Letters: DeLay, a Correction and Hooters in Israel
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Time now for your comments.
Rob Underhill of Powell, Ohio echoed many of the e-mails in our inbox this week when he wrote, As I was driving to work today, I almost dumped my Starbucks into my lap as I heard former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The former majority leader spoke to my co-host, Steve, on Tuesday, and they talked about the K Street Project, DeLay's effort to meet only with Republican lobbyists.
INSKEEP: You just said you weren't going to meet with a lot of Democrats, specifically.
Mr. TOM DELAY (Former Republican Majority Leader): I didn't. I didn't.
INSKEEP: You said go hire a Republican and send him to me.
Mr. DELAY: Why would I meet with an enemy? Why would I meet with somebody that wanted to make me the minority whip and keep me from being the majority whip?
INSKEEP: Somebody might say because he's an American with an interest?
Mr. DELAY: He's not an American with my interest.
MONTAGNE: And listener Rob Underhill continues, It's that kind of attitude that creates the gridlock we have in Washington today. Mr. DeLay needs a reality check. If he wants to see a real enemy, go to the mountains of Afghanistan. Tom DeLay also talked about why Chris Smith, the New Jersey congressman who chaired the Veteran's Affairs Committee, was removed.
Mr. DELAY: Chris Smith wanted way too much funding...
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. DELAY: ...for veterans health care.
MONTAGNE: Listener Branden Castroflay(ph) of Alexandria, Virginia writes, As a disabled vet from the global war on terror, I can tell you that the VA is understaffed and underfunded. If I could speak to Mr. DeLay, I would ask him why he has no problem voting for lawmakers' pay raises but thinks more money for the VA is reason enough for him to punish Mr. Smith.
Our stories about the danger of concussions in the NFL and youth football resonated with Eleanor Perfetto of Stevensville, Maryland. Her husband, Ralph Wenzel, played seven seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman.
Mr. ELEANOR PERFETTO (Wife of Former NFL Player): Just over seven years ago, at the age of 56, he was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, which has since progressed to dementia of the Alzheimer's type. I could no longer care for him at home and in February of this year I had to place my husband in an assisted living facility.
I would like to thank Tom Goldman for his coverage of the NFL players and the long-term impact of concussions and head trauma. This increased awareness will protect younger generations of players and it's helped to garner support for the now suffering former players who can no longer speak for themselves.
MONTAGNE: That's listener Eleanor Perfetto, whose husband, Ralph Wenzel, played for the NFL.
And a correction now, we reported this week on a case before the Supreme Court; at issue whether a student who unfurled a banner reading Bong Hits for Jesus is protected by free speech. We misidentified the student's lawyer. His name is Douglas Mertz.
Finally, Alan Merrison(ph) of Bethesda, Maryland questioned the newsworthiness of our last word about Hooters opening restaurants in Israel. Hooters has opened restaurants in 23 countries, but I don't recall ever hearing a report about any of those openings. If a new Hooters in Costa Rica isn't newsworthy, then why devote airtime to a new Hooters in Israel?
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