By Earl Beal - 03/03/14 07:01 PM EST
The United States has warned Russia not to muscle into Ukraine. The issue, however, is not if but when Russia invades, and what the United States can do about it. Absolutely nothing. Russian ground forces with 150,000 troops, with war planes and tanks, have been deployed to the Ukraine border under the guise of impending war games. This action is not a war game; the Russian Bear is ready to charge. Neither Chuck Hagel nor John Kerry, not even President Obama, can do anything about it other than proffering some form of a hollow diplomatic remonstrance. Russia will do with Ukraine the same thing it did several years ago with the once-Soviet Georgia.
Throughout the world of power politics in the realm of international relations, Ukraine is within Russia’s sphere of influence, just as Mexico, Canada and South America are within America’s realm.
Terre Haute, Ind.
Don’t punish taxpayers with insurer bailout
From Dominique Bee
The Obama administration will stop at nothing to save the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, widely known as ObamaCare, which is a misnomer because it does not protect patients and the care provided is not affordable. It’s now promising new subsidies to cover the losses private insurance companies are facing, the same companies that lobbied for ObamaCare. We are seeing ObamaCare fall apart at the seams, and taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for a costly bailout.
It’s likely that stopping the ObamaCare bailout could stop ObamaCare permanently. The solution is for Congress to pass 1726 and H.R. 3541, the ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act.
America is ready for a female president
From Denny Freidenrich
On Feb. 20, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a former presidential contender, said she didn’t believe America was ready to elect a female president (“Bachmann: A lot of people ‘aren’t ready’ for female president”). My question is this: Did she base this conclusion on scientific polling or her gut?
Beginning in 1937, Gallup, a research-based consulting company, has asked voters if they are ready for a woman in the Oval Office. Only 33 percent answered “yes” that first year. That number has steadily climbed ever since.
In 1958, the answer was 54 percent. Twenty years later, it was 76 percent. In 1999, more than 90 percent polled said “yes.” Two years ago, when Bachmann herself was a candidate for the highest office in the land, it was nearly unanimous: 96 percent said they would vote for a woman to be president.
Bachmann has a reputation of shooting from the lip. Voters can add this latest statement to her list of unsubstantiated political prognostications.
Laguna Beach, Calif.
Common-sense gun laws don’t threaten our rights
From Charles Ray
As a retired military veteran, I strongly believe that common-sense measures like background checks for those buying guns will make our communities safer while continuing to protect our Second Amendment rights.
Three years ago, a man walked up to a Safeway store and shot then-Rep. Gabby Giffords and 18 others, killing six people. It hasn’t been that long since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 first-grade students and six teachers were gunned down. And it’s only been a few months since the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, where 12 people — many fellow veterans — were gunned down.
I recently joined Veterans for Responsible Solutions, a national constituency of retired flag and general officers and senior officers and former enlisted members of the U.S. Armed Forces, founded by former astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly. Thousands of us around the country, from all branches of the service and all ranks, are working together to share our expertise with guns and our experiences as veterans in support of responsible gun ownership policies and measures to reduce gun violence.
We are taking notice of our elected leaders and where they stand on developing responsible solutions that close the private sale loophole and enhance public safety laws to reduce gun violence, such as the expanded background checks that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.
It is time to listen to the responsible voices of reason and not the NRA lobbyists who would have everyone believe that clarifying loophole-ridden laws somehow threatens Americans’ constitutional rights. It does just the opposite: It enables each of us to responsibly exercise our rights in an atmosphere of safety and security.