Oconee County Democratic Party

DecemberJanuary 2015February


Holiday Greetings and Message from our Chair

We Oconee Democrats have two things going on now that are "new" in the works. One is in answer to the question, "Now that we have decided to keep the HQ in Seneca, what do we do with it that will fulfill our mission?" That also entails the question "What is our forward looking mission?" 

As Democratic, compassionate people, our natural tendency is to lend a hand to the larger community and to provide leadership as well as responsibility. In this regard we are developing an outreach program that will provide assistance to people who are looking for resources to help themselves with their particular issue: obtaining healthcare, job search, resume writing, rent payments, etc. There is no central location in the county at the present time that "houses" all this information. Thus the Democratic HQ would fulfill that community need.

The second thing we are developing is in answer to the question, "Why do Democrats always lose elections and what to do about it?" In discussion regarding that question, we have decided to take a look at George Lakoff's book, The All New Don't Think of an Elephant as it addresses specifically that question. The first meeting was held on December 11th and laid out the groundwork and distributed the books. So if you missed that meeting, feel free to join us for the next meeting which will take place on January 8th at 6pm at the HQ. We will be discussing Part I and Part II; up to page 58, at the next meeting. So feel free to join us in January and since it is the dinner hour, bring a sandwich to eat. 

In reading Lakoff's book I am constantly saying "Oh wow! Now I understand!" So I think we have chosen the right book for this moment and situation. 

Finally, let us celebrate the turning of the season. Have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. See you in the New Year. 

Rosellen Aleguire, Chair

Letter to the Editor: CIA report dealt in cold, hard facts

 In 12/17 Seneca Journal:


The Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture is incomplete, the critics charge, because not one CIA officer was interviewed. Former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden is particularly incensed: He is named more than 200 times and wasn’t even in the agency when the abuses occurred!

But Hayden is not charged with authorizing extreme measures; he is charged with deceiving Congress by dealing in half-truths: Useful information may have been gleaned from CIA questioning — in most cases avoiding extreme measures — but there is little documentary evidence that torture elicited reliable responses. Quite the opposite: Subjects will say anything to stop the agony.

It is the torture that has sullied America’s standing in the world, not the questioning. It is the reason why the FBI — which has had much more interrogation experience than the CIA — shuns the use of strong-arm tactics, and backed out of working with the CIA when its field officers were ordered to turn up the heat.

Post-event testimonies are carefully scripted. Like comb-overs and push-up bras, they enhance the positives while hiding the negatives. Instead, the Senate report dealt solely with cold, unvarnished facts, gleaned from the CIA’s own e-mails, reports and memos. The post-event testimonies of officers involved would have shed little useful light; the documents speak for themselves. Like Hayden’s statements, they would only have muddied the waters.

Carlos Luria, Salem

Letter to the Editor: Republicans -- the party of spend, spend, spend

In Seneca Journal, November 25


Thank you for publishing the Associated Press article Nov. 21 “House intel panel debunks Benghazi theories.” That’s right: Benghazi — no wrongdoing! Sen. Graham, you owe South Carolinians an apology for wasting our money and time. Two years and seven investigations: all for politics. For your career. Nothing else.

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released report results on Friday afternoon — practically in secret — which found:

CIA and military acted properly.

No wrongdoing by President Obama or appointees.

No intelligence failure.

No delay in CIA response.

No missed opportunity for military rescue.

No government office (not Rice, not Clinton) acted in bad faith.

No government office (not Rice, not Clinton) intentionally misled the American people.

Again — from the Republican-led committee. Not my words.

Sen. Graham, you owe the American people, President Obama, ambassador Rice and secretary Clinton apologies for wasting two years and damaging honest people’s careers.

Sen. Graham, you also owe your constituents, in S.C. and the U.S., an invoice detailing the cost of two years of Benghazi investigations in the House and Senate — seven investigations! How much money (How many government employees worked? What was their payroll? How much paper Xeroxed? How much electricity used in Congress?) did Congress spend on political games?

Republicans, please stop wasting and spending our money. We need higher wages, healthcare and better quality of life. Please focus on serious issues and not your political futures. Please serve the people.

Paulette Keffas-Chassin, Seneca

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