Norell not open about vouchers
Mandy Powers Norell is trying to paint state Rep. Mick Mulvaney as some kind of radical on education reform, when according to a recent Herald article, she claimed to be "open to school choice" as long as it doesn't "divert funding from public schools."
That is exactly what Mick has been saying, and supported in the 2007 Education Reform bill. Only when a "hold harmless" clause was added to protect public school funding did Mick support these needed reforms. If anyone is playing fast and loose with the truth, it is Norell.
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Sen. McCain has more experience
On the economic crisis, Barack Obama wants to give the middle class a tax break so they can boost the economy by buying refrigerators, clothes, cars and air conditioners. While this will effect retailers, where does the wholesale flow of money go? Offshore, where all the manufacturers have moved their factories. McCain wants to cut the corporate taxes by 35 percent to keep the corporations and the jobs they provide here, while encouraging overseas operations of others to come back.
On the energy crisis, Obama wants to use wind and solar power, a 5 percent potential, to boost our energy independence, while maintaining restrictions on nuclear waste, reprocessing and oil drilling. McCain wants to free restrictions on nuclear power stations, a tried and true technology supplying a third of our current needs, while opening offshore drilling to provide some independence for the next decade.
On foreign policy, Obama wants to talk to China, Russia, North Korea and other potential enemies, which is like talking to your local burglar sanctioning his idea that he has free access to the bedroom and dining rooms if he will only keep out of the kitchen and living rooms. McCain knows our "walk softly and carry a big stick" policy is no good unless we use the "big stick" when necessary to achieve our goals and finish them effectively. Then our other foes are more likely to listen.
On the recovery, Obama wants to spend more money on programs to interfere with the laws of supply and demand, which got us here in the first place. McCain wants to reduce government control, bureaucracies and the taxes they need for support by reviewing and eliminating those that are redundant and unnecessarily interfering in our lives.
When all was said and done, Obama sounded so likable in the debates, but McCain sounded experienced enough to make the long-term changes we need -- and make them more effectively.
Roy K. Bird
Prosecute people for bad loans
Regarding the bailout debacle, there is one question that seems to stand out: Why is no one being prosecuted for the $777 billion in bad loans? The prevailing thought seems to be that these mortgages were just "made."
It is a misconception that loans on which a borrower's income and/or assets are not verified are something that we are all just stuck with. On mortgages where the lender does not verify the borrower's income or any other aspect of background, the correct information is still required. I have personally audited mortgages in the past. It is not that difficult to find the misrepresentations.
Each misrepresentation on a mortgage application is a separate felony carrying substantial potential jail time and large fines. On a fraudulent mortgage application, either the borrower misstated the income (or other fact) or was coached to do so by one of the other parties -- loan officer, real estate agent or builder.
The American public may have to pony up this obscenely large amount of money to save our economy. But those who caused it, one bad loan at a time, ought to bear their own responsibility. People are convicted every day for offenses far less serious. Perhaps the prospect of a few years in jail will make this less likely in the future. There are existing laws covering bank fraud. We just need the will to enforce them.
Who were real debate winners?
The real winners in the first two 2008 Election debates were Jim Lehrer and Gwen Ifill. The candidates were too busy sidestepping their thoughtful and insightful questions.