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Posts Tagged ‘republicans’


Over the last 100 years and more specifically throughout the last 50 years progressives have infiltrated our media, unions as progressive socialists, universities under the protection of tenure, K through 12 school systems via the socialist teachers’ unions and tenure, judiciary, and a host of other key areas of society, especially the U.S. Congress.

Of little note was the infiltration of our state legislatures, with 49 separate houses (Nebraska has only one), by progressive candidates masquerading as moderate and liberal Democrats and Republicans, yes Republican in name only – RINO.  After the election of 2008 and the supreme take over of the U.S. Senate and the House, along with the White House, by the progressive socialists of America, now known as the Democratic party, these folks got pretty smug.  Nancy Pelosi truly thought she could ram unpopular legislation through the Congress and did just that.  President Barack Obama, stocked the executive branch with one communist or communist sympathizer after another to begin his quest for one branch rule of this nation,with the help of his union and other friends (by the way, who is on the other end of his Blackberry).  The new Congress promptly accommodated him by abdicating its role of law making to the executive branch.

These folks knew that in 2010, a limited number of Senate seats were up for election and that the way congressional districts have been defined by federal law a host of safe seats existed, insuring that the core progressive faithfull, many ranking members of committees, would be reelected, and they were.  Despite the historic turnover of Congress, Pelosi kept her role as the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Well surprise, the progressive playbook had a flaw.  It did not properly consider the role of the state legislatures.  2010 meant that nearly 700 democrat and democrat progressives were thrown out and replaced by Republicans, conservative Republicans to boot.  27 states currently have both houses controlled by Republicans.  Many more states have at least one branch and the executive branch controlled by Republicans with the other branch holding only a tiny majority for democrats.  Wisconsin replaced a progressive Democrat controlled Senate, Assembly, and Executive Branch with Republicans.

The movements bubbling up from the states offering a host of federal government push back are building steam.  These include efforts for state driven balanced budget, debt ceiling, nullification, and general states rights U.S. Constitutional Amendments.  A reassertion of the 10th Amendment, herculean efforts to stop Obama-care, reclaim land seized by the federal government, anti-public union give-aways, and a host of other anti-federal government legislation and lawsuits.

The war between traditional individual liberty, free market, limited government believers – the Tea Party types, and the progressive socialists who despise our Constitution and equal justice system – everyone has an opportunity not a promise to succeed way of life – is not over, but of late the progressives have been seriously outflanked.

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Despite continuing efforts by the far left of the Democratic Party, some in the Republican Party, and many in the lame stream media, The Tea Party movement continues to pick up steam.  I have met Tea Partiers and can tell you of their mind-set.  They mean business and fully intend to bring this country back to the ideals of a center right nation, free markets, limited federal government, and adherence to the Constitution.

In one case I listened to a conversation between a Republican conservative candidate for Congress and a Tea Party voter at a Tea Party event.  It was not pretty.  The lame stream media will have you believe that the Tea Party is the Republican Party with a new face, but don’t believe it.  I watched that Tea Party voter challenging the Republican candidate with “How do I know if I vote for you, you are not going to be like the rest of them in Washington?” “How do I know you are going to be honest and listen to the people?”

These people are Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats, and Independents, both with a lowercase and upper case “i”.  They want limited but effective government at all levels of government, cuts in spending, cuts in taxes, and adherence to the Constitution of the United States.  They don’t want what our Congress and current Administration are selling.  They seek a strong economy with free market solutions.

Read an opinion piece about the Tea Party convention by Glenn Harlan Reynolds in the Wall Street Journal.

If you continue to believe that the Tea Party is the Republican Party in disguise, think again.  Fox News reports that the Tea Party is targeting a Republican Utah Senator and just finished derailing Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s senate campaign.  Does this sound like they are the Republican Party?

For over a year, the lame stream media has either not bothered to learn about or understand and provide factual reporting on the Tea Party or they just blatantly have been intentionally misreporting on this movement, because the movement is certainly not good for the socialist progressive direction we are being pushed towards.

Here is a quote from a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Richard Brookhiser; “The tea parties have made history, though. They stopped a monster of social engineering, stole a president’s halo, enraged their enemies, and made a fashion statement. Stockings and hair powder, anyone?” You can find the article at “Tea Parties and the American Political Tradition”

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Of the people, by the people, and for the people – apparently not!  When you look at the polls and look behind them you see an electorate (democrat, republican, libertarian, etc.) that is in such discontent, even spitting angry, over the politics and governance of this country.  Neither major party is held in high regard as both parties have placed party and special interests above country.

Look inside the Democratic Party, and you will find two very distinct parties.  The party has old line democrats who have not yet realized that their party has been taken over by left wing radicals – well there are so many “radicals” that perhaps we cannot call them radicals any longer.  Radical thinking is no longer radical when the number of proponents reaches a critical mass, and it has.  It is a movement of such strength that it can topple our Republic.

These radicals are the socialist, wealth, and health care re-distribution advocates.  Their climate change philosophy is centered on America literally paying monetary tribute to the less developed nations of the world. They claim we owe these underdeveloped nations our wealth since we have been successful and have destroyed the atmosphere with carbon dioxide –stuff plants and trees love.  This is the core driver of this crisis of climate change or global warming.

If we were to institute all the changes the climate change supporters want, we would see worldwide abject poverty grow and widespread food shortages.  The result will be that we will only affect man made climate change by about 1% in the next 100 years.  (This statement can be supported by many prominent scientists and economists, but this writing is not the place for this debate.  If you must digress into this argument then view John Stossel’s information on the topic or do your own research.) As we have recently seen with the exposed emails of leading climate change scientists, Jones (the UN’s key scientist for the IPCC) and Mann, among others, climate change is certainly not settled science and their manipulation of the data findings, destruction of the raw data, and their overt attempt to squelch professional, educated dissent makes this a political wealth distribution gambit and not science.

Climate change is a well disguised and well planned assault on our Republic and the free market system.  The current populist movement is fermented by those who seek national wealth redistribution and to expunge capitalism, because capitalism is supposedly a detriment to the people of the world.  This is also driven by these former radicals, now just far left believers.  Our President and many in Congress are drivers of this movement.

Capitalism is not the problem. The problem facing our Republic is the marriage of government and big business that enhances the corporate profit motive – largess for the elites at all cost is the result of this unholy alliance.  The relationship between our federal government and Goldman Sachs is almost incestuous.  The number of government officials in and around the White House and Treasury, who were Goldman Sachs executives, is staggering   – true under both the Obama and Bush administrations.  Why has our government become wed to these corporations?

