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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2007 1:25 PM. The previous post in this blog was All frills, all the time. The next post in this blog is How hot is it?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

About time

If there's one good thing that the Oregon Legislature did this year (and there aren't too many, as far as I can see), at least they got rid of these people. Don't let the door hit you on your way out, slimies!

Comments (15)

What's the difference between Payday Loan places and the Portland City Council? Oh, right...Portland doesn't require you to sign anything in order to steal your money.

Or...whats the difference between payday loans and bank overdraft charges of $20-$35 per transaction? Because thats what most of the people who were getting the loans are going to go back to...

whats the difference between payday loans and bank overdraft charges of $20-$35 per transaction? Because thats what most of the people who were getting the loans are going to go back to...

And the people to whom they wrote the bad checks will probably get screwed out of $15 by their own banks. Financial institutions are thieves any more. I wish Salem would start getting in their faces. They could start with the credit unions. If you cleaned them up, at least little people could go back there and be treated fairly.

credit unions? What's the gripe about them I've been a CU member for going on 30 years and have had good experiences with them - unlike friends who tell me bank horror stories.

The downside is that a 36% interest rate "cap" is deemed to be "reasonable." Yeah, right...

regarding the bank overdraft fees being the same thing as a loan for thousands % interest, I wrote Rep. Dingfelder and got this, from the response from his aide:

An "overdraft" is currently defined as a "convenience fee" for the use of a ervice. It is not defined as a finance charge or interest. As a fee, it is not subject to disclosure under the Federal Reserve Bank's Regulation "Z" guidelines. It is also exempt from any restriction as to amount, by federal and/or state regulation or statute.

In Oregon law, chapter 74 dealing with Banks and Deposits is the only place in Oregon Banking law that talks about an "overdraft" and when it is allowable to charge such a fee (ORS 74.4010 and 74.4020). State legislation would most likely have no impact in this situation. Changes would need to take place at the federal level.

(Nice, huh? Hey, anyone reading this, rent the 'Maxed Out' DVD if this stuff interests you. The banks, it turns out, aren't our friends! Seriously! Like, tons of those lender stores are owned by Wells's an excellent documentary.)

After watching the state take on the liquor, tobacco, and gambling industries, I'm wondering if they've shut down the payday loan industry mainly because they've failed at reconoitering a way to move in on the action.

credit unions? What's the gripe about them

The guy who ran mine was making $1.6MM a year before he was kind enough to retire. And they get dang nasty to you if you raise any questions about that kind of trash.

(and there aren't too many, as far as I can see)

Jack, I'll copy and paste from my blog on the topic.

  • Established a rainy day fund for the state budget
  • Expansion of the Oregon Bottle Bill to include water bottles (~125 million/year)
  • A 36% cap on predatory payday loans (down from 528% average)
  • Guaranteed coverage for contraceptives in health insurance
  • Guaranteed sexual assault victims access to emergency contraceptives
  • Domestic partnerships for gays & lesbians
  • Employment non-discrimination for sexual orientation
  • Free speech and free press rights for student media
  • A 22% increase in university budgets
  • A $6.245 billion K-12 education budget, an 18% increase
  • 3200 more children in Head Start
  • Majority signup for unions ("card check")
  • 25% renewable energy standard by 2025
  • A biofuels incentive package
  • Sent the voters a cigarette tax to fund health care for all kids
  • Expanded the prescription drug purchasing pool
  • Started the ball rolling toward universal health care in 2009
  • Sent the voters a fix for Measure 37 that protects housing rights while stopping Wal-Mart
  • An extensive identity theft protection law
  • 100 new state troopers; 15 new forensic scientists
  • The internet predator act
  • An e-waste recycling program
  • A 17% pay raise for Oregon's judges (who were lowest-paid in the nation)
  • Restored the "Rule of 31" to the Oregon House; encouraging bipartisan cooperation
  • Referred to voters a repeal of the "double majority" rule
  • A wide-ranging and strict ethics package for all public officials
  • Reform of the initiative process that boosts grassroots organizing, while regulating mercenaries

I'm sure the righties will go crazy, saying I'm just a flack for the lefties -- but that sure does look like a pretty good list of accomplishments to me.

No universal health care reform or major tax reform, but this is a pretty good start, I think.

Nice work, I'm sure they'll all hire you, you're such a nice boy. There are a handful of goodies there, but a lot more of it's junk.

"Started the ball rolling... sent the voters... referred to voters..." Wimpy.

"A wide-ranging and strict ethics package..." Laughable. Last I heard they had two little old men with no teeth enforcing the rules.

As for the water bottles, in the end they did little. At a nickel deposit, people are going to keep throwing them away. Moreover, they utterly failed to do anything meaningful about the filthy, degrading, nonsensical system we have for processing the returns. They just added water bottles into it -- same hell, more crowded. I doubt you'll see any surge in recycling. In Portland all water bottles can already be recycled, anyway.

"An extensive identity theft protection law..." Which will be enforced by? No one, same as now.

You forgot "Outlawed cell phone use while driving... until you're 18," or whatever it turned out to be. Symbolic of what could have been, but wasn't.

Much better than the Karen Minnis festivals of the past, but more a C-plus or a B-minus than anything approaching an A.

The measure 37 rewrite is OK going back to voters, after all - they voted it in the first place. The tobacco tax for healthy kids is going to voters because the GOP refused to support it.

Ethics: Gotta pay closer attention, Jack. Or maybe I should have shared more details. The Lege boosted funding substantially, made it independently funded, jacked up the fines, and barred candidates from paying the fines with campaign money. That's a big deal.

I agree about the nickel and the recyling centers, but adding water bottles is a big first step. That's 125 million water bottles.

Take note of the dog-that-didn't-bark. Every legislature for the last decade has ended with near-rioting from school parents. This year? Nothing. An 18% funding increase is a HUGE deal. That alone should earn 'em big kudos.

I guess I'm happy that the expectations of a Democratic Legislature are so much higher than that for a Republican one. I just wish people would take note of the successes.

Can you identify a single legislative session in the last 30 years that's accomplished more progressive action?

Gotta pay closer attention, Jack. Or maybe I should have shared more details. The Lege boosted funding substantially, made it independently funded, jacked up the fines, and barred candidates from paying the fines with campaign money. That's a big deal.

Really? Maybe to you. I have had first-hand experience with the ethics commission, or whatever it's called now. Even when it had money, it was a paper tiger. I'll believe real change has occurred when I see it.

As for the Maui Wowies passing rules so that they don't embarrass themselves as blatantly corrupt, it's hard for me to get excited.

BTW, I'm paying closer attention than some of your clients would like.

That's 125 million water bottles.

A totally inflated number. There's no way half that many will be added to the recycling stream. And if they are, the whole bottle deposit system will come to a grinding halt. You think Safeway and Kroger are going to make it easy for consumers to get this done? They're going to make it even more miserable than it is now. People are going to say "screw the nickels," just like they do now with soda cans. Salem really failed on this one.

Can you identify a single legislative session in the last 30 years that's accomplished more progressive action?

I can't remember that far back, but this is the first Democratic state government in many moons (I guess back to Neil, Kitz and Katz). Sure, it's better than what the Ferrioli crowd dishes out, but it wasn't all it could have been. Big bucks still speak quite loudly around here. The beer and wine and grocery store people killed real bottle bill reform, and the cell phone companies got to Burdick and her ilk and killed much-needed driving safety measures.

BTW, the "healthy kids" spiel is pathetic. The state should commit itself to help the kids regardless of what happens with the cig tax. This is another one of the patented "colors of money" games, where you spend on stuff that isn't important, stranding the kids, and then sell a tax increase "for the children."

At least you're calling it a tax. Jackie Dingfelder was out all session crowing about a "malt beverage user fee," or some such mindscrew.

Funding childrens health care with a declining revenue source is irresponsible.

An 18% funding increase is a HUGE deal. That alone should earn 'em big kudos.

And nobody is complaining that its a "budget cut" yet? Because it has gone up in the past too, but when it doesnt go up as much as they wanted, it becomes a "cut".

Now, with this 18% increase, are they also going to implement some oversight on how its spent? Or is that just wishful thinking?

My favorite creative funding technique that should be investigated is putting all kids with Hispanic surnames in ESL (even when they are born here and speak fluent English) so the school can get extra funding.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
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Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
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Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
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William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
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In 2007: 113
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