Tag Archives: Sellout

T-Minus One

We’re a day away from when President Obama is expected to sign the final highway bill into law, the very bill that will force the closure of many small businesses all across the United States. For all our efforts so far, no one from the White House has told us “no” yet, so we are keeping hope alive and spreading the message that we are the target of an unconstitutional assault sponsored by Congress and underwritten by Big Tobacco.

Good morning, it’s Thursday, July 5, 2012 and I hope your Independence Day went well. Freedom isn’t free and many have already paid the ultimate price giving their lives so that we may breathe from within the cocoon of liberty. We are thankful, and ever obligated to keep fighting for our freedoms. Always.

Mr. President, we are the faceless fighting for our jobs. We are fighting for our freedom to roll our own. We are entrepreneurs and enterprising individuals fighting for our niche in the marketplace, to provide a service where no one else has succeeded. We are Americans pursuing the American Dream.

SECTION 100122 of H.R.4348 is unconstitutional because it singles out one group of individuals for punishment. It arbitrarily reclassifies small retail tobacco shops as tobacco product “manufacturers” and by doing so it subjects them to an unbearable number of new taxes and regulations. This isn’t the closure of a perceived tax loophole; it’s the complete destruction of a legal business model that happened to be in competition with the biggest, multi-billion dollar corporations in the world. Our U.S. Constitution won’t stand for this. Article I, Section 9 specifically prohibits using the power of the Federal government to arbitrarily crush people or groups. But we need someone to raise their hand. We need someone to speak up. We must have a President willing to tell Congress, “I see what you did there…”

President Barack Obama and advisors: Please exercise your power to interpret SECTION 100122 of H.R.4348 as unconstitutional and an unbearable burden on a particular group of small businesses across the United States, and therefore you will instruct your Administration to avoid the unintended consequences of implementing this portion of the law, and work with Congress to find redress focused on a real solution to the perceived underlying issue.

TODAY’S MESSAGES 

TWITTER: @BarackObama VOID SEC.100122 of H.R.4348. It’s an unconstitutional attack on me! VOID it via signing statement http://bit.ly/NewTax

FACEBOOK: President Obama: Please exercise your signing statement power to interpret SECTION 100122 of H.R.4348 as unconstitutional and an unbearable burden on a particular group of small businesses across the United States, and therefore you will instruct your Administration to avoid the unintended consequences of implementing this portion of the law, and work with Congress to find redress focused on a real solution to the perceived underlying issue. SECTION 100122 of H.R.4348 is unconstitutional because it singles out one group of individuals for punishment. It arbitrarily reclassifies small retail tobacco shops as tobacco product “manufacturers” and by doing so it subjects them to an unbearable number of new taxes and regulations. This isn’t the closure of a perceived tax loophole; it’s the complete destruction of a legal business model that happened to be in competition with the biggest, multi-billion dollar corporations in the world. Our U.S. Constitution won’t stand for this. Article I, Section 9 specifically prohibits using the power of the Federal government to arbitrarily crush people or groups.

TARGETS

TWITTER:

  • @whitehouse
  • @WHLive
  • @blog44
  • @BarackObama
  • @AskObama
  • @DavidAxelrod
  • @PressSec
  • @StefCutter
  • @JesseCLee44
  • @macon44
  • @joncarson44
  • @pfeiffer44
  • @VP
  • @ks44
  • @vj44
  • @Brundage44
  • @DavidAgnew44
  • @ChrisLu44
  • @StevenVDC
  • @opengov
FACEBOOK:

http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse

http://www.facebook.com/barackobama

PHONES:

Call to leave a comment: 202-456-1111

Tell the President: “When you sign the highway bill H.R. 4348, please issue a signing statement to make Section 100122 null and void. It’s nothing more than a favor to the Big Tobacco companies, it will close my business and people will lose their jobs immediately! I’m a retailer, not a manufacturer. This isn’t good government. Please tell Congress you can’t in good conscience interpret Section 100122 as a fair way to conduct government.”

