The Minority Leader has spoken.

John Conyers has been accused of sexually harassing women for years, and now this has been reported by the Guardian:

Nancy Pelosi remains the floor leader of the House Democrats, and is their candidate for Speaker going forward. She has the capability of making Conyers miserable until he finally quits.

Good riddance.

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Will the Supreme Court Bail Out the Patent Trolls?

Barack Obama’s patent reform was controversial, but it did fight back against patent trolls abusing the courts. Now they’re trying to use the courts to undo that. Will they win?

The Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

What are patent trolls? Simply, patent trolls are companies that exist purely to leech off of inventive industries. They don’t do anything of value to anyone. They exist solely to game the system and use a never-ending stream of lawsuits in order to cull rents from the system. They abuse loopholes and mistakes in the law, find the most favorable courts in the country, and do so with no gain to anyone but the trolls and lawyers themselves.

Patent trolls were attacked by the America Invents Act, and the law enabled the Patent Office to nullify 19,000 bad patents that had been issued to patent trolls. The Constitution and the law don’t declare patents to be an unlimited right. Rather, patents exist to serve a purpose, and when patents don’t fulfill that aim, we as a people can reasonably shut them down.

The patent trolls, since they literally have nothing better to do than litigate endlessly, are naturally suing, and they’ve made it to the Supreme Court to try to get their fake patents back. The America Invents Act was a compromise bill, and if we lose this part of the compromise, that’s a bad deal for America.

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On Cyber Monday, Let’s End Greedy Internet Taxes

Today, Americans go online to buy all the Christmas presents they couldn’t get in local stores. It’s time we ended the threat of greedy Internet taxes.

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr

Right now there’s only one thing holding back the states from reaching halfway across the country, and making out-of-state businesses responsible for collecting sales taxes. That one thing is the Supreme Court saying that those attempts are unconstitutional.

Enter Anthony Kennedy. He wants some headlines again, and to win friends among tax-and-spend leftists, so he wants to increase taxes on all of us with interstate taxation. If he gets the chance, and he probably will, he’s going to overturn the case (Quill v. North Dakota) that keeps us from paying taxes on this kind of interstate commerce.

The best way to save us all from this would be for the US Congress to pass a law banning the states from reaching across state lines, and making grandma selling mittens online collect sales taxes for 48 states. That would be a death blow to so much commerce and economic growth online.

America depends on small business, and small business today depends on the Internet. We shouldn’t let greedy, tax-and-spend states wreck that.

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Roy Moore is Losing in Alabama. Can the GOP Catch Up?

It’s no longer just a scare: Roy Moore is behind in the Alabama Senate race. Can the Republican Party catch up?

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, talks to constituents before a Republican Senate candidate forum, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in Pelham, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Alabama is a great state for the Republican Party. Donald Trump won 62% of the vote, and Richard Shelby beat that at 64%. Republicans won 6 of 7 US House districts. However Roy Moore, like Donald Trump, has a history of underperforming. When George W. Bush got 57% for President, Roy Moore only got 55% for Chief Justice.

In 2012 when Roy Moore ran again for Chief Justice, He only got 52% of the vote. Mitt Romney got 61%. That’s right. Mitt Romney lost the election, but Roy Moore ran far behind him, giving the Democrat a chance to win the office of Chief Justice.

So even though Alabama is usually a sure win for Republicans, it’s less surprising than you think that Roy Moore is now losing. In his last statewide election he only won 52-48, so all it took was a move of a few percentage points to put Doug Jones ahead of him in the Senate race, and technically that’s where the poll average now has him. Jones is up by less than a percentage point, so it’s realistically tied, but by the numbers, Jones is winning and Moore is losing.

It’s hard to see what the Republican Party can do about it, either. Moore won’t quit. Democrat turnout is looking sky high this year. Unless Republicans can find a way to exonerate Roy Moore, or somehow put Donald Trump on the ballot, it’s looking grim for the Alabama Republican Party this year.

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Here’s Why FCC’s Net Neutrality Vote Is Great

Al Franken and the hard left are outraged at the FCC’s plans to have a Net Neutrality vote, but here’s why it’s actually a great idea.

Here’s a tweet by now-Chairman Ajit Pai about the FCC’s Net Neutrality regulations, back in 2015 when they were a secret plan.

Look at that. That’s 332 pages of government regulations on the Internet, and it was illegal for Pai to expose them, despite that being “the most transparent administration in history.” That, right there, is how you know it’s a complete lie, when the extreme left-wing claims that “Net Neutrality is just about preserving the Internet” and all that nonsense.

