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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-23

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-13

  • RT @TommyToe: just had thought. Ron Paul made alot of sense in this past election.Why did I not listen to him then along with everybody else #
  • RT @RasmussenPoll 62% Oppose Federal Bailout for State Budget Problems… …http://tinyurl.com/RR0348 I Suspect same for JeffCo #alpolitics #
  • Yo @McCainBlogette, I think @stephengordon directed this story at you: http://bit.ly/TIw95 #tlot #c4l #gopliberty #

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Loss of two constitutional rights in one swipe

Here’s current White House Chief of Staff speaking at a 2007 Brady Center event. Here’s the notable quote:

“If you’re on that no-fly list, your access to the right to bear arms is canceled, because you’re not part of the American family; you don’t deserve that right. There is no right for you if you’re on that terrorist list.”

Considering there have been over a million names on the list, many placed there incorrectly, this is an outrage.

The last time I read the Constitution, it said that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It also had that pesky little clause about due process in the Fifth Amendment. One wonders if the Obama administration is using the same Constitution the rest of us are.

It gets worse. There are already several bills out there which can deprive people of their Second Amendment rights without due process.  Of course, they say the bills are aimed at terrorists.  We all know who they consider to be terrorists, though.


Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-05

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-28

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Let’s urge Senator Shelby to support a Federal Reserve audit

Thanks to you, we’ve been pretty successful in getting House members to support The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (HR 1207). The bill currently has 222 cosponsors, which is a majority in the House of Representatives.  The bill “directs the Comptroller General to complete, before the end of 2010, an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the federal reserve banks, followed by a detailed report to Congress.”

Because of national and local online and telephone efforts, we were able to persuade Congressman Jo Bonner to sign up as one of the bill’s cosponsors.  Currently, all of Alabama’s Republican representatives support the bill.

We are now starting to work on S 604, which is the Senate companion bill to HR 1207.  Again, we’ve got some national assistance.

As before, there are two quick and simple tasks:

  1. If you have a Twitter account, help us get out the word.  It just takes a few seconds. If you don’t have a Twitter account, it just takes a few seconds to sign up and help us out. Once you get there, please retweet the following message: New S 604 Call-A-Thon Target: Richard Shelby 202.224.5744 - demand FULL audit, see: http://bit.ly/yllqR #tlot #tcot #alpolitics
  2. Give Senator Shelby a call at (202) 224-5744 and ask him to support a full audit of the Federal Reserve by cosponsoring S 604.

It might be helpful to inform Senator Shelby that all of the Republicans in Alabama’s House delegation have cosponsored the House version of the bill and that none of the Democrats have.


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Alabama’s Republican Congressmen Support the Audit the Fed Bill

(Birmingham, AL) The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (HR 1207) was introduced by Texas Congressman and former Republican Liberty Caucus Honorary Chairman Dr. Ron Paul on February 26, 2009.  The bill currently enjoys 200 cosponsors.  It “directs the Comptroller General to complete, before the end of 2010, an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the federal reserve banks, followed by a detailed report to Congress.”

This morning, the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus, working in concert with other online activists, used Twitter to promote a campaign to call Representative Jo Bonner to urge his support of HR 1207.  A couple of hours after the campaign was launched, we received word that Bonnor was now cosponsoring the bill.

“We’d like to thank Jo Bonnor for adding his name to the list,” said ALRLC Secretary and Alabama Republican Assembly President Shana Kluck. “Currently, all of Alabama’s Republican representatives have put their names on the bill.  Unfortunately, it seems that Alabama’s Democratic delegation to Congress isn’t as interested in transparency and open government.”

Activists have been trying to contact Alabama Democrats to urge their support of the legislation.  By our count, fifty Democrats currently cosponsor the bill, but none from Alabama.  One activist received a written response from Representative Bobby Bright.

“Currently, H.R. 1207 is before the House Committee on Financial Services.” responded Bright. “Please be assured I will monitor this legislation and keep your views in mind if it comes to the House floor for a vote.”

Noting that Bright had failed to directly answer the request, “Will you, or will you not, cosponsor HR1207?” was the response on the ALRLC’s blog.

The Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009 (S 604) is the Senate companion legislation and it has been referred to the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, where Alabama Senator Richard Shelby serves as the ranking member. Shelby has already supported an amendment which provides limited oversight of the Federal Reserve regarding Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) spending.

“Federal Reserve policy impacts every citizen of the United States on a daily basis,” said ALRLC Media Director Stephen Gordon. “Unfortunately, the Fed doesn’t receive the level of scrutiny we expect and deserve. It’s imperative that we learn more about how the Federal Reserve operates.  Hopefully, the rest of Alabama’s congressional delegation will side with us regarding openness and transparency.”

The Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus is committed to advancing the cause of liberty by advancing pro-freedom legislation and electing pro-freedom candidates to public office. Additional information about the ALRLC may be found at www.ALRLC.org.

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Congressman Bobby Bright’s response to HR1207 request

At this moment, each Alabama Republican congressman is now listed as a cosponsor of HR1207, commonly known as the “Audit the Fed” bill. To date, not a single Alabama Democrat wants an open and transparent Federal Reserve process. Long-time Alabama conservative leader John Killian wrote a blog entry entitled “Will Alabama’s Shelby Kill Plan to Audit the Fed?” This article prompted activist Don Seibold to send a letter to his representative, Congressman Bobby Bright.

“I urged Bright to sign on as a co-sponsor of Congressman Ron Paul’s HR 1207 which would require that the Federal Reserve, a private institution that has more power over our nation’s economy than any other institution, be audited,” wrote Seibold in an e-mail to me.

Here is Bright’s response:

“Thank you for contacting me with your views on the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. I appreciate your comments and I welcome this opportunity to share my thoughts.

I believe that our federal government has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable, especially during a time where so many are concerned about the spending deficit. Unfortunately, Congress has recently passed legislation that ignores budget deficits and lacks sufficient fiscal responsibility. For example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the President’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget took important steps to jumpstart the economy and fund neglected programs, but ultimately incorporated excessive and unnecessary spending. I voted against these bills because I am committed to developing a comprehensive plan that addresses our troubled economy while maintaining vital mandatory and discretionary programs at appropriate levels.

I feel strongly that it should be a priority for Congress to exercise fiscal responsibility. The first thing I did when I came to Congress was join the Blue Dog Coalition because they support measures to implement pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules. PAYGO is a provision that would require spending for new government programs to include offsetting cuts in other programs. While I realize many expenditures provide valuable resources to worthwhile endeavors, some spending authorized by Congress could be prioritized more appropriately.

Though I opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget, I truly believe Congress must demand transparency and accountability within the federal government to ensure that these funds are spent wisely. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has introduced several bills that would require the federal government to operate openly and with more oversight. Specifically, he introduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, H.R. 1207, on February 26, 2009. This legislation would change the way the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States. It also directs the Comptroller General to complete, before the end of 2010, an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the Federal Reserve banks, followed by a detailed report to Congress. This legislation would change the way audits are reported by requiring a copy to be provided to any Member of Congress before the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date when the report is finished. I believe these are steps in the right direction to provide more accountability and transparency to the American people.

Currently, H.R. 1207 is before the House Committee on Financial Services. Please be assured I will monitor this legislation and keep your views in mind if it comes to the House floor for a vote.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I appreciate your thoughts and value your input. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my office regarding this or any other matter that is important to you. If you would like to learn more about my positions on the issues or receive regular updates on what we are working on in Congress, please visit my website at www.bright.house.gov and sign up for my e-Newsletter.

Sincerely,

Bobby Bright
Member of Congress

We’d like to know why Bright didn’t directly address Seibold’s direct question. It was a simple request for him to cosponsor a bill which 200 other congressman already have. Our question for the Congressman is quite simple: Will you, or will you not, cosponsor HR1217?


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Please give Rep. Bonner a call and ask him to support HR1207

UPDATE: Thanks for the help and apparently our telephone calls worked. We’ve just received word that Jo Bonner is now a co-sponsor of HR 1207.  Please go ahead and give his office a call anyway in order to thank him for his support of an open and transparent monetary policy.

