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Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011: Snowe clarifies vote, anti-Semitic slurs and Searsport tank

Snowe clarifies vote

A resident of Eddington recently claimed I voted “to not extend the payroll tax deduction.” This is factually wrong and it does a disservice to the Bangor Daily and its readers.

First and foremost, let me be clear about my record — I have consistently voted to extend the current payroll tax relief program, including most recently on Dec. 1 and again on Dec. 8. I voted to extend the payroll tax relief because it is a benefit to hardworking Americans, and because the bills I voted for would extend this critical provision without damaging small businesses, who create most new jobs, at a time when creating jobs and growing our economy is the No. 1 task before Congress.

I have repeatedly voted to extend the payroll tax relief program because 160 million Americans should not be punished with a tax increase at the end of this month. I cannot think of anything more harmful to our people than a major tax increase going into effect on Jan. 1.

There are legitimate disagreements in Congress about how to pay for this extension without harming small businesses, the Social Security Trust Fund or the federal deficit. The fact of the matter is the Senate majority’s legislation imposes punitive and job-killing taxes on four out of five American businesses.

In closing, I have voted repeatedly to extend this program. Any claim to the contrary is factually wrong and I want to ensure that readers of this newspaper know the facts.

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe

Classic slurs

Melodie Greene’s Dec. 10-11 Letter to the Editor manages to squeeze two classic anti-Semitic slurs into a paragraph purportedly dealing Israel.

First, the divided loyalty slur: Jews can’t be real all-American Americans because their hearts are elsewhere. Melodie Greene puts it this way: “But what about Americans who care more about America than they do about Israel?”

Second, the basic Protocols-of-Zion-secret-masters-of-the-universe slur. Melodie Greene: “And what about Americans who have seen their democracy eroded by a quiet coup of pro-Israeli ‘analysts’ who have seized the levers of American power but for the benefit of Israel?”

What’s next, a letter about evidence of Christian children’s blood being used in Passover matzo, Jewish racial inferiority and the Jewish plot to destroy decent family entertainment?

John Goldfine


Middle East’s nuclear threat

Mr. Tobin’s rant (“U.S. presence stops attack,” BDN Letters, Dec. 5) about the irrational Muslims of the Middle East preparing to use nuclear weapons in the name of Allah would have struck fear in the hearts of many had it been accurate.

When one actually looks at the facts, however, his argument falls apart — only one Middle Eastern country has a nuclear weapon. That country is the staunch U.S. ally, Israel!

Jim McCarthy


Searsport divide

For some proponents of the DCP megatank proposed for Searsport, the conflict boils down to “people from away” versus “locals.”

Many of the people who’ve moved here from other places bought and restored our historical buildings. They started small businesses, employing us and our neighbors. They pay taxes on some of the most expensive real estate in town. They send their kids to our schools and sit on committees here.

Some of “them” have lived here longer than some of “us.” At what point do they get to become one of us?

The real outsider is DCP, with 22 million gallons of LPG from Qatar. Now that’s “from away.” This isn’t a couple from New Jersey who pulled up stakes and gambled their life savings on a good life here in Maine. It’s a multinational corporation that posted $2.6 billion in profit last quarter, poised to install a huge, ugly, dangerous storage tank — that will do what for us? They can’t even promise to hire local people, not for the construction, nor for the few permanent positions.

I saw the names and addresses of the 220 people who signed the moratorium petition. There were plenty of local names, with every neighborhood in town represented. This isn’t about how long people have lived here. We are at a turning point. It’s time for us to decide if we will hand over our town to a faceless corporation that sees us as nothing but a means to increase its own already substantial profits.

Anne Matava


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