Monthly Archives: June 2012

Operation 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

It’s on.

When tyrants step on our tired and wounded bodies, we do not shrink. We grab their foot, twist their ankle, and push them off balance so we can regain ours.

We are taking our fight to the White House.

 

GOOD AFTERNOON! It’s Saturday, June 30, 2012, and after a few hours of cursing and sulking about Congress’s bastardization of government, I’m filing an update laced with hope.

As you might know, the White House is NOT able to sign the highway bill, yet. Congress stuffed so much stuff in the bill, the evil dwarves on Capitol Hill are still putting the final touches on the bill before they send it to 1600 Penn. Consequently, President Obama was forced to sign a ONE WEEK extension of current law while he waits for the new bill. The new bill contains that POISON provision that will stop all RYO operations indefinitely, and now it appears that bill won’t be signed into law until July 6.

SO, between now and then we still have our freedom to roll our own AND we have a new target. We are asking President Obama to save us.

The President does NOT have the authority to “line item” veto stuff. The White House lost that authority in 1998 when the U.S. Supreme Court took it away. BUT, the President CAN issue a “signing statement” along with the bill he signs into law. That means he can write little notes on the new law that say things like, “I don’t like this provision, so the way I interpret it means I’m not going to enforce it,” and stuff like that.

This is our last chance before the bill becomes law. The President will not veto this massive bill because it contains 95% of what he wants. We’re going to tell him we are part of the 5% he must disavow in the signing statement.

Presidents have the power, and have exercised this power, to attach “signing statements” to bills they sign into law. It alerts Congress to which provisions he interprets as a violation of his constitutional authority as the chief of the executive branch of government.

Get ready warriors. We have to be great in numbers and very loud. The target list is much smaller now, so the number of people involved in this effort on our side is going to be critically important.

TARGETS: Watch http://TaxTracker.wordpress.com for George’s updates on who and how to target. In the meantime, post on Facebook accounts for the White House. Send several messages by posting on their different posts. If they post a news release, “comment” on that. If they post a picture, “comment” on that. If they respond to you, respond right back.

Today’s Message: @BarackObama pls VOID the #BigTobacco bailout in the highway bill! It eliminates #jobs from our economy! http://bit.ly/NewTax

FACEBOOK

Start by posting messages on http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse and http://www.facebook.com/barackobama

TWITTER

Start by tweeting a few messages to:

  • @whitehouse
  • @WHLive
  • @blog44
  • @BarackObama
  • @AskObama
  • @MichelleObama

Hit it hard and MAYBE we can convince the White House to undo what Congress perpetrated on us. Let’s go.

– GR

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More Time?

Behold the Phoenix! Rising slowly, majestically from the ashes.

I found the following on Facebook a few minutes ago and wanted to share! 

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

URGENT UPDATE! Attention RYO Filling Station Owners/ Customers! Our legal team has learned that President Obama has signed an extension on the OLD Highway bill to ensure the road projects continue nationally. The NEW bill that eliminates legal operation of our industry has not been typed yet and isn’t ready to sign. What does this mean? We at RYO Machine will continue operating until Friday, July 6th and our retailers may do the same.
This is a welcome surprise to all of us. Keep watching this page for more updates.

END QUOTED TEXT

A brief reprieve caused by the enormous gears of our bureaucratic (and sometimes dishonest) government! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find something else to delay the bastards again in the next few days? Wouldn’t that be something… I’ll post any further updates I receive. Go roll!

– GR

Something Died Today

A piece of free enterprise died today.

Well, they did it. Today, both houses of Congress passed the highway bill containing the poison pill for people who like to roll their own smokes. Effective Saturday night at midnight, this piece of the American Dream is foreclosed upon. Thank you Big Tobacco, for helping open our eyes to the ways of Washington, the ways of corrupt government, and what it takes to buy a monopoly.

To those who’ve faithfully followed this issue and done so much great work to fight this Big Tobacco favor, I encourage you to keep fighting. Keep hope alive, and think about running for public office! You’ve seen first hand how people get screwed over by the Federal government. Make a difference and get involved in local, state, federal politics and make a difference!

As I have said to so many of you, we are on the right side of this matter. Every freedom is worth defending. We will encounter roadblocks, but with strength and persistence, we can overcome them. This is a significant setback and will cause hardship for many. But believe in and keep looking for a solution.

I will send along any updates I receive, and if you hear something good just comment here or email me: g.renome5 (AT) gmail.com

See you online.

– GR

 

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Friday Message: Kill the Bill

Kill the highway bill now…

Hello and welcome to Friday, June 28, 2012. We’ve been in the trenches for a while now and we have fought with honor and integrity. My hats are off to all of you.

