Ky. leading on health care; keep moving forward
Kentucky is in the national spotlight as a leader among states. Amazing.
Gov. Steve Beshear's rapid action to establish Kentucky's own health care system, Kynect, under the Affordable Care Act, finds our state with one of the largest early enrollments.
Beshear took on politicized religious organizations and right-wing playbook political puppets, including Kentucky's GOP congressional delegation, telling them to "get out of the way" so he could take care of his people's health.
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Kentucky's Tea Partiers — Reps. Andy Barr and Tom Massie and Sen. Rand Paul — were last seen voting to bring down the country via government shutdown and possible debt default.
Re-election campaigner Sen. Mitch McConnell switched between "convenient compromiser" and cover provided by Ron and Rand Paul's Teavangelical Libertarian organization.
This latest manufactured crisis cost $24 billion and 900,000 jobs, damaged our international reputation and weakened future fiscal confidence.
Kentucky has a rare opportunity to leap forward, leaving behind a national image shared with Texas as the reddest of red states.
In upcoming elections, Kentuckians need to join a new American center which aims to remove the blight of evidence-free, hate-filled ideological obstructionism.
Let's advocate for those who know how to compromise and gain a consensus. Take a look at the bipartisan Senate women who drafted the initial proposal to end the power-hungry madness.
Frankly, it's past time to recognize that a white male culture leads U.S. institutions.
The result: often discriminatory, power-obsessed behavior.
Consider this headline: "Save the world: Elect a woman."
Sen. Mitch McConnell has shown little concern for women.
McConnell voted nay on Senate Bill 1801, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Ledbetter was paid thousands less than her male counterparts doing the same job.
Because she did not learn of this until years after retirement and her claim was dismissed due to a statute of limitations, SB 1801 addressed that problem.
McConnell's assault on women continued by voting nay on SB 3772 (Paycheck Fairness Act).
This act was designed to address the inequality of workplace pay. Women receive about 78 percent what men do, with the pay disparity getting larger with duration of employment and race.
McConnell voted nay twice (SB 1925 and 47) to fund the reauthorization for the Violence Against Women Act.
Funded since 1994, it addresses violence against women through training, education, research and development of policies that investigate and prosecute it.
It supports state and local programs on sexual assault, date rape and stalking.
McConnell voted nay on Senate Amendment 2588, which prohibits funding to federal contractors who force employees to settle claims of sexual assault or harassment through arbitration as a condition of employment.
It arose after a woman sued an engineering and construction firm following her gang rape and confinement to a shipping container while the firm tampered with her rape evidence kit.
When she sued, the firm demanded dismissal of her case stating she was subject to arbitration as a condition of employment.
With people like this representing Kentucky's women, it seems we have our own Taliban in Congress.
Kudos for trail, signs
Special thanks are due to responsible parties who have made two improvements to the Lexington community.
First, I have been pleased with the second-phase addition to the Brighton East Rail Trail. The paved extension is a great walking and biking trail that really adds to the community. I can leave my home in Andover and complete a 10-mile bike ride without having to use more dangerous or congested streets.
A second improvement is the new illuminated street signs that are appearing around the city. Easy to read, especially at night, they make it easy for those who may be unfamiliar with an area.
If you have ever been to a city with poorly designed street signs or no signs at all, you can really appreciate the ones we have. Someone needs to be thanked.
They say that bad things happen in threes, but why not good things? All we need to make it a threesome is for someone to remove the dangerous traffic islands on Pleasant Ridge Drive in the neighborhood near the park.
There are other alternatives to make the area safer, especially since the trail expansion will encourage more bike riders.
Keep up the good work.
Throw them all out
We, the people, should for once exercise our rights and vote out all the people in office, both Republican and Democrats, in the Senate and House of Representatives and start anew.
We can make our voices heard. Let's stop complaining and actually do something about it.
We can make a difference.
My husband and I enjoy reading the Family Circus cartoon. However, we were appalled at the incorrect English in the caption of the Oct. 11 cartoon: "Just so you know, if your too sick to go to school, Mommy's gonna say your too sick to watch TV."
