Reference: “Stuck with the do nothing Obama administration” (Other Views, Aug. 12): It is not President Obama who is doing nothing. Columnist Rob Schwarzwalder attempts to corrupt minds by spewing poisonous tea-party Kool-Aid rhetoric. He ignores that the House continues to beat dead horses, such as the 40 times it passed a bill to repeal Obamacare and the 40 times the Senate did not concur. He ignores that the House refuses to have joint discussions with the Senate to resolve differences in bills passed by both houses, such as the immigration, budget and farm bills. He ignores the myriad times the GOP House majority and the GOP Senate minority threatened to shut down the government instead of increasing the debt ceiling to pay for already-approved House and Senate expenditures. And he ignores the record number of GOP Senate filibuster threats preventing the appointment of judges, department heads, etc.
All or nearly all GOP House and Senate members signed the no-new-taxes pledge, and all of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates refused to except the 10-to-1 spending cuts to tax increases proposal. In other words, the GOP intransigent ideology keeps them from their constitutional mandate to originate bills to raise revenue or to accept tremendous deals.
Most spouses and others know and understand the need to compromise with their counterparts. “My way or the highway” is not a successful negotiating tactic. Yet the “Do-Nothing GOP” continues to let Wall Street cheat consumers, let infrastructure deteriorate, let less well-off citizens do without health care and maybe without food, and let the middle class face extinction. A MSNBC Republican commentator recently summed up the GOP’s reckless behavior by saying, “When do you realize that your stupidity is getting in the way of conservatives …?”
Howard F. Harris Jr.
Ready to charge
“Naturally” is my response to the wonderful article Jeff Houck wrote in Tuesday’s Tribune (“Hotel creators share a taste of ‘nostalgia-meets nouveau’” (front page).
What else would one expect than the best taste, the best food and the best wine anywhere? Bern’s Steak house, Tampa’s premier dining establishment, and the soon-to-be-completed Epicurean Hotel are about the most exciting things that’s happened in Tampa since the Bucs won the Super Bowl and the Lightning the Stanley Cup. Houck spells it all out for us — breakfast with lobster, creme fraiche and a fried egg, and lunch on a duck, and goose burger. Naturally, what else would one expect?
I have my charge card ready.
Rays and one-ways
A group of us went to a Rays game a couple of years ago, and the biggest challenge was the parking. One-way roads, full lots and jam-packed streets caused the driver, a friend originally from New Jersey, quite a bit of consternation. Unless you are a native of St. Pete, the one-way roads are extremely challenging and lacking in logic.
We enjoyed the game immensely, but I was too spooked to ever volunteer to drive anyone to a Rays game.
C. A. Starnes
Regarding “Rice, Nurse, Foster for St. Pete Council” (Our Views, Aug. 10):
The Tribune endorsed Darden Rice based on her support for rail. A Clearwater-St. Pete train will burden the poor and middle class annually with $130 million in new sales taxes transferred to the rich and well-connected. A train will drain money from better bus service that can be done on the current Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority budget. Charlotte raised sales taxes and still hasn’t built the promised trains.
Our city needs a new direction to cut high utility bills and taxes, control spending and protect freedom. The city is run by a political class that wants us to keep our mouths shut and pay the bills for their failing grand visions while only they benefit.
City government costs a family of four $1,500 more than in 2001, with worse results. City worker retirement benefits are unfunded $325 million while they make three times more than most citizens.
I am the only candidate who will change the course of our hapless City Council and prevent inevitable bankruptcy. More money in citizens’ pockets and following Christ’s lesson to “love our neighbor” will help our city better than more government programs. Go to StPeteIsYours.Com; elect me, Dr. McKalip, and let’s make St. Petersburg “Your City.”
David McKalip, M.D.
The writer is a candidate for St. Petersburg City Council, District 4.