Kindler, gentler RIAA

Hilary Rosen has stepped down as head of the RIAA, to be replaced by (Republican) Bill Frist’s right-hand-man Mitch Bainwol. Will this lead to a kinder, gentler approach by the RIAA? Will they try enticing people to buy downloadable music, rather than suing 60 year old grandfathers for hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Well, to get the likely answer to that question, consider that Bill Frist was a medical student at Harvard. He found himself running out of lab animals, so he used to visit the local shelters, adopt cats as “pets”, take them home, and then carry out experiments on them. How do we know this? He admitted it in his autobiography… He says he used to treat them as pets “for a few days” before “carting them off to the lab to die”.

I guess we’re lucky he became a Republican. Most people who start out dissecting pets go on to become serial killers

So that’s the kind of guy Mitch Bainwol likes to work with. As to Bainwol himself, he was director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee… but before that he was managing director of Clark & Weinstock, a lobbying firm, so he’s gone from lobbyist to Senate to lobbyist via the bi-directional revolving door in under a year. He was also involved in taking Microsoft’s side in the anti-trust trial, and was a lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, who successfully persuaded the Republicans to block increased medicare coverage for the elderly. I guess grandpa will need to hand over his retirement fund one way or the other.