ONLINE COMMENT FORM: 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

This is it. This is our time. Congress has betrayed us, and we must plead our case to the President. Let’s get to it! See you online.

– GR

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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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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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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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Add U.S. Rep. Justin Amash

Great news, warriors! We’ve added U.S. Representative Justin Amash to the list of lawmakers opposed to H.R.4134, the Big Tobacco bailout!

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash is on our side!
He opposes HR4134, the Big Tobacco bailout.

Congressman Amash sent the following last night from the Twittersphere:

“@GeorgeRenome I’ve now had a chance to review #HR4134. I am opposed to it. Best of luck.”

This is great news! We sincerely appreciate Rep. Amash’s responding to our request to review HR4134 and his decision to oppose the Big Tobacco bailout. Thank you, Congressman Amash and keep fighting the good fight on Capitol Hill. You are a true champion of small business and free enterprise!

Good morning and welcome to the first Saturday of official summer, June 23, 2012. John Adams said our republic is a “government of laws, not of men.” What he meant is under the construction of our government, tyrants have no opportunity to exercise ultimate authority. That’s why we have three branches of government; executive, legislative, and judicial. If the legislative branch does something bad, the executive branch can veto it. If the executive branch oversteps its authority, the judicial branch can knock it down. If the judicial branch says the Constitution doesn’t allow something, the legislative branch can amend the Constitution, but only with the consent of the states. So even though there’s a lot of opportunity for mischief within and even across our branches of government, eventually things get sorted out. That John Adams was a pretty smart gent, right?

2nd President of the United States, John Adams

Those of you new to the blog, here is the Big Tobacco bailout provision. We’re fighting it tooth and nail. I’ll explain more in a minute.

***BEGIN TEXT OF BAUCUS BIG TOBACCO BAILOUT***

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.”.

***END TEXT OF BAUCUS BIG TOBACCO BAILOUT***

Legislating is complicated business, especially when the United States has enough Federal code, regulations and laws to sink the Titanic a couple times over, but once upon a time I looked up subsection (d) of section 5702 of the Internal Revenue Code and what this Baucus provision does is add to the definition of “manufacturer of tobacco products” any retail shop where you can roll your own smokes.

So is a retail outlet a manufacturer? Of course not. So why is Baucus pursuing this provision? Is it because manufacturers pay higher taxes than retailers and Congress is bloodthirsty for more tax revenue? Possibly. But when we looked at the Congressional Budget Office examination of the impact this provision will have on small retail tobacco shops, they found the shops will have to shut down because they can’t afford the new tax and regulation regime. So WHAT is Senator Baucus’s motivation?

Every member of Congress has taken some amount of Big Tobacco cash in the form of campaign contributions, whether directly from the Big Tobacco companies or through third-party political committees funded in part by Big Tobacco. It’s a fact.

I can’t speak to Senator Baucus’s personal motivations, but it is a fact the senator has taken at least $25,000 in campaign contributions directly from Altria, Lorillard, and R.J. Reynolds, the Big Tobacco companies. It’s also a fact that these Big Tobacco companies spent more than $3 million in just 20 days between March 5 and March 31, 2012 lobbying Congress to pass a Big Tobacco bailout provision. Hmm… When I roll my own smokes, Big Tobacco doesn’t make any money. Big Tobacco wants to put small roll your own retailers out of business. A member of Congress inserts a special provision to eliminate Big Tobacco’s competition. And Sen. Max Baucus has taken at least $25k from Big Tobacco. HMM….

OUR MISSION: This weekend, staff members for Congress are working away trying to put the finishing touches on the highway bill. Unfortunately, members of Congress don’t write bills anymore, they let their staffs do it and often times the staff make the final decisions of what goes into a bill and what’s stripped. Unless members of Congress specifically direct their staff to do something, mischief is abound. We must tell lawmakers to strip the Big Tobacco bailout from the highway bill. It’s nonsensical, anti-competitive, and will crush more than 1,000 small businesses across the U.S. at a time when our economy can least afford it.

