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Tauzin Changes Tone on Do-Not-Call List 17

Posted by timothy
from the ring-ring dept.
rhwalker22 writes "In YRO, you've got a prominent discussion about a Washington Post report that Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) was moving to kill the FTC's do-not-call list program. You should feature The Post's Jan. 9 follow-up, which reported: "Amid a strong show of congressional support for a government program to curb unsolicited calls, a key House committee chairman yesterday dropped his opposition to a Federal Trade Commission request for quick funding for a national do-not-call list.""
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Tauzin Changes Tone on Do-Not-Call List

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  • Good to see (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Friday January 10, 2003 @06:58PM (#5059638)
    It's good to see that many other Congresspeople besides Tauzin are in support of a do-not-call list. Tauzin is a supporter of the concept, but wanted to ensure that the implementation was correct the first time. Considering the horrible mistake that was/is the DMCA*, I think it's admirable that Tauzin wants to ensure that things are done correctly, but I think it would have been a better idea to maintain funding while keeping an eye on the FTC for its implementation.

    * When you consider that the DMCA was passed via voice vote in both the House and Senate - indicating that the measure pretty much hadn't attracted the attention of anyone besides committee members and its supporters - anyone who takes an interest in getting YRO-type issues done right the first time has my admiration.

    P.S. Rep. Boucher has reintroduced the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA) in the 108th Congress as H.R. 107. Sadly, the text of the bill is not available yet on Thomas....
    • Re:Good to see (Score:4, Informative)

      by frankie (91710) on Friday January 10, 2003 @08:36PM (#5060164) Journal
      Tauzin is a supporter of the concept, but wanted to ensure that the implementation was correct the first time

      A more accurate way to say this is that Representative Tauzin (R - BellSouth [google.com]) wanted to check with his loyal [opensecrets.org] constituents [opensecrets.org] before allowing any bill that would affect them to move forward.

      It's a safe bet that Tauzin negotiated some favors in exchange for dropping his hold. Be prepared for this year's summer blockbuster: Tauzin-Dingell 2: Reign of the ILECs [google.com].

  • by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Friday January 10, 2003 @07:29PM (#5059833) Homepage

    I saw Billy Tauzin talking about this in a congressional hearing on CSPAN satellite channel. He was embarrassing himself. He obviously had done NO homework. His questions were of a very general nature.
    • by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Friday January 10, 2003 @07:47PM (#5059918) Homepage

      P.S.: I hope that U.S. voters begin to realize that being a senator or representative or other government leader is a big intellectual challenge. I hope the voters will start voting for people who are mentally capable of being a government leader. Those who have a history of excessive drinking (Bush and Cheney), are very sick (Cheney), and those who have never thought deeply about anything (Bush, and apparently Tauzin) should not try to be a leader of anything.

      Here's my contribution to the U.S. government's new surveillance initiative, TIA (Total Information Awareness):

      President of the U.S. George W. Bush DUI Arrest record #1 [hevanet.com]. (Bush's Date of Birth: 07/6/46. The DOB on the record is in error.)

      President of the U.S. George W. Bush DUI Arrest record #2 [hevanet.com].

      Vice President of the U.S. Dick Cheney DUI Arrest record #1 [hevanet.com].

      Vice President of the U.S. Dick Cheney DUI Arrest record #2 [hevanet.com].
      • How about Mr. Gore's quite probable violation of the very law he wrote? [firstliberties.com] Or does that not matter because he's a democrat, and thus, can do no wrong?

        • It amazes me how little Al Gore understands about politics. Like George Bush Junior, he is a politician because it was expected of him when he was younger, not because he had an intense desire to take on a huge challenge. I would have thought someone who had spent 8 years around Bill Clinton, who truly loves politics, would have learned something.

          But there is a difference between the two. Bush Junior spent a large part of his life drinking alcohol. Bush Junior has apparently never shown any interest in thinking deeply about anything.

