Troubling times may loom for Obama
Big Republican wins in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races could spell real trouble for the Democrats in the 2010 election. When a Republican can win in a blue state such as New Jersey, that speaks with a very loud voice. Republican Chris Christie won the governor's race, overcoming a huge edge incumbent Jon Corzine had in campaign funds and multiple visits by President Obama to rally Democrats.
The state of Virginia had been going over to the Democrats' side in a big way over the past several years with wins in the U.S. Senate and the previous governor's race, but now with the victory of Republican Bob McDonnell for governor, dark clouds are beginning to form over the Democrats and the Obama administration. Next year's elections could be interesting.
OTTIS J. SMITH JR.
Fringe politics vs. effective governing
I am retired military and a Republican, but the letters to the editor that I read in Monday's paper about what a traitor Lindsey Graham is have got me thinking about that choice. I certainly don't want to be a member of "the angry white guy," which is where the Republican Party is headed.
Job one for elected officials is to represent the interests of the group of people who elected them. In order to do that, you have to be effective. Jumping around, flapping your arms and shouting that the sky is falling won't accomplish anything.
Being effective means working within the system and with others who may not share your beliefs about what role a central government should play in people's lives. I believe in the principals of strong military, less government and lower taxes.
So let's look at Lindsey Graham and see what we have. We have a man who raised his young sister when their parents passed away; a man who continues to serve in the military even though he does not have too. He worked tirelessly to pass Tricare for Life, the military supplement to Medicare for retired U.S. military personnel and their families. Just a few days ago, he was credited with being fully engaged with the Boeing decision to locate its new plant in South Carolina.
A new energy policy? That's kind of a no-brainer. Lindsey Graham is a responsible conservative looking for ways to effectively represent South Carolinians and Americans in the governing process. I'm betting my fellow citizens here in South Carolina see it too.
Attacks on Graham disgraceful
I have noted a large number of letters to The State attacking Lindsey Graham. His crime: attempting to work with Democrats on some issues, such as global warming. What we see here is "political correctness" on the right side of the spectrum. These folks are scary because they demand total allegiance to the perspective of the extreme right. And their verbal assault on Sen. Graham at the town hall in Greenville recently was disgraceful. I say this as a moderate-liberal Democrat who disagrees with the senator on most issues, but respects him.
Social Security more than entitlement
I agree with some of G.W. Jefferson's letter Tuesday regarding entitlements, but to include Social Security retirement income as an entitlement in sweeping terms is wrong. The Social Security that I am paid as retirement income was paid for by more than 40 years of deductions to my pay and matched by my employers in my name.
Knowing the wonders of compounding, I would accept a lump sum payment equal to the amount of money that was withheld and that was matched by my employer if it had been invested in the stock market in an index fund for those 40 years. It would be worth millions. For example, $12,000 invested once in the market in 1970 and left to compound, would be worth about a million dollars. Albert Einstein was asked once what in his life most amazed him. He answered, the power of compounding.
So the money paid by me and on my behalf, if invested wisely, would be more than enough to pay for my Social Security and my Medicare.
Orphanage spurs Americans' generosity
Brian Williams of NBC News recently relayed a story of an orphanage in Afghanistan that could not support the girls and young women in its care. NBC did not solicit help, but the story resulted in an outpouring of financial support that continues today.
Brian Williams seemed surprised. He should not have been. The United States is the most generous country in the world, whether supporting an orphanage, donating time and talents to educate or build homes in a developing country or sacrificing our lives to ensure another's freedom.
Our president has no reason to apologize to anyone.