To The Daily Sun,
While conservative Obama haters like Steve Earle, Don Ewing, and Linda Riley were foaming Benghazi from the mouth, watching Fake News, listening to hate radio, and reading The Blaze, the nation has been plotting a course forward. We crawled out of the worst recession since the Great Recession and out of our lying Bush government's most despicable military blundering since LBJ and Nixon's Vietnam nightmare. But we made it!
According to Forbes, Obama surpassed Reagan's eight-year successes in his first six years. The headline reads, "Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing." The deficit was at 9.2 percent of the GDP when our fine president took office. It is now at 4.1 percent. Unemployment has also been halved, and we now have steady growth. The last time we had consecutive months of job growth over 200,000 was from September 1999 to January 2000, during the Clinton presidency.
Obama's policies to stimulate the economy have blown right past that with 10 straight months of 200,000-plus. The average work week also increased slightly, but the manufacturing sector saw an even larger increase in the average work week hours. And health care in America is getting better than ever because nobody has to wait until they are almost dead to get help. The Harvard School of Public Health says that 10 million got ACA coverage last year and this year the number will be 12 million. President Obama also reauthorized and then expanded the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which currently provides 7 million poor children with health insurance.
According to the CDC, we now have the lowest rate of uninsured since 1997. In the first quarter of 2014 the uninsured rates in Medicaid-expansion states fell from 18.4 percent to 15.7. In GOP-run states that won't expand Medicaid you may as well call their government death panels because their sociopathic negligence will kill people by the thousands due to preventable deaths.
Obama has also made a laughingstock out of the conservative Beavis and Butthead coalition who were on the Vladimir Putin bandwagon. Russia's ruble has plummeted in value as the nation is about to plunge into recession. Due to the sanctions the EU and President Obama have imposed, Russian GDP is expected to contract by 0.8 percent next year. Obama is whipping Putin like a mutinous sailor. Vladimir Putin is a broken Chuckie Doll from the 1980s.
Other Obama accomplishments include Wall Street reform, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," reversing Bush's torture policies which violate the Geneva Convention, improving our image abroad, and kicking banks out of the student loan business. He has successfully begun a military-trimming program which saved us a half a trillion in 2012 alone. Over the next decade, troop size will diminish slightly, while funds will be aimed at improving intelligence gathering and cyber-warfare. Obama also killed the F-22 by ending purchases of the $358 million fighter. With 187 built, the plane had never flown a single combat mission. Eliminating it saved $4 billion.
Obama also increased support for veterans while the GOP fought it almost every time. He signed the Fair Sentencing Act which made crack cocaine sentences equal to powdered cocaine sentences. Obama created the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act mandating spending to implement higher nutritional and health standards for school lunches. Good-bye junk food and obese kids.
The president also signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded protections to include crimes based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender, or disability. And our president loves technology. He pushed for funds to bring broadband Internet to lower-income rural families.
Obama also eliminated Bush's restrictions and expanded stem cell research which has promise in treating spinal injuries and currently untreatable diseases and genetic illnesses. The Mexico City Rule was also ended by executive order. The U.S. can now help other countries in reproductive health services.
Obama also signed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, giving women with equal skills to the men who are paid less than men for the same work the right to sue their employers after they find out about the discrimination, even if that discrimination happened years ago.
The president has recognized the dangers of too much atmospheric CO2 which traps heat just as apples fall to the ground and fire burns ski. Now the EPA can regulate CO2. He also boosted fuel efficiency standards which reduces CO2 and our need for fossil fuels. New EPA restrictions on mercury and other toxic air pollution, issued in December 2011, will lead to the closing of between 68 and 231 of the nation's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Utilities may lose up to $11 billion, but estimated healthcare savings are estimated between $59 billion and $140 billion from the significant reduction in carbon emissions.
