Democrats caved again
I am completely disgusted to hear that, yet again, the Democrats have caved to the interests of the 1 percent and have allowed them to get away with not having to pay their fair share. They did this, apparently, so they can get home for the holidays and won’t have to work over Christmas. How many of the rest of us will have to work during the holidays just to make ends meet? More importantly, how many of us would give anything to be able to work on Christmas or any other day?
Some Republicans are now calling the 1 percent “job creators” and say they shouldn’t have to pay more taxes. Studies are showing, however, that a lot of the 1 percent don’t create jobs for anyone. Of the ones that do, who are they creating jobs for? The last time I checked, it is not the responsibility of Americans to employ (or is it to exploit?) the peoples of China, India and elsewhere.
So Congress and the 1 percent will be enjoying the holidays and buying all those luxury items that advertisers seem to think we need. How many of the rest of us, of whom the census now says 1 in 2 are either in poverty or are low income, will have bare trees not to mention bare pantries despite the best efforts of aid societies? No, Virginia, there is no longer a Santa Claus; Congress and the 1 percent have killed him.
‘Pay to delay’
With all of the chaotic changes in our world these days, a lot of scams in the realm of health care and drug pricing are getting less attention than they deserve. One is the legalized bribery used by brand-name drug companies to put off the introduction of generic drugs.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in “pay for delay” agreements, a generic drug manufacturer is paid by a brand name drug manufacturer to delay marketing of generic alternatives to brand name drugs (when their patent expires).
Drug companies are all jumping on this money wagon, and the agreements are being used more frequently every year. From 2004 to 2009 there were 66, but already in just the past two years, 59 have been made.
The Federal Trade Commission supports legislation to make these agreements illegal. Senate bill 27, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act, would do this. However, drug industry lobbying has effectively kept it from getting enough support to be passed. If we all contacted our senators asking them to support this bill, it wouldn’t hurt.
Ann Coulter wanna-be?
I am writing regarding the article about Ms. Rousselle, the “college conservative,” who blogged about the need for welfare reform after a summer working at Walmart. The comment at the end of the article where Ms. Rousselle states she wants to be like Ann Coulter, the conservative firebrand, tells me everything I need to know about Ms. Rousselle’s motives and agenda for writing the articles.
John N. Kelly
Park poll context
I think it is extremely important that Mainers across the state are debating the question of a North Woods National Park. Clearly, the outcome of this discussion will have significant impact on our land use, our access and our environment as well as the future of our state’s economic base.
Therefore, I applaud the BDN’s contribution to that process with an online poll that will undoubtedly increase awareness of the issue and help Mainers to formulate their opinions. Still, it is important to remember that there are regional differences in sentiments on this proposal. Since the primary readership for the BDN is in the northern half of the state, we need to contextualize the poll results, recognizing that they primarily represent the viewpoint of that region and not necessarily the views of the entire state.
Worth saving as park
As a native of the beautiful state of Maine, I strongly support Ms. Quimby’s attempts to establish a national park on her properties to the east of Katahdin.
From Kittery to Caribou, I have seen the depredation of many of Maine’s beautiful natural areas by developers who care not about the environment but only about how much of a return they can get on their investment.
It is gracious of Ms. Quimby to be willing to allow snowmobilers some access to the properties. Aside from the effects of the noise, I wonder how the wildlife is affected by the noise and traffic. Not all snowmobilers ride by the rules — they throw trash, empty beer cans, paper and other detritus along the way and some of them do not stay on the established trails. Unfortunately, these few tar the others with the same brush.
I hope the powers that be will see the wisdom in saving at least one of Maine’s beautiful and remote areas for future visitors and residents alike to enjoy.
Rita M. Souther
Iran, Israel facts
In the Dec. 10-11 issue of the BDN, Melodie Greene shared her opinions on America’s relationships with Israel and Iran. One of the only accurate statements Ms. Greene made is that Iran doesn’t have the bomb. She ignores Iran’s active nuclear program with intent of developing nuclear weapons.
The leadership of Iran has stated it wants to destroy Israel and the U.S. There is no demonizing here as claimed. Iran actively supports terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. Since the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, Iran’s leadership has been a pariah throughout the world.
To address anti-Semitism dressed as anti-Zionism: Israel does have a strong lobbying body as do numerous other countries. The U.S. hands out billions of dollars every year and everyone wants a share. Ms. Greene states “Americans who have seen their democracy eroded by a quiet coup of pro-Israeli ‘analysts,’ financiers and politicians who have seized the levers of American power but for the benefit of Israel.”
Again we’re confronted by the tired rhetoric of Jews controlling others. I’m an American who cares more about America than Israel, but that doesn’t mean I’m blind to the facts. Israel is the only Middle Eastern democracy. Time will tell if newly formed governments throughout the Middle East become democracies or maintain their history of repressive regimes.
We should know where our elected officials stand on Israel. Those who support Israel support democracy. Israel has always been one of the best U.S. allies whereas Iran’s leadership wants to see us destroyed.