Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s latest mailing has “Putting an End to Wasteful Spending” on the front page. Yet he bills you for this mailing, which is nothing but a disguised campaign piece promoting what he wants you to believe are his “accomplishments.” Campaign pieces, by law, are supposed to be paid for out of the candidate’s or incumbent’s campaign funds.
He says that with the exception of a bill that supports Veterans, “he has voted against all appropriations bills that the House passed this year, because they are laden with pork.” Note that he voted FOR most of them before. Perhaps he is only voting against them now because he is finding so many lifelong Republicans opposed to his votes and positions on so many policies? Note also the fact that the House PASSED these bills, and while he may have voted against them, they would have passed anyhow with or without his vote, and in most cases, he didn’t bother to even stand up to speak out against them with the arguments that he gives you in his propaganda pieces.
What is the point of him saying to you that he is against wasteful spending, when he refuses to stand up to fellow members of Congress to speak out against their wasteful spending and to refute their arguments for it? I believe that he is only posturing to make it appear to voters that he is taking a principled stand while doing nothing at the Congressional level.
A case in point is the recent House action in supporting drilling in ANWR. Rep. Senselessbrenner has time and time again told crowds at his Town Hall meetings that he is against drilling because, “the oil wouldn’t be shipped east of the Rockies, but would go to Japan instead because the oil companies can get more money for it there.” Note that he doesn’t say anything about the oil going to China, which is actually our biggest competitor in the consumption of oil, where most of our industries and jobs are being outsourced to.
He has also stated that the reduction in gas prices would be far less than what the proponents of drilling in ANWR tell us. Yet during the House debates, shown live on C-Span, the argument from the Republican Majority was that drilling would give us less dependence on foreign oil and would reduce our gasoline prices by $0.30-0.40 per gallon across the country — all in direct contradiction to Rep. Senselessbrenner’s position in Town Hall meetings. Did Congressman Senselessbrenner speak up? Did he point out the fact that all the studies show that these lies being presented as facts were incorrect? All he had to do was to stand up and say something, or even lobby from behind the scenes and get members of his own party to vote against this fraud. But no, Senselessbrenner did nothing.
Not a peep. Not a word. No statement to the contrary, on the floor of the House or to the media.
These would have been “the right things to do,” as the Congressman is so quick to say whenever he wants credit for doing what he is supposed to be doing, but fails when he should be taking a principled stand on an issue. No, he only votes against something “because it is the right thing to do” when he knows it doesn’t have a chance in Hell of being defeated, even though he won’t stand up and speak out or fight against it.
But he’ll take away your right to vote, and he’ll make millions of immigrants felons overnight just because they are so desperate for a better life that they are willing to break the law to get into the country; just because they don’t have tens of thousands of dollars and a job waiting for them in the U.S., or can wait 12 to 20 years, to be granted a visa, a green card or citizenship. And he’ll make millions of good Samaritans, clergy, medical personnel, and educators felons if they dare to help working immigrants in any way as well. Whatever happened to “because it’s the right thing to do”?
He claims that he co-sponsored legislation to modify House rules to show the public exactly what Congress spends on individual projects in each district, attribute each earmark to its sponsoring Members of Congress, and require a demonstration that the funding has gone through a proper vetting process. What about all the bills granting funding that isn’t an earmark? (Given that the Republicans have been in control of the House since 1994, it’s about time that they took this action, but I doubt that it will be enforced. After all, look how many times President Bush and his Administration have broken the law and Rep. Sensenbrenner, as head of the Judiciary Committee, has failed to even bring up the subject, let alone start an investigation.)
He goes on to say that “Additionally, for those wasteful projects that will slip through, I support reinstating the line-item veto to give Presidents the power to eliminate wasteful projects one-by-one.” On the surface it’s not much of a threat. President Bush has failed to veto ANY legislation during his entire time in office. Ah, but giving him line-item veto would give him the power to further slash funding of health care initiatives, education, or enforcement of laws that are on the books by cutting the funding for the departments responsible for doing so. It’s a good idea if you have someone in office with a brain, but in this case, all it does is give more power to the executive, with the Congress sitting back and allowing it all to happen without oversight, or requiring line by line veto overrides. This is especially dangerous when you have a Congress of the same party as the President when they refuse to stand up to his idiotic policies but instead march in lockstep to his drumming. This is also in direct opposition to what the Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature are trying to do to eliminate Governor Doyle’s authority to a line item veto. I guess it is only a good idea when they have “their” guy in office.
