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According To Lamar Smith, Data Or Criticism From Anyone Who Doesn't Like SOPA Isn't Valid

from the wow dept

We recently wrote about PolitiFact trashing Lamar Smith for the numbers he used in support of SOPA -- numbers that PolitiFact says grade out to "false." What I somehow missed was at the very end of that article, they ask Smith to respond to the charges that his argument was false. Amazingly, rather than respond to the actual data, Smith chose to instead attack one (of a few!) of the people that PolitiFact discussed the data with, Julian Sanchez:
After we summarized much of this research, Smith objected to Sanchez as an expert, saying in an email that because Sanchez is opposed to the anti-online-piracy act, he "cannot provide an objective or unbiased analysis." He stood by his CNN.com statement, telling us: "Since the U.S. is the largest producer of (intellectual property) that is consumed around the world, one can surmise that a significant amount of that total value is taken from the U.S. economy."
First of all, what? Considering that the numbers Smith used came from industry lobbyists in favor of the bill, doesn't that mean that Smith should be objecting to his own numbers? After all, the source of those numbers -- the Chamber of Commerce -- "cannot provide an objective or unbiased analysis." Or perhaps Smith thinks that only those in favor of SOPA can provide such an analysis.

Either way, that statement is insane. Smith honestly seems to be saying that any information -- no matter how factual -- cannot be trusted if it comes from SOPA opponents. Why doesn't he have that same skepticism towards the data that the MPAA and Chamber of Commerce handed him?

Furthermore, his decision to stick by his comments is doubly insane. The fact that the US is the largest producer of intellectual property that is consumed around the world... does not, in fact, mean that any counterfeiting is "the total value taken from the US economy." Is this guy serious? PolitiFact flat out points out that it's false, with data to back it up, and shows exactly how Smith is blatantly lying about the data... and Smith's response is to restate the error and insist that the thing already proven false must be true?!?

Smith's constituents should demand better. Having an elected official who lives in a fantasy world where facts are ignored is not a good thing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Simon, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    maybe....

    Maybe they're opposed BECAUSE of the numbers. Nah, crazy talk.

     

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  2.  
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    al, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Using lamar Smiths quote. "After we summarized much of this research, Smith objected to Sanchez as an expert, saying in an email that because Sanchez is opposed to the anti-online-piracy act, he "cannot provide an objective or unbiased analysis."" The same logic apllies to Smith. If smith supports the anti-online-piracy act he "cannot provide an objective or unbiased analysis." Stale mate.

     

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  3.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    La la la

    I have this image of Lamar Smith listening to the criticisms of SOPA and sticking his fingers in his ears going "la la la, I can't hear you! La la la!"

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Why doesn't he have that same skepticism towards the data that the MPAA and Chamber of Commerce handed him?

    Because he's met their good friend Ben.

    That's why.

     

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  5.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Smith's constituents should demand better.

    This guy is a decent challenger.

    http://sheriffmackforcongress.com/

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    According to Lamar Smith, Google is the entire Internet and corporate rights are more important than the rights of individual people.

    I believe that makes Lamar Smith unfit to perform his job. He should serve the people who elected him and expected him to represent their best interests, not the corporations who seek to buy him off and erode the rights of the American populace in the name of profits.

    (I'm an idealist, I know.)

     

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  7.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: La la la

    That was certainly what it sounded like during the hearing back in December, when reason was attempted to be brought into the discussion.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Mr. "I can't hear you" strikes again!

    Wow. Lamar Smith is pretty cocky that he's not going anywhere for awhile.

    I seriously hope that the internet pulls off an upset and blasts Mr. "I can't hear you" off his sorry ass.

    Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but when you don't even listen to a source that backed up all of its claims by numerous verifiable and trustworthy sources, you don't deserve to be a representative of the people.

    And, no. I'm not going to make any *insert politician here* jokes based on that last paragraph. There are far more witty, yet charming people out there that can do a better job than I can.

