Thursday, November 25, 2010

It is MY seat, goddammit!


Newest Member of the Anti-Voter ID Movement is Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican co-sponsor of S. 1659, the Voting Rights Advancement Act.  Recently, Sen. Murkowski signed her name to an even more radical bill, which specifically targets voter ID laws.  Why would anyone object to photo ID for voting? It is a requirement all over the world but not in some places in the US.  The only reason I can think of is to have proxies vote for others, like dead people, f’rinstance.  You know, as in Chicago.
Since government employee unions were “legalized” in 1962 by President Kennedy’s Executive Order the Democrat party secured its main source of funding and support. This has resulted in unionized government employees being paid about double comparable private sector jobs. This collusion has resulted in serious financial problems for FedGov and states and cities that are strapped with underfunded defined benefit pension plans that the professional pols have given to their union supporters. Some Republicans have fought to prevent the situation from getting worse; Sen Murkowski a nominal Republican deserted the cause. That’s why she lost her primary bid for reelection. She lost the primary fair and square but did not honor the decision of the Republican voters. With the help of Democrats and some in the Republican establishment –you know the ones who supported Arlen Specter against Pat Toomey in PA and Charlie Crist against Marco Rubio in FL—she managed to slip by the primary winner, Joe Miller.

Daddy Frank was in the Senate from 1980 to 2002 when he ran for governor and appointed his daughter to complete the term. After one failed term (he left with a 19% approval rating) as governor he was thoroughly defeated by Sarah Palin in his reelection bid. We count Lisa’s years in the Senate as an extension of her father’s tenure in office hence we consider the more than 30 years between them give her eligibility for a term limit poster. 

As with almost all of our poster children, she never had a productive job in the private sector. She became a lawyer and spent some time in the lower house of the Alaska legislature before being appointed to the Senate where she has been ever since. 

Lisa Murkowski was the only GOP Senate sponsor of Big Labor’s Police/Fire Monopoly-Bargaining Bill to seek reelection in 2010. She never had any grounding in the principles of her party or for any discernible philosophy other than keeping the Senate seat she was given by her daddy. She grew up in political household and came to believe the Senate seat was her birthright. Her father Frank Murkowski was elected to the Senate in 1980, the same year she was graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in economics. She got a law degree in 1985 but then failed the bar exam four times.

 With earmarks such a hot button issue as spending and debt are at unsustainable levels it is noteworthy that both father and daughter were/are huge “porkers” as scored by Citizens Against Government Waste. She even voted against the McCain Amendment which would have prevented earmarks in years in which there was a deficit! She was named Porker of the Month for her unflinching support of using federal tax dollars to build the dead-end “Road to Nowhere.”  Read more about the Porker of the Month.

The Club for Growth  gave Sen. Murkowski the lowest score of any Republican Senator --just 27%! She voted AGAINST many pro-growth bills and FOR many anti-growth bills such as the additional $350 billion for TARP, the expansion of FedGov health care, cash for clunkers and FOR Cap and Trade. All economy and jobs killers.  That's how she helped build the national debt to over $18 trillion. Heritage Action scores her voting record as down with the Democrats at 35%

Murkowski helped pass the first bill that Obama signed into law: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law named for an Alabama woman who after a 19-year career as a supervisor in a tire factory complained that she had been paid less than men. Even after the Supreme Court ruled against her, she jumped at the chance to hand a major victory to trial lawyers. A Heritage Foundation analysis of the economic effects of this law shows how costly it is and how it would actually hurt those it was purported to help.

Professional politicians do not consider the long term implications of laws they pass --only the short term benefits to themselves by pleasing the lobbyists who support them.

Please support the Vitter Amendment to the constitution –go to www.termlimits.org and sign on to the petition. We'll have another vote in the next session and a million or so names on the petition will help a lot.

We’ve been working for years to get congressional candidates to pledge to co-sponsor the term limits amendment if elected.  Most do and there is a growing number of them but it is tough climb to get the number needed to submit the Amendment to the states for ratification. So, U.S. Term Limits is taking a page from the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force’s progress –it has 27 States approving it so far with 34 needed.  The Article V process was proposed by Mark Levin in his book The Liberty Amendments and has been endorsed by, among many others, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ron DeSantis, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Sen. Tom Coburn and Colonel Allen West.


Close to 80% including Repubs, Dems and Indies approve of term limits on congress –let’s give it to them!  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

At Home in the Beltway's Backrooms


Michael N. Castle (R-Del)’s opponent in the special election to be held in September to replace Joe Biden in the senate calls him Washington’s “invisible man,” a career politician, a true “Lord of the Backroom.” In political office since 1966 and Congress since 1992, Mike Castle is a Congressman no one knows, but whose votes affect us all. Christine O’Donnell, also a Republican, continues, “Until he came out solidly against repealing ObamaCare, Castle received almost no media attention. But in the Beltway’s Backrooms, he continually reinforces his credentials as a charter member of the Washington Establishment.” She does have a point in that Castle votes with Obama 60% of the time. In some years, he votes with the liberals half the time. In some years, it’s 75% of the time. He voted for the huge Cap & Trade Tax and against the surge in Iraq.

