August 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Praise from a viewer
More news, much less opinions and editorializing; it reminded me of the old days of network news.
Unlike the rest of TV these days, there is no screaming and demonstrably less advertising and interruption.
It’s a miracle — a new network actually presenting the news!
Take that, FOX News and MSNBC!
Jim Innes, Mercer Island
September 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Gloating at president’s struggles, offering no solutions
Editor, The Times:
Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column ["The president who fell to Earth," Opinion, Sept. 5] shows the attitude of the far right.
The emptiness they feel at not having a Republican president or a majority in Congress must be intolerable. Krauthammer and company attack President Obama and Democrats for what they are doing, or not doing, without a glimmer of an idea from any of the far right about how to fix a broken America — other than to let business handle it.
They lie and innuendo about bills proposed while they only read sound bites the way news anchors on TV entice you to watch the news even after commercial breaks. They seem to delight in Obama’s supposed loss of popularity, while they do nothing to fix the problems. Conservatives also forget the problems that we have now occurred on their watch.
Come up with better ideas before you criticize. America needs your help, not rancor. Do something constructive.
– Gary S. Silverstein, Olympia
Obama’s empty promises, not right propaganda, hurt him in the polls
In response to Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column, President Obama’s poll numbers are dropping not because of a liberal doctrine but due to a lack of one.
It’s the left of center that is in the majority in this country, and they are the ones who put Obama in office under the delusion that he was going to be any different from his centrist rhetoric.
Bogged down in two unpopular war occupations, reluctant to pursue illegal and unconstitutional behavior by the previous administration, refusing to even look at a single-payer health-care system and failing so far to address campaign promises such as rewriting trade laws that have exported American jobs and exploited the world’s poor for private profits are the reasons Obama’s poll numbers are down.
It’s not because of any so-called liberal agenda, despite the propaganda from the ridiculous right.
– Chris Anderson, Seattle
There’s nothing grass roots about Obama’s opposition
Charles Krauthammer can hardly contain his glee at President Obama’s failing efforts toward reforming our health-care system.
Krauthammer ascribes opposition to Obama’s policies to what he calls a “real grass-roots movement,” but most Americans will readily recognize Obama is up against powerful and entrenched special-interest groups.
Public opinion has little to do with what happens in Washington, D.C. these days. This is especially evident when one considers Krauthammer’s reference to the U.S. being a center-right country.
This needs to be examined more closely. A Pew poll from late June asked Americans if they would increase or decrease spending in various areas of the federal budget.
Overwhelming majorities favored increasing federal spending on health care, Medicare, education, environmental protection and government assistance to the unemployed.
Krauthammer can crow all he wants about this being a center-right country, but it simply isn’t true. What is true is that the forces in control of our country are very much to the right of U.S. public opinion because of the dominant role money plays in our political system. In this light, it is particularly ironic that Krauthammer refers derisively to the “established lobbyist special-interest order of Washington.”
Just who does he think these groups are, if not the powerful health-insurance interests who have organized so effectively against real change?
Krauthammer and his center-right colleagues may be quite pleased they have been able to maintain the status quo. But in the years ahead, as the American people continue to pay outrageous medical bills and have few options, they will look back upon this period as a lost opportunity and a tragedy.
– Blake Wood, Seattle
Republicans let their jealousy show through
I never get tired of Republicans who are so jealous of President Obama they will do and say anything to bring him down (to earth, or better still, beneath it.) Looming larger than the jealousy, of course, is the real fear he might put his dreams into practice.
The 2008 election showed the majority of voters want a new vision for America, one that threatens those who have amassed great wealth under the previous regime. Even though they’re in the minority, they have lots of money and mouthpieces like Charles Krauthammer to muddy the waters.
Just a reminder: A lot of people aren’t interested in doing the right thing. Don’t be fooled by this claptrap. And, speaking of Napoleon, can you imagine if we had elected John McCain?
– Michael Johns, Seattle
Obama faces massive task while Republicans are bankrupt in policy
Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column likened the current presidency to a carnival with its barker. But the real shell games and cheap tricks preceded 2009.
Enron and Bernie Madoff cashed in, more enabled than challenged, as general living standards declined. Our Constitution and standing among other nations was trashed. Ignorance, belligerence and worship of the market mantra created a stable that needs thorough cleansing.
It’s a massive task, which partly, not wholly, explains the Obama administration’s spotty performance as it mounts a trial-and-error, not-doctrinaire, recovery.
This residue of the past should not deflect the 2008 electorate’s move past the centrism Republicans at large, Krauthammer and those beyond him on the media’s right fringe seek, for now, as a default position. Bankrupt in policy, they need something, anything, to halt progressives and swing the pendulum back their way in 2010 and beyond.
