DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

August 22, 2013

Letters to the Editor


Derry News

---- — Students vote where they attend college

To the editor:

Since in-person voter fraud has been shown to be practically nonexistent in the U.S., one might ask why is it the Republicans and their Tea Party allies keep bringing it up? Now, we have an answer, straight from the horse’s mouth, none other than Bill O’Brien, former Republican speaker of the N.H. House. He stated that students registering to vote, “are basically doing what I did when I was a kid and foolish, voting liberal.” That’s it: we need to keep people from voting liberal! Thanks, Bill!

Now we can understand why, in state after state, where Republicans and their Tea Party allies have control, they have pushed laws to suppress the vote. They have shortened hours polling places are open, eliminated early voting, shortened the number of days citizens can register to vote, passed draconian voter ID laws, eliminated same day registration, eliminated Sunday voting, cut down on the number of polling places and voting machines in Democratic neighborhoods and on and on. Every one of these measures is designed to suppress the vote of groups that traditionally vote Democratic: blacks, Hispanics, the elderly, college students, the poor.

More than 180 voter suppression bills were introduced by Republicans in 41 states between January 2011 and the September 2012 (Mother Jones, Sept 17, 2012). These efforts are designed to make it impossible or more difficult for as many as 5 million legitimate voters to cast their ballots.

New Hampshire is not immune to this plague. One example: In 2012, New Hampshire’s Republican-dominated legislature, in a nakedly partisan move, passed a law requiring student voters to jump through a series of hoops before they could vote. The US Supreme Court’s position on this issue is clear: a 1979 ruling found that all students have the right to vote where they attend college. (Symm vs. the United States, 1979).

New Hampshire’s Supreme Court was rightly skeptical of a dubious law targeted at a specific voter bloc and allowed students to vote under the same rules the state has always followed.

So, Republican and Tea Party letter writers and editorialists, spare me the pious crocodile tears about voter ID fraud which has repeatedly been shown to be almost nonexistent. Perhaps you should concentrate instead on furthering democracy by opposing your party’s efforts to subvert elections through good old voter suppression.

Michael Frandzel

Portsmouth

Al Qaeda is a threat right here

To the Editor:

For years, President Obama has been telling us that al Qaeda is “on the run.” Now, we learn that they are “on the run” to bomb U.S. embassies and kill Americans. President Obama responds with closures of about 20 embassies and consulates and a global travel warning. Unfortunately, that means al Qaeda is a threat right here in the U.S. because terrorists can get here from Canada or Mexico through our inadequately protected borders.

On their way to attack our embassies and people, terrorists have stopped off in Libya and Syria to collect the arms and aid that the Obama administration has been providing them. This administration also aided the enemy by revealing how we discovered the terror threats.

In Afghanistan, the Obama administration is paying contractors that are “providing material support to the insurgency …” which may also support global Jihad. The Inspector General states, “I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract.” (http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2013-07-30qr.pdf)

President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been so contrary to American interests that, as his pastor, the Rev. Wright, says, “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” The Muslim terrorists that President Obama has encouraged, armed, and funded are now a threat to American embassies and Americans anywhere in the world, including here at home.

Don Ewing

Meredith

Expanding Medicaid is a win-win

To the editor:

There have been many letters to the editor expounding on the humanistic and moral rationale for expanding Medicaid in New Hampshire. On those grounds alone, this legislation should be adopted.

It is hard to understand why Republicans in the N.H. Legislature are resisting the effort to provide health insurance to the working poor. How can anyone with a conscience not empathize with people whose incomes are $14,856 or less as they struggle to survive — food, housing, clothing, transportation to work and there’s some leftover for health insurance? Really?

OK, if Republicans have no sympathy, no caring for others less fortunate, no sense of responsibility for the general welfare, let’s put human interest aside for a moment, and think in hard-nosed economic terms.

Under the Affordable Care Act the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of medicaid expansion for three years and gradually taper their contribution down to 90 percent thereafter. They will pay these cost with tax money we will be sending, regardless, to Washington. So, if we don’t take the money we will be subsidizing the states that do.

But what if the Feds renege? They have never failed to keep their bargain on Medicaid or Medicare. But what if they do? Easy answer — states can opt out of the expanded services anytime without penalty, guaranteed by the U. S. Supreme Court.

Continuing this line of thinking in practical rather than moral terms — the uninsured show up in hospital emergency rooms and often have chronic conditions that go untreated. But if for Republicans the human cost in pain and suffering doesn’t matter, let’s talk economics. ER care is very expensive and we all pay for that with higher insurance rates. Untreated chronic conditions result in more ER care and lost wages. For example, an untreated diabetic may lose a foot and become unable to work.

Healthy people are happier, earn more, consume more, pay more taxes and make a contribution to the economy. Expanding Medicaid in New Hampshire is a win-win for everybody.

Cynthia Muse

Rye