Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Feingold communications

Got not one, but two copies of the following:
Dear Mr. Kuecker,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the increased need for fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction. I appreciate hearing from you.

One of the main reasons that we are in such a budgetary mess that we are currently in is because of the reckless fiscal policies pursued by the previous administration which have left us in the biggest financial hole in our history. Deep deficit spending is something that I am extremely concerned about, which is one of the reasons why I opposed the flawed Wall Street bailout plan.

There are a number of steps we should take to restore some fiscal discipline, and one of those steps is to stop unauthorized spending earmarks. That is why on January 6, 2009 I introduced S. 162, the Fiscal Discipline, Earmark Reform, and Accountability Act. This bipartisan bill is cosponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Richard Burr (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Our bill would make it easier to remove unauthorized earmarks in appropriations bills. If any Senator tried to remove such an earmark, supporters of the earmark would have to obtain the super-majority of 60 votes in the Senate to keep the earmark in the bill.

In an effort to further target wasteful spending, I also joined my colleagues, Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain, in introducing the Congressional Accountability and Line-Item Veto Act of 2009. This legislation would create a line-item veto to target wasteful earmarks, improve congressional accountability, and deter lawmakers from inserting "Bridges to Nowhere" or other frivolous spending into future bills. This legislation would enable the president to single out egregious earmarks in bills that arrive on his desk for signature and send these specific items back to Congress for expedited votes on whether to rescind, or cancel, funding for these provisions.

One of the main reasons I first ran for the U.S. Senate was to restore fiscal responsibility to the federal budget. Throughout my career in the Senate, I have worked to bring Wisconsin's historic tradition of fiscal responsibility to Congress, an environment where wasteful spending too often dominates the budget process.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to do so on this or any issue.


The only problem is that I was asking him about the possibility of an independent audit of the Federal Reserve...

Another one, again about health care:

Dear Mr. Kuecker,

Thank you for contacting me regarding health care. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

It is far past time for Congress to ensure all Americans have guaranteed, affordable, high-quality health care. Too many Americans are forced to make basic decisions regarding their health based on cost rather than on medical reasons; too many delay seeking treatment and do not receive preventive care, which results in more costly, or even fatal, consequences down the line. Our country spends $5,670 per capita annually on health care - which is twice as much as any other industrialized nation - and 15.6 percent of our gross domestic product. Despite this spending, we are not healthier than those other countries, and we still have more than 46 million Americans - including eight million children - who do not have health insurance, and countless others who are underinsured.

As you know, these high and rising costs take a tremendous toll on American families and businesses. While inflation grew 9.7 percent, and wage growth was 12.3 percent, premiums for family insurance coverage rose 59 percent from 2000-2004 and show no sign of stabilizing. As a result, many employers are shifting much of their health care costs to employees, no longer providing health benefits, or eliminating positions.

The Senate Finance Committee is currently considering legislation on health care reform. I look forward to Congress finally taking up this issue. Ensuring every American is guaranteed good, affordable health care coverage is made much more difficult by relying only on private insurers. While Americans should be able to retain their current coverage if they choose, providing a public option should keep health care costs down for all Americans.

I am also committed to making long-term care a key part of any reform. Since my time as chair of the Wisconsin State Senate's Aging Committee, I have worked to give seniors and others needing long-term care the choice to remain in their own homes and communities instead of entering institutional care. Long term care must be part of health care reform because helping more people live in their homes is the smart choice to meet both the preferences of families and the need to spend government funds efficiently.

Additionally, the Medicare reimbursement formula has shortchanged Wisconsin for far too long. It is troubling that Medicare provides a more generous reimbursement rate for a procedure done in other states than it does when the same procedure is done in Wisconsin, simply because of an outdated and flawed reimbursement formula. Reducing the inequities in Medicare reimbursement payments is a priority of mine as Congress tackles health care reform.

Again, thank you for contacting me. As health care reform moves forward, I will continue working to improve access to health care and make health care more affordable for the people of Wisconsin. You can learn more about my work on health care reform at my website at I look forward to hearing from you in the future.


Again, he (or his staff person who writes these) seems determined to ignore the gist of my communication, which was to do NOTHING about health care, rather to fix the GOVERNMENT that's broken and the cause of virtually all our current social and financial problems.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CIFTA reply from Russ Feingold

This was in response to an email I sent him:


Dear Mr. Kuecker,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Inter-American Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms (CIFTA). I appreciate hearing from you.

