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by the former Republican occupants of her newly draped offices. She would make her
influence felt in Washington.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Harry Reid,
D-Nevada, was settling into his office as
Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate with
somewhat less fanfare.

The first 100 days has passed, and then
some, and a strange quiet has settled
over Congress.

The Democrats had basically campaigned
on a single issue, ending the war in Iraq.
With a substantial victory in the House of
Representatives and a very narrow victory
in the U.S. Senate, they interpreted this as
a mandate.

Although a majority of the American people had become weary of the war and the
growing loss of American lives, they were not yet ready to quit the war outright.
When faced with the fact that cutting off funds for the war effort, thus abandoning the
brave men and women in combat, was the only way to end America's involvement, the
leadership lacked the courage to proceed.

With the exception of the passage, first, of a wage increase for themselves, a minimum
wage law, a very weak energy bill and an investigation of "corruption" in Attorney
General Alberto Gonzalez' office with respect to the dismissal of seven U.S. District
Attorneys, nothing was accomplished. The investigation of the Attorney General’s office
proceeds with the wild hope they can involve either or both Presidential Assistant Karl
Rove and Vice-President Dick Cheney in some sort of indictable crime, similar to the
Skooter Libby case.

Not having a campaign platform issue other than the war in Iraq to fall back on,
they find themselves out of steam and dead in the water.

Observers of late have noticed the House and Senate leaders no longer appear singly
before the microphone but rather in a group, displaying a downcast countenance. They
appear more as a group of losers rather than victors in a recent hard-fought election.
Congress finds itself out of touch with the American public.

While Congress is adrift in La-La Land, two of the most critical issues ever to
face the nation go begging for solutions. These two issues at some point may
determine whether or not America can maintain its economy and its culture.

The two issues are energy and rampant illegal immigration.

The U.S. Senate passed its first energy bill on June 25 by a vote of 65-27.  The bill
mandates annual production of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, and a 40 percent
increase in gasoline mileage for all motor vehicles.

    An arithmetic glance at the figures for
    ethanol indicates that a situation known as
    economic cannibalism would be created by
    the year 2022, whereby one vital commodity
    (food) is devoured by another vital
    commodity (energy).

    The production of 36 billion gallons of
    ethanol will consume 92 percent of the
    entire corn crop (91 million acres) produced
    annually as of 2007.

Talk of the use of cellulose is just that. The investment of billions of dollars for the
infrastructure necessary to produce the ethanol will dictate the fulfillment of the mandate.
Investors will have to be repaid. In the upcoming battle of food vs. energy, the odds are
that energy will win, leading, perhaps, to catastrophic results. Corn is used in a total of
3,500 U.S. food products.

The other fantasy solution offered was a mandate to
auto manufacturers to boost gasoline mileage by 40
percent. No mention was made of producing gasoline
from our 200-plus billion barrels of crude oil reserves
in our own country. However, that same week, the
House voted 196-233 on H.B. 6243, refusing to end
the 20-year-old moratorium on drilling for energy off
he Atlantic and Pacific coasts. A yes vote was to
repeal the ban.

The most "critical" of all the issues the new House leadership struggled with was the
Congressional Pay Raise (H.R. 2829) which passed 244-181. Their new unearned salary
will be $170,000 per year plus untold tens of thousands of dollars in expenses.

    No doubt, the overburdening struggle over the
    Congressional pay raise issue left them too
    exhausted to return to the other major issue facing
    the nation, illegal immigration.
    Their two failed attempts in the Senate to pass the
    comprehensive immigration (amnesty) bill, resulted
    from the fact that both parties completely misread
    the will of the American public. The U.S. public will
    not accept amnesty.

    Nothing substantial has come forth from the 110th
    Congress to secure the border or to deal with the
    12 to 20 million illegal immigrants already here.

Rumors are that Al Qaeda is already taking advantage of America’s failed border
security to gain access to the United States.

The word is that nothing will be done about illegal immigration or energy by this
"Do Nothing" Congress until it is replaced by the 111th Congress in 2009.

It is bad enough that the 110th Congress is useless—worse, since no legislative action
can be taken without it, it has become an obstacle.
This GUEST eCOLUMN is
used by MyBestYears.com
with special permission from

E. Ralph Hostetter
, a
crusading newspaper
editor, owner and publisher
for a half-century, and a
champion of individual
liberty.

In his columns Hostetter
consistently warns of the
harmful erosion of our
constitutional rights.

Born and educated in
Maryland, he enlisted in
the U.S. Navy in 1941 and
was assigned in 1943 to
the Naval Reserve Officers
Training Corps at Harvard
University, where he
earned a bachelor of
science degree in 1945.
He was released from
World War II service in
1946 with the rank of
Ensign. Recalled into the
U.S. Navy in 1950 during
the Korean War, he served
as a Naval Intelligence
Officer until released in
1952 with the rank of
Lieutenant, Senior Grade.

Hostetter is chairman and
publisher of American
Farm Publications Inc.,
Easton, Md., and former
president and owner of
TriState Publishing
Company, Elkton, Md., a
chain of 13 community
newspapers.
He was elected to the
Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press
Association Newspaper Hall of
Fame in 1990. The New Jersey
Agricultural Society awarded
Hostetter its highest award, the
Gold Medallion, in 2003.

Hostetter is also Vice
President of the Strasburg
Rail Road Co. (PA),
Chairman of Ambassador
Travel Service (DE),  
Chairman, Southside
Virginia Auto Auction, (VA)
and owner of Camelot East
Farms, Prince Edward
Island, Canada.

Active in civic affairs,
Hostetter is presently a
member of the Board of
Directors of Free
Congress Foundation,
Washington, DC.

In nearly 50 years of travel,
Hostetter has made three
round-the-world trips,
visiting 113 countries,
including traveling to
Antartica, going through
the Northwest Passage on
a Russian ice breaker, and
to the North Pole on an
atomic-powered Russian
ice breaker.

He married the former
Edith White of North East,
Md., in 1947 and they have
five daughters, one son
and
13 grandchildren.
E. RALPH HOSTETTER
...Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

The much vaunted leadership of the 110th Congress
arrived last January in Washington amid much fanfare
about the first 100 hours of Congressional action,
leading on through the first 100 days of major legislative
accomplishments.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was installed as
the first woman Speaker of the House. Finding a new
use for her broom, she immediately began sweeping the
cobwebs of corruption, untruths and incompetence left
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Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi..."leading"
the way for the Democrat-controlled
"do-nothing" 110th Congress