          Several years ago, people were saying that Vint Cerf was the "father of the Internet". I found Vint's email address somewhere and wrote to him. He said that it was true that Al Gore was an originator of the Internet; Al was the first government leader to support making the old DarpaNet and the old, largely proprietary Internet into a public utility. Vint was one of the technical fathers of the Internet, but Al Gore was the father of the public utility we know today.

          It is difficult to imagine now, but those who were on the Internet before it became a public utility often did not want it to be public. That was in the days before spam email and pop-up ads.

          Bill Clinton's negative behavior, such as foolish involvement with women, seeming like he was lying even when he wasn't, and acting out anger, are all characteristics of a child of alcoholics. Bill Clinton's mother and father were both alcoholics.

          But Bill Clinton is so interested in government that he was called a "policy wonk". This is a negative term used by people who believe that governing doesn't require understanding of government.

          In contrast, Bush Junior does not have the mental capacity of understand much of the job of being President. (If anyone knows of any evidence to the contrary, please write to me.) Bush Junior is stumbling over speeches less now than before, but the speeches are entirely written by someone else. Bush Junior's mental capacity is only enough to sell parts of the government to the highest bidder. Those who spent millions to put him into power want that.

          The U.S. political system is not bringing forward adequate leaders. Part of the reason is the constant hostility aimed at U.S. government leaders. There are not many people who would like to have a very difficult job at low pay in which they will be attacked. The U.S. government spent $57,000,000 attacking Bill Clinton, and found nothing. It was state-supported Republican destructiveness.
      • *sigh* I honestly don't mean to get personal, but I have to say something here.

        I love the absolute conviction with which some people attack Bush because of his past alcohol problems. So quick to judge...

        Some of it is political, of course... It probably goes without saying that many of the same characters that attacked Bush for his past sins were willing to give Clinton a free pass for his (then current) transgressions.

        Who doesn't have a flaw in their character? Who hasn't made a mistake? Who doesn't have a weakness? If we weed out all the imperfect people, who's left? What about the strength of character, insight, and empathy one gains by overcoming an addiction/problem? Could that not be considered an asset?

        Now, I'm not saying we should tolerate felons in the oval office, or allow drunks to run the country. Someone who clearly still has an addiction, and is having problems functioning should be removed from their position of responsibility, at least until they can get it together. This goes for politicians, doctors, police officers, lawyers, school bus drivers, teachers....

        Anyone can make a mistake. More than one points to a pattern of behavior; something that should be a serious red flag. However, if it's a past problem that has been dealt with, wouldn't it be reasonable to give a man a chance?

        Clinton had problems (infidelity, perjury) all along, including while he was in office.

        Bush is a flawed man, as we all are, yet he seems to have risen above his past problems.

        In my personal non-political-scientist opinion, this is the secret to Bush's popularity; another part of his "regular guy" appeal, just like his public speaking gaffes (and be honest... who hasn't done something stupid in front of a group? I sure as hell have...).

        If he was still binging on the job, I'd say you'd have a point. As it stands now, harping on the alcohol thing just makes you sound like a partisan hack with a politically-motivated compassion deficiency.

        Just my gestalt... I could be wrong.


        • This is EXACTLY what I thought until I began talking to alcoholics. They told me over and over: Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, even if the person never drinks alcohol again.

          A friend of mine who is a recovered alcoholic (but relapsed once for 4 years) told me that I did not understand the issues. I talked to many alcoholics after that. Many said what you said, and I agree. Almost all told me that you should not depend on an alcoholic not to take another drink; an alcoholic might drink again in a stressful situation. What could be more stressful than being president of the United States?

          My friend said, "Being drunk 24 hours per day is a very intense experience. I know alcoholics. They are all like me when I am drinking. Bush has an alcoholic personality. It's obvious."

          Another alcoholic said, "It takes about 4 to 6 years of driving drunk to get a DUI." I found this shocking, but other alcoholics said this, too. Apparently people who are new to alcohol are often very careful when they drive drunk. They don't do anything which would cause the police to stop them until they have a strong habit of drinking. Having two DUI convictions, as did Vice President Cheney, indicates a long history of drinking heavily. Someone who traveled in his social circle told me he had a reputation of being a heavy drinker.

