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Hail to the Chief

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Tackle Climate, Please

DURING HIS RE-ELECTION campaign in 2012, it seemed like the president used the words “climate change” about as much as I use the words “moon colony” in my daily life — which is to say, not much at all. I was pleasantly surprised that in his inauguration speech last Monday (Jan. 21), the president finally decided to break the code of silence and speak out on this important issue.

If record-shattering heat and devastating wildfires and hurricanes aren’t enough to move the administration on this issue, then maybe this will: two thirds of the country is in drought. Here in New Mexico, the drought is so severe that Gov. Martinez recently signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency. Meanwhile, the San Juan coal plant uses 16,000-18,000 gallons of life-giving water a minute from the San Juan River.

In 2013, America must finally take the climate crisis seriously. Federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy can do more to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their pollution, double down on clean energy solutions like wind, solar, and geothermal; and prepare communities to withstand future climate and extreme weather disasters.

Now is the time for President Obama to secure his legacy as a climate leader.

AARON TAYLOR

Rio Rancho

The All-Powerful Obama

I WATCHED President Obama, with his hand on the Bible, taking the oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Yet, how can we believe him when he more than once stated he would bypass Congress to make sure his agenda is followed? I did not hear him once mention our country’s tremendous debt, a fact he ignores. We still have checks and balances, another fact that is ignored. He believes he is all powerful — what an illusion!

We can expect more progressive programs, more deficits and loss of freedom if Congress doesn’t stand up and protect the American people and this God-blessed country.

JOANNE MELCHER

Tularosa

Journal Cartoon Offensive

THE DEPICTION of our nation’s first couple in this so-called cartoon (Jan. 23) is outrageous, irresponsible and racist. The Journal’s rabid far-right editorial policy is out-of-step with the majority of Albuquerqueans who awarded President Obama a second term in office. We already have Fox News for a distorted myopic view of national politics. Your paper is a disservice to our community.

CASEY SCOTT

Albuquerque

News Judgment Lacking

WHY DID THE Albuquerque Journal reach into the bowels of hell to produce a front page obscuring one of the most significant events of our country’s history with our South Valley slaughter? Why should a Porcelain Tile Truckload Sale command more attention than the second inauguration of Barack Obama?

EFFIE OSBORNE

Rio Rancho

Put Money To Better Use

IT IS ESTIMATED that it cost the government $300 million for Obama’s second inauguration, beating the $170 million record spent in 2009.

By comparison, George W. Bush spent $42.3 million on his first and $30 million on his second. (Bill) Clinton spent $33 million and $31 million, respectively.

I suggest the next president hold it in the Oval Office, on national TV, without all the fanfare, saving money on security, crowd control and portable potties.

How arrogant can Obama and his socialist comrades be — with such a poor, dismal first four years — to have the audacity to spend that kind of money? I am sure his poor and misguided supporters in Chicago could have used the money for better education, housing and food.

This is the kind of arrogance that we will have to contend with in the next four years, unless of course in 2016, Obama will ignore the Constitution and Congress and run again. And with his socialist comrades backing him, and the bias(ed) media supporting him, it is quite possible .

JOHN F. KOSTRUBAL

Rio Rancho

Why Was Obama Cut Off?

I HAD MY TRUCK in the dealership today, so I took my Walkman to listen to the president’s address.

I was listening to 770 KOB when, part way through the speech, it was 10 a.m. and time for Rush Limbaugh, so that was that for the president.

So I turned to KIVA (do not remember the dial position) and (it) had done the same thing for the Dennis Miller show.

Why would these two conservative stations not allow their listeners the opportunity to hear the entire address? Would they have done this for Romney? To be fair, my radio would not pick up the progressive station 1350 so I do not know what (it) did. I like to listen to both sides of an argument to make an informed decision, but also would like to listen to the basis of this argument.

