LoBiondo Facts

U.S. Representative Frank LoBiondo has painted himself as a moderate. Our mission is to educate the public about his arch conservative voting record and to unseat him in 2006. Our website can be found at www.cpr4nj.org.

Location: New Jersey, United States

Citizens for Progressive Representation (CPR) is a nonprofit grassroots organization, founded in New Jersey, with a mission to bring truth to politics, to remove targeted incumbents from office, and to elect progressive and socially responsible candidates. Our website is located at www.cpr4nj.org.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Act on conscience

If the general consensus is that the addition of 20,000 more troops will not achieve our objective, what can we hope to expect from the force now in Iraq? Our presence is only serving to inflame and intensify the insurgency. We must accept the fact that our military can play no part in determining Iraq's future. The diplomatic approach and reconciliation of differences among the contending factions are the only hopes for peace. Congress must end its face-saving posturing and act on its conscience. It must take positive steps to end this senseless sacrifice of American lives. Nonbinding resolutions are not going to end this president's intransigency. Congress must demand that the president withdraw our forces as required under the War Empowerment Act of 1973. It must withhold all funds for this war except for those required to ensure the safe return of our troops. Leonard Satz, Blackwood - Courier Post, February 12, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

In the end, Bush does as he pleases

We, the free American people, our moral religious preachers, our intelligent schools and universities, our smart independent mass media, our courageous Democratic Congress, and our brilliant Republican president have reached an amicable working arrangement. We, the people, can believe whatever we want to believe. Our preachers can preach whatever they want to preach. Our schools and universities can teach whatever they want to teach. Our mass media can broadcast, or propagate, whatever they want. Our congressmen can say whatever they want to say — and our president will do whatever he wants to do. Ali Wassil, Atlantic City - Atlantic City Press, February 11, 2007

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Support bill

President Bush is sending our troops to Iraq knowing they will probably die. They are being sent into the middle of a civil war with both sides attacking them. Bush has fired all those who have disagreed with his policies. Call, write or e-mail your senators and representatives and ask them to support HR508, the Bring the Troops Home and Iraqi Restoration Act of 2007, introduced by U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif. The act calls for a "no" vote on supplemental appropriations that continue to fund the war on Iraq. Block troop escalation. Work toward speedy withdrawal of troops and no permanent bases in Iraq. Return control of resources and economic affairs to the Iraqi people. One definition of stupidity is to do the same thing over and over with the same results. It seems that this administration never learns from its mistakes and doesn't care how many people die. Noel Maley, Southampton - Courier Post, February 10, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

Investigate reasons why Bush invaded Iraq

A recent Harris poll asked Americans if they favored investigating President Bush's reasons for invading Iraq. Fifty-six percent said yes. Given the evidence of Bush's impeachable offenses, dozens of cities and state legislatures have introduced impeachment resolutions. House Resolution 635 would create a committee to investigate the manipulation of information during the lead-up to and execution of the war in Iraq. It's necessary because the administration rebuffs Congressional inquiries. Bush ignores any statute that conflicts with "his" interpretation of the Constitution; in five years, he's added "signing statements" to more than 750 bills passed by Congress, more than five times the number Clinton signed in the eight years of his administration. On Jan. 18, Bush issued amendments to Executive Order 12866 that would increase his control of federal agencies that protect our privacy, health, safety, civil rights and the environment. Congress grants the civil servants in those agencies authority to interpret laws and develop regulations. This latest move takes power from agency experts and gives it to political appointees. I abhor impeachment. Clinton's impeachment, supported by only 28 percent of Americans, led to a government standstill and we don't need such a distraction. Nevertheless, Bush must answer for the damage he has done in Iraq and to America. We've lost about 3,100 of our men and women and spent tens of billions of dollars, while the president condones torture, cover-ups, and illegal surveillance. How devastating it is to realize that we have twice elected a man who places himself above both the rule of law and our Constitution. If he is not held accountable, what's to restrain the next president from taking on the mantel of the imperial presidency and believing that he or she is also above the law? Bettie J. Reina, Milmay - Daily Journal, February 9, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Big brother

I'm beginning to worry about where America is headed. As an older citizen, I value my rights and freedom in this country, a democracy. My concern is that sometimes our government can look at our private mail without a warrant, listen in on our phone conversations, track us through the Internet, burst into my house any time, day or night, and not only give me a speeding ticket, but also search my vehicle. I have nothing to hide, but that is not the problem. My rights are being violated. Generally, all of the aforementioned is in the guise of Big Brother is protecting me. Not too many years ago, we thought a country such as the Soviet Union, with its KGB secret police, could do those things. We believed it was wrong because we didn't do it. We were the good guys and they were the bad guys. It seems to me if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. It's like a crack in the sidewalk, it only gets wider. As Alexis de Tocqueville said in Democracy in America, too much power can lead to tyranny. I wonder how much longer I can express my freedom of speech to the people before some parts of this right are taken away. Richard P. Stoetzer, Southampton - Courier Post, February 6, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

Student debt

On behalf of more than 7,000 students I represent at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, I would like to thank U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, D-Haddon Heights, for voting for H.R. 5, the College Student Relief Act of 2007. Deep student debt squeezes graduates out of public interest careers and deters those eligible for college from pursuing a degree. At Stockton, 64 percent of the student body carries loan debt. On average, it is $15,875, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. The House of Representatives passed an interest rate cut that will save students going to Stockton $2,330 starting in 2007 who take out loans and $4,510 for students in 2011 over the life of their loan. Andrews should be commended for voting to make college more affordable in Pomona and throughout the nation. Andrew Klimkowski, Student Trustee Board of Trustees, Richard Stockton College, Pomona - Courier Post, February 5, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cut war funding, bring the troops home

The president has urged Congress to give his new war strategy a chance. In terms of body bags, Mr. President, how do you define “chance”? Meanwhile, intimidated by “support the troops” rhetoric, disingenuous Democrats snipe at the president for political gain, while refusing to exercise their constitutional budgetary powers and responsibilities to end the debacle. The best support for our troops would be to get them out of that hellhole as soon as possible. Anti-war legislators with the courage of their convictions should limit funding to that amount necessary to effectuate a timely and orderly withdrawal. Richard Cooper, Ventnor - Atlantic City Press, February 4, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Message sent

For the first time in my life, I doubt our country's wisdom in our commitment to our own nation's integrity and survival. We were bewildered and horrified by the horrendous events that have transpired in our once peaceful nation. We were shocked by 9/11. All of us remember those moments when we learned the terrible news and revenge seemed the natural recourse. America "responded" and we embarked on a mission to right a wrong. I will credit the capture of Saddam Hussein. But why remain in the Middle East attempting to get a foreign country "under control?" We sent a loud and clear message in the November elections about our stance on remaining in Iraq. Incredibly, President Bush has responded to our plea by sending more troops. Our resources are being squandered by a pathetic, self-serving government. One of those potential troops is our daughter, Kirsten Knapp, 19, who is proudly completing basic training, proudly serving the U.S. Army and proudly looking forward to serving our nation. Kirsten will be eligible for deployment this summer and that possibility naturally terrifies me. But it's particularly heart-wrenching because these missions aren't representative of our nation's choice and these actions are needlessly endangering our brave men and women. Jennifer Knapp, Magnolia - Courier Post, February 3, 2007

Money misspent

Once again President Bush is going before Congress to ask for $10.6 billion to rebuild Afghanistan and strengthen its government. Meanwhile, we are missing the picture at home and the struggles that Americans face every day. If Bush asked Congress to pass a bill for the same amount for our school system, we could send more than 100,000 worthy young adults to college for four years at $20,000 per year. Who would have the nerve to reject that bill? Social Security is failing. By the time I am old enough to retire, it could cease to exist. Our health-care system is in poor standing. There are so many pressing issues in our own country and we are in a budget deficit. I am asking Congress to do something good for our country for a change. Take this proposal and give the money back to our country. As much as it pains me to say this, America is failing. We are no longer leaders by example. We have become a vicious nation that, to the rest of the world, looks like a bully. Before looking outward to fix the world's problems, we need to fix what is wrong with ourselves and our country. Joseph Nelson, Mount Ephraim - Courier Post, February 3, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Three words for President Bush:resign or impeach

I always thought the government was for the people and by the people. How can this be? Bush tells us it is his way or no way. We will stay the course and send 21,000 more troops to Iraq. Billions of more dollars will be sent to Iraq for a senseless war that, sorry to say, we are not winning. More than 3,000 men and women have been killed and 25,000 wounded. For what? No weapons of mass destruction were ever found. Saddam Hussein didn't have anything to do with 9/11 and the list goes on. When will we wise up and demand this man resign or be impeached? When President Clinton lied about his affair, we were ready to impeach him. Why? Because he lied. It was a lie that hurt him and his family, not us. Bush lies constantly to the American people and it's like no one cares. How many more men and women have to die or get wounded before we wake up to the fact that we do not belong in Iraq. All this war has done is cause the death of many, the wounding of many and the sending of billions of taxpayers' dollars to Iraq. How about helping the people here in the United States with billions of dollars? We had better do something soon or we'll be the poorest country in the world. God bless the men and women over in Iraq fighting a senseless war and God help them. It's time for Bush to go. June Shinn, Bellmawr - Courier Post, February 2, 2007

Let's get out of Iraq's civil war

In her Jan. 19 column regarding her recent trip to Iraq, Michelle Malkin wrote, “We are fighting a war of the fleas — not just Sunni terrorists and Shiite death squads, but multiple home-grown and foreign operators, street gangs, organized crime and freelance jihadis conducting ambushes, extrajudicial killings, sectarian attacks, vehicle bombings and sabotage against American coalition and Iraqi forces.” Isn't this is what is commonly described as a civil war? What further good can we accomplish there, save for more American GIs brought home in boxes? Haven't we accomplished all that we could by overthrowing Saddam Hussein and his bloody cohorts? What is next on our agenda, besides taking over their oilfields? Establish a democracy? It's never going to happen in that unstable part of the world. Didn't we learn our lesson in Vietnam? There are still grieving wives and parents lamenting that fiasco. Let's give serious thought to the new Congress' agenda and save face while we still can. Chick DeCicco, Hammonton - Atlantic City Press, Febrary 2, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I am 85 years old and President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are the worst president and vice president in my lifetime. How can any American have respect for their morality and judgment about a unilateral Iraq war begun to win an election and to enrich Republican loyalists. The war has caused the death of more than 3,000 Americans and the wounding of more than 20,000. That is more than was lost on 9/11. Now, in spite of the opposition, they are going to throw another 21,000 into the Iraq meat grinder. This from two spineless leaders who did not serve one day in the active military. This is an enlargement of "the stay the course" philosophy to cover up the fraud, waste and mismanagement of Bush's Iraq blunder. The best thing Bush and Cheney could do for the country is resign. Walter Gollub, Voorhees - Courier Post, February 1, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What democarcy?