For the government, mostly made up of democrats, this means that small business enterprise can be squeezed out and unions supporting the democrats will prosper.  Unions do not do well when small business creates 70 plus percent of the jobs in this country.  When the government eliminates small business as a major jobs grower, the government will grow, foster more pro democrat union memberships, and the democrats will have a built in support system to simply stay in power.  Take a look at the government payrolls.  The salaries of government workers average nearly double those of the private sector.  Remember this is tax payer money being paid in large grants to those who economically produce nothing for the country.  The nature of government work is to manage government and not to produce goods and services.

For corporations this means government capital availability and big profits.  This also means special interests rule Congress and no longer is “What is good for the nation” the top agenda item.   “What is good for the small echelon of corporate elites” moves to the top of the Congressional legislative calendar.  This means that Congress no longer represents the people – can we say it is official now?– that the goal of Congress is to make more than half the nation beholden to the Democratic Party and to raise money from the corporate elites.  We are seeing a government coup occur center stage as we look on.  The Congress through the last stimulus bill, omnibus bill, and now the health care bills has written enough empowerment to bureaucratic regulators and entitlements for the tax takers of America that what has been done, might never be undone.  Government bureaucrats continue to be given the ability to make law, without Congress’ approval and the requisite signature of the President.  Entitlements are targeted to those who pay little or no taxes, but have a vote.  Current decisions by our government, mostly against the growth of small business, are focused on keeping the number of tax takers at a voting majority level and yes, keeping them beholden to the Democrats.

By now you are thinking this writer is just bashing the Democrats.  Well, it is the Republican’s turn.  Two Congresses ago, the Republicans attempted the same un-American plan that the Democrats are carrying out with perfection, they just did not know how to do it well.  Look through the ranks of the Republican Party leadership and you will find a host of Congressman and Senators who also regularly put party ahead of country.  The problem is that too many Republicans are dependent on democrat voters and special interest money – they may wear different uniforms in the Congress, but they sell their souls to the same devil.  No longer is it “Damn Yankee!” – it’s now “Damn American!”  The powerful moneyed special interests are Lola and “What Lola wants Lola gets.”  Climate change just serves to make them richer.

How did we get here?  Well the Constitution has and had a number of protections against this coup that is taking place, but sadly some powers are lost and new ones need to be enacted.  First, the states, you know, those sovereign powers that created the United States Government in 1787 and actually super cede the Federal Government under the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8 and the Tenth Amendment, need to push for a repeal of the 17th amendment.

The Founders looking for a way for the states to control a centralized Federal Government created a control rod for the states, called the Senate.  Senators were appointed by the states’ legislatures and not directly elected by the people.  This made the Senators accountable only to the states’ legislatures and governors.  The states, via the Senate, were given the power to provide advice and consent on appointees, including judicial, and to ratify treaties with two thirds of the Senate voting in the affirmative.  Most importantly, the states through the Senate were given the power to keep the House of Representatives in check and continue the rights which their sovereignty brought them.

The 17th amendment removed the Senate as an arm of the states in 1913.  This was a crucial mistake by the Congress and the states ratifying the amendment.  Senators were now subject to the money and power of specials interests, instead of the one special interest they represented – their state.

What if this “angry electorate” votes out the incumbents?  Will this change the special interests’ impact?  Will the elite corporate echelon disappear? No! They will just have new meat to work with, new people to make rich.  Members of Congress have learned that entry into the club of representative government means that they can retire rich, give us our own money to buy votes, and provide for a cushy retirement and a wonderful lifetime medical plan.

Unless and until we successfully remove the money and largess of riches bestowed on our lawmakers nothing will change.  We are told that term limits already exist – called voting for the other guy.  Well, sitting Representatives have the decked stacked in campaign contributions and in name recognition, so that they are returned to Congress over 90% of the time.  Does this sound like to you what the Founders intended for the “People’s House”?

Our Republic founded in 1787 , with its “People’s House” and its upper house, the Senate, formerly representing the states, is in serious danger of morphing into what it was never intended to be, an inefficient socialist  economy and an oligarchy government with no real representation of the people.  It was intended to be the best form of government possible – not perfect, but better than all the rest.

Ill conceived changes to our Constitution and 21st century forces from corporate greed and special interest money, never anticipated by the Founders, are seriously threatening this grand and successful form of republican government.

If you want to vote out the incumbents go ahead, but then unceasingly demand of your candidate a constitutional amendment that will:

  • prohibit any campaign money received by a congressional candidate from any source other than a source predominantly domiciled in the candidate’s district;
  • prohibit all earmarks, limiting all appropriations to openly debated expenditures;
  • prohibit a congressional representative from accepting gift funds or in-kind services  from any person or organization, until five years after leaving office;
  • repeal the 17th amendment;
  • establish Congressional term limits at three terms;
  • prohibit retirement from the House; and
  • prohibit Congressional medical benefits one year after leaving office.

If your candidate commits to this amendment, then vote him or her in, otherwise find and support a candidate who will.

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Let’s for a moment put party labels aside.  The Republicans, Libertarians, independents, and the Democrats are no more, for the sake of this post.   Let’s look at politicians and advocates only as proponents of public sector or the private sector.

The proponents of public sector support the government’s caretaking of its people, either through public or co-op option medical care, providing money for car purchases, subsidizing power generation, and so on and so on—spending everywhere.

The private sector proponents seek growth of industry and economies, healthier paychecks for all, faith based options for caretaking, and wealth generation for reinvestment into greater wealth generation for all.

The public sector advocates want to spend resources on all sorts of programs but struggle with how to pay for the largess.  Remember the public sector produces nothing.  It is simply a drain on the economy and cannot be sustained.  Taxing the rich and businesses will generate funds for near term projects, but over time the law of diminishing returns kicks in and the cupboard runs bare.  There is a limit to how much money can be pulled out of an economy to pay for public sector programs—the limit is what gets put back into the economy to replace what was spent.  Remember as you grow the public sector you shrink the private sector.  Soon the private sector will disappear and the public sector will have to provide less and less for the populace—rationing.

Remember the empty store shelves in the Soviet Union?  Well this will happen here if the production economy does not grow.  Unless we find a way to grow our economy we will not survive.  This country has been a consumer and not a production economy for nearly 40 years.  All this has done is deplete our reserves, build debt, make the dollar weaker, and make us unable to replenish what we are spending—we simply consume.  As a nation will will run out of whatever wealth we have left.

Just look at how the government has reacted to the current fiscal crisis.  It was brought on by debt.  Now we are fixing the problem by growing the public sector and we are borrowing to get out of debt—does this make sense to anyone. We should have ignited the private sector by placing a moratorium of income taxes for two or three years—it would have cost the same as the unproductive stimulus, but it would have already begun paying big dividends.

 The private sector advocates want smaller government, with the government being a small drain on the results of the private sector economy.  If the private sector is supported by the government through lower taxes, less restrictive rules, use of natural resources that allow the private sector to produce, the economy will produce, export, grow jobs and this will feed on itself, as if it were a perpetual engine—okay I exaggerate a bit.

