Letters to the editor: Nov. 11

November 11, 2013 

Too much criticism of Paul, but not enough of Obama

The Herald-Leader's blatant liberal bias was never more obvious than in its Oct. 31 editorial criticizing Rand Paul.

I have never been particularly enamored of Kentucky's junior U.S. senator, but the Herald-Leader is clearly putting him under a different microscope than the one they use to examine any liberal politician.

First the editorial criticized Paul for being too radical. Then it piles on him for becoming too moderate. Finally, it all but tars-and-feathers him for plagiarizing some facts in his eugenics speech at Liberty University.

I am yet to see any editorials in the Herald-Leader criticizing the president of the United States for deliberately misleading the American public over and over again with his infamous promise, "If you like your current health care policy, you can keep it, period."

That has proven to be the biggest fib since Bill Clinton gazed into the eyes of Americans and said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

The last line of the Herald-Leader's rant against Paul was, "How will the public ever determine what he actually believes, or knows?"

Well, five years into the Obama presidency, all we know about this world leader is that he knows nothing about Benghazi, the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, National Security Administration spying on world leaders and other endless scandals that plague his reign.

I would ask our local newspaper to please hold all politicians to the same standard.

Dennis Trease


Criticism of Barr unfair

The Oct. 29 op-ed by Joe Palumbo, a candidate for the 6th District congressional seat, laments "financial radicals" who desire "default" on national debt.

I submit it is Congressman Andy Barr who has consistently voted honestly and thoughtfully to promote economic growth for jobs, government reforms, reduced profligate spending and to make D.C. listen to all the people. He represents mainstream common sense.

Palumbo is the radical of whom he speaks. As President Barack Obama continues to mislead on everything from Benghazi to Obamacare, Palumbo — already toeing the party line — misstates the debt crisis.

First, this year's attempt was not the first legislation tied to debt limit shutdown; there was the 1980s Gramm-Rudman Act and the 1996 Social Security earning limit increase benefitting seniors.

Obama and Palumbo are wrong to allege Congress has not worked to reform runaway spending.

Second, the U.S. would not have defaulted on full faith and credit. Only Republicans accurately reminded Americans that revenue exceeds interest on the debt, and Obama could have prioritized and made payments on the rest.

Barr voted four times, in the week leading to the Democratic shutdown, to fund government. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid refused to negotiate.

Barr voted for the Full Faith and Credit Act allowing discussion of raising the debt ceiling without default; and voted no on the final deal because it failed to rein in spending and reform drivers of national debt.

The 6th District is well served by Barr's principled votes. Only radicals threaten spending into oblivion.

Maureen D. Carman


Barr protecting workers

Congressional candidate Joe Palumbo stressed that being truthful and honest was an important aspect in his business. He then proceeded to accuse Rep. Andy Barr of taking our economy to the edge of disaster.

This government was nowhere near the edge. There is enough income to cover our debt obligations and entitlements coming in every month.

It would have been the president's decision to choose to default and only an insane person would have done that. The representatives gave the president options, but he was willing to drag down the country before any compromise.

Now what kind of mess do we have now that Obamacare launched? The fact is that we face a much more dire situation.

I understand how business works. There was never a missed payroll in my company for 45 employees and the company provided health insurance. I also understand that Barr was not endangering working people.

If the writer is so concerned about losing jobs, he should investigate why it is that there has been no climate warming for the past 15 years, yet Kentucky families are paying the price for Democrats and President Barack Obama's policy of closing coal operations.

A half-truth is worthless and wild accusations do not make the writer particularly reliable. By the way, wasn't it Jamie Dimon's bank that was fined billions of dollars by the government for illegal practices? Fine man to quote.

We should be educating our citizens not creating extreme opinions that accomplish nothing but polarization.

Camille Haggard


Columnist wrong on Fed

Please invest in a better financial advice column.

Bruce Williams' Smart Money is generally too vague to be useful, but on Oct. 26, he made a fundamentally inaccurate statement about the Federal Reserve monetary policy that caused me to question whether he understands basic economics.

