e-mail to Udall re: his “Year in Review”

Mark –

Thanks for sending your e-mailed “Year in Review”.  I’m pleased that you think you and your Colleagues did such a fantastic job in the 111th Congress.  From your point of view it seems you guys are pretty wonderful.

You say, “The 111th Congress was one of the most productive in decades…” and go on to outline some of the legislation created during the 111th Congress – most proving to be very expensive.

I read with interest this morning’s (1/12/11) Morning Bell[1]   which outlines the 111th Congress’ effect on our economy.  From the point of view in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom , “All told, 117 countries, mainly developing and emerging market economies, improved their Economic Freedom Index score.  Meanwhile the U.S. dropped to 9th place, remaining ‘mostly free,’ weighed down by the burden of President Obama’s spending spree.”[2]

That’s two years in a row that the US has been slipping down the Economic Freedom Index score.

Maybe a little less government spending and a little more government action (not spending) to actually (not rhetorically) assist US Small Business in the form of lower taxes and actual market incentives (rather than regulative restrictions) to growth is worth a try.

Who knows, maybe such actions would improve Congress’ unprecedented dismal approval rating and actually start to reduce our national debt.

Do you really (as you’ve said repeatedly) want to reduce our spending and debt and improve Congress’s image with ‘We the People…”

Tom Howe, Flying W Ranch, Hotchkiss, Colorado

[1] The Heritage Foundation

[2] Ibid

To Senator Udall (D-CO) 1/10/11

January 10, 2011

Senator Marc Udall

Via FAX: 202-224-6471

Dear Senator Udall:

I noticed that one of the first things you and many of your colleagues addressed during your fist session of the new 112th Congress is the Senate Rules.

Similar to the way the “Winds of War” often change direction and velocity, it seems that the “Winds of Politics” are no different.  Political “Winds” often blow from one direction through one Congressional session but because of moving and changing political high and low pressure areas – due to elections – the winds begin changing directions.  Because the new winds may not continue to favor one political ship’s course – some politicians scramble to reset the sails in attempts to maintain that previous course – even though they know the ship’s destination has been changed.

Your comment from the Senate podium last week:

“I want to extend my hand to the Republicans to ask for ideas how we can improve the way the Senate operates…We have a responsibility to work to together, to bring about the cooperation and the problem-solving that Americans expect and deserve.”

Sounds great!  I hope this isn’t just more political rhetoric like we’ve heard before.  I realize the above comment was related to the attempts to change the Senate Rules regarding a super majority requirement to over-ride a “filibuster” – an attempt to rig the sails.

But ways to rig the sails “…that Americans expect and deserve…” are out there.  A great one was put into place in the House of Representatives Rules while the Senate was trying to find a way to untie their rigging.  The House put into place a new rule [Section 2, (a)] that requires all legislation cite the portion of the US Constitution that provides for the legislation:

‘‘(c)(1) A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor submits for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or  joint resolution. The statement shall appear in a portion of the Record designated for that purpose and be made publicly available in electronic form by the Clerk…”

The Senate could win some favor by implementing such a new rule and leaving the “filibuster” super majority rule as it is.

Tom Howe

To Senator Bennet – 1/10/11

January 10, 2011

Senator Michael Bennet

Via FAX:  202-228-5036

Dear Senator Bennet:

Thank you for sending me your federal spending form letter of December 17, 2010.

As you stated in that letter, “Washington is broken.  We should get our act together to complete this [the Continuing Resolution – CR] that will fund important priorities for Colorado and the entire country.”

I couldn’t agree more.  It is certainly time to get your act together – all of Congress – the House and the Senate.  What better time now that you are beginning the 112th Congress.

Hopefully you and others in the Senate have recognized that your constituents and the citizens of this country want you to reduce federal spending – and if we have to reduce the amount of funds directed toward Colorado – so be it.  We will understand.

You can win favor with your constituents by reducing spending – you do not have to buy favor by finding and sending deficit federal funds to Colorado.  And you can win favor by reducing the spending throughout the federal government.

What a chance to be a hero!  Start thinking and legislating like a patriot.  Recognize the opportunity!

If you want a very small suggestion as to a way to make a first step –here’s one over which you have absolute direct control:

Your funding form letter of December 17th spilled over on to two pages (see below.)  As I’ve suggested to you and your staff in the past, today’s technology makes it quite simple to either shrink a document to fit on one page (as I always do with my many letters to you) or to instruct to have a two page letter printed front and back on one page.  Save a page, save a tree.  Save a page, save a penny.  In spite of what you and your staff may think – those of us out here in the real world understand how those savings add up.  Are you really up for saving – or are you just up for spending – as usual?

