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Image 5 of The Messenger (Madisonville) August 8, 2012

Part of The Messenger (Madisonville)

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” — James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights Rick Welch Publisher Don Perryman Managing Editor OPINION THE MESSENGER, Wednesday, August 8, 2012 A5 Serving the people of the Pennyrile since 1917 email: opinions@the-messenger.com No penalty for Harry Reid’s big mouth W henever a name years.” Republican says Romney denies the something stupid or charge. PolitiFact rated Reid’s indefensible or arguably both, for unsubstantiated claim as “pants on the next three days folks fire” false and “far-fetched.” will open a conversation Reid seemed to by asking me (the only understand how fantastic Republican they know) his charge appeared. He what I think about the told HuffPo, “Now, do latest GOP gaffe. I know that that’s true? That standard does not Well, I’m not certain. But apply when Democrats obviously he can’t release talk out of turn — those tax returns. How even when they make would it look?” DEBRA unsupportable accusations HuffPo reported that SAUNDERS deliberately. Last week, though it is impossible to COLUMNIST Senate Majority Leader verify who the investor Harry Reid did just is (or whether Reid’s that when he told The invisible friend has any Huffington Post that an unnamed proof or even knowledge of Bain Capital investor told him Mitt Romney’s tax history) — and that Romney “didn’t pay taxes for 10 Reid didn’t even claim he knew what he said was true — “there is limited political downside to the type of open speculation that Reid is making, so long as Romney refuses to budge on the issue of his tax returns.” You see, when Democrats hurl charges they can’t back up, it’s because they’re so politically astute. There’s little penalty, so Reid not only repeated his tale but also embellished it. He said on the Senate floor of Romney: “As we know, he has refused to release his tax returns.” That’s not true. Romney released his 2010 return and an estimate for 2011. But when a man has a casual relationship with facts, he can make this sort of claim with impunity. Reid has critics. The New York T imes’ Frank Bruni lamented Reid’s “spew first” tactics. “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart ranted: “Here’s a rule of thumb: If you have to follow your claim with the words ‘I don’t know if that’s true,’ then shut up.” Stewart likened Reid to fellow fabulist Donald Trump, railing that Reid “might as well put a dead cocker spaniel on (his) head and start yelling about birth certificates.” No worries. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supported Reid. She told HuffPo that Reid’s statement “is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact.” Pelosi and Reid share the same low bar. Though both Democratic leaders have called on Romney to release years of tax returns, both refused to release their tax returns to McClatchy Newspapers last month. As for Reid, he has a history of inserting his foot into his mouth. Reid once told “Game Change” authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin that he believed Barack Obama could win the White House, as he was a “light-skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Reid also called President George W. Bush a “loser” and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan “one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington.” Note that Reid didn’t call Greenspan the biggest political hack in Washington. That role, after all, is taken. President, Clinton seem to have a pact H ey, remember “Clinton himself. From the convention fatigue?” The sour mood to November, he’ll be targeting that pervaded America the Bush years. He’ll basically back when Bill was burdening his contend that the economy party with his bad-boy behavior, he bequeathed to the nation and celebrating his last days was great until Bush and the in office by issuing a flurry of Republicans screwed it up (via pardons to felons who were on the deregulation, budget busting, and lam? Even the Democrats were unpaid wars), and that Obama grousing, off the record, has been digging his way that they couldn’t wait for out of Bush’s wreckage the guy to go away. ever since. But memories fade He’ll also be tasked quickly in this amnesiac with tying Romney to nation. Today, he’s Bush, although he has venerated for his postalready begun. Earlier presidential charity work, this summer, he quipped his ’90s tenure seems in at a fundraiser that retrospect to have been Romney, in the economic a peace-and-prosperity DICK POLMAN realm, “basically wants paradise, and there isn’t a to do what [Bush] did PHILADELPHIA politician in the land who before, on steroids, which INQUIRER can match his ability to will get you the same frame complex issues in consequences you got everyday human terms. before, on steroids.” Sure As they used to say in Arkansas, enough, Obama and Joe Biden he can still talk a dog off a meat now contend on the stump that truck. Romney is “George Bush on Nobody knows this better than steroids.” Barack Obama — which is why Obama has returned the the