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  • Morning Bell: How Harry Reid Manufactured a Crisis Over Disaster Aid

    Listening to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) or reading The New York Times yesterday gave the impression that disaster relief victims were suffering from a lack of government aid.

    “Without additional funding,” Reid warned, “thousands of people who have lost literally everything they owned will be forced to go without food and shelter.”

    The New York Times, reporting from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, noted, “Uprooted and desolate, hard-working people in this part of the country expect a bit more from their government.”

    Yesterday, with Reid on the brink of forcing a government shutdown, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that things arent so dire. The agency has $114 million on hand for the remainder of the week, enough to get through the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

    So the agenda of the tax-and-spend crowd is now clear. President Obama created the problem by overusing FEMA on disasters a record 222 times so far this year where federal aid was not essential. Then liberals manufactured a crisis and exploited disaster relief victims in order to keep expanding the size of government. What’s worse is that the some members of the media played along with it.

    Not once in yesterday’s Times story does it mention the role of private charities in and around Tunkhannock. Yet a few phone calls by Heritage revealed that these organizations are doing yeoman’s work for flood victims. They’re playing a vital role that Reid and the Big Government amen corner completely ignored in the funding dispute.

    Take the Wyoming County United Way, for example. Its executive director, Connie Pheiff, said she’s been overwhelmed by the community’s generous support. Private citizens have donated food, clothing and furniture — so much that Pheiff is now looking for a warehouse in Scranton to store the items until flood victims are ready to accept the donations.

    Private industry has also stepped forward to make an incredible difference in the community. Pheiff acknowledged the support of a handful of oil and gas companies, many conducting hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the area. Those companies suspended work for days to help evacuees at all hours of the day.

    So far the Wyoming County United Way has received 2,000 disaster-assistance applications. Pheiff expects that number to more than double in the coming weeks. The organization is offering vouchers and providing support for temporary housing. Pheiff said private donations to the group have made it possible.

    While the local United Way is helping with housing, other groups have stepped forward to feed families. Ed Shaffer of the Seven Loaves Soup Kitchen in Tunkhannock is supplying goods to food shelters and collecting perishable items from community organizations. He said there’s been no shortage of donations.

    The Weinberg Regional Food Bank, meanwhile, has fed 6,500 families, the equivalent of 15,000 people. Gene Brady, executive director of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, said the food bank is serving three counties hit hardest by the floods in Pennsylvania.

    It has received 233,863 pounds of food and disbursed 176,759 pounds. Brady credited private companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nature’s Way, and Wegmans for coming through with large donations of paper products and food. Local retailers have also pitched in to help.

    Those are just a few examples we found in Pennsylvania. But these stories aren’t isolated. Communities across America come together after disasters to provide relief to those in need. They also do a better job of it than FEMA or any other government agency.

    Writing about grassroots disaster response, Heritage’s James Carafano and Jennifer Marshall noted, “The greatest advance that America could make in preparing for catastrophic disasters is to build better individual-based programs, a culture of preparedness, and resilient and self-reliant communities.”

    That’s because these groups are more personally engaged than a government agency or bureaucrat could ever be. Heritage’s Ryan Messmore has observed:

    Driven by deep convictions and compassion, such organizations can provide loving forms of assistance and care that government programs cannot offer. And they often do so for less money. Smaller and more flexible than most government bureaucracies, local congregations and charities can also spawn creative social innovations that benefit those in need.

    In his speech to the Senate yesterday, Reid spoke glowingly of the miracles performed by FEMA while trashing those asking for offsets to pay for the additional spending.

    “Republicans must not continue to block FEMA from getting the resources it needs to help disaster victims,” Reid said, an assertion even that FEMA has now debunked.

    Reid failed to acknowledge a single private charity helping with disaster relief. The Times published a 1,000-word article about the same Pennsylvania community we’ve told you about. Upon reading the Times story, you might think private charities don’t exist there.