GREG RICE

Albuquerque

Obama’s Goal: Punish Rich

MOST ANALYSES OF President Obama’s policies, including those by conservative commentators, share a common misunderstanding of his basic goals. They assume he wants history to judge him as a president who left America better, stronger and more influential than he found it. They typically urge him to do the things he must do to accomplish these goals, such as avoiding ruinous debt, adopting policies helping the economy, etc. They sometimes express great puzzlement that this seemingly intelligent man keeps adopting policies destructive to the goal of being a successful president as judged by the usual criteria.

I likewise used to believe that he shared the usual goals of an American president and just disagreed profoundly as to how those goals could be achieved, but that belief is no longer tenable. Obama’s actions (ignore his words) show that his fundamental guiding principle is that successful people got wealthy by exploiting the poor and that unsuccessful people are poor mostly because of the evils of the wealthy. Bringing down the wealthy should therefore benefit the poor in his view and, even if it doesn’t, punishing the wealthy is a worthy goal in itself.

Obama also applies this world view to international relations: the advanced nations, especially America, got that way by colonialist and neocolonialist exploitation of the poor nations, and bringing down the wealthy nations, especially America, will benefit the poor nations. Even if it doesn’t benefit the poor nations, the wealthy nations deserve to get their comeuppance anyway. Thus Obama does not believe that his success should be measured by whether history judges him to have left America better, stronger, and more influential than he found it; his success should be judged by whether history records that he succeeded in demoting America to the status of a run-of-the-mill social democracy shorn of its pre-eminent influence in the world, a sort of oversized France without the cultural snobbishness.

America has had good presidents and bad presidents in the past and has flourished with the help of the good ones and despite the bad ones. It remains to be seen how we will fare after the reign of America’s first anti-American president.

DAVID C. WILLIAMS

Albuquerque

How Far Will Obama Go?

THIS (OBAMA AND gun control) is just bogus and a smokescreen to take away the Second Amendment rights of all people and only allow those that agree with him to have them.

The recommendations and actions will not stop a person determined to kill. He could not put an estimate on people who would be kept alive because there are none. The majority of murders are committed with one to three bullets.

Why not make it so that you can only have a gun that is a single shot before you have to reload? Or that you can have no guns because you are untrustworthy and might go crazy and kill someone? This is wrong and does nothing but allow a power grab by the government that will disarm the population and leave you at the mercy of a corrupt government.

Don’t believe me? Take a look south of the border at the countries that have tough gun controls or a dictator and the people are unarmed. We are next, for our Second Amendment has kept enemies from physically invading us with armies because they would face an armed population.

Oh well, who cares anymore? People were warned before the usurper was supposedly re-elected, and still people ignored the warnings and believed a proven liar.

RALPH ZECCO

Socorro

Did Grassley Forget Vote?

IOWA SENATOR Charles Grassley’s accusation that President Obama’s use of executive orders with regard to gun control constitutes “a power grab along the same pattern we’ve seen of contempt for elected representatives of the American people” shows breathtaking hypocrisy. President Obama was also elected — twice — and the “just say no” Republicans have shown the president little else but contempt.

DEBORAH MULDAVIN

Los Ranchos

Clergy Take on Climate

In his second inaugural address (January 21), President Obama confirmed that people of faith are called to be good stewards of creation. “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” he said, adding “That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.”

Clergy from many faiths all across New Mexico will take up this call Feb. 8-10 during the National Preach-In on climate change organized by Interfaith Power & Light. In 2012, congregations sent an estimated 37,500 Valentine’s Day postcards to U.S. senators asking them to support clean-air legislation. This year, we will send messages to President Obama, urging him to move forward with a comprehensive plan to address climate change now.

Beyond the Preach-In, NMIP&L mobilizes congregations of all faiths in a religious response to climate change. We help houses of worship reduce their energy consumption and work with them to obtain solar panels. In New Mexico, we also advocate for clean water and water conservation as we face droughts and fires related to climate change in our own region.

EDWINA BEARD

Albuquerque

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