Letters to the Editor

Experience lacking

October 18, 2010


To the editor:

Upon entering the presidency, Obama had absolutely no foreign policy, economic or business knowledge or experience. None. But as with all new presidents, he could nominate for Senate approval 15 people as his Cabinet along with specialized advisers and task forces to advise and “bring him up to speed.”

However, none, not one of his 15 Cabinet secretary nominees had any discernible experience in running and/or managing the multiple complexities of successful businesses. Most pointedly, none of them had any experience in, or understanding of, the imperatives of creating jobs in private enterprise. The intricacies of hiring, firing, meeting payrolls, multitudes of smothering regulations and mandates and the mind-boggling uncertainties of future tax rates are foreign to these principle advisers to Obama.

But, hold on. Further inquiry discloses that Obama has appointed 46 — yes, 46 — czars and czarinas, only 2 percent of whom have any discernible degree of business experience on their bios. Also, Obama, in his 20 months in office, has appointed 15 task forces. From what backgrounds do these dozens of advisers come? Careers in politics, holding public or appointed offices in charities and research entities, esoteric computer modeling and all the time portraying an image of highly educated academic elitism.

Conclusion: Education can make you smart but only hands-on application provides usable knowledge.

Jim Winn,



Tom Shewmon 7 years, 7 months ago

Not to mention many or most of The Anointed One's appointees are at a minimum extreme-left or in the case of Van Jones, full-blown socialists. It took Glen Beck to bring that out so The Anointed One had to fire him. The corrupt liberal establishment media fell head over heels in love with Obama, qualifications be damned. Palin though? "Not so fast lady" they declared and throngs of them hopped jets to Alaska and commenced to disrespecting and trashing her and her family, meanwhile avoiding Chicago like the plague.

Good letter.

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

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Dan Eyler 7 years, 7 months ago

Good letter. Lets hope that republicans don't appoint leaders from those companies who are to big to fail to the top of their advisory council.

Abdu Omar 7 years, 7 months ago

Wait a minute! While the future is at hand, let's not forget our past. What choice did we have for president? McKane or Obama. Get a grip people, can you imagine a man in his later 70's running for president and selecting a know nothing digbat for a vice president. This was the straw that made me vote Obama. I also liked the fact that Obama is highly intelligent, but as most people know, it takes a few months to get a handle on that job! And even though he has been in office for some 19 or 20 months, the things he has done for the economy will work if only the banks let loose of the money. No lending, no growth. It is that simple. The staunch repub bankers are keeping the money and we need it in the economy. The bailouts started with Bush if you remember so don't blame Obama. What is there to do? Come up with a solution if you are so able.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"No lending, no growth. It is that simple."

Yep, just that simple. Oh, except isn't writing too many loans what started this mess?

oldvet 7 years, 7 months ago

"... if only the banks let loose of the money."

the banks are actually ready to lend, but only if you have a good credit score. They are going to avoid the mistakes of the past of lending to people without the means to repay. And the people with the good credit scores are not in a borrowing mood at this time, still wary of the changes the current powers may yet implement... the same reasons that companies are not ready to expand either facilities or staffing.

SnakeFist 7 years, 7 months ago

Please, let's not deflate an ideological temper tantrum with the facts.

Brian Laird 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget about Van Jones, former Green Jobs Czar, an self-described former communist turned cheerleader for green capitalism.

I corrected your typo for you.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"Actually the number is 44 czars under Obama. Bush II had 47 czars."

Actually, Bush was in office for eight years, Obama less than two. Like all the liberals keep saying, just give him more time.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 7 months ago

Outstanding letter. I would add, however, that Obama has done exactly what many of us knew before the election that he would do with his appointments, which is just one more reason why it's shocking that any rational person living outside of college and university communities and liberal urban cabals would ever have voted for him.

Wounded_soldier, you continue to spell John McCain's name as "McKane," thus continuing to damage your credibility as a commenter on this forum.

Abdu Omar 7 years, 7 months ago

Sorry about that, I have a friend who has the same name and he spells it like the Senator so I keep thinking it is the other way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Why, yes, Jim, only businessmen (and we can probably assume Jim was primarily referring to men) have any clue of how the world works. Everyone else is a lazy, ignorant buffoon, a fluke of the universe who has no right to be here.

So glad you've pointed this out. Once we've rid the world of everyone except businessmen and their employees, it'll be a much better place.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

The experience the current regime can claim is doling out other people's dollars to cronies. Remember how Dear Leader and his BFF Bill Ayers whizzed away hundreds of millions of dollars with the Annenberg Challenge foundation?

whats_going_on 7 years, 7 months ago

wait a second, I thought liberals were trying to take over the country with evil socialist ways, and GIVING to those who aren't deserving?

Which one is it?

Are the dems selfish, or too giving? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mr_right_wing 7 years, 7 months ago

Maybe if the doubles the numbers of czars on the taxpayers payroll?? (See...46 new jobs there!)