As you may know, CIFTA was signed in 1997 by then-President Clinton, but was never voted on or ratified by the Senate. The United States is one of only four of the 34 Organization of American States members not to have ratified CIFTA, along with Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

I have heard from several constituents expressing their concerns that this treaty could infringe upon their Second Amendment rights. I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms, and I oppose measures such as gun licensing requirements and handgun bans that seek to unreasonably limit that right. At the same time, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have supported U.S. efforts to halt the illicit arms trade around the world.

Should the Senate consider legislation relating to this treaty I will carefully review it to make sure, among other things, that it is consistent with the Second Amendment.

Thank you again for contacting me. For more information about my work on behalf of Wisconsin, you can subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter by visiting I look forward to hearing from you in the future.


I'm convinced these things are canned, written by aides.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tammy Gay votes to spend - again

Just saw that Tammy Gay Baldwin has voted to spend more of the money the IRS steals form us every paycheck...the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network Continuing Authorization Act

If you have not noticed, our country is in a depression created in large part by Congress spending like drunken sailors. NO insult intended to our Navy.

WHY did you vote to spend money on a local tourist attraction?

Email from a friend

A buddy emailed this to me:
One question: How do WE "change" this if the polititions are the ones who write the laws?????

Not long ago I read a joke... It said all the politicians running for president are promising change to the American people. We send them billions and billions of tax dollars and they send us the change.

Funny? Not really; there is too much truth in it to be funny.

But that got me to thinking... They all promise change.

A restoration that would take us back in time to a place where
things ran better, smoother and life was more enjoyable.

Change? That, in truth, is what they have been giving us all along.

We used to have a strong dollar...
Politicians *changed* that.

Marriage used to be sacred...

Politicians have *changed* that.

We used to be respected around the world... Politicians *changed

We used to have a strong manufacturing economy... Politicians
*changed* that.

We used to have lower tax structures... Politicians *changed* that.

We used to enjoy more freedoms... Politicians *changed* that.

We used to be a large exporter of American-made goods...
Politicians *changed* that.

We used to teach patriotism in schools... Politicians *changed* that.

We used to educate children in schools... Politicians *changed* that.

We used to enforce *LEGAL* citizenship... Politicians *changed* that.

We used to have affordable food & gas prices...

Politicians *changed* that, too... and one could go on and on with this list.

What hasn't been changed, politicians are promising to *change *that as well, if you will elect them.

When, oh when, is America going to sit back with open eyes and look at what we once were and where we have come and say "enough is enough"?

The trouble is, America 's youthful voters today don't know of the great America that existed forty and fifty years ago. They see the world as if it has always existed as it is now.

When will we wake up? Tomorrow may be too late. When will America realize... Politicians are what is wrong with America ? This goes for BOTH parties... Republicans and Democrats, there is no difference anymore... they all do only what they can to be re-elected, not what is best for the citizens!

*What is needed is for the Constitution to be amended to limit all Senators and Representatives to TWO terms in office like the President.
*Oh, by the way,* *no big pension either, social security just like the rest of us. How do they rate bigger and better entitlements than the people THEY WORK FOR? WHICH IS US!!*

*Being a politician shouldn't be a person's life work* *but rather a call to public service then back to being an honest hard-working citizen.*

Politicians are no more than housekeepers and janitors... unfortunately they act like they own the building.

I replied:
Amen - but I would add that any politician who betrays his/ her oath of office by introducing an un-Constitutional bill, gets treated as a traitor in wartime. The gallows ought to be out front of the Capitol, and proceedings televised on C-Span.

Also, the free health care, exemption for the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security, and lifetime retirement pension after one term have to end. CONgresscritters need to be housed in a barracks equal to what boot camp enlistees get treated to, ditto food - and health care. They can stay healthy by walking to work, which should be a minimum of one mile from the barracks.

Air conditioning needs to be removed from the meeting rooms and the main halls in the Capitol, and CONgress needs to meet only during the hottest part of the summer for two months maximum. After that, they go home. The longer they are in session, with "creature comforts", the more likely they will be to enact something stupid.

The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution needs to be repealed. Ditto the 16th. Senators need to be appointed by governors, not popularly elected, and CONgress needs to go on a diet, not have a feeding tentacle in everyone's wallet.

An amendment requiring that ten laws be removed from the books for every new law passed - including budgets, which need to be truly balanced, would be nice, as would a requirement that every new bill come with a Constitutional justification for its' enactment. See the first line.

