PIPA Author Senator Leahy Gets His Reward: A Part In 'The Dark Knight Rises'

from the well-there-you-go dept

I heard from more than a few people that Senator Patrick Leahy would never be convinced of his distorted views on copyright for one key reason: he loves the way Hollywood puts him in movies -- with Batman being a particular infatuation. As you can see on Leahy's IMDB page (yes, he has one), he appeared in both the Batman TV series and The Dark Knight. Now, it's being reported that he's also making an appearance in the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, where he gets to appear in a scene with Christian Bale. Of course, normally you might think that this kind of thing, something that Leahy is clearly excited about and proud of, would count as a "gift" and potentially run afoul of Senate ethics rules. It's not as if the studio is putting him in these films because of his acting chops...


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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 6:27pm

    And here I thought aspiring actors were supposed to start out in such memorable roles as 'man buying newspaper', 'displaced taxi patron' or the ever popular 'dead hooker on autopsy table'.

    Clearly the man has pull.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:15pm

    I'd watch him...

    If his 'scene' was him getting punched and/or kicked by batman as some random thug/criminal.

     

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    MrWilson, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:22pm

    Of course he loves Batman. What corrupted politician wouldn't love the one-percenter superhero "job-creator?"

     

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      blaktron (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:28pm

      Re:

      Batman happens to be one of the only superheros rooting out white collar crime and corrupt politicians. Leahy would fit right in in Gothams upper crust though.

       

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      The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 8:46pm

      Re:

      The sad fact of the matter is, the one percenters are the only reason you're able to type that drivel on your computer that uses microchips rather than a city sized stack of vacuum tubes and is powered by electricity that comes to your house over convenient power lines. Not a single one of those would have been available without men with the drive and ambition that made them part of the one percent.

      You know a tree by its fruit and the captains of industry have produced some incredible fruit over the centuries. What have you done that's worth a damn by comparison? Have you created even one fulltime job? Face it, they don't just have more money, they're a hell of a lot more valuable to society than any 99 or even 999 wage earners.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 8:59pm

        Re: Re:

        I lol'd. 9/10

         

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          The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 9:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Eh, I have a thing for hating 99%ers and their "short-term self-interest above all" creed. Every $30k or so they cost a person they're whining about is one less job one of them will be able to go to on Monday. Besides, he dissed The Bat.

           

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            MrWilson, Jul 4th, 2012 @ 11:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're assigning all innovation to only one-percenters? That's bullshit. A lot of inventors and innovators were poor people whose innovations were exploited by people who already had money. Yes, some innovative people have become one-percenters through hard work and discipline, but many of them were born into wealth (like Batman). Whether they do something productive or not is something else. But you're also ignoring that one percenters have to hire a whole lot of ninety nine percenters to actually do the dirty work to get any of their innovation done. Does Richard Branson build all the Virgin airplanes? Did Bill Gates program every line of Microsoft's software up until his retirement? Did Steve Jobs work in a factory in China making parts for your iPhone?

            You're also conflating monetary success with innovation, which is not necessarily true. There are some people who became part of the one percent because they were innovative. There are probably not many who became innovative because they were already a part of the one percent, and if they did, there are plenty of ninety nine percenters who could have done the same had they just had the same resources.

            As for the job creation bullshit, the one percenters do not create jobs. They hire as few people as they need when their businesses need more employees in order to meet demand. The increased consumer spending and demand for products and services creates jobs. And as has been pointed out, most jobs are created in the small business sector. As a member of consumer society, I have in collaboration with others created most of the jobs out there and you have too. Every bit of my "$30k or so" is spent somewhere that employees people.

            There are some bright cookies in the one percent who arguably deserve to be there, but there are a whole hell of a lot more parasites with vast resources who were fortunate sons of wealthy families. Attributing value to people based solely on the amount of wealth they have is as stupid as people placing value on products solely based on how much they cost. Quality and utility do not necessarily correspond to price, both with people in society and with products and services.

            And Batman is a psychologically disturbed individual. With his money he could have just hired and trained an entire private police force to protect Gotham instead of endangering the lives of children in his care (and getting at least one of them killed by the Joker, regardless of cliche comic book resurrection stories).

            I'm sorry if you don't like the fact that I don't bow down and worship the one percenters for all they've done for us, like corrupting our democratic processes with their money and influence and revolving doors and systematically increasing the wealth gap between us for the last several decades. If you're not a one perecenter yourself, you've got some serious Stockholm Syndrome.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2012 @ 11:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          doesn't change the fact it's true

           

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        Liz (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 9:41pm

        Re: Re:

        Nice rant there, chief. So I gather that Techdirt is in your favorites list along with Fox News?