Quantity over quality.

Jimo 7 years, 7 months ago

We live in an era where "business experience" is synonymous with fraud, self-dealing, and incompetence written large. It takes quite a fool to write a letter to the editor demanding - MORE! - "business experience" to corrupt our government.

Get back to us on this once we've had time to clean up the existing mess you've made.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

I have a problem with your logic and I have not yet decided who I am going to vote for.

I see a big problem with both parties and I am struggling with the idea that I may not want to vote in this election, which makes me a little bit irresponsible as an American citizen.

You assume much and I am always reminded of what the first 3 letters of the word mean.

You assume that there was a better option in the last election and you imply that the previous administration met with your standard of excellence, which I guess, is business experience.

You give no verifiable evidence that your claims are valid but like most of the crap you watch on the crap media, you assume that we will all lap it up if it fits what we already want to believe.

You assume that there is a better option (perfect qualifications) in the likes of Sarah Palin which I believe is laughable to most rational Americans regardless of what your poll information says.

The reality, I believe, is that we are seriously lacking in competent political leadership and as a result, the electorate is almost clueless as to what to believe anymore.

I think it is probably true of any administration that they do not have perfect people in every position. I think, however, you exaggerate greatly because a grain a truth makes the lie sound easier to swallow.

In my lifetime, this is the worst I have ever seen our politics and our leadership from both political parties. It is almost impossible these days to find people of character that I would expect to fill the highest offices in our land.

You believe that the answer is to bash Obama and disrespect the office of the Presidency of the United States and you have ranted your hateful nonsense since before he took office and before he appointed anyone. Many appointments that are sorely needed to fill important positions have been blocked by the Republicans for no other reason than politics.

The Republicans and the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Karl Rove have embarrassed the United States and it will take decades to fix the problems they created. Obama walked into the worst mess since the Great Depression and you have no sympathy for the man. The Bush administration absolutely bears the brunt of the responsibility for this mess but politics on both sides created the recipe for somebody like Bush to stumble into it.

Hating and spreading hateful messages and lies about our President does not make you a responsible citizen of this country. It does the opposite. Whether you believe in his politics or not, you should respect the office a lot more than you do. Hate and hateful messages will not create a country any of us want to live in.

whats_going_on 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm not going to comment on the last, pointing fingers part, but I very much agree with the rest of this. Well done.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 7 months ago

Why not, you especially are good at pointing at the country you live in and proclaiming publicly that's your ashamed to be a citizen.

...and of course I'm good at pointing out your continual use of the right to free speech that a country you are ashamed of bestows on you.

Unlike you; I will not ignore or simply dismiss the generations of honorable men that have come before both of us and made this the great nation it is. (Of course there have always been men like you....John Wilkes Booth, Benedict Arnold, Timothy McVeigh and Fred Phelps just to name a few of your ilk.)

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

"Hating and spreading hateful messages and lies about our President does not make you a responsible citizen of this country. It does the opposite." That's kinda what some of us believed between 2000 and 2008.

MyName 7 years, 7 months ago

Ugh, why don't you people like, think for yourself instead of posting really dumb crap that you heard elsewhere.

1) There is no job that prepares you for being President of the US, besides being President. Bush proved that. 2) If having a really good education as a lawyer doesn't prepare you for being a politician, then why are so many of them lawyers? According to this thesis, the Drywall guy is better prepared than anyone else currently in government since he actually "does things". 3) WTH was Obama (a Senator) running against? Oh yeah, another Senator! So maybe we were screwed either way, but at least we got someone who wasn't going to die and give us someone who couldn't even finish a term as the governor of a State with less people than any two KC suburbs.

think_about_it 7 years, 7 months ago

Obama is like the dog that finally caught the car and now doesn't know what to do with it.

SnakeFist 7 years, 7 months ago

That's an excellent analogy, but it applies to everyone who seeks and wins public office.

It will especially apply to the Tea Partiers who think the most powerful nation on Earth can be run on folksy "common sense" slogans that fit on bumper stickers.

Brian Laird 7 years, 7 months ago

"Czars" a cutesy media defined name that has nothing to do with any official title. But I guess it would be hard to excite the uninformed rabble if you complained about a president hiring advisors.

mbulicz 7 years, 7 months ago

Czars appointed by Obama: 46

Czars appointed by Bush: 46

Relevance this has to anything: 0

Kirk Larson 7 years, 7 months ago

One of the reasons for the "czars" seems to be the high number of departmental confirmations the republicans are holding up. These departments need leadership which in the interim is coming from czars because the republicans won't confirm them usually for unrelated reasons.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

Are you talking about this kind of business experience?

