Feb 17

“Myopicy” My What???

OK – I made up the word.  I couldn’t come up with a word to describe some of the myopic viewpoints of our Congresspeople.  I’m traveling the early part of the week hence the early posting.

 

My Colorado Representatives:

“Myopicy” – not a word according to our dictionaries, but how else does one say “the condition of being myopic?”  I can’t help but think that many of our more progressive leaders certainly suffer from such a condition.

Myopic, of course, means “lacking imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight.”  Some might say that’s harsh (we won’t go into the meaning of “harsh.”)  We certainly shouldn’t criticize our “progressive” thinkers for lack of Imagination.  Who else could come up with ideas such as Global Warming going to inundate our coastlines with 20 feet of sea (by 2017?) or that all the polar bears will die?  But we digress into the doomsday scenarios – the latest, of course, coming in 12 years.

I’m more concerned with the progressive myopicy that prevents consideration of issues like:

The 22 Trillion Dollar National Debt – evidently not recognized as an issue by the progressive Democrats.  Have you heard of any progressive plans to recognize this as a problem much less plan to reduce the debt?  Me neither – sort of myopic, eh?  $22 Trillion – unfathomable!

The creation and implementation of the 2020 National Budget –  All of the government seems focused on other issues – many caused by the lack of a 2019 budget, therefore, government funding still being “Continued” to keep the government from Shutting down.  FY 2019 will be half over in six more weeks!  Know of any progressives pushing for an approved 2020 budget?  Me neither.

That continued investigation created by lack of intellectual insight does not mean an eventual desired result!  We’ve all recognized that to progressive myopicy; it’s the investigation, not any investigative substance that matters.

Guns exacerbate violence.  If guns go away, violence must go away – another example of the lack of intellectual insight.  Maybe more myopic focus on violence, rather than guns, would be more productive – even though much less dramatic.

I could go on and on.  But until both major political parties realize that partisan myopicy serves no purpose other than disruption and lack of evolvement, many of the overinflated issues of the day that consume legislative and leadership resources deserve little more than a side glance – rather than … myopicy!

We’re watching

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

Feb 14

Oh, this should work!

My Colorado State Legislature is blasting ahead with progressive solutions – here’s another that deserves national attention – hence this additional letter this week.  Tounge in cheek?  Don’t I wish!

 

My Colorado Representatives:

According to my newspaper[1], a bill before the Colorado Legislature will provide for a third party firm to send text message reminders (twice – I guess it must be easy to forget the first reminder) to defendants that they have a date and time to appear in court.[2]  And then if they still miss their court date, they will receive another text message (third time is a charm?) that a warrant has been issued for their arrest.

My first reaction to this was that Colorado must have a lot of uncaring defendants or many that will only appear if dragged into the courtroom in cuffs and leg irons.  On a subsequent page, the same newspaper described a defendant (driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs) had written and carried along a reminder note (not a text message) to “sell drugs” and “sell food stamps.”  You wouldn’t want to forget to do that!

Why am I bringing this up to my federal representatives?  Simple!

One of our biggest border security problems over the past years has been Illegal aliens crossing our borders, facing a judge and being told to reappear at a (way) later date for a disposition of their criminal case.  I’m told many never reappear.  Perhaps texting those defendants will solve that problem?  Sending two messages will certainly help.

But then initiating such a program would certainly require some special funding.  Perhaps contracting with Google (they know where everybody is) to issue the messages would work.  Google might even give the government a discount if they are allowed to send an advertisement with each appearance message:

Need an extra charge for your cell while waiting in the courtroom?  Need to keep up with twitter and facebook?  Get a YretTab plug-in power supply for your cell (or pad.)  Do it immediately when next month’s welfare check comes in.  Be sure to ask for the “Defendant’s Discount” available at almost all pawn shops. 

