Sherman Oaks Common sense Has the Republican Party lost its common sense? Why is it that they continue to pass legislation that is hurting the elderly and aging retirees? They pass bills that allow the corporate drug companies to overcharge and cut options for people who depend on lifesaving drugs. The president urged the American public to sign up for the Medicare drug plan before the May 15 deadline. He mentioned that if seniors didn’t sign up before the deadline they would be monetarily penalized. That means that the government supposedly wants to relieve the burden of high medical cost by rushing them to sign up, but if they don’t hurry they’ll be charging more money. Where’s the common sense in that? Either Republicans hate parents and grandparents or don’t have common sense. -Walter Hernandez Van Nuys Thanking Republicans Apparently it’s not audacious enough that the Bush administration created a Medicare drug plan that gives big payoffs to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but also one that allows the insurance companies offering these plans to change the drugs they offer to their subscribers every month. On average, the plan only covers 36-47 percent of a person’s drug costs per year. Now it gets even better. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, who as a physician took the Hippocratic oath, has turned a blind eye to the fact that there is still mass confusion and anger over this program and has decided not to extend the enrollment deadline past May 15. Senior citizens are the most consistent demographic when it comes to voter turnout. I’m sure they’ll be thanking Republicans for this one for years to come. -David Fritz Reseda Facts, not rumors State Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s bill to add homosexual mentions in California textbooks is misguided. Who is going to determine who was gay and who was not? Let’s test this possible entry for a textbook: “J. Edgar Hoover, a powerful cross-dressing homosexual, was the most famous director of the FBI in the 20th century.” Hoover’s cross-dressing was a matter of dispute; he never announced he was homosexual. So the only provable fact is that he headed the FBI for a long time. Facts, not rumors, are what belong in textbooks. -Bill Tracy Glendale Guzzler puzzler Is there a connection between falling gas guzzler sales and rising gasoline prices? Just wondering. -Bob Salin North Hollywood160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsNorth Hills Fix Medicare The Medicare drug program was written by drug companies to put corporate greed before seniors’ needs. It’s far too costly, controlling and confusing. Millions of seniors have been unable to sign up. The May 15 deadline and lifetime penalties are unfair, and should be canceled. Instead of penalizing seniors, Congress should fix the program so it puts seniors’ health first. Of course, with the greed of the Bush-controlled government, this too will probably never be fixed. -Jeff Rubin Re: “More failing schools expected” (May 10): The so-called “failing schools” may actually have excellent teaching staffs. Student bodies with average to below-average intelligence will naturally receive low ratings – even with excellent teaching. Public schools are losing privileged intellectual students to private schools at an ever-increasing rate, leaving the remnants of public schools with average to below-average student bodies. Publicizing schools as “failing schools” will undoubtedly encourage the proliferation of private schools, and may be a giant step for the school-voucher scheme. The “No Child Left Behind” can be interpreted as “No privileged intellectual child left in public schools.” -Fred Coble
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