THAT constitutes a good start for ME.
Then I realized that he had asked a question in that first line - so I sent him another email:
Almost missed your comment at the top - it may take a revolution. I think the opening shots may have already been fired.
Chuck Kuecker

Alert from

Got an alert from's Roll Call about proposed financial legislation.

Here's my contribution:

Let me make this eminently clear. With the exception of the recently repealed Glass-Steagall Act, which needs to be put back in force immediately, there are more than enough laws on the books NOW to handle corrupt banks and dubious financial practices. Enforce what is already there.

Require the Federal Reserve to open its' books for a true accounting of its' dealings over the last couple decades. Require them to operate openly - no "secret deals".

Chuck Kuecker

Monday, September 14, 2009

More Herb

Another exchange with the senior senator from Wisconsin. His reply to my last email
Dear Mr. Kuecker:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about taxes. I appreciate hearing your views on this issue, and welcome the opportunity to discuss tax policy with you.

With my support, Congress recently passed $230 billion in tax cuts as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Working families, on average, will receive an additional $800 in their paychecks due to the "Making Work Pay" tax credit. Additionally, more families will qualify for the refundable child tax credit, which will lift over two million Americans out of poverty when combined with the "Making Work Pay" credit. The stimulus also includes tax cuts for families sending children to college, who are now eligible for a $2,500 tax credit per child.

I believe that another important way Congress can help American families is to get our budget deficit under control. On January 7th the Congressional Budget Office reported that the official budget deficit for FY2009 will be an estimated $1.2 trillion. This is the highest shortfall in history. A serious budget debate this year must include an honest discussion of the costs we are facing in the future and the most efficient means of restoring our economy.

As a former businessman, I understand what a burden taxes can be. I believe we must balance such important priorities as lowering the tax burden on hard-working families, defending our homeland, and educating our children, and reducing the national debt for the next generation.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress considers these issues. Again, thank you for contacting me and please feel free to do so again in the future.


Herb Kohl
United States Senator
My reply:
Hi, Herb,

Just read your response to my last missive about taxation.

I don't understand how giving people money stolen from other taxpayers qualifies as a "tax cut". I thought a tax cut was where the gov't spent less, and therefore needed to steal less. Oh well, that's why I am just an engineer and not a politician, I guess.

I definitely agree with you on the idea of controlling gov't spending and "balancing" the budget. I guess this means you will be taking my desires to see ObamaCare and "cap and tax" both die well-deserved deaths by voting NO on these and all other increases in gov't spending?

By the way - I still want you to vote NO on CIFTA, should it come up. Since having some federal agency going door- to door to disarm America would definitely be an increase in gov'ty spending, this treaty cannot be ratified. The fact that it is blatantly un-Constitutional is just a side issue.

Friday, September 11, 2009

More from Herb Kohl

Evidently, the man does not LISTEN...

My comments interspersed...
Dear Mr. Kuecker:

Many Wisconsin constituents have written to express their views on legislation aiming to curb global warming. I appreciate hearing this input as I study the climate bill that the Senate will consider in the coming months.

As you may know, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane accumulate naturally in the atmosphere in order to trap heat from the sun and-similar to a greenhouse-to maintain a surface temperature that supports life. However, energy sources such as coal-fired power plants, petroleum refineries, and vehicle tailpipes are combining to release huge amounts of excess CO2 into the atmosphere, trapping too much heat and causing the climate to warm.


CO2 and CH4 do not "accumulate" in the atmosphere - or we would all be dead now. Ever hear of homeostasis?

Contributions of CO2 by Man are minuscule compared to what Mother Gaea produces naturally. The Earth's CO2 concentration now, with all of Man's "pollution" is about one third or less of what it was during prehistoric times, when all that coal was deposited.

Don't get me started on cow and pig farts.


A warmer climate affects us in a variety of ways. Some areas have experienced violent storms and massive flooding, while other areas have suffered drought and wildfires. Plant and animal species are threatened by changing habitats, and humans could see enormous changes in public health and quality of life. Left unchecked, climate change could have far-reaching effects on agriculture, forestry, ecosystems, water resources, and weather patterns.

It is important to note that climate and weather are distinct terms, with weather denoting a short-term snapshot of one day or week and climate referring to long-term regional average conditions. The weather may be cold or hot on any given day, but scientists have established broad consensus that, because of CO2-intensive human activities, the climate is getting warmer. Our job now is to decide what to do about it.


Your job now is to follow the Constitution, which nowhere mandates you to legislate on a "broad consensus" that is narrowing every day, and is only still religiously believed in by nutcases such as Algore.