Go to work for us in this 112th Congress.

Look at painful cuts in federal spending.  Start reducing the federal debt now – start diverting those spending cuts to debt reduction.

We’re watching!

Tom Howe

To Representative Tipton (R-CO)

January 10, 2011

Representative Scott Tipton

Via FAX:  202-226-9669

Dear Representative Tipton:

As you know, our federal government was specifically designed to contain checks and balances to eliminate the possibility of one branch of government assuming dictatorial power over the other two branches.  In large part that method of security against a dictatorial government emerging from our system has worked.

However, we are watching our insurance policy being abused and ignored by both the administration and some members of Congress to circumnavigate the representative legislative powers of Congress and dictate law by federal regulation.

In case you missed Charles Krauthammer’s column of January 2, 2011, Charles outlines two recent examples (the highly controversial and removed Section 1233 of what we refer to as ‘Obama Care’) being brought back to life via a Medicare “Regulation” and the formation of a new class of totally undefined public lands called “wild lands” which is being designated (unlike Congressionally created “Wilderness”) without Congressional approval or even knowledge.  Yes, public exposure of the Section 1233 “regulation” resulted in its withdrawal – but what if it had not been publically exposed?

And how concerned are some of your colleagues regarding this subterranean method of generating law?  As Charles pointed out, Representative Blumemauer, D-OR, the original author of defeated Obama Care Section 1233 put out an e-mail once the provision was, fortunately only temporarily, ‘regulated’ back to life by Medicare.  The e-mail stated, in part, “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists…e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”  And then the e-mail stated in part, “…thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it. … The longer this [regulation] goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

Accomplishment?!  Having the administrative branch of government ignore Congress and regulate into law what Congress rejected is an accomplishment?

Do you think maybe Representative Blumemauer knows this method was wrong?

I recognize this not as an accomplishment but as a designed tendency to undermine our Constitutionally created government and take power away from you, as my elected representative, and as a result away from me as a citizen.  At least, in this case, public exposure and pressure resulted in the ‘regulation’ being dropped.

Is this form of openly belligerent abuse of political power is what you wanted to join when you became my representative?  We hope not – but we’re watching.  Do you believe these regulatory actions are abuse of power?  We will help you fight back – if you want to help fix this broken government of ours – we’ll support you.  Help us put the control of this country back in the hands of “We the people…”

Tom Howe

E-Mail to Scott Tipton re: “STOP”

E-mailed to Scott Tipton, US House of Representatives, January 8, 2011

I noticed that the STOP the OverPrinting Act (HR4640 – 111th Congress) is coming to the floor of the House next week.  On the surface this appears to be a reasonable way to save some federal money by ‘STOP’ing the printing of bills before Congress for each Congressperson’s office.  Yes – this is the electronic age – but – this seems to be the age of behemoth legislation that is so loaded with unknown articles and ramifications that no one can comprehend the impact on our nation, its citizens and its budget.

By restricting the publication of legislation to electronic format then legislation ‘Obama Care’ (2300+ pages) and the ‘Omnibus’ spending bill recently tabled (2000+) pages appear on the surface to have no more impact than this e-mail now appearing on your staff member’s computer screen.

I think bills within Congress all should have more impact than this e-mail!

Yes – all the proposed legislation should be published electronically via the Internet – for the entire world to see.  But I believe at least one physical copy should be put on your desk so at least you will have a physical idea of the importance of your vote.

Don’t let this sort of legislation continue to downplay the importance and impact of operating our government.

We’re counting on you.

Tom Howe, Flying W Ranch, Hotchkiss, Colorado

Congratulations Rep Scott Tipton

Editor’s note:

This letter is a slightly modified version of the letters sent to Senator’s Udall and Bennet earlier.  Representative Tipton just got his Washington DC website and office going.                 TWH

January 5, 2011

Representative Scott Tipton

Via FAX:  202-226-9669

Dear Representative Tipton:

Congratulations – you are now a member of 112th Congress of our United States of America.  What an honor and what a responsibility.  We citizens of Colorado have entrusted you to represent us and guide this country under the provisions laid forth in our Constitution.

You have taken an oath to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States… and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office…”[1]

It certainly is important to us, your constituents, that you reflect upon our Constitution every time you draft or guide your staff to prepare legislation and before you cast your most valuable vote on issues in committee and on the congressional floor.

