Archive for the ‘Call To Action’ Category

Following Davey Crockett to…Iowa

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Davey Crockett

I’m a veteran, but I’m not a heroic sort of guy.  I’m just an average fellow with an average life and average dreams.  I’ve been watching and commenting on the drama unfolding in Washington DC, and I have become both disgusted and dismayed at the intransigence of the Beltway establishment to the dire problems we’re facing.  Crockett left his home, dejected at politics, and found his way to Texas where he expected to find something for which he could stand.  As it would turn out, he made his final stand there.  I’m not much like Davey Crockett, inasmuch as I’m not the sort to perform heroic feats, but there are a few things I have in common with him.  I’m drawn to some of his words as I consider the situation in Washington.  In a letter written after his defeat in the election of 1830, he wrote: 

“I would rather be beaten and be a man than to be elected and be a little puppy dog. I have always supported measures and principles and not men. I have acted fearless[ly] and independent and I never will regret my course. I would rather be politically buried than to be hypocritically immortalized.” (Source)

I can wholeheartedly endorse this sentiment. I wish our representatives in Washington would all adhere to this view.  Later, he wrote in another letter:

I am at liberty to vote as my conscience and judgement dictates to be right, without the yoke of any party on me… Look at my arms, you will find no party hand-cuff on them!”(Source)

As I watch the Republican leadership twist arms to compel their recalcitrant members to join in their voting majority, in the name of a bill that merits nothing but scorn, I am reminded that there are other days and other fights coming in which I will not be deterred by false hopes in wayward leaders.

I look forward to a day in September, when I will travel to a small town in Iowa.  I’ll join with others who will come there to see if there really are sincere leaders, with honest values and priorities more like their own. After all, September is one of my favorite months.  It is the month of my birth, and the month in which our Constitution was signed.  It is the month that marks the start of a changing of seasons, and it is for the changing of our political season that I go to Iowa to observe.  Like Davey Crockett, I’m not sure what I’ll find there, but I hope it will be courage and determination.  I don’t expect to make any heroic stands there, but I do intend to stand.   

I’m going to be there on the 3rd of September in Waukee, Iowa, to see what I may and stand where I must.  I know what I hope to see, but only that day will tell the truth of it.  If you’re tired of politics-as-usual, then you might wish to join me there, as the people assembled will look to the future and leave the gawking, gnashing, and grinding of Washington’s gears behind.  It’s time, I believe, and the day may hold the proof.  You might tell those who would deter you that it’s your country, too, and that you believe it’s finally time to fight for it.  If I were able to speak to the Washington establishment that now wilts before the demands of those whose appetites know no bounds, I would say simply, as Davey Crockett might have said:You may all go to hell and I will go to Iowa.”

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Let’s Make a Deal! (But Don’t Blame Us)

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

ACTION MESSAGE!

Imagine you’re the Democrat President, and you want a deal on the debt ceiling without your base screaming at you. How do you get around it?  What if you’re the Republican Speaker of the House, and you similarly want a deal, but you know anything that appears to surrender the details to the opposition will become an electoral catastrophe for you? If you’re the Democrat Majority Leader in the Senate, you have a problem not unlike the President’s, but yours is slightly more flexible.  By what sort of confounded mechanism can all of these men be absolved of culpability for a deal none of their respective bases want while still striking their agreement?  Why is a deal so important, anyway?

The easy part is the President.  All he needs to do is veto whatever comes from the Congress.  After that, he’ll be out of the loop.  Speaker Boehner’s remarks Friday evening, after the much ballyhooed ‘walk-out,’ stating he would no longer negotiate with the White House, was the clue.  The only way any deal happens at this point is with an override of a Presidential Veto, and that’s what Speaker Boehner’s remark portends.

