Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on Congress, President Obama and Clay Chastain

Congress reform plan

Periodically, I receive emails about how our country’s leaders are paid for life, vote for their own raises, do not pay into Social Security, have their own health care, etc. The most recent email I received quoted Warren Buffett and quoted pay for politicians compared with pay for teachers and soldiers.

I am sure you know who makes the most. It was stated that we, the people, can change this, and I think a lot of people would like to do that but don’t know how.

A Congressional Reform Act of 2014 was suggested, and it sounded good to me. I also think we need the media to make a big deal of this and put our leaders on notice.

It looks as if this would do what I have been thinking about lately, which is a call to everyone to “just don’t vote.” I think the reform act would work even better.

We would eventually end up with representatives who care about our country and our people more than they do about the money.

Dorothy Stringer

Kansas City

Politics, competence

President Barack Obama has named Ron Klain, a Democrat with no experience in virology, public health, preventive medicine or other health sciences, to be the so-called Ebola czar (10-18, A8, “Former Biden aide to coordinate U.S. battle against Ebola”).

We are reassured that Klain will report to National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who also has no medical credentials. As The Wall Street Journal observed, we are witnessing the continued ascension of politics over competence.

I cannot find a reference to any czars in the Constitution. By the way, Mr. Obama, whatever became of the surgeon general?

I fear that the American people may be in very serious jeopardy.

David S. Jacobs, M.D.

Overland Park

Streetcar outsiders

To Clay Chastain and all others who live outside Kansas City and think they have the authority to pontificate about the merits of a Kansas City streetcar system, I have a question. Why do you care?

None of you has a dog in this fight.

You did not have the opportunity to vote on the present streetcar line. You will not have the chance to vote on any extensions. You are not on the hook for any of the costs.

The voters of Kansas City were more than capable of deciding for themselves whether they wanted a streetcar line to reinvigorate the downtown area and relieve traffic congestion and are willing to pay the cost and put up with the inconvenience during construction. To the rest of you, it makes no difference.

And to those of you who live in the Sunflower State, why not use your time and energy to think up new ways to poach our businesses to your side of the state line. Just let those of us who live in Jackson County make our own decisions without you busybodies trying to make them for us.

Ed Conrad

Blue Springs

Cheering Eric Holder

I feel immense pride when Attorney General Eric Holder appears on TV — not pride of his race, rather the dedication he gave to the job. When reporters say, “America’s first black attorney general,” my mental reply is, “Duh?”

My life began in a lower-middle class, white neighborhood in the 1930s and 1940s. I confess to the racism of the day.

By the 1950s and 1960s, we, the people, had moved on. We integrated the Army while I served.

Schools and jobs slowly came aboard. Never mind how creepily slow.

I find it a huge step backward when I read stories of the trouble in Ferguson, Mo. and the lunacy here in the Kansas City area of driving while black and the Troost Avenue racial divide.

Holder left a highly paid, cushy gig with a law firm to take a thankless and temporary government job that’s high on title and low on pay. From his confirmation on, he suffered the vile rants of the Republican Congress in its foolhardy — and yes, racist — vote to censure him.

Aren’t we better than this? Isn’t the party of Abe Lincoln better than this?

Bill Emerson

Kansas City

Combating terrorism

I hope the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security Department and other agencies are busy working out a surefire method to block the re-entry of American citizens now in the Middle East who believe in and have fought for the enemies of the United States and intend damage to us.

They have passports to move freely around the world and plan their attacks.

We can’t stop them without proof. They are in the swirl of legitimate travelers, who are doing important and necessary business all over the world.

The job of the federal agencies is to ferret them out.

The U.S. must do intensive background checks on each and every traveler to avoid letting one of these Americans with a legitimate passport back in our country to do their evil deeds.

This could be very, very serious to our way of life. Fear is a powerful weapon, and terrorists thrive on fear.

Don Airington

Kansas City

Vote for Roberts

I have read several newspaper articles that say people are having a difficult time deciding with which political party independent Kansas senatorial candidate Greg Orman would choose to align himself. A review of his history should answer that question.

Orman has run for political office as a Democrat. Orman has contributed to Democrat candidates, including Barack Obama. Democratic heavyweights, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, pressured Democrat senatorial candidate Chad Taylor to drop out of the Kansas race so Orman could draw votes away from incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts.

So, the answer is obvious. Orman would align himself with Democrats.

Kansas voters have a simple choice. If they like the moral, economic and political chaos that Obama and the Democrats have fostered on this nation, if they like the gridlock that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrat-controlled Senate have put on any legislation coming out of the Republican-controlled House, then vote for Orman.

However, if Kansas voters would like to break the legislative stranglehold of Reid and other Democrats, I recommend a vote for Sen. Roberts.

Bud Frye