Unprinted letters?

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Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Anyone think there's any value to starting a thread, or other mechanism, to archive letters submitted to the press by AMG'ers that were not printed?

My wife submitted one two weeks ago, and never heard a word.

It might be fun to see how many and of what persuasion the letters are. It might also put a little more substance to the claim that the papers BS us about not getting any letters from one side.

Naran
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Unprinted letters?

Sounds good to me. Increasingly, I appreciate the power we peasants now have to utilize the online press, since the hard copy press holds all the cards.

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

I once considered a thread titled "letters too good for the PPH to print". I simply had too many letters in my files to make it a real, working idea.

FLAMMENWERFER
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Unprinted letters?

A good idea. Bound to supply some useful information and talking points. Would unpublished guest columns be included. Some summaries or links for letters and editorials which inspired the response might be useful as well.

Gaffer
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Unprinted letters?

This is a great idea! The BDN will not publish any of my letters and currently the Times Record has had one for several weeks, so I suspect it won't pass muster either.

Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Technically, my wife still has one more day under the "if you haven't heard from us in two weeks, assume it won't be printed" rule, so I'll wait til the weekend to post hers.

Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Here's one from three years ago that TPTSNBN declined to print:

[quote]To the Editor:

For those who don’t believe our politicians sanctimoniously embrace double standards, your 29 May issue provides damning evidence to prove otherwise.

In the front page article on health-care, John Richardson, D-Brunswick, warned hospitals’ that “aggressive tactics could freeze them out of a seat at the negotiations table.” Apparently, strong-arm tactics to pass a risky health-care scheme in a month isn’t aggressive, but opposition to Baldacci is. Now we hear reports of a “compromise,” but others are rising to overturn the changes.

In that article, House Speaker Patrick Colwell, D-Gardiner, called the status quo “unsustainable”, saying that a billion-dollar increase in hospital spending between 1999 and 2005 will “come out of the hides of businesses and consumers.” Why doesn’t he have the same compassion over the cumulative $5 billion state spending increase (compared to 1998) over the same period, repent for his role in it and the looming deficits?

To Washington: Tom Allen, in his op-ed, bemoans possible FCC rule changes. He suggests a vote delay until “benefits to the public interest” and protections of “democratic goals” are demonstrated. Tom, please call former seat mate John Baldacci, and make the same case for health-care legislation. And Allen worries over power concentration, even political power. This from a liberal who embraces every big government program, and who sees Washington as the overseer and benefactor of every aspect of our lives.

The prosecution rests.
[/quote]

Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Ditto from 2005:

[quote]Governor Baldacci’s column in the Sunday Telegram leaves me virtually speechless.

First, this Mainer’s tax burden is going up, not down. Various taxes and fees have been created or increased; I will soon have the privilege of paying several hundred dollars in indirect taxes on my health insurance premiums to pay for Dirigo.

Second, the Governor’s story line is premised on selective disclosure of only those facts that support his case; more complete disclosure undermines his self-congratulations. Let me illustrate.

To begin, the Governor discusses only general fund (GF) spending, less than half of total state spending. We’re told the newly approved budget is $5.7 Billion. Two years ago, his budget was approved at $5.28 Billion. So the new budget increases by about $400 million, or 8%. And remember, more than $400 million will be borrowed to balance this new budget.

It gets worse; the new budget uses “creative accounting” to take items from the prior biennium “off budget” for the new biennium. When added back in, the new GF budget is equivalent to $6 Billion, a real increase of $700 million, or 14%!

As stated earlier, GF is less than half of total state spending. Maine spent a total of $6.2 Billion in fiscal year 2004 alone, an 8.3% increase over the prior year’s $5.7 Billion. 2004 GF spending was only 42% of the total; increases in other spending categories are typically much larger, and would be politically embarrassing. Current statehouse projections are for total spending of $7.2 Billion in 2007, a 16% increase over 2004. And they’re already proposing more borrowing and program expansions in the Part II budget!

Now you know “the rest of the story.” Too bad the media and the Governor aren’t the one’s providing it.
[/quote]

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

My opinion piece on the NSA terror spying issue:

[quote]Once again the Paper sort of forgets to do its research before leaping to an editorial. On 24 May you wrote:

“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, however, is threatening to refashion the law (the Espionage Act of 1917) as a weapon against journalists who reveal the existence of questionable anti-terror programs.”

