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Everybody's Column

McCain tried to prevent Fannie/Freddie debacle

For the past 40 years, I have worked in area industry, purchased a modest home, raised three children and saved a portion of income for retirement only to be devastated by the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac housing debacle. Reading Eugene Robinson's recent op-ed stating that the crisis was "Republican-made" infuriates me.

Robinson intentionally does not mention Democratic involvement. Jimmy Carter signed the Community Reinvestment Act allowing banks to grant mortgages to low-income borrowers. Bill Clinton and Democrats in 1995 expanded the act, allowing lenders to issue mortgages to people who had no possibility of making payments.

In 2003, the Bush administration proposed regulatory overhaul and a monitoring agency but the Democrats blocked it. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, House and Senate banking chairmen, said there was no problem, no need for regulatory overhaul. They were too busy accepting contributions from Fannie Mae instead of doing their job of monitoring unscrupulous activity.

In 2005, John McCain and four other Republicans sponsored the Housing Enterprise Regulatory Act to avert a mortgage collapse. Democrats blocked it. In 1994, Barack Obama was one of the attorneys in a lawsuit against Citibank for denying mortgages to low-income borrowers. Obama says he wants to protect retirement savings, but the truth is he had a hand in devastating mine.

Ron Lochocki

Tonawanda

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Writer distorts Obama's vote on 'Born Alive' bill

I am writing in response to the Oct. 25 letter, "Stance on abortion disqualifies Obama." It took me all of five minutes to look up the bill the writer referenced and find the real reason why Barack Obama voted against it. I'm really surprised that he doesn't do research before sending things in for print. If I believed what he wrote, I'd be horrified, too. Fortunately, informed people will know he is wrong. Unfortunately, not-so-informed people may believe what he wrote.

The following is what Obama actually said: "There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the 'Born Alive' bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill. The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn't think it was going to pass constitutional muster."

The writer said: "A vote for Obama is a vote for infanticide." Please, do you really believe that? You should send The News a correction, and you should send Obama an apology. Still your loving sister.

Eileen Dziwulski Schaefer

Irving

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Politicians must bring Americans together

Recently, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, while speaking to a crowd, referred to the people in small towns as the "real Americans." Words have power, and Republicans and Democrats alike have been guilty of saying things that polarize one group against another. Americans are rural and urban, and differ in religion and race. The real America is all of them! The one thing Americans have in common is their belief in democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. We have never been a country with one face.

I am also very distressed when I hear candidates separating "working people" from the business world. Having been the head of a small business for a number of years, I was just as much a working person as the day laborer. What is more important is that my work made it possible for others to get paid; namely my employees. We were a team.

The team spirit that exists in America seems to be non-existent in the minds of politicians. It is time to put away the class warfare talk and find ways to bring people together, recognizing their shared beliefs and interdependence.

Adrienne Crandall

Town of Tonawanda

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WNY has nothing to lose by voting out incumbents

News to make endorsements for State Assembly, it seems to me that its choices would only give us, the overtaxed public, more of the same results the Western New York delegation has provided us -- nothing!

It's time to think past the pork-barrel gifts and the taxpayer-financed mass mailings and focus on the gas taxes, phone taxes, property taxes and school taxes, the programs whose costs have increased due to unfunded state mandates and many others.

It's time to vote out the incumbents! What do we have to lose? Seniority? Hasn't helped us recently. Political experience? Minimal results seen around here based on that. The News described one of its choices as having "passion and the right approach," which translates to the fact that nothing has been done in years for Western New York.

This Election Day, I urge people to vote out the incumbents. What do we have to lose? Nothing.

Bob Scheuermann

Lockport

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Power outage at stadium should be taken seriously

A recent News article emphasized the unsafe, unsanitary and inconvenient aspects of the power outage at Ralph Wilson Stadium. I fear this event may be bigger than all that. I hope the rest of the NFL and homeland security are paying attention. I have been trained at work to report seemingly insignificant incidents that are out of the ordinary.

We have learned that terrorists stage practice runs before an attack. They want to see if parts of a plan can be effective and judge our reaction. The 9/1 1 terrorists already knew they could get a box cutter on a plane. Balloons interrupting the main and backup power sources combined with an unrelated fire on a nearby telephone pole seem like too many coincidences at once.

If this wasn't a practice run for terrorists, then any nearby cells must have taken note. Either an attack on the Super Bowl or an organized assault on numerous games at the same time would be a terrible terrorist victory. Let's hope that game was not their preseason.

Paul Murphy

East Aurora

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Tribute to Billy Joel was a terrific concert

I totally disagreed with Jeff Miers' review of the Tribute to Billy Joel concert Saturday night. I don't think the audience cared about his nitpicking theoretical review. Everyone seemed to enjoy it tremendously, giving the artist and musicians two standing ovations. It should have been reviewed for what it was: a great night of fun, entertainment and the excellent music of Billy Joel.

If anyone was out of his element, it was Miers at a Kleinhans event rather than a typical rock-and-roll gig.

Gerri Cohan

East Amherst

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