Your editorial of Sept. 2 on the timing of a presidential address was misguided (“Obama’s jobs speech may involve politics, but its timing shouldn’t”).

The president is not an emperor; he cannot decide on his own when the Congress must meet to hear him any more than he can tell the Supreme Court when to hear cases.

He can speak directly to the nation any time he pleases. If he wishes to address a joint session of Congress, common courtesy requires that he arrange a mutually convenient time with leadership in private before making any announcements.

Speaker John Boehner’s offer of a different date for a joint session was no more an act of partisanship than was the president’s initial proposal. It was instead a salutary reminder of the respect due to a co-equal branch of government.

It does not diminish the office of the president, but perhaps it will help to deflate some of that office’s imperial pretensions.

William P. Shumaker, Cumberland

Same-day registration seen in different ways

I’ve been in Maine for almost 40 years, as an adopted son who loves this state greatly. I loved many aspects of our wonderful state, including the provision allowing same-day voter registration.

I saw this as a truly democratic provision welcoming citizen participation. Plus it worked so well — and then it was taken from us in a hurry after the governor’s election in 2010.

So we need to re-establish this important function that enabled about 50,000 voters to register on Election Day and be part of the process.

Do you believe in democracy? If you do, support it by voting in favor of re-establishing same-day voter registration.

Don’t be scared by talk of fraud, or overworked clerks — that’s just a red herring, not reality.

Daniel O. Rynberg, Yarmouth

As someone who has worked with the town of Gorham, processing absentee ballots and same-day registrations, I can say that it is a job I am proud to do.

In a world that includes such things as the Syrian repression, making sure that our citizens have unfettered access to the voting booth is an act of conscience and absolutely essential to the preservation of our democracy.

Saying that same-day registration is a possible source of fraud does not make the case for eliminating it. Those who advocate killing same-day registration have not produced a significant number of documented cases. The legislation passed by Maine government is equivalent to throwing the baby out with the bath water — a bad idea.

Let’s fix this unnecessary law by repealing it in November!

Robert Skinner, Gorham

I am all for voting rights. Voting is a responsibility for all adult citizens. Part of this responsibility includes being prepared to vote.

Voters must be aware of the issues and the candidates’ positions on these same issues. All voters must be registered to vote in their home district.

If someone is not registered, it would appear that they are not taking their responsibility seriously.

While there is no doubt that an occasional person who has moved or an 18-year-old has a birthday in early November and has not had a chance to register in their new town, this is fairly unlikely.

There is no real need to allow Election Day registration!

John Lagnese, Biddeford 

Israelis won’t have peace until settlements are gone

Your Aug. 3 issue had a Washington Post piece headlined, “Court orders Israeli government to remove West Bank outpost.” It reported that a five-year lawsuit had ended with an order to dismantle one outpost, Migron, within eight months, which would mean moving 60 trailers by the end of next March.

Having read and written for many years about Israel’s ugly occupation of Palestine, I now look forward to finding out how it relieves its Migron headache. Judging by its record, Israel will choose to keep its recurring sickness and inflict more pain on Arab owners.

The article ended by saying that much of the world regards as illegal what Israel calls “settlements” in the West Bank. My guess is that most, not just much, of the world agrees. One exception would likely be the United States, which has troops of Israel’s tools and dupes.

Marjorie Gallace, Camden

AARP backing bill to improve Medicaid

I’m excited to see that the AARP is supporting a piece of legislation in the Senate and the House that will cut Medicare costs without reducing care for seniors.

The bill also has bipartisan support, which is a rare commodity in Washington nowadays.

The legislation introduced by Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and John Kerry of Massachusetts is called the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act of 2011.

The act would provide coverage for infusion therapy services, supplies and equipment under Medicare Part B, performed in the patient’s home.

By allowing patients to remain in their own homes for treatment, this bill could help generate significant savings to the Medicare program because providing care in an individual’s home is often far less expensive than care provided in an institutional setting.

In addition, the cost of treating any hospital-acquired infections would be eliminated.

Many patients in the United States rely upon what is called “infusion” or “intravenous therapy” for their medication.

Certain medications and treatments such as transfusions can only be administered intravenously.

Right now, Medicare only covers infusion therapy services when they are performed in hospitals, physicians’ offices or other institutional settings.

For those who are physically challenged or who do not have transportation, just getting to such a facility can be difficult and costly.

I applaud Snowe and Kerry for backing a proposal to cut Medicare costs without sacrificing care to America’s seniors. Similar legislation has gone nowhere in the past.

In light of the overwhelming need to cut federal spending, let’s hope passage of this bill comes quickly this time around.

Phil Chin, AARP Maine Outreach Volunteer, Yarmouth