Sigh…there you go again, drive-by editorial writing. I will not go deep into the “questionable” nature of the specific anti-terror programs. The NSA terror eavesdropping program is legal. The courts have ruled unanimously in the Presidents favor on that issue making its ‘questionable’ nature only a question amongst partisan democrats. Then there is the “exposed” secret prisons in Europe…Hello, would it not be nice to actually produce a prison? The EU and every anti-American reporter in Europe looked pretty hard but no prisons were found. Apparently the Pulitzer people believe stories without any proof at all true until proven false. Then there was the USA Today data mining story, one pretty much in doubt in view of phone company denials. The only thing questionable about those programs was the Press Herald’s use of them.

No, I will note where the paper is misreading the law.

The paper writes of the Espionage Act of 1917 as “created to prosecute spies, not reporters”. This sort of forgets all applicable law since 1917. The paper then cites the 1st Amendment as a defense for reporters printing such leaks, again ignoring case law.

Sort of sad really. What does the law really say? In U.S. v Samuel Loring Morison in 1985 a part time government employee and later journalist filched several classified photos of a Soviet warship under construction and then published them. Contrary to your editorial position, he was tried, convicted and served a 2 year prison sentence, under the very act you say does not apply, the 1917 Espionage Act. It was appealed without success all the way to the Supreme Court. He was not a spy but a journalist out for a story and making a buck. As he was both the leaker and the publisher, it does not prove my case, just supports it.

The appeals court noted that the Espionage act contains no exemption “in favor of one who leaks to the press”.

A bigger question is ‘Does more current law apply?’ And the answer is…YES, there is another law that applies to reporters. In 1950 Congress changed the criminal code concerning the “Disclosure of Classified Material” to specifically include publication of classified material.

Section 798 is applicable to anyone who “communicates, furnishes, transmits ….or PUPLISHES” classified material and the classified material defined includes “communications intelligence activities”.

The punishment….$10,000 fine and up to ten years in jail or both.

As to your assertion of a First Amendment protection, sorry, wrong again. Branzburg v Hayes from 1972 noted “it would be frivolous to assert….that the First Amendment, in the interest of securing news or otherwise, confers a license on…the reporter to violate valid criminal laws”

It was cited when jailing Judith Miller for not revealing her sources.

No, the paper cites the weaker law concerning revealing classified material, cites a constitutional protection that does not apply, pretends there is a real, legal controversy of the activity leaked, and ignores the entire body of case law for each issue mentioned.

Most assuredly a reporter can be arrested and prosecuted under various federal laws. They have been in the past and may be in the future. What is the difference between a spy stealing a nations secrets for ideologic or monetary reasons and a reporter publishing the identical material for idealogic or monetary reasons. Remember, two of the leaks resulted in Pulitzers, one heck of a financial reward.

You present a partisan political case, not a legal one. While the Paper has a perfect right to editorialize, it also has a responsibility to note that their opinion is not based on the law. Otherwise readers might think the paper knows of what it speaks.[/quote]

It was submitted as a voice of the people piece.

Michelle Anderson
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Re: Unprinted letters?

[quote="Melvin Udall"]Anyone think there's any value to starting a thread, or other mechanism, to archive letters submitted to the press by AMG'ers that were not printed? [/quote]

What a great idea, Melvin!

You might also consider sending a copy of those letters to editor@allmainematters.com. We'll publish them.

In fact, I urge you to send them. (Suggesting it just didn't seem strong enough.)

Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Will send those that are understandable in the current context, which means you'll probably get one in a day or two, since it's real clear SNBN (shorthand) won't be printing the frau's.

Editor
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Unprinted letters?

Great idea.

skf

Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Another rejected by the SNBN in aught-five:

[quote]Scott Sehon’s recent lament (April 25; “Filibuster tactic smacks of hypocrisy”) epitomizes the rampant sanctimony and duplicity of the left on this issue. It’s understandable whining, I suppose, given how the left’s diehards have been riding the judicial social re-engineering train for decades.

