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Odessa American Newspaper Archives Apr 6 2015, Page 4

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Odessa American (Newspaper) - April 6, 2015, Odessa, Texas Of a %. I / Quot of j. Page 4a monday april 6f 2015 a Texas View Public is snoozing losing control the Point Abbott Patrick and the state of Texas Are seeking to strip local control. In her 2000 Book a the greedy hand How taxes drive americans crazy and what to do about it a conservative columnist Amity Shlaes wrote that the one tax that leaves Many of us the least crazy is the local tax. Reason those who pay it can at least see its benefits in Street work Law enforcement schools clean water and fire Protection. Better yet if we done to like How our tax dollars Are spent or How much we re paying we can easily track Down and Comer our City Council representative school trustee or county commissioner and demand an explanation. They live among us a near enough we can make our satisfaction or displeasure known. Good Luck trying to get such satisfaction from your state senator or . Congressman. That s Why residents in the Waco area who cherish democracy in action and like the idea of Access to the government most directly responsible for us and most accountable to us should be most vigilant about the War Texas gov. Greg Abbott la. Gov. Dan Patrick and Way too Many state legislators have declared on Home Rule cities school districts and counties. They wage this through a smattering of Power grab Bills a and with astonishingly Little Pushback. Chief irony Many of the politicians who loudly resisted Federal intrusion in state affairs and who preached local control have now done a Jekyll and Hyde turnaround and seek to neuter local control in a Host of ways. The goal by elected state officials seems to be consolidating All Power in their hands not ours. In Bill after Bill this legislative session state leaders seek to limit grassroots initiatives and referendums at the ballot Box restrain local beautification and environmental efforts to protect everything from Trees to lakes dictate whether cities can set policy on everything from wind blown plastic shopping bags to texting while driving to hacking bans in City limits. And yes they seek to bind local governments abilities to fund their operations by both tightly limiting tax Revenue increases from one fiscal Cycle to the next and retarding property tax appraisals to a degree they no longer accurately reflect fair Market value a a neat twist that mocks All free Market principles. That May Appeal to those people who want to throw Tea into the Harbor but not those of us who believe in old fashioned local control republicanism. Given that some state leaders such As it. Gov. Patrick seek to loosen state spending Caps through bookkeeping chicanery to allow state spending that does no to count As state spending he and his Tea party compatriots at least those backing this sleight of hand budgeting Boondoggle have a lot of Gall trying to undermine local governments and recklessly manipulate local funding mechanisms. Some of the state s War on us undermines even Basic concepts such As civil rights and frontline democracy. Because Denton residents last fall voted to ban tracking in City limits prompting lawsuits by state officials one Bill in the legislature would demand ballot measures stemming from grassroots efforts be sized up and approved first by the state attorney general s lawyers. Aren t such questions ultimately the province of our courts consider the City of Waco s 2013 passing of ordinances a after years of Public discussion about huge City Pound euthanasia rates and stray animals a requiring that most local pets be Micro chipped and neutered. City leaders say that a one big reason Why in recent months the City animal shelter has amazingly reached a no kill status a something Many of us feared wed never reach. Now imagine state leaders who have had trouble even stamping out Puppy Mill atrocities getting involved. Many reasons exist for defending local control a and the hypocrisy of those who can t walk All their talk on local control and quietly seek to neuter constituents every bit As much As we do our dogs and cats is but one. A Waco Tribune Herald lawmakers of civial officials a . Rep. Mike Conaway Republican of Midland. 511 Cannon House office building. Washington d.c., 20515-4311. Phone 202-225-3605. Fax 202-225-1783. Local offices 411w. Eighth st., fifth floor Odessa. 