The Bush administration keeps telling us that the sacrifices of our military personnel have resulted in the establishment of democracy and freedom in Iraq. In light of recent events, I have to question this claim. Only a few months ago, the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lodged a strong complaint with the U.S. government for airstrikes on civilian targets without Iraqi consent. More recently, the U.S. military vetoed the Iraqi choice for a general to lead the Iraqi forces in a joint operation with U.S. troops. On Jan. 15, the Courier-Post reported that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had called for the release of five Iranians detained by the U.S. military, stating they were part of a legitimate diplomatic mission. He discounted American accusations that they belonged to the Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line military force. When duly elected officials are summarily overruled by the American occupation force in many important and vital issues, where is the free democracy? In spite of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's denial that it is a puppet government, her rhetoric is compromised by the facts. Anthony Seminara, Cherry Hill - Courier Post, January 31, 2007

No signs of peace

American troops should never have been sent to Iraq. The sending of additional troops is wrong because I believe the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds have a history of not being able to live in peace with each other. Perhaps, too, it might inflame them to think the Americans will be giving favors to one and not the other, encouraging the killing of Americans. Now that the Iraqi people have voted to have a democratic government, let them demonstrate how much they want peace by taking control. Elizabeth Rockefeller, Voorhees - Courier Post, January 31, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Andrews on the mark

I am thrilled that U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, D-Haddon Heights, has taken the voters of South Jersey seriously. Andrews has taken the lead and has come out against President Bush's call for an increase of American troops in Iraq. The Iraq war has gone on too long and we have paid a heavy price with our soldiers' lives on behalf of a country that refuses to do its part. I encourage Andrews to continue his opposition to an increase of soldiers, but to continue to support those who are already there. I pray that U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-Cliffside Park, and Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, follow the leadership Andrews has demonstrated on this issue. Juan R. Rodriguez, Camden - Courier Post, January 28, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

No shame

What more can be said about the Great Divider's, oops -- the Decider's ruinous, morale-busting call for additional troops to the inescapable black hole once known as Iraq? The commander in chief's demand for 21,000 additional troops and hundreds of millions more in scarce tax dollars is President Bush's final act of desperation. To quote from the Army-McCarthy hearings from the mid-'50s when Army attorney Joseph Welch addressed the infamous political witch hunter U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis.: "Until this moment, I have never really gauged your recklessness . . . have you no sense of decency." Well, has Bush no shame? How much longer must his Iraqi disaster and fatal judgments continue? How many more Americans, allies and Iraqis must die so he and his fellow chicken hawks, in the safety of the White House, may save what is left of his political fortunes and dubious heritage? Nancy R. Muccolini, Eastampton - Courier Post, January 25, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

War is good for profiteers

President Bush and his cohorts don't really care about what happens on the ground in Iraq; they care about what comes out of the ground. Iraq's oil justifies any means. What happens to Iraqi civilians and American soldiers caught up in the war is of no ultimate importance. Bush and his cohorts have won even if the surge fails and Iraq lapses into perpetual anarchy. They've won even if the whole region goes up in flames, because this will just mean more war, more profiteering, more fear and even more profiteering. The only way they can lose the Iraq war is if they are arrested and imprisoned for their war crimes. And we all know that's not going to happen. I say “no” to Bush's surge. Bring our soldiers home now. Joseph Gabisch, Egg Harbor Township - Atlantic City Press, January 22, 2007

Editorial right on Bush's surge

have my disagreements with The Press from time to time, but the Jan. 11 editorial, “A surge too far/Bush is wrong,” was right on the money. I could not agree with you more. While serving on the USS Intrepid in the late 1950s in the Mediterranean Sea, we were on standby for three days, with our aircraft armed with bombs. Our target was Lebanon. Twenty-four hours a day we waited for word to strike. When the word came, it was to stand down. We almost went to war, and the folks back home didn't even know it. Someone in Washington had enough sense to keep the United States out of that part of the world then. I understand we were looking for weapons of mass destruction, but when they were not found, we should have pulled out then, before more than 3,000 of our people were dead. Now here we go again, sending more troops into harm's way. For what? Oil? Or a president who does not know the history of that part of the world? Or who just can't say it's time to bring the troops home? Or who is poorly advised? Does President Bush not see what he has done to his own party? It's easy for old men to make war and send other people's kids to fight it. God bless them all, and may they come home soon. Anyway, nice job, Press of Atlantic City. James Keeping, Absecon - Atlantic City Press, January 22, 2007

Thanks, but we all know that more troops will die

It's bad enough that President Bush is requesting additional troops be deployed to Iraq; it's rather depressing that he had to stress the fact more servicemen and women will be sacrificing their lives. This, to me, is like adding insult to injury. It's insulting our intelligence by telling us that their lives will be sacrificed. We have enough intelligence to assume that much. It hurts twice as much to hear it as well as assuming it. Joan Hayden, Egg Harbor Township - Atlantic City Press, January 22, 2007

Ambrose wrong on war's critics

Jay Ambrose's Jan. 10 commentary, “Critics of a surge want to surrender,” has just about everything wrong, starting with the headline. Surrender is what you do when you are overwhelmed, facing certain death. It involves disarming, paying reparations and removal of the defeated government with a new one provided by the victor. Last I checked, we aren't mothballing our Navy, paying reparations to the Baathists, or changing our government to comply with the “victor's” demands. Iraqis have seen we didn't really bring democracy. We decided former Baathists couldn't be part of the new Iraq. We decided that Shiite clerics like Muqtada al-Sadr couldn't be part of the government. Only U.S. supporters need apply. Since the surge is so important and Ambrose supports it, I wonder why he is writing his column? Isn't there an Army recruitment office near him? Sacrifices still need to be made, and he could be one of them. The president has decided that the Iraqi insurgents need a few more targets. His belief in sacrifice reminds me of something Mark Twain said of charity. When asked if he was in favor of charity, Twain answered: “Is that giving or getting?” For the president, sacrifice is something that someone else does. Bob Filipczak, Linwood - Atlantic City Press, January 22, 2007

Bush supporter has head in sand

The writer of the Jan. 8 letter, “Bush and Ford in similar spots,” who said that President Bush was doing a fine job, must have his head in the sand. The No. 1 issue in the country is the Iraq war. Bush cannot explain what we are fighting for and what success means. This administration also has classified more information as secret than any previous administration. How about our civil rights? Reading our first-class mail, listening to our phone conversations. A lack of funds for our cities is causing police budgets to be cut; schools need repairs, equipment and new faculties. Global warming is of no concern to Bush; wages are low; corruption is high. Shall I go on, or should we just cover up in the sand completely? Alvin Washington, Atlantic City- Atlantic City Press, January 22, 2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Snow job

What President Bush is giving the American people is another snow job by pouring another 20,000 troops into Iraq. He unilaterally started the war and Vice President Dick Cheney joined in to give contracts to Republican donors, using other people's children to achieve their ends. Where are the Bush and Cheney children? This is the Bush-Cheney war. This surge is nothing more than a trickle and is doomed to failure because it is dependent on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's promise to rein in Shiite militias, which he has not done. We are caught in the middle of a civil war. Bush is asking the American people to believe in the tooth fairy. The only hope of the American people is for the new Congress to exercise control of American foreign policy. Walter Gollub, Voorhees - January 20, 2007


The recent provocations of Iran by the Bush administration should disturb us all. President Bush scared us into the Iraq quagmire with visions of mushroom clouds in the American heartland. Iran, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and other experts, is believed to be five to 10 years from having an atomic weapon. The recent arrest of Iranian diplomats in Iraq and the new deployment of a carrier strike force in the Gulf region are signs of this provocation. The planned deployment of Patriot missile batteries in Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) can only signify the looming air attack of Iran. Iran has a weak air force and its retaliatory efforts would be through ballistic missile strikes at our allies in the Gulf. Are Americans going to be steamrolled and conned into a larger quagmire in the Middle East? At what extraordinary price of blood and treasure? U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., is onto this diabolical scheme. "When you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here," he warned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "it's very, very dangerous." Contact your congressman and senators and demand they rein in the ongoing madness of this administration. Roy Lehman, Woolwich - January 20, 2007

Won't heed advice

After all the leaks coming out of President Bush's office recently, it is no surprise that he has decided to commit more troops toward quelling the violence in Baghdad. Bush can't seem to get it right. When he first attacked Iraq in 2003, he fired the general who advised the need for 300,000 troops to control the country when the existing security structure collapsed. He also ignored the fact that his father had 500,000 troops during the Gulf War at his disposal and he did not even dismantle the military or the national police structure. Now, Bush has apparently decided to rotate the commanders who recommended against sending more troops into Baghdad. He has already forgotten the lesson taught by the surge of troops inserted last fall to quell sectarian violence and succeeded only in escalating hostilities and bringing more Americans home in body bags. Worst of all, Bush has failed to heed our request loudly voiced in the last election that we no longer support his ill-conceived adventure in Iraq. The cost of American and Iraqi lives he is willing to expend is no longer acceptable. The nearly $400 billion spent so far and still counting could be better spent on domestic programs. Somebody should tell Bush that his track record as a "decider" is none too good and it is time he starts to pay more attention to those around him who seem to have a better grasp of reality than he does. Nick Reina, Milmay - Courier Post, January 20, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The behavior of this president is beyond words

