Senator Moran Chats With Techdirt About SOPA, Innovation And The Importance Of An Open Internet

from the another-senator-recognizing-the-role-of-innovation dept

It's no secret that one of our key concerns over the years has been the lack of elected officials who seem to really get many of the issue that concern us the most -- leading to a feeling, especially among the internet generation, that Congress doesn't actually represent us. There have been a few exceptions along the way, and certainly Senator Ron Wyden has long been established as one of the few politicians who really understands the importance of innovation and an open internet (as well as important civil liberties issues). However, we are starting to see a small, but growing, number of elected officials recognizing the importance of these issues.

One who has been especially interesting over the last few months is Senator Jerry Moran, from Kansas. After Senator Wyden, Senator Moran was one of the first Senators to recognize the problems with PIPA and to take a stand against the bill, agreeing to put a hold on it and to filibuster against it, if it came to the floor. He's also the key Senator behind the Startup Act, which we've noted actually appears to be a strong proactive bill designed to clear out some innovation-hindering regulations, while clearing the field for new startups and innovations that create jobs and cool services.

Given all that, I was excited to get to spend some time with Senator Moran to talk about a variety of these issues and get his thoughts on them. For those of you attending SXSW this weekend, it's also worth noting that Senator Moran will be hosting a panel at the event on this very topic: "Encouraging Innovation and Empowering Entrepreneurs." That's happening Sunday at 3:30 at the AT&T Conference Hotel.

I started off the talk with Senator Moran by asking him about the fight over PIPA, and where his key concerns were. The Senator gave a pretty comprehensive answer that laid out how he views the fight over PIPA in the larger context of the overall economy, as well as the importance of innovation in creating new jobs and growing the economy. He noted that, if we're going to be developing the economy and helping "the people who have ideas and want to innovate," the internet is the key cog in making it all work. It was a key theme that came up multiple times in our discussion and is an important driving force behind his stance on many of these issues. When we dug into his decision to oppose PIPA, it's no surprise that it was a discussion with Senator Wyden that helped him fully understand the issues.
I had the fortune of having Senator Wyden come visit with me last year on this topic asking if I would be interested in the effort to keep SOPA and PIPA from becoming law. With a little bit of research and my sense that, if we create a bureaucratic challenge to those who use the internet, that we're going to lose the ability to innovate and to create new businesses that allow people who have ideas to take those ideas to market and to have success. Also, recognizing that the internet has become the voice of democracy in our country. So you're always going to have concerns about the ability to express your opinion in using the internet.
As we know, when PIPA (and SOPA) were first introduced, they were pretty much guaranteed to pass, if you believed the prevailing thoughts on the matter. The entertainment industry gets those types of bills passed. So an early and vocal stand against those bills and against many colleagues was a tough position to take -- and Moran even admitted to me that he didn't think the bills could be stopped. He noted that after Senator Wyden convinced him that "this was the right position to take":
I didn't expect to necessarily have success. All the so-called powerful players -- entertainment industries, Chamber of Commerce, significant, influential Senators -- really were on the other side of this issue.
But it was the internet and its users -- the very folks he was seeking to protect -- who helped prove that his position could prevail:
Senator Wyden and I agreed to place a hold on the bill. We agreed that when the bill came to the floor, that we were going to filibuster, and make it difficult for the bill to become law. However as a result of efforts by those who use the internet and people from across the country, my view that this would be an uphill climb became overshadowed by the outpouring of citizen input to members of the Senate. As we look back at that historic moment, the voice of the internet was successful in turning back all those powerful interests that I thought would make it very difficult to stop SOPA or PIPA.
Given just how surprising it was, even to those who were deep in the fight, I wondered what his thoughts were on what the protests against these bills really meant. Did he believe it was a true shift in how Congress would handle itself? Or was it just a "one time" deal, as the MPAA and RIAA have been suggesting lately?
The ability to convince the Majority Leader not to put this bill on the floor really was a significant moment -- not just for that legislation, but I have no doubt that the ability of people who use the internet to influence the outcome of decisions made in Washington DC is significant. We now know that it can be done. I have no doubt that the internet becomes the provider of information and the ability to influence the people who make decisions in Washington DC. I don't see it at all as a one time event. My colleagues are much more likely to be paying attention to tech issues, knowing that there is a voice that can come our way very quickly, very easily and in significant magnitude.
And part of what made the whole thing so powerful was that the internet didn't just enable people to speak out, it enabled people who never had a voice in Congress before to impact what was happening.
I represent the folks of Kansas, and this issue gave me the opportunity to have conversations with constituents that my guess is rarely, if ever, visited with me as a Senator, or other elected officials on other issues facing the country. But this was something they cared strongly about. And they had the background and the information -- and became interested in a way that set a whole new set of constituents involved in the political process of telling members of Congress what they think is important. And I would envision that's something that continues and doesn't go away and is available for the right issue now and in the future.