I started this blog because I found out about a dirty move by the Big Tobacco companies to shut down the “roll your own” industry using Congress to “reclassify” small retail tobacco shops as manufacturers, heaping suffocating new taxes and regulations on them. Well, the Big Tobacco companies spent a few million dollars, hired a few dozen lobbyists, and canvassed Capitol Hill spreading cash in the form of campaign contributions on lawmakers. Money talks. Big Tobacco succeeded in getting their provision in the highway bill, and under the rules of the House and Senate, the provision cannot be stripped out of the final conference report bill. Our ONLY chance now is to see the demise of the highway/student loans/flood insurance/debt accumulating bill. Kill the bill.

We are not the only ones fighting the highway bill.

Heritage Action for America wants the bill dead. Heritage Action wrote:

“The transportation portion authorizes $53.3 billion per year in spending, $15 billion more per year than the plan proposed by House Republicans last July, which would have successfully “realigned” spending with revenues coming into the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF). According to the most recent estimates, spending will outpace HTF revenues by nearly $16 billion per year. Congress should make the transportation program live within its means unlike the disastrous 2005 transportation bill that resulted in tens of billions in general fund transfers.”

Club for Growth wants the bill dead. When the bill was still a few billion dollars smaller, the Club wrote:

“Supporters of the bill will claim that there are plenty of positive reforms in the bill, like no earmarks or enhancement projects, but it’s still a remarkably bloated and inefficient piece of legislation. True reform would devolve infrastructure building and maintenance back to the states and end or greatly reduce the federal gas tax.”

These conservative groups work to throw people out of office if they don’t stick to their principles. The lawmakers we’ve been talking to these last few weeks care about “key votes” and “conservative scoring” so let’s use that to our advantage. Spread the word that if they support the highway bill, their precious images will be tarnished.

OUR MISSION: Facebook and Twitter. Today and tomorrow, use these messages:

Message 1: @LawmakerXYZ VOTE NO on the highway bill! It’s bloated; it TAXES my #smallbiz out of existence! http://bit.ly/NewTax

Message 2: @LawmakerXYZ #HeritageAction is scoring your vote on the highway bill VOTE NO http://bit.ly/NewTax

Message 3: @LawmakerXYZ #Club4Growth is scoring your vote on the highway bill VOTE NO http://bit.ly/NewTax

Use this link to find your targets >>> TARGETS

As you fight today warriors, think of all our friends who valiantly stood up to Congress and Big Tobacco, and remember all those who sold us out. Remember the lies they told us as they were sticking their knives into our backs. And remember that no matter what, we will ultimately win. Our strength is our persistence.

See you online.

– GR

We deserve better.

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Kill the Bill Update

Folks: The enemy of our enemy is our friend. The “Club for Growth” is a conservative group that has a bit of influence among Republicans. They’ve announced they want Congress to oppose the highway bill. We’re GOOD WITH THAT!

This can help us. Spread the word that Club4Growth is “key voting” the highway bill. For those who don’t know, the Club for Growth is a very conservative organization and they’re dead set on getting Republicans who fail to stick to their principles out of office. This is good for us because that means a cross section of lawmakers will NOT want to upset the Club. It’s a long shot, but any port in a storm, right?

Here’s what the Club wrote:

KEY VOTE ALERT
“NO” ON THE HIGHWAY/STUDENT LOAN BILL

Judging from news reports, it appears that leadership in both chambers plans to airdrop the student loan bill (and possibly the flood insurance bill) into the Highway bill conference report. A vote could happen in the next couple of days.

The Club urges all members of Congress to vote against this bill. This will be a key vote on the Club’s 2012 congressional scorecard. We have already key-voted previous versions of the highway bill.

Our Congressional Scorecard for the 112th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to our members and to the public.

Okay warriors, this is our last gambit. Make it count. Check out this list: http://clubforgrowth.org/projects/budgetcutscore/ and talk to each member from the top down. I’ll post some Twitter handles on my Twitter feed so keep an eye out.

I know this is a very tough time for you. Congress is trying to screw us over. Be strong, stay strong. This too shall pass… let’s make certain those who are double crossing us don’t get out without some figurative bruises.

– GR

 

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Kill the Bill

I’m Eric Cantor and I am Big Tobacco. They have factories in my state. They have money in my pocket. I could care less about anything or anyone else. Cash is king.

