Monthly Archives: February 2006

Stop Complaining – there’s something WE CAN DO about K Street

A Congressperson’s website complains about K Street and Big Lobbyists. But does that site offer a solution? No.

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Our plan for March

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::

I want to use this last day of February to give you a preview of what we plan for March. We’re going to make a concerted effort to set records in all areas next month, starting tomorrow! :::

    Our previous best month for recruitment was June of 2005 when we recruited 2,824 new DC Downsizers. We want to exceed that in March.:::

    Our previous best month for messages to Congress was also June of 2005 when we sent 43,031 messages. We want to exceed that too. :::

    Our previous best month for media interviews was 5 in May, 2005. Thanks to the financial help DC Downsizers gave us this month we expect to blow past that number in March.

:::

Setting new records will be tough. We’ll need your participation. But that’s not all we have in store. :::

    We’ll announce the first two members of our new RTBA Coalition tomorrow. :::

    We hope to launch the MeetUp groups for the “No Legislation Without Representation Conference” as well.:::

    And we now have the first draft of a new piece of Downsize DC legislation in-hand.

:::

Thank you for making all of this possible. Specifically, I would like to thank the following people for helping us meet our February fundraising goals yesterday: Dr. Mike Rosing, Steven Anderson, Alec Marken, Timothy P. Sauer, David W. Landram, Scott Moyer, Zachary Ullevig, Mike G., Jonathan Harstein, Edward W. Sudduth, Dick Clark, David M. Carson, and Joe Byrne.:::

Special thanks to Arlo R. Hansen and Leslie J. Russell for starting new monthly pledges. If you would like to help us get started on our March fundraising goals by making a donation or starting a monthly pledge you can do so by clicking here.:::

Let’s get ready to rock-and-roll in March. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.:::

Jim Babka:::President:::DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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Two days left

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .:::

We’ve launched the promised RTBA Coalition, and we already have our first member. More-and-more media interviews are being booked (see latest below). We’re getting very close to rolling out the MeetUp groups for the “No Legislation Without Representation Conference” and the invasion of Capitol Hill. Our next piece of Downsize DC legislation, aimed at forcing Congress to play it’s proper role in the creation of new regulations, is also nearly ready. And we’re aiming to have a record setting month in March. But before we can move forward we need to take care of some unfinished business. :::

I feel safe in claiming that no other organization does so much with so little. Our budget is still small. We’re still a new organization. We haven’t reached critical mass in terms of funding yet. But we have the sense that that day is just around the corner. Meanwhile, the small amounts we need to function we REALLY need. We still need to raise $2,000 to finish paying for what we did in February, so we can roll forward into March. There are only two days left in February. Today and tomorrow. We need to raise that $2,000 in the next 48-hours.:::

Do you like what we’re doing? Do you want to see it continue? Can you help make that possible? To make a contribution or start a monthly pledge click here.:::

Here’s tomorrow’s media interview::::

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 :::Stations: WTIC 1080 AM Hartford, CT :::Time: 9:05 AM Eastern :::Length: 10 minutes :::Guest: Jim Babka, President, DownsizeDC.org :::Host: Ray Dunaway & Diane :::Show: Mornings with Ray & Diane :::Topic: The Read the Bills Act :::Internet: Listen Live if you register, podcast also available, details at http://www.wtic.com/ :::

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.:::

Jim Babka:::President:::DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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Wall-to-wall media weekend

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .:::

This weekend is going to be a busy one – for me. Saturday, I have to wake up early and do a radio interview. Then, I have to stay up late and host a radio show. Sunday, I return to the airwaves again to do yet another radio show. And then Monday morning, I have another radio interview (details on all, below).:::

And we’re working on scheduling even more interviews! You can help me get the word out to more outlets, more often, so that more and more Americans hear about the Read the Bills Act. You can either,

Help me get on a favorite local radio show… Instructions and details on you can help can be found here. :::

OR:::

