Missing his moment, and America's | Aug. 29
Obama can't do the impossible
From its misleading title to last paragraph, Aaron David Miller's column manages to be the opposite of everything it promises. After some superficial historical background (in which he describes the blue-blooded aristocrat Franklin D. Roosevelt as more "grounded in the American experience" than Obama), he finally gets around to a penetrating insight: The president has not made the recession disappear or hypnotized Republicans into supporting his ideas.
Apparently, by not doing the impossible, Obama is "missing his moment and America's." Never mind that the country was heading toward a depression the day he took office, and the main contributions of Republicans have been the filibuster, kowtowing to the Limbaugh/Beck axis, and pretending they weren't in the White House for the prior eight years.
Miller doesn't deny any of this, of course, and even acknowledges that Obama "may have had no choice" on the stimulus. But somehow the conclusion of column is: Gee, why doesn't Obama get the message that all he needs to do is satisfy America's "mundane" desires for prosperity, national security, and harmony among political enemies?
Does Miller really think that the president is ignoring these concerns? Or that pushing health care reform somehow prevented him from finding a magical overnight cure for the economy or partisanship? It was during the health care debate, after all, when the president sat down with the Republicans in an open forum to discuss their ideas. I'm having a hard time recalling another president doing anything similar.
At some point, people like Miller may start to realize that the problems Obama faced in January 2009 just might be long-standing and complex — even to the point where it actually takes some time to first slow the decline, make a turn, and then allow new policies to take hold.
In the meantime, if Obama is able to mix in little things like health care reform — a goal unsuccessfully sought for decades by his predecessors — well, maybe Miller might have to write an epilogue for his book about great presidents.
Scot Samis, St. Petersburg
Missing his moment, and America's Aug. 29
In terms of timing, President Barack Obama faces a deep recession; budget deficits exacerbated by failed tax cuts; two ill-conceived wars to combat terrorism; foreign policy issues; national security issues; and energy and climate change issues. He follows a president who initiated a variety of failed policies including the Iraq war, failed tax cuts, and policies that favored private corporations and the wealthy over the needs of the majority of Americans.
The bottom line is that it is unproductive to compare the presidency of Barack Obama, who has been in office for a mere one year and seven months, with the completed presidential terms of Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Jackson, LBJ and Reagan. Many of the changes the president has made in the areas of finance, health care, education and foreign affairs will not realize their full potential for years.
In regard to what America wants, President Obama's agenda was and is clear. The conservative media continue to misuse poll data and deliver half truths that many Americans absorb without checking. This will be an interesting article if it is updated a year or two after President Obama has fulfilled his term or terms in office.
Gerard Meyn, Dunnellon
It's not the place to cut
It seems like some of our political leaders are saying there is a need to cut Social Security benefits because they are such a drain on our budget. The part I can't understand is if they can find the funds to fight wars, support illegals, fund public welfare, print documents in languages other than English, raise their pay and a multitude of other things, then why do they think its necessary to cut this program?
Many of the people who are on Social Security have fought to keep this nation free and have worked hard for the little they receive, and I believe there are many other programs that should be cut first.
Charles R. Prevatte, Dade City
"My size 15 feet" | Aug. 27, commentary
Simpson should go
Alan Simpson should be fired from the White House panel that he is on. He was a Republican senator for many years and now has a wonderful government retirement.
He made it sound like we Social Security recipients are living high on the hog. The Republicans have been trying to privatize this successful program. They want to put it into the stock market. I can imagine what a mess we would be in now if that had happened when George W. Bush was in office.
Bring back our manufacturing jobs. Tax the imports. Get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent. The Democrats better wake up.
Joe Conn, Spring Hill
Moffitt details consent breach | Aug. 26, story
High quality care
I have been a patient at the Moffitt Cancer Center for two years. The proactive handling of the patient signature forgeries does not surprise me. My experience, whether with surgery, inpatient, outpatient, or diagnostics, has been one of extreme satisfaction.
The entire staff, from housekeepers through nurses and physicians, has interacted with me in the most caring and professional manner. As a result of this high quality care I am now cancer-free.
The egregious actions of a single employee will not tarnish my high regard for one of the best cancer centers in the United States, if not the world.
R. Wayne Bowen, St. Petersburg
A doctor's job
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Moffitt is a first-class cancer research add treatment center.
You could not find a better person than Dr. William Dalton, the president and CEO.
But there is a better way to obtain patients' signatures on a consent form. Hiring a clerk to do the job diminishes the importance of the task, despite ennobling the clerk with the title "consenter."
When a patient signs the consent form he/she is affirming that the study doctor has explained all the procedures, the risks and the benefits, the meanings of technical terms, and more. The task belongs to the study doctor.
The scientist-clinician is a busy professional, and wants others to help with tasks that do not call for professional expertise. But spending time with a patient in a clinical trial is not one of those tasks that should be handed off. Especially at the time of signing the consent form.
No amount of additional training for the consenters can replace the authority and the responsibility of the study doctor.
Mortimer Brown, patient advocate, Lutz