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The Public Pulse, October 16

The Public Pulse, October 16

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Fischer not in Senate women’s group

Did anyone else notice that Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer was not a participant in the effort by other female U.S. senators to work on a compromise to end the shutdown?

We hopefully elect people who will work for the greater good of this country and can put aside politics for that end. What we need are more statesmen/-women, not more politicians.

Judy Haney, Omaha

Time has come for Congress term limits

It’s time to cap the years in D.C. for members of Congress. The voters should demand a limit, just like the president’s two terms. We must stop these career public servants. If they want to really serve our country, try the military.

Vallery Stewart, Omaha

It’s all about the swinging pendulum

I’m happy the Affordable Care Act is law, because the health care system is broken. Only time will tell if this is the right fix.

I’m also happy to see the Tea Party slowing down the process until Congress addresses the budget deficit, because our government can’t keep spending more than it takes in.

If it sounds like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, I am. But for good reason.

What is happening in Washington is exactly how the Founding Fathers envisioned government would work: like a swinging pendulum. When it gets too far to one side, an adjustment is needed to keep it balanced.

Currently, the government shutdown is the force for that. Unfortunately, the subsequent pain felt by many citizens is a reminder to all of us that in order for government to work, cooperation and compromise are needed. It’s essential for our nation’s survival.

So whether you are angry at Tea Party members or liberals, they are both valuable in the sense that they have steadfastly taken opposing views and collided in the halls of Congress to create a national debate about the future of our country.

George Mills, Omaha

GOP is entitled to minority protections

Regarding G.R. Muhm’s question about what happened to majority rule (Oct. 14 Pulse), here’s a fact about our republic that our school system fails to teach anymore:

The Founding Fathers knew that if one party were in majority too long, then the minority would always be at their mercy. Certain government procedures are in place to protect the minority, just as certain laws are on the books to protect the minority in society. Yes, even if conservatives are the minority, they have procedural ways to protect themselves.

Fifty years of liberalism, from the New (Raw) Deal to the Great (Dependent) Society, has over time degraded the fabric of our way of life. More progressiveness is not working.

But I guess that is the fault of Republicans and conservatives as well. Heaven help America.

Kelly Kaluza, Papillion

Obama selective in citing benefits at risk

Why is it that when our president — and I use the term loosely — talks about the consequences of the government shutdown, he immediately mentions that Social Security checks will stop and military pay and retirement checks will stop?

He never says anything about welfare checks stopping or any other handouts. I see that even students will continue to get their student loans.

Kim Johnston, Omaha

Health law eventually will save money

The health care law is long overdue. In the long run, it will save money for both the federal government and the states. I doubt that lawmakers in Washington even know that they are already paying for health care.

They need to leave Social Security, Medicare and other programs alone and cut wasteful spending instead.

Mike Newman, Glenwood, Iowa

Blame health execs’ pay for cost spiral

Out of curiosity, I decided to calculate the percentage increase for the cost of a regular hospital birth during my lifetime: an incredible 52,000 percent — an amount that Pamela Rassman (Oct. 10 Pulse) will certainly blame on Obamacare.

By way of comparison, the rise in cost for that often-cursed gallon of gasoline during that same span, my lifetime, is an underwhelming 4,600 percent. Call it a bargain.

Perhaps the writer should be looking elsewhere for a rising health costs scapegoat: the health care industry itself and its executive compensation. Yes, over about the past three decades the medical industry has paid itself so generously that it has America on its knees begging for mercy. The industry is unable and unwilling to discipline and regulate itself because it values its own self-interest and greed more than the needs of the nation.

Why such grand compensation? Because they can, and because we allow it.

Ron Holscher, Ogallala, Neb.

People should stop using the O-word

It’s called the Affordable Care Act!

First of all, it is a law, not a bill waiting to be passed. The time for discussion about funding is over.

Second, it is constitutional, reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And third, it is not called “Obamacare” except by those who wish to continue to inflame the issue. Using this mis-title confuses the public and supports a grossly biased political agenda.

Peggy Shaffer, Omaha

Postal Service no longer tax-supported

Regarding Larry Snyder’s suggestion (Oct. 13 Pulse) that the government save money by ending Saturday mail delivery:

He implies that the U.S. Postal Service is solely a government agency. It is not. It did function as a regular, tax-supported agency of the federal government until the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. Since then, it has been a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral. Its operating funds come from the sale of postage, products and services, not taxes.

The reason the Postal Service is having difficulties is due to the 2003 pension act that ordered the USPS to be responsible for the pensions of military veterans who become postal employees, instead of that being the responsibility of the Treasury. That means the Postal Service incurred billions of dollars in obligations. Otherwise, it would not be in the position it is in today.

Linda Miller, Omaha

Redskins name change is nonsense

President Obama says he would change the name Redskins if he owned the team, but the real owner says he will not change the nickname and says it is meant as an honor to the Indians. I agree with the owner.

My three kids all graduated from Millard South and were the Indians. But political correctness interfered and the name was changed to the Patriots — a good name, but unnecessary.

We could carry this further. I’m Irish, and I could complain that Notre Dame Fighting Irish is demeaning to me and my relatives. But I’m not that petty. I know the name wasn’t selected to insult the Irish, but on the other hand, it’s just as bad as the Redskins.

If you are forced to change one, you’d better change all the others. We have already gone too far. Stop the nonsense.

B.L. Cork, Bellevue

A matter of Native American dignity

Dropping “Redskins” as Washington’s NFL team name should, at the very least, strike everyone as a question of dignity. It’s not just that the term is offensive to some Native Americans but that it is offensive to anyone with a sense of decency.

The term Redskins is not on the level, as some seem to think, with other ethnic mascots such as the Fighting Irish or even Indians. No, Redskins is derogatory, more on the level with the “N” word. Surely no sports enterprise would name its team that and then have the audacity to claim that the term connotes dignity and pride.

It’s not about us and our traditions. It’s about Native Americans and the respect they’re due, however small a minority they may be.

Ramon Sanchez, Omaha

NFL should be focusing on concussions

While watching the teams decked out in their pink gear for Monday Night Football, after having earlier watched the PBS documentary on concussions (Frontline’s “League of Denial”), it seemed ironic that the NFL is so supportive of breast cancer awareness, which has nothing to do with football, while remaining in denial about the long-term adverse consequences of players’ banging their heads together play after play.

Tony Hoefer, Omaha

Getting appointment like pulling teeth

Would someone please tell me how a full-time working caregiver can make a doctor or dentist appointment when the doctors and dentists only work Monday through Thursday, daytime hours only, and in most cases there are no appointments after 3 p.m.? I have found it incredibly hard to get appointments during the times I am off work.

Then when you explain your situation to the medical office, the staff couldn’t care less. They laugh and say, “Well, those are our hours. Would you like to cancel?”

Laura Rosso, Bennington

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