Voting rights bill
As an American, the right to vote stands as one of the most basic rights of our democracy. The Freedom to Vote Act sets national standards for us to safely and freely cast our ballots, ensuring every vote is counted so we can elect candidates who will truly represent us. Our senator, Mitch McConnell, wants to stand in the way of passing this bill. He wants to limit our right to fair and free elections by using the outdated filibuster. Extremist state lawmakers across the country want to put up deliberate barriers to make it harder to vote — especially for people of color. The Freedom to Vote Act would protect our right to vote, end partisan gerrymandering, counter undemocratic and dangerous election sabotage efforts, and help to eliminate the undue influence of dark money in our elections. I call on our Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell to protect our most basic right as citizens and support the Freedom to Vote Act.
Barbara Plymale, Lexington
I am a senior citizen who voted by mail this past year and it worked well for me. I don’t understand the conflict around how to identify people who can vote. Will I need to be able to include my driver’s license or what to ensure I am who lives at my address? Will I have to get a neighbor (who does not really know me) to vouch or swear to my identity? And why should where I am registered and live require something different than another state. My Kentucky legislature should not be able to change my requirements to vote to follow a partisan agenda. A national standard for voting needs to exist. Pass a national voting act for all Americans.
Vickie Batzka, Lexington
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s opinion piece in a recent Herald-Leader is a measure of the smallness of the man.
Sounding the alarm about a potential Democratic proposal for the IRS to micro-inspect financial transactions to prevent tax evasion, he tries to mischaracterize the whole of the Democratic agenda. McConnell ran for re-election proclaiming that he allows Kentucky to “punch above its weight.” But his is a cheap, negative leadership. Given a soup with much to nourish the nation, including critical proposals to address climate change and child poverty, does McConnell try to support what nourishes us and screen out what does not? No, he chooses to spit in the soup. So much for mature responsibility.
T. Kerby Neill, Lexington
The phrase “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” will sound like a nursery rhyme compared to the rage that will transpire if the U.S. government fails to pay Social Security, military, and other monthly stipends. Investors who are currently earning next to nothing on U.S. debt securities will unload them like hot potatoes. God knows how far stock markets and 401Ks will fall. The most troubling consequence of obstinate Republican high jinks to earn favor with voters is that damages done can never be repaired. Never. The term “full faith and credit of the United States” will be forever tarnished and mostly meaningless, sadly. You see, some cats once let out of the bag can never be stuffed back down into the poke. This is one of those situations. Republican vanity and lust for power will be forever more damaging to Lady Liberty than anything any former U.S. president ever engineered. I wonder if Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell want to go down in history being remembered this way. Their “go call someone who cares, we do not” answer to the above will haunt America forever.
Gene Lockhart, Lexington
COVID test kits
I’m surprised and yet not surprised. According to a segment on the morning news about at home COVID-19 test kits, as usual the United States is way behind other countries. According to the reporters, in the United Kingdom, you can go into any drug store and ask for a kit that can test seven times. You can ask for more than one kit. And (are you ready for this?) they are free. But here in the United States, if you can even find a kit, they are $12. Each. Yes, $12. I wonder who would be benefiting from this. My guess is that it is big pharmaceutical companies and politicians. This is disturbing, depressing, and yet not surprising.
Catherine Ferguson, Lexington
It’s obvious that neither of the two letter writers critical of Teri Carter’s recent op-ed understood that her goal in advocating that Democrats register Republican so they can vote in Republican primaries was this: to save democracy.
If they are able to vote in Republican primaries, former Democrats will support the conservative-but-sane Republicans running against the insurrectionist-minded Donald Trump allies.
One writer is correct in saying that “the problem is right wing propaganda going unchallenged.” However, his suggestion that rational discussion will bring about change is a bit naive. The solution is to nominate Republican candidates who have not succumbed to Trump’s intimidation.
Yes, they may be the weaker candidate, but Teri Carter’s plan will strengthen them by swelling the numbers of their supporters.
Admittedly, if the plan works it could benefit Democrats in the final runoff, but which is worse: losing our democracy to insurrectionist-minded white supremacists operating under Trump’s thumb, or putting a Democrat in office?
Jean-Marie Welch, Lexington
Support for Douglas
It seems it’s a little-known fact that there will be a special election Nov. 2 for the 22nd District state Senate seat which was vacated when Sen. Tom Buford unexpectedly passed away. This district encompasses a part of Fayette and Mercer counties and all of Jessamine, Garrard, and Washington counties. The purpose of this letter is to endorse my friend, the Republican candidate Dr. Donald Douglas, whom I have known for nearly 40 years. Dr. Douglas, a conservative and a Black American, is pro-life, pro-family, pro-Second Amendment, pro-economic development, and for smaller government and lower taxes. He has been married for 40 years to his wife, Carol, who is a teacher. They have three children who have all become physicians. Don grew up on a farm in Western Kentucky literally dirt poor, the 14th of 16 children. He earned a track scholarship to college and qualified twice for the Olympic trials. When elected, he will take this work ethic to Frankfort to work for the good citizens of this district.
Nancy Pounds, Lexington
Barr peddling fear
Rep. Andy Barr’s October congressional update claims the infrastructure bill in Congress will have a devastating impact on taxes of average Americans. Citing a Heritage Foundation paper that never described how average workers were being taxed, Barr concluded the effects would be devastating.
Because wages of Americans making less than $400,000 per year will not see any increased tax under the present proposal, how can that be? What is going up are taxes on corporations. Corporations that paid no income tax under the 2017 GOP tax bill and those who have paid 21% tax on profits will now see their taxes increased to 26.5%.
For Kentuckians receiving dividends from those companies, expect dividends to go down. As most working Kentuckians get little or no income from stock dividends, they can expect those taxes to have a minimal effect. Barr works to encourage fear in working Kentuckians, not solutions. Time for him to go.
Peter Wedlund, Lexington
President Joe Biden has already proven his incompetence as the president and it’s hurting everyone in our country. It only took him days to prove the buffoonery and it gets increasingly worse daily. I wonder if America can survive Biden for three-and-a-half more years. His policies reflect the “America Last” policies started by Barack Obama and will further penalize businesses, families, and the American spirit. Our country is heading back to the days of Jimmy Carter and his inept leadership.
Biden can’t lead and destroys anything he touches; immigration, economic matters, foreign policy, COVID-19, and energy production. Everything he proposes is detrimental to the interest of average Americans. “America Last” threatens basic freedoms.
Robert Adams, Lexington