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April 4, 2013
Re "Garcetti, Greuel gingerly hug city worker unions," March 28 Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Local 721, is quoted in the article as describing the public and private retirement programs as two lifeboats, one with a leak. Private 401(k) plans go up and down with the investment tides. But those smaller plans let their owners know exactly where they stand so they can make informed decisions. It is the public employee plans that are underfunded. Theirs is that "leak" that requires taxpayers to endure ever-increasing fees while receiving fewer benefits.
April 2, 2013
"The Walking Dead," which has already shattered viewer records for AMC, scored another milestone with its season finale. The end of the third season of the zombie apocalypse drama scored its biggest audience ever with 12.4 million viewers Sunday night, making the finale the top-rated program for the night. The episode pulled in 8.1 million viewers ages 18 to 49, the prize demographic for most advertisers. AMC also declared that the show was No. 1 in the 18-49 demographic for the season, outdistancing "The Big Bang Theory," "The Voice," "Modern Family" and other series on the broadcast networks.
April 2, 2013
Re "Kim is making the U.S. nervous," March 30 At the end of World War I, the Allies so crippled Germany that widespread unemployment and economic dislocation led to the rise of the Nazi regime. We have spent years employing similar tactics in North Korea. We supply food that doesn't get to the hungry yet so isolate North Korea that one of its biggest sources of currency is its sale of weapons and military technology, the very things we are trying to contain. This isn't a call for appeasement, and North Korea has a history of not living up to its commitments.
April 1, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
CARACAS, Venezuela - Interim President Nicolas Maduro on Monday raised the curtain on Venezuela's abbreviated campaign to elect a successor to Hugo Chavez, lavishly praising the late leader during a televised address but promising to tackle escalating crime, perhaps Chavez's darkest legacy. The 50-year-old Maduro, a former bus driver and socialist union leader, is heavily favored to beat his challenger, Gov. Henrique Capriles of Miranda state, in the April 14 election to fill out Chavez's six-year term.
March 29, 2013
Re "No debt agreement, no break," Opinion, March 25 Debt hysteria, or "austerity," is the bad idea of late that just will not die. America does not have a debt crisis; it has an employment crisis, which, if appropriately addressed, would reduce the debt. Social Security does not contribute to the federal budget deficit; it is projected to pay out 100% of benefits due until at least 2033, and could remain at 100% forever by raising the contribution cap. Spiraling healthcare costs can be solved by doing three things: end fee-for-service, establish Medicare for all and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
March 23, 2013
Re "Fusion power on the right," Opinion, March 19 Jonah Goldberg is right that libertarians and Conservatives share very close views on economic issues, but it's the social issues that push libertarians and even some Republicans into the liberal camp. If you strongly support free speech, voluntary military service, marriage equality and repealing drug laws, you are far to the left of conservatism. If and when we have a strong libertarian candidate the Republicans can accept, it will be Democrats, not conservatives, jumping into the libertarian camp.
March 21, 2013
Re "Forging a healing bond," March 17 With so many ups and downs in our country these days, it warms the heart and brings tears to our eyes to read about people who care. Sisters Staci Freeman and Jami Valentine and the little girl from Afghanistan they cared for, Arefa, are all heroes today. Truly big hearts were working when these sisters took this frightened little girl into their home while she underwent treatment for her painful burns and were there for her until she was able to return to her home and her family.
March 18, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - It was bound to happen: As the "sequester" budget cuts are felt around the country, lawmakers are having second thoughts - and are trying to tinker with them. On a routine spending bill, senators filed more than 125 amendments that would have reopened the White House to tours, shielded meat inspectors from furloughs and kept air traffic control towers staffed, among other moves. The attempts to rearrange the across-the-board cuts filed by senators on both sides of the political aisle had stalled the measure, which is needed to keep the government running after March 27. Without approval of the stopgap spending bill, the government would shut down, a prospect lawmakers and President Obama have said they want to avoid.
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