There’s plenty of hypocrisy going around, but Sehon is misdirecting his arrows. No less than the New York Times, darling of elite leftists, and the so-called “paper of record,” has engaged in full-fledged filibusterial relativism.

On January 1, 1995, the Times editorialized on restricting the use of Senate filibusters:

“In the last session of Congress, the Republican minority invoked an endless string of filibusters to frustrate the will of the majority. Once a rarely used tactic reserved for issues on which senators held passionate views, the filibuster has become the tool of the sore loser, an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose.”

On March 6, 2005, the Times editorialized on the same subject:

“The Republicans are claiming that 51 votes should be enough to win confirmation of the White House’s judicial nominees. This flies in the face of Senate history. To block
the nominees, the Democrats’ weapon of choice has been the filibuster, a time-honored Senate procedure that prevents a bare majority of senators from running roughshod.
The Bush administration likes to call itself “conservative,” but there is nothing conservative about endangering one of the great institutions of American democracy, the United States Senate, for the sake of an ideological crusade.”
[/quote]

J. McKane
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Unprinted letters?

If you have sent in a letter that doesn't slander anyone or use foul language and is under 250 words, they will print it. If you send it in and they haven't called you in 2 days, call the letters editor. Also, except in cases of special privleges like the Speaker of the House gets, they won't publish 2 letters within 6 weeks of each other.

The PPH, the BDN and the KJ will print your letters if you follow those rules. You can't give up if you don't hear anything from them. You must call them after you have sent in your letter - and then call them again if necessary.

Melvin - one of yours is over 250 words.

Op-eds need prior permission.

Melvin Udall
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Unprinted letters?

Thanks for the word count; I am usually very attentive to these details; if it is over by more than a couple, I submitted it as a "Maine Voices" or some such.

As to foul language, no problem there. As to "slander," taking shots at public figures pretty much falls outside that realm. And I have certainly not come close in my criticism of the D's to what they regularly print assailing Bush, and what Richardson and the others offer up about R's.

Richardson regularly tells "mistruths," which many of us call lying. I've had dualing items with him in the local rag, and I do enough research on budgets, etc, to be conversant. He has definitely slandered me, calling me a liar, because he didn't like the facts I presented. And I am not a public figure.

I figured there wasn't much sense in pursuing charges against he and the paper. They play that game all the time, and they know exactly how to parry those who don't really want to spend thousands in legal fees just to make a point.

Calling can only go so far. They will not expand their letters section very much if they get a sudden surge in acceptable letters and every writer did as you suggest. And we could prove that very easily, couldn't we.

BlueJay
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Unprinted letters?

J.McKane is right on all points. Also, the papers are really picky about whether or not the letter has been or will be printed in another paper. Gee, talk about controlling exposure. Must be an ego thing, but it does cut down on sending the message.

J. McKane
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Unprinted letters?

[quote="Melvin Udall"] And I have certainly not come close in my criticism of the D's to what they regularly print assailing Bush, and what Richardson and the others offer up about R's.

[/quote]

That is one of the big differences. Ds can say just about anything - especially against the President of the United States. Rs must be VERY careful. Ds also don't seem to be subject to the 6 weeks rule between letters.

David Hughes
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Unprinted letters?

[quote]
In Mr. Ditre’s column on 3/21 he said “The superintendent's decision is not a suggestion, but a legally binding decision.” and that “Rather than focus on the fact that insurers…have not carried out their responsibilities under Dirigo, we are now debating alternatives that would relieve…insurance companies from paying their legal obligation.”

Question: If the superintendent’s decisions are legally binding and the superintendent has found that Anthem fulfilled the requirements to recover the savings from providers and having done so may pass on the SOP in premiums ( Bureau of Insurance Docket INS-05-820 ) just how hasn’t Anthem fulfilled the legal obligations?

LD 1935 is an effort to change the rules of the original Dirigo Legislation. As the Superintendent of Insurance noted, Anthem has fulfilled its part of that original compromise and may include the SOP in premiums.

Dirigo advocates like Mr. Ditre are trying to mislead the public by implying that Anthem is acting illegally and using emotive arguments ( “excessive profits”, “bad behavior” ) rather than sticking to the facts and the original agreement. Hiding facts, making misleading statements and not telling the whole story are politicizing an issue.

