We alluded to this earlier but here's the full story on an amendment about abortion being offered to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Adding nonsensical or unrelated amendments to bills in committee is pretty normal, but Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) might win the booby prize for most unrelated issue ever attached to a bill. After a bill to ban abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks was defeated on Tuesday night because it failed to garner enough support (a two-thirds majority), Senator Mike Lee decided to offer it up as an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
While Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has not yet conceded the race to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be retiring Texas Congressman has teamed up with his son Rand Paul (Senator R-Kentucky) to take on a new crusade: Internet Freedom. Similar to his fight against ending the Federal Reserve, the Paul father and son team are taking the fight to government regulation of the Internet, but their perspective on it is decidedly Libertarian, which means that they do not believe the government should regulate anything related to the Internet.
According to a post on The Hill privacy groups remain unimpressed with efforts to draft a revised version of the SECURE IT Act. Senate Republicans released a revised version of their cybersecurity bill on Wednesday, but privacy groups shrugged off the changes as minor.
Senate Democrats are tweaking their versions of cybersecurity legislation to gain more support from Republicans, according to a report from The Hill. The reason they are doing this, says the publication, is because they lack the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor.
Conservative-Tea Party-Libertarian activist and Ron Paul operative Jack Hunter tackles CISPA in the latest edition of his web show "The Deal with Jack Hunter" over on The Daily Caller. The show opens with a clip of a story about Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California), who wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General Eric Holder because her phone had been wiretapped.
Even though many have declared the Republican nomination process for selecting a presidential candidate over and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the de facto winner of the contest, some candidates have not stopped running like soon-to-be-retired Texas congressman Ron Paul. We don't really care one way or the other about that race, but we do find the Libertarian-leaning candidate's take on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) interesting.
The Republican National Convention which is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, hopes to be the most "tech-savvy" in the party's history. The RNC has teamed up with Microsoft and Google to provide the technology they want to offer attendees at this year's event. Republican National Convention organizers plan to live-stream all of this year's speeches, offer Google+ "hangouts," and to find unique ways to use Microsoft's Kinect technology during the event.
Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan issued a short statement today on his official House website announcing that he strongly opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act and says that if it comes up for a vote on the floor of the House he will vote against it. While some credit a campaign on Reddit to oppose him in his upcoming election bid by supporting his Democratic opponent (which more than likely did have some affect on his decision), chances are he also got an earful from constituents that hate the bill sponsored by Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
Mediaite chronicles Republican presidential Candidate Rick Santorum's views on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) at a recent campaign event in New Hampshire.
If Grover Norquist isn't breaking up with SOPA, he's certainly taking some time to revealuate his relationship with the anti-piracy bill. The face of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform is letting his underlings say the things he hasn't personally said about SOPA: he doesn't like it in its current form.
Speaking to political publication Roll Call, SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took shots earlier this week at critics of the bill that has gained as much bi-partisan opposition as it has support.
Alex Beltramo, the lead developer of the web-based online game Dungeoneers, says that he's been quietly working on his game for years, and planned to keep it under wraps until it was finished but something came up: the presidential campaign. Beltramo believes strongly in Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul - so much so that he has pledged to give the candidate money the first time a player slays a dragon in his game. The game, for the record - is currently free. Here's Beltramo, in his own words:
In a strange twist of fate or because of some sort of cosmic alignment of certain planets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul actually agree on something: they both think that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, are bad ideas. The latest SOPA opponent is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but Paul has been against it from the start.
EA Maxis is having a bit of fun with Herman Cain's 9.9.9. tax plan this week with a new video created using various The Sims products. President Barack Obama, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney guest-star. You can check out the short video to your left.
If you're not familiar with the former Godfather Pizza CEO and Republican presidential candidate's plan, it promotes a 9 percent personal income tax, 9 percent corporate tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in May endorsing the proposed merger between telecommunications companies T-Mobile and AT&T. On Wednesday the Justice Department went to court to block the merger. The National Journal reports that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates is backing the proposed AT&T - T-Mobile merger.
Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) detailed the Republican tech agenda, a one-page list of priorities for Republican lawmakers in 2011 and beyond. While Republicans loathe regulations that stymie productivity and put a burden on businesses, they don't seem to have a problem with regulations on consumers' lives when it comes to flying, purchasing goods, legislating morality, or doing things on the Internet. In other words, regulations that punish the everyday citizen are cool, but regulations that keep corporations in check - like net neutrality - are bad.
The bullet points of the Republican tech agenda are mostly conceptual and non-specific at this point, but here they are:
Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down from the agency to take a lobbying job at Comcast-NBC. It's an odd turn of events, considering that at the time, Baker objected to the FCC attempts to impose conditions on the merger deal.
This news comes a mere four months after approving the deal. Now Baker will become a top DC lobbyist for the newly formed entity. The media and advocacy groups that opposed the merger are having a field day with the news.
House Republicans today took the first small step towards overturning the Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules. On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology voted 15-8 to pass a resolution that kills the FCC rules. The resolution will now go before the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where Republicans will have enough votes to get it passed. The resolution will make it to the House floor in the next couple of weeks.
Members of Congress and representatives from the video game industry launched a new caucus this morning at an event on Capitol Hill, reports Gamasutra. The "Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology" (E-Tech Caucus) wants to champion issues that help foster growth in the interactive entertainment sector.
This first caucus meeting is attended by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), co-chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Cooney Center executive director Michael H. Levine, Ph.D., Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher, and other members of the caucus.
The highest-ranking Republican member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has filed an amendment to an appropriations bill to put a hold on funding for any new net neutrality rules passed by the FCC. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) amendment was co-signed by John Ensign (R-Nevada) and six other Republican lawmakers.
The amendment to a bill for military and veterans construction projects would "prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards."
The FCC is set to vote on net neutrality rules December 21 at its December meeting.
Source: Washington Post
It's hard to be a candidate who is a part of an industry that makes its money off of gratuitous violence. Linda McMahon, like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has made millions off of an industry that has no problems with using sex, violence and adult themes to sell its image. But the Connecticut senatorial candidate running in the Republican primary shares another distinction with the Governator: she's a playable video game character, as the video in this story shows.
In arguably one of the best wrestling video games ever made -- WWF No Mercy -- Linda, complete her husband's "Mac Stunner" finisher, is an unlockable, playable character. Linda is also part of a storyline involving her daughter Stephanie McMahon and real life husband Hunter Herst Helmsely. In the segment, which starts at the 4:10 mark and ends at the 5:29 mark, Linda enters the ring, makes a ruling on a world championship match against wrestler Kennedy and then gives both her daughter and Triple H a "Mac Stunner" after her daughter attempts to slap her across the face.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off tomorrow in Washington D.C. and organizers of the event are turning to videogames and hip-hop in an attempt to ramp up the event’s attraction to a younger audience.
Fox News reports that videogames will be featured in a room called the XPAC Lounge, or as one event organizer termed it, the “hub of fun.” The lounge was the brain-child of radio host Kevin McCullough and actor Stephen Baldwin.
Ten videogame stations will be featured in all, offering attendees the chance to play games such as Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution and Call of Duty.
The XPAC Lounge will also be home to a late night “rap/jam” session on Thursday night. The article questions the viability of such a function in light of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s (pictured) failed past attempts at interjecting hip-hop culture into conservative principals. Steele previously published a blog entitled “What Up?” that he eventually killed in reaction to ridicule of the name and he also reportedly once described a GOP public relations initiative as “off the hook.”
CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale seemed to think that “the energy” is flowing more towards conservative candidates right now, adding, “To be a rebel on campus, you have to be a conservative."
5,000 people are pre-registered for the conference, 61.0 percent of whom are students.
Will former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling run for the Senate seat vacated by the recent death of Ted Kennedy?
If he does, how will MMO development at his company, 38 Studios be affected?
