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The Public Pulse, October 1

The Public Pulse, October 1

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Let’s shut down lawmakers’ paychecks

If Congress allows the government to shut down, leaving soldiers’ widows, active soldiers and their families and senior citizens worrying about what will happen to them, then members of Congress should not receive paychecks. And they should be sequestered like a jury until they can get their act together for the good of our great nation.

Lisa Fricke, Omaha

Shutdown would damage the economy

I’ve heard many Republicans and all the talking heads on the right blame the federal government and its vastly overpaid workers for everything that’s wrong, as if they were part of the evil empire.

However, don’t those many employees pay taxes, buy goods and otherwise contribute to the economy? And have families who depend on them? Aren’t they our neighbors, our friends? Once again, it is easy to scapegoat and demonize a certain group.

Whether you’re mad at government or not, the question should be: What does this do to our economy?

This animosity against federal workers is misplaced and punitive. It would further damage the economy if public-sector workers didn’t get paychecks.

Diane Greenfield, Omaha

Leadership, courage are what’s lacking

During my 24-year career as an Army officer and now as a veteran, I have listened to politicians discuss issues like the budget, national health care, improved working conditions for the middle class, better benefits for military families and retirees, better VA benefits and solving the gridlock.

Yet in all that time, things never seem to change or improve, regardless of which party or administration is in power. Why?

It is a simple lack of leadership, courage and sacrifice on the part of those elected to office. Our military succeeds because less than 1 percent of this country’s population will do whatever it takes to serve and protect our national values, as outlined in the Constitution. They do it with solid leadership, courage and sacrifice.

Congress and the administration fail because they lack what our military possesses unconditionally.

Terrence Flynn, Falls City, Neb.

Tea Party wants to hold budget hostage

I find it hard to believe the two Nebraska senators when they say they do not want to shut down the federal government. Their actions speak louder than their words.

The Tea Party wants to hold the federal budget hostage to get its way. I hope President Obama will stand up to them.

Charles M. Thompson, Bellevue

‘Debt hawks’ known to change stripes

Sean McGrath (Sept. 27 Pulse) wondered where the debt hawks were when Ronald Reagan was president. Well, the Democrats in Congress shut down the government multiple times during Reagan’s term. In fact, there have been 17 shutdowns since 1976. And, lo and behold, the world did not come to an end. The “full faith and credit” of the United States was not affected.

Check the record, because President Obama is one of those “debt hawks.” As a senator, he said in 2006 that raising the debt ceiling was irresponsible and a sign of bad leadership. But now he says it is irresponsible of Republicans not to raise the debt ceiling.

Not surprising from someone who has not taken a firm stand on anything.

Kevin Rooney, Omaha

I’m ready for my speeding pass now

Where can I get a Branstad Exemption for speeding? The Iowa Department of Transportation?

John Altenhein, Manning, Iowa

Adult guidance needed on concussions

After reading the “Concussions a game changer” article (Sept. 29 World-Herald), I have to question decisions by physicians, parents, coaches and trainers to allow this kid to continue to play a game that will not play a major factor in his adult life.

To me, as a parent of a high school athlete who had three concussions and no longer plays the game at the recommendation of both our family physician and neurologists, it seems absolutely absurd to allow this young man to do so, no matter his level of passion.

Who is guiding whom in this situation?

D.J. Wilson, Omaha

Just grant gay couples civil unions

Regarding the article on a judge ruling that New Jersey is unconstitutionally denying federal benefits to same-sex couples and must allow them to marry (Sept. 28 World-Herald): The ruling is based on the definition of “married” and “civil union.”

We can reduce the conflict and drama of this controversial issue by giving gay couples all the benefits they want but not calling them married. Call them a civil union and change whatever is necessary to achieve that end.

Frank Kokotajlo, Papillion

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