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Al Franken and SOPA

His rationale for supporting it.

Who’d benefit from pipeline?

There has been a lot of press recently about the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. President Obama has rejected the plan for now, to allow time for more thorough environmental review. But the economics of the project are also in need of study…

…Transcanada, the pipeline developer, says it needs this line to significantly increase its ability to move Canadian oil to U.S. refineries and markets. Doing so, supporters say, would stabilize prices, increase national security by having this supply line in place and create more than 100,000 high-paying jobs.

Let’s look at the rest of the story:

The pipeline now moving through our political process is actually one of four phases to Transcanada’s Keystone XL Project…

…When you put all phases of this project together, what do you have? A direct, major pipeline from the Canadian oil resource to refineries and international shipping services.

Without this pipeline, Canadian oil is available primarily to the North American market. So without the completed pipeline, Canadian oil does provide us some security and price stability.

However, if the pipeline is completed to Houston, that oil will be available to the international market, where the highest bidder gets the oil and those buying and selling have no regard for U.S. security or price stability…

Unhappy trails, cowboy

Do you remember when Rick Perry looked like a formidable presidential candidate, awash in PAC money, waving a pistol? That was before he opened his mouth. Dubya is dumb, but Perry is dumber than one of Dubya’s fence posts. More here.


Did you know it can cause itching? Because that’s what it’s doing.

SOPA heroes

Republicans, not Democrats.


I want to hear more about how they rationalized this one:

Wired – Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a 6-2 ruling, the court said that, just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”

The top court was ruling on a petition by a group of orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers and film archivists who urged the justices to reverse an appellate court that ruled against the group, which has relied on artistic works in the public domain for their livelihoods.

They claimed that re-copyrighting public works would breach the speech rights of those who are now using those works without needing a license. There are millions of decades-old works at issue. Some of the well-known ones include H.G. Wells’ Things to Come; Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and the musical compositions of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky.

For a variety of reasons, the works at issue, which are foreign and produced decades ago, became part of the public domain in the United States but were still copyrighted overseas. In 1994, Congress adopted legislation to move the works back into copyright, so U.S. policy would comport with an international copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention.

In dissent, Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito said the legislation goes against the theory of copyright and “does not encourage anyone to produce a single new work.” Copyright, they noted, was part of the Constitution to promote the arts and sciences.

Live chat with Elizabeth Warren

Right now at C&L.

We take care of our own

Bruce’s new single:

Too busy for tweets? Outsource them

Gary Shteyngart, from “Shouts & Murmurs” in the New Yorker:

@Shteyngart Like most busy mega-celebrities, I’ve decided to outsource my tweets.

#Outsourced2India Namaste, everyone! This is the Real Gary Shteyngart from NYC, USA!

#Outsourced2India Savoured some excellent aloo parathas at the test match against Pakistan.

#Outsourced2India I meant to say, enjoyed a bang-up Fillet O’Cheese at the NJ Giants Sporting Centre. Go, squadron!

#Outsourced2India Looking out my window I can see the No. 6 train, pulling out of Union Square Terminus…

The Esquire interview

With Bill Clinton:

ESQUIRE: But it doesn’t seem like people in general think they can demand anything of government anymore. We’re divided between people who don’t think government can do anything and other people who think that we can’t demand anything. Do you think the outside-the-government fervor of the Occupy movement and other similar things is a good spur to change that?

CLINTON: Yes. Potentially it is, and that’s what I’ve been saying from the beginning. I’ve gotten some criticism on some of the more left-wing blogs about it, but the complaining about the abuses of the 1 percent or tenth of a percent of Americans who are in finance, who helped to cause this mess, that’s been very useful, because I’ve been talking about income inequality in America for twenty years, and when I was president, people didn’t pay much attention to it, probably because wages were going up. But I don’t think I’ve given a single solitary speech since I left office that I hadn’t talked about it. It’s a problem around the world and within the United States. So these people have put that on the agenda.

But what I’ve been trying to get them to do is to unite behind just one or two or three simple things that they can be for, and then mobilize people who won’t spend the night outside in November. And the infrastructure bank would be a very good thing to do, because it really would put people to work. If you wanted to create jobs in a way that has minimal effect on the deficit but has government action, the two best things you could do are the infrastructure bank and a simple SBA-like loan guarantee for all building retrofits, where the contractor or the energy-service company guarantees the savings. So that allows the bank to loan money to let a school or a college or a hospital or a museum or a commercial building unencumbered by debt to loan it on terms that are longer, so you can pay it back only from your utility savings. You could create a million jobs doing that because of the home models that are out there now.
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