a service of NPRI

June 13, 2006 
Vol. 2, No. 10

Also in this issue:

Nevada judge copes
with union lawyers

Vegas litigants face
a stacked judicial deck

A judge who doesn't
play fast and loose

For one judge and his friends, one good turn led to another

Some Nevada judges
lurk beneath the radar

Congress seeks
Internet control

Troops reduce
illegal crossings


Senate bill for illegals
would bloat welfare

Gouging you via CPI creep

Don't believe the
'tough guy' Fed

Re-primitivizing the world



Senate bill for illegals would bloat welfare

Largest welfare expansion in 35 Years

By Robert Rector
Human Events

Congress is in the midst of the most dramatic overhaul of our nation’s immigration laws in 80 years. So why is hardly anyone asking the basic question: How might this affect government costs? In the case of the immigration bill passed in the Senate, a measure sponsored by Senators Mel Martinez (R.-Fla.) and Chuck Hagel (R.-Neb.), we have an answer: It would raise them substantially.


Tax racket
Gouging you
via CPI creep

Why state, local governments love inflation

By Thomas DiLorenzo
Ludwig von
Mises Institute

The single most important tax reform of the 1980s was the indexation of the federal income tax to inflation and the reduction of the number of federal income tax brackets from fifteen to three. Prior to that, ordinary middle class workers were pushed up into higher and higher tax brackets by simply receiving cost-of-living pay increases. The result was that a couple of years of cost-of-living increases actually reduced your standard of living by diminishing your overall take-home pay after taxes while enriching the state.

Under this corrupt scheme the Federal Reserve would print excessive amounts of money, which created inflation. The inflation led to cost-of-living increases that in turn led to "bracket creep" and higher tax payments. The federal government's budget became bloated while the taxpayers suffered. Politicians never had to take the heat for voting for a tax increase; inflation did it for them. It was truly a form of taxation without representation (not that taxation with representation is any better).


The Fed
Don't believe the 'tough guy' Fed

The Federal Reserve is making lots of noise about getting tough on inflation. Fact is, the governors desperately want to stop raising rates.

By Bill Fleckenstein
MSM Moneyl

I have long maintained that the Fed does not care about inflation, because it believes in its own infallibility. I also believe that the Fed will have no trouble explaining away rising prices. The Fed has done so throughout its entire existence (excluding Paul Volcker, of course). And, since Easy Al Greenspan's tenure began in 1987, the rationalizing has been operating in overdrive.

Hawk-talk and manliness

Last week, however, the Fed appeared to switch into vigilante mode. New chief Ben Bernanke's hawkish-sounding comments on June 5 received credit for all the selling around the globe. The next day, St. Louis Fed Chief William Poole reinforced that tone when he suggested that a slowing economy alone might not bring inflation down.


Re-primitivizing the world

By Mark Steyn
The New York Sun

Here are four news stories from the last week:

Baghdad: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi found himself on the receiving end of 500lbs of US ordnance.

London: Scotland Yard arrested a cell of East End Muslims allegedly plotting a sarin attack in Britain.

Toronto: The Mounties busted a cell of Ontario Muslims planning a bombing three times more powerful than Oklahoma City.

Mogadishu: An al-Qaeda affiliate, the "Joint Islamic Courts," took control of the Somali capital, displacing "US-backed warlords." The world divides into those who think the above are all part of the same story and those who figure they're strictly local items of no wider significance deriving from various regional factors:


WHY BusinessNevada

PLANning your life
‘Voter eradication' comes to Nevada

Invited in by coalition
of state's liberals, unions ’

By Steven Miller

ALL ThAT assaultive harassment of signature gatherers for the Tax & Spending Control (TASC) initiative was planned and organized by an aggressively political tax-exempt Nevada non-profit and national and state Democratic Party operatives, BusinessNevada has learned.

Details of the physical assaults and threats, the conspicuous lies, the illegal obstruction of petitioners and the intimidating and “swarming” of average citizens were spelled out in extensive and detailed affidavits filed as exhibits in a Nevada Court case heard Thursday by District Judge Sally Loehrer (See District judge corners union lawyers).