79761, and 6 Desta drive suite 2000, Midland 79705. Email email. A . Sen. John Comyn Republican 517 Hart Senate office building Washington d.c., 20510-4304. Phone 202-224-2934. Email com fuse action a . Sen. Ted Cruz Republican Dirksen Senate office building suite Sdb-40b, Washington d.c., 20510. Phone 202 224-5922. Email a . Rep. William Hurd Republican of Helotes 317 Cannon House office building Washington d.c., 20515. Phone 202 225-4511. Email a . Rep. Randy Neugebauer Republican of Lubbock 429 Cannon House office building Washington d.c., 20515-4319. Phone 202-225-4005. Email =65�iontree=865 Winner pulitzer prize 1988 an Imp aim Media Texas Jeremy l Halbreich chairman and ceo of aim Media Texas Ilc Wilham r. A Rick Quot Starks president and Coo of aim Media Texas ii guest View time for Congress president to meet by Lee h. Hamilton Congress has developed a fondness for open letters when it comes to Iran. First came the warning shot signed by 47 Republican senators that touched off a storm of criticism. Not to be outdone the House checked in with its own bipartisan and More diplomatically stated letter to the president warning that its members must be satisfied with any agreement before vote to reduce sanctions. What lies behind these moves i think Congress feels left out of foreign policy making. I have considerable sympathy for this impulse. Over the decades too much Power has drifted to the president when it comes to foreign affairs. The Congress has been deferential even timid in allowing this to happen. Moreover the administration has not done an especially Good Job of consulting with Congress. The president is the chief actor in foreign policy and its his obligation to reach out and develop a sustained dialogue with Congress on foreign policy matters. As far As i can Tell he has not done that sufficiently. Yet much As i want to see Congress speak up on foreign policy How it does so matters. The Senate a letter to Iran was ill considered and unhelpful. Its purpose was to defeat the nuclear negotiations and it undercut the president while he was trying to negotiate a Deal with another world Leader. It raised questions about americans reliability invited doubt about the presidents ability to negotiate a Deal and created a major distraction at a crucial moment. The letter undermined not Only this presidents credibility but undermines future presidents As Well. It suggests that no one in the . Government is empowered to strike a Deal. The letter did focus appropriately on presidential use of executive orders to conduct foreign policy but it wrongly implied that presidents Are Hamstrung in the conduct of policy. The senators suggested that an executive order on Iran is Likely to be reversed by a future president which is not True. Presidential deals with other countries Are rarely overturned by their successors. In part this is because once an agreement is in place it becomes very difficult to undo a especially if its working. Also presidents Are reluctant to reverse their predecessors work because they done to want to undercut the same tool they themselves rely on to pursue their foreign policy goals. As a nation we be gotten into the bad habit of using executive orders for the most important foreign policy initiatives a including such watershed moments As Richard Nixon a opening toward China and president Obama a Accord with Syria Banning the use of chemical weapons. In recent decades 94 percent of pacts Between the . And other countries have been under executive orders just 6 percent Are done by treaty. This is because treaties require a two thirds vote of the Senate before they can be ratified and that has become a near impossible Milestone to reach. Yet the fact that a president can act on his own does not mean that he should do so. The Reliance on executive orders Means we have no Clear mechanism or even requirement for the president to consult and work with Congress on foreign policy. So Congress feels left out of the action and in an Effort to Deal itself Back in it behaves clumsily As the Senate did with the Iran letter. The Way past these bitter Battles is meaningful consultation. The president and the Congress need to consult regularly and in depth before problems come to a head. Sustained and respectful consultation would go a Long Way toward avoiding the acrimonious Contention Over foreign policy that we be seen of late. Edward s. Corwin a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton in the first half of the 20th Century once called the Constitution an a invitation to struggle for the privilege of directing american foreign policy a a line that is far better known than Corwin himself. Over the last half Century the contest has largely been decided in favor of the president. Congresses bid to reopen the question is not in and of itself a bad thing. But if the president and the Congress want to avoid these flare and strengthen the nations foreign policy they should exercise in depth sustained consultation. Lee Hamilton is distinguished scholar Indiana University school of global and International studies professor of practice in school of Public and environmental affairs and chairman Center on Congress at Indiana University. He served As . Representative from Indiana s 9th congressional District from 1965-1999. According to Glenn Foden jul Eros Hie owl signal Komi by King features according to John Branch Patrick Canty ref tonal wee president Laira Dennis editor thumbs up to everyone who filled their easter Basket on sunday. A this represents the opinion of the Odessa american but we Welcome ideas for comments. Just email of letters . F

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