What is Boehner's job, anyway?

While I know Ohio Republican John Boehner is Speaker of the House, I'm pretty much unaware of what he actually does.

I know he dislikes President Barack Obama, is against health care for the uninsured, and often does not allow the House to Representatives to vote on issues. Those votes would inform ordinary citizens of how their individual representatives stand.

What exactly is his job? Is Boehner the representative of the tea party, ensuring that other Republicans -- who aren't afraid of the tea party -- can't state their opinions? Does he have any knowledge of how ordinary citizens live and how loss of jobs, government benefits and entitlements affect their lives?

Boehner, one of those 257 millionaires in Congress, hasn't any idea of the needs of average Americans.

Removal of congressional representatives who simply don't care about anyone but themselves would be a good start to stop future government shutdowns. And removal of Boehner would be an excellent start.

Geraldine N. Judt

El Cerrito

Shutdown was a smoke screen

I think we are all missing the true story.

This wasn't about Obamacare. I think President Barack Obama already sold us down the river and once again has caved in to the wealthiest 1 percent.

This is all just a smoke screen for the day when he says, "I'm really sorry but I had to save the economy and the country by giving the 1-percenters all that they want: continued tax breaks, cuts to social programs, etc."

Thirty years ago, the richest 1 percent owned 9 percent of the wealth. At the beginning of the current recession, they owned 40 percent of the wealth. The recession has given them another 7 percent. I think their goal is to own 90 percent or more of the wealth.

The real enemy of the American people are the richest 1 percent, not the corporations or the government or the courts. Those institutions are owned and operated by the wealthiest 1 percent and an even more dangerous group, the 1-percent wannabes.

John Bulger

Walnut Creek

Endorsing Ryan was a mistake

I was dismayed to read the Oct. 11 Times editorial praising a recent op-ed by Paul Ryan in the Wall Street Journal. That opinion piece only got the play it did because it was, otherwise, a slow news day.

To claim that Ryan's views are not radical is misleading. Of course they are radical. That is why he and his views were soundly defeated in the recent presidential election.

Ryan would have us believe the primary reason for our budget deficits lies with the entitlements. That, of course, is a lie.

Ryan wants tax reform to be about lowering rates again, hoping to revive "voodoo" economics. However, we know that led us to the Great Recession and to an increased disparity in wealth. And Ryan would have us believe we need to spend more money on the military-security-industrial complex, not less.

Also, Ryan is all for voucherizing Medicare. Such ideas, if spoken here in Northern California, would make him a laughingstock.

The endorsement in the Times was a mistake.

George Fulmore

Concord

Facts on Bears vs. Buckeyes game

Cal alumnus Mike Anderson, in his recent letter, accuses Cal alumni and fans of being too cheap to buy a $60 ticket to support the Bears against Ohio State, while 60,000 Ohio State University fans flew 2,423 miles to support the Buckeyes.

The stadium capacity is 63,000 and was a sellout. The Cal communications director tells me that 30,000 season tickets have been sold (my family included); that OSU was allocated 3,500 tickets; that the Cal rooting section accounts for 6,000; and the football team gets about 500 tickets.

Adding this up leaves 23,000 tickets up for grabs. It's doubtful OSU fans gobbled up all 23,000. Anderson could help the cause by sponsoring some season tickets and getting his facts straight.

Go Bears!

Danard Emanuelson

Walnut Creek