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Posts published in “Day: May 29, 2009”

What could go wrong?

One of the tricky parts of legislating is the element of light prognostication it entails: Trying to imagine what the actual effects of a piece of legislation could be, where the land mines might lie.

Congress didn't do that when it passed the Real ID Act in 2005; it contains so many potential problems that not only have 23 states approved anti-RID measures, and not only is there a Homeland Security (please, change the name of that department) secretary in opposition to the measure, but every state has asked for an extension for participating (even though it supposedly went into effect a little over a year ago). (The department's own description is also on line.)

The Oregon Legislature now has passed Senate Bill 536, sponsored by Senator Rick Metsger, D-Welches, that at least would stop the effort until there's money from the federal government to help pay for it.

Some of the best-known provisions relate to the pass of paperwork intended to be associated with drivers licenses. The Oregonian notes Metsger's comments that "Oregon has already taken steps to secure state driver's licenses. But, Metsger says, other Real ID provisions are expensive or threaten Oregonians' privacy. For example, he said, Real ID would allow agencies to electronically scan and share copies of original identity documents - such as birth certificates, passports, and Social Security cards in a shared database."


As a commenter to that story pondered: "now what could possibly go wrong here . . ."

Pay and solicitations

Still another suggestion about why high executive pay - even when it doesn't fall into the mega-range you see in so many larger corporations - isn't a good idea.

From Oregon Media Insiders:

I was going to make a contribution to Oregon Public Broadcasting this year, but after reading their tax return I realized that they would use most of the proceeds from the spring radio drive to pay the salary of their CEO.

According to its latest federal tax return (available at, OPB paid its CEO Steve Bass $296,000 with a $34,000 retirement contribution. To compare, according to its most recent tax return NPR paid then CEO Kenneth Stern $354,334 plus an additional $72,723 retirement contribution.