But then I realized how wrong I am to think this way.  The reason that most of these defendants do not appear is that, like our driver, they are so messed up on drugs (beyond their control, I know) they can’t remember, or care, about their silly “appearance” or whatever…

Go for it!  Such a program would probably only cost twice as much (every two years or so – or infinitely – like every good government program) as securing the border, stopping a big portion of the drug flow, reducing the number of illegal entry “defendants”  awaiting court dates, reducing crime…etc…but I digress.

We’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

[1] Grand Junction Daily Sentinel 2/12/19

[2] I’m guessing the assumption is that all defendants have their own O’Bama Phones

Feb 11

Could This Happen? You tell me…

Colorado’s State Legislature is considering (passed Senate – in House now) joining the Popular Vote Agreement – an agreement among states that all the members of the Agreement will cast all their Electoral College votes for the candidate that receives the most popular vote among the agreement member states.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

The scenario presented below was sent to every member of the Colorado House this morning with this preamble:

 

Please take a few minutes over a warm drink to review the possible scenario regarding the impact of the Popular Vote Agreement. 
 
At a minimum look at the last section, last page. 
 
Your constituents weren’t allowed to vote … not good for you! 
 
Is this what you want?

 

Jan 28

…And I’ll Say it Again!

As I had said in an earlier letter, there is a way to operate our federal government without the danger of it coming totally apart because the two major parties have a disagreement driven by personal ideologies.  Congresspeople have a responsibility.  When politicians are able use government leverage to push personal agendas well past the negotiation table – the government system has been broken.  Government has the responsibility to fix itself!  Remember – there are damn few nations on the planet that would even consider that action.

 

My Colorado Representatives:

What to do about our self-inflicted “Border Security” issue that is like mana from heaven for the non-stop media?  Please help set the negotiating stage to actually negotiate about something tangible – instead of constant bloviating about differing philosophies that generate unending hyperbolic hearsay, verbal hypocrisy, and general idiocy.

The right says we need a wall – the only quasi proven solution.  The left says we need to apply more technology – technology being the “modern” operative way to solve problems.

OK – Stop speculating and let’s find out which answer is the best.  Quickly[1] form the necessary government action (you guys are government’s action crew, right?) to establish two comparable sites (same amount of illegal crossing activity, where traffic can be monitored accurately and where historical data is available for accurate comparison,) toss a coin and put a section of proposed wall along one site and implement the proposed technological barrier along the other site.  Start a closely monitored and reasonable testing period to see what happens.  Then the method (Wall or Tech) demonstrated to be the most effective will be the primary border security method budgeted and implemented in the future.

Or do we continue to stumble ahead with speculation, accusation, and stipulation which is twisted, turned, and…?  Oh yes, that would be a real service to your constituents and the nation.

While discovering what proposed solutions actually work, recognize this whole issue is your fault!  Yep, the whole political gnarl referred to as the “Border Wall Controversy” is your fault.  Had the 115th Congress (that was you) done its job, this dispute would never have become an issue, and the government’s “Temporary Shutdown” could not have happened. Now we face the coming February 15th Crescendo that we all fear will, in time, hurt the nation more than it will help the nation.

Had you and your colleagues in the 115th Congress done your job and approved a budget (including any border security portion thereof) for FY2019, the threat of a government shutdown due to lack of funding wouldn’t exist. The government funding “can” would have been opened up on October 1, 2018, dumped, and the “can” thrown in history‘s trash.  The nation wouldn’t still be stumbling over that “can” after you lawmakers kept kicking and kicking and kicking that “can” down the road to where we are now.

So…perhaps an exemplary effort (more than a decade late) to follow the law, negotiate and approve a 2020 budget (including border security) would make the future of our nation more serving to all.  Stop bickering and start functioning.  The other guy is not always completely wrong.

It isn’t easy watching from this end, but we’re still watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

[1] While I think this is a reasonable approach, my wife thinks there is no way this method could be defined and implemented by our current federal government in a practicable timeframe.  She is probably correct – it requires collaboration and  partsianship.

 

Jan 21

Embarrassments!