According to sworn statements from multiple witnesses:

“These blockers will physically put their flyers in front of a person’s face who is trying to sign the petition. This stops some of the people from signing.” At the same time, the blocker “stands very close to the signer and starts talking very loudly,” over the top of the petition gatherer, “thus confusing and intimidating the potential signer. The potential signer, being intimidated and confused, walks away.”


The courts
Nevada judge copes with union lawyers


NEVADA DISTRICT JUDGE Sally Loehrer last week prohibited tactics used by a union-backed group to keep voters from access to the TASC tax-restraint petition.

Although a Las Vegas Review-Journal headline reported that, “Judge chides ballot groups,” almost all of the “chiding” by Loehrer was directed at the so-called “Nevadans for Nevada (NfN)” group and its bullying tactics on the streets (see excerpts from petition circulators’ affidavits).

Loehrer did emphasize the First Amendment rights at Las Vegas petitioning locations of both the NFN employees and the TASC petition gatherers. But when NFN attorneys Richard G. McCracken and Thomas F. Pitaro kept insisting that their clients had a “constitutional right” to run up on petitioners and the people listening to them, then loudly interrupt, yelling and putting their leaflets over the petitions being read, Loehrer grew impatient.


Special report:

Vegas Juice vs. Justice

A Los Angeles Times
Investigatory Series

Vegas litigants face a stacked judicial deck

Judges routinely rule in cases involving chums, ex-clients and business associates -- and in favor of lawyers who fill their campaign coffers.

By Michael J. Goodman and William C. Rempel
Times staff writers

When Judge Gene T. Porter last ran for reelection, a group of Las Vegas lawyers sponsored a fundraiser for him at Big Bear in California. Even by Las Vegas standards, it was brazen. Some of the sponsors had cases before him. One case was set for a crucial hearing in four days....


A judge who doesn't play fast and loose

By Michael J. Goodman

Judge John S. McGroarty did it differently.

In the last Nevada election in which all district judgeships in Las Vegas were on the ballot, 13 incumbents ran unopposed. Unlike others, McGroarty returned his unspent campaign contributions.

"I sent the money back. It wasn't mine to keep," McGroarty said in an interview. "I didn't have an opponent, so I didn't need it. I don't want slush funds … money burning a hole in my pocket...."


For one judge and his friends, one good turn
led to another

James Mahan got his jobs on the state and federal benches through the connections of old pal George Swarts. Things turned out well for Swarts too.

By Michael J. Goodman

Without help from a friend, James Mahan might never have become a Las Vegas state judge. Certainly he wouldn't have gotten one of the top judicial jobs in town: a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

Then again, without Mahan, his friend George Swarts would never have gotten to run an Internet porn business, a hotel-casino hair salon or a Southern California software company....


Some Nevada judges lurk beneath the radar

Senior judges are exempt from some rules of accountability. The careers of three jurists reflect the ethical questions that can result.

By Michael J. Goodman and William C. Rempel

One Nevada judge was nearly indicted on blackmail charges. Another ruled repeatedly for a casino corporation in which he held more than 10,000 shares. Still another overruled state authorities and decided in favor of a gambling boss who was notorious as a mob frontman, and whose casino did the judge a $2,800 favor.

Yet the Nevada Supreme Court has conferred upon these judges a special distinction that exempts them from some of the common rules of judicial practice and reduces their accountability. They are among 17 state judges whom the high court has commissioned as senior judges....


Power grab
Congress seeks
Internet control

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Congress is scheduled to vote on a plan for putting the federal government in charge of regulating Internet traffic, a plan that will restrict consumer choice and freedom.

The plan, to be introduced as amendments to the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006, would prohibit Internet Service providers—the owners and developers of the net’s infrastructure—from charging different prices for different levels of service. The plan would also prevent individuals and organizations from setting up private networks and screening out content they deem objectionable.


National security
Troops reduce
illegals' crossings

Flow shifts to Cal-Mex border

By Olga R. Rodriguez
Associated Press

SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico - The arrival of U.S. National Guard troops in Arizona has scared off illegal Mexican migrants along the border, significantly reducing crossings, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.

U.S. authorities said Monday that detentions along the U.S.-Mexico border decreased by 21 percent, to 26,994, in the first 10 days of June, compared with 34,077 for the same period a year ago.

Along the Arizona border, once the busiest crossing spot, detentions have dropped 23 percent, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.


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