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The National Corn Growers Association recently began running TV ads in Washington featuring an easily recognizable villain: BP PLC and its huge, uncontained oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico."Ethanol: Now is the time," the ad announces."Ethanol is clean-burning, environmentally friendly and can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions compared to petroleum," said the association's president, Darrin Ihnen, in an interview. "The spill is a good reminder of that."
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on Capitol Hill Saturday, protesting the expansion of government spending and illustrating the network of conservative activists that has emerged in opposition to President Barack Obama's policies.
When the health care town halls end, tea parties begin. That’s what eight conservative groups decided, as they joined forces to launch a new, 16-day national tea party tour later this month, taking their small-government message to towns all over the country. Two 45-foot buses will snake their way across America, beginning in Sacramento Aug. 28 and ending with a “March on Washington” Sept. 12. The leader is a California based political action committee Our Country Deserves Better. The best-known partner is FreedomWorks, former House Speaker Dick Armey’s influential conservative group which has been a major player in opposition to health care overhaul. The finale event already has its own Web site (http://912dc.org/). Participants are going to meet in Freedom Plaza about 10 blocks from the Capitol (coincidentally, just a block from the Ronald Reagan Building) and will walk up Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol for a rally.
When I read Dick Armey's Feb. 5 op-ed, "Washington Could Use Less Keynes and More Hayek," I had just finished re-reading Hayek's famous book on the errors of socialism, "The Fatal Conceit." This first volume of his collected works was published in 1988, just before the Cold War ended with what was widely called an unequivocal triumph of capitalism. As a result of the financial crisis, the merits of the capitalist free market have become less clear again, and many politicians are inclined to embrace Keynesianism once more.
"In the long run, we are all dead," John Maynard Keynes once quipped. An influential British economist, Keynes used the line to dodge the problematic long-term implications of his policy proposals. His analysis of the Great Depression redefined economics in the 1930s and asserted that increased government spending during a downturn could revive the economy.
<p>With leaders in Congress working on a controversial financial-rescue plan, rank-and-file lawmakers face a crucial election-year question: If they back the proposal, will they pay at the polls?</p> <p>Populist outrage has been spilling out across the country from people of all political stripes. Lawmakers say they have received hundreds of calls and emails in recent days, almost uniformly against the idea of giving the government the power to buy billions of dollars in distressed assets to keep the financial system afloat.</p>
<p>Last week, Republican presidential candidate John McCain called for a commission to "find out what went wrong" on Wall Street. It was an excellent suggestion: Public inquiries into Wall Street practices served the country well in the 1930s.</p>
<p>Fingerprints have long been considered to be among the most personal of information. Proposals for creating fingerprint databases are usually controversial and often lead to a spirited public debate. Even when a fingerprint registry will likely help fight terrorism or crime, many still fear it will lead to a surveillance state.</p>
<p>Your article "Mortgage Bailout Infuriates Tenants (And Steve Forbes)" (page one, May 16) about the AngryRenter Web site levels the fair critique that the site takes considerable license in claiming to represent millions of angry renters. However, most of the article complains that the sponsors are conservative, moneyed and powerful. Last I checked, even rich and powerful conservatives may legally and ethically try to start and fuel a "grassroots" effort. Put another way, if the rich and politically biased should not be behaving so, we should eagerly await the exposÃ©s you will be writing on George Soros and any number of politically active figures on both sides of the aisle.</p> <p>Your implication that the "homey" construction of the web site (as opposed to its content) is somehow unfair is like hurling a Nerf brick at someone. Are you seriously presenting font choice as the basis for criticism of a political Web site?</p> <p>Jeff Sourbeer <br /> Belleair, Fla.</p> <p>I resent the inference that I do not exist, that I am part of an "AstroTurf campaign" or a grass-roots faÃ§ade. Believe me, I am real! I have a voice with FreedomWorks that would go unnoticed alone.</p> <p>Daniel R. Kohler <br /> FreedomWorks Member <br /> Keizer, Ore.</p> <p>To most people, it is unsurprising that a limited government grass-roots group would create a petition Web site opposing a government housing bailout. That petition, hosted at AngryRenter.com, has more than 53,000 signatures from real people opposing the $300 billion taxpayer bailout now working its way through Congress. Many of those people are leaving passionate and personal comments against a taxpayer bailout that rewards imprudent borrowers and banks.</p> <p>The real story is that the millions of Americans who rent are subsidizing a bailout for overextended homeowners and their banks, not that our chairman, Dick Armey, owns a home in Texas.</p> <p>Matt Kibbe <br /> President <br /> FreedomWorks <br /> Washington</p>
<p>In his op-ed "The Republican Health-Care Surrender" (May 15), former Rep. Dick Armey is remembering the mindset of the 1994 health-care debate. We understand that mindset because we, along with many of our co-sponsors, were in Congress then and on opposite sides of the Clinton health-reform debate. This is a different day and we are working together on a different bill. We no longer see health reform in terms of "us vs. them." With all of the bipartisan cosponsors of the Healthy Americans Act, we just want to fix the broken health-care system.</p>