Political parties play blame game

During and after our elected officials succeeded in closing down the government, Democrats and Republicans have been blaming each other.

But let's put the blame on those who elected them, and will continue to do so: the voting public. Who else is to blame?

Do we understand what is at stake, or do we just go along with what the political parties say? Are we so lazy that we allow someone in Washington to do the thinking for us?

I hope that, as a result of this economical fiasco, we take time to think about what we are doing when we vote these juvenile delinquents into office. It is obvious we cannot treat them as responsible adults.

Maryann Sheridan

Walnut Creek

In support of mayor's values

Tom Barnidge's Oct. 24 Times column, "Pick next crusade for mayor of Richmond," sounds like the ranting of a teenage boy just hurling put-downs because he lacks depth of knowledge and any perspective.

I, for one, am incredibly proud of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. I support every one of her carefully thought-through campaigns, as do the majority of people in Richmond.

I live outside the city limits, in Richmond Heights. I am highly educated and am politically aware. And I've lived many decades longer than Barnidge.

Barnidge said "McLaughlin is the blood enemy of Chevron." The mayor's fire is fervent and not irrational. She is operating from a set of values that I respect.

We who stand with McLaughlin are not blood enemies of Chevron. We want Chevron to operate from McLaughlin's community-based values: care for Mother Earth and the communities of color, which are being abused by corporate America's defective set of values.

Jude Curtis Levine

Richmond

'Obamacare' is a disgrace, disaster

State health website lacking? It's a disaster, a disgrace.

California was given $1 billion to implement "Obamacare" and had 3½ years, like the federal government, to get it ready. Both have failed miserably. There are few news reports on the progress of the implementation because there's no good news to report and the news media prefers to hide those facts.

Five national unions have demanded Obamacare by repealed. President Barack Obama has postponed the employer mandate for a year. He's agreed to pay the premiums for Congress.

The small business exchanges aren't working, nor the security software, leaving everyone who uses an exchange subject to identity fraud. Applicants can't see or compare insurance companies and the "back end" software isn't working so the exchanges can't send new applications to insurers chosen by applicants.

States can't report how many people have enrolled. In the few states that can, the numbers are in the hundreds, not the thousands. Some states have turned off their exchanges since they have collapsed anyway.

I just received my annual enrollment; my insurance premiums have gone up 26 percent. Every promise the president made was a lie.

Hal Bray

Brentwood

Facts on Clayton Valley Charter High

Regarding the recent letter on Clayton Valley Charter High School, Edith O. Valle-Riestra may not know that the school gets $100 more per student because it is a charter. This comes out of the money for other schools in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

The charter school does not have to pay to educate students in their attendance area who require expensive special placement and services unless they apply to the school and are accepted. Therefore, the school has more money to spend.

Charters, unlike other schools, can decide how to spend without considering if it would be fair to all schools or what it would cost for all schools in the district. They can also get rid of the students who drag down scores and dump them on the school district.

We don't know whether this is done at Clayton Valley High because the Times is happy to parrot what the school officials say rather than investigate.

Ray Triana

Pleasant Hill