Readers sound off on money’s influence, Santos’ expulsion and criminal BMWs

Readers sound off on money’s influence, Santos’ expulsion and criminal BMWs

Not much can change when money steers politics

Western Springs, Ill.: The good idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax has been presented for the umpteenth time. It would discourage the use of fossil fuels and reflect their costs for causing health problems and damage from global warming. The tax proceeds would be rebated back equally to consumers.

But it is not a good idea to fossil fuel interests, which pour millions of dollars into political contributions — mostly to Republicans — and the idea goes nowhere. Likewise, a ban on automatic weapons which is not good for gun sellers; prescription drug prices similar to what Canadians pay, which is not good for pharmaceuticals; national health insurance, such as every other advanced country has, which insurance companies do not like; and higher taxes on hedge funds and the billionaires who run them, which they do not like.

These interests overwhelm the system with so much money that they usually get their way, no matter how good ideas are for ordinary people. The Supreme Court’s 5-4, precedent-overturning 2010 Citizens United decision permitted unlimited contributions and unlimited ability for wealthy interests to get their way.

The system is rigged when one or a few billionaires (like Harlan Crow, friend of Justice Clarence Thomas) can buy more political speech than tens of millions of ordinary people combined. This is democracy overridden and subverted by dollars. Public funding of election campaigns has worked well at the state, county and city level. The top priority of anyone who wants to see good ideas prevail should be to get big money out of politics so good ideas that hurt wealthy interests are not dead on arrival. Richard Barsanti

Trail of destruction

Manhattan: Re Henry Kissinger: As Moms Mabley used to say, “Only say good things about the dead. Good, he’s dead.” Among his accomplishments: He overthrew the government of Chile and illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos, which created Pol Pot. He was a war criminal. His memory should be denigrated. Lee Levin

Good work

Greenburgh, N.Y.: The actions of the House of Representatives have not made me proud in recent months. But for the first time in a while, I felt proud of our Congress when a supermajority of House members voted to expel George Santos from the House. He was an embarrassment to our nation and to the Congress and should have been ousted months ago. The House put the country first. Hope that both Democrats and Republicans in the House will cast more bipartisan votes in the coming months. Paul Feiner

Something to see

Jacksonville, Fla.: Watching the expulsion debate Thursday, with that congressman turning to the lying George Santos and outright calling him a crook, was the best television I’ve seen in a long, long time! And then to top it off, the tight-sweater-wearing Georgie-boy gets up and whimpers like a little boy, “I want that stricken from the record.” Oh really, George, you want all your lies and mischievous acts stricken from the record? Fat chance, fat boy! Enjoy your forced retirement — unless Fox News hires you! Carl Hafner 

Laughingstock

Madison, Wisc.: Georgie-Porgie, that sweetie-pie / has woven himself a great, big lie. / It’s about Wash., D.C. and the GOP / with far-right lawmakers on view. / What else is gnu as the GOP House / shamefully becomes a national zoo? Ken Richardson

Elect integrity

Bronx: The voices of history have told us their opinions. For everyone who has paid attention all of the years you have attended and studied history in school, I hope you have learned something. Now we must let our voices be heard and vote for representatives who have all our citizens’ best interests at heart. Let’s not let the criminals who line their pockets and those of their friends become our spokespeople any longer. Mark Benveniste

Art of the spiel

Bronx: To Voicer Ron Goldman: To create what Bramhall produces on a daily basis takes much talent and wit. If there is anyone who is in dire need of mental intervention, it’s your boy Trump. Stephen Markbreit

Customer complaints

Edgewater, N.J.: Flipping around the news channels in the morning, one can’t help notice an oddity on Fox News: While eating at a popular red-state breakfast spot, Fox’s “friends” are joyfully interrupted for on-air opportunities to decry President Biden’s intentionally punitive high costs of food, even though the interviewees have chosen to leave their homes in the early morning to spend discretionary dining dollars they claim not to have. We continue to marvel at what people will do to get themselves on TV and how producers fill airtime. Jay K. Egelberg

Good cause

Queens Village: To Voicer Arthur Martello: Ouch! You sound like a horrible human being! How many people did you denigrate with your choice of words? Maybe if you were following the “Mutts” comic strip for more than a week, you would see how animals are depicted in the real world. Case in point: dogs that are tethered in all types of weather because a person (maybe like yourself) deems it worthy to treat an animal that way. The comic strip is trying to educate the masses as to the cruelty involved, and that their behavior is unacceptable in treating dogs that way in this day and age. Surely, you would agree to that, right Mr. Martello? Joan Silaco

An alternative

Manhattan: Rather than the traditional cutting of cops or libraries, there are places where you could save money — in fact, one was suggested by the Independent Budget Office. It suggested to consolidate the 60 supplemental health and welfare benefits funds into a single fund serving all union members, estimating that it could annually save $16 million. The IBO also assumes some savings from third-party insurance providers through enhanced bargaining power. As long as retirees are included, what is the City Council waiting for? Suzy Sandor

Crime car

Manhattan: It can’t just be me, but after reading the Daily News for years, there has been more than a preponderance of crimes committed by individuals in BMWs, as reported by this newspaper. Has there been any impetus on the part of the police department to zero in on the owners or lessees of this make of auto? Maybe they need a wakeup call, but the shooting last weekend in the Bronx brought the whole matter into the light once again. Is this brand some sort of badge for perps to operate with? The appearance of a BMW should now be a warning sign to the public that it may carry perps with some criminal intent. Jack Weiss

State of defense

Okotoks, Alberta: Voicer Joe Bialek is in complete denial of the fact that Jews and Arabs already live together peacefully in Israel and around the world. Two million Arabs live freely in Israel and have more civil and political rights than Arabs in any Arab country. It is the opposite in Arab countries: Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries and are not safe there. Israel left Gaza in 2005 and Palestinian radicals stepped up the attacks on Jews and Israel. And Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate Palestinian leader, was quoted as saying: “Not a single Jew will live in Palestine.” This is the 11th Arab war against Israel. Maybe it’s time for the Palestinians to try peace. Joel Shapiro

Brutal calculus

Woodside: 14,000 people in Gaza are dead from Israel’s attacks. 1,200 are dead in Israel from Hamas attacks. Women and children are dead on both sides, but the nature of the dead in Gaza versus Israel seems unequal. Lots of women and kids are dead. Is this how to fight a war? Sounds like Germany during World War II. And no one’s saying anything. I’m saying something! Richard Tobiassen

Crimes against humanity

Manhattan: Voicer John Sendlein is advocating for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Israel is committing genocide and the whole world is watching and doing nothing. This can not stand. Palestine will be free from the river to the sea. I agree with Voicer Colin Grattan that as long as the boot of Israel is on the neck of Palestinians, there can be no peace. Also, the audacity of people equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism has to end. Zionism is not Judaism. Juan Montalvo

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