    Liberals in Washington and New York have spent too much time isolated in a bubble. They’ve become too reliant on government to solve all of America’s problems. It’s time to put faith back in our communities.

    Quick Hits:

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    72 Responses to Morning Bell: How Harry Reid Manufactured a Crisis Over Disaster Aid

    1. Robert, TX says:

      And yet, this is the same Harry Reid that is playing little johnny like a fiddle – and he has brushed aside mealy-mouth mitch like he doesn't even exist – which, in reality, he doesn't. Obama has zero opposition.

    2. Chris from CA says:

      FEMA is unconstitutional. Nothing in the constitution allows the federal government to intervene in local affairs or problems. Aid for people in need is a charitable action that has been usurped by the government. It should be abolished.

      • Anita says:

        I had to buy Flood Ins. when I bought a house in Scottsdale, AZ. It can cost up to $2,000 a year! Yes, in the desert of AZ. and I'm still having problems getting it settled. I thought my home insurance took care of problems — not the govt. Silly me. I still carry insurance on all my properties.

      • frank says:

        well then .. the air force is unconstitutional … as is the weather service .. and the FCC and the FAA.. and the FTC .. and the FDA .. but we need them because we didn't have radios.. and drugs … air planers ..and cheating businessmen back in 1787.. and are any of those charities buidling new bridges in vermont .. and are any of them fighting fire and dropping slurry on fire in Texas ??of course not .. and you just better hope that disaster strikes your insignicant part of the country after the tea party gets in the white house .. that's when all we liberals can laught ….gajs

    3. Ed M says:

      Rush talked about this yesterday

    4. John Trotter says:

      Do away with FEMA, I tried to get help during the Ike… only Salvatioin Army and Red Cross was of any help.
      Why keep FEMA if it doesn't help people?

      • Chris from CA says:

        It's unconstitutional anyway and therefore illegal. Should be abolished. Just like Department of Education and many others.

      • Squirrely says:

        If FEMA is done away with, all those liberals jobs will be done away with, enough said.

    5. Isirio says:

      Typical Democrats. what do you expect. I don't think its helping to their re-election in 2012. They are the blame artist. Adios.

    6. Patty Jackson says:

      It seems to me that the reason Harry Reed and friends are so focused on increasing the coffers of FEMA is that it increases government control and the influence of the democratic party. They are appealing to the public's sense of compassion to reel in more money, by hook or by crook. It's not really about helping people at all. When charitable organizations do a better job of helping those in need, the reverse happens — government influence is diluted. In addition – I am wondering what happens if/when FEMA has a surplus of funds…does Congress by any chance get to divert that money to another spending project? If so this would be a huge incentive to inflate FEMA's financial needs.

    7. Don in N.C. says:

      FEMA should be defunded .Its just a bloated bureaucracy that doesn't help that much in a catastrophy.Like most thinngs coming out of Washington these days it has become politicized and you don't need that in a natural disaster.Do

    8. Lee Hazel says:

      Ron Paul said it well, "We do not need FEMA".
      He did not elaborate but all one really has to do is to compare the situations surrounding the Katrina disaster and how it was handled by Government, Insurance and Charity and those "other" disasters in Alabama, Joplin and currently in eastern United States.
      The contrast is astounding as well as educational.

      • Robert, TX says:

        I worked for the SBA disaster assistance office after Katrina and at the end of the day it was a waste. The week before Katrina contractors were begging to do a roofing job for $3,000 – the month after Katrina $22,000. The net effect of government involvement was to inflate the real estate values by double and triple – and yet, the local economy was worse off than before the storm (look at Florida real estate). Bottome line: if you want to build your estate on the beach, then buy enough insurance. People in Kansas and Wyoming should not be subsidizing people on the coast with federal tax dollars.

        • Charles says:

          I agree Robert. Problem is that insurance is impossible to afford along the coast. I love living on the water but I can not afford the risk. Still you are correct. Living on the coast is a personal choice and expense. There is no reason for the rest of the country to take care of me.