          One quality of Bush's personality that is identical to an alcoholic personality is unwillingness to think deeply about things. Another thing you should know: Alcholics are often very likeable people. My friend has an incredible ability to get women interested in him, for example. Alcoholics deal with conflict in a primitive way; one requirement of being a good President of the U.S. is being able to resolve conflict in a sophisticated way.

          Bush has never shown anything but the most simple ability to analyze situations. If you know of any examples counter to this, please tell me. Bush is not actually president except in a very limited sense; he merely speaks the speeches written for him. He is not able to understand most of the issues. People who want to use the power of government to make money want someone who is inattentive like Bush.

          Bush was twice governor of Texas, but in Texas it is the Lieutenant Governor who has most of the power.

          There is a VERY big difference between Bill Clinton and George Bush, Junior. Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar. Bush never left the U.S. until he decided to run for President. One of Bush's three arrests was for destructive behavior at college; he was never a serious student.

          Both Clinton and Bush are heavily influenced by alcohol. Clinton's parents were alcoholics. In Bush's case, he is the alcoholic.
          • though I think we may be talking about two different populations of alcoholics.

            I deal with substance abusers on a daily basis in my profession (medical field), and have found some common threads amongst the worst offenders. I am not a psychiatrist, but I suspect these commonalities help determine a person's likelihood of dealing with their addiction long term (and BTW, I think you are correct to say that once-an-alcoholic, always-an-alcoholic).

            Many of my worst alcoholics tend to be sociopathic (though not necessarily outright sociopaths), noticeably more selfish than average, unable to take/admit responsibility, lack real insight into their own condition, and often have coexistant personality disorders. They often refuse to even consider stopping their drinking.

            Patients who have insight into their own addiction, honestly acknowledge the problem, and work to solve it are not common (though they tend to do well). Many deal with their addiction through AA and religious consultation... and there is nothing wrong with that. Bush has stated that his faith in God has helped him tremendously, and I think that's from the heart.

            I also tend to think that Bush has his addiction under control (If being President on 9/11 didn't make him drink...), or he is hiding it very, very well.

            I'm not sure what kind of an intellectual light/heavy weight he is... I've never met him in person. He certainly doesn't claim to have any great genius, and his public speaking ability (or lack thereof) would seem to back that up. My personal suspicion? Bush is dumb... like a fox; I think it may be an act, and it has made his critics and opponents underestimate him repeatedly. Even if he is of only average intelligence, he seems to surround himself with people who ARE intelligent, and he uses them.

            Compared to a man who flaunts his intelligence and considers himself an expert on many things, I'd much rather see a man able to acknowlege his own limitations and willing to consult experts appropriately. I have respect for the man who knows that he knows not... the other kind kill people in my line of work.

            I'll bet even Einstein had to call a plumber when his pipes froze ;)

