Topic: President Barack Obama
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May 25, 2013 at 7:02 AM
Restrict guns, too
Conservatives are upset with President Obama’s attempt to wind down the so-called war on terror [“President sets restrictions on drone policy,” News, May 24]. They feel that no effort should be spared in keeping our country safe from terrorist attacks, even while acknowledging that nothing we can do will guarantee that it won’t happen again.
It’s funny that they don’t have the same attitude about gun control. Their argument there is that nothing we can do will prevent some nut case with an assault rifle from mowing down a bunch of innocent children at an elementary school, so we should do nothing.
Marshall Dunlap, Seattle
May 21, 2013 at 6:32 AM
May 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM
Obama administration could have done more
I’ve flown jet fighters in and out of the Aviano Air Base in Italy innumerable times and I know that — even with the vintage aircraft of that day — we could have, with drop tanks, readily flown to Benghazi, conducted combat and returned to safe soil [“The Benghazi attack, redacted,” Opinion, May 13].
Jet fighter missions are complex and subject to countless variables. Therefore, I will not support the Obama administration’s claim that it would have been impossible for Aviano-based fighters to have reached and saved Americans in Benghazi in time is phony.But my Aviano knowledge, coupled with the current and conflicting stories attendant with the fog of excuses emanating from Washington, definitely make me suspect that, contrary to administration claims, we could have saved lives with our jet fighters in Benghazi.
Gerald Stiles, retired major, U.S. Air Force
May 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM
Central America needs new taxation system
In his immigration-reform article, Mauricio Vivero neglects to mention why Central Americans “lack access to education and health care.” They lack this because they pay practically no income tax [“Immigration reform opens new opportunity in Central America,” Opinion, May 8].
It’s primarily cash and carry down there and the politicians are notorious for stealing what few taxes do get paid. Hence there is no money to pay for schools or health care, nor is there money to pay for police to provide them with “smarter law-enforcement strategies.”
So the Central Americans come up here illegally, work under the table for cash and send the cash home. They don’t pay taxes up here, they don’t pay taxes there, and they wonder why there is no development down there and why they are resented up here.
Perhaps Vivero would do more good by going down there and helping them initiate a functional system of taxation and development. Then, and only then, will we see any progress.
Richard Askren, Seattle
May 9, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Tom Wheeler deserves a more thoughtful critique
I was appalled to see your editorial criticizing the nomination of Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission based on one advocate’s opinion [“Editorial: Find better FCC voice,” Opinion, May 5].
I have known Tom Wheeler for 20 years and he deserves better. During my time as chief domestic policy adviser to former Vice President Al Gore, I worked with Wheeler while he was the head of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.
It may be hard for your advocate, Craig Aaron, to remember a time when very few people had cellphones. Wheeler started programs to provide battered women access to cellphones to call for help, a program to give teachers cellphones for professional and emergency use and a program to give neighborhood watches access to cellphones to help people police their own neighborhoods.
He also created Tech Corps to enlist retired professionals to help schools learn to use and implement computers in schools.
I have been involved with Wheeler in many such ventures over the years and find him to be a truly outstanding public servant. You owe him a better-reasoned and much deeper look at his public service based on the facts, not on knee-jerk reactions from one person who has “reviewed” his résumé.
Greg Simon, chief domestic policy adviser for former Vice President Al Gore, 1993-1997, Bethesda, Md.
May 7, 2013 at 7:34 AM
Obama acts hypocriticallyPresident Obama must not know the meaning of irony or hypocrisy. He said recently while in Mexico that the United States was partially responsible for the amount of gun crime down there [“Obama: Security relationship with Mexico to evolve,” seattletimes.com, May 2]. This may be true, but certainly to a lesser extent than is often touted by those on the left who don’t believe in FBI statistics that show otherwise.
But for him to say what he did — knowing full well that his own program known as Operation Fast and Furious illegally funneled a couple thousand assault weapons to the drug cartel killers across the border, one of which resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and countless Mexican nationals — must be the new norm in hypocrisy.
Scott Stoppelman, La Conner
March 4, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Marriage equality now
On March 26-27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two historic cases concerning gay marriage [“Obama urges court to toss Calif. ban on gay marriage,” News, March 1]. There has been tremendous momentum around the issue of marriage equality over the last year.