Not only has he run up our national debt to frightening proportions, caused the worst deficit the country has ever had, ignored global warming, spent more than $300 billion on a pre-emptive war his administration maneuvered the country into, now he wants to compound the debacle by sending more troops into Iraq. When will it be clear to President Bush that a war against terror cannot be waged with a regular army? As good as our soldiers are, they are caught up in a civil struggle between opposing Iraqi factions, attacking each other in a non-stop torrent of violence. No army can effectively deal with house-to-house battles against an enemy that might be anyone they see on the street. A war in the byways of Baghdad is what we are in. Then why send even more troops? The only motive I can conceive of is that Bush wants to keep on the offensive, and when it fails, he will leave the whole mess to the Democrats and the president to follow and say: “History will judge. You didn't let me finish the job. If I'd have had unflinching support we would have prevailed.” It is a Machiavellian tactic. Despite a wide majority of the American people against his policies in Iraq, he goes on and on, making decisions unilaterally. Can he not be stopped by Congress and/or mass protests by the public? Jerry Hyman, Ventnor - Atlantic City Press, January 18, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Egocentric man

After the 2004 elections, President Bush declared his slim, disputatious victory to be a mandate and proceeded to pursue the most extreme, unwelcome schemes he and his handlers had long cherished. In 2006, American voters signaled a stunning mandate for change, overturning entrenched incumbents in both houses of Congress. Two-thirds of American voters, the ones Bush works for, have clearly indicated impatience with this failed Iraq occupation. The most experienced advisers from previous administrations have given clear and sage advice on how to proceed, but the puerile president has listened only to those advisers he has always heeded. He now has ordered a large-scale escalation of the number of American sons and daughters trapped in a brutal civil war. This is not a game. The rank cronyism, incompetence and delusional denial of this administration have cost our people far too much. If this egocentric man refuses to obey the law, encourages torture and illegal invasions of privacy and drives our economy into grinding debt for the benefit of war profiteers, he must go. He has committed multiple high crimes and misdemeanors. He refuses to heed the will of the people. If any president has ever deserved impeachment, it is this one. Keith Lammers, Collingswood - January 17, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Vehicle for change

Whoever occupies the White House in 2009 must use the bitter, brutal and humiliating lessons of Iraq as a vehicle for change. This country cannot continue to expend its human and monetary resources to rescue countries that have little or no interest in democracy. No one in Vietnam or Iraq asked for our help, yet we mounted invasions on spurious pretexts and have had, and are getting, our noses rubbed in the dirt. The direct result of America's archaic foreign policies is an ongoing oil crisis, a weakening dollar and an economy that depends on foreign investors. All of the foregoing is a prescription for disaster and urgent remedial action must be our course. I urge the formation of a commission on the order of the Iraq Study Group. America can no longer ignore its own problems and ride to the rescue of those countries whose citizens won't try to help themselves. We are on the cusp of a disaster so awesome that it could produce permanent economic and political chaos if we fail to act. The alternative is political orthodoxy and the erosion and eventual loss of our freedoms. Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia - Courier Post, January 16, 2007

Rich get richer, workers struggle

Let them eat Spam. The exponential skewing upward of America's wealth curve continues unabated. CEO types buy ever-more expensive yachts and Rhode Island style mansions with bonuses unconnected to job performance. Weak unions give away the farm, refusing to flex their muscle, and middle-class blue- and white-collar working stiffs metaphorically eat Spam sandwiches because they can't afford the good stuff. Productivity stats soar thanks to hard-working front-liners, but their paychecks don't reflect it. Indeed, over the last six years, productivity in the nonfarm sector rose 18 percent, but inflation-adjusted weekly wages increased a mere 1 percent. Call that fair? Maybe that miniscule pay raise buys a better grade of Spam, but the filet and Perrier, alas, is reserved for the privileged class. Perhaps someday, snookered two-wage-earner, stressed-out families struggling to make ends meet and unable to spend sufficient time nurturing their children, might find a small block of time to contemplate the filthy-rich nanny-hiring class, and wonder why ordinary folks can't indulge in even a small slice of their pie. Not that we should begrudge wealthy individuals truly earning their bucks. But when unctuous hired-gun politicians demand we not engage in class warfare by daring to question why corporate muckamucks and other manipulators feed off our blood, sweat and tears, we should also wonder if P.T. Barnum had it right: A sucker is born every minute. Lawrence Uniglicht, Galloway Township - Atlantic City Press, January 16, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush undermining Constitution

Regarding the Dec. 17 article, “Foreign policy is president's job”: I wholeheartedly agree — only if upholding the U.S. Constitution is job one. A president's first consideration above all else is to defend, protect and preserve the U.S. Constitution. This is a sworn oath taken the day he assumes office, a serious undertaking and certainly not to be delegated to Mickey Mouse. I just think Bush is doing a terrible job, certainly not the actions of one with the interests of our Constitution in mind. An example is the countless blunders, needless deaths and no plan for winning in the Iraqi war. And yet, Bush still carries on with this foreign policy like he has no responsibility toward the very Vonstitution he has sworn to uphold. I believe he has no right to do this. He is putting the U.S. Constitution in possible jeopardy on a mere “fling.” He's definitely had the time to rethink this policy. What will it take? He is risking the safety and the ideals the Constitution represents by going into a foreign country with violence. Given these attacks of his, I definitely feel this president is seriously compromising the meaning of the very oath he had taken to uphold the U.S. Constitution. May Huddleston, Atlantic City - Atlantic City Press, January 11, 2007

President Bush is no Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford has emerged with the New Year as a singular individual with firmly imbedded virtues of integrity, honesty, courage, kindness and intelligence. These qualities, together with the decisiveness displayed during his short presidency, make up his enduring legacy. Based on these qualities, it seems doubtful that any of his thinking or decisions were guided by any concern for his legacy. We find the current president presiding over a catastrophic decline in America's prestige and honor. After six years, articles are appearing about the president's and his followers' concern for his legacy. There is something unseemly if not disgusting about this. As a matter of concern, weigh his legacy (historic reputation) against the needs of a debt-ridden country of 300 million with a fractured health system in the midst of a terrifying self-induced war. And no matter how many indicators of economic growth such as the rising stock market are cited, the mass of the population is experiencing an insecure, declining standard of living and they know it. The good times are not trickling down as good old President Reagan predicted. As for the present president's personal legacy, who cares? Joseph Linsk, Atlantic City - Atlantic City Press, January 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

America's middle class disappearing

The comedian George Carlin has a routine about particular phrases that create confusion and hide from us the reality of what we're actually seeing, doing or eating. For instance, Carlin asks, what is a "jumbo shrimp" or a "semi-boneless ham?" In other words, shrimp can be either big or large and ham either does or does not have bones in it. I think some in Washington, D.C., are watching Carlin's routines, particularly when it comes to the issue of protecting the rights of workingmen and women. It's a common practice in Washington to name a law one thing when in fact it's designed to do something entirely different. Nothing could be truer then the so-called "Bill of Rights" for workers. This bill has done more to restrict workingmen and women from joining unions and strip away hard-fought rights and concessions for working families than any other legislation in recent memory. This "Bill of Rights" measure, combined with the rush to outsource American jobs, means that union membership in America has steadily declined to a level now estimated at less than 8 percent in the private sector. It cannot be said often enough that the middle class in the United States was built on the backs and with the sweat and tears of workingmen and women. If we continue to outsource their jobs and price their health care so high they can no longer afford to have it, the middle class that supports our nation will most assuredly evaporate into history. And then where will we be? Chip Gerrity, President, NJIBEW - Daily Journal, January 10, 2007

Peace unlikely in divided Iraq

The unseemly handling of the execution of Saddam Hussein by the Shiite-controlled government of Iraq only adds fodder to what many Americans are calling the misadventure of our time, and perhaps of all time. It's not as if Saddam's Sunni cohorts needed to witness another manifestation of the control Shiites and Kurds now have in the new ruling party. However, the reluctance of the Shiites to conduct a reasonable, solemn execution to punish this most hated despot only underscores their pent-up anger and the frustrations they face in trying to meld a truly disparate populace into a functioning government. Regrettably, we are smack dab in the middle of an internecine struggle palpably different than any we've faced as a nation. The scores to be settled between the two main sects of Islam go back centuries. Our leaders wanted to inject democracy and freedom into the lives of Iraqis, but many of them want to seek revenge at any cost. Like a majority of the population, I supported the war when presented with the “facts” by our president. Now, I embrace the need to cut our losses in a no-win war, turn the job of security completely over to the elected government and begin to close this sad chapter in our history. Frank Tamru, Egg Harbor Twp - Atlantic City Press, January 10, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Senator Menendez appointed to key committees

Newly elected New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez has been appointed to some extremely important committees, none more so than Senate Foreign Relations, chaired by Sen. Biden of Delaware. Menendez, who voted against giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq, did his homework and now will work to bring the troops home. The newly constituted committee will do what the GOP-controlled committee was loath to do -- provide oversight of Bush administration foreign policy. He also will be on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which should help increase funding for affordable housing and mass transit, which have suffered under President Bush but are essential to New Jersey. We can be confident that Menendez will be an active member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, working to implement renewable energy, instead of rewarding big oil companies with tax cuts and business incentives. Our natural resources, devastated by cuts in funding with little or no notice given by the administration, may now be given a chance to recover. Republicans have a reputation for fiscal responsibility, but for six years the president and Congress have enormously increased the national debt. The Democrats, including Menendez as a member of the Budget Committee, intend to require that spending be covered by a funding source, which may prompt Congressional Republicans to return to their fiscal roots. We hope Sen. Menendez will play a major role in restoring Congress to its rightful position of oversight and in not ceding any additional powers to the executive branch. Bettie J. Reina, Milmay - Daily Journal, January 8, 2007