And, as an example of how this matters, we had a "high tech task force" meeting for Senators, which is normally attended by just a couple Senators and staff, but I would guess that there were more than a dozen Senators who came to this task force meeting. Again, I think that a way to get elected officials' attention is now through the internet. As a result of that happening, I think you see Senators paying more attention to issues that are important to the tech community.
On that note, we began to talk about other such issues of importance, such as the Startup Act, and again, he noted his general philosophy on how these things impact the wider economy. This isn't a small issue to him, it's part of a much larger issue of trying to get to the core of fixing our economy, rather than merely duct taping over things. And that means not just treating the symptoms, but really seeking a true cure -- and that means going back to the heart of what makes the economy tick and to grow, which is entrepreneurial innovation.
I'm in Congress, in part, because of a belief that our country's fiscal condition is serious, that deficits matter, that we're spending money we don't have -- we've got to get our budget in balance. It became clear to me, just watching the administration and Congress, that there's an inability, an unwillingness, a lack of commitment to solving this problem. Or even addressing this problem. So, it became clear to me that another way to approach the deficit is to grow the economy. I started looking for what's the proven record for success in creating jobs. I became acquainted with research done by the Kaufman Foundation -- they generally focus on entrepreneurship -- and discovered about job creation in this country, the net job gains have been occurring over the last decade mostly from startup companies.

So, based on Kaufman Foundation research, I started to pursue the idea, "what is it that we can do to create an environment in this country, where a person who has a better shot of getting the product to market, has the necessary capital, doesn't spend all their time fighting the bureaucracy and regulations, has the necessary talent pool and labor force." That culminated in the Startup Act.

If we're going to have a growing economy with entrepreneurship and new ideas, starting a company becomes very important. And not just for the purpose of providing revenue for the government to pay down its debt, but in the process of creating an entrepreneurial environment that helps someone with an idea take it to market and pursue success, we're also putting lots of Americans to work and they are better able to live that thing we call the American Dream.
I've said before that I think the ideas in the bill are pretty common sense and uncontroversial. I've also discussed how most of these issues are completely non-partisan. They're just good ideas in general, and Senator Moran made pretty much the exact same point. In talking about how he got Senator Mark Warner to co-sponsor the Startup Act, Moran noted that this is not a partisan issue at all.
I'm a Republican, he's a Democrat. And there's nothing in this bill that shouldn't be supported by both parties -- by people with just good judgment and common sense -- and a desire to see good things happen in this country. There ought not to be partisanship to this stuff.
We got into a longer discussion about the fact that many of the people involved in the SOPA/PIPA fight were looking to be "proactive" going forward, and looking for a positive agenda they could get behind -- and I wondered if there were elements of that in the Startup Act. Senator Moran pointed out that we've seen how the community can stop a bad bill, but it would be interesting to see if they can embrace a good bill as well, and highlighted that, at the roots, there were some key similarities on these issues:
The regulatory environment is very similar to [one of the key concerns in] SOPA and PIPA: a belief that if you're going to spend all your time as an entrepreneur hiring lawyers to get through the mess of bringing your business to fruition, you're probably not going to be successful. That was one of the problems of SOPA and PIPA. It was forcing folks to spend their time litigating, as opposed to pursing a new idea. So I think there are some common threads between the issues.
One of the aspects of the Startup Act that I found really compelling was the part that requires that an actual cost/benefit analysis be done on new regulations that will have an economic impact on startups. As I've mentioned here before, it struck me as totally absurd that this isn't a key part of all legislative efforts, where there's a real analysis not just of the benefits of a particular piece of legislation, but of the costs too. Senator Moran clearly agreed, and was pretty emphatic about it:
This is just common sense! Everything we do in government should have an analysis as to whether or not the benefits exceed the cost. This is what I hope most Americans would realize: this is just about good government.
He did note that there were some agencies that already have this requirement, but the goal here was to cover the rest, which are a big part of the government.

