You?

It is Thanksgiving, 2019. In my opinion, one to not be remembered. This year, being thankful for the great nation I was fortunate to be born into isn’t even near the top of my list. What a mess our government has made of itself.

Fortunately for you three as individuals because you are not directly involved, but unfortunately for your constituents and the State of Colorado, and our entire nation, our federal government Congressional leadership is failing us all – and doing it 24/7 in front of the entire literate world.

From a social/political point of view, there is little, if any for Americans to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.  Our federal government appears to be in shambles.  The never-ending, never focused, so-called “impeachment hearing” process has become such media madness that even if other actions are being performed by you and the other members of Congress, we citizens are mostly unawares. 

Why should we support you?  What are you doing to prevent this nation from becoming so completely divided that our government will become even more dysfunctional?  Is there no means among those elected to lead this nation to do just that – lead the nation?

The effects of this “Cold Civil War” are becoming disastrous.  Congress destroyed the budget process.  Our borders are in shambles.  Our debt has become so large it cannot be described or understood.  Our military and resultant national defense are in perpetual “catch up mode.”  Government intrusion into healthcare and education has become more important than actual health care or education.

As a senior citizen, veteran, caring individual it almost makes me want to sit down and cry – ignoring, and thereby exacerbating the problem.  I, for one, will not go down without a fight.  I still have a voice and a vote. 

So far, things do not look good.  Who should I vote for in 2020 to carry this fight forward?

You?

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

Doing Anything?

It has been a while since my senators have heard from me. I’ve been wondering what, if anything they are doing? According to the media, the only thing in Washington DC is possible impeachment of Trump – for something…

My Colorado Senators:

I have been remiss in writing to you for a number of reasons – the least of which is the apparent (at least from the mainstream media point of view) importance of the seemingly never-ending attempt by committees in the House to find some (any, actually) far-flung reason to not just threaten, but actually initiate impeachment of President Trump.  My reasons have more foundation – the lack of apparent functionality of either the House of Representatives or the Senate.  An election year is coming (it isn’t here yet) but if I was to believe the media, the 2020 election and the impending impeachment are the only things of importance to our government.  Oh, there is the occasional elected official scandal (typically sex-related) or guaranteed entertainment icon scandal (always sex-related) by some starlet or rogue actor that has ties to an elected official (probably sex-related.)  Are I and my fellow “silent generation” citizens the only ones that actually care that our nation’s government is coming apart before our eyes?

It is hard to comment, either favorably or critically, about your actions when there appears to be little if any, substantial government operational action from your respective offices.  I’m disappointed in both of you.  You ask why?

Senator Gardner:

I’ve watched you slide away from the conservative principles that won you your last election to more moderate stances on most issues, and I can understand why.  I too am watching Colorado slide away from its conservative roots to the whims and reactions of those that relocated here and then have been changing the state government/social environment into the same environment they left.  I understand “Change” is the only constant.  But, you must realize there are facets of your job representing our state that require you actually work in our nation’s capital for the overall protection of our republic and Colorado’s part therein.  Our constitutional government is crumbling and only you and your congressional cohorts have the ability to save it. 

Senator Bennet:

Really?  Running for President!  While you and I frequently disagree about our government actions, or more importantly – inactions – I still expect you to show respect for your nation, your constituents, and the State you represent by performing the job you promised to do.  Is your ego so inflated that you believe continuing to spend the time you promised representing us to chase this windmill is the way to best serve your constituents?  Show us you care.  Back out, back up, go back to DC and announce that you recognize your time is not best spent on the presidential campaign trail, but serving Colorado best by:

  • Ensuring the nation’s 2021 budget is actually prepared and approved prior to October 1, 2020 – as is required by law.  No more using “continuing resolutions” for political purposes.
  • Working towards reducing, rather than expanding, the federal government’s financial burden on the taxpayers.  Begin working within the constitutional guidlines and begin eliminating the many functions government has assumed outside the limitations of the Constitution[1]

You might be pleasantly surprised by your constituent’s reactions.

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado


[1] Amendment X of the Constitution of the United States

I’m Not the Only One…

Occasionally (or maybe I should say “rarely”) I read a letter to the editor or a column that mirrors my feelings. When I see one that says, even better than I can say, my feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions, I’m immediately taken aback! Such a letter appeared in the electronic version of today’s Grand Junction Sentinel ( the paper is in such dire financial straits they can’t afford to print a paper on Monday and Tuesday) .

What a great, concise overview of the state of our nation and the reaction of our Congress!!

Image of Barry’s letter as it appears in the Oct. 8, 2019 electronic Grand Junction Sentinel.

Barry says it all. I hope Barry is a veteran and a member of the same veterans group out of Montrose as am (a member.) If so, I will make extra effort to meet him.

