Friday, June 24, 2011

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 24, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas The New Braunfels HeraW-Zettung welcomes letters up to 250 words and guest columns of up to 500 words. Guest columns must be accompanied by a photo. The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit or reject all submissions. All submissions must include an address and telephone number so authorship can be confirmed. Submit tetters • By e-mail to: news@herald-zeitung com • Online at herald-zeitung.com • By mail to: Letters to the Editor, Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78130 • By fax: (830) 606-3413 • In person: 707 Landa St. Rethink or go crazy: Guess what the GOP chose? Have you ever sensed that conservative talk radio hosts are reading from a script written by somebody else? Well, you're right According to a well-documented report in Politico, such fearless, independent thinkers as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are taking millions in payola to promote the policy ideas of the Heritage Foundation without necessarily letting listeners in on the secret. OK, scratch "payola" — make that "sponsorship fees." Payola’s what you call it when disc jockeys take cash under the table to play certain songs. It's illegal only when that income goes unreported to the IRS. Nobody's saying Hannity and Limbaugh are doing that. But what they are doing is weaving praise for Heritage Foundation pronouncements seamlessly into their programs without letting on that they're being paid a small fortune to do so: $2 million a year in Limbaugh’s case: $1.3 million in Hanmty's. "The point that people don't realize," said Michael Harrison of media trade publication TALKERS Magazine, "is that (big-time political talk show hosts) are radio personalities -- they are in the same business that people like Casey Kasem are in -- and what they do is no different than people who broadcast from used car lots or restaurants or who endorse the local roofer or gardener." GENE LYONS COLUMNIST The Heritage Foundation, in turn, is one of those Scrooge McDuck-style "think tanks" largely funded by right-wing billionaires like the late Joseph Coors and the Koch brothers. Its "resident scholars" churn out one half-baked study after another proving that economic prosperity depends upon plutocrats paying little or no taxes. See, like Uncle Scrooge, some of these jokers are pathologically addicted to hoarding. It's not enough that the top I percent of income earners in the United States own 40 percent of the nation's wealth. They'd really like it all. But I digress. Glenn Beck's unacknowledged Sugar Daddy is an outfit called Freedom-Works. Mark Levin’s is Americans for Prosperity, another Koch brothers production, which, along with tax cuts, devotes itself to complaints about burdensome regulations preventing energy producers like Koch Industries from disposing of drilling waste in convenient nearby streams. "Defending the American Dream," they call it. Granted, it's hard to feel sorry for gullible listeners who hear Beck ranting about how Armageddon approaches, so they should hoard canned goods and buy gold. This on a program sponsored by Gold-line. Somebody's going to con them out of their savings, so it may as well be Beck. Shoot, they can always fall back on Social Security until President Michele Bachmann does away with it. "I wish more of the grassroots knew the reality that this wasn't Rush or Sean or Beck saying these things out of the goodness of their hearts," said one conservative who decided the payola was too expensive and ethically dubious. "If the grassroots found out that these guys were getting paid seven figures a year to say this stuff, it might leave a bad taste in their mouth." I have every confidence, however, that the grassroots talk radio audience can rise above such niggling concerns — and for the same reason that a failed "end of days" prophet's deluded followers patiently await his recalculations. After the catastrophic Bush presidency, the Republican right had two choices: rethink or go crazy. A disturbing number chose to doubledown on dogma. As a consequence, the estimable Fareed Zakaria argues in Time, the GOP has become as dependent upon abstract ideology as its worst enemies. "They resemble the old Marxists, who refused to look around at actual experience," Zakaria writes. '"I know it works in practice,' the old saw goes, 'but does it work in theory?'" Indeed, watching the cast of Republican presidential candidates in their recent CNN debate reminded me of the ferocious certitude of Kremlin apparatchiks depicted in Vassily Aksyonov's brilliantly satirical novel "Generations of Winter." No more "compassionate conservatism" for them. The GOP candidates competed to describe an imaginary paradise of sweeping tax cuts, vastly reduced spending, an end to government regulation, the bolstenng of state's rights, and burgeoning prosperity for all. It's as if the presidency of George W. Bush never happened. "Does anyone think," Zakaria asks, "we are really going to get federal spending to the level it was at under Calvin Coolidge, as Paul Ryan's plan assumes?" Every single candidate in the New Hampshire debates pretended to. Tim Pawlenty even went Ryan one better. Why, simply by eliminating capital gains taxes altogether - rendering unto Scrooge that which is Scrooge’s -- we'll have 10 years of 5 percent growth, something never approached in U.S. history. Never mind President Barack Obama. The real class enemy is Franklin D. Roosevelt. Back to the Roaring '20s! The Associated Press Today is Friday, June 24. On June 24,1314, the forces of Scotland's King Robert I defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn. In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort. In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted. In 1807, a grand jury in Richmond, Va., indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor (he was later acquitted). In 1908, the 22nd and 24th presi- TODAY IN HISTORY dents of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J., at age 71. In 1910, Italian automaker Alfa Romeo was founded in Milan. In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II. In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift. The Republican National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, nominated New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey for president. In 1968, "Resurrection City," a shan- tytown constructed as part of the Poor People's March on Washington, D.C., was closed down by authorities. In 1975,113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America's first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Ten years ago: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived in the U.S. for talks with George W. Bush. U CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Consider alternatives