The insurance companies agreed to a compromise. To go back now and undo that compromise by forcing the insurance companies to pay the state the SOP and not pass that on in premiums is wrong. Modifying the deal going forward is acceptable but reaching back to change what was agreed to is not. If companies cannot trust the state to keep its word as expressed in legislation than every company in Maine should be concerned and consider very carefully any compromise they might make with the state.

David Hughes
[/quote]

Sent to the KJ, crickets.

David Hughes
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Unprinted letters?

[quote]
For a doctor and a dean emeritus at Columbia University Doctor Weiss would do well to check the facts as they are in Maine rather than apply national statistics to Maine’s local health care problem.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center has frequently presented itself as a conservative think tank. MHPC has also been somewhat supportive of a few ideas coming from Democrats when it comes to health care in Maine. This is in stark contrast to Consumers for Affordable Health Care and Maine People’s Alliance which both have always come out against any Republican plan to make health insurance more affordable. I have to ask, does one party have a monopoly on good ideas? Given that a number of the Republican proposals have been tried, tested and proven to work at reducing health insurance costs in other states I would have to say that CAHC and MPA are the partisan ones in this battle.

Anthem put up $500,000 of its own money as incentives for insurance agents to write Dirigo policies. Maine received a sizeable grant to promote Dirigo on its own. Republicans have called for allowing all insurance companies and all insurance agents to participate in providing Dirigo policies. CAHC and MPA are against these Republican proposal. Someone needs to get them both to explain why.

Medicaid has low administrative costs on a percentage basis due in large part to the fact that Medicaid has a much higher cost per patient. 10 dollars out of every 100 is 10%, 10 dollars out of 200 is 5%. The problem is not administrative costs; any potential savings are severely overstated by groups like CAHC and MPA. Someone needs to get them to provide the mathematical proof that the savings are there.

Let’s look at government run health care in Maine. Dirigo, waiting list. MaineCare, waiting list and can’t pay the bills to providers. If we are going to take a serious look at the state running health care for all of us I think it would be prudent to fix the programs we currently offer to prove that government is capable of doing the job. Given the governments track record as a health care provider we would be fools to rush into any government run plan for everyone.

[/quote]

Sent BDN, crickets

David Hughes
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Unprinted letters?

[quote]
How do we define success?

Consumers for Affordable Health Care claims that Dirigo Health “has been a great success.”

The CAHC claim leaves one to wonder if they are the product of those mythical schools we hear about that place a greater emphasis on the child’s self-esteem rather than on the child actually learning. I didn’t believe such schools existed but now I’m starting to wonder if maybe they do.

The CAHC website tells us that Dirigo “will provide an estimated 57,000 uninsured and underinsured” with affordable insurance, said on 5/1/2003. Maybe it is really “Dirigo Health aims to provide comprehensive health coverage including prescription drugs to 31,000 individuals during its first year of operations” said on 6/1/2003

Dirigo Health actually enrolled about 10,000 people in the first year.

If you want to measure success based on what actually got done, then I think, at best, you can say that Dirigo has had some mixed success and is need of some reform to correct fundamental problems.

If you want to measure success based on what was expected, what we were assured would happen, what we were promised, than there is no other way to put it, Dirigo, despite helping a few people, is an utter failure and is need of drastic reforms to correct fundamental problems.

Yet CAHC calls this a “great success” and is advocating Dirigo be expanded in its present form. One has to wonder if government programs have self-esteem issues.
[/quote]

sent kj, crickets

David Hughes
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Unprinted letters?

[quote]
Mr. Porter is the one dead wrong, not conservatives.

I would like Mr. Porter to defend his editorial with some facts to at least lend some credence to his opinions. I’m not asking for much, just a little bit so that I can convince myself that Mr. Porter isn’t deliberately trying to mislead the public.

I will give Mr. Porter that removing the guarantee issue rule will make it harder for uninsured people to obtain health care coverage if they have a chronic illness. What he needs to give his readers is that health insurance from a high risk pool in the 33 states that have them is typically cheaper than regular run of the mill insurance in Maine. That means that even for the sickest among us who have no options other than a high risk pool would pay less for their insurance than healthy people do now.

