playing.
Obama’s administration is making noises about not liking SOPA:
I wonder what’s the deal with so many usually great congresspeople (Brown! Leahy! Franken!) supporting such a shitty bill. And one of its big opponents is Darrell Issa! Do Comcast et al. just have lots of Democrats by the short and curlies?
Gin & Tonic
@Spaghetti Lee: This. If you told me Al Franken and Pat Leahy were in favor of something and Issa was against it, but didn’t tell me the content, I’d probably support it. Very odd.
Gin & Tonic
DNS poisoning can be worked around. If Visa/MasterCard are prohibited from processing payments for you, that’s a tough nut to crack.
Everybody loves Hollywood. Media companies are big sources of donations, especially for Democrats. That they want to wield some influence and expect some favors should hardly be surprising.
@Gin & Tonic: Meh….check out bitcoin. All SOPA would do is make that and other similar systems more popular. The end result is that Visa and Mastercard lose all those transaction fees. You think they want that?
Blackout here, John?
Name ONE time when the law got ahead of the geeks, in such a fashion. ONE.
This game of chicken has a forgone conclusion.
As someone else put it so eloquently on a past thread:
In a battle of wits between [ geeks ] and congress, I’ll pick the [ geeks ] every time.
No SOPA for you!
Already got’um. They’re called elections. Don’t like the results (e.g. my junior Senator is Scott Brown) then do something constructive. There; proto- term limits.
…are a Republican bromide with great emotional resonance and counterproductive content. Wanna give lobbyists and staffers even more power? TERM. LIMITS.
Protect IP has 40 sponsors, so it’s not a “mainly Republican” thing: Boxer, Feinstein, Coons, Klobuchar, Franken, Gillibrand, et al. support it.
The reddit FAQ is mostly wrong. It links to an older version of SOPA and quotes opposition to the older version such as the Napolitano letter that are now defunct.
reddit also claims to be a victim of SOPA/Protect IP despite the fact that these bills are limited to foreign sites.
reddit’s list of supporters is also way too small – Leahy has a five page, single spaced, two column list of supporters.
Oppose the bills if you must, but at least learn something about what you’re opposing.