Rep. Castle’s latest move that got my attention and moved him up as a Poster Boy was his sponsorship of the Puerto Rico Statehood Bill that just narrowly passed the House April 29th. The bill is an attempt by Obama and the Dems to add to their one-party rule majority by adding three more votes –two in the Senate and one in the House. Why a nominally Republican Rep. would sponsor such a bill is a mystery. If Christine O’Donnell is right about her “Lord of the Backroom” description there was backroom deal of some sort. Like our other Poster Children he has been in politics all his life so that makes sense to us. And he is a lawyer.

Castle calls himself a Catholic but is a member of several pro-abortion groups including the Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Choice and Christine Todd Whitman's It’s My Party Too. Another contradiction?

Checking him out on our most reliable non-partisan taxpayer groups, we find that Castle is on both sides of the earmark debate as the Club for Growth RePork Card shows him voting for earmarks about half the time and against the other half. The National Taxpayers Union tabulations show that he started out in ‘93 favoring taxpayers 75% of the time but in the last several years he hovers around 50% with the last three years average at just over 40%. Citizens Against Government Waste rates Castle at 57% lifetime and the most recent year 31%. CCAGW rates members on a 0 to 100 percent scale. Our poster boy is rated “lukewarm” to taxpayers’ concerns.

When we see averages like this in the middle of the pack we conclude that the Rep. is trying to be all things to all people to enhance reelection prospects. In a liberal state like Delaware he tries to satisfy his party’s expressed opposition to spending and waste some of the time and then gives in to the spenders and puts in for earmarks to satisfy the liberal voters. Wishy-washy is the term that comes to mind. Others might label him "unprincipled."

Key votes http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/C000243/key-votes/

This is your typical career pol that starts out looking out for the taxpayers and then slipping into deficit spending to placate lobbyists and other special interest groups who help insure reelection. Reminds of Ronald Reagan’s description of the guy who goes to Washington to “drain the swamp” and after a bit he discovers it is really a hot tub –and he wants to stay there at all costs. Professional politicians Job #1 is to get reelected and since they are a majority what they do today is for their own benefit which must be paid for in future by our and their own children and grandchildren. Hence, the country’s multi-$trillion debt.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Disgusting!



Sorry, but I couldn’t resist this picture that gives the congressman’s reply to a constituent who, frustrated by the b.s. from his congressman, asked him “not to pee on my leg and call it rain.” Nice, huh? It gets worse.

Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark, Jr. (D-CA #13) age 78, is the 6th most senior representative as well as 8th most senior member of Congress –he’s been there for nearly 40 years! When our other Poster Boy, Charlie Rangel, had to resign for ethics violations Pete Stark was given the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee purely on the basis of tenure. But Stark was quickly pushed aside in favor of Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., after many Democrats privately complained that Stark was too volatile to lead such an important committee.

Stark has had his own run-in with the ethics committee, exhibiting “…bizarre behavior during an investigation…” Officials found Stark was "extremely belligerent" toward investigators from the Office of Congressional Ethics looking into his application for a homestead tax exemption in Maryland even though his official residence is in California. Long-tenured pols tend to believe that laws apply to the little people and not themselves.

Unlike most of our other Poster Children he is not a lawyer –he actually has an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and was a highly successful banker having founded in 1963 Security National Bank at Walnut Creek and built it to $100 million enterprise within 10 years. He first ran for Congress from Oakland in 1972 and has been there ever since. He even served a couple of years in the U.S. Air Force, 1955-57. Not the background –except for the Berkeley years, that one expects for an avowed socialist.

Others we’ve posted, so far, who are fellow members of the largest socialist association in the U.S., the Democrat Socialists of America, are Henry Waxman, Maxine Waters (charged today with ethics violations), Hank Johnson, Barney Frank, Ed Markey, John Conyers, Jose Serrano, Nancy Pelosi and probably many more –the membership list is hard to get. Many in congress the longest are statist inclined which explains the ease with which Obama has passed his programs of government takeovers. When asked what limitations does the Constitution put on the federal government, Stark said “the federal government, yes, can do anything…” See him say it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1-eBz8hyoE&feature=player_embedded People who spend the bulk of their lives in government tend to believe in big or even total government.

Stark recently mocked the idea that the borders are not secure when asked by a constituent at a town hall meeting about the federal government's lack of activity on border security. "If you knew anything about our borders, you would know …that our borders are quite secure, thank you," Stark said, drawing jeers. Then he resumed his hostile act by asking a constituent, "… I've got to know how high the wall is and I'll sell a whole lot of ladders…”

Since 95 % of incumbents regularly are reelected given advantages of incumbency he assumes reelection. The liberal San Francisco Chronicle editorialized on Stark, "Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Would-be challengers sometimes sense a whiff of opportunity, but the reality of taking on a 16-term (now 19-term) Democrat in solidly liberal terrain is nothing short of daunting. Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It's not the case now.”

