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Friday, February 11, 2005
Class Action and Other

Terrific news today on the economic front and a great victory for the President. The Senate passed the Class Action reform bill that the President requested 72 - 26. The BIpartisan bill came throught the Senate with no amendments. The House is expected to pass it next week As you recall, the need for tort/lawsuit reform was a theme in the campaign and in the State of the Union.

Many claim that this bill doesn't go far enough and many additional reforms are needed. Congress and the Administration acknowledge that to be the case. Simply, the bill it prevents lawyers from avoiding federal courts and venue shopping, looking for favorable state courts to hear cases that have will have major national implications.

The news is signicificant on a lot of fronts: First, the bill addresses some aspects of needed legal/tort/lawsuit reform and will benefit industry and the financial sector greatly (J- big for pharmaceuticals). Second, it undermines trial attorneys. Third, it is a stomach punch to the trial attorneys and their partnership with the Dems.

Most importantly - the President called for the legislation, wanted it quickly, and pressured the Senate to get him a BIpartisan clean bill - and the SENATE DID IT.

Items: Went to a Cigar and Politics event last night (George C. was a terrific host!).

FYI - observed whining and handwringing by a member of the media who works in the middle east and is from the region (there's a surprise) about the amount of money that was squandered by immediate post-war restructuring in Iraq; the opportunities that were missed to better as a result; how we propped up those people who made off with the dough; blah blah blah - is this a latest whine? Hadn't heard it before. She was also gravely concerned about Chalabi - that our dissing him is not good, especially as he is going to become an incredibly powerful figure in Iraq. (When I hear the name I want to cue Rolling Stones 1978: Chalabi...shatter shatter.....Chalabi...shatter shatter)

Also, for discussion - what is going to happen to China? Growing superpower? economic monkey in the room for a long time to come? as democracy spreads globally and capitalism seeps into China, will they be able to control the people and information? will their "communism" or actually their form of fascism implode the like former Soviet Union or even the social structure in Japan as the young Chinese become more aware of the civil/political and economic freedoms that they cannot have?


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