EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 24, 2012

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Republicans misdirect blame for loss

To the editor:

At the beginning of football season, we were subjected to play officiated by the now infamous “replacement refs.” It seemed that every play resulted in a penalty flag or a missed call that angered fans. Unfortunately the fans’ anger was misdirected. The real problems were caused by the players who acted like little children being baby-sat by their grandparents, always trying to get away with something they knew their parents would not tolerate. It was the players who degraded the integrity of the game.

Now that the elections are over, the losing candidates are misdirecting the blame for their losses on everything including Hurricane Sandy, changing demographics, voter irregularities at the polls, and women. But the blame squarely belongs to the Republican politicians for being inferior candidates to the winners and running campaigns that degraded the integrity of the party. Mitt Romney, who could not make up his mind as to what side of an issue he was on, lost to an unpopular president. Scott Brown, who lied about being bipartisan, lost to a candidate whose honesty was in question. And conservative Richard Tisei lost to a scandal-laden incumbent. Considering all the baggage the winning candidates had and the millions of dollars spent on negative advertising by Republican super-PACs, the Republicans should have walked away with all the political races. But they failed miserably.

If the Republicans want to win another election it is time to blame the right people. Instead of nominating people who are good at raising money, they should be considering quality candidates who will respond to the people and work toward solving their needs. To think that only money can win an election is outdated and that kind of thinking will render the Republican Party irrelevant in the future.

John W. Conte


Who made up the phony Benghazi story?

To the editor:

The Obama administration clings to its Benghazi fictions. It retains the option to just tell the truth, but the king has not adorned himself with both cloak of invisibility and mantle of authority to have his disguises stripped by simple, insistent logic. And he has such influential allies in this sordid display of royal arrogance.

With the fawning help of CBS “News,” the story’s focus is being further distorted and confused to a point where even staunch supporters are not exactly sure what they are supposed to say — what their “talking points” are, if you will. For that’s where this administration wants us to go. In their version, it’s all about lack of clarity in talking points. That is nonsense.

What the Obama administration has failed to comprehend is that easily hundreds of thousands and likely millions of Americans had deciphered much of the broad context of Benghazi days before Susan Rice presented the administration’s hopeful lies to America on Sept. 16. Our initial, educated guesses were prompted by a secretary of state who spoke frankly (and paid dearly) added to a media that provided some illuminating information. And if there were lingering doubts or even willingness to believe Obama and company after Rice successfully completed the errand for which she was dispatched, there was subsequent, astounding, and revealing evidence provided by a congressional committee through its questioning of security personnel who were stationed in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. That inquiry was live on CSPAN with many Americans attending at home.

Even by Sept. 16 there had been enough information that had escaped to the people so that the people knew, or at least suspected, that, when Susan Rice said “our assessment” was that the murders in Benghazi were due to a “spontaneous” reaction to a short movie trailer, Rice was providing false, exculpatory information.

Those “assessments” are the essence of the deceptions the administration embarked on, placing Rice at the helm. It was not about al-Qaida’s involvement, if any.

On Nov. 21, while most Americans were distracted by Thanksgiving preparations, Rice had this to say about Benghazi on national television: “I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community.”

It may be that Rice had been duped, or cajoled or ordered to appear with a story full of holes for America. But what we the people should not overlook in her latest statement is the shift in pronouns. On Sept. 16, it was “our assessment.” On Nov. 21, it was “I” and “me,” leaving the impression that the intelligence community talked to Rice and Rice talked to America, with no intervening inputs.

That would probably surprise Vice President Joe Biden. On Oct. 11, Biden said: “We said exactly what the intelligence community told us ...” Bothersome plural pronouns (“we” and “us”) appeared once again. So was it the intelligence community, Rice and Biden who put together the bogus story? Or is it far more likely that some combination of Obama, Biden, David Axelrod, Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, Leon Panetta and Rice was involved?

Barry McCloskey


Thanks to volunteers on food drive

To the editor:

How does one say thank you? The Salem community and the Scouts did it again! The Scouts and their parents worked very hard and helped fill the pantry shelves. The Salem Fire Department allowed the use of their building on Main Street for sorting.

Sally Perkins and all the volunteers at the Food for the Hungry Food Pantry want to express our appreciation to all who were involved in this endeavor. The food pantry is a mission of the Pleasant Street United Methodist Church and 66 of our clients were given a turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving. These food drives need volunteers to pack and sort the food. Bless you. You show up, year after year. How could we do it without you?

Our thanks to Marilyn Campbell owner of the Scottish Highlands Golf Course. Each year, Marilyn allows golfers to play golf for free, provided that they bring a turkey or the price of one. This remarkable woman and the golfers have been doing this for 14 years. In that time,they have donated $4,135.00 in cash, 20,894 pounds of turkey (1,431 turkeys). This year they provided 131 turkeys. Our thanks also go to the 15,014 golfers who have made this happen over the last 14 years. Bless you, one and all. You certainly are “your brother’s keeper.”

Catherine Panciocco