president has tapped Clinton favor by dabbling in Clinton for a major prime-time speaking nostalgia. What a difference gig at the Democratic National from 2008; back then, Obama Convention. Clinton will put invoked Ronald Reagan as the Obama’s name in nomination, and, president he wanted to emulate, in doing so, he’ll probably make a a president who did Big Things better case for Obama’s reelection — unlike Clinton, who played a than Obama can make for himself. lot of incremental small ball. But This is a classic case of mutual at a campaign stop the other day, backscratching. Four years after Obama bathed the Clinton years their primary-season hostilities — in a rosy glow: two thin-skinned guys with high “All I’m asking is that we self-regard, trading thinly-veiled go back to the (tax) rates that insults — circumstances have were paid by wealthy individuals changed, as often occurs in under Bill Clinton. And if you politics. Today, each guy has remember, that’s when our great use for the other. economy created nearly 23 Obama can get some cover million new jobs. We created the from an ex-president with a biggest budget surplus in history. 66 percent national approval And here’s the kicker — it was rating, someone who is far more good for everybody.” popular with independents and Granted, it’s a stretch to working-class whites. As for contend that the Clinton era Clinton, he can use the occasion was nirvana, that the economy (and subsequent appearances on was strong thanks solely to his the stump and at fundraisers) to divine wisdom. Clinton was polish his legacy — and to rack fortunate to hold office during up IOUs from Obama. Because the high-technology dot-com if Obama wins in November boom, which (until it went bust with Clinton’s help, if he reaps on Clinton’s watch) helped drive the benefits from Clinton’s robust job and GDP growth. feel-your-pain patter, he will owe Any president’s record is open the Big Dawg big time. (It might to debate, and we’ll surely argue be time to retire that Clinton well into the future about how nickname. These days, he’s much credit Clinton deserves for looking as lean as a Whippet.) the ’90s balanced budgets that It’s significant, by the way, helped propel the economy. that whereas Clinton will be front But it’s a safe bet that his 66 and center at the Democratic percent approval is not just a convention, George W. Bush will thank-you for his good works, or be absent from the Republican a mere reflection of the public’s convention. The official word is praise for the secretary of state. that Bush opted on his own not Perceptions matter in politics, and, to show up. But, rest assured, if rightly or not, Clinton is perceived Mitt Romney had sought Bush’s by a landslide majority as the most presence, he would be there. successful president since Reagan. The contrast could not be Obama, to his credit, is willing more obvious. Obama seeks a to swallow his pride and tap that close political association with political capital for his own use. the most recent Democratic As for Clinton, he’s playing president. But Romney has no the long game. Remember those interest in reminding voters about the most recent Republican IOUs I mentioned? If Obama wins president. That’s understandable. reelection, Clinton could seek to cash in, by clearing the field for A Gallup poll in June found that Hillary in 2016. Would an indebted 68 percent of Americans still Obama be willing to endorse her blame Bush “a great deal” or “a as the next nominee? Maybe not, moderate amount” for the ailing economy. Only 52 percent feel the in the event of a Biden candidacy. But would Obama be willing to same way about Obama. This is where Clinton comes stay neutral? in. Forget Clinton fatigue; this His job is to frame the big could be the Clintons on steroids. picture, in ways designed Make no mistake, the Whippet is to help not just Obama, but still on the scent. READERS WRITE Thanks for your help county. Now I need to thank my I would like to say thank you Advisory Council Members, to everyone who made monetary T im Thomas, Glenda Noel, donations to help purchase new Velveeta Ryals, Jennifer West, clothing for our kids and teens; Joyce Bedwell, executive from preschool through 12th director Judy Peterson, Mayor grade in Hopkins County this year. David Jackson, Mike Franklin, I wish I could list every Judge-Executive Donald Carroll, individual or company that made a John Tedder, Roslyn Byrum, donation in this letter. But if I did Magistrate Maurice Wilson, that, I would have to take up this Magistrate Shawn Roberts and whole page. Molly Thomas. I couldn’t ask for This year we clothed 300 kids a better Advisory Council Team and teens. We were down in our to work with throughout the year! numbers from previous years, You all stand behind me through and because we were down, we thick and thin. Thank you all for were able to give out 5 new pairs everything that you do for me of pants, 5 new shirts, 5 new throughout the year. pairs of socks and 5 new pair of Thank you to the City of underwear. We normal are only Madisonville and Mayor David able to do 3 new of each. Jackson for your moral and I would like to thank The monetary support. It