Democrats and Republicans in the Senate seem to agree that requiring online retailers to collect sales tax is a great idea. A bipartisan coalition from both parties easily passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69-to-27. The bill was sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who fast-tracked the bill and avoided any committee that might have had oversight over the bill.
While the Senate is likely to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act being rammed through the Senate past the red tape of committees and onto the floor for a vote later today or by the end of this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV.), House Republicans face a roadblock that they put in place themselves when it comes time to vote for their Internet tax bill: a pledge.
As pointed out by RT, even while the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) may have passed by a 288 to 127 margin in the House (and garnered more votes from Democrats this time around than it did in 2012 when it passed), the bill faces an unknown future in the Senate where other issues like Internet taxes, immigration and more are the causes getting priority right now..
The movement to bring State sales tax across the board to Internet retailers got an important endorsement this week as President Barack Obama "enthusiasticlly endorsed" the efforts by Senator Harry Reid (D-NEVADA) to push the Marketplace Fairness Act forward at a breakneck pace - according to The Hill. Senators advanced the bill in a 74-20 procedural vote on Monday evening, one vote less than it received in a test vote last month.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week began the process of pushing the Marketplace Fairness Act before the full Senate without making its way through the Senate Finance Committee (mostly because many of the leaders in the committee don't like the bill and would stall it), according to Politico.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers are to blame for what she categorized as the "disconnect between the broad public support for gun control and the reluctance in Congress" to support legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines." Feinstein made her comments at a gathering of about 500 people in San Francisco on Wednesday.
A letter signed by 33 organizations and nine individuals asks the top ranking lawmakers in the House of Representatives (Reps. Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers) and the United States Senate (Sens. Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley) to make an exception for unlocking electronic devices to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Recently a petition signed by over 110,000 Americans asked President Barack Obama's administration to make the same exception.
Taking aim at Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) seat in the United States Senate in the 2014 election, U.S. Senatorial candidate (D-Tenn.) Larry Crim says that the Senators recent comments about video games are just a political game to avoid tough questions. Crim, who filed federal papers this morning to oppose Alexander in 2014, was referring to the Senator's recent comments on MSNBC when he told Chuck Todd that "video games are a bigger problem than guns because video games affect people."
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) went to Washington D.C last week to talk to members of Congress and their staff about the connection between video games and violence, and their conclusion was that Congress does not have the best interests of the millions of gamers in America in mind. The ECA says that when they tried to talk to lawmakers about the connection between video games and real-world violence they came away from those meetings feeling like lawmakers were not interested in the facts and instead were relying on their own biases and preferences about the video games.
Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) gave a speech (which you can watch for yourself to your left) during Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D- CA) press conference introducing a new bill that would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Murphy said that if Feinstein's bill had been law many of the children that died during the December 14 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut might still be alive. Senator Murphy also blamed video games for their part in influencing the shooter, though proof that video games had anything to do with influencing him has yet to be produced.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation this week echoing what President Obama asked for earlier in the month: extensive research on the effects of violent video games and other media on children. The study would be overseen by the National Academy of Sciences. Rockefeller introduced the bill before the end of the last Congress's term but ran out of time to get a floor vote. Now it seems that his bill has a lot more support from both parties.
75-year-old (and super rich!) U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D - West Virginia) announced today that he will not be seeking a sixth term when his current one ends in 2014.
We've devoted a fair amount of ink to Rockefeller over the last few weeks. A mere three days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last month, Rockefeller introduced a bill that would have the U.S. National Academy of Sciences study how video games and other media like films and television affect children.
Jay Rockefeller's bill to have the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission conduct a study in conjunction with the National Academy of Sciences about the effects of violent video games on America's youth died when the 112th session of Congress ended on January 2. And while that might be good news for the very short term, there's no doubt that the Democratic Senator from West Virginia plans to introduce the exact same bill to the Senate later this month.
A Republican House staffer who penned a memo on a different kind of approach to copyright law in November of last year found himself out of work as the new Congress was seated last Thursday and the new head of the Republican Study Committee - Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) - decided not to keep him on. He finally broke his silence on the whole ordeal to Ars Technica.