On Friday, we asked Congressman Jo Bonner whether he’ll be siding with the rest of Alabama’s Republican congressional delegation or siding with the Democrats on HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009.

Today, we have some national assistance in trying to persuade Congressman Bonner to become the 191st cosponsor of the bill. Right now, folks are getting the word out on Twitter to give Congressman Bonner a call.

I’d like to ask you to do two things:

  1. If you have a Twitter account, help us get out the word.  It just takes a few seconds. If you don’t have a Twitter account, it just takes a few seconds to sign up and help us out. Once you get there, please retweet the following message: Today’s HR 1207 Call-A-Thon Target: Jo Bonner 202-225-4931 Details: http://bit.ly/LtSuF #tlot #tcot #alpolitics
  2. Give Congressman Bonner a call at 202-225-4931 and ask him to co-sponsor HR 1207.

These calls are already making a difference and we only need 28 more co-sponsors for a solid majority.


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Congressman Bonner, on which side of the fence will you sit?

All of the Republican members of Alabama’s House delegation have co-sponsored the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (H.R. 1207) except one: Jo Bonner.

Members of the Republican Liberty Caucus would like to know whether Congressman Bonner prefers transparency and accountability or business as usual in DC. We’d like to know if his political ideology is more in line with Artur Davis, Bobby Bright and Parker Griffith or more in line with Spencer Bachus, Mike Rogers and Robert Aderholt.

We’ll know that Congressman Bonner has rejected the Nancy Pelosi side of the aisle when he signs onto H.R. 1207 as a cosponsor of the bill.

Related posts:

Senator Shelby caught in the act
ALRLC encourages Alabama’s congressional delegation to support Federal Reserve Transparency Act

Resolution regarding HB1207


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Senator Shelby caught in the act

The Senate version of The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (HR1207) is being watered down.  Not by Democrats, but by two ranking Republicans.  One of them is from Alabama.  The Huffington Post reports:

Thanks to an overlooked document posted on the website of Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, voters can virtually watch the water being dumped into the brew that Grassley had hoped to force the Fed to drink. (See the document at the bottom of this story.)

On page five of Grassley’s amendment, he intends to give the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office power to audit “any action taken by the Board under…the third undesignated paragraph of section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act” — which would be almost everything that it has done on an emergency basis to address the financial crisis, encompassing its massive expansion of opaque buying and lending.

Handwritten into the margins, however, is the amendment that watered it down: “with respect to a single and specific partnership or corporation.” With that qualification, the Senate severely limited the scope of the oversight.

On the Senate floor, Grassley named the top Republican on the banking committee, Richard Shelby of Alabama, as the man pouring the water.

“Although I would have preferred to include all of the Fed’s emergency actions under 13(3), in consultation with Senator Shelby I agreed to limit my amendment to actions aimed at specific companies,” said Grassley.

The Federal Reserve has a considerable amount of influence over our fiscal status, but there is no tranparency of their actions.  It’s so vital that a full audit be conducted that 186 House members have co-sponsored the bill already.

Please contact Senator Shelby and Senator Grassley and let them know we demand a full audit of the Federal Reserve.

Senator Grassley
(202) 224-3744
E-mail

Senator Shelby
(202) 224-5744
E-mail


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The Deal of the Century

By Scott Boykin

Here’s a bargain for you. General Motors’ current market value is about $500 million. In a breathtaking abuse of executive power, the Bush administration “loaned” GM $13.4 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) in December, 2008, plus an additional $4 billion in February, 2009. (Congress had not authorized the money to be “loaned” to GM.) On June 1, 2009, the Obama administration announced that it would invest an additional $30 billion in GM. About $41.2 billion of the “loans” will be converted into equity in GM, making the United States the principal shareholder with 60% of GM’s stock. You, the United States, have paid $41.2 billion for $300 million worth of GM stock. Congratulations! You overpaid for GM stock by 137 times its value.