Tom Howe – FlyingWBlog

More of Same, SHAME!

I’ve been remiss over the last few weeks but my Congressmen have not. Here’s my comments regarding their lack of action on things actually important!


My Colorado Congressmen:

We’ve started FY 2020 operating the federal government financing under an immediate “continuing resolution.”  Is that indicative of how the entire year is going to go…again?  You must be so proud (there is no punctuation mark for the opposite of “exclamation” – i.e., severe disappointment, for me to use here, so this is close “¡”)[1]

Continuing Resolutions – the legal scapegoat for shirking responsibility – has become the “norm” of Congress since 2008 – yes, now 12 years since Congress has passed an actual budget – as (supposedly) required by law.

Are you proud of yourselves?  It is almost as though you want to run the government this way to be able to threaten political adversaries, partisan policies, and even your constituents with government shutdowns to gain some advantage to push some agenda that is not nearly as important as our desperate need for generally responsible government.

I am not proud of you, the three of you or your fellow congressmen.  ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

Get busy and put this nation’s government back on track – responsibly operating this great nation’s business.

The best and most obvious way to start is with a responsible budget that plans to stop deficit spending over a period no longer than five years and contains provisions for a minimum 80% reduction in the national debt over the following 20 years – then regulates future debt limits to an appropriate fraction of Gross National Product (GNP).

You’ll probably say, “It can’t be done!”  I say, “Male Bovine Poop!”

You are the United States of America’s Congress. 

Do your job!!

We’re watching – and voting!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado


[1] I know the upside-down exclamation point is used in Spanish but seems appropriate here.

They’re Baaack!

Yep, They’re back. It had to happen. Good, bad or indifferent the reigns of government are now in the hands of Congress again. We’re approaching an election year (but you already knew that or you are comatose) so the appearance of Congressional members accomplishing things will fill the media. Get ready.

My Congressional Representatives:

You are back – from your six weeks long month recess.  Your return should be a reason to review a couple things that seemed to be unimportant (to Congress, at least) during the first 11 months of this federal government fiscal year:

Preparing and passing a national budget.

We all know that will never happen for FY 2020 because now it is physically impossible – there’s less than a month left.  We now have experienced more than a decade (since 2008) of Congress skirting its foundational obligation to the nation to operate our government responsibly.  It appears that manipulating the national coffers has become nothing more than a political tool (continuing resolutions) for politicians to use against one another to accomplish short-term partisan political gain – the overall status and the future of the nation not important – not even considered.

Reduce Spending.

You and your colleagues in both Congress and Administration will spend more than $1 Trillion more than you have – just next year.  How can you allow that with any responsible thought?  It seems you throw money (that you do not have) everywhere – with reckless abandon. 

Where is any fiscal responsibility at all in these actions? Are you afraid to pass a budget because operating within a budget will prevent the ability to use spending as a political weapon instead of a tool?  Are you afraid being fiscally responsible will lose votes from special interest groups – those that manage to work social media better than your campaign staff?

Since you will accomplish little if any additional meaningful national work during the remaining three weeks of FY 2019, perhaps a little thought about what you might be able to do for our nation in 2020 would make good use of the time.

We’re watching – we’re not happy.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

Count the votes my way for my election but…

Congress takes August off (and then some) so I suppose I might as well take August off too – it only seems fair.  On the way I had to ask how The House would like it if each of them were elected using the same logic that the states apply to the Electoral College and the resultant presidential election.  I think there would be a major revolt – and should be.  There should be a major revolt over the Popular Vote Movement.  so, Until September (sometime…)

 

My Colorado Representatives:

As you prepare to leave Shangri-La on the Potomac for your “August Recess” This Friday[1], perhaps some thought about the National Popular Vote (NPV) movement should be on your recess agenda.  There seems to be a rapid movement in Colorado to address this very controversial issue – with focus on overturning the legislature’s recent agreement for Colorado to join the movement.

If nothing else the NPV is providing a catalyst for voters in Colorado to review the entire presidential voting process, including the Electoral College (EC) which is a foundational part of our Constitution.

The founding fathers didn’t put the EC in the Constitution to keep citizens votes from being counted.  The EC is in place to protect ALL votes from possibly being ignored because the voters are not in highly populated states – or are in states with widely diversified needs, like Colorado.

The formation of the Legislative Branch of our democratic republic is based upon district representation providing for a somewhat even distribution across states based upon district population[2].  The founding fathers recognized each district represents citizens based on that citizens’ local environment, desires, and most importantly – needs from the federal government.  That method’s logical extension to the presidential election is already ignored by those 48 states choosing to combine all their district EC elections into one state pool rather than the districts themselves.