The only constant on our planet is change - and that includes the climate. Any reputable scientist will agree that the

Earth's climate has varied from ice ages that covered nearly all of North America with a mile of ice, to times when palm trees grew in Greenland.

Expecting to keep the climate where it is now is as futile as trying to sweep back the tide.


Fossil fuels like coal and oil emit CO2 into the atmosphere when burned. Legislation in Congress aims to reduce these CO2 emissions through a system known as "cap-and-trade." Under cap-and-trade, the government would cap the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions from major sources of air pollution, such as power plants and oil refineries. It would then distribute a number of credits equal to the total volume of emissions allowed under the cap, which would be high at first and then gradually more stringent. Companies would purchase a quantity of credits equal to the tonnage of CO2 they emit. Companies that significantly reduce their emissions would be free to sell their excess credits to companies that are not reducing as quickly, giving polluters an economic incentive to spearhead new ways of reducing their emissions. The lowest cost strategies for reducing emissions would likely be adopted first under this approach, allowing a greater window for technological advances to help achieve reductions in areas that might be more complicated.


Legislation now in CONgress aims to make everyone pay for living, by orders of magnitude more than we do now, in order to enrich people like Algore, GE, and other companies that stand to collect immense profits under "cap and tax". The legislation will have the effect of encouraging more CO2 production, not less, as reductions in production would result in reductions of profits.


The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions gradually to 17% of 2005 levels by the year 2050 and requires states to get at least 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. The bill establishes a cap-and-trade system under which 15% of emissions credits would be auctioned off-with the proceeds reinvested in alternative energy research-while 85% would be freely allocated.

Among the freely allocated credits, 30% of total credits would go to local electric utilities in order to cancel out any increases in consumer electricity prices. Another 13.5% would be distributed among trade-exposed manufacturing industries, such as glass, steel, and cement. Nitrogen fertilizer manufacturers would also get free credits, which will help contain costs borne by agriculture.

In other words, all the industries that are clamoring for this disaster would be the ones who get free passes, everyone else gets to pay - and pay - and pay.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the increased cost to the average household for higher energy prices would be about $175 per year or 48 cents per day. Overall, the amount of CO2 emissions preempted by this legislation would be the rough equivalent of taking 500 million cars off the road.

It WILL take 500 million cars off the roads - simply because their owners will be too broke to buy fuel.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that net farm income would decrease in the short-run by less than 1% due to the free carbon credits for fertilizer manufacturers. After the free credits expire in 2025, the revenue that agriculture and forestry would receive from carbon offset activities-such as planting trees, using different tilling methods, and expanding bio-energy production-is predicted to be greater than any additional costs due to cap-and-trade.


Always remember that whatever gov't predicts will come out at a minimum costing twice what they claim, and there's no upper limit to costs. Once this is enacted, the gates are flung wide for further enhancements to be added by whatever bureaucracy without CONgressional oversight is named to run it.


On June 26, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2454 by a vote of 219-212. The bill now proceeds to the Senate, where it will be open to further amendments.


The first of which should be to kill it.


Any climate change bill before Congress must ensure that the Midwest is treated fairly and that Wisconsin's industries are not severely impacted. None of us supports burdening ordinary Americans with steep energy prices. Members of Congress and stakeholders from all over the country are working toward a reasonable bill that will address the serious problem of climate change without imposing higher costs on consumers or constraining our manufacturing sector. A sensible national energy policy emphasizing greater conservation and efficiency can strengthen our country's economic and environmental health.

If you are truly interested in not burdening us with excessive taxes and expenses, WHY do you keep proposing and passing legislation whose ONLY noticeable effect will be to increase our taxes and expenses and cost us our jobs?

This bill is anything but sensible. It's abominable.

I appreciate hearing your views on this important bill, and please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind before casting my vote. Thank you very much for writing to me.


Herb Kohl
United States Senator
I will be advising him of his errors shortly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More probably useless communications

I've got to keep trying...sent ot the usual suspects...

I hear the a VAT is being investigated in Congress.

Let's get one thing straight here. You guys work for us, not the other way around. The government already takes way too much money from the American people. New taxes are right off the table, if you want to keep your jobs.

If there's a money problem in the federal government, do what most taxpayers do - start cutting out stuff from the budget until income (without any imaginary raises!) equals or exceeds the outgo - then keep spending down and look for ways to economize and cut waste.

Spending your way out of debt never works. Neither does taxing the productive to death.

Ever hear the story about the goose that laid golden eggs?

