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Forum, July 28: Surreal, vicious measures in NH budget

Published: 7/27/2021 10:00:10 PM
Modified: 7/27/2021 10:00:11 PM
Surreal, vicious measures in NH budget

Republicans in the New Hampshire Legislature remind me of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. They’ve hit on a clever disguise, and they’re on the campaign fairy tale trail. From behind grandma’s cloak they tell us they’ve secured our “freedoms,” lowered our taxes, helped public schools and protected us from the scourge of divisive concepts.

It’s saintly. It’s selfless. It’s benevolent. And none of it is true.

The state budget the wolf just passed (in the face of unanimous Democratic disapproval), is a gift to the wealthy and a vicious growl to everyone else.

Just a few examples:

■ Wealthy investors in the notorious FRM Ponzi scheme will be reimbursed for their losses with $10 million in tax dollars.

■ Women seeking legal abortions will be forced to undergo intrusive trans-vaginal ultrasounds for no reason. Who will pay for these abusive procedures? New Hampshire taxpayers, of course.

■ Public schools and private corporations doing business with the state have been effectively banned from discussing so-called “divisive concepts” such as racism, discrimination, intolerance and systemic abuse.

■ The housing crisis will be perpetuated by Republican refusal to pass any laws that would make building more housing possible, hurting both businesses and the people who would love to work for them.

■ Parents who want to send their kids to private or religious schools — or to home-school them — will receive thousands of dollars in vouchers — money that comes directly from taxpayers and will be subtracted from local school district budgets.

Take away grandma’s costume and what’s left are these and dozens of other surreal measures — allowing loaded firearms in the Statehouse, for example — that make New Hampshire a far-right extremist standout among its neighbors.

Democrats in New Hampshire hope that voters aren’t fooled by the wolf’s costume, or by its deceptive arguments. Instead, we hope they’ll focus on its sharp claws and fearsome fangs.

As we approach the 2022 midterm elections, let’s not be fooled by disguises and deceptive words. Let’s drive the wolf from our House.

LAUREL STAVIS

West Lebanon

The writer represents the Grafton 13 district in the New Hampshire House and is deputy ranking member of the Municipal and County Government Committee.

Rejecting a chance to find the truth about Jan. 6

The Baltimore Sun editorial (“Insurrection investigation,” July 25) includes the subhead, “Will the Republicans in Congress rise to meet this pivotal moment?” I’m among those who would vastly prefer that they do just that, which would mean joining efforts to seek, dissect, cross-examine, debate, judge and share with the nation whatever can be learned through due process under the rule of law about, first, the actions of those who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and next, and to the extent possible, the causes of their actions. Who did what, and why?

That Republicans in Congress have thus far rejected the opportunity to join efforts to determine the truth seems to me to make it extremely unlikely that they will rise to this moment — a moment that could hardly be more pivotal.

Having supported any number of statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin determined by the U.S. intelligence community to be false, and now supporting statements made by then-U.S. President Donald Trump that the tabulation of votes in the 2020 U.S. national election was somehow unfair, without evidence, and in light of 60-odd rejections of those claims in our courts of law, Republicans in Congress are simply not a good source for anyone seeking the truth. Those who would prefer a different version of who did what and why have found their oracle in the current crop of Republicans, whose defining characteristic has become maneuvering to keep themselves out of any situation that would require them to make their public claims in testimony under oath and subject to equal justice under law.

Finally, the editorial bemoans that political discussion of the issues addressed in the piece “descended quickly into partisan squabbling.”

Seems to me there’s a group of Americans determined to find the truth, and another determined to change the subject. One’s partisan squabbling is another’s effort to acknowledge that two plus two equals four, regardless of what Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy claim it adds up to on a given day.

CHRIS WEINMANN

Norwich

The politicization of Supreme Court

I applaud the Valley News for publishing, in the Forum, letters from every political persuasion, informed or not. And I do not normally engage in direct debate over letters expressing views that I believe are blatantly off the rails: I assume your readers recognize outright silliness when they see it.

But, really, now: William A. Wittik’s July 21 Forum letter suggests that the Democrats are attempting to “politicize” the “independent” Supreme Court. (“Biden, Harris program US for self-destruction”). Let’s look at the facts:

Thanks to the parliamentary shenanigans of former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Trump administration placed three justices on the high court, resulting in a 6-3 conservative majority. The first of those picks (Neil Gorsuch) was seated because McConnell spent 11 months obstructing President Barack Obama’s nominee, in outright defiance of the constitutional process. The third of those choices (Amy Coney Barrett) was rammed through, in a blinding display of hypocrisy, in the waning minutes of the Trump administration.

Had the constitutional process been honored, the Supreme Court would look very different, and more evenly balanced, than it now does.

PETER BEARDSLEY

West Lebanon




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