Amazing Editorial In The Portland Oregonian

Approve class-action reform

The real winners of the case were the lawyers who filed the class action against Blockbuster in Madison County, Ill., where courts are unusually sympathetic to this kind of claim. The lawyers split $9.25 million — which, despite the recent coupons, will show up one way or the other in the price we pay for videos in the future.
[…]
Trial lawyers successfully lobbied against the bill in the last Congress. Oregon’s four House Democrats voted against it in March. Republican Greg Walden voted for it. It’s in for rough sledding in the Senate because trial lawyers are a key Democratic constituency.
But it deserves passage and the Senate should overcome partisan considerations to approve it. The Class Action Fairness Act is a rational response to an abuse of the process that has been allowed to go on too long.
In fact, this fix should carry a late fee.

Usually the Oregonian can be found faithfully carrying water for Democrats, no matter how far to the left they get. In fact, the lefter the better. I guess they have to do something so they can point at it and say “Look, we went against the Democrats this time.
With the Democrats controlling the Senate, this bill has exactly zero chance of passage, so the Democrats have given permission for their mouthpieces to write disapproving columns to shore up their declining credibility.

A Tale Of Two Democrats

I think everyone got the message. Don’t cross the Democratic party or you’re going down. Look at the difference between the two.
James Traficant was wild, he frequently was at odds with the Democratic leadership, He quite often voted with Republicans, spoke out against Bill Clinton during the impeachment hearings, and horror of horrors, appeared as a guest host on the radio show of the devil incarnate, Rush Limbaugh.

Traficant to Seek Votes From Prison (washingtonpost.com)

Expelled from Congress a week ago, an unrepentant James A. Traficant Jr. was sentenced to eight years behind bars for corruption Tuesday and made it clear he intends to run for re-election from his prison cell Ė and expects to win.

On the other hand we have Robert Torricelli. He too took gifts from people but never crossed the Democratic leadership. They knew that Torricelli was a sure vote, an unquestioning backer of whatever the Democratic leadership wanted. They also knew that if he were expelled, it might endanger their control of the Senate. So they cut a deal.
Senate Ethics Panel Rebukes Torricelli (washingtonpost.com)

The Senate ethics committee, rendering one of the sternest condemnations of a member in recent years, “severely admonished” Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) last night for accepting expensive gifts from a political donor-turned-convict.
Chang was convicted of illegally funneling $50,000 to Torricelli, the U.S. attorney’s office in New York decided in January not to seek an indictment of the New Jersey Democrat.

No subtlety here. If you want to be taken care of, you have to go along. That’s the Democratic party message for all it’s member “Go Along To Get Along”. Have I heard that before?

Activists Wax Hysterical Over New Boogieman

Hanford waste analysis alarms Oregon, activists
ANDY DWORKIN (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon officials and anti-nuclear activists are criticizing a federal report on the environmental impact of shipping thousands of truckloads of radioactive waste through Oregon to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington.

The draft considers three plans for dealing with waste once it is shipped to Hanford, although one involves no new technology or construction and is included mainly as a comparison for taking no new action. The Energy Department estimates that impacts on the environment “are relatively small and would not be expected to contribute substantially to cumulative impacts of other activities at Hanford or in the surrounding region.”

For instance, he said, the draft report does not “identify volumes or types of materials they might dispose of at Hanford,” information he called “a basic necessity” for determining the impact of the solid waste. Rather, the draft mentions three broad categories of waste: low-level ; mixed low level chemical and nuclear waste ; and transuranic waste. And it considers a widely varying volume of material, from about 9.2 million square feet to 21.2 million square feet.

Sounds pretty well defined to me. (check the links.) I guess the reporter couldn’t be bothered to do a search on the terms and see what they meant. We’re not talking “hot” here, this will be medical waste and mostly equipment and clothing contaminated from being used in a Nuclear plant. The hot stuff is going to Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

“We don’t believe the Department of Energy has done the type of analysis it needs to do,” Niles said. “And we’ll ask them to take it back and do a better job.”

And we will insist that they keep doing it until they give up.

Representatives of five such groups explained some of their worries at a Monday news conference in Portland. Generally, the activists are upset that the draft continues the government’s plan to truck radioactive waste from other sites to Hanford. Many also are upset that the plan considers burying much of the low-level radioactive waste in soil trenches without protective liners. They said the plan did not consider many reasonable alternatives, including not shipping waste to Hanford at all.

I see, it all comes down to NIMY and anti-nuclear hysteria. Aren’t these the same arguments that they made about Yucca Mountain and lost?

Democrats Used IRS Against Watchdog Group.

IRS reveals smoking gun

The mystery surrounding Internal Revenue Service tax audits against critics of President Bill Clinton during his administration has been cracked. A smoking gun has just been released by the IRS. The unmistakable evidence is that the supposedly nonpolitical tax agency responds to complaints by prominent politicians

Who was that other president that used the IRS against his enemies? Oh, yeah. That was Richard Nixon. How is this different? Well, when Nixon asked them, the IRS refused. What a difference 25 years make.

A Letter From My Congressman. (I’m Sorry To Say)

The following appeared in the Albany, OR Democrat-Herald, my local paper. Defazio shows up every other year about election time and does an interview with the paper. Sometimes it looks like he brings copies of both the questions and the answers with him. He never seems to get any tough questions. The following ran on July 26, 2002 in the Letters to the Editor but the letters from that date are not on-line. Huh. Why just that day? Luckily, recycling day hasn’t come yet so I still have the dead tree edition.but I had to retype the whole damn thing.
Estate Tax Repeal Would Help Only A Few

Mr. Beckham was right about my vote against the budget-busting bill to permanently repeal the estate tax, legislation which would dramatically benefit a fraction of Americas most elite families (mailbag, July 12).