In an August 2008 videotaped interview with Jan Helfeld concerning the size of the national debt, Stark stated that the size of the national debt is a reflection of the nation's wealth. When pressed if the nation should take on more debt in order to have more wealth, Stark threatened Helfeld and said, “You get the f--k out of here or I’ll throw you out the window.”

Other controversies include singling out “Jewish colleagues" for blame for the Persian Gulf War. In 1995, in a meeting with Rep. Nancy Johnson (D-CT) he called her a "whore for the insurance industry" and suggested that her knowledge of health care came solely from “pillow talk” with her doctor-husband. In 1999, he said of former California Welfare Director Eloise Anderson, herself a former welfare mother, that she would "kill children if she had her way" because she advocated for welfare reform. At a hearing on abstinence promotion, he referred to Rep. JC Watts (R-OK) as the Republican Conference chairman, whose children were all born out of wedlock." He almost had his face rearranged someone commented of the incident which drew the police.

There are many other incidents of this type that could be recounted here but these should suffice to present a picture of unlimited abuse of his office. Just one more: In 2007, Stark accused President Bush of sending troops to Iraq "to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

What has he accomplished in Congress since 1972, you ask? Statistically, he missed 20% of all votes during his tenure and when he did vote it was 94% with the Democrat Party. He missed the vote on the Homeland Security Act but voted against the amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which gives U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects. He voted to increase taxes on oil companies and for subsidies for various “alternative” energy subsidies. He voted for increases in the minimum wage and against any spending cuts for welfare or student loans. I could find no time when he voted against any spending reduction but he consistently votes for increased taxes, opposing the Bush tax cuts and extension of them in 2006 and now. The net result of his votes have been to increase the size and scope of FedGov which is consistent with his socialist commitment.

Socialist-statist nations like the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Venezuela, N. Korea, et al, are not known for their concerns about pollution, global warming, the environment or of " endangered species” but Stark is for all of that. Socialists use these programs to expand the State through regulations and taxes.

We must have term limits on congress if we are to survive as Constitutional Republic. Go to www.termlimits.org and vote for Jim DeMint’s proposed Amendment to end unlimited terms in Congress. And mark your calendar for Nov 2nd to: take out the trash.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bringin’ Home the Bacon Turns Deadly


There are so many candidates for the next Poster Child one hardly knows which to choose next. Three-term Sen. Bob Bennett, our March Poster Boy, lost his Utah Republican primary last week. Our headline -- Thanks for Your Service. Good-Bye-- came true. It is our heartfelt wish that each Poster Child would be promptly retired. But, alas, the entrenched pols resist leaving their cushy positions even when at an advanced age.

We have several of the “worst of a bad lot” in a queue but when one is brought to our attention as this one was in a new documentary we had to move 18-term Minnesota Democrat, James Oberstar up to the front line. The movie has a funny premise --Greg Knapp calls on a career politician to get an earmark to build an earmark museum-- but it is dead serious as it illuminates the egregious practice of “earmarks.” The segment on Oberstar is titled “The Human Toll” because it shows how his earmarks have contributed to human tragedy. For more information on the documentary titled Bringin’ Home the Bacon, contact produces Jim and Ellen Hubbbard 571-721-8868 or americanfilmfest@aol.com . Every taxpayer should see this film. (I would like to say that every voter should see this film but the 50% or so who vote but do not pay taxes have little reason to be concerned.)

Oberstar, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has jurisdiction over bridge maintenance. Instead of maintaining infrastructure and roads from the $500 billion Highway Bill which is really a huge collection of earmarks used by the career pols to spread around to insure their reelections. This gives the chairman enormous power which he clearly relishes and uses for his own purpose.

When asked by the Star Tribune about a disastrous bridge collapse in his own State: Q You have an initiative in mind? A “Yes. We have 597,000 bridges in America, of which 154,000 are deficient, either structurally or functionally. This is an opportunity. Instead of making Minnesota as a poster child for bridge failure, we should make this tragedy a springboard for action and attack in a focused way those most-vulnerable bridges ... (I) propose a 5-cent increase of the user fee [gas tax] for three years, generating about $8.5 billion a year…”

The taxpayers’ watchdog, Citizens Against Government Waste, named Oberstar "Porker of the Month" for his proposal for a 5-cent gas tax increase to raise $25 billion within three years for a new bridge trust fund. CAGW said that Chairman Oberstar was part of the "earmark melee" where "nearly 6,500 pork barrel projects worth more than $24 billion" were added to the 2005 bill. Rather than send funds to repair and restore bridges in his state, he added five projects totaling $14.6 million for Duluth including $3.2 million for the Munger State Trail, the longest paved recreational trail in the nation. Bringin’ Home the Bacon shows a poignant interview with a young woman, 31, who was driving home from work on a day she got a promotion. She was recently engaged to be married, happy and thinking how good life was. Moments later she suffered a broken back and crushed legs. While she thanked god that she was alive and sympathized with the dead and their families, she wondered why the money went for a teapot museum and other earmarks instead of preventative maintenance. Why indeed!