means a lot Messenger for all of the stories/ to have the City of Madisonville pictures that you have done for behind me! me over the years. You all do a To Erin D. Clark, store manager wonderful job. and her staff and Vanity Fair Outlet Next, I need to thank my Mall in Hanson, Kentucky: I thank assistant, Becky Sisk. You work each and every one of you for all of hard and long hours in helping me prepare for the Back to School your help, not only during the Back Program and we learn from every to School Program, but also during the Teen Shopping Program in year to try to make the next year December. You ladies are the best! a little easier. thank you for all of Now, I need to thank the ladies your hard work! in the PACS finance department; Next, I need to thank my Diane, Mona and Christina, volunteers; Judy Carroll, Mary thank you for taking care of all our Lou Sisk, Beverly Rorer and Teri monetary donations and for always Matheny. You all do so much and I can never thank you enough for being there for me. You ladies rock! all you do for me not only during Thank you to everyone that the Back to School Program, but has had some part of our Back to throughout the year. And to Dot School Program 2012 this year. If Bacon for stopping in to see if we you were not mentioned, it was not needed any help! You ladies are a intentional to leave you out. But wonderful blessing to me and you there are so many people that I just mean more to me than you will can’t mention them all. But thank ever know! you to those of you who were not To my co-workers, Vickie B., mentioned. Tiffany W., Monike M., Alpha D. I can say we have had another and Latoya; without your help, successful Back to School even we couldn’t have gotten all of the with our numbers being down clothes bagged in a timely manner! some from previous years. Now, I must thank former Again, I say thank you to all of executive director, John Tedder. you for your monetary and moral Thank you for always standing support or your donations of behind me in all of the programs socks, underwear or any type of that we do in Hopkins County clothing that you purchased for and for your moral and monetary this program. support as well. I am so grateful to live in And to my new executive a community that supports director, Judy Peterson, thank programs like the ones that are you for coming on board with my offered in my office. Without this Advisory Council Board and for community coming together, all of your moral support. I look we would not be able to have forward in working with you in programs such as the Back to the future. And also, thank you for telling me that you are always there School Program. If you would like more for me even though you don’t live information or would like a tour of in my county. That means more to our facility, please do not hesitate me than you will ever know! to contact me at 821-8114. Next, I need to thank Judge Again thank you Hopkins Donald Carroll, his staff and the Fiscal Court. thank you for your County! moral and monetary support. I am grateful to each and every one Bobbi Ann Wilcox of you and what you do for this PACS-HCAC, Director Punishment should fit the crime It is very disturbing to hear of the crimes that are occurring in our society. In this economy, times are hard for quite a few people, but this does not give people the right to commit crimes of any nature. Each day in the news there is story after story of crimes that are committed ranging from murder, rape, child sexual assault on down to less serious crimes. Crimes of every nature must come to a halt. I would like to direct attention to the recent theft that occurred at the Career and Technology Center. It is a shame that members of society will stoop as low as this to destroy property on which they have no right to be on to begin with. Horrific crimes of murder, etc., are committed by misfits of society, but I personally cannot stand anyone that is a thief and rank them close to ones that commit horrific crimes. The subject or subjects responsible for the theft at the Career and Technology Center when apprehended must pay for this crime instead of being slapped on the wrist and let go to commit other crimes. Our judicial system is in a real need for an overhaul to have punishment for crimes according to the severity of the crime. I was taught at an early age that you were not to take anything that did not belong to you and I still have the respect for other people’s property today. It is a shame that this theory does not hold true in today’s society. I work for what I have and expect others to do the same. Unless our society gets to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then I am afraid that the nation is doomed. Stephen M. Boyd Dawson Springs Your Views You’ve read our opinion. What’s yours? Write a letter to the editor. All letters must be signed by the author and include a telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for libel, grammar, good taste and length. Write to Editor of The Messenger, Box 529, Madisonville, KY 42431; fax 825-3733; or e-mail letters@ the-messenger.com. A phone number must be included.

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