Eric Cantor is the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and he sold us out to Big Tobacco. There were a lot of sellouts, but this gentleman had an opportunity to help us. He was asked directly. Instead, he actively sold us down the river. It’s the art of the deal. It’s the bidding that must be done. It’s the price of admission. It’s where his bread is buttered (the Big Tobacco companies ARE Virginia). Thanks, Eric Cantor. Thanks for siding with Max Baucus, Barbara Boxer, Jim Inhofe, John Boehner, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Shuster, Lee Terry, Tom Marino, Tom Rooney, John Mica, Tom Price, Don Young, and all the other tax delinquent sellouts to Big Tobacco. You took us to the prom, fiddled with us, and then made us walk home alone.

In my mind, a person’s principles are his core. They are his foundation. He doesn’t betray his core, lest he be redefined. If he is not redefined, he is who he is. Eric Cantor is trapped in his core. For that, we pity him. Good luck keeping that going, Eric. Maybe you can pay for some more media training so you don’t mumble crazy under the bright lights.

Thursday, June 27, 2012. The RYO poison provision is in the highway bill. It’s on page 520 of the bill. Click this link if you want to read it. http://1.usa.gov/LERJgY

Now, our best hope is the failure of the highway/student loan/flood insurance bill. I don’t like rooting for failure, but it’s us against them. It’s either the failure of the bill, or the beginning of the end of free enterprise. Senate vote on the bill could come as early as today. House vote late Friday or early Saturday.

Today’s Message: @LawmakerXYZ Vote NO on the highway bill. It’s bloated. It sacrifices #smallbiz jobs. http://bit.ly/NewTax

OUR MISSION: PLEASE don’t buy anything they’re selling. Your member of Congress already sold us down the river. If they didn’t, they watched it happen. A few brave members are already publicly standing with us, instead of standing on the sidelines with their thumbs hidden, pretending to seek more information about that crazy Big Tobacco bailout we’ve been telling them about for weeks. Our message is no. No, no, no. They did it. They know it. They let it happen.

Kill the bill. No other option. Tell all members. Start with the Senate. Conservative Republicans are more likely to oppose the highway bill for various reasons. Encourage them. Use your Twitter to follow the list at this link: http://twitter.com/#!/huffingtonpost/u-s-senators and interact with them. My recommendation is you don’t waste your time on senators who were on the negotiating committee, they sold us out too.

Tell them. Kill the bill. Kill it.

– GR

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Wednesday: 8:14pm ET

So the deal is cut, and here’s what it is:

  • Highway bill that increases the Federal deficit and national debt by billions.
  • Student loan interest rate subsidy for 7 million college students, which also increases the deficit, and the national debt.
  • Flood insurance program run by the government that loses money every day, which increases the deficit, and the national debt.
  • Earmarks for states claiming damage from the BP oil spill.
  • No Keystone XL pipeline (higher energy costs).
  • No Coal Ash relief (higher energy and transportation costs).
  • Big Tobacco bailout, crushing 1,000 small businesses all across the United States (we see higher unemployment).

They did it. They sold us down the river.

We have a chance.

WE HAVE A CHANCE.

Keep hitting the lawmakers we’ve been hitting today. And get ready to hit more tomorrow.

You are awesome. Tomorrow, the Senate conservatives are our target. Stay tuned.

– GR

 

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Wednesday Noon Update

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) holding a news conference today telling reporters (in code) the highway bill is done, all that’s left to do is twist arms until all the GOP get on board.

HIGHWAY BILL UPDATE: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner just held a news conference on Capitol Hill to give an update on the highway bill. He basically said the highway bill isn’t finished yet, but they’re close, and they’re working to tie the student loan interest rate issue into it.

TRANSLATION: The bill is finished and leadership is working to round up support on the House GOP side. According to CQ-Energy reporters (people who live and breathe this stuff and KNOW the important staff members in the negotiating room) OUT of the bill is Keystone XL. Also OUT of the bill is the Coal Ash stuff. Probably still IN the bill is the RYO provision.

WHAT NOW: The vulnerable people are the House Republicans sitting on the negotiating committee. The less time they’ve been in Washington, the more empathetic they are to our cause. Concentrate on the list of lawmakers on the blog this morning http://bit.ly/NewTax because IF THEY WANT TO, they can say NO to signing the bill unless the RYO provision is stripped.

SPECIAL FOCUS: Make sure you’re talking to Lankford, Ribble, Southerland, Herrera-Beutler, and Camp.

Keep going strong. Don’t let the wet-behind-the-ears intern answering the phone give you any grief, comfort, or false advice. We can win, but we have to keep pushing.

-GR

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You’re Not Listening

Hey Congress: You’re not listening. Or maybe you’re just choosing not to hear me, and him, and her, and them… all of them. Well, Congress. If you hear only one thing, hear this…

Today’s Message: @LawmakerXYZ The Baucus #BigTobacco bailout is a FRAUD on US free enterprise. Remove it from the highway bill http://bit.ly/NewTax

We are at DEFCON 1.