            • You said,
              "Many of my worst alcoholics tend to be sociopathic (though not necessarily outright sociopaths), noticeably more selfish than average, unable to take/admit responsibility, lack real insight into their own condition, and often have coexistant personality disorders. They often refuse to even consider stopping their drinking."
              As you know, there many alcoholics whose condition is less severe. They are often able to make their actions look as though they are completely functional to those who have never known an alcoholic. However, there are common characteristics of being an alcoholic:
              • Polarized thinking (Bush's "you are either with us or against us" is an example. Another example is his statement, "Look my job isn't to try to nuance. I think moral clarity is important... this is evil versus good.")
              • Rigid thinking
              • Overreaction. Tendency to become imbalanced, to go to extremes (Bush's terms, "crusade", and "infinite justice" are examples. He was forced to retract these words. See the October 11, 2002 CounterPunch article, Addiction, Brain Damage and the President -- "Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush [counterpunch.org] )
              • Obsessive repetition (On August 7, during his "working vacation" at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, Bush used the word "home" six times in a minute of conversation with reporters: "It's nice to be home ... This is my home ... It's good to be home ... This is where you come home ... This is my home," etc. In a five-minute speech later in the month, Bush mentioned values at least seven times and "neighbor" or "neighborliness" or "neighborly" six times. In a twenty-minute speech the next day he used "character" eleven times. -- Some of the examples here are drawn from a September 6, 2001 article in The Atlantic magazine, The Bumbling Communicator [theatlantic.com]. Not only was Bush repetitive, he was lying. The article says, "Bush lived in the Texas governor's mansion and vacationed in swank resorts and at Kennebunkport before the campaign began.")
              • Lying (A June 18, 2002 article in Salon says, Losing the "trifecta" [salon.com] says, "It takes a brazen politician to make up a story that can be proven false and then to keep lying about it after being busted repeatedly." Also see the October 8, 2002 CounterPunch article, Bush's Leaps of Illogic Don't Answer People's Questions About War. [counterpunch.org]
              • Anger ("... why is Bush so eager to engage in violence and so incapable of explaining why?" See the Sept. 24, 2002 American Politics Journal article Dry Drunk.)
              • Inability to perceive the needs of others, inability to understand someone different from oneself
              • Grandiosity, believing that one's own ideas are all-important. (Bush, and the oil and weapons people who support him, say the U.S. has the right to take military action before the adversary even has the capacity to attack.)
              • Impatience ("If we wait for threats to fully materialize," President Bush said in a speech he gave at West Point, "we will have waited too long.")
              • Incoherence. Things don't make sense in the mind of an alcoholic. An alcoholic's pattern of speech sometimes reflects his or her inner chaos.
              • about some of the sources you quoted. Salon and Counterpunch are interesting reading, but fairly partisan sources of information. I would regard any sort of psychological analysis from any non-peer-reviewed sources (particularly politically-oriented ones) as suspect.

                I also checked the author of the first article you listed... she has a PhD in social work, and may have a bit of a "social justice" bias. She does work with addicted people, but has no actual psychiatric credentials. I'm not saying she is unqualified, or that her opinion is not valuable... I'm just wondering if she might have a bias of her own. I would suggest that some of her analysis is a bit overwrought and presumptuous (has she every personally interviewed Bush, or subjected him to one-on-one psychoanalysis? If she has, then she has committed the most grievous breach of patient confidentiality I've ever seen). There is such a thing as reading too far into someone's actions... who wouldn't be considered mentally deficient/impaired if their every word and action were picked apart and analyzed?

                Some of the common characteristics listed are also found in the B cluster of personality disorders. Grandiosity, narcissism, splitting (either friend or enemy), emotionally labile... these folks are at high risk for substance abuse. Perhaps this is a chicken/egg situation... those characteristics may predate the substance abuse, and be correlated, rather than causative. Also, to have a personality "disorder" rather than "trait," the trait must consistently interfere with normal function (legal trouble, dysfunctional relationships, loss of jobs, etc). Many perfectly functional people have cluster B traits, but sublimate them into something useful.

                I don't think Bush is "splitting" or exhibiting "rigid thinking" with his good/evil comparisons. There are people who believe in shades of grey, and there are those who believe in right and wrong; I would hardly consider Bush's lack of moral relativism as evidence of mental deficiency. I personally think that "evil" is a perfectly acceptable term to describe a philosophy that advocates deliberate killing of innocents, oppression of women, summary execution of religious dissenters, and so forth.

                Long-distance psychoanalysis by reading a person's speeches is dubious at best. Who knows? They might be right... maybe Bush does have a problem, but even so, I would consider him high-functioning.
        • Who doesn't have a flaw in their character? Who hasn't made a mistake? Who doesn't have a weakness? If we weed out all the imperfect people, who's left?

          The Republicans were certainly beating a different drum when they were trying to get Clinton impeached. I say they should pick a tune and stick with it, instead of deciding that character isn't important when they're the one with the boob in charge.
  • "Amid a strong show of congressional support..."

    I wonder if this involved a roll of duct tape, a buffalo, live or stuffed, preferably stuffed, for safety reasons, and $240 worth of puddin?

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