Politico is reporting that regular Fox News contributor, syndicated talk show host, and psychiatrist Keith Ablow is considering a run for political office in Massachusetts. If he would attempt such a run it would be in the special election for Senator John Kerry's seat - assuming he is named the new Secretary of State replacing Hillary Clinton.
Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID - Connecticut), who gamers might know as one of the original critics of video game violence, is retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of the month after a 24-year term.
Back in the early 90s, Lieberman led hearings on video game violence and threatened the industry that if it didn't do something, Congress would. And so, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was born.
The Inquirer reports that the the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is lamenting the death of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) after its Senate counterpart - the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was voted down in the Senate. Prior to that the bill could not get past a filibuster because it didn't have the required 60 votes to overcome it. The latest action on the bill puts the issue to bed for 2012 - at least.
Despite being an avid World of Warcraft player and someone who likes to use slightly colorful language to talk about it on her blog, Colleen Lachowicz (D-ME) still handily trounced Republican Sen. Thomas Martin, earning her a shiny new Senate seat.
Last month, the Maine GOP ran a pretty silly smear campaign to an attempt to convince voters that Lachowicz's gaming habits and blog comments rendered her unfit for office.
Throwing out the specter of a new cyber threat from a country not usually associated with such activities, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, is making a final push to get the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act through the lame duck session of Congress by saying that this threat from an unnamed source is on the horizon. In a speech this week before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Rogers tried to play up the threat and claimed urgency for the adoption of CISPA or something like it.
Former National Public Radio congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new show, DecodeDC. Seabrook calls her new show "a new way to cover Washington." In other words, coverage that tosses aside the stupid Red State v. Blue State narrative and spin and looks at how the system is working for the American people. Here's what Seabrook says about the Kickstarter:
In a new blog post, Sandra Fulton, a member of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, describes the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as the "biggest threat to free speech and intellectual property that you’ve never heard of." Fulton makes a good point because U.S. trade Representatives negotiating the treaty and other countries are doing a hell of a job keeping the details of this trade treaty a big secret.
As many of our readers have learned by reading coverage on the antics and constant spin doctoring coming out of the hallowed halls of the United States Congress, the truth is often up for interpretation. Even National Public Radio Andrea Seabrook can't handle it anymore. After working for 14 years as a congressional correspondent at NPR, Seabrook couldn't take it anymore. She wondered if there was some way to break through the rhetoric and get the truth that her listeners needed to know about the culture and clashes of Washington.
In a conference call for reporters on August 1 put together by the White House, some heavy hitters in the administration urged passage of the Senate bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Four top U.S. officials took part in the call: John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Gen. Keith Alexander, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and director, National Security Agency; Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Eric Rosenbach, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.
SCARY! That's how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) describes the lack of progress on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. While senators offer amendments on everything from gun control to abortion bans and Obamacare to the bill, progress on the bill has come to a screeching halt.
"It’s scary that we’re not doing something on this bill,” Reid said on the floor Wednesday morning. "The nation’s top security experts have said a cyber 9/11 is imminent."
As debate begins and amendments are offered on the Cybersecurity Act Of 2012, the bill may end up going through some fundamental changes that will make it more palatable for those who oppose many of its murkier provisions. So far over 70 amendments have been offered to the bill that aims to protect critical infrastructure in the United States through government oversight.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and the co-sponsors of his Cybersecurity Act of 2012 are not pleased with the conservative lobbying group the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and are firing back at the group for what they call "mischaracterizations" about the latest revisions to the bill. More specifically, Senator Lieberman is upset over a letter that the group sent to U.S. Senators urging them not to support the bill. The group opposes the further regulations the bill would put on U.S.
Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Barbara Boxer (CA), Jack Reed (RI), Bob Menendez (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) submitted an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 which would limit real-world gun rights. The language intends to make ownership or transfer of magazines (and other ammunition-feeding devices capable of holding ten or more bullets) illegal.