Even right sees the wrong
Re: Oct. 3 commentary, “Republicans fighting Obamacare aren’t crazy.”
The senior editor of the right-wing National Review wrote more than 750 words in support of those opposing the nation’s Affordable Care Act. But he could have addressed the current crisis with just 30 of those words. He said, “If you want to say that trying to stop Obamacare by shutting down the government or hitting the debt ceiling is a terrible idea, you’ll get no argument from me.” Thank you, Ramesh Ponnuru, for confirming that even the National Review finds these GOP ideas terrible. No argument from me either.
On holding hostages
Isn’t it funny that President Barack Obama blames the House Republicans for “holding the country hostage over ideological demands”? Seems it was just a few years ago, when he and a Democrat-controlled Congress held us hostage when they crammed the misnamed Affordable Care Act down our throats with little debate. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s statement, we have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it? Well, now it’s time for some debate. So who is really holding us hostage?
Right in the way
Barack Obama’s primary campaign promise was the Affordable Care Act. As a nation, we elected him president by a margin of millions of votes — twice. Our Congress voted this legislation into law. Our Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. Republicans have failed to repeal the law more than 40 times. Now, the extreme right wing is holding our government hostage to force their reactionary position down our throats. I have an idea that might help the far right’s legislative agenda: win a voting majority and repeal the law. Until then, get out of the way of our democracy.
Managing national parks
It’s simply amazing to hear and read all the stories about the severe consequences of a government shutdown. One instance I heard in the past few days had to do with shutting down the national parks and that no one would be able to see the Grand Canyon, as an example. As a matter of fact, two of my sisters-in-law were career park service employees and were never shy about making it known that their roles were essential to the preservation of our natural resources. What I can tell you is that from my earliest childhood, my dad took me camping and fishing all across Arizona, and we didn’t have to pay an entrance fee to some government agency to enter the forest and set up camp. And that’s still the case across most of the western United States. It just amazes me to think that places like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, which have existed for eons, cannot be entered unless government employees manage it. I bet there are any number of qualified docents who would be delighted to fill in.
One-party rule no answer
There really is a simple solution to the continual impasse in the nation’s capital: Democrats from President Barack Obama on down should just pack their bags, leave town and turn governance over to the tea party. After all, as such luminaries as Sarah Palin keep telling us, conservatives in general, and tea party members in particular, are the only “real” Americans anyway. Only they, by implication, are deserving of power. With one-party rule, this country could then return to the halcyon days of the ’50s — the 1850s.
John David Hengst
Our highly compensated politicians tell us they are only looking out for our best interest. Now it is clear, what we had suspected all along; they have their own agenda, and the other 99 percent is of no concern. I’m sure we are in their thoughts today. They are thinking, “Let them eat cake.”
Pay taxes, then duck
It doesn’t surprise me that Austin’s property crime rate is up 3 percent. In January 2010, someone kicked in the front door of my Barton Hills home when no one was home. When I called the Austin Police Department, I was given a fax number to send a list of stolen items. That was it. No detectives knocking on doors asking neighbors if they saw anything. No crime scene investigation. Nothing. Two days later, the same thing happened with the same results from the police. The only way we stopped the hundreds of robberies was to form a volunteer patrol. I guess in Austin you are supposed to pay your taxes and just duck the rest of the time.
ACL fest needs new venue
The Austin City Limits Music Festival is a wonderful event for Austin. It’s just in the wrong place. The levels of disruption and congestion and the loss of the use of a major park and roadway are unacceptable. I think if anyone can step back from their own self-interest and look at the issue with some objectivity, they would realize that the festival in its current location causes too many problems. And the problems will only get worse with the addition of new residential units in the area. It can’t be good public policy to allow a for-profit event to use and close public roads and parkland when it inconveniences so many people. I am calling for the promoters to apply their considerable talents to finding a new venue for this great event, and for the city to use its considerable leverage to expedite the process.