Obama joins in prostitution of American politics
When President Barack Obama assumed office in 2009, there was hope that he would drive the plutocrats out of government and restore our democracy.
Alas, it was not to be.
The 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision confirmed that American democracy was up for sale, and there has been no shortage of buyers and sellers across the political spectrum.
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Ever the pragmatist, Obama is now seeking money from Wall Street and corporate America for his own re-election super PAC, Priorities USA Action.
In his book Working, Studs Terkel eloquently revealed the sadness of a life in prostitution. The political representatives of our once proud and great nation have now entered fully into the oldest profession on Earth, selling themselves and our democracy for money and power.
To restore America, we must put political pimps for both parties out of work by ending the private bankrolling of public office, we must reaffirm that corporations are not people (Mitt Romney notwithstanding), and we must make it clear that our government works for people, not money, and that our democracy is not for sale.
I am amazed at the convoluted reasons offered by readers as to why Barack Obama is unfit to be president, the latest example being Feb. 21, when a letter writer assailed Obama as being the affirmative action president because he was admitted to Columbia and Harvard under affirmative-action admission programs.
Unfortunately, race is the prism through which this writer judges the world. His premise is, if he's black, he's unqualified.
The writer denounces affirmative action programs as unconstitutional and discriminatory. Untrue. Since Bakke in 1978, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the affirmative action admissions policies, the most recent decision being Grutter vs. Bollinger in 2003.
The discriminatory aspect of the argument is equally flawed because it focuses solely on minorities while overlooking legacy admissions that benefit whites. A legacy secures admission to a university for a child if a parent attended that university.
Remember George W. Bush and Yale. Merely because mommy or daddy attended a certain university does not impart the parent's merit to their child to justify the child's admission to that same university.
Those calling for abolishing affirmative action never extend that same call to end legacy admissions. As long as legacy admissions exist, affirmative-action admissions must also exist to balance the playing field.
Moreover, after being afforded an opportunity, what did that individual do with that opportunity? Bush was an embarrassment every time he spoke. Obama is not.
James F. Wisniewski
Praise for Paul
We write in praise of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. He is always working to attain a balanced budget and to control spending. Paul understands that the debt crisis is the greatest threat to our national security.
We also appreciate the senator for trying to get the Environmental Protection Agency under control. The EPA's war on coal is a national disgrace.
As we are quick to criticize the bad performances of our elected officials, we should be equally quick to praise good efforts.
Let's give credit where credit is due and take time to thank Paul.
Nick and Christy Bell
Keep the pact
I support retired firefighter Lt. Rock Vance's position ("City should keep its pact with firefighters," Feb. 20). The city's fire and police personnel have kept their end of the pact to protect and serve the citizens of Lexington. It's time for the city to do the same.
Police and fire service employees face unique challenges — higher instances of divorce, suicide, work-related injury, depression and anxiety, to name a few. These are side effects of living a life working long unappreciated hours on the front line of nightmarish situations.
It's not asking too much for the city to make good on its promises and support the fire and police personnel the way it promised it would. It's the very least this city could do.
Help for uninsured
A reader identified himself as one of Kentucky's chronic uninsured in a Feb. 17 letter. He was not only without health insurance, but had been "turned down" when he applied for coverage.
He allowed that his pets had better health care than he, due to the government "chokehold" with which doctors are burdened. This government intrusion was the cause of his suffering.
As a health insurance broker, I can assure this reader that he can obtain insurance in Kentucky. He is a resident, uninsured and has been denied coverage, all of which makes him eligible for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
The PCIP allows immediate coverage with no pre-existing conditions. Premiums are unisex rates from $148 to $315 per month. Any competent insurance broker can enroll members. I do every week.
And, by the way, it is a government plan. Part of the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as "Obamacare" which some would repeal. Health insurers did not volunteer to offer this coverage without penalizing those with uninsurable pre-existing conditions; an act of Congress did. Long may it serve.
Giving 200 percent
On the Today show recently, Whitney Houston's godmother said, "We should be nicer to entertainers because when they get on stage they give 200 percent."
Why single out entertainers? What about teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, clerks?
I was having a frustrating day, trying to finish up many annoying little tasks around the house. On my third trip to Lowe's for the weekend, I was not in the best of moods. As frustrated as I was, I did try not to show it.
I said the perfunctory: "Hello, how are you?" to the gentleman in the parts department.
He replied, "I am wonderful, thanks for asking. And how are you this glorious day?"
"Not quite that good, but I'm working on it." I tried to smile. His attitude began to change my day.
He walked me to the location of the pesky little hook I needed. I went to check out feeling a little better about my project, the perfectly sized hook in hand.
The young lady at the checkout was pleasant. As I was leaving, she handed me my bag, "You be sure and have a great day." Wow.
I turned back to her and said, "Thank you, I will." And I did.
These lovely people didn't have to make the effort to make me feel extra special or connected, but they did. They gave 200 percent, too. It's harder and it's an attitude. Let's do it and appreciate it when others do. Let's be nicer to everyone.
GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a strange understanding of the Bible. Isn't it the Bible that says that we are the stewards of the Earth? Isn't it the Bible that says we should care about the poor, the oppressed, those who can't take care of themselves? Isn't it the Bible that teaches us that Jesus welcomed all?