What Mr. Porter also needs to concede is that absolutely no one is calling for the removal of guarantee re-issue. That means if you have health insurance and develop a chronic disease the insurer has to renew your policy.

Mr. Porter needs to concede that the offered conservative reforms would cut health insurance costs for everyone – including those who develop chronic illness – by a minimum of 25% and as much as 50%. That means that more healthy people will have health insurance when they develop a chronic illness like type II diabetes, AIDS or cancer – all state coverage mandates.

Mr. Porter needs to concede that everyone acknowledges that health savings accounts are not for everyone. No one has pitched health savings accounts as a silver bullet solution to Maine’s artificially high health insurance costs. While a diabetic may not see much benefit from a health savings account that same diabetic would see a reduction in her health insurance premiums because of health savings accounts.

Mr. Porter needs to concede that Maine already mandates health insurance companies to cover “the medically appropriate and necessary equipment, limited to insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, monitors, test strips, syringes and lancets, and the out-patient self-management training and educational services used to treat diabetes”. That is state law. Not one conservative has proposed doing away with the states coverage mandates. To suggest otherwise is blatantly misleading at best.

If Mr. Porter wants hospitals to be rewarded for providing preventative care he should be advocating for the state to raise the reimbursement rates to hospitals through Medicaid/Medicare to something that approaches the actual costs of those services. Recipients of Medicaid total over 20% of our population and growing. Alternatively, Mr. Porter could advocate for changes in the states insurance regulatory policies, like conservatives are doing, that would enable more Mainers to be covered by health insurance that does pay the providers for the cost of services.

Here’s a fact for Mr. Porter. A family of 4, with Mom and Dad Age 50 who want a health insurance policy with a $1000 Deductible costs $1,712 per month in Kittery, ME. That same policy in Portsmouth, NH costs $992 per month. You tell me Mr. Porter, is it your intent to preserve a health insurance system that forces a family to pay over 700 dollars more a month for no good reason?

Here’s another fact for Mr. Porter. Male or Female, age 55, $1,000 deductible policy in Maryland has a monthly premium of $169. Same male or female with diabetes, cancer, overweight or turned down by insurance companies can get the same policy for $675 a month from Maryland’s high risk pool. Same person $775.28 pays per month regardless of health here in Maine! Our regular rates are higher than other states worst rates.

Conservative reforms would lower the cost of health insurance for nearly everyone.

Here’s another fact for Mr. Porter. According to Gov. Baldacci “Economists believe high and rising health care costs are preventing a stronger economy and higher paying jobs.” Is it worth the loss of jobs, loss of increased wages and loss of economic opportunity for our kids to preserve a health insurance system that forces us all – even those helped by Dirigo - to pay an artificially high price for health insurance?

[/quote]

PPH, Maine Voices....crickets.

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

One more that I do not believe they printed:

[quote]The Governor has got to be kidding. He proposes cutting the income tax rate 5/100 of one percent! Let’s see, that is, on a $40K income, a cut of $20 A year. Wow a whole $20 bucks. Now I can retire in the South of France. A giant, what, 6 cents a day. How will I stand the prosperity?

Wow, this will so offset my property tax increase of $1200 so completely.

I am so blessed by this example of leadership. How do I begin to express my thanks for this relief?

The entire plan is a joke. The toll increases on the turnpike or the automatic tax increase on gas alone take far more than the Governors generous plan gives back.

Actually, I cannot find about anything in his proposal that adds up. The figures are pure fantasy, the cuts from LD1 are becoming a state wide joke, and his new proposal is only so much hot air.

I wonder how stupid Augusta really thinks we are. Judging by this proposal, our leaders must believe we are utter idiots.[/quote]

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

Remember when the paper asked for reader input? Here was that...

[quote]You have to be kidding! The Press Herald is the most biased paper I have ever encountered outside of a European daily whose position is proudly displayed on the masthead. Everyone KNOWS the paper is the official mouthpiece of the Maine Democrat Party.

You run letters at about 3 to one against the President. You simply will not print letters that note the many flaws of your favorites (and I know as I have written scores). You seem to waive letter size and content requirements for letters bashing Bush.