If this government fosters a strong small business segment and a somewhat controlled big business segment usually through competition, but with legitimate— not choking —government regulation, the private sector over the long term will grow, and provide prosperity.  Since the public sector produces nothing, and is a 100 % drain on resources, it can never produce prosperity, that is unless we can have a replay of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes .

There are those who say that profit is bad, well unless these anti-profit people can offer another way to grow and replenish an economy to continue to deliver these goods and services, private sector profit is the only way to go.  Remember, how long can government deliver these goods and services without replenishing what has been used?  Remember the Soviet Union store shelves. 

Now I make the leap to government medical care.  Forget about the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in anything the government does.  Let us simply look at the non-replenished resources from a stagnant public sector economy.  How much time will pass before medical rationing must occur in a service driven by an economy that does not grow—it only shrinks.

Anyone who has not as yet joined the flat earth society should seriously consider that when you vote for a representative, that representative should be a long term thinker and always vote to build and grow an economy by producing.  If the person is a short term thinker and only believes in picking the fruit from the tree without ever feeding or water it, then you will get the diminishing public sector option and everyone will be equally poor.

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I have had enough with the Congress, both Democrat and Republican – the lies and half truths by Dodd, Rangel, Pelosi, and Frank, feigned indignation from Republican leadership, and on and on.  Take a good look and you will see that the snake oil salesmen and women of the world have determined that Congress is the best gig in town.  Yes there are a few patriots in Congress, but the majority only care about staying in Congress and retiring rich.

I have had enough from the Bush and Obama administrations – each administration with its own gross degree of hypocrisy.  Does anyone really think we can spend our way out of debt?  Does anyone really think that the push for cap and trade is not a tax?  Does anyone really think that either administration really cared or cares about the future of the American people – we know they cared or care about the future of their ideology, but what about the future of the American people?  Main stream America is an afterthought to these parties.  I don’t mean sending stimulus checks – I do mean the overall health of this nation.  All we seem to believe in is short term appeasement of the voter in exchange for votes.  We use earmarks to gain campaign funds – how wrong is that?  Main stream America has been ignored by both parties, in favor of both right and left wing zealots and the progressives from both parties – oh and let’s not forget those very uber rich who are now buying our Congress and perhaps the presidency – you know – the George Soros types through tentacled organizations, with their own agenda.  Who do we blame?  Us, that’s who – not the U.S., but the people who are simply not engaged with their government.  Our government is no longer of the people and by the people.  It is now of the fringe and by the fringe – the 12% on each side.  Too many Americans are just interested in what is in it for them.  Too many Americans know who was thrown off American Idol, but not who the Speaker of the House is – yet they vote.

Unless and until we begin to care enough about our own future and how much the government should play in that future, we will continue down the path of letting the fringe of America – from each party – be in charge.  The Federal Government is out of control and has been out of control for nearly a dozen years.  In fact, we could say the Federal Government has been out of control since the seventeenth amendment – that was when the states abdicated their constitutional role of watchdog of the federal government.  Look it up.

Had enough?  If so, then do something about it.   Start by finding good people running for state office or in state office and get behind them.  Likely they have not been corrupted and if you find really good patriots to support, likely they will not be corrupted.  Push for the states to take back the watchdog role of the federal government.  Push for the states to control the federal government.  Sit on your hands and you will get what you deserve – a non-functioning nanny state, run by the fringe in power.  Soon they will tell you how to eat, drink, rear your children, and how to live, or are they already doing that?  They can’t help themselves because they believe they are much smarter than you.

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Many people in perceived fairness say that President Obama is in office a little more than two months, so we  should give him a chance.  To these people I ask, how long do you give a new nanny who demonstrates poor child rearing skills, with your children?  For the ladies, how long do you allow a  new beautician who is clearly doing her own thing and not doing what is best for you to continue before you yell stop?  We are seeing so called fixes to our economic problems that are not economic problem fixes.  We are seeing major changes to our civic culture under the guise of fixing our economic problem.  We are seeing a serious threat to our constitution, by a man who openly does not like our constitution the way it was written. 

President Obama is a “big government” – government is intended to take care of people – kind of guy.  Just listen to his own words.  He is asking to spend hundreds of billions on energy, health care, and education – sounds noble, but he has no plan on how to spend this money.  No businessman in the world could borrow money without a business plan, yet he wants multiple billions without a plan – he wants you to buy into his wishes sight unseen – something like buying land (swampland) in Florida.  This massive spending on noble targets may sound great, but you need to lift the hood to see just what happens when the big government engine is turned on.  In the world of gross domestic product, government produces nothing – it is a drain.  It does not foster job growth.  It does not provide the necessesary economic energy to sustain growth and to keep on delivering.  Government simply takes from the producers and the only thing it gives back is a portion of what it has taken – the rest is government overhead.  Over time, the producers stop producing because there is no upside for them to produce.

Sure government can create jobs, government jobs, and this does two things that should make you run from government intrusion in your life.  First, any government job created takes away from the producers the ability to produce, grow, and create jobs with a multiplier effect.  It must continue to take from the producer to support the government created job.  Second, the government created job, as it takes away from private sector job growth, keeps you permanently chained to the government to keep your job.  Some may say – “what is wrong with a good job from the government?” – the answer is that the government job is not sustainable and that over time, the ecomony and quality of life shrink.  As the economy shrinks, the government must take more and more from the remaining producers to sustain those made up government jobs – remember, government jobs produce nothing and add nothing to the economy.  As more and more is taken, the producers produce less due to loss of economic motivation – this becomes a cycle of doom.  Countless countries have tried this and met the same result – failure.

Throughout history in Latin America, South America, Europe, and Asia (most of the globe), power hungry despots and some well meaning socialists have adopted the control afforded by socialism and the “government can do it all” approach, and failed miserably.  Our current President is an academic with a law degree.  He has never produced, never managed anything, and appears to have never studied history on the failure rate of big government socialism.  That is, unless he is not concerned with 100% failure rate or the success of the venture (we cannot call it an experiment since the experiment failed in a plethora of tests around the globe), and he is only seeking the control and power that comes to a few, not the masses, from the big government socialist venture.

The following is Barack Obama, when he was a state senator, in his own words describing why our constitution is flawed and in need of change.  If this does not send chills up your spine, then you have not been paying attention.  He feels that the constitution does not provide government with sufficient powers.  In this video Mr. Obama telegraphs just where he wants to take this country with the big government socialist approach.  The video was found on a blog Bob’s Bites. (Thank you Bob’s Bites).

This bullet train approach to CHANGE toward a big government socialist nation with an understanding that the constitution does not permit the kind of change being attempted, must be stopped.  Unfortunately, President Obama will be in office for four years and the current very left, very socialist Democratic Party controlled Congress will be intact for two years, making the stopping of this train very difficult, but not impossible.