Of course, such a maneuver is only possible if the House and Senate are able to push forward a bill that 2/3s of each house can support.  Therein lies the trouble.  While the President is off the hook, the Minority Leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, is going to be told to make her folks walk the plank for a deal.  In the same way, Majority Leader Reid in the Senate will be walking a similar plank.  Of course, it will be portrayed differently, and when all the details finally arrive, what we will have is something far more palatable to Democrats than to Republicans.  That’s not how it will be sold, to be certain, and the plank-walking will be minimized. You’ll know we’ve been thoroughly shafted when they call it a ‘bipartisan deal’ from both houses and both parties.  The media will arrive on the scene to tell us it must be a fair deal, because nobody really likes it.  Sure.  We’ve all seen this film before.

The Senate will pass the bill with sufficient numbers, barely, to let the most troubled Democrats off the hook, and a few Republicans too.  Those up in 2012 will get first priority on the Nays because it’s a standard assumption in Washington that the electorate has a short memory.  Bank on most of the 2/3s required to override a veto in the Senate to come from those who won’t face voters again until 2014 or 2016.  So how many is that?  Well, roughly 2/3s, as only 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election in any even-numbered election year, since Senators have six-year terms.   Strange, isn’t it, the way this math works out?

So what does it look like over in the House, where any such bill must originate?  In the House, 290 votes are needed to meet the 2/3s requirement to override a veto.  The Republicans alone make up most of that number, but there will be reliable defections as some members, who are in tough districts, or who have made strict pledges, will balk at the suicide of going forward with a bill that doesn’t ultimately meet the demands of those who elected them.  There will be approximately 30-40 Republicans who cannot be convinced to walk that plank, perhaps more. Figuring you need nearly 30 Democrats to obtain the 2/3s number even if all the Republicans play ball,  what the non-plank-walking Republicans will cause is a number of roughly 60 Democrats who must walk the plank instead.  They will come from reliably ‘safe’ Democrat districts where the member won in the last election by a safe margin, where the voters will overwhelmingly support them, however they vote.

It’s said that politics makes strange bed-fellows, and it’s true.  What is likewise true is that it’s generally the American people who wind up ‘losing their virtue’ when one of these ‘deals’ is executed under cover.   One of the important reforms needed in Congress is something simple, that the politicians of neither party wish to do:  It should be law that so long as Congress is meeting, so long as there are debates or committees meeting, the phone lines ought to be staffed. After all, it’s not as though their staff isn’t present.  You may have noticed that they do many of these ‘deals’ after normal hours, and on weekends, and that’s not accidental either. “You have reached the office of Representative(or Senator) so-and-so…” Yes, voice-mail. “Leave your message at the tone…”  That way, they can be sure to get back to you, or hear your opinion on the vote they’re holding…after it no longer matters.

Now you might well be wondering why a deal matters.  You might be one of those folks who have reasonably concluded that the government can continue to meet its obligations even if the debt ceiling isn’t immediately raised, given the revenues it will receive over the course of the month.  Well, yes, you’re right, but do you think they want you to have proof of that thesis?  How will they frighten you next time? Or the next? Or the one after?

How will they prod all of the people dependent upon government benefits if they let this snarling, hissing cat out of the bag?

No, they cannot afford for you to ever discover any of that, so they have a two-pronged approach:

1. If at all possible, make a deal, but do so at the last possible moment to ‘stave off catastrophe.’

2. Failing that, if the date arrives without a deal, inflict massive pain.  Purposefully withhold government’s payments until the American people beg for a deal, any deal at all. Social Security checks won’t go, though they could. Medicare payments won’t be made, though the funds are on hand.  The military won’t be funded, and as a last resort, they will punish you by collapsing the markets by failing to make good on governmental debt service(paying our interest) and causing the markets to panic.

You see, this isn’t any longer about what real effects a failure to make a deal will have on the country, but about what sort of damage they may find it necessary to inflict so that you will accept a deal, no matter how bad, how objectionable or how contrary to the principles on which they’ve campaigned.  There are a couple handfuls in the Senate, and a few dozen in the House, who will not be swayed.  The leadership of both houses and both parties are prepared to work around them.  The problem really is this: For the folks in leadership, and almost all the folks in the Senate particularly, they are fielding calls from big-money contributors, Wall Street types, who are screaming at them that they had better cut a deal.  Seriously, how many households in the country can afford to make maximum legal donations to any politician for any election cycle?  Truth be told, not many.  Main Street types will mostly oppose these deals, but most of them operate too close to the margins to have the kind of cash Senators need contributors to toss their ways.