These remain open questions following yesterday's acknowledgement by Schilling that he is considering a bid for the late Kennedy's former spot. Writing on his 38 Pitches blog, Schilling was candid about his potential foray into big-time politics:
While my family is obviously the priority, and 38 Studios is a priority, I do have some interest in the possibility [of running]. That being said, to get to there from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen. I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.
Although Bloomberg reports that Schilling is a registered Independent, as GamePolitics reported during last year's presidential race, Schilling stumped for Republican contender John McCain. He is most definitely not an Obama fan.
The Boston Globe has additional quotes on the Senate issue from Schilling, including this one:
I'm not going to divulge the discussions, but I've been contacted by people whose opinion I give credence to and listen to, and I listened...
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna (left) has partnered with game publishers' lobbying group ESA and Web Wise kids on an educational program aimed at keeping children safe online.
A press release issued by McKenna's office quotes the A.G. on the initiative:
The devices that kids love, from smartphones to computers, are also being used to subject them to cyberbullying, scams and online stalkers. This program deploys a technology that’s very familiar to kids – video games – to teach important lessons about staying safe in cyberspace.
ESA boss Michael Gallagher was on hand for the announcement, along with Web Wise Kids president Judi Westburg Warren and Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. Gallagher offered his comment:
The ESA Foundation is proud to provide the resources to launch this cutting-edge initiative. With the industry presence of Microsoft, Nintendo and other leading video game companies, Washington is a natural fit for launching this program. Working together, we believe the Web Wise Kids program will help educators teach Washington’s youth how to stay safe online...
A.G. McKenna, a Republican, has previously endorsed the ESRB rating system.
Jim Ward, who left the CEO job at video game publisher LucasArts in early 2008, is now hoping to win a seat in Congress.
Ward, a Republican who currently works as a venture capitalist, is running to represent Arizona's 5th Congressional District. That seat is currently held by two-term Democrat Harry Mitchell. The district includes Scottsdale, Tempe and parts of Phoenix.
Ward outlines his philosophy on his campaign website:
I’m not a professional politician. I’m a businessman. And I don’t disagree that this country needs change. But, in my experience, there’s the right kind of change and the wrong kind of change. I believe what’s happening to this country represents the wrong kind of change...
Partially via: Kotaku
Mid-year documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission indicate that the video game industry is currently leaning to the Democratic side of the aisle when it comes to Congressional campaign donations.
ESA PAC, the political action committee of game publishers group the Entertainment Software Association, has disbursed $12,400 to Congressional candidates so far in 2009. All but $1,000 of those funds went to Democrats or Democratic PACs. Here's the breakdown:
The contributions will be used by recipients for the 2010 mid-term elections. South Dakota's Thune is the only Republican among those receiving ESA PAC money so far in 2009.
DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the ESA PAC mid-year report here...
Recently, GamePolitics reported on a million dollar Ebay listing for an Xbox 360 supposedly autographed by former Alasksa Governor Sarah Palin.
Canadian David Morrill told the Anchorage Daily News that he obtained the signature from Palin at a picnic event earlier in the summer. The auction was quickly removed by Ebay, however, with no explanation forthcoming.
Not long after, a second auction which advertised a "replica" of the original Palin 360 appeared. That listing, clearly a parody, also has been removed.
Now, David Sheets, who blogs about games for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has a theory as to why the original listing was taken down. Sheets believes that Palin's first name is misspelled:
Game Guy thinks he knows why the bid was yanked. If you look closely at the signature, former Gov. Palin’s first name appears to lack the final “h.” Last he heard, she spelled her first name “Sarah,” not “Sara.” Even Alaska’s official website spells it with an “h.”
And hey, you can’t ask for a cool $1.1 million for a signed Xbox if the signee can’t spell her name correctly.
GP: I'm no handwriting expert, but I'm not so sure that I buy into Sheets's theory. For one thing, the ex-Guv's purported autograph tails off after the "r" in "Sarah," as if she (or whoever wrote it) was signing hastily. So the missing "h" is not all that farfetched. Beyond that, the authenticity of high-priced autographs is always an issue, which may have prompted the Ebay removal.