|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Yesterday, House Democrats were forced to scrap the COMPETES Act — a jobs bill to increase investments in science, research, and training programs. Despite initial bipartisan support, the bill went down suddenly as House Republicans staged a parliamentary ambush to insert a provision that would fire any federal worker “disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography.”
The unadulterated partisan politics were on full display shortly before the vote. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) unveiled the GOP porn amendment, announcing that it would be a referendum on the use of porn on government computers. However, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) quickly took to the floor to denounce the minority party’s “embarrassing” gimmicks to “undermine an important bill for my 9-year-old daughter, for your kids and your grandkids”:
JENKINS: If you think spreading pornography with a government computer is an act that should lead to dismissal, then vote for this motion. [...]
GORDON: For God’s sakes. And when it gets to the conference, we’ll take care of that even more. But everyone raise your hand that’s for pornography. C’mon raise your hand. Nobody? Nobody is for pornography? Well I’m shocked so I guess we need this little bitty provision that means nothing is going to gut the entire bill. This is an embarrassment. If you vote for this, you should be embarrassed.
Using a “motion to recommit,” the amendment scared enough Democrats to back the porn amendment, thus forcing Democratic leaders to pull consideration of the bill, possibly postponing it for weeks. House Republicans celebrated their success in obstructing the jobs bill, and promised more of the tactic in an interview with CQ. “We certainly should do more of this type of thing,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).
A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.
"When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," says Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.
However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.
"Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," Edelman says.