We need to pressure the members of the U.S. Senate’s Democratic Party who hold the more moderate and conservative economic voting records in the Democratic Party Senate caucus and three Republican RINO’s (republicans in name only) to act as a buffer and to take steps to retard the hi-speed approach to socialist economic change.  We must pressure these Senators to slow the massive government spending for big government.  This government spending is not sustainable and simply cannot be repaid.  You see, right now, the government is a sub-prime borrower seeking an unsustainable mortgage – have you heard this before?  This is what got us into this mess and now we are attempting to spend our way to prosperity and borrow our way out of debt – show me one budget text book that portends a happy outcome when you spend more than you can produce for a sustained time.  One book does explain this unique economic plan – it is the bible – the new testament to be exact.  It is commonly known as the “Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes”.  Unfortunately for us, while Barack Obama may think he can walk on water – he cannot and he cannot perform the “Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes” or make wine from water!

Do what you can to stop this bullet train, before it is too late! Tell them (cut and paste the statement if you wish):

“Stop the over the top spending and borrowing now – don’t destroy our country!  Socialism does not work!”

The Democratic Senators in the Senate, with the most conservative economic voting records and the three Republicans (RINOs), who should be pressured are:

Baucus, Max – (D – MT)

 

511 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2651
Web Form: baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue

 

Bayh, Evan – (D – IN)

 

131 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5623
Web Form: bayh.senate.gov/contact/email/

 

Byrd, Robert C. – (D – WV)

 

311 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3954
Web Form: byrd.senate.gov/contacts/

 

Carper, Thomas R. – (D – DE)

 

513 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2441
Web Form: carper.senate.gov/contact/

 

Conrad, Kent – (D – ND)

 

530 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2043
Web Form: conrad.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm

 

Dorgan, Byron L. – (D – ND)

 

322 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2551
E-mail: senator@dorgan.senate.gov

 

Landrieu, Mary L. – (D – LA)

 

328 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5824
Web Form: landrieu.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

 

McCaskill, Claire – (D – MO)

 

717 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6154
Web Form: mccaskill.senate.gov/contact/

 

Nelson, Ben – (D – NE)

 

720 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6551
Web Form: bennelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

 

Tester, Jon – (D – MT)

 

724 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2644
Web Form: tester.senate.gov/Contact/index.cfm

 

Webb, Jim – (D – VA)

 

248 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4024
Web Form: webb.senate.gov/contact/

 

Wyden, Ron – (D – OR)

 

223 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5244
Web Form: wyden.senate.gov/contact/

 

Collins, Susan M. (R – ME)

 

413 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2523
Web Form: collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=Contact…

 

Snowe, Olympia J. (R – ME)

 

154 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5344
Web Form: snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenat…

 

Specter, Arlen (R – PA)

 

711 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4254
Web Form: specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Co…

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Professional Congressmen – Why?  Today there are 251 members of the House of Representatives serving for more than ten years or five terms.  This is nearly 58% of the House of Representatives.  Remember the House is the people’s house and the representatives serving in this house were intended by our founding fathers to be of the people and from the people.  When representatives serve in the House for more than two terms they become insolated from the people.  They begin to work the system for their own benefit and not for the benefit of their constituents.  Mostly this is caused by the treatment they receive from lobbyists and the personal wealth they begin to obtain.  The more time in the House, the more power they can build and the more they can build an organization that will keep them being reelected, by making contribution connections – contributions most often originating out of their district.  This means that they are now representing contributors of other districts and not the people of their district.  The old adage that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is simply how our Congress works.

The numbers about tenure become more frightening as you look at the more senior members of the House.  Today there are 42 Democrats and 20 Republicans serving for more than twenty years.  Nineteen representatives, fifteen Democrats and four Republicans, are now serving for more than thirty years or an unconscionable fifteen terms.  Two Democratic representatives are serving for more than forty years.  The number and dollar amount of earmarks is almost in a direct ratio with the time in Congress and the power achieved. As a Congressman delivers more earmarks, they build a contribution base and name recognition to aid them in reelection.  Remember that many of these earmarks are payback to political contributors and are not in the best interest of the district, the state, or the country.

Still not convinced that this professional Congress needs to change?  Consider that these people represent old thinking, with little recent real world experience or real world business or management skills, and a heavy dose of cronyism.  Most committee chairs are based on longevity and have the power and connections to kill bills or fast track bills on their own.

The Senate, the upper house with longer six years terms, suffers it own brand of professional legislator.  Ten Democrats and zero Republicans are now serving for more than twenty-four years or four terms in the senate (update – 9 with the loss of Senator Kennedy).  Of this group, three members are serving for five terms or thirty years and three are serving for more than thirty-six years or six terms.

Only fifty-four members of the House are freshman representatives (32 Democrats and 22 Republicans).  This group represents little more than 12% of the House.  In reality, there are enough members of the House of Representatives serving longer than most members of the Senate that determining which body is the upper house or the lower house is difficult.  Statistics indicate that voters (that’s us) return their Congressman and Senator to Congress at an alarming repeat rate of over 90%.  Does this absurd unrealistic return rate represent a love affair of the voter with his or her representation or does it reflect a broken system where power makes it nearly impossible for an incumbent to lose and allows little opportunity for new blood?

When did serving in Congress become an occupation? When did it stop being a noble calling of fellow citizens who put real careers on hold to serve their country for a limited time?

If we are to have a country of the people, by the people, and for the people, then we must make changes.  Congress will not change on its own.  We need term limits applied to both the House and the Senate. We need to limit both Congressional Representatives and Senators to no more than two consecutive terms – but how?  We need a constitutional convention called by the states with two goals.  The first is to limit congressional terms and the second is to make changes to reinstate state’s rights over a massive out of control incompetent federal government.  Return this country to the vision of the founding fathers.

Contact your representative to your state’s legislature (not your U.S. representative) and push for your state to call for a constitutional convention to achieve these two goals.

Listed below are the twenty year plus Congressmen and women who have been in power far too long and need to move on to a real job, if they are able.  They are grouped by state with party affiliation and district following the name.  Those with 30 and 40 years in Congress are so indicated.  Click on the name and see a summary of the rereprsentative’s background and congressional status, including committee assignments.

If you wish to breakdown your Congress by other attributes than term go to Contacting the Congress: Power Search.