        As for my computer, I believe most of the parts were assembled in a number of Asian countries. Namely China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. If the components weren't constructed by robots who were programmed by wage earners, then the chips and slots were put in place on the motherboard by other wage earners that earn less than most Americans that work at McDonalds.

        The microchips weren't designed and developed by the head honcho at the top, but by really, really, REALLY smart people with a talent for mathematics and engineering.

        And the electricity that's sent to my home is funded in part when I pay my utility bills. The power lines are installed, regulated, and maintained by men and women who most likely earn less than $100,000 per year.

        And while I have the option to run my computer with an OS founded by someone who became a Multi-Billionaire, I do like the open source options which are produced by poor schlubs who work days doing thankless IT service, then later crunching code at 4am while buzzed on Jolt cola and chocolate covered coffee beans.

        And most of the captains of industry that you so lauded in your post of ignorance were little more than power brokers, hooksters, and con jobs who had a talent for business decisions. Very few were actually anything like Andrew or Bill. A lot of them were more like David and Charles.

        Now Dennis, I know you asked MrWilson here what he's done that's worth a damn by comparison - but as for me, I can honestly say I contribute to the communities that I'm a part of.

         

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          The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 10:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nope, FNC is mostly right-wing sensationalist garbage as opposed to the left-wing sensationalist garbage on the other news networks.

          As for the rest, all of the above would have remained as ideas if it hadn't been for someone with the drive and ambition to bring a product to market. Innovation vs. ideas as Mike has explained ad nauseum.

          Even Linus and crew who I have to thank for the OS I'm posting from now were not functioning as wage earners. He and all the contributors didn't just have an idea, they made it happen. Money is really a secondary consideration but it does tend to have quite a bit of correlation due to people tending to like having money. It doesn't buy happiness but it does buy a whole lot of lack of discomfort.

          Now Dennis, I know you asked MrWilson here what he's done that's worth a damn by comparison - but as for me, I can honestly say I contribute to the communities that I'm a part of.

          I've contributed and released code myself and, yeah, it's of value. But it's nowhere near as much value as making sure even one person's kids eat regularly.

          OSS aside, without the person saying "I am going to give you money and you are going to make this happen", it will not happen. And judging by the paucity of people who are filthy rich from doing so, I'm forced to say that level of drive and ambition are pretty damned scarce while someone able to do nearly all wage earning jobs are easily replaced.

          If ten thousand tech workers were abducted by aliens, we'd all be able to get better wages but the world would go on. If ten thousand of the people who employ others (especially the ones who employ large amounts) were, it would be really damned ugly. So, yes, we are of less value to society than those who make the economy move on a large scale.

          Honestly, I'm fine with that. It truly baffles me why people find a simple statement of fact to be an offensive idea.

           

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            Liz (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 10:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Want a simple statement of fact? Most people are employed in small businesses.

            There's your real job creators. That's who drives the economy. That's who keeps people employed. Those small business owners are the ones who invest more of their money back into the business and value their employees.

            Now, if aliens were to come and abduct the top executives of the largest corporations and somehow make them collapse, you know what would happen? Small businesses would fill the void. And yes, the world would keep on turnin'.


            Source

             

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        Richard (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 6:50am

        Re: Re:

        The sad fact of the matter is, the one percenters are the only reason you're able to type that drivel on your computer that uses microchips rather than a city sized stack of vacuum tubes and is powered by electricity that comes to your house over convenient power lines. Not a single one of those would have been available without men with the drive and ambition that made them part of the one percent.

        Which 1% are you talking about?

        The 1% scientists, engineers and, yes, the visionary business men who saw the potential of their ideas and helped to bring them to the market- or the 1% who sit on the biggest piles of money and get to influence the government.

         

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 11:04am

        Re: Re:

        I could go into some detail refuting a lot of your arguments but it's pointless as a lot of them are half right.

        As for who employes the most people it's small business not larger ones and definitely not megacorporations once one gets past being impressed by those vast global numbers.

        However, let's get by one little point. Computers as we now know them were developed during World War 2 in Britain and the United States to (a) codebreak and (b)make the calculations necessary to lay (aim) large guns properly be they field pieces or ship based. As those who developed them were in the employ of the military as part of the total war effort against the Axis powers no one got rich from it. They did make a huge contribution to the defeat of the Axis.

        IBM did see the commercial value in one or two of these things post war but not too many more so they stitched together what we call the mainframe which largely did accounting and billing duties.

        You are right in saying that most of the (overwhelmingly) men who established how we now communicate over computers and other devices we now take for granted were largely done by visionaries and dreamers. Or by sheer necessity. For example the Roman aqueduct system.