Senselessbrenner goes on to tout his “Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act (HR 4437)”, which claims to protect us by building a wall along the Mexico – U.S. Border. Note that he strategically placed “Anti-Terrorism” in the title, as if terrorists were streaming across the border with Mexico. In fact, none of the terrorists who have attacked us came across the border with Mexico. They all came across the border with CANADA. Yet, does he propose building a wall across the entire border of Canada and the U.S.? Nooooooooo! And is it really all that difficult to find an Arab terrorist in a sea of Caucasians?
The border between the U.S. and Mexico, by the way, is 1,951 miles long (according to the International Boundary and Water Commission IBWC), spanning four states, and has twenty commercial crossings, with 350 million people legally crossing every year.
“Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Duncan Hunter proposed building two parallel steel and wire fences running from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Coast. Hunter called for building a reinforced, two-layer 15' fence, separated by a 100-yard gap, along the entire length of the US border with Mexico. It would include additional physical barriers, powerful lighting and sensors to detect illegal border crossers. Some envision a wall or a fence. Others foresee a "virtual" fence of cameras, lighting, and sensors along the US-Mexican border.
But Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said a wall running the length of a border would cost too much. A 2,000 mile state-of-the-art border fence has been estimated to cost between four and eight billion dollars. Costs for a wall that would run the entire length of the border might be as low as $851 million for a standard 10-foot prison chain link fence topped by razor wire. For another $362 million, the fence could be electrified. A larger 12-foot tall, two-foot-thick concrete wall painted on both sides would run about $2 billion. Initially it was estimated that the San Diego fence would cost $14 million — about $1 million a mile. The first 11 miles of the fence eventually cost $42 million — $3.8 million per mile, and the last 3.5 miles may cost even more since they cover more difficult terrain. An additional $35 million to complete the final 3.5 miles was approved in 2005 by the Department of Homeland Security — $10 million per mile.”
Figure in the higher costs of gasoline, in running the equipment and sending the crews out to build this “Great Wall of Mexico”, and you could probably end up more than doubling these initial estimates. When asked in one of his recent Town Hall meetings what the estimates were to build this wall which Senselessbrenner includes in HR 4437, which he authored – HE COULDN’T PROVIDE A FIGURE. He is proposing and fighting for passage of a bill, which he wrote, when he has no idea what it will cost!!! Talk about irresponsible and WASTEFUL SPENDING!
In contrast the border between the U.S. and Canada runs 5,525 miles (also according to the IBWC). And it isn’t all land based. Much of it is along the Great Lakes, so private boaters are expected to use an “honor system” to check themselves in. About 4,000 miles is land based and the remainder is on water.
Note that Senselessbrenner opposed building or reinforcing the levees in New Orleans, a strategic port responsible for shipping and processing one third of all the oil that comes into the United States. And Senselessbrenner opposed giving funding to help the victims of the Katrina disaster and the victims of the Bush Administration’s incompetence after that. He claims that he did so because there wasn’t enough accounting oversight of the funds being dispersed.
Too bad that he didn’t take that into consideration when he voted for funding the War in Iraq, which has had NO accounting oversight, NO reporting to congress, and NO one held accountable in this race to spend as much taxpayer money as possible to give freebies and cost overruns to contractors and put them up in fancy hotels and palaces, while our troops get to live on cots, and eat rotten food doled out by Halliburton and their subsidiaries. It has cost the American Taxpayers almost half a TRILLION dollars at this point, with no end in sight, but then Senselessbrenner OWNS HALLIBURTON STOCK, and gets campaign contributions from them as well. What was that he said about proper accounting and oversight?
But Senselessbrenner fails to deal with Terrorism in his bill because all of the terrorists gained entry into the United States LEGALLY. They all had valid Visas, and Passports, most of which were rubber stamped by the U.S. State Department, by bureaucrats who were put in place over twenty years ago, when Reagan and Bush 1 were calling the shots. Fifteen terrorists came through Saudi Arabia, a known terrorist supporting country (if you can call it a country – it is really owned by the Royal Family, so it is in reality a Kingdom). And members of the Royal Family fund schools which teach anti-American extremism. But because of the Bush family’s intimate relationship with the Saudis, none of the papers or the terrorists requesting passports and Visas were vetted and given background checks. This is in variance with citizens from all other countries wishing to come into the United States. And this wasn’t just from the Saudi’s side, because the U.S. side didn’t bother to do any background checks either. There was no coordination of intelligence databases to do background checks on any of the terrorists, coming through legal channels. As a result, they all had valid passports and visas and because of that, they were able to get valid driver’s licenses.
Senselessbrenner’s Immigration bill fails to deal with fixing the problems at the State Department and with the Intelligence Community that allowed the terrorists to get into the United States in the first place, just as his Real ID bill ignored the fact that terrorists got valid Driver’s licenses because they had valid passports and Visas.
He instead went after known illegal aliens, who were in fact, telling us who and where they were and how to contact them, by applying for and qualifying for legal drivers licenses. They could have at least applied for and received auto insurance then. Now, you just have illegal aliens who depend on counterfeit licenses in order to drive, so their names and addresses are often falsified, and they haven’t passed a driver’s test. And, they won’t get auto insurance.
So, the cost of resulting property damage and personal injuries isn’t being spread out either. Taxpayers get to foot the brunt of those expenses, for 11 to 12 million estimated aliens who used to pay a good portion of those expenses. Some deal.
In this latest propaganda piece he published his 2006 Annual Questionnaire, which as always provides leading questions and only limited answers to choose from. Anyone who has any statistical experience or knows how to create fair or unfair questionnaires recognizes that:
1) Statistics lie
2) Statistics can be manipulated to give you whatever result you want them to
3) Questionnaires and Polls can be worded in a way that directs you towards a response that doesn’t reflect your true feelings, so as to manipulate the results of the Questionnaire/Poll.
It is clear that Senselessbrenner knows this, and uses this to his best advantage in the wording of his questionnaires, so that he manipulates you into giving him the answers that he wants. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he just throws the results out. (That was clearly evident last year when he voted against the victims of the Katrina disaster, and publicly stated that he had only received comments from two people who disagreed with him on his vote, even though there were at least six people who went to his office and signed in to protest against his vote with the support of many who could not attend because his office hours are during the work day, in a public statement that was covered by local network camera crews, prior to his public statement.)
The first question asks “Should non-U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants be eligible to receive Social Security benefits?”
Seems simple enough. But then, why is he asking this now? In early 2005, the Congress could have done something about that issue, because earlier in the fall of 2004, President Bush signed the Social Security Totalization Agreement with Mexico, which takes $350 Billion out of Social Security, for illegal immigrants who HAVEN’T put money INTO Social Security in the first place! This occurred during the time that the Republican Party and President Bush were telling us that Social Security was in danger of going broke. A third of a TRILLION dollars was being earmarked by President Bush to go to illegal immigrants who hadn’t paid into Social Security, so that they could receive Social Security benefits, all in an attempt to score points with Mexican President Vincente Fox, and Hispanic voters. But did the Republican Controlled Congress step in to say that this was a boondoggle? Did they say that this was not fair to American workers to have their money given to foreign citizens who did not pay into the fund in the first place? No. They just sat there and never raised any significant opposition to this Agreement which was automatically approved by Congress due to lack of opposition to void it. And where was Congressman Senselessbrenner then? Did he stand up in opposition to a third of a Trillion dollars of earmarks to foreign citizens given away by President Bush? No. He sat silent.
But now, because Senselessbrenner wants to raise anger against immigrants, and support for his HR4437, he asks if you want to give Social Security benefits to non-U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants. The question is too little, too late, and for all the wrong reasons.
He also asks “Would you support a law protecting grieving family members from anti-war protesters while attending the funeral of an American soldier?”
This is an out and out lie and a total misrepresentation of what is happening. The truth about the protests at the funerals of American soldiers is that they are not anti-war at all. They aren’t anti-war protesters, they love the war, and they want more of it. In fact they belong to a right wing extremist religious group that believes that American soldiers are being killed “righteously” because America “tolerates gays”. These are Anti-Gay Church Protesters from a fundamentalist Kansas church, not anti-war protesters. The Indianapolis Star reported that the protestors are members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) in Topeka, Kansas led by the Rev. Fred W. Phelps Sr. (This is the same guy that led the protests at the Matthew Shepard funeral, the gay man who was beaten to death in Laramie, WY in 1998.) Many of the members of this church are reportedly Phelp’s relatives. (Another good reason for making sure that people who are related to one another should not marry and have children.)
The “Church’s” website http://www.godhatesamerica.com/index.html shows that Phelps is blaming gay tolerant America for “floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, IEDs, collapsing mines and more”. And they are praying for more.
Senselessbrenner knows the difference between these two groups. What he is doing here is absolutely despicable, and he is promoting hate against anti-war protesters by attributing the acts of Anti-Gay Churches who support REPUBLICANS and their anti-gay agenda, to anti-war groups who are only trying to prevent the needless deaths of our soldiers and the destruction of our economy and our way of life, because Republicans are putting all of our resources into a poorly managed war which they continue to bungle, pour good money into for their fraudulent benefit, and lie about it to cover it up.
This is the same lie that Fox News’ Sean Hannity has been promoting, along with other Republican Talking Heads who do this to suppress the anti-war movement, and support the war that is making the war investors rich. Remember, Senselessbrenner owns Halliburton stock. He benefits financially by having this war go on FOREVER.
He also uses this Questionnaire to attack Governor Jim Doyle with this question.
“Federal transportation dollars are allocated to states with the goal of improving their roads and transportation infrastructure. Should Governor Doyle be allowed to divert money from these federal funds, as he has done in the past, to use on special projects of his choosing that are unrelated to transportation?”
It is interesting that during his Town Hall meetings, Senselessbrenner is quick to point out that State Senators are not allowed to speak out on issues of Federal matters (when they disagree with him), even though those Federal policies affect how the budget in the State is allocated. He regularly shouts down State Senator Lena Taylor when she speaks up. To her credit, she is not a shrinking violet and is quite willing to engage in a spirited debate with Senselessbrenner. It really is too bad, that most of the U.S. Senate and the rest of the Congress don’t have the same courage. It really isn’t difficult to beat Senselessbrenner on facts and issues. Democrats do have to work on being able to package their message however, by properly framing the debate first, in order to gain popular support. After that, it is just all about standing up to a blowhard bully who shouts louder than everyone else and rules by intimidation.
Yet, in his questionnaire, Senselessbrenner attacks how the Governor of this state, has used Federally allocated funds to balance the budget and pay off the $3.2 Billion in debts created under 16 years of Republican Governors Thompson and McCallum.
Balancing the Budget – now that is something that Republicans are incapable of doing on any level. Just look at how Bush has squandered several Trillion in surpluses to almost $9 Trillion in debt in just six short years.
God help us for the next two years. He’s going to pull out all the stops. He has nothing to lose because he isn’t running for re-election, and he won’t care about the Republican Congressmen who are disassociating themselves from him and his policies because they want to retain their seats for this election.
Senselessbrenner fails to recognize that it is the job of the executive in this state, to balance the budget every year, something that the President of the United States doesn’t have to do. In order to do that, it is often necessary to reallocate funds from areas where you have an excess, to areas where you have a deficit. That is basic to running ANY BUSINESS. But then, Senselessbrenner has never had to run any business in his life. He’s never held a job outside of politics since he graduated from the University, so he’s used to telling everyone else how to run their lives and run their businesses even though he has no experience in doing so.
But the issue probably runs deeper than that, since most of the companies doing road construction are owned and operated by Republicans and those contracts would be awarded by a Republican controlled legislature, so that the cost overruns could then be diverted in donations to Republican candidates for public office as has often occurred in the past.
That’s the real issue.
The one good thing that he did was to list his upcoming Town Hall Meetings in his mailing. He hasn’t bothered to update his website with them. Gee, I wonder why? Here they are for those of you who are interested in confronting Senselessbrenner with REAL issues, and demanding REAL answers.
Town Hall Meetings:
Sunday, June 25 7:00 p.m. Thiensville Village Hall
Sunday, July 2 7:00 p.m. Grafton Village Hall
Thursday, July 6 7:00 p.m. Hartford City Hall
Sunday, July 9 7:00 p.m. West Bend City Hall
Sunday, July 16 7:00 p.m. Brookfield Safety Building
Sunday, July 23 7:00 p.m. New Berlin City Hall
Sunday, July 30 7:00 p.m. Richfield Town Hall
Show up; Speak up; Ask him tough questions, and Hold him Accountable! Or, get stuck with him for another two years. Your choice. P.S. Bring along your video cameras so you can catch him on tape and he can't deny what he said. The media isn't doing their job. Perhaps you can show them how it's done.Share