Withdraw troops

Bring all of our troops home now from Iraq. Stop all funding for this illegal and immoral invasion. Thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and 3,000 American troops have perished in this illegal and immoral war since 2003. Most Iraqis are now begging the United States to withdraw our troops immediately from their country. Give the Iraqis what they want. The United States government is already guilty of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. Americans have had enough. Support HR 1106, Articles of Impeachment sponsored by former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga. End this bloodletting war-for-oil and war-for-profits now. As it is, fossil fuels are killing the planet vis-a-vis global warming. While you are at it, embrace new clean-air technologies using solar and wind methods. Democratic victories in November were not a mandate to increase troop levels in Iraq. More troops equals more violence, more death and destruction and more wars (for example, North Korea and Iran). Is this really why Congress wants to reinstitute the draft? War is not the answer. Bring our troops home now. Harry J. Conrow, Collingswood - Courier Post, January 8, 2007

Bush war policy an abuse of power

As the Declaration of Independence says, governments derive their powers “from the consent of the governed.” It also says that after “a long train of abuses and usurpations ... it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government.” In other words, elected officials, including the president of the United States, only have that power that is given them by the people. And when elected officials take more power than what was given, there is an obligation for the people to do something to correct that abuse. Soap boxes are being worn out. Politicians are pounding their chests and rattling their sabers over Iraq. But the whole time, not one of them, from the president on down, ever states what victory is to them. What will be called success? How will it be achieved? What is the course? If success is to be complete peace, tranquility and stability throughout Iraq, then a passive war of attrition is doomed to failure. Either the United States has to go back into Iraq full force and take complete control and pacify the country, or we have to pull out completely and let the Iraqis fight it out for themselves. Any other alternative is going to mean hundreds or thousands more American troops being killed, in a futile endeavor. What are the people to do when the president refuses or is unable to answer the question “What is the course?” The answer is that it is their duty to throw off such government. Robert E. Ford Jr., Galloway Township - Atlantic City Press, January 8, 2007

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Face truth

Neither the president nor the Congress will face the truth. They have created a situation in Iraq that we are now powerless to control. They have spent $350 billion destroying the infrastructure of that country and so disrupted the lives of its citizens that millions have gone into exile to escape the bloodshed and chaos the U.S. invasion has created. President Bush and Congress have ignited the smoldering fires of sectarian hatred that have erupted into civil war. We have suffered 3,000 U.S. casualties while policing this bitterly divided country, a mission that our troops were neither trained for nor authorized by Congress to undertake. Our continuing presence serves only to hinder the stabilizing of Iraq and ending this violence. That task must be left to the Iraqis. Peace can only come through negotiations conducted by the contending factions without outside interference. Hopefully, they will find leaders possessed of greater wisdom and foresight than those who led us into this disaster. We have needlessly sacrificed the lives of 3,000 young Americans. We must not allow this senseless bloodletting to continue while Bush and Congress seek ways to save face. We must demand that Congress exercise its constitutional duty and cut off funding for this failed adventure at once. Leonard Satz, Blackwood - Courier Post, Jamuary 6, 2007

Give Iraqis their pride back

Remember growing up how proud you were of your school? How proud you were of your school teams? Remember your feelings about the town where you were born? The town where you raised your children? And your feelings about the state and country you love? Do we think that the people of Iraq, or any other country for that matter, don't have the same pride in their land as we have in ours? Recently, Iraq's soccer team made the finals in a Middle East tournament. What we saw on television was reminiscent of our own sports events — the people were ecstatic that they had such a great team to cheer for. The sooner we redeploy out of Iraq, the sooner Iraqis can be Iraqis. Please, before they lose any more pride. It's all they have left. Nancy Woerner, Northfield - Atlantic City Press, January 6, 2007

Declare victory in Iraq and leave

When President Bush makes his State of the Union speech, he should declare a victory in Iraq and announce that we will begin withdrawing our troops in February. He can say that we removed the tyrant Sadam Hussein and supported a free election and the writing of a constitution. He can say that it is regrettable that sectarian violence is going on, but that this will need to be resolved by the Iraqis themselves through a political settlement. Finally, he can say that he believes that the withdrawal of our troops will encourage the parties to negotiate such a settlement. Harold A. Clark, Egg Harbor Township - Atlantic City Press, January 6, 2007

Friday, January 05, 2007


Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked America not to "sacrifice its Democratic ideals while waging war against terrorism." To Annan's words I would add another caveat: We need to avoid transforming ourselves from David into Goliath. There is no question that America is the most powerful nation on this Earth. But if the Biblical story about David and Goliath teaches us anything, it shows us that strength, if used unwisely by us, can be the downfall of our great nation. Annan quoted President Truman when he said it is time for America "to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world." He might have added that it is time for America to truly serve itself by focusing its attention on its own difficult problems at hand. There is no question that its collective brawn is second to no other individual nation on this Earth. But it is time for America to begin using its collective brain to search for solutions for its own societal needs as well as those facing the rest of the world. Ian Wachstein, Collingswood - Courier Post, January 5, 2007

Attacks begun

As soon as the Iraq Study Group's report was released, the extreme right wing of the Republican Party began attacks on its members. Rush Limbaugh called them the "Iraq surrender group." Sean Hannity, calling for a complete victory at any cost, began his smear campaign by vilifying the group for not once using the word victory in its report. The group used the word "success" instead. Other neoconservatives used words just short of calling members of the group traitors. The Iraq Study Group is a bipartisan commission of good Americans, Republicans and Democrats, who are not extremists with a political agenda to sell, a legacy to define or an ax to grind. They are respected public servants commissioned to produce a plan to help extract us from the mess we have created in Iraq. The irony of all this is President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, addressing the American people, saying "Iraq is in need of moderate, reasonable people to help bring the country together, control the security situation and provide a fair economic and political arrangement instead of the extremists or radicals that are tearing the country apart." You would think Bush would use the same approach in his plans for a new strategy in dealing with Iraq. Bob Dipipi, Mount Laurel - Courier Post, January 5, 2007

War isn't worth the cost

The price of admission to see a tyrant and a few of his henchmen executed: Thousands of U.S. soldiers killed or permanently maimed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens killed or maimed, trillions of dollars down the drain. It's not worth it. Edward Harshbarger, Galloway Township - Atlantic City Press, January 5, 2007

More troops are no answer

It has been said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This can justifiably be said of the Bush administration's call for more troops in Iraq. What will more troops do now that more troops could not do earlier? This administration entered the conflict with what many knowledgeable people said were too few troops. Now, when the conflict is hopelessly lost, they decide it is time for more troops. History shows that more troops in a hopeless situation is no answer. The only thing that will be accomplished by bringing more troops to the situation is more casualties. Are there not enough people left in America who can remember Vietnam? Do we have to kill 58,000 American soldiers before we see the hopelessness of this total fiasco? Is President Bush's ego that important that we must sacrifice thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousand of Iraqi people? Wake up, America, and read your history books. Gary Williams, Bridgeton - Atlantic City Press, January 5, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

NJ STARS is a real star

The Dec. 25 article, “Scholarship program bumps enrollment at county colleges,” regarding NJ STARS scholarship students, was a reaffirmation of the benefits that come from encouraging and rewarding students for maintaining good grades in high school. Young people who obtain an education beyond high school, whether college or trade school, are assets to our communities, and their education is worth every penny our tax dollars contribute. Many parents find themselves hard-pressed to pay ever-increasing college expenses. But in addition to the NJ STARS program, a community-college student who graduates with an associate's degree and a 3.0 grade-point average is eligible for a NJ STARS II scholarship to help them transfer into any New Jersey public college or university as a junior. Having community-college graduates continue at our state colleges is another way to encourage them to stay in New Jersey; we've been losing far too many talented young people to other state schools. Congratulations to the NJ STARS programs and to their recipients. This is one state program that deserves the support of all of its citizens. Bettie J. Reina, Milmay - Atlantic City Press, January 1, 2007

Sunday, December 31, 2006

U.S. can't export democracy

Neither President Bush nor any of his predecessors have brought themselves or the nation to the full implementation of the theory of democracy. The person generally considered the principal exponent of the theory, President Thomas Jefferson, was himself a slave owner. As a consequence, this nation has followed a pattern of gross inequities against some of its citizens during the two centuries during which it has existed. Now we have been led into a draining conflict that immerses us in the controversies which flow from radical groups. We are not contending with a nation, but battling Islamic terrorists, thugs and criminals. Bush offers democracy to other nations but he is offering a flawed product. Those nations are aware of the failings of democracy in America. A new class We need, however, to understand a danger that is more threatening than Islamic terrorists. The inequities, which have been a constant in America, have brought us to an inevitable circumstance. A class of people has taken shape who are devoid of hope and who care little about what we call American values. To these people the only question is: "How do I survive?" They are prepared to do whatever they need to do, legal or not, to be able to function. Many of the millions in our prisons are persons of this stripe and tens of thousands, not yet apprehended, are doing great damage in our larger cities and smaller-sized metro areas. Crime is rampant, yet we are spending billions of dollars in a futile effort to alter centuries-old religious differences in the Middle East. How much better that money could be spent in strengthening our damaged national fabric. Two helpful experiences from our history can direct us: In his farewell address as president, George Washington warned us to "avoid foreign entanglements" (what are we doing in the midst of Shias, Sunnis and Kurds?) and the Constitution promises to "provide for the general welfare" which has nothing to do with emergency funds but addresses the well-being of our people. Calvin D. Banks, Lindenwold - Courier Post, December 31, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Face reality