This cartoon is nationally distributed and surely has the responsibility of using correct English and not contributing to the dumbing down of the language.
I would assume that whoever presented this for syndication would have known that the proper spelling is the contraction "you're" for the words you are.
Blame the Corps
Regarding Walter Tunis' review of Allen Toussaint's Songbook.
The article's first sentence, "In the wake of the floods triggered by Hurricane Katrina that ravaged his New Orleans homeland, Allen Toussaint moved to New York City," is incorrect and should read as follows:
"In the wake of the floods triggered by the failure of levees and floodwalls that were designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that ravaged his New Orleans homeland, Allen Toussaint moved to New York City."
This is a well-documented and proven fact. For further edification, I would direct you to the following: www.katrinacase.com.
I am indeed thankful that I am not reading "that version" of the Bible that spews such anger, fear and hatred. Mine expects me to care for the "least of these" by giving food, clothing and shelter and commands that I love others unconditionally. When given the choice to act humanely — we should err on the side of compassion.
How does a state get away with not pursing child support from a mother whose child is on food stamps?
Yet, that same state will back another state in pursuing the father for back child support who has raised the child on his own for seven years.
As a single father, I have watched fathers dragged into courts but nothing can be done when it shows a woman being a deadbeat.
Exactly how is a "common-sense" gun law defined?
Is it a law to teach commo sense and responsibility? Is it a law to gather up and destroy every gun in America? That is the aim of the anti-gun groups, although quite impossible.
Never mind that responsible people have their rights trampled in the process, and that the Constitution is defiled.
Please Big Daddy in Washington, feed, clothe, house, protect me and my children, I haven't the ability or will to do it myself.
If you need money to do this, easy, take it from the rich who were responsible (foolish?) enough to work, invest, save, in order to take care of their families.
How did we get to the point that we believe all solutions should come from government and that the individual has no responsibility? Progressive liberal politicians love people who are dependent upon them, guaranteed votes.
I fear the U.S.A. has seen its best days.
Ain't this a great country? Not enough money for home-care providers or for health care for vets. We can't build bridges with tolls. Congress gets paid for nothing. We have millions for Egypt, Israel and whoever else has their hands out. But we can certainly grease those palms.
C. J. Fernandez
Barr took right stand
As a constituent of the 6th District, I strongly disagree with the biased Oct. 18 editorial about Rep. Andy Barr's no vote on reopening the government.
The editorial said Barr was overlooking his constituents to keep his Tea Party backing.
Barr's vote was very in line with how I would hope he would represent me. The editorial only mentioned the negatives associated with the government shutdown.
The fact is that Washington is spending more money than they know how to regulate and by continuing this spending they are only creating a larger problem for the next generation.
While the government shutdown was not a good thing for our country, it at least brought more light to the severity of the economic trouble that this nation is going to run into.
As a member of a younger generation, I am proud of how my congressman voted and am glad that he is not being shortsighted but is looking for a long-term solution.
In the future before assuming the role as the spokesperson for the constituents of the 6th District you should ask them what their real opinions are, because I support Barr.
The writer of an Oct. 17 letter promoting "unrestricted free-market economics" must be completely blinded by his rose-colored rearview mirror. Here are a few results of that kind of economics:
■ Bernie Madoff's scheme.
■ Credit default swaps facilitated by robo-signing.
■ Enron executives' fraud, the savings and loan scandal.
■ The creation of trusts in the late 1800s broken up by President Theodore Roosevelt.
■ And, one of the worst, the slave trade that flourished during the early years of our country.
In the latter, European free enterprisers and others profited by sending their ships to Africa and acquired humans there to be sold in the new world.
And just in case you think the Civil War events eliminated slavery in our nation you should read the column by the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof, which ran Oct. 16 in this paper, about modern sex worker slavery.
What works is thoughtful, experience-informed, alert, adaptable, promptly enforced, fair government-regulated and often subsidized not-too-free market economics.
One more thought: How well will our country do with free-market economics selection of our public officials as the Supreme Court seems to be allowing?