Thursday, July 16, 2009

Congressional Emails Prove Our Representative is Clueless

Our Representative (5th District, VA) sent out an email letter to those constituents who have written him in the past about his dismal voting record in the 111th session of Congress.

Obviously it’s a form letter, which is okay. Less obviously, after his “yea” vote on the Waxman-Markey Mess I asked him not to send any more emails. Unfortunately, he’s a government bureaucrat (just with better perks) so once you’re on his list, asking to be removed doesn’t work. No doubt you'll continue to get these missives long past your funeral.

America ought to have basic requirements of its elected officials. Some essential understanding of economics, a basic grasp of the uncertainties of environmental science, and some working experience with the Law of Unintended Consequences would seem a necessary if not sufficient basis. Unfortunately for us it doesn’t work that way: all our national elected officials need is a law degree, enough money and sufficient ambition.

The mix doesn’t make for good laws, just more laws. There is now a sense of dread when Congress is in session. If they would only agree to a long, long recess how much better off we’d all be.

Listed below are excerpts from his email (in italics), followed by my responses. Yes, it was an exercise in futility. Yes, he will keep issuing these epistles.

Oh, well… he’s just giving us enough rope to hang him in 2010. I’ll be hitting the campaign trail for whomever runs against him if I have to rent a wheel chair and live on pain medication. These people must be stopped before they do any more harm.

We can take some comfort in the fact that the old bigot, Senator Byrd, is going to stop this mess in its tracks. I don’t think even Obama can make headway in his promise to “kill the coal industry” when he’s facing the sly old fox from West Virginia. I suggest we pray for the Senator’s health while Obama is in office. We’re going to need him.

I believe this bill is crucial for strengthening our country and is the economic game-changer that our region of Southside and Central Virginia has needed.

Are you planning to explain how this is going to positively affect our Congressional District? Or any Congressional District whatsoever? You give no particulars for your assertions, except for vague non-informative notions about manure and biomass. These ideas lack sufficient technology, scale or long-term effects for anyone to wisely place confidence -- or money -- in them.

The Virginia Electric Co-operative doesn’t believe you. You’ve burdened them with a mandate they have no idea how to reach.

For decades we have known that our national security depends on addressing America’s reliance on oil. For a generation, Americans have had no choice when they go to the gas pump but to send our hard-earned dollars overseas to petro-dictators who are enemies of our great nation.

This exists because of the environmental lobby’s stranglehold on Congress. We could be opening up our off-shore drilling, using the Arctic deposits, the shale in North Dakota, and so on. We need to build new refineries. We need to stop punishing our own oil producers.

We could also be building nuclear energy plants. China is going to bring half a dozen on line within the next five years. China opens a new coal-fired plant every single month.

As far as “sending” the Arabs, et al, our “hard-earned dollars”…we wouldn’t have needed to do that nearly as much if we didn’t treat our own oil producers like they were criminals. And who do you think will take our place in line for Arab or South American oil? The Chinese and the Indians. The oil will continue being pumped and bought.

We are toast.
- - - - - - - - -
The ACES legislation shifts those dollars from our enemies to our industries back home, and it gives us a competitive advantage over China, India, and other competitors in the race towards the next generation of energy technology.

Sir, this is a dream. China and India are going to race ahead of us because they are not hog-tied by an anti-growth philosophy -- which is what underlies the President’s stated promise to kill the coal industry, and Congress’ vote on a bill you did not read because the 111th is on a binge. Nor did you allow your constituents enough time to look at the bill. I listened to Rep. Boehner when he read out the particulars of those amendments to ACES. As he said, “it’s a pile of dung”. After listening to the particulars, I was forced to agree.

How are you going to explain to the Charlottesville Planning Commission that they have to ask another bureaucracy in D.C. for permission to build, alter code, etc.? They won’t take kindly to this part of the new law. Your vote for ACES further sovietized our culture. And the consequence? A new gray market in the building industry. Just like they have in places where industry answers to bureaucracy.

For two generations, both parties have talked about energy independence; but when it came time to set our energy policy, government prioritized powerful oil interests and foreign despots ahead of American independence. That era is nearing an end.

That’s a wonderful idea, but that’s all it is. The technology does not exist to end the current “era”. This baby is about twenty years premature and will need expensive life-support for a long time to come. Life support provided by our tax dollars which will be wasted on untried green notions of purity. Don’t you think if Israel could have figured a way out of the oil problem it would have done so? That country is very motivated to kiss oil goodbye. And when the solutions come, it will be from their scientists and technology. They are not in thrall to politically correct boilerplate about “independence”.

In addition, in the attempt to limp forward on half-baked ideas, the corn industry is going to make much more pollution than coal ever did -- with no caps in place, I might add.