    9. Frank says:

      Considering how badly hurt Nevada has been by Reid's "big government" policies, I was stunned to see Nevada re-elect this loser back into the Senate last time around. That is a testament to how dumbed-down the average American voter has become in our government run schools & watching Lame-Stream Media TV. Our Republic is about dead because our average American voter is about brain dead.

      • Lee Hazel says:

        Frank, you mignt want to look at that election. Just exactly how was Ried reelected. How much of the "graveyards" voted along with illegals, etc and so forth..
        It is noteworthy that union (SEIU) related companies and workers had the maintenance contracts on the voting machines at that time. hmmmmm???

      • Robert A Hirschmann says:

        Reid, an Obama clone, is bound and determined to spend money we don't have. I'm ashamed to say that as a Nevadan he was re-elected from my state. I sure didn't vote for him but he really had no opposition in the Republican party. As far as I'm concerned this whole administration is corrupt and should be voted out in 2012! We need a man ( Ron Paul) in the white house that will get us back on track.

    10. Monica says:

      "better individual-based programs, a culture of preparedness, and resilient and self-reliant communities." Talk about not fitting in with a liberal, more/bigger government agenda!

    11. Paul Stone says:

      A missionary that my church supports helps to manage warehouses of food for victims of the Birmingham tornadoes that occurred this spring. It's a massive undertaking meets practical needs.

    12. kwilke says:

      Couldn't we keep the government going and just shut down Harry Reid? It would be better for all.

      • Robert, TX says:

        We could. But WHO is going to do it? John Boehner? Not likely. Mitchie McConnell? Even less likely. And yet, Boehner was elected unanimously (even Paul, Bachmann, King, and West voted for him) and every single republican knew what Boehner is – gutless. So much for the "making government smaller" campaign.

      • Manny B says:

        He is an elected official. The way to get rid of him is to not vote for him. If he is not your Senator, then you really have no place calling for his removal. It's a states rights issue that each state be allowed to elect those they feel are best able to represent them.
        Does his behavior effect us all? Yes.
        Better question, why do other Senators allow themselves to be lead instead of leading?

      • Val says:

        I Agree !

    13. Lee says:

      We need to see more of these stories in the "mainstream media" so that others interested will also donate.

      Anation that responds to every world crisis, does not let its own down.

    14. Charles says:

      My profession involves disaster response and assistance, and I will assure you the non-profits always step up and meet the need. We do not need FEMA. It is another government giveaway which rewards bad choices and a lack of personal preparation. That Harry Reid would lie, manipulate, and over-blow something is of no surprise. Disasters will come, and Reid and his thugs will lie. These two things are givens.

    15. Jeff Dover says:

      We need Republicans in office who aren't going to always take the bait. First, as they usually do, the Democrats manufacture a "crisis" which doesn't exist.

      Next, the always offer just two choices: solve it their way, or hurt people with another action. Well, there are always many, many other ways to get the job done without hurting anyone. But the Democrats raise fear in the population that "if we do it the Republican way, people will be hurt" when nothing of the sort is necessary.

      We need Republican men and women who will stand out on I-95 with a banner, if that's what it takes, to expose these lies and then simply eviscerate the Democrats vomiting out these lies. We need people with guts. I don't think Cantor or Boehner are made of that stuff, if they even understand the Democrat ploy. The senate is hopeless.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Question: Why do "they" have to be republicans. Why can't they simply be patriots; normal, law-obeying, tax-paying, American citizens – regardless of the letter after their name? They could call themselves Tea Party; Constitution Party; Libertarian; Independent, or members of the howdy doody Snickers party for all I care. If you limit the debate to r vs. d, you lose. That is exactly what the establishment wants YOU to do.

    16. Robert A Hirschmann says:

      Reid, an Obama clone, is bound and determined to spend money we don't have. I'm ashamed to say that as a Nevadan he was re-elected from my state. I sure didn't vote for him but he really had no opposition in the Republican party. As far as I'm concerned this whole administration is corrupt and should be voted out in 2012! We need a man ( Ron Paul) in the white house that will get us back on track.

