Under current law, recording artists remain free to negotiate performance payment rights with Internet…
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Protectionist "Local Radio Freedom Act" Would Prevent Payment to Musicians for Songs

Under current law, recording artists remain free to negotiate performance payment rights with Internet, cable and satellite stations.  Due to an unfair exception, however, artists cannot negotiate in the same manner with traditional AM-FM radio.  Unfortunately, proposed federal legislation backed by broadcasting interests would cement that anomaly.  Deceptively entitled the "Local Radio Freedom Act" ("LRFA"), the bill would stifle a potentially freer marketplace and foreclose future negotiation for payment to musicians for songs. If successful, that would perpetuate terrestrial radio broadcasters' ability to exploit a legal loophole allowing them to earn billions of dollars by playing songs whose artists would remain uncompensated.  Exacerbating matters, those same terrestrial broadcasters…[more]

June 29, 2015 • 05:03 pm

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
IG Report Shows Viper’s Den at Justice Department Print
By Quin Hillyer
Wednesday, March 13 2013
This is lawlessness, pure and simple.

The lead two sentences in a Tuesday afternoon Politico story got it right: “A scathing new report exposing bitter divisions and racial hostility at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is certain to complicate the confirmation process for Tom Perez, who currently heads the unit and is expected to be President Barack Obama’s pick as the next Secretary of Labor. The 258-page internal watchdog report out Tuesday resurrects questions about the handling of the controversial New Black Panther Party prosecution and faults Perez for giving misleading public testimony in 2010 when he said political appointees were not involved in decisions about the case.”

The amazing thing is that many more items in the report by the department’s Inspector General are even more explosive than those matters that rightly led the Politico account. While the IG labored mightily to credit almost every excuse offered by Obamite political appointees (and their ideological soul-mates in the career ranks) at Justice, the raw facts unearthed (or confirmed) in the new report make crystal clear the most important aspect of the Black Panther case all along: The dismissal of already-won charges against the Panthers was part and parcel of a long-running hostility within the Civil Rights Division – exacerbated and encouraged by the Obama political team – against race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws.

Liberals in the division were so hostile, in fact, that they tried to make the workplace a living hell for those career employees of a more conservative bent who merely wanted to apply the law as clearly written, to protect the civil rights of Americans of all races, not just minorities. It wasn’t just the outrageous accusations that the centrist or right-leaning employees were so racist that they yearned for days when “everyone wears a white sheet, the darkies say ‘yes’m’ and equal rights for all are the real ‘land of make believe.’” It wasn’t just the repeated harassment of a junior black staffer for daring to work on cases where the civil rights violators were black, including repeatedly calling him a “token” and accusing him of being a “turncoat.”

It wasn’t just that employees used internal e-mails to call a multi-award-winning veteran of years of civil rights legal work a “klansman” for daring to bring charges against a flagrantly corrupt black official in Mississippi. It wasn’t just that an employee flat-out asserted that “[white people] aren’t covered” (meaning protected) by the Voting Rights Act, and that to say otherwise is a “perversion.” It wasn’t just that Mr. Perez himself told the IG that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act can’t be used to protect a white who is a minority in a particular district. And it wasn’t just that leftist employees in the division made, on more than one occasion, what amounted to a racially charged “potential threat of physical violence,” amidst a plethora of other vicious claims, sometimes on public web sites.

Instead, it was all of these things together, plus a pattern of behavior that proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the enforcement of equal justice was consciously, deliberately undermined both by the leftists who make up most of the “career” ranks within the Civil Rights Division and by the Obama political appointees, from Attorney General Eric Holder on down, who turned the staff’s prejudices into policy.

The IG absolutely confirms what I and others have repeatedly reported: On two different occasions in the fall of 2009, political appointee Julie Fernandes made statements at widely attended staff meetings to the effect that civil rights or voting rights laws would not be enforced, despite unambiguous language directing such enforcement, to protect white people or to protect against ineligible names remaining on voter lists. Worse, she and others in the Obama political ranks acted precisely accordingly: Despite repeated entreaties from honest staff members, supported by overwhelming documentation, the department failed (refused) for 15 solid months to enforce voter-list-maintenance laws against eight states that were flagrantly violating the laws.

Again, the obvious goal was racial or partisan/ideological/political. Blacks/Democrats/liberals are not understood to benefit from efforts to clean up voter rolls of the names of dead people, incarcerated felons or other ineligibles; so, therefore that portion (Section 8) of the National Voting Registration Act was not, according to Fernandes herself, among what she called the “enforcement priorities” of the Division’s political leadership.

Again, to quote the IG report: “Thirteen witnesses told the OIG that Fernandes stated that she ‘did not care about’ or ‘was not interested’ in pursuing Section 8 cases, or similar
formulations.”

This is lawlessness, pure and simple. It was rampant (in the number of instances); it was widespread (in the number of perpetrators, both career and Obama political appointees); it was pervasive (in atmosphere), and now, after this IG’s report, it is not honestly deniable.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first woman whose portrait was featured on U.S. currency?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"As a conservative, I think it serves the country best if elected officials, not judges, repair what's wrong in Obamacare. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, hit the right note when he said he did not agree with the ruling. 'It was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare,' he said in a statement issued Thursday.Because the Democratic Congress wrote a heavy…[more]
 
 
—Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle Syndicated Columnist
— Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle Syndicated Columnist
 
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