You absolutely ignored the Swifties in the last election, not printing a single letter nor carrying a single article for weeks after the issue began to hurt Kerry. In 2000 you went a week between the first presidential debate and the second without a single letter or news story about the political issue of the day, one that was front page news in the NY Times and the Boston Globe, the issue of Gores whoppers in the debate. I know you got letters, I wrote one a day for a week.

In the Governors race in 2002, you sort of dropped a host of letters that were critical of the Democrat candidate but found lots of room for anti republican notes. You routinely print notices of partisan democrat events but sort of forget to do the same for republican events.

The paper is overwhelmingly lazy when it comes to investigating and reporting local and state scandals. Do you know where the $140 million DHHS sort of misplaced went? If you do it’s amazing as your reporting sort of forgot to really find it. Do you cover Portland city council scams and meetings? Not when the rascals are raising taxes and fees. When I, as an outsider know more about the scam that is the education budget than the paper does, well,…says at lot about your coverage. Where are the stories about the astounding cost of Dirigo so far? We are spending well over $15,000 per person. Where is the note that the majority of those in the program were already insured???

The paper is biased not only on the editorial page but in the news sections. You are biased by both inclusion and omission. You will plug away at pseudo stories like “Bush AWOL’ for months at a time but ignored the Swifties. You will include long, biased bits on Republicans but will leave off as not meriting mention those similar pieces about democrat foibles.

I remember when Congressman Allen wrote against the war a few years ago and I noted the astounding similarity with Neville Chamberlains ‘Peace in our Time’ speech, and I remember the papers refusal to print it.

As to cartoons, I cannot remember a single one that was pro Bush in the daily paper and the anti-Bush slant in the Sunday paper is a wonder to behold.

The reason the paper is losing readers is because you write to the 60% in Portland that are partisan democrats and ignore the 40% republicans entirely.

I could go on and on with examples of bias, but you will not print them or this letter. Sorry, but the Press Herald Emperor simply has no clothes.[/quote]

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

They may have printed this one but I like it so much I'll repeat it.

[quote]Yea Gods! You are at it again. I looked at the Katrina letters with more than my usual dismay. Once again the paper has decided to run scores of anti-Bush letters from the usual suspects.

I heard a pretty good summary of these letters the other day.

Suppose Bush, knowing of the coming hurricane, sped to New Orleans, Climbed upon the levy staff in hand and proclaimed “In the name of God I order your, hurricane Katrina, to spare this country!”

The storm promptly turns to sea and is no threat to anyone.

What is the response from the media and your normal collection of serial letter writers from the left?

Scores of irate letters decrying and vilifying this blatant breach of the separation of church and state and demand the Presidents immediate impeachment, which the Press Herald dutifully prints!

Do those folk have nothing better to do with their lives but to blame the president for every single thing that goes wrong anywhere? It rained on their golf game…Bush Did it! They are bitten by a mosquito, and Bush caused it!

Instead of printing all that drivel, you would be better served by advising them to get a life.[/quote]

Jack Wibby
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The Idiots

JimV has written:

"I wonder how stupid Augusta really thinks we are. Judging by this proposal, our leaders must believe we are utter idiots."

They do, and many citizens are too dull to know and too lazy to care.

Jack

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

[quote]Mr. Porter is the one dead wrong, not conservatives.[/quote]

David, I know from a lot of experience that the PPH does not like either its editorial position of Mr. Porter's view questioned in an effective manner. I have gone after them on a factual basis a score of times without success. I have noted their flip flops on their editorial position, quoting them, and had it spiked.

The will print a raving idiot in opposition but a reasoned letter...good luck

JIMV
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Unprinted letters?

I cannot recall if this was printed but I don't think so

[quote]I have found it is often a good idea to do a little research before writing a letter to the editor, a basic lesson Ms. Gretchen Kamilewicz might have benefited from before she submitted her rather fanciful letter to the paper about fighting terror in Iraq. She writes of immediate withdraw but is offended by the term ‘cut and run’ Perhaps ‘retreat and defeat’ would be a more palatable description of this noble strategy.

Her argument began with a series of rather foolish statements of opinion all gussied up as ‘fact’. “Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks in NY or Washington”, and “There were no terrorists in Iraq until we invaded”.

