Obama's midterm losses result of his own governing
I've heard of psychobabble before, but the Nov. 7 column by Marshall Ganz tops them all.
The Harvard University lecturer bases President Barack Obama's fall from grace to his being "transactional" instead of "transformational." Say what? Obama's problems are a lot easier to explain without resorting to trendy analysis.
He arrived on the scene in a grand Hollywood production. We knew more about our local dogcatcher than we knew about him. To that extent, the major news media shirked their duty (probably intentionally) by not keeping the public informed.
He gave grand speeches. His would be the most transparent administration in history. No back-room deals. No new laws enacted without congressional debates conducted on C-SPAN. New laws would be posted on the Internet for five days before a vote. None of this happened.
For "Obamacare," the worst kind of back-room deals took place to secure senatorial votes. We had the "Louisiana purchase" for Sen. Mary Landrieu's vote and the Nebraska fiasco for Sen. Ben Nelson's vote.
There was no Internet posting. Not only did we not know what was in it, Congress as a whole didn't know. And if that weren't enough, he had to resort to the "nuclear option" to get it passed.
Well. we have seen this man in action for 18 months and we now know who he is. Frankly, his incompetence is showing.
That's why he and his party got "shellacked" in this last election. It had nothing to do with transactional instead of transformational — whatever that means.
J. L. Lombardo
Don't blame wealthy
Syndicated writer Nicholas Kristof's Nov. 9 column, "Income inequality in America rivals any banana republic," is so ludicrous in content and dangerous in its liberalism I scarcely know where to begin.
First, I encourage any sane and educated person to investigate Panama, Guatemala or Costa Rica over the last 75 years to see what a real banana republic looks like.
Observe the oppressive leadership, opulence of the "elected" few and total chaos in utilities and sanitation and then tell me if the U.S. in any way resembles this scenario.
Second, painting the rich as greedy and uncaring has long since worn thin in political dialogue. Kristof, aching to bash Republicans and Tea Party adherents, quotes ivory tower pundits from Cornell and Vanderbilt universities to conclude "the richest rake in their winnings and buy even bigger mansions and fancier cars."
What they leave out are statistics showing the tremendous increase in hiring by large corporations as tax breaks pave the way for expansion and innovation.
What they leave out are the millions in charity our wealthiest give every year to hospitals and worthy causes. And even if an evil rich person wanted a bigger car, it's none of Kristof's business.
His burning, smoldering passion to implement a Marxist redistribution of wealth has cannibalized his grip on reality.
To prosper is the American dream and no liberal president, journalist or congressman should have a say-so in how much to how many.
John D. Mackey
Matter of timing
If Sen.-elect Rand Paul plans to introduce a balanced federal budget upon taking office in January, as he stated on ABC's This Week (and was reported in the Nov. 8 Herald-Leader), he needs to be reminded that the federal budget process doesn't even kick off until February, when the president submits a proposed budget.
Then, during the spring, the U.S. House and Senate hold hearings to develop a budget resolution after which there is budget reconciliation — all of which takes many months leading up to the next fiscal year which begins on October 1, 2011.
Repeal's heavy costs
Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen.-elect Rand Paul vow to repeal the health care legislation passed last year.
If successful, according to Kentucky Voices for Health, the following numbers of our citizens will be deprived of these benefits from 2010 to 2020:
■ Health plans prohibited from denying coverage to persons with pre-existing health conditions: 920,000.
■ Medicaid eligibility expansion to 133 percent of federal poverty level: 261,000.
■ Tax credits for families to purchase heath insurance: 221,000 families.
■ Elimination of Medicare donut hole: 129,000.
■ Support for early retirees: 63,200.
■ Tax credits for small business to purchase coverage for employees: 51,500 businesses.
■ Coverage of young adults until age 26 on parent's health insurance: 16,800.
It is mystifying why the Herald-Leader ran a front-page story on how the homosexuality of Jim Gray was not an issue in the mayoral election.
Exactly what is the story here? Is there some award given to the third-largest city in America to have an openly gay mayor?
It would seem the homosexual community would celebrate the fact that a candidate would be elected without regard to sexual orientation.
But the dichotomy is that the gay-rights movement is all about exposing their sexual preferences in the hope of securing societal blessing.
Both candidates should be commended for leaving the topic off the table. The Herald-Leader should follow their examples.
Voting for polarization
I don't get it. Voters came away from the election indicating they wanted fiscal accountability, improved economy and politicians who would work together and produce results.
But in actuality, they threw out moderate Republicans in 2008, moderate Democrats in 2010, and now have a Congress more polarized than previously, with less incentive to work together because their base will likely re-elect them.
Regrettably, I'm convinced many politicians are only concerned about the next political cycle and less concerned about doing anything in the national interest.
Our Twitter and fast-food society needs to recognize that short-term political strategies rarely produce desirable results when the two parties can't get along or compromise.
Frustrated, not stingy
I am a member of the Baby Boom generation.
I am sick and tired of hearing the old sing-song, echoed in a Nov. 7 letter, that if you complain about taxes, you don't want your grandchildren's schools to be better or want to support police or fire departments.
I'm sick of being told we are fighting a war on two fronts, our city infrastructures are crumbling and our school systems fail our children. Sick of hearing our teachers are not paid well enough.
If the taxes we currently pay were used correctly, we would be ahead of the world in all these areas.
I'm sick of people telling me Social Security is an entitlement. We are mandated to pay into Social Security, so I don't feel a bit bad about drawing some of the money I have paid into the system since I was 15 ½ years old.
I have been paying into Medicare since it started. My employer will dump me off my health care plan when I turn 65 so I have no choice but to use it.
Washington is wasting the money we send them. Before anyone tells me how stingy and selfish Boomers are, they should tell Washington to start spending tax dollars on the needs of our children, our troops, our city infrastructures, our teachers, our fire and police forces.
We aren't stingy and we aren't stealing. We are just sick and tired of Washington spending money on bridges to nowhere.
Vivian A. Mitchell
Appreciate all the bands
In response to the Nov. 7 letter from a band parent: Congratulations to you and the Dunbar High School marching band for winning the 5A division of the state competition this year.
As a former Lafayette High School band parent, I well know the blood, sweat and tears that go into producing an award-winning show.
However, it is important to remember that every band — regardless of size, division or geographic location — toils endlessly and to the best of its ability. That is a far more impressive achievement than the size of a newspaper picture.
The letter writer's attitude is what makes it hard for the kids to enjoy their success — be it first, second, or 10th place.
Are you any less proud of your children if they don't win? Have you considered that such a negative attitude can strip the kids of the pride they feel just for participating?
If you perceive the size of a photograph to be a slight to your victory, you are indeed missing the point, and the spirit, of the competition entirely.
Expanding ties to China
On Nov. 6, we attended the Inaugural Ceremony and Concert for the new Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky.
We learned that the Confucius Institute will have many programs on Chinese language, Chinese culture, Chinese history, Chinese art, and provide leadership, support and coordination for Chinese language programs in K-12 schools.
This is a brilliant move, and looks far ahead to the future as the United States and China, the last two remaining superpowers, must inevitably grow together. We have much to learn from and about China, and much to share with them about the U.S.
The establishment of the Confucius Institute at UK will ensure that Kentucky, and Lexington in particular, are at the forefront of improving understanding between out two countries.
The concert was a diverse and novel blend of Chinese and American music, and well received. Have you ever heard a duet by gu-zheng (an instrument in the zither family) and tuba? This opened our eyes and our ears.