Letters to the Editor

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2008

By Staff
Are you old enough to remember the 1972 Miami Dolphins?
The team went 17-0 through the regular season, the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Did it with a quarterback who threw fewer passes in an average game than any other starter in the league. They had a running game of such consistency that nobody could stop them.
Did they score points by the bushel? No! They just had a defense so consistent that they didn’t need a bunch of points. Consistency!
Anybody notice this year’s Dolphins? Consistently awful! The team managed to eke out one victory - largely undeserved- against a team almost as pathetic as they were. Awful on offense! Sieve-like on D! Never broke out of their level of incompetence. Consistency!
So, consistency is a double-edged sword - blessing or curse, virtue or vice. George W. Bush is a great example of consistency. Here is a person (I almost said “leader”), who never wavers in his consistent drive to destroy America’s lower and middle classes, while rewarding the super rich, the international corporations, and the special interests who have fueled his improbable political successes.
Case in point: once again our Panderer-in-chief has leaned on his cronies in Congress, always including Alabama’s stalwart Republican delegation to uphold his immoral and unconscionable veto of increased health care protection for our children through S-CHIP. How many times is this now that Bonner, Aderholt, Rogers, Everett and Bachus have voted against their constituents, against Alabama and America’s children and families and for George W. Bush. It makes it clear who they consider to be their real constituency.
Every time it has come up for a vote. Consistency!
Every time an attempt is made to enhance the development of alternative fuels- to ease the cost of oil, to free America from foreign control of our economy, and, just incidentally, to protect our suffering planet from total destruction, Bonner and the boys can be counted on to stand up for who?
Why the huge energy conglomerates, of course. Not the people who have elected him over and over. Nope, never act in the interest of the people - that’s their creed. Never. Never. Never. Consistency!
Maybe it’s a coincidence that Southern Company – parent company of Alabama Power, is the single largest contributor to five of the seven Republican members of Alabama’s Congressional delegation, and second largest to a sixth, Jefferson Sessions. Take their money, vote their interests Consistency!
As I said up above “Consistency is a two-edged sword.”
The Republicans in the Alabama delegation, all five Congressmen and both Senators, have shown us their brand of consistency. Consistently supporting the giant corporations and huge donors, and consistently ignoring the little people – Democrats and Republicans - who elected them. Isn’t it time for a little consistency on our part? Let’s go to the polls in November and vote these consistent pork barrel patriots out of office and away from the public trough. We can get rid of six of them in 2008 and the last one, Richard Shelby, in 2010. But we can only do it if we act with determination and resolve.
In other words: Consistency.
Norm Boyd
Should EADS be given special treatment?
A recent column published in The Atmore Advance, "Good News For South Alabama's Economy," written by Congressman Jo Bonner and published on Jan. 21, 2008, on the bids by Boeing and EADS/Northrop Grumman for the Air Force refueling tanker contract failed to address the most important policy question surrounding the debate: should we allow EADS to violate international law and leverage foreign subsidies in order to win a plum U.S. defense contract?
EADS has accepted $100 billion dollars in European Union government subsidies, allowing the company to grab over 50 percent of the commercial airline market from U.S. manufacturers. The U.S. Trade Representative is litigating the matter before the World Trade Organization, saying that no single producer should be given "billions of dollars in up-front, risk-free financing." However, EADS is now trying to use the same subsidies to fund their bid for the $40 billion tanker contract.
Boeing has committed to specific U.S. production facilities where their tanker would support some 44,000 American jobs. But French officials have said they "will use all the means we have to avoid (outsourcing)" work to the U.S. – an EADS tanker would siphon tens of thousands of American jobs to Europe.
Moreover, EADS is facing charges of high-level insider trading and one of the company's main partners, BAE Systems, is facing a Department of Justice bribery investigation into their recent Saudi fighter jet contract. Recent defense contactor scandals demonstrate that we should always ensure competitions for defense contracts are unbiased and fair. Congress and the Pentagon should not give EADS a free pass for using illegal subsidies to win a U.S. defense contract.
Richard Michalski
General Vice President
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
9000 Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
(301) 967-4503

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