Political debate

Dear Editor:I simply cannot allow the myths perpetuated by Ms. Michaels in her letter last week to go unanswered ("Beyond the Pundits," 4/3/09). The facts are that President Obama and the Democrats were directly responsible for this housing crisis in that that they decided social engineering made more sense than logical economics. The Democrats decided to start "encouraging" (which is a nice way of saying they made the banks an offer they couldn't refuse) to loan money to people who couldn't afford to buy a house. So the banks did! And who bothered to say anything about the impending doom we are now experiencing? President Bush and Sen. John McCain. When they pointed out that the bad practices were going to self-destruct, Democrats like Barney Frank and Maxine Waters told them to butt-out and mind their own business while their Democrat friends at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were lining their pockets with all the new loan money. Obama played a small part in creating this mess and cannot be blamed for everything, but he is absolutely making matters worse, not better. - Alaina Niemann, Downey

Dear Editor: I was sorry and somewhat dismayed to see the attacks on Ms. Elsa Van Leuven's recent letter to the editor ("Obama's Change," 3/27/09). My family has often enjoyed her reasoned and thoughtful remarks on various issues, whether we agreed or not. I wish there were more letter writers like her. I also think the detractors should reread her letter to note that, apparently, she has done more than "sat back and said nothing" when something has roused her to make her comments. I cannot presume to know the extent or lack of involvement in political issues in Ms. Van Leuven's past or present, but I don't think it would be illogical to assume that Ms. Van Leuven's knowledge of the congressional switchboard number could mean that she has never used it. We all hope for the sake of our country that President Obama will do well. And I believe that it is our job as citizens to do our part to make sure he does. There is too much at stake, and I think we are all to blame for letting this happen. Both parties have done badly, and we are now faced with a young man with little proven experience or record in one of the greatest offices in the world during one of the greatest crisis periods of our history. We cannot afford to be starry eyed about his prose and demeanor; we desperately need so much more. So while living with hope, we should also expect more than words. I commend Ms. Van Leuven for her watchful concerns, and I understand we need patience with our new president. But I also intend to watch closely and speak out where I can when I think promises are not being lived up to, or damaging polices are made with this new administration. Can any of us afford not to do the same? - Catherine Rios, Downey

Dear Editor: Re Jacki Michael's and Lois Rossi's letters to the editor. I want, in all kindness, to "set the record straight:" •My letters aren't always printed and those that are have sometimes been edited, as was the last one, so you didn't get the full intent of the letter. •If you think I was exceedingly happy with President Bush, you're mistaken. I didn't like the overspending of Congress then and I don't like it now. I feel that Bush should have vetoed the overspending of Congress, as I wish President Obama would do now. We know that Obama's budget is larger than all budgets from George Washington through Bush combined. I believe a $10 trillion deficit is projected in 10 years, with the interest being $806 billion a year. This frightens me! •If, as stated, I "sat by," you're sadly mistaken. I would venture to say I've made more calls to Bush and Obama (when I get through) than anyone in Downey. Also, more calls to Congress than anyone in Downey, often 10 to 15 calls a day. On one issue (yes, under Bush) I made 150 calls to the senators in two days (yes, I know there are only 100). •While "sitting by" I've fought the LOST Treaty, the SPP Treaty, illegal immigration, abortion, the NAFTA Super Highway, the subsidizing by the government of 70 percent of the purchase of a home by illegals and those who couldn't possibly pay for them. In the past I've met with Sen. Alan Cranston, twice with Rep. Steve Horn, once with Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, and with Bob Epple when he was my assemblyman. Now I'm trying to get an appointment with Sen. Lowenthal and Assemblyman Charles Calderon (very difficult). There are countless issues I've worked on in both parties. Right now I'm trying to fight legalizing marijuana, as some in the state are considering, so as to tax it to cover the overspending of our state officials. I see the country I love in decline, both morally and financially. - Elsa Van Leuven, Downey

********** Published: April 10, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 51