I think former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation was long overdue. The course the president should take is to admit the war in Iraq is a quagmire and get all of the troops out as fast as possible. Bush's slogans -- "stay the course," "don't cut and run" and "mission accomplished" -- are worn out. Do they help the 3,000 young lives sacrificed in a super blunder. As U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said, "It's the wrong place, it's the wrong time and the wrong war." Former anti-terror adviser Richard E. Clarke said in his book that on Sept. 12, 2001, the president called a Cabinet meeting and the first thing he said was "Let's attack Iraq." Clarke later quit in amazement. Osama bin Laden was running all over Afghanistan and Bush wanted to introduce democracy into Iraq. The Middle East countries have been living under monarchies for five centuries and now the president wants to jam democracy down their throats. The situation in Iraq is utter chaos. Religious civil war reigns. The more turmoil the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds create, the more they want to put on the onus of the U.S. presence there. The United States is not prepared there, using the National Guard and Reserve troops. Leave now. We gave no solution to the Iraqi people. Charles W. Miller, Jr., Mount Ephraim - Courier Post, December 29, 2006

Tragedy grows, as war drags on

As the war in Iraq drags on with ever-increasing American and Iraqi casualties, two things are ever present in my mind. One is the image of our president standing on the aircraft carrier with a huge sign behind him that read “Mission Accomplished.” Exactly what mission has been accomplished? Is Iraq a stable democracy? Has Osama bin Laden been found and imprisoned? Are our young men and women coming home? The answer is obviously no. Second, does anyone else sense the similarities between Iraq and Vietnam? As George Santayana brilliantly put it, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Obviously, President Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld did not do too well in U.S. history or, for that matter, in world history. Vietnam was a horrible killing field where more than 50,000 of our best and brightest died. Was Vietnam turned into a democracy? Hardly. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were hellbent on invading Iraq simply because the first President Bush conducted a limited war and Saddam Hussein was not taken out of power. That's it — nothing else. I pray every day that some way can be found out of this immoral and costly war and no more young Americans need die to satisfy the egos of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Sally Wayton, Linwood - Atlantic City Press, December 29, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Don't increase troops in Iraq

No more American troops for Iraq, please. We recently tried adding thousands of troops to Baghdad in Operation Together Forward, and it made the situation worse, with a 43 percent increase in violence toward American troops. Adding more troops makes no sense whatsoever. By continuing to support this war in Iraq, we are making our country weaker. I am sure Iran and China are cheering us on as we go deeper and deeper into debt and deplete our military resources. We need to get smart by getting out of Iraq, putting our money into bolstering our degraded military might and going back to putting diplomacy before war. Pat Heller, Mays Landing - Atlantic City Press, December 28, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Elections told Bush to Bring troops home

As I read the daily newspapers, I look for reports on President Bush's latest thoughts on the war in Iraq. I was very much encouraged when Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld resigned right after the November elections and Mr. Bush vowed to work with the newly elected Democratic majority in Congress, something he avoided when his own party ruled. But the further we get from the election, the more Mr. Bush resorts to pre-election rhetoric. Most troubling is a recent Associated Press article which reports that Mr. Bush interprets the midterm elections as reflecting the voters' desires to finish the mission in Iraq, another way of saying "stay the course." Everybody else seems to think that the elections meant, "Bring our people home." Mr. Bush missed the point that the insurgency began just days after he announced that coalition forces led by the United States would be remaining as occupiers and Iraqis would be governed by an American-led coalition provisional authority. Also, that the insurgency gained momentum every time innocent civilians were killed in the crossfire with enemy combatants, prisoners were tortured and killed, or property was needlessly destroyed in house-to- house sweeps. Refusing to face the reality that it is our very presence in their country that is so abhorrent, Mr. Bush is now hinting at sending tens of thousands more Americans into Baghdad to secure that troubled city, something he should have done in 2003. Perhaps Mr. Bush should listen to those who advise him to seek diplomatic solutions to problems he has been unable to resolve with the most powerful military in the world. I'm sure that the families of the soldiers not placed in harm's way will be grateful. Nick Reina, Milmay - Daily Journal, December 27, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Now, Bush takes his time?

In March of 2003, President Bush was in such a hurry to invade Iraq he could not give Hans Blix, the international weapons inspector, two months to verify whether Saddam Hussein had WMD's. Now in December of 2006 when over 130 Iraqis are dying daily, over 100 Americans are dying every month, and we are spending a whopping $2 billion a week he insists that he needs to take his time to make the right decision. By the end of 2006 we will have lost as many Americans in Iraq as were killed on 9/11. Mr. Bush who, contrary to the evidence, continues to insist that al Qaeda is the main cause of our problems seems oblivious to the daily sectarian kidnappings and execution style slayings that the Sunnis and Shiites perpetrate upon each other. But those same Iraqis are willing to put aside their differences in order to kill Americans with weapons that were stolen after the fall of Baghdad. There seems to be no limit to the sacrifices Mr. Bush is willing to require of Americans in order to protect his failing presidency. Nick Reina, Milmay - Atlantic City Press, December 25, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Now's the time to leave Iraq

So now President Bush is employing further delay tactics in Iraq exit plans until 2007. How many commissions, committees, how much military input, and who else does he need to advise him to come to a decision about this grave matter? The American peopla gave a blatant message in the last election that bringing democracy to the Middle East by force was a big mistake, and that an expeditious exit plan is imperative. The formost reason to leave is to save American lives, and the second is to diminish the increasing horrendous debt on taxpayers. The Democratic Party won a huge election on this grave issue, and it behooves the Democrats to act on the mandate to work quickly toward ending violence and supporting peace in the Middle East. Yew, we have to help repair the damage to Iraq, but the people have to work out their political system, however drastic it may be. They will not do it when the United States is trying to control their affairs. Citizens need to contact their representative in Washington to counteract any more footdragging by the president. Betty Canderan, John Canderan, Cape May Court House - Atlantic City Press, December 22, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We the people

Even the definitely conservative-leaning Iraq Study Group recommended "a robust diplomatic effort to establish an international support structure intended to stabilize Iraq and ease tensions in other countries in the region." The study group wants the United States to employ broad regional diplomacy (including Iran and Syria in the region) as a necessary step toward bringing our troops home from Iraq. To me, that doesn't sound like something President Bush would be inclined to do, but, as the study group said, it is necessary before our troops can be brought home. What is needed is for Congress and we the people to hold Bush's feet to the fire and make him do something that is right for the country for once. That is why we the people gave the Democrats majorities in the House and Senate in the last election. If Congress doesn't act quickly, then we the people must act and hold Congress' feet to the fire. They work for us; we should make them act like they know they do. George Hunt, Maple Shade - Courier Post, December 19, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dems' election signals opening in health care

The Democrats have retaken control of both houses of Congress after more then 12 years, and they now have the unique opportunity to develop a solution to the health care crisis. And they may get some help from unlikely sources. Just two weeks ago, a coalition of health care insurance payers offered a proposal called "America's Heath Insurance Plans." That plan would blend certain aspects of a universal health care plan favored by Democrats, and which some Republicans have also favored, with some other industry offerings designed to begin the process of providing health care coverage to the nearly 50 million people in our nation who don't have it. Of that 50 million, more than 80 percent go to work. The proposal telegraphs a willingness to create a plan that would provide coverage for all uninsured children within the first three years and for all uninsured adults within 10. It is short on specifics and there's much work to do, as it only addresses one aspect of the health care crisis, albeit, a critical aspect. That aspect is the lack of health insurance coverage for those nearly 50 million Americans. The other part of the crisis is the skyrocketing cost of health care coverage in general, and the rising contributions that working men and women are required to make to keep the coverage they have. Chip Gerrity, President of NJ IBEW, Hightstown - Daily Journal, December 15, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

But LoBiondo won't have to use Medicae D

I can understand why Congressman Frank LoBiondo thinks Medicare D is so great (DJ-Nov. 29), because he doesn't have to use it and probably never will. He thinks seniors should wade through 40 different programs to find one that fits their needs. Believe me, it is hard enough just to go through two or three. Medicare D is fine when you are only paying $5 to $55 per prescription. But then you reach the "doughnut hole," which can come pretty fast if you are on a lot of expensive medications, and most of them are expensive. What they don't tell you when you sign up is that it is not the price you pay for a prescription that counts, but the actual list price of the drug that goes toward your $2,200 or $2,500 allotment. Once you reach the doughnut hole, you will have to pay full price until you've spent $3,200 out of pocket. How many people are going to be able to afford to pay more than $100 each for their prescriptions? Not too many. Whoever came up with the doughnut hole idea has holes in his head. They act like they are giving you something, but they are not. We will be paying $95 towards Medicare, $30 for Medicare D, plus whatever your prescription costs. Anyone who takes a lot of medication knows what I am talking about. The people who are fortunate enough to have prescription coverage, plus medical coverage, and eye and dental care ought to get down on their knees and thank all of us who contribute to their well being. People who have this kind of coverage do not realize what it costs for those who have to pay their own way. Some Medigap policies cost more than $300 a month, too. Medicare is a great help, but it does not pay for everything. I just wish these people who complain about not making enough money, but who have all these benefits given to them, would realize how much those benefits are worth. Edith Nightlinger , Millville - Daily Journal, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Draft would focus public's attention

Regarding Michael Goodwin's Dec. 4 column, “Rangel's reasons are wrong — but draft's a good idea”: There's much to be said for compulsory national service of some kind for the able-bodied young. But advocates like Rep. Charles Rangel and Goodwin, who urge the restoration of the military draft, tend to do so for reasons that fall short of the most compelling one. The one compelling reason for reinstituting the military draft is that it would concentrate national attention on the glib posturings of our war-mongering leaders with a steelier eye than is now brought to bear on them. If every family in the country were compelled to provide cannon fodder for frivolous adventuring, our elected leaders might think longer before lighting the cannon's fuse. Dan MacNeice, Cologne - Atlantic City Press, December 13, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Share the wealth

