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Bipartisanship is a two-way street

To the editor:

Several times last week, President Obama lamented the lack of bipartisanship in creating the stimulus spending plan being rushed through Congress. He chided Republicans for not going along with the enormous increases in spending proposed by the House and Senate. The president and his Democratic Party allies, though, have been unwilling to accept compromises that have been proposed by the essentially powerless minority.

What the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid do not seem to understand is that it is the responsibility of those in power to compromise their position if there is to be bipartisanship. You cannot ask the Republican legislators to come along for the ride in the interest of unity and bipartisanship by simply concocting a spending plan that supports the Democrats’ constituencies. The president, in a great public relations move, sought the input of Republicans, then proceeded to tell them that their ideas would not be included because he “won the election.”

The House Republicans put forth a business and personal tax reduction plan that the Congressional Budget Office determined would create many more jobs than the Obama/Pelosi plan. The concepts in this plan were summarily dismissed. Sen. Reid and the Democrat-controlled Senate have operated in much the same way. A bipartisan approach would have taken the best ideas from the Democratic and Republican proposals and created a bill that would gain support from all but the those on the far right and left.

If the final bill being considered this week moves forward without significant, true compromise from the all-powerful Democratic majority, it is proper, if not mandatory, for the Republican minority to strongly object by way of voting “no.”

Donald Bittle Jr.


Straight to the moon!

To the editor:

I was watching a rerun of the classic comedy series “The Honeymooners.” Ralph Kramden detailed another of his moronic schemes to make a fortune for himself, his wife, Alice, and his buddy, Norton.

I laughed long and hard as he laid out the scheme and his long-suffering wife pointed out the stupidity of the plan and how it paralleled his previous crazy schemes.

After the show, I glanced at the Review-Journal and read the stories of the government “bailouts,” the “stimulus,” and other schemes to fix the economy, and suddenly Ralph Kramden’s ideas didn’t seem so dumb.

Mike Garrison


More subterfuge

To the editor:

What we saw in Monday’s so-called “news conference” with President Obama was actually a well-choreographed sales pitch by the Elmer Gantry of our day.

Elmer Gantry was a fictional character, from a Sinclair Lewis book of the same name, about a touring evangelist of the 1920s who bamboozled followers with his gift of gab and subterfuge.

The congregation of the American public was treated to a pre-screened and well-rehearsed press conference where the reporters asking questions were carefully selected.

As for President Obama’s performance, as usual, his presentation was impeccable. But he was much too long-winded, and his replies left me wondering “Where’s the beef?” — and even more importantly, “Where’s the truth?”

John J. Erlanger


Kid gloves

To the editor:

In response to your Thursday report, “Thieving ex-officer gets house arrest”:

What a sham. Former Metro Detective Eric Washington faced four to 13 years in prison, but District Judge Jennifer Togliatti suspended the sentence, gave the dirty ex-cop house arrest and told him to write a letter of apology.

Any private citizen up on the same charges, under the same circumstances, wouldn’t see the light of day for 13 years. But judges work with cops and politicians, and this sentence clearly shows one hand washes the other when it comes to Nevada justice.

Washington committed serious crimes against an 87-year-old he was supposed to help. He stole money from the elderly man and fraudulently used the man’s credit card. These crimes were not a last-second thought. They were premeditated. They took planning, and the ex-cop knew exactly what he was going to do and did it.

The bad ex-cop’s excuse was, “I’m a drug user.” I bet if the crime were against Judge Togliatti’s friend or relative, she would have had an entirely different slant on the sentence.



Money for nothing

To the editor:

I almost feel sorry for Tom Daschle, President Obama’s former nominee for Human and Health Services secretary.

Imagine Mr. Daschle’s disappointment after voluntarily paying overdue income taxes in exchange for a position in President Obama’s administration, but then learning later that he wouldn’t get the position.

Bet he feels like a fool for paying his taxes and getting nothing in return — sort of like the rest of us.

S.G. Hayes


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