Of course, there are other issues beyond The Startup Act, so I asked him what he thought was important concerning the open internet and what's coming down the road. He brought up his involvement and his strong, strong belief in open spectrum and making sure that new spectrum auctions include open spectrum that can be used for WiFi (or WiFi-like open offerings) that allow for much freer innovation in services and devices. This is a big and important issue, which we've covered in the past, and I'm glad to hear that Senator Moran is also involved there.

However, he then said it was really important to realize that the fights over SOPA and PIPA are not over.
The concepts of SOPA and PIPA are not over. There still is a significant constituency -- a powerful group of members of Congress and interest groups -- that want to see something like SOPA and PIPA accomplished. So we need to continue to be vigilant about our efforts in an open internet.... While we had success, in Washington, DC, nothing ever really goes away. We have to remain vigilant that these issues don't surface at sometime, maybe even unexpectedly.
We got into a short discussion on the OPEN Act, where much of it focused on the process by which OPEN came about, making use of Representative Issa's "Madison" platform to allow for discussions, comments and feedback directly on the bill itself. I asked how he felt about such crowdsourcing of legislative efforts and if it had a future in Congress.
Legislators who have concerns about keeping the internet open ought to be very open and seek input from people who deal with the internet, who care strongly about these issues, whose livelihoods depend on the internet. So, I think it's very consistent for someone with a philosophy of an open internet to be very open in seeking solutions, suggestions and even criticisms of legislation. I think that's a new development, and the internet provides a new way [of doing that].... That platform allows us to seek input before mistakes are made and before a piece of legislation gets so far down the legislative path as SOPA and PIPA did.

This is a growing opportunity for policy makers soliciting input, and a great way for those who want to participate in the political process to provide that input.
And, finally, we talked about ACTA and TPP and what was going on there and whether or not he had concerns about both the substance of those efforts and the process by which they are happening.
These are examples of what I was talking about before on the importance of being vigilant. These issues may surface again in different forms, in unexpected ways. These international agreements... what I know about the Constitution is that a treaty must be ratified by the United States Senate. So while it's been negotiated and signed by the President, I would argue that it's not effective until the Senate ratifies it -- and no such ratification, that I know of, is expected.

This is why the folks who care about an open internet need to stay vigilant.
We touched on a few other topics, such as increasing access to broadband and how that's a "great equalizer" for all sorts of communities, including many of the rural communities that he represents. The conversation with Senator Moran was quite interesting and enjoyable, and it's good to find more elected officials who appear to be directly interested in encouraging innovation, and recognizing the role that innovation plays in economic growth -- and how bad regulations can all-too-easily hinder that kind of growth and the prosperity it creates. There were, of course, plenty of other issues we could have talked about, but the Senator was kind enough to spend a lot more time than we had initially allotted in this conversation, and I didn't want to keep him any longer. Perhaps in the future, we'll have a chance to revisit these and other issues that I know are important to the community here, and can perhaps dig in even more on some of them.

