Rep. Mickey Channell said, “They just like to go to dinner because I’ve got a great personality, and they like to laugh at my jokes. Or I have a significant role in shaping health care policy in this state. I’m not sure which one it is” (Case study: Double date,” News, Jan. 6).
Channell’s remarks drip with contempt to those of us who perceive lobbyist gifts as potential for influence peddling. He appears to be flaunting his position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Boasting of his importance and reveling in the goods that lobbyists will bestow upon him, he forgets that as a public servant, he is answerable solely to his constituents — not health care industry lobbyists.
Channell’s avarice for lobbyist gifts shouldn’t be merely limited; it must end.
DON MCADAM, SANDY SPRINGS
Jobs cartoon fails
to tell whole story
Michael Ramirez’s cartoon (Opinion, Jan. 9) showing President Barack Obama struggling to lift barbells in a “job growth” competition should have included Republican elephants standing on top of the weights of the barbell.
GARY HUNNICUTT, LILBURN
Finances don’t change
person’s right to live
Regarding “Driving is a privilege; gun ownership, a right” (Readers write, Opinion, Jan. 8), I enjoyed the comments of the writer straightening out a prior writer’s confusion over a right versus a privilege. Driving is indeed a privilege, and may carry with it mandated requirements such as proof of financial responsibility.
Life itself is a right — not just an amended “right” added later, but an original “right” that is the cornerstone of the Constitution. And nowhere is it written that, to exercise one’s right to live, one must prove one’s financial responsibility — as could be the case if life were a privilege.
CAMERON ADAIR, ATLANTA
Child prostitution has
Regarding “Faulty figures mask trafficking reality” (News, Dec. 30) and “Crime effort lacks clarity” (News, Dec. 31), after reading Willoughby Mariano’s articles on human trafficking, I’m reflecting on how far we’ve come — and how far we still have to go.
Ms. Mariano implies that public monies have been misspent. I think that two-thirds of the girls not returning to pimps is proof of money well spent. Regardless, even one child sold for someone else’s pleasure is wrong. Protecting our children is what drives me — but the real question is still not even asked.
Why is it OK for men to buy children for their own pleasure? When we are brave enough to look at ourselves and do what needs to be done to stop that, then our children will be truly protected.