The Tech World Gets a New Trade Association, Or “How to Read a DC Press Release”

By: Friday September 21, 2012 9:55 am

Some tech reporters rightly noted that with the formation of the Internet Association, it looks like Google is getting the SOPA band back together again. But nobody asked the rather obvious question: why an industry that spent $129 million on lobbying in 2011 needed yet another lobbing shop, especially when the Net Coalition already exists.

Ahem. Allow Bytegeist to read the tea leaves.

Republican Increase in Visas to Foreign Graduates at US Schools Comes With Reduction in Other Legal Immigration Programs

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 1:20 pm

In one of their last acts before going home to campaign, House Republicans will pass a bill today that would increase the level of high-skill immigrants allowed to stay in the country. It would expand by 55,000 the visas granted to foreign graduates of US colleges and universities in what are known as the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math. This fits with a key part of Mitt Romney’s immigration agenda, which he expressed in a roundtable on Univision last night. He said that any diploma to a foreign student for a high-skill field like this “should come with a green card.”

However, the Republican bill, authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, would not create one new net immigration visa.

Rep. Lamar Smith Tries to Downplay Deportations, Citing Technicalities

By: Monday September 3, 2012 12:30 pm

Republicans are so desperate to paint President Obama as a soft-border friend to the undocumented, they’re trying to redefine the word “deportation” so that it doesn’t count a category of deportations that are simply returning people who are caught to other points cross border. So what is their message to the Latino community?

SOPA and PIPA Watered Down

By: Friday January 13, 2012 4:24 pm

In what looks like a victory for the grassroots anti-Internet censorship coalition, the sponsors of two bills moving through Congress, PIPA (Protect IP Act) in the Senate and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the House, have agreed to remove or water down controversial provisions that would require ISPs to block domain names that engage in IP theft or piracy.

House Judiciary Adjourns Without Final Vote on SOPA

By: Friday December 16, 2011 3:30 pm

The House Judiciary Committee abruptly adjourned today without completing work on the Stop Online Piracy Act, an unexpected twist in the high stakes battle between Hollywood content providers and leading Internet companies.

House Judiciary Chair Rolls Back Many Elements of SOPA

By: Wednesday December 14, 2011 7:40 am

Responding to pressure from Internet giants and a growing coalition of activists, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) amended his legislation on Internet copyrights yesterday, rolling back some of the more dangerous elements. A HJC markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, will take place this Thursday, but SOPA critics are not yet satisfied.

The Week at The Dissenter—A Major Report on Government Secrecy & Naziism in US Military Training

By: Saturday July 30, 2011 7:00 pm

This blog has been alive and kicking for two weeks now. At the end of every week, FDL’s The Dissenter will take a brief look back at what was covered during the week for anyone that missed out.

Progressives Demand House GOP Committee Chairs Investigate Hunton & Williams

By: Tuesday March 1, 2011 12:30 pm

When I first posted on Hank Johnson’s letter demanding an investigation into Hunton & Williams’ appropriation of counterterrorist techniques to attack citizen speech, I was a bit skeptical. Without a way to get some coverage of the demand, such a letter risks being yet one more angry letter into the void.

But I will say the letter is well-constructed.

Reality Check on Rep. Lamar Smith’s Marijuana Lies

By: Saturday September 25, 2010 7:52 am

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is pushing a bill that aims to put yet more people in jail for using marijuana, even hoping to create a crime for “conspiracy to possess” marijuana that could put people in jail for planning to fly to Amsterdam with their friends to smoke pot.

That’s bad enough, and luckily Nancy Pelosi pulled the bill of the House’s fast track. But Lamar Smith continues his war on marijuana, hilariously suggesting on Fox News that Barack Obama is “encouraging the use of marijuana.”

But Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, took to the pages of The Hill newspaper to give a reality check to Lamar Smith’s lies.

Big Alcohol’s Anti-Marijuana Spokesman on the Hill

By: Wednesday September 22, 2010 3:55 pm

The latest congressman to speak out against marijuana has received at least $20,000 from the beer and liquor industry this cycle. It’s time he did some explaining.

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