Also of note is that Obama and China came to an unheard-of agreement about capping greenhouse gases. Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act which aims at preventing food-borne illnesses using new oversight techniques and the best science available. 48 million people are struck with food-borne illnesses each year. Many die because of dirty processing plants.
Our land is safer from Big Energy now, too. Obama expanded wilderness and watershed protection when he signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, created thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails, and protected more than 1,000 miles of rivers. As part of the successful 2009 Stimulus, $90 million has been invested in research on smart grids, energy efficiency, renewable electricity generation, and cleaner coal.
A fine president you are, Mr. Obama!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 11:05
To The Daily Sun,
Industrial wind turbine power plants are nothing more than a symbol, for politicians who want to be seen as "green".
But what's green? Cutting down hundreds of acres of trees and blasting away mountain tops for the purpose of planting concrete foundations for 500 foot tall white turbines? Maybe — just maybe — these white turbines would blend better in the White Mountains?
The State of New Hampshire knows better. They know wind farms kill and disrupt the New Hampshire environment, displace and redirect New Hampshire waters, threaten New Hampshire wildlife, pose a threat to New Hampshire tourism, don't produce full-time jobs, ruin property values and must be backed up by reliable power at all times.
New Hampshire knows intermittent electricity and CO2 savings associated with wind farms do not justify spreading them across the New Hampshire landscape, they also know none of the electricity produced is destined for New Hampshire.
If wind farms were profitable — every ski resort, college, school and prison in the state would be lining up to collect those revenues. I assure you they are not.
Remember, New Hampshire produces too much electricity and has been a net exporter of electricity for decades. When your electrical rates skyrocket you need to understand why and who is demanding it. Massachusetts desires to avoid dependence on one type of fuel and to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions problem.
In short: they are demanding it, and we'll help pay for it.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 11:10
To The Daily Sun,
In my response of the escalated criminal activities in our community I must confess that I am in consideration by some of being guilty of a certain previous criminal activity. The offense, I feed cats!
The other day I received a terse letter from the management of the apartment complex where I reside to cease and resist at once to stop feeding cats or management will commence with eviction action against me, my wife, and yes "pinky" my cat.
I am a physically disabled member of this community and one of the few joys I have left is that I feed stray cats. Everyone has heard of Robert Stroud "The Birdman of Alcatraz" I am the cat-man of North Main Street, or at least I was.
How petty and mean some people can be, to take this away from me is a direct violation of my constitutional rights, not to mention the rights of cats!
That wonderful 1974 film. "Harry and Tonto" is a beautiful story of man and cats. Art Carney won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of mans love of cats. Management should view this film and take notes and a test as well.
I confess of being an animal lover. Years ago at the old upper field behind the high school one morning I released three skunks, two raccoons, and one possum out of trapes, I was later the subject of disciplinary action by a representative of the local Fish and Game. I am a very simple man in many ways.
When I pass and if I were to be reincarnated, I would desire to come back as a blue-eyed cat, preferably a rex.
Happy Holidays and if you can, feed a cat today. The cat will be happy, and so will I.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 11:02
To The Laconia Daily Sun,
On November 26 at 1:30 a.m., my wife and I thought we had been struck with a bolt of lighting. As it turned out, a soft birch tree had fallen on the lines that carried our three services, power-TV-phone. It was reported immediately to PSNH, MetroCast and FairPoint. In addition to taking out our lines, the tree fell on the cars of two daughters and our granddaughter. One car had thousands of dollars in damage and the other a lesser amount. We all go out and started to clear the tree with loppers and saws and welcomed the arrival of our son and his chainsaw. We finally cleared the tree so that the wires could be reconnected.
Thanksgiving "dinner" was cooked on my Coleman stove on the back porch. It still worked after not being used for years. We only had a small fireplace for heat. Over three days, the house cooled down so much that the temperature in the garage was down to 38 degrees. (The garage is under the house.) That night I went to bed wearing a hooded sweatshirt. I hadn't had to do that since being in the scouts and family camping.