Twenty Years Plus
Representative Don Young (R – Alaska At Large) 30 Yrs
Representative Wally Herger (R – CA02)
Representative George Miller (D – CA07) 30 Yrs
Representative Nancy Pelosi (D – CA08)
Representative Fortney (Pete) Stark (D – CA13) 30 Yrs
Representative Elton Gallegly (R – CA24)
Representative David Dreier (R – CA26)
Representative Howard L. Berman (D – CA28)
Representative Henry A. Waxman (D – CA30) 30 Yrs
Representative Jerry Lewis (R – CA41) 30 Yrs
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA46)
Representative Cliff Stearns (R – FL06)
Representative C. W. (Bill) Young (R – FL10) 30 Yrs
Representative John Lewis (D – GA05)
Representative Leonard L. Boswell (D – IA03) 30 Yrs
Representative Jerry F. Costello (D – IL12)
Representative Peter J. Visclosky (D – IN01)
Representative Dan Burton (R – IN05)
Representative Harold Rogers (R – KY05)
Representative Richard E. Neal (D – MA02)
Representative Barney Frank (D – MA04)
Representative Edward J. Markey (D – MA07) 30 Yrs
Representative Steny H. Hoyer (D – MD05)
Representative Dale E. Kildee (D – MI05) 30 Yrs
Representative Fred Upton (R – MI06)
Representative Sander M. Levin (D – MI12)
Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D – MI14) 40 Yrs
Representative John D. Dingell (D – MI15) 40 Yrs
Representative James L. Oberstar (D – MN08) 30 Yrs
Representative Ike Skelton (D – MO04) 30 Yrs
Representative David E. Price (D – NC04)
Representative Howard Coble (R – NC06)
Representative Christopher H. Smith (R – NJ04)
Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D – NJ06)
Representative Donald M. Payne (D – NJ10)
Representative Gary L. Ackerman (D – NY05)
Representative Edolphus Towns (D – NY10)
Representative Charles B. Rangel (D – NY15) 30 Yrs
Representative Eliot L. Engel (D – NY17)
Representative Nita M. Lowey (D – NY18)
Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D – NY28)
Representative Marcy Kaptur (D – OH09)
Representative Peter A. DeFazio (D – OR04)
Representative Paul E. Kanjorski (D – PA11)
Representative John P. Murtha (D – PA12) (update – now deceased) 30 Yrs
Representative John M. Spratt, Jr. (D – SC05)
Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. (R – TN02)
Representative Bart Gordon (D – TN06)
Representative John S. Tanner (D – TN08)
Representative Ralph M. Hall (R – TX04)
Representative Joe Barton (R – TX06)
Representative Lamar Smith (R – TX21)
Representative Solomon P. Ortiz (D – TX27)
Representative Rick Boucher (D – VA09)
Representative Frank R. Wolf (R – VA10)
Representative Norman D. Dicks (D – WA06) 30 Yrs
Representative Jim McDermott (D – WA07)
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R – WI05) 30 Yrs
Representative Thomas E. Petri (R – WI06)
Representative David R. Obey (D – WI07) 30 Yrs
Representative Alan B. Mollohan (D – WV01)
Representative Nick Joe Rahall, II (D – WV03) 30 Yrs

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The real no spin definition of most earmarks is a Member of Congress targeting a group with your money taken right from the ever flowing government monetary fountain to either get votes or campaign funds for reelection.  This keeps the “select” few in Congress.  Search high and low and you will not find much integrity in Congress or with those who use the system to keep getting reelected.

Who runs our government?  At any given time, the decision makers in Congress represent the 15% of the population who place party above country.  Most people who are registered Democrats or Republicans follow their party and generally agree with their party, but do not place party above country.  Most elected representatives are of the 15% of the population who are Democrats or the 15% who are Republicans – these are the folks who place party above country.  Under the Bush administration there was a push to expand the Republican Party by expanding government and spending more – sounds like the Democrats doesn’t it?  The theory was, if we give the people “stuff” they will vote for us, since this has worked for the Democrats for some time.

 The problem was that the Democrats had elevated giving stuff to those who don’t have stuff to an art form and thus the Republican plan badly backfired.  In the case of the Republican representatives, they placed party above country.  The problem with the Democratic Party, now that the backlash against the Republicans has given the Democrats essentially a majority in both Houses of Congress and possession of the Whitehouse, is that they are seizing the opportunity to take their art form of expanding government and giving stuff to those who don’t have stuff to a new level.  They are using this opportunity to forever move this country, in a series of well planned steps, to the far left progressive governance of socialism and control by their party.  Again this is party over country.

In a previous posting “Fix Congress, But How?” I suggested changes to our Constitution as a means of regaining control of the country from the parties.  It should always be what is best for the country, not what is best for the party.  That posting did not cover one other method of regaining control of our country and the re-establishment of bi-partisan governing or more importantly multi-partisan governing.  This type of governing is brings back checks and balances.

By allowing a third or even more parties to grow and prosper to major status, we will force compromise, build in check and balances, and blunt extremism from the two major parties of today.  This means changing state laws that have been put in place to make it very hard for other than a Republican or Democrat to run for federal office.    Today’s Democratic Party is not the party to which my father, a union bricklayer, belonged.  The Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy was more like the Republican Party today.  Both Parties have moved very left.  Within each party are those who represent the centrist, left and right camps of party members.  The Blue Dog Democrats are fiscally conservative members of the Democratic Party, and are mostly from the south.   They may be Democrats, but they do not control the party – the Far left does.  This group would bolt to a viable third party if it could achieve major status.  Do you think they were comfortable recently when Speaker Pelosi demanded a yes vote for the 1,000+ page American Recovery Act (stimulus bill of $787 Billion) with no time to read or digest it?  This was a case for these people to place party over country, because if they did not comply, the party would not support them going forward during the reelection primary campaign.

You can initiate change yourself.  Find a party of your liking and change or simply go independent.  However in most states independents lose out during the primary season by being shut out of the vote.  The two major parties are simply too powerful, with the Democrats being in an über power position.  This situation is incredibly dangerous for this nation.  The far left 15% of the population are now in control of our country.  Is this how you want this country managed?  Spinning off those other major parties is change you can trust.  Change you need to push for by contacting your state representatives to insure that getting on the ballot is equally easy for all parties.

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Tired and frustrated about Washington, D.C.?  Do you believe that Congress is out of touch with the people?  Do you believe that Congress does not represent us and instead represents special interests with their legions of lobbyists and big campaign donations.  It also seems clear that those in Congress have a sole purpose of continuing to serve and this purpose is to do everything and anything they can to remain in Congress.  Have you noticed that those who retire usually retire very wealthy?

Where else can we be told time and time again how the Congress will clean up its act, yet we suffer powerful committee chairpersons and rules designed to keep and grow the status quo.  The affliction of power brought about by seniority affects both parties.  Our two party system appears to be the problem and not the solution – ideology takes second place to capturing power and remaining in office.  Their real constituent is reelection!  We routinely return the incumbent to Congress at greater than a 90% rate.  Something is radically wrong when the very people who complain about the Congress, us, routinely return their representatives to Congress more than 90% of the time.  Perhaps this 90% return rate is not totally our fault, but can be traced to the design of the election system, campaign funding, and the support of special interests.  Does it seem right that your Congressman or Congresswoman is more influenced by money from outside his or her district?  Why should some agricultural company in Hawaii be allowed to monetarily influence a Congressman from an industrial district in Pennsylvania?  It happens that money flows in to Congressional campaigns from all over the United States and yes, Europe and China, among other places.  Why is it okay for everyone in the world to buy the loyalty of your representation in Washington?

