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November 15, 2007

Madisonian 'stability' in American gov't. still doing its job.

Like it or not, the spectre of James Madison still haunts the parliamentary reality of modern American politics. A case in point: the current legislative dance going on between the farm bill, the energy bill, rural senators, and (sub) urban representatives is slowing down lawmaking, and the effects of this delay could be enormous. This is nothing new, and unless there is some sort of constitutional overhaul, American government will continue to plod along incrementally. Not only is the system showing its stickiness but it is also showing its institutional overlap. The energy and farm bills are doing a little cannibalizing of each other. What are people saying about the farm and energy bills?:
"In this bill, we make it a priority to help farmers who are serious about getting into organic production, and we help them overcome the challenges of transitioning into this industry." --Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

"Most importantly, significant resources in [the Lieberman-Warner] bill must be explicitly allocated for Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy, the areas where we can get the greatest and quickest bang for our buck." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT)

"I cannot think of an amendment more relevant to the economic security of the American farmer than an amendment to increase the renewable fuel standard" --Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM)

" may have an energy bill that doesn't really have incentives for renewable energy and high value energy efficiency – and that would be tragic."
-- Scott Sklar, President of the Stella Group Ltd.

"What these gentlemen are trying to do is outsource our food and fiber" --Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) referring to the two sponsors of the $250,000 cap on farm subsidies.

"We elect Congress to move the country forward, not entrench the past, and we believe they will." --Michael Eckhardt, President ACORE

"I think we're looking at a December timeline for anything, the question is, what's going to be in it?" --Karl Gawell, Exec. Dir. of the Geothermal Energy Association.

"The time is slowly evaporating." --Sen Harry Reid (D-NV)

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