God bless America. The federal government has improved the lot of the neediest among us. They are no longer "hungry," they are "food insecure." Their numbers grew from 33.6 million in 2001 to 38.2 million in 2004. Trending the growth through 2006 would increase their number to 41.3 million people going to bed every night hungry. President Bush continues to insist that our economy is healthy and his tax cuts are working and should be made permanent. I am glad for those companies that are making record profits and the people earning a million dollars a year whose tax cuts allow then to buy a new $45,000 car every year. Yet, since 2001, we have seen a marked increase in the number of poor, homeless, uninsured, personal and national debt, college tuition, interest on student loans, foreclosures and bankruptcy filings. The economy is never healthy enough to raise the minimum wage. One can only hope that the new Democratic Congress will take notice of statistics that have been ignored by the current administration and work for an equitable distribution of wealth so that the promise of America is realized by more of those who are working hard to achieve it. I also look forward to more transparency in government, true sharing of ideas without "treason" labels being attached to those who disagree and a return to supporting the Constitution -- not the president. Nick Reina, Milmay - Courier Post, December 7, 2006

Case to impeach

What is more important to the health of our democracy: bipartisanship or accountability? Are we a nation of laws or men? Has the Constitution, that which our elected leaders swear to protect and defend, become a hindrance in the modern world and need to be replaced with a more dictatorial contract with Americans? Public support for impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is growing. Will the new leader of the House of Representatives ignore the public sentiment and the results of the past election and the remedies provided by the authors of the Constitution in order to promote business as usual in the country club atmosphere that exists in the insular world of Washington? Bipartisanship has been a nonstarter for six years now. The case for impeachment should be quite clear for all: Lying to start an illegal war in violation of international laws and treaties, the arrest and detention of American citizens without charge, violations of the conventions against torture, the issuance of hundreds of signing statements to ignore laws passed by Congress, and so on. Will the new speaker of the House be the enabler of continued lawlessness and the degradation of our founding document? Impeachment is in order. Without the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we become no more than a banana republic. Wake up, America. If leaders refuse to uphold the law and the people let them get away with it, then we Americans will indeed get the government we deserve. Roy Lehman, Woolwich - Courier Post, December 7, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Congress must rein in Bush

The history of the last four years has proven that the Bush administration cooked intelligence and lied to obtain the original Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, which was then immediately abused to launch an unprovoked and unwarranted invasion and indefinite occupation of Iraq. Yet even as the strategic disaster in Iraq lurches further out of control day by day, the Bush administration is still talking about even more irrational plans to light a bigger powder keg in Iran. As reported by Seymour Hersh, Cheney arrogantly stated just before the elections that even were the Democrats to take back the Congress, they would find some way around any legislative restrictions to pursue their insanity option in Iran. Well, we did take back Congress. And the first thing Congress must do to reassert adult control over the petulant White House is to cancel the 2001 AUMF. Not only was it used to justify preemptive imperialism in Iraq, it has been trotted out incessantly since to excuse the illegal domestic wiretaps, the program of torture and secret detentions in violation of the Geneva convention, and every other manner of defiance of Congress and the federal courts since. It was not an authorization to unilaterally violate the Constitution, but it has been taken as such, and accordingly, it must go. A simple majority of Congress is all that is required to restore the appropriate and just balance of powers, to at least require the executive to have the express consent of Congress before any ill-advised new military misadventure. Only withdrawing the AUMF can send a message that foreign policy run amok will no longer be the order of the day. Bob Salsburg, Northfield - Atlantic City Press, December 5, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dems' takeover signals workers' deep discontent

The Democratic victories in Washington in this year's election are telegraphing to the new Congress the dissatisfaction the Americans feel on a number of issues. I believe one of the critical areas that the Democratic Congress must now address are the ongoing assaults by the Bush administration against workers, including trade agreements that destroy American jobs and force more and more people out of the middle class; huge tax breaks to multi-billion dollar companies that are political contributors; the lack of a substantive national health care policy, and the outright gorilla tactics used to devastate the ability of working men and women to organize by gutting many of the hard-fought rights gained via the National Labor Relations Board. The Democrats should realize that they have not been given a mandate. Instead, the American people have given the Democrats an opportunity to demonstrate that they can lead by moving the country forward, in the center and with an agenda that protects working class Americans who are increasingly being squeezed from the middle class that they struggled so hard to enter. Chip Gerrity, President, NJ IBEW, Hightstown - Daily Journal, December 1, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Get out now

The recent election proved, without a doubt, that our illegal foreign policy in Iraq was a nightmare. Staying the course because it might result in civil war is a no-brainer. A civil war, thanks to the U.S. invasion, is already taking place in Iraq. Bush's war is not worth one more American life. The United States is in violation of International Law and the tenets of the United Nations. This has made U.S. citizens less safe than anytime in history. Get out now. I believe that our forefathers would be turning over in their graves because of our illegal wars and clandestine operations. Those are the reasons why our beloved country is hated and feared by many countries from Asia to South America and the Middle East. Many of our misguided foreign adventures have resulted in disasters: Some examples and results: The overthrow of Iran's democratically elected president in the 1950s. Result: A theocracy type of government now in power. The illegal 10-year war in Vietnam to eliminate communism. Result: 58,000 American soldiers dead, hundreds of thousands mentally and physically wounded. Vietnam is still communist. Bay of Pigs fiasco. Result: A more secure Fidel Castro, U.S. humiliation. Iran-Contra. Rogue American military tries to overthrow Nicaraguan government. Result: It doesn't work. Illegal invasion of Iraq. Result: Total chaos. Many more examples could be listed. We need a major change in the way America looks and acts in reference to the people in our world. Robert Draper, Mickleton - Courier Post, November 30, 2006

Elections better than impeaching

Eight years ago, a Republican House of Representatives returned a bill of impeachment against President Clinton for lying under oath when he denied having an illicit affair with a White House intern. He barely escaped being convicted by the Senate for shamefully covering up a private indiscretion, not for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Today, a sitting president who has literally declared war on essential constitutional protections and who should legitimately be held responsible for intentionally violating constitutional protections will not face impeachment by a Democrat-controlled Congress. President Bush has illegally wiretapped domestic telephone conversations. He has illegally detained and denied habeas corpus to United States citizens. He has approved the creation of detention camps abroad where suspects are tortured in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Exploiting the cloak of national security, he has ordered telephone and Internet companies to divulge customer records. But a Democratic Congress will not seek to impeach Bush. The ludicrous grounds to impeach used eight years ago should not lower the bar for impeachment. Only through a vigilant electorate educated about these abuses and asserting its wisdom at the ballot box can our precious constitutional protections be truly guaranteed. The recent election was a good start. There is a long way to go. Talia Cohen, Linwood - Atlantic City Press, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


am dismayed with the Bush administration for the needless killing of nearly 3,000 American servicemen and servicewomen and the maiming of thousands more. Since Bush's statement, "Bring 'em on," these men and women are being killed in a war we should have never been in and will never win. Many Iraqi men, women and children have been slain by our troops and all they received was an apology. Some Iraqis are faced with a lack of food and medical care. Do we call that helping them? We are spending billions of dollars a day on the war while we are faced with poverty here. The elderly cannot afford much-need medications and college is not affordable for many of the young. Bush and his cronies are making millions of dollars from the war. No one in the Bush family or the families of most of his staff are going to go to war. He calls himself caring, but his actions speak differently. I have no intention of leaving this country as some of his supporters have suggested with the statement, "Love it or leave it." My forefathers put too much free and cheap labor into it. They faced discrimination and many today face beatings and lynchings. This is a country I love, but I abhor some of its practices. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap," Galatians, 6:7. George Willis, Collingswood - Courier Post, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Remembering a different time, conflict

In part because of all of the daily coverage of the military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am often brought back to the late '60s and thoughts of America and myself and another conflict in another time. I spent a Thanksgiving and a Christmas at Long Binh, in South Vietnam, along with 500,000 of my fellow young Americans. Being young and in a theater of war makes a lasting impression on the mind and body, even if you were as lucky as I was not to be in actual combat. visited Vineland on Black Friday with my wife of 38 years (she was the young wife of an Army private off to war). The reason I stopped in Vineland was to go to Landis Park and see if there was a memorial to my brothers in arms. I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful monument to the young men (the oldest was just 31) who gave up their lives in pursuit of the political goals of the day. My wife and I walked Veterans Circle and saw the memorials to all the fallen from Vineland and paid brief, private homage to names carved in Crosses, Stars of David and monuments -- fitting remembrances of people we should never forget. Soon there will have to be space for names from Iraq and Afghanistan or some other far off place where young Americans may be found eating turkey or military meals ready to eat. It doesn't matter that I don't believe in the war in Iraq, it only matters that we honor our fallen and are there to welcome our troops home, as they should be welcomed. My family and I have been to Washington, D.C., a number of times and walked along and read the names on "The Wall." Fifty-seven thousand baby boomers paid the ultimate price, but I was lucky enough to come home. I honor them as we should honor our current military men and women. I would like nothing more than to see our troops home from Iraq by the end of the year, but that is not a reality. I can only hope to see no more names carved in stone in pursuit of the policies of our president. Capture Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and bring our troops home. Michael D. Sehl, Former Spec 4, U.S. Army 1967-1969, VHS Class of 1964, Phoenixville, PA - Daily Journal, November 28, 2006

Clearly voters rejected Bush

The writer of the Nov. 21 letter, “GOP election loss not Bush's fault,” still doesn't get it. The people voted against President Bush, not for the Democrats. All Bush Republicans lost big. People voted for the lesser of two evils — and Bush is evil. He lied; he is incompetent, and he should be impeached. But then we would have Dick Cheney. Willeam Van Sciver, Somers Point - Atlantic City Press, November 28, 2006

How sad to die to benefit big oil

The death of Eric Palacios Rivera, the soldier from Atlantic City killed in Iraq, was certainly a devastating event for his family. And for what? For rich corporations too chicken to send their sons to war, too chicken to possibly put themselves through what the Rivera family is going through. His death was only for the love of oil, for the ones who get others to do their dirty work for them. It was for the eventual opportunity of being nothing but a pawn in the battle over whatever was so important as to lose his life over. Also, for a vicious man in the White House who calls himself the president. The innocent ideals of a young boy were twisted from “fighting for his country, making a difference in life, helping his buddies” to “helping the rich” on the battlefield to the point of losing his life. The brainwashing was complete, and now Eric has obeyed his last order. And a life is wasted. And I'm so angry at the utter thought of this. May Huddleston, Atlantic City - Atlantic City Press, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

