Republicans in Congress are having a hard time. The White House miasma rolling down Pennsylvania Ave is paralyzing Capitol Hill Republicans facing 2018 re-election. Torn at home between Trump’s solid but vindictive base and what they know is not fake news, they duck responding to presidential utterances that seem to leave them standing atop a triggered land mine. Matters got worse this weekend as WSJ’s Peggy Noonan ordered them to march through the wave to the Oval Office and tell its occupant to stop behaving like “Democracy is his plaything.” At the same time, the WSJ editorial staff ordered them to stay in place and start piling up “significant policy wins” before it is too late. Easier said than done.
The beleaguered Ryan team knows that whatever they do they are in for criticism by former friends. They know that accusations of crime and collusion will dominate the news and Oval Office attention irrespective of their policy propositions. They will need presidential help to pass significant policy and cannot count on it. They were elected to vote simple no’s not aye’s on complex health and tax reform. Gutting health care for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich is getting riskier. Too much of the base that voted for them solidly supports “their president” in spite of the leftist “Fake News” accusations. Defending the president today is dangerous when the story can change tomorrow. Walking the plank to vote for bills they know will split their former constituency and even provoke deaths threats may make sense in establishment Republican circles but not to them. Any floor consideration of “significant policy” will prompt Sophie’s Choice Democrat anti-Trump amendments (aptly called “wedgies”) that can hoist them high enough to attract political retribution from an angry base. Even in the Senate where Leader McConnell seeks agreement “within the Republican Conference” it looks like they may have to “collude” with Democrats, which for some in the base is the worst sin of all. Meanwhile, the press is lifting every rock in sight picking through swamp crawlies underneath in search of Pulitzers and “shocked ” Democrats mask their delight with feigned horror during TV interviews made more available by Republicans who have no talking points. The paralysis is real. But while nothing moves, re-election gets closer.This landscape is unfamiliar territory to us all. That makes it dangerous. We can help ourselves by thanking them in advance for protecting our nation’s innovation ecosystem.
Neal Solomon’s well-written, thoughtful IPWatchdog post (linked below) presents a patent policy agenda for President-elect Trump. It also is a policy roadmap for all pro-patent advocates in the months ahead. Already it has attracted 26 comments, many of which add other important pro-patent policy proposals. The harms it describes are especially applicable to research universities. Moreover it not only demonstrates that our pro-patent ranks have swelled , it warns us that commercialization of research universities’ basic research cannot continue if patents are insufficiently reliable to support private sector investment in commercially promising scientific research. When commercialization becomes impossible congressional R&D grants will no longer be politically justifiable. Continue reading We Are Not Alone . . . .
Below are two posts of consequence as we move into the early days of the 115th Congress. The first is by IPW’s Steve Brachman. It provides reliable solid background information on patent policy activity as we move into 2017. It is up to Steve’s usual concise excellence.
The posts below are paired because together they accurately describe today’s parlous patent reality. Soloman and Quinn do not pull their punches. They neither bend economic realities nor misstate facts. But others must share the blame. The unfortunate truth was stated by comic strip possum Pogo who said “We have met the enemy and it is us.” Those of us who understood what was happening but failed to speak up are guilty. Those of us who supported AIA and now fear facing up to its flaws are guilty as well. Continue reading Trump Tower Meeting
The Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2016 is “post-truth” an adjective defined as, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.“
When lying without being shunned by society becomes generally acceptable, lying becomes institutionalized. Truth as a basic norm of societal conduct is supplanted by power which is validated by winning. Designed to reflect society as a whole, Capitol Hill policy-making is about to be flooded with “post truth politics and politicians”. Gene Quinn’s post today features some of the efficient infringement lobby’s past blurred if not brutalized “facts” used in the past to to push their patent litigation reform. Patent litigation reform lobbying was an early congressional invasion of post-truth-politics. It was a preview of the very dangerous future. Here are added reasons why it worked so well, so early, and why it will intensify. Continue reading Efficient Infringer Lying Previewed the Post Truth Era
“IP plays a crucial role in virtually every American industry. Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce reported that IP-intensive industries support over 45 million U.S. jobs—30% of the nation’s total—and contribute more than $6 trillion—or 38.2%—of United States GDP. The biopharmaceutical industry employed almost 854,000 Americans in 2014.”
“If we fail to protect IP rights, both domestically and abroad, we risk jeopardizing one of our greatest drivers of economic growth and competitiveness…”
We keep hearing about a pending post-election strategy meeting of Silicon Valley mega-tech leaders who clearly landed on the zero side of a very binary Presidential election. With the exception of Peter Thiel, a strong Trump supporter and member of the President Elect Trump (PET) Transition team, the Valley big-wigs were firmly planted in the Clinton camp. They may be looking forward to the antithesis their cozy relationship with President Obama, including punitive sanctions for their production processes. So far there are no reports that the strategy meeting has taken place or of any strategies emerging. But there are signs that big IT tech may now have more pressing concerns than passing patent reform. Continue reading Technet Hint of Possible Strategy Shift