We voted for presidential candidate Barack Obama, who said on Oct. 27, 2008, "when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists, or the most vicious political attacks, or the full force of a status quo in Washington that wants to keep things just the way they are."
Now, we need President Obama to break up the entrenched lobbyists and the status quo of for-profit corrupt, deadly health insurance, which wastes $450 billion dollars in redundant administrative costs and leaves nearly 50 million uninsured.
We need him to lead our nation to single-payer, universal health care. Seventy percent of Americans want public health care. Our Medicare system has lower administrative costs than the economy-breaking, bloated, private health-insurance industry. We want Medicare for all. It would be cheaper and it's homegrown.
Let's transfer current health-insurance employees into America's public program, but let the corrupt, greedy, overpaid CEOs join the ranks of the unemployed, many of whom were forced into unemployment due to those CEOs' policies of denial of medical services, rescission of coverage, and too-high premiums.
Marilou Johanek's column about "our" addiction to celebrity news is insulting and grossly inaccurate. Harmless as it may seem, please don't slot me into that small minority group of celebrity junkies - living vicariously through the shallow, troubled lives and plastic smiles of media targets.
I would like to believe that the vast majority are occupied with more significant matters. Such as: "Will the Cleveland Browns ever win a Super Bowl?" And: "Will the Cleveland Indians win another World Series, in this century?"
Got to run now and catch the next broadcast of Sports Time Ohio.
James B. Flood
I tried to contact our esteemed representative, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, four times via e-mail to ask this question: How can you vote on a bill, specifically the Waxman-Markey climate initiative, without reading it? I have yet to receive a response. I urge my fellow citizens to take similar action until a response is given.
I'll make this short and sweet: How about slot machines in libraries? Of course, all proceeds would go to the library.
Timothy R. Healy
Every day, he would peer out of his window, watching the children playing and he longed to be with them. He cried a lot and was very lonely. Michael Jackson never had a "normal" childhood because he was rehearsing, practicing steps, being groomed for "super stardom."
The list could go on and on about the joys of childhood that Michael Jackson may have missed. He became a legend, a star in every sense of the word. His music embraced all cultures, nations, and races. He was a "little boy lost" but will never be forgotten.
I really don't care about all the controversies in his life, or how his looks changed over the years. All the negatives in his life will never touch his talent. He mesmerized us, this gifted, black icon. He shared his talent with all of us, and we will never ever say goodbye.
Cora Louise Jones
In late June, Dave Rinebolt of Ohio Partners for Energy wrote a letter to the editor that was misleading and I would like to clarify a couple of points. He suggested that "the Ohio Association of Home Builders doesn't want consumers to buy an energy-efficient home."
As a member of this organization as well as the Home Builders Association of Greater Toledo, I can tell you that this statement is absolutely incorrect. He goes on to suggest that we desire to be in charge of approving the energy code which again is incorrect. What our members desire is to have a voice at the table so that we don't have decisions being made by lobbyists and other manufacturing reps pushing their products on the pretense that they are good for the code and good for the country.
Before something is pushed through on false pretenses, we want the right to have some open dialogue and separate what is factual from what is false.
Mr. Rinebolt's group and ours both believe that saving energy is a good thing for everyone. What we want is to have good, old-fashioned, open discussion on how to best arrive at these objections and not be force-fed what a small select group thinks they know to be the only answer.
Let's get all the facts on the table and be willing to listen to the professionals before attempting to change a law or create a code that may ultimately hurt the very people you are attempting to help.
Executive Vice President
Home Builders Association of Greater Toledo
Nineteen anti-choice congressional Democrats, including Rep. Marcy Kaptur, recently sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stating that they would not support any health-care reform policy unless it "explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan."
The language in their statement is so broad it seems to apply to both public and private insurers that would participate in the new insurance exchanges. I'm appalled that Representative Kaptur is willing to throw 45 million uninsured Americans under the bus so that she can play politics on abortion.
The last thing Americans want is politicians using health-care reform to launch divisive attacks on women's health and reproductive freedom. For millions of women, reproductive health services are basic medical necessities, and many current health insurance plans cover these services - including abortion. Health-care reform should expand access to health care, not take it away.
In the last two elections, voters in Ohio and across our country rejected the politics of division. Unfortunately there are still some politicians who continue to try to divide Americans to score political points. Americans don't want politicians playing politics with their coverage. That is why we are calling for a commission or a panel of experts to make decisions about what will be covered in the new health-insurance exchanges. Let's take the politics out of this and let the experts, not politicians, make these decisions.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
I read in The Blade that the toilet aboard the space station is in need of some repair. Ideally, this means that a plumber should be employed. Might I suggest a local man of considerable repute who might be perfect for the job. He s known far and wide as Joe the Plumber.
Flushed with the prospect of more fame, he could plunge the depths of space where no plumber has gone before. He could bowl over his detractors when they see that he has some actual skills. But if he fails, he d be touching a new bottom.