Friday, July 31, 2009

Godfather of the Corn Ethanol Lobby

We evaluate our poster children by their votes for unconstitutional spending and regulations over time. I’ve been criticized by some for putting only Dems on the posters, so far. I’m just getting started and logically, to my mind, we should begin with the worst offenders –and demonstrably, Dems are generally worse offenders than Repubs. My first Repub, Arlen Specter, converted to Dem –he was right on the line as the worst of the self-serving Repubs who are very close to the least worst Dems.

Our new boy on the poster, Sen Charles Grassley of Iowa, doesn’t have the worst overall record of Repubs or Dems but he has, by virtual of his longevity in Congress, reached a position where he has been able to influence enactment of some of the most damaging legislation to our freedoms and well-being. The ethanol disaster is one and now, Obama’s plan to take over healthcare has Grassley in position to enable Obama’s power grab. He’s working on a “compromise” that he says won’t concede the entire health care system of the USA to the State –just a part of what is left in the free market. Government already controls about half of healthcare through Medicare and other federal programs. Where is THAT in the US Constitution? Who benefits from a FedGov command of health care for each and every one of us commoners? Note that all of the plans offered so far by the Obama regime exempts royalty --federal officials and Congress-- from the restrictions and regulations.

Since 1989 healthcare special interest lobbyists have paid $300 million to the professional politicians. In the last few years Finance Chairman Max Baucus got $3.8 mil and Grassely, the senior Repub on the committee got $2.5 mil. Big stakes, big bribes. Baucus is in his 6th term and Grassley in his 5th 6-year term. Have you seen the NASCAR drivers with all the decals on their clothes, cars, etc. showing who their sponsors are? Well, I think the professional politicians should have to display the logos of all of the companies and groups that pay them. It would help taxpayer/voters to understand why they do what they do for certain interests.
Ethanol made from sugar is a viable product –Brazil has proven that it can be produced efficiently without subsidies and without hurting the food supply. But our politicians mandate that our ethanol be made from corn even though it creates more smog than gasoline. It is so corrosive that it can’t be delivered through pipelines. Cars get fewer miles per gallon when gas has to be mixed --by law-- with ethanol. So, why don’t we just import ethanol from Brazil? Because Sen. Grassley and his friends put a 54 cents a gallon tariff on it so their friendly corn farmers and ethanol producers don’t have competition. Why don’t the American sugar producers make ethanol then. Because they have their own Congress-critters taking care of them with supports and protections, so why work?
Grassley is known as The Godfather of the Corn Ethanol Lobby. He even threatened to hold up confirmation of Obama’s choice to be U.S. ambassador to Brazil because he feared the guy personally favored ending a U.S. tariff on ethanol imports.
Like our other poster boys and girls, Grassley, now 75, never had a real job in the real economy –he went into the Iowa House of Representatives in 1959. He graduated college in 1956. His bio says he was an assembly line worker and farmer in the 3-year interim. Then followed a stint in the US House followed by the US Senate since 1980. And this experience qualifies him to be a major influence in determining how our agriculture, energy and healthcare sectors of the US economy should be run? I don’t think so. If we had term limits, say 3 or 4 terms in the House and 1 or 2 (max!) terms in the Senate then in that turnover we might have some experienced business or professional people with actual real life experience in the various sectors of our economy.
As Paul Johnson the great historian has concluded in his history of the US, the professional politician was the “scourge of the 20th century.” And now they are even worse in the 21st century as is being made clear by the major problems we face as a nation demonstrably caused by these self-serving career politicians. All that we’ve achieved through our freedom with individual responsibility under a Constitution that guaranteed our rights is being destroyed by the monster we know as FedGov. There are no more checks and balances and that must change if we are to again be a free and prosperous nation. Term limits on Congress would go a long way towards regaining control by the people through elected reps who might truly “serve” the people and not themselves as the professional pols do.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Serrano: End Term Limits on Presidency

Of the 535 members of Congress, at least 400 are there too long as measured by non-partisan researchers on the fiscal responsibility and Constitutional integrity side. On the single issue special interest side they love longevity in their “honest” politicians which they define as those who, once bought, stay bought.