Thanksgiving dinner with the family had been postponed to Saturday at our daughter's in Goffstown. It was great that we could absorb some of the heat of her home become coming home. On arrival, there were lights on in the house. A PSNH repair crew had reconnected the power to the pole. Our sigh of relief was short-lived. They had to return Monday because a wire had slipped out of the connector on the house. So far, so good.
A couple of days later, the wiring for the TV was reattached at the house. Service had not been interrupted because the wire had had enough slack in it and was able to absorb the shock of the tree. As far as our phone lines are connected we have not had local, long distance, and computer access to the Internet. I have had a cell phone for emergency calls, ect. During this time I have had a "Part D" prescription problem which I have been trying to resolve since November 10. Having to use my cell phone all this time I have put in four times the amount of money that it would normally have cost. In order to compensate minimizing phone use, I have driven around enough that I used up and equivalent amount of gas.
It's unfortunate that both parties in the FairPoint negotiations have not been able to call a temporary truce, get their butts in gear and care of "their" customers. Recently, there was a little clip on TV that I wish they all might have seen. If they had, all of us that have this problem would be up and running. It was about a point, during WWI, that German and American soldiers called a TRUCE, at Christmas. To celebrate the birth of Christ. Can it be that they were more intelligent in that time? Seems that "compromise" is a dirty word these days.
Other than working through being hit by two different cars, in two weeks, where both impacted the same point on the car — as it was parked in the same place, I believe that this too will pass.
P.S. - Two weeks to the day, there is a technician reconnecting our phone line. All is well, again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to tall!
Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
How can you tell if your contributions to a charity or non-profit really makes a difference in the community that you live? Actually, there are a variety of ways that many donors make this judgment.
Of course, one of the time-honored ways is measuring how much of your contribution actually gets to the people you want to help or how much is eaten up in administrative and fund-raising costs. A good percentage is around 75 percent. An excellent measure would be 85 percent.
The Neighbors in Need program? The record shows 98.2 percent of every dollar donated goes directly to assist your neighbors. How can we achieve that? Well, there's no staff; so no wages or salaries. We don't have a building; so no rent, no utilities, no heat, no maintenance. No fund-raising events or promotions; so no fund-raising costs. No cost for paper, stamps, etc.; so no office expense. Our only non-program expenses is the fees the state of New Hampshire charges us to maintain our non-profits status. So, out of every dollar you donate to our program, 98 cents goes directly to your neighbors who are in financial need.
Another measure you could use is how much of your contribution stays "home" rather than going outside your community. Do a percentage of the dollars you donate go to national organizations or to people living somewhere else in the country or the world. Neighbors in Need? The 98 cents mentioned above stays right here in the Lakes Region, to folks you probably pass by in the local grocery store, the local bank, the local gas station.
Do your donations actually impact on people's lives? If you donated to the Neighbors in Need program this year, you helped a severely handicapped man get a much needed hearing aid. If you sent us a check this year, you made it possible for an elderly woman get her wheelchair fixed so that she could make her doctor's appointments. You helped a Belmont single mom who working and raising two children to buy some more oil to heat her apartment during last year's severe winter.
You helped a grandmother in Laconia pay to fix her car so she could continue to transport her medically complex grandchild. Your dollars helped a family of six in Gilford pay out-of-pocket expenses for colostomy supplies as they had not met her Medicaid spend-down amount. You matched the meager savings of a single woman on disability and helped her buy a car to replace the one that was no longer repairable.
So, if you contribute to Neighbors in Need, 98 percent of every dollar goes to make a major impact on the lives of your neighbors in your towns or city in the Lakes Region. If you haven't supported us in the past, won't you consider a gift no matter how small. We would really appreciate your consideration of a monthly or quarterly donation, as the need continues throughout the year.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all in the Lakes Region.
Bill Johnson, President
Neighbors in Need
Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 10:50