While the NPV attempt to further (completely?) destroy the Electoral College’s nationwide (as opposed to state wide) representation is in the spotlight – why not introduce federal legislation that puts the Constitution’s well-defined means for conducting a national Presidential election back into place?  Require each state to hold district elections (as they already do) to elect (by presidential candidate) in each district that district’s representative to the EC – without state intervention.  Each state will then, by statewide popular vote, elect the two senatorial representatives to the EC.  Simple, direct, and as designed in the Constitution – and used to elect you!

I know – the Constitution provides for the states to control their elections, but the Constitution also provides for me to be able to vote for my elector (to the EC) as well.  Will the next step be that if Party A’s representatives win the majority of the districts within a state that all (and only) the Party A candidates will go to Congress from that state?  If my district’s landslide winning vote went to the Party B, or Party C or any other candidate in our district – all our votes would not count – some other person with Party A affiliation will represent us in Congress – only because of party affiliation – not votes.  That doesn’t sound very Constitutionally representative, does it?  Would you allow that in Colorado?

But that is exactly what 48 states (including Colorado) are doing with district presidential votes for district representatives to the EC.  When you think about it, that isn’t very Constitutional either.

What do you say?  Do you think maybe someone should fix this?  Me too.  That someone is you!!

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

[1] 2019 Congressional August Recess – July 26 to September 9.  August now has six weeks, or 45 days?  Cry a river, February!

[2] Gerrymandering and district distribution across states are discussions for another day – before the 2020 Census.

… So Few … So Many

My Senator Cory Gardner sent out an email message on July 1, accolading himself for all the good things he’s doing.  Unfortunately, I disagree with his enthusiasm over his listed issues:

 

Senator Gardner:

I just went back and reviewed your July 1 message I received via email.  I know you try to keep your constituents (including me) informed of your activities and we (constituents) appreciate your doing so.  However:

We Will Never Forget:  The next time you re-evaluate the Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act you may want to keep in mind that even though the first responders at the tragic 9/11 attack on New York City deserve recognition, shouldn’t there be some balance between the compensation packages (recognition?) those responders received and the compensation received by our veterans that face even more hazardous and deadly challenges.  Our service personnel do so with little additional compensation for their resultant hardships, injuries, and sacrifices?  As you said, “It’s well past time that we stand up for those who acted without hesitation…”  This seems very imbalanced to me. Why so much for so few and so little for so many?

100th Anniversary of Passing the 19th Amendment:  How many years before this statue will be removed because it offends a small minority?

Combating Colorado’s Droughts: “…and more to better address this issue.”  Really?  I’m so pleased you (and Senator Feinstein) recognize our (Colorado) drought “…requires a comprehensive approach in order to manage our resources.”  We now have both ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform and ‘comprehensive’ drought management in play.  Don’t forget ‘Comprehensive’ Election Reform, ‘Comprehensive’ Tax Reform Just exactly who is doing all this “comprehending.”  If results are any indication – not many if any.

Standing up to China:  Wow!  Not enough problems here in the good ol’ USA that needs Congressional attention to keep us from introducing legislation (really?) to recognize something that happened in China 30 years ago.  No legislation introduced to recognize 30 years ago the end of the Berlin wall, the San Francisco earthquake, the Exxon Valdez, the first liver transplant?

I would like to hear about your efforts to ensure the FY2020 budget is on track to reach the President’s desk before the beginning of FY2020 – as it should – both as required by law and to fulfill responsible congressional action.  I would like to hear about your efforts to reduce federal spending over the next several fiscal years.  I would like to hear about your actual efforts (not just comments) to address the border crises plus many other immediate pressing issues.

I’m waiting, and watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

Take Aim, Pull the Trigger

If we don’t do something NOW about the damage the national Popular Vote Movement could do to our nation then we will not be the United STATES anymore…  This letter a followup to a letter in the 6/23 Grand Junction Sentinel from County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

 

Representatives:

Mesa Colorado County Commissioner Rose Pugliese was on target in her June 23 letter regarding the Popular Vote Movement (PVM) but slightly off center.  Rose outlines the PVM efforts to circumnavigate the entire Electoral College (EC), but we need to go further to repeal this bad law.

State’s rights were paramount in the founder’s minds to protect the entire Union of States, not just States that had higher populations.

Granted, the Constitution provides for each state to manage its elections – the federal government not intruding upon the state’s rights to run their internal election affairs.  The EC was implemented to provide a balanced method for citizens within the states to elect the President and Vice President – at the time, the only popular elected federal officials.  However, 48 of 50 of the states have already chosen to obliterate the EC balance provided their citizens by dictating all of the state’s electoral votes go to the candidate winning the popular vote in the state – the democratic thing to do.  But the United States is not a Democracy – it is a Democratic Republic.  The PVM would eliminate the EC, even though leaving it in place, and turning absolute control of the US Administration over to the most populated states – exactly what the founding fathers saw a need to avoid.

