The 2012 Presidential campaign demonstrates the old adage that money talks, and bullshit walks. Like many other communities, we have railed for over a decade now about why it is Washington never did get the technology sector, and never understood how the powerful politicians handling of it would determine the competitive edge our country held during the Internet boom and how it will manifest itself in this nation’s future. More inclined to see it as a bubble, paid for politicians plodded through the changes, the acronyms and the huge money that was at stake, then hopped into bed with bygone businesses like the banks, the healthcare folks, Hollywood suck-ups and big oil, to name a few.
Now it seems with more than a billion dollars cached in his war chest to beat the likes of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and even Ron Paul, an insecure Obama has sidled over here towards Silicon Valley to pad his coffers further. Unfortunately, this is all about money, and nothing to do with his understanding of how critical it is for Washington to finally get that we here in the Valley of bits and bytes are the future of education, jobs and industry for this country.
While all of this has been going, however, eight of the two of the bill’s co-sponsors, Marco Rubio from Florida and Roy Blunt from Missouri, are among those backing away. Like tetrahedrons blowing in the wind, cheap politicians may be getting the message even though they obviously don’t have a clue of the stakes.
From today’s BBC report:
“The list of senators no longer backing Pipa includes Mr Rubio and Mr Blunt, and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, all Republicans, as well as Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland.
“In the House of Representatives, Republicans Ben Quayle of Arizona, Lee Terry of Nebraska and Dennis Ross of Florida said they were no longer supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), joining Pennsylvania Democrat Tim Holden.
“Mr Ross tweeted that he was no longer supporting Sopa, because as “a true free marketer, I want IP protected correctly”.
“In a Facebook posting, Mr Rubio said he and fellow Senators “heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the internet”.
“Mr Hatch called Pipa “not ready for prime-time” and said he would remove himself from the bill’s list of sponsors.”
One thing is clear about this out-to-lunch-bunch is that they never had a clue of the stakes, nor do they now, they simply are blowin’ in the wind, to quote the Bard.
The tipping point for me here was a tagline in a Huffington Post article that read, “Obama Burns Crucial Campaign Donors In SOPA Fight.” Follow that link from the HP home page to the actual article and the new tagline reads, “SOPA Forces Obama To Pick Sides Between Donors From Hollywood, Silicon Valley.” Now most folks know that HP is more about sensationalizing the news than reporting it, but now that the Kardashians have worn out their welcome, the popular blog has tried to turn to the election to find more clicks. Yet it never discusses the burning sensation I get when I wonder who really cares that the music, motion picture and chamber of commerce are all pissed off because Obama may have actually gotten some religion, and, perhaps, a backbone.
The Blumenthal article states,
“The relationship between Obama and tech companies has involved more than money. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes left his Silicon Valley job to help the Obama team run its social networking and online fundraising platforms. Google’s Eric Schmidt served as an informal adviser to the campaign and later went to Washington to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In the White House, the president appointed the nation’s first chief technology officer and first chief information officer and reached out to the tech community in both Silicon Valley and Washington.”
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Unlike the boastful Al Gore, Obama has quietly courted the leaders of the newest and oldest titans of technology like Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose deep pockets could probably elect Steven Colbert, if he ever decides to spend any of it, to the well-off but modest Craig Newmark, who founded Craigslist.org and describes himself as a “moderate libertarian” in the article, but has not criticized a single thing this administration has done, even the signing away of our liberties, and fawns over every chance he gets to dash off to Washington for photo ops. His tryst with Schmidt is a bit of a mystery but was ostensibly about the Google leader’s reach and his take on China and how we avoid being absorbed by the communist state as they buy up the nation’s lands and resources. The mystery being that I have no idea what Schmidt brought to Google or the nation and Obama for that matter?
Now we stand at a threshold of our American industrial future where every industry looks towards technology to deliver us back to the quality we once produced and the products that produced a middle class that made us the greatest nation on earth. Can you think of one business that doesn’t depend on technology to turn out better, faster and more profitable products? Has Obama seen the light, or is this about working on his second billion to beat the likes of a group of guys who can’t seem to stand each other or what each other stands for today.
As we stated in our article “In their response to SOPA” we said, “We’re not sure why the U.S. is attempting to control web sites “beyond the reach of our laws,” but pressure from folks like Rupert Murdoch should not be discounted.” These old economy thinkers are dangerous to the health of our nation and their coercion of politicians, as stated today in “Deadline Hollywood,” they say, “Internet sites on their SOPA-Strike may be conducting a blackout but Hollywood studios are conducting a boycott.”
If Obama is serious about being President and leading us out of the malaise the world is trying to drag us into, it’s time to forget about military far flung adventures, and get hip to technology options. Murdoch and his ilk, including all of Hollywood, and the dirtbags who are running it, it’s time he went after our real enemies. How is Murdoch able to pirate information and get away with it? Pick him up, and Roger Ailes, those filthy rich record folks who have really screwed artists and the public for decades, and anyone else who is a threat to our future and put them away until they quit trying to screw up the one thing we have going for ourselves, our freedoms, our technology and our future.