Good morning on Wednesday, June 26, 2012. It’s day THREE of make or break week and the danger is still imminent. Thank you for GREAT participation last night. We raised our voices and shattered some glass using Facebook and Twitter to go nuclear on members of Congress who are sitting on their thumbs, chattering their teeth and nervously hiding in the corner, afraid to confront the Big Tobacco bailout. We sounded the alarm because we are in condition critical. U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) believes he has won with his favor to Big Tobacco intact. We must spur House Republican negotiators to STRIP the Baucus provision before they agree to the overall bill.

Hey Congress, there is NO reason to be afraid of Big Tobacco! Hit the bully in the nose, HURRY!

CONGRESSIONAL STAFF: PLEASE REMOVE THE FOLLOWING PROVISION FROM THE HIGHWAY BILL. Here is the provision inserted into the Senate’s version of the highway bill through S.Amdt1825 on March 8, 2012 (Senate roll call vote 29). There were dozens of pages and hundreds of lines in the amendment, but this was the very last piece:

===============================================

SEC. 40425. ROLL-YOUR-OWN CIGARETTE MACHINES.

(a) In General.–Subsection (d) of section 5702 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new flush sentence:

“Such term shall include any person who for commercial purposes makes available for consumer use (including such consumer’s personal consumption or use under paragraph (1)) a machine capable of making cigarettes, cigars, or other tobacco products. A person making such a machine available for consumer use shall be deemed the person making the removal as defined by subsection (j) with respect to any tobacco products manufactured by such machine.”

===============================================

That’s it. That’s the language that is a fraud on free enterprise, a lie on paper in black and white, and something apparently so radioactive even the most conservative, freedom-loving members of Congress won’t touch with a ten-foot intern.

GUESS WHO SUPPORTS THE BIG TOBACCO BAILOUT AND LOST THEIR RE-ELECTION BID?

U.S. Rep John Sullivan (R-Oklahoma) lost his primary race last night in part because he supported the same-old-same-old Washington BS, including the Big Tobacco bailout.

CONGRESSPEOPLE, HERE ARE YOUR TALKING POINTS: Big Tobacco spent millions this year alone to put this provision in the bill. We want this provision out. Why?

  • Only the Big Tobacco companies will benefit under the Baucus provision in the U.S. 2012 highway bill.
  • The Big Tobacco companies spent more than $3 million in 20 days hiring 60 lobbyists urging inclusion of this provision.
  • The Baucus provision will “reclassify” 1,000 small retail tobacco shops as “tobacco manufacturers” crushing them with huge new taxes and regulations.
  • The Congressional Budget Office has already determined under the Baucus provision, these “reclassified” businesses will be forced to close.
  • A retail shop is NOT a “manufacturer” and must not be drowned with the same taxes and regulations as one.

OUR MISSION: This Baucus bailout stinks. It’s a dirty power grab by the Big Tobacco companies and the members of Congress who’ve been paid off. It must be stopped. Target the folks below on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and phone calls. Dial the Capitol Hill operator at 202-224-3121 and ask for one of these members. There’s also TOLL FREE numbers you can call to reach the Capitol Hill switchboard. Try a Google search for “call your member of congress toll free”.

-GR

Transportation Committee Republicans / Leadership Members

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Tuesday Evening Action Alert

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MAKE OR BREAK WEEK UPDATE: TUESDAY EVENING
URGENT
We’re hearing word from our people on Capitol Hill this evening that the Baucus Big Tobacco bailout provision appears to be in the final highway bill. Baucus took control of the finance/taxes section and he clamped down on keeping his favor to Big Tobacco in the final version. This is not good news and we need to act NOW to raise holy hell with members. Most members of the Transportation bill conference committee have NOT seen the bill and it must be approved by the whole committee before it can be sent to the full House of Reps for a vote.
OUR MISSION
Light up all these members at the bottom of this post. They MUST know to act to strip the Baucus provision from the bill. If they don’t act, it will be EXTREMELY difficult to defeat the bill once it gets to the floor.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
TONIGHT’S MESSAGE: @LawmakerXYZ The job-killing Baucus #BigTobacco bailout is STILL in the highway bill. STRIP it 2NITE! http://bit.ly/NewTax
PHONE
Please Call: 202-224-3121 and ask for each member’s office from the list below. Tell them you want to see the Baucus “roll your own” tobacco provision stricken from the highway bill.

Transportation Committee Republicans / Leadership Members

Do it, friends. Hit them hard.

-GR

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