To The Daily Sun,
Two senators have proposed a 12 cents a gallon gas federal tax increase to get funds for improving our highway and transit programs.
I have some questions. Why is both federal and state gas tax money going to transit programs and general funds?
If it is a gas tax then use it for bridges and roads? Why should the gas tax I pay go to inner city train/bus/subway service? Why should I subsidize inner-city travel?
When the gas tax was created, it was to help the general fund and not for bridges and roads. The tax was 1 cent and gas was about 10 cents per gallon.
The gas tax was increased several times but in 1956 when it was raised to 3 cents per gallon, the tax was to pay for roads and maintenance and not part of the general fund.
The gas tax increased with America's love of cars and roads, but George H. Bush increased the gas tax and half the tax was supposed to go to deficit reduction.
Well we can see how that worked. We were taxed to help bring down the deficit and instead of cutting the deficit, it is in the trillions. So let's take the money that is supposed to go to deficit reduction and put that to the roads and bridges.
Canada just approved pipeline to Pacific Coast for export to China. Canada was tired of the U.S. jerking them around. I am tired of the federal government jerking me around.
I was in favor of the Keystone Pipeline. I would rather get energy from an ally then the Middle East, especially with what is happening in Iraq now.
I paid $3.52 a gallon yesterday for gas. What will we pay next month? Next year? 5 or 10 years from now with the energy and taxing plans of our government?
Last Updated on Friday, 20 June 2014 09:31
How's this for a punch line? You stage a rebellion to get rid of Eric Cantor, who is on his worst day (to critics on the right) a very conservative guy who relishes hardball tactics, and he gets replaced by a pragmatic moderate from California. You call this victory?
Rep. Kevin McCarthy was not the tea party choice, and with reason. He came of age in Sacramento, where conservative Republicans either learn to get along, or, as in recent decades, they get pretty much nothing. McCarthy was the Republican leader when moderate Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of California, and McCarthy gets credit both for standing up to the governor on behalf of his caucus and for working with him — and with Democrats — to get things done. He was the kind of guy who denounced the governor for picking a pro-choice Democrat as his chief of staff and then worked with her to smooth her relationships with legislators. He did not go looking for fights. He is, in short, no Newt Gingrich or Eric Cantor.
So why did House Republicans, supposedly traumatized by Cantor's loss, trembling in the wake of the earthquake and seeking to avoid being in the wrong place for aftershocks, so overwhelmingly reject the more conservative candidate, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho (whose rhetoric in support of helping the poor, providing security to the middle class and not cozying up to special interests sounded downright liberal to me), in the race to replace Cantor as the No. 2 Republican in the House?
If everyone on the Republican side is as terrified of the tea party as an earthquake should make you, how come the leadership in Congress includes exactly no one from the tea party? Is the establishment crazy? Or are they crazy like a fox?
The short answer to how McCarthy won seems, from all reports, to be old-fashioned politics. In his years in the House, he has taken the lead in recruiting Republicans to run and helping them raise money; he has mentored countless members trying to figure out how to navigate the House and keep getting re-elected.
All politics is local, and the House is a neighborhood of its own. McCarthy has been an effective, solicitous and generous block captain, which matters a lot to people whose primary goal, for understandable reasons, is not to find themselves unemployed in two years or less.
The long answer is more complicated. From the outside, it's easy to assume that the heart of the conflict between the "hard-core" conservatives in the tea party and the establishment Republicans is social issues. But that was the last war, when putting gay marriage on the ballot might help, not hurt, Republican candidates, when running hard against abortion was a winning strategy. The conservatives won that war. Most of the establishment Republicans are as anti-choice as the tea party candidates, which doesn't necessarily help them in statewide or national elections, and certainly doesn't earn them a "pass" from the tea party.
What divides establishment Republicans from the tea party at a more fundamental and potentially explosive level are attitudes toward "big business" and "Wall Street" and the "Chamber of Commerce" view of America instead of the average person's view.
The tea party is a populist movement consisting of people who vote. What divides establishment Republicans from the tea party is the mother's milk of Republican politics in Washington D.C.: money. The Jeb Bushes and Kevin McCarthys of the Republican Party do not raise the tens of millions of dollars it takes to keep the Republican reelection machine running from the desperate poor or insecure middle class whom Labrador championed.
