Brian Baird has failed his constituents
When the historic vote on health care reform was taken in the House on Nov. 7, our representative Brian Baird stood with the Republicans and voted “no.”
Just as they had opposed the enactments of Social Security and Medicare, the Republicans, and their Democratic quislings like Baird, opposed yet another critical step to insure the common good.
What makes Baird dance with the “Party of NO?”
He claims the reason is fiscal responsibility. However, I suspect that there are other, darker reasons. At best, I see Baird as a narcissistic politician grandstanding as a maverick to get publicity and attention. At worst, I see Baird as a lackey of special interests who has sold out his constituency.
Whatever the reason, Brian Baird has failed his constituents at an axial moment in history. Had the House measure failed, any reform of our broken system would have been blocked for another generation.
Brian Baird needs to be voted out of office and relegated to the dustbin of history.
DENIS H. LANGHANS, Olympia
Conservatives must be countered
It’s amazing to me how so quickly forgotten the Bush years have been. Instead, we are all demanding answers from a president who wasn’t even in office last year.
One question forgotten because of this is the issue of gas prices skyrocketing during George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s years. In 1988, it was $1.08 a gallon. In 1998, $1.06. And now, in 2009, it is $2.85 in Washington state.
Why is this?
We can’t find out currently, because our Democratic members of Congress are too busy responding to the childish banter the Republicans seem so intent on providing during Barack Obama’s presidency.
It was the awful policies of the previous Republican administration that got us to where we are at. But the Republican Party has their public relations firms in right-wing radio and News Corp., who owns such outlets as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
The Democrats in office need to be able to quit worrying about fighting such civil wars sparked by rabid conservative rhetoric — perhaps by starting their own liberal outlets as Air America was supposed to be.
The fact is, the Republican Party has shown no effort or desire to work with anyone who isn’t one of them. So if the Democrats are going to be able to maintain a counter-voice to the conservative one thus ensuring balance in our nation, then perhaps they will need to have an outsider-type progressive entity which can serve such a purpose.
JONATHAN AMMONS, Olympia
South Sound High rescues students
Most people hear about South Sound High School and think it’s a school for outcasts, bad kids or dropouts.
They also judge the school for having its own day care center for teen parents.
As a student attending South Sound High School, I’m here to tell you that the rumors and judgments are wrong.
Since I started at SSHS last year, I see it as a choice and second-chance school. The teachers offer their own time even outside school hours to help each and every individual be a success.
I started South Sound last year with a very low number of credits. But because of the “GED for five” program and intense scheduling, I was able to make up the needed credits for graduation.
South Sound High School has given me the chance to prove to others that quitting is never an option, and that there are always other paths to success.
On a daily basis I notice students struggling to do their best, and that’s where the teachers step in and help them succeed.
In my opinion, without SSHS, many students wouldn’t be where they are today.
I just want people to know that South Sound High School students, staff and teachers put the positive effort and time into making it a very good school. It’s a place where all are accepted and encouraged to be their best.
I know that without SSHS I would not be where I am today.
JASON MCDOWELL, Olympia
Baird cast the wrong vote
Recently the House of Representatives passed HR 3962, “The Affordable Health Care for America Act.” The vote was close and largely along party lines.
Though this vote will allow the long overdue process of health system reform to progress, I am disappointed the vote was so close and that our representative, Brian Baird, voted against it.
No, the bill wasn’t perfect. It is expensive and doesn’t address many related issues such as tort reform and pharmaceutical costs. It also had attached a harmful bill restricting use of federal money for abortion services.
But despite these factors, it is a historic step forward in fixing a system badly broken.
So I say “thank you” to Rep. Adam Smith who voted for the bill, and to Rep. Brian Baird, please reconsider your vote when you have a chance to vote on the final version.
MARIE JOHANTGEN, M.D., Lacey