Bowing to Norquist sure to keep debt issue unsolved
I continue to see the name Grover Norquist referenced as some kind of conservative sage. For example, all six of the Republican supercommittee members have signed Norquist's no-tax pledge which, of course, ensures gridlock in any committee negotiations. Other than being identified as the head of Americans for Tax Reform, I have not seen enough media exploration into who he is or what he stands for.
Norquist cleared that up in two sentences: "I don't want to abolish government. I just want to reduce it to a size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Heady thoughts.
Americans for Tax Reform, or Norquist to be precise, receives its funding from the Bradley Foundation (Allen-Bradley Fortune), various Scaife Foundations (Mellon Fortune), the Koch Brothers (Georgia Pacific), JM Foundations (Adolph Coors fortune), the John M. Olin Foundation (Olin Chemical), R. J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris and the Tobacco Institute.
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The tobacco companies' interests are fairly obvious, but the foundations are all supporters of extreme conservative initiatives, most of which revolve around low taxes for corporations and individuals, no inheritance taxes and limited social services. The purpose, clearly, is to protect the vast fortunes built up by wealthy individuals and families. Norquist makes a good living serving their interests.
Another of Norquist's quotes: "A farmer on subsidies is part welfare bum, whereas a free-market farmer is a small businessman with a gun."
I wonder if presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann realizes Norquist sees her as "part welfare bum."
Timothy J. Underwood
Stamp out hunger
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest numbers on the state of hunger in America. I'm saddened by the results. The new figures show that 16 million kids faced hunger in 2010. That's one in five kids nationwide. With high unemployment and food and gas prices on the rise, millions of families — many in our own community — are struggling to make ends meet and our children are suffering the terrible consequences.
Our national food and nutrition programs for kids, such as the School Breakfast Program, can be the difference between empty stomachs and good health. However, these programs need to reach more of our children at risk of hunger. We all have a stake in ensuring our children have enough to eat in order to learn, grow and thrive, which is why I support Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign. They are working to connect kids at risk of hunger with programs that will keep them nourished. I encourage you to take the No Kid Hungry pledge and take part in the great work being done to end childhood hunger by visiting Strength.org.
Fighting for Islam?
Islam hijacked? Is Raeed Tayeh ("Challenging decade for Muslim-Americans," Sept. 11) kidding?
As sensitive as Muslims are to insult they would have never allowed someone to "hijack" their religion. Remember the fiasco in which a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban caused riots throughout the Muslim world? Remember when the mere threat of burning the Quran caused Muslims to riot and kill non-Muslims in Muslim countries.
Wow, if they get this agitated over such minuscule insults of their religion, you would think they would really be fighting fiercely to stop anyone from committing acts of violence that contravened the beliefs of Islam. But many Muslims are supporting the Islamic terrorist in every way they can, such as charities that collect money for the families of victims of violence in the Middle East but actually funnel money to terrorists.
Does that sound as if Muslims really think their religion has been hijacked? I don't think so. It is simply tripe for the consumption of the naive non-Muslims.
In Islamic countries it is forbidden to speak against Mohammed or Islam. It is their objective to enforce that injunction in all non-Muslim countries.
Becoming informed will be the path to the truth. Read Brigitte Gabriel's Because They Hate and Robert Spenser's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). Go online for "The Skeptic's Annotated Quran." Draw your own conclusions.
Come to the rescue
I think there is a message for Congress from the incident in Utah, where a young motorcyclist was trapped under a burning car.
The group of strangers who came together to save his life did not have a political agenda. Although they came from different walks of life, there were no arguments or endless debates. They just saw what needed to be done and worked together to save a life.
Wouldn't it be nice if Congress could take a lesson from these brave Americans, and put aside their political differences long enough to save our country?
Reject GOP policies
The greatest projects in our history were built at the worst economic period in the 20th century. It seems that now we have built the richest corporations in the world with Republican policies. Corporations have more than $2 trillion in cash. Corporations have shipped 2.4 million jobs overseas.
During the same time period we lost 2.9 million jobs. The unions took the blame for the jobs lost. Now that we no longer have a viable union force in America and have decimated the middle class, the right wing targets clean air, clean water, public workers, infrastructure, science, etc.
These are the things that make America great. What are you Americans thinking, if at all, when you vote Republican?
Save our country. Abort the Republican Party and its distortions and lies. Make America great again for all, not just the 1 percent.
Look who's talking
I am incredulous as to why Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was being shuttled back and forth across the Atlantic to meetings with European Union finance ministers.
This is the same man who — while giving Europeans advice about how to handle their burgeoning debt and fiscal crises — has seen our own credit-rating cut after piling on trillions of fresh debt and the value of the U.S. dollar hit new lows against foreign currencies under his watch.
He might have Barack Obama's ear, but should we be surprised if the Europeans plugged their own when Geithner spoke?
No trickling down
I'm certainly no economist, but I am reminded of the Mother Goose rhyme:
"Little drops of water/Little grains of sand,
"Make the mighty ocean/ And the pleasant land."
If fewer people these days can afford to buy "little drops of water and little grains of sand" because they often have to choose between necessities such as food and medicine, there will be fewer and fewer "little drops of water and little grains of sand" to help build the economy.
How about creating more jobs to help the less fortunate? Might even be a way to help the economy recover.