Obama has no part ?in cellphone program

I write this letter in response to a letter printed on Nov. 11 that insinuated that people voted for President Obama due to the "lure of a free Obama phone."

Let me emphatically state that I voted for Obama despite the fact that I have never received any free "Obama phone." Furthermore, I am writing to educate the writer of that letter, and the like-minded people who have no understanding of this phone that people continue to link to Obama, although he had nothing to do with the program.

The free cellphones are part of Lifeline program, which was instituted under President Ronald Reagan in 1984. In this program, discounted phone service was given to low-income households, and taxpayer money was not used to fund this program.

In 2008, under President George W. Bush, the program was advanced to include cellular phone service. It had nothing to do with Obama, except that it came to fruition after he took office. Again, it is not funded by taxpayer dollars.

As for the letter writer bemoaning that he did not vote for Obama and did "nothing to deserve four more years" of this administration, I'll kindly remind him and everyone else that this is America, where we elect a president. We do not always get what we want. I certainly didn't vote for George W. Bush, but he was put into office, and I accepted this. As with any election, some of us are going to get the president we very much want, and others are not going to get their choice. The good news is that any president is elected for only four years, so those who do not like him will remember that they can vote again in four years, as can the rest of us.

Annette Morrison



Democrats aren't ones? who are ‘uninformed'

As one of the "uninformed electorate" (see Democrat) that the Nov. 11 letter writer was referring to, I decided that maybe I should try to educate myself so as to not waste my vote again. I must be misinformed on general Republican views on climate change, even though parts of the country are having 100-year storms every two years, and other parts are in the worst drought conditions in years; rape and contraception; immigration and "self-deportation;" evolution; equal rights for all minorities; equal pay for women; and the president's birthplace. Oh, I could go on but my "free Obama phone" is ringing. But thanks for pointing out what a sad day Election Day was!

Rick Serley



Republicans need ?to face the truth

The refrain that I heard from friends and family just prior to and immediately following the elections was that we would at last be free from political television ads and annoying phone calls. Unfortunately that's not true.

Last Saturday afternoon, I received a call from the Young Republicans telling me that I, like most Americans, am probably distressed with the outcome of the election and that I longed for the days of the Reagan administration's successful economic policies. The best way to ensure our returning to the good old days would be to donate and respond to a few questions so I could make my wishes known.

Talk about the spirit of cooperation and moving along so that our country can begin to rebuild and grow. Let's hit the newly re-elected president from behind.

I read in a recent News article that the Republicans were going to re-examine their recent strategies and endeavor to discover why the American people were turned off to their political rhetoric. Maybe it's because the Republicans can't deal with the facts and won't face the truth – the majority of the people in this country are looking for real solutions, not those that have been tried and retried by previous GOP elected officials. The GOP lost the election because the Republicans only offered to repeal recent legislation and continue the policies of Reagan and the two previous Bush administrations. Blaming the loss on those other people isn't a solution.

How about putting some effort into cooperating with the elected president and perhaps the American people will look at the Grand Old Party and think: What a great group. Look at all they've done to get us back on our feet. Maybe we should put them in control next time around. I doubt this will ever happen.

Lilia F. Vitale

West Seneca


Slender victory isn't?much of a mandate

Tom Toles' cartoon in the Veterans Day newspaper asked if we needed to have "further discussion" on the word "mandate." I think we do. In the cartoon, "mandate" is written large, implying, as does the common understanding of the word, a broad and resounding, overwhelming command to execute what you have promised.

This word seems to be the media's new favorite buzzword. The other day, I heard a national news anchor say to a dissenting Republican, "But the president has a mandate – 60 percent of the voters gave him a mandate!" The president did indeed receive the majority of votes and, as such, can use that as a reason to move forward with what he has promised. But the mandate he received was nowhere near 60 percent. In fact, it was very slender – about 3.3 million, less than the entire population of Connecticut. The popular vote tally gave 51.4 percent to Obama, and 48.6 percent to Mitt Romney.

"Mandate" simply means that Obama won the election, and has the authority to govern. But our country is still deeply divided. The media need to stop acting like giddy cheerleaders or fans at a rock concert. Romney – in a colossal misrepresentation of meaning perpetrated by the media – was soundly criticized for his so-called dismissal of 47 percent of the country So tell me, media, how are you any better?

Kathleen Sutter



Republican Party ?is far from dead

In recent days, I've watched and listened as many Democrats gloat over President Obama's stunning victory. First, a 50 percent to 48 percent win for a sitting president over a one-term former Massachusetts governor is hardly a mandate. In addition, the Republicans have kept their very decisive majority in the House. Western New York Republicans have added our own Congressman-elect Chris Collins to the mix. The president won't be able to sneak through his very large, expensive social programs at taxpayer expense.

The fact that Obama has the likability of a rock star does not automatically mean he's a great president. The Republican Party is still the party of family values, lower taxes and smaller government. Also, it doesn't have to be coaxed into having the word "God" included in its party platform.

Yes, the president won fair and square. But the Republican Party is far from dead. Enjoy it, Democrats. Hillary Clinton isn't going to do nearly as well.

Robert G. Peterson



Where was the outrage? over killings in Iraq?

Wouldn't it be nice if the same people who are so outraged at the Obama administration about the tragic embassy attack in Benghazi had shown the same interest and outrage at the incompetent Bush administration, which sent not four, but 4,000-plus Americans to their deaths in Iraq? All under false pretenses and all for naught.

Michael Panzica



Pigeon seems to forget ?voters still have a say

The behind-the-scenes Karl Rove of Western New York politics, Steve Pigeon, is casting blame on Jeremy Zellner and Mark Poloncarz for the loss of three important seats in local, state and national government. Although unelected, and no longer the Democratic chairman, Pigeon continues to have a disproportionate role in selecting our candidates. He seems to forget that we voters still have a small say in whom we elect to represent us.

Mark Grisanti, whether for political reasons or truly on principle, voted in the affirmative for same-sex marriage. I believe many voters admired his courage, whether or not they agreed with him. Then Grisanti stated that he would never vote for a salary raise for New York legislators until they started attending to good governance. Those factors, together with incumbency, the inexperience of a relatively unknown young Democrat, and the resurrection of a previous official who left politics to secure his private-sector pension, gave Grisanti a distinct advantage in the race for state senator.

Congressman-elect Chris Collins ran in a largely Republican district that was gerrymandered to ensure a GOP victory, and still Rep. Kathy Hochul gave him a run for his money.

And, the newly elected county comptroller had been a local media personality, adequate qualification for many voters.

It could turn out that the voters selected the winners, however unlikely Pigeon may think that is.

Janet M. Goodsell

Grand Island


We must keep fighting? to protect the unborn

In 1928, 98 percent of Catholic voters voted for Democrat Al Smith for president, believing that his values in standing up for the powerless and voiceless best reflected their values.

This year, 55 percent of churchgoing Catholic voters – recognizing that the Republican ticket's stance on standing up for the most powerless and voiceless of all, unborn babies, was more in accord with Catholic teaching – voted for the Republican ticket. It is my hope that in future elections, the Catholic Church will continue to provide even more leadership on this important issue so that the most powerless and voiceless of all will not be ignored.

Dennis Patrick Farrell