As so well stated in the Constitution preamble, please remember that every vote cast has implicit consequences as to the forming of:

  • “…a more perfect Union…”
  • “…establish[ing] justice…”
  • “…insure[ing] domestic Tranquility…”
  • “…provide[ing] for the common defense…”
  • “…promote[ing] the general Welfare…”
  • “…secure[ing] the Blessings of Liberty…”

Liberty – Defense – Justice – Union – Welfare – Tranquility

Six words that quickly define the founding nature and culture of our nation.  Six words that have over the years been twisted, turned, warped and just plain ignored as our federal government has swelled and become a bureaucratic monster.

Six words that the citizens of this country have recognized are slowly eroding away as:

  • our federal government dictates law from the judicial bench,
  • our federal government formulates law as regulation,
  • our federal government spends the union into bankruptcy,
  • our federal government shoves our defense aside,
  • our federal government ignores existing law,
  • our federal government seems to have forgotten the Constitution.

Liberty – Defense – Justice – Union – Welfare – Tranquility

Six pretty important words to think about and to guide you – every time you are charged with making a decision in the 112th Congress.


[1] 1884 (current) oath of office, US Congress.

1/3/11 Letter to Senator Bennet

Dear Senator Bennet:

Congratulations – you are beginning the 112th Congress of our United States of America.  What an honor and what a responsibility.  We citizens of Colorado have entrusted you to represent us and guide this country under the provisions laid forth in our Constitution.

You have taken an oath to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States… and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office…”[1]

It certainly is important to us, your constituents, that you reflect upon our Constitution every time you draft or guide your staff to prepare legislation and before you cast your most valuable vote on issues in committee and on the congressional floor.

As so well stated in the Constitution preamble, please remember that every vote cast has implicit consequences as to the forming of:

  • “…a more perfect Union…”
  • “…establish[ing] justice…”
  • “…insure[ing] domestic Tranquility…”
  • “…provide[ing] for the common defense…”
  • “…promote[ing] the general Welfare…”
  • “…secure[ing] the Blessings of Liberty…”

Liberty – Defense – Justice – Union – Welfare – Tranquility

Six words that quickly define the founding nature and culture of our nation.  Six words that have over the years been twisted, turned, warped and just plain ignored as our federal government has swelled and become a bureaucratic monster.

Six words that the citizens of this country have recognized are slowly eroding away as:

  • our federal government dictates law from the judicial bench,
  • our federal government formulates law as regulation,
  • our federal government spends the union into bankruptcy,
  • our federal government shoves our defense aside,
  • our federal government ignores existing law,
  • our federal government seems to have forgotten the Constitution.

Liberty – Defense – Justice – Union – Welfare – Tranquility

Six pretty important words to think about and to guide you – every time you are charged with making a decision in the 112th Congress.


[1] 1884 (current) oath of office, US Congress.

1/3/11 Letter to Senator Udall

Dear Senator Udall:

Congratulations – you are beginning the 112th Congress of our United States of America.  What an honor and what a responsibility.  We citizens of Colorado have entrusted you to represent us and guide this country under the provisions laid forth in our Constitution.

You have taken an oath to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States… and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office…”[1]

It certainly is important to us, your constituents, that you reflect upon our Constitution every time you draft or guide your staff to prepare legislation and before you cast your most valuable vote on issues in committee and on the congressional floor.

As so well stated in the Constitution preamble, please remember that every vote cast has implicit consequences as to the forming of:

  • “…a more perfect Union…”
  • “…establish[ing] justice…”
  • “…insure[ing] domestic Tranquility…”
  • “…provide[ing] for the common defense…”
  • “…promote[ing] the general Welfare…”
  • “…secure[ing] the Blessings of Liberty…”

Liberty – Defense – Justice – Union – Welfare – Tranquility

Six words that quickly define the founding nature and culture of our nation.  Six words that have over the years been twisted, turned, warped and just plain ignored as our federal government has swelled and become a bureaucratic monster.

Six words that the citizens of this country have recognized are slowly eroding away as:

  • our federal government dictates law from the judicial bench,
  • our federal government formulates law as regulation,
  • our federal government spends the union into bankruptcy,
  • our federal government shoves our defense aside,
  • our federal government ignores existing law,
  • our federal government seems to have forgotten the Constitution.

Liberty – Defense – Justice – Union – Welfare – Tranquility

Six pretty important words to think about and to guide you – every time you are charged with making a decision in the 112th Congress.


[1] 1884 (current) oath of office, US Congress.

You Asked For It – well……

Several of you have asked why I haven’t put my almost weekly “Congressional Letters” up on a blog.  Well – here we go!