Today’s Message: @LawmakerXYZ It’s up to you. Save #smallbiz and strip the Baucus #BigTobacco bailout from the highway bill! http://bit.ly/NewTax

Take it to the Twitter and the Facebook. Take it to the online community and spread it wherever you see fit. Take our message to the mountaintops and roll an avalanche down the valleys below. We can make a difference if we’re loud enough and expose enough of this rotten Big Tobacco bailout. Go on the attack, my friends. This is the weekend that matters. Make your hard work over these last few weeks count! See you online.

– GR

PRIMARY TARGETS – Talk to them and the people who follow them. These people can save, or sink us this weekend.

Transportation Committee Republicans / Leadership Members

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Contempt

Contempt sounds like a pretty nasty word. Without looking it up in the dictionary, I’m not really sure what it means, but I think it means something about not having respect for the other party involved in whatever the argument is about.

Wholly unrelated to the Big Tobacco bailout, a U.S. House committee voted yesterday to find U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. I remember watching the film where Larry Flynt was found in contempt of court for throwing oranges at the judge. Personally, I often hold the paper boy in contempt when he throws my newspaper at the screen door or into the bushes. Contempt seems like it isn’t a good thing for those who are the target. In fact, I’m thinking contempt is the perfect word in which to hold Big Tobacco for its 2012 attack on free enterprise.

Good morning and happy Thursday, June 21, 2012. Today is the summer solctice, meaning it is the longest sunshine day of the year (for North America at least) and for the rest of this summer the days are going to get shorter. What’s also getting shorter is the amount of time Congress will be able to find a vehicle to move the Big Tobacco bailout. The less time they have to sneak something in, the more desperate Big Tobacco gets.

Today’s Message: @LawmakerXYZ Please don’t sacrifice #jobs for a #BigTobacco bailout in the highway bill! http://bit.ly/NewTax.com

OUR MISSION: We are most effective when we approach our targets from various avenues. That means when you’re having too much fun on Twitter, put it aside and head over to Facebook. I know some members have blocked some of us from posting on their sites, but that’s okay because we can send them messages other ways. One of my favorite methods is to ask their colleagues to pass along our message. For instance, “Rep Blackburn, your colleague Rep. Diane Black has blocked me from her Facebook page so can you tell her to please stop doing favors for Big Tobacco and get rid of H.R.4134? Thanks!”

I can’t tell you how great it is to see so many people so passionate about fighting for jobs, prosperity and freedoms. Tell me this: Which freedoms shall we forgo for the sake of Big Tobacco’s greed? Which freedoms are too small to defend? Which of us will lay down something mankind has been doing for centuries, just so the Big Tobacco companies can squeeze a little more profit? None of us. Go out and make some NOISE!

-GR

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Draft Campaign Script

It’s a tight deal. You have an objective, a goal and you see your path to getting there. You have some friends or coworkers who share your vision and so you all band together to support each other’s desire to achieve your goal. So you start down the path knowing there are consequences for straying from your objective. All of a sudden, along comes huge Big Tobacco gust of wind and…

Today’s Message: Stay on creating #jobs, not killing them with a #BigTobacco bailout in the highway bill http://bit.ly/NewTax

Good Morning! It’s Monday, June 18, 2012 and Sir Paul McCartney turns 70 today. The U.S. House of Representatives is back in session and both the House and the Senate are scheduled to stay in session until the July 4 break. In that time period, they have a lot of legislation on their agenda including some expiring student loan interest rate provisions, the farm bill, Food and Drug Administration reform, and the notorious, Big-Tobacco infiltrated, small-business, job-killing-if-they-approve-the-Senate-version, highway bill.

