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Don’t endorse incompetence

The Bulletin reports that Bend businessman Sam Carpenter wants to become chair of the Oregon Republican Party by steering a more conservative course that “fully embraces” President Donald Trump. And, of course he’s supported by Paul deWitt, the Deschutes County Republican chairman. Maybe they can’t figure out Trump was the main cause of the Democrats taking back the House in D.C.

Besides never ending firings, daily scandals, people going to jail, made up facts, childish tweets, we now have the Trump induced government shutdown. Around 800,000 workers unpaid for their labor, drying up funds for fire protection, shutting down the overseeing of recall safety for autos, trashing our national parks and monuments, jeopardizing flight safety with TSA employees calling in sick, even quitting their jobs, Coast Guard men and women not getting paid, etc. Have a garage sale, the president says. To say most of them understand and are pro wall is ludicrous. They have families to feed and bills to pay. The snowball effect of hundreds of thousands not getting paid will affect many businesses who rely on their paychecks to keep them going. What a travesty. Are we feeling the “greatness” yet that this president promised? Braggadocio and daily incompetence in the White House is apparently the policy our local Republican leaders endorse.

Rob Smith

La Pine

Punish Congress

Why are we punishing the 800,000 federal workers, going without pay, for the government shutdown when they did not cause the shutdown, nor have any means to bring it to a close? Why not put the blame and accountably on those responsible? Congress! I have proposed to Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, that he introduce legislation to halt pay and benefits to all members of congress and their staffs in the event of any government shutdown. Why include their staffs? Let’s face it, most members of congress (think Nancy Pelosi) can easily weather pay deferments. However, not necessarily the people who run their offices. Their pay deferral would put significant pressure on the men and women of Congress to reach compromise and keep the government open.

This morning, upon consulting my internet news source, I observed a photo of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., cavorting on the beach in Puerto Rico. Allegedly, dozens of his Democratic colleagues also enjoyed this terribly important political sojourn while 800,000 of their fellow federal employees go without pay. Is it any wonder that Congress (both parties) has such an abysmal public perception?

Needless to say, this legislation will not be seriously considered by Walden, let alone forwarded by Pelosi for a committee hearing, let alone floor vote. Anyway, one can dream.

Jack Petersen


Bag debate deteriorates

This discussion about reusable bags is sinking to the lowest common denominator.

Sunday, Jan. 13, Scott Nunns wrote about the diseases we will all get from using bags more than once.

Apparently they pick up germs in the store on unsanitized conveyor belts, in the car from the dog, and from the checker’s filthy hands.

All bags are tall requiring the checkers to reach up and stick their hands in a tall, collapsing bag of questionable pedigree. Taller checkers will have an advantage over shorter ones. Heaven forbid we should help bag our groceries.

I, like many Oregonians, have been reusing bags for years and years. Mine I received by making a donation to my favorite charity, WWF.

They are sturdy, stand on their own, and no more germy than the plastic or paper bags that also spent time with the checker, conveyor belt, shopping cart (well-known for harboring germs) and dog-warmed back seat of the car. They measure less than 12” high.

I begin bagging when the checker sends my purchases on from the scanner, thus balancing the weight of each bag and keeping the cold items together. I spend the energy to replace them in the pocket behind the driver’s seat in my car so I can reach around a grab them next time I shop. Then I wash my hands.

Carolyn Hammond