Tahlequah Daily Press


October 9, 2013

Shutdown hurts Republicans, too

TAHLEQUAH — It’s considerate of Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin to offer to return his salary during the federal government shutdown. Since he’s one of the movers and shakers behind this daft stalemate, it’s the least he could do.

We understand Mullin’s disgust at government bloat and spending. What sensible American wouldn’t be incensed by the billions wasted each year by various governmental entities through ineptitude, cronyism, and personal greed? We also realize that most folks in Mullin’s district opposed “Obamacare,” and his resistance simply mirrors the will of many constituents.

But holding hostage the entire federal government and the people on its payroll just to make a point about the Affordable Care Act is puerile and counterproductive, and ultimately transmits yet another negative message to the rest of the world.

Mullin and others in Congress are blaming Democrats and Obama for “not listening to what Americans want.” But to which Americans do they refer?

Difficult as it may be for some to accept, the majority still rules in this country – and the majority wants at least basic health coverage for this country’s citizens. That majority may not be in Oklahoma, or even in Cherokee County, but it includes the largest bloc of Americans – the same bloc that returned President Obama to office last year. Signing petitions to secede from the union, calling health care supporters “treasonists,” or stooping to the rankest possible partisan politics won’t change that.

Nor will this divisive behavior improve public sentiment for Congress. A recent Washington Post/ABC poll shows a 70 percent disapproval rating of Republicans in Congress, with 51 percent “strongly” disagreeing with their strong-arm tactics. Their Democratic counterparts aren’t much more popular: 61 percent in the poll gave them the thumbs-down. Meanwhile, Obama’s rating, while only 45 percent, is nevertheless up from 41 percent last week.

Many Republicans are watching with consternation, if not horror, as events unfold. The GOP may stand for smaller government, but Republicans also hold federal jobs – which means they are also suffering through the furloughs and layoffs that are decimating family budgets and taking critical dollars out of the private business sector. Notably not among the suffering are Mullin’s staff members, who have been declared “essential” and are thus getting their checks.

Someone’s going to pay for this outrage, and it won’t be Obama, who has only three more years to accumulate wrinkles and gray hair until he retires to the lecture circuit. It may be members of Congress – from both parties – who evidently forgot that government of, by and for the people is, in fact, the people themselves.

That’s why most of our so-called “public servants” need to be sent packing at the next opportunity, so they can gather their expensive toys and go back home – if their constituents will have them.

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  • As education, good jobs falter, violent crime rate will go up

    As April winds down, and with it Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s worth again noting that the rate of violence in Oklahoma has been creeping up in recent years. And it’s time for our state’s top leaders – who wear blinders when it comes to anything negative – to discuss what we’re going to do about it.
    Late last year, the FBI listed Oklahoma as the 10th most dangerous state in the union, based on statistics from 2012. Violent crimes are rape, murder, robbery and aggravated assault. Some Okies might find it a bit disconcerting to learn that our state ranked above California and New York in this data. Topping the list was Tennessee, followed by Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida and Maryland.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ban on wage hikes by municipalities a mark of hypocrisy

    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014


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