If you think Congress can get to agreement on ALL of those issues before July 4, God bless your optimism. From what I’ve seen, these jokers have a hard time approving bathroom breaks. Each member of each party has their own custom objective in their sights, but they also perceive a great deal to lose if they stray from the path that got them this far. Some members of Congress are walking the line on reducing taxes, regulations and government spending; others are walking the line of creating new government programs to help folks who might be in crisis; still other folks are calling for an investigation and then dismantling of the Federal Reserve. They all have their goals, and all along their paths little gusts of wind come along in the form of legislation.

That’s why it is SO aggravating when I hear members of Congress get on the television and TALK about the dire need to reduce Federal taxes and regulations, but then go around and support a Big Tobacco bailout, H.R.4134 and the version that’s been stuffed into the Senate’s version of the 2012 highway bill. If we’re going to keep our form of representative government, there is no more treacherous breach of trust than telling voters you’re going to fight for small business, but then you take a dive when Big Tobacco throws the first punch.

Can you imagine a campaign ad where U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) stands up and tells people what she’s really about and what she does in Congress?

I can. Here’s a sample script for Rep. Diane Black’s consideration. This is only a draft script; we anxiously await Ms. Black’s edits:

TV SCRIPT

Time: 60 SECONDS

Title: “Black for Congress: Elect Me and I will…”

Diane Black: “I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, the birthplace of bureaucracy and self-preserving government jobs. After 34 years, I moved to Tennessee to follow my wealthy inventor husband. In my spare time I made a goal of getting back to the nation’s capital city and, working with tons of campaign cash from the Big Tobacco companies and other special interests, I did. [voice continues after banjo riff]

“Once in Washington, I started telling Tennesseans I was working hard for them. I made speeches, sent out news releases, held town halls, and even met one-on-one with voters to promise them I will fight for lower taxes and fewer regulations. But on March 5 of this year, I introduced a bill that will heap a lot of new taxes and regulations on small retail tobacco shops. [voice continues after trombones start loud marching-style melody]

“My legislation will shut down more than 1,000 U.S. small businesses and force thousands more out of work. The Big Tobacco companies like my legislation so much they spent more than THREE MILLION dollars in 20 days lobbying my colleagues for it’s approval. If you re-elect me, I won’t talk about this bill or why I introduced it, but I will keep working for those interests that contribute to my campaign, no matter how many jobs are lost or how many promises I have to make and break. I’m Diane Black and I approved this message.” [voice ends; music trails off]

Photo: At Taste of the Country in Springfield this morning. Come down and visit our booth!

Can you imagine? I’ll bet you a shiny new penny Congresswoman Black will have at least a couple of edits to the script. We understand. First of all, what’s the bumper sticker line? Every campaign needs a bumper sticker slogan… You know, something like, “Vote Black, because she’ll sell out” or “Black is back, with Big Tobacco” or maybe “Diane Black for Congress: I’m Listening 2 Big Tobacco”

Oddly enough, Ms. Black is a member of the U.S. House Republican Policy Committee. This is a committee formed back in 1949 and the current charter is to, “work diligently on common sense solutions that speak for the American people remove barriers to economic growth, balance the budget, reduce the size and scope of government, implement patient-centered health care reforms, and keep the country safe.” We think it’s only a matter of time before Ms. Black is excoriated at the Policy Committee’s meetings for introducing the tax hikes and regulation increases contained in H.R.4134. If she’s developing these kind of ideas for the rest of the Republican members of the House, it doesn’t seem she’s going to keep her membership card to this particular club.

OUR MISSION: After we receive Ms. Black’s edits to her campaign commercial, we’ll be very busy in production. Until then, let’s get on the Twitter and Facebook and send some messages to the folks who can make a difference. Here are the Twitter handles of some of the Republican Policy Committee members. Then should hear our message about the highway bill and the Big Tobacco bailout. They have to understand we are watching their tightrope walk, and we’re here to support them as long as they stick to their words. What member of Congress wants to conduct bad public policy or use the power of the government to pick winners or losers. Members need our help to stay on course and stay out of the water.

