December 04, 2019
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Saturday, November 23, 2019: Full participation during inquiry, partisanship and privilege, what benefits?

Full participation during inquiry

Here is the quid pro quo I want: Full cooperation from the State Department in exchange for Hunter Biden’s and whoever else’s testimony that the Republicans request. Let all sides be allowed to pursue a full reckoning during this historic inquiry.

Jennifer Tibbetts

Jackson

What benefits?

I need to refute Sen. Stacey Guerin’s claim in a recent OpEd in the BDN that “Maine women and children benefited tremendously” from Republican control of state government. The truth is that, after Republicans gained control of both chambers and the governor’s office in 2010, Maine slid downhill.

Between 2011 and 2015, Maine’s childhood deep poverty rate increased faster than any other state’s, eight times faster than the national average.

In its 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book, The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Maine 23rd in the nation for children’s overall economic well being, down from 18th the year before.

In 2011, when 35 percent of children living in poverty were receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Maine imposed a lifetime limit. That more than halved the percentage receiving aid ( to 16 percent) by 2015, eliminating assistance for approximately 16,000 children.

As the state’s poorest children suffered, Maine simply failed to spend a staggering $155.5 million in federal TANF funds and misspent $13.4 million.

According to a 2017 report, Maine had the third highest portion of households living with food insecurity in the nation. Nearly one in four of the more than 200,000 of those people was a child.

During that time, Maine ranked last nationally in its ability to administer SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Five times, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed MaineCare expansion, preventing thousands of Mainers from receiving healthcare.

By 2014, Maine ranked 37th in the nation for infant mortality and was the only state whose infant mortality rate rose compared with the previous decade.

How has the state “benefited” from high infant mortality and greater childhood poverty?

Cheryl Golek

Harpswell

Shades of Melville

For sea-loving people, does the character John Claggart from the Herman Melville novel “Billy Budd” remind you of the current master-at-arms? Accusations without grounds, actions without consequences, fabricated news of success, demeaning of all other opinions, dividing the political world into black and white?

Donald Stanley

Nobleboro

Partisanship and privilege

President Donald Trump is a rich, white, old male. In that regard, he has always been above the law. The law often does not prosecute the rich and powerful.

The Republican Party represents many elite, rich, white old males. The impeachment inquiry is an existential threat to their long established privileges. The partisanship exhibited during the hearings has less to do with actual conservative versus liberal philosophy, and more to do with the elite refusing to relinquish one iota of their despotic control.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

 



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