This will probably seem like more of same…and unfortunately it is.  Congress is doing more of same – totally shirking their Congressional responsibilities.  How do we make it stop? 

Maybe a Convention of the States will be required?

 

My Colorado Representatives:

You’ve embarrassed me, you’ve embarrassed yourselves, you’ve embarrassed the nation!

I see the House this holiday-shortened week might (after all the 15 or so bills to be considered “under suspension of the rules”) by Wednesday, or so, might consider talking about[1]:

H.R. 648 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 [emphasis added, twh] (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey / Appropriations Committee)

Postponed Vote of H.J.Res. 28 – Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (Sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey / Appropriations Committee)

Legislation Related to FY19 Appropriations

We’re two thirds the way through January 2019, which puts us about ten days from being one-third of the way through all of FY2019 and Congress is still trying to appropriate monies for the government to operate?

H.R.648 is only 1103 pages of funding legislation that should have been approved more than five months ago as part of the Budgeting process.  Now the new 116th Congress, including all the returning Congresspeople, is faced with cleaning up the miserable mess left by the 115th Congress.  How can you returning representatives not be embarrassed?

But wait, the new Congress can fix this.  H.J.Res 28 will fix this problem – fix it in the preferred Congressional way.  H.J.Res 28 will extend (“kick the can”) down the road more than another month – all the way to February 28th.  Which option will our new Congress choose?

Most of our nation’s populous are aware that the government is “temporarily” shut down because Congress won’t fund the President’s request for border security funds – aka, “the wall.”  Fortunately, for Congress at least, many of the nation’s populous aren’t acutely aware that the previous Congress (115th) should have completed all this work before September 2018 – almost four months ago.  Shame on them.

The sinful part of all this is not Congress failing to fund the Administration’s request for securing the border, but Congress betraying the entire nation by not properly funding the entire federal government.

“Embarrassing” is too kind a word to describe this massive failing!

We’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

[1] Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader’s Weeky Schedule, Week of January 21st, 2019

 

Jan 17

Government Shutdown – How did we Really Get Here!

The editorial in today’s Grand Junction (Colorado) Daily Sentinel rubbed my feathers the wrong way a bit so a response was drafted and sent.  The government shutdown and our Congress are the main topics so I thought my Congress People needed to know.

 

My Colorado Representatives:

Below is the text of a letter to the editor of the Grand Junction Sentinel.  You are the topic so you get your very own copy:

Government Shutdown – How did we Really Get Here?

President Trump ran for office with the Campaign Guidon, “Build the Wall.”  Anyone in this nation that knew there was going to be a 2016 Presidential election expected that President Trump (if elected) would do whatever necessary to build a Wall. 

The bottom line is that the shutdown is Congress’s fault – pure and simple.  The government is designed to operate such that circumstances should never exist for either Congress or the Administration be in a position that would allow this illogical operational outcome.  If both Congress and the Administration were doing their jobs as defined by law[1], the circumstance creating this shutdown could never have happened. 

If Congress had negotiated and approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Budget back before October 2018, then the wall would have been approved, partially approved, or not approved as part of the official budgeting process.  Fiscal year 2019 would have begun on October 1, 2018, with all funding defined and approved within the confines of the budgeting process.  But NO!

Following the FY 2008 budget, our Congress has been unable to (according to them) approve and pass a federal budget in accordance with the intent of The Congressional Budget Act of 1974.  Just because Congress hasn’t done its job for 10 years is not a license not to do their job now.

Yes, the law provides for actions should Congress fail to approve a Budget Resolution or fail to approve the Budget Legislation within the defined time prescribed. When the all too familiar “reconciliation bills” begin to appear, they should not be the expected (pseudo approved?) method to fund our government.  Yes, they are part of the Budget Law, but the part that is only supposed to be used when Congress has failed its assigned duties. 

The defined budget process appears to be lost in the “can kicking,” “reconciliation bill” partisan and political process that repeatedly has, year after year, created the environment for this government shutdown.

