Monthly Archives: July 2009

A report on YOUR progress

Quote of the Day: “The natural proclivity of democratic governments is to pursue public policies which concentrate benefits on the well-organized and well-informed, and disperse the costs on the unorganized and ill-informed.” —  Peter Boettke

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Subject: A report on YOUR progress

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We’re making lots of progress. This is YOUR progress, because everything we do depends on you, and on the Downsize DC Army. Thank you for making our growth possible.

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With 3 days left in July, here’s where we stand…

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URGENT: The Bill We Warned You About

Quote of the Day: “You can make a small fortune in farming – provided you start with a large one” – Anonymous

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Subject: The bill we warned you about

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THIS IS AN URGENT ACTION ITEM… We’ve been told a vote is likely to occur Wednesday.

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When we first launched our Freedom to Farm campaign back in April, we mentioned that House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman said “he intends to pass a strong food safety bill soon.”

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This bill we warned you about, the 109-page H.R. 2749, is Waxman’s promise. 

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The good news is that some of the most egregious trial balloons from earlier bills such as H.R. 875 have gone by the wayside . . .

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* There will be no new Food Safety Administration bureaucracy
:::* The bill seems to define “farm” in such a way that backyard gardens won’t be included in the regulations
:::* Direct farm-to-consumer, farm-to-restaurant, and farm-to-grocery store transactions will be exempt
:::* There is no implementation or incorporation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

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YOU are to be thanked for this. DC Downsizers were part of a large army of concerned citizens that killed earlier bills.

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But the bad news is very bad. This bill . . .

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The Amazing Loss that Proves the Concept

Quote of the Day: “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.” — Robert Frost(1874-1963) American poet

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Subject: A Defeated Bill Proves the Downsize DC Strategic Concept

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The Senate defeated a bill that would have made life easier for those Americans licensed to carry a concealed handgun. But in this defeat one can still see the awesome power that comes from building and deploying a massive army of citizens to pressure Congress.

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The defeated bill would have created reciprocity between states that allow citizens to carry concealed firearms. In other words . . .

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Put Them on the Spot

Quote of the Day: “Ironically, as we’re moving toward having our government completely control health care, countries with government-run health care are moving in the opposite direction. Almost every European country has introduced market reforms to reduce health costs and increase the availability and quality of care.” — David Gibberman, writing in “American Thinker” (HT: Professor Mark Perry, Carpe Diem blog)

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Subject: Put them on the spot

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We like to find levers — proposals that can accomplish a lot with a little. Ideas like our “Read the Bills Act” and our “One Subject at a Time Act” are classic examples. Well, Senator Tom Coburn has found a lever of his own . . .

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He proposed an amendment in the Senate Health Committee that would require members of Congress to switch from their current health insurance plans to any government provided insurance scheme that’s created as part of proposed health care legislation.

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This really put the members of the Senate Health Committee on the spot. If their plan is really so good, shouldn’t members of Congress be subject to it too? Every Republican but one (Judd Gregg) voted for the amendment, but so did the Chair, Democrat Chris Dodd, as well as Democrats Barbara Mikulski and Ted Kennedy. But . . .

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Detailed Criticism of the Read the Bills Act, A Response

A commenter over at Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars blog details why he…

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…strongly reject(s) the “Read the Bill Act”[link added] for three primary reasons and some minor reasons as well:

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Such opposition is so rare that it presents an opportunity. Let’s look at his opposition points…

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1) Bills should be fleshed out enough by the lawyers in their capacity as legislative aides in the direct employment of Congressmen in order to execute the principles being legislated. I also do not have a problem if these aides out-source some of the work to lawyers not in the direct employment of the Congressmen when expertise is not available amongst Committee members’ legal staffs. When cases come to trial, judges should have a clarity and comprehensiveness that requires detail. I too reject lobbyists’ drafts being copied and pasted into legislation but do not perceive the relationship between that and mandating Congress read all bills in their entirety.

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This objection is flawed in several ways.

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First,

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Two Ways to ‘Defend with Offense’

Quote of the Day: “I have found strength where one does not look for it: in simple, mild, and pleasant people, without the least desire to rule—and, conversely, the desire to rule has often appeared to me a sign of inward weakness: they fear their own slave soul and shroud it in a royal cloak (in the end, they still become the slaves of their followers, their fame, etc.)” — Friedrich Nietzsche

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Subject: Two bills to support

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A Washington-Post/ABC poll says that public support for Obamacare has slipped below 50% for the first time.

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This is why Congressional leaders are in such a rush to pass the bill. They know things will only get worse for their dreams of government controlled health care. We have to keep pushing to stop a rushed vote, and the latest news indicates we may be succeeding.

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If we can win this victory now the prospects for true health care reform in a free market direction will become much better.

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Today, we can continue to say no to government controlled health care by saying yes to two bills introduced by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). . .

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The Dirty Little Secret

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Quote of the Day: “Yesterday Democrats in the House introduced a 1,000-page national health-care plan. To make sure at least some people read it, they named it ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Pound Proposal.'” – Conan O’Brien

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Subject: The Dirty Little Secret

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During the Presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised he’d do something Congress wouldn’t, post bills on the Internet for five days after passage before signing them into law. Yet he has failed to do this for any bill, and now has formally changed abandoned his promise.

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It’s easy to see why.

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Tell the Media about Read the Bills

Quote of the Day: “Senators and representatives who vote on bills they haven’t read and don’t understand betray their constituents’ trust. It is no excuse to say that Congress would get much less done if every member took the time to read every bill. Fewer and shorter laws more carefully thought through would be a vast improvement over today’s massive bills, which are assembled in the dark and enacted in haste. (Rep.) Steny Hoyer chortles at the thought of asking members of Congress to do their job properly. It’s up to voters to wipe the grin off his face.”  — Jeff Jacoby in a Boston Globe column that mentions DownsizeDC.org’s Read the Bills Act

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:::Subject: Good news, plus, it’s time to tell the media about the “Read the Bills Act” and DownsizeDC.org

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We have a lot of good news to report. First, we reached 27,000 members/subscribers on Wednesday. It took us 176 days to go from 24,000 to 25,000, and then 59 days to go from 25,000 to 26,000. But it only took us 16 days to to go from 26,000 to 27,000!

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And the growth hasn’t stopped . . .

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We were overwhelmed yesterday

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MEDIA ALERT: Downsize DC President Jim Babka will be on two national radio shows, one today (Friday), and one Sunday night. See the post script for details.

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Quote of the Day: “At the end of the day, we’ll have significant cost controls,” — presidential adviser David Axelrod

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Subject: We were overwhelmed yesterday

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When we tell DC Downsizers something is urgent, you folks really respond! Our site was overwhelmed yesterday. For a few hours many Downsizers found it almost impossible to load the site to send a letter to Congress. Others hit a brick wall trying to log in. Even so, a lot of letters were sent, and we’re now back on track to reach our “letters to Congress” goal for the month.

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URGENT Correction!

Quote of the Day: “If every member pledged to not vote for it (the health care bill) if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes.” — Senator Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader

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Subject: URGENT correction

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Yesterday we told you it appeared unlikely Congress would pass a health care bill before the August recess. Things have changed in the last 24 hours. Congressional leaders are once again pressing to rush the bill through.

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This is very dangerous. We must resist this with everything we’ve got. Not only will it be bad for the government to expand its involvement in health care, RUSHING to do so will be even worse.

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If they pass a bill containing nearly 1,000 pages you can be sure that almost no one voting for it will really understand it.

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