Enough with the endless spending and demands for more from us. Tell Mr. Obama that no, he can't have that pet unicorn - or health care - and take the same message to all the banks and other leeches that want tax money as "bailouts".


Just maybe, they will hear, and listen, and act like responsible adults.

Yeah, sure...

More exchanges with Herb Kohl

I recently sent Mr. Kohl an email expressing my concern about CIFTA.

His response:

Dear Mr. Kuecker:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA). I appreciate hearing from you.

CIFTA was adopted by the Organization of the American States in 1997 to prevent and stop the illegal traffic of firearms at the international level and entered into force on July 1, 1998. The treaty established that the parties must establish criminal offences under their domestic law against illicit manufacturing and trafficking if they had not already done so. Treaties must be agreed to in the Senate before they are ratified. President Obama has stated he will seek the ratification of CIFTA but has not yet submitted the treaty to the Foreign Relations Committee.

I agree that the right of law abiding Americans to own a gun should be protected. However, laws prohibiting felons and other potentially dangerous individuals from owning guns are reasonable and effective ways to reduce violent crime in our communities. In the past, the Senate has considered a variety of gun safety measures. I carefully evaluate each of these proposals, and I only support gun control legislation that corresponds to two important principles. First, I do not believe we should deprive law abiding gun owners, particularly hunters and target shooters, of their Second Amendment rights. Second, I only support proposals that I believe will unquestionably make our communities safer.

Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind should I have the opportunity to vote on this treaty. Again, thank you for contacting me.


Herb Kohl
United States Senator
My response:

Hi, Herb,

Just got your response on my email about CIFTA. In part, you said:

"I agree that the right of law abiding Americans to own a gun should be protected. However, laws prohibiting felons and other potentially dangerous individuals from owning guns are reasonable and effective ways to reduce violent crime in our communities. In the past, the Senate has considered a variety of gun safety measures. I carefully evaluate each of these proposals, and I only support gun control legislation that corresponds to two important principles. First, I do not believe we should deprive law abiding gun owners, particularly hunters and target shooters, of their Second Amendment rights. Second, I only support proposals that I believe will unquestionably make our communities safer."

I appreciate your desire to protect our firearms rights, but i feel I need to point out a couple of possibly subtle points.

First, the Second Amendment says nothing about hunting and target shooting. It is the last resort for the people to defend themselves against a tyrannical government.

Second, "laws prohibiting felons and other potentially dangerous individuals from owning guns" are a waste of time, since these individuals will obtain whatever they want regardless of the law - that goes along with them being "criminals". Also, "felons" who have served their sentences are either safe to release back into our society as full members, or they are dangerous and should be kept locked up for life - there is no middle ground. Released "felons" have the same God-given right to protect themselves and their families from danger as the rest of us - and since "felon" nowadays includes several thousands of "crimes" that have nothing to do with violence, this "law" makes no sense except as a means to disarm increasing numbers of Americans.

Finally, international treaties on "arms trafficking" need to concentrate on rogue powers such as Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, and leave American citizens alone.

Any Congress that ratifies this treaty is composed of traitors to our Constitution, and should be prosecuted and punished as such.

Just my personal point of view.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

To Russ Feingold

Sent this this morning:
Hi, Russ,

Take a look here:

Legislation to address an imaginary boogeyman, especially legislation like the proposed "tax and tax" - oops - I meant, "cap and trade" will only enrich con men like Al Gore and his minions and the UN. The American people will be cursing the names of all in Congress who vote to enact this reprehensible law.

Speaking of the UN, why is the United States still a member? They have proven time and again to be a venal, corrupt, and depraved organization. They should be invited to vacate that building in Manhattan, which could be used to good effect to house NYC's numerous homeless.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Impromptu email to Herb Kohl

I think I may be taking too much time out for this stuff...
Hi, Herb,

Take a look here:

I think it's about time someone in the Senate took a closer look at so-called "climate change" legislation, the only visible effects of which will be to cripple our already damaged economy, bankrupt our businesses, cost jobs and lives, and enrich ideologues such as Al Gore and corrupt organizations such as the United Nations.

An aside - isn't it long past the time that we invited the UN to find a new headquarters and withdrew from that illustrious den of thieves?

It will be interesting to see how this gets replied to. I've got a theory that there's no human handling the replies. It would be refreshing to find out I am wrong.

Yet another email from Herb

Herb is busy these days - or his web robot is...

