Takes two to bipartisan tango
The GOP-dominated House of Representatives has refused to cooperate with the Senate to solve the country’s fiscal crises, instead preferring to waste its time passing an immoral, pound-foolish budget bill that has zero chance of becoming law. The GOP, including Congressman Lee Terry, has forfeited any right it might have had to blame Democrats for the fiscal crises.
Democrats have repeatedly extended their hands to Republicans and suffered bites instead of handshakes. This is unacceptable. Today’s GOP obviously prefers gridlock to solutions and doesn’t care if it embarrasses America in front of the world and endangers America’s well-being.
The Democratic Party should make clear daily how the GOP’s irresponsible behavior hurts America and the American moral values that are at stake, take charge of the agenda and accept that bipartisanship on many big questions isn’t possible now.
Perhaps the GOP will behave more reasonably after losing more seats in next year’s election.
Curtis Bryant, Omaha
The audacity of a budget stunt
President Barack Obama wrote a book about audacity. It takes a lot of audacity to close the White House to public tours. We own the White House; he doesn’t.
Lance Schlatter, Omaha
Obama, Democrats bait, switch
The only cuts President Obama and his liberal ilk want to make are to the paychecks of middle-class working Americans. How much longer will so many Americans remain apathetic and complacent to this extreme demagogic regime?
In January, Obama and Congress increased payroll taxes by 2 percent (remember that Obama campaigned for no tax increases on middle class) on all working Americans. This hits the budgets of working Americans extremely hard.
Obama harmed family budgets directly on the basic needs of food and medicine purchases. The fragile American economy is currently hurting and anemic at best.
Don’t forget all these awful cover-ups and ongoing incompetencies, such as Obama- care, Fast and Furious, Benghazi-gate and financial aid to radical Muslims in Egypt.
Craig Barnhart, Omaha
Suttle grandstanding on guns
Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle continues to not understand what he is proposing. In addition to the silliness of signing on to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign for a ban on assault guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines, Suttle is proposing to do it in Omaha. What’s next, a ban on large soda pops?
The fly in the ointment is that true “assault weapons” — those that are fully automatic — are already illegal to own. A citizen can own one only with a special federal permit.
Also, Suttle doesn’t have a specific plan. Is the mayor trying to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge?
The mayor has never proposed legislation that would have prevented the Colorado and Connecticut murders, or any others for that matter. One can only conclude he is engaged in political grandstanding without merit.
Peter Lahti, Omaha
Sex education helps prevention
When I learned of the hearing on a bill that requires comprehensive sexual health education in schools, I was shocked to realize the current inconsistencies in reproductive health curricula in public schools.
Nebraska law is silent on the issue, and young people in our communities are suffering the consequences. More than 2,000 Nebraska children 19 and under had a sexually transmitted disease in 2010. These rates are appalling.
There is no excuse to withhold the tools and information our young people need to protect themselves. A 2012 poll showed that two-thirds of Nebraska voters support teaching comprehensive sex education in schools, including information on birth control, contraceptives, abstinence and preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
Let’s focus on prevention; comprehensive sex education is long overdue.
Samantha Tienken, Omaha
Where there’s smog, there’s fire
As a practicing allergist, I deal with the effects of the environment on the health of my patients.
Climate change is a fact, but what is hotly debated is the contribution of pollution on climate change. It is my perspective that this argument detracts from the real issue of pollution.
Pollution has a far-reaching effect beyond climate change, as it is a major contributor to allergies and asthma. Focusing on control of pollution to lessen health risks is a reality that should be of no controversy.
Brett V. Kettelhut, M.D., Omaha
Sin tax worth it to save lives
The Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee is reviewing a bill to increase the cigarette tax by 72 cents. This would be a win-win for Nebraska.
Fewer kids would start using and people would quit because of the higher prices. There would be long-term health care savings. Lastly, our state would bring in significant revenue.
I hope our legislators will do the right thing by increasing the tobacco tax.
Marcy Thompson, Omaha
Don’t like God part? Don’t say it
This is in response to Richard King (March 12 Pulse), who wrote that “removing the required reference to God from Nebraska oaths of office just makes sense. All are free to add the phrase ‘so help me God’ if they so choose.”
Why not just leave the oath the way it is and those who do not wish to say those words simply do not have to say them? That makes just as much sense.
Sal Ciciulla, Omaha
Interim parks guy the real deal
When is the City of Omaha going to officially promote Brook Bench to parks director from “interim” after all the good work he has done for the city?
He has a vote from me for sure. Thanks for all your good work, Brook.
Dennis S. Minton, Omaha