Point all the fingers in all the directions there are, but had Congress done its job – there would be no government shutdown!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

[1] www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-introduction-to-the-federal-budget-process

Jan 08

116th Congress – Now What??

Yesterday’s topic was too pointed to be just another issue.  Hey!  The government is (partially) shut down – even (in case you haven’t heard) most of the National Parks!!  But we have a new Congress now.  Can they be directed….????

 

My Colorado Representatives:

Here we go – 116th U.S. Congress.  Will you three be willing participants of a massive “Do Nothing Congress?” Will the Senate do little but block every “meaningful” House Bill and the House automatically stop every “meaningful” Senate Bill?  Will the nation have to try to survive an “us” vs. “them” Congress rather than our elected officials doing their sworn duty?

The “Left” is focusing on impeaching Trump, increasing taxes, impeaching Trump, spending more, and of course, getting rid of Trump.

The “Right” is focusing on trying to decide what Trump should be doing.   The “Right” knows full well Trump has his agenda and that many constituents support and encourage his efforts – mostly focused on the NATION rather than himself or Partisan Politics.

I know thousands and thousands of Congressional staff man (woman? Person?) hours will be wasted drafting meaningless partisan and personally motivated legislation which will burn thousands of committee hours and may come before the House or Senate.  Most will be introduced “…under suspension of the rules…”, etc., never be discussed outside committee, and eventually just cost the government (taxpayers) more deficit money, more federal employees, more regulation and enforcement of actions never intended to be the responsibility of the federal government.  There’s an analogy between that and thickening pond scum in there somewhere.

Are you able to exercise some leadership and pull your Congressional colleagues out of this non-productive governmental perpetual spiral?  Congressional action (probably a poor choice of verb) isn’t helping this nation.  Convince other members of Congress to do the federal government’s job (the Constitution is your job description) and as some examples:

  • Secure our nation! Secure our borders and secure our nation with an adequate military.
  • Manage our finances! Develop and implement a timely, responsible, deficit-free 2020 budget and do it on-time prior to September 1, 2019.
    • Begin Federal Debt Reduction. We’re already bankrupt.  Don’t ignore the consequences.
    • Wean the rest of the planet from our embarrassing foreign aid policies. Shut those funds off or at least turn those funds inward to solve some domestic problems.
  • Accept the nation’s progress made over the past two years (financial, employment, GDP, ) and expand on those successes.
  • Acknowledge there is a difference between governmental and moral responsibilities. Focus on Constitutionally defined governmental issues – that is the governmental job you took an oath to perform.

Are you up to the job?  We’re watching!

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

Jan 07

To “Wall” or not to “Wall”?

Here we go – Congress 116.  I have general “Congressional” comments that will appear in a later letter, but first my recommended solution to the government shutdown dilemma – massive egos against each other that have to be looking for a “Compromising” (more on that later too) solution:  Welcome to 2019!

 

To my Congressional Representatives:

To “Wall” or not to “Wall”?

Except for some of our radical populous, it seems the vast majority of we citizens (and even you politicians) want border security – implying we need a secure southern border regarding traffic (both human and material) into our nation.

President Trump argues that The Wall is the only way to secure the border.

The President’s opposition continues to say that “The Wall” is not necessary – repeatedly stating there are other (mostly high-tech) methods to secure the border.

We (the public) watch this classic example of two proposed solutions of one problem each saying their solution is the best and then politically arguing to disprove the other solution rather than proving their own.

The real question – what is required to secure the border?  Why not find out?

The US Border Patrol certainly has statistics regarding illegal traffic through sections of our southern border that would provide the required basis for testing each of the two solutions – a mandatory environment required for comparison testing.  We spend Billion$ already attempting to secure this border – spending a few more Billion$ to test proposed security methods would be money well spent.

Break the deadlock – have Congress fund both a test section of “The Wall” and a test section of the proposed high-tech border security.  Build both test sections so the Border Patrol can closely monitor the success and failure of each method with the understanding in advance that Congress will fund and implement the most effective method.