You mean the trial lawyer, union bosses and environmentalists that you kow-tow to, Peter? Oh, you don’t mean the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Streisands or the Baldwins, you mean the people who make too much money and don’t contribute to the correct political party.

Alternatively, I voted for a reform of the estate tax to eliminate all taxes on the first $6 million of an estate to insure that no family farm, small business or tree farm would have to be liquidated to pay estate taxes. The bill I voted for doesn’t grant huge windfalls to gigantic estates, many of which have never paid taxes on accumulation of their wealth, because they are in form of unrealized capital gains not wages.

What’s so great about wages? It means you’re working for someone else. It always seems the Democrats are singing the praises of the small businessman in public while doing their best to put him out of business. If they go out of business, who will pay the wages that you are so enamored of?
$6 million? $6 million? Where have you been Peter? You have companies and farms that when all the “unrealized capital gains” have been counted easily exceed that. Oh, it’s a small paper, with limited circulation. You never win Linn County anyway.

Legislation to permanently and totally repeal to estate tax would reward the CEOs we read about every day who stole hundreds of millions of dollars from employees and stakeholders.

How did we get to CEOs? Other than riding on the current press reports I mean. Are CEOs the only ones that will benefit? Would you kindly spell out whose estate should be looted upon their death, there can’t be that many.

For instance, Kenneth Lay of Enron would get $59 million under a repeal of the estate tax. Dennis Kozolwski of Tyco (who has been charged with tax evasion) would get $149 million. Gary Winnick of Global Crossings would get $$366 million. Iím not willing to spend hard-earned Social Security funds to benefit such notorious scoundrels.

Ohh, good, you’re naming names. O.K. How about Terry McAuliffe the DNC chairman that made a sleazy deal with Global Crossings ? Do we get to loot his estate too? How about the financial genius’s Bill and Hillary Clinton? Can we take back all the money, gifts, and amazing deals that they have made?
And correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t these “beneficiaries” that you named have to be dead to get this?
And how do they “get” this money if it is theirs in the first place. If I don’t take money from someone it hardly adds to their bank balance.
This only makes (slight) sense if you believe that all money belongs to the government in the first place and should be given to people only when they show the correct political beliefs. If you want to charge CEOs with crimes, go ahead. If you convict them, you can fine the hell out of them. But waiting until they die and looting their estate is rather ghoulish isn’t it?

Now that the government is running a deficit, an estate tax repeal will draw $100 billion each and every year directly out of the Social Security trust fund.

Aww. I know it would come to this. Peter, don’t you have any shame? Well, if you’re an officer of the Progressive Caucus] with Cynthia McKinney, I guess you don’t.
Give me a break. You know and I know, that Social Security payroll taxes when they are collected are used to pay the current recipients, whatever is left over is sent to Treasury who then issues special non-negotiable bonds which are then held in the “trust fund”. The money is then put in the general fund. The bonds are a promise to pay back the “trust fund” money at a later date. This can only be done by taxing someone again to get the money. There is no money in the “Social Security Trust Fund”.
I also don’t understand how not collecting money draws it directly out of a trust fund that has no money in it. My guess is that, along with most Democrats, you subscribe to the Red Queen’s theory of believing at least two contradictory things before breakfast each day.

A permanent repeal benefits fewer than 5,000 of Americaís wealthiest families at the expense of 53 million Social Security Beneficiaries, and represents an unprecedented transfer of wealth from the payroll taxes of hard working families to the heirs of American families worth millions or billions of dollars.

Argh, There you go again transferring non-existent funds by not collecting it. What is with the Social Security Trust Fund deal anyhow? Any cut in collection or expenditure requested by the Bush administration comes directly from the social security trust fund, but requests for funding for Democratic initiatives do not? You’ll have to explain that one to me sometime. (oh, never mind. You never explain anything to anyone. As I remember from other meetings, any questions bring an immediate and unending stream of accusations of mugging kittens and drowning little old ladies. Or have I got that backwards?)

The inevitable result, when millionaires and billionaires donít pay their fair share, is a tax increase on lower and middle income families

I guess you haven’t read the news lately, have you Peter? Fair Share? According to this ABC news story “The wealthiest 5 percent pay more than half the taxes, while people in the bottom half pay just 4 percent.” I guess it just depends on what you consider fair.
Peter A. DeFazio
Member of Congress [D-Or-4]
[Officer of the Progressive Caucus]
Washington D.C., July 24 [2002]

New York Times Reporters More Skilled Than Researchers

Side Effect of Welfare Law: The No-Parent Family

But new research underscores a smaller, unwelcome trend: a rising share of children, particularly black children in cities, are turning up in no-parent households, left with relatives, friends or foster families without either their mother or their father.
Researchers say they cannot pinpoint the forces driving parents and children apart. But among them, they said, may be the stresses of the new welfare world ó loss of benefits, low-wage jobs at irregular hours and pressure from a new partner needed to pay the rent.

Pretty unsurprising for the NYT actually. They find that even if researcher and “experts” cannot pin down the problem, they can.
Amazingly the problem always seems to be something that is politically conservative. Their antidote? Return to the same old, same old, in this case doling out millions for single women to stay at home and take care of their children.
Except that it wouldn’t be that. The women who chose to stay home and take care of their children while their husbands work, would not be covered. No, the NYT wants to restore the dependance drug – Welfare. I guess having fewer people that believe that they depend on you for their daily existence is a sacrifice that the NYT staff is not willing to make.
If you really enjoy having people depend on you, why don’t you just resort to handing out MD 20-20 and Old English 40 Ozers to the homeless. I’m sure they would appreciate it more.