Obama must change his approach
There is a time honored saying in the business world: “Beware of the eloquent incompetent.”
This has certainly been seen in the recent housing meltdown and the resultant domino effect in other areas of our economy. I hope to be proven wrong, but it appears to me that Obama and his administration fit the mold as well.
Personable, likeable, charming and charismatic as he is, our president does not appear to have the decisive and effective leadership qualities our nation cries out for in these chaotic times.
His habit of throwing a flurry of daily pronouncements against the wall to see what sticks surely does not make me feel more secure. I would rather he forgo the daily media appearance, consult with the most wise and experienced men and women he can, distill their best advice, then come forth with an air of competence, instead of platitudes and dire warnings.
With Al Franken of Minnesota entering the U.S. Senate, the Democrats can defeat any Republican filibuster. Hopefully, there will be a sufficient number of moderate Democrats to effect checks and balances when needed, in order to rein in the executive branch, and keep Obama and company down to a trot instead of a headlong gallop.
Only time will tell.
MARC PETERS, Lacey
Events led to crowded streets
On Sunday, June 21, Olympia hosted the gay pride parade and Sylvester Park gathering.
The International Military Band played at The Washington Center.
Both events are important but located so close together, vehicle traffic and parking were difficult.
BARBARA MARTIN, Olympia
Taxpayers paying off student loans
In 1787 the world’s best Constitution was prepared by 53 delegates and signed by 39. The Constitution of the United States is short, easy to understand and has stood the test of time.
What if we didn’t have a Constitution and our 535 congressional members were required to prepare one? How long would it take? Would it require a truck to haul it to the printer?
Congressional members are busy preparing for a press conference, preparing bills to embarrass the opposing party, fixing the blame, requesting embarrassing documents from the White House, campaigning or maneuvering for the next election, etc.
But, members do have lots of help. Each member can have up to 22 government-funded staffers. That’s a potential of 11,770 staffers if the 22 positions were filled for all 535 members.
Of course their staffers may be busy with an on-the-job training course. For example, there is “Home buying for the beginners,” “Capitol building history,” “Use and abuse of antibiotics,” and my favorite, “Emotional and social intelligence.”
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it does. Staffers and agency employees are eligible to have their college loans paid.
For fiscal year 2009, the House appropriated $13 million for the program. As of June, there were 2,200 House employees receiving money to pay off college loans.
What a great place to — uh — work.
RAY ENSLEY, Tumwater
Where have all the protesters gone?
Isn’t it quite remarkable that a Democrat- controlled U.S. House and Senate passed a $106 billion authorization bill supporting the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and not a peep was heard?
Where were the Democrats opposed to the war?
Where were the street demonstrators that normally protest such expenditures?
Where were the editors who decried these bills under President Bush?
Where were the self-righteous TV and radio news commentators with their personal opinions about the futility of the war?
The only critic I heard was Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas who opposed the war in Iraq from the very beginning.
I have always supported both wars, so I am not complaining about the bill. I am just fascinated with the sanctimonious, two-faced spiels put out by these groups when Bush was president.
I found it interesting that The Olympian reported 69 people killed in Iraq but the news was on page 10, not the front page like in the Bush administration. I also have not seen the list of total American casualties lately which used to be an almost daily feature in the paper.
I remember meeting a Japanese student in Seattle last year who was shocked to meet an American who said he supported the war. Obviously, she would be more shocked today!
BILL MOOMAU, Olympia
Enforce the ‘do not call’ law
When the “no call” list first went into effect I cheered then rushed to sign up for it. How wonderful that the telemarketers can’t call anymore!
Boy have things changed! I’m still signed up for it but I receive two or three calls a night from these people. I tell them that I’m on the no call list but it doesn’t seem to matter. One of them told me that the phone company sold them the numbers!
If this is so why aren’t the phone companies held responsible for doing this?
I think we need to start enforcing the no call law and we need to start turning these companies in!
I also think that the government needs to put more teeth and higher fines into it. What good does a law like this do if it’s not enforced?
We all have to do our parts!
BONNIE LINDSEY, Rochester