Their rhetoric and tactics demonstrate desperation, like just saying “No!” They play on deep fears in our politics and culture, provoke our worst instincts and dishonor our republican vision and democratic practice.
Krauthammer’s column merits contempt and a deep, not decent, burial.
– Milton Krieger, Bellingham
September 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM
A public service announcement for our nation’s children
Editor, The Times:
This message is offered by the Republican National Committee to provide balance to the president’s message to America’s children.
“Kids, studying is hard work. Don’t do it. Don’t study, and do not stay in school! If you picked your parents well, your daddy will get you into college and set you up in business with your buddies. If you were born poor or middle class, well it sucks to be you!
In America, it may be true that even a man who was born into a family that broke up and was given a funny name can stay in school, study hard, work hard and run for president! And even get more votes than the other guy!
But it can’t happen to you. We’re working hard to ensure that, so don’t bother trying, OK?
Remember, kids, whether you’re in the classroom or just walking around wearing a suit if something really bad happens, you should freeze for six or seven minutes. Sooner or later, another man in a suit will come along to tell you what to do.
You already know school is hard work. And I’m here to tell you it does not matter. Don’t study! Don’t stay in school!
Hope sucks. Give up!”
– Randy Winn, Mercer Island
Fox keeping speech only on its news channel
I was amused at The Seattle Times’ attempt ["Fox to dance, not sit for Obama speech," News, Sept. 7] to denigrate the Fox network decision to ignore (not air) President Obama’s health-care speech Sept. 8 in favor of regular programming.
Is it really necessary for the Fox broadcast network to cover the speech when its cable affiliate, Fox News Channel, will be doing so?
– Ed Wittmann, Seattle
Why can’t Obama reinforce parents’ positive messages?
It is tragic how easily fear can be generated and people manipulated into believing President Obama should be censured and shouldn’t have spoken to students.
Excuse me, but he is the president of the United States of America. He told the children to, “Study hard, be good, be responsible.”
It’s a parent’s job to talk to their children, of course, but aren’t we pleased when other adults reinforce important messages? Could we be reasonable? The president cares about children, including his own whom he obviously treasures.
I’m not happy with all Obama is doing either, but he does know how to speak to children. As angry as I was when Bush was trashing this country in a variety of ways, I would never have objected to his offering a word of encouragement to our nation’s young citizens.
No one objected when Reagan and George H.W. Bush spoke to the country’s children.
This suspicion is completely unwarranted. Our country is built on diversity, but acceptance of it is tough.
– Charmian Jondall, Gig Harbor
After Bush, who wouldn’t question president’s motives?
It’s not surprising some parents worried about their children being indoctrinated by President Obama when he spoke about the importance of education to school children ["Obama tells students each has something to offer," seattletimes.com, Politics & Government, Sept. 8].
We are barely out of the eight years of the Bush administration, in which no decision was made, no action taken, no speech given that was untainted by politics and ideology.
Unnecessary wars, the firing of federal prosecutors, inept cronies in charge of federal agencies — all carried out with an eye on the goal of a permanent Republican majority.
Rest assured, parents. As a child of the ’60s who grew up in a politically conservative family, my life was constantly scrutinized for evidence that I was being indoctrinated into the liberal agenda of the public school system.
Forty years later, I am a law-abiding, family-raising, hardworking, taxpaying American, just like you. Can we please give President Obama the respect he deserves as the legally elected leader of our country?
– Karen Knutson, Seattle
Objections to Obama’s speech boil down to racism
No argument as to why President Obama should not speak to students at a school can hide the real reason for the dissent: racism.
Racism that is so abandoned to its own urges that it cannot help but make itself obvious in the most vile, contemptible ways. For example, in this phony indignation over Obama’s speech to students.
A visit and speech by any other president was an honor in the past, and no valid reason can be given for this to be any different. It is obvious some people will just not accept a black president and that racism is the reason for the whole litany of ignorant objections to Obama’s presidency.
It is time for the rest of us to marginalize this hateful group, and call them out for what they are. And it is time for the press to stop legitimizing the thuggery that is so commonly practiced by these racists by presenting it as some sort of normal thing.
At a time like this, the country needs to pull together, not tear itself down, as these lunatics would have it. Enough is enough.
– Jeremy Smithson, Seattle
September 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Beck’s claim of racism not so far-fetched
Editor, The Times:
According to The Times ["Mt. Vernon not united on mayor's 'Beck Day,' " News, Sept. 3], there are some who disagree with the mayor of Mount Vernon declaring a Glenn Beck Day and awarding Beck with the keys to the city.
