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Budget deal unbelievable act of betrayal of American people

To The Daily Sun,

Washington Democrats and Republicans just passed a budget that rewards the special interests at the expense of the American people. Senators Ayotte and Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster voted for the special interests. Congresswoman Shea-Porter voted for the people over the special interests.

The budget was created by the political party establishments, including President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Majority Leader Reid, and special interest groups. The 1,600-plus page document is heavy with pork, favors for supporters, and support for wasteful, ineffective, and unpopular programs.

In an unbelievable act of betrayal of the American people, this budget puts taxpayers back on the hook for potentially trillions of dollars of losses incurred by the big banks. Congress repealed the Dodd-Frank provision that prevented banks from gambling with taxpayer insured money, a factor in the 2008 financial meltdown.

This budget deal denied the recently elected senators and congressmen the opportunity to start fixing the problems, created by current and previous Congresses, that the voters sent them to address.

Among other things the budget deal fully funds Obamacare (through September), funds President Obama's amnesty for illegal aliens (through February), increases the power of political parties over the people, overrides Washington, D.C., voters relative to marijuana, bails out Blue Cross Blue Shield, provides corporate welfare via OPIC. It freezes Vice President Biden's salary, forces the Postal Service to deliver mail on Saturday, demands that nutrition assistance programs include white potatoes (everyone knows how essential they are!). It blocks a rule that truckers get more sleep before driving, blocks funding for sprucing up U.N. buildings (a token for the people), provides money for livestock killed by wolves, approves increased NSA spying on Americans, etc.

One would think that some of these things could have been handled normally by Congress rather than crammed into this last-minute bill in the middle of the night. One wonders how many more items, important or trivial, good or bad, were slipped into this bill that not a single Senator or Congressman read before voting?

About 40 percent of the Republicans (led by the TEA Party members, showing why they are attacked by the party establishments) and about 40 percent of the Democrats voted for the people, not the special interests.

By the way, the Washington Post says the politicians supporting this pro-special interest bill received, on average, twice the amount of donations from the finance/insurance/real estate industries as the politicians opposing it (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/12/12/democrats-who-voted-for-the-spending-bill-have-received-twice-as-much-money-from-the-finance-industry-as-the-no-voters/).

The passage of this budget deal is further proof that the majority of the Washington politicians of both political parties don't care what the people want or what's best for the vast majority of Americans if those things are contrary to special interests wants.

Don Ewing

Meredith

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What a fine president we are lucky to have in Barack Obama

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!

James Veverka

Tilton

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