November 2006

Special Dossier: Decision 5767
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Letters to the Editor

Hear Herr

Voters in Pennsylvania¹s 16th Congressional district must choose between Lois Herr and Joe Pitts. Mr. Pitts has been a strong supporter of President Bush and the president¹s war in Iraq. This war was a huge mistake. It has become obvious to most Americans that the war has cost us dearly. It has cost lives. It has cost money. It has cost America respect and good will throughout the world.

And there should be no question, the war has cost us in terms of security. Our troops are not where they should be. The deployments to Iraq have weakened our ability to deter North Korea and Iran from their nuclear ambitions. The hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq could certainly have been spent better improving security here at the homeland. And in case anyone is still confused, Iraq did not attack the U.S. on September 11. Al Qaeda was not active in Iraq before we invaded Iraq, but they are now.

The administration and their supporters should not be given more chances. It is time for change. Lois Herr is an intelligent strong woman who understands our national security needs. She supports a commitment to bring our soldiers home while recognizing the need to support the Iraqi people with the assistance of the International community. Lois Herr is the right choice for the 16th district on November 7th.

-- Mark Landon, West Chester, PA

Senator Macacawitz?

Now that he has revealed himself to be a bigot with his "macacca" remark about an Asian-American, George Allen suddenly claims Jewish heritage. Perhaps he could identify himself with a different ethnic group. Being identified with George Allen, under current circumstances, is simply not good for the Jews. 

-- Ben Burrows, Elkins Park, PA

Will Anyone Stand Up For the GOP?

Where is the Republican candidate for Congress in my district? As I drive around Delaware County I see many signs for Joe Sestak, the Democrat. I also see signs for Curt Weldon, "the Independent working for US". I don't see any signs for a proud Republican. I wonder why?

Of course, Independent Weldon's television ads appear suspiciously Republican, like when he attacks career Naval Officer Joe Sestak for not paying property taxes in Delaware County. I guess that as a member of the House Armed Services committee he forgot that active duty armed forces members retain their county of origin for voting purposes no matter where our country sends them. Similarly, Weldon's smear ads attack Admiral Sestak for wanting to roll back the tax cuts 
that gave $500 million to each member of the Walton family, whose company purchases virtually nothing made in the USA, but prefers to outsource its billions of business dollars to Red China.

Republicans have dominated all three branches of government since 2001. They have turned a budget surplus into a record deficit, they have created the quagmire in Iraq, now the world's greatest source of terrorists, and they have given the US a reputation not for integrity, but for flouting the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of War.

No wonder Weldon is running as far from his Party as he can.

Just once I would like to see a Republican campaign run on records and programs rather than chilling music and inaccurate but scary sound bites.

--Kenneth J. Gorelick, MD, FCCP, Newtown Square, PA

Where is the outrage?

What's most interesting about the Foley scandal is what isn't there.  With the honorable exception of Richard Viguerie, there are no "moralistic" voices of Republican outrage over Foley's behavior. 

Funny how Senator Joe Lieberman, who was so quick to pounce on President Clinton for a consensual affair with a fellow grown-up, seems tongue-tied at seeing a powerful adult abuse his authority over young people.  Funny how all these religious people can't seem to find it in their copies of the Bible that they should be outraged, even though their outrage may cost Republicans some seats in Congress.  Funny how pragmatism suddenly outweighs morality in this case.

-- Rich Gardner, Horsham, PA

The UN: Not Dead Yet

The cease fire agreement brokered by Annan and the United Nations is holding. The UN troops and the Lebanese army are guaranteeing peace in southern Lebanon and northern Israel, yet not a word of praise is heard. True, the UN has not been a friend to Israel and Jews have every reason to suspect the organization. Could it be that at last peace is taking hold thanks to the UN? True, also that Hezbullah has not been disarmed, but it is also quiet. True, soldiers have not been returned, but no Israeli soldiers are dying. Unilateralism has not proven to bring about peace. On the contrary, it has encouraged war. Let us try multilateralism. Let us use the UN as the Allies after World War II intended it — to rid the world of the scourge of war. The UN is also proving to be a place where enemies can meet each other face to face, quietly to resolve conflicts. The most recent vote in the Security Council against North Korea is a case in point. Even Bolton, US ambassador to the UN, is amazed. Neutralizing North Korea will make Israel safer. The rogue state could give Iran and other enemies of Israel vital atomic information and parts. The formula that has worked in Lebanon might also be applied to Gaza, an easy clear border that can be monitored and well defined. If that meets with success, the West Bank can be tackled.
Mark Twain was sick and newspapers reported him dead. Twain sent a message to them: "News of my death has been greatly exaggerated." So also with the UN.

-- Phillip Rosen, Philadelphia, PA

Casey A "Left-Wing Radical"?

Joel Himmelfarb's bizarre implications that Bob Casey is himself a left-wing radical (because of salacious comments by his supporters on left-wing websites) is almost as ridiculous as Rick Santorum funding the Green Party Senate candidate's petition drive, helping to collect thousands of fraudulent signatures in the interests of democracy (and incidentally draining votes from Casey in November). This kind of second hand political smut is the sort of slop that supermarket tabloid "Star" readers should be used to, with stories like "Aliens Endorse Clinton" -- with a supposed picture of a space alien shaking hands with Bill, presumably making backroom deals to turn over Earth sovereignty. That it appears in a journal of national significance would be an embarrassment to the old Stalinist "Daily Worker."

In point of fact, Bob Casey is so conservative, most lefties have to hold their nose to vote for him. But the K-Street stink from Rick Santorum is so much worse, by now Casey smells like an absolute rose garden by comparison. Casey's position on Israel is really quite conventional, and Himmelfarb's implications to the contrary so soon after Yom Kippur ought to have him contemplating his sin of "running to do evil." 

-- Ben Burrows, Elkins Park, PA

It's The Pitts

I would like to believe that our representative to Congress, Joe Pitts, cares about the safety and development of the children across our Country, as well as in our district. But if you examine his voting record you can come to a different conclusion. The most recent example is his vote to strip the Brady bill of any meaningful gun control provisions, this coming at a time when our classrooms have become the scene of increased bloodshed. His excuse - "We just need to enforce the laws that already exist." How simple, but we all know that's not working. 

Earlier this year he voted against funding Sesame Street and other children's TV programming. He also voted to reduce the funding for college loans and Pell grants. This makes it harder for everyone, except the rich, to send their children to college. Then Joe received national attention for his comments about video games being okay for rich kids but trouble for poor kids. Our democracy has been built on the premise that safety and opportunity will be provided to the poorest children amongst us, so that anyone who works hard enough can succeed. Doesn't he believe this?

I think Joe needs to get away from the influence of his Washington buddies on the extreme right. Maybe retirement and time at home would help.

-- William H. Tilson, Kenneth Township, PA


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