Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Legislator Calls for Clarifying Copyright Law
By LARRY ROHTER
SMITH: As to what our recourse is, what we can do, we can do a couple things, at least in the House where the Republicans are in the majority. We can conduct hearings, oversight hearings, we can pull in administration officials, make them testify under oath, find out what's going on, try to, frankly, embarrass the President and push back and get the American people on our side to push back against the administration. Secondly, the Appropriations Committee can defund any of these efforts, but unfortunately, on the appropriations level, you can only defund it one year at a time, so that's not a long-term solution. Frankly, Joe, the long-term solution is, if you don't like what the President is doing, you have an opportunity in a year and a half to change presidents, and that's ultimately where the answer is going to lie.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Remember that crazy, bitter debt-ceiling debate this summer? The one that created a half-baked debt reduction plan and led to the country's first-ever credit-rating downgrade?
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke certainly does. And he had a simple message for Congress on Friday: Don't do it again. Seriously. Never, ever, ever again.
His reasoning: All that legislative brinksmanship hurt the economy.
"The negotiations that took place over the summer disrupted financial markets and probably the economy as well, and similar events in the future could, over time, seriously jeopardize the willingness of investors around the world to hold U.S. financial assets or to make direct investments in job-creating U.S. businesses." Bernanke said in his annual Jackson Hole speech.
Bernanke also offered some free advice to lawmakers: Reducing the debt should be an urgent priority, but not at the expense of the economy.
Bernanke pledges Fed support, but notes limits
"Fiscal policymakers should not ... disregard the fragility of the current economic recovery. Fortunately, the two goals of achieving fiscal sustainability -- which is the result of responsible policies set in place for the longer term -- and avoiding the creation of fiscal headwinds for the current recovery are not incompatible," Bernanke said.
His suggestion: put in place a credible plan to reduce deficits over time, but also support policies that can boost the chances for near-term economic growth.
That echoed a similar message this week from Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf.
Weak growth. Monster debt. Which to tackle first?
Given the already slow economic recovery and the fact that interest rates can't fall much farther, "reductions in government spending or an increase in taxes ... will slow economic growth and reduce employment," Elmendorf said in a meeting with reporters.
Bernanke did end on a positive note ... sort of. He acknowledged that economic policymakers have a tough job balancing the need to support economic recovery now while also tackling long-term debt.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Kim Kozlowski/ The Detroit News
Monday, August 22, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Contact: Matthew Morgan – 202-226-5543
Conyers Supports Artists’ Rights to Reclaim Copyrighted Works
(Washington) – As recording artists and songwriters begin to petition to reclaim ownership of their recorded and musical works, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:
“Copyrights are a tool to be used by creators to earn a living from their work,” Conyers said. “I see copyright and intellectual property law as a system that the Framers of the Constitution created in order to preserve fairness and justice for artists and scientists.
“Today, many musicians are beginning to prepare to reclaim control of their works of art which will have been owned for 35 years by record labels and other copyright owners. This is an exciting moment, for it marks an important step in ensuring that all artists earn livable incomes in a fair marketplace. For too long the work of musicians has been used to create enormous profits for record labels, radio stations and others without fairly distributing those profits to the artists. Piracy in the digital age has unfortunately magnified all of these problems, and the ability for artists to equitably control their works has become even more crucial.
“I look forward to the upcoming months as I hope Congress will pass bipartisan legislation – especially a bill to combat online piracy abroad – that will further protect and promote the arts.”
Saturday, August 13, 2011
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won a test vote of Iowans on Saturday, a show of popularity and organizational strength for the tea party favorite five months before the state's caucuses kick off the GOP presidential nominating season.
The result is the first indication of what Iowans think of the field of Republicans competing for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next fall. But it's hardly predictive of who will win the winter Iowa contest, much less the party nod or the White House.
Rather, Saturday's outcome suggests that Bachmann has a certain level of support and, perhaps even more important, the strongest get-out-the-vote operation and widest volunteer base in a state whose caucuses require those elements.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished a close second while former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty placed a distant third.
"We have a lot more work to do," Pawlenty said, making clear he wasn't dropping out despite a disappointing finish. "We are just beginning and I'm looking forward to a great campaign."
The results of the nonbinding vote, held on the Iowa State University campus, came just hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race.
"I full well believe I'm going to win," Perry told South Carolina voters on a conference call before delivering his first speech as a candidate.
"It's time to get America working again," he declared in Charleston, S.C. "America is not broken. Washington, D.C. is broken."
Despite Perry's best efforts to overshadow the day, the epicenter of the presidential contest was in this Midwestern town, where nearly 17,000 Iowans cast ballots during a daylong political festival, a late-summer ritual held every four years.
In speeches throughout the day, candidates scouted for support by assailing Obama and offering themselves as the answer to an America plagued by high unemployment, rising debt and stock market swings.
"We know what America needs. But unfortunately Barack Obama has no clue. He's like a manure spreader in a windstorm," Pawlenty said, adding: "Mr. President, get the government off our backs." That elicited chants of his nickname: "T-Paw! T-Paw! T-Paw!"
Pawlenty had a lot on the line. He's ranked low in polls and was looking to prove he was still a viable candidate. He argued that he was the candidate of results, given his record as Minnesota governor.
Bachmann stressed faith and her Iowa roots — she was born in Waterloo — as well as her opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage. She earned cheers when she declared: "We are going to make Barack Obama a one-term president."
Bachmann, riding high since entering the race earlier this summer, had hoped that a strong finish would give her even more momentum just as Perry looks to infringe on her base of tea party and evangelical support. She invoked God and faith as she stressed what she called her conservative values, saying: "In Iowa, we are social conservatives and we will never be ashamed of being social conservatives."
Paul, with a following among libertarian-leaning voters, wanted a surprise showing that might convince Republicans he was more mainstream than not in his second shot at the GOP nomination. He referenced his fellow Texan's entrance in the race and said he didn't anticipate many of his supporters jumping ship for what he called a "super-establishment candidate."
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, businessman Herman Cain and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia also were on the ballot. So were GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, though they weren't competing in the contest.
Perry and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who made a splash Friday when she visited the state fair, weren't listed. But their backers planned write-in campaigns that could outpace candidates who have spent months trying to line up supporters to participate.
The straw poll isn't a scientific poll at all; it amounts to a popularity contest and a test of organizational strength.
Poor showings usually force some candidates, mostly those who are not well-known and are struggling to raise money, to abandon their bids. That could happen this year, too.
The straw poll has a mixed record of predicting the outcome of the precinct caucuses.
In 2008, Romney won the straw poll, but the big news was the surprising second-place showing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses, but dropped from the race soon after. Sen. John McCain, who eventually won the nomination, didn't compete in the straw poll and finished in 10th place.