Their objection to the recognition and award is that Glenn said he felt our president was a racist.
Let’s see how Beck might have arrived at that conclusion. The one instance that stands out to all who heard President Obama is the statement he made about the white police officer who arrested the black professor when the professor would not cooperate with the officer and was causing a disturbance in the professor’s neighborhood.
Without any knowledge of the facts or hearing both sides of the issue, our president called the officer stupid for his actions. That comes under the classification of assuming.
I learned a long time ago as an adjuster for a major insurance company that decisions must not be made without all the facts. My guess is that Beck and other people thought Obama was showing signs of racism by speaking out for the black professor before the whole story came to light. It’s up to all of us, I would think now, to draw our own conclusions.
The mayor of Mount Vernon is trying to honor a native guy who rose from a simple beginning in that town to a giant in the TV world with listener ratings going through the roof. Apparently liberals in Mount Vernon are not thrilled with this fact.
– Ed Anderson, Kirkland
In honorary day, an endorsement of Beck’s radical views
Surely Mayor Bud Norris knows this announcement of Glenn Beck Day amounts to a sanction of Beck’s current program views.
His notoriety comes from these views and his program! It is not like he is a talented singer, painter or scientist with shockingly nasty views on the side.
Paris Hilton Day for our daughters anyone?
– Martin Walters, Renton
A Glenn Beck Day of fear-mongering and hate-spewing
I was aghast to read in The Seattle Times that the mayor of Mount Vernon is throwing wide the doors of the city for an official Glenn Beck Day later this month.
Glenn Beck is a fear-mongering, hate-spewing, ignorant and ridiculous jerk. If Mount Vernon goes ahead with this insane plan, the city will not see one more dime of my money, nor that of anyone else I know who has a grain of intelligence.
– Judy K. Faaberg, Everett
Beck has a wide audience, smartly critical voice
Why is it so wrong for a mayor of a small town to give recognition to a very successful person who grew up in Mount Vernon. I would guess that if this were Keith Olbermann the tone of Mark Rahner’s article would be different.
I am getting tired of the lack of neutrality demonstrated by the press. Does Glenn Beck criticize the president? Yes he does. But why is it wrong to criticize President Obama but OK to bash [former President] Bush?
I feel The Times and most of the media should be ashamed in the lack of reporting. You are giving the public a one-sided view of the facts. For example, Glenn Beck’s ratings are much higher than counterparts on CNN and MSNBC.
Rahner, you should watch Glenn’s show. I watch both the Fox shows and CNN and MSNBC. I feel Glenn is no more biased than other hosts on the other network or yourself.
Glenn is not liked by the liberal media because he brings up topics like President Obama’s green jobs czars Van Jones’ past and views. Many Americans would not agree with Jones.
Maybe this is why the ratings for Glenn Beck’s show are killing MSNBC. His show is seen by 2.8 million people while the combined total of Hard Ball, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann is less.
Glenn is not a reporter.
Rahner, are you?
– Ken Hodges, Woodinville
September 5, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Would mayor invite Hitler, too?
Ordinarily when someone does something especially stupid it is best just to ignore them, but The Times’ story ["Mt. Vernon not united on mayor's 'Beck Day,' " News, Sept. 3] about the mayor of Mount Vernon giving a key to the city to Glenn “I don’t have a clue” Beck is just too much.
Are you kidding me? The only thing in the entire story that made a small bit of sense was the notion that Beck considers himself an entertainer. That seems appropriate since he works for that famous oxymoron, Fox News.
The mayor says he wants to recognize him because he is from the Mount Vernon area. Presumably, if Adolf Hitler were from Mount Vernon, Mayor Bud Norris would want to recognize him, too.
– Terry Mercier, Woodinville
Reversing the races, would Beck’s criticism have Mt. Vernon up in arms still?
Just consider that if we had a white president who had a history of attending a church for 20 years whose minister spewed out hatred toward blacks and suggested they should all be shipped back to Africa.
Then consider that this same president’s reaction to a black policeman handcuffing a uncooperative white professor was to call his actions stupid and then admit he really did not know the whole story.
Then some well-known figure from Mount Vernon decided this demonstrated a hatred toward blacks and then called this white president a racist.
Would you still have a problem with the mayor of Mount Vernon giving this celebrity the keys to the city? Would you condemn this Mount Vernon celebrity?
