Turner insults audience prior to performance
Re: "Turner concerned Republicans won't come to see Molly Ivins play," Yeas & Nays, Aug. 7
So Kathleen Turner is concerned about attracting "the right kind of D.C. audience ... because people are so close-minded now" to her one-woman play about Molly Ivins.Nothing like insulting your audience before they even think about buyinga ticket toyour show.
Then she proceeds to describe how she "purposely" never met President George W. Bush when she was on the Kennedy Center's artistic selection board.When it comes to close-minded people, it takes someone as close-minded as Ms. Turner to know what she is talking about.
Send federal poll watchers to monitor elections
My father, a World War II veteran, was in the U.S. Civil Service when he was sent to the South to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Acts. When he came home after several months in Mississippi and Alabama, he told me how white segregationists would stand around the polls and discourage black citizens from voting, just by giving them intimidating forms to fill out, claiming they didn't have the right identification or telling them that they had to take a test.
It's shocking how easy it is for groups to duplicate that practice 50 years later.
Why can't the federal government respond to those who actually believe there is some voter fraud going on and those who believe that voters are being dissuaded from registering or voting by needless or expensive requirements by sending federal poll watchers wherever there is suspicion of voter suppression or fraud?
These federal employees could make sure the challenges about ID are duly documented, and allow disenfranchised voters to challenge the sequestering of their ballots due to lack of a driver's license, etc.
In rural counties in '65, this was actually a dangerous job for a federal employee. But nowadays, with cellphones and media everywhere, it could be a relatively low-wage position for somebody right out of college. Citizens on both sides should advocate this solution. Otherwise, the burden of challenging these new repression laws falls on the ACLU and NAACP.
With historically low interest rates, U.S. should be borrowing
The New York Times' Bill Keller and Steve Pearlstein at the Washington Post are totally wrong when they push for austerity measures such as benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to get our country's finances back on track. Not only would this harm vulnerable Americans, it also makes no fiscal sense.
At historically low 1.5 percent interest rates, it makes good business sense to borrow. Now is also the cheapest time to begin large infrastructure projects, as financial whiz Elizabeth Warren has pointed out.
I teach world history, and we need to learn from the past. What got the U.S. out of the Great Depression? The fact that the federal government put the entire country to work during World War II.
Austerity has failed all over Europe, and those who preach it just want to pick the bones of regular Americans. Keller and Pearlstein should stop playing partisan politics and support real efforts to put America back to work.