Loving, committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry for the same reasons as straight couples: to share their hopes and dreams.
For me, this historic moment is personal. I married the love of my life here in Washington state and am so thankful to have that right. The joy I felt as we declared our love was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. While thankful for this recognition, we still lack 1,138 federal rights granted to heterosexual married couples.
The time for marriage equality is now. Support is at an all-time high and growing rapidly — across all groups. We’ll be gathering on March 27 at the Federal Courthouse in Seattle at 700 Stuart Street from 12-1 p.m. This rally will be one of over 100 events across the nation during the two days the Supreme Court is hearing these cases. Please join us and show your support for the basic right to marry the one you love.
–Marlena Blonsky, Seattle
February 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Reliance on federal funding may need to end
Monday’s Seattle Times article “Stalemate in D.C. may cost state millions in federal aid” [page one, Feb. 25] predicts a disaster for our state. Hundreds of teacher layoffs, thousands of children losing vaccinations, child care, college help and Head Start. Loss of cancer screening, cuts in health care and drinking water protection, etc. All from a 3 percent cut in federal aid to our state.
It’s incredible to think that we can’t find moneys by juggling our own budget dollars to avoid such cuts. If not, it shows how irresponsible our politicians have been in depending upon federal help to run our state.
We had better get used to paying our own way because the feds have run out of money!
–Wayne Jensen, Kirkland
Sequester sees bipartisan disapproval
Republicans hate the sequester. Democrats hate the sequester. The president hates the sequester. Finally, everyone agrees on something. Be bipartisan. Repeal the sequester.
In total, the U.S. House took 33 votes to repeal Obamacare. Surely they can take one vote to repeal the sequester!
–Paula Joneli, Des Moines
Lottery to ease budget needs
It’s time the residents of the USA take the matter into their own hands since Congress will not.
Let’s establish a U.S. residents lottery where the profits goes toward paying down the deficit and the debt.
I would be the first to commit to buying a ticket or two a week to support a good cause that will not harm my fellow residents the way a sequester will.
–Ruth Knagenhjelm, Normandy Park
Support those with low income, food banks
When people are being faced with significant cuts to their unemployment checks, how can we let food banks take the hit as well [“Jobless, cities could be first to feel budget pain,” seattletimes.com, Feb. 25]?
Many people already relying on unemployment benefits and other social-welfare programs will have to line up at food banks to get the food they need. However, food banks are also at risk for a loss of funding. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides the funding necessary to keep food banks and distribution centers open, may be eliminated completely as a result of upcoming budget cuts.
Even without the threat of budget cuts, the need for emergency food services in Washington has been on the rise. Since 2008, the number of people visiting food banks has increased by 35 percent yet the amount of state support TEFAP is receiving has remained the same.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, between June 2011 and June 2012 alone, there were 8.6 million visits to food banks. This number shows an increase of 500,000 from the previous year. A $3.7 million increase in TEFAP’s budget is necessary to keep up with the rising demand in emergency food services.
You can help! Please urge your legislator to support the $3.7 million increase of TEFAP’s budget. Find your legislator by visiting www.leg.wa.gov or by calling the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
–Amy Thome, Perla Castaneda and Morgan Cole
February 23, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Raises will help improve economy
Raising the minimum wage is necessary [“Obama, business groups differ on minimum wage plan,” seattletimes.com, Feb. 13].
The minimum wage exists to guarantee that people are paid enough to sustain themselves, and the current minimum wage is too low to do this. Increasing the minimum wage to keep up with inflation is something we should always do, and hopefully will from here on out.
As for the people who argue that raising the minimum wage will decrease businesses willingness to hire people, this may be true initially, but once the minimum wage goes up, so will the spending of the people working in those jobs. It’s fair to say that a lot of the people in these minimum-wage jobs (though far from all) are students. If minimum wage goes up, those students won’t hold on to the extra money they start making; they will go out and spend more, driving local businesses and making it feasible for them to expand creating jobs.
Simply put, raising the minimum wage is not only helpful to those making minimum wage, but is also a step toward fixing our economy.
–Joe Raley, Bellingham
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