to downtown parking garage construction I believe along with many others that without adequate parking our downtown area has a very limited life-expectancy. In connection with that, has consideration ever been given to constructing a parking garage over the railroad area where our railroad museum is located? Many years ago. in Chicago, the Prudential Insurance Company purchased from a railroad what I believe were designated "air rights'', and were thus able to construct their regional home-office building when other space was no longer available. (The building included a railroad depot at its base, something for consideration in connection with the projected San Antonio-Austin railway.) Robert Rond New Braunfels Postman retirement article a reminder of larger issue for federal employees What a great article on Jimmy Quinn in the June 22 Herald-Zeitung. People tend to forget that federal workers protect America's heartbeat working as letter carriers, food inspectors, border patrol guards, VA doctors and nurses, and many more jobs. Yet Congress often singles out federal workers and retirees in attempts to reduce the budget. We all need to work on solving the budget crisis, but let's do it together. The Jimmy Quinns of our country deserve to receive their earned retirement. Dorothy Creswell Now Braunfels Why does Clarence Thomas get a pass for unethical behavior? The media went crazy for weeks over naughty pictures Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) sent via Twitter and now he has resigned. Why hasn’t the bigger scandal of Justice Clarence Thomas' unethical and illegal behavior had as much or more attention given the power he has as one of only nine Supreme Court Justices? Fifty-two years ago, Justice Abe Fortas resigned in disgrace for accepting gifts from wealthy patrons who had interest in cases heard before the Supreme Court. Thomas has taken gifts valued in the tens of thousands of dollars from Harlen Crow and the American Enterprise Institute just to name a few. Since presenting its gift, the American Enterprise Institute has filed three briefs in cases before the Supreme Court and Thomas has ruled in their favor every time. Whether or not it was quid pro quo the appearance of a conflict should have been enough for Thomas to recuse himself but he didn't. Clarence Thomas also lied when he repeatedly failed to disclose his wife’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings from her job at the Heritage Foundation as he is legally required to do. So why is it that the media in this country is far more interested in satisfying our prurient interests than it is in doing its job as America’s watch dog? Now that you know about Justice Thomas’ lies, unethical and illegal behavior will you call for him to resign like Anthony Weiner and Abe Fortas before him? JC Dufresne Cibolo U.S. PRESIDENT Barack Obama 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC. 20500 U.S. SENATE Kay Bailay Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D C 20510 Telephone: (202)224-5922 Fax (202)224-0776 Web: http://hutchison senate gov (Send e-mails through Web site) San Antonio office: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210)340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 John Comyn ■ Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington. DC. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax:(202)228-2856 Web: http://comyn senate gov (Send e-mails through Web site) Austin office. 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin, TX 78701 Telephone: (512)468-6034 Fax (512)469-6020 San Antonio office: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210)224-8569 U.S. CONGRESSMAN Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2409 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202)225-8628 Web: http://lamarsmith.house.gov (Send e-mails through Web site.) San Antonio office: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (2101821-5024 Fax (210)821-5947 Henry Cuellar 1404 tongworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone (202)225-1640 Fax (202)225-1641 Web http://house.gov/cuellar San Antonio office: 615 E Houston St. Sar, Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210)271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 TEXAS GOVERNOR Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 Telephone: (800)843-5789 Fax: (512)463-1849 STATE HOUSE Doug Miller H Capitol Office: EXT El .216 P0 Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768 Phone: (512)463-0325 New Braunfels address 387 W. Mill Street New Braunfels, TX 78130 Phone: (830)625-1313 John Kuempel ■ Capitol address: Room El.208, Capitol Extension Austin, TX 78768 (512)463-0602 (512)480-0391 Fax Seguin address: 523 E. Donegan #102 Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 379-8732 I STATE SENATE Jeff Wentworth Capitol office: 1E.9 Capitol phone: (512)463-0125 San Antonio 1250 N.E. Loop 410 Suite 925 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210)826-7800 Fax: (210)826-0571 E-mail: jeff.wentworth@senate.state.tx.us NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Castell Ave. P.O. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 (830)221-4000 rpg Mayor Gale Pospisil mayor@nbtexas.org Li» Telephone: (830) 629-2447 Dist 1 Councilor Richard Zapata rzapata@nbtexas.org lelephone. Extension 4501 Dial 2 Councilor Mark Goodner mgoodner@nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4502 OisL 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra mybarra@rdjtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4503 Dist 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte snolte@nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4504 Dist. 5 Councilor Bryan Miranda bmiranda@nbtexas.org Telephone: (830)837-5178 Dist 6 Councilor Steven Digges sdigges@nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4506 COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS'COURT Comal County Commissioners' Court 199 Main Plaza, New Braunfels (830)221-1100 Q County Judge Sherman Krause krause@co.comal,tx.us Telephone: (830)221-1105 Pci 1 Comm. Donna Eccleson cctdme@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1101 Pci 2 Commissioner Scott Haag haagsc@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1102 Pet 3 Commissioner Greg Parker cctgep@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830)221-1103 Pci 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady cctjk@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830)221-1104 STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION William B. Travis Building 1701 N. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701 4 I Friday, June 24, 2011 | herald-zeitung.com Ï LETTERS POLICY HERALD-ZEITUNG EDITORIAL BOARD Publisher and Editor Doug Toney Msnigmg Idilor Autumn Phillips    Ctreulition    Doctor    J*t! fowl« A»« M»n*g>ng later Sh«wn Itwil    Copy    »<Mor K*t( Thsmas