  • Rick Berg (ND) @RepRickBerg
  • Judy Biggert (IL) @JudyBiggert
  • Gus Bilirakis (FL) @RepGusBilirakis
  • Rob Bishop (UT) @RepRobBishop
  • Diane Black (TN) @RepDianeBlack
  • Paul Broun (GA) @RepPaulBrounMD
  • John Fleming (LA) @RepFleming
  • Cory Gardner (CO) @RepCoryGardener
  • Chris Gibson (NY) @RepChrisGibson
  • Phil Gingrey (GA) @RepPhilGingrey
  • Tom Graves (GA) @RepTomGraves
  • Morgan Griffith (VA) @RepMGriffith
  • Alan Nunnelee (MS) @RepAlanNunnelee
  • Mike Pompeo (KS) @MikePompeo
  • Tom Price (GA) @RepTomPrice
  • Tom Reed (NY) @RepTomReed
  • Jim Renacci (OH) @RepJimRenacci
  • Mike Rogers (AL) @RepMikeRogersAL

Be good! See you online.

-GR

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Who Needs Approval?

Looking at the big picture, it really is no wonder the Congress as a whole has an approval rating somewhere between spilled milk and a three-day old fish that’s been sitting in your sun porch. The people we’ve sent to Washington to be our voices tell us one thing at home, but then do an entirely different thing when they get to Washington. Such activity isn’t new, but it is more readily known now due to the Internet’s instant access to information. Also, this type of betrayal has given great rise to groups like the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and No Labels. But even those groups have been infiltrated by the double-talkers.Good morning and happy Saturday, June 16, 2012. Did you know there are roughly 340 million new Tweets created every day? That’s why we’re here and that’s why we have to be persistent. Our mission is to keep popping up and keep exposing the Big Tobacco bailout hidden in the highway bill, and to expose HR4134 as a dirty Big Tobacco bailout.

The places we’re talking and the amount of talking we’re doing is making a big difference. It’s kind of like standing across the street from your favorite member of Congress’s office and shouting. Sometimes the congressman hears us; sometimes his constituents passing by hear us; pretty much all the time the congressman’s staff hears us. Good stuff, right? It’s Father’s Day weekend so I’ll be brief so you can get outside and clean off the bar-b-que.

CONGRESSIONAL UPDATE: Both the House and the Senate are in session next week and there will be a push to get some kind of compromise highway bill through. The Senate continues to pretend they’re royalty and won’t negotiate with the House. The House continues pretending they’re drunk commoners set on buying that stallion next door for a bag of doody. Both sides still seem far apart, and neither side will commit to telling us they’re getting rid of the Big Tobacco bailout provision. All sides seem resigned to a clean extension of the current program while they work out a bigger bill, so keep your eyes on this because I’m sure Big Tobacco’s lobbyists still have some tricks up their sleeve.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) drinking at Big Tobacco’s campaign trough at both the State and Federal levels.

A Ugandan water buffalo taking a swim.

By the way, I was contacted by the Water Buffalo Preservation Society of Uganda yesterday, and they’re none too happy with my continued posting of pictures of water buffalos next to pictures of U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee). I’m not really sure what their beef is, so for the time being I’m going to ignore them.

OUR MISSION: Continue the open dialogue with your local members of Congress, members of the highway bill conference committee, and House and Senate leadership. What’s also effective is “replying” to those members who post new stuff to Facebook and Twitter. My rule is, if they’re posting, they’re listening and we have something to say. So let’s go get them troops and PLEASE be careful. The weekends are notorious for throwing people into Twitter jail. Follow the “4-4-4” rule with your “@LawmakerXYZ” practice and you’ll be fine. (Retweet as MUCH as you want because it’s not registering as spam in the Twitterverse).

-GR

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