     

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  9.  
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    MadCow (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    New Texas voter!

    I just moved to Texas in January. I will now be calling AND writing to the office of Mr. Lamar and informing him that in the next election, where he could have had a new constituent vote for him, I will instead be voting him out of office, even if I have to vote for a baboon.

     

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  10.  
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    Keii (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Smith's response is the adult equivilant to sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

     

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  11.  
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    Khory (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re: maybe....

    Lol, exactly what I thought.

    Someone does research, examines the data, and forms an opinion backed up by that data surely is biased!

    Sureley this could be said of the pro-SOPA experts as well. That is why it is important to scrutinize sources of the data, and the methodology used to obtain and analyze that data.

     

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  12.  
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    Keii (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    Hum, I responded before reading the previous comments. Now I feel like an idiot since I said the same thing as someone else.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Re: La la la

     

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  14.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    He play's golf with Chris Dodd.

     

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  15.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Here is Lamar Smith's challenger on Reddit. Time to vote Smith out of office.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/pap79/i_am_sheriff_richard_mack_im_challenging_sopa _and/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    I would say that the numbers he is working from are at least as valid as those from people claiming no harm at all.

     

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  17.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    "Having an elected official who lives in a fantasy world where facts are ignored is not a good thing."

    Actually, this is more of a situation where an elected official will say anything to keep his MPAA and RIAA re-election campaign funds flowing in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Donnicton, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    At least he's consistent.



    .....What? I thought the voter base loved politicians who never change their mind and never admit fault?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Anyone investigated how much money the **aa's have poured into this guys campaign coffers?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re:

    That's ok, just pretend you didn't hear/see them :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re:

    Yep, it makes it a lot easier to vote when the time comes... regardless of whether that's for or against. So in that regard, I commend him for making life easier for his constituents to decide his fate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Mr. "I can't hear you" strikes again!

    Mr Smith, Internet Assassin!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    Except that Smith is the one with the power, and he knows it.
    He doesn't have to make sense. He has the stick and the carrot.
    Power corrupts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Re:

    The ACTUAL numbers do seem to indicate that there is little to no harm caused by file sharing.

    The ACTUAL numbers also indicate that file sharing can have a net positive effect for the artists building exposure and a fan base.

    The ACTUAL numbers also indicate that curbing file sharing would be accomplished by offering the consumers what they want through legitimate channels as opposed to increasing ineffective enforcement.

    So no, AC 312, the numbers he is working from are not as valid as those claiming no harm when they interpret the real data available.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    Smith's constituents should demand better.

    Have you been to Texas? His constituents think that Baby Jesus put the oil in the ground 6000 years ago, and that the devil invented the internet to corrupt your children and to turn people into commies. Lamar Smith will probably be elected governor of the nation of Texas if he successfully destroys the internet.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    best not to assume he's insane

    "his decision to stick by his comments is doubly insane"

    I think it's best to assume that Mr. Smith is rational.

    It would be great if these posts also included footnotes, or direct parenthetical comments, outlining the amount of campaign contributions received by the politician in question from copyright cartel. And what percentage that amount represents for them.

    It would help a great deal in putting their position in context.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Dementia (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    Either you forgot your sarc mark or you are an idiot. Nothing like painting an entire population with the same brush used on one specific moron. There are quite a few Texans who do not agree with anything you have just stated. Unfortunately, its the ones who do that get all the press coverage and are, apparently, appointed to the bench in East Texas.

     

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  28.  
    icon
    f0nZi3 (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Mike! You got the dept wrong!

    It should be:

    from the "I-reject-your-reality-and-substitute-it-with-my-own" dept

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    Re:

    Why would you say that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

    It really is it's own country

    Regardless. This is still Texas. It's a red state. It's not California. It's also not New York or Tennessee. Just who does this idiot think he's pandering to? It sounds like a bunch of out of state interests that would be viewed as morally objectionable to most of his core Republican base.

    He's not the representative for Hollywood.

    It never ceases to amaze me when members of the Texas delegation get on this particular bandwagon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Re: New Texas voter!

    If you're in his district, the best option is voting for Richard Mack. Other than the primary challenge, there is little that can be done to get him out of office.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Why should I have to verify my statements with evidence? I'm a member of congress! I'm not obligated to provide facts to support my statements, you should just accept them because I'm an authority figure! I'm infallible!

    /wheresmylobbyistcheck?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re:

    You would say that but fortunately you came to your senses before you did something that foolish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re:

    One of them ran for president I believe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Paul Hobbs (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    "Since the U.S. is the largest producer of (intellectual property) that is consumed around the world"

    Really?? I find that hard to believe. For example, Hollywood may have the highest revenues for movies worldwide, but Bollywood dwarfs Hollywood in terms of the number of films that are produced, and the size of it's target audience. As for music, I don't have the figures but I'm pretty sure that there are lots of bands/artists in other parts of the world. I've heard some of them.

    A message to Lamar Smith (he reads this blog, right?):

    Let's agree that America is a great country. But it is not the only great country. And it isn't the only country to produce "intellectual property". Brazil is a great country. New Zealand is a great country. Germany is a great country. You, sir, need a Copernican revolution. You need to realise that America is not the centre of the universe.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    The Moondoggie, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

    LOLpirate

    Either way, that statement is insane.

    Not really, it just lacks intellect. Which is why it's suspicious that they claim us pirates steal intellectual property from the U.S. when there is nothing produced by intellect to steal since U.S. is currently experiencing a period where it lacks intellect, symptoms best shown by Hollywood and Lamar Smith.

    I say U.S. as a whole because, seriously, who voted for this guy?

     

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  37.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Either way, that statement is insane. Smith honestly seems to be saying that any information -- no matter how factual -- cannot be trusted if it comes from SOPA opponents.

    They are not 'official facts' unless approved by the Ministry of Truth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    Re: LOLpirate

    Texas

     

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  39.  
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    Jeff (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

    Re: New Texas voter!

    Be careful - there's a baboon already in Mr. Smith's office... oh wait... Hi Mr. Smith!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:30pm

    Donate to the sheriff!

    Given that Mr. Smith is clearly a little reality challenged and is a rather dangerous fellow overall I encourage folks to donate to his challenger, Sheriff Mack.

    Mr. Smith is not fit to lead and has already received 400,000US from SOPA supporters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    SuperiorAnonymousCoward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    I love it when the ones at the top can ignore the rules (or manipulate them) and get their way no matter what......

    F**k lamar, I will kill him if he or anyone who shares his ideals succeeds, no SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/PCFIPA/TPP/OPEN.

    I'm seriously afraid these skeletons will get their way and take down the internet so I'm grabbing everything I want as fast as possible

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

    Re:

    So just as we cannot protest laws, they cannot propose laws. Unless you'd like to show how their numbers are more valid. I guess the industry is on its knees after the player piano, gramophone, cassette, VCR and CD came along, right?

    The numbers he is working from have always carried a huge amount of bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Re: LOLpirate

    Incorrect. I think the US (and the world) has come to a time of incredible intellect. I think the access to information and general tenacity of the world's population these days has lead to that.

    Of course, almost none of that is in Hollywood or the government. I imagine that's where you were going with your statement though, which I would totally agree with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    How someone so out of touch with reality can be allowed as congressman, or worse sponsor bills, is totally beyond me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    Sooooo, if Sanchez is unqualified to give an opinion on SOPA because he's against it, it logically follows that Lamar Smith is equally unqualified because he's for SOPA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

    Re:

    Most of the music I own came from England, and most of the movies I find tolerable these days are not made in Hollywood.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: LOLpirate

    If you're that smart, you know better than to go anywhere near Hollywood or the government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    HumbleForeigner (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:46pm

    *sigh*

    SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and TPP, of all of them TPP is the most accurately named...