Help us cover the costs of booking and doing the interviews, and spreading the word in other ways, by making a contribution. Right now, we’re very close to meeting our monthly budget need – just over $2,000 to go. We could use your help. Make a contribution or start a monthly pledge here.:::

You can make a difference. :::

HERE’S MY WEEKEND ITINERARY: :::

RADIO INTERVIEW:::Date: Saturday, February 25, 2006:::Stations: WISW 1320 AM Columbia, SC :::Time: 8:00 AM Eastern::: 7:00 AM Central::: 6:00 AM Mountain::: 5:00 AM Pacific:::Length: 30 minutes:::Guest: Jim Babka, ::: President, DownsizeDC.org:::Host: Victor Kocher & Doug Kendall:::Show: Unauthorized Access:::Topic: The Read the Bills Act:::Internet: Log on to http://www.unauthorizedaccess.net::: Click on “Listen Live” :::

THE HARRY BROWNE SHOW :::

You can participate in the conversation at 1-800-259-9231 or by email, (address given out at the beginning of the show). To listen to the show we recommend you go to gcnlive.com.:::

The show can be heard live at… :::

Eastern: 10pm – Midnight :::Central: 9pm – 11pm :::Mountain: 8pm – 10pm :::Pacific: 7pm – 9pm :::Alaska: 6pm – 8pm :::Hawaii: 5pm – 7pm

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It’s Just Not Good Enough

If you spend more this year than you spent last year, your budget increased…

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REAL ID for Animals

A REAL ID ACT FOR GOATS?::::::Laura Haggarty sends us information on another government boondoggle that seems almost purposely designed to harass and bankrupt small farmers. It is called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Its alleged purpose is to “safeguard animal health,” – in other words, to exploit public fears of mad cow disease and the bird flu to give more power to the government. The Department of Agriculture’s NAIS website says that “NAIS is currently a voluntary program,” but its clear intention is to soon make it mandatory.::::::According to the NAIS site, the NAIS will be implemented in three phases:::::::1. Identify and register “premises that house animals. Such premises would include locations where livestock and poultry are managed, marketed, or exhibited.” However, according to NoNAIS.org, homes that keep livestock such as horses and goats as pets would also be registered, with fees and paperwork imposed on these pet owners. Homesteaders who raise animals for personal consumption will also be flooded with paperwork and fees.::::::2. Assign animal identification numbers (AINs) “to individually identified premises. In the case of animals that move in groups through the production chain—such as swine and poultry—the group will be identified through a group/lot identification number (Group/Lot IDs).” Talk about unfair competition! As Ms. Haggarty informs us, “The [identification] tags (which may contain RFIDs [Radio Frequency Identification]) will cost about $2-4 each, and for someone who has a number of chickens, like I do, they will destroy what little profit margin we have … The only exceptions are big agribusiness corporations, (like the Tyson chicken farms) who will be able to give large lots of animals a Group Identification Number.”

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More good news!

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .:::

Welcome to the nearly 1,000 people who are receiving their first Downsizer-Dispatch. We recently discovered a software glitch that was preventing people who recently registered from receiving these messages. It is now fixed. Welcome aboard! (Un-subscribe infortmation is at the end of this message.):::

The good news just keeps rolling in . . .:::

Total RTBA messages to Congress topped 30,000 on Saturday. We need to keep up the relentless pressure. To send your RTBA message to Congress click here.:::

A First Amendment case the Downsize DC Foundation is supporting seems likely to be heard by the Supreme Court. This is the case where the Social Security Administration fined a non-profit organization for using the words “Social Security” on a direct mail envelope. Thank you to all the Foundation donors who contributed to make this possible. :::

Our RTBA Coalition is just about ready to launch. Stay tuned for the announcement. We’ll need your help to sign-up coalition members.:::

We seem to have won in our battle to get Senator Evan Bayh to accept messages through our lobbying system. Your phone calls made a difference. We’ve negotiated an arrangement that will allow Downsize DC messages to get through to Senator Bayh. :::