Once again, for those of you at SXSW this weekend, it'll probably be worth your time to stop by and see Senator Moran at his panel discussing many of these same issues.


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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Huh

    Senator Moran has made my list of "might be okay" people.

    Must watch him closely and see that he doesn't stray...

    It's pleasing to see his desire for fiscal responsibility (among other things); however he's addressing the symptoms, not the problem.

    The problem which needs to be addressed is the fact that our nation's money supply is controlled by a private institution. So long as such a situation persists, it is the private institution who is in control of our country.

    "Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws."
    -Mayer Amschel Rothschild

     

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    Melissa Ruhl (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Interesting and motivating interview!

    The web has created a world in which a politician's constituents and a politician's lobbyists are by no means the only voices motivating opinions and votes, which is awesome. It is also so encouraging that entrepreneurship and an open Internet are slowly becoming nonpartisan issues explored by many stripes of politician.

    I wonder about his comments concerning legislation never dying in DC and ACTA being such an example...I wonder what the future of government and democracy will look like in a world where local and global are so interconnected. The SOPA/PIPA legislation was local to the US with global ramifications. The Jan 18 protests were global in participation and impact. ACTA is both an international piece of legislation and the representation of a global democratic movement against old monied elites. Etc., etc., right?

    Sen Moran's comments certainly painted a dynamic possible future.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    You can still see old world thinking

    "I think you see Senators paying more attention to issues that are important to the tech community."

    No Senator, it is not the "tech community"
    Almost everyone nowadays has some sort of tech they have/want to use. Your "tech community" is now everyone. AKA Citizens.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    That senator must not have anything else better to do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Always going to be some sort of law to fight

    Problem is the big companies(RIAA,MPAA,Oil,Pharma) are going to keep pushing for laws to try and keep their businesses bringing in the money, doesn't matter if it hinders innovation or progression. With all the information able to reach everyone, their monopolies are no longer viable. So they push for laws to discourage or even make it illegal to use this information. The unfortunate part is that the people that make the "big bucks" will do everything in their power to help this system along, can't risk losing their lifestyle. Wars are created and fought for this. I wonder how much more advanced the human race would be if there was no Copyrights or Patents?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    just because PIPA/SOPA was stopped doesn't mean they/it has been forgotteg. all that is happening in the background is that the text is being changed so that it sounds different but means the same as before. much like ACTA, actually, with too many instances of 'may' etc included, that can be interpreted differently on every occasion

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    As someone who works in the Technology industry I oppose an increase in H1B visas. There are lots of unemployed programers, system admins, network admins, etc... Brining in immigrants at lower pay to allow companies to fill positions that should be occupied by the existing workforce artificially inflates the workforce thereby lowering salaries. It also leaves unemployed or underemployed American citizens on government assistance. This is one of the cornerstones of the Startup Act.

    The Startup Act also seeks to provide "new firms with better access to early-stage financing, creating capital gains tax exemptions for long-held startup investments," Isn't this another example of a tax shelter for the 1%? This is beyond lowering the effective tax rate to 15%, it is an EXEMPTION!

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

      Re:

      As someone who works in the Technology industry I oppose an increase in H1B visas. There are lots of unemployed programers, system admins, network admins, etc... Brining in immigrants at lower pay to allow companies to fill positions that should be occupied by the existing workforce artificially inflates the workforce thereby lowering salaries. It also leaves unemployed or underemployed American citizens on government assistance. This is one of the cornerstones of the Startup Act.

      There's a lot you say here that is either misleading or wrong. The key parts of the Startup Act are less about expanding H1Bs and more about creating a *new* entrepreneur's visa for those who *start* new companies and create new jobs. There is a part to make it easier for foreign born students who have advanced degrees in technology and science to stay in the US and work for US companies, but you should want that.

      Otherwise they go back to where they're from and compete with you and cause your company to go out of business against foreign competition.

