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Lamar Smith
  • Ron Paul and Nancy Pelosi Oppose Breaking the Internet

    Faced with the unsettling news that Congress is still somehow more popular than Fidel Castro, a bipartisan group of representatives began an effort to rectify the situation by holding hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would punish companies for posting pirated content online and prove that censoring the Internet isn't just for authoritarian communist states anymore.

    But a few Members of Congress think shutting down all access to a domain because a user uploaded copyrighted material to a website is going just a little bit too far…

    More recently, we've seen growing opposition within Congress itself. The latest SOPA opponent: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

    Reacting to a tweet from San Francisco resident Jeffrey Rodman, the San Francisco Democrat tweeted on Thursday that her colleagues "need to find a better solution than #SOPA." She also urged Congress: "#DontBreakTheInternet." This seems to be the first time Pelosi has weighed in on the SOPA debate, and it suggests that the concerns of SOPA's critics are being heard on the Democratic side of the aisle.

    And Pelosi is far from the only member of Congress opposed to the legislation. On Tuesday, ten members of Congress signed a "dear colleague" letter expressing concerns with the bill. The signers were nine Democrats plus Rep Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian-leaning candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Maybe, but then again, when someone on the bus sneezes in your face, is the proper response to hand them a tissue and ask them to excuse themselves? Or, should you take out a gun and blow their brains out? Sure, the first solution is "targeted" and commensurate with the offense, but the second is oh so satisfying and permanent.

    Such is the thinking of SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, who believes the appropriate reaction to our favorite series of tubes being clogged with pirated material is to rip up the pipes and bludgeon the high-tech and social-media industry until the piracy stops. And who (except politicians of wildly divergent opinions like Nancy Pelosi and Ron Paul, and law professors, and engineers, and civil libertarians) could disagree?

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: ACLU, House of Representatives, Internet, Lamar Smith, Nancy Pelosi, Ron Paul, Twitter
  • Quote Unquote: U.S. of Gay?

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) makes an excellent point about the Constitution and marriage equality

    "No one can seriously believe that the Constitution's authors intended to create a right to same-sex marriage."

    Very true! I'm totally in agreement with Rep. Smith on this matter. If they had intended for marriage equality, I'm sure they would have sent one of their slaves around with a strongly-worded letter expressing as much.

    Tags: Constitution, Founding Fathers, House of Representatives, Lamar Smith, Marriage Equality, Quote Unquote, Texas
  • Finally! It's the Justice Department v. ACORN

    lamar-smith-verticalLadies and gentlemen, a new hero in the fight against ACORN: Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who has persuaded the Justice Department to open an internal investigation into whether or not ACORN received any grant money from the aforementioned Justice Department.

    (Btw, feel free to use that sentence in your own fight against Big Government, because apparently in this Democrat-controlled country you can't just check a spreadsheet and be like, "Yep, ten million for pimp training services," no, you have to do a whole 'investigation.')

    But back to Lamar Smith's heroism

    "As the primary federal law enforcement agency, the Justice Department has a responsibility to ensure that no organization receiving federal funds ignores our nation's laws," he said.

    Smith said ACORN has "fostered a culture of corruption." Smith has also called for the FBI to launch an investigation.

    Agreed, Rep. Smith! We cannot stand by while ACORN takes federal money for the purposes of being dishonest and corrupt and non-law-abiding.

    That would be a tragedy, especially considering the billions of dollars that have been poured into ACORN, and the thousands of American lives that have been lost, and the fact that ACORN didn't even have WMDs in the first place.

    Tags: ACORN, Lamar Smith