Dear Mr. Kuecker:

I am deeply troubled by the pain this recession is inflicting on the American people. Homeowners are losing homes, communities are losing tax revenue as foreclosures rise, and workers everywhere are losing jobs as businesses struggle to access the credit they need to function. I appreciate hearing your concerns about the government's efforts to stabilize the economy, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with you.

Stable and secure financial markets are vital to our prosperity. Financial institutions help Americans buy their first home, further their education, and transform an idea into a business. Last year, I supported the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in order to prevent the financial crisis from collapsing our whole economy. This legislation, signed into law by President Bush on October 3, 2008, authorized the Treasury Department to commit up to $700 billion to financial rescue programs.

It is very important to me that the Treasury Department treat this money - taxpayer money - as an investment which will eventually yield a return. For example, some of the funds have been used to purchase preferred stock in financial institutions, which pays a 5% annual dividend and is best understood as a loan at 5% interest. The Treasury Department is also increasing the flow of credit by purchasing certain types of assets, which will later be sold back into the private sector as the economy recovers.

Supporting the economic rescue package was a very difficult choice for me to make. As a moderate, I am deeply concerned about the risk of increasing the national debt and the burden it will place on future generations.

But these are not normal times. This recession is deeper than past recessions and poses unprecedented risks to the entire economy - not just Wall Street or irresponsible homeowners. Americans everywhere, who did nothing wrong, feel this pain in rising unemployment and terrible losses of their life savings in the stock market.

I certainly understand and respect the views of those opposed to the financial rescue package, but ultimately I believe we must act to turn our economy around and help Americans through these tough times. That said, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as Congress oversees the implementation of the financial rescue and considers any further action to stabilize the economy.


Herb Kohl
United States Senator
Interesting to see he describes himself as a "moderate".

What part of "you can't spend your way out of debt" do these people not understand?

Another canned reply from Mr. Kohl

Yesterday, I posted the email Herb Kohl sent me explaining "health care myths", and my comments and reply. Evidently, he does not read his incoming stuff - if you select "health" from the pull-down choice for "subject" on his contact site, it just causes the proper topic canned email to be sent back to you.

I just got a second copy of the email I posted yesterday, in response to my comments. You would think they could at least keep track of what canned response they last sent to any particular email address, and make it look as if there was some real person there responding.

Herb, the technology is out there to make it look like you really care...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Warning about MoveOn...

I've been a "member" of MoveOn for quite a while - in order to keep an eye on 'em. They sent me an email asking me to sign a "petition" to get health care destruction passed. I clicked on the link to see if I could send 'em an email from one of my alter egos - like "Adolph Hitler" or "Joseph Stalin" - two of the names I use to answer their "petitions".

The link took me to a page where I could add my own comments to their canned plea, and I did not think it was worth the trouble. They wanted me to "sign in" to finish the signature - I did NOT sign in. I closed the page without clicking on any links.

I just received this:
Dear friend,

Thank you. Your name has been added to the petition and your comments will be delivered to President Obama.

Another great way to make sure President Obama hears our message is to spread the word to your friends and family so they know what's going on. You can just forward the sample letter below.

Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you -- spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

--The Political Action Team

Here's a sample message to send to your friends:

Subject: Tell Obama: We're Counting on You


President Obama will give a major speech next week laying out what he thinks needs to be in the health care bill.

This is a critical crossroads. The president needs to hear that Americans are counting on him to stand up to the status quo and fight for real reform with a strong public health insurance option.

I just signed a petition telling President Obama I'm counting on him to fight hard for a bold health care reform bill. Can you join me at the link below?

Obviously, they register a "signature" simply by clicking on the first email's link. If you want to fox one of their "petitions", you will need to have a false email address, or you will look like a real supporter of their stupidity.


Another email from Herb

Got this from Herb Kohl. My comments interspersed:

Dear Mr. Kuecker:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about health care reform. I always enjoy hearing from constituents and appreciate your interest in this important issue.

Since you last contacted me, I have met with both individuals and groups across Wisconsin on the topic of health care reform, and my work to reduce cost, improve quality and expand coverage. I take this debate very seriously, and I plan to work with my colleagues in Congress to enact real change in our health care system.

The consequences of this debate are enormous and reform still has a long way to go. When it does come time to debate reform proposals, I will be sure to approach it thoughtfully, and not rush to complete this important legislation.

I have heard from thousands of constituents on this issue and I believe the American public deserves an honest discussion. That is why I have attached a document addressing many of the off base rumors being spread about health care reform, which I hope you find helpful.

Your perspectives are invaluable and I thank you for your input. As reform moves forward in the coming months, I will be sure to keep Wisconsin and American families in mind.

