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Orlando Sentinel: Portrayal of Obama, sick-time delay, choosing a president

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Portrayal of Obama

In Tuesday’s “Our Take” editorial, “Rekindle the spirit,” the Sentinel editorial board asks “how America lost that feeling of brotherhood and became … such a fragmented, tribal nation.”

If the board would glance to the right of the column to the Dana Summers political cartoon, the board might have a clue. This cartoon portrays President Obama gleefully pushing the American economy off a cliff while saying, “Just give me the chance to finish the job.”

While many Americans might believe the president has employed ineffective or even incorrect economic policies, only an extremist minority believe he is purposely trying to destroy our economy from within. For the Sentinel to promote such views while bemoaning the divisions in our country is the height of hypocrisy.

It is one thing to disagree with the policies of our duly elected president; it is quite another to suggest that he is some kind of rogue terrorist working to bring this country down, especially on this 9-11 anniversary.

Michael Schnoor Altamonte Springs

Sick-time delay shows business calls shots

The Orange County Commission voted essentially to kill the sick-time ballot measure by a dishonorable action to delay and revise it. This maneuver prevents the people of the county from voting on an initiative that directly affects them.

Despite the fact that 50,000 county residents signed a petition to have the measure included on the ballot, Central Florida Partnership President Jacob Stuart said, “The people of Orange County were honored by their [commissioners’] actions tonight.” Before the vote, Sentinel editorial cartoonist Dana Summers on Tuesday likened the measure to demands for “double-quilted toilet paper” and “massage time.”

By “the people,” Stuart does not speak for those working people whose employers do not offer sick time, but “people” whose last names end in “Inc.” And Summers’ facetious comparison does nothing to facilitate debate; it merely constitutes petty mockery.

Orange County commissioners’ action on Tuesday reinforces at the local level what many voters know about government at higher levels: It’s the business world that calls the shots, not the people whom Stuart disingenuously groups with special interests.

Jody Mask Winter Park

Citizens should be insurer of last resort

Although spared a direct hit from Hurricane Isaac, with months left this hurricane season, Floridians still need to prepare for the structural and financial devastation that could take place in the wake of a land-falling storm.

A recent Insurance Information Institute report indicated that even as the largest insurer in the state,Citizens Property Insurance Corp.reflects only about 23 percent of Florida’s homeowners insurance market. This means 77 percent of Florida homeowners are subsidizing Citizens’ policies, in addition to the businesses, charities, renters, automobile policyholders, local governments and school boards that carry private insurance.

Nevertheless, news reports continue to suggest that everyone should empathize with Citizens policyholders when, in fact, the majority of Floridians are the ones actually suffering from a financial perspective. Continuing to force private insurance holders to subsidize Citizens policyholders is not OK. It’s time for everyone to pay his fair share based on risk and end the reliance on taxpayer-backed bonds to pay future storm claims.

Despite the rhetoric that, due to Florida’s storm-free years, Citizens and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund have built up reserves that will financially protect all Floridians, experts on the subject continue to warn the current reserves, along with the current bond market, may not be enough.

The question is how much longer must we wait for our elected officials to implement a glide path to stability and return Citizens to its intended role as the insurer of last resort?

Thomas C. Feeney III President, CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Set aside the rhetoric to choose a president

Letter-writer Vic Ogilvie on Tuesday tells us he is predisposed to Democratic political candidates. His thoughts certainly bear that out.

Ogilvie tells us that you can measure military support by the content of convention rhetoric. The absence of the same in Tampa tells him we should trust President Obama and the Democrats. Ogilvie presumes to speak for most veterans (myself included) when he suggests that we should be offended by the omission. As a good Democrat, he goes on to say that Republicans place a “low importance” on veterans.

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