    Toilet Paper Politics
    Where the politicians wipe their ass on the rights of people and the legislative process of their country.

    As Billy Connolly said "I think, roughly, the desire to be a politician, should ban you for life for ever being one."

    Link here http://www.ibras.dk/comedy/billy_connolly.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Chaos (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:02pm

    Completely OT but......

    "Having an elected official who lives in a fantasy world where facts are ignored is not a good thing."

    Haha, the atheists have been saying that for awhile.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Loki, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:06am

    Re: Re: New Texas voter!

    That is an insult to the intelligence of baboons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Loki, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:11am

    Re:

    Given that the RIAA and MPAA live in a fantasy world where facts are ignored, both of the above statements are more or less one in the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    eclecticdave (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re: New Texas voter!

    Ok, now you're just making me remember stuff probably best left forgotten ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Smith_%28TV_series%29

    Mind you, maybe this Mr Smith would be a better candidate ... he could hardly do a worse job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Loki, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:25am

    Re: best not to assume he's insane

    In a day and age where the sort of double speak and blatant falsehood as Lamar speaks were not easily verifiable by million of people within minutes of being uttered, one might be able to argue he was rational.

    Regardless of how much money get funneled into his campaign, it's like saying the American flag is green, yellow and brown, then being shown the flag, having the red, the white, and the blue pointed out clearly, and still insisting that it is green, yellow, and brown.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Loki, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:41am

    Re:

    At first read, I found the statement hard to believe too. I mean there is a good likelihood that China, India, and maybe even Japan produce more intellectual property than the US.

    However, giving it a second read, he might well be right. There is a good likelihood that more US intellectual property is consumed around the world (if by that he means outside its "home" country) than any other nation.

    The statement is still a bit disingenuous, though, because US intellectual property is almost certainly a rather small percentage of global production, and most likely a small percentage of total global consumption.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    Re: Mike! You got the dept wrong!

    I second that motion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re:

    Truth doesn't really matter when you're going "Ra! Ra! U.S.A." Nobody argues with you when you talk about how great America is except evil foreign terrorists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    Re: Mike! You got the dept wrong!

    Also agree, that would be a better category, much more accurate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    TDR, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    The blindness is strong with Darth Lamar. The truth, however, is not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    TaCktiX (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    Most of my favorite bands are European, coming from the power metal and symphonic metal genres. My personal favorite is Within Temptation, a dutch band.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    jackn, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    .... says grade out to "false"

    Do you mean grayed (or greyed) out?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Gerald Robinson (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Lamir Smith is an honest politician

    He took $1.7M in bribes to pass SOPA and by God hes going to do it! Unfortunately this makes Texans and especially his constituents look like fools and crooks. This harks back to the old LBJ Mafia days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Can't someone get Texas to follow through on their secession threats? That would solve the problem nicely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Eric Strait, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:25am

    SOPA SUCKS

    All I know is SOPA sucks and many think that the battle is freaking over but just when we forget about it, they will try and slip a lesser back door plan in that we never see...and this will user in SOPA! We really have to be proactive and watchful of the freaking crooks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
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    Bryan (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    Lying

    The last I checked, a lie is an intentional misrepresentation of truth or facts. Doesn't that imply that one have the intellectual capacity to actually intend to misrepresent? That would seem to me to be giving Lamar Smith a lot more credit than he is due.

    Bryan

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Mekhong Kurt (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

    Maybe it's something in the air or water back in his district, perhaps combined with noxious gases wafting north from the refineries along the Gulf Coast. After all, the water table tilts south and east from Smith's district -- right into, by the way, Rep. Ron Paul's. That would explain why Smith's (and Paul's) constituents keeping sending him back to the Capitol, and why Smith appears to have a serious learning disability or something. (Paul's just plain weird, but I guess polluted water and air could account for that, too -- mild mercury poisoning maybe?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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