War in Iraq was a mistake from the start

I hated those who perpetrated such a gross inhuman act on innocent people. An "eye for an eye" was my first thought. Even now when I reflect on that fateful day, these emotions return, along with a feeling of helplessness, because I know that we are only safe as long as people respect each other and obey the laws. Our only security is in a civilized society. But when President Bush began talking about invading Iraq, I began to have second thoughts. I was against it. Reason had taken over and a "cooler head prevailed." I was and am against this war, and I so stated in a letter published in The Daily Journal. It's crazy to invade a country with a history of hundreds of years of violence, internal religious struggle and expect them to embrace a democratic government. We cannot impose a democratic government on people who are incapable of even conceptualizing what it is. They have to want it bad enough help themselves. They have to want to rise up and overcome the tyranny that oppresses them and to establish their own government based on reason and tolerance. But what do I know? I am just an ordinary citizen, limited in knowledge of international affairs and not privy to the sophisticated intelligence available to our government and elected officials. My faith has been shattered. Now, when I think of our elected representatives from the president on down, I no longer trust them and I fear for our country. John Adams had it right when he said, "There is a danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger public liberty." I close with a quote from Will Durant. It is something to think about: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her consuming wars." Is our country doomed to repeat history? Joseph L Ready, Vineland - Daily Journal, November 27, 2006

Get out of Iraq

There is a civil war in Iraq right now. It is the fault of the U.S. government that illegally attacked Iraq against the advice of the governments of the world. There would not have been an Iraqi civil war if the government had followed the advice of the world. Saddam Hussein was the acknowledged leader of Iraq by all world governments and there would have been no civil war if he had remained so. The world's governments, working together, could have dealt with any problems the people of Iraq or anyone else had with Saddam. America not only committed the sin of attacking Iraq without good reason, it is now committing the sin of occupying Iraq. Instead of compounding its crimes, the best the government can do now is to cease its crime of occupying Iraq right now. George Hunt, Maple Shade - Courier Post, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wars for oil are no answer

The Nov. 17 letter, “Corporations hold the real power,” defines what many of us strongly suspect but cannot find time to confront. Most of us must spend all of our time working for a living, housing, feeding, raising a family, enjoying sports, etc., with little time to be aware of how powerful oil corporations run government and our foreign policy. Corporate-sponsored think tanks and lobbyists falsely claim there will be plenty of oil to keep consumer growth rising forever. But that think-tank propaganda is put to the lie by events after Sept. 11, 2001. The proper response by our government to the attack on the United States by religious fanatics was wasted by taking the opportunity to launch the invasion of Iraq to protect our (cheap oil) interests. Citizens should urge their leaders to legislate oil conservation and create a national program to research and develop new jobs in alternative-energy technologies. Oil wars waste more oil, will not cure the problem of religious fanaticism and make the United States less secure. Charles A. Andrade, Galloway Township - Atlantic City Press, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

End Bush's rule

President Bush's unilateral war in Iraq, along with Vice President Dick Cheney's greedy plan to enrich Republican donors, have resulted in the deaths of nearly nearly 3,000 Americans and the wounding of 20,000. Power and greed are the hallmarks of the Bush-Cheney administration. Public relations gimmicks, arrogance and stupidity have not won the war in Iraq. Americans should not have been there to begin with. The adage is that if you break it, you own it. So it is in Iraq. With the election, it is apparent that the American people have awaken after following Republicans for six years. It's important that Bush not be allowed to set the agenda. It is important that he not be allowed to snatch victory from his defeat. Instead Bush and Cheney should be impeached. Walter Gollub, Voorhees - Courier Post, November, 25, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Follow the money in House races

Does anyone see something wrong with the following quote from the Oct. 20 issue of the Kiplinger Newsletter: “The GOP has a great deal to lose: congressional chairmanships, control over pork (barrel) perks, and donations that go with power.” Not one word about appropriations based upon what is in the best interest of the country. It seems the attitude is that loss of power means loss of money and that the lobbyists will now be real busy redirecting their payoffs — oops, contributions. The Nov. 9 Press article, “Money helps LoBiondo maintain his unbeaten streak,” noted that Rep. Frank LoBiondo's war chest was $1.4 million for the 2006 election. His democratic challenger in the 2nd District, Viola Thomas-Hughes, apparently was able to raise only $20,000. You guessed it — follow the money. Commendations to Viola; she tried her best without much backing. I was hoping that articles would bring our attention back to the vitally important issue of congressional reform. Without it, we will experience the “Never again all over again” adage. John McIntyre, Cape May - Atlantic City Press - November 24, 2006

Different values

Re: "Real values, (letters, Nov. 3). This is a reply to the writer who states he is in agreement with the "real values" advocated by President Bush. I favor a president whose moral values include lifting people out of poverty. His refusal to raise the minimum wage shows callous disregard for the poor. I favor a president who does not choose pre-emptive wars that have caused the death of 150,000 people, (the latest estimate from Iraqi news), plus 2,800 Americans. I favor a president who would act to lower the skyrocketing cost of medical care. About 500,000 Americans have sought medical care abroad. By bargaining with the drug companies, Bush should make sure we pay, at most, the same prices for prescription drugs paid by Canadians. With a 50 percent price reduction for medicine, we would not need the inept Medicare Part D drug plan with its dreaded doughnut hole. The president I favor would not cut funds for student loans. Our future as a nation depends on the success of our young people. Finally, I favor a president who would be viewed as a conciliator, fostering peace and prosperity around the world, not as a spoiler who has broken many international treaties. Thanks to Bush's policies and his saber-rattling, most nations view the United States as a threat to world peace. Obviously, the writer's "real values" do not coincide with mine. Anthony Seminara, Cherry Hill - Courier Post, November 24, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Road to recovery

The Nov. 7 election was a national repudiation of the ill-gotten Bush presidency and his stealth-like attempt to establish a quasi-theocratic rule at the expense of a weakened Constitution and a puppet Congress. Fortunately for America, even the White House's version of Joseph Goebbels, Karl Rove, could not create enough falsehoods and scare tactics to allow our unilaterally proclaimed "decider" two more years of uncontrolled power. While Bush may not be the most stupid president in U.S. history, as quoted by the criminal leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, he has to be one of the most dangerous ever to occupy the White House. Hopefully, the victorious Democrats will prove worthy of the public trust or they also will be thumped in the 2008 elections. For now, America's democracy is on the road to recovery and the people have shown they will not remain fooled or manipulated forever. Gene Muccolini, Eastampton - Courier Post, November 18, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

Corporations hold the real power

Despite the results of the recent elections, most Americans are truly unaware of what is going on. Many of us are foolish enough to believe that we live in a “Christian” country with concern for “family values” in a “free market” that is committed to “spreading democracy” worldwide. America has sadly become a corporate state, and as a result, corporations have consumed everything about life, including the reporting of world events (the news) and spirituality. Like coal-mining firms and asbestos manufacturers in the past, corporations with overwhelmingly strong financial and technical communications resources mislead the public for profit. Pharmaceutical and tobacco-industry firms even create lobbying organizations to misinform the public, suppress debate and discourage any investigative dissent. These third parties are literally Trojan horses with consumer-friendly names that suggest they are concerned with the environment or health. These third parties spread misinformation regarding product safety, global warming, deforestation and other issues that affect everyone from seniors to the handicapped to the everyday citizen. The corporations and elected officials steal from us in the name of truth, God and country. This coalition creates and repeats buzzwords such as “liberal,” “anti-business,” “junk science,” “tree huggers” and “free market” in order to “defeat the competition” and to “brand” their “product” in the minds of “consumers” (us). You may recognize some of these as words used by court jesters Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter and Michelle Malkin, but there are much more powerful people behind the scenes. But none of this would happen without the apathy and even cooperation of the American public, which is self-absorbed and largely ignorant of its own government and history. Jeffrey Lehman, Northfield - Courier Post, November 17, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Too high a cost

President Bush is happy with Saddam Hussein's verdict. He says that it was worth the cost to this country. Was it? The cost was more than 2,800 dead heroes, thousands maimed for life and a $400 billion deficit. I don't know of any of this administration's children who were on the front line dying for their country. When will the president admit he was wrong? He is always right, no matter what it costs the people. His leadership of this country is a failure. When will this country learn to mind its own business? We aren't even wanted in Iraq. Let's get out. The cost is too great. We are losing. Angelo La Fera, Little Egg Harbor Twp - Atlantic City Press, November 15, 2006

End the war

Oh, yeah, let's keep the Iraq war going. Officials snowed the ignorant American people during the Vietnam War. They can and are doing it again. We have to keep feeding the military industrial complex that supplies all the weapons and ammunition and we have to keep companies such as Halliburton and others in business rebuilding what we are destroying in Iraq. Isn't it nice that we are helping the Iraqi people practice democracy. So, what's a few thousand of our soldiers killed and thousands more losing limbs. It's worth it, isn't it? So what if America can't take care of its senior citizens, veterans and the poor because it needs every penny to support all of this. The Iraqi people will get it in the next 100 years or so. Don't you feel so much safer now that our brave troops are fighting the war over there, so we don't have to fight the war here. Of course, if we were to secure our borders and not let every Tom, Dick and Harry into the country, we would be safe. But that costs too much money and doesn't make some people enough money. Joseph T Ciervo, Medford Lakes - Courier Post, November 15, 2006

Waste of money

Seven hundred miles of additional fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border is ludicrous and a fleecing of taxpayers. It is an act of racism and would be an ecological disaster. It will make crossing the border more difficult, not impossible: "Where there is a will, there is a way." What gives President Bush the right to waste our money on such a ricidulous endeavor? Those millions could be better spent on Katrina victims, the millions of hungry and homeless, the millions without health care, the millions who cannot afford necessary medications, to raise the minimum wage, for crime prevention, education, etc. The fence is for the purpose of keeping out people of color. If Bush is truly concerned about illegal immigration into the United States, then, in all fairness, he should have a fence erected along the U.S.-Canadian border, also. As far as a fence to keep out terrorists; some are already here and others come by plane. Some were born here and live among us. Remember Columbine, Ruby Ridge, Timothy McVeigh, Jeffrey Dahmer, Al Capone and the man who killed the Amish students? The history and foundation of the United States is wrought with terrorists and terrorism. Build a fence? Give me a break. Yvonne R Harris, Glassboro - Courier Post, November 15, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Look what we got for 3,000 dead

What a triumph! Our new Iraqi puppets are going to execute three of their former crazy leaders who were such a “clear and growing threat” to us peace-loving Americans. And it only cost us 3,000 dead soldiers, 20,000 permanently maimed and about $400 billion so far. That's 1,000 dead, 7,000 hideously wounded and a $130 billion each. Well done, President Bush. History will surely record how proud you made us. Only one problem: At that price we will run out of soldiers and dollars long before the Middle East runs out of of real, not to mention fake, threatening crazies. The better news is that we will run out of the George Bushes and the Dick Cheneys first. Donald Connolly, Linwood - Atlantic City Press, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Had enough?