– Darrel Nash, Maple Valley
September 5, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Words of hypocrisy from Bush’s politicizer-in-chief
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is again on the talk circuit –in conservative venues that will have him. This time his message is about how President Obama is “politicizing” things. Most recently, he’s accusing ["Reviewing interrogations 'outrageous,' Cheney says," News, Aug. 31] Obama of politicizing the torture investigation.
Hypocrisy is to be expected in the world of politics, but this example might just beat all others. The George W. Bush nightmare of an administration did everything for the sake of a political angle.
Does Cheney think we’ve forgotten about the firing of the U.S. attorneys? How about the war profiteering of Halliburton and Blackwater? Former Gov. Don Siegelman is in prison because of lies fabricated by Karl Rove.
This week we heard Tom Ridge, Bush’s Homeland Security czar, admit he was told to raise the terror alert status when it would support the Bush agenda. And in case we’ve all gone soft as we try to “move on,” the war in Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11. Does anyone need more examples?
Real Americans should be expressing their outrage that the networks continue to give Cheney and friends credibility by endorsing their desperate act to put a positive spin on the most disastrous and culpable administration this country has ever known.
– David McKenzie, Federal Way
Democratic Party fails to keep politicians accountable
The Democratic Party is dead. It might be walking, but it is effectively dead. It is time for a third party. Sure the Democrats have had ups and downs but the long, slow slide started when we failed to prosecute Richard Nixon for obvious crimes.
We let the oil companies steal from us during the gas shortages. We failed to stand up to the “government is the problem” propaganda of Ronald Reagan. We failed to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. We didn’t prosecute George H.W. Bush and his cronies for crimes committed in Central America. We said nothing when Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1997, which allowed unparalleled consolidation in news media and the spread of anti-public propaganda worthy of Tokyo Rose or Joseph Goebbels.
We allowed the Supreme Court to appoint George W. Bush to a position he was clearly unsuited for and then re-elected him again four years later. We let Bush take away civil rights, violate the Constitution and lie us into two illegal wars.
We allowed the appointment of Supreme Court justices that only serve the mega-corporations and their leaders. And now we are allowing the right wing to kill true health-care reform, change that could transform the lives of millions of Americans for the better, free citizens from dead-end jobs just to maintain health insurance and create a new business climate that would add jobs for millions.
For decades the Democratic Party has failed to stand strong in the face of propaganda, lies and those who have stolen our prosperity. It is time to start a true progressive party, wooing actual liberals from the Democratic Party and wooing true patriots from the Republican Party.
We must start now, with the next election, and never fail to stand up to the bullies who are screaming in our faces as they reach into our pockets.
– John S. Snow, Woodinville
Cheney justifies means by the ends
It’s thrilling to see Dick Cheney speaking out so forcefully in favor of all forms of illegality as long as it serves the cause or to put it another way, the ends justify the means.
Sounds eerily Nazi-like, but at least it’s on the table for his supporters to feast on. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.
– Bruce Barnbaum, Granite Falls
After violating laws, Cheney deserves penalties
Dick Cheney is at it again. He is still criticizing the Obama administration for failing to follow Bush and Cheney policies in the war on terror.
He fails to mention the policies he advocates violate international treaties, the United States Constitution, federal laws and the Military Code. He makes it sound like this is just another political disagreement. It is still vitally important to challenge him in a courtroom.
This country needs to realize there are serious penalties involved in the crimes he should have been charged with long ago.
– Daryl Strandlien, Kenmore
Offended by torture
Dick Cheney says the current administration’s investigations into the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques ” offends the hell out of [him], frankly.”
Well Cheney, your use of torture offends the hell out of me, frankly.
I guess we are even.
– Carol Barber, Kent
September 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM
On radio, Monson the most egotistic host around
I was intrigued by various aspects of The Seattle Times article ["Seattle and the 'burbs split on radio tastes," NWSunday, Aug. 30] concerning city talk radio and the rankings of certain shows.
One in particular would be The Times’ mention of Dori Monson. This person is truly a man of contrasts and maddening contradictions. For years I listened to him regularly, but a little at a time, I found myself becoming overwhelmed by a few of his individualistic tendencies.
On one hand, I deeply respect his facility with the English language. He has mastered this art in a way too few of us have. His quick mind, which enables him to think on the fly with just about anyone, is most impressive.
The problem, at least to this listener, is not an objection to his political views, nor is it one to his insistence upon lecturing his audience. It is his overwhelming and unwavering self-centeredness — his need to relate every possible item being discussed to him, to his upbringing, to his girls’ basketball coaching and to his daughters.
The contrasts between him and Dave Ross, the host who precedes him, are striking. In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, Monson puts every effort possible into preventing something he has said from appearing to be wrong. Ross, on the other hand, does not demonstrate a driving need to be right, to be all-knowing or to talk about himself.
