Patterico's Pontifications

1/20/2012

Patterico’s SOPA Protest

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:12 pm

You may have noticed that there were no posts here on Wednesday. What you may not have realized is that Wednesday was the day of a massive coordinated protest against SOPA:

Wikipedia went dark for a day. Google hid its logo under a black shroud. And hundreds of other websites darkened their pages temporarily in a massive, coordinated protest against a pair of bills that would step up enforcement of copyrights and trademarks. Wednesday’s demonstration provoked such an intense backlash against the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (better known as PIPA and SOPA) that by the end of the week, more than 100 lawmakers had declared their opposition and both bills had been placed on hold.

So in fact, what seemed like sloth on the part of Blog Management here at Patterico.com was actually part of an Online Protest Against Big Government Attempts to Control Free Speech!!

Well, OK. The truth is that I have been in trial and Karl was having Internet access issues. But you have my assurance that, if I had known that I could not post for a day and call it a “protest,” I would have.

Hell, the Occupy Wall Street guys got away with doing nothing and calling it a protest for months!

In all seriousness, this SOPA and PIPA nonsense sounds like a terrible idea. I can’t tell you how often I see bogus claims of “piracy” used as an excuse to squelch speech — and now we want to give the government the power to shut down web sites when some doofus asserts a claim of piracy?

The original versions of PIPA and SOPA would have enabled the Justice Department to seek court orders to seize the domain names of foreign sites that were either “dedicated to” infringing copyrights and trademarks or just facilitating infringement.

Not a good idea at all.

I may have to protest a few more days.

John King’s Big Favor

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 12:00 pm

[Posted by Karl]

He did everyone a favor, but especially Newt Gingrich:

Mr. Gingrich delighted much of the audience at the debate with his attack on the moderator, John King, of CNN, who began the proceeding by asking the former House speaker about his ex-wife’s allegations that Mr. Gingrich asked “to enter into an open marriage.”

Mr. Gingrich met the question with cold anger, winning roars of approval from the debate audience as he said through nearly clenched teeth, “I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.” But he ultimately said of his ex-wife Marianne’s allegations, reported first on Thursday by ABC News, “The story is false.”

Given the conventional reaction, GOP fundraiser/consultant (and Newt fan) Nathan Wurtzel nailed it: “Clearly, most of the political press I follow never heard the line ‘Never get mad except on purpose.’ ”  Or as Jonah Goldberg noted:

Newt’s opening answer was very strong and will be replayed a lot. But I thought it was overstated and, as he kept going, it became clear he was trying to squelch the issue rather than express his true rage. When he was all lovey-dovey with John King after the debate, it underscored that it was as much performance as anything else.

Completing the trifecta is John Podhoretz (a Mitt Romney fan, afaik): “I find it astonishing that people are falling for his being outraged at being asked about his character.”

Newt’s ample personal baggage is one of the generally-known things about him — probably as much as they know about his Speakership.  Like the issues raised about Mitt Romney — Bain, the tax returns, etc. — the marriage issue is not going away, so Republicans (and ultimately all of us) are better served discussing it sooner rather than having regrets later.  So thank John King; it’s a pretty good bet Newt did.

–Karl

Sockpuppet Friday (Polls revisited edition)

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 6:17 am

 [Posted by Karl]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sockpuppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

Before my DSL died, I noted that PPP’s national poll showed Obama surging with Independents in a matchup against Romney over last month, adding that I would want to see that result replicated before fully buying it.   The new NYT/CBS poll probably does not support it:

A majority of independent voters have soured on Obama’s presidency, disapprove of his handling of the economy and do not have a clear idea of what he hopes to accomplish if re-elected, the Times reported.

Only 31 percent of independent voters have a favorable opinion of the president and two-thirds say he has not made real progress in fixing the economy, the newspaper said.

The results are not entirely comparable, as the poll does not break down Indies in the head-to-head matchup, but considering that the topline is a 45-45% tie (and the typical Obama-friendly house effect of the NYT/CBS poll), it’s a fair bet that Obama is not surging with swing voters.

That said, the latest polls from South Carolina put Newt Gingrich ahead of Romney.  Should Newt beat Mitt in the Palmetto State, look for people to revisit the final Iowa caucus results.  People will start painting Romney not as the guy who was 2-0, but the guy who is 1-2.  The Improbable Gingrich Scenario still seems improbable, but a win in South Carolina would be the first domino to fall in that direction.

Exit question from NRO’s Dan Foster: Whoever your guy is, does it not seem at this point that Obama is more likely to be re-elected than it did a month ago?  I don’t think so, but I get the question.

 –Karl


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