The bankruptcy petition GM filed this week has been its only reasonable course for a long time. Bankruptcy protection will allow GM to shed assets and debt and renegotiate labor contracts. GM’s plea for your money to avoid bankruptcy on the ground that consumers would not buy their cars if GM were bankrupt never made sense, as the whole world has known for months that GM is insolvent. Had there been enough leaders in Washington with the courage to reject GM’s demands for cash, GM would have petitioned for bankruptcy months ago and might even have emerged from bankruptcy by now.

The GM bailout is incredibly unjust. Over 5 million people have lost their jobs since the recession began. Those millions of Americans lost their jobs because their employers had to lay off workers to stay afloat, and those workers are no less important than GM employees. But GM has political power, and those other employers don’t. GM’s power has now forced all of us, including those people who have lost their jobs, to dramatically overpay to enable the failed automaker to postpone its inevitable bankruptcy until now. It’s just that simple, and just that ugly.

As economist F.A. Hayek argued for over sixty years, a free society does not exist to serve any particular goal. Rather, it exists to enable the individuals in that society to pursue their own goals, which may be known to no more than a handful of other people. In such a society, the law must be a predictable part of the background information that individuals use to plan as they pursue their own goals. For that reason, it is essential that a free society be governed by general rules that apply to everyone equally. In contrast, a society that is organized to pursue specific goals must be governed by commands to specific groups or individuals rather than general rules applicable to all, because achieving the chosen goals requires direction, not freedom.

In this instance, our federal government has decided that the automakers must not be allowed to fail at any cost, so it has commanded you to buy GM stock. You have indeed paid an outrageous price for that stock, because the GM bailout cost more than money: it was also a grave injustice. And this injustice, like the bank bailouts that have made you the proud owners of failed financial institutions, is another step toward transforming our society into an organization that commands its powerless members to serve the interests of those with political power. If you have never read Hayek’s classic The Road to Serfdom, read it now.

Scott Boykin is Chair of the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus.


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Mark Sanford provides proof that small-government messaging works

Despite the protestations of folks like Mike Huckabee, Republicans need to get back to basic message of small-government conservativism if they choose to win elections once again.  I’ve said this time and time and time and time and time again. Folks much brighter that me (i.e. Richard Viguerie, Ryan Sager, John Dean, Peggy Noonan, Ron Paul, Michael Tanner, Bob Barr) have been presenting the same message since before the 2006 elections.

One of the people I continue to cite as an example of good conservative messaging is SC Governor Mark Sanford.  Here’s Frank Luntz analyzing the Republican and Democrat response to a recent Sanford ad:

“Governor Sanford is the most articulate Republican out there right now and the other Republicans ought to pay attention,” said Luntz a couple of days ago on Fox. “Or if they don’t, their numbers will continue to languish.”


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Birmingham/Shelby County “Tea Party – A Celebration of Freedom”

Description: The Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus is pleased to announce our support for the upcoming Birmingham/Shelby County Tea Party. “Tea Party -A Celebration of Freedom” will be held on July 4th at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.

Title: Birmingham/Shelby County “Tea Party – A Celebration of Freedom”
Location: Verizon Wireless Music Center (formerly Oak Mountain Amphitheater), Pelham, AL
Link out: Click here

We’ll be announcing additional details soon, but we’re trying to get the word out now so you can place the date on your calendar. Also, the event is in need of volunteers and vendors/sponsors.
Start Time: 5:30
Date: 2009-07-04


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ALRLC encourages Alabama’s congressional delegation to support Federal Reserve Transparency Act

(Birmingham, AL) On Tuesday night, the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus unanimously adopted a resolution encouraging Alabama’s congressional delegation to support H.R. 1207,  the  Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009. Wikipedia describes H.R. 1207 as follows:

According to its short title, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 amends Title 31 of the United States Code “to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported”. It strikes exceptions to the audit protocol in 31 U.S.C. § 714 for the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States, and replaces an indefinite deadline with a deadline of December 2010.

“All Americans should support this important legislation regardless of their political views,” said Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus Chair Scott Boykin. “Transparency in public institutions is a fundamental value in a free society.”

The bill currently has 179 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, including Congressmen Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers and Spencer Bachus from Alabama.