One pundit remarked at that: “Oberstar has a solution for aging interstate bridges–a new program and new tax dollars. What else is new? He wants to create a Bridge Reconstruction Trust Fund separate from the Highway Trust Fund which was created in 1956 to fund highways and bridges. Why is a separate fund needed? Politicians will misuse a new fund just as they have misused the Highway Trust Fund.…We don’t need a new program and new money. We need new people in (Congress) … There will be plenty of money…once the waste and pork is eliminated.” Amen, brother.

What makes this so sickening is that Oberstar, an avid cyclist, took money from the Highway bill to build a $24 billion bike bridge just five miles from the I-35W bridge that collapsed over the Mississippi River in his own state killing 13 –about the same amount it would have cost to repair the bridge.
He is seen in the documentary riding on the bridge in full cyclist regalia. Regarding another Oberstar earmark, the Bikes Belong Foundation estimates Oberstar’s bill would increase funding for bicycling to more than $1 billion annually. “We think it is transformational, visionary,” said their executive director. Really, is that a proper function of the U.S. government?

This from a Wall Street Journal editorial in 2007: Minnesota's transportation auditors warned as long ago as 1990 that there was a "backlog of bridges that are classified as having structural deficiencies." In 1999 engineers declared that cracks found in the bridge that collapsed were "a major concern." Bike paths were deemed a higher priority by Congress, however, including its powerful Minnesota representatives….. Mr. Oberstar sent out a press release boasting that he had "secured more than $12 million in funding" for his state in a recent federal transportation and housing bill. But $10 million of that was dedicated to a commuter rail line, $250,000 for the "Isanti Bike/Walk Trail," $200,000 to bus services in Duluth, and $150,000 for the Mesabi Academy of Kidspeace in Buhl. None of it went for bridge repair...”

In its 2009 REPORK Card, the Club for Growth noted that 211 career pols voted against all 68 bills that would have curtailed some earmarks. No surprise, our Poster Boy James Oberstar was one of them. The Club also rates Congress on economic growth issues such as tax rates, limiting FedGov spending, expanding free trade, limiting lawsuit abuse, school choice, regulatory reform, and reforming social security. Our Poster boy ranked dead last, with others, 435 out of 435 reps.

The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) rated U.S. Representatives on their actual votes--every vote that affects taxes, spending, and debt. On a scale of zero to 100, Oberstar is in single digits which earned a failing “F” grade and their “Big Spender” designation.

Bringin’ home the bacon has been Oberstar's bottom line since he arrived in Washington in 1975. Before being elected himself, he worked for his predecessor, Rep. Blatnick, for 12 years. So, he has been there for most of his life and never had to live under his laws, taxes and regulations and he clearly never intends to. So adamantly against any reduction in FedGov spending he and another Poster Boy, John Conyers, filed a lawsuit against President Bush in the passing of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The case (Conyers v. Bush) was, of course, dismissed. Isn’t it time Oberstar was dismissed?

The above just begins to tell how bad these career politicians can get. You won’t believe this argument he makes in defending the indefensible: http://www.redcounty.com/congressman-oberstar-it%E2%80%99s-spending-stupid

Think about how much better off the country would be if we had six -or eight- year term limits on representatives. Better late than never –Minnesota, please term limit this disgrace to MN and the country.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Two More Strong Arguments for Term Limits


Updated last 4/1/2014 re the term limits vote below and also WSJ article re Caterpillar )

 So many of our poster children have similar backgrounds in that they get law degrees and then go right into politics without any real world experience to base their lawmaking decisions on. How can they relate to citizens who have to live under their laws? Many laws are made from the pressure of lobbyists and groups that give them support for reelection and who often actually write the laws for them. The high pay and FedGov pensions that most of us could only dream about further keep them isolated from the impact of their spending and tax policies. They should be made to come back home after a period to live under those laws and taxes and regulations, too.

Patrick Leahy from Vermont and Carl Levin from Michigan are two who fit the description. Leahy graduated law school in 1964 and at age 34 was elected to the Senate where he has been ever since. Levin got his degree in 1959 and held several government jobs between 1964 until elected to the Senate in 1978.
Both regularly vote with the liberal-left of their party (Democrat) 95% to 100% in most sessions and that means both vote for virtually every spending, regulating and taxing bill that comes up.

So, it is no surprise that both Poster Boys voted on 2/2/12 AGAINST the proposed amendment to limit the terms of Congress even though they know full well that their constitutents are overwhlemingly in favor of the reform. See how your Senator voted: http://senateconservatives.com/site/votes/112/2/11?c=5R4F2B4F9B3A137 hint: All Democrats but Joe Manchin of WV voted AGAINST.



