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Ex-democrat threatens his former Senate colleague

"Don't take us for granted."

That was the message the former Democrat Senator from Connecticut Chris Dodd sent his old Senate colleague -- and now President -- Barack Obama on Thursday in an exclusive Fox News interview.  

I. MPAA Threatens SOPA opposers

But Mr. Dodd, now CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, didn't stop there.  He went on to threaten his former Congressional colleagues -- both Republican and Democrat -- who together formed the bipartisan resistance that sunk the House's "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and Senate's "PROTECT IP Act" (PIPA) (S.968).

Obama flag
U.S. President Barack Obama [Image Source: SFGate]

He comments, "Candidly, those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake.  Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

Despite seeing record profits, driven by a 35 percent rise in Blu Ray movie sales Chris Dodd and the MPAA insist that the movie industry is in dire trouble due to piracy.  He points to Avatar being stolen 21 million times as one example of piracy's decimating blow to the movie industry.  Of course he purposefully fails to note that Avatar made almost $3B USD at the box office worldwide.

He does his best to argue for Orwellian laws like SOPA, by trying to recharacterize the issue as a matter of little guys getting exploited, "You can complain and say, well, actors make a lot of money and they don't have to worry about this.  You tell that to that camera guy, you tell that to that makeup artist, you tell that to that truck driver out there who made, makes a living because they work in this industry."

Chris Dodd
MPAA's corpulent CEO Chris Dodd
[Image Source: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom]

Chris Dodd ran against President Obama in 2008, but lost.  Afterwards he turned to a new career in lobbying, quickly securing his high-paying job as MPAA chief.

II. Editorial Take: Bribery is the Staus Quo in D.C. Today

A CEO threatening the U.S. President and Congress is a pretty bold move, and it is indicative of the sordid web of bribery that Washington D.C. has found itself in.  These days it's hard to get anything done at the federal level without a heavy lubricating layer of lobbyists bribes.

The big Hollywood CEO picks an inopportune time to attack President Obama, given that  members of Hollywood's elite -- top actors and companies -- have already given him $4.1M USD -- more than the $3.7M USD they gave to his campaign in 2008.  And the decision by the administration to break its silence and side with tech firms like Google Inc. (GOOG) in opposing SOPA, is expected to draw more lobbyist bribes from these top tech firms.

The conflict between Google, et al. and the MPAA, et al. in lobbyist dollars is illustrative of the unseemingly current nature of federal politics.  Today corporations and special interest groups essentially "own" pieces of the federal government.  

Bribe under table
These days it's hard to get anything done in D.C. without a bribe. [Image Source: i-Sight]

When their interests are independent or in line with each other they see their desired goals -- like millions in tax breaks -- easily passed, hidden as line item additions to bloated pieces of legislation.  But when their interests run counter to each other, they're forced to wage a war of bribes.

At the same time the U.S. people and small business owners are largely left out of the process, while there relatively high tax burden is funneled towards companies that have "bribed the best" on the Hill.  A recent study by the University of Kansas School of Business reveals that for ever $1 USD spent in lobbyist contributions, a corporation receives $222 USD in tax breaks.  The bill for those tax breaks is inevitably passed to the usual suspect -- the American taxpayer.

Sources: Fox News, NPR [$1 lobbyist = $222 tax breaks]



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By vicarious1 on 1/24/2012 1:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
In the fragile economy the world functions in today, frankly speaking I don't give a rat's bum when I see a movie. I am happy to see an Oscar winner 1 year later if I only pay a minimum fee for it and void the rush. The MUST HAVE, MUST SEE, MUST HEAR everything instantly linked with DO NOT, YOU'R NOT ALLOWED are what kills everything from DVD to going to the movies and sit through low res, crap script advertising.
Why not charge movies NON STOP X 1 add % less and willing to take say 4 adds = the lowest fee and let the adds pay the movie companies the difference.
Movies used to be for the masses, the public at large and affordable (like in India it still seems to be).
Now it has become for the well to do suffering from "Celeb status sindrome". If you haven't seen it, you are a looser, someone who has nothing of being "actuall" or "totally now"
I am sure if movies were still affordable many more would go more often "to the movies". Now one spends easily 50-60$ for a couple going to see a film with all the annoyances included, like in Canada where I have experienced in top movie halls that one can't book a seat in advance.
Are they real? WTF are these the dark ages?
In South Africa I get a discount of 1$ if book my numbered seat online, arrive in style walk my partner down the isle and sit down in my PRE booked seat go and get pop and corn and still come back to the same seat without having to leave my jacket or shoulder bag like in BC. And if I pay a bit extra I get a Buffet and butler service at my seat.
If as in Canada for a famous movie I have to survive a sports arena rush to find a seat not thanks, and crappy 70s style seats that is.
Sony crying for its losses. They should crumble. Wanting us to go the movies but still are in the run for providing "quality" home entertainment. I owned 3 Sony appliances in my life, a stereo, Walkman and TV. They all ended up braking down. My Sharp TV lived 30 years and is still working. So much for the great Sony Brand.


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