Williams stated that "There is pressure being exerted by the Federal Reserve to depress interest rates to discourage inflation."

In fact, the opposite would be more accurate.

The quantitative easing (QE) policy of the Federal Reserve is designed to lower interest rates and spur economic growth.

It puts more money into the economy. Banks lend at low interest rates, allowing businesses to expand and shoppers to buy.

QE policy actually does carry the risk of causing inflation. The economy has been so sluggish since the economic crash of 2008 that inflation has not been a problem yet.

However, as the economy comes back to life, the Fed watches for signs of inflation. When economic growth is satisfactory or inflation starts to be problematic, the Fed will back off of the QE policy and interest rates will rise.

The Herald-Leader should make a wise investment in a new columnist.

Marilyn Machara


Poor comparison

I had to read the Oct. 24 Burgoo item comparing Ted Cruz and Joe McCarthy a few times to be sure it wasn't just a hasty reprint from some wacko website.

I am no fan of Cruz, but I prefer facts or nominally supported opinion over reactionary smear tactics.

"Separated at birth" suggests a good deal more in common between the Texas senator Cruz and McCarthy than being photographed pointing a finger.

Have you given up on even your traditionally meager attempts at logical persuasion in favor of more name-calling?

What are the valid comparisons between the two — beyond the obvious distaste for both held by the Herald-Leader editorial board? How does fiscal opinion with which you disagree equate to communist witch hunts?

I wonder if there are liberals with which you agree that may also have had some "finger-wagging, fury-waging, self-righteous" moments? The self-righteous sanctimony of the Herald-Leader editorial board is increasingly tiresome and reflects considerable intellectual laziness.

Alan Grogan


How insurance works

This reader will have to give professor John Garen of the Bluegrass Institute Board of Scholars a "C" on his latest column, "Less burdensome ways to offer health insurance than new law."

He did make an effort, but failed in his understanding of the magnitude of any health-care initiative and the intrinsic nature of health insurance. He should start with the belief that health insurance companies are in business to make money and they do an excellent job of turning a profit.

They use actuarial methods or science when addressing specified risk pools, in determining the costs and reimbursement structure.

They are not devising ways for making young healthy people pay for the baby-boomer crowd. Then he should articulate and list all the unneeded regulations that he only alludes to, as well as how to keep costs low while maintaining high quality and increasing access.

Remember, we were all young at one time and many of us were even healthy. Let me suggest a field trip to some of the area's many clinics or hospitals.

Vincent C. Smith


Forgy's railings

Every few months, attorney Larry Forgy crawls out from under a rock and rails against expanded gambling. His latest rant appeared in the Feedback section of the Oct. 28 paper.

My first inclination was to dismiss his views on the grounds that he is a "has been."

However, upon further reflection it occurred to me that he can't be a "has been" if he "never was."

Forgy sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1987, but then withdrew from the race.

In 1991 he lost the Republican primary to Larry Hopkins.

He ran for governor again in 1995, but was defeated in the general election by Democrat Paul E. Patton. He then ran unsuccessfully for the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1999.

As you can see, Forgy is definitely not a "has been" since he "never was."

James L. Avritt Sr.


Veterans Day history, significance

Throughout the United States, Nov. 11 has become a special day. "On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918," World War I came to an end on the western front when the Armistice was signed by the Allies and Germany at Compiegne, France.

For 20 years, the day was known as Armistice Day, and it was observed as a special day by presidential proclamation.

Then, on May 13, 1938, an Act of Congress made the 11th of November a legal holiday, and it was to be "a day dedicated to the cause of peace and thereafter celebrated as Armistice Day." Then, on June 1, 1954, by an Act of Congress that was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is more than a legal holiday that gives workers a day of leisure. On this day, a grateful nation pauses to honor those loyal and brave men and women who served their country in some branch of our nation's military service.

In times of crises, some of those individuals were placed in harm's way to defend "the land of the free and the home of the brave" and preserve the cherished freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, freedom to bear arms, and the freedom of religion — that are granted to every citizen of this land by the Constitution that was adopted on Sept. 17, 1787.

Howard Coop


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