So how do we fix this?

The Constitution provides me, “… the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President…”[1]  The state took that right from me when it said my vote counts only if my vote for my Congressional District Elector is in the majority of the entire state – not the majority in the Congressional District which my EC “elector” should represent.

Congress needs to revitalize the Electoral College – not cast it aside.  Congress should use the privilege of legislative power over the states it has exercised in the past and require elections for the President and Vice President within the States be at the Congressional District level for Electors representing Congressional Districts and at the State level for electors representing members of the Senate.

The PVM movement should be the catalyst to have Congress revisit the federal election process, honor the intent of the founding fathers, and put this United States back on its Constitutionally Democratic Republic track.

That would be a Bull’s Eye for the nation.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

 

[1] US Constitution, Amendment 14, Section 2.

“I” needs a rest!

Impeach – Investigate – Immunity – I words…they go on and on and on in todays federal government. “I” words, over and over and over.  Come on Congress, give it a rest!!!

 

My Colorado Representatives:

 

I’ve come to the conclusion we need to remove some “I” from Congress.  Understanding that “I” is a foundational word in the vocabulary of the politicians that comprise our Congress “I” frequently used in the personal pronoun vernacular usually followed by verbs like, “will…”, “promise…”, “do…”, “do not…”, “guarantee…”, “want…”, etc.  The poor, overworked ninth letter of our English language alphabet has toiled way too hard in Congress these past two and one-half years.  “I” is ent”I”itled to a rest!

We’ve all heard the term Impeachment so much you’d think Impeachment is part of this Congress’ rules.  Of course, Investigation was the key “I” word for the first two years.  The Investigation would surely lead to Impeachment.  “The” Investigation Report was certain to be Infested with Incriminating evidence to Illustrate the need to Initiate Impeachment Immediately.

But alas, the Report lacked Incrimination – but also did not Implicitly Indemnify.  That alone Inflated the need to Implement Increased Investigation to Illustrate Impeachable Intent by the Administration.  After all, the purpose of the Investigation was to prove Intent, not Indemnify.  But we all should know our government should not spend federal funds Investigating to Indemnify – that would truly be…unAmerican!!

It is tIme to gIve the letter ”I” a rest!

We’re Watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

 

A letter from Melania Trump – or maybe the RNC?

A personal letter to me from Melania Trump – asking me for help?  Yeah, right!

I have never lost much sleep over what the Republican National Comittee (RNC) is doing because in my mind they’ve done little to help the conservative cause.  A real-life example of the shakespearian phrase, “Much ado about nothing.”

So it is time they received my thoughts regarding the RNC’s methods and means to contact me.  I responded to my letter from “Melania” with this:

 

To the Republican National Committee:

Today (June 1, 2019) I received a letter from Melania Trump.  It is dated on Wednesday.  Wait! Not just Wednesday; the letter was dated Wednesday Morning!

I know Melania’s staff is just a fraction of what Michelle Obama retained when first lady, but then Michelle (and her staff) were always too busy to write to me.  They (Melania’s staff) must not have been able to find my address and as a result, asked the Republican National Committee to mail Melania’s letter to me.

Not to be outdone by the nation’s first lady, the Republican National Committee quickly agreed and figured out that they (the Committee) could write to me too.  Melania wants my support.  The Republican National Committee wants my money.  I appreciate Melania’s request.

The Republican National Committee thinks I owe them.  I don’t appreciate that!  I’m so unappreciative that I’ve made a decision.

My “Presidential Pledge” is that I will not, under any circumstances, ever give our National Republican Committee any funds whatsoever until I go for 12 months without receiving a phone call (I receive at least one call a month or more), a letter – with only one exception below – no matter how important the Committee thinks their letters might be – for at least 12 months from today.

The exception is a response to the one (and only) request I have made of The Republican National Committee, repeatedly.

I have asked that the Committee draft the 2020 Platform and publish it in a format readable, understood, and hopefully retained by the mainstream US Citizen.  The platform should be brief, concise, direct, and attainable.  The Platform should contain no stands on nonlegislatable moral issues.  No stands on pet projects pushed by minority groups looking for special needs.  No stands on regional or local issues not in the interest of all the individual citizens.  The platform should be limited to and cover the responsibilities of the federal government – as specified in the U.S. Constitution.  As an example – the platform should contain the need for a federal budget to be put into place as required by law – before the beginning of the respective fiscal year.  That job alone has befuddled the entire Congress (both Republican and Democrat) for the past 11 years.

The platform should have no more than 20 issues.  Unless there are some significant changes, 20 issues will be more than enough to fill two years of the government’s business.

I have my checkbook in hand awaiting the arrival of the 2020 GOP Platform.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado