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Oregon Senator Seeks To Block COICA 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the standing-up dept.
jfruhlinger writes "The COICA copyright bill may have sailed through committee, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, calling it the 'wrong medicine' to block copyright violations, is threatening to put a hold on the bill, which would block its adoption through at least the end of the year."
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Oregon Senator Seeks To Block COICA

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  • Oregon voters... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stregano (1285764) on Friday November 19, 2010 @05:30PM (#34285874)
    Thank you for a wise decision
    • Re:Oregon voters... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by adversus (1451933) on Friday November 19, 2010 @05:45PM (#34286026)
      Welcome ;) In reality this also has to do with our large IT industry here in Oregon, which is expanding as we speak. He doesn't want something as stupid as this draconian law to impede that.
      • by IBitOBear (410965)

        So you are saying that once your tech sector becomes entrenched they will push Oregon to be just as stupid as Washington has become. 8-)

        • by adversus (1451933)
          Our IT sector is already entrenched. Intel alone employs more people in my county than any other employer, and that doesn't include other silicon shops (FEI, etc.) or other innovation based firms (Genentech, or the hundreds of new media/content producers and hosters that aren't a part of the industrial tech scene). Wyden is a good guy, I voted for him. But he's a politician, so he's doing what a politician does.
          • yes, but you don't have a catchy name for your tech places like our Silicon Forest over in Redmond, and so your politicians haven't started running on platforms like Strengthening Copyright Legislation like they have here in King County WA...

            Your IT sector isn't really entrenched until the local politicians start advertising their corporate pandering as if it were a universal social goal.

            (only half a smiley face there...)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ffreeloader (1105115)

            Wyden is a good guy

            How long have you lived in Oregon?

            I lived in the Portland area when Wyden first ran for the Senate ( I still live in the PNW) and he was a complete idiot as far as I was concerned. He couldn't find countries on a map of the world that were in the national news on a daily basis, and on which he was expressing public opinions as to what the US needed to do there. I mean, how can you form an intelligent opinion of what our national policy should be when you know so little about an area tha

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Thank you for a wise decision

      I'm glad he's doing this, but this exemplifies how insane Senate rules and traditions are - all it takes is one Senator to stop anything. It was bad enough when Senators had more discretion, but nowadays you have Senators putting holds on everything and filibustering every single bill that comes through the Senate. It's ridiculous.

      • Re:Oregon voters... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Amouth (879122) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:11PM (#34286244)

        it takes 41 of 100 senators to make it work.

        if 3/5 th's bring it to an end via Cloture
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloture [wikipedia.org]

        so one senator can threaten it.. he needs 40 others behind him to ensure it.

        • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:30PM (#34286444) Homepage

          Or they could just wait out the filibuster. I heard a lot about Republicans threatening to filibuster, but they never actually had too because the Democrats apparently don't believe in their own policies enough to spend a night on the senate floor.

        • by Shining Celebi (853093) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:37PM (#34286502) Homepage

          it takes 41 of 100 senators to make it work.

          It takes one Senator to make a hold work [wikipedia.org]. It takes 41 Senators (in theory) to make a filibuster work. In practice, a single Senator merely has to declare he intends to filibuster a bill in the Senate and the bill is filibustered. The Senate does not actually carry out actual filibusters anymore, where people get up and talk for hours, and the Republican party has voted in virtual lockstep in the past decade or so, ensuring they always have the votes if it comes down to it (Democrats tend to be in constant disarray, cf. Joe Lieberman.)

          Graph out the number of filibusters per Congress. They remain low for centuries, and then they suddenly skyrocket in the past decade, with pretty much every year shattering the previous record. The 111th Congress broke the record not even a year in. We've even seen the filibustering of bills everyone agrees on just to delay the introduction of other bills- for example, Republicans filibustered a defense spending bill just to delay debate on the health reform bill. The tactic of minority parties in the modern Senate is simply to delay and stop everything.

          That's what I mean by the rules are insane.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Achra (846023)

            The Senate does not actually carry out actual filibusters anymore, where people get up and talk for hours,

            This is something that I've often remarked on, and I simply don't understand. That is to say, I understand the concept that because any senator is allowed to hold the floor and talk about whatever subject that they want for as long as they want, then there is a concept called a "filibuster". What I _don't_ understand is that Senators are simply allowed to say "I am filibustering", and that's all it takes. It's like an epic rambling useless lecture that can last for eternity, yet is only imaginary? WTF? I th

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Are the rules really insane, or have things in this country simply become unworkable?

