Housetraining the Congress?
House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans fought the good fight but lost. That made me realize that must be what my puppy was thinking while I tried to housetrain it.
Subby Gulizia, Omaha
Not an enviable two weeks’ work
Nice work, Rep. Lee Terry. You and your selfish Republican friends just managed to rattle our economic system, scare the elderly and give 600,000 government workers a two-week paid vacation!
What can you do for an encore?
Kurt Wullschleger, Valley
Tea Party trying to put out the real fire
I have news for David W. McCord (“Tea Party hates living room, burns house,” Oct. 17 Pulse): The house is already on fire. The fire is fueled by reckless spending to the tune of $73 trillion if you look at total liabilities in unfunded government promises.
I also have some news for David Gary Holmes (Oct. 17 Pulse): None of our elected government officials want to shut down the government. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and the Tea Party right are simply trying to “tear up some credit cards” before the nation’s debt collapses under its own weight.
Because if and when that does happen, the pain and destruction will likely be far worse than a short-term forced shutdown.
Hank Krings, Columbus, Neb.
Come next election, GOP must do better
Back in August, Nebraska’s freshman senator, Deb Fischer, signed on with Texas freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, saying they would refuse to fund the government past Sept. 30 unless Obamacare were defunded.
Fischer made it clear the threat was not a bargaining tool but a “conviction.” “I don’t play games,” she told reporters.
Over in the House, Lee Terry thought the shutdown threat might also be useful to force approval of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.
GOP moderates, including Nebraska’s Sen. Mike Johanns, were unflattering in their assessment of the ultimatum, noting that a government shutdown would not stop the Obamacare rollout.
Fast forward to now: billions in estimated shutdown costs, weeks of manufactured economic uncertainty, talk of a U.S. credit rating downgrade, a needless two-week “paid vacation” for federal workers, worldwide ridicule and an American public that is deeply disappointed in its government.
All in an effort to “save the American economy” from Obamacare.
Republicans, plan your primary challenges. We can do much, much better.
G.A. Wees, Omaha
Blaming Tea Party obscures problems
There is lots of talk about how terrible the Tea Party is. And as people concentrate on putting it down, the government gets larger and larger. More people are out of work. More people are on food stamps. More people look to the government to take care of them. More chosen groups get deals. This once great country of independence and self-reliance has become a far lesser country of dependency.
So point your fingers at the Tea Party. But don’t criticize the TSA because you may be arrested. Don’t criticize any of the chosen groups. You’ll be labeled a bigot. Don’t have an original thought. That’s no longer allowed.
The line to serfdom is on your left.
Terry Adams, Bellevue
The do-nothingest of the do-nothings
Thanks, Iowa, for giving us Rep. Steve King. I realize that we in Nebraska have Rep. Lee Terry, but these Tea Party “wacko birds”— Sen. John McCain’s description — are obviously the know-nothing faction of the do-nothing Congress.
The only silver lining in this government shutdown and debt debacle is that we may not have to worry about Republicans winning the Senate or taking over the White House for a long, long time.
Ironically, mainstream Republicans dislike the Tea Party far more than Democrats do, because they are taking Republican ideas to their illogical conclusion for the whole world to see.
Scott Thomsen, Omaha
Increase tax credits for domestic oil
With conflict in the Middle East in the headlines again, Americans should be reminded of our country’s ongoing dependence on Middle East oil. Even with repeated attempts to declare our energy independence, some in Congress continue to push policies that punish domestic energy producers.
Earlier this year, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., attempted to repeal tax credits for domestic oil and gas companies that provide safe and stable energy resources to American markets. Removing these tax credits not only increases energy costs to consumers but also makes our country more reliant on foreign oil.
Our state and country need to provide additional incentives for companies to develop our domestic resources, not remove the few incentives we already have in place.
Richard Haase, Lincoln
NPPD is stuck in old way of thinking
We’ve come a long way from the infancy of nuclear power, when proponents said it might not be necessary to monitor the use of nuclear power because it was so efficient. That theory has since been turned upside down by the costs of nuclear waste containment (to say nothing of safety issues).
The reality remains, and will remain for generations, that the image of nuclear power as a cheap and safe energy source is a myth.
Regardless, the Nebraska Public Power District board has evidently remained tied to the old “something for nothing” thinking and will not consider an energy source that provides a truly sustainable solution to escalating energy consumption (“NPPD turns down wind energy investment,” Oct. 12). What is the NPPD rationale for dismissing wind or other sustainable energy sources? The weak statement that “we have enough for now” is naive and demonstrates short-term thinking that does a disservice to the people of Nebraska.
While other states move ahead, NPPD appears to be wedded to the past.
Ellen Dahlstet, Blair
Would be wiser to reduce immigration
Saturday, immigration demonstrators marched in the streets of Omaha under the banner of “Rally for Dignity and Respect” (Oct. 13 World-Herald). Breaking the laws of the U.S., and then having the chutzpah to demand respect, shows impudent rudeness and disrespect for the rule of law that should exclude anyone from citizenship. All should be immediately deported.
Immigration reform must first benefit America. If the current obscene, grotesque legislation were to pass, it would double legal immigration to 2 million annually and would add 100 million immigrants by 2050. The U.S. cannot continue to be the cheap-labor employment agency of the world and displace its own citizens. We cannot afford to import 100 million people over four decades and have adequate jobs, housing, schools, medical care, water, energy, resources and a stable environment!
It would be much wiser and more rational to reduce all immigration to less than 50,000 annually. Leave future generations with a viable and sustainable society where they can rear their children and maintain opportunities for all U.S. citizens, not subsist in a banana republic.
John H. Copenhaver, Omaha
Immigrant’s story enriches our lives
Phung Nguyen’s story (Oct. 14 World-Herald), challenges our spirits with a life that is beyond amazing.
His courage — in a wretched prison camp, guarded by men who despised him, surrounded by the reality of death, cleaning latrines for eight years while anxiously wondering what was happening to his family —- was grit and faith in a place as tough as it gets. Then imagine the courage it took to take his family on a fearful trip to an unknown place far away: Omaha. And to make this home.
On Saturday, protesters flatly told us that immigrants should “go home.” Well. For most of them, this is now their home.
I am so grateful to Nguyen for bravely taking that trip to a foreign culture with a difficult language and strange ways. Some here would welcome him and some would reject him. His courage, faith and vision of humanity are gifts that enrich our lives.
Lowen Kruse, Omaha
Thanks to many in Iowa Vets Home ordeal
Speaking for numerous residents and staff of the Iowa Veterans Home, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to the friends and advocates who stood up and stood by us through the three years of turmoil created by the flawed administration of the recently resigned commandant. Their tireless, persistent efforts to call attention to our situation led to two Department of Administrative Services investigations, one Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing and an investigation by the Office of Ombudsman.
The people who lived and worked at the Veterans Home during these stressful years will never forget the steadfast determination and efforts made on their behalf to bring forth the truth. The governor has appointed retired Brig. Gen. Jodi Tymeson to be the new commandant at our home. We wish to welcome her to her new responsibilities and hope that she can bring about the healing that is needed to this great Iowa facility.
Michael Croskey, Marshalltown, Iowa