If and when you call your representative in Congress, you will most likely get voice mail that asks you to leave a message about your issue.  They keep raising the funding for the staffing of their offices, yet there is no one to answer the phone?  These people feel so insulated that they have openly and brazenly discussed, and in committee voted to add a voting representative in Congress to the District of Columbia and the State of Utah.  This is highly unconstitutional behavior – the Constitution is crystal clear on how representation is handled and representation is not established by the Congress at their whim.  This vote in committee and soon to be a floor vote represents the ultimate example of people serving in Congress suffering the aphrodesiac of unchecked power.

What can we do about our Congress?  Can we amend the Constitution?  Congress controls the Constitutional amendment process or do they?  Our Constitution provides for an alternate amendment process, one initiated by the states.  A state can call for a constitutional convention and if two thirds of the states agree, i.e. 34 states, it convenes.  The states send representatives to the convention and any amendment coming out of the convention needs ratification by three fourths of the states, i.e. 38 states, to become an amendment of the United States Constitution.   Now you can petition your state legislators, your representatives in your capitol, for a constitutional convention to change Congress and to restore lost rights back to the states.

We can seek a change in how Senators are elected.  When the Constitution was adopted, it provided for election of Senators by the states legislatures and not direct election of the senators by the people.  While this method was subject to politics and political maneuvering, it gave the States a say in the size of the federal government, the judiciary, and foreign affairs through the Senate.  It was the seventeenth amendment that made this change.  We need to repeal the seventeenth and replace it with an amendment that provides for election of senators by their respective legislatures, with a restriction on recall requiring a two thirds vote in all houses of legislature of the state – Nebraska has only one house of legislature, while the others have two.  This would take the pandering and special interests out of the Senate, since Senators would not need multiple millions to run for reelection.  This amendment would add an additional check and balance – the state itself through its Senators.

We can seek an amendment that would limit campaign contributions in cash, property, or services to an individual residing or a corporation headquartered in the district of the congressional candidate – no political party contributions, thus only constituents are important to the member of Congress.

We can seek an amendment that requires all spending bills and any spending appropriation to be of like kind in a bill, be in the body of the bill with no spending amendments, and have gone through committee and been approved by the majority of the committee.  This will eliminate earmarks. 

We can seek a change in ballots across this nation for candidates for a federal office.  No longer can states make special rules that make it hard for third party candidates to get on state ballots for president and vice-president, or congressional representatives.  This would stimulate the candidacy of members of parties other than Democrat or Republican parties.

We can seek term limits on members of the House of Representatives to three terms.  This will eliminate the individual absolute power some members of Congress have achieved.

These few amendments will re-establish this republic and fix the now forever and perpetually corrupt Congress.  Members of Congress are addicted to a drug of Congressional power and will never give it up on their own.  We need to make this change through the states – push your state representatives to make these changes.  Tell them these amendments will provide the states with more rights and make it easier and less costly for the state representatives to run for federal office.

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Last night’s nonsense and unprofessional journalistic approach to the speech by Governor Jindal exhibited by the MSNBC team demonstrates the lack of objectivity in the media today.  The Republican Party clearly has another hurdle to return as a prominent party.  The media is necessary to getting your story and image out to the public.  When the outlets selectively make it difficult to get your image and message out, not only the party suffers but America suffers.  While last night’s show was a commentary show, a minimum of respect is necessary to allow a fair presentation.  Listen carefully to the MSNBC personnel coment and laugh as Jindal walks toward the microphone.  The man said nothing and already the MSNBC folks were making fun of and demeaning the man.  Where was the professionalism?  Even in a commentary show, comment should be withheld until after the man has spoken.  Governor Jindal did not purport himself and the Republican party well with his speech – it was a downright awful presentation, but he should have been allowed to fail without the stage being set for failure prior to his speaking.

If the Republican Party does not yet see its biggest challenge, it has no chance of recovery.  The main stream media has all but become totally corrupt in selecting and slanting the news.  It materially controls free speech and a free electoral process.  It is getting harder to find news, nothing but the news, to be informed of national and world events affecting this country and our lives.

The fourth estate as it was once called was given freedom of the press to insure its role as an independent check and balance to government actions.  When the fourth estate uses that freedom of the press to turn public opinion with often doctored reporting and suppresses news that does not support the media’s agenda, then the fourth estate has lost its right to freedom of the press.  Along with that right, comes the responsibility to be the purveyor of truth.

It is clear that the left in this country has co-opted the main stream media.  MSNBC has clearly become the Obama house organ.  What can be done about it?  This twisting of the news for political agenda is not new.  Way back at the formation of this country, Alexander Hamilton had about enough with newspapers in the tank for Thomas Jefferson, that he co-founded a newspaper to get his message and his party’s message  out (The Federalists) – it was the New York Post founded in 1801 as a daily publication.  Yes the same Post of today.  Oddly enough it was founded to combat the media’s one sided adoration of the new Democratic Party and its leader, Thomas Jefferson.

The Republican Party needs to find people who have the wherewithal to buy a major newspaper or a network and bring in real journalists.  These people should be respected balanced journalists who understand that the message is truth and not agenda.  I am not suggesting that this newly acquired media achieve an agenda.  If it did, then nothing would be made right.  The fourth estate would still be unworthy to hold the right of freedom of the press.  If it has to have an agenda, then it must be the agenda of truth without the partisan diatribe.  The agenda should be “All the news that is fit to print” – wait that is taken and it has been seriously abused by the New York Times.  The Times should be sued for false advertising.

Republican Party!  Unless and until you can get your message out you cannot bring balance back to this great land.  Michael Steele, start the process of finding balanced people who will assume control over some of the failing agenda driven papers and networks, so that a message of truth will be delivered.  Only then will the Republican Party be able to get a fair chance to serve the public.

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Listening to the arguments and intentional misinformation spewing forth for and against drilling, it has become clear that this struggle is not between today’s low gas prices and high gas prices, but rather a struggle of ideologies. It is about forcing a change in the way we want to live or finding a way to continue to accommodate the way we want to live.

The Democratic Party’s defense of the status quo about not drilling for oil on shore and off shore is that the price at the pump will not come down tomorrow; drilling will not help for ten years – this was said by the same Party ten years ago; oil companies have 68 million acres not as yet drilled; ANWR, a frozen tundra covered in snow and ice so far north in the Arctic that no one will visit it for its scenic beauty, is too pristine to drill in a minuscule portion of that preserve; and on and on for the excuse of the day.

