Snowe says partisan conflict gets in way of economic progress

SACO — With Washington seemingly in political gridlock and financial markets reeling on the heels of a credit rating downgrade of the national debt, people told Sen. Olympia Snowe on Tuesday that Congress needs to start working together to fix the country’s problems, not bicker over politics.
During a downtown walking tour in this southern Maine city, Snowe was told that people are anxious about the economy, the nation’s debt and what’s to come. People think that politicians should stop arguing simply to make political points, said Peg Poulin, owner of a State Farm Insurance and Financial Services branch.
“It’s really almost embarrassing,” she said.
Snowe, a moderate Republican, said there’s little room for negotiation in Washington these days with the partisan politics. It’s time for lawmakers to stop politicking and start governing, she said.
“I’m embarrassed by all of us,” Snowe told a restaurant owner. “I’ve never seen a worse Congress in my whole political life.”
Snowe was a U.S. representative from 1979 to 1995, and has been a senator ever since.
Back in Maine for the August congressional recess, she met with people at small businesses and on the sidewalk to hear their concerns.
Dick Petersen, who owns a computer business, told Snowe he’s disappointed that Congress hasn’t come up with a long-term plan to bring the nation’s debt under control. He asked why lawmakers were taking a recess this summer; no business would dare shut down during a time of crisis, he said.
“We all have 30-year mortgages,” he said. “But we don’t hear about Washington coming up with a 30-year plan to pay the debt.”
Others told Snowe the downgrade in the nation’s credit rating is worrisome, and that the fragile economy has people uneasy.
“People are nervous about money. They’re nervous about investing money,” Poulin said. “They’re not sure it’ll be there for them.”
Snowe is popular in Maine, winning the 2006 senatorial election with 74 percent of the vote and the 2000 election with 69 percent. She has never faced a primary challenge in her career.
But she’s being challenged by two Republicans in next year’s primary ahead of the 2012 general election. She said politics are so divided these days that it leaves moderates like her open to challenges.
“That’s why I’m facing a primary challenge because I’ve been a bridge builder,” she said.

Olympia Snowe
Robert F. Bukaty

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, speaks to reporters during her "Main Street Walk" to visit with constituents and answer questions, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, in Saco, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Olympia Snowe
Susan Walsh

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2011 file photo, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The struggle to head off a national debt default played out on two tracks, as do most big things in the capital. One was for show. The other was for real. The two tracks finally came together, in the knick of time, on Tuesday, when the Senate granted final passage to legislation raising the debt ceiling, trimming spending and punting the most painful decisions on deficits down the road. President Barack Obama's pen sealed the deal. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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Economic Progress? Olympia, you mus be kidding.

My dear David,

I am on the roll. Rolling stone gathers no Moss, as they say. Olympia Snowe and I are not even acquainted, much less related and I am trying to make fun of her.

Poor girl, she deserves everything she can get. Attention.

Movie stars, sports stars, political stars, oops, has-beens, all love constant attention. At least, in case of movie stars, they have their agents and publicists do their thing. Make up jazzy stories that get printed.

Olympia gets none. She is too old. I would have said ugly but I wouldn't. Not politically correct statement.

Give her a rope. A long one. She would, most probably, hang herself being a so called bridge-builder. She ain't.

...and I am Sid

David  Cote's picture

Agree or disagree

Regardless of which side of the road you choose to stand on the basic fact is Snowe is right. And I get she's a republican and she votes along party lines the majority of the time, however, she also reaches across to the other side more so than she's given credit for. That's how compromise begins.

Economic Progress? Olympia, you must be kidding.

My dear Dan Breton,

Once upon a time, I found an abandoned puppy extremely distressed whimpering. Most probably, a big truck must have found it's Mom and missed it.

Poor soul. It was cold, damp and extremely humid. One look at that poor creature and I became an instant Mom, Oops, male care giver.

Wait for the punch-line. Please don't hurry me. It worries me when people do not show patience.

For nearly a week, the Laddie, I named it after Alan Ladd, a famous Hollywood stoic actor. I never saw Alan smile. Neither Laddie.

I was too young to know the fact that animals, excluding monkeys, don't know how to smile.

Getting warmer.

Olympia Snowe ain't no puppy. She is a Republican, for heaven's sake. Do you want her to smile?

She knows only two things. Be a Republican and be a Republican.

Get it? That was my punch-line.

The End.

...and I am Sid

Economic Progress? Olympia, you must be kidding.

I am new to the Sun Journal. So be patient.

I appreciate Doreen Sheive's comment. Just above her name, appears "32 years." I don't know the meaning of that term. Is Doreen 32 years old? Or is she commenting for the last 32 years? If she is that experienced, both ways, I must be very gentle to her.

I, myself is in this trade, some call it a profession of the idle couch potatoes. I am neither. I have served my birth country, India and the adoptive country, the USA.

I find myself busy doing all kinds of things. Most of the time, when I am not commenting, I do gardening. I like to take long walks, alone, in the woods and meditate.

I go fishing, sometimes, ice fishing on the frozen lake. Meditate more, as fish don't care to bite.

Enough of my personal likes and dislikes.

When I said that Olympia ought to retire, I meant it as a joke. She must do whatever pleases her, not care for my comment.

She raised a valid point. Get the bi-partisan spirit going. In the right direction, of course.

Times are tough for Americans.

In the New York Times, Aug9, an editorial appeared. Fine piece. "Past Time for a New Agenda." The keyword is "New."

One Henry A Lowenstein commented, ahead of me and got a prime-time real estate on page A-20. Blessed be those who think. I think too but rather, sluggishly. Just like our dilapidated political bosses over the economy.

Mr Lowenstein is more daring than Doreen. He has put more eggs in his basket of demands.

I paraphrase: Things Barack Obama must do. Right away:

1. Display real leadership.
2. Take decisive action on the economy.
3. Offer a plan with specific ideas.
4. Create jobs in infra-structure.
5. Reduce deficit.
6. Increase age for Medicare beneficiaries.
7. Use means testing for social security recipients'
8. Reform tax codes.
9. Close loopholes.
10. Stop subsidies to the big corporations.
11. Bring men in uniform from Afghanistan by coming Christmas.
12. End Bush tax cuts to the super rich.
13. Oops, bad number. Eliminated from the list.

Just as impossible, megalomaniac a suggestion as that of many other do-gooders.

Suffice it to say, that ideas are just ideas. They must be reasonable and within the current framework, Oops, political structure.

Have a nice day in Maine. Love those Fall colors in the Maine woods.

...and I am Sid

 's picture

32 years

That is a long time for someone to be in the same job. While I have appreciated Senator Snowe's fairly moderate stance, I think it is time for her to retire. She was virtually missing in action during this debt ceiling crisis which was manufactured by the Republicans in Congress. If she is such a great bridge builder, where was she? And, she continues to blame President Obama for not leading the Congress to the issue back in January. Since when is the President of the United States responsible for controlling Congress? Where was she? The Congress has still not acted on the President's budget. We are almost into a new year with no action. It is time for a change in the people serving in Congress, and I do not mean a teaparty Republican.

Economic Progress? Olympia, you must be kidding.

Nothing personal MS olympia Snowe. Just my bad hair-cut day. How tired you look. Take care. Don't go on demolishing the system. You are part of it. Moderate or not. All your political career, seems to have been a waste of time. Why not retire while you are still ahead?

...and I am Sid


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