    17. Just one Observer says:

      Having observed FEMA, first hand, I can attest to the fact, like most government agencies, they contribute substantially to their share of "fraud, waste and abuse" in my opinion. Someone should research just how much "Government Travel" to anywhere and Government purchasing of wish-list items occurs in July, Aug, and Sept each year. When agencies have not come close to spending their budgets and are in a mad frenzy to "spend it all before the end of the fiscal year" – lest they (Gasp!!) have money left over!! This same time-frame is spent in frantic staff meetings thinking up ways and pure inventing necessities for the upcoming fiscal year to justify a budget that is larger than the previous years. Literally 'laughing out loud" at any suggestion or thought of submitting a reduced budget or actually returning money – even if it's there and there was no way of actually spending it in that fiscal year.

    18. Just one Observer says:

      And don't even start with the government employees actual spending habits at each of these "disasters". It's their personal slush fund to buy whatever they want and charge it to the disaster, get government rental cars for everyone and "crazy cruise" for months on end, and certainly don't forget the "overtime! – all the while we get to fund this and their excessive travel and luxurious hotel habits. Just researching the sheer number of declared "disasters" starting with the Clinton years compared to all the years previous should alert any reasonable person that something very "interesting" in "disaster declarations" has been happening for a long time now. I think the People of the Country should be aware and informed what the real costs of this "help" is.

    19. Whicket Williams says:

      If the American people don't get off their duff and shrink the government back to a level it can operate at,the country is doomed.I think we are doomed, because americans have been dumbed down to the point that they are helpless against this run away corperation serving bunch of crooks.

    20. Bill says:

      Democrats lie to us all and the NYT enables them. Thanks for your story on the exceptionalism of individual Americans in times of the need and pain of others!

    21. Lloyd Scallan says:

      When Rahm Emanuel first uttered the phase "never let a crisis go to waste", little did we know that this administration would actually "invent crisis" to futher their agenda. How much longer before we reject
      this same Democrat ploys that, in their socialist minds, justifies their "transformation" of America into
      their socialist utopa. They know if their true agenda was brought into the lite of day, they would be finished as a political party.

      We knew what Harry Reid was before this past November elections. Yet he was reelected, albeit purely through voter fraud tactics by unions and Dem. operatives. Until all American reject what is so obvious
      to more and more of us, the likes of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi will continue to invent crisis that will eventually tranform this nation.

    22. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Before FEMA, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and churches provided, I do not mind donating to a worthwhile charity and with every clamity churches have risen to the challange and they don't have to pay grade 12 salaries to the workers as they are volunteers. During all the Hurricanes in Fla. a few years ago my kids tell me there was more help from these org. than from FEMA. This is another gov't org with high paid workers who put on a show so they can get their little hands on our money.

    23. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      You mean evil Big Corp and Big Oil helped people in dire straits!?! Perish the thought! All this time I thought they only came into communities, raped and pillaged them and left them for dead laughing all the way to the bank.

      Imagine how much more we the people could help our neighbor in bad times if the federal government did not take our resources via confiscatory taxes. We do not have a compassionate federal government; we have a cold, heartless one simply because it has far exceeded its Constitutional limits.

    24. RogCol says:

      It continuously amazes me how, when push comes to shove, the agencies manage to "find" money that they originally didn't know was not available? And we want to give them more to misplace.

    25. ron hansing says:

      Sadly, the main stream media has morphed into a progressive leftist propaganda machine.

    26. jrt says:

      My son and 130 other college students from Liberty University spent the past 5 days helping the residents of Vestal, NY clean up their homes (as part of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia relief effort) and 150 more students are headed back to NY and Vermont next week to help in the recovery efforts.
      There will be more to follow.
      http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18495&MI

      These kids have really enjoyed getting to help out those in need, and are so glad to have had the chance to help and give back.
      And this is just one example… I'm sure there are tons of others, as the article suggests.