            Are the rules the same as they've always been, or have they changed? If the rules are the same, but the behaviors are very different, then the rules are not insane, because they worked just fine for centuries.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by bmo (77928)

              No, the rules for filibustering have changed. The start of the rule changes began in the 60s. Then with more rule changes in the 70s the number of filibusters skyrocketed.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster_in_the_U.S._Senate [wikipedia.org]

              In an effort to make things "easier" they broke the system.

              --
              BMO

            • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Friday November 19, 2010 @11:58PM (#34288958)

              Are the rules the same as they've always been, or have they changed?

              A little bit of both. Fillibusters have always existed in this country; they're something we brought over from England with us, along with things like sovereign immunity [wikipedia.org]. However, as others have said, they used to be actual filibusters: You stopped the work of the Senate by exploting the rule that you held the floor as long as you held the floor (kept speaking, kept standing, etc), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style. Somewhere along the way--and I really don't know where--it became you simply saying "I'd like this bill to require 60 votes instead of 50 please!" and going back home to see how it turns out. It's both the same and different.

              But I think the real change is the invention of career politicians and the cementing of political parties. Political parties have pretty much always existed, but more and more they have become enshrined by law. Third parties have difficulty getting into debates or onto ballots and are decried as a "wasted vote," which wasn't always the case. The party in power is in charge of drawing district lines, leading to things like gerrymandering. Most states in the union perpetuate closed primaries, encouraging the polarization of their candidates to appeal to the extreme fringes of their own party and not the moderate climate of the nation as a whole. The nation's political makeup is essentially determined, year after year, by a handful of in-play districts across the nation; almost everybody else is safe, as evidenced by a re-election rate historically of about 90% (true even in the Democrats' "sweeping win" in 2008; I haven't looked at the 2010 Republican results that closely yet. I suspect it will be close be slightly under.) Each party determines its own leadership, right down to the committee assignments -- meaning that even if by some miracle an independent did win, or he turned independent during a term, which is what we see far more often, he still needs to choose which party he wants to caucus with and whether he is one of the most powerful men in the Senate or one of the most impotent depends on one of the two big parties anyway, which you can be sure leads to quite a bit of deal-making behind closed doors.

              "Politician" is now a job description rather than a public service. These people are no longer ordinary citizens, still working their fields or selling their wares. Their entire job is politics, the vast majority of their working time spent trying to get re-elected, a little with their staff and with their party scheming on how best to screw the other side, and a handful of time actually voting or conferencing or debating--you know, getting things done.

              In that sense, things have changed. But the problem is not that it has become unworkable--the problem is actually that it has become too workable. Republicans consistently walk in lock-step. Democrats usually walk in lock-step. The outcome of bills are usually known well before the votes are taken, and most of it is known before the whip even goes around asking people how they intend to vote. Congress--the Senate in particular--was never meant to work quickly, but with a two-party system and a divided nation we can typically count on any disputed bill already having somewhere around 40-45% votes for and 40-45% votes against, leaving the outcome pending not only a small number of people, but in reality whether or not that small number of people are going to continue walking in lock-step with their party. Nobody has to spend time convincing others to vote for them (unless by that we mean coercing others to vote for them either by threats or by promises to vote their way on something else or include some money for such-and-such), nobody has to spend time convincing others that he's right, and bills succeed more by the combination of which party is in power and which party supports it than actual merit.

              I

              • Can they envision a truly independent president being successful and popular without some massive influx of completely independent congressmen at the exact same time?

                I agree with everything you just said, except this line. I think there is a pre existing Hatfield Vs McCoys thing going on between Democrats and Republicans. At the current rate of obstructionism that the republicans are promising, an independent might get more help than a Democrat would from the Republicans. For example, imagine if Lieberman was president (I'm wincing while typing that). He would be getting help from Republicans and Democrats and as much as I really dislike the guy, his independent stat

              • Not to mention that we're screwed on a more fundamental level because the people are really stupid about politics now. This last election provides a perfect example of that: the Republicans screwed us over, so in 2008 people voted for a lot of Democrats. Then the Democrats screwed us over (shock!), so this year people went out and voted for... a bunch of Republicans. Wait, what?

