May 21

How many times can you fix a problem?

Again, federal spending is eating away at my gut.  The Heritage Foundation today released a long term balanced budget proposal that is a logical approach to potentially solving our federal bankruptcy.  Painless? That would be impossible.  Practical?  Perhaps.  Necessary – Absolutely.

This to my three Congressment today!

 

My Colorado Representatives:

It should be no secret to any of you three that our federal government continues to “swell” rather than grow – especially when viewed from a cost vs. benefit point-of-view.  “Swelling” (abnormal enlargement of a body part) is acceptable when related to injured physical body parts but should not be accepted when related to government treatment of perceived socioeconomic ailments.

Anyone that spends any time at all looking at the federal dumping of our monies into dated, if not antiquated, programs that began with what seemed (and were usually defined as) a localized, short term requirement have continued – unabated and swelling.  Now those programs are holes in the federal budget sieve that will forever, it seems, drain funds from our treasury.  Just because,” It seemed like a good idea at the time,” doesn’t mean it is a good idea for all time!

Thanks to the Heritage Foundation’s efforts to analyze our federal spending habits (I would say “budgeting habits,” but despite the law, budgeting is a thing of the past) we can look at a few of the 200+ unnecessary (according to the Heritage Foundation[1]) programs we finance:

 

Perhaps rather than spending time thinking of new ways to spend our bloated government out of bankruptcy, it is time to figure out a way to reduce both the size and cost of government.  Our government could survive with that sort of attention.  Otherwise??

But Congress seems to be more involved investigating the investigators, invading the President’s financial privacy (he is a citizen too,) and crying out for Presidential impeachment – no matter why!!

It is painful, but we’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

[1] Heritage Foundation –  BlueprintforBalance_AFederalBudgetforFY2020.pdf

May 12

What About that “National Debt”?

Over the past several weeks I have ranted to my Congress People about the lack of a Federal Budget and the resultant national debt incurred because Congress won’t budget expendetures (and give-a-way funds, or any funds!)  One of my readers had been doing his own investigative work about the “National Debt” – that $22 Trillion “we” owe and pay interest to use.  What About that “National Debt?”

Reader Kent Carson has taken the time and effort to try to explain what the National Debt is, how it is manipulated and who owes who what?  A formadible task as is shown below.

This is lengthy – but very, very informative.  If you have time to “muddle through 13 pages” I guarantee you will learn some things you didn’t know.

Comments welcome.

Tom Howe – FlyingWBlog – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

May 05

Addressed to me…

Form letters are both general and impersonal.  If my Congressmen think a form letter does the response trick, then that tells me something about their concern.  It is accepted “form” (pun intended) but doesn’t make a form letter a proper response.  Hence this letter to my Senator Gardner regarding the federal budget.

 

Senator Gardner:

Thank you for your undated reply to my inquiry regarding the 2020 Budget.  The form letter your staff sent to me on May 1st at least let me know that someone actually looked at my earlier letter to you.  That in itself is somewhat reassuring.

I completely understand the Congressional Budget process.  I also realize that as a Senator you have limited ability to provide direct input into the Budget structure process – that responsibility lies with the House more so than the Senate.  But as a member of our Congress you have a responsibility to insure the Budget process is implemented and completed in the manner and timeline directed by The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. That is the law!

It is obvious that many of our seemingly annual difficulties within the Federal Government can be prevented by Congress doing their appointed job. Congresses’ job includes passing and implementing a COMPLETE Federal Budget prior to the beginning of the Budgeted fiscal year.

Case in point.  It will be difficult for either Congress or the President to shut down the government due to lack of funding if the funding (via the completed Budget) is in place – as the law requires.  Yes, I know the law provides for “Continuing Resolutions.”  A continuing resolution is not a solution.  A continuing resolution is a Congressional admission of incompetence and failure.

My primary concern is that Congress use the Budgeting process to run the nation’s business rather than ignoring the process and then using delayed funding as a political weapon – year after year after year.

Your reply implies that I may be worried about Colorado not getting enough from the federal trough, “…putting Colorado’s interests first.”  My concern is that Colorado and all other states are already getting too much from the federal trough – our nation is $22 Trillion in debt.  What possible justification is there for that fiscal irresponsibility?  Had the Congress followed the law and put a budget in place every year since 2008, my guess is that the national debt would be a fraction of the current level.

But if there is no budget, Colorado’s Senator Bennett, our newest Presidential Candidate, wouldn’t be able to use those resultant government shutdown threats as a campaign plank.  Does that mean he wants a realistic budget completed on time like I do?  As an elected member of Congress, what else could he possibly want?

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

Apr 12

Is Spying…?

Too busy this week to get a letter out but couldn’t pass up this opportunity to draft my second ever Meme!

 

Tom Howe

Flying W Ranch

Hotchkiss, CO

Apr 01

If you like your Constitution, You can…

Colorado’s new liberal legislature couldn’t wait to join the National Popular Vote (NPV) Movement because they “want every vote to count”  – like California and New York and New Jersey.  They want only 36% of the voters to elect the President instead of 48% or maybe even 50% or more.  If you don’t like your constitution – don’t change it, go around it…

This letter going to a few newspapers and all the Colorado Congresspeople at Shangri-La on the Potomac.

 

On March 30th a Town Hall meeting was organized by State Senator Kerry Donovan and State Representative Julie McCluskie in Hotchkiss, Colorado.  These two hosts each gave a presentation of their favorite activities at the statehouse and then without taking questions or comments, turned the Meeting over to a “group” to present the case for the National Popular Vote (NPV) movement.  Yep, that’s the same movement which the Colorado State Legislature and Governor already joined.

The “group” was a presentation by a traveling, self-proclaimed California Republican that went to g-r-e-a-t lengths to attempt to explain that the Electoral College is not the problem.  He told us the reason every vote does not count is that 48 of the 50 states designate ALL the state’s Electors to vote for the Presidential Candidate winning the entire state’s popular vote.

And then he attempted to explain why that “failed” process if expanded and used further at a national level (the NPV) would “make every vote count.”  He says combining all the state’s electors (as selected by the failed process above) into enough electoral votes to, in essence, totally by-pass the Electoral College process, will most certainly make every vote count.  Using his logic, then 48 (well 20 – the number required by the NPV) wrongs must certainly make a right.

Every ten years the US Government reapportions the US population between the House of Representatives’ districts in an evenly distributed manner (magically by both Population and Geographic’s.)  The Electoral College has one Elector per House district plus an additional two electors per state (representing the states Senatorial presence in Congress).

The federal government should legislate that the states must allow each Congressional district to elect its Elector directly (a “right” granted in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.)  Then (setting aside gerrymandering) “every vote” would count at both the district and state level – each voter, in essence, casting a vote for both his district and state electors – the two Senatorial Electors determined by statewide popular vote.  Then every vote counts at both the district and the state levels – as was the intention of the founding fathers.

The Constitution provides a means to be adjusted when necessary.  Those that swear an oath to “support the Constitution” should use the legal means available to do so (see above) not circumnavigate to avoid the Constitution.  The NPV does exactly that – and sets an almost treasonous example doing so.

We’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

CC:       Rep. Diana DeGette      202-225-5657

Rep. Joe Neguse          202-226-7840

Rep. Ken Buck              202-225-5870

Rep. Doug Lamborn      202-226-2638

Rep. Jason Crow           email (No Fax)

Rep. Ed Perlmutter        202-225-5278

 

 

 

 

Mar 25

Let it be OVER, Please!

 

Finally the over speculated, and apparently not complete enough nor over climatic enough Mueller Report is released!  But wait! …  But we need to investigate!

 

NO WE DON’T  Not any more.  Let it be OVER, Please!

 

Finally – after twenty-two months of gnashing of teeth, projections of doom, investigating the investigators and demanding unfounded preemptive actions all across the total spectrum of our national government, it is over.  We have the “Mueller Report”!

Please, let this time of ridiculous over-reaction, political partisanship, obvious over-reach, and yes – maybe even a little teeny-tiny bit of “witch hunting” go!  Just accept the report, let go and get on with your job of supposedly leading this nation from the halls of Congress.

How can the nation be best served by having the members of our representative government continuing the vicious finger-pointing, exaggerated rhetoric, and speculative accusations that have been at the forefront for the past two years?

We constituents are tired of it!!

Put your efforts into actions benefiting the nation, not a party power play.
 
Put your efforts into saving some money rather than spending more money.
 
Put your efforts into passing a responsible 2020 budget – everyone will be well served.

These sorts of actions might even get a couple of you re-elected in 2020!

We ARE watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

 

 

Mar 17

Is the Office Intelligence Artificial or ??