When it comes to jobs, Southside and Central Virginia will be among the biggest regional winners of a new clean energy economy. Put simply, the energy we can produce in our region wins under this bill, and the energy our enemies produce loses. Biofuels, nuclear energy, and other alternative energy sources provide tremendous potential for job creation in our region.

I don’t agree. Did you read the research by the Heritage Foundation? From 2012 to 2035, we lose and lose and lose.

In my travels around the district, I have seen these opportunities firsthand: a landfill that could convert captured methane gas into energy;

The operative word is “could”. Why doesn’t that read: “has already converted captured methane gas”? Because it wasn’t fiscally feasible until ACES put normal access to our usual sources of energy out of reach. This won’t be cheap energy and it will be limited. Very limited. Chicken manure and garbage can only give you so much energy. It won’t be nearly enough.

These ideas are impractical simply because of scale, never mind the by-products of burning this stuff.

poultry and dairy farmers who can turn manure and waste into power;

What are the by-products of manure and waste when they are “turned into power”? Where is your physics here?

a closed-loop biodiesel system that grows, makes, and sells its own fuels. We can convert former tobacco farms into biomass producers and turn farm and municipal waste into power.

Same question here: if cheaper -- far cheaper -- oil and coal had not been rendered so costly, would we be coming up with schemes to use “biomass” to really pollute the environment??

Corn depletes the land even quicker than tobacco. And it may well turn out to be a big polluter. At least we can make money from tobacco until the nanny states make it illegal… at which point, people will grow their own.

People are starting to grow their own food in ever greater numbers because the diversion of corn crops to “biomass” energy has driven up food prices. California, a major produce grower, is becoming a Dustbowl. Your constituents will resort to yet other ways of going off the grid when the full effects of this bill are apparent.

The only thing our President has promised us is that our fuel bills are going to “skyrocket” -- his word, not mine. This from a man who keeps the Oval Office at 74 degrees in the winter.

This bill, particularly the elements negotiated by those of us from rural districts, will spur investments in the 5th District and ease our transition into the clean energy economy. When we go to the pump now, 93 cents of every dollar goes straight out of the community, and most goes to oil companies and foreign powers. We have the technology right in Southside to produce fuel that flips that equation - 93 cents of every dollar will stay right in the community.

A wise man always considers the unintended consequences of his actions. Every single large change pushed through Congress has led to further alienation of our citizens. Thanks to the War on Poverty, we now have (as Democrat Daniel Moynihan warned) a huge, unproductive underclass. In fact, the establishment of a federal education bureau and the unionization of teachers led to the growth of home schooling and small denominational schools.

Can’t you see the pushback?

Look at the polls. No one believes what you’re saying here, Mr. Perriello. The Republicans, who have done nothing but play Cassandra to a hostile media, are actually leading the Dems. Unbelievable that the invertebrate Republicans are ahead in the polls. Why do you think that is? Why do you think that more people don’t like the way this country is headed? Why do you think the President’s numbers are negative?

I was shocked when the most apolitical man I know (a local doctor) asked me when the next Tea Party is. He plans to be there, not because of the coming medical allocation bill, but because of ACES.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act represents a victory over the oil companies, whose interests have for too long held sway in America’s energy policy. The bill empowers farmers and foresters to fully participate in a market-based carbon offset program, earning income for good stewardship of our natural resources. In these grim economic times, we cannot afford the wild price spikes of last summer. We now know that one of the biggest causes of that spike was oil speculators driving up the price by almost 33%. This bill helps to stabilize gas prices by closing the “Enron loophole” that has allowed energy companies to artificially drive up oil prices through speculation

Oil holds sway?? How about Archer Daniels Midland, those nice farmers?? I don’t want to help agribusiness, but you do. We won’t have “spikes” any more. Instead we will have hyperinflation, a straight line increase…at least until we flat line. And with this bill, you helped cement that eventuality into place.

Besides, the oil companies saw this coming a mile away. They’re already in the ethanol business.

The Democrat plan to take over medicine will have the same dead hand effect on our country.

With the takeover of GM we are on our way to Mussolini’s Italy… and then maybe Stalin’s Russia? Putin will be envious.

At any rate, the only growth industry in this country is government. And you know that.

Congress carefully debated and developed this legislation over the six months before the vote and held over twenty public hearings to provide information on the legislation and how it will impact our economy; and my staff and I fully reviewed the legislation and all amendments in their entirety.

Many legislators admitted openly they hadn’t read this bill, pleading lack of time. To claim that it was “carefully debated” strains credulity.

Or how about the promises of “bi-partisan input”? The feckless Republicans permitted themselves to be straight-armed out of having any input into this mess.

And where was it online that we could read it? We certainly looked. So much for transparency.

How about the 300 pages of amendments that were produced overnight, just before the vote?? Did you read those? How?

As you know, in politics, appearances count as much as reality. And in the 111th session, the appearance and the reality are equally dismal.

