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Published Jun. 29, 2010

Republicans halt jobless bill - June 25, story

If there was any doubt that the Republican U.S. senators are putting partisanship above patriotism, that doubt was removed when they voted against extending unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans.

Extending benefits would not only help these jobless workers and their families buy groceries and pay the rent, but it would have been an efficient stimulus to the economy as all these benefits are spent because these families are in financial crisis.

I agree with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., that Republicans want the recovery to stall and fail causing a second recession because they believe it will help them at the polls in November.

The Republicans are choosing to hurt their country's own recovery and economy for some imagined political advantage. I can't think of anything more unpatriotic than this cynical calculation.

These Republican senators also insult the intelligence of the American voters thinking they can cause a second recession by obstructing needed additional economic stimulus, and then blame the Democrats for it.

The Republican U.S. senators have become power-crazed partisans who are actually working against the interests of the American people who pay their salaries.

Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg

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Republicans halt jobless bill - June 25, story

It's time to endpartisan pettiness

How dare they! These people sitting in the Senate have obviously never needed a helping hand in their lives. Their salaries and health care are paid for by our tax dollars. They receive lucrative allowances for staff and housing.

The senators on the Republican side of the aisle refuse to vote for any spending bill presented by the Democrats, claiming the need for fiscal responsibility. Where was their moral high ground when George W. Bush rammed his deficit spending through their august body?

I have been laid off from a well paying job for 18 months. My unemployment benefits have run out. I look for work, send out resumes and follow up any leads that come my way through social networking. No offers. The market is flat!

It seems the senators mistake the chronically unemployed for those who just don't want to work. I would rather work. The whole idea that we are some sort of lazy, drug dependent lowlifes is ludicrous at best.

It is time for the end of partisan politics. I don't care if your party lost the majority! Your petty, infantile behavior does not put food in my stomach or a roof over my head.

Michael Weston, Beverly Hills

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Republicans halt jobless bill - June 25

Depth of the debt

Thursday, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a Democrat proposed "jobless bill" because, according to the Republicans, it would add "new taxes and over $30 billion to an already staggering $13 trillion national debt."

Some might ask, "Just how staggering is our national debt?" Perhaps the following will help answer that question.

If each of the 2.5 million gallons of oil per day now estimated to be flowing into gulf waters from the ill-fated BP Deepwater Horizon well were turned into a crisp U.S. one-dollar bill, collected and applied to the $13 trillion national debt, it would take more than 14,000 years to clear the books.

Of course, that assumes Congress comes up with and maintains a balanced budget throughout.

A.E. Roberts, St. Petersburg

211 jobs cut; services hit - June 25, story

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Clean up after yourselves

I am sorry for all the folks who have lost their jobs. When the county was flush with money we could afford to increase services and add additional staff. I am hoping that all of us can step up to the plate. The litter, abandoned pets and overgrown properties sound like issues that bear some level of personal responsibility. Perhaps if we all appreciate our county a bit more by not littering, that in itself would make a big difference.

We were at Fort De Soto on Father's Day. Folks brought tons of stuff with them and were too lazy to haul it all out. What is it with this sense of entitlement? I support a fee of $5 a car load if the people who use this beautiful park want some one else to pick up after them. Please do not leave your trash for someone to clean up.

Rita Sewell, St. Petersburg

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Keep Cuba restrictions

In the name of former Cuban political prisoners, in the name of the thousands of Cubans who have been slaughtered by firing squads, in the name of the thousands who have lost their lives in the Florida Straits fleeing from the tyranny that for more than 51 years has violated every human right of man, and to this day continues to oppress, incarcerate and take human life as it sees fit, we, the Association of Former Cuban Political Prisoners and Cuban Exiles repudiate the proposed bill HR 4645 (the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act).

Providing dollars to the Castro tyranny in any way, shape or form, whether it is cloaked under the title of "tourism" or any other type of "business" will only serve to fortify the stronghold of the cruel and brutal tyranny that continues to prey upon the suffering and defenseless people of Cuba. We are certain, because we know that the American people are righteous and compassionate, that if they knew the truth about the tragedy of the Cuban people they would not accept anything other than the elimination of that cruel totalitarian system.

We would like to pose this question to the American people, and the constituents of congressman Colin Peterson, D-Minn., who is promulgating HR 4645: Would you accept one man to perpetuate himself in power over the American people for 48 consecutive years and then pass the tyrannical torch of power to his brother who has for those same 48 years headed the armed and repressive forces of your nation?

Roberto Pizano, Tampa

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Recognize step-parents - June 19, letter

An all-inclusive family

As a 62-year-old, here is my view on step-parents: I was 10 years old when my mother remarried. My step-father became my dad. In the first week of marriage, my dad had spent more time with me than my father. My mother and dad went on to have three children of their own. There were five of us -my brother, myself and the three children they had after they were married. When my dad would say to someone, "I'd like for you to meet my children," he meant all five. Not one time did I ever hear him say "step-children."

At the age of 20, when my family took me to the airport to leave for Vietnam, my dad put his arms around me and said, "I love you, son."

So, if a family is using the terms "step-parent" and "step-children," it's a waste of money to buy a card, no matter what day it is.

Robert Blake, Clearwater