                I mean, it takes a really special level of stupidity to think that option A is going to fix what option B broke, when option A has

              • Most states in the union perpetuate closed primaries, encouraging the polarization of their candidates to appeal to the extreme fringes of their own party and not the moderate climate of the nation as a whole

                A co-worker was talking about this the other day. He was pointing out how the parties have found a way to get the government and taxpayers to legitimize and pay for the cost of a two party system. We are basically paying the cost of what should be internal party issues.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by jwhitener (198343)

              Last night's Jon Stewart was talking about this very thing.

              The author he was interviewing was basically making the case that our system is broke, but not because of the overreach of government (a case against tea party/conservative anti-regulation).

              At one point, Stewart said, (paraphrasing) "So basically you are saying that politics has been so perfected that governance is impossible"....

              The spirit of the rules themselves aren't necessarily broken, but they have been around so long, that every single way to

          • by Thing 1 (178996)
            Someone's sig is apt: "vote gridlock", no filibusters are then needed.
          • Right.

            IMO, the vast majority of all three branches of government are more concerned with their party than with their constituents. They are traitors and should be treated as such.

          • by Solandri (704621)

            The Senate does not actually carry out actual filibusters anymore, where people get up and talk for hours, and the Republican party has voted in virtual lockstep in the past decade or so, ensuring they always have the votes if it comes down to it (Democrats tend to be in constant disarray, cf. Joe Lieberman.)

            I agree the Republicans have been using filibusters much more than they were historically used. But it's simply untrue that the Republican party has voted in virtual lockstep the past decade. That's

      • by mpe (36238)
        I'm glad he's doing this, but this exemplifies how insane Senate rules and traditions are - all it takes is one Senator to stop anything. It was bad enough when Senators had more discretion, but nowadays you have Senators putting holds on everything and filibustering every single bill that comes through the Senate. It's ridiculous.

        The point of a legislature is to critically examine proposed legislation. Rather than simply "rubber stamping" whatever is placed before it. Far far worst is where people are vo
    • I knew there was a reason I voted for that guy.
    • Thank goodness for someone with their head being on straight.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    from whoever he wants it from, the hold will be gone.

    Go extortion!

  • It's awesome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday November 19, 2010 @05:40PM (#34285982) Homepage Journal

    when the the person you sent emails to about an issue does what you want.

    • by eepok (545733)

      I've been lucky to feel that sense of affect once before. It's definitely noticeable.

      Of course, for every issue after that, you'll find reasons to justify why actions do not coincide with your suggestions. It's kinda like the development of a tradition involving the super bowl and a lucky pair of socks.

  • Awww. (Score:5, Funny)

    by peacefinder (469349) <alan,dewitt&gmail,com> on Friday November 19, 2010 @05:50PM (#34286074) Journal

    Now, Ron. Don't go making me wish I'd voted for you.

    Oh, wait... Actually yes, please do!

  • Whenever a politician comes to a decision that seems like common sense I usually suspect ulterior motives.

    • At the very least I question that we're getting anything close to the full story.
  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:04PM (#34286180) Homepage

    is that any Senator can block any bill anytime for no reason at all.

    The Senate depends on unanimous consent [google.com] to get much of its work done, and a single senator can throw a monkey wrench into the works by withdrawing consent.

    There's definitely one senator out there who'll be man enough to block the bill, either a leftie or a hardcore righty.

  • Thank you (Score:2, Informative)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818)

    Write him to say thank you:

    http://wyden.senate.gov/ [senate.gov]

    I'm embarrassed to say that one of my senators is on the passing committee, and I've already written him about that, but let's keep Wyden supported.

    • Because it doesn't matter. People shouldn't be voting on party affiliation as much as they should be voting for people who do the right things.
  • ..even though he fought against health care and, coincidentally, counts health insurance companies among his biggest campaign contributors. Feeling a little better about it now.
  • The summary omits the (D), and this guy's doing something most here would agree with. Where are the accusations of bias? :P

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It already is the end of the year. Christmas decorations were being placed a month ago.

  • "In the eleventh hour, intelligence was perceived in the US Senate. Right now, as we continue to report this stunning headline, reporters are en route to discover the source of this rumor, and if it is factual, we'll bring you straight to the source. Stay tuned for more breaking news as it happens..."

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