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September 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Immigration increases poverty
For clearly good reasons, The Seattle Times has editorialized and covered poverty in this country and region well for many years. [“Column: SNAP and the GOP’s war on the poor,” Opinion, Sept. 24.]
But it somehow misses a significant factor at work: circular poverty, the role immigration policy plays in it. We encourage it in a variety of ways and never recognize that such things as the “war on poverty” advocated by Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s accomplished nothing.
Just after the war on poverty was declared, we passed the 1965 Immigration Act, negating what had preceded it, when fewer immigrants were permitted entry, and most had an education equivalent to that of U.S. citizens. This had previously resulted in rapid assimilation without burdening our welfare system.
Johnson’s legislation was followed by a law that allowed in more of the world’s undereducated poor people. Now many of these immigrants are welfare recipients or those now meeting the poverty definition.
This information is important today, since Congress is debating immigration bill S. 744, which would provide legal status and allow entry to millions of mostly poor immigrants.
Why would Congress want to add millions of people living in poverty to the U.S.?
Richard Pelto, Kenmore
September 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM
GOP should learn from pope
If it’s good enough for the pope, it should be good enough for the GOP. [“Pope calls for church to be inclusive, less dogmatic,” page one, Sept. 20.]
Casting aside three decades of looking back, Pope Francis is taking his church on a journey that embraces the spirit of the law, not the letter.
By putting people before dogma, he is demonstrating the care and inclusiveness of the Christ as he aims to minister to the needs of the poor and the hurting.
Would not John Boehner be a voice in the wilderness and lead his caucus to the light? Could that caucus grasp the simple fact that the responsibility of governance is the welfare of all the nation’s citizens and inhabitants?
To dogmatically fixate on the Affordable Care Act denies the GOP an opportunity to demonstrate its supposedly caring spirit and changed heart for the “47 percent.”
Apparently, using procedural-blocking tactics in the Senate and permitting a vocal minority to lead the House remain as keystones, holding to the letter of the law rather than embracing the true spirit of our republic, upon which rests those hallowed words: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — for all.
Wallace Clausen, Auburn
September 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM
Protesters not losers
I was in that group of folks who rallied to protest Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presence at an annual fundraiser intended to champion his divisive strategies in Wisconsin. [“Conservatives can ‘reclaim’ nation, Wisconsin governor says,” NW Friday, Sept. 6.]
Sen. Slade Gorton, the people at that rally were actually what one would call “salt of the Earth.” They were carpenters, union members, retired teachers and at least one clinical social worker who spent a career working with veterans. Losers? I should think not — be careful who you call bitter.
We were there as a spirited representation on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin, who are now being arrested for singing in the capitol of Wisconsin.
The last time I checked, the Constitution allows the peaceful assembly of citizens without interference from the government. Remember the U.S. Constitution, Gov. Walker?
My impression is that the Republican Party is trying to win back America. Win it back for whom? The wealthy folks at that dinner? The Koch brothers? What are you reclaiming, and why?
Christine Wheeler, Edmonds
Put aside partisanship
The elephant is an endangered species in the Seattle area, but Gov. Walker brought some life to the Washington state GOP.
In contrast, former Sen. Slade Gordon identified the 300 or so demonstrators as losers. Walker focused his speech on his accomplishments during his term, like turning a budget deficit into a surplus.
He may be branded as conservative, but political races are not about winners or losers, they are about ideas and results. It is a time for leadership, not partisanship.
If you see the ship sinking, react: Cross party lines and rebuild to a better future.
Karen Gonzalez, Redmond
July 5, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Republican reform is an oxymoron
E.J. Dionne’s column suggests that the Republican Party may be turning back to the ideas of Edmund Burke, “a philosopher as well as a politician.” [“The original conservative reformer,” Opinion, July 2.]
Dionne suggests that Republicans may “have grown impatient with a thin doctrine that sees lower taxes, smaller government and deregulation as the solution to every problem we confront.”
We hope he is right. But the real leaders of the GOP are still men like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Mitt Romney, whose laissez-faire ideology (calling it a philosophy does it too much credit) will always be that the only proper function of government is to leave business free to make and keep the maximum profit the market will bear, regardless of the resulting social damage.
What Dionne calls a “thin doctrine” is in fact the sacred core of their political faith; what he calls “reform” is creeping socialism to them.
Robert and Susan Stanton, Seattle
April 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Tactics aren’t the main problem
When I saw that Rob McKenna used terms like “reset button” and “sober reflection” to introduce his recent Times guest column on the state GOP, I thought perhaps he and his fellow Republicans may be having a true awakening regarding the unfortunate path the GOP has taken in recent years, especially on the national scene. [“A reset button for Washington states’ GOP,” Opinion, March 31.]
However, it turns out that all he was referring to was the need to focus on things like “strategies and tactics” — not a fundamental re-examination of the basic principles and philosophies that are currently driving the GOP.
He expresses appreciation for the leadership of people like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Here’s a reminder for McKenna: Gov. Jindal’s most-publicized quote is his admonition for Republicans to stop being the “party of stupid.”
As with Democrats and Independents, there have been Republicans who have served this state and this country well and certain principles they espouse are laudable. Unfortunately, however, the party has clearly been overtaken by the extreme right-wing component that absolutely refuses to compromise on anything, even when it makes sense to do so.
Will that ever change? Only time will tell.