Several bills we support have been gaining sponsors in Congress. We’ll have a full report on this soon. :::

Our new media campaign continues to click along. I have another interview booked for this coming Saturday, and we’re increasing the number of media calls we’re making. But we’re going to run through our media list soon. So please help us expand it. Research your local talk shows and add them to our online media database. The instructions and database form can be found here.:::

There’s more good news. Too much to report here. If our blog isn’t part of your daily reading yet please go check it out and bookmark it. Recent articles include a new RTBA response from a Senator, new interviews and commentaries I’ve done, news about RTBA letters published in newspapers, an item about expanding use of the word “downsizing” by other organizations, and an article about a bill Congress recently passed that has a mistake in it! You can reach the blog here.

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Senator Mark Dayton responds to RTBA

DC Downsizer Corey Stern has been contacted by one of his Senators about RTBA. The Senator is Mark Dayton of Minnesota, a Democrat. Mr. Dayton’s letter to Mr. Stern is reproduced below. :::

As is becoming usual with members of Congress in responding to RTBA, Senator Dayton sidesteps the issue by saying that RTBA has not been introduced in Congress. No kidding. The point of all of the messages he has received from Downsizers on this issue was to ask HIM to sponsor it!:::

If you live in Minnesota please send Senator Dayton a message asking him to explain why he is not introducing the “Read the Bills Act.” Tell him you know he has the power to introduce this legislation, and that you want him to do so. Send him to the text of the legislation at http://www.downsizedc.org/rtba_legislation.shtml:::

To avoid the “hard wired” text used in our lobbying system message you can write to Senator Dayton directly at this address: Senator_Dayton@dayton.senate.gov:::

If you send a message to Senator Dayton please leave a comment here telling us so. :::

February 16, 2006:::

Dear Mr. Stern::::

Thank you for contacting me in regard to the Read the Bills Act of 2005. This proposed legislation has not been formally introduced in the 109th Congress. However, I agree that our government needs to be more accountable and transparent to the American public and that Members of Congress should be provided sufficient time to read all legislation before casting roll call votes.:::

Please know that I will keep your thoughts well in mind, if the Read the Bills Act of 2005 is introduced and comes to the Senate Floor for consideration. I hope that you will continue to share your views with me as my colleagues and I in the 109th Congress work to create and enact laws of genuine value. Again, thank you for taking the time to be in touch.:::

My best regards.:::

Sincerely,:::Mark Dayton:::United States Senator

:::

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The “downsizing” meme spreads

According to Wikipedia, Richard Dawkins coined the phrase meme; to refer to any cultural entity, for example a song, an idea or a religion that might be considered a replicator. Simply, for our purposes, let’s call it a phrase that’s so powerful it gets repeated over and over. ::::::Traditionally, the meme small government advocates have promoted has been the idea of liberty, or freedom, but these words are so abstract, and so open to interpretation, as to be almost meaningless. When communists and facsists alike can speak of freedom or liberty as their goal, and they have and do, it becomes difficult to communicate that you mean something entirely different. Words that have to be explained don’t make very good memes. ::::::But no one can be unclear about what we intend when we say we want to downsize government. It means we want to make government smaller. The word is well-understood in the context of business. When a business is unprofitable it needs to cut out unprofitable activities. It needs to downsize. The idea translates to government. If government is doing things it shouldn’t be, it needs to downsize. It needs to be smaller. Nothing has to be explained. The word “downsizing” in regards to government, is a perfect meme, a perfect replicator.::::::And it is replicating. ::::::For instance, the Cato Institute is using the word more and more. First, Chris Edwards wrote a policy report for Cato that used the word, and now Cato is publishing a book by Mr. Edwards titled “Downsizing Government.”::::::Cato is also offering the book as a premium in a fundraising letter that invokes the downsizing meme six times. Go Cato! Spread the meme!

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Babka discusses RTBA on Free Market News

Jim Babka has done another interview on the “Read the Bills Act.” This one is at the Freemarket News Network. You can listen to it here.

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