If you carefully examine the quotes on the topic of domestic drilling and pump price from Obama and other Party notables, a different motivation surfaces. These folks look to the high gas prices as a blessing. They seem to believe that high gas prices will finally force the SUV driving, air conditioning loving, home heating, energy wasting public to conserve. This is a “global warming trumps all other positions” manifesto. The elite of the Democratic Party are looking to and hoping for the pain at the pump to last indefinitely, and to use it as medicine to bring the energy loving fools in line. We have heard from Obama about how we must be more like Europe and conserve. Bottom line is that the Democratic Party elites simply do not want us burning oil. There is no attention paid to the ravages our economy has and will suffer at the hands of the foreign oil gods. There is no attention paid to how we have stripped our independence and defense bare as we have become dependent on these foreign oil gods.

The demographics of the Democratic Party have changed from the 50’s and the 60’s, when it was easy to spot a Democrat – he or she was a middle class working person who wanted protection from big business. Today’s Democrat can come from a variety of socio-economic positions. The Party ranges from the 1) secular progressives, usually affluent people who feel there is no moral right or wrong; 2) blue collar workers left over in the Party from the prior positions of the Party – these are the folks Obama referred to as “bitter”; 3) immigrants, both illegal and legal who are looking for a perceived better life; and 4) highly educated individuals who tend to be academics and who are pursuing the “I know what is best for you” agenda – these people truly believe that they are much smarter than the rest of us, therefore they need to tell us how to live our lives.

The Democratic Party hierarchy is filled with the “I know what is best for you folks” crowd, now led by Barack Obama, and this group, many who are also secular progressive, have decided that what is best for its party members and the independents, Republicans, and other assorted groups is to conserve and to go global. They want us to embrace the European lifestyle, have no confrontation with other nations – just let them be and all will be well, eat less, and ride our bicycles instead of driving. They have embraced the as yet unproved theorem that man is causing global warming, and yet they want us to make saving the planet our highest priority and that we must pay any price to accomplish this. Now just for a minute, let’s look at how this position affects the other Democratic Party members and the non-enlightened members of other parties and independents.

The blue collar crowd and immigrants, both legal and illegal, are being pounded by gas prices, food prices, health, and education expenses. To combat the perception that the Party does not care about these groups in its quest for European equalization, the Party has adopted a very socialistic view – let’s “villanize” corporations, especially big oil, the military, and any group that has the audacity to believe in any other policy than they do. The Democratic Party has embraced, even more than its historical positions, the take from the rich and give to the poor approach. Of course, they have to keep redefining the rich to accomplish this. If they do not take this position, then the elites in the Party will find that they will have lost the rank and file due to the policies of the Party – remember the pain of the expense of oil, food, etc. due to the march to save the planet from global warming. Also remember that taking from the rich and giving to the poor deprives this economy of the initiative to succeed and is self defeating in the long run.

This energy struggle is really about using today’s high cost of oil and the future high cost of oil to move this country off oil and toward incredibly expensive renewable energy before it is ready. While the drilling for oil today and tomorrow; and becoming self sufficient for energy will not immediately lower prices, it will mitigate the cost of energy, all types, in the years ahead as the world increases energy demand to 146%, of what it is today, by 2030 – EIA is the source. They do not want the U.S. to drill now and drill here because it interferes with their view of the future. They are not concerned about the impact of immediately moving to expensive renewable energy, before it is ready, done by restricting access to domestic oil and gas. They are not concerned that this method will negatively impact this nation by undermining our economy before we reach the utopia of 100% renewable energy. This premature move will make us dangerously vulnerable to foreign powers; and will make these foreign powers even richer and more powerful than then they have become today due to oil.

This Democratic Party Hidden Energy policy does not take into consideration that hybrid vehicles, and solar arrays are out of the price reach of many of their rank and file, as well as many other Americans due to the pain at the pump and other forces squeezing their wallets. It does not consider that hydrogen vehicles and electric cars are still experimental and when ready will also be priced out of reach for these people. They do not consider that the SUV and pickup owners along with the home heating oil consumers in this country cannot easily exchange their vehicles for the hybrids, or their equipment for solar heating because it is too expensive to do so.

Let’s remember that the Republican Party has offered no real energy solutions or any plan for energy either. The Republicans are not as smarmy as the Democratic elites about energy. If fact, they are pretty transparent about not addressing this problem either. They are just more straight forward about their incompetence.

This country needs a comprehensive energy policy now. It should cover how we transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. It should cover how drilling here and drilling now will strengthen our economy. It should cover how drilling here and drilling now will add good paying jobs to the economy. It should cover how we develop and initiate renewable energy in an energy matrix that includes all other forms of energy. Unless we choose to become a second tier society, as Europe has chosen, saving our economy does trump the attention paid to global warming. We can do both, but a blended plan is required.

Energy independence early on from oil and natural gas and transitioning through 2030 to mostly renewable energy will keep us from sending more than $500,000,000,000 – yes Five Hundred Billion – to other nations annually to acquire replacement oil for the oil we are currently sitting on. Sending this much money to foreign powers each year has undermined and is undermining our economy, our standard of living, and our security in the world. If Norway, a “clean” nation, can drill off shore for energy independence, and France and Sweden can use nuclear power for their version of energy independence, we can have our own march toward energy independence starting with drilling everywhere and finishing with renewable energy to burn so to speak. If the Democrats and the Republicans representing you in Congress do not want to build a comprehensive national security saving, economy saving, and environment saving energy plan covering the energy transition of this nation through 2030, then you are represented by the wrong person. Think about that in November.

Added June 22, 2008 9:33 PM MST- Arizona

The following is information from the American Petroleum Institute that refutes the claims by most Democratic politicians and Democratic strategists that the oil companies have 68 million leased acres to drill on and that they should drill on these leases first. This refrain from the left to make arguments against drilling falls into the hidden agenda. Here are questions and answers to the leases about why drilling takes place or not. The API makes a lot more sense then these reckless individuals who will spout just about anything to prevent drilling.

The facts about non-producing federal leases:

CLAIM: Oil and natural gas companies are given leases by the government and purposely don’t produce from them to increase prices.

FACT: Companies pay billions of dollars for the right to explore on federal lands. If the company does not produce within the lease term, it must give the lease back to the government, and the company does not recover the billions of dollars it may have invested.

CLAIM: Companies let many of their leases sit idle and don’t produce them

FACT: Companies actively develop their leases – but not every lease contains oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. In many cases, the so-called “idle leases” are not idle at all; they are under geologic evaluation or in development and could be an important source of domestic supply. However, this does not mean all leases have the potential to produce. Companies can evaluate leases for several years only to determine that they do not contain oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. The road to bring the oil and natural gas to market — obtaining the lease, evaluation, exploration and production — is a long and complicated one.

