Hanky panky in bills

Dear Editor:

I had the same experience with Harry Mitchell’s telephone town hall as Kim Adamson said she did in her letter to the editor (“Where are you Harry?” AFN, Sept. 16).

Hung on for 1.5 hours, not called. I was not surprised but had hope. I’ve e-mailed Harry several times, asking questions but have never received an answer. Oh yeah, I got the response thanking me for the e-mail and telling me how important my e-mail is to Harry. No indication that Harry even read my question. Yeah, important!

I want to know why significant parts of Obamacare were smuggled into the Stimulus Bill? An e-mail indicated that such was the case, those parts were now law. I pulled the bill up on my PC and, sure enough, there it was, 139 pages of health care in a 647 page bill. It established a requirement for a Health Information data base that will by 2014 contain health records of ALL persons residing in the USA! It also established a Coordinator of Health Information Technology (HIT) and two committees, one for HIT Policy and one for HIT Standards (which sounds like the infamous, death panel). I don’t think there is any good reason for the government to have my health records. Might even be considered an invasion of privacy.

My second question is: HR 3200, the Health Care Bill includes a requirement that “the government shall have direct, real-time access to individual’s financial accounts.” Why? I suspect that this does not have anything to do with health care, but is part of Obama’s plan to “Spread the Wealth.”

I haven’t gotten into the Energy Bill yet but suspect there is more hanky-panky in it. Why else would it contain 850 pages, plus a 300-page amendment? Stimulus 647 pages, and Health Care 1017 pages. Almost certain not to be read by our Rep. Harry and even less likely to have all issues debated.

Bill Casey


No more trips to downtown Phoenix

Dear Editor:

My wife and I just drove to the Phoenix Convention Center to attend the Home Show. The street parking meters are only good for two hours, which makes them useless. The parking garages all want $12 to park, way too much. The light rail doesn’t serve the 25,000-plus of us that live in the Ahwatukee and south Phoenix/Tempe area.

We used to enjoy the shows at the old convention center, the new one looks gorgeous. No wonder folks don’t go downtown. It’ll be a cold day in Phoenix before we go back downtown. We turned around and went home.

Jerry and Pamm Allston


Harry is a good communicator

Dear Editor:

Wow, was I surprised to see the letter, “Where are you Harry?” in the Sept. 16 issue of the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

During his tenure Congressman Harry Mitchell has been extremely communicative in multiple ways from visiting parents and children at several local schools, the recent teleconferences (which I was able to participate in one of) and just last week I received a mailer. I have chosen to sign up to receive e-mail newsletters providing information and have seen articles he has written in the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Earlier in the month he met with retirees and seniors regarding health insurance reform.

Any time I have communicated with Congressman Mitchell he has always been responsive and I appreciate his hard work and dedication.

Helenmarie Slater


Defending Harry

Dear Editor:

Kim Adamson’s letter of Sept. 16 (“Where are you Harry?”) warrants a defense of Rep. Mitchell. Like so much of the right’s vehemence these days, Adamson’s attacks are lacking fact and an understanding of the issues.

Kim Adamson rebukes Mitchell for only conducting one telephone town hall. The facts are: Mitchell conducted two telephone town halls, with more than 18,000 residents of Arizona’s Fifth District participating, me and Adamson among them.

Adamson rebukes Mitchell for not reading the 1,000-page bill. As Mitchell stated multiple times, there was no bill to read yet (there still isn’t). At the time of the town hall, there were four bills out of committee, none of them available in final form.

Adamson rebukes Mitchell for not taking all calls the night of the second town hall. My call wasn’t taken either, but the facts are: 14,000 people called in that night. Let’s assume only half had questions or comments for Mitchell (though I’m willing to bet all did). Conservatively, each call might take a minute, which equals 7,000 minutes. Does Adamson really expect Mitchell to stay on the line for over 116 hours? That’s about five days, and certainly cruel and unusual for any congressman.

Adamson rebukes Mitchell for not conducting traditional town halls. But the facts are: the town halls the press spent most of August salivating over were largely bogus representations of reality, massively funded by insurance lobbyists, who bussed in “we the people” from out of district, and who were determined to prevent any discussion from actually happening. From the GOP’s marching orders: “Be Disruptive Early And Often,” “Try To ‘Rattle Him,’ Not Have An Intelligent Debate.” Notice the complete lack of anything resembling “have your facts well-prepared for Q&A sessions”? Perhaps this is why Adamson is so interested in them. Mitchell’s avoidance of these fabricated events is to be applauded.

Adamson’s article stands as the embodiment of the modern right – strident and narrowly-informed (not to mention gun-toting and race-baiting), almost as if they get their news from only one source.

Eric Day


Inattentive drivers and bicyclist on Pecos

Dear Editor:

According to Corinne Frayer, “nobody goes 50” on Pecos. Well, I’m “nobody.” Admittedly, the only other people going 50 are on their cell phones and weaving all over the road. I get on Pecos and lock in 50 mph on my cruise control. Then I spend my time watching out for those bicyclists with a death wish. There are not very many of them, but they sure scare me. These are the ones that ride side-by-side with another bicyclist and weave back and forth across the white line. I have seen them weave all the way to the center of the right lane.

Now, I do not agree with the 3’ law. Passing a bicyclist that close is crazy. I give them at least half a lane and, in most cases, a full lane. That way, if they fall as I am passing, I won’t run them over. I see plenty of cars violate the 3’ law. Regardless of who is at fault, it is likely that the bicyclist will pay the highest price.

The accident with Folts occurred Sept. 15. On Sept. 19 I was on Pecos and didn’t see a single bicyclist with a death wish. Maybe they all heard about the event. No doubt, this will keep them safe for a few weekends. But before long they will be back, just begging to be rear-ended by a car going at least 50 mph.

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