It doesn’t take 332 pages to pass regulations that dictate the way the Internet already worked, and still works. Here’s what it actually does:

This was about using regulatory fiat to overturn the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which legislated that Internet services are different from phone, telegraph, television, and other old technologies. They called this maneuver “Title II Reclassification,” and for years it was held up by the extreme left as their own “nuclear option” for Internet regulation. Title II of the Communications Act applies to 1930s-era technology, instead of the 1996 law which was meant to apply to the Internet, but they declared that the Internet should be regulated under the 30s law instead.

Twice before the far leftists at FCC tried to impose Net Neutrality by regulatory fiat. The first two times they did so in a blatantly illegal way, and both times they got shut down. This third time, the one that won in courts, only won because they got away with Title II Reclassification under the “Chevron deference.” That’s the legal principle used in courts, to say that regulators can interpret the laws they enforce.

They wanted to regulate the Internet, and they found any legal pretext they could get, to do so. Al Franken even admitted it: he wants to control content, websites, everything, under the principle of Net Neutrality, using the powers taken by the “Open Internet Order.”

FCC will repeal that Open Internet Order, and bring the internet back to the regulatory light touch that it grew under for 20 years. We should celebrate that.

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Some States Try to Make All Americans Pay More Taxes. Has Yours?

Do you think you’re taxed enough already? Colorado and South Dakota say no, and they’re trying to get the courts to force their way on the whole country. Here’s how.

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr

In the Supreme Court case Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the state of North Dakota had gone after the Quill Corporation, demanding the company remit sales taxes that North Dakota law required the company to pay. Quill was a Delaware corporation headquartered in Illinois. The company had no employees or presence in the state, having become one of the most successful mail order companies in the country, specializing in office supplies. Its only existence in the state was through catalogs mailed to customers.

Quill challenged the North Dakota law in state court, but of course the North Dakota courts sided with the state legislature over an out-of-state corporation. Quill then went to the US Supreme Court, and in a ruling that was unanimous in its first three parts, and 5-4 in the final part, the court ruled that the “Dormant Commerce Clause” requires a corporation to have a “substantial nexus” in the state, in order for the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of interstate commerce not to apply.

This is why Amazon has gradually collected sales tax in more and more states, and now does so in every US state that has a sales tax. They have build warehouses and other operations in more and more states, and so were required to do so, even under Quill.

However that’s not good enough for Colorado and South Dakota. Those states wants to go after whatever deep pockets they feel like suing, and bring small businesses along for the rough ride. So South Dakota has sued Wayfair, Inc. and Colorado filed a friend of the court brief on South Dakota’s side.

Wayfair is a corporation based in Massachusetts that sells furniture and other domestic items online. They have offices in nine states and three European countries, but do not have any presence in Colorado or South Dakota except on the Internet.

The Colorado brief amounts to saying because it’s really inconvenient to follow the rules, we want you to change the rules:

The problem with the physical-presence rule is that it was first conceived of in 1967, two years before the moon landing and decades before the first retail transaction occurred over the Internet…. The rule is therefore not responsive to the “far-reaching systemic and structural changes in the economy” caused by the Internet….. If anything, the rule impairs rather than advances the Commerce Clause’s underlying objective of promoting a free market undisturbed by discriminatory advantages. Today, remote retailers, invoking Quill, effectively receive a subsidy because of how unlikely it is that their customers will ever pay the state sales and use taxes that they undeniably owe.

Other states are joining the Colorado brief. Check if yours is on the list.

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Shock Poll Gauges Alabama Voter Support of Roy Moore

Sex abuse investigations into Roy Moore have only begun, but with the special election coming up, a new poll gives Alabama voters an early say.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, talks to constituents before a Republican Senate candidate forum, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in Pelham, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Republicans are backing away from Roy Moore as he runs to fill the Alabama seat vacated by Jeff Sessions in the Senate, thanks to credible allegations that he sexually abused minors that have some calling for him to drop from the race entirely.

Opinion Savvy polled Alabama likely voters for Decision Desk, to see if the voters agree. Moore can’t be happy with a poll like this, as the poll shows a tie with Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore at 46%.

Democrats aren’t supposed to be anywhere near tied with Republicans statewide in Alabama. If this poll is confirmed by others, it’s a terribly bad sign for Moore’s candidacy, as a mid-term season begins that already has some Republicans worried.

