Letters to the Editor for Oct. 9, 2013

By Baker City Herald readers October 09, 2013 08:29 am

Republican Party lacking true statesmen

The Herald’s political cartoon on Sept. 30 offers a good look at the state of today’s Republican Party, which is “stuck on (Senator Ted) Cruz control” as it drives our nation off a cliff in pursuit of unattainable ideological goals.  Thanks to right-wing extremists, a manufactured state/fiscal crisis two or three times a year has become the new normal. 

Senate Democrats and President Obama would be foolhardy to give in to unbridled, extortionist GOP demands.  The fiscal year 2014 United States Budget has already been taken hostage in a futile attempt to overturn the law of the land.  The likely next threat is even bigger.  Failure to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 will shake global financial markets, which rely on both U.S. Treasuries as one of the major sources of funding, and the U.S. dollar to conduct global transactions. Our once-proud nation could well be driven to its knees.  

Should a statesmanlike choice be made, the House leadership and moderate House Republicans could actually join with House Democrats to pass a “clean” budget resolution and end the impasse right now.  But there may be no room left for real statesmen and statesmanship in today’s GOP. 

What the Herald’s political cartoon does not explicitly show is the Republican House majority leadership, including Representative Greg Walden, cowering in fear at right-wing threats.  On one hand, there are tea party extremists within their own ranks who threaten to strip them of their leadership jobs if they attempt to compromise with Democrats. On the other hand, they face wealthy ultra-conservatives, like the Club for Growth, who threaten to fund primary-election challenges against Republicans who fails to toe the tea party line.

New polls indicate that House Republicans may lose their majority status in the next election as a result of their current actions. But that’s over a year away.  Maybe we can change the game now.  My fellow readers, please contact Rep. Walden, urging him to rise up and put the country first, and use his House leadership position to avert the severe damage that otherwise appears imminent.                                    

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Senior Center is a gem that’s open to everyone

Why I go to the Senior Center?

I guess the question should be why I didn’t go sooner.

My husband and I had retired and were doing the long-needed remodel on our kitchen. Food was getting to be a hassle so we decide to try the Senior Center. As we drove up we both looked at each other like really we are not ready to be in an old folks’ dining room.

To our surprise the group was a variety of ages laughing, having fun and enjoying life. The low price of the meals shocked us and the company was upbeat and interesting. We enjoyed ourselves so much we still go at least three times a week. I can’t cook a meal for what I get at the Senior Center.

But lunch isn’t the only thing they offer.

Join them for a large variety of activities. Line dancing, exercise group, tai chi, foot clinic, bingo, pool, books you can borrow. Don’t forget our best-kept secret is the clothing closet that has quality clothes for low prices.

But most of all it is about the people. They have great stories and boy do they know their history. Their stories make Eastern Oregon come alive for me.

Stop in, pick up a menu, meet new friends. Don’t let the word “senior” scare you — all ages are welcome.

The two of us are grateful for this rare gem in Baker City.

Ramona and John Creighton

Baker City