        There is that aspect of the 1% and they're very rare. It's not often you trip over a Bill Gates or a Linus Torvalds. I suspect it's this part of the 1% you're referring to.

        Then there's the bunch that have inherited wealth that they just sit on, let someone else invest and watch it grow as they lecture the rest of us on the values of free enterprise and unrestricted capitalism. If you recall the ones making those noises the loudest before 2008 were large investment bankers who were playing dice with peoples savings.

        They'd forgotten that they were a service industry who, themselves, have never created a thing of enduring value even if, on occasion, they'd loaned the money that made such creations possible. They still haven't got that right. Have a look at what's going on with Barclay's Bank today.

        And speaking of value there are people who create things of priceless value every day even if they don't know it. People who tend to their little front gardens which bloom with colour a life this time of year and make the neighbourhood so much better by what they do.

        So there's a lot in your post of "knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing". Don't worry, that's become all too common these days.

        There also seems a lot of, to quote it correctly, of the biblical quote "the love of money is the root of all evil". Wealth, in and of itself creates nothing and employs no one. The wealthy do have something of a duty to those less fortunate than they are. Not in the sense of nobless oblige but more in the sense of helping their neighbours and acting responsibly with their wealth. Certainly not in the sense of class warfare or what Soviet and Chinese style socialism/communism created who had their own wealthy classes.

        But the neighbourhood gardener that can bring colour, life, variety and a place where people just look and relax is as valuable as a any captain of industry. The guy across the street who helps cut the lawn without being asked is just as valuable as any inventor or captain of industry. The volunteer coach, the singers in a church or other choir are as valuable and on and on.

        Value isn't just money. Try to remember that.

        And try to remember that the 1% being protested against were, by and large, in the banking industry whose irresponsibility put our economies where they are today. And some, like Barclays, continue in their irresponsibility.

         

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        Jeff_Vader_runs_the_Deathstar? (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re:

        I've put several strippers thru "nursing" school...

        Think that counts?

         

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        Michael, Jul 5th, 2012 @ 5:05am

        Re: Re:

        This argument makes me laugh. A system that allows people to aspire to greatness does not also have to be swayed so far out of balance as it is today. It was a great system once upon a time... but now its a self-destructing self serving heap of garbage.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    Good old crony capitalism.

     

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    Eric Goldman (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    But did he get paid the minimum guild scale?

     

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    VMax, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    Is it a gift or a grift?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 7:56pm

    Well its pretty obvious that some of these senators are getting favors for shilling.

     

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    Pat Leahy, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 8:05pm

    I'm proud of my acting career and so should you be. Plus, the 20 minutes I spend "on the set" equals three free meals and a 200K appearance fee. Win win, right?

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 8:22pm

    ethics and congress same sentence...
    *falls over laughing*

    no no carry on, when I'm done laughing we can discuss how someone who wrote an entire bill at the bequest of the entertainment industry can spin then getting a role in a major motion picture as just "luck".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 8:27pm

    Of course, normally you might think that this kind of thing, something that Leahy is clearly excited about and proud of, would count as a "gift" and potentially run afoul of Senate ethics rules.

    Fred Thompson?

     

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      btr1701 (profile), Jul 5th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

      Re:

      > Fred Thompson?

      Wasn't a senator or elected official during his acting career. He was elected after he stopped acting for a living.

      And he actually had a legitimate career and was a decent actor. He didn't just do cameos as himself in return for passing legislation Hollywood likes.

       

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    Wally (profile), Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Acting

    Leahy should be very good at acting. He is a senator of the United State after all.

    :-p

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 10:02pm

    Funny how Patrick Leahy knows about 42 Degrees Celsius, because the Senator from Vermont is brain dead.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 1:43am

    It's the way politics works

    Big business: You take care of us and we will take care of you

    Politician: Blah blah stronger patents.........blah blah tougher copyright........blah blah reduced tax for top earners......
    Now, where's my reward.

     

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    Paul Renault (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 3:52am

    I hope that...

    ..the cinema-going public will have enough sense to loudly boo Senator Leahy when he's on-screen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    These stupid politicians have absolutely no shame. and the travesty here is that our government established media cartel, that benefits from govt. established broadcasting and cableco monopolies, won't say a word about this to the public and that's unconstitutional. They're using the power of the state, the power of their state granted monopoly broadcasting and cableco privileges, to censor information and viewpoints from the public.

     

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    Digitalistically Speaking (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    In 1997 He played himself in Batman and Robin.
    I wonder how long it took him to learn his part?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    He probably thinks he's the cameo we need, not the cameo we deserve.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    Huh I wonder how SAG feels about him being involved.
    Is he a member of the union or was the movie non-union?

     

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