When it comes to the bailout of U.S. automakers, Senate Republicans are not interested in debating what might be best for the nation in times of economic crisis, but, rather, the opportunity to break the UAW. Southern senators such as Richard Shelby (Alabama) and Saxby Chambliss (Georgia), whose states have given millions in subsidies to foreign auto manufacturers, are too willing to see the American auto industry and the three million related jobs disappear for regional and ideological reasons, rather than what is in the national interest. National security, their party's alleged strong suit, requires a strong manufacturing base.
Craig J. Firestone
Big 3 bankruptcy
Where does it stop? First, financial institutions and people who bought houses they could not afford. Now it is the auto industry. Will major players in our new "service economy," a legacy of Reaganomics, be next? Shall we bail out fast-food chains, while corner pizza shops and diners go bust? As for the automakers, they have painted themselves into a corner with waste such as the Hummer, the Escalade and big contracts, while their leaner competitors made efficient vehicles and business decisions. Their filing for bankruptcy would not be the end of the world. Our money will be wasted unless the companies are allowed to reorganize responsibly under bankruptcy laws.
Thank you for the interview with John Rowe, CEO of Exelon Corp. ("Sticking his neck out," Monday). It was encouraging to read that a leader in the energy field has "mandatory climate legislation, including a cap-and-trade system" as a priority. Barack Obama has also said that a top priority would be investment in clean energy and energy efficiency. A cap on carbon emissions is a critical first step in this conversion. The 111th Congress needs to set clear goals, such as eliminating oil imports and creating five million clean-energy jobs, both within 10 years. There is hope yet that this little blue marble will become sustainable.
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Wal-Mart vs. VA
One thing retired Gen. Eric Shinseki should look into when he becomes secretary of Veterans Affairs is how Wal-Mart can supply the same prescription medication to a veteran for so much less than the VA charges. For example, a 90-day supply of Doxazosin, 8 milligrams, from the VA is $28, while it's $10 from Wal-Mart. If a private business can do it, why can't the government?
Gerald H. Yabin
End word games
It is remarkable how the English language can be manipulated. Unfortunately, the results can hide what needs to be seen. After the attacks in Mumbai, the world again sees terrorism for what it is. However, many in the news media do not use the word
Daniel Pipes, a national security expert, has documented 20 euphemisms used to replace it. They include
attackers, bombers, captors, commandos, extremists, fighters, hostage-takers, insurgents, militants, radicals
Substituting another word for
is not only incorrect, it is also misleading.
While Christians around the world work together to keep Christ in Christmas, political cartoonist Jeff Danziger decided to do it his way on Monday by taking the name of our Lord in vain. I'm positive that is not what Christians have in mind.
Routes 23 and 56
With billions in federal funding most likely in the works, SEPTA should have no more excuses for refusing to buy trolleys for Routes 23 and 56. Enough is enough; 16 years is too long to wait.
Gov.'s state of mind
The question of whether Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is mentally ill has come up several times in the media. He has been called "crazy," and is described as suffering from a bipolar or personality disorder. Some talk-show hosts have been gleeful in their descriptions. However, if he is in fact mentally ill, his condition should be a matter of concern, and not a subject of ridicule.