Again, thank you for your comments. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Health Care Reform: FACT vs. FICTION


Medicare provides older Americans 65 and older with access to quality health care at a cost that is affordable. Health care reform will not dissolve or radically change Medicare. Most seniors are happy with Medicare. In fact, Medicare boasts a higher satisfaction rate than private insurance. The reform proposals to date will work to strengthen Medicare, and will not make any significant changes to the way seniors receive their health care services.

Health care reform will replace Medicare and Medicaid.

This is FICTION. Health reform will not replace Medicare or Medicaid. In fact, the proposals to date work to strengthen both programs and improve their systems.

Since both Medicare and Medicaid are essentially bankrupt, does it really matterif they continue as is or are absorbed into a bigger system that begins already bankrupt?

Health care reform will cut Medicare and take away choices for seniors.

This is FICTION. Under health care reform, Medicare will continue to offer seniors the choices they need. Health care reform will also include provisions to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare. But this will not keep you from getting procedures that you need, when you need them.

Medicare and Medicaid already use triage and rationing. Fact. So, actually, nothing will change here. When certain lifesaving treatments are considered "optional" or "voluntary", the pencil-necks still have the power of life and death over people in these programs.

The government is creating a "Czar" who will decide what treatments are best for certain conditions and force physicians to treat patients in a certain way.

This is FICTION. The House proposal includes provisions to fund research that will compare treatments for certain conditions. This type of unbiased, fact-based research will be available to both patients and doctors to help them to make the best individual treatment decisions for each person. In addition, the proposal also explicitly prohibits "denying or rationing" medical care based on this research.

See above comment. Such people already exist, they just don't get the title "Czar".

The House health care reform bill would require doctors to give seniors "suicide counseling."

This is FICTION. The House proposal does not tell seniors how to die, nor urge doctors to do so. The proposal empowers seniors to voluntarily make their own decisions on end-of-life care in advance, in consultation with a trusted physician. Part of planning for the future could be creating a living will that includes your wishes for the end of life, so that your instructions are followed to the letter. No matter what your wishes are, the health reform proposal will not take any of those choices away from you. In fact, it helps to make sure that your choices are respected.

They just pulled that section out of the bill - but VA hospitals are already doing this, I have heard.

Health care reform will lead to rationing.

This is FICTION. There's no bill or proposal in Congress that would ration health care. We do need to reexamine the way that we pay for health care in this country. Thus far, the proposals are focused on paying for value and quality of care over volume of services. Under our current system, some providers are incentivized to run duplicative tests and over-order expensive treatment, though these procedures might not be what the patient needs to get better. An improved health care system will lead to smarter health care choices, but that does not mean it will limit your options.

If you have private insurance now, your care is already limited when your insurance company decides what procedures to pay for and which doctors to cover. Insurance companies can deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. And they can make payments and premiums prohibitively high for American families. Congress is working to minimize these denials and barriers to quality health care.

Funny how often fiction becomes fact! Rationing is an inevitable result of any government program, sooner or later. When the program starts losing funding due to the complete failure of our economy, in huge part due to programs like this, they will have to start telling somebody they can't get what they need. Any guesses as to WHO will get told this first? Hint - not CONgresscritters.

The House health care reform bill would make private health insurance illegal or would eliminate it in five years.

This is FICTION. None of the proposals being considered by Congress would make private health insurance illegal. In fact, the House proposal specifically allows people to keep their current private health insurance. Those who are uninsured would be allowed to choose from a range of private insurance plans as well as a new public insurance option.

Why does The One keep telling us he wants a single payer system, which by definition has to eliminate private insurance either by law or by bankruptcy?

Health care reform will require people to sign up for government health care, especially if they don't have any insurance right now.

This is FICTION. The health reform proposals being considered thus far would allow people to choose between a menu of private health insurances and, under some proposals, a government-run "public option." It is important to remember that the "public option" would be just that: an option. Seniors who already have health coverage would not need to worry about switching insurance at all, and Medicare will stay intact. Congress will reserve your ability to choose your health insurance plan, your doctor, and your hospital.

Just like Taxachusetts - fail to sign up "voluntarily" and get fined. Yep.

Illegal immigrants would receive government funded health coverage if health reform passes.

This is FICTION. The House proposal explicitly forbids spending federal dollars on illegal immigrants. On Page 143, Line 3, Section 146, it says: "No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens. Nothing in this subtitle shall allow federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

With the track record of Demonrats and Osama in particular, we should believe this?
Perhaps if CONgress started a program similar to "Operation Wetback" from the 1950's, we MIGHT believe this.

