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most people in common stocks. Gingrich did not quite connect this to the massive tax cuts he’d just proposed, which would pretty surely eliminate the budget surplus for all time as well as crash the markets. Thus the Speaker’s Implicit Presidential Platform, in a nutshell: No taxes for the wealthy. Privatize health insurance. Privatize schooling. Pump Social Security funds into the stock market. Damn the consequences. The interesting thing about all this is not that Gingrich expects these ideas to be taken seriously, but that he knows they won’t be. The press, totally preoccupied with the ongoing coup d’etat, isn’t interested. Compared to sex, lies, and Webster Hubbell’s audiotape, taxes are dull. Why bother, after all, comparing Newt’s fantasyland to the world in which we actually live? Who would read it? Can you imagine watching such stuff on “Washington Week in Review?” And if all the other lies were not enough, Gingrich actually said he’d be glad to debate any liberal on his so-called ideas. Send me the plane fare, Newt, I’ll be right up. James Galbraith does not love Newt Gingrich, really. “Molly,” from page 18 funds in this Act or any other Act” may not be used by the Interior Department to issue a rule on the royalty question. Then, according to Eilperin’s article, during a break in the negotiations, Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of Louisiana \(an lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, to explain it all to the boys. “The ruddy-faced Saltzman, a good-humored lobbyist who mixes easily with lawmakers and staff members, chatted with Livingston about the point of contention. Sitting in Obey’s chair at the conference table, according to an eyewitness, Saltzman even sipped from the ranking member’s water glass as he talked.” Sounds exactly like the bad old days at the Texas Lege, but I swear, even at the Lege, they don’t let the lobbyists in, sit ’em down at the table, and let ’em write the laws anymore. Senator Bob Byrd of West Virginia raised the procedural point that Hutchison’s amendment was in neither the House nor the Senate version of the bill, but they passed it anyway, 24-18. Hutchison told the Post, “I just believe as a matter of principle that Congress passes laws and regulators implement them, and the law should not be changed by regulators.” See? A matter of principle. That’s a right good position for the taxpayers since the law rather clearly allows the M.M.S. to use market price as the basis for royalties. In a related move, a lawsuit has been filed over in federal Judge John Hannah’s court in Lufkin, Texas, by a lovely maverick oilman, Harold E. “Gene” Wright, using the False Claims Act. The suit is based on the principle that underpaying the government what is owed is the same as fraudulently overcharging for a good or service. This will be tried in Angelina County, where citizens are aware that when big oil doesn’t pay what it legally owes, the burden falls on the rest of the taxpayers. Molly Ivins is a former Observer editor and a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Her new book, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You, is in the bookstores. You may write to her via e-mail at [email protected] star-telegram.com . CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS GRASSROOTS NEWS and MEDIA CONFERENCE and Culture Jam, June 19-21 in Austin. For more Info: [email protected] WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty. WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, http://www.ccsi ,com/-comcause. CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Furr’s Cafeteria Banquet Room in Northcross Mall, Austin. For information call NATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Grievance procedures. Health insurance. Solidarity. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming locals in Austin, Houston, and El Paso. [email protected] PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join the Texas Civil Rights Project, 2212 E. MLK, Austin, TX 78702. $25/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim 474-5073. GREEN DEMOCRATS. The Environmental Caucus of the Texas Democratic Party is organizing statewide for the ’98 elections. It’s time for Texas environmentalists to create a grassroots political force to help elect earthfriendly politicians like Garry Mauro. For contacts in your part of Texas, call [email protected] . SUPPORT TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS through payroll deductions where you work. Call Earth JOIN THE FRONT LINE of opposition to plutonium processing in Texas: the Peace Farm, across from the Pantex nuclear weapons plant. The Peace Farm, HC 2 Box 25, [email protected] . HOUSTON AREA PROGRESSIVES UNITE! End corporate domination of our lives and return power to individual citizens! Help get the Green Party on the ballot statewide by the year 2000. Join the Harris County Green Party Organizing Committee. Call SERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years’ experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing cen315-2565. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promoCLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX MAY 22, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21