Caterpillar's Senate Show Trial

By JAMES FREEMAN

Caterpillar Inc. will be dragged before the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee today because committee Chairman Carl Levin wishes the company had a higher tax bill. The Michigan senator, who has helped make the corporate tax code the complicated mess that it is, enjoys bashing corporations for lawfully trying to navigate this mess.
Caterpillar will therefore join a distinguished list of firms, including Apple, that have taken turns appearing before the panel to be condemned for seeking to maximize returns to shareholders.
Today's alleged outrage is that Caterpillar pays an effective income tax rate of roughly 29%, which is more than most companies pay but not enough for Mr. Levin. The senator is ticked off that some of Cat's overseas profits are taxed at around 5% by Switzerland. Would he prefer that U.S. shareholders pay more taxes to foreign governments?
Perhaps Mr. Levin would like every business to pay the combined U.S. state and federal headline rate of 39.1%, which is the highest in the developed world, and a major reason the U.S. economy isn't growing faster. But it's not clear even that would satisfy his thirst for more federal revenues.
If last year's show trial with Apple is any guide, today Mr. Levin will slam Cat's tax strategies as "alchemy" and "gimmickry," but offer no evidence that the company is doing anything illegal or even unethical.
He will probably refer to the results of his staff's "investigation," but there's not much to investigate. Large corporations like Caterpillar are constantly audited by the IRS, and the firm has been doing its taxes the same way for more than a decade.
The real outrage, as unemployment remains high and GDP growth remains slow, is for Mr. Levin to suggest that the solution is to extract more cash from U.S. employers.WSJ 4/1/2014



The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union rates congress from A –taxpayer friendly- to F –Big Spender. Both of our poster boys are consistently rated F. Citizens Against Government Waste (CSAGW), another non-partisan taxpayer group, has bestowed on both boys their “Porker of the Month” award over their years in office. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers. When you look at the huge deficits being racked up each year, these two are right up there among the most responsible for the high taxes, numerous counter-productive regulations and a debt that steals from future generations that will stifle their aspirations for the American Dream.

Last September when CAGW named Leahy as their “Porker of the Month” they also noted that he was one of “Seven Nutty Senators Supporting ACORN…” (Poster Boy Sen. Durbin of Illinois was also one of the seven.) “Cutting off funds to ACORN should have been the easiest vote of the year, yet these senators could not bring themselves to do it,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Taxpayers should not be accomplices in the rampant malfeasance of ACORN.” ACORN has received at least $53.6 million in taxpayer-funded grants since 1994, not including millions more from states and localities, as well as foundations. Fannie Mae, for example, which was taken over by the federal government a year ago, bestowed millions in grants on ACORN over the years. For more updated detail on ACORN see the blog alongside A Bite at a Time.Sen. Leahy worked closely with the late Senator Edward Kennedy, another of our Poster Boys, to advance the Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Said Leahy, “This historic hate crimes provision will improve existing law by making it easier for Federal authorities to investigate and prosecute crimes of racial, ethnic, or religious violence.” Sen. Levin as Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, defended his reasoning for including the provision within the Defense bill: “This is domestic terrorism… When you attack someone because of membership in a group, you are attacking this country itself. This belongs in the Defense Reauthorization Bill!.” Not to mention that virtually all of the crimes covered are already unlawful under present law. This is in response to lobbies who want special recognition and treatment for their particular groups. Do you think it fits in the Defense Bill? When defense outlays are calculated they include much that is not really for the defense of our nation. Poster Children often get their way by inserting unrelated subjects in critical bills that have to pass and thus avoid losing if their special interest legislation couldn’t pass on its own.

Both Senators also responded to recent actions by Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include a public option in the Senate’s health care bill. The Senators argued that a public option was very important in that it would represent progress in the legislation, but noted that any such provision must include an op-out for states, which they said would promote competition. They didn’t explain how there would even be any competiton after the FedGov takeover. Sure, compete with FedGov.
Our poster children have no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their method is to search out groups or the groups search them out to get something from FedGov and by promising to give it to them our Poster Children get campaign contributions and support for reelection. How they accomplish the payoff is to loot taxpayers. As HL Mencken put it, “In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

Earmarks are a measure of profligate spending for self-promotion among the recipients. It is also called bribery if done in the private sector but business-as-usual in congress. Check out details at this most informative site: http://www.legistorm.com/earmarks/details/member/62/Sen_Patrick_Leahy/page/1/sort/amount/type/desc/year/all.html Legistorm is dedicated to providing a variety of important information about the US Congress. The information is provided in a strictly factual, non-partisan fashion. They have no political affiliations and no political purpose except to make the workings of Congress as transparent as possible. This is how you get to a $16+ trillion debt.

Leahy’s loot:
Fiscal Year(s) 2008-2010 Number Cost
Solo Earmarks 185 $228,063,385
With Other Members 115 $260,805,250
All Sponsored Earmarks 300 $488,868,635


Levin’s loot:

Year(s) 2008-2010 Number Cost
Solo Earmarks 33 $124,900,000
With Other Members 678 $804,423,593
All Sponsored Earmarks 711 $929,323,593


The more I study these career politicians the more I fear for the future of freedom in our United States of America and consequently for the freedom of the world. Sen. Jim DeMint originally and now Sen Vitter is making an effort to turn back to a citizen-legislature by offering a proposed constitutional amendment to term limit congress. You can help by going to www.termlimits.org and sign the petition. And then, ask your friends to sign it, too. We'll have another vote in the next session.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hello? Anybody home?