Saying something will not work doesn’t make it not work!  Measuring performance is the key.

The Border Patrol knows more about our borders than any other organization – even Congress!  Charge (and fund) the Border Patrol to prove which of the two proposed methods is best.

Then set partisanship aside and get on responsibly managing our country.

We’re watching

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

Dec 18

Now you know, Calvin!

A picture is often worth way more than 1000 words.  Calvin and his buddy Hobbs pictured things in life more simply that many of us, but in reality saw much more than we realized.  Cavin was worried about Santa surviving 30 years ago.  Do you think Calvin is worried about our nation surviving today?

I wondered what my representatives are thinking right now!

 

My Colorado Representatives:

The Christmas Holiday season is upon us.  Even though you continue to attempt to put some action in place before leaving to celebrate Christmas with your families, you have to be thinking about January and the beginning of the next Congress when the playing rules will change somewhat and your efforts to accomplish goals will probably be directed differently than during these past two years.

I happen to run across something that dates back to December of 1988 – simply put – 30 years ago.  A lot of water has run under the bridge in those 30 years and to what avail?

Bill Watterson one of our nations more accomplished cartoonists certainly didn’t make his success putting forth political statements but rather by his enduring way of having a young devilish, energetic, young man go through his very young life with the aid of an imaginary Tiger as his constant companion and frequent advisor.  If only Calvin could today go back and revisit his many conversations with practical Hobbs, Calvin would appreciate the impact and influence his young observations should have had on life today!

I want each of you to study Calvin’s December 4, 1988 question brought forth 30 years ago and evaluate what you have done to answer Calvin’s question (and don’t skate by skipping the Santa analogy as a scapegoat.)

We’re watching…

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

 

 

Dec 02

It’s As Good as Over?

As my last attempt of the year to be heard past the first staff member to trash this letter, I figure I might as well try to tell my Cngresspeople once again that things must be done to save the nation.  Sounds hollow, I know – the “saving the nation” stuff – but …

My Colorado Representatives:

As I review the Majority Leader’s Weekly House Schedule for the next to the last week of the Current Congress, it certainly appears from my end that any effort to accomplish much of significance by you and your Congressional colleagues before quitting this Congress isn’t going to happen. 

This is my last letter to this Congress.  Some parting thoughts spawned by the lack of activity in this Lame Duck Congress about the next Congress you three will be part of:

  1. Is it possible for the distinguished body of supposedly responsible individuals, of which you are part, to recognize you’re slowly destroying the ability of this nation to function by never-ending deficit spending? The national debt has, in reality, already bankrupt the nation.  Ignoring this problem and continuing to increase this debt is negligent and a massive disservice to the nation, to yourselves, and your constituents.

Create, Pass, Implement and Honor a Budget.  It is the necessary and responsible thing to do.

  1. Recognize that a nation, including our nation, is not, in reality, a nation at all without borders, a common language, and a culture that represents the attitude, achievements, and desires of the nation’s citizens.

Over the past few decades, it has become evident that we must secure our borders. We must define a national language – a nation cannot communicate within itself when more than 100 languages are in common use.  We must ensure that those wanting to join our nation recognize they are required to adapt to our culture rather than coming to attempt to change our culture.

  1. Remember we are the envy of almost all other nations on this planet. Even though other nation’s actions imply contempt, disdain, and even hate, it is the success of this nation in every category that has earned envy.  Perhaps it is “human nature,” coupled with some twist of logic, to lash out against and attempt to destroy that which is different.

Even though we are the most powerful nation, we must continue to support not just our military to defend ourselves from physical attack, but we must be prepared to defend against ever increasing “virtual” attacks from groups and nations that use technology as weapons.

Enjoy the Christmas Holidays.  When you go into the next Congress, the nation needs much more than petty partisan division crippling our federal government and letting the nation deteriorate even further.

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

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