      Fact is that tech jobs are not a zero sum game. Smart, qualified workers create new jobs by being more productive.

      Furthermore, your claim that "immigrants at lower pay" is a violation of the H1B program, which requires pay at market rates. Has that been abused? Yes, but then go after the abuses.

      Finally, the idea that there are "lots of unemployed programmers, sys admins, network admins, etc" is belied by anyone who works here in Silicon Valley. We can't find any of those people. If they're out there, why aren't they sending resumes? There are a shit ton of job openings here and it's impossible to find bodies to fill them. I don't know any out of work engineers. Everyone I know is snapped up in seconds. There's a clear shortage here. If you know out of work engineers, get them to send resumes to Silicon Valley ASAP. Facebook is currently valuing *good* engineers as being worth nearly $3 million based on how much they're willing to pay via acqui-hires. That suggests a real shortage.

      That said, I have seen occasional complaints from some techies whose skills are simply not up to date. It is hard to find a job if you can't do what the job requires. But that's a different issue.

      As someone who works in the Technology industry I oppose an increase in H1B visas. There are lots of unemployed programers, system admins, network admins, etc... Brining in immigrants at lower pay to allow companies to fill positions that should be occupied by the existing workforce artificially inflates the workforce thereby lowering salaries. It also leaves unemployed or underemployed American citizens on government assistance. This is one of the cornerstones of the Startup Act.

      No. This is about investments in innovation. Capitol gains have been taxed at 15% for a while. If you have a concern with that focus on capital gains tax questions themselves. What this is doing is making sure that real investment -- not short term/flipping, is encouraged. That's good for the economy and good for jobs.

      Don't get fooled by the misinformation on these issues.

       

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

      Where Do Jobs Come From?

      OMG IMMIGRANTS ARE STEALINGZ OUR JOBZ!!!!1111

      Please, not that same old bullshit scare tactic again. Where do you think jobs come from, if not from entrepreneurs willing to take a risk on new ventures? And isn’t it a fact that entrepreneurs disproportionately come from those with a background out of the ordinary, with an ability to see things differently from those who tend to accept that things must always be the way they are? In other words—immigrants?

      The USA, like several other countries, was founded on the backs of immigrants. And just like all those other countries, the descendants of the immigrants forget that they came from immigrants, and start to see newcomers as “foreigners” who musn’t be allowed the rock the boat—that same boat that their own ancestors successfully tipped over to get where they are.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    Proof that lobbying efforts pay off, now Mike has Senators on speed dial!

    WTG champ!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      I find it hilarious that you consider it fine when Chris Dodd does it, but when anyone else with a position contrary to the RIAA/MPAA does it, it's mockable.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 8:01pm

        Re: Re:

        Last time I looked, RIAA / MPAA were lobbying organizations with paid lobbyists on staff, registered and all that. I never saw Mike get to that point.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Is this the same Jerry Moran who was one of the early co-sponsors of Protect IP? The one who represents a state who advocated the supreme gesture of supplication by proposing to change it's capitol's name to "Google".

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-02/tech/google.kansas.topeka_1_google-internet-capital-city?_s=P M:TECH

    If you think his epiphany had anything to do with anything but Google, you're kidding yourself.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

      Re:

      Is this the same Jerry Moran who was one of the early co-sponsors of Protect IP? The one who represents a state who advocated the supreme gesture of supplication by proposing to change it's capitol's name to "Google".

      http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-02/tech/google.kansas.topeka_1_google-internet-capital-city?_s=P M:TECH

      If you think his epiphany had anything to do with anything but Google, you're kidding yourself.


      Only you would confuse a local city decision with a Senator's decision.

      As we covered on the site, Moran very briefly supported PIPA, but dropped it four days after signing on board, once he actually understood the details of the law.

      You remember. Because in the past, you falsely claimed that he supported it *before* Google did the fiber deal and dropped it after. That Google announced the fiber deal well before any of this happened showed that you were wrong.