“We like to thank the three members of our congressional delegation who have signed onto the bill,” said ALRLC Media Director Stephen Gordon. “This should be an incredibly easy bill for any Republican to support and we’ve already got 35 cosponsors from the Democratic side of the aisle. We’d like to encourage Joe Bonner, Artur Davis, Bobby Bright and Parker Griffith to jump on board before the train leaves the station.”

The Alabama Republican Liberty caucus is committed to advancing the cause of liberty by advancing pro-freedom legislation and electing pro-freedom candidates to public office.


Resolution regarding HB1207

Last night at our May meeting, with unanimous consent, the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus passed a resolution, commending Congressmen Spencer Bacchus, Robert Aderholt, and Mike Rogers for co-sponsoring Dr. Ron Paul’s House Bill 1207, known as the Audit the Fed bill. The resolution also encouraged the remaining Alabama Congressmen to join their names to the growing bi-partisan list of co-sponsors.


Neither Powell nor Cheney should be steering the direction of the Republican Party

by Scott Boykin

In itself, watching two big-government RINOs argue over which can claim the mantle of “Republican” is as meaningful as professional wrestling, but what is at stake today is what, if anything, it means to be a Republican.  In 1994, the Republican Party was on the brink of a ushering in a political realignment that would have made it the majority party for the first time since 1932.  Republican leaders won power by talking a big game of small government, but they didn’t mean a word of it.  As they gained power in Washington, the beltway Republicans proved that what they believed in was big, intrusive, lawless government.  The result is the last election in which big-government Republicans got the whipping they earned by years of misrule.

Powell and Cheney should be irrelevant, so it matters that people listen to their “debate” over which is a Republican, precisely because neither of them should be a Republican.  Powell and Cheney illustrate two visions of a Republican Party without principle.

Powell’s vision is one in which the Republican Party should seek electoral victories by appealing to the same people who vote for Democrats, so that the difference between the two parties is one of brand name only.  His view appears to be that competing parties foster debate and that debate is good as long as it is not based on any ideological difference.  This is the voice of one who came up through the federal bureaucracy and distrusts political principle absolutely.

Cheney’s vision is one in which the sole governing principle is reason of state:  that the interest and well-being of the state itself is the value government exists to serve.  What matters to someone like Cheney is that the “right” people hold the reigns of power, and provided the right people are in charge, there should be no legal or moral restraints on government’s power.  This is the voice of the second Bush administration.

Fortunately, we don’t have to accept either Powell’s or Cheney’s vision.  In fact, we can tell both of them that, however they may regard themselves, we do not consider them Republicans.  “I may be out of their version of the Republican Party,” Powell said of his critics, “but there’s another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again.”  Indeed, and therein lies our hope.  We have the benefit of two hundred years of political history in which successive leaders articulated and defended the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and constitutional government.  The likes of Cheney and Powell will be forgotten in a generation, and it is up to us to recapture our Party and provide the principled leadership our country needs now as much as ever.

Scott Boykin is Chairman of the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus.


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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-24

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Please help us get a regular nationally televised slot for Judge Andrew Napolitano

A bunch of us are trying to get Judge Andrew Napolitano’s online program Freedom Watch into a televised slot at Fox News. According to an e-mail I received from Judge Napolitano’s colleague Shelly Roche, the Fox producers are telling her the two most important things we can do are “flooding Fox with emails and showing high view counts on the videos.”

If you don’t blog, but would like to see more libertarians on national television, please quickly e-mail Fox and let them know you’d like to see the Judge get his own TV slot.

If you’ve got a blog, you can help out even more. The details are here.


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The hops are finally free

It’s been reported that Governor Riley has signed HB373, the Gourmet Beer Bill, into law this morning. We’d like to thank the Governor for supporting this basic freedom for beer enthusiasts across the state.

This has been one of the best run positive grassroots campaign I’ve ever seen. It serves as a perfect example of what to do when trying to effect political change.

It also serves as a perfect example of an effective online campaign. Not only the website, but social networking made a lot of difference.

Finally, the Hops could have never been freed if not for the work of thousands of people across Alabama. Congratulations to each and every one of you for a job very well done.


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