So, when selecting who is next I have lots of choices. I ran with Byrd and Kennedy recently because they were such egregious examples for term limits and they will soon both be gone simply because they can’t live forever. I picked Waxman and Markey because of their disastrous Cap & Tax Bill that was current. Now, I select Jose Enrique Serrano because of recent developments in Latin America with ramifications for the US.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised since age 7 in the Bronx, Serrano is one of the most liberal members of congress getting the lowest (F) rating from the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and single-digits score out of 100 from the Club for Growth. He says he’s a Roman Catholic but he’s a divorced father of four who votes consistently pro-abortion. He was in the NY State Assembly from 1974 until he was elected to Congress in 1990. He gets reelected with over 90% of the vote in one of the poorest and most densely populated districts in the country, the South Bronx. Like the others he has had no practical business or professional experience to bring to the Congress –it is all politics with him as with our other poster children. And his record shows that it is not American Constitutional Republic politics, either.

Poster Child John Murtha in November 2005 proposed a bill in congress for immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq – there were only three votes in favor of it: Serrano and two other extreme leftists, Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and Robert Wexler who represents a district in Florida, but who lives in Maryland. Even Murtha didn’t vote for it. Go figure.
Serrano calls Puerto Rico a US “colony” to make it sound like a bad thing. Actually, it is a benign protectorate if you can call it anything; it is such a unique situation. Puerto Rico has three times voted against becoming a U.S. state despite the Democrats spending millions to promote Statehood that would give them two additional U.S. Senators and 6 to 8 additional Members of the House. That’s more Reps than half of our states. H.Con.Res.11, introduced by Serrano, includes in it an attack on English as our national language and demands that the federal government "oppose" our many state laws and bills that designate English as our official language. Serrano's statehood bill, H.R.900, would have set up two plebiscites that rig the process to deceive Puerto Ricans into voting for statehood.
The Puerto Rican independence faction is tiny but they are militant and have been responsible for domestic terrorist incidents in the United States. In 1954 they shot up the House of Representatives injuring six congressmen. Altogether the FALN as they are known killed six and injured many more in 130 bombings from 1974 to 1983. Serrano was one of the most zealous advocates of clemency for the terrorists and President Clinton finally did grant them clemency at his urging. Some say he promised the Puerto Rican vote in NY for Hillary’s Senate run.
Serrano and fellow poster child Sen. Dodd offered legislation that would end restrictions on trade or financial transactions with Cuba. They also would end bans on travel and related transactions as well and their Bill would abolish limits on the amount any person can remit to Cuba. Both poster children have been Castro-friendly for a long time.
One of Serrano’s favorite people is Hugo Chavez: He told reporters, “When Hugo Chavez was scheduled to come to New York for the U.N., I, as you know, have been a strong supporter of his attempts at bringing social justice to Venezuela, and I have been a strong critic of our administration’s desire to undo his government and to try to overthrow and who knows what else. So I thought it was a great opportunity to invite him to the Bronx. And he wanted to meet with community organizations, and you all reported on that visit. It was a wonderful visit.” Those types are strong on community organizing.

One recent event in Latin America that brought Serrano to my attention was Chavez’ elimination of term limits on his office so that, like his friend Castro, he, too, could stay in office for life. Then, the president of Honduras, with help from Chavez, tried to force an unconstitutional referendum to give himself an unlimited term in office. The legislature and the Supreme Court have tried to keep President Manuel Zelaya from his illegal power-grab and the Army had to come in and deport him to prevent a Chavez-backed coup. This brings us to Serrano and term limits.

Rep. Serrano has submitted the following proposed Amendment that could conceivably end up giving Obama lifetime tenure in office. Is that why Obama supports would-be dictator Zelaya in Honduras rather than the Honduran Constitution, Supreme Court and their duly elected legislature?
Serrano’s Proposed Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:
‘The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.’

It may get down to the 22nd amendment some day. An Obama regime, a one-party State supported by armies like ACORN, AmeriCorps and other supporters using the climate change scheme could succeed in turning our Constitutional Republic into just another version of the Soviet Union, if we are not vigilant. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.