      Now you're so intellectually dishonest as to pretend that the actions of a Topeka mayor had anything to do with anything?

      What's amusing is you're so lost here that you can't even respond to anything of substance, so you're reduced to ad hominem's that are so mistargeted that it shows you don't even understand the difference between city politics and federal politics.

      Seriously: your boss needs to hire better shills. You're just not cutting it any more. It's like ever since we made you look silly on PIPA/SOPA, you just don't even try any more. What happened to that college try you used to give?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

        Re: Re:

        " Because in the past, you falsely claimed that he supported it *before* Google did the fiber deal and dropped it after. "

        You know exactly which Anon is which without checking IPs? I am impressed!

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

        Re: Re:

        As we covered on the site, Moran very briefly supported PIPA, but dropped it four days after signing on board, once he actually understood the details of the law.

        Wait a minute. Your man crush, this enlightened statesman signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill he didn't actually understand? Wow, that's impressive. And yes I understand the difference in roles between the mayor and the Senator. But clearly the groveling ingratiation of the mayor reflects a wider view of the role of Google in the state. If you think federal officials play no role in courting businesses you're a bigger rube than you let on to be. The bigger the company or enterprise, the more involved the senators and Congressmen are.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

        Re: Re:

        Seriously: your boss needs to hire better shills. You're just not cutting it any more. It's like ever since we made you look silly on PIPA/SOPA, you just don't even try any more. What happened to that college try you used to give?


        You know Masnick, you have seemed to have developed this bizarre notion that I am Dr. Evil and you are Austin Powers. Unlike you, I have never falsely claimed to have been the architect of my side's grand strategy. I certainly participated in efforts to get legislation passed. But you remind me of one of those pathetic souls who claim combat heroics when in fact they we peeling potatoes back in camp. You played a bit part Masnick. Nothing more, nothing less. Your side won this round. And I'm even a bit impressed- certainly not by you and your self-aggrandizing credit grabbing, but the insurgency that toppled what would have been an otherwise lockdown victory inside the beltway. Lawmaking is forever changed, particularly in the realm of the internet. And proponents of copyright and others who have interests in how the internet is used will never again fight the same way. But at the end of the day, what did you gain? What has happened since? The tinfoil hat, black helicopter brigade you helped to lead is already becoming a liability. So keep congratulating yourself Masnick. You can amuse your toadies, supplicants and hangers-on; telling false tales of your exploits and derring-do in the face of insurmountable odds against the dark forces of the evil MAFIAA. But the people who were there, and the ones who will be there in the future know who the shot callers were and who was sent to fetch them coffee.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 11:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You know Masnick, you have seemed to have developed this bizarre notion that I am Dr. Evil and you are Austin Powers. Unlike you, I have never falsely claimed to have been the architect of my side's grand strategy.

          Oooh, very nicely done attempt to flip the conversation to your advantage. Maybe you haven't just given up.

          Anyway, let's be clear on a few things:

          1. I said *we* not *I*. In no way have I nor would I claim credit for what happened in stopping SOPA/PIPA. It was a group effort from a ton of internet users. However, I do say "we" because it was a group effort, and I was certainly present for much of what happened. You say I played a bit part, and that's absolutely true. I've never suggested nor claimed otherwise. But an awful lot of people played bit parts in this and did so in a way that you still don't understand.

          2. Of course, a few months ago, when the "entrepreneurs letter" came out, which I was a part of, you kept trying to play *up* my role. Now you're trying to play down my role. I've been nothing but honest about my role, which was that I was a participant of a much larger group of folks.

          3. Approximately 8 months or so ago, you showed up on this site, repeatedly talking up your own knowledge of what was going on while repeatedly gloating over how the opposition had no chance. The number of comments you made claiming "game over" was laughable at the time, but only more so in retrospect.

