New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 11, 2007, Page 4

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

January 11, 2007

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Issue date: Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pages available: 14

Previous edition: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Next edition: Friday, January 12, 2007

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All text in the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung January 11, 2007, Page 4.

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 11, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas Pfrge>4A<- HfiftALti-ZmTUNG - Thursday, January 11, 2007 FORUM Our Opinion Bipartisan wage bill is good for U.S. workforce The poorest of (his country's legal workforce stand to benefit if the Senate and president endorse Wednesday's vole by Congress to raise the minimum wage by 40 percent during the . . two years. Hie minimum \ The U-S Department of wage increase \ Labor estimates that fewer passed by \ than 500,000 U.S. workers cur-Couycss is renlly are paid the federal lorn* overdue minimum wage, a sign that and deserves \ employers recognize that .,  $5.15 is too little for anyone to the president s j ,jve on In a community such signature. as ourS) wnere unemployment is low, it can be hard to find workers if the minimum wage is all that's offered. It's a fact of life that it lakes a government mandate lo ensure that the poorest in the workforce are paid a minimum wage. This proposed increase lo $7.25 per hour within 26 months will directly affect an estimated 4 percent of the workforce - a small percentage, but undeniably those who need it most. But others will be affected indirectly if H.R. 2, which passed the House by a margin of almost three lo one, with the support of 80 Republicans including District 21 Congressman Lamar Smith, gets President Bush's signature. Other low-wage workers making more than the minimum eventually can expect a nudge-up, too, as those below them on the pay ladder get their raises, creating a ripple effect. II a poll conducted last summer by Gallup is accurate, 86 percent of small business owners say a minimum wage increase won't negatively impact their business. Only 14 percent of those business polled said they would hire an employee al the current minimum wage. An increase of the minimum wage is overdue and should be supported by the Senate a/id signed by the president quickly. Herald-Zeitung Saving New Bniunfels nml Comal County since IS52, | New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; ; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two i papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German ! and English until 1958. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Thursday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2007. There are 354 clays left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Jan. 11,1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report saying smoking may be hazardous to one's health. On this dale: In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created by an act of Congress. In 1807, Ezra Cornell, the founder of Cornell University, was born in Westchester, N.Y. In 1815, Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union. In 1913, the first sedan-type automobile, a 1 Iudson, went on display at the 13th Automobile Show in New York. In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began a trip from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., that made her the first woman lo fly solo across the Pacific Ocean. In 1912, Japan.declared war against the Netherlands, the same day that Japanese forces invaded the Dutch Hast Indies. In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China. In 1977, Trance scl off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. ! Managing Editor i Editor and Publisher ] Circulation Director 1 Advertising/Marketing Director I Business Manager i News Editor Gerard MncCrosson Doug Toney Jeff Fowler Chuck Evers Vaierie Shields Keri Kirby *___li�!_i-___!_-^ Goodbye and good riddance The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that WE simply cannot let it continue. It is not a matter of whether we will lose or we are losing. We have lost. Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically," he said. His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops. Bush's call for a "surge" or "escalation" also goes against the Iraq Study Group. Talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation and proposals based on much broader strategic implications. About the only politician out there besides Bush actively calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own - impose its rule throughout the country. ... By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed." But with all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed. A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country - we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls. We know this fs wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented. Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money 4, MOLLYIVINS Molly Wins is a columnist for Creators Syndicate, She also does occasional commentary for National Public Radio and the McNeil/Lehrer program. and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent col- . rr~ leagues. Anyone who wants to talk knowledgably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran's "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone." It's like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid? As The Washington Post's review notes, Chandrasekaran's book "methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq's fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis." We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're-for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!" LETTERS POLICY � Letters must be 250 words or less. �The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. � Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. � Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor c/o Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: [email protected] HOW TO CONTACT _______ United States PfffPl Government^ PRESIDENT � George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE � Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: http://hutchison.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 � John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: http://cornyn.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512)469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN � Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 � Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: http://www.house.gov/cuellar SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government GOVERNOR � Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE � Nathan Macias 1100 Congress Ave., Rm. E2.704 Austin TX 78701 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE � Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address: [email protected] � Judith Zaffirini 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262 Inexperience could be an asset - Barack Obama can be whatever he wants to be CKMORRIS Dick Morris was an adviser to Bill Clinton for 20 years. Those who deride Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) lack of experience and criticize the broad generalities and banalities that festoon his best-selling book miss the key point: 1 lis inexperience is an asset because he enters national politics as a blank canvas on which he can paint whatever he chooses. With only two years in the Senate, he is less like a politician running for president than like a general - think Eisenhower in 1952 or even the abortive candidacy of Colin Powell in 1995 - or a businessman, like Ross Perot in 1992. It's not that he doesn't have a record. It's that die record doesn't really matter because it is so short. His Senate tenure is so abbreviated that he can be whatever he says he is, not just as a political contrivance to get elected, but genuinely to articulate a philosophy and make it his guiding principle both while seeking office and serving in it. He's that virginal. So far, Obama seems very conscious that his liberal, party-line voting record is not a good foundation for his national ambitions. He seems aware that the country wants more of a post-partisan, embodying the consensus to wliich Americans have come over these recent dangerous and bitter years. American politics alternates between periods in which we welcome partisan debate and those in which we demand consensus and conclusion. Confronted by new issues we turn to the left and to the right and ask each side to develop its ideas and flesh out its alternative for our consideration. During these times, moderates and synthesizers are doomed to defeat because they seem to ignore the problem, while polarizing figures take over. But once the debate has run its course, we make our collective national decisions and are no longer in the mood for unending debate. We want our will to be done by our elected officials with no more quarreling or sniping. Obama has the opportunity to embody the emerging consensus, a broad national agreement reached from observation of trial and error over the past half decade. The bloody futility of our efforts to build a nation in Iraq have left us still committed to aggressive efforts to hunt down terrorists but determined to extricate ourselves from the mire. The effectiveness of our homeland security efforts and our concomitant horror at instances of mistaken imprisonment and unnecessarily intrusive government investigations have led us to demand a balance between aggressive investigation and protection of civil liberties. We want terrorists caught, interrogated and locked up, but not tortured or sadistically humiliated. Obama's book reflects an intuitive grasp of this emerging consensus even if his voting record does not signal his agreement with it. But if the Illinois senator decides to articulate this synthesis, the question will be whether he can find sufficient traction on the center-left to give his candidacy viabili- ty. He will have to compete for that ground with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), but her reputation for strident advocacy and take-no-prisonert; partisanship likely will give him an edge in going after Bill Clinton's former constituents among the New Democrats. And Obama enjoys an ethnic and demographic base that can augment his converts among moderate white Democrats. John Edwards, for all of the eloquence of his announcement statement, is ultimately running on the issue of national poverty against a woman and an African-American. That's not going to work. His campaign might have gained traction against another field of candidates, but it is unlikely that he can get it on track against these two particular opponents. So we wait for Barack Obama to define himself. If he runs to the left, he will be a worthy successor to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. If he runs to the center, he might be a successor to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He might just make it to foe White House. ;

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