I was more than amused to read the statement attributed to Monson in your article.
There were two, and despite this limitation, he found a way — “I was the top talk show in town for 12 years” — to focus attention upon himself.
Unbelievable. I wish I had a dime for every time over the years I have heard him somehow casually insert his magnificence into what is being discussed.
– Tom Likai, Shoreline
Rush making more noise than he has listeners
That was an excellent package by Eric Latitis on radio ratings in the area ["New meter reveals whims of radio fans," NWSunday, Aug. 30].
Here we have only 209,000 people, out of some 4 million in the Puget Sound area, listening to late-morning radio. And only 11,000 to 12,000 are listening to Rush Limbaugh.
Fascinating that the amount of echo generated on cable and the other mainstream media can come from such a pathetically small audience.
Talk about a minority making more noise than it deserves.
– Frank Chesley, Seattle
August 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Civilized debates come without guns
David Sirota echoes ["First Amendment trumps Second Amendment," Opinion, syndicated columnist, Aug. 23] my personal alarm concerning the guns appearing at public meetings.
His Thomas Jefferson quote about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants — that makes my blood run cold.
This madness has got to stop. There are means for civilized people to solve problems, and guns are not among them.
– Mary S. Mitchell, Seattle
Firearms demonstrators well within their rights
David Sirota, thank you for telling the truth.
And the truth is you and your elitist colleagues hide behind your First Amendment rights to attack our Second Amendment rights. Just remember, as Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Law-abiding gun owners are fed up with elitists like you who think they are above all others and use their positions to spread fear and disinformation to attack our Second Amendment rights. In fact, the publishing of arrogant and ignorant statements such as yours are the reason these protesters are carrying firearms.
While I don’t necessarily agree with protesters carrying firearms at demonstrations, I understand why they are doing it, and I support their right to do so. It was journalists like you who fired the first shot by attacking our rights. It was politicians like Janet Napolitano, who as the head of the Department of Homeland Security disseminated an official report labeling supporters of the Second Amendment as “potential right-wing extremists/domestic terrorists.”
How many attacks do you think a person will tolerate before he or she starts fighting back? These people are making a statement that they are not going to take it any more. Instead of continuing your mindless attacks on our rights, why don’t you just start realizing there are people out there that do not have the same opinion as you, and their rights matter just as much as your rights.
I was both surprised and extremely pleased to see President Obama say these people are within their rights. He recognizes and understands why these people are making their statement in such a bold manner.
Obama is displaying a level head by not escalating this further. You, on the other hand, are trying to incite a riot.
– Neil Foster, Renton
August 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Nice news in story of man who has recovered identity
Editor, The Times:
The Seattle Times has published a great series of stories on Edward Lighthart, the man who woke up in Seattle’s Discovery Park and couldn’t remember who he was ["Mystery of man's identity apparently solved," page one, Aug. 21]. Many thanks to reporters Ian Ith, Craig Welch and Susan Gilmore as well as The Times.
This is the nicest news story I’ve read anywhere in quite a while.
– Doug Muhler, Beaverton, Ore.
Shellshocked with disappointment in Obama
I think I know who Jon Doe is ["Who is this man?" page one, Aug. 20]. He’s a guy who voted for that “hope and change” guy Barack Obama, and he just woke up to realize what he got — an even less transparent and more coercive government.
And the shock is so overwhelming that he lost his bearings and is denying reality.
– Bruce Martin, Bainbridge Island
August 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Station changes threaten local artistic jewels
Thank you for the article about what is going on at KBCS-FM radio ["Seeking a bigger audience, KBCS cuts its programming," NWMonday, Aug. 17]. The article captured the basics of the situation, but what is missing is a sense of perspective on what is being lost in these changes. It’s much more than losing “a place to catch the craziest music” or early morning jazz programming.
I listened to Bud Young’s last morning jazz show this morning. Think about that. This is the guy who has been a local treasure, the proprietor of Bud’s Jazz Records in Pioneer Square and a tireless supporter of local jazz musicians.
Also gone are a slew of some of the best folk and bluegrass programmers around, and a couple of vintage jazz programmers who are also treasures. If things were so bad, why didn’t anyone know about it before they tossed the jewels in the trash?
Steve Ramsey’s comment about the station’s “huge potential that has gone untapped for years and years and years” tells me that he has had designs on remaking the station for a while.
Dig a little deeper, editorial and arts staff, and see that this is nonsense and that something precious is being lost.
– Steve Saunders, Winthrop
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