Kicking the can
I must offer my congratulations to the smartest people in the room, aka Republican lawmakers and strategists. You have once again managed to chart what is, in your mind, a brilliant course, talk a good fight and then “kick the can down the road” in order to justify another dismal, embarrassing failure to accomplish much of anything substantive. I sometimes think that you are too preoccupied with re-election and not ruffling any feathers on the other side of the aisle (out of fear of reprisal) to think through a cogent strategy for the advancement of the conservative agenda.
Could I suggest that you pick battles that you have a chance to win, not just pick them to grandstand on TV for your constituents in order to look like you are doing the right thing and therefore deserve to be re-elected? Let’s reopen the discussion on term limits.
Sun City Center
Rabbits and tigers
Regarding the shutdown: Apoplectic newsies, please calm down. In his presidential diary, President Reagan wrote regarding congressional Republicans: “We had rabbits when we needed tigers.” This Tiger Republican was frustrated with the “business as usual and give-in to the Democrats’ ” way Washington, D.C., has been run since the 1930s. Reagan also said, “The closest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this Earth is a government program.” The Tiger Republicans act accordingly.
During the past few weeks, 83 percent of the federal government was fully operational and operating, and only 17 percent was “shut down.” President Obama is the first president to close all memorials and the first president to come to the table telling the other party that he would only negotiate if they agree to all his demands. A delay of Obamacare may have spared some misery. It’s a tough call.
When Rabbit Republicans ran for the hills, Reagan cajoled and convinced Democrats to vote for his legislation. He spent countless hours schmoozing with the ruling party of D.C., the Democrats. Perhaps that’s why Reagan won 49 out of 50 states in the 1984 election, and Obama only won 23 percent of counties in the United States in 2012.
Regarding “The tea party wants to take America back to the 18th century” (Other Views, Oct. 17):
Joseph Ellis’ analysis would be better utilized looking forward rather than backward when comparing the tea party to the 18th century. Of course, it is always easier to look backward than prognosticate on the trajectory of this great country.
But looking forward, what does the future portend for a country with a $60,000 federal government debt per every American citizen when it was just $12,000 20 years ago? Are there any warning signs at all to Ellis for a country that must feed 50 million of its citizens, or to an economy so intertwined between business, lobbyists and politicians that world economies can be brought to their knees by politicians being politicians? Does Ellis see no future currency problems at all in the Federal Reserve pumping and printing money into markets so brazenly that even Bernie Madoff would blush?
There is, of course, current and past history that Ellis could have examined that would have better characterized tea party concerns — the sad consequences of enormous debt, political economies and societal decline — but that would not have achieved his goal of portraying common-sense concerns as radical and irrational.
In one ominous sense Ellis is correct: History does tend to repeat itself.
New Port Richey
Is the idiot who recommended fencing off the open-air World War II Memorial still on the taxpayers’ payroll? Is he or she scheduled to receive a bonus using taxpayer money?
John J. Reagan
Sun City Center
The parking division of the University of South Florida is completely out of sync with the needs of the students and therefore the university itself.
The university, like Tampa and some other places, uses a system of numbered spaces and a more or less centrally located “paid parking receipt” dispenser.
The problem with the USF system is that it will issue a parking receipt to more than one person at a time for the same space. This means that if you drive by and see an empty space, pull up to the dispenser (you are a 22-year-old female, it’s raining and you just did your hair) buy a ticket for space 20, go back to space 20 and find that a bald guy (who doesn’t care about the rain) has parked there and is now getting a ticket to the same space, you are out of luck. So, no big deal; you park in space 21, mark through 20, write 21 and go to class. You bought two hours of parking, so no big deal, right? Wrong.
Mr. Parking Ticket Checker comes along and writes you a ticket for fraud for $175 and orders a boot put on your car (another $30).
Where is the fraud? The fraud is the university’s system that will sell the same parking space to more than one person at a time.
It is simply wrong.
To say ”the space was empty” is a cop-out. It’s paid for. You have a paid parking pass. The university owes you the space.
We have come a long way since parking meters. Now when you sell someone two hours of parking, you owe them two hours of parking.
The university simply needs to issue a paid parking pass; then you park wherever there is a space, regardless of the number.
Just because Tampa uses a similar system does not make it right. Tampa could be wrong also.