You see, part of what’s not being said in all of this is that Wall Street is being propped up by big government now.  Wall Street knows that if they’re cut off from this gravy train, the fiat money bubble will burst, and a Dow at 12,000 or better will quickly become a Dow beneath 8,000.  To undertake the allegedly ‘radical’ Cut, Cap and Balance bill would cut off some of the gravy, and that’s why the Senate killed it.  They know where their bread is buttered.

So you see, this really comes down to what sort of country you want.  If you want perpetual servitude, by all means, scream for a deal.  If you want any hope of restoring the country, you must eschew the deal in favor of the fix, and the first step is Cut, Cap and Balance.  They tell us its dead in the Senate.  They can revive it with a simple vote.  Oppose anything else.  No other deals, and frankly, Cut, Cap and Balance should be only the start.

Until we can get a real leader in the White House, it’s the best we can hope to do.

The Fix Is In: How the Republican Leaders are on the Verge of a Colossal Sell-out

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

EMERGENCY ALL STOP!

Let me set the table for you. Let me explain to you what these deal-cutters stand ready to do to you. Here’s the script they intend to play out on this stage, and you need to know it:

First, Speaker John Boehner, moderate Republican, has brought the actual conservative plan, Cut, Cap and Balance to the floor, and it has passed the House of Representatives. That’s okay, because Boehner knows it will die in the Senate, where the collusion with the leftists is more thorough. At this point, he can wash his hands and say: “We brought it up, and it passed the House.” Whatever happens after this, he will say he had no choice, and there were no other options. Nonsense!

Secondly, Saxby Chambliss and the remainder of the Republican “Gang of Six,” hereafter to be memorialized on this site as “The Gang of Sucks,” are providing the fix. Cut, Cap, and Balance will get a vote in the Senate, but only so that all 47 Republicans can “vote for it, before they vote against it.”

Thirdly, you see, they will then provide the missing seven RINO votes for cloture so that the Gang-of-Sucks legislation, the sell-out deal, can go for a vote.

Fourthly, it will need only 50 votes, and no Republican will need to vote for final passage because the Democrats hold the majority. In short, they’ll pass the bill, and what they will try to pull off is to either go to conference with the House, or actually get the House to vote for it.

Fifthly, Boehner will whine that it is the best deal he could get.

Lastly, they will all find political cover, and the only persons left holding the bag will be you, your children, and generations yet unborn. This disgusting ploy is being carried out because most Senate Republicans, and most of the House Republican leadership thinks you’re too stupid to figure out what’s going on.

The truth is, if you knew the full measure of the RINO sell-outs in DC, you’d be screaming and agitating for more than just a primary challenger for these lousy traitors.

I don’t like to give the site over to activism, but when I see the people we’ve elected to confront this problem find a way to weasel out of their responsibilities, and stab you in the back, then it’s time to say something. It’s time to point out how bad it is, and urge you to action.

Tomorrow, and as often as need be, I need you to seek out these cowards on Facebook and by telephone in their DC offices. I need you to get involved like you’ve seldom been involved before. This is an ‘all hands on deck’ moment, and if you don’t participate, loudly, they’re going to bankrupt the country, and for the pleasure, Republicans will still get the blame. Here are Facebook links and phone numbers for this gang of cowards:

House Speaker John Boehner Phone: (202) 225-6205
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Phone: (202) 225-2815
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Phone: (202) 224-2541

Republican members of the Senate Gang of Sucks:
Senator Saxby Chambliss Phone: (202) 224-3521
Seantor Mike Crapo Phone: (202) 224-6142
Senator Tom Coburn Phone: (202) 224-5754

And don’t forget to call your own Senators and Representatives and visit their Facebook Pages.
Here’s the Capitol Switchboard number: (202) 224-3121