CLAIM: If the lease doesn’t contain oil or natural gas, then the company shouldn’t have bought it.

FACT: There are tremendous risks and challenges involved in finding and producing oil and natural gas. There is no guarantee that a lease will even contain hydrocarbons. It is not unusual for a company to spend in excess of $100 million only to drill a dry hole. A company usually has only has limited knowledge of resource potential when it buys a lease. Only after the lease is acquired, will the company be in the position to evaluate it, usually with a very costly seismic survey followed by an exploration well.

CLAIM: There’s absolutely no reason for a company not to produce if it finds oil or gas on the lease.

FACT: If the company finds resources in commercial quantities, it will produce the lease. But there can sometimes be delays – often as long as seven to 10 years – for environmental and engineering studies, to acquire permits, install production facilities (or platforms for offshore leases) and build the necessary infrastructure to bring the resources to market. Litigation, landowner disputes and regulatory hurdles can also delay the process.

CLAIM: The vast majority of federal and gas resources are already available for development.

FACT: In the Lower 48 states, about 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and 67 percent of onshore federal lands are off-limits or facing significant restrictions to development. There is no way, at this stage, to determine exactly the extent of the resources off-limits because many of these areas have not been subject to inventory studies in decades.

CLAIM: Non-producing leases could provide a major source of new supplies.

FACT: Many of these leases will provide a major source of new domestic supply once they are developed. Companies are actively developing the leases, and in addition to paying for the lease, they must also pay rent to the government while they conduct development and exploration efforts. But this process takes time. Reducing the time companies have to develop a lease or increasing the costs imposed by government will not increase supply for American consumers. Nor will denying access to areas of oil and natural gas potential like the Atlantic and Pacific OCS.

CLAIM: Increased domestic drilling activity has not led to lower gasoline prices, and more leases and drilling won’t help either.

FACT: Our nation needs more supplies of all forms of energy, including domestic oil and natural gas, to meet its growing energy demand. Increased drilling has helped the United States offset the natural declines in domestic oil and natural gas production from older fields. Greater drilling activity tends to produce more supply. Fundamental economics suggest that additional supplies put downward pressure on prices.

CLAIM: Companies should be penalized for not producing from their leases.

FACT: Oil and gas companies take all the risk with federal leases. Not only do they pay billions to obtain leases, they pay to hold them while they are spending even more capital to determine if these leases contain resources. Penalties on leaseholders on top of those fees would only discourage U.S. exploration and production, at a time when the United States needs all the energy it can get.

Added June 24, 2008:

You will hear that it takes 10 years to bring oil to the gas pump – the answer according to the American Petroleum Institute is 7 to 10 years depending on location and infrastructure. Now the rhetoric has been heightened by the left . Tom Daschle on Fox News Sunday, June 22, 2008, stated that oil from new drilling would not be available until 2030. As this is outright intentional misinformation, it supports the argument that the left has a hidden agenda.

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I am a citizen of the United States and take my PRIVILEGE to vote with profound awareness that more than half the world’s population does not have the same right to vote, in a truly free and democratic way, to pick their leaders. It is also a RIGHT bestowed upon citizens of this Nation by our founding fathers. This sacred right and privilege has been protected for the citizens of this Nation by the blood of millions of defenders of our Nation’s sovereignty. Protecting the integrity of the voting process by seeking proof that a person attempting to vote in an election has been granted this privilege just adds value to the privilege. Why then do we have an argument that we need to let anyone showing up to vote, vote? Shouldn’t we ensure that the person attempting to vote has been granted this sacred privilege as well; otherwise it is no longer a sacred privilege?

Excerpts found below are from a recent article in the Washington Post by Robert Barnes titled: High Court Upholds Indiana Law On Voter ID
6-3 Ruling Calls Measure Reasonable to Fight Fraud

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/28/AR2008042800968.html?hpid=moreheadlines

“The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that states may require voters to present photo identification before casting ballots, opening the way for wider adoption of a measure that Republicans say combats fraud and Democrats say discourages voting among the elderly and the poor.

The court ruled 6 to 3 that the requirements enacted by Indiana’s legislature were not enough of a burden to violate the Constitution. Because the law, which requires specific government-issued identification such as driver’s licenses or passports, is generally regarded as the nation’s strictest such measure, the ruling bodes well for other states that require photo ID and for states that are considering doing so…”

What is important about this opinion is the vote. It was 6 to 3. This means that a swing voter and a usually liberal voter both voted to uphold the law. The main consenting opinion was written by Justice Stevens, who is usually considered a liberal justice. According to the article he wrote: “The application of the statute to the vast majority of Indiana voters is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process,” he (Barnes) wrote.

“Three liberal justices — David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer — dissented. ‘Indiana’s ‘Voter ID Law’ threatens to impose nontrivial burdens on the voting right of tens of thousands of the state’s citizens and a significant percentage of those individuals are likely to be deterred from voting,’ wrote (Justice) Souter, whose opinion was joined by Ginsburg…”

This reasoning reeks of ideology and not a matter of rights and law. Today, we show valid picture identification to open bank accounts, obtain employment, rent a movie, and often to use a credit card. Obtaining a valid ID in Indiana is absolutely free, and all you need to do is to demonstrate that you have been granted the privilege to vote by our founding fathers. The article further states:“…But Democrats and civil rights groups say that millions of Americans lack the type of identification that Indiana requires, and that such laws discourage or even disenfranchise people who are least likely to have driver’s licenses or passports: the poor, the elderly, the disabled and urban dwellers…” These Democrats and civil rights groups fail to state that the reason these people lack the necessary type of identification required is that they never had it in the first place – I dare to guess that perhaps they are not citizens? The Democrats want to dilute and even negate the privilege of voting for their own benefit and this is certainly not in keeping with the intention of the founding fathers. Those on the no ID side do not hold the vote as sacred – it is merely a tool to social change. The more people voting without the demonstrated right to vote, the better the chance to have a fraudulent majority and to make the social changes they seek.

It used to be that dead and imprisoned people voted regularly. I believe that this still occurs, but the problem has swelled with the addition of 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants, and the huge numbers of people who are in this country with visas of differing types, who are also NOT entitled to vote.

The arguments against this law and the ruling validating it are not about voter disenfranchisement and its effect on the poor and elderly. The argument is that one side does not view the right to vote with the same awe and sacred nature as the other side. If something is sacred and limited to those who qualify, should safeguards be in place to ensure that it remains sacred and limited? Isn’t this self-evident? If civil rights groups and Democrats want to be sure no one is disenfranchised, then they should institute a program to help these folks obtain the correct ID, so they can exercise their 219 year old sacred, limited right.

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