McCarthy is reported to be someone who can't eat dinner without seven other people at the table. Most of those people, one expects, are people who need his help — who need his help on an issue, who need his help holding on to their seats. He helps. That is the job of a leader in D.C.
What passes for mother's milk is in fact poisoning the political process, but the tea party does not yet have the power to change that, and that power will not be given up easily by the establishments of either party — nor will it be easy to take it from them.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
Newfound Lake and Cardigan residents have one more wind turbine project to deal with and it's called the Spruce Ridge Wind Power Plant. The project would be built on a single landowner's leased property which stretches across four towns: Groton, Alexandria, Hebron and Orange.
On Tuesday, June 17, EDP Renewables met with the Alexandria Board of Selectman at the Alexandria Town Hall. The selectmen met with EDP's project manager, Derik Rieman, and lawyer, Mark Beliveau.
Mark Beliveau stated that EDP had submitted a letter and a package of information to the selectmen a week prior which successfully addressed five of the six conditions that the Alexandria selectmen had placed on granting a permit for construction of a Met tower in Alexandria.
They then discussed the status of those five conditions: 1) FAA Approval information; 2) The Planning Board in Groton has written two letters in response to the Alexandria letter concerning abutter of the Met tower access road; 3) EDP agrees to install a barbed wire fence around the Met tower; 4) Requirement for a bond to cover the cost of decommissioning and removal of the tower; 5) Copies of any other permits given to EDP on this project
The remaining unanswered question the selectmen had requested two months ago was related to the decommissioning cost estimate, which EDP has not supplied. EDP said they would answer that question within one months time.
A Met tower gathers wind speed data to determine whether the area might be an appropriate locale for a utility-scale wind turbine energy facility. Many of you reading this understand that, but EDP told CT as part of their Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) application that they won't need a Met tower to measure wind characteristics. They did not make clear why they now are still pursuing a permit for a Met tower.
What we do know is:
— EDP wants to erect a half-mile-tall Met tower this fall by helicopter
— EDP will not say how many turbines they plan to instal (15, 25, 36 or more)
— EDP will not say how tall the turbines will be
— EDP will not say where the turbines will be located
— EDP said they don't need FAA approval for the Groton Met tower
— EDP stated that they will be transparent and abide by all regulations
A final decision on whether to issue the Met tower building permit is likely to be made at the selectman's meeting four weeks from now. I had to go and ask my mom what the definition of transparency was. It's a big word and I'm a small guy. So, I went to the only source I knew. My mom told me the word transparency means to be honest, easy to understand, not secretive, something defined, something readily understood, etc. I don't think EDP is being transparent — do you?
If you're shocked by the height of the Met tower! Wait until you see the wind turbines.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:55
To The Daily Sun,
I am always in awe of the brilliance of The Founding Fathers. How could these men know that this Rule Book, a.k.a the U.S. Constitution, would be the final say — that is, until we have a president who scorns this document.
I lost a frequent radio show caller who said abortion is a woman's right. And if I was going to continue to oppose that position he would be a listener but no longer a caller. Someone else trying to take my First Amendment away. Another listener took my advice and no longer is a caller. Though he has written a couple of letters to editors critical of my position regarding those who should do some type of work, yet find it easier to exist on somebody else's money. He used to refer to George W. Bush as a "moron". I allowed him to use "The First".
H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American journalist: "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." Mencken was 52 years ahead of his time with that prediction!
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:48
To The Daily Sun,
Interlakes Community Caregivers, Inc. asks your readers to join our team of volunteers. ICCI is a 501(c)3 volunteer nonprofit organization that provides support services and information to assist our neighbors in their daily lives.
Requests for services are continuing to increase and thus the need for more volunteers.
Why would you want to volunteer for ICCI?
Because you want to.....
● Make a difference and be involved with the issue of helping others
● Pay back to the community for help or opportunities extended to you
● Enjoy the benefits of serving the community and increase your sense of connection
● Improve the quality of life in our community
● Have an enjoyable and rewarding experience that increases life satisfaction
● Feel productive and use some untapped skills
Perhaps you've had personal experience of needing some help to remain independent, either directly or through a friend or relative. ICCI provides those services that are often just that "little piece of support" that makes all the difference in the world. Will you help?
The next Volunteer Education Session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 9th, and we're hoping that you will join us. Training materials are provided in advance for your review, so please contact us today.
Ann W. Sprague
Interlakes Community Caregivers
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:43