Thank God the majority of people in our country have had enough of this mindless administration. Hopefully, now that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is gone and the Republicans no longer control the House and the Senate, we can start moving our country back to where it belongs, out of the grip of egoistical, lying, controlling leaders who tried to keep the American people in fear so they could get the votes to keep them in power no matter what the cost of American lives. The people finally saw through the deceit. Louis Marano, Woodbury Heights - Courier Post, November 12, 2006

America rejected Bush's agenda

I am very proud of all the American people nationwide who sent a message, loud and clear, to our emperor-in-chief George Bush. The votes are counted, and the people have spoken — we want a change in his flawed policies, not only in Iraq, but pretty much his entire agenda. History will show that he is one of the worst presidents in our nation's history. I am just thankful that the nation realized this on Election Day and voted for change. Stay the course, George. The course for a Democrat as our next president just got straighter. Michael Dash, Somers Point - Atlantic City Press, November 12, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Impeach Bush

I reminiscence about the old days when America was a place for people from different countries to look up to and someday hope to be a part of. I now look with complete disdain at what has happened under the reign of a dictator running loose as our president. At one time, the United States was the most revered and admired country in the world. Now, it is the most hated nation. President Bush has turned the nation into the most arrogant and bullying country in the world. Bush has run roughshod over Iraq and caused the death of nearly 3,000 U.S. servicemen and women. Russia, China and most of the Middle East countries are against us. Yet, Bush is threatening Iran to force it to dispose of atomic material, while the United States has full access to its nuclear weapons. I used to be so proud to be called an American. I wish to someday in the near future to be proud again. Impeach this egotistic maniac before we are at war with every foreign power in the world. Joe Lee, Bellmawr - Courier Post, November 11, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fuzzy math

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 President Bush claimed the budget deficit for this fiscal year was $247.7 billion. The deficit is the difference between money that the government takes in and the money it spends. The number Bush stated does not take into account the amount of money the government borrows. For instance, Bush doesn't count the approximately $177 billion taken from our Social Security trust fund and an additional $121 billion from other government accounts. On top of this, there are the additional billions of dollars that the government owes in accrued interest. Add these numbers together and the actual budget deficit for this fiscal year is more than $550 billion. Add these dollars to our already exploding deficit and we have a national debt of $8.5 trillion. Once again, Bush can't bring himself to tell the truth. You always know when he is telling a lie; his lips are moving. Charles Scarano, Turnersville - Courier Post, November 8, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Marie Anoinette": interesting timing

As you know, the new movie “Marie Antoinette” shows the unrealistic paranoia and extravagant spending on the part of royalty while the already poor subjects of France had to foot the bill. It was amazing to me that this movie was released during election time. It was as if I were in some parallel universe with President Bush's policies taking the place of Louis XVI's policies in my mind. Is this coincidence or what? May Huddleston, Atlantic City - Atlantic City Press, November 5, 2006

McCain right, Press wrong

When Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. came to New Jersey recently to support the candidacy of Tom KeanJr.,, he said that the outcome of this campaign might also determine which party will have a majority in the new Senate. If so, and your endorsement of Kean contributes to this result, you will have voted for more of the same. That is, more politics of fear and division, more casualties in an unwanted occupation in Iraq, more deficits that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, more economic inequality and more political corruption. Please don't print any editorials in the future expressing concern with regard to any of these developments because you will have helped to bring them about. Harold Clark, Egg Harbor Township - Atlantic City Press, November 5, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Serve in active duty before judging Kerry

During the past few days, I've stood by watching Sen. Kerry being criticized about his statement made of the education of service members. I am currently finishing my enlistment with the Marine Corps after serving honorably for four years of active duty, and can tell you first-hand that the senator's comments were not to far off from the truth. I've watched National Guard members get upset over the comments for no reason. Of course, most of them have college degrees or are currently enrolled. If they aren't called to active duty, then they serve their one weekend a month and the rest of the time they live a "normal" life. During my four years, I've deployed twice to Iraq and can tell you that between deployments and training, it is hard for someone to start a semester in college and finish. Granted there are members serving full time after they receive their degrees because they choose to do so. I chose to join the military because my family didn't have the money to put me through college. I was sold on the educational benefits that the military sells. Things didn't happen the way I had planned, but I'm not complaining. I'm proud that I was able to serve my country and have no regrets. There are others who joined because, yes, they didn't do well in school and didn't have much of anything going for them. Everyone has his or her own story. Before people start judging the senator, I think they should live the active duty life first. Sgt. Walter Pizarro Jr., United States Marine Corps, Vineland - Daily Journal, November 4, 2006

Menendez is independent voice for New Jersey

When George Bush won the presidency in 2000 without a plurality of the popular vote, many hoped he would see his razor-thin electoral victory as an opportunity to reach out to those with opposing views and, thereby, unite the country. He was, after all, "a uniter, not a divider." Instead, he and his key advisers, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Carl Rove, determined to govern as if he had a mandate. For six years, Mr. Bush has consistently ignored -- and often disparaged -- dissenting views, even within his own party. This has led to a disastrous and worsening war in Iraq with no end in sight, a huge federal deficit, and an unrelenting attack on environmental safeguards. As a former CEO of a major nonprofit agency that fights for the environment, I particularly see these attacks on the environment as a significant threat to public health and conservation of our natural resources. For example, under this administration, we have seen (1) higher allowable maximums for arsenic in water, (2) eased restrictions on air pollution from coal-burning electric power plants -- including mercury, one of the most toxic substances on earth, and (3) dramatically increased logging in our national forests. At least four high-ranking EPA officials have resigned in protest over the agency's increasingly lax enforcement of its own regulations. How and why has this kind of behavior gone unchecked for so long? Because the Republican-controlled Senate has made no attempt to stop it. This nation does not need a New Jersey senator marching lock step with Mr. Bush. We need to keep New Jersey's independent voice in the Senate. We need to elect Bob Menendez. John Garrison, Hopewell Township - Daily Journal, November 4, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Terrorists must like Republicans best

Regarding the Oct. 28 letter, “How would terrorists vote?”: Let's see who would best serve terrorists' goals. How about a Republican-controlled government that did nothing to prevent Sept. 11, 2001, has not stabilized the real target (Afghanistan), has not captured enemy No. 1 and did a “cut and run” to invade Iraq where there was no terrorist activity? This gang also has done little to secure our borders and ports. Terrorists can set off bombs in Baghdad's “Green Zone” anytime they want in what has to be the most armed and fortified place on the planet. If that is not a loud and clear message to get our act together at home, I don't know what is. Since any political-party change must offer better homeland security, stronger counterterrorism measures and far better partnerships with allied nations, without which we will never succeed against terrorism, who would want what we have now to continue ... except the terrorists? Gary Schumacher, Linwood - Atlantic City Press, November 3, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

LoBiondo hurt southern New Jersey

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, tells us that it is his job as our representative in Congress to vote for the people of southern New Jersey. At a meeting that I attended in Cape May Court House concerning the new prescription drug program, LoBiondo said with emphasis he would make sure that Medicare would always be available. Two days later he joined a party-line vote for a measure that cut $39 billion from student loans, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs. Later in the day, his was the deciding vote as it passed again 216 to 214. This vote stopped social programs that benefit the people of southern New Jersey. Vote for someone who will put the people first. Vote to elect Viola Thomas-Hughes as our representative in Congress. Ed Powick, Cape May - Atlantic City Press

LoBiondo lost his integrity

In 1994, the Republican Party swept to control of both houses of Congress due, in large part, to their endless touting of a so-called “Contract with America.” Primary among this “contract's” provisions were a demand for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and a plan for term limits for members of Congress. The idea was that the budget amendment was needed because politicians couldn't be trusted to live within the country's means, and term limits were needed because career politicians inevitably became corrupted by the political culture and pressures of Washington. Newly elected Rep. Frank LoBiondo vowed to fight for the responsible fiscal policies a balanced budget would require. He also promised to limit himself to a maximum of six terms in office. As a national debt soars past $8.5 trillion, no one talks about a balanced budget anymore, least of all LoBiondo, who has voted in unquestioning lockstep with the profligate current administration. And now LoBiondo is running for his seventh term. Apparently the notion of noncareer, citizen politicians who serve and return to the community is as quaint as the idea of fiscal responsibility. Circumstances do change. Principles, when a person actually holds them, change perhaps less easily. LoBiondo, by all accounts a personally good and decent man, has done well for himself. He has gained power, influence and the friendship of presidents. All that he has lost is his integrity. John Orifici, Ventnor Atlantic City Press, November 2, 2006