2010 is shaping up to be a “throw the rascals out” election. Passing any more of these gargantuan bills simply seals your fate.

In fact, the length of the bill reflects many pieces of the legislation that will be most beneficial to our area, including support for farmers, advanced manufacturing, border adjustments on imports from polluting nations, and consumer protections from speculators.

The length of the bill is proportional to the harm it will do. The fact that it only passed by six or seven votes when there is a large Democrat majority shows you how bad the legislation was.

I just wish you’d been among the 40 or so Dems who voted ‘no’. They won’t have to campaign on the defensive. Those of you who voted for this will definitely have to man the barricades.

Your ideas will never become reality, Mr. Perriello. Our district, and every district in this country, is going to disappear down this rabbit hole starting in 2012. And you helped create that artifact, maybe because you and the other Dems didn’t know when to stop digging. I still have trouble believing you people passed that stimulus attack, much less this latest gargantuan give-away.

I dread our electric bills in 2012. I dread the hyperinflation that is coming next year.

Tariffs on “polluting nations”? We’re going to be too poor to buy anything.

And those who can will be burning wood because that’s what will be cheapest. It’s going to be very polluted air around here every January. If you don’t believe me, go stand on the Appomattox River bridge facing south into Farmville on a cold, still morning come next winter. You’ll see what I saw after Jimmy Carter got done with us. That was some ugly inversion of wood smoke when the wind wasn’t blowing. And you just handed that choking mess back to us.

Where is this “advanced manufacturing” going to occur in District Five? Is Albemarle suddenly going to permit manufacturing on its pristine acres? Most every other place to too poor to support a manufacturing base. I’ve seen some places closing; that’s going to accelerate.

Consumers do not need governmental protection. The massive regulations already in place have nailed us to the wall. We need protection from government and its ceaseless intrusions into markets. The Fed, and political correctness in the form of one’s “right” to own a home (enter Fannie and Freddie) have brought us to this juncture. The largest group of foreclosures happened to those folks who were permitted a mortgage with NO money down. Even Habitat for Humanity demands sweat equity.

Every time government shows up at the scene, we know it’s going to take three times as long, cost ten times as much, and the result will be shoddy. That’s what sovietization does.

I don’t want tax money in our district. I want our district to pay less in taxes.

Look into the Congressional Effects Fund, to understand how the Imperial Congress destroys American wealth (while remaining insulated from the consequences of its own behavior):

Eric Singer, a 25 year New York city banking and finance professional, studied, discovered, and first published on Congress’ consistently deleterious effect on daily stock prices in early 1992 (the “Congressional Effect”). Since then, Eric Singer’s shocking discovery that Congress’ activity consistently, predictably and negatively impacts stock market returns has attracted great interest and support from both the financial and academic community.


Specifically, since 1965, 44 years of empirical data demonstrates that over long periods of time the stock market performs dramatically better on days when Congress is out of session as compared to days when Congress is in session.

In other words, every time Congress takes a recess the stock market improves.

That’s a clue, Mr. Congressman: it’s time to go home before any more harm is done.


Henrik Ræder said...

Wow, that was lengthy!

I’ll be hitting the campaign trail for whomever runs against him if I have to rent a wheel chair and live on pain medication.

Know what? That just might impress the press.

spackle said...

Good for you Dymphna. Once and awhile when my blood is at sufficient boil I shoot off some E-mails to my Congressman and Senators. It is quite frustrating however when you know that your words are hitting a proverbial brick wall. If you are writing to a Republican at least you know you might be in the same ballpark. Even if that park is getting smaller and smaller. But when you are writing to the likes of Sen. Chuck Schumer? Well, I am sure you can guess. My blood runs cold. And New York state politics are even worse. Since the Dem's took over we are now in Illinois territory.

Dymphna said...

A reader just sent me a link to Arizona's pre-emptive rebellion on health care.

Health Care Freedom.

Maybe for the next steamroller --health care ALLOCATION -- we ought to go local. I'm going to email our delegate to the Commonwealth's General Assembly (our state legislature).

Dymphna said...


If you want to raise your blood pressure re NY taxes, go here:

NY Taxes and "Health" Care.

Sheesh. The last one outta there should leave the light on just for the heck of it.

laine said...

How can a nation of over 300 million end up with mostly stupid and venal people in leadership positions?

I just watched part of a clip on Barbara Boxer patronizing a black businessman that made me gag at her smug obtuseness. I wouldn't give her responsibility for cleaning my john. That would be above the level of her competence.

The simplest way of changing things would be to throw out all incumbents and keep doing it until they get the message that corruption, wastefulness and self-aggrandizement is not on anymore.

What is it that makes people who don't follow politics go out and vote just for name recognition? Why don't they stay home and eat nachos in front of the TV instead of voting for someone they don't know or whose policies they don't know on the basis that he was there before and the world hasn't ended so he must be pretty good?