– Jim Sullivan, Renton
Target audience smarter than that
I wonder if other readers were struck by the irony of the juxtaposition of Sunday’s Paul Krugman column pointing out the folly of the “deficit scolds” [“Plan B for the deficit scolds,” Opinion, March 31] with the piece by Rob McKenna on the facing page, once again blaming the deficit for our economic woes?
McKenna goes on to declare that the hope for Republicans lay in “offering bold solutions.” So, with probably more curiosity than expectation, I went on reading but found not only no new “bold solutions” but the tired old and discredited “blame the endless trillion-dollar federal deficits” for our economic woes (which even John Boehner has dismissed).
Then to cap off this nonsensical whine, McKenna declares that Republicans should “champion forward-looking polices,” offer “real alternatives” and concludes by saying, “We must improve our party’s technological efforts” and develop more “robust and personal get-out-the vote programs.”
Sorry Rob, better computer programs (robo calls) and focused ads won’t cut it. Your target market, minority communities and younger voters, are smarter than that and demand and expect real policy statements, not mere outreach proclaiming the same discredited Republican concepts born in the last century.
– Howard Phelps, Seattle
Turning a deaf ear
Rob McKenna’s guest column shows exactly why his party is scrambling for answers.
Most of McKenna’s piece focuses on getting out into ethnic and minority communities more than just around election time. He talks of reaching young voters because GOP economic policies will help them succeed.
But McKenna and his party continue to turn a deaf ear to the issues that make them anathema to women, minorities and the young. Until the GOP repudiates its radical right wing and its support for tax-coddling the rich, demeaning a woman’s right to choose abortion and gutting social services, it won’t matter how much time they spend glad-handing new (for them) communities.
– Lee Somerstein, Renton
Open your eyes
Rob McKenna’s column in Sunday’s paper has shown me once again that he still doesn’t get it, and it validates my vote in November.
Simply bemoaning a poor image among women and racial minorities and the LGBT community, and vowing better outreach and more inclusive language, isn’t going to do the trick, and frankly, never will.
Even many white, straight men such as myself think McKenna and the state and national Republican Party are simply wrong on the issues. You know, the issues, the things that are really important to us, such as affordable health care and gay rights and immigration and gun control and climate change and fair taxation and labor rights and a woman’s right to choose, and — gee, just about everything else.
Republicans need to think before they spend that $10 million to improve their image in minority communities, and first do something that’s absolutely free: open their eyes, open their ears and open their hearts.
– Lawrence Sylwester, Seattle
March 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM
City would benefit from less taxation, bureaucracy, waste
The notion that Seattle’s economic upturn is a result of its heavy taxation and liberal political climate is ludicrous. Danny Westneat’s premise is that because Seattle’s economy is improving, the fiscal ideology and political leadership must be good [“Seattle’s an inconvenient truth to GOP,” NWSunday, March 24].
The proper question that should be asked is this: How much better could Seattle’s economic fortune be with less taxation, bureaucracy and waste?
I would suggest that Seattle’s good fortune is in spite of these things, not because of them.
–Scott Santos, Issaquah
March 24, 2013 at 6:13 AM
Both Dems and GOP are lacking
The two major parties desires to recast themselves to broaden their voter rolls gives me no comfort [“Empathy-challenged Republicans,” Opinion, March 22]. What are those of us already voting getting for our continued support? Our political process is saturated with money from special-interest groups. The notion that our politicians from either side are able to accomplish anything meaningful toward our quality of life and the sustainability of the average persons aspirations seems sadly, naive.
Many Democrats are indeed smug — those who can afford to be, with the blessings of meaningful employment and health care still within reach.
I recoil when hearing Republicans described as “conservative,” when in truth they are anything but that. Their continuing addiction to doing or saying whatever it takes to provide cover to big money’s systematic gutting of our economy is recklessness in its worst extreme. They rail against food-stamp use and other government assistance as the abetting of sloth and abuse, while winning astronomically greater federal tax-funded largesse for those whose purpose is only to make a killing at the expense of those whose only wish is to earn a living.
Former President Bill Clinton, darling of the Democratic Leadership Council, oversaw a cozying up to business interests at the expense of the average American worker. The trade agreements enacted to “lift all boats” accomplished only the lowering of our own. The economy of those years was a bubble, which left many believing that only super wealth was the goal and purpose of investment.
Most of my fellow struggling countrymen and women work multiple jobs while playing fair and honest, while those in power smirk at not only the spirit, but the letter of our laws. I vote. I always have. But I do so not in the hope that my vote will count toward improving my lot, but to influence whom will choose who sits on our High Court. Any other hope is a forlorn one.
–Jeffrey Altice, Shoreline
March 21, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Tweaking not enough
I agree with RNC chairman Reince Priebus when he says, “Our message was weak. We were behind in both data and digital” [“Political parties move to reinvent themselves,’ page one, March 19], but I don’t believe spending $10 million to tweak the process is going to bring about the solution he seeks.
There is an enormous difference in this country between what each party, and by extension what all Americans, believe in. We are at odds over every important issue you can think of — tax rates, military spending, food stamps, student loans, infrastructure, immigration, moral rights — the list goes on.
Both parties can improve on media access and manipulation all they want, but the message is not the media.
Congressional jousting and sleight-of-hand will not improve things either. We must sit down and seriously discuss fundamental values that all of us can act upon.
Maybe we can’t get there from here. When President Obama said last week that it may be our differences are just too wide,” sadly he spoke the truth for both parties and for the country.
– Steven Lequire, Des Moines
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