Jackson Baker's article about Marsha Blackburn ("Marsha, Marsha!," May 22nd issue) reminded me of all the reasons her reign over the 7th District needs to end. Blackburn is nothing more than a "Chatty Cathy," whose string has been pulled by George Bush. Her blind obedience to Bush on the war, on warrantless domestic surveillance, and on a host of other issues has been bad enough, but her emulation of the corruption, secrecy, and cronyism that are the hallmarks of the Republican playbook richly entitles her to the same fate as the three Republicans in other so-called safe districts who recently got run out of town on a rail by voters.
Tom Leatherwood isn't her biggest challenge to reelection; her record is.
Martin H. Aussenberg
Once again Congressman Blackburn has dissed the troops. She claims in her many visits to Iraq that she supports the troops. Then she votes against them when it comes to supporting them back home. This self-proclaimed conservative Republican never raised her voice about the shoddy treatment the wounded were receiving at the hands of the VA. She was not in the forefront when payday loan sharks were bleeding military families with interest rates over 400 percent. When Blackburn says she supports the military, she is referring to the military/industrial complex.
I have not heard one little squeak from the congressman about the tens of billions of dollars wasted in no-bid contracts. Not a complaint about the millions in cost overruns the State Department has allowed in building the largest embassy in the world in Baghdad. Never a word about sending our troops into a war zone in canvas-sided Humvees. Never a question about why after six years the president is still requesting separate funding for the war.
But when it came to including an expansion to the GI Bill for our present heroes and extending benefits for the unemployed, Blackburn finally found something she could vote against. After all her talk about fiscal responsibility, Blackburn could not stand to have anyone else but our servicemen and women pay the price for the war. The cost of the bill to assist troops with higher education is $56 billion over 10 years. That's less than 11 months of spending for the war.
I pray the voters of the 7th District will support Tom Leatherwood. It's time to throw the bums out, and Blackburn is part of the leadership that failed in its duties.
It's Not About "Me"
I am a baby boomer, and I am appalled at what this country has evolved into. It has turned into a society of "it's all about me and not anything about you."
People who fight for our freedom are at the poverty level, and policemen and firemen earn far less than rappers who talk about drugs, guns, and sex. When did our priorities get so mixed up?
What is wrong with giving veterans the chance to get a college degree when they come home? They gave up their youth to fight for our freedom. Why can't we give up something for them to be able to live well in the country they fought to protect?
Politicians fail to report their political contributions and their personal income and then say, "It was an accounting error." Other politicians are forced to leave office because of their sexual indiscretions.
People are quick to compartmentalize others by race, sexual preference, etc. It's what's inside a person that should matter. So, I came up with this:
It is not ME: Myself = Everything.
It is YOU: You + Others = the Universe.
It's tempting to imagine that Hillary's annoying tenacity would be an asset in the White House. Imagine all that fortitude working for us, pushing back against our equally tenacious problems.
Yes, stubbornness can be a good thing, but not HRC's type of stubbornness. What comes to mind is her health-care boondoggle of the early 1990s, the way she lashed out at anyone who opposed her. Indeed, her presidential campaign is beginning to greatly resemble that earlier incarnation of Queen Hillary against the world. Senator Bill Bradley, who should have been a natural Hillary ally, recalls the first lady telling him that the White House would "demonize" anyone who came against her health-care plans. "That was it for me in terms of Hillary Clinton," he would later remark.
I think we can all relate.