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Al Franken: So Dumb Even the Hard Left Corrects Him

Al Franken’s latest Net Neutrality remarks are so dumb, even the socialist fringe nuts had to say “Well…”

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. gestures as he leave the stage after speaking during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Naturally Al Franken the Democrat from Minnesota, went to a foreign country to promote his latest crackpot theory: that Net Neutrality should apply to websites, not just ISPs.

This is dumb on a number of levels. First, for years the Net Neutrality defenders have claimed they were the side of freedom of speech. Now Al Franken reveals them as the party of censorship and content control.

Second, for years the Net Neutrality defenders have claimed that Net Neutrality would not be regulating the entire Internet, but was just a logical application of utility regulations already in place. Title II of the Communications Act was the basis of the current regulations, after all.

Third, users have choice! State- and locally-awarded monopolies limit people’s ISP choices sometimes. No such government-awarded monopoly forces people to use Facebook or Google. You can get your news anywhere you want. Nothing impedes you.

Franken’s comment is so dumb, even the extreme socialist Free Press says “It would be a mistake to say we should apply exactly the same rules to powerful edge companies that we have for the ISPs.”

Al Franken is an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota.

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Why Has Google Backed Down on Opposing the Human Trafficking Bill?

Internet firms like Google were opposing a bill to attack online human trafficking, but now they’ve given up their opposition. Why?

Nacole S. wipes tears as she testifies about her daughter becoming sex trafficked during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent subcommittee hearing into, Tuesday Jan. 10, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

As I discussed earlier this year, we have a problem of websites that turn a blind eye to human trafficking:

This is Nacole S. Her daughter was picked up by a child sex slavery ring, which sold her around on the Internet. The preferred site by these traffickers was was allegedly making good money on this stuff, and even though they had no direct role in the sex slavery business, it’s argued that they should have done something to stop their business from being in the business of promoting this sort of activity. So, they’re being sued.

Google has jumped to the defense of Backpage, bankrolling efforts to defend them. Why would they do this? … Google is afraid that they’ll next have to be held responsible for what they’ve willfully ignored, if Backpage falls first. So they’re defending Backpage’s blindness to child sex trafficking, in order to protect their own profits.

So naturally when the US Congress began to work on a bill called SESTA to attack this issue, Google also jumped to the defense of the next Backpage. The change: those sued under the bill have to have had knowledge. Says the NY Times (I know, this is just the link someone sent me):

Lawmakers said the new bill contained modest changes that clarified that state law enforcement officials would have to use federal law as their basis of suits, one of the final sticking points for the companies. And the new draft contained language that only websites that knowingly assisted and supported sex trafficking would be targeted.

Some critics are still worried about the bill, claiming that the “facilitation” of human trafficking is defined too broadly.

One question I have is whether hosts of TOR (The Onion Router, an Internet anonymization service) nodes might be held accountable for human trafficking operations run over TOR, if they are made aware that such activities are going over the network. The Internet is not, and should not be, a zone of anarchy. Kids are being raped systematically. We can make it harder for the perpetrators to use the Internet to profit from it.

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BREAKING: Historic Democrat Wave Wiping Out Virginia GOP

The polls have closed in Virginia, and what we’re seeing is a bloodletting of the Republican party of a kind unseen in a generation.

Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie pauses while speaking with reporters after voting at his polling place Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. Gillespie faces Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in Tuesday’s election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Ed Gillespie and the Virginia GOP needed the polls to be wrong, but the polls were right. Gillespie needed Loudoun County be Virginia’s next governor, as Governor Bob McDonnell did, and as President George W. Bush did. As of this writing he’s down 60-40 there. Ditto Prince William county.

But that’s not the worst of it. The way the returns are coming in, it’s a complete wipe out for the Republican Party. The Republicans have held the House of Delegates since the 1999 election completed the post-1994 conversion of the state to being a Republican state. Republicans won a 66-34 supermajority in the body after the 2015 election. As of now, they’re looking set to lose it.

According to Decision Desk, Republicans have already lost 11 seats, putting the Democrats at least at 45 votes. 6 more and they get the outright majority.

This is a 20 year flood for the Republican Party. Half owned by Donald Trump, half owned by the DC swamp establishment, neither team could find a way to win tonight, while Democrats rushed out in huge numbers to vote against Trump’s party, driving turnout way up.

If this is repeated next year, it’s bad news for Paul Ryan and national Republican House leaders.

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