You’ve watched the “Flying W Ranch” letterhead fly off to Washington for two years or so.  Now there’s a “Flying W Blog” to further aggravate Internet electrons.

I’ve spent many hours trying to keep from losing copies of, trying to find copies of, trying to remember the topics and dates of letters written weeks and months before.  I figure if I post the letters in a blog – then even I can go to the blog, use the search features and find previous topics, ranting’s and dates contained in previous epistles.

I know a few of you have passed my dribbles on to others in the past.  Should you find any future fulminating just what you need to pass on to your Congressman, your boss, your child or your mother-in-law; it might be easier to just refer them to this blog than go through all the electronic mumbo-jumbo to forward an e-mail and attachment, etc.

Over the past few years I have planned (and mostly accomplished) writing at least one letter to at least one of my three federal representatives (one House, two Senators) each and every week our Congress is in session.  I occasionally drop a little note to some of my state representatives as well, but fortunately I live in Colorado and my state doesn’t need saving anywhere as much as the (federal) Union, California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, etc., etc., etc.  I go to some effort to logically explain my understanding and express my concerns and desires regarding timely issues before Congress.

I plan to post on this blog copies of my weekly (or whatever) letters I have previously faxed to various recipients and therefore provide an opportunity for any reader to post comments regarding my efforts or thoughts of their own.

Please – use any text appearing here you wish (including copying the entire letter) to send to your Representative or Senator(s) or to any other members of Congress or other government officials or just other citizens you think may be interested.  I have no secrets – I never hide my opinions. If you have thoughts of your own – pass them back in the comments section.  I’ll post any comments that are mostly void of vulgar profanity or do not propose an illegal violent overthrow of our government (or other illegal activities.)  Who knows, maybe your Congressman will read them (yea, right!)

We’ll start with a precursor for 2011 – the first year for the FlyingWBlog.com.  I’m posting portions of a of a letter I sent to my Congressmen prior to the recent “lame duck” session of Congress which convened in early December, 2010.  I do have a dream.  I dream about a nation reverting away from massive government bureaucracy, massive government budgets, massive government intervention, and massive government apathetic attitude towards enforcing our national laws.  Maybe, with a little help from my friends, my dream may be coming true by the time my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are the ones writing to and directing their Congressional Representatives.

Tom Howe                                                                                              tom@flyingwblog.com

I have a DREAM…

To my Congressmen:

I have a dream.[1]

  • I dream about a nation where “We The People…”[2] recognize the sovereignty of the nation formed by the Constitution of the United States.
  • I dream about a nation where included in “…The People…” are those citizens[3] fortunate enough to have been given the honor and trust by the electorate [4] to be selected to represent the citizens in the US Congress.
  • I dream about how those individuals should truly be representatives[5] of their electorate.
  • I dream with pride about how my country has opened its arms to those that show respect and demonstrate the willingness to join our citizenry in a defined and lawful manner.
  • I dream about those representatives having been elected the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States and dream about them actually exercising the trust provided them by the electorate to “…establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”[6]
  • I dream about my representatives upholding their Constitutional responsibilities respecting and protecting the sovereign boundaries, culture, language, welfare, liberty and posterity.

Then I realize what You, my so called “Representatives” are actually doing to my country and my dream:

  • You (my so called representative Senator) have helped impose uncountable legislative regulations upon the citizenry, many of those regulations construed to earn political or financial gain for our representatives or those close to our representatives.
  • You have taken from the citizenry with ever increasing taxes and beyond that, borrowed with abandon, and spent those resources on ever increasing activities and regulations well beyond the scope of your Constitutional charge.
  • You have begun to intrude not only into the citizenry’s freedoms and liberty – but are actively beginning to dictate how the citizenry must live their daily lives – what they should by, what they should read…
  • You have created a totally uncontrollable myriad of unmanageable government rules, requirements and regulations many of which You will not even attempt to enforce – making the effectiveness of all seem ambiguous if not completely unimportant.

My dream continues to be a nightmare!  Represent your citizens and get to work respecting the honor and trust we have given you.

Tom Howe                                                                                tom@flyingwblog.com


[1] Thank you Martin Luther King Jr.

[2] US Constitution – Preamble – “…The People…” referring to the then resident citizens of the new nation.

[3] A person owing loyalty to and entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state or nation. – ww.thefreedictionary.com

[4] A body of qualified voters. – ibid

[5] One that serves as an example or type for others of the same classification. – ibid

[6] US Constitution – Preamble – Just in case you didn’t know or have forgotten.