[Updated 12/15/2012]
All of our poster children so far have been in office for decades but we had to make an exception for this guy. For Hank Johnson (4th-GA) four terms are plenty. You have to see this to believe it:  http://tinyurl.com/bmpfanp







You can't make this up Even after this video went viral he was reelected without opposition in 2010 and again in 2012. (See comments for a funnier version of this YouTube video.)

The latest from this strange duck was commented on by The Daily Callers' Caroline May:
"Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson — notable for saying he feared that Guam might capsize if it became too populated during a 2010 House Armed Services Committee hearing — apologized Thursday in a rambling floor speech for using the 'm-word.' According to Johnson, the 'm-word,' which he will never say again (though accidentally slipped in the middle of his apology), is 'midget.' 'Last night I used an analogy that some find offensive, and I certainly was not meaning to be offensive or use a derogatory term,' he said." You've got to see this one, too.  http://tinyurl.com/d2u32wb

He’s a lawyer, a former assistant judge and a practicing Buddhist.

He votes the party line without deviation  Heritage Action gives him 12% on the conservative scale which is 88% on th liberal scale --Big Spender by any scale.

In 2009, Johnson demanded censure of Rep. Joe Wilson's "you lie" remark, arguing that the comment had an “unseen racial undertone” and that, if Wilson was not formally rebuked, "We will have people with white hoods running through the countryside again." (Wikipedia)

This will be our shortest tenured and shortest poster child write-up. What else could we say for term limits than pointing out that he will likely be in congress as long as he lives given the gerrymandered district and advantages of incumbency? Unless we can get Sen. DeMint’s proposed constitutional amendment to term limit congress passed. Please help by going to www.termlimits.org and add your name to the petition for term limits on congress. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thanks for Your Service. Good-Bye.


I’ve been criticized for having mostly Democrats as Poster Children. Yes, there are more of them, they’ve been in office longer and they are generally more corrupt. We’ve highlighted two Republicans, Sens. Specter and Grassley. Specter then changed parties. Looking for a Repub to put on a poster we read that the non-partisan Club for Growth PAC will oppose three term U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) in his reelection bid this year, it made me look at his record. Yep, he qualifies.


“Bennett’s record, whether on spending, earmarks, or his disastrous plan for a federal health care takeover, is part of the problem in Washington,” Chris Chocola, president of the Club, said. “Utah deserves a pro-growth, free-market reformer in the Senate who will instead become a part of the solution…”

Among Bennett’s recent Senate lowlights that the Club sees:
• He voted for TARP, the $750 billion Wall Street bailout;
• He voted to save the disgraceful “Bridge to Nowhere” earmark;
• He refused to block funding for any further bailouts of auto manufacturers;
• He voted against redirecting wasteful Defense earmarks toward improved health care for disabled veterans;
• Voted against a resolution stating the Senate had a “moral obligation” to cut spending;
• After voting against President Obama’s 2010 budget, Bennett voted for most of the bloated spending bills comprising it;
• Bennett’s health care proposal would impose an unconstitutional individual mandate, increase federal taxes and spending by hundreds of billions of and force Americans to pay their insurance premiums through the IRS.

Studies show that spending is correlated with tenure, and Bennett is an example of this phenomenon. He may have entered Congress for public service, and his early voting expressed that commitment, but then the “lowlights” kicked in. Sen. Bennett’s voting has, over time, drifted to bigger, extra-constitutional federal government by which we judge Congress. During the 106th Congress (1999), Bennett served Majority Leader Bill Frist as the Republican Party Whip. Now, he’s on the party leadership team and advises the Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on legislative strategy and policy priorities. Surely, in a seniority system without term limits, those who are most out of touch are those most firmly in control.

Bennett has a B.S. in Political Science. Unlike our other poster boys, he did have private business experience that informed his early periods in elected office even though some of it was politics-connected. He was president of a Washington D.C. public-relations company that occasionally provided cover for CIA operations. During Bennett’s tenure, the PR firm did work for President Nixon’s reelection campaign. He was a Mormon Chaplain in the Utah National Guard from 1957 to 1969, when he entered public service as congressional liaison of the U. S. Department of Transportation. In 1974, Bennett became the public relations director for Summa Corporation, until 1978 when he became the president of Osmond Communications. In 1979, he went into the computer business, first as the chairman of the American Computers Corporation, and then as the president of the Microsonics Corporation from 1981 to 1984. In 1984, Bennett was named CEO of Franklin Quest. He ran for the Senate seat vacated by Jake Garn in 1992.

Bennett has often seemed to be on both sides of issues. He has been a strong opponent of abortion; however, he has shown some support for embryonic stem cell research funded by the taxpayers. He opposed the Act which would provide benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian federal employees. He had generally rejected affirmative action proposals involving quotas although he has voted in favor of expanding funding to women and minority-owned businesses. His recent positions as noted in the above list of “lowlights,” are in contrast to his past support of the Flat Tax and for repeal of the inheritance tax, the alternative minimum tax and the marriage penalty.

He was a free trade advocate, voting in favor of CAFTA presidential fast-tracking for normalizing trade relations, and removing common goods from national security export controls, He opposed President Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security. His sponsorship of the Healthy Americans Act, championed by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, seemed at odds with his previous stands opposing public health care.