Members of Congress refuse to give up their health plans to take the public option.

This is FICTION. Reforming our nation's health care system is meant to give every American access to quality, affordable health care - just like Members of Congress have. In fact, one of the Senate proposals would require members of Congress to join the public option, giving them the opportunity to show Americans the trust they place in government-run health care.

Yep. A proposal - which might never make it into the final bill - and at any point CONgress can decide to exempt themselves. Again, given the record, why should anyone believe these turkeys?

Health care reform won't go into effect until 2013-in five years.

This is PARTIALLY FACT. Congress recognizes that it takes time to change the health care system. The final legislation will be phased in over time. Though some of the changes would occur shortly after the bill is passed, others may take several years.

It's only even partially a fact - IF the cursed thing passes. Keep up the pressure - they are showing signs of weakness.

Herb Kohl
United States Senator

Here's my reply:
Hi, Herb,

You are sure a busy guy! Second email today.

And another place the federal government has no business meddling. Health care is not mentioned once in the Constitution, and was never envisioned as something that our government should have anything to do with.

The examples of Medicare, Medicaid, the Native American health care system, the VA, federal aid to schools, and the recent failed bailouts, both the money stolen from the American people to pay off failed bankers' bad debts and the "Cash for Clunkers fiasco should make it eminently clear to even the dullest member of Congress that any bill at all proposed by that body will be nothing less than the worst disaster ever to befall our country.

I believe you are an intelligent person, and capable of critical thought. If I am correct, and you don't have some ulterior motive, such as bribes or graft, you will see this truth and vote NO on any attempt to have the federal government fool around with Mr. Obama's hobbyhorse.

Again - vote NO on any health care bill. The people of Wisconsin are watching you.

Note to Herb Kohl

Hi, Herb,

Just got your email about Milwaukee's school problems.

Education is important, but I don't see anywhere in the US Constitution where it is any business of the federal government. Milwaukee might be better served by the federal government getting out of the business of dictating anything to do with schools.

Perhaps your education was lacking in this department?

By the way - the link to your webmail that was in your email comes up with an untrusted security certificate - best get your web guru looking at that!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Email to Judy Buttinski Robson

Hi, Judy,

Thanks for the letter remarking on my filling out your online survey. It brings home to me the reasons our Founders did not bequeath us a democracy.

Democracy entails rule by the majority, and the enslavement of the minority. When laws are made because 51% or more of those polled are in favor of some restriction on our freedoms - such as the right to decide not to patronize a restaurant because they cater to people who, possibly unwisely, but then, that's no business of government, decide to smoke, and the owner of the restaurant decided to allow such behavior.

Such as voting to encumber our citizens with police out to arrest those imprudent enough to not wear a seat belt, disregarding the fact that all adults are responsible for their own safety, and should not have to be forced by the government.

Our state is rapidly descending the slippery slope that leads to what our friends in formerly "Great" Britain have pioneered - the "nanny state", where Britishers are not allowed to change their own light bulbs, lest they electrocute themselves.

I repeat what I have stated many times in my emails to you - what Wisconsin needs is less legislation, not more. We need to go back to a part-time assembly, and get rid of full-time "lawmakers" who figure their success by how many bills they can foist on our citizens.

We need to remove all subsidies from our budget, for whatever reason. If people are in dire straits, they should apply to private charities, which will have plenty of money available for the truly needy, as long as our government stops stealing the money folks would donate to charity voluntarily.

In short - take a vacation. Stop proposing bills. Vote against anything that supports increases in governmental spending. Vote in favor of anything the reduces the size and burden of government. Vote to repeal any and all laws now on the books that restrict personal freedoms in any way. Follow the Wisconsin and US Constitutions in their original words and spirit, not in some tortured interpretation that supports whatever new "law" some career politician has devised to further enslave us.

We supposedly fought a war back in the 1860s to eliminate forced labor by one people for the benefit of others. Our modern government has successfully enslaved more people than ever to paying taxes for services that are not wanted or needed, and in a sane society, should not even be offered.

Lay off with the social engineering already!

Death in the family

I just had to put my cat, Shelly, down. She's been my companion for over ten years.

She has had a few tumors removed in the last year, but this time the cancer had spread into her lungs. It came on suddenly. My son saw her this morning and she was apparently OK, but by 2 PM when I came in, she was having great trouble breathing.

The vet was quick and kind. She is beyond pain now, gone wherever loyal companions go.