Letters to the editor

Aug. 12, 2013 @ 01:56 PM

Phony scandals 'rocking' Washington

When I heard our president say that “phony scandals” were impeding his ability to work on improving the economy  (by most counts, the 19th time he has decided  to focus on the economy since he was elected in 2008), I became nauseated.

I'm glad to think that he feels the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, including a U.S. ambassador, is a phony scandal; I’m sure the parents of those young men agree with him. The IRS is clearly another phony scandal – one Obama nevertheless  recognized when it was first brought to light and said he would “take care of it.”  As of today’s testimony to Congress, conservative groups are still being targeted by the IRS, which has shared confidential information about some people’s tax returns with the FEC, which is totally illegal. 

You may not be a conservative, but don’t worry – you will also be targeted at some point, once untrained personnel at the IRS have access to all your financial and health information in the implementation of ObamaCare. Not worried that the NSA has collected information on your email and phone calls?  Dream on. The willingness of governmental agencies to collect and share all of our personal information means that Chicken Little is right: The sky is falling.

Noelle A. Granger

Chapel Hill

Coolidge’s model

While many are hollering at the cost of this year’s holiday on Martha’s Vineyard for the Obama family, including the 70 hotel rooms for Secret Service personnel, presidential costly vacations are not unusual. 

G. W. Bush spent lots more presidential air fare flying to Texas, while Nixon and Reagan flew back and forth to California as frequently as possible during their White House years.  The interesting comparison, however, is to Calvin Coolidge’s years as vice president and his early days as president. 

You may remember that Coolidge was the vice president to Warren Harding, and in that powerless position, his family lived in a small apartment in Washington’s Willard Hotel which cost $12,000 a year — paid for by the vice president.  Then, when Harding died suddenly and Coolidge became president, his family was forced to wait more than one month for Mrs. Harding to vacate the White House and move back to Marion , Ohio. 

As the new president began his new role, his lone vice-presidential Secret Service agent stayed along with the new president.   Coolidge liked this agent and personally requested he remain.  Eventually, additional Secret Service personnel were assigned, but there was no imperial flavor to Coolidge’s presidency.  Silent Cal watched every penny and might be considered a model for future presidents to follow.

William T. Hendrickson

Durham

Tea Party takeover

A torrid love affair between the Republican Party and the Tea Party nuts started in the 2010 midterm election. Their vote gave the Republicans the House of Representatives, got rid of Nancy Pelosi as speaker and gave America one without a backbone.

Now the Tea Party, fueled by their racial hate aimed at Obama, have taken over the Republican party, and the sane republicans are running scared. The mess created by the Tea Party reminds me of a song by Tom Jones, back in the 1960s. A lady finds a half-frozen snake. Takes the snake home, revives the snake. Upon revival the snake bites the lady, and as she lay dying, she asked,  “Why?” The snake replies, “you knew I was a snake, when you took me in.”

I believe the sane members of the Republican party know they have a real snake on their hands, and the way to get rid of it is to join the Democrats. Recently Ken Crow, co-founder of the Tea Party, in a speech to a group of party members, said the bloodline of our founding fathers ran through our bodies, and of racial purity.

That speech could have come out of Hitler's Germany. That should scare you. I am not scared, I am old.

Jeff Albright

Hillsborough