Here’s one of several reasons why I have been adament about using facsimile to write to members of Congress.  Understandably, all congresspeople seem to use a site restricted method to receive emails.  I have no problem with that.  I have a problem that I can’t receive a copy of what I email to them, but that is only part of the issue.  Staff competence is more irritating.

 

Senator Gardner:

I made a mistake!  Instead of sticking to my self-imposed routine of only communicating with you (well, your office) via facsimile, where we both have an audit trail of correspondence, I made the mistake of using your website email to voice a concern.  Of course by using that form I have no written record of my message to you unless I remember to make a copy of the text and save it before sending the email – something I never have to do with the three other email server systems I use.  But, either your staff or your AI (Artificial Intelligent – which by self-definition is…”artificial”) email system attempts to send a canned (form letter in office jargon) response.  I don’t recall having sent you anything regarding the government “shutdown.”  I may have referenced the “shutdown” regarding concern over the lack of an approved budget opening the door for a government shutdown when the seemingly never-ending “continuing resolution” method of funding our nation fails – a long term concern of mine.

On March 11th your office sent me the “form letter” shown on the left below.  I responded to the March 11th letter from you (again mistakenly using your no audit trail available email form) expressing my concern that you (well, again your office) seems to misunderstand the difference between budgeting and shutting down the government.  On March 15th I received a response (I’m assuming to my second email) from your office.  That response is shown below as well.

[Onlythe March 11th copy of the identical letters is shown here.]

Yep!  The two not only look the same, they are absolutely identical (except for the date they were sent.)  I’m confused.  What am I supposed to determine from this?  Is it that I am being served by an AI system rather than staff?  Is it that your staff doesn’t understand the difference between a budget and what happens when there isn’t a budget?  I want to know when Congress is going to pass a budget! 

Your constituents deserve better – We’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

Mar 11

Telling it like it Isn’t!

This weeks letter is to one of Colorado’s Democrat Congressmen from a Front Range (metropolitian Colorado from Ft. Collins to Pueblo along the east side of the Rocky Mountains) District .  This letter responds to Representative Ed Perlmutter’s newsletter (he so kindly sent to me) in which 2019 HR1 was his headline issue.  Congressman Perlmutter sits on the committee that modified (see image) HR1 and sent it to the House Floor for vote.  He just forgot to mention that much of what he outlined as reasons he was voting for the legislation  was either removed from HR1 by his committee or really isn’t under Congressional Control …

 

Congressman Perlmutter:

Thanks (I think) for sending me this update shown here from your office.  But wait, you didn’t tell me “rest of the story.”  You sit on the House Committee that reviewed 2019 HR1 and made many changes to this bill before sending it to the House for a vote:

[ See Image below]

Keeping your constituents and the citizens of Colorado informed is important.  Keeping them accurately informed is even more important.  I understand that sometimes information slips behind actions, but that still doesn’t provide excuses for releasing information that is incorrect.  You sit on the committee that made these changes.  Your office has no excuse for releasing this erroneous information.

I just highlighted the states’ rights invaded by this bill as an example of your efforts to undermine and control the states’ constitutional right to organize and conduct elections.

I doubt this legislation will make it through the Senate – but that aside, you owe it to your constituents to provide more accurate information about your actions.

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

Mar 03

2019 HR1 Steamrolling Constitutional States Rights

2019 HR1 now working its way through the House of Representatives is an atrocity!  The Federal Government has been slowly eroding States Rights since Congress realized it could actually propose legislation that would do so.  There’s a difference between slow erosion and using hydraulicking – high pressure movement of mountains.  2019 HR1 blasts away the States Rights provided by the US Constitution.  What states can afford to implement all this federal intrusion?  None!!!!  My thoughts to the Colorado Representatives addressed to Rep. Scott Tipton.

 

Scott –

Since the formation of our nation, voting has long been one of the foundational state’s rights granted by the Constitution.  State’s rights – even though decisively reinforced and pronounced in the constitution by Amendment Ten – seem to be a direct target of the federal government rather than the intended protectorate of the federal government.  What’s happening?

2019 H.R. 1, in somewhat humorously inept and stumbling manner, is directly attacking the state’s right to control voting.  There is only one federal elected office, that of the President of the United States, that the citizens (mostly) cast ballots.  As expressly clarified and pronounced in Amendments 14 and 15, citizens have the “right” to vote for the Electors (of the Electoral College) by casting a presidential ballot. The federal government has the authority to enforce the citizen’s rights to cast that vote, but the ability of the federal government to control the state’s voting process is limited if allowed at all.