The first point sort of forgets that we are in a war on terror and the sponsors of such terror, not a war on one terrorist group. Once one recalls what, who, and why we are fighting, the argument falls apart. The second relies on the ignorance of the reader.

The writer hopes the reader sort of forgot about the Senate Bipartisan intelligence report, page 315, "The CIA provided 78 reports, from multiple sources, [redacted] documenting instances in which the Iraqi regime either trained operatives for attacks or dispatched them to carry out attacks."

She forgot page 66 of the 911 report "In March 1998, after bin Laden's public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraq Intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with bin Laden."

She is also obviously unaware of any of the scores of official Iraqi papers translated under Project Harmony that speak clearly of Iraq’s involvement with terror.

Pretending Iraq was not involved in terror is simply to be uninformed.[/quote]

J. McKane
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Unprinted letters?

[quote="David Hughes"][quote]
For a doctor and a dean emeritus at Columbia University Doctor Weiss would do well to check the facts as they are in Maine rather than apply national statistics to Maine’s local health care problem.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center has frequently presented itself as a conservative think tank. MHPC has also been somewhat supportive of a few ideas coming from Democrats when it comes to health care in Maine. This is in stark contrast to Consumers for Affordable Health Care and Maine People’s Alliance which both have always come out against any Republican plan to make health insurance more affordable. I have to ask, does one party have a monopoly on good ideas? Given that a number of the Republican proposals have been tried, tested and proven to work at reducing health insurance costs in other states I would have to say that CAHC and MPA are the partisan ones in this battle.

Anthem put up $500,000 of its own money as incentives for insurance agents to write Dirigo policies. Maine received a sizeable grant to promote Dirigo on its own. Republicans have called for allowing all insurance companies and all insurance agents to participate in providing Dirigo policies. CAHC and MPA are against these Republican proposal. Someone needs to get them both to explain why.

Medicaid has low administrative costs on a percentage basis due in large part to the fact that Medicaid has a much higher cost per patient. 10 dollars out of every 100 is 10%, 10 dollars out of 200 is 5%. The problem is not administrative costs; any potential savings are severely overstated by groups like CAHC and MPA. Someone needs to get them to provide the mathematical proof that the savings are there.

Let’s look at government run health care in Maine. Dirigo, waiting list. MaineCare, waiting list and can’t pay the bills to providers. If we are going to take a serious look at the state running health care for all of us I think it would be prudent to fix the programs we currently offer to prove that government is capable of doing the job. Given the governments track record as a health care provider we would be fools to rush into any government run plan for everyone.

[/quote]

Sent BDN, crickets[/quote]

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J. McKane
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[quote="David Hughes"][quote]
In Mr. Ditre’s column on 3/21 he said “The superintendent's decision is not a suggestion, but a legally binding decision.” and that “Rather than focus on the fact that insurers…have not carried out their responsibilities under Dirigo, we are now debating alternatives that would relieve…insurance companies from paying their legal obligation.”

Question: If the superintendent’s decisions are legally binding and the superintendent has found that Anthem fulfilled the requirements to recover the savings from providers and having done so may pass on the SOP in premiums ( Bureau of Insurance Docket INS-05-820 ) just how hasn’t Anthem fulfilled the legal obligations?

LD 1935 is an effort to change the rules of the original Dirigo Legislation. As the Superintendent of Insurance noted, Anthem has fulfilled its part of that original compromise and may include the SOP in premiums.

Dirigo advocates like Mr. Ditre are trying to mislead the public by implying that Anthem is acting illegally and using emotive arguments ( “excessive profits”, “bad behavior” ) rather than sticking to the facts and the original agreement. Hiding facts, making misleading statements and not telling the whole story are politicizing an issue.

The insurance companies agreed to a compromise. To go back now and undo that compromise by forcing the insurance companies to pay the state the SOP and not pass that on in premiums is wrong. Modifying the deal going forward is acceptable but reaching back to change what was agreed to is not. If companies cannot trust the state to keep its word as expressed in legislation than every company in Maine should be concerned and consider very carefully any compromise they might make with the state.

David Hughes
[/quote]

Sent to the KJ, crickets.[/quote]

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J. McKane
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J. McKane
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[quote="David Hughes"]

PPH, Maine Voices....crickets.[/quote]
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