If Bush is in, others are out | Dec. 4, story
We don't need more partisan sniping
As an American who has great hopes for the Obama administration, I was shocked and dismayed to read Jeb Bush's quote from his interview with NewsMax.com, where he called on Republicans to create a "shadow government to debate Democrats and the Obama administration on substantive policy issues."
How bad do things have to get in this country before so-called responsible people will truly put "country first" and partisanship last. The economy is in collapse, families are losing their homes and their jobs, we've had five years of the Iraq war, there's Afghanistan, the continuing threat of terrorism, and this is what the ex-governor has to offer!
If ever there was a time for our government to "pull together," it is now or, I fear, never. Barack Obama, as president-elect, is already reaching out across the aisle, including appointing a Republican to his Cabinet.
Is it really too much to hope that the Republicans will support President-elect Obama's efforts to "cure our ills," or will it be all about "them and us" and a continuation of Washington stagnation.
Dolores Pepe, St. Petersburg
If Bush is in, others are out | Dec. 4, story
Remember the damage Bush did as governor
Please, anybody but Jeb Bush for the U.S. Senate from Florida! Most Floridians seem inexplicably unaware of all of the damage done to Florida by Jeb Bush as governor, but the wreckage is everywhere.
The irresponsible tax policies put in place by Bush are to blame for Florida's current budget crisis being far worse than it otherwise would be. Our universities, public schools and other state agencies are suffering serious damage. This negatively affects all Floridians, not only today, but for years to come.
As a senator, a person is supposed to represent the citizens of his or her state. How can someone with Jeb's arrogance, which knows no bounds, represent anybody besides himself? He is the last person Florida needs to send to the U.S. Senate, and the last person the Republican Party needs to reshape and repair its badly damaged image.
Don Macneale, St. Petersburg
A legacy we don't need
Jeb Bush should do this writer a favor and stay out of Florida politics. He did nothing positive for our state. We have enough memories of his leadership to last a lifetime. Please look elsewhere to continue the Bush legacy.
Gail Randle, Clearwater
Hardly a conservative
It was with incredulity that I read your article about Jeb Bush and how "no one has ever questioned Bush's core, conservative principles."
Oh really? So the man who is responsible for the biggest transfer of power in Florida history from local school districts to the state Capitol is a conservative? I guess both he and his brother have turned everything upside down and inside out, starting with the definition of "conservative." Does "hypocrite" still have the same meaning?
Sarah Robinson, Safety Harbor
A housing collapse | Nov. 30, story
Sniffing out the scammers
I applaud the Times for continuing to discover, uncover and name names in the continuing local investigations into some of the nefarious activities in what is being called the "housing bubble."
It seems many of the bubbles had a lot of air that was being pumped into them by the scammers. I always think, "Attaboy, get those rascals" when I read one of your exposes that not only tell the tale of those involved but also just how they managed to do it.
Coy Jacobs, Palm Harbor
America is about to hit the wall and it's going to be painful for all of us. But we've no one to blame but ourselves. Why? Somewhere along the road we, as a society, stopped holding one another accountable for much of anything.
This whole mortgage mess, and the coming economic meltdown, is a result of the unbridled greed of some (far too many), the failure of others to do their jobs to stop it, and our failure to hold both the greedy and the inept accountable. It's endemic. Your paper last Sunday was full of stories about exactly this. Two were front-page articles.
One, A housing collapse, showed an example of the out-of-control mortgage fraud going on under our noses. And it's going on in every city and town across the country with those responsible for overseeing the process at every stage either complicit or woefully inept and irresponsible.
The second, Is approach scientific, or distorted? showed an obvious case of working the system to one's own benefit to the detriment of the environment and the public's common good.
But the icing on the cake was on Page 3A: Parents ask toymakers to ease sales pitch. What? Parents today can't even be held responsible for saying "no" to their kids. It's enough to make you sick!
Maybe the oncoming "depression" will serve as a much needed wake-up call for all of us. There is no free lunch. We are about to reap what we've sown by looking the other way, taking the easy path, avoiding conflict and resorting to political correctness for far too long. Unfortunately, many who had little, or nothing, to do with any of this will suffer greatly. That's the shame of it.
George A. Newman, Tampa
Can't escape eviction | Dec. 4, story
A cautionary tale
I feel sorry for the family in this story, especially the kids. That said, the story is about personal choices, not the impact of the current economic situation. Edward Kessler chose to cash out some $50,000 in home equity, an amount greater than the price he paid for the house. The refinancing and subsequent repricing of his mortgage raised his monthly payment by 139 percent. What was probably a comfortable payment became a stretch.
Things are going to get a lot worse in the economy before they get better, and government doesn't seem to have any answers. I hope that many people have read this story and will think twice, from now on, before overextending themselves by assuming home values and stock markets can only go up.
Peter Ford, Tierra Verde
Food for recovery | Dec. 4, letter
Give so others may eat
As opposed to a fast on Dec. 18, as evangelist Bill Keller is advocating, I suggest every U.S. citizen who can afford it should give any "extra" food from their pantry to a local food bank for the poor and hungry.
Also, many could take advantage of the special "buy one get one free" deals at our local markets and donate the "free" items to these same food banks.
Gerald Schubert, St. Petersburg