He has, in his long tenure, sponsored or opposed many other issues and bills than we list here –we just mention enough to give an idea of what he has done, good or bad, depending on your view.

Sen. Bennett is being challenged by several other Republicans and two Democrats in his bid for re-election in 2010. He has been there long enough –18 years is too long and another six is way too long. Sen. Jim DeMint has proposed a term limit constitutional amendment that would limit the Senate to 12 years. It deserves support –if you agree, go to www.termlimits.org and sign the petition.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Even the Joker in his Deck is a Race Card


It's been a while since we have heard from Democrat South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn. He's the one who said that blacks are more likely to be hurt by global warming than other Americans. As inane as that comment may be, it is nowhere near as dangerous as his latest. James Clyburn says, "We're not going to save our way out of this recession ... We've got to spend our way out of this recession, and I think most economists know that." Isn't it wonderful that the same man, who thinks that global warming is going to affect blacks the most, knows what most economists think? What a valuable man to have in the Congress of the United States!

This is the third ranking Democrat in the House, folks. Man is he absolutely dead wrong. Perhaps Clyburn would like to read a report from The Heritage Foundation: Why Government Spending Does Not Stimulate Economic Growth: Answering the Critics. http://www.heritage.org/research/economy/bg2354.cfm

The above paragraphs were written by Neal Boortz on February 10, 2010, and gave me the impetus to honor the Congressman as one of our Poster Children. His thinking as expressed there is so childlike, so immature. But he has only been in congress for 20 years and given his gerrymandered district, he will be there until he joins Jack Murtha and Teddy Kennedy, two of our poster boys who have gone on to their rewards.

What can you expect from a man who has spent his entire life, as have all of our Poster Children so far, on the public payroll? This doesn’t make him a bad person, it just deprives the people of the U.S. the kind of experience that might be applied to the difficult decisions that the office demands. Or, should demand, but clearly doesn’t.

Rep. Clyburn taught history and was active in all the various civil rights activities of his time. Being Black and living in the South, that is natural and commendable. He and Emily have three daughters and two grandchildren.

His voting record is down-the-line Dem. The Club for Growth says that last year he voted against all 68 amendments to limit pork spending. He hasn’t seen fit to oppose any spending measure as the non-partisan national Taxpayers Union reports. He is consistently in the “Big Spender” category on NTU’s annual rankings. Most career politicians who have spent their entire lives on the public payroll have no concern where the money comes from or if it has to be borrowed from future generations. They just don’t understand economics and generally care little about how wealth is created –they just want to reallocate it –and get reelected.

Clyburn won the dubious honor of “Porker of the Month” November 2007 for trying to attach an earmark for a golf program to the Defense Appropriations Bill. He got $7.5 million in earmarks for golf programs since 2003 and in 2004 he got “The Taxpayers Get Teed Off” Oinker Award from Citizens Against Government Waste(CAGW) in 2004 for receiving $3 million in two separate appropriations bills that year. One earmark was for $1 million from the Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Education and its Character Education Program, added in conference. These funds are intended solely for state and local education agencies, but so what? They even put up a statue of Clyburn at a golf center in Columbia with taxpayers’ money. CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

In 1961 after losing campaigns for the S.C. legislature, then Gov. John Carl West asked Clyburn to join the administration as an “advisor.” After four years, he was appointed Human Affairs Commissioner, a position he held for 18 years during which time he twice ran losing campaigns for Secretary of State (in 1978 and 1986). When the House districts were redrawn (gerrymandered) following the 1990 census, the state’s 6th district became a majority-black district, and then-incumbent who was white, decided not to run. Clyburn won the five-way primary with 56 percent of the vote. Gerrymandering is where the candidate picks the voters instead of voters picking the candidate.

“You always look at black members of Congress from the civil rights aspect,” Clyburn told the National Journal in September 2006. “You never give us credit for developing legislative experience and congressional know-how and government background. I came here after running government agencies for 25 years. I didn’t come here after marching in the street.” It never occurs to members of congress that some private sector experience like creating jobs, making payrolls and living in the private sector under the laws they promulgate might be a more useful experience.

Once in the House, he was unanimously chosen to chair the Congressional Black Caucus. When the Democrats won control of the House in 2006, Clyburn was unanimously elected Majority Whip. As Majority Whip, he was tasked with rounding up Democrats to support the Oct. 2008 $700 billion Wall Street bailout package. “Bailout is an inaccurate way to describe this package,” Clyburn said after House passage. “I think we have come up with an incredible piece of legislation that addresses not just Wall Street, but also Broad Street in my home town and Walker Street, where I grew up.” When is a bailout not a bailout? There you have the answer.

Rep. Clyburn is part of the majority in Congress (which includes both political parties) that is completely ignoring the US Constitution they have given their oath to “support and defend.” These professional politicians are in there to pursue their own careers by insuring that they get reelected and that means buying votes with money, earmarks, exclusions from regulations, tax advantages and whatever it takes. We need to return to the citizen-legislators from our Founding through the early 20th Century. These were accomplished citizens who willingly would give a few years to “serve,” as in “public service” applying their training, experience and commitment to carrying out their Constitutional duties. Then going home to live under their laws.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Conscience? What's a Conscience?



The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee raised over $11 million, about half from special interests corporations and PACs, in the 2005 to September 30 2009 reporting period. We want to reiterate our suggestion that these professional politicians wear a patch on their suits for their sponsors as do the NASCAR racers and golfers. I don’t know what the patch for Jack Abramoff would look like but this Poster Boy would be entitled to one. Of course, investment and insurance companies, lawyers and big pharmaceuticals are the largest payers for his services. No surprise –all of our poster boys and girls do the bidding of their main contributors and it is the reason that we no longer have many serious challengers to entrenched incumbents. The huge advantage of incumbency is overwhelming.

Max Sieben Baucus, 68, a Democrat, has been in politics since college. He earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a law degree from Stanford University. He began law practice in Missoula, Montana, in 1971, and then coordinated Montana's 1972 Constitutional Convention. He served as a state representative from Missoula until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974. He was re-elected in 1976. Baucus was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978 where he has remained until present. Sound familiar? As with our other poster children there is no real life, no private sector, experience. Yet, they make the laws that affect virtually all of our daily lives. But they do not have to live under their laws and regulations. This is our basic argument against career politicians and in favor of citizen-legislators who take their business and/or professional experience and understanding to making laws that regulate businesses and professions –then they go home and live under those laws. Sen. Jim DeMint has introduced a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would limit terms of Congress to two for the Senate and three for the House. Such statutory limitations as we have for most governors and many state legislators, county commissioners, city councilmen and other elected positions, would go a long way in reforming Congress.

On 2/2/2012 on the vote to limit the terms of congress it is telling that the senators who voted against term limits have been in the Senate for an average of 13.6 years compared to just 6.4 years for those who support them. The longer people are in Congress, the more power they get, and the more they lose touch with the voters who elected them.

See how your Senator voted: http://senateconservatives.com/site/votes/112/2/11?c=5R4F2B4F9B3A137 hint: All Democrats but Joe Manchin of WV voted AGAINST.


Baucus is often referred to as a “moderate” Dem but one finds little to justify the moderate moniker except that he did vote for the North American Free Trade Agreement. He voted for the Brady gun control measure and after getting a lot of heat from Montanans he has since voted against some gun control measures. Nothing moderate about his spending votes, though: the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union has rated him a “Big Spender for the past three years and mostly D’s previously. His version of the health Care Bill contains no conscience protections on abortions for employees who don’t want to be involved in them or refer for them. Naral –ProChoice America rates him 100% for his pro-abortion votes. Baucus has long opposed opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling --for which the Saudis, Chavez and Putin thank him. All liberal positions.

Sen. Baucus has vowed to raise the estate tax back to 35% to 55% this year, and to make it retroactive to Jan. 1. That it would be of questionable constitutionality does not bother career pols. Can Congress impose a new estate tax, say in April, on someone who is already dead and buried in February?” asks Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal. Then he says, “I hope not.”

“The most compelling environmental issue of our lifetime: global warming” Baucus said on the floor of the Senate in favor of a cap and trade bill for greenhouse gases, like CO2. In that speech in June 2008 he rhapsodized over the trillion dollar cash flow to the FedGov from a cap & tax program. No moderate, he is as liberal as the other poster children who have spent their entire adult lives in the government, almost totally oblivious of the consequences to the nation of such a restriction on energy use. Of course, it is even more senseless today as the global warming hoax is being exposed and the earth is experiencing one of the coldest winters on record. (It was 30 degrees F yesterday here in S. Florida.)

Just this week Judicial Watch has released its list of the 10 most corrupt politicians in Washington and wouldn’t you know it, five of the six congress-critters named are featured Poster Children on this blog – Dodd, Barney Frank, Pelosi, Murtha and Rangel. Does the slogan “Tenure Corrupts” come to mind? Baucus is not far behind as he has been caught giving one of his staffers, Melodee Hanes, a nearly $14,000 pay raise shortly after they began dating. He also took her on taxpayer-funded trips to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, though foreign policy was not her specialty. Then he nominated her for attorney general of Montana. They each left their spouses in March and April of 2008 and later moved in together.

Sen. Baucus, who is leading bipartisan negotiations on health care legislation, said he would include in his bill a proposal by the Obama administration to bar illegal immigrants from buying health coverage through a new insurance marketplace, or exchange, even if the illegal immigrants were willing and able to pay the full cost. Hospitals would still be required to provide emergency treatment to illegal immigrants and that the federal government would continue to reimburse hospitals for unpaid bills, a cost that now runs $250 million a year. Does that make any sense? It does to career pols that have had NO private sector experience where there are personal consequences to an individual’s ideas and actions; professional pols are insulated from the results of what they do. Maybe Sen. Max was drunk that day as he was on this day slurring on the floor of the Senate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5Y9X5ggxzA

We need to go back to a citizen-legislature! Please support Sen. DeMint’s proposed amendment by signing the petition for term limits on congress at www.termlimits.org