"Without any previous business experience, Cheney leaves the Department of Defense to become the CEO of Halliburton Co., one of the biggest oil-services companies in the world. He will be chairman of the company from 1996 to October 1998 and from February to August 2000. Under Cheney's leadership, Halliburton moves up from 73rd to 18th on the Pentagon's list of top contractors. The company garners $2.3 billion in U.S. government contracts, which almost doubles the $1.2 billion it earned from the government previously."


jayhawklawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

I think it is common knowledge that George Bush, Jr. was a failure at business and was handed everything penny he ever got through insider trades and political dealings. This information is easy to find.

It is hard to find any professional politician that is worth a damn in this department.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

So much of the legislation that gets passed in Congress anymore is such a compromise and mess with all the earmarks and back room dealings by incompetents that it is simply a miracle when anything good gets passed.

I think this is why everybody just wants money. It is a lot simpler to just get a check, right?

The recent tax bill to help small business was interesting. In particular the accelerated business depreciation and Section 179.

Companies are allowed to use this as an incentive to upgrade old equipment. The problem is that the equipment must be on the floor by December 31st. This equipment usually has to be built to order. Therefore, the customer is only given a few weeks to make a decision on a major capital investment in order to take advantage of the tax savings. No one wants to be under this kind of pressure unnecessarily. There is the danger of making a bad decision and usually there is not enough time anyway.

The law is retroactive back to January 1st. So the people that will benefit the most will be the ones who already made the investment and were the least likely to need this type of stimulous. Simply put, they did not need a stimulous. They got a free Christmas present from the government.

The people that were on the borderline, that really needed a stimulous, get a few weeks under pressure to decide what they are going to do.

This is how this law has always gotten passed. I think this is really stupid and this is how our government works. Really stupid. Or...really smart. Somebody got a free gift. It is called a stimulous but because of the short window to use it, it really becomes...a free check from Uncle Sam, not much of a stimulous as it could have been.

In fairness, President Obama wanted Congress to move on this quickly early in the year and the Republicans blocked it until the end for political reasons only.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

There is a high probability that someday every one of us is going to get old and sick and some of us may get very sick sooner. At that time, let us hope you have good health care and that you can pay for it.

Currently, nearly 50 million people don't.

If you are lying there in the future (waiting for the nurse to bring you some relief or just dying in your bed) and our health care system is still broken, you may remember that Hillary Clinton and Obama tried to help this country create a fair and affordable system for all Americans.

Just remember who it was that used every means necessary to demonize the President and stop health care reform. It was the debate over health care that finally gave the Republicans the room they needed to launch their campaign of fear and scare the American people.

We could have moved forward with some confidence and fixed a lot of problems, but we couldn't pull our heads out of the rear ends of people like Rush Limbaugh and Genn Beck and Fox News anchors.

When the real facts come out about how our system ranks with the rest of the world, I don't think you will be very proud.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Do business people make the best politicians or managers of our tax dollars locally,state level or national level? The answer is obviously no!

How do we know this? How about some examples of politician business people interacting with other business people?

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist "There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and were part of the Bush Jr. administration.

Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this was about one quarter of our national debt").

The Reagan/Bush savings and loan heist was considered the largest theft in history at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush then took $1.4 trillion of taxpayers money to cover the theft. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  1. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers Yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities." http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  2. Only 3 major Financial Institutions were at risk in spite of what we’re told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America and Citigroup, Those three were clearly in very weakened form. Many of the other big banks simply were not. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

  3. Privatizing Social Security Would Place the Nations Economy at Risk "Social Security privatization will raise the size of the government's deficit to nearly $700 billion per year for the next 20 years, almost tripling the size of the national debt.

Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk--it would likely put the entire economy at risk." http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0505orr.html

  1. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = tax increases for the middleclass. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Over the years right here in Lawrence,Kansas Chamber of Commerce business people have been making local government decisions for more than 3 decades that I know of. These business elected by the Chamber/Builder/Real Estate special interests have proved to be reckless and NOT great managers of our tax dollars.

How do we know this?

By Kim McClure

July 24, 2009

To the editor:

The July 14 editorial asks, “What’s downtown going to look like five, 10 or 15 years from now?” The answer can be known, and the picture is not pretty.

Lawrence has enough spending to support about 4.1 million square feet of retail space, but the City Commission permitted developers to expand the supply to over 5.5 million square feet.

Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown.

The surplus development has stalled redevelopment plans downtown and has pushed the vacancy rates so high that disinvestment and blight now threaten. Investment, both public and private, is wasted. The taxpayers’ $8 million parking garage stands largely empty. The Hobbs-Taylor building and the 600 block of Massachusetts should be the top performing spaces in the community, but they have significant vacancies.

The recession has contributed to the problem, but had we properly managed our growth we would be much better off.

The developers’ short-term gain is now our long-term loss. Managed growth would have prevented much of the problem and would have protected and enhanced our downtown.

It will take many, many years to absorb this surplus space and, until this happens, it will be hard for downtown to compete. We can only look forward to many years of high vacancy and disinvestment. We need a City Commission that knows how to pace the growth of supply so as to protect our unique downtown.

McClure is from Lawrence


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