          4. Even after your side flopped massively, despite the huge advantage it had, you have no once resisted the urge to gloat and to mock. I find it hilarious that the second I mock you just slightly (and no where near as directly or personally as you regularly attack me), you start sniveling. You bring it, but can't take it, huh? I should have known you were one of those...

          5. I have no idea why you have this weird obsession with me if I'm so pointless to this debate. Beyond spending an inordinate amount of time on this site and making comments about me personally, you even set up a Twitter feed, whose sole purpose appeared to be to follow me and mock my statements. If you think that my role was fetching coffee, what does that say about you?

          6. To this day (even in this very thread) you still seem to think that you lost because of Google. You may know what happened on your side of the fence, but I *know* what happened on this side. Google was present at times, but it did not drive the bus in any way shape or form (and often was pulled along by everyone else, somewhat unwillingly). That you don't understand this *still* despite so many public recountings of what actually happened suggests either that you're still in denial, or you just can't fathom that you got beat by a bunch of folks on the internet.

          Now go get some coffee. People are thirsty.

           

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

      Re:

      Right now Google is in Kansas creating jobs laying down high-speed fiber that is apparently the envy of the country. They're doing something that all the other monopolistic internet providers seem incapable of doing, and Kansas City's actually going to have a real choice in internet providers. Complaining about Google to Kansans will not get you on their side.

      And when was the last time the MPAA created jobs for Kansans? All they've done is make states vie for the biggest tax breaks, and then made their films in Canada.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    I was until recently the "hard news" reporter at a small Kansas newspaper, and I have had several (more than one) opportunities to interview Sen. Moran. Comparing the senator to the other politicians I dealt with, I would say he is the only "common-sense" lawmaker I ever met.
    While talking with other politicians, I often caught them glossing over questions and giving non-answers. Moran was (is) not that way. Jerry always answered the question and was honest. I suppose it could be that he simply has a reality distortion field around him, but I don't think so.
    I don't want to come off as if I have a man-crush on the senator, but I even liked to just listen to him talk, simply because I never felt that he was hiding anything from me. Other Kansas politicians were not that way, including Moran's predecessor Gov. Sam Brownback. That guy gave me the jibblies the first time we met.
    But Jerry Moran is a stand-up guy, and I would be proud to work for the man.

     

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

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    Violated (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:42am

    The next 8 years

    There is only three things to say here.

    1. The economic return from Internet companies is set to DOUBLE over the next 8 years. This will mean that the Internet will outrank all other markets in terms of job creation.

    2. Here is Senator Moran aiming to make the United States a more attractive place to do business. Going this route would create a vast array of new jobs and add billions to the economy if not trillions in the long term.

    3. Then there is the MPAA, RIAA, DHS/ICE, DOJ, FBI and more putting the shits into anyone who desires US domains, US hosting or even to deal with US customers.

    The Internet does nothing more than transfer data in terms of ideas, comments, products and files. Even with established DMCA law and their own private take-down channel the MPAA still take HotFile to court. Mega also aimed to follow DMCA law but instead of resolving problems in civil court they destroyed the company and all because Mega dared use UMG artists in their Mega Video.

    I can certainly promise that many Internet companies are closely watching these cases and others when any website with user added content is certainly at risk should such bullying and abuse of the law continue.

     

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

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    identicon
    Alex White, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Innovation or Solutions?

    Aside from a more serious and direct National conversation about innovation, I think we're missing the real goal to job creation: solving problems. Innovation has become incredibly incremental as new companies launch a slightly better "version" of a product or service. There is nothing bold about being "a little better."

    For decades we have tolerated and ignored several big problems: clean energy, agriculture, the increasingly inefficient construction industry, attainable urban living and even no-accountability charitable giving.

    I'm following a guy in Austin, Texas - Andrew West. He has 5 important solutions and you can see them here:

    http://www.Solutioneur.com

    I wish much of the wasted money used for corporate welfare went to providing prize money for solutions. That way we'd at least get something in return. Not just a little innovation, but long overdue solutions.

     

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


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