2019 HR1 contains wording that in effect would allow the federal government the means to not just control the state’s election methods, but massively micromanage all the state’s election processes.  While not a direct comparison, the Colorado State Statutes Section 1-1, Elections, has 115 different sections and is covered in 52 pages.  HR1’s Division A is 277 pages and has 123 sections in just Title I of six different Titles of mandated election rules.  Micromanagement is not nearly a strong enough adjective to describe the Federal Government’s intrusion.

Just how much money is the State of Colorado (via citizens taxes) supposed to invest in implementing this blatant abuse of federal rule over state’s rights?  The federal government can print its own money (a great excuse for spending money) – Colorado cannot.

I don’t want our state being told to spend my tax dollars attempting to implement often contradictory rules and regulations, i.e., my mail-in ballot counts if postmarked, “…on or before the date of the election.” [HR1, Section 1621 “e”, page 141.]  But wait, the date of the election, “…shall be treated in the same manner as a legal public holiday described in section 6103 of title 5, United States Code.” [HR1, Section 1903, page 163.]  There are many post offices throughout Colorado where you could never get a postmark on a holiday!

And why is it so critical that this most likely unconstitutional, poorly conceived, poorly written legislation must be implemented by 1/1/2020?  I could guess, but, of course, it would just be a guess on my part.

You have a responsibility to your constituents, your state, and yes, even to yourself, to ensure this sort of legislative gobbledygook is trashed!

We’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

CC:     CO Rep. Diana DeGette        202-225-5657

CO Rep. Joe Neguse            No Fax – staff email

CO Rep. Ken Buck                 202-225-5870

CO Rep. Doug Lamborn       202-226-2638

CO Rep. Jason Crow            No Fax – via facebook

CO Rep. Ed Perlmutter         202-225-5278

Feb 23

Court Arguments in Congressional Legislation?

HR-1 2019’s first “change things as fast as possible” bill is working its way through the legislative process – or Congress would like you to believe.  If the House truly honored the “legislative process” this bill would be ripped to pieces.  It’s not legislation at all.  Here are my comments regarding just one small part of this “Legislation?”

 

Scott –

I’ve been reviewing 2019 H.R. 1 that is so misleadingly titled “For the People Act of 2019.”

Is this indicative of the type of so-called “legislation” we can expect in our newest Democrat-controlled House?  While being concerned about many, many parts of this shotgun approach to change, I’ll cover just one concern in this letter:  SEC.  5001. FINDINGS RELATING TO CITIZENS UNITED DECISION.  This Section can be found on page 366 (of the 570 pages.)

I’m hoping you or your staff can explain to me how (or more importantly, why) legislation such as this is used to present an entire argument (almost 1200 of the 108,000 words) against a list of Supreme Court decisions.  I can understand a partisan movement against decisions levied by the Supreme Court not in favor with party desire, but am I wrong assuming the venue for arguing a case is not in House legislation?  It makes me wonder who the legislators are trying to convince – their constituents, the courts or themselves.  To what purpose does this long, amateurish legal argument serve within legislation?

And the legal arguments presented are so definitive – using long established legal terms like, “…tidal waves of unlimited and anonymous spending.”[1]  Just how much spending is that?

And then comes a self-descriptive legislative reaction like, “The Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the Constitution to empower monied interests at the expense of the American people in elections has seriously eroded over 100 years of congressional action to promote fairness and protect elections from the toxic influence of money.”[2]

Am I to believe the Supreme Court has run off “misinterpreting” the Constitution – again?  But wait, isn’t interpreting the Constitution the primary job of the Supreme Court?  And our Congress using another legally explicit phrase to express how hard it (the Congress) has worked to avoid, “…the toxic influence of money.” has to be hilarious in the face of our $22,000,000,000,000 national debt.  Who spent all that money – no “…toxic influence…” there?

This is just one small item!  There is so much more in H.R.1 that needs review and clarification.

Your thoughts?  We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

CC:     Rep. Diana DeGette  202-225-5657

Rep. Joe Neguse      No Fax – staff email

Rep. Ken Buck                   202-225-5870

Rep. Doug Lamborn  202-225-1942

Rep. Jason Crow      No Fax ?? email blog ref.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter    202-225-5278

 

 

[1] 2019 HR1, Page 367, lines 8 & 9

[2] Ibid – lines 19 to 24

 

 

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