    27. Wayne Peterkin says:

      I agree with many others that FEMA is an unnecessary expense and largely a waste of money. At some point, this nation must turn away from the federal government for support and start to once again embrace personal responsibility along with private charitable organizations when faced with problems such as natural disasters. The federal government will always play politics with government handouts as they try to buy votes from favored groups. Abolish FEMA altogether.

    28. Camille says:

      Harry Reid is manufactured. It's time for Harry the Robot to shut down and get out of politics. More crony politics.

    29. John Henry says:

      I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, I THINK THAT IF FEMA WHER TO DISBAN, RE ORGANIZE WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE DEM'S WE WOULD ALL BE BETTER OFF! IT MAY WELL BE ANOTHER GOOD PLACE TO LOOK FOR SOME "MORE" SPENDING CUTS!!!!!

    30. Texas Woman says:

      With the recent news stories of FEMA demanding money (thousands of dollars!) back from some they've helped, I wouldn't take a dime from them! They are incapable of properly managing money!

    31. KC - NM says:

      The comment – put faith back into our communities – is a key statement. Reid is out-of-touch with America and needs to be replaced – most logical based Americans know that. America needs to recover its melting pot cultural behavior and philosophy. We can not be a nanny state or a socialistic state. We need to change as Americans and re-kindle the greatness spirit that has made us successful. We also need real leadership in Washington – can't wait till 2012.

    32. Claims1 says:

      There's one important point we are overlooking – If Harry Reid says these people are starving and losing their homes, then that must be the case; Even more convincing, these catastrophese are reported as factual by the New York Times. Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.. so long as the unions and Las Vegas own Harry Reid, he's going to continue being very economical with the truth.

    33. Boice McCain says:

      The ignoring the role played by non-government sources is part of the liberal drive to demonstrate that everything must bo done by government. The talk in congfress of limiting or eliminating the tax deductibility of charitable is part of the same mindset. If personal charity can be liminated, then the need for yet government involement can be shown. We are a great country because it is part of our basic beliefs that the most effective help is that at a local level in which people how to bestaid their neighbors.
      Federal disaster aid should be limited to large scale disastersjthat go beyond local ability to cope and then only as a supplement rather than the major factor. Katrina or the Joplin tornado parobaly justify SOME federal disaster assistance. A tornado in Indiana or Oklahoma probably does not.

    34. toledofan says:

      It is beyond words the climate that has engulfed Washington. In my short 60 years I have never see the level of politics that exists today. The Senators like Reid, Pelosi, Durban, Schummer, Rangel, and the list goes on, clearly shows how out of touch these Democrats have become. It obvious that they are more concerned with retaining their status than the well being of the country. I guess it really boils down to us, the voters, not paying attention, not holding them accountable and then we re-elect them to do the same stuff all over again. Only in America.

    35. Jim Patterson says:

      Just another "small" step toward national socialism Prezbo's way. Gee, I am surprised there isn't a disaster czar.

    36. Deputy Kevin says:

      A little food for thought: Craig Fugate is the current director at FEMA. He was originally the head of Florida's State Emergency Management agency, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush. FL has one of the nation's top EM systems. Fugate has been trying to improve FEMA and has made some progress. As a federal agency, FEMA becomes a political football when it serves the whims of politicians. Reid is doing just that.

      It is very important to understand that FEMA is NOT an emergency response agency. Emergency Management is a system of collaboration among the spectrum of NGO's, local-state-federal resources, charities, and others in attempting to bring order out of chaos. I am a Red Cross volunteer and recently completed a Masters in Emergency Management. Happy to chat more on this subject.

    37. Suzie says:

      Residents from Tennessee that lost everything in the May 2010 floods received "Help" from FEMA and later received letters notifying them they must pay the money back immediately. FEMA was a big help to those families who lost their homes and all of their belongings and then also found themselves in debt to the government for using the money FEMA gave them. Local churches helped these people and did more to help rebuild than any government agency. So what good was FEMA ?? Very little.

    38. Robert says:

      If you leave bread crumbs and a bit of cheese around every night, rats will soon be dependent upon your largesse. Out here in the west, we carry insurance for disasters. But Harry Reid would like all of you to be dependents; it gives him power. We should close FEMA, the CPSC etc. etc. and get government the heck out of almost everything. We may have to drag them from their beds and hang them before they take it seriously.

      How about Clarence Thomas for president? He could beat Obama hands-down and Thomas knows more about the constitution and what America is all about than any sixteen Obamas. (no…..I'm white as hell.)

      RCR

    39. Bill says:

      Obviously these religious charities need to be driven out of business. They don't support the secular nanny. Think of all the children who will not be subject to having parents since the government has driven many adoption agencies out of places like San Francisco.

    40. jrt says:

      My son and 130 other college students from Liberty University spent the past 5 days helping the residents of Vestal, NY clean up their homes (as part of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia relief effort) and 150 more students are headed back to NY and Vermont next week to help in the recovery efforts.

    41. Casey Carlton says:

      Two thoughts come to mind concerning this report. First, do we really need FEMA? This agency proved totally inept in dealing with Hurricane Katrina. It is slow to act, seems a bit unconcerned for those it purports to aid, and spends much more to deal with a problem than a private agency would do.

      Second, does anyone remember the last time Harry Reid told the truth? We don't need unscrupulous, lying individuals, whatever their political affiliation, in public office. Let's get rid of all of them and replace them with honest people.

    42. Clearhead says:

      Isn't it wonderful that after so many years of all the brain-washing lies having been constantly shed upon Americans, that love for fellow man, compassion and assistance still lurks in the hearts of our citizens, the REAL Americans? It is a pitiful disgrace for entities such as the hairy reed to be able to speak through the collective media, and spread their lying propaganda to the citizenry. The danger, of course, is that if lies are trumpeted incessantly, they eventually become facts in the minds of the hearers.

    43. Violet says:

      I have always said that the American people are the kindest most generous people in the world. Not only to the people of their own country but all countries. If there is a disaster the first people you find on the scene are Americans. Our only problem is that the MSM does not acknowledge them. But then again most of the people who donate time, money or goods aren't seeking praise like FEMA. They only wish to help in any way they can. May God bless them and this country.

    44. minuteman55 says:

      We need a bigger voice. We are still not being heard.

    45. SLP says:

      If FEMA is already generously funded and if it is not being used properly for the victims, then where is all the money being spent?

    46. Jack Stuart says:

      In spite of Obama's negative opinion of American greed, Americans give more to charity than all other nations COMBINED !! In my opinion, this is due to our Judeo/Christian culture. Christian charity trumps gov't benefits every time.

    47. candace says:

      I totally agree with this article. We do not need FEMA. Why are Reid and his munchkins so blind. Stop trying to take more dollars from hard working Americans, under the guise that the ever compassionate government is the only venue to properly dole out help to disaster stricken Americans. It is time to rely on neighbors, friends, family, church, and self in times of need. The less I deal with the government the better I feel. And I have NO DOUBT that Americans will readily help each other when called upon.

    48. Eric Quek says:

      Thank you for the Balance Report. Unfortunately, we as citizens has been 'brain wash" into thinking that Govt is the solution!. Not only that there is a sense of Entitlement.

    49. Kelly Crist says:

      Thanks again to all you folks in Nevada who re-elected this guy.

    50. Mutantone says:

      Just like the much touted stimulus funds were needed to create jobs but instead went into the Gun runner projects, how much of these funds are designed for other purposes ?

    51. Marilyn Andrews says:

      Reminds me of Joplin's case: I drove thru there June 13th and again June 29th and the progress made was amazing. A Joplin friend drove us around and told of all the community/state assistance that was way ahead of FEMA…in fact, FEMA was holding back aid! Their resilience was such an inspiring thing to see. Makes one wonder why, even today, New Orleans is still a "disaster area". Self-help rocks! The liberal media tries to confuse us with the phrasing "share the weallth"…but, their context is not Christian. It's just another ploy to make people think they are pleading the Christian cause. It's simply politics!

    52. William says:

      Obama loves to spend other peoples monies and he does not care about leaving future generations the big debt. He wants to change our captialistic economy to a socialist economy and he does not care about finding jobs for the unemployed. He wants to make sure those people are getting unemployment checks, foodstamps, section 8 housing, welfare and other federal government give aways. He wants more people dependent on government and then next year he will be campaigning saying if you vote for a republican they will take your checks away.

    53. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The Democrats won't be happy, until like Greece, we have our own Greek Tragedy.

    54. regine g. says:

      This is a non-partisan message. It applies to every Republican, every
      Democrat, every Independent, every whatever — all 535 people in Congress.
      The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the
      people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest
      it come to dominate our lives and interests�.
      - Patrick Henry –
      I have totally cleaned this e-mail from all other names, sending it to you
      in hopes you will keep it going and keep it clean. This is something I will
      fight for and I hope you all read it all the way through. You will be glad
      you did!

      The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3
      months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it.
      That was in 1971…before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
      Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to
      become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
      I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty
      people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
      In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
      message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
      Congressional Reform Act of 2011
      1. No Tenure / No Pension.
      A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when
      they are out of office.
      2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
      All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
      system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
      and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
      any other purpose.
      3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
      do.
      4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
      will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
      5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
      same health care system as the American people.
      6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
      people.
      7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
      1/1/12.
      The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.
      Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress
      is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen
      legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to
      work.
      If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take
      three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it
      is time.
      THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
      If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

    55. Greg says:

      These sentiments should be expressed as publicly and loudly as possible. And also to our "representatives".

    56. Red Horse says:

      The Gsa shoud take a look at Femas Books, also harry reid.

    57. perspective says:

      In the real world the uncovering of intentional abuse of power with the use of deceptive and false statements that could insite fear and hatred would be charged with a crime…….at the very least a loss of your job. Oh, foolish me, it's the 'UNTOUCHABLES' (our Congress). Truly time for a change and responsibility/reprecussion for actions. Lieing and intentional false statements should be punished. How much pork is tagged onto this bill.

    58. Pat O'Lone says:

      For the past year or so all I've heard is PRESIDENT OBAMA SAY " I WILL VETO THIS BILL," Or HARRY REID SAY "THIS BILL WILL BE DEAD ON ARRIVAL" HOW DO THE DEMOCRATS GET AWAY WITH SAYING THE REPUBLICANS ARE THE PARTY OF NO AND HAVE OFFERED NO BILLS FOR THE SENATE TO VOTE ON? THE REPUBLICANS NEED TO SPEAK UP ON THIS ISSUE!
      MAIN STREAM MEDIA IS BACKING THE DEMOCRATS ON THIS. SOMEONE SHOULD REPORT ON THE NUMBER OF BILLS OFFERED BY REPUBLICANS AND NOT EVEN READ BY DEMOCRATS!
      ALL THE MEDIA TALKING POINT DEMS ARE SAYING THE REPULICANS ARE A "DO NOTHING CONGRESS "

    59. sue says:

      You neglected to mention that the LDS Church always sends free supplies and assistance at every disaster around the world- more than the world ever hears about.

    60. Jerry S. says:

      If I had any faith in our elected officials I might assume they are following an agenda designed to choke the Dems. Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves scenario. In reality we have no strategists, no statesmen and no leader. Collectivly they have abused their positions to the point it has affected their ability to preform. They have an overall feeling of indifference towards "We the people". I can see why they would. Our complacency in oversight and poor voting skills have created this monster. Ironically, oversight and voting are the only means we have to correct the problem. I have run scenarios down many lines of thought and every time they end with, we are screwed. Without a leader we will languish in our spoiled economy. Without a statesman we will sag in our world stature. Currently, we spend money like we are trying to break the bank. That in a nutshell is what Dirty Harry and O'Drama have in mind.

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