Monthly Archives: August 2009

Monday, August 17 Interview

Downsize DC President Jim Babka is scheduled to appear with host Pete Ferrand on WRJN, 1400 AM in Racine/Kenosha at 2 PM Central time. Sadly, there’s no streaming Internet for this interview.

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This One Is Short, But Shocking

Media Alerts: Downsize DC President Jim Babka is scheduled to do a talk-radio interview this afternoon (Monday), and another tentatively (likely) tomorrow (Tuesday). Details for those interviews will be posted on the DownsizeDC.org blog.

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Quote of the Day: “Democrats are using smoke and mirrors to hide the impact of their health plans. Existing estimates, therefore, reflect only a fraction of the total cost.” — Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute, writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constition

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Subject: The politicians aren’t telling you about all the costs

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The politicians are lying to you about the true costs of their massive health care plan.

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In fact, they’re lying to you in several ways, using fraudulent accounting tricks and sleights of hand.

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We’ll be exposing their tricks this week. Here’s the first one . . .

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Have you noticed that there’s a rebellion underway?

Quote of the Day: “It is the competition of profit-seeking entrepreneurs that does not tolerate the preservation of false prices . . .” — Ludwig von Mises, “Human Action” 3rd edition, pages 337-338

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Subject: Have you noticed that there’s a rebellion underway?

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The latest Rassmusen poll released on August 11th is bad news for the Big Government health care bill . . .

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* A majority oppose the bill — 53% to 42%
:::* That’s down 5 points from two weeks ago and 8 points from six weeks ago

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The intensity numbers are even better —

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The United States of Corporate Welfare

Quote of the Day: “Even in the best economic times, you won’t find an investment with a greater payoff than what these companies have been getting.” — Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of The Center for Responsive Politics

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Subject: The United States of Corporate Welfare

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The Congressional Oversight Panel charged with monitoring the T.A.R.P. bailout scheme thinks more bailouts may be needed. 

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In case you’ve forgotten . . .

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* T.A.R.P. stands for Toxic Asset Relief Program
:::* The T.A.R.P. was supposed to spend $700 billion buying so-called toxic assets from institutions that were supposedly too big to fail, but . . .
:::* After Congress said yes to this proposal the Treasury Department instead used the funds to buy stock in major banks
:::* In other words, The Toxic Asset Relief Program ended up having nothing to do with toxic assets

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It get’s worse. According to Wikipedia . . . .

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Good News on the Enumerated Powers Act

Quote of the Day: “The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.” — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Source: Slavery in Massachusetts (1854)

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Subject: Good news on the Enumerated Powers Act

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The Enumerated Powers Act (HR 450) would require Congress to identify the Constitutional authority for each law it passes. We think this requirement is an important step on the long road to restoring Constitutional limits and the Bill of Rights.

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When we last reported to you the bill had 32 co-sponsors in the House. Now it has

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They Haven’t Quit So We Won’t Quit

Quote of the Day: “PASS Act is REAL ID 2.0” — Electronic Privacy Information Center

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Subject: They haven’t quit, so we won’t quit

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The American people don’t want a national ID card. Nevertheless, the REAL ID Act remains on the books, and the PASS Act (S. 1261) is still waiting in the wings to replace it. Here’s the official description of the PASS Act . . .

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“A bill to repeal title II of the REAL ID Act of 2005 and amend title II of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to better protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personally identifiable information collected by States when issuing driver’s licenses and identification documents, and for other purposes.”

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That doesn’t really tell you much does it? It sounds like the PASS Act is designed to protect you from identity theft. Some people could also assume that the REAL ID Act is being repealed, but in reality . . .

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New Allies Fighting for What YOU Want

Quote of the Day: “The high cost and inequitable character of our medical care system are the direct result of our steady movement toward reliance on third-party payment. A cure requires reversing course, re-privatizing medical care by eliminating most third-party payment, and restoring the role of insurance to providing protection against major medical catastrophes.” — Milton Friedman

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Subject: New allies fighting for what you want

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We’ve always worked with other groups, forming coalitions to protect your money and your rights. These groups have been as diverse as the ACLU and Focus on the Family. We’ve been able to do this because . . .

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Partisan electoral politics divides, while a focus on specific issues unites.

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People of many differing partisan and philosophical views can still find many issues on which they agree. When these agreements aim at Downsizing DC we try to make common cause.

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A great example is the health care issue, where DownsizeDC.org is joing with other groups to . . .

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Why the rush?

Quote of the Day: “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — Dwight Eisenhower

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Subject: Why the rush?

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Congress first heard it from DC Downsizers. Then the media and other groups joined the call. Congress now knows that citizens want them to read their bills.

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How has Congress reacted to the growing Read the Bills movement? Consider this . . .

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* Three mark-ups of HR 2749, the “Food Safety” bill, were filed the morning of July 29 — the last at 10:50am
:::* Between 10am and 2pm Congress passed 6 bills and one resolution totaling 67 pages
:::* HR 2749 was then brought before Congress at 2pm under a “suspension of the rules,” meaning no amendments, limited debate, and a two-thirds majority to pass. It failed 280-150.
:::* Another version of HR 2749 was then filed the next day.
:::* That day, July 30, Congress passed 3 bills totaling 168 pages, and two resolutions, including H. Res. 691, which dispensed with a reading of HR 2749, limited debate to just one hour, and granted only one opportunity to amend the bill, or send it back to committee.
:::* This time HR 2729 only required a simple majority to pass, which it got, 283 to 142

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Republican Rep. Joe Barton, a supporter of the “Food Safety” bill, insists that the late changes were made to address concerns about the impact on small farmers. It’s a credit to the Downsize DC Army, and other opponents of the bill, that it’s less bad than it could have been. But this still raises the question . . .

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Five Futures for the Audit the Fed Bill

Quote of the Day: “The purpose of a government investigatory commission is to place blame where it does the least harm politically.” — Paul Craig Roberts

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Subject: Five Futures for the Audit the FED bill

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Yesterday we learned that we must be brutally realistic about our situation, while remaining confident of ultimate victory, but without setting our hearts on a specific outcome by a specific date. Otherwise, we’ll be vulnerable to depression and defeat.

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This is true for our overall effort, and for specific projects too, like Congressman Ron Paul’s Audit the FED bill.

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Today, as promised, I want to be realistic about the prospects for the Audit the FED bill, by exploring five possible outcomes . . .

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Audit the Fed and the Stockdale Paradox

Quote of the Day: “The moment of greatest vulnerability is the instant after victory” – Napoleon Bonaparte (as quoted by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)

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Subject: Passing the Audit the FED bill

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We love the fact that Ron Paul’s Audit the FED bill is a lever designed to move the government in a downsizing direction. We love levers. And we’re thrilled that . . .

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* The bill now has majority support in the House, with 282 co-sponsors
:::* And growing support in the Senate, with 20 co-sponsors

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This has happened because of public pressure, including vast numbers of letters to Congress from DC Downsizers.

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We cheer the success, but urge caution.

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