Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 27, 2007 6:59 PM. The previous post in this blog was Party at Szczepanowski's. The next post in this blog is Calling Sebastian. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Joe Camel, constitutional scholar

The mindscrew from the tobacco companies just won't quit. They've got a lot of money to spend on obfuscating what's really at stake with the pending Ballot Measure 50 here in Oregon, and the latest diversion arrived in the mail today:

Wow, how subtle. Measure 50 -- which would increase cigarette taxes and dedicate the new revenue to state-financed health care programs -- is a threat to the Constititution. And look at that graphic! Not just the Constitution -- but the Bill of Rights!

What hogwash. Measure 50 has nothing to do with the Bil of Rights, and the tobacco companies who created this flyer know that darn well.

But do they want the voters to focus on what's really at stake? A couple of weeks back we blogged about the first flyer they sent out -- in which there was only one reference to "tobacco," buried way down where you had to look hard to find it. In this new beauty, it's the same deal. You have to hunt it down, but "tobacco" is in there exactly once.

Oh, and get this -- a vote for the cigarette tax is a vote for a sales tax!

I'm not sure Measure 50 is a great idea, but when I see the Merchants of Cancer working from their usual lying script, it makes my blood boil. Yes, let's put a tobacco tax in the Oregon Constitution. If it turns out to be a bad idea, we can take another vote and pull it back out. Just like we're now doing with Measures 37 and 49.

If you think Philip Morris could give a darn about your rights, here, have a "light" cig.

Comments (21)

I'm no fan of what I see as a regressive tax on poor schmucks --like I used to be--buying a pack at a time at Plaid Pantry. But...these tobacco guys are really scum.

I hope to hell they lose this one.

I'm still torn on the tax-in-the-Constitution issue, but as a smoker I don't really have a problem if I'm paying more for a pack of cigarettes to pay for health care. I'll deal.

It won't necessarily lead to a sales tax. It is a sales tax. Just like the tax on alcohol, gasoline, and hotel rooms. It's just not a general sales tax. Specifically, it's a sales tax on a product with inelastic demand. A "sin" tax.

Again, why is it that tobacco smokers are selected out to carry the entire tax burden on indigent health care for children? Isn't health care for indigent children everybody's problem? Why isn't everybody paying for indigent health care for children? Quick answer: Everybody wants something for nothing, so they try to make someone else pay for it. Tobacco smokers are now a mariginalized minority, which makes them an easy target. It's the arrogance of the majority.

Welcome to democracy.

I assume everyone saw the news today that caffiene has been linked to liver cancer. As has alcohol. We already have second-hand alcohol deaths...they're called "drunk driver mortalities".

I think we need a heavy tax on cellphone use. A tax on commercial coffee products. Increase the tax on all alcoholic beverages - make it a dedicated fund for state police. A steep auto registration fee based upon the value of the vehicle. Oh, and while they're still a minority, a tax on all condominiums above the third floor.

Again, why is it that tobacco smokers are selected out to carry the entire tax burden on indigent health care for children?

Uh oh, somebody better call the waaaaaaaaaambulance.

I'll be quite open and honest about why I'll vote for this bill: I don't like smoking, I don't like smokers, and I'm sick and tired of having to move my family from an outside seat at a restaurant when some smokers light up nearby, and I'm sick of cleaning up cigarette butts in front of my house, and...need I go on? The fact that the money will go to a good cause is just icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned.

I dont like the "tax in the constitution" part either. I guess the biggest part I dont understand is what happens if the smoker base dries up? (Not likely, I know.) But what if? What happens since this is in the constitution? Where do they get money then? I guess it just makes me a bit nervous.
Then the part about going after a certain group to pay for child care...I mean, what if this was a tax only on wine? Would people still feel the same about it?

Oops. That should have read "child health care", not "child care".

Dave J. sez: I'll be quite open and honest about why I'll vote for this bill: I don't like smoking, I don't like smokers, and I'm sick and tired of having to move my family from an outside seat at a restaurant when some smokers light up nearby, and I'm sick of cleaning up cigarette butts in front of my house, and...need I go on? The fact that the money will go to a good cause is just icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned.

Talk about needing a waaaaaambulance. How do you think that tacking an additional $.85 sales tax on tobacco products is going to address those aggrevations of yours? Here's a hint: They're not. That's what inelastic demand is all about. People will still smoke outside, so I'm sorry, you'll have to go inside, where smoking will be banned. I'm sorry you won't get your usual ration of toxic automobile exhaust, but hey, sacrifices will have to be made. You can go home after your dinner out and suck on the tailpipe while your car is idling.

If you don't like smoke or smokers, don't go where they are...there are plenty of alternatives, as most restaurants are now non-smoking.

If you really cared for health care for indigent children, you'd support a salt tax to fund it.

Hey, I hate gas-guzzling automobiles. I hate the people who buy them and drive them. It's fairly clear that the actions of these people are not only sickening other humans, they are one of the biggest sources of toxic emissions in the outdoor air and a clear contributor to greenhouse gases. The toxics dumped into our atmosphere due to automobiles and automotive by-products far outstrips those created by tobacco smokers. I'll bet you are part of that problem...YOU need to be paying more taxes on your vehicle for health care for indigent children.


I'm no fan of what I see as a regressive tax on poor schmucks --like I used to be--buying a pack at a time at Plaid Pantry...

But you're willing to sacrifice them to make a point - how egalitarian.


I agree with you sometimes, disagree more often; but, damn, when you DO hit the nail, you hit it square.

...uh, squarely

...albeit that last was just the least bit skwat-ish - and the hate part is a little unsettling - I'm sure that was intentional - for effect, right...


Have at them, then!

Did anyone ever look up the "teacher" who wrote that heartfelt letter convincing us that it was okay to vote against health care for kids? I'd like to see a newspaper profile of him, and the reaction he's getting around town (Salem?) . . . . if he exists.

Did anyone ever look up the "teacher" who wrote that heartfelt letter convincing us that it was okay to vote against health care for kids?

Have you already arranged for the pitchforks and torches, Sarah?

What a wonderfully simple picture you paint.

Or is that simplistic?

Isn't it funny when the chickens come home to roost. For years the left has argued that "we shouldn't mess around with the constitution."

Now lefties are trying to pass constitutional amendments and they trip over their own previous rhetoric.

Want to know why M46 failed but M47 passed?

Both were campaign finance reform, but M46 "messed around with the constitution".

If M50 fails (and it just might) that will be the reason.

Dumb reason. This is Oregon. Everything's up for a vote, all the time.

OK, so whether it's a good or bad tax, or the constitution can be re-amended easily or not, could someone explain why increasing the cigarette tax--which has happened more than once already--and sending the proceeds to any particular program involves amending the constitution?

Really, just what are the nuts-and-bolts of how this tax works? I can't recall anything like it, but maybe I missed it.



My understanding: For the Legislature to pass a tax, it has to have a 60% vote in favor. If it doesn't, the only way the tax can be passed is by amending the state Constitution. If the Legislature has a vote of 50% or more, it can ask the voters to do that. In this case, the vote for the tax was more than 50% but less than 60%, so it goes to the voters for a constitutional amendment.

As for the tax itself, it steeply jacks up tobacco taxes and dedicates the funds for various government health care programs. Proponents are sickeningly selling the tax as "for the children," but opponents point out that a lot of the money will go to other things.

You'll soon be getting a voter's pamphlet with more than you ever wanted to read on the subject.

If one is looking for a "punish and fund" solution, I would propose a sin tax on fast food as being more appropriate in this case. It would feed the moral indignation of citizens who are sick and tired of cleaning up wax paper wrappers, straws, plastic containers, paper cups, paper bags, spent ketchup packets and other larger-than-a-cigarette-butt litter. It would satisfy anybody over 30 who marvels at the sheer girth of today's young students ("I mean, when I was in elementery school there was one fat kid"). It would punish the merchants of heart failure who target children with a rapaciousness that tobacco companies can only envy (at least until you see a 7-11 constructing a Marlboro funland playground with a smokin' ballpit). And unlike a tax on an age-restricted consumer items such as tobacco, a tax on the Happy Meal, which is also a product designed to gratify at the risk of disease and death, may in fact reduce consumption among indigent children who are already customers. In some cases it could actually end up punishing the people it serves and vice versa. Which as a plan to modify behavior can't be beat in terms of beauty.

Jon, here's the answer to what happens if the smoker base dries up. You will make up the difference in higher state taxes you pay into the general fund. This is a ridicules and gutless way to fund any program. Look at what happened to the money Big Tobacco pays the states or the dedicated 911 tax you pay on your phone bill which is supposed to go to support the 911 system. Both are used to pay for thing other that what you were told they would be used on.

What happened to the state funded health care program Dr. K foisted on us. Didn't it sink under its own weight?

You'll soon be getting a voter's pamphlet with more than you ever wanted to read on the subject.

But most of the time, it includes no facts. Just a thick book of opinions.

richard/s, the 911 taxes going elsewhere is also like the Oregon Lottery funds going many places that isn't prescribed by law. Can you believe some of the projects it funds that they call "economic development"?

I'm with you, telecom.

There's more potential income for health programs in fast foods than there are in tobacco. There are probably more gains in reductions of consumption because fast food demand is a lot more elastic, thanks to plenty of ready alternatives. More positive effect upon a larger group of a broader constituency.

If sales tax on tobacco is to be dedicated to anything, it should be to making readily available and inexpensive (if not free) smoking cessation programs. Thus, it would have a built in sunset provision.

John Capradoe, smoking cessation programs were supposed to be funded by Big Tobacco's settlement with the states. Guess what, most of it has been diverted to the general fund and squandered by this states bloated spending spree.

Who benefits from smoking cessation programs? Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo (recently bought by Johnson & Johnson), which control 90% of the cessation market. They also use paridey pricing whan tobacco taxes and smoking bans go in place. Carton of cigs goes up $10 nicoderm and nicoderm cq go up almost the same. Who awards big grants to push for smoking bans and tax hikes. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation the non-profit arm of Johnson & Johnson.
Big Tobacco pays nothing for the Master Settlement Agreement. The consumers do! Not to mention the trial lawyers are receiving $13.1 billion. John Edwards is one of those trial lawyers. Hes watching out for the little guy alright 70% of tobacco users have household incomes under $50k with half of them under $30k. In many cases the S-CHIP will have lower income people subsidizing higher income peoples health care both from the federal tobacco and state tobacco taxes.
What next a black tax, a brown tax or how about the one I prefer a progressive tax. All these damn national socialists deserve